Thursday, August 30, 2007


It's 12.45am, 45 mins after the Union Jack came down for the last time on 31.8.1957 and the Jalur Gemilang (then known as the Bulan dan Bintang) took its proud position in the Malaysian sky. The reverberation of "Merdeka" has just died down and the PM is still on TV shouting himself hoarse with the Merdeka Celebration message. God....he almost choked on the word TER...BILANG....

As I expected, the celebration is fabulous. Boy...Malaysians love celebrations and festivitities. They give the young (and young at heart) a chance to stay up late, jammed up between people, in the dark corners of the padang, etc..etc. A few people I talked to this evening expressed the feeling that we're just wasting too much money. I wonder how many millions, this time? Or have we reached the grand B for BRAGGADOCIO GRANDE? Well, all's well that ends well, says Shakespeare!

There'll be more tomorrow ( ie. later today August 31) and the following night. The flower fest is at Putrajaya while the show will be at Stadium Merdeka to be capped by an international Tattoo exhibition, following the on-going international firework display competition. But how come I see droves of cars jamming both sides of the MRR2 but more going to the south. "People are going back to their kampungs for the holidays," said a friend in the front seat of the car we were travelling in. Are these people not
interested in the festivities being held in KL. Oh, of course there are festivities in their home town too, Really....How much are we spending nation-wide on these celebration?

I guess we'll never know the actual figure for as one pragmatic accountant (or is it an auditor) puts it: How the figures will look like depend on what you ( the employer) wanted to be shown. So, all figures can be trimmed or expanded depending on what you want to show. Does that explain why we should not be too gullible in accepting all figures shown to us in the national account? I've lost track of leakages in the national account when billions of ringgit start to disappear into thin air. When I asked some well-informed friends on whether THEY KNOW where the money has disappeared to, their answer inevitably is: " don't know!"

Gosh..past 1.30 am! Is the PM still giving his 50th Merdeka Anniversary message or is this a replay on RTM1? He's going to loose his voice if he continues to punish his larynx. There's Smack Down on TV3, another deceptive show. Anyway, happy 50th Merdeka anniversary celebration, everyone. God Bless You.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One Day Before....

Tomorrow, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Meredeka. For the first time I see my wife flying the Jalur Gemilang herself, on the balcony. Great. I've already stuck one on the car several days ago. I feel rather sad when on coming back from visiting the flower fest in Putrajaya at 5pm, I got caught in a traffic snarl along MRR2 stretching for more than a kilometer on both sides of the road. I counted only about 10 vehicles were flying the flag....

What a shame...shame ...shame. I should congratulate those who had wilfully kept the JG in their lockers as a show of protest against some of the misdeeds and mishandling of the affairs of the nation. They've proven their point. So, after we celebrate the 50th Meredeka Anniversary tomorrow with a very poor showing of the Jalur Gemilang on cars and buildings, what's next? I'm sure the celebration will go on as usual, as will other things in this beautiful nation. Beauty indeed is only in the eye of the beholder. It's like holding up a magic miorror. You see only what you want to see.....

I'm as critical of things that I don't agree with as the next guy. But I love my country with all its shortcomings and its faults. They are created by people and people can uncreate it at will. Some say"rectify" it. But I'm not sure that the "rectified" version will be much better. It could be much worse! But one thing is certain. Don't stop people from complaining about things they don't like or disaggree with. Talking about what bothers you is a way of getting it out of your system. It has a therapeutic effect on the soul and those who agree with the ventilation will also receive a sensory reinforcement of his or her nihilistic vibes.

That seems to connect with what the DPM said today (NST). It's not that you can't say things but you must say it in the right way.

That sounds okay but WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY? Let the Merdeka Anniversary Celebration be over first and we'll try to learn frorm the leaders what saying things in the right way is. Certainly it won' be in the way things are said in Parliament. Can it be in the way things are said during election campaigns? If still "No!" then how? Maybe the bloggers have something to least one way of doing it!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dispute, Refute...Nothing Changes...

Its most interesting to see the Ministry of Health and the Dept of Agriculture refuting the findings of researchers from IMR and Universiti Kebangsaan that 6 popular veges sold and distributed by the Selayang Wholesale Market, "were" contaminated (NST August 27). The 2 former authorities stated yesterday that only 10-30% had been found so! And that's NOT DISTURBING! City Hall Health Dept was also surprised that the findings had not been submitted to the Health Ministry before disclosure...The Vege Farmers' Association of course maintained that the contamination would be reduced after the greens are washed before cooking....!

A very familiar scenario where academic reports are vehemently refuted by the authorities involved. It would be the very reason why the report was not submitted to the Ministry of Health for it would be thrown out offhand. I'd imagine there are tons of disturbing academic findings, dismissed outright by the authorities involved. This is just the opposite of the culture in developed countries where the academes are "sponsored" to undertake the research since bureaucrats are either too busy or less qualified to undertake them in the most scientific way possible.

The tradition of distrusting the academic researchers could be a real stumbling block to development - especially the development of the high-level bureaucratic minds. It is for this reason that the nation is often "shattered" by the actual facts -high profile projects falling on their faces, landslides cracking up good roads and houses, denudation of the sylvian green, children falling sick after eating in the cateen etc,etc. The bureacrats own research had failed to uncover "the truth".

In this case of vegetable contamination it's interesting to see that the Ministry of Agriculture is not even involved since Ministries are supposed to oversea, supervise, coordinate and rectify all malfeasance and shortcomings of agencies under their control. When facts uncovered by other than beaucratic sources are continously being ignored, disputed or refuted....don't be surprised if the ceiling falls down (figuratively speaking) on the Ministries themselves, including the Ministry of Work, Housing and Local Government, etc.,etc.....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

5 Days to D Day...

I wonder whether those of us who REFUSED to fly the JG in protest over the inefficiency, corruption and hypocracy of CERTAIN people in the government, HAD CONSIDERED OTHER ALTERNATIVE COURSE OF ACTION. Or is INACTION, NON-INVOLVEMENT and a YUKKY-LOOK of disdain over the mounting 50th anniversary festivities going to be the order of the day, even on D Day itself?

Look guys! Doing nothing when the whole country is celebrating, is an expression of the WITHDRAWL SYDROME. DOING YOUR OWN THINGS IN PRIVATE on the other hand is an act of self-centered greed and an antisocial propensity with a cliquish overtone. So, at least fly your own flags, make some noise to usher in the D Day, and let the bloggers presence be known! Not just on the website but...on the street and.... in a civilized way!

I look forward to see some action from the bloggers. As they say action is louder than words. Let's not just rant and cuss (and joke around) in cyberspace, but throw our bit into the D Day celebration to mark the half-way march through a century of however u c Malaysia's progress. Let's not take the "monkey"and "karaoke" challenge lying down...

