Friday, July 31, 2009

malaysiakini and the SPREAD of A(H1N1)...How to Protect YOURSELF

According to this malaysiakini article A(H1N1): 'It's your duty to take care of yourself' some Malaysians are not doing enough to reduce the spread of the pandemic and even some doctors in hospitals seem to be unaware of the proper procedures to treat suspected cases and that has resulted in a few deaths.
So I would like to share my own family's experience about A(H1N1).
About 10 days ago, my wife and I attended our son's graduation in London and we spent 2 nights with my daughter and son-in-law.
Straight after the graduation we left for Bath where we spent 3 nights. On the day before we were supposed to return to London to collect our suitcases and spend another night with them, my daughter called to say her husband, who is a doctor in a hospital, was sick with suspected A(H1N1).
It was a self-diagnosis but he later told us he had been seeing quite a few cases of A(H1N1). Apart from feeling rotten with body aches and fever, he was OK. So he stayed home and rested for three days.
We spent the night in another place after collecting our bags and flew back to Singapore the next day.
We arrived in Singapore on a Sunday night and on Monday morning my wife told me she had a fever during the night. She is not such a good traveller as I and I thought it was her usual "travel hangover" but no, she said she definitely had chills during the night.
So she saw the doctor in the clinic downstairs and came back with common flu medication and also some colourful brochures on "What to do as a Patient" and "What to do as a Care-giver".
I will upload those later after I scan.
The basic instructions are:

1.Avoid public transport
2.Watch out for the severe symptoms and quickly get to a hospital (not the clinic)
3.Keep a "2 metre" rule distance from the patient.
4.Wear a proper mask if you have to break that "2 metre" rule.
5.Maintain a clean environment with regular cleaning of exposed surfaces.
6.Wash hands often and thoroughly.
7.Do not leave home unless absolutely necessary.
8.Do not have meals together with the patient as the food can get contaminated and also you cannot wear a mask while eating.

Of course nothing is fool-proof and I am sure the pandemic will slow considerably if these simple measures are taken.
Both my wife and son-in-law have returned to work. Meanwhile I am taking 2 tablets of buffered Vitamin C daily as I fall under the high risk category.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

malaysiakini and the CASE of TEOH BENG HOCK.... A Possible CAUSE of DEATH?

Before the science of FORENSICS was refined, there used to be a saying, "Dead Men Tell No Tales" but that is so wrong today when cases can be solved even years after a person is buried.
In Malaysia, there appears to be a learning curve in this science as I guess most of the books are in English and even if you understand the language, the text is going to be tough and most folks will be technically challenged with all those terms like "rigor mortis" etc.
Some Malaysian doctors too will probably fail if they had to sit for professional tests in forensics as after all, the patients do not complain if you botch up the work. Remember the recent case of Kugan?
One also suspects that some doctors are forced to produce cover-up reports to protect the police from being sued - after all, if the victim is a suspected car thief, should not society be grateful that a criminal element has been taken off the streets?
Thus it is not surprising that according to this malaysiakini article, Family adamant RCI probe Teoh's death.
As the death occurred in the building controlled by the MACC, the public really need the RCI rather than an inquest to determine if the newly "so-called reformed" ACA is not just a make-over of the government.
At first I thought someone had held Teoh outside the window in order to get him to talk and the death resulted when his pants tore.
But the lack of blood after that great fall indicates that his heart was not working when his body hit the concrete.
This means that he was already dead when somebody threw him out the window.

My feeling is that Teoh's death was caused by the improper use of the new toy recently issued to the police. Perhaps he had a weak heart and could not endure the use of the Taser X26 that was issued in early July 2009 according to this MM article Local police armed with Tasers
One of the dangers with Tasers is that it can cause cardiac arrest as the gun gives a high-voltage shock to the body and can cause death.

Unfortunately the perceived view of many Malaysians is that the MACC is trying to cover-up a death in custody instead of being honest at the very beginning and working out the damage control with a proper procedure.
Let us all reject this kind of police methods that have created serious problems of credibilty of state institutions.
After more than 50 years of independence, we demand and deserve better than this and we need more professionalism in the top echelons of government.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take the Poll on TEOH's SUDDEN DEATH....

