Friday, July 30, 2010

malaysiakini and the EVOLVING MINDS of Malaysians

The charging of a former Transport Minister over the billion ringgit and counting PKFZ scandal hardly raised the eye-brows of many sceptical Malaysians as they know that under the Bankrupsi Negara regime, no significant person has ever been convicted and jailed for a major corruption scandal.
You can read the reactions of malaysiakini readers in the article headed End of direct nego: 'BN's words mean nothing'.
Malaysians have not forgotten that during the Lingam commission, leading actors were able to put up a defence of "cannot remember" all the minor details that could have implicated them.
So now we have a Tun being charged in court. Why should anyone be surprised that even a Tun can be tried? After all, it is merely a title bestowed on a human and we know that many people of dubious character have been given various titles but that does not confer on them any special powers.

But back to this PKFZ case:
It definitely contains elements of the most simplistic means of stealing from the government and taxpayers:

1.Government official/s decide on a major mega project that involves land.
2.Set up the land transaction deals via a crony company.
3.The latter then becomes the dealer for the entire project; pocketing millions in easy money.
4.The project gets passed back to taxpayers; mostly with major problems.

Based on the track record of the BN government, it has always made major decisions on collective responsibility. This implies that all details of this major infrastructure project would have been carefully vetted for viability and we have so many people in the PM's EPU to study such deals to figure out if any project will lose money for the government.
So my question is:
"How is it that only the former minister is being charged?"
He could not have acted alone and what about the crony party that was able to manipulate such a deal?
Now that MACC is able to question suspects round the clock, it seems that Ling appears to be some sort of sacrificial lamb.
As for forgetful witnesses, I suggest all the Minutes of Cabinet Meetings be made public so that we lift the veil of secrecy over such meetings and related documents. Unless of course such meetings are just time-wasting exercises. The OSA can be put aside for such important issues like stealing from the public.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Little Praise for British Airways

I am not sure if BA has managed to settle their industrial dispute but my wife and I used their services recently when the problems had not yet been resolved.
We were both impressed that the cabin crew acted professionally and we did not feel that any problems existed woth management.
Well done to the crews of the flights to and from Singapore to London.
BA also does not practice age discrimination against female cabin crew unlike Asian airlines that ground you past a certain age.
One other note:
Last year when we used BA, we were put on a service operated by Qantas and the plane experienced some turbulence. Unlike the BA crew who continued serving meals even when the entire plane was rocking, the Qantas captain promptly ordered the service stopped and we did not get a hot meal prior to landing in Singapore - they just gave us biscuits and a hot drink.
Of course we cannot complain about not getting food if there is a safety issue but I think the airline can give out food vouchers like S$5 each so travellers can get a bite at the airport upon landing as a substitute.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Malaysia's Future BLEAK with Dismal FDIs

The UN report on FDIs for Malaysia tells a sorry tale of dwindling investments as Malaysia appears to be an unattractive place for foreign investors.
If you look at the chart, you will notice that apart from a drastic drop in capital inflows, more local investors are moving overseas.
The average outflow for the 10 years from 1995 to 2005 was RM6.36bil but in 2008, the figure jumped about 8 times to RM48bil and in 2009 the amount was RM25.77bil.
No doubt the investments into Indonesia and Thailand also dropped in 2008 and 2009 but the capital inflows in these two countries for 2009 is four times that for Malaysia.
Also both Thailand and Indonesia have a net gain in investments whereas for Malaysia, we have a net loss of a staggering RM21bil.
This means that investors are leaving the country and even Malaysians now prefer to invest elsewhere.
Unfortunately for Malaysia, the government is still adopting the "Ketuanan" attitude and this is causing much hardship to all Malaysians.
To me the only way to reverse the investment decline is to vote out the Bankrupsi Negara government that has not learned to govern justly even after more than 40 years in power.
It is time for voters in Malaysia to learn from the Filipinos and Indonesians that changing the government is a normal exercise in a democratic nation.