Wave your flags way up high......!!!
(See also "Countdown to 50th MA")

Usual for Bus and Truck Drivers to Take Drugs?

I thought I heard someone saying over the TV3 News at 8 pm today that it's usual for bus and lorry divers to take drugs in order to give them strength to undertake extra trips.( NST August 26, confirms that En. Mohd Yasin Yacob, President of the Peninsular Bus Drivers Association said about 30% of the drivers did so). It made me literally jump out of my seat to make some comment about it. No wonder they can get their "trips" mixed up - the narcotic and the one on the road!

PM's directive was just to investigate what makes them turn to drug. "We don't know whether they take it before or after their
(presumably road) trip," I heard him say on TV . Investigation is good but I'm sure we already know some of the causes as given by Union or Association officials. They had to do as many trips as possible in order to make more money since the basic pay is so puny ( about RM200?) I remember the MOT making a ruling before that lorry and bus driver should not do more than 8 hours without a period of rest. What happened to that ruling?

Trying to find out why the drivers take drugs would be like trying to find out why we have thousands of drug addicts. The simple answer is because the 'shit' is available and it certainly has more kick than a pep or vitamin pill. The drivers surely have other alternative sources of extra energy like coffee "tongkat Ali", vitagen, red bull etc. Liquor is of course a no-no, before or while driving.....! "After driving" doesn't exist. If a driver takes on another trip immediately after one is done, it automatically becomes "before driving"!

So, what's the solution? To me it's back to the question of self-discipline and a sense of responsibility. Bus and truck drivers in western countries, even in Japan an Korea, are known to be hearty drinkers. But they take full responsibility over their "loads"- that include passengers - and we seldom hear of long-distance busses ( like The Greyhound in the US) or trucks ( like the Fedex or HDL) meeting with serious accidents. The drivers worked very long hours too and they do just as much extra time when they needed more money. What makes them different from our bus and truck drivers?

Good working conditions, adequate remunerations and well-maintained vehicles could be the cause and must be given priority consideration by the employers in Malaysia. Government should have a special team of officers to look into these matters as part of the responsibility for issuing various licences and permits. Drivers should be given regular health and efficiency tests, the cost to be borne by the employers.

But on top of all these, the drivers must have or acquire a sense of responsibility and dedication to the people and the goods that are placed in their charge. You can see a lot of these among the bus and truck drivers of the developed countries. Most of them wear uniforms which give an added sense of discipline.

Developing and inculcating such a sense of responsibility, dedication and self-discipline is what "becoming a developed country" involved. It certainly is not just a matter of developing the infrastructure and economic fundamentals, nor is it a question of developing the human assets through training and education to suit the need of the labour market. It is the conditioning of people to acquire a sense of responsibility and self-discipline which is the more difficult thing to undertake. Neglect this and development will become a mad scrambling for self-enrichment on the "dog-eat-dog" basis, where bus, lorry and taxi drivers couldn't care two-hoots for the wellbeing of their "loads", teachers are not too concerned about the general wellbeing of their students as long as they get got grades, public officials don't really care if their clients are "happy" with the service they get or otherwise.

Everybody ( especially those in a position of power) will then be only concerned with "getting rich quick" or "making as much money as possible" and everbody else can go to hell! With such an attitude everyone might end up in that godforsaken place...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Countdown to 50th Merdeka Anniversary.

7 days to 50th M.A. Look at the buildings, shophouses, the homes and the motor vehicles that crammed the roads in KL and elswhere in Malaysia. Overall, there are so very, very few Jalur Gemilang that you can see gracing the buildings and the homes with the obvious paradox: the smaller the building or house the more likely that it'll fly the flags. More interestingly you can see a small house flying a huge flag, and often many flags, whilst the big imposing one flies no flag or a tiny one.

As for the vehicles on the road there could be as many as 50 vehicles w/o a flag to 1 that has. Again the smaller the vehicle, especially the Kancil and the cheaper Protons, is more like to fly the Jalur Gemilang - sometimes many of them creating the danger that the car might just fly - than the huge expansive ones. Some of the amaller ones or the old and almost discoloured vehicles are neatly wrapped up in the Jalur Gemilang. The big, expensive and luxurious vehicles would not, it seemed, want people to be distracted by the flag and pay less attention to the cars.

What's wrong with the way we're celebrating the Anniversary such that some people are not even interested, or let's say could not be bothered to even fly the Jalur Gemilang, a symbol of the nation's sovereingty and prestige? Is it the way we're celebrating it or is it those non-flag fliers themselves who have some attitudinal problems? If they are the owners of the huge commercial buildings, the palatial houses and the big expensive cars - ie. the cream of the Malaysian society, the rich and the successful-there can't be anything wrong with their psyche! Are the relatively poor or the lower class people in Malaysia more nationalistic than the rich and more successful? Surely flying a flag to show our respect to the nation ( that is if you can't find in your heart even a speck of genuine gratitude or love for your country) is no big deal?

I think the disinterest in flying the Jalur Gemilang is borne out of the Malaysians pencant for a reward in whatever they are asked to do - the overmaterialistic nature of our development culture. Start a competiton with a RM100,000 reward for the
100,000 car with a Jalur Gemilang flying on it, and I think everyone will fix a Jalur Gemilang to his or her car. Unless of course RM100,000 is chickenfeed to him or her. Even a chance in a million would be enough to motivate a Malaysian, especially the poorer ones.....lah! If monetary reward is bad for the soul how about an all-paid-for round trip to Hollywood or Las Vegas.
You know why I suggest Las Vegas? The gambling hantus will wrap their car in Jalur Gemilang if they can win a price for it.

The suggestion is of course, not a solution to the pathetic show of interest in flying the flag. The question is how to get the public at large involved in the Anniversary celebration. Certainly watching a march pass and parade by the roadside, a firework and perhaps singing the National Anthem, is not enough. All shows must not only be open to the public but allow them to participate, not just be a bystander. Perhaps the public can be invited to dance with the beauties as they move down the road. Perhaps there could be free food stalls for the family stacked with Jalur Gemilang, prizes for the best decorated cars
with Jalur Gemilang as the theme, etc.etc. The think-tank appointed by the Government to prepare for the celebration must have done the thinking.

Let's not have more of the same year in and year out. Otherwise the 50th Merdeka Anniversary becomes just another red-letter day for the officials and those paid or forced to take part in the celebration. The public will watch, of course, but don't ask them to do more, like flying the flag on their homes and cars!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

QCC in Public Sector Once Again!

I left the public service more than a decade ago. By now I thought I'm terribly outdated. But..every now and again I hear the public service grappling with problems we grappled with years ago, as if nothing had changed.

