Monday, 30 June 2008

Can We Attempt A More Creative Stunt?

I think this is proof enough for all of you out there that Anwar Ibrahim is straight.

Look at that face. Such a sweet, innocent, pretty little kitten.

As a woman, I couldn't have an impure thought about this particular fellow, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

That would be so gay (no offense to LGBTs out there).

Mean jokes aside, someone out there must be seriously lacking in creativity by attempting to pull the same stunt twice.

I mean, really. Sodomy? That went out of fashion 10 years ago, along with mattress-touting, condo-surveillance and black-eyes.

Assume Anwar was indeed bi. Do you think he would really resort to messing with his personal aide when Lorong Haji Taib in Chow Kit is crawling with umm... shall we say, 'options'?

After all the publicity and rough treatment he went through in the hands of our politicians and their running dogs, the law enforcement?

To quote the most popular quote making its way around the Malaysian blogosphere (I've seen it on 5 blogs already):

The notion that a 61-year old with a bad back can forcibly sodomise a strapping 23-year old is laughable. This is simply not the kind of thing that anyone, not even Anwar’s harshest critic, is going to believe.

Makes sense, too.

I'm sure there must be someone out there who thinks Anwar is guilty of this, but I really haven't met that person yet.

My Australian colleague emailed me saying, "I see that bar1s@n na51onal is up to its old tricks again." We were using our company email accounts, hence the necessity for leet encryption.

Yep. I must admit my colleague is a very intelligent man with a reasonably good grasp of Malaysian politics (no thanks to yours truly!). But I don't think you need his IQ level to grasp the fact that BN is up to no good.

No one is fooled, really, though some are concerned - especially the tourists.

I have an American acquaintance working in China who had plans to stop by in Malaysia en route his travels through Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.

Today he drops me an email. "I've been reading about your politics," he says. "Do I have cause for concern?"

These lame stunts have no role but to harm the tourism industry and tarnish the name of the Malaysian government.

But will they learn?

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Anwar's Sodomy Charges

I have never really been an Anwar fan.

Perhaps I like some of our elected representatives from PKR, but I'm just a little wary of Anwar.

It, however, has nothing to do with sodomy charges - trumped up or otherwise.

They may be true, and if some bloggers were to be believed, it was apparently Karpal Singh who first brought Anwar's alleged shenanigans to the attention of then PM, Dr Mahathir.

But what anyone does consensually in private is none of my business, or yours. Not that it stops Malaysians from yearning for scandal.

And this voracious appetite of the public (for scandal) has the BN government ready and anxious to please. And why not?

Firstly, BN popularity is at its lowest levels. You wouldn't guess that from reading our tabloids (which pretend to be mainstream media) though.

But if you called someone an UMNO man, that's tantamount to calling him an illegitimate-son-of-a-cross-eyed-camel.

Secondly, Anwar appears to have been lobbying some of the BN MPs and the crossover may be imminent. I find this repelling and unethical, but it's the game of politics.

Thirdly, BN is more worried about the vote of no-confidence by SAPP than they let on. There have been threats of expulsion, and murmurs of disciplinary action, but nothing has come to pass, as yet.

Fourth, we have some serious issues internally. People who should not have been there, were found at the scene where Mongolian women were vapourised.

Fifth, our economy is just looking so bad. Fuel prices have gone up and the people are told to tighten their belts and adjust their lifestyles.

Meanwhile, our PM still has his private luxury jet, his 60-million ringgit mansion in Mosman Park, Australia, and that lovely yacht from Turkey.

Let's not forget that even in spite of our poor economy, Pak Lah et al still do not pass up a chance to slip their grubby fingers into our national coffers by offering cash rebates through Pos Malaysia Berhad instead of JPJ.

Wouldn't you want to create a diversion, were you guilty of those?

Friday, 27 June 2008

Understanding PAS Ideology

So much for wanting to abstain from slamming PAS. It looks like I stormed in with guns blazing as soon as I got started.

But I want to reiterate that my criticism of PAS does NOT mean that I have written it off as beyond hope.

Frankly, I appreciate that PAS sacrificed much of its ideology during the recent election campaigns so as to keep with the main focus of a united opposition.

I know that may be considered dodgy to some, and untruthful to others, but I believe it is the greater good that matters. I would take PAS over BN anyday - hands down.

Don't know about you, but I prefer that my elected representative isn't corrupted, doesn't lie blatantly to my face, doesn't blow-up Mongolian translators, and doesn't engage in paedophilia.

Those of you living in other countries may be shaking your head in consternation.

Yes, we Malaysians tend to have low standards when it comes to our MPs and state assemblymen. But hopefully, that will change soon.

There are a lot of good candidates out there who can potentially represent the people truthfully and sincerely. It's just that politics has nasty connotations (some of them well-deserved) attached to it, causing people to be hesitant about being involved.

So far, PAS has been mostly good for its word and it's easy to dispel the attempts of the tabloids (often confused as mainstream media in Malaysia) at defamation.

Recently, the suspiciously pro-BN/UMNO Malaysian Insider claimed that PAS was contemplating a possible collaboration with UMNO.

Now, unless PAS has decided to trade in religious moral values for an avaricious and profligate lifestyle, that's not going to happen.