SnapPoll appears to be compromised so please try the new poll.
It is in RED to signify a death shrouded in mystery and terror.

malaysiakini and HOPE for CHANGE or Is IT Just WINDOW-DRESSING?

So they have just announced the KRAs for the government but I am not getting overly excited about the makeover plan.
According to the malaysiakini article, Najib announces KPIs, 6 lead ministers.
It seems that the government has approached the problem of governing as if one is still schooling and needed to pass certain subjects in order to get a certificate.
With a central government like Malaysia where state governments play a subsidiary role, it seems that the government KRAs are too few and too insignificant to mean anything for most citizens.

My perception is that the government has lost much credibility to govern because it has abused much of the powers vested in it and no one has been held accountable even though we have years of reports from the Auditor-General's office. Then the disgraceful and reprehensible events in Perak and the death of Teoh recently show that window-dressing like KRAs will not do much to steer our nation away from failed state status.

As for the use of statistics and percentages, let us all be wary of maths experts who can fool us with their reports.

Let's look at a few of those KRAs according to the STAR:

Reduction of crime rate
1.Reduce street crime, including snatch thefts and unarmed robbery, by 20% by the end of 2010.

What about other crimes? There should be a crime index to determine all criminal activities like drug-trafficking, prostitution, white-collar crime and abuse of police powers.

Upgrade equipment for enforcement agencies and increase the usage of CCTV.

Now if only the MACC had CCTV operations in their HQ, the late Teoh would probably be still alive today. Remember after the first Royal Commission on police abuse was completed, the government also spent millions to upgrade facilities? This seems to be a bottomless pit of expenditure with little to show. If the government had not chickened out from the IPCMC, who knows if this further expense is warranted? Another RM200mil for some nice contracts?

Combating Corruption:
Updating relevant policies, procedures and enforcement to improve global perception.

What more is there to update? We simply don't enforce existing rules. A wishy-washy nice-to-include filler to show the government is aware of but unable/unwilling to reduce corruption.

Use open or restricted tender process for all government projects with the exception of those sensitive in nature.

Who decides "sensitive in nature"? A better target would be a Freedom of Information Act by 2010 that will override the OSA except for matters relating to defined internal security and defense matters.

Widening access to affordable and quality education

I pass on this topic but in general the education system in Malaysia appears beyond redemption with the latest "flip-flop" on English in education. Maybe to ensure the education system is uniform and equitable, all ministers should send their children to schools in their respective homes as a measure of the good quality anywhere? Too much to expect? Otherwise free the education system and let schools operate independently without restrictions on medium of instruction and let school boards decide on such matters.

Raising the living standard of the Poor

I believe more can be done in this area and the concept should be empowering the poor to upgrade rather than merely providing grants to forever live in poverty. For example, some poor families have too many children that they cannot afford to feed and care for them properly and some will become criminals. For such families, the state should require them to stop having more children to receive monthly grants. I would make sterilization for both husband and wife a condition for state aid. Further state aid should be for defined periods like 2months a maximum of 3 months during which period the recipient should be given access to job vacancies in various states.

Out of 25 ministers, only 6 have been selected for the KRAs. I like the idea of having key ministers tasked with the subjects as they should be held accountable if the results can be verified by another independent(?) Panel.

Photo: Thanks to

Monday, July 27, 2009

malaysiakini and the USELESSNESS of our So-called ROYAL COMMISSIONS.....

Maybe we have become even worse than Zimbabwe.
Over there, if the government wants to take you out, you can simply disappear on the orders of the higher authorities and no one will bother to look for you.

In Malaysia we have become more sophisticated. Just see how the Perak state government was overthrown via a coup that seemed to have the approval of the palace. It does not matter one jot that the common folks were all demanding that fresh elections be held.