Paklah our PM had just asked that the Quality Control Circle(QCC) be introduced again in the public service ( Speech in NS on August 23). That's when groups of workers sit together to discuss major problems and trace their relationships using the fishbone concept in order to tackle the problems from tail to head. The MOP approach ( Manual of Office Procedures) and Checklist system were insisted on again just sometimes back. Productivity increase was insisted on again and again, ad nausea.There also was the Star Rating System to track and evaluate the performance of Ministries and Department...and the Micro Accounting System suggested by Tun Mahathir ( exPM) which never saw the light of day, because the Chief Secretary to Government then could not fathom what that was.

There were enough management tools even then to track a technical or human malfunction before it stalls normal service operations. But now there are the computers( e-mail, on-line services, internet etc.) the mobile phones, and other nonasecond eletronic gadgetaries that can enable a public servant to operate even from their homes while on leave without moving their oversized bums.But....the bureaucracy moves as slovenly as before, if we are to go by the calls to higher productivity and better quality of work that we constantly hear from the national leaders and the public.

And...corruptions goes on in the midst of delays and bureacratric intricacies which allow "the pocket Napoleans" (or blood suckers!) to flourish. If all procedures in govenment are made simple and transparent, traceable on the computer by anyone,
I'm sure all unjustifiable delays and the opportunity to "make money" on them, will slowly diminish. If all decisions are recorded on computerised minutes which can be made accessable to authorised parties, it would be very easy to trace who made what decision and when in order to pinpoint who had used the decision to his or her advantage to make some quick bucks.

I wonder if all senior government officers are now computer literate and functional? To me this ability is more important than passing the PTK (Penilaian Tahap Kecekapan) and other memory-based examinations. As we know there are two kinds of knowledge. One is what you know and carry in your head. The other is to know where to find the information that you want qickly and efficiently. The computer is an extension of the first and a means for the latter.

So, the QCC should now be turned into " Quick Computer Consultation" whilst internal office problems should be dealt with
at the interpersonal level through Face-to-Face Interaction ( FFI). How about that, YAB?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Rich and the Poor...

Most of the Development Plans of developing countries in the world focussed on "poverty" and "the poor" as the reason for many public action programmes. It's always to eradicate poverty and help the poor. But poverty and the poor remain, at 4-10% even in rich countries such as the U.S. and Japan. Overt or covert, obvious or invisible! Over in Malaysia, while poverty is said to be disappearing ( <4% ) once in a while when TV3 focusses on the poor, it's heart rending.

What the development plans often failed to highlight is "the amassing of wealth on the part of the rich." Often 90% of the wealth of the nation is enjoyed by 10% of the population which means, if it's not obvious to you, that out of 10 people eating a cake, 1 person eats 90% of it while 9 people get 1% of the cake. Income concentration is increasing in Malaysia itself with the gini coefficient ( that's the measure of concentration) being well above .65 (or 65%).

Hasn't the obvious ever occurred to us that the more the rich have, the less there is for the middle-class and lesser yet for the poor? If the poor is to be helped does it not stand to reason that we must also study the rich, "the filthy rich" they say ( I didn't coin the word!), in order to make certain that a certain portion of the national weath will go to the poor? Those with millions in the bank can easily make more millions but the RM10 a day family cannot even risk the scant source now available to start a new venture!

Shouldn't we examine where the bulk of the river water is flowing to understand why the little outlets are running dry? No, we don't rob the rich to pay the poor but ensure that the poor have their cut in the new wealth of the nation. Islam insists that the rich share their wealth with the poor to save their souls in the afterlife. Those who don't may get melting gold poured down their throats on the Day of Judgment. I wonder what other religions got to say about this?

The fact remains that when the rich are getting too much of the nation's wealth ( and they are the most able to do so) the poor will have that much less. Can we then plan anything at all to help the poor without scrutinizing the rich and very rich, to see in what way they can help? Do we have the very poor because we've allowed too many to become too rich.....? I've a thousand questions without answers!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Let's Just Kid Around

I think I've been commenting on serious things all this while and missing the lighter side of life. No, I've been following the blogs of some of our star humourists and jokers - Rojak Today, What a Lulu, Kenny Sia and many others- and having a wonderful time. I learn a lot about Singlish from (can't recall) .......When I found out that "sial" means good or showing admiration, and there're so many aspects of "tua" - tua kee, tua pin sian, tua teow....I really felt "song". Don't know whether that is correct; tio ba? That sounds like a Sabahan speaking: tau sikit-sikit saja ba!

The Singlish, Manglish, Capcainglish, Rojak English are all fascinating, so long as you know what the correct English is. For students, too much of the pidgin (pigeon), will result in your marks for English flying out of the window. You know how difficult it is to land a job nowadays if your English is substandard. I read in the papers the other day that even Ministers make grammatical mistakes when speaking in English. Even reporters and the media scribes sometimes bungled up their tenses, unless it was the printer's hantu at work!.

One blogger did assume the role of an English teacher for a while but swung a hammer with his grammmar, aimed at some prominent people who flouted the highway rules yet went scot free. Others get into trouble for just parking on the side of a forsaken road ( not a car around) but with a faint yellow line at the curb. Or for parking with a tyre on a yellow line of the parking lot, though not posing any danger to anybody except perhaps a blind man.

I wonder if some bloggers can start some jovial lessons on Chinese, English and also Bahasa. ( Hokkien Lang writes in highflown hokkien for experts only). Nothing works better than learning while laughing. The harder you laugh the deeper a lesson sinks in. If bloggers can help to improve the command of languages among the young, we'd achieve more than just sharing some light moments together And, of course, shooting paintballs where some injustice needs to be highlighted!

Just make sure you shoot paintballs NOT acidballs or you'll get into trouble with the law!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ineffectiveness, Corruption......

When the public starts to question the effectiveness, efficiency and/or integrity of the Police Force, the ACA, the AG's Chamber and the Judiciary as a whole, the government has to do something immediately to allay people's doubt and fear. These are some of the highest institutions in the country aside from Cabinet, Parliament and the Yang Dipertuan Agong.

What can be done when these powerful instutions themselves become suspected of corruption and inefficiency? Who could investigate and who would mete out the punishment for any misconduct or malefeascence? Even Cabinet members and Parliamentarians can come under their surveilance and prosecution according to the Laws and the Constitution! The question is: Can one hand be relied upon to sanction and punish the other for any wrongdoings?

Yes, there can be Cabinet Committees, Party Disciplinary Committees, Royal Commissions etc. created ad hoc to look into any serious violations of rules and regulations, not amounting to criminal offence. But corruptions and "deliberate inefficiency" may not be just cases involving person or persons but whole organization, institution of even government. In the United States where democracy is supposed to work at its best ( majority decisions need not always be right from the ethical pov!), even a President can be impeached for any wrongdoing after due investigation by a Special Senate Committee. That Committee, therefore, is the highest Judicial Authority in the country. It stands above the Party Disciplinary Committee and can deal with any suspicion of wrongdoing at even the highest level of government.