It's a crying shame that religion is the basis for this political party. I have always believed in the separation of church and state.

Or in the case of Malaysia, mosque and state. :)

The problem with enforcing religious principles on the people one governs is that not everyone may subscribe to one's particular religion.

PAS can separate lines in supermarkets, usage of swimming pools, prohibit nightclubs and cinema, even alcohol. But it cannot stop people from watching porn, indulging in illicit sex and viewing/reading any other material on the internet.

Unfortunately, forbidden fruit is the most appealing. Ask Adam and Eve.

And the number one forbidden fruit for PAS members and leaders, in my honest opinion, is the subject of sex.

Men around the world have been repulsed by their own sexuality. Even Gandhi wasn't spared as he made bizarre attempts to control his desires, to the extent of embarking on celibacy.

He was a great man who preached non-violence and led India to independence from the British, but he still had some strange ideas.

I guess PAS is no different. Its approach is to desexualise the woman and make her unappealing as possible to any man who is not her husband.

If it applied to me, I would object strongly. But it doesn't. And some Muslims women (to whom it applies) have absolutely no issues covering up fully.


Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Dress Code Issue Resurfaces

I didn't want to steamroll my way into criticising the PAS government in Kelantan for its religiously misogynistic ways, so I held out for a while.

Firstly, the eagerness of our tabloids (masked as mainstream media) to spread slime on any party that belongs to Pakatan Rakyat is evident.

I am with Helen Ang when she says that the MSM relishes painting the Kelantan authorities in the most narrow-minded light whenever the opportunity arises.

I am in no hurry to rise to the bait of the rabidly pro-BN media.

Secondly, if the truth be told, I actually have a soft spot for the PAS administration, which is relatively free of corruption (from my observation, though I may be wrong) and to a certain extent, sincere (though grossly misguided).

'Sincere' is generally not a term I use to describe governments.

But I have to admit, when it comes to the issue of women, the PAS government has some serious issues.

This is not the first time PAS has tried to impose its interpretation of Islam on women. Sometime back, the random woman on the street ran the risk of being slapped with a RM500 compound fine if she was not "dressed decently".

And the requirements are getting stricter.

I have inadvertently documented some of the occasions as they crop up. It appears that the lipstick issue is not new.

But I don't recall hearing of this law that stipulates that women should not wear high-heeled shoes that make a sound when they walk.

PAS must take noise pollution very seriously. Otherwise, why would anyone go through the trouble of making sure footsteps cannot be heard? At least, that is what I presume, since PAS makes an allowance for high-heeled shoes with rubber soles.

When I was a kid, there was a saying I was constantly being reminded that, "Children should be seen and not heard."

PAS has gratuitously, though unintentionally, invented a phrase applicable to the fairer sex: "Women should not be seen or heard at all."

Someone is under the impression that the presence of a woman is enough to evoke a man to have his wicked way with her.

That's what it seems like anyway, because every other man and his dog are falling over themselves to dispense advice to women on how to thwart rape and incest.

Believe it or not, one rocket scientist actually suggested the use of chastity belts to safeguard women from sex maniacs.

It's not just the average jane on the street that PAS insists on controlling. Performers and celebrities are not spared. Recently, the presence of Ella and Mas Idayu at a sports event was protested by PAS youth.

Apparently, these two female singers are capable of ruining impressionable young minds by their un-Islamic dressing. Meaning: They forgot their grey burqas.

So it makes one conclude; those living under the PAS government's rules and regulations must live highly pious and godly lives, right?

Ha! Ya think?

Do you have any idea what the top internet keyword search in PAS-dominated Kelantan is? Gambar bogel.

That's right folks, our holy-joes are furiously tapping out searches for new porn sites and pictures in the privacy of their homes (or internet cafe cubicles).

Which goes to show that while one may make numerous attempts to treat the syndrome (in this case, the women) the actual cure can only be effected when you get to the root of the problem.

The problem being, sex-obsessed men.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Journalists Complain Of Being Dissed

I find this highly amusing.

The journalists (if you can call those who write for tabloids that - we don't have legitimate mainstream media in Malaysia, remember?) have got their knickers in a knot for being prohibited from entering the parliament lobby.

They feel dissed. Treated like pests. Like low-down beggars hoping for a measly crumb.

"How demeaning is that..." they whimper in injured tones.

Yeah, well. Cry me a river.

Don't expect any sympathy from me, you fools! You lost my respect a long time ago when you traded your dignity for rewards from your masters, the Barisan Nasional goons.

You had a chance to redeem yourselves after March 8, and give fair and equal coverage to the politicians from Pakatan Rakyat, or what was formerly known as The Opposition.

But you didn't have the gumption for it.

I know what your excuse for that would be. "I was not allowed to."

Now you and I know that's a bowl of CRAPPOLA served up with sprinklings of high-fibre bran and dollops of milk!

If YOU don't report the truth, and in equal perspectives (that means unbiased coverage from both sides), who do you expect to bear that burden? Bloggers?

Heck. If YOU did your job properly, people like me would be relegated to blogging about Dunkin' Donuts, Victoria's Secret and ... Backstreet Boys.

Okay, maybe it's a good thing you're so dysfunctional.

But wake up and smell the coffee, folks.