Now we have the latest "death in custody" that will now involve more taxpayers' funds for proceedings that will probably end in another "NFA" dead end. For Teoh, it was indeed a dead end when he went to the MACC office alive and came out dead via a window located on the high floor where he was being held. According to this malaysiakini article there are Growing calls for royal commission to widen probe.The way the commission is being authorised is akin to conducting a probe into how a fire took hold in a building without ascertaining as to who committed the arson. In other words, such a commission will ascertain that indeed Teoh did exit from the window but the commission cannot determine who was/were responsible for his demise as they did not keep proper records on who had control of the witness.

As usual, the Cabinet had to make a decision after the necessary delay to determine the possible fall-out from taking various decisions. It seems that justice has to be weighed against political damage.
Coming so soon after the revamp of the Anti-Corruption Agency into the MACC that someone described as "putting old wine into a new vessel", it seems that many top Malaysian leaders are still unable to discern right from wrong.
For example, no one like the Home Minister has offered to resign to accept responsibilty for this seemingly cold-blooded killing.

To me it does not matter if the following happened:
1.Someone pushed him out the window or
2.He fell when his pants tore while they were holding him outside the window to make him talk or
3.Someone managed to breach the MACC security and killed him or
4.He was so exhausted by their questioning and threats that he tried to escape with deadly results.

So far we have spent millions of ringgit of taxpayers' funds on 2 Royal Commissions that produced no results. So my feeling about this third royal commission is one of USELESSNESS.
If you share my view, please take the trouble register to vote and change the government in the next General Elections. The next person to die "under police protection" could be your own son or daughter.

malaysiakini and a JOKE about ROYAL COMMISSIONS....

Malaysia has a reputation for the Guinesss Book of World Records - it used to be a tradition in the last 20 years but seems to be less fashionable now.
But this article in malaysiakini suggests otherwise. Readers should recall that we have had 2 Royal Commissions in the last 6 years - one to probe police misconduct that recommended the IPCMC and the other to probe the Lingam tape recordings.
So far, nothing substantial has happened - NOT one criminal has been brought to book and many witnesses just claimed "memory loss".
Now this latest royal commission to probe Teoh's sudden death.

As for the joke about Royal Commissions in Malaysia:

How many Royal Commissions does it take for justice to be served in Malaysia?

Indefinite - no justice is possible untill the government is voted out of office.

What do you think?

Back from LONDON after a GRADUATION.....

Arrived back from London last night after my son's graduation from King's College with a degree in Law.
We then had a brief holiday in Bath and also made a trip to Lynmouth, a town that was destroyed by floods more than 50 years ago.
So finally we feel a major milestone has been reached as far as children are concerned for we have been able to ensure that all of them have been educated to degree level and hopefully will be able to lead independent lives.
Our three daughters are older than our son and are doing well.
Now anyone knows who needs a graduate in Law?
The only setback is that someone in the family has suspected A(H1N1) flu and we are not sure if any of us will get the flu. Guess the next few days will be critical.
We flew to London with Emirates and the planes were all quite full.

Monday, July 20, 2009

malaysiakini - NOT Surprised at PUBLIC's Scepticism about POLICE Probe

I am not surprised at the public response to the police probe into the death of the late Teoh Beng Hock who was found dead soon after being detained by the MACC.
This malaysiakini article shows how deep is the mistrust of the public about getting a fair result from the police who are in the position of probing another enforcement branch of the government.
The police itself is under a dark cloud after the Kugan murder and the lack of progress in that case has probably resulted in the distrust of most government agencies to act without fear or favour.
The way everything is referred to the Cabinet for an ultimate decision gives the perception that things need to be cleared for justice to proceed.
Ultimately it means the government wants to make sure they can control the damage. This is a poor substitute for justice to the deceased.
One way in which this type can death can be prevented is to make it mandatory for the authorities to hand over a witness or a suspect into the hands of an authorised person like a lawyer or a family member.