Can't we start thinking of constituting such Committees when an entire executive arm of government, an institution or even the Judiciary is suspected of some wrongdoing and needs to be investigated . The Commmittee should be called Special Parliamentary Committee comprising senior and prominent Representatives of the People (Wakil Rakyat) and Members of the Senate, since the latter are not elected as in the US. This will overcome the "window dressing or "lepas batuk di tangga" investigation that people suspect will take place when the Police is set to investigate on the Police, the Judiciary on the Judiciary etc. etc. This will be far more approprite than establishing an OMBUDSMAN as has been suggested before in the press, to ensure that justies be carried out 'without fear or favour'.

This is just an idea, brought up by the fact that the very institutions supposed to maintain law, order and justice in this country have been questioned by the public. ( Ref. Tun Hanif's article: The Fence that Eats the Rice and various Press reports). I'm sure many people are very disturbed by what's happening in the Police Department, the ACA and the AG's chamber, three of the most respectable institutions in the country.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Prices of Books

I've read some comments in the newspaper before, on the high cost of books in Malaysia. A paperback novel from oversea will cost around RM30-40, a local Malay novel around RM30, a serious read on any specific field of knowldege from RM30-200 and a book on Islam could cost as much as RM180 or more.Even books for children and students are not something you can buy with your out-of-pocket expense surplus.

Is there an authority out there looking at this matter? How can we develop a reading culture when to buy a good read is a sacrifice, and in some cases clearly beyond what a non-executive employee can afford. I used to buy text books when I went on a seminar to the Philippines before. Textbooks on economics, philosophy, sociology etc, that would cost hundreds of Ringgit in Malaysia ( and often not available) would cost only RM10-20. They're, of course, printed on cheap newsprint. But who cares. I want to read not eat them.

Over in Malaysia I can see some cheap novels and general read compiled from odd sources ( not even entire original), printed on expensive glossy papers. No wonder the cost is surprisingly high. I wanted to publish a novel on newsprint paper like the novels from the U.S. to keep the price down. The publisher would not do it for it wouldn't sell. "The only novels that'll sell today," he says, " will be teen-age love stories," and he asks me to write some. Very tempting but....let the young people write them, from their own experience!

So, parents!!! You just have to create a proper budget for purchasing books.We have no choice but the young people would have to decide to pass over a number "makans" and "cinemas" or "outings" to buy some good books. Those who can afford have other interesting things to do beside reading, and whose who can't afford, well, join the crowd! They read less than 2 books a year!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Another Speak Up call, this time from Jacqueline Ann Surin ( The Sun, August 16) who asked why "The RUKUN NEGARA rings
hollow, even more today than before," and how it can be "made more meaningful than a mere recitation...of an oft-used mantra by politicians and the media..." The Editorial added: "she would rather celebrate Merdeka scaling Mount Kinabalu than reciting the Rukun Negara..."

RUKUN NEGARA was drawn up and proclaimed after the MAY 13 1969 INCIDENT, a racial conflict and bloodbath which NO MALAYSIAN WHO SAW IT WOULD WANT TO HAPPEN AGAIN. Those born after the blood curdling tragedy or were too young to understanding it, may therefore, take RUKUN NEGARA lightly as just some sanctified jumbo-mumbo which must be recited at gatherings and functions.....

Talk to some senior citizens who witnessed the tragedy, and you'll appreciate what RUKUN NEGARA is. It's an encapsulation and a pronouncement of national intent and aspirations: to achieve national unity, preserve a democratic way of life, create a fair and just sosiety, ensure a liberal approach to cultural traditions, and build a progressive society. The five PRINCIPLES are points of reference in the EFFORT TO ACHIEVE THE NATIONAL GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS.

We haven't achieved all that we want yet, right? There're many problems and impediments which stand in the way, such as those which are the very subject of the Bloggers' scorn and the Scribe's cynicism. To speak up and to fight these impediments, there must be some ground rules or otherwise it will be a free-for-all. The RUKUN NEGARA SETS THE RULES. Even soccer or footbal has its rules and even Pele, Medona or David Becham would get a red card if a rule is violated!

Think of the wars, the bloody conflicts and bickerings in other countries, the bombings, the muggings and the riots....... If Malaysia had been able to keep crime down to a minimum ( and its increasing!), it must be because we're on the whole law abiding citizens. A lot more must be done and the young people must get on with it. But there must be a common intent and purpose, a common goal, and a common set of rules for achieving it.

Do you have other rules in minds? Are they better than what the architects of RUKUN NEGARA have formulated? If you think so let's here it, Man.Only a diamond can cut another diamond.....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stand up and Speak.....

Brian Yap asks the question ( NST, Opinion page, August 15): Who stands up and speaks for Malaysia nowadays - The Asli's Centre for Policy Studies, the Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs, the Muslim Youth Movement, the Muftis, Newspaper columnists, the Bloggers, Dato' Siti Nurhalizah or Chef Wan?

A quaint way of saying that there is a lot of dissenting voice in Malaysia today and every citizen has a right to air his or her views including "Namewee" and Reverend Ouyong Wen Feng. " There's no one person or organization ( who/which) can truly speak for all Malaysians..."( What about the Parliament, the various Government Committees with members representing all racial groups, the Unions and Workers' Organizations, multiracial clubs etc?)

The question asked and its implications, suggest that the right to speak up must be respected. " Malaysians are increasingly speaking up for themselves. Expectedly what we're saying is as disparate as can be, and will cause headaches for those who want us to have only sanctioned opinions and thoughts.

"Unfortunately, we're not going to celebrate the 50th Meredeka ( anniversary) in only one way. We're not going to let other people tell us what is acceptable and what isn't. And we're certainly not going to let anyone tell us what Malaysia is or isn't."

Beautifully put, wholesome, and non-offensive as is expected of a media scribe. But the same massage might have sounded differently if said by us bloggers. It might sound like: "Don't tell us what's right or wrong, what we can or cannot do. We say what we want in Bloggerland, for no one else can say it for us!"

Sometimes it's not what is said that is wrong but how we say it. And of course, most important of all is: who says it! Such an inquiry would lead us to question what is "truth" nowadays since there're so many views and opinions on anything at all. I remember a professor saying that truth is only "a transcient concensus of opinion" which can change by the day....

I think we need to get back at the ethical definition of "right" or "wrong", "truth" or "falsehood", and "fair" or "unfair", if people are not to be wrongly punished for what they say in a multiracial society like Malaysia. A social system can collapse if
"truth" is sacrificed for whatever reason.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Villages without People

Some years ago we talk about poor villages in the rural areas and poor villagers. Now, while poverty has been successfully reduced to about 4% (let's not quibble about percentage and what it means), we can see another problem emerging: villages in distant, rural areas, without people except for the very old and very young.

