Saturday, October 31, 2009

P1 Wimax's "Sudah Potong?" Advertisement & Sexual Innuendo

THE “Cut Already?” P1 WiMAX advertisement has created a furore among several quarters, especially women’s groups, for its suggestive connotation, reported Nanyang Siang Pau.

Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Wanita chief Alice Lee urged the company to retract the advertisement because it made women feel uncomfortable.

“It was done in very bad taste and is filled with sexual innuendo,” she said.

Blogger Teo Bak Kim said he was surprised that the commercial was approved when the Government was well known to be strict in advertisement regulations.

“It is vulgar and its suggestive remarks set a trap for the audience to make the negative association,” he said.

Wanita MCA chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said she would write to the company and demand that the advertisement be pulled out.

“The company should apologise because the advertisement is insulting and it discriminates against women,” she said.

She also urged advertisement producers to be more sensitive and to stop making disrespectful commercials.

When did Alice Lee, Chew and a male blogger Teo become the voice of women in Malaysia? The P1 Wimax advertisement is not sexual in nature. I will explain why later.

Next, it would be more productive and sincere for the three to highlight the Penan women rape scandal and several attempted cover-ups in Sarawak if they are so concerned about the plights of women in Malaysia.

If would also be more helpful if they could help to urge the police to step up public security because a growing number of young women are falling prey to bogus policemen, bomohs, rapists and criminals.

At the most, the "Cut Already?" advertisement is hinting at an act of circumcision or 'sunat' in Islam. Information on circumcision can be found on the internet.

Moreover, the act is considered a religious obligation or a 'sunnah' in Islam and is widely practiced. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), global estimates suggest that 30% of males are circumcised, of whom 68% are Muslim.

Medically, it is often argued that circumcision provides positive health advantages which may lower urinary tract infections and the spread of other sexual diseases.

So where is the sexual innuendo as claimed? A successful protest to ban this advertisement is akin to a ban of Beyonce's concert. Moreover, the sexy singer moves are probably more seductive than a bunch of normal looking chaps talking about "potong" (cut) in a coffee shop.

When did Chew and her accomplices turn into Chinese Talibans?

I know the reason why Chew is doing this - to pressure P1 Wimax to withdraw the advertisement.

Malaysians are more light hearted than what Chew thinks. If we can still stay sober looking at the comedic and senseless fiascoes in both Perak and MCA, we can handle the P1 Wimax advertisement.

She should spend her valuable time trying to come clean on the Pempena mismanagement, misappropriation and poor investment decision which had cost the taxpayers' more than RM45 million. The impact of this scandal is worse than a harmless advertisement.

Issshhhh!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

1Malaysia Camp: Supposed to Unite Not Divide Forever

The camp was supposed to help unite Malaysians of various races. But it turned out to be a tragedy which had separated parents from their children forever.

Here is another tragic news:

T Nathan, 45, father of schoolgirl N Dina Deve, 11, who died on the night the suspension bridge collapsed, was devastated over the news of his daughter's death.

Broken-hearted, he could not take any meal and had to be put on the drip. On Thursday morning he passed out at his house in Mambang Diawan, near here, and died.

Yet, DPM Muhyiddin is adamant that these camps must go on. This programme is a waste of money, poorly planned and directionless.

Since Muhyiddin is so adamant, he should send his grandchildren there too. The same goes to all BN ministers and politicians.

If we have to depend on politicians to help unite the people, it would be a wait in vanity.

Muhyiddin should ask for UMNO to be more inclusive and cease being a racial party and stop championing race supremacy.

Dina Deve, Devatharshini and those who lost their lives in the National Service camps are worthless souls. These politicians treat our children like toys to satisfy their inability to stop abusing religion and race for their own political mileage.

Shame on you!

MCA Crisis: A Real Test of Popularity for Ong TK & Chua SL


At the press conference to announce their peace plan and pledge to work together, both Ong and Chua claimed that together they command more than 97 percent of support from MCA delegates.

This was based on the percentage of votes garnered by both Ong and Chua although the former lost a no-confidence vote and the latter lost his party position.

Both Ong and Chua had blamed an 'insignificant' third force for taking advantage of their dispute to knock out both leaders.

Ironically, some of the leaders alledgedly aligned to the third force have now emerged to call for fresh party elections.