Friday, July 17, 2009

malaysiakini and CANDLES Blowing in the Wind - Another SUDDEN Death

It is a sad day when a young man dies before his time and especially on the eve of his wedding. All Malaysians should grieve such a loss especially when his death occurred under mysterious conditions.
That is why some 500 caring and angry Malaysians showed up for a candle-lit vigil to remember him in his malaysiakini article.
This is not the first death associated with police custody.
We are still awaiting action by the Attorney-General on the murderers of Kugan who was beaten to death while under police detention.
We do not know what actually happened to the late Teo but it was reported that he was being questioned "as a witness" in a case related to corruption.
He was held for questioning from 6pm to about 3am and it seems he was fairly cooperative.
Now we all know the PDRM objected to the IPCMC and to me this is precisely the type of case that should fall under the rules of a body like the IPCMC.

For example:
1.There should be proper recording devices like CCTV to monitor anyone held by the police and the MACC.
2.Such offices should have security grilles to prevent anyone jumping from buildings more than say 2 storeys high.
3.No one should be allowed to loiter anywhere in the premises as that would itself pose a security threat.
4.Rules and procedures for questioning witness/suspect.

In a country with a tradition of honour and integrity like Japan, the MACC chief or the Home Minister would tender his resignation but in Malaysia we siply meet with a stoney wall of silence.
Listen to the words of this song that became famous as a protest against the war in Vietnam....
"How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died? "

Thursday, July 16, 2009

malaysiakini and a FACE-OFF Against an OBDURATE Minister of Education

malaysiakini has an interesting article on education. The article asks Why not maths and science in Bajau, Dusun, Iban too? and is a valid one as the latest "flip-flop" is based on the premise that children learn best in their own mother-tongue.

These so-called education policies are not cast in stone and the guy is just being obdurate - two wrongs do not make a right. According to the Malaysian Insider, he has declared that the latest policy is final.
It sounds much like the "Final Solution" of Hitler during WWII. Should we excuse this poor specimen of a Minister of Education as he is clueless? After all he resorted to blackmail and bribery in Manek Urai without batting an eye.

The best overall solution for Malaysia is as follows:
1.teach Math and Science in English at the secondary level
2.improve the teaching of English in primary schools and secondary schools
3.upgrade the quality of the teachers in all schools
4.allow primary schools to operate independently using any medium of instruction as long as they follow approved guidelines for teaching English and BM. Annual budgets will be granted based on student numbers.

But don't be surprised if some of those unemployable graduates are soon recruited to be teachers. For the MoE, that will kill 2 birds with 1 stone. The only collateral damage will be your child's education.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

malaysiakini and what can be learned from the MANEK URAI Results

So PAS managed to retain its seat in Manek Urai and the margin of victory certainly raises a few questions.
According to this malaysiakini article Manek Urai: PAS wins by 65 votes it would seem that many PAS supporters turned against them.
Perhaps some were persuaded by the DPM's bribery/blackmail of giving them a bridge - I am sure in a more law-abiding nation, that guy will be arrested and charged for bribery but over here you know - "Malaysia Boleh."
Furthermore he is also the Minister of Education - so I guess our children will learn that blackmail/bribery is also OK.
So BN almost managed to swing this by-election. Can you guess how much public funds or your taxes have gone to support the BN campaign?
PAS too needs to reassess its own position as recent moves by them to form the "unity" government appears to have had adverse effects on their supporters.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Before You Send Your KIDS to Study in Singapore....