The able bodied men and women have migrated to the towns and cities, buy up a modern house (or houses), and visit their home-village once in a blue moon. May be every Hari Raya if the parents are still living or have not decided to follow them.
The young ones are often left with the parents in the vilage if they're not well established in the towns or cities as yet or if they have one too many to take care of in their tender years!

What becomes of the village where most of the young people have migrated to the towns and cities? Rural Development Programmes (RDP) and the Village Development C'tee (VDC) may have brought in a lot of infrastructural and social facilities, but there are many beautiful traditional houses left to rot when the elderly occupants passed away and the young don't return to stay. In the deeper rural areas, secondary jungle soon starts to swallow up the unoccupied homes.

Rice fields once lush and green, turning brown and laden with golden grains during harvest season, gardens and orchards once protected and wellcared for, small rubberholdings which had been very productive, become deserted and forlorn. Thickets and wild bush take over as fewer and fewer people give the village its life and vibes. The once-in-a-while visit made by the young during holidays ( balik kampung time) is not enough revive the old vibrancy of the village.

Are their days numbered? The attempt to redevelop the ricefields on a commercial basis does not seem to involve the old villagers nor interest the young. Only villages around urban or suburban areas seem to hold out some promise - to finally become urban! So....the villages will still have to go, ultimately. Is that it? My own home-village seemed to be left with just 4-5 old men. My uncle and aunt moved out and stayed with their daughter in a suburb, for they could not count on getting any help from others if they fell sick. Old widows are also moving out for some foul characters have begun to visit the village,

If this is happening in many of the distant, rural villages in Malaysia, we'll soon have many villages without people. We'll have
not many "poor village-people" but "people-poor villages." How's that for an interesting twist in our development effort?

Friday, August 10, 2007

LID - It's Good for a Chat!

I can't see the difference between good bloggers and good media scribes anymore. After a wonderful commentary and analysis of the LID gathering in Langkawi where "presidents, prime ministers and kings (meet) in shirt sleeves and open collar" to discuss eradication of poverty, Rehman Rashid sums it up: "'s good, from time to time, to get together for a chat." (NST August 10).

The tongue-in-cheek bloggers couldn't do better when it comes to being cynical ( about Bahasa, NEP, the National Anthem etc),
But, they have a very important point to raise, as do the silver-tongued media scribes. People become cynical when oft-repeated, big national dos produce little benefit to them. ( Of course they tend to forget the good they do to the tourist industry and to the image of the nation!).

Johan Jaafar in a very interesting and informed article on 'difficult (film directors and) writers' described Rehman Rashid as " a fellow scribe (who) goes into auto cruise illuminating the pages of this newspaper with such virtuousity that it's more than just an audacious spray paint job on the language canvass." Wow. Compare that to Charles Dicken in the opening sentence of Pickwick Papers: " The first ray of light which illumines the gloom and converts into dazzling brilliancy the obscurity which surrounds the Pickwick Club..." or this anonymous piece: " On one particular occasion when the solar luminary had hidden it effulgence beneath the occident, there came within my purview an expeditions son of Neptune." Words vary but the message remains the same, like Einstein's constant...

The LID is certainly more than a get together for a chat. If a blogger has said that he might get into serious trouble, just because he or she cannot go "into auto cruise illuminating..the language canvass." He or she will write in bloggerland lingo with a lot of "chapchai" ingredients, (w)rap massage, and photos, to express an opinion and get the heat out of his or her chest! Isn't that as ego-satisfying and therapeutic as writing for the print media? In many ways the difficult or "obscure" writers have just as many things to pour out as subtle and innocously as possible. People don't get angry over things they don't understand but often misunderstood simple act done in good faith.

So, to those concerned with "policing" cyberspace. Please don't be confused into thinking that the silver-tongued scribes, both plain and obscure, do not resort to obfuscation and obscurantism to get a bitter message through. The plain and simple expression of uneasiness among men-in-the-street, and bloggers in cyberspace, is a good window to the heart of Malaysia.
Of course, I could be wrong....

Mentor and Successor...

Nothing is more heartening and reassuring than to see Pak Lah and Tun Dr. Mahathir standing together side by side on their way to The Beach Restuarant at the LID venue ( Bernama Picture, NST August 9). Mentor and Protege...But Protege is now King Mosabe ( The Boss). That's politics and that also happens in the working environment when your subordinate or even man/girl-Friday can suddenly become your boss, directly or indirectly......

Both faces reflect a magnanimity and the best spirit of the Islamic code of ethics viz. two old colleagues despite some differences of opinion do not show any rift or ill-feelings towards each other when in the midst of friends and guests. That's more than what I can say about other leaders today, who prefer avoidance rather than meeting up to promote common goals in spite of some divergent views and conviction.

Pak Lah's gesture in extending his facilitations to Tun and Tun Dr.Siti Hasmah on their 51st wedding anniversary and handing over his turn to speak on the last day of the Dialogue, was very gentlemanly to say the least. And Tun's response was simply magnanimous. Those at the Dialogue session who knew both of them must have been jubilant and deeply touched. Just reading about it in the papers makes me so happy because I've had the honour of serving both of them and.... what happened after the crooked bridge project was dropped, had made me very sad. They had complemented each other very well when Paklah was the DPM and to see an ex-boss getting angry with an ex-deputy is something else....

I think all Malaysians hope that the architect of Vision 2020 and the man who now holds the chisel to put the Vision into shape, can continue to work in the spirit of Islamic brotherhood as shown at the LID. With a hindsight of more than 20yrs as PM, Tun Mahathir has certainly a lot of good advice for Paklah. Sure Paklah must have innumerable advisors at his disposal now but Prof. Dr. Yusuf Abdullah al-Qardhawi in his book Fiqh al-Awlawiyyat said that quality must be given priority over quantity in choosing an action and I believe, that applies to getting advice as well. Especially since advice is often free. But it shouldn't come from the "inner circle" only.....Must have the "ad" element or it can become something else!

Hey, I'm straying. Here's to a happy and productive relationship between a great mentor and a great successor! My unreserved respect for both.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Planet Can-do in trouble....

Bloggers in cyberspace should keep track of the gems produced by bloggers in mediaspace. Kathirasen just came up with a very amusing ( and scathing) one-act play entitled "Meanwhile, on Planet Justica.." (NST August 9). The Elders on Planet Justica were
discussing the need to send Justiceman to save the inhabitants of Planet Cando from destroying themselves. Why so?..

- they have difficulties in upholding justice; even ceilings in governemt buildings were collapsing;
- many criminal cases were thrown out because of the incompetence of investigators and/or prosecutors;
- crime is on the rise and deterntion centers are full; many detainees and prisoners are aliens;
- they cannot decide on the appointment of a head "tribunator" ( Tribunal=Terminator);
- a few tribunatos are rather tardy in writing judgements; one has not written many judgements.

