Tuesday, September 12, 2017

3 Months' flash review

It's about 3 months since I posted something here. No more site meter to tell me if there are visitors or not, no comment from locals who prefer chatting on FB rather than sharing serious thoughts. So, I just do a flash review for my own edification and those who accidentally dropped by.

The biggest regional event that we hosted was the 2017 SEA games.We did a good job according to local critics, became the champion with 145 gold as compared to 72 gold won by Thailand, but received s brickbat from the latter, accusing us of cheating and unexpected changes of venues and time for certain events. But we can take that sportingly. We might have received a bouquet if Thailang had become the champion State.
the sea game 2017
The most disturbing issue is what's happening to the Rohingyas in Myanmar.The Muslims in this country feel terribly disgusted an d angry with the torture and massacre brought upon their regions breathers in that country. Even the His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Tibet scorned the action of the Budhist's extremist in Myanmar.Why is San Suu Kyi not doing anything about it?
Is she still a puppet of the military?
running away for their lives
Back at home the 28th Sultan of Kedah who twice became the Paramount Monarch of Malaysia passed away. But the PM is in the US to meet with President Trump. The wealthy President of the wealthiest country in the world wants to meet the PM who believes that 'cash ia King. Sure there will be lots of common interest to discuss,perhaps touching on China's increasing influence in the Malaysian economy.
Cash King and King is Cash
All else is quite stable in Malaysia except for the meteoric rise in the cost of consumer goods,
believed to be triggered by the GST and the declining value of the ringgit. The GNP and Trade
figures of the country are on the rise but external debts keep increasing and the buying power of the ringgit seems to keep falling. A monthly income of RM3-4k does not seem enough to support a family of four in the city today.How so? A minister might just say,"You spent too much. Stop buying and grow you own vegetable. If the price of gas and toll charges are too high, don't travel."

Such remarks had made many Malaysians very unhappy. That's all for now.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Trust Deficit and Communication Fiasco

Externally, Malaysia is said to suffer from trust deficit among investors.Internally, people just don't know who or what to believe anymore since contradictory information cover almost every aspect of life.Foreign countries appear to believe that Malaysia is one of the most corrupted countries in the world.Billions of dollars are alleged to have been hived away from the public coffer through government related companies and hundreds of millions paid as commission(kickback) for issuing public contracts.

Foreign governments such as the the US are trying hard to recover lost assets through its DoJ while Singapore's Court has fined many banks for handling illegal transfers of "stolen' money.But no "kleptocracy" or misuse of public money has been found in Malaysia by the AG's office although the courts and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commsission had uncovered hundreds of millions of dirty money passing hands.

The mainstream media i.e. the Pres the radic and TV, release information that is quickly countered or refuted by opposition parties and the informal social media. Or the other way around. Ministers often come up with statements that are ludicrously untrue ---such as the GST will bring down the prices of consumer goods and the price of various consumer items are under control, while the public is grimacing at the increase on the price of almost all consumer items.

There are too many items to mention here but some ludicrous price increases include tinned food such as milk, sardines, and various other imported stuff, fish, beef and chicken. Sliced pineapple curry (pajeri) which used to be 50 sen a slice went up to RM2 a slice at the "pasar Ramadhan", and nothing can be bought anymore for less than RM5 except some junk food. The famous "Rojak"(mixed vegetable food) used to cost about RM3 and now it's RM4.50. Some increases are just unreasonable. Complain about it and the famous answer given by a Minister is. "if it's too expensive don't buy." A Minister responding to the complain about the skyrocketing price of houses said, " It's better to rent than to buy a house." On the increase in toll charges, a Minister said, "then don't use the highway and take the old roads."

Official statistics show that the rate of crime has gone down in the country. But every other day there's some repost on crime including sexual harassment and rape (plus murder) even in the toilet of gas station, the breaking of ATM machines, while snatch thieves and house breakers continue to thrive.

Most disheartening now of course is the the number of corruption cases being uncovered by the MACC. They involve officials and politicians who are holding key posts in the government, including officers in the Police Departmet. When political leaders continue to accuse each other of making false statements, confusing the public, and making allegations against each other with evidence to prove that the accused party is lying, we really don't know who to believe anymore.The communication fiasco seems to be as bad as the trust deficit now weakening the nation.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Root of Evil ….