With the latest FLIP-FLOP in the PPSMI some parents are thinking of sending their children to study in Singapore where the medium of instruction is English for all schools.
Thousands of Malaysians have made the journey south for various reasons. My wife's parents made that important decision to send their youngest son to Singapore way back in the 70s when the medium of instruction was switched in Malaysia from English to BM and I believe that was also the time when Malaysians started in migrate in large numbers before countries like Australia and NZ began their restrictive immigration practices.
My brother-in-law had uncles in Singapore so the trauma was reduced a little but today he is a senior officer in the MoE.
My own family looked to Singapore for education when I took up employment there in 1987 when we had 3 young children. My eldest was in Darjah 3 and she enrolled in SIGS in JB in 1988.
Sultan Ibrahim Girls School was then considered ne of the 2 top schools in JB with the Convent but back then the school buildings looked rather unattractive and had only low rise blocks.
Early on my wife and I planned the switch to Singapore schools and we decided that the eldest daughter would switch over in secondary school.
English is my mother tongue and so the language is not a problem. Besides all our daughters were avid readers and they all write well.
We had to prepare our daughter by using the Singapore revision books that are available in JB. After seeing the thousands of children who brave the Causeway each day, we decided that it was something doable.
For 2 years I coached my daughter in Maths and Science. At times it was trying for both of us as my daughter is playful and I am a little strict but she was admitted directly from Malaysia Darjah 6 into Secondary 1 at the Bukit Panjang Girls School.
If the results are not good enough, they may ask you to start one level lower - ie you have to repeat a year.
Meanwhile my second daughter began her primary education in JB at the Convent but transferred to Qihua Primary in year 2 as she aced their entrance test. She later scored well enough in the GEP to gain admittance into Raffles Girls School where she was exempted from paying their high school fees.
My third daughter started her education in Singapore straight from Primary 1 -we reckon the school welcomed her as her elder sister was their first pupil to succeed in the GEP exams.
Our fourth child also went to Qihua.
My 3 daughters went to JCs and they all have good careers now - one is a civil servant, another a tax accountant in London and the third a doctor in Canada.
Next week, we will attend our son's graduation in Law in London.
By the way, you can mix and match your child's education program to suit your needs.
My son did not take the JC route. We used the A-levels route in JB and he took exams within 15 months before he went to London for studies.

For those considering to send children to Singapore there are both pros and cons like most things in life.

1.Education standard is fairly high and most graduates can get jobs.
2.Your children will become fairly mobile and become "international citizens".
3.Develop independence earlier.

1.Incur extra costs and still pay tax in Malaysia for education
2.Children will "sever" family ties earlier as they are more distant.

As a parent, you will make a decision in the best interest of the future of your child as you will probably not be around forever for them.

I am willing to help those staying far from Johor as follows:
If you want to buy Singapore revision books that are not available in your Popular book store, I can shop and post to you a selection of Maths, English and Science books so you can assess your child's ability. There is no charge for this service but you pay for the books, postage and packaging.
Send me an email at haroldangus(at) if you want further info. Also please express your opinion on why the government has gone backwards on education by using the poll on the left.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

malaysiakini and BRIBERY in Manek Urai

How low will the authorities go just to win a by-election?
As low as it gets; it appears from this malaysiakini article in which the voters are being enticed to vote BN.
Your choice - vote PAS or new bridge smacks of pure bribery - it cannot be more explicit than that.
This shows the BN is truly desperate to resort to such a disgraceful tactic.
Taxpayers everywhere have the right to a fair enjoyment of development plans and making them choose like this is a criminal offence - they are being blackmailed into voting for BN.
I suggest PAS lawyers should lodge a police report.
Never mind if the EC or AG sleeps on this - after the next general elections, they can still be held accountable.

malaysiakini and NAJIB'S 100 Days

The way the MSM went to town and profited from taxpayers' monies with full-page colour adverts suggest that Malaysia is now truly on the road of reforms but this malaysiakini article seems to debunk that impression.
Najib not going to win brownie points suggests that the conditional 20% discount on tolls is somewhat "too little, too late" since the toll agreements have not been fully disclosed nor reduced.
If they really want to reduce the motorists nightmare, I suggest that the government should buy back all the tolled systems in the Klang Valley and introduce congestion surcharges like RM10 per day for PJ and KL and perhaps RM5 in other major towns.
Keep the NSH as a tolled system but remove the automatic toll increases.
If they want to encourage more tourists from Singapore, Johor should buy back the Causeway and Second Link. The former was formerly a low-cost toll but is now part of the automatic toll increases.
The Perak power grab and the latest "flip-flop" on the English issue suggests that the Cabinet is not able to think strategically and for the long term.

Friday, July 10, 2009

QUO VADIS with the English Language?