When Elder 4 asked Elder 1 why he was not informed, the latter answered he could not say it in public.
Elder 4: Oh, I see. ( O.I.C) ( He accepts the reason)
Elder 1: OSA, not OIC ( Would not say it in public because of OSA - Official Secret Act!)
A very subtle joke there! But that's not all the trouble yet. There are more:
- many officials in Planet Cando are rather adept at closing an eye when they need to ( in collecting import duties) when important or rich persons are entangled; a popular song among inhabitants is: (Sung to the tune of " Please Release Me" by Englebert Humperdinck):
Please release me, let me go
For I will give you money, more and more...

That's a real killer and A CHILLER! Imagine the number of Mafia-style bosses that can go scot free....

The rest is about the need to maintain justice and to appoint the head Tribunator quickly so that the inhabitants will not loose faith in the justice system. Is he to be appointed based on competency, qualification or seniority? Hey, there's a lot more of word-play and cynicism. But the disturbing closure is:
Elder 4: During my last visit to the planet, I found that they say nice things and mouth words of peace publicly, but at their closed-door meetings, they sing a different tune. Why can't their words and action match?

In Bloggerland lingo : CAKAP TAK SERUPA BIKIN! Is this the real malaise in Can-do land today?


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Street view of Islam...

Islam has been misunderstood and often misinterpreted by Western media, especially with the horror and brutal actions of the suicide bombers and the jihadists, the extremities of the Talibans, the strictness of Iran, the clashes between Shiites and the Sunnis,the antagonism between Hamas and Fatah etc. I fear that some of our non-Muslim friends are also getting jittery and confused. Prof Kay Kim in a TV program ( Debat Agung, August 8) stated blandly that "no one takes the trouble to explain Islam to the (non-Muslim) Malaysians themselves. Robert Teoh, in one of his blogs said that," all religions are good," but the implementation makes it otherwise ( can't remember the exact words!)

There're of course mountains of learned books on the religion of Allah. They'll be full of quotes from the Quran and Hadiths which a non-Muslim ( even a Muslim with no knowledge of Arabic whatsoever) will find impossible to follow and understand.
When I was studying in the US, a studious looking man of about 60 approached me and asked me for a book on "Instant Mohamedan". I just couldn't name one and offerred to tell him the basics.

I think we need to have something like a Street view of Islam, covering just the basics to enable a non-Muslim to understand his/her friend and neighbour better. I have no doubt that even a Malay youth brought up in a modern home with "liberal" and "technocratic" parents have many hang-ups about the religion, especially on the way it is enforced affecting the youths. Why can't we stress just the basic requirements to be a good Muslim and leave the rest to those who're seeking Allah's Grace and Heaven without reserve....

What I fear most are the DISTORTIONS created by the west and the RESTRICTIONS imposed by local ulamas. Between them Islam may appear to be rigid, barbaric, even murderous. Even a young couple holding hands in a park may be dragged to the Syariah Court for indecent behavior!

A street view of Islam would see a Muslim as a normal, friendly man (or woman), who believes in Allah and His Prophets ( Muhammad being the last, pbuh), the Quran, the Angels, Judgment Day and Predestiny. He/she proclaims the belief through the "kalimah" ( recitation): There's no God but Allah and Muhammad His Prophet", prays five times a day, fast in the month of Ramadhan, pay tithes, and does pilgrimage to Mecca to perform the Haj if affordable. He/she is required to do good (amar makruf) and avoid wrongdoings ( nahi munkar) and follow the injuctions of the Quran and the ways of the Prophet ( pbuh) - the sunnah - in conducting all the affairs of life.

Simple isn't it? But each injuction of the al-Quran and Sunnah is subjected to several interpretations by the various theological schools ( Mazhab) and several Imams. That's where the problem begins. And, there's no highest authority to solve
disagreements and coflicts of opinions. Malaysian Muslims generally follow the Syafie school of thought but there are deviants, overt or covert. There are endless controversies surrounding the finer points of Islamic Laws or Fiqh and it is in these regards that a Muslim youth may turn around and say, " Gee.....which interpretation shall I adhere to?"

So, for the non-Muslim on the Street, don't be surprised if you see Muslims behaving in several ways, quite different from each other in terms of observing the injunctions of Allah ( not in terms of normal human characteristics and habits!) Some pray diligently, some don't ( though required to). Some consider man & woman ( girl & boy) who are not related by blood shaking hands (let alone embrace each other) as "haram" (prohibited), others turn a blind eye for it has become a social necessity. Spying and evesdropping to seek the fallibility of others is prohibited in Islam. In fact even saying bad things about others is forbiddened. But, how else can "policing" work be undertaken? Spilling human blood, hurting people or even yourself, adultery, thefts, cheatings etc. are prohibited as in all religion. But this is the world, not heaven!

A short comment on polygamy. It was allowed at a time when men went to war and died leaving many widows behind. Alas the "visa" was not withdrawn since Islam under the Caliphs after the demise of the Prophet (bpuh) continued to be engaged in war. Even "Contract Marriage" or Mut'ah ( you pay the maskawin, live together for the contracted period then part company), was allowed then but the law haad not been rescinded though the act is now fobiddened.

There are four categories of sanctions under Islam: Permissable ( Halal), Prohibitted (Haram,) Disliked ( Makruh) and Necessary or just okay ( Mubah). The first two categories are reinforced through the laws of a country but the fourth, and even the third, are too all-ambracing to regulate. So, that's were the zone of freedom is. Smoking is considered as Makruh by some but Haram by others and in between cigarettes continued to be sold like teh tarik in Malaysia. Liqour is Haram but okay for medical purposes. Under emergency situation, a Muslim is allowed to bend a rule, like not fasting in Ramadhan because of gastric, eating something that's haram when ther's nothing else to eat,etc. But bending the rule under emergency situation is not breaking it. No go there!

Hey, is that enough for now? Let us see what other more learned Muslims have got to say about this Street view of Islam. The Ulamas might come in with their war song. But I'm only writing this for the bloggers so that they won't be baffled by the idiosyncrasies of their Muslim friends.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

LID and Eradicating Poverty

LID 2007 is over and some clear guidlines on how to eradicate poverty have been laid down. They include an Action Plan (AP)and a list of Actions to be Undertaken (AU).

The AP includes: Creations of providing access to land, capital etc.; creation of conducive environment for economic self-treliance; development and provision of social services and basic infrastructure; empowermenrt of tap potential for econimc and social development; protection of rights of children and youth to education and healthe services; and good governance, effective administration.

Actions to be Undertaken ( AU) include: Establish a body at national level to coordinate ministries and agencies involved in poverty eradication; estab. a centralised database; prioritize the goal of poverty eradication in education, health, employment etc.; encourage participation of mu;ltinational corporations in pverty eradication programs; encourage media to raise public consciousness on issues of development and poverty; estab. programs for povertuy eradication based on proven models; and estab. basic target performance indicators....

Good God........! All those to be undertaken by relatively poor countries with more than 60% of the people living in poverty! Where can you get the money and the trained man/woman power to undertake them all? The Plan is, of course, brilliant!

In looking back at what Malaysia did to reduce poverty from more than 60% in the 1960s to some 4% as of today, I see two collosal tasks that had been successfully undertaken -

ENHANCE THE INCOME GENERATING CYCLE in the national economy, and

What constitutes the income generating cycle is for the economists to elaborate. They include encouraging the businessmen and entrepreneurs to make as much money as they can to increase govt, revenue, attract foreign capital, step up production, marketing, increase export and reduce import etc.,etc. There must be more money to redistribute...

The income redistributing cycle must be clearly identified, developed and activated for you cannot rely on the Trickle Down theory anymore. With so many opportunists around in a developing environment, nothing trickles down easily. We established FELDA, FELCRA, MIDA etc and hundreds of Funds to promote specific development of the less fortunate who are not able to compete on their own. They gave direct help to the poor with little "leakage". Mending that leakage is a huge problem, which Malaysia itself may not have succeeded in overcoming 100%. But.... the resources did reach the poor and we see result.

I think the two cycles must be emphasized. Otherwise we end end up with a rich country with many poor people or a poor country with nothing to distribute to the poor. A simple two-point plan like the above may help better than a grand plan with so many complications and prerequisites for effective implementation.

National Unity....

Nothing is more important in Malaysia than maintaining unity among its multiracial population. Almost all govenment policies are geared towards promoting national unity and racial harmony. Yet, some people questioned some of them.

The latest "Debat Agung" on RTM1 aired tonight ( august 7) discussed National Unity again (it has been disucussed many times before) with Prof, Khoo Kay Kim, YB Dr Fuad and YB Mumtaz as the panelists and Datuk Johan Jaafar in the chair. Chairman asked how they'd rate national unity now on a scale of 1-10 and Prof. Kay Kim gave a 4-5 (between pass and fail), Dr Fuad a clear 8 and YB Mumtaz, similar to Prof Kay Kim..

To me that's quite disturbing. Dr Fuad is an UMNO man and feels that everything is okay. Prof Kay Kim is a realist and tells history as it is (or was). YB Mumtaz represents PAS, a natural critic of govt. We've one optimist against two pessimists. I think Dr Fuad as a prominent member of UMNO shoud not be too complacent. Much needs to be done to improve the reading of the scale, however crude it is. As U Thant, a former UN Sec-Gen once said, " It's better to be a live pessimist than a dead optimist."

There should be a better scale for measuring national unity. A simple one that comes up in my mind is: how many friends from a different ethnic group does one have? If each Malaysian has some 10 or more friends from a different ethnic group to his credit, we should be doing quite well. But the term "friend" needs to be defined - not just an aquaintance but one you can
join your group in any discussion of festivity.

I'm sure there're many Malaysians today who don't have a single friend from another ethnic group. That is a tragic situation and must be remedied. All organizations, including schools and institutes of higher learning should check on their members
(students, employees, members) and anyone with no friend(s) from another ethnic group should be assisted to work on that problem. There're many, I must say, who are just too shy to mix around, especially with someone who's well-to-do and class
conscious. I was a very poor boy at school and if Lee Chwee Ho, Kim, Leong, Vasudeva ( son of a lawyer), Gucharan Singh, etc. etc. had not made me their friend, I would not have been able to go to the cinema as often as I did. With them!

Where are they now, I'm not sure! I still love you guys and will remember you always.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Quips and Quotes.

NST Monday August 6, adumberated some 28 ISSUES currently holding the attention of Malaysians, attached to the quote from Raja Nazrin's now famous Keynote address at the First Malaysian Student Leaders Summit 2007. They cover the range from "The Rule of Law and Inviolability of the Constitution.., Economic and Social Justice..." to " Cynicism and Opportunism, Preconceptions, Parochialism dan Chauvinism...Communal interaction," etc.

I'm not sure that all the issues mentioned are raised in the very perceptive and well-worded Keynote address. The list of issues is, I think, concocted by the NST itself to capture the attention of readers.

Reading the list alone, with some imagination on how they can be handled, can cause a headache. I mentioned this to a friend and he just smiled at me.
" Are they real issues or just topics for discussion?" I asked. " What are ISSUES and what are just MATTERS OF IMPORTANCE TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT? As I understand it ISSUES are MATTERS BEING DISUPUTED, ARGUED ABOUT, and becoming so controversial that they are disrupting society. As it is Malaysians are okay, all happy and united. Of course there are arguments here and there, brawls may be...and serious crimes that must be effectively dealt with. As for politicians, they must continue to yek and fight things out for that's their to the gallery.... create issues to become a platform to show their oratorial finnesse......." As I rattled on, loosing my own head, my friend's smile became wider cutting his face into a top half and a bottom half, with two gaping holes in the middle.
" Why worry about issues?" he said.
" What do mean by that?" I replied astonished and flabbergasted. " They will tear people apart!"
" I can easily tear and throw all issues down the drain....."
" Put a "t" in front of issues....and they become tissues, right? It's all a matter of perspective!"

I have to agree with him, for now!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

10 Top Reasons for Making Love...


Read NST Thursday, August 2, on 237 reasons why people have sex? The researchers at the University of Texas spent 5 years studying the subject. Man!! They really know what's important in life - the thing that drives people crazy, irrespective.......

A proposal from a local University for such a study would not get beyond the Head of Depatment, if those involved are not flayed for just making the proposal. Yet, what is more important? What moves the animal, men and women, more than the natural urge to corpulate and procreate?

The 10 top reasons given were quite the same among college men and women. No significant difference between them except that men gave sex a higher rating as "fun" (no.4) compared to the women ( placed it at no.8). But it's there, mentioned as if it's of the same category as going to the cinema. What about the other reasons? Search for the paper again and read it if you haven't! I've no comment...

Now that sex education is already given in the schools, Malaysians shouldn't blush talking about it. It's not taboo anymore to do so but talk about it in a scientific way and ...don't push your luck too far. You might still get a slap in the face for being saucy or "horny". Some people still think about it as DIRTY and only appropriate for discussion behind closed doors. Funny that "it" is described as dirty among unmarried people but almost sacred between married couples. A sacred act that begets children - a gift of God. One authoress created a character who described marriage as "sanctified whoredom" - Anne Rice in her novel "Atlas" if I'm not mistaken. All living things are endowed with the gift of reproduction. Animals cannot think or reason. Yet they do indulge in the act as actively as their thinking neighbours. So, do they have 10 or 237 reasons, or are they driven by pure instinct???