Do you think I really care about the lies that some of our BN goons spout with utterly no shame displayed in their corrupted, asinine faces?

I want the real news from Pakatan Rakyat. And perhaps some dirt from BN. That's all it's good for anyway.

Take yourself seriously. Stop the biased reporting.

One day, maybe someone will respect you.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Brand Equity - Unethical Advertising

This deplorable advert for brand equity was brought to my attention through an email from a friend.

The irony of it is the tagline, 'Intelligent Brand Warfare'.

Some of you may be aware that I was in Spain for over a month on business. During my aimless weekend wanderings, I chanced upon numerous bullfighting rings. The most famous of them being the Plaza del Toro in Sevilla.

No, I did not watch any shows. I would never dream of exchanging my hard-earned cash for an hour of gruesome torture to an innocent animal, under the guise of "entertainment".

I concede that bullfighting is part of Spanish culture. A vile, deplorable part of it, but don't get me started.

Besides, there are so many other incredible nuggets of Spain which I thoroughly enjoyed, like Flamenco dancing, their quaint little pubs, their Sangria wine, the Kanya beer (to be drunk chilled), Real Madrid (and I'm not even a football fan), their music, and oh, their ever-so-gorgeous hunks.

But I digress. :)

There's nothing intelligent about fighting or sparring with an unnecessarily provoked beast, that is caged and alone with a "fighter" who has plenty of back-up and distractions if things head south.

To add salt to injury, the bull has to be slain before the matador (or bullfighter) is declared victorious! Such a despicably brutal sport, if you can call it that!!

It especially wounds me, being an animal-lover. I have been a vegetarian for about 2 years now, because I really do not see the point in killing an animal just to satisfy the appetite.

I know this may offend some of you out there, but my opinion remains.

And this advertisement, in trying to portray what they regard as 'brand warfare' (I'll really have to leave out the word 'intelligent', if you don't mind), has found the advertisers failing miserably, considering their area of speciality lies in media (and presumably public) perception.

I urge Mr. James Selva, the CEO of Perception Media Sdn Bhd to seriously consider removing this advertisement from the line of advertising banners displayed.

It shows flagrant disregard for responsible and ethical advertising standards.

Monday, 23 June 2008

ISA Inmate Released - BSA Tahir

Yesterday one ISA inmate was released from Kamunting.

Unlike most of the other inmates, this guy is no political activist. He was wanted by the US government for being part of a nuclear arms deal with Iran.

I dug up some old bits of info from The Washington Post about this Buhary Syed Abu Tahir and those involved with him.

And when I speak of involvement, I speak of Scomi. Read on.

Tahir, a product of many worlds, was the ideal middleman. Born in India, he moved to Sri Lanka as a child and then to Dubai when his family opened a company, SMB Group, in that Persian Gulf emirate. Today, the firm, which he and his brother own, is involved in computers and information technology.

Tahir, however, had turned his attention to Malaysia, marrying the daughter of a former Malaysian diplomat in a society wedding in 1998 and gaining permanent residency there.

He also saw business opportunities. Though he had planned in 2001 to manufacture centrifuge components in Turkey with a Turkish associate, police said, Tahir changed his mind and suggested that the parts be produced by a politically connected Malaysian company, Scomi Precision Engineering.

Does that name ring any bells in your mind?

That company, set up in December 2001, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Scomi Group Berhad, which is involved primarily in the oil and gas business. Its two main shareholders are Kamaluddin Abdullah, the son of Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and Kamaluddin's former classmate, Shah Hakim Zain. The pair are controlling shareholders in two investment companies that hold the majority of stock in Scomi Group.

Another major shareholder in one of the investment companies until earlier this year was Tahir's wife, Nazimah Syed Majid. After Malaysian authorities began investigating Scomi's involvement with Khan's nuclear network, company officials asked her to sell her shares to Kamaluddin and his business partner, a Scomi spokeswoman said.

Strange bedfellows, you say? Purely coincidence?

In April 2002, Tahir recommended that the company bring in a 39-year-old Swiss consultant, Urs Friedrich Tinner, to help set up a new plant for Scomi Precision Engineering in the Shah Alam industrial area near Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital. Tinner's father, Friedrich Tinner, was a mechanical engineer who had done business with Khan since the 1980s and had helped supply centrifuge components for Libya, the report said.

Through his father, brother and other business contacts, Urs Tinner imported highly specialized machines to produce the components called for in the business plan Tahir had reportedly offered Scomi.

On the shop floor, Tinner was secretive, taking back his component drawings once a part was finished and erasing technical drawings in factory computers, the report said, telling workers he was seeking "to safeguard trade secrets." When Tinner left in October 2003, he took his computer's hard disk and his files.

The materials to make the components, a total of 330 tons of quality aluminum, were purchased from Bikar Metal Pte Ltd. a German firm in Singapore, the police said. The aluminum bars and tubes were not controlled material that would arouse suspicions about their intended purpose, police said.

At the factory, workers turned them into a dozen types of components for export, including flanges, clamp holders, molecular pumps and crash rings. The parts, worth $3.4 million, were shipped to Dubai in four batches between December 2002 and August 2003, according to police and company statements.