Pardon my using Latin today....
Online polls such as promoted by Dr Mahathir can be misleading as most rural folks probably don't use a computer and even if they did most would not be reading articles written in English.
Someone suggested that some standard tests should have been given to those teachers who got the allowance.
Of course some of them would have passed and claimed that it was the pupils who did not understand English and hence the mish-mash language used.
You see they spent a lot of money on allowances for teachers to become proficient in using English but it seems the results were abysmal!
So now the solution is to spent heaps more taxpayers' monies like RM5bil and even GAPENA have become interested to promote the learning of English via English clubs. That is the usual modus operandi - create a problem and then spend lots of funds on projects that are not transparent or effective.

On a lighter note, not everyone who comes from the UK can communicate in English properly.

Here is a brief exchange of emails with a UK Bed&Breakfast:

My query:
"Guests: 3
Arrival: 21-7-2009 23:50:1
Departure: 24-7-2009 23:50:8
Comments: Coming to Bath with wife and 21yo son.
What can you offer? A double and single room is preferred".

"I am already full this week.
Very sorry.
Kind regards."

My reply:
"Is your place full on the dates I requested?"


From the last reply the writer appears annoyed that I could not understand his last message.
Improving our English standards should not be just to schools and teachers. Parents of course play a vital role like encouraging their children to read. Even the government can do so much more like encouraging the use of English in government departments. English can be recognised as an official language and that would really show that the government is really serious about promoting the language.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

malaysiakini Reports TWO Takes on English Policy...

If you read the two articles yesterday in malaysiakini there appears to be divergent views on how TDM views the FLIP-FLOP on the use of English.
According to one article claims Muhyiddin: Mahathir accepts the decision but the other article ... smouldering Dr M hints otherwise.
Of course the policy was changed rather abruptly just before TDM retired but to me if the matter had been brought up for the whole series of discussions, the BM exponents who wield much political influence would have had none of it.
So TDM did the next best thing and forced the change of policy. Unfortunately AAB did not have enough guts and gumption to carry out the necessary changes in the Ministry of Education and teachers were allowed to teach in the mish-mash of English and BM.
Some nieces of mine in Darjah 5 and 6 remarked that teachers were not able to teach properly and at times even asked pupils for assistance!
Such is the quality and calibre of the people who are in charge of our children's education.
A little advice for parents - be sure to get active in your school's PTA. You will discover a world of difference between what the ministry promises in their fancy declarations and the stark reality in schools.
Maybe we should also ask "How come so few non-Bumis get promoted to head schools?"
How much is based on political and racial bias?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

malaysiakini and the GREAT FLIP-FLOP on ENGLISH

There we go again!
According to this malaysiakini article, we are going back to the past.
After 6 years, the government admits that it has not done enough to make the policy work and now conveniently blames the inadequacy of teachers who are not able to teach in the subjects.
In my opinion, if the government cannot even implement such a changeover successfully, how are earth will they plan and implement the much promoted nuclear power plant operation?
Since 2003 precious little has been done by the authorities to upgrade the quality of teachers so that all our children can benefit.
Now they are being subjected to another round of education flip-flop. You mean our DPM went abroad to UNESCO to give credence to this decision? All my children have graduated or I would have started a protest against the education ministry.
In my opinion, we should let the PTAs decide on this language policy - I am sure the teachers and parents can make a better decision for the sake of the children.

Friday, July 3, 2009

malaysiakini on the MAJOR Decline in INVESTMENTS...

The Malaysian government must take serious measures to arrest the decline in investments and this article in malaysiakini is quite disturbing. Foreign investment in free fall reports that foreign investments have dropped from RM46billion in 2008 to RM4.2billion for the first 5 months of 2009.
Given the global economic crisis and even if we can assume that the rate of investment is uniform, we cannot expect 2009 to receive more than RM8.4billion of foreign investments.
It really casts serious doubts on whether Malaysia can even achieve 3% growth for 2009 and 2010 and our overall chances of ever achieving developed nation status by 2020.
Taxpayers now demand more transparency in how policies are implemented and investors are definitely moving to other nations where laws and policies are not subject to Malaysia's major flip-flops. The latest measures announced by the PM appear to be merely cosmetic changes and more "form over substance" as the crutch policy is still in place after 40 years.
To illustrate how Malaysia's growth has been stifled by the government's crutch policies, here are some details published by the UN in March 2009.
According to the UN Population Database,

