Saturday, September 26, 2015

the global village…..

Some time ago someone described the world as becoming a global village. Anything happening in one secluded area will soon be known elsewhere because news travel fast in a village. With all its exaggerations and embellishment. Especially so in the case of a scandal.

the public knows

I'm beginning to love reading about sex scandal more than that involving mega corruptions, stark misuse of power and public funds, threats and counter threats by and between powerful leaders, massive protest movement, racial enmity etc.etc.

The global village is now rife with stories of such scandals as spawned by the social media while the mainstream public media never print the truth about anything that can satisfy the curiosity of the people.

This little village called Malaysia seems to have been the source of many such scandals. And the global village is savouring them.

What has happened to this once progressive, stable and reputable country fast on the track of becoming a developed nation? A peaceful, multiracial village.

The push for material progress had, it seems, made everyone so greedy and intent on making it rich as quickly as possible. Those in position of power had made their quest for wealth so transparent that the unethical and or immoral moves involved cannot any longer be hidden from public attention and wrath.
Those in position of power are enjoying the glory of rapid development, becoming millionaires and billionaires by employing all the tricks of political manoeuvring, at public expense.

That's not entirely a new thing. It happened in all less developed countries that are progressing rapidly tafter gaining independence. The ruling elite that emerged after settling down to the job of developing the country soon felt that they have the right to sample the cream of progress achieved. and the sampling continues to become a right of way. The leaders can have the best of everything while the [ublic must work harder and harder to earn their keep and the new luxury they could now afford.

Make a complain and the reply is:

current and past leaders
 Hey you guys forget that we have given you the comfortable and even luxurious life that you now enjoy. Ain't that being ungrateful, thankless and rebellious? Just shut up and everything will be all right. Make a noise and we'll throw you in jail…..

Certainly the public doesn't mind if the leaders take what they can in a modest way and don't flaunt their newfound power and wealth. But some of them are living living like a new kind of feudal lords
with powerful servants doing their biddings. Their men are untouchable, could bend the rules and regulations as long as they are done in the interest of the lords, and are loyal to the core. It doesn't matter if they are a little dumb or have a few screws loose in their heads. They some time are more haughty than their lords.

one common allegation
That makes life in this village miserable. that is what the public is against. Some of the lords are okay but their lackeys are intolerable. And these lackeys go right down to the village level. Some village heads, of course picked by the lords, could literally do anything they want and divert rural development funds to serve their interests. The big lords in Kuala Lumpur wouldn't know and wouldn't bother to check what the smaller lords in the little villages are doing.

Thus, the disappointment, dissatisfaction and wrath of people in the little villages are not known or reported realistically. A report by any other than the lackeys will not be accepted anyway, nor given any attention.

Thus the little village known as Malaysia is becoming full of scandals as spread and devoured by the global village. Who is going to set the picture right by removing the cause(s) of the scandals?

Must we wait for the next GE to know the answer?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Poem for 58th Independence Day

( let's sit and ponder)

amidst the montage of wealth and modernisation
jammed up highways and luxurious condominiums
crowding the skyline,
a nation celebrates its 58th birthday
with pomp and ceremony, but nay
too many misgivings keep true joy and smiles away.

the national pride and honour is scathed
by allegations of bribes and corruption among leaders highly placed
involving billions of ringgit when petty infringements
of work ethics and regulations
are severely dealt with to deter emulation.

goodwill and camaraderie among racial groups
built up through decades of mutual respect and common interest
is shattered, by greedy pursuance of material wealth
and ethnic pride stirred up by political snide
breeding hatred and suspicions
among good and friendly citizens.

as economic downturn disturbed the world
prices of things shoot up and the value of the ringgit  plunges down
making meagre income a dole and the BRIM a frown
yet the rich and the leaders jet around in luxury
while the GST makes life for the common man a misery.

yes, the nation still progresses through momentum
with natural resources, agro-products and industries taking the lead
but tourism is sick with the flu from a bad image
while distrust of the current leadership adds to the damage
and urgent need for atonement is met with derision.

all citizens who loved this country must sit back and ponder
how this far we'd lived together in peace and prosper
the coalition government had before been wise and fair
giving us all what we have today and which  can be here to stay
if  we can remove the insulting haze that's causing the mess
and respect each other again
without the leaders that's causing the pain.

September 1,2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Malaysians: Let's Save Our Nation!!!!!

Every Malaysian who loves this country on which his/her life and fortune depend, must now feel threatened. Never before had this country and nation made us feel so insecure politically, economically and morally, not even the bloody May 13th incident which was promptly quelled. The once stable, harmonious and  progressive nation had now been branded with all sorts of humiliating and degrading names that can make a Malaysian blush with shame.

There is no need to adumbrate or recount all the possible causes. Such an effort will only meet with all sorts of denials, allegations and counter allegations, controversies, and more washing of dirty linens in the public. Even school children can itemise a number of them. What's important is to find a way to recover our good name and image both locally and internationally, without sending the country into a traumatic shock or total destruction.

Noting the public sentiment at this moment, it's easy to conclude that the head of the government is the cause of all the problems. But I 'm sure  not everyone is certain that removing one or two master cogs in the wheel of government (which has thousands of wheels, beltings and gears) will solve all the problems. Politics is a necessary evil of modern government and no effective political leaders in the world had retired without some social scars or blemish. They will ultimately be judged by the legacies they left and whether  the country they led now remains stable, progressive and peaceful or not.  How they did their work as a politician is always debatable and controversial. "Dirty" and "devious" ways of getting things done is  often the norms rather than the exception, since the means often justify the ends in politics. Ethics and morality have no absolute standard of excellence except in religious terms.

So,  how can we dispel all the shameful and dishonourable names that Malaysia had been dubbed with and resume our status as a stable, progressive and peaceful nation? No one can give a direct answer, let alone provide a solution that can be agreed to by everyone. So, just start with the most urgent thing to be done.

 Firstly, stop the sliding value of the ringgit and the rising prices of goods essential for a decent living.

All leaders of the government should stop politicking and concentrate on how to do the above. Use all the brains in the country and not depend on the advice of ministers who put political and party interest above everything else. Stabilize the value of the ringgit and ensure that the essential things for a decent and modern living in this country is affordable to all. Spend money and efforts on that  and nobody will
complain. But harping on what the party had done in the past, that the party in power must consolidate it's strength and that the Malays will become "terbangsat" (destitute) if the party is thrown out, would not solve any problem. In fact it can create more animosity and resentment.

Secondly, stop the  "monopolisation" of development  projects by companies with political source of power. This includes companies owned or headed by political bigwigs.

Through the so-called open tender system, government related companies and/or companies headed by prominent politicians will get the project with  promise of certain benefits to the party.  The political contribution involved can push the price of such projects sky-high.

Use the cost-plus method where the profit margin had been decided and there's not much room for marking up prices to accommodate political interest. Actual costs should be left to the professional experts to evaluate while the profit margin allowed is predetermined. Thus total cost can be effectively controlled and the cutting of corners to increase profit margin at the expense of product quality can be

Thirdly, let the administrators in government reapply all procedures and measures provided by the various GOs and Circulars designed to curb misuse of power and  corruption, in handling development projects.

This has been frowned upon before due to delays and bureaucratic tardiness. But it's the short cut which allows misuse of power and authority. Violations of  bureaucratic  rules and regulations can be easily detected and the culprit made to face the music. But not  when the political masters decide to get things done their own way, forcing the administrators to ignore all standing orders and procedures. Yes,
they can be asked to find all sorts of excuses to get things done in a hurry, involve huge additional cost, and favour certain groups of political supporters. Therein lies the 'injustice' of service to the rakyat. Who is to check on such injustice?

These three things are enough to ensure that things will start moving in the right direction, rather than let politics rule the day with the nasty reputation that some politician have acquired for themselves. The rule of law must be enforced and administrative justice restored. The administrators should have more say in getting things done while the political leaders should only set the goals that the voting public wanted them to focus on.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Unanswered Questions..

I found this draft for my blog dated April 8, 2015. It was not completed and I stopped blogging for there was no response from the public.


From the day MH370 disappeared into thin air, the people of Malaysia had been asking a lot of questions which remained unanswered to this day. The questions keep piling up wit the Barisanh every new tragedy that rocked this country. The shooting down of MH315, the crash of an Air Asia flight, the resurrection of the Altunya case, the sentencing of the PKR de facto leader to a five year imprisoment for sodomy, the detention of several opposition MPs for participation in an illegal assembly and the recent hellicopter tragedy which killed six people, all generated a lot of questions which had not been satisfactorily been answered by goverment.

The information teleased by government on these matters had not satisfied the public. The public want to know more about what actually happened….