Wong Nai Chee said he has already submitted a letter of request for the EGM to the MCA's headquarters. The letter was signed by 16 CC members.

According to the party's constitution, MCA secretary- general Wong Foon Meng has to issue an EGM notice within five days.

The two resolutions demanded by the Liow faction to be debated at the EGM are:

1. A motion to re-elect members for the entire MCA central committee. If approved, the central committee members have to be re-elected within 30 days.
2. A motion to declare null and void any changes in position made by the MCA president after Oct 10, 2009.

Theoretically, the remnants of 3% would not be able to threaten the majority of 97%. But several UMNO leaders e.g. Muhyiddin and Hishammudin are quite reluctant to accept status quo in MCA. Muhyiddin has urged the leadership to be transparent about the unity plan. Hisham has warned MCA not to drag the ROS into the crisis.

This is a test for both Ong and Chua. Do they really have the 97 percent support as claimed?

Budget 2010: More Industrial Parks but Where Are the Industries?


According the budget 2010, to support implementation of private sector projects in regional corridors, the government will allocate RM3.5 billion next year as part of efforts to ensure they are developed according to schedule.

Looks like the government is determined to build more industrial parks. The question is where are the industries?

As a consultant in the early 2001, I had conducted a customer satisfaction survey among 25 companies in the Cyberjaya. More than 75 percent of them were not satisfied with the high-tech industrial park.

Today, Cyberjaya is no longer the buzzword. There are Nusajaya (recently given a special personal income tax structure), PKFZ and the various regional corridors. Worse, some of these industrial parks have a poor take-up rate. PKFZ enjoys barely less than 20% occupancy.

It looks like building industrial parks is itself an industry in Malaysia. We are so good at building industrial parks but the country is facing a net outflow of investment when the rest of ASEAN are registering a net positive inflow.

Where are the industries?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Budget 2010: Public Transport Woes

PM Najib Razak said RM899 million will be allotted for rail facilities, RM820 million for ports and sea services and RM276 million for airport projects.

Surprisingly no mention was made regarding the upgrade and expansion of intra-city, intercity and rural-urban public transport system. There is a lack of connectivity between residential estates, office areas and public transport hubs e.g. LRT stations.

The whole public transport system has been quite piecemeal and inefficient. Using the public transport in Malaysia can also be quite expensive. A journey to the Pudu bus station from Petaling Jaya can cost a user more than RM20 if his/her housing area is not near a bus station which connects to the LRT station.

A foreign expatriate heading a major tourism board in Malaysia told me that a place like Penang needs a good, cheap and reliable public transport system in order to become a top tourist destination.

DAP's researcher Teh Chi-Chang pointed out accurately that the federal government should not run state based public transport. As a result, most of the cities (surprisingly including Kuala Lumpur) have suffered through a poor public transport system.

Tourists staying in Batu Feringghi would not venture out beyond 10pm fearing not being able to go back to their hotels. Hence, the city centre of Georgetown is anything but busy with activities. It is a boring dead city. It is a shame that it has yet to be able to live up to its world living heritage and culture status.

Buses were added only when there was an acute need. However, the number of buses and routes served are not adequate to provide a cheaper alternative to the public to assist their mobility.

Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat had recently taken a bus ride to experience for himself the public's frustration of the service. What is the government plan to help improve the public transport system?

Private car ownership is a burden to our consumption power. Most young graduates, many working in the sales and marketing line are obliged to buy a car, spend about 40% of their monthly salary on a car.

How many times do we have to remind the government to focus on the real issues? Funny, some civil servants are so reluctant to do something serious to address real issues but were so quick to help organise silly and risky events such as the 1Malaysia Camp to 'bodek' (apple polish) the government and impress the PM.

Najib said the government will also implement a more open automotive policy and will charge RM10,000 for each Approved Permit (AP) to distribute APs effective Jan 1 next year. AP will be scrapped after 2015.

My question is why only 2015? Why can't the AP be scrapped starting from next year if the government is serious enough to position Malaysia as a automotive hub? However, I am afraid that we have missed the boat. There is no way that we can match the prowess of Thai's Detroit.

Again, a portion of the fee will be channelled to the Bumiputera Development Fund in the automotive sector. How is the government going to determine that the fund is not going to go to the likes of Naza, Mofaz etc. which do not deserved to be helped?