Politics and Religion seem to be the root cause of evil in the world today. People are fighting and killing each other in many countries to gain or maintain political power. Countries gang up to oppose or suppress other countries for the same reason. Religion and religious faith on the other hand spread hatred, enmity and prejudice by its followers against those holding other religious belief, since early times…
many international discussions over the matter
Most of the bitter enmities and ruthless killings among people today can be traced down to differences in political ideologies,convictions and interest or religious extremism. Or so it appears as evidenced by the actions of some ruthless political leaders and religious fanatics. The so-called Muslim Terrorists are the most famous villains of most heinous murders and killings in the world today, giving the MUslims all over the world a scandalous reputation.

So it seems that politics and religion are the root of all evils. But the First Epistle to Timothy in the New Testament (1 Timothy 6:10 KJV) says" For the love of money is the root of all evil." Radix malorum est cupidas is Latin for "Greed is the root of all evil". For the Muslims, love of the material world is the root of all evil, and a really good Muslim is one who works is if he's going to live forever and pray to Allah as if he's going to die tomorrow. The most religious Muslims, however, such as the Sufis and the Ulamahs, have divested themselves of all worldy interest and focused their existence entirely to doing obeisance to Allah. One wonders if the suicide bombers have also divested themselves of all worldly interest and are only too eager to sacrifice themselves to do what they belief is the best service to their religion and Allah.

No one, I believe, will agree that politics is entirely bad and the source of evil, less so that religion is the cause of muderous crimes and killings in the world. Only the fanatics in both aspects of life would kill other human beings to promote or uphold their belief and conviction on both counts. Fanatics are of course not normal, unlike most people in the world.
If politics and religion are not the root of all evil while the love and greed for money and wealth is only natural for the normal human beings, what then is the real root of all evil leading to the inhuman killings and massacres of human lives?
the killing goes on
I would venture to suggest that what the root of all evil leading men to kill each other today, is the lost of respect for human life itself. Men have forgotten that life is a precious gift of God that no human can create although they can procreate - two entirely different phenomena which are subject to confusion among many people. A baby cannot be conceived or given birth to, if the Cretor does not allow it to happen. and doctors cannot create life. But men created weapons that can kill with the pull of a trigger or the push of a button from a safe distance, produce heartless warriors that can pull the trigger or push the button without any compunction, and authorise generals who can give the order to do so….
they just boy orders
It seems pointless now for political and religious leaders to ask their followers to be rational, level-headed, non-exremist, considerate, fair etc etc. People have lost respect for human life and killing with a gun or a bomb is just like swatting a fly. People all over the world must relearn to respect and honour life. Only then will the senseless killings and murders in the world will stop or at lesst be confined to the action of the insane.

Politics and religion are not the root cause of evil but the product of human evil creating the machines and instruments of death. And fanatical leaders in politic and religion use the machine for their selfish interest. Don't they realise that there will be a Day of Judgment and that their evil deed will have to be paid for without any power on earth or in the next life (if they believe that it exists) to help them?

Monday, May 29, 2017

What Price National Pride?

All nations have their national pride, based on a core of basic attributes that differentiate them from other nations. They include cultural and ethnical heritage, historical affiliations and socio-economic characteristics. Cultural traits such as the Protestant ethics and Frontiier spirit for the Europens and Americans,the "Mandarin cult "for the Chinese. the Samurai ethics" for the Japanese etc. help to establish the national identity. So do historical landmarks such as the Big Ben, the Washington Monument, the Eifel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Piza, the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal etc.

The developing countries such as Malaysia also have their own identity and pride. While some old socio-cultural traits have been displaced by what is often termed as "modernisation', new ones have also emerged. Thus the old identity based on the Songket (Malaysian brocade), the Zapin (a traditional dance), and the Kris, the Batik, the Keroncong etc. which are shared with the Indonesians, have been augmented by new socio-economic icons such as FELDA ( the Federal Land Development Authority which had opened up huge land development schemes) Patronas (the National petroleum Industry), Proton ( the national Automopbile Industry), MARA ( Council of Trust for National Development) etc. All these help to establish the new Malaysiaan identity and national pride.
FGV is now in the open market

Patronas, Proton and Felda (FGV-Federal Golden Venture) are three national development and modernisation authorities which had catapulted Malaysia into the modern era of economic growth , together of course with other socio-economic development endeavours.They are three of the top entities which contribute to the national pride, which Malaysians can call their own. But Felda (FGV) and Proton had now been opened to the share market and almost half of their shares sold to non-Malaysian. Isn't it not like selling part of the national pride in the interest of promoting the nation's economic and business interest? Will Proton cars in the future carry a different emblem and carry different non-Malaysian names?
will the Twin Towerd be sold?