Monday, March 30, 2015

GST - Get Set To….

The long awaited GST day has come and everyone is anxiously waiting to see what happens to the prices of things in Malaysia. Many many people feel that the prices of things - almost everything - in the market will just shoot up. And the signs that we see around us suggest that they are right. Various Fares, Rates and Charges will go up as already heralded by the Newspapers and more important, what was not taxed before will face the cut.
Must the Hawkers collect GST?

Interestingly, the price of patrol which had made people very happy some months ago when RON75 fell to RM1.90 per liter will go up to RM2 plus again. And since the price of crude is going up again, you never know when it will exceed the maximum reached before. And when the price of patrol go up you know what will happen. The flame will spread to increase even the price of "nasi lemak","roti chanai" and "teh tarik" - the favourite breakfast dishes of the common Malaysians (those nurtured and bred in a foreign country or culture excluded).
How to monitor their sales?

So GST is get ready to …what? Certainly the first thing to do is just watch. The common men-in-the-street cannot do anything to prevent their strong government from passing any law they want, in the name of trying to pursue the objective of making this country a developed nation by 2020.
Yes, everything is costly is a developed nation like in the West and in Japan. But the pay structure and the salary of government servants are different. Much much higher as in Singapore.
We want to be a developed nation with very low pay, and inflation eating up the increase that had been approved. Hence everyday we here of enterprising public officials "making hay while the sun shines" via corrupt practices. What can you do if you can't even make ends meet?
thoousands of them around the country

Maybe if Government raises the income level of people to qualify for BRIM to RM5000, many many more Malaysians will qualify for the handout. Then we will have a nation of BRIMMERS - instead of social welfare recipients as in other developed countries. I don't think we can have a developed nation full of BRIMMERS. Unless the mark of being developed is through the traffic nightmares full of bright, shiny and expensive cars owned by the rich towkays and politicians with private jet planes to hop around in, we won't have a developed nation if people depended o BRIMS to have a decent life.

Well, why grouch? Let's see what GST will will do to the people. We know it worked well in developed countries where salaries are high and cost of things pretty much under control. I wonder if all street stalls selling "pisang goring", "keropok leko", "nasi lemak" etc must now have cash registers to keep track of their sales and tax that must be paid? How else can the GST be collected from the thousands of small stalls in the country?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kong Xi Fa Chai

It's more than a month since I made my last posting on this blog. I'm wondering whether to continue with it or not since I don't get any response from visitors to this site and I have other avenues for putting my thoughts across to those who like reading something more thoughtful than the exchanges in the Facebook. But since tonight is NCY's eve, IO might as well greet the Chinese friends who still remember me Kong Xi Fa Chai.

Hey, here at my place I don't seem to hear much firework like before.Why so? Is it because the cost of patrol has gone down quite a lot and people have decided to travel home to their places of origin no matter how far they are from KL? Is it because we've quite a long holiday if one can take leave on Friday as well? Or is it because the budget cut in the country due to a loss of revenue from oil, is affecting the mood of people to spend, especially on fireworks which incidentally is prohibited by law (but not by the people!)
more fun to watch than firecrackers
Whatever the reason is, it sure is quiet CNY"s eve over here in Taman Malawati. I don't see any sign of fireworks also over the hills where the city sprawl is. No big fireworks lighting up the sky or the earsplitting bursts of firecrackers. It doesn't even sound like a CNY tonight…

Why or why? Is it because the spiritual leader of a well-respected member of PAKATAN ( The Opposition Coalition) ie. Datuk Guru Nik Aziz, has passed away a few days ago? He certainly commanded a wide popular respect from even the non-Muslims in the country due to his low-key, unassuming political leadership in the country.
the Guru and the late Karpal Singh

Or is it because the high-profile and most articulate de facto leader of PAKATAN, Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has gone to goal to serve a five year sentence for SUAAH, commonly termed as sodomy. I don't want to say what SUAAH means or I'll be screwed up by the law. The case has perhaps made Malaysia world famous because of the number of high-level judges and prominent lawyers involved in battling over it. No crime has been debated that long as far as I remember.Even now the papers have not stopped publishing views and opinions about it, as if it's one of the most important issues in Malaysian politics.
back behind bars

No. Even the problem with the economy as a result of the drop in oil prices, does not seem to bother people much.Not as much as the question of 1MDB debts or the amount of money spent on overseas' engagement and trips by the National Leaders and their wives, anyway. Perhaps people do not as yet feel the effect of substantial budget cuts in the Ministries and Departments. WAit until they see the shrinkage in the service contracts and funds issued by the government agencies.Even holding expensive conferences and seminars in luxury hotels and distant holiday resorts might stop, thus effecting the hotel, transport and catering industries.

