Friday, March 29, 2013

UNDECIDED? Watch "Malaysia - A Question of LOYALTY"

I delivered this speech at a ToastMasters Speech Contest. Please feel free to share - it will help new voters and also those who are undecided.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Malaysia- To Change or NOT to Change?

The General Elections will be held soon and it is important for all voters to decide what issues are important to them. Ultimately, you have the POWER to choose the party that leads us in government. I hope this video can help you to decide.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

malaysiakini and the Pandora's Box in Sabah.....

This letter by Mariam Mokhtar is a good report of what has gone wrong in Sabah. She describes Najib's affairs all off-target and even if she does not have all the secret documents, it makes a compelling read.

What exactly went wrong in Sabah?

I have the following broad items that could relate to our current dilemma:

Malaysia has been instrumental in getting the peace accord between the Philippines and MNLF signed so that peace(?) has broken out in southern Philippines. In the process, those that lost out in the peace deal may not want to lay down their weapons and looked further south (ie Malaysia) for a soft target.

For unknown reasons or reasons best known to only a few, Malaysia has given out and still giving ICs to many illegals of dubious loyalty. For instance, it has been recorded that the locals in Sabah are now outnumbered by many of these have an IC given under Project IC?

Those armed intruders may have many relatives and supporters among those given ICs and maybe the "new citizens" believe that the time is right to reclaim Sabah for their own? After all, if you outnumber the locals, you can even elect the new state government! Also the RCI that is going on has revealed many aspects of Project IC that may have spooked the "new citizens" as many Malaysians are really angry at how the BN regime has cheated in past elections.

Pandora's box has been opened in Sabah and it is hoped that the authorities take the following measures to restore some confidence of Malaysians in the instruments of state:

1.Suspend all election campaigning and re-convene an Emergency sitting of Parliament. If the Cabinet are BLUR on how to handle the situation, let our MPs debate the security issues.

2.Produce the list of all the "instant citizens" registered under Project IC and these names to be removed from the Electoral Rolls. Grant them and their children PR status; with the children granted citizenship after 18 years with good behaviour and passing the citizenship test.

3.Take legal actions against the leaders involved in Project IC unless it can be proved that the matter was debated in Parliament and approved. 

Simply killing the armed intruders will not solve the Sabah issues. Those men are just symptoms of the larger problems we are facing.
ALLAH help us to do the right thing!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Venice Adventure (6)

When you have 5 nights in a city, you tend to take things a little easy for we normally plan for 3 nights only.
The next day we headed to San Marco again for it is the heart of all activities; especially during the Carnevale. We made use of the free shuttle provided by the hotel and as you can see no one else was on the water taxi.

This is the expensive shopping arcade around the San Marco area; mostly branded goods - you know the saying - "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it!" You can see some walking costumes in the distance.

Isn't that a colourful pair? They had a long runway!
This girl in red was posing for a photo shoot and we too were allowed to take her photo. Is that supposed to be an apple in her hands?

A detailed look at some of the really intricate masks for sale. These will cost hundred of Euros!

We wanted to get to San Giorio across the water and returned to the vaporetti stops-some face painters were located here and business was brisk.  

This family was taking in the sights too or rather, everyone was attracted to their bright and interesting costumes - the Orange family, perhaps?
That twirling pleated skirt can confuse you!

We took the No2 vapo and took the lift to the first landing in the spire of San Giorgio. The church charges EU3 for the lift and it is worth it for there are no windows etc to block the view. We were a little early and there was no one there except us for a few minutes. I guess the Carnevale attractions had reduced the number of visitors?    

This is the church of La Salute that forms a triangle with San Marco and San Giorgio - one of the many churches and museums we did not visit.

This is one of the most popular and familiar views of Venice - Saint Mark's square taken from across the water in San Giorgio.

For art lovers, there are thousands of paintings to be viewed in Venice - mostly religious scenes and many of the work is displayed in churches. This was in the Correr Museum - note the security device at the bottom right corner of the frame.

This was dinner for the day. We bought half a roasted chicken and a few potatoes from a supermarket. There is a Co-op chain in Venice but the locations are not prominent; except for the one opposite the vaporetta stations at Piazzale Roma. (we missed it on the first night in the storm)

Two questions for you to do: 1.How much is the cost of dinner?

2. Was there enough food for 2 of us?
We had some food leftover - salad would have been nice! You need to click on the smaller photo to see the prices- Bon appetit!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Vision 2020 or "Malaysia Dreamin' "

PAKATAN have published their manifesto whereas BN has not- maybe it's their "no debate" culture? I wrote this in July 2005 and it was published in malaysiakini.

