Monday, October 25, 2010

A Disturbing ACCIDENT Caused by NEGLIGENCE?

I find this incident rather disturbing and wonder if the event cound have been prevented if we had higher safety standards on highways, especially those operated by PLUS.
Unfortunately the news report from the Star only describes it as a freak accident.
To me those photos tell a story that has not been properly checked out.
The following questions should be answered:
1.How old was the signage and when was the last time it was inspected?
2.What was the cause of the sign falling? The direct impact of the lorry or missing bolts from the base of the sign?
3.Did the bolts shear off from the impact or was there not enough thread on the nuts for a secure bolting to the foundation?
4.What was the quality of the welded structure like? Too often one can see examples of inadequate welding for structures, slightly better than spot welding but with inadequate fillet in the joint - just go inspect the RM2bil CIQ in JB and one can see poor welding.
I wonder if MIROS is conducting an inquiry into the sign failure.
Also the unfortunate victim should be adequately compensated by PLUS and anything less than RM1mil is inadequate compensation.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Malaysian Women Politicians Selling Themselves Short.....

This is an interesting article from the UMNO General Assembly.
Finally a woman has requested a fairer share of the top posts in government.
But are the Members qualified and ready to hold top positions?
If we look at other Asian countries, we have had women holding the post of President(Pakistan, Philippines) and even Prime Minister (India, Bengladesh)
So why are UMNO leaders so hesitant to aim for the very top?
Is it because Wanita UMNO is so configured that it must always play second fiddle to the men?
It seems that UMNO is not only racist but also sexist.
It is time we recognised women as equal partners for nation-building.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Budget 2011- How to REDUCE the Civil Service Costs and Boost the Economy

To me there are 2 problems that should be tackled to redress the problem of manpower and resources.
1.The civil service is overstaffed by possibly 30% and this has contributed to ever increasing operating costs, both direct and long term as in pensions and health costs.
2.Over dependence on foreign workers who are working in factories as operators, supervisors and technicians. While foreign workers do contribute to GDP, they tend to remit billions overseas that could boost the local economy if spent in Malaysia.
This Budget does not suggest how we could train the civil servants to take up some of these jobs being done by foreign workers.

I suggest the government freezes all recruitment unless the post is really critical and starts a 3-year program to train all temporary staff to take up jobs in the private sector. This is where skills training can play a more meaningful role to train people to become useful to industry.

Such training should be on a co-pay basis; with the employee paying 30% of costs until the skills upgrading is successful and he/she is placed in industry - then the full training costs can be claimed. Those who decline this option will not have their contract renewed.

In my opinion, we should target a more balanced budget with the ratio of operating:development costs being reduced to below 40%. This means that for every RM1of government revenue, only RM0.40 is needed to run the government and RM0.60 available for development.
You will find that many international companies are able to achieve this type of ratio.
Government in Malaysia has become too BIG and so INEFFICIENT. It is time we CHANGED the government to remove much of the DEADWOOD.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Malaysia Budget 2011 - Now Anyone Can become a HIGH-INCOME Person!

Are Malaysians so naive? When they refer to "high income" it means that some BN cronies will be getting highly lucrative contracts. PERIOD.

What is so special about the 100-storey megatower? It will probably cost more per square metre than any building in Malaysia.

This budget is like claiming that you can become a "high-income" person if you go out and spend all your savings and reserves on a Maserati and buy a mansion with a swimmming pool. Of course it will be enjoyable for a while but it is a surefire way to bankruptcy!

Malaysia will go bankrupt within 3 years unless moderates decide to vote a change of government in the next General Elections.
ALLAH help us all as the lunatics are now in control of the asylum!

PHOTO: Thanks to

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Budget 2011 Malaysia-A Blatantly Biased Election Ploy!

Just see who are the main beneficiaries and you will know whom the government is trying to win votes from.

1.Civil servants with a whole package of perks as if the civil service bill is not burdensome enough.
2.New younger voters who have not brought their first homes.

Some trinkets the government is giving us:
1.Cheaper handbags, shampoos and fancy underwear like Victoria's Secrets.
2.Tolls freeze for 5 years.

Meanwhile we have more mega-projects lined up like a 100-storey iconic(?) building that cannot be economically feasible plus a RM65mil renovation project for the PM's house-that really is the icing of the cake! People are struggling to get low-cost homes and the PM can justify a RM65mil facelift for a house that is less than 10 years old.
The other tax that will hit taxpayers hard is the 20% increase in service tax; from 5% to 6%. This will be imposed on all businesses that collect the tax and I expect most families will have to pay an extra RM20 to RM50 each month for service tax.
The only bright news is that Malaysians can undo this foolhardy budget by voting out the BN regime in the General Elections.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Miners RESCUE in Chile and Lessons for Malaysia

The 33 miners who were trapped for 69 days have been rescued amid emotional scenes and it was good to see the Chilean President and Mines Minister warmly greeting each rescued worker.
The rescue is a heroic undertaking for both the rescue teams and the trapped miners and this story is indeed one of human endurance and the heroism that humans can display in times of distress.
What is interesting is that the rescue effort was based on the principle of "under promising and over delivering" in order not to raise false hopes.
This is what the BN government needs to learn as past experience shows that the leaders promise much but deliver little.
Just like how the ETP promises to make Malaysia a developed nation by 2020 propelled by massive spending on dubious mega-projects. Do you believe we can achieve all the objectives of Vision2020 by even 2030?
I have my doubts but I hope it can be achieved by then.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Killer Roads, Killer Drivers or an Incompetent CVLB?

We are now witnessing the usual hand-wringing exercise of the authorities after the horrific crash that killed 12 people along the North-South Highway.
This is not the first case involving express buses and usually after a few weeks of noise, everything returns back to "business as usual".
Even now the association of bus companies is trying to deflect blame on inadequate guard rails as reported in this article.
Thus far I have read of thorough checks being done on the bus brake and steering system and the tyres and also checking the "black box".
I wonder if they will check the health records of the bus driver- did he suffer a heart attack or other health problem before the accident?
Why is the black box being checked only after a tragic accident? I thought these data recorders are most useful as a management tool to haul up errant drivers.
What is the record of the company in using this important tool?
I also watch the incredulous interview by an official CVLB stating that new express bus licences are being suspended to enable them to keep better control of existing bus companies. I suggest that this incident shows the CVLB is incompetent to even look after the existing bus companies.
Maybe having too few companies prevents the CVLB from suspending errant companies as the public has no other alternative if the only express bus on a particular route is suspended.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lee Kuan Yew's EULOGY......

I am an admirer of LKY and always marvel at how Singapore has been able to transform a nation with zero resources to a vibrant international metropolis.
As a frequent visitor from Johor Baru, the difference between the 2 nations is like between day and night, in areas like cleanliness, public transport and government housing.
The loss of his beloved Kwa Geok Choo must be a very heavy blow as usually it is the wife who outlives her husband.
His eulogy was touching and included many aspects of their lives together.
However, I felt that part of his eulogy was a little inappopriate when he touched on relations with Malaysia and details of the water deal with Johor, a very sensitive point with Malaysians.
My suggestion for anyone who makes a speech is to get someone to check it. The point on politics with Malaysia would be appopriate for an interview or a book but not good taste for a eulogy; especially that for one's wife.
May she rest in peace

photo: thanks to