Asia's GDP per capita (US$)
1997 US$25890
2007 US$36370
Increase 40%

1997 US$4801
2007 US$7027
Increase 46%

Singapore/Malaysia ratio
1997 5.39
2007 5.17

The ratio has been reduced a little but the GDP for Malaysia is still nowhere here that of a developed nation. No one denies that there has been economic growth but the costs are also significant with major resources especially oil and timber being depleted for economic growth.
I daresay that the economic scenario is made worse as not only are foreign investors heading elsewhere but locals are setting up foreign operations to evade the NEP problems.
As Malaysia is a nation with a young population, the next 10 years will be crucial if we are to avoid social unrest caused by lack of investments and jobs creation.
I believe that a more realistic target of developed nation is 2035 but only if the government makes major policy changes or Malaysians change their government in the next elections.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The GREAT METRO Sale and A(H1N1) at McDonalds?

I want to write something different today.
Last night I went shopping as Metrojaya was having a Member's promotion by giving better discounts.
I won't bore you with my shopping cart but there was an interesting incident in the payment queue.
There was this Chinese national in front of me and while waiting to pay, his wife or GF came and passed him a sports shirt. Now I'm guessing he was from China as they spoke quite loudly in a rough sounding language. What he did was a little startling -he promptly remove his shirt and tried on the merchandise - yeah guys can go about bare-chested but it seemed so low-class and out of place.
The shirt was not suitable so the woman passed him another selection and the queue was subject to another fleshy display.
The guy was about late 40 to 50 and payed with his gold credit card. The card looked pretty new and was not even signed by the card-holder.
Payment was approved and then came another interesting episode. The guy and his wife kept pondering over the payment slip. He was looking for his bank's logo on the payment slip and I guess he was wondering why the amount was not in his currency instead of the ringgit.
The Chinese supervisor tried to explain but I observed she too was puzzled by his questions. Luckily the delay lasted only a few minutes and the couple accepted what little explanation was given. I remarked to the Cashier that he was probably using his credit card overseas for the first time.
As I had to get some trousers altered - they are always too long, I passed them to the girl and she told me to return in 30 minutes.
That's when I decided to treat myself to some McDonalds' ice-cream. There was no one at the counter but within seconds, the guy who was handling a broom came over and took my order. He was not wearing gloves while sweeping and he did not wash his hands before he grabbed hold of the ice-cream cone.
Then he put the paper liner on the cone and filled it with ice-cream. The only good thing was the guy was not fussy about collecting the RM0.05 that I did not have and he charged me only RM1.
It seems that some McDonalds outlets do not teach/train staff adequately about hygiene. I ate the ice-cream but discarded the cone.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

malaysiakini on NAJIB'S Grand Scheme....

It is not surprising that Najib's 1Malaysia concept is getting a terrible bashing at the hands of the PR according to this malaysiakini article Najib gets bashed at Pakatan 'unity' rally.
Apart from the grand ceremony at the launch and some nice speeches, I do not see any changes being made to the fundamental problems we have inherited over the years and two such problems are the lack of serious reforms in the PDRM and the tainted Judiciary.
Now the latest talk is on scholarships and the 50% ruling on Bumiputra equity. The latter is simply a carry-over of the past policy and is not likely to impress anyone with the same old "crutch mentality" after more than 35 years.
The NEP will soon become a grandfather policy and sadly, the Bumis are never going to catch up with anyone - least of all the connected cronies in the BN.
I guess that many in the BN are now feeling the heat as they know if a fair general elections is held anytime soon, the BN could lose the federal government.
To me that would be the best thing that Malaysia needs as it will provide the BN the best chance to undergo radical changes.
It may be painful for some but that will surely put us on the path to a more progressive Malaysia.
Just look at Indonesia - I daresay that in the past 6 years they have matured more than us in the political sense.