The report said that none of the firm's 30 employees knew that on Oct. 4, 2003, a German ship called the BBC China had been boarded and searched in Taranto, Italy, and that investigators had seized five containers bound for Libya that held components for centrifuge units. The containers bore Scomi's logo.

No kidding. Caught red-handed, were we? This happened only a few months after Pak Lah assumed office.

Tahir told police that the ship also carried a consignment from Gunas Jireh, a Turk who supplied "aluminum casting and dynamo" to Libya for its effort to develop its own nuclear machinery workshop, the report said.

That seizure was part of the Proliferation Security Initiative, an international effort to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and it helped break open the network.

U.S. and British intelligence brought that evidence to Malaysia's attention in November, police said.

In his speech last week, Bush noted that Khan used the Malaysia factory to produce key parts for centrifuges. Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar complained Friday that Bush had unfairly singled out Malaysia.

"Malaysia should not be dragged into the debate of being a country that is involved in the supply of components or otherwise for weapons of mass destruction, " the foreign minister "We have no capability."

Really? I can fully believe that the Malaysians were not technologically involved in processing the radioactive elements, e.g. isotope separation itself.

After all, they had the Swiss and the Libyans for that. Scomi just had to pretend that they were just providing some vague bits of engineering service and had no full knowledge of what actually was going on.

But seriously, it is ludicrous to assume that the Scomi Group had no inkling of what it was involved with. Nuclear production is no simple process. It involves dangerous radioactive chemicals which need proper handling.

I presume that Uranium was the radioactive material that was being processed judging from the method of using centrifuges to purify it.

And for centrifuges, you would need high quality component parts with high safety factors to ensure structural integrity. Scomi Precision Engineering was building just that.

The police report said that, apart from Tahir and Tinner, who served as a technical consultant to Scomi from April 2002 to October 2003, Scomi employees did not know the intended use of the components they were making.

Police investigators concluded that, "to untrained eyes, such components would not raise any concern as the components are similar to components that could be used by the 'petrol-chemical industry' and 'water treatment' and various other industries," the report said.

I find it highly suspicious that while BSA Tahir spends some quality time in Kamunting, his counterparts in high places have gone off scot-free.

How is it that this has been so conveniently pushed under the carpet? Scomi was clearly involved in the nuclear black market scandal.

So was this guy put away for 4 years to keep his mouth shut or because he was genuinely a threat to national (international, more like) security??

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Celebrating 100 Days With Our MPs

The date has been changed to accomodate Malam Himpunan Rakyat Anti-ISA

Date: 5 JULY 2008
Time: 8.00PM

The other details remain.

Got this from Zorro:

Date: 28 JUNE 2008
Time: 8.00PM

Cost: RM30 PAX

YEW WEI KEAT (012-2138257)
514011899314 (MAYBANK)



Saturday, 21 June 2008

Rosmah Present At Altantuya's Murder

Sometimes I complain about the minor issues in life, like say, random military fighter aircraft parts being brought into Malaysia under rather shoddy pretexts.

And then it hits me, we have more explosive issues than that to deal with.

No pun intended.

Who would have thought that good ole Rosmah Mansur, wife of the Deputy Prime Minister would have been present at the graphic murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaaribuu?

This latest bit of news also implicates Rosmah's aide de camp (or personal assistant) and her husband Col Aziz Buyong who was an expert on explosives and allegedly placed the explosives on Altantuya's body before blowing it up to kingdom come.

Now I understand that this Mongolian woman had been getting her way with men who couldn't keep their pricks in their pants, but really, was it necessary to blow her up using highly dangerous plastic C4 explosives??

The very cold and brutal manner of silencing a woman whose job it was to enhance communication is mind-boggling (to use a term much abused these days).

And it is evident, that those involved thought they could keep this nasty bit of news under wraps forever.

Friday, 20 June 2008

No One Questioned Import Of Fighter Aircraft Parts?

It appears that exporting fighter aircraft parts to Malaysia is a blissfully easy operation.

Now we're neither talking plastic, toy aircraft here nor some of the many Tamiya small scaled models which I own and don't know what to do with.

Nor are we discussing home appliances, cute Nintendo or Playstation games or even automotive parts.

MILITARY FIGHTER AIRCRAFT parts, ladies and gentlemen.

As far as I know, the Malaysian government does not have any F-14s within its fleet. We have F-18s, MiG-29s and we have the infamous Su-30MKM.

But not any F-14s.

NY man pleads guilty to arms exports to Malaysia

But evidently, no one thinks it's out of the ordinary if a Pakistani brings component parts into Malaysia for an aircraft we do not possess.

And what does our government have to say about this?

The Deputy Prime Minister also said the government had no knowledge of companies illegally importing F-5 and F-14 military fighter jet parts into the country.

"It cannot be with the government as we have no knowledge whatsoever about it. I do not know if there are private companies involved in this.

"There is no stopping them to buy on their own accord without informing us. We are not in the business of selling parts to a third country. We don't do that. I cannot determine if any company had sought for the parts," he said.

However Najib, who is also the Defence Minister, said the government would not hesitate to act against any company if it had breached the law of the country.

You don't seem to know much about this country, do you Najib? And being Defence Minsister at that.

We do need to cut a sizable amount of your entertainment allowance, methinks. You're spending too much time playing around instead of doing your job.