In view of the imminent Elections, you can use this article as a guideline to evaluate what each side have to can even add more items to the list. 
/What you can do is print a copy and then do a 5 minute marking on all the points -
+ if you think the item is passable or
- if you think it is not acceptable

As we prepare to celebrate our 47th anniversary of Merdeka, it is a good time to reflect on Malaysia’s progress and discuss how we can prepare for the challenges ahead.

Malaysia is truly a blessed country with abundant rainfall, no natural disasters, tremendous oil and gas reserves, a population with a pragmatic mind-set, a good infrastructure of roads and transport links, a well established manufacturing base, and fantastic conditions to grow estate crops like oil palm, rubber, cocoa and timber.

However, if we read some of the letters being sent to newspapers and Malaysiakini, there is a growing concern that our tropical paradise is in jeopardy.

These are some of the main issues concerning Malaysians:

 We had the world’s tallest building but yet cannot provide basic housing for the masses.

 We have many links to overseas universities but yet churn out graduates who cannot read and write English.

 We have a grandiose palace of justice but yet cannot dispense justice in a timely manner.

 We have some of the world’s best talents but yet are not prepared to induce them to stay here.

 We have grand plans for education and yet cannot produce teachers of caliber.

 We have a sophisticated identity check system and yet a million illegal immigrants roam freely.

 We have a large car population and also qualify to be among the world’s worst drivers.

 We fly the most flags to show patriotism but break the laws without a blink.

 We build the grandest places of worship and yet deny others a basic freedom of religion.

 We entice talented former citizens to return and yet deny many young talents the chance to develop.

 We parrot the most slogans but maintain the minimum of programs.

 We spend funds on public inquiries but yet are kept in the dark on the findings.

 We have made the most changes to our constitution and yet we are less free now compared to the time of our nation’s birth.

 We remained silent as others trampled on our constitution and still we are too afraid to discuss our diminishing rights.

 We reelect the same members of Parliament who have looked after only their own self-interests.

 We have abundant water resources and yet we can experience supply shortages.

 We can develop modern townships and yet cannot preserve our vital bio-diversity.

 We boast a modern society and yet cannot select our local town council.

 We all perceive corruption to be a major ill and yet it is always someone else’s problem.

 We provide thousands of scholars the best education but take no action when they refuse to return home.

We have become the frogs in the cooking pot, where the heat has been so slowly raised that we cannot jump out but are being slowly cooked.

With so many problems in our society, only a population that has more sense than the leadership has enabled Malaysia to progress. In other words, we have advanced despite bad management of our resources.

However, this may not hold true in the future. As the population increases and more of our best talents leave for whatever reasons, the ratio of talents to incompetents will decrease and the day will come when it is just not sustainable and our outputs will fall dramatically. This is the reason why the NEP was discarded, as the country cannot afford to sustain an ever-increasing number of citizens with the “give me” mentality.

Whether we are prepared or not, global forces are going to impact on our country.
Perhaps our athletes’ disappointing results in the Olympics can serve as a major wake-up call. Failure in sports does not provide a killer blow but failing to compete in international markets will be a calamity of the highest order.

Already China and India have drawn billions of dollars in investments and are starting to flex their economic muscle. We should apply the words of our PM about “working harder and longer” in order to compete. I agree – Malaysia should work harder with better policies to ensure that the brain drain is minimized so that we have the best chance to compete on the global scene.

Otherwise, we should just avoid too high a population growth as we are going to need the present land just to support a population of farmers and fisherman – that is if we have not already destroyed all our fish resources.

When and Why Did We Unravel Good Systems?

Just as the MEB is being presented for Royal Assent for whatever reason, I repost this article taken from ( posted in July 2006.
It is good that the Education Ministry is taking steps to improve the student/teacher ratio in schools.
It must be a real headache for a teacher to manage classes of 40 plus students.
Even private schools should be required to fulfill the minimum ratios.

What is disconcerting is that they are only now going to impose bonds for teachers citing a mismatch between vacancies in states and teacher supply.

I find this rather strange. In the late 70s, teachers were trained mainly in colleges in Pantai and Penang and all those who passed expected to be posted anywhere for a few years. So when was this service requirement abolished?

The other news is the requirement to lodge a police report on the loss of MyKad before you could apply for a new one. I believe the law required you to apply for a temporary IC from the police as soon as you lose this security document. So why did someone approve this short cut of being able to apply for another MyKad without proper screening?

It seems that we have not progressed but regressed. We removed perfectly good procedures and adopted slack administration that has caused a security problem and thousands of teachers who are not going to be happy with rural postings.

The buck stops with the authorities responsible for the departments concerned.

Photo: Unending problems like the flow over Niagara Falls