Moreover, how many Malay SMEs can enter the auto parts market if the government does not change the whole education system to focus on merit and skills development?

I had a chat with a friend last night. Sadly, we both agree that Malaysia will be failed by the politicians.

Bad financial management, corruption and poor prioritisation will continue to bleed this nation.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1Malaysia 2Judiciary?

I read the latest development on the Perak assembly sitting on 28th October with great amusement.
It says: "The police today obtained an injunction from the Magistrate’s Court here preventing members of the public from entering within a 50-meter radius of the Perak State Secretariat building."

On what basis was the injunction granted? I wonder if the presiding judge has turned fortune teller. The order states that the court believed that although no applications were made to obtain permits, the gatherings would still be carried out.

The injunction is problematic and should be challenged on the basis that it infringes the democratic right of Perakians to attend the state assembly to follow a proceeding in an orderly manner. The state assembly is a symbol of people's power and democracy.

It is odd that the judiciary is interfering again in the Perak state assembly fiasco but rightly refuses to interfere with the decisions of the parliament.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo remains barred from the Dewan Rakyat after the High Court ruled that legislative proceedings cannot be challenged in court, in a decision which appears to go against an earlier Federal Court ruling.

The decision by the High Court relies on a generally accepted principle of Separation of Powers but contradicts a Federal Court ruling in April which said it was allowed to inquire into legislative proceedings.

If the court can issue an injunction to infringe the democratic rights of the people, can we obtain an injunction against the judiciary for not respecting the spirit of the federal and state constitutions?

This injunction is very odd. It puts the entire judiciary to test for not being able to act consistently and transparently. Its unpredictability calls for the setting up of a Judicial Commission to investigate irregularities of judges and their judgements.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beyond 1Malaysia - Stop Being Superficial

After the 1Malaysia songs have been composed, sang and composers celebrated and rewarded, it is time for the Najib administration to get down to do some serious work. There is a limit to what a 'feel good' jingle and slogan can do for the society.

Overall, the BN government has yet to show us that it is willing to undertake some serious reforms. Hence, its action does not match the feel-good publicity so far.

On race relations, there is very little change to the overall national development framework and agenda. There is little information on how the government intends to review or revamp the outdated New Economic Policy.

The reluctance of some its leaders to dismantle a policy which was closely associated with abuse, nepotism, racism and corruption is clearly demonstrated when they argued that the NEP objectives are still relevant. Surely this is true but its implementation has left these objectives irrelevant.

Najib had announced some very careful and measured liberalisation measures to unfreeze some service sectors from the rigid race quota but the market did not respond enthusiastically. Evidently, the foreign direct investment continued to plunge and the net investment flow was negative.

Years of policy flip flop and bureaucratic red-tape have created a sense of distrust that this liberalisation policy will be even be carried out by the relevant agencies e.g. EPU, Immigration, FIC, SC and others.

What Prime Minister Najib ought to do is to tell us precisely what is next after the NEP? Is there a life after the NEP? Does the BN government have a post-NEP strategy?

Beside these archaic and outdated policies, the government is faced with another serious task of tackling the economic bottlenecks. It has identified a need to enhance the earning per capita and to reduce the dependency on cost centric economic activities. The government aims to double the GDP per capita by the year 2020. It wants to attract more foreign talents into the country.

However, the Ministry of Human Resource has been quite reluctant to impose a minimum wage policy. Hence, employers continue to squeeze salary scale or use cheap foreign labour. The government did not indicate how it intends to enhance the income per capita of our employees.

Previously, a number of skilled expatriates who applied for a permanent resident status were frustrated by the process if they do not come from a certain social denomination. The government wants to make this process easier to attract foreign talents. This is a good move if it can be successfully implemented.

However, the government did not indicate how it intends to grow its home grown talents or to attract those who are working abroad to come home. Past strategies had failed miserably. Most left the country again because apart from the campaign to attract them home, everything else had remained the same.

What is clear is that both foreign and local talents can only be persuaded to stay if this system practices meritocracy and not favouritism. Is the government prepared to implement a full merit based system?

The same goes for the administration loud call to combat corruption but fall short of introducing a mechanism which could help to provide a comprehensive check-and-balance process to scrutinize all public projects.

Many of us felt the reluctance of the government to investigate serious corruption cases even when these cases have turned into mega controversies for the regime. Outcomes and recommendations of several Royal Commissions of Inquiry were ignored and cases were closed abruptly.