Though if you didn't get a huge cut out of this deal, there's plenty to annoyed about, I'd say.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Making Profit From Cash Rebates

A lot of people welcomed the fuel rebate of RM625 for cars below 2000cc and RM150 for motorcycles.

In fact, there were monstrous lines formed in a painstaking wait to collect the money from the nearest post office.

I did wonder, why withdraw the fuel subsidy and instead give out cash rebates to vehicle owners, some of whom may not even be using their cars and motorcycles?

Now I have my answer.

ECM Libra Financial Group Berhad has a stake in Pos Malaysia Berhad (PMB) through it's acquisition of Avenue Capital Resources in 2006 through some very dodgy bit of insider trading.

If the name ECM Libra rings a bell, you will be right to remember Kera Jantan, more commonly known as the Prime Minister's son-in-law. KJ was a Director of Investment in ECM Libra in 2004 before making a disappearing act when sh!t hit the fan.

But all is not ended. Kalimullah Hasan, of plagiarism and sue-you-for-speaking-the-truth fame, is now the Chairman and CEO of ECM Libra.

Same guy who spins faithfully for Pak Lah on the mainstream media, namely New Straits Times. The money trail isn't going too far off now, is it?

But back to the issue at hand, so why was PMB was given the job of giving out the cash rebates to replace of fuel subsidy? Some say it was out of convenience, as post offices are easily available and accessible.

Pak Lah and KJ would have you think so.

It is quite odd on why JPJ was not given this role but instead it was given to a postal service company. Heck, the JPJ is where I go to renew my road tax, not the post office.

Instead of the more efficient and more relevant job function of the JPJ, these cash handouts responsibility were thrusted into the already mountainous variety of services PMB had to handle.

But now, let's see how Pak Lah and his cronies get extra money out of this purportedly 'for the rakyat' act of selflessness.

For every transaction, PMB will get 10 sen commission on every RM10 of that RM625 and RM150 (for cars and motorcycles respectively). That means, for every transaction, PMB will get RM6.25 for cars and RM1.50 for motorcycles in the form of transaction fees.

From what I know, there are approximately 11 million cars and 8 million motorcycles in this country at the moment. Let's do the math:

RM6.25 x 11 millions = RM68.8 million (for cars)

RM1.50 x 8 millions = RM12 million (for motorcycles)

A cool total of RM81 million for the entire exercise per year.

With RM117 million already paid out during the first day, I wonder how much PMB will collect by March 2009. This role was given to PMB and not JPJ because PMB is a public listed company (read: profit oriented) while JPJ is a government-owned entity (read : no cost to public).

This nefariously cunning way of trying to 'help' the poor while at the same time enriching oneself is very much prevalent in Pak Lah's administration.

What's worse, they are emptying the nation's coffers (from the Treasury) in the form of cash rebates and transfer a significant percentage of it into their own pockets (through fees paid into PMB and ultimately into ECM's bank accounts).

Such selfless generosity is unprecedented.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Singapore's New Baby

I'm disturbed.

Singapore is not content on being the economic superpower in this region.

These days it has ventured into defense systems, building some rather formidable weaponry and even making a foray into the international market.

It's not unexpected after all, for even Israel being a tiny little country in the middle of nowhere is famous for its Mossad and Uzis.

This new baby is under the wing of Singapore Technologies (no surprise there) Kinetics. Now I've heard of ST Aerospace, but not ST Kinetics. My bad.

So this ST Kinetics has come up with this Low Velocity Air-Burst Munition System (LV ABMS), comprising a fire control system (FCS) and the high explosive (HE) air bursting munition (ABM).

The damn thing has a laser rangefinder with a maximum range of 500m (or on option 800m).

It's fitted with an advanced programmable time based fuze that is not armed until it is 14 to 28m from the weapon and enables the projectile to be detonated above the target for maximum effect.


So is it the only one in the market then? No.

But what is of interest, is that Singapore is developing its capabilities while we Malaysians are merely obtaining contracts to manufacture.

They are broadening their horizons while it comes to technology. We're still arguing about which bumiputra should get his share of "special rights".

They are building lighthouses on our rocks. We're losing the entire rock because of flimsy evidence and lousy counsel.

Expect much more from Singapore in the near future.

Or better still - beware of them.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Long Queues To Claim Fuel Rebate

Good ole Malaysians.

Running after money like there's no tomorrow.

Now I understand that this fuel price hike is a burden on lots of people.

And it's no secret that the nefarious blood-sucking government (or to be specific, the politicians are) is out to steal the money that should rightfully belong to the citizens.

But really folks, that money isn't going to disappear within the next week or so. If you wait for a couple of days, no one will poach that cash.

I promise you.

It's just RM625, for the love of God.

Your kiasu-ism is the reason why you get taken advantage of, like the sorry-ass fools who charge you for a measly postal order form.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Oil Reserves And Fuel-Efficient Cars

There are heaps of opinions out there about the petrol prices.

It's rather telling about Malaysians. Once our pockets are hit, then we hop up and make some noise.

But at least these events are raising political awareness.

I promised to respond to a comment from Grace Chang who brought up some valid points and from whom, I would also like to seek further clarification.