Will Patronas and other national enterprises which have achieved a marketable status in the world market be also put out for sale in the future if the authority managing them finds it difficult to survive on local capital and support?
Proton is no longer 100% Malaysian

I wonder what will remain as the basis of a national pride if Malaysia continues to place its national assets on the share market of the world, open to all with money to buy. Especially when cash is considered as the most important thing in the world and national pride can be put on sale for cash returns? Perhaps it's time for Malaysia to think of building up and strengthening its national identity and pride further by maintaining companies that are owned by the Malaysians themselves, even if the growth has to be slowed down a little. What is progress and prosperity if we have to sell our pride and national identity?

Monday, May 22, 2017

War on Corruption Again.

Reading the local newspapers reporting on corruption cases today reminds me of the situation when the Anti Corruption Agency was set up in the 1960s. The malady was rife, but involving low-level officers, especially policemen, taking pittance on the sly from the public. Now we have the Honorables (Yang Berhormat) and very senior officers in law enforcement agencies involved, involving millions of ringgit.

So what? seome people(in Malaysia and outside) are saying. Political leaders are alleged to be involved in receiving billions of ringgit in bribes, commissions, kickbacks, or just political contribution. Some are said to be the de facto owners of various companies which invariably won government tenders for multimillion ringgit projects. It is also alleged that the prices quoted in all tenders are artificially marked up to accommodate hidden political costs. Hence, the doubling or tripling of all construction costs and service charges, resulting in the the astronomical rise in cost of living.
this can perpetuate a culture of poverty
But the allegations remain as allegations when politics is involved.No immediate and convincing investigation seems to be undertaken, except when politicians in the opposition camp or who're not prominent supporters of the government are involved Only the public and civil servants with no political godfather to protect them will get the full blast of he law. Nevertheless, at least a few politicians and high-ranking police officers have now been roped in to show that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is not showing any fear or favour of any kind to anyone suspected of corruption or misuse of power. All allegations are being investigated regardless of the official or social standing of the suspect as it should be.
an earlier commander of the war

At the highest political level, there shouldn't be any shadow of a doubt on the integrity of the leaders. Unless an allegation can be cleared convincingly, a leader suspected of corruption or misuse of pose should step aside and take time to regain the confidence of the public. Holding onto the rein of power with a stained reputation or a soiled image can only hurt the nation as a whole.

In this regard developed countries seemed to have a stronger code of ethics than the developing or less developed ones. Their leaders who are suspected of corruption or misuse of power would step down voluntarily without being forced to do so. This indeed is a sign of deep respect for the sovereignty and integrity of the nation. When such is not the case, all efforts at fighting and weeding away corruption and misuse of power tend to be looked upon as "window cleaning" or "removing unwanted characters" from a troubled political scenario.
the US war on kleptocracy

An old English saying to depict futile efforts in regulating expenditure and stopping unwise spending is ' pennywise pound foolish". When corruption happens at the top of the administrative hierarchy of a nation while all efforts are being made at the middle and lower levels to stamp it out, the old saying seems to be relevant again. All efforts are being made to stop illegal payments and loss of revenue through failure to collect tax money by corrupt officials involving thousands or a few millions. But billions are lost through financial manipulations and corrupt dealings at the highest level of government. So, millions in public revenue are saved but billions are lost - money which should benefit the people.

Who wants to win a war on corruption but loose a war on internal leakage of public funds and kleptocracy? The former is a curable disease but the latter is a disastrous plague.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Politics is NOT a Religion

As the politics of the world and troublesome individual country in the world becomes more and more complicated, I begin to believe that many people think of politic as a religion. By that I mean if you are an avowed member of a political party, you must only believe and live by the the teachings and the values of that party. Believing or sharing other teachings and values can cause you to become excommunicated in Christianity or immediately makes you a murtad in Islam.
turban and cap

I believe that such is the thinking of many people today. Hence if you're a Republican in the United States you cannot share some or any of the thinking and values of a Democrat. If you're a Conservative in UK then you cannot hold any of the thinking and values of the Liberals. Thus in the Muslim countries if you're a Muslim you cannot share or agree with some of the thinking and values of the those from other religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism etc.
ex-Primier and DAP
Yet everyone knows that members of political party can jump from one party to another like our friends living on the trees in the jungle. But one does not change our religious faith that easily. You can not only live in a country along side people belonging to different political parties without your religious faith being sullied or affected but you can even live in the same city, township, village or community. In fact you can live in the same building,or even family without your religious faith being eroded, i.e. if you have a strong religious faith to begin with.

If you then believe that politics is not religion, then why is the world so torn up by political membership and political allegiance both at international and national levels.Politics after all is only an organisational device to gain mass support,and acquire mandate to govern. Worls leaders from different parts of the world with different religious beliefs meet every other day, without their religious values becoming eroded. They discuss ways to live together in this world and work together to solve common problems.Political leaders in one country and belonging to different political parties should also be able to discuss issues faced by the country with no fear about their religious believe and values being affected.
we've our own problemsIt is only when the political parties are based on religion that the fear of compromising on religious matters prevents open discussion and collaboration between parties for the good of the country and people. Politics is easily considered as religion and any cooperation means compromising religious beliefs and vales. It is this attitude which is dividing the Muslims in many countries including Malaysia where a dominant Islamic political party sexists alongside dominant racially based political parties. Thus people don't seem to be aware of the difference between political needs and religious faith and members of a political party sharing some of the ideals and values of another party from a different religious/racial group are considered to become part of that group. Thus a member of the United Malays Ntional Organization (UMNO) sharing some of the the ideals and values of the Pan Islamic Party (PAS) or the Democratic Action Party (DAP) would be immediately considered as supporting that party. You do not have to compromise your political beliefs and religious faith or racial/cultural values to work together to solve the political and economic problems of the country.

If you accept this premise than political parties regardless of racial, religious and cultural background would have no problem working together. You work tother to seek mass support and acquire a mandate to govern and administer the country, not to streamline religious and cultural values or force the acceptance of a common religion or culture. You work together to gain the trust and support of the people like workers involved in the construction of buildings, bridges, roads, socoal and economic infrastructure etc. You don't have to compromise your religious and cultural values to work together. Surely any conflict that arises can be solved within the party or parties involved. You don't have to take allegiance to the party as a measure of religious faith.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Punishing Evil with Evil

President Assad has resorted to the use of chemical weapon against civilians including children (his own people) to retain power in Syria. This is considered "a heinous war crime" and President Trump has ordered the US Air Force to bombard a strategic airbase in Syria as punishment. A destructive punishment for an evil act. Many seem happy about this and support President Trump's action,including Saudi Arabia.

There is no doubt that President Assad has resorted to a very cruel,dangerous and destructive strategy to threaten his people who are opposing his regime. The long-term effect of such a move is still unknown but the children who suffered from the chemical attack is pathetic. It's just inhuman and macabre, making President Assad unworthy of being a leader…..
you, killed them!
One can only recall the horrors of the A Bomb attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That was to stop a world war and the lesson we learnt from it would hopefully deter any other attempt to start another world war - a nuclear holocaust for certain.
what wrong have they done?
It's actually most pathetic that there are still leaders in various parts of the world who refuse to step down from the throne of power when most of their people don't want them anymore. They would of course have their vanguards, staunch supporters, benefactors, advisors and loyalists to keep them in power and claim that their enemies are only a minority. Even the free election mechanism can be tempered with to ensure that they remain in power. But ultimately they will certainly fall, perhaps after the country is reduced to shamble…..
what if he's your kid?
Must we wait for such an eventuality to satisfy the vengeance or vindictive impulses of a leader who had fallen out of favour? Have they no conscience to realise that they are not wanted anymore, that they should withdraw gracefully? How much damage and how much cruelty and deceit must be tolerated before such a leader can be thrown out, perhaps with the help of outside power?

The military and the Police in countries facing such dilemma usually remain loyal to the existing regime.Otherwise they will surely take over the government. They turn against the people as ordered by the regime in power and create more harm than good, killing citizens with the arms and the weapons bought with the tax money that these citizens paid.

It is for this reason that they should remain neutral and not become a tool of the unwanted regime to threaten the people. The Police and the Military should know when turning their guns on their own people would constitute a crime against humanity and civilisation, and not blindly follow the orders of an embittered leader, already denounced by many.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What's Keeping the World Together?

There's so much of enmity, anger, aggression, disagreement, ill-will, suspicion, jealousy etc between people in the world today that one wonders what keeps the world together. The tension that really flares up into open wars, bloodshedSs, ruthless killings and murders happen everywhere between countries and communities within a country, both rich and poor, culturally sophisticated and modern or extremely traditional, highly educated or still backward.

Economic and technological advancement do not seem to prevent such flare ups. The achievement of wealth and prosperity, the fulfilment of security and social needs, the freedom to love and be loved by friends and relatives,and the abundance of opportunity and time for self fulfilment or need-achievement, do not appear to bring contentment and peace to modern society.Law enforcement keeps failing to maintain the peace and often resort to brutal or capital punishment to scare away the would-be law breakers. Yet the prisons are always full of law breakers and criminals.
quarrels & fighting never stops
So, what is really lacking or missing in life today which makes the people so easy to be provoked, start violating, abusing and trespassing on each others's rights, warring on each other, killing each other and destroying each other like wild animals? Is it greed, dissatisfaction with one's share in life and envious of other's good fortne, the thirst for more power and wealth, the need to feel more secure,be honoured and respected or be considered as the richest or greatest power on earth? Why must we hurt and destroy others to get more of what we want?

I have read most of the motivation theories that moved people into action to get more of what they want, to fulfil their ambition and satisfy their insatiable need for everything. Underlying most of them is the need to manipulate and outwit or 'cheat' people to give them what they want through several subtle means or ruses often euphemized as the art of bargaining, negotiating or diplomatic manoeuvres. The objective is to win over others,although you can allow them to win a little (the win-win formula). Still, the bottom line is you must get the best out of the interaction.
imprisonment never stops law breaking
It is our objection to such a situation, what more being forced to do what others want us to do that seems to create the enmity, anger, aggression, ill-will, suspicion etc which create the tension and tendency to fight back. Letting the other party win means not just a loss of certain privilege, advantage or material possession, but will make us feel ashamed. Yes, shame is the more disastrous of the result, the strongest reason to resist something.

It appears to me that shame is the strongest force that moves us to take certain action or refrain from doing so. We feel ashamed if we don't win in a quarrel over something and would therefore do anything to win. We feel ashamed if we are poor and therefore will strive to become rich. We feel ashamed if our neighbours are living more luxuriously than us. We feel ashamed if we fail in an examination and will therefore work hard to pass and do better than our friends.In fact if something were to happen and it won't cause us any shame, we wouldn't care too much about it.

Thus, it appears that things are kept intact because people are ashamed to do something which will change the situation. Consequently, they won't hesitate to do something if it will cause them any shame. Viewed in this light people now do all the crazy things in the world because they no long have any feeling of shame about it. The feeling of shame has been taken away from their soul. Thus they can cause countries and people to go to war and kill each other because they don't feel ashamed of doing such things. They cheat and deceive people,steal, rob, and trespass onother's right because they don't feel any shame anymore in doing such things. In Islam Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) once said: If you don't feel ashamed (of doing something), then do what what you want... In the human body there's a piece of flesh which if it's good will make the pthe person as a whole good: that piece of flesh is the heart.
if you're not ashamed..
Thus, shame seems to be what is missing in the heart of the many so-called law-breakers, criminals, and the leaders of today who commit shameful acts in furthering their now interests or the interests of the peple they lead. They can lie and cheat, deceive and outwit people in their own country or in the world at large because they no longer have any feeling of shame. It has been taken away from them by the Creator…..

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

quest for modernisation….

At one time the less developed countries, including Malaysia, wanted development. Then they want modernisation. Now it's transformation into a high-income, high-technology and an ultra-modern nation which is desired,with high-rise business centres,condominiums, multilevel highway interchanges, high speed mass transport system,realtime communication etc. With that comes all the economic,social and moral ills and aberrations of today.
the desired
We often forget that every action has a reaction, every advantage has some disadvantages and nothing is totally good or bad (but thinking makes it so). Some of the unexpected, unintended and undesirable consequence of rapid development and modernisation far outweigh the benefits enjoyed. Worse, they cannot be annulled, revoked or redeemed as in the case of a historic building destroyed to make way for a new and modern shopping complex- only to be so for a few years. It them becomes obsolete. But that part of the national identity removed is lost forever.
the decreasing quantity and value
The most obvious unintended consequence or rapid modernisation and higher income is a meteoric rise in cost of living. There will be a price escalation on almost all consumer goods and service charges. A comfortable income of a thousand or two ringgit before, now makes a person a pauper. Malaysia is now facing this problem and more and more people are falling below the poverty line. This is shown by the increase in the number of people qualifying for the government public assistance program or handouts to the so-called poor- nicknamed BRiM.
the number of applicants increased from some3 7 million last year to 8 million this year after the minimum family income to qualify for it is set at RM4000 pm. The upward shift of the poverty line is an admission of the rising cost of living.

The number of applicants is bound to increase every year as the value of each ringgit falls, more people lose their jobs, and government subsidies on some essential goods are removed. The imposition of the GST has also made the poor poorer. If it has saved the nation from a dire strait, it has been done at the expense of the poor, NOT the rich.
the miserable poor

That's the physical aspect. What about the moral and spiritual aspects of modernisation when all business interactions are aimed at profit-making? ? When brisk, businesslike, monetary dealings take place, where's the room for warm and courteous exchanges of greetings and complementaries that is the soul of human relationship? We buy a lot of things without even an exchange of smile with the cashier. Young people don't greet old folks anymore, nor show some respect for them. The old culture and sense of decorum are gone, just like the old and historical edifices. Everything is just pure business unless it's among very close friends. If you are rich, everyone respects you. No money no respect.That's modern life where "money is King"to quote the PM of Malaysia.

So, if modernity and a high-income society is what we want, be prepared to accept the undesirable consequences. Find the means to become rich or you get poorer by the day as the cost of living shoots up leaving you to become a pauper in no time, unless you can find a quick way of making money. Just look at how some Malaysians become millionaires and billionaires without earning a single ringgit from undertaking some honest business.

Monday, February 20, 2017

the fear of changing leaders…...

I'm not a follower of world politics keeping a close look at leadership changes in various countries. But I've observed so many changes of leadership in many countries. Leaders come and go, voluntarily or by force, accompanied by many traumatic experience. But life goes on, often much better. It's where the current leadership refuses to go that untold problems and unhappiness arise.

Malaysia is one country where the leadership often overstays its welcome. The first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, had to be removed after the occurrence of the 13th May incident in 1967. Tun Razak who took over, was greatly loved by all but succumbed to ill-health as did his successor, Tun Hussein Onn. Tun Mahathir served the longest i.e. for 22 years as PM and though he was well respected as an effective, forward-looking and a no-nonsense leader, staying too long in office breeds charges of despotism and even megalomania. But he negated all by relinquishing the post unexpectedly and voluntarily, to allow a younger man to take over.

In just a few years we realised that popularity alone cannot make a good an effective Prime Minister and Datuk Seri (now Tun)Abdullah Badawai was replaced. Datuk Seri Najib, the son of our greatly-loved Tun Razak took over …and he made Malaysia what she is today. Far better or greater than it was before or worse off, it's up to ones judgement.. He was considered to be the most appropriate man to take over when Tun Abdullah stepped down. But now he has become a most controversial PM and many demanded his resignation. But it doesn't happen. Why?

The obvious answer is that there is no outstanding and readily acceptable leader to take over, beside the fear of a leadership change. Unlike the changes made before, this time around there is no heir-apparent who can be anointed quickly and without any fear of an outright rejection by the people . Every possible nominee to take over as head of the ruling party in power (i.e. UMN0-Barisan) and becomes the PM, has a stigma or a shortcoming of some sort, made obvious by the refusal of the current leader to step down. He expects total loyalty from his Ministers and supporters, even if they lack intelligence. Those who disagree with policy stands and decisions are quickly shown the door.

He now has all the handles of power in his grip, the power to select whoever he likes to hold important public offices, and he has all the money to buy the allegiance of the rakyat needing government's aid to survive. So, the opposition party leaders and his arc enemies can do whatever they like, say whatever they want. It won't hurt him. If it does, the source can be quickly removed in ways within the legal framework of his administration. Can he be removed through the next General Election. Well, the election machinery is under his control and if the ruling party looses there can be chaos and the an emergency rule can be proclaimed with the military taking over under the control of a caretaker government, the current government.

What then can Malaysians do to break away from this bind? They must face the choice: continue with the present scenario or accept a change of leadership without any fear of the consequence. Change the leadership first then shoulder whatever responsibilities involved to face the problems that arise. The fear of a change itself is the greatest fear for us to step in a new direction. The Trump Administration as ushered in by the Americans can be taken as an example. Otherwise, just be happy with what you have. Staging a move against the elected government will be inviting the havoc that many countries such as Syria is undergoing.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Politics and Religion

If there are two things that plague the world since time immemorial, more than the economic and health problems of society, they are politics and religion. They divide people, cause serious enmity to the level of waging disasterous wars against each other, and become the harbinger of death and destruction far more fearful than natural disasters.
destruction without compucntion
And we human beings have not overcome this plague, even in the age of high technology and science, high education and wisdom, refined culture and values, etc...

While the fortunate and prosperous members of society busy themselves enjoying and fulfilling their goals in life, millions of others in different countries are struggling to survive human injustice,rapaciousness, jealousy,animosity and aggression against each other. We shoot and kill innocent people -- men, women, children and babies, detonate explosive, fire rockets and missiles on crowded living areas, or drop murderous bombs on defenceless countries, without betting an eye.
horror without a care
As if there's no compunction, no feeling and respect for human life, no thought of God and His reprisal,and no human heart to feel anything at all. Of course, those who actually do the work will say that they do it "on orders or command". But aren't those who gave the orders also human beings? Do they have the right to destroy human lives like demigods? Who chose and empowered them? Are we still so stupid to follow insane and inhuman orders?

Ask them why they give such orders or command and the answer will either be because of political interests or religion. The "jihad" wars of the early days or "crusades" were triggered by deep religious beliefs.But now, they are mainly due to political interests and human thirst for power and domination alone. Religion becomes only a lame excuse to weed away undesirable human elements by political leaders who cannot by any measure be called pious or deeply religious. What is piety when you don't even respect human lives? While the Muslims continue to kill each other over the issue of the rightful path or "mazhab", especially between the Syiah and the Sunni , it is still doubtful as to whether their ruthless and merciless action is motivated by pure religious concern or instigated by political interest,subterfuge and affiliation.So is the hatred for Muslims as shown by the followers of other faiths.

The political wars may never end since we human beings have been dubbed as political animals - with emphasis on the second term. But are we also going back to the age of religious wars by allowing religious differences to turn the ultra-modern guns, the missiles and weapons of mass destruction on each other? There are good and bad people in ALL RELIGIONS. It's not the religion that is good of bad for they are all inspired by the God, the Creator or Unseen power that creates life. No Human genius can create life so far although they can create life-like machines. What makes a person, a society or a nation think that the religious faith he or it adopts is hollier than that adopted by others? What makes you think that your prayer is more holly in the eye of God than mine? Only God Knows which is the prayer or the faith that He prefers. If a person is bad, it's not because of his religion for there re millions of others holding the same faith who are good. He is bad because of his upbringing and his life's philosophy if the has one.
different faiths need not separate
We now have family members adopting different faith and religious beliefs. Yet the family remains intact and lives in harmony. It's the family with members holding different political affiliations that often find it hard to remain together. It's proof that religion can unite or does not cause open antagonism or enmity between people. It's politics which does that although politicians often use religion as another murderous weapon to serve their ends.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Trumpera Begins….

Well. a very wealthy man is now President of the world's wealthiest country - at least in GNP term. It's the realisation of the epitome "Cash is King". He is not even interested in taking the Presidential emoluments for he earns more than that. Probably his private jet is more comfortable than the US Air Force One and his wife looks like Jacky Kennedy.
trupera begins
His first move is to pull the US of A out of the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, so that the US will focus attention more on the promotion of its own internal trade. Trade with other countries will be conducted on a one-to-one basis, depending on whether that country meets US expectation. That's a good way of saying "trade on our terms" and "we have no obligation to trade with you."

That says a lot about US' future foreign policy. The Trumpera has already begun.

