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.