Table: thanks to malaysiakini

Laughter Yoga on the ms EURODAM

My wife and I returned from a cruise in the Baltic about 2 weeks ago. It was a 10-day cruise on the Eurodam, the latest addition of the Holland America Line.
The cruise took us to Kiel in Germany, Tallinn in Estonia, St. Petersburg in Russia, Helsinki in Finland, Stockholm in Sweden and Copenhagen in Denmark.
During the cruise, I conducted a few sessions of LY on board. LY is a method of using laughter to exercise and it can be enjoyed by all.
During one of the sessions, a passer-by just joined in the fun and he enjoyed it so much he came for each session after that and also brought his wife along. Give it a try if you get a chance - there is probably a Laughter Club near you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who is Running the SHOW? The Prime Minister or his Wife?

Just a few days after Malaysians were shocked at the withdrawal of more subsidies for fuel, gas and sugar the wife of the Prime Minister comes out with another demand as reported in malaysiakini's article Rosmah wants MOF to fund Wisma Wanita in all states after she opened a Wisma Wanita in Sabah.
The PM should control his wife from making such demands as she does not hold any official post in the government. Of course, she can use her charms to sweet talk her husband but this demand is out of line.
Why would any state have to spend say RM30mil just for another building project? Instead of demanding money from her husband who controls the MoF, she should do some earnest work to raise funds from the private sector or are UMNO cronies keeping a tight rein on their purses?
Besides if the Wanita programs are useful, there is no need for any special building as we have thousands of vacant shop-lets available in most towns.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

You Must LEARN This in Bolehland

The NEW BolehSPEAK for Malaysians
Here is a summary of catch phrases that all Malaysians should learn. After all it is now 2010 - years after George Orwell’s famous 1984.

Unacceptable = Approved
Price Increase = Upward Price Adjustment
Commission for Contract = Maintenance Programs
Government Flip-Flop = Reconsideration of Decision
Corruption = Facilitation Services
Crony Deals = Negotiated Contracts
Project Cost Over-runs = Project Enhancements
Leadership Crisis = Consultative Leadership

Finally all Malaysians should learn the following:
Leadership Renewal Process = You are FIRED! For the Bankrupsi Negara leaders.
Can you suggest a few more “approved” phrases?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Of SUBSIDIES and WANTON Wastages......

It so happened I topped up my car tank yesterday with cheaper fuel and so saved maybe RM5 on a full tank.
The government has been quite bold in removing subsidies from fuel, gas and sugar as all these items will directly affect consumers. They have also done a study to show that your favourite "teh tarik" should cost no more than 1.25sen based on these increases.
I guess such studies are both meaningless and worthless as petty traders and kopitiams will not bother with such details. Besides no ever raises prices by 5sen these days? So expect to pay at least 10sen price increase for all controlled food items or a 5% drop in quantity.
Of course the government is in a quandry as its own Minister has declared that we are headed for bankrupcy like Greece by 2020 if if keep on doing the same things like spending beyond our means.
Not all the blame can be laid on ordinary folks who strive to earn an honest living. The government has to support Bankrupsi Negara cronies who have caused massive losses in projects like Bakun, PKFZ and dubious commission or corruption schemes like the Scorpene purchases.
Now to top it all, it has been revealed that at least RM4billion was spent by the Prime Minister's department for 2010 to pay more than 43,000 civil servants. That sounds unbelievable but true and the figures were given by another minister. Somewhere in Putrajaya, there is a small town's population churning out useless info like that useless bit of data like 1.25sen teh tarik increase.
I daresay this PM's budget and the 43,000 civil servants should be posted to the Guiness Book of World Records.
Malaysia truly Boleh!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The WAY to Decide Elections?

I've been away on a cruise to the Baltic and only managed to catch the first half of the World Cup in London at the airport just before boarding the aircraft home.
I thought the Dutch would win as they had a more robust team with a few good strikers of the ball while the Spanish had the more painstaking game with so many passes before a shot a goal.
Anyway it was a fair result that Spain is now the World Champion.
You would have all heard about Paul the octopus who surpassed all other betting systems to get all the predictions right.
Someone sent me this photo via email and I am sure it is being widely circulated now.
So I guess Bankrupsi Negara will share the same thought as some German restaurant owners who may want to offer octopus rings on their menu!