Malaysia might not feel threatened by the new US trade policy since it has found a new trade partnership - China. Billions of rinngit in investment had been promised and it looks like the NT50 plan will be financed principally by the new trade partner. Even the safety of our borders and the Malaysian shoreline will be based on the technology developed by the new partner.Well, we are still in line with the "Look East" policy although the model to be emulated is different. I only hope that the Malays in Malaysia will start to emulate the business models adopted by the wealthy Chinese towkays in this country. That can certainly transform the country into a trade-hub as Malacca used to be in the olden days.
new partnership
In the meantime, some new thinking among the leaders of this country are bugging the common man-in-the-street. There is talk about banning the light two-wheelers from entering KL to ensure smoother traffic flows in the city. What a bright idea if everyone living in the city can already afford to buy a car. Then the traffic jams will increase like crazy and you can ban the cars from entering the city. To decrease the use of non-biodegradeable plastic begs, supermarkets and shops are charging 20 sen for a beg. That's considered non-burdensome although people go shopping everyday and the amount spent on plastic begs can be quite substantial. More importantly, the use of plastic begs will not be reduced at all.
happy new year
In any case the Chinese New Year is approaching. Happy CNY to all.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Reward for Reporting Bribes….

 Finally, Government has come to realise that people who report a bribe must be rewarded for their honesty. Civil servants, specifically. Politicians don't take bribes. Only donations and commissions on huge sales and purchases. Those are allowed, unless received by those who have no political licence (or liaision?).The reward suggested is equal to the amount of the bribe. Boy, that's a lot. There will surely be a great number of bribe hunters around…like bounty hunters or seekers.
a new profession?
In the last few weeks civil servants have really become the focus of MACC's attention in Malaysia. Hundred millions of bribe money have been uncovered. One wonders how long have the civil servants involved been accepting bribes without being noticed by their seniors or juniors. Did they do it alone or did they have a number of accomplices? Both upstairs, downstair and around? When they are caught with bundles of money stashed somewhere in their homes, are they being hauled up alone or are those connected with the accumulation of the loot being hauled up too?
hidden loot at home?
The fact that no senior supervisors, especially political bosses, are picked up for questioning and being charged together with those involved, raises a lot of questions. The superiors with political licence (or liaison?) are likely to escape the dragnet. But whose without can certainly become a good source of information if they refuse to spill the beans. It's often that a thief is the best source of information on another thief. So, offering a reward for spilling the beans could be more like offering a bribe to uncover a bribe.

Hell, that brings us back to the question: what is a bribe. Can a reward be a bribe. If so many of us could be guilty of receiving it. Getting paid for something we don't work for is also not a good definition for a bribe since many people don't really slog for the money they earn. You must work your ass for the money you earn is also not an acceptable definition for a reward. The thieves work hard and dangerously for their rewards. The worst kind of thieves are those who have a political licence to protect them.
who's behind the mask?
Just think about that. We might also want to bribe the thieves to catch other thieves, particularly with a political licence of liaison.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Welcome 2017 - the games kids play.

So here we are in 2017. Didn't think I'd see it since I was born before the middle of the twentieth century. I feel so old and outdated now. So much has changed since I was a kid that I can hardly remember how things were then. Main question is whether they are happier now then we were back then.

My kids used to ask me how I spent time then since there was no handphone, no i pad, no computer games, no electrical toys, battery operated bicycles and kiddy cars and…no colour television. It must be terribly boring, they say. And when I said, "No, we enjoyed ourselves just as much if not more than you all," they just laughed in disbelief.
modern games
Let me ask the old men of today whether they agree with me.The games we played were simple using whatever furniture, pieces of sticks or cardboards, old household utensils such as a paper bag, a discarded tin can or bottle….anything at all. Matchbox, cigarette box, rubber band etc all had their use. When there was nothing to play with we just play games among ourselves such as "catch me if you can", hopscotch, hide-and-seek and so on. The fun was as great as the characters involved and their idiosyncrasies. The main feature of our fun and games was that it involves a group, at least two people.
war with magic wands
That's the big difference now. Kids play alone with their electronic gadgetries except at parties. And when they play together without adult supervision they quarrel and fight.Even the electronic games most popular and can be played together involved competition and serous fighting. The weapons used in the games can kill enemies like flies. There's no kindness, mercy and respect for life and limbs invoked or nurtured in the hearts of the players…
killing and destroying is fun
I wonder whether the world of today which is full of wars, fightings, killings, inhuman atrocities, destruction of life and limbs, cruelties and gruesome competition or abject hypocrisies, is the result of the games that kids play. Just look at the nature of the toys designed and produced by our manufacturers. Even most of the cartoon characters loved by the children of today cary an evil or sinister background as presented by the films they came from.

I shudder to think how the kids who had wiped out thousands of adversaries in their games, without betting an eye, will grow up to be. They might just kill off an enemy, be it a family member, a neighbour or a stranger without any compunction.