Well, in the spirit of the Chinese New Year, we hope the economy will remain as strong and resilient as is predicted by the leaders and their experts. In the villages I see people beginning to be interested in growing their own vegetables, opening or reopening up their fish ponds to ensure a steady supply of food proteins, and enjoying the simple rural life of old rather than throwing away their "ringgit" in the cities and towns. Is that a sign of a sagging economy or what? Let the experts tell us. Meanwhile, have a happy and prosperous CNY.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Islam - What it's not.

There seem to be so much misunderstanding on Islam as a religion today, just because a lot or brutalities, injustice, acts of aggression and indiscretion had been committed in the name of Islamic 'jihad' (struggle to defend and purify the Islamic faith).Or alleged to be so.Yes, there had been a lot of bloody wars fought by the Muslims before, like those waged by the Christians and defenders of other faiths. But now is the age of civility, enlightenment and justice. Or are we still 'insensitive fanatics' as far as religious faith is concerned?
prayers start from young
Yes, there are prescriptions in the al-Quran and Hadiths (sayings of Prophet Mohammed SAW) which sound very cruel like stoning an adulterer to death, cutting off the hand for stealing, and other punishments for evil actions or crimes like "an eye for an eye", "a tooth for a tooth""a life for a life" etc as found in the Bible. But they are all subject to the current laws of the country and "very stringent rules of evidence and testimony by incorruptible witnesses." A peremptory prescription in the al-Quran states "( obey and) be loyal to Allah, the Prophet and the leaders chosen from among yourselves." All true Muslims will abide by these rules.

But there are those who claim to be Muslims, are engaged in explaining the teachings of Islam and/or involved in the struggle to defend the Islamic faith, who act beyond what is normally considered as Islamic, or give the teachings of Islam their own interpretation and guided by leaders who try to do more than even what Allah instructed the Prophet to do. Allah repeatedly reminds the Prophet SAW that he was only His messenger, charged with the responsibility of spreading and explaining the teachings of Islam with no power to change people or force people to change.
no men in social gathering for ladies
If so how could ordinary Muslims with no claim to prophethood or any Godly power, take it upon themselves to force people to obey their religious faith or prescriptions? Yes, the al-Quran did say that the Muslims are considered as 'caliphs' on earth but only in spreading and explaining Islam, NOT punishing the non-bslievers. There is no forcing in religion ( La ikrahu fiddeen). That's the final words of Allah.Yet too many Islamic leaders and self-appointed champions are forcing their interpretation of Islamic teachings on others, both Muslims and non-Muslims.This is the root cause of Islam being misunderstood, belittled and even disdained today.

In Malaysia itself some simple act of social and cultural deviation, like a young female admirer of pop songs going on stage and hugging a favourite singer, can cause a national protest from the Muslims. It certainly is an unethical and a non-Islamic act of appreciation. But it's just a social and cultural faux paux, committed by a young girl wearing the head-cover in conformity with the Islamic requirement. Why must it be considered as an insult on Islam when the show itself is non Islamic but approved to be staged?
young girl hugged by a pop star on stage
Lert's not forget that Islam is not just a religion but a way of life for those who choose to adopt it. For those born into the religion, the social aspects of modern life must be accommodated somehow so that the young can have a social life and not be expected to behave like an 'old devout' before they have a chance to enjoy life like other youngsters and teenagers. I sometimes felt sorry to see a young Muslim boy or girl garbed in the 'jubah' or 'purdah' made of thick fabric sweltering in the hot sun, while their friends are dressed more aptly for the Malaysia climate. I'm afraid that one day they will get fed up of the impositions made on them and let loose their natural tendencies, the human 'fitrah' as admitted by Allah in His Creation.

Islam is a religion of peace and harmony which can be viewed from three approaches: the 'naqliah' or traditional, the 'aqliah' or rational and the 'kasyf' or mystical. The first two must rely on the rational, for the insane or irrational individual is Not bound by any Islamic obligations. Only the ways of the mystics often challenge our rationality. Thus all irrational acts committed by one who claims to be a Muslim is either non-Islmic or mystical and cannot be judged by normal human rational….(Wallahu alam).