Only human beings have a reason for doing anything at all. Without reason and a sense of purpose, they're not human beings.That perhaps is how we should categorized those who committed the hedeous act of rape, then kill their victims, both adult, teenager and children. They are driven by pure instinct (called lust) like the animals but worse, they kill their preys.
Maybe women should behave like praying mantis and slay the male, who ( in the human case) took them by force. No, I'm not insinuating murder or manslaughter, But are dealing with Man or what? There're just too many cases of teenagers and children becoming the victims now and society need to act on even mere suspicion to prevent it..... There's only prevention.
No cure once a teenager or child is preyed on!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

RTM: Quality vs Popularity: Coffeeshop Views.

RTM is always the flagship for TV and Radio shows. Recent changes made have added new dimensions (coverage) which are very beneficial to the good citizens on this nation especailly the young. But....... the coffeeshop viewers have quite a lot to say.
Listen and RTM might gain something from what they say. If they know what is good coffee and food, they should also know what is good TV.

" It's still on what the PM and Ministers saylah...not something like Karam Singh "Warrior" ...... Like "Jejak Kasih" or "Bersamamu"..
show things on the ground...not talk,talk, talk..."

For a Government station, "message is certainly first and "popularity" second or third after "sponsiorship". But what's the point of pouring out useful info when there are few takers? How long can you listen to "" unless given by a funny-faced spellbinder! ( Harris Iskander and Aflin Syauki may qualify though Syauki does not talk much). Sponsorship often follows popularity of the program, irrespective of message or enlightenment content! Listen on...

" The concerts, award giving ceremonies, and other celebration functions are all grandscale..big...expensive...many artists involved. But......they always boil down to two emcees ( man and woman) who try to steal the show with their stereotype antiques from a rostrum of some sort. Throw the emcees awaylah, unless they're really good, ribtickling, or just pop up once in a while quite unexpectedly from the crowd. Not stand there in front of the camera and yek..yek..yek."

Well....emcees are important but need not always occupy centre-stage. Short intro or comments can be given from anywhere
interesting and non-monotonous. They need not dress to outdo the stars....

" Federal or State functions...aiyaaaa...very long, very boring. Don't show primetimelah. Otherwise put in packagelah, show bit at a time in an entertaining program. Cut-cutlah like chicken chop. Can still make very tastety!"

I've no comment on this. Long, boring programs ( live or otherwise) can certainly be followed by a very interesting, electrifyng and well-advertised program so that people will wait on the same channel.

Finally, I've heard this:
" Ya, there're many changes in RTM to make it more informative in line with the concept of "infotaiment" ( DBP will certainly reject this). RTM1 which used to be the Bahasa channnel has gone multilingual. Same with RTM2. Donno where to go now for good entertainment unless you read the prog. schedule in the papers. Confused...easier to go to TV3 or Astro. Always good because they must make money one. Not interesting, no sell."

Maybe, RTM shlould develop some kind of a boredom-meter. If it rings or buzzes after 10-15 minutes, or even earlier, some changes should be made. Otherwise only the table and chairs will listen to the important goverment message, that is if viewers do not change channel because of the "setia" spirit.

BOLA: Komen dari Bilik TV!

Malaysia kalah teruk lawan Cina dan Afghanistan dalam pertandingan Piala Asia: dapat 5-0 dalam kedua permainan. Ana tidak tidak tau langsung tentang petua-petua permainan yang baik. Cuma dapat lihat dan bandingkan macam mana pasukan negara bermain berbanding dengan pasukan-pasukan lain yang jauh lebih handal, apalagi pasukan negara-negara jaguh bola.

Komen-komen ini didengar dari kawan-kawan yang turut menonton TV dan ana persetujui kerana tidak teknikal. Rasanya yang
lemah dan mengeciwakan ( malah membuat marah) itu, tetap sama baik dilihat dari kacamata penonton biasa ataupun seorang pro. Ana sebutkan dengan ringkas saja:

1. Berlari bawa bola: Tidak pantas, teragak-agak dan selalu kebelakang, bukan terus ke hadapan dengan laju dengan kawalan yang rapi.
2. Tendang jauh hantar pada kawan: Selalu kebelakang atau orang menunggu tak bergerak, bukan kepada kawan yang sedang berlari kencang kehadapan yang akan dapat membawa bola terus ke arah gol lawan atau mnghantarkanya kepada kawan yang berdekatan agak dapat dikawal dengan baik.
3. Tendang dari tepi ketengah di hadapan gol lawan: Selalu terlalu jauh atau terlalu dekat terus kelujar gol tanpa disentuh. Terlalu jauh kena rebut dan bertarung dulu. Yang cantik ialah untuk dapat ditendang-sambung ke arah gol atau ditanduk dengan sekali tanduk saja. Boleh juga pas dua kali tapi mesti berterusan, tidak terhenti dan meng'etek-etek' dahulu. Percubaan tendang- sambung selalu meleset seolah-olah tiada latihan. Inilah yang amat mengeciwakan dan pemain patut dilatih sampai tidak payah berfikir lagi - sudah menjadi tindakan refleks yang otomatis.
4. Passing bola: Selalu berhenti sebelum pass; ada yang terpandang-pandang mencari kawan. Pemain begini patut dibuang saja dari pasukan kerana tidak dapat mengagak dimana kawan mereka harus berada dan menghantar bola dihadapannya sambil ia berlari, bukan hantar kepada orang menanti atau kebelakang (arah gol sendiri);
5. Bawa bola di hadapan gol lawan: ramai yang tak sempat-sempat menendang ke gol, tak mau passing lagi; nak passing pula terhenti-henti tercari-cari orang dan bola pun dirampas lawan. Patut dilatih semasak-masaknya untuk buat dua atau tiga pass (hantaran) sebelum tendang ke gol, tanpa terhenti-henti setiap kali pass; bola mesti terus bergerak laju, biar sampai enam kali pass jika kubu lawan begitu kukuh. Kelirukan mereka dengan pergerakan bola sebelum tendang ke gol; dan
6. Tendang overhead dihadapan pintu gol lawan: ia yang paling cantik dan pemain kita mesti dilatih habis-habisan untuk melakukannya tanpa teragak-agak.

Itu saja komen dari bilik TV dari peminat bukan pro dan tidak tau bahasa teknikal. Jika kelemahan-kelemahan tersebut dapat diatasi, insyaallah pasukan bola negara akan maju semula. Jangan lupa membina stamina. Negara-negara yang semakin maju dalam sukan ini nampaknya semua yang biasa perang - Iran, Afghanistan, Jepun, Korea, Vietnam, termasuk Thailand.