Firstly, Malaysia is not part of OPEC- because of one simple thing- we don't actually produce enough to be one of those countries you listed out.

Secondly, we produce sweet crude, which is infinitely more valuable than the sour crude these countries crank out.

No dissent there. In fact, in a previous post, I mentioned that:

"We export this very high grade petroleum in exchange for lower grade petroleum from the Middle East. They have bigger oil reserves, but ours are of better quality. So we actually make a profit when it comes to our oil ventures."

Because we are also a smaller country in terms of size and population compared to some of the other OPEC countries, we don't require so much fuel for our citizens.

If we didn't have to cover up for all those shenanigans the government indulges in, we could be more highly subsidised, believe you me.

But what was your point in making those statements, Grace?

Its better to export it out and make a killing and thusly subsidising all the govt's nonsense (Petronas contributes to 70% of the country's revenue). Also- most importantly, RESERVES... if we don't stash up, you can say goodbye to drivnig around or having electricity in 15 years.

The best thing Petronas has ever done for us is to slow down drilling and exploration so that we can maintain our reserves.

I don't understand why you would advocate "subsidising all the govt's nonsense" as you put it. To be honest, enough is enough.

As for reserves, at the moment, the powers-that-be don't really give a hoot. They won't be around by the time we run out of it, anyway.

If the government was really concerned about our fast-depleting reserves, they'd have engaged in other methods of reducing fuel consumption nationally.

For instance, they should have allowed the usage of hybrid vehicles in this country. These vehicles seriously reduce the consumption of fuel and are extremely efficient, both environmentally and economically.

In the US of A, Toyota Prius and Honda Insight have been around for over 5 years. Even Singapore has hybrid cars now.

Hybrid technology is amazing. Regenerative braking can be used to recapture energy and stored to power electrical accessories, such as air conditioning. Shutting down the engine at idle can also be used to reduce fuel consumption and reduce emissions.

I own a Toyota currently. I don't know about other car companies, but Toyota believes in updating its customers with its latest offerings. Some time last year, it sent me a notice to expect the Toyota Prius very soon.

It's been over a year and zilch. Nada. Zero. Ling. Pujiam.

If the citizens require less petrol, then Petronas makes less profits. So at our expense, we're forced to pay for higher prices without having cars with good fuel consumption.

I'm not sure if Petronas has actually slowed down drilling and exploration. Petronas Carigali is a subsidiary solely dedicated to exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas both at home and abroad.

In fact, there is speculation that Kelantan is sitting on substantial oil reserves. Hence, the government's obstinately determined moves to take over the Kelantan administration.

Speculation and rumours have a nasty habit of emerging as the truth in Malaysia.

Also, before we're too quick to look at all this negative talk- imagine this: some foreign O&G company like Shell and Exxon-Mobil comes to peddle their fuel at us- who used to subsidise that? Petronas, that's who.

I have nothing against Petronas. In fact, I might even be proud of it, be it more properly managed and put to better use.

I know for a fact that they have brought in a lot of foreign consultants which they pay USD20,000 a month.

I'm not happy about the hike as well, but things could be a lot worse. I just like to look at both sides of the coin and think about the bigger picture.

How much worse could it get?

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Petronas Fuel Price

The nationwide price for petrol was set at RM2.700 as far as I was made to understand.

However, judging from this Petronas kiosk, I'm not so sure. RM2.704 for a litre might be a small extra to pay, but ethically, that's outright cheating.

Is Petronas playing dirty?

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Fuel Price Comparison

Courtesy of the Mobster.

Definitely something to think about. We produce higher quality fuel than any of these other countries, which we export.

Our profits should be higher.

And yet we pay significantly more.


Fuel Price Up In Malaysia

I think Pak Lah knows he's going to be kicked out of office soon.

And so, the dude has to rake in the money and fast before he has no more access to the funds.

The easiest way, is to reduce the fuel subsidy - with the predictably empty promises that this money will be channelled into improving public transportation or some such.

You and I know that's bull.

Ladies and gentlemen, mark my words - that money will go into the pockets of our esteemed politicians.

In other words, we will be paying for their luxurious lifestyles which we have been advised to abstain from to cope with the inevitable rise in cost of living.

Food prices will escalate, the cost of public transportation (inadequate as it currently is) will also increase, and even the rates for electricity.

So now we'll have to limit our food intake, refrain from going anywhere except for the regular trips between the house and the office, and get rid of the air-conditioning and replace it with fans.

Better still, fold up the A4-size advertisement flyers people leave on your windshield and fan yourself frantically before you fall asleep in the naturally heated 18th storey of your apartment which has just seen 10 hours of sun beating down on it.

Only the profoundly stupid will believe that the government cannot afford to sustain the current subsidy. After all, we are an oil-producing country.

We own a company called Petronas which unearths (literally) copious amounts of petroleum off our very own shores. We export this very high grade petroleum in exchange for lower grade petroleum from the Middle East.

They have bigger oil reserves, but ours are of better quality. So we actually make a profit when it comes to our oil ventures.

Petronas belongs to the Malaysian people. No one can stake a claim on what belongs to a nation.

However, NO information pertaining to Petronas has been made accessible to the public.

Why? I think deep down inside, we all know the answer. A lot of the profits are vanishing into personal accounts, and a select, exclusive number of individuals have become wealthy.

Immensely wealthy.

So now, you and I are going to be paying RM2.70 for a liter of petrol so that someone out there can maintain his status quo and life of relative luxury which he feels he is entitled to.

Beautiful world we live in.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Spam At 1111

When you blog and leave an email address on your profile to be contacted, it's inevitable that you get spammed heavily.

Fortunately, my spam filter seems to be working fine.

This morning when I opened it, the number of spam collected was auspicious, so I decided to capture it for posterity. :)

I did venture in to see what kind of spam I get.

It was a highly educational experience.

Most of those mails to me appear to be recommending different enhancements to increase the length and size of an appendage that I personally do not possess.

I have, however, learned some new names for the particular appendage, the notable ones being: magic wand, rocket rod, love stick and most disturbingly, crankmaster.

But ... crankmaster??? Spare me, people!

Every now and then I also get a message from Mrs Smith of Ghana (previously it was Lady Kate Foster of Nigeria) requesting my help in moving a substantial amount of funds from her deceased husband's account for the purpose of uplifting the down-trodden and the less-privileged individuals.

God rest her deceased husband's soul.

I do want to stay and indulge these kind invitations, but Malaysian politics still beckon.

You have a good day ahead.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Scholarships For Bumiputras

Susan Loone brought up the issue of some UMNO fool called Ahmad Ikmal Ismail who has said some hatefully seditious things about non-bumiputras, as reported in The Star.

Ahmad Ikmal said this meant that scholarships were being taken from the bumiputras to be given to the non-bumiputras.

“We object to this move because it now means that 700 scholarships for bumiputra students are gone,” he said.

Of course, that inevitably led to a discussion of the New Economic Policy which some Malays cling on stubbornly to, not unlike a toddler and his bantal busuk.

One particular commenter, Bola Hangus, goes off on a rant about how unfairly the Malays are being treated:

Chinaman will always try to look down and blame the malays eventhough the fault mainly lies with UMNO. To them, being condescending to the malay is considered normal and no matter how smart a malay is, a graduate of oxford or harvard, the malay is just intelectually inferior and the only reason these ivy leaques accept them is because they are malay and the quota system.

I wonder who conceived that perception and continues to perpetuate it? It is the Malays themselves who demand special rights, claiming to be intellectually inferior.

In fact, they even consider their fellow Malays as less intelligent than a non-Malay. I work in a rather unique field. My previous superior, a senior engineer, was a highly intelligent Malay man.

I have yet to meet a smarter and humbler man (though he has no reason whatsoever to be humble).

My head of department is also a Malay. He is capable, responsible and accountable for his team. Both these Malay men have earned the respect of my non-Malay colleagues and myself as neither have been recipients of "special rights".

But my Malay colleagues have regarded both with no small amount of suspicion. Both are somewhat of loners and tend to hang out by themselves.

The fact is, if the Malays themselves cannot laud their fellow men for their personal successes without having some measure of jealousy and the intense need to backbite, do you expect some apek Chinaman not to be condescending?

Bola Hangus continues:

The chinamen bitch and moan about not getting equal opportunity etc etc etc. Do they even offer such opportunity to others?

Well, no. Let me share with you what another Malay brought up in a separate post, this time at Rocky's Bru.

But the truth is this, and I have asked my non-Malay friends the same question. Generally, in the context of carrying out mammoth projects, do you think Malays are competent? Almost all my friends were either stumped, because they were polite to say yes on reflex, or they would say yes after some deliberation.

I then asked them this question. If you, for example, are in the position to award contracts, would you give it to a Malay? Again, silence, or a simple no.

It's a Catch 22 situation. The Malays cannot compete because they have been molly-coddled by their "special rights" but they refuse to become independent and let go of the policy because they feel they cannot compete.

Payback Time explains the real situation here:

Bola Hangus; … .. You hanged on to your rights and see how many more generations of people like you gonna be look down upon by other under acheivers non competitive..waiting for handout all the time. Wonder why chinaman towkay doesn’t prefer people like you…wakeup and smell the propaganda our politician are preaching..people like you are just a pawn for their own ambition..get it

Unfortunately, those in favour of the NEP believe it should still remain in spite of their own admission that they are incompetent. I seriously question the logic behind that.

The perpetuation of the NEP is discrediting the Malays who have made it on their own. And Galadriel is right, by claiming that Malays are being threatened by the increase in scholarships being given to non-bumiputras, Umno insults bumiputera students.

Bola Hangus eventually reveals why he has such strong feelings against the non-bumiputras, the Chinese in particular.

I have personaly experienced racism pepertrated by the chinaman (if you want to believe or not) in the form of refusing to rent shoplot, artificially inflating prices whn it comes to rates, providing unsellable items or overstock (wholesaler) instead of the good ones reserved for their own kind., condescending remarks, etc etc Whatever it is i know them inside out. Now is the in thing to use “malaysian” cos as a malaysian, chinaman will come on top. This is the excuse and strategy for now. Let me ask you a question, singapore practices meritocracy, where is the malays over there? name afew famous ones? If they dont discriminate then why they pull out malays for questioning at the train station?

I was studying in the states for 5 years. Once i applied to work at a chinese restaurant. They said i coundnt cos i didnt speak chinese and i needed to speak it in order to communicate with the cooks in the kitchen. Funny thing is that there were 5 americans who also work there and none spoke the language. The moral of the story is the americans do not yield to these chinese demands, it’s america we speak english here goddammit. Only if you are weak then the chinaman will take advantage over you and exploit you.

Interestingly, it is kacang putih who first gauges the real issue behind Bola Hangus' anger.

Bola, as an admitted PHD in racism I feel sorry that you have been mistreated by so called “chinamen” in your past. Lest not forget that whatever ill feelings you feel toward them the fact of the matter is at this very moment Malaysia as a whole is a racist country that is anti chinese, indians etc. Regardless of what your personal experiences have been with an individual or group in the past the truth is the Indians and Chinese are getting the raw end of the deal.

I am 100% sure that whever bad experiences you have had with a chinamen, an opposite and similar situation has happened to a chinese man too dealing with malays.

I could not have said it better myself. Kudos to you, kacang putih.

But the question remains for Bola Hangus to answer, in the past few years of giving special rights to the bumiputras, has there been significant improvement?

Have they become competent? Capable of running and managing their businesses?

Collectively, have the non-bumiputras begun to gain respect for the bumiputras?

Have the deserving bumiputras truly been helped or is it just a select bunch of elite, connected individuals who have benefitted?

Do the bumiputras prefer to live on handouts for the rest of their lives simply because they were born in this land and claim entitlement to it?

Monday, 2 June 2008

When Love Costs Two Lives

There are some seriously disturbing issues on the planet. Not least of which is what we know as "honour killings".

I have known parents who are unable to accept their children falling for someone of another race or religion - and worse, marrying them.

Getting a tongue-lashing is bad. Being disowned is distressing. However, I find it very difficult to stomach that a father could stamp on, suffocate and stab his own daughter for falling in love with a British soldier.

Falling in love with a White, Christian man and being seen talking to him in public was what 17 year old Rand Abdel-Qader was guilty of.

Now I know a lot of you would say that the British are nothing but trouble. Heck, many would say the Americans are more than trouble itself. Our parents warn us against messing with that bunch, though not all of us heed their words like filial children.

But an innocent friendship, even if it has overtones of infatuation, shouldn't be the cause of such brutal violence. The Guardian observes rather pointedly that she died a virgin.

You'd think that young Rand's murder would be the end of this tragic saga.

But no.

Her traumatised mother, Leila Hussein, unable to live with a man who could kill his own daughter, decides to leave him and go into hiding. But just five weeks later, she is also hunted down and three bullets fatally fired into her.

Can anything associated with murder be honourable?

What in the name of religion inspires such violence and brutality? And such utter lack of conscience?

I pray that Malaysia never attains such levels of fanaticism.

From The Guardian:
Her crime was to fall in love. She paid with her life.
'My daughter deserved to die for falling in love'
Mother who defied the killers is gunned down

Chor Is Unfit To Represent The People

I have been accused of calling the people I blog about, all kinds of names. That's because for me to notice them, they're usually a special breed of stupid.

This post is going to be no different. Deal with it.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the president of Idiots Anonymous.

"Hello, my name is Chor Chee Heung and I'm an idiot."

They say the first step to combat idiocy is to admit it.

But that would be too much to hope for this particular buffoon.

He has in the past been known for making ridiculous statements.

One that stands out in mind is, "The rise in the crime rate means the economy of our country is doing well, because there are things for people to rob."

But his latest gaff is harder to forgive.

To actually condone the acts of the police force who assaulted a bystander simply because they were stronger than he was is too difficult for the average Malaysian to stomach.

We watch horror movies, stop the car to oogle at accident scenes on the highway and send each other awfully graphic pictures of bloodied victims, but deep down inside, we are soft.

The injustice of seeing a young 21 year old get beaten for no reason dwells in our mind for quite a bit, and at times even evokes righteous rage against the minister who speaks so callously of the incident.

Perhaps we shouldn't be hard on him. He has been selected to be the sacrificial lamb, led to the slaughter purely because of his race.

Since the victim was a young Chinese man, it is expected that only another Chinese man can mollify and diffuse the situation so that people will forget and calm down.

But we have matured. It is not only the Chinese who are angry. All the races are angry. Screw that. Malaysia is angry.

In the current system that we have, it is not Chor Chee Heung's job to fight for the rights of his fellow mankind, but to protect the interests of Barisan Nasional, and more importantly, UMNO.

It is no secret that the police are the running dogs of UMNO, hence they know that their only master is the ruling party and they need not fear their true paymasters, the rakyat.

Barisan Nasional, especially the Malaysian Chinese Association, MCA, has been repeating a refrain for some time. They keep telling the Chinese, "Now who will represent you in Parliament when you keep voting in Opposition MPs of a different race?"

This time, the representative was a Chinese man from MCA. Did he truly represent his Chinese fellow man? Or did he trade it off for his next term in parliament by putting the interests of UMNO first?

I am not the first to say it. MCA is totally irrelevant. As irrelevant as MIC was, is and will be.

For all those who vote for their MPs purely based on race, because they think they can represent them more effectively, think again.