These examples have clearly shown that the government cannot hope to use its smartly designed PR campaign to divert our attention away from these issues anymore.

Until and unless there are more concrete initiatives to combat corruption, to end institutionalised racism, to curb abuse of power, the return the sanctity of separation of power to the constitution and to respect the democratic rights of the people, the 1Malaysia slogan will be remembered as yet another desperate attempt by politicians to preserve their position and power.

Until and unless more Malaysians wake up to the reality that this nation cannot progress on sweet talk and nice sounding slogans alone, this country will continue to fall behind other competitors in the region. Soon, Malaysia may be not even be in the top 3 bracket in the region.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Financial Prudence: Penang Praised

The Penang state government has received praise in the auditor general's 2008 report for its cost-cutting measures and prudent ways, which have resulted in the state's consolidated funds increasing 21.1% (RM178.45 million) from RM847.45 million in 2007 to RM1.02 billion in 2008.

The report says the state's expenditure was reduced by RM35.41 million or by 11.1% due to its cost-cutting measures and priority being given to spending on the people or for people-centric programmes.

The report lists the reasons for the reduction in expenses, which included only filling up critical vacancies, reduction in hotel expenses for seminars, courses and workshops, and also using cheaper air travel and government vehicles as modes of transportation for functions.

Other reductions in expenses include the freeze on new asset purchases and other uncommitted expenditure.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, an accountant by training said it was the first time that the state's consolidated funds reached above the RM1 billion mark.

The auditor general's report also named two state-owned agencies - the Penang Development Corp and the state financial department - as those among 16 agencies/departments in the country with a four star-listing for achieving above 90% in their financial management.

Credit should be given where it is due. Penang is a shining example of prudent financial management. Here is something the BN federal government can learn from Penang.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Budget 2010: A Turnaround Budget?


PM Najib Razak is taking a positive step to reduce the budget deficit to 7.4 per cent this year and 5.6 per cent in 2010. Yet, it is still not clear how the government intends to fund the deficit. Government's revenue has dropped by more than 8 percent to less than RM150 billion.

He has made initiatives to reduce operating expenditures by more than 13 percent. Attention is given to other economic sectors such as tourism, green technology, Islamic finance and others. Foreign participation is fully liberalised for a few areas in the financial sector.

One interesting note is a special low income tax of 15 percent being imposed strictly for the Iskandar economic development region but not for the rest of the country. I wonder how does the government going to monitor those who might just want to take advantage of the special tax relief by registering their work address in the region and provide their services elsewhere.

Moreover, the newly minted corridor depends skilled labour who might not work in the region to help in its development. These workers would have contributed to its growth but do not enjoy a special tax relief.

Like other budget speeches, we were not told how the government intends to set up a mechanism to ensure that the budget objectives are achieved. A good example is the Auditor General's report on the annual public expenditure which is mired with abuses, corruption, recklessness and wastage.

What is Najib going to do to ensure that there is a better financial management in the government agencies and departments?

It is interesting to note that the government intends to double the income per capita by the year 2020. Hopefully this is achieved not through a further devaluation of the ringgit.

A higher income must come with a higher skilled labour force. A skilled labour force can only be moulded through a good education system. What is Najib's strategy to enhance the quality of Malaysian education system?

Likewise, the government is also silent on how it intends to combat corruption. The way the government handles the PKFZ case should become a good benchmark. If the investigation drags on forever, the integrity of this government to enact serious reforms is going to flush down the toilet bowl.

MCA President Ong Tee Keat promised to make PKFZ the model of accountability for all publicly funded projects. I hope he does not disappoint us and will continue to investigate the scandal without fear or favour. The failure to do so will tarnish not only the BN but also the goodwill of Ong.

We know how the money is going to be spent. What we need to know is whether the money spent will create a maximum value for the country.

I would like to engage readers on the budget 2010 and on ways to help improve the country. Let me hear your thoughts.
Picture courtesy of MalaysianMirror.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Korean Cultural Fest: Classical Music Blends With B-Boy Dance






It was not that bad for a group which was formed in 1997 and misspelled their group name. It was supposed to be called 'Reverse' but ended up as 'Rivers'. But the group spokesman said the name 'Rivers' holds more meaning for the group.

They want to continue promoting the B-Boy dance culture as long as their physical and mