Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Fools Behind Malaysia Airlines' Downfall

Most of you have probably heard of how Khazanah Nasional has taken Malaysia Airlines private.

They're calling it an overhaul, but you and I know that it's essentially a bailout - using taxpayer funds.

As usual.

I have stated in the past, that a major aspect of Malaysia Airlines loss is due to crony involvement.

The cronyism was well on its way even back in the 1990s, when the Loony Tun and his prodigy Daim Zainuddin were piloting this country into destruction.

For the full story, read this piece: Here Are Insider Reasons Why Malaysia Airlines Bailout Will Not Work.

It's mind-blowing.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Tear-Gassing Protesters

Oh America.

How much like Malaysia thou hast become.

Ben Jennings on the Michael Brown shooting – cartoon


No, this post is not about the highly successful long-time manager of Manchester United.

Nor is it about the female singer of Black-Eyed Peas.

Not even the Duchess of York.

This is about a small suburb in Missouri, USA, that I had no idea existed - until an unarmed young black man was brutally and fatally shot by a white policeman.

His body was left on the ground for a few hours, as the authorities were deciding what to do with his body, and how to explain his unwarranted and cold-blooded execution.

The young, black victim was a huge boy, possibly not wealthy, not particularly good-looking, but he showed promise academically.

Michael Brown had graduated from high school and was headed for college. His killing aggravated the people of Ferguson who went berserk and started rioting.

Interestingly, this was not unlike the Tottenham riots in London, which were sparked by the police killing of a young bi-racial man, Mark Duggan, whom the police later accused of being an armed drug dealer.

Drug dealer or not, Duggan was found to be unarmed, when the police fired their bullets into him. However, amidst all the confusion, the police attempted to make it sound like the man had a gun and had fired at them.

From Wikipedia:

After the shooting, the media widely reported that a bullet was found embedded in a police radio, implying that Duggan fired on the police. Friends and relatives of Duggan said that he was unarmed. The police later revealed that initial ballistics tests on the bullet recovered from the police radio indicate that it was a "very distinct" police issue hollow-point bullet.

The IPCC later stated that a loaded Bruni BBM blank-firing pistol, converted to fire live ammunition, was recovered from the scene. It was wrapped in a sock and there was no evidence that it had been fired.

On 13 August, the Independent Police Complaints Commission admitted that Duggan did not open fire, stating, "It seems possible that we may have verbally led journalists to [wrongly] believe that shots were exchanged". The bullet that had lodged in an officer's radio is believed to have been an overpenetration, having passed through Duggan's body.

Why am I not surprised that the police always justify their shameful actions by vilifying the victims?

The police in Ferguson are attempting to do just that.

They began by releasing CCTV footage that shows a large, black man (allegedly the victim), stealing cigars from a convenience store.

Now I find it inconceivable that a young man with plans to go to college would want to steal. What more, cigars!! If he stole stationery, I could understand. Mind you, not condone, but understand.

If he stole clothes or money, there might be some logic to the story. Even cigarettes might be explained.

But cigars?

If Michael Brown was indeed the belligerent-looking man who shoved the store-keeper aside as he angrily walked out, it appears that there may have been a story behind it.

What transpires, however, is that the policeman, Darren Wilson, had no idea what Michael Brown was guilty of, if indeed, he had shot him for a criminal offence.

It is more likely, that Darren Wilson had shot Michael Brown because Wilson was on a power trip over which Brown - being educated - was unimpressed.

The interesting thing is that eye witnesses have come forward to say that Michael Brown had raised his hands in surrender and said, "Don't shoot."

An autopsy corroborates this claim, as all the bullets were fired into his front, meaning he was facing his killer when he was shot.

Despite surrendering, he still got gunned down by the inhumane policeman.

In America, being black is a very high risk factor that could easily lead to fatality.

But as Malaysians, we are in no position to moralise. Malaysian police are just as trigger-happy.

We also come from a nation that has a very high rate of death in custody.

The MACC killed Teoh Beng Hock and then accused him of committing suicide. I have yet to encounter anyone who believes that.

And as of 2010, there were 1805 deaths in custody.

The death of Teoh Beng Hock was an aberration and most likely a mistake by the MACC. Because in most instances, the deaths are those of Indian men.

These Indian men share the same demographics with men who are killed all over the world by "law enforcement", be it in the USA or UK: they are poor, non-professional and dark-skinned.

I am sick of the injustice.

I am sick of people behaving like human life does not matter.

I am sick of nations claiming to be first-world and developed, but displaying all the symptoms of a third-world country.

If America has any shred of decency, it should bring the filthy, disgraceful cop to justice.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Protesting In A Sensible Way

It looks like Malaysians have a long way to go when it comes to knowing what is appropriate and what isn't.

Let me break it down for them in simple words.

Protesting a bullying regime: Appropriate
Vandalising an outlet "friendly" to said regime: Inappropriate

It's a marvel that people fail to observe the irony of acting EXACTLY like the regime they are protesting.


Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Cursed Organisation Called ISIS

The biggest Muslim country in the world has just banned the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, saying the militant outfit should not be allowed to spread its teachings in the archipelago.

The minister for political, legal and security affairs said that regardless of the situation in the Middle East, support from Indonesia should be in the form of humanitarian aid and diplomacy, not by sending people to fight, which would only make matters worse.

“Let’s not get influenced, and not be easily provoked to join ISIS.”

Good ole Indonesia evidently find ISIS rather despicable and with good reason.

ISIS has proven to be the ultimate scum of the Middle East, making even the Zionists in Israel seem like mere piffle.

The story goes that the Americans trained up the rebels to overthrow Bashar al-Assad of Syria, as they were reluctant to get involved after the trouble they've had with Iraq.

Training and arming these rebels turned out to be a very bad idea.

The rebel militants got round to making a mess in Syria, but they did not stop at that. They have moved on to Iraq, where they have been going around killing the minorities - the Shia, the Christians and anyone else who doesn't conform to their ideology.

It's not a small number, the people they've killed. Some say it's even gone up to 180,000 to date.

Given that Christianity started off in the Middle East, along with Judaism and Islam, there are still significant Christian populations of Arabs.

Or a more accurate word would be 'were', as thousands have fled their homes to take up refuge elsewhere, like Kirkuk and the relative religious tolerance of the Kurdish zone.

Even while fleeing, were they not spared.

The rebel militants robbed departing Christians of their belongings, leaving them to face destitution in grim camps for the displaced. They relieved the refugees of literally everything - from phones, money, jewellery, heirlooms. Everything.

Those who drove were relieved of their cars and were forced to flee on foot.

When the refugees pleaded to be allowed to keep just enough to buy food and get across, they were told that "these are the funds of the Islamic State, and we cannot give it to you."

I vaguely recall reading about the story of a little old lady who asked to be able to keep only $100 and was denied it.

This is Nazi Germany and the blitzkrieg, all over again, just this time in the Middle East instead of in Europe.

There are other minorities who are stuck between dying of dehydration and being slaughtered by the rebel militants.

I think to myself that at some point, humans must learn from their mistakes and improve their quality of life and those of others around.

That, unfortunately, is merely a pleasant notion and a far cry from reality.

The sad reality is that human beings will continue to screw things up until the end of time.

Monday, 4 August 2014

MAS Employees Want CEO To Resign

Malaysia Airlines employees are not happy.

And I can totally understand why.

They worked for a prestigious airlines, so they did a good job and for the most part, took pride in what they did.

Unfortunately, they depended a bit too much on the government for running their business. From Wall Street Journal:

The union lobbied directly to politicians including Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was then facing fiercely-contested national elections.

For Malaysia Airlines, the carrier has been struggling financially as Asian full-service carriers face a squeeze from aggressive budget carriers such as AirAsia on their short-haul routes, as well as Middle Eastern operators, such as Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways, on longer flights to Europe.

Last year, Malaysia Airlines reported a net loss of 1.17 billion ringgit ($359 million), its third consecutive year of net losses. In the first three months this year, its net loss widened to 443 million ringgit from 279 million ringgit a year earlier.

Let me tell you why they have made such a loss.

Firstly, there is too much crony involvement. Every UMNOputra wants a piece of the pie. But then, there is only so much pie.

MAS is not exactly a cash cow. It is a national airlines and it flies some unprofitable routes that have to be flown for the sake of accessibility.

Secondly, do you people remember the elections? Do you remember what happened at the airport?

Are you aware that MAS has shouldered the cost for ferrying phantom voters across from East to West Malaysia?

That is a LOT of money.

But now, the airline employees want to be more involved in how their company is run, even though it has now been delisted and does not require approval for change to be made.

And they even want the CEO to resign.

The main employees' union at Malaysia Airlines says it expects to be consulted on plans to restructure the ailing carrier before any proposals are made, and renewed its demand for the CEO to resign.

The highly-influential union, representing half of the nearly 20,000 employees at Malaysian Airline System Bhd., says it hasn't been approached by the airline's management on any plans to revive the carrier, which is reeling from the loss of two jetliners in five months that has left 537 people dead or presumed dead.

Securing the support of the Malaysian Airline System Employees Union is crucial before any restructuring can occur at the airline, which is 69.4% owned by Malaysian state investment firm Khazanah Nasional Bhd. The union earlier scuppered a share deal with rival AirAsia Bhd.

"We know why they want to restructure, but we have not seen the plan so far," said the union's president, Alias Aziz. "Our priority is staff welfare," said Mr. Aziz, who leads the biggest of eight unions that represent employees at Malaysia Airlines.

It's about time the employees took more interest in the management of their company rather than just the operations of it.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

What Is The Israeli-Palestine Conflict All About?

If you've always wondered, but didn't know where to start ....

Or if you had no time to read through mountains of websites ....

... then this video is for you: Life in Occupied Palestine (2009)

There is no torture porn in there. So if you've wandered in looking for images of men being shot or children losing their limbs, or rivers of blood, you will be disappointed.

But if you are able to reason without bias, you will glean information that you never knew about how Palestinians are being treated everyday.

Contrary to what most people think and/or claim, this is not about religion as much as it is about land.

Many non-Muslims are put off by aggressive Muslim support for Gaza. But I urge you to cast aside your prejudices and watch the video with an open heart and a rational mind.

Seriously my fellow Malaysians, this is getting embarrassing!

It is 2014 - not 1974! We have the internet for ridiculous amounts of information and people choose to forward emails or share Facebook updates of fake pictures: those of Palestinian children purportedly being shot, or photoshopped pictures of bombings/smoke/destruction.

All these do the cause of Palestine a disservice, because the issue is real - Palestinians are being persecuted everyday.

That is simply not right, regardless of whether you are black, white, brown, yellow, red, orange, male, female, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Bahai, Taoist, Shinto, Sikh or Confucian.

It's a human rights issue!

If you thought it was religion-based, here is a bit of information for you:

  • Malaysia has a Christian population of 9.2% (according to 2010 census).
  • Palestine has a Christian population of 11% (and some say it's more! Palestinian Christians are treated/persecuted in exactly the same way as Palestinian Muslims by the Zionists. In this aspect, there is no discrimination at all).
  • Percentage-wise, there are more Christians in Palestine than there are in Malaysia!

If you don't have time to watch the video (because it is an hour long, after all), then I suggest you view specific bits.

Muslims: watch between mins 27:00 to 30:00. Watch it a few times if you have to. Learn what the word 'Refusenik' means. Figure out the difference between Jews, Israelis, and Zionists.

Christians: If you lived in an area that had only one water tank, and people urinated into it and threw dead chickens, in an attempt to make you leave the place, just think about how you would feel. There is a lot said about violent protest in Gaza. Nothing is being reported about non-violent resistance like that espoused by Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi. So watch between mins 43:17 to 50:43 at least.

Not all Palestinians are violent, foaming, mad Jihadists. No more than the Israelis are benign, innocent victims minding their own business.

If you are one of my fellow Malaysians who took to the streets - along with tens of thousands of others - to protest the Malaysian government's use of the ISA on political prisoners, then the fact that 10% of almost 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners are detained indefinitely in Israeli prisons should resonate with you.

I don't do sensation. I like facts, because they speak for themselves.

Hope that helps.

Friday, 1 August 2014

To Change Or Not To Change?

I have lost count of the number of articles I've read, postulating that Malaysia Airlines ought to change its name to get back in the game.

Some of them are linked below:

Business Standard: Malaysia Airlines to change name to boost reputation

eTN Global Travel Industry News: Malaysia Airlines: Complete brand makeover, new investors, new routes?

International Business Times: Malaysia Airlines Brand Damage May Require Name Change After MH17, MH370 Incidents

They all revolve around one concept: people eventually forgetting.

To be fair to Malaysia Airlines, I am not sure if either of the tragedies that befell them were their fault. No more unlucky than their latest escape, where they nearly crashed into another jet in Adelaide, but managed to stop just in time.

A close call, but is Malaysia Airlines jinxed? Again, it's not their fault.

Someone by the name of Michael Skapinker from Financial Times appears to agree with me in Malaysia Airlines is stuck with its name:

It is hard to see what the airline itself can learn from the tragedies. The first is still unexplained. The second was not its fault. It was flying over a war zone, but so were other respectable carriers.

Read the rest of the article to understand why a name change is pointless.

I personally think a change in management (though nothing to do with the air crashes) is needed, not a change in name.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Malaysia And Scottish Terriers

Malaysia is so high maintenance.

Not only are we trying to hog all the attention from the world, but now, even the Scottish Terrier introducing our country refuses to walk during the opening ceremony parade for the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

The damn dog had to be carried!!

From The Herald Scotland:

Around 40 Scotties took part in the celebrations in Glasgow, with many "recycled" to accompany more than one nation.

But it all became too much for some weary animals and they had to be carried around the stadium.

Jacqui McKinnon said that her pet Jock had auditioned for the star role in the opening ceremony, but when the big day came he unexpectedly staged a sit-down protest.

She said: "The dogs dealt with it really well; it's just Jock decided he wasn't walking. As soon as I put his Malaysia coat on he thought, 'I'm sitting down'. So Jock was the one who was carried around the Celtic stadium."

She said her Scottie was giving the world a taste of the breed's trademark stubbornness.

"They are very good-natured, they have great temperaments, but in Scotland we say they are thrawn, which means they are stubborn", she said.

"And when they take a notion, there is just no budging them. You can try food, everything. They will take the food, but still not budge."

Some may say that the dog staged a sit-down in solidarity with Malaysians over our two airplane crashes in the last 4 months.

Come to think of it, that's the version I'm planning to adopt myself.

But what is utterly irksome is that Singapore's Scottie dog calmly walked along. No tantrums, no fuss.

Nothing like our friendly neighbour down south still trying to show us up. Pooh.

Apparently, Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa takes exception to this display of dogs. I'm really not sure what his point of contention was.

That the dogs were incredibly cute?

That the Malaysia dog staged a sit-down protest solidarity?

That dogs were used as an introductory mascot, and Muslims object to dogs?

That the Commonwealth Games were staged in Scotland and therefore Scotties were used (instead of Corgis, the Queen's favourite breed)?

That they didn't use a monitor lizard just specially for Malaysia instead of a dog? Since we're so uniquely special and all.

One day all things will be made clear and we will understand the mind of that strange critter called Ibrahim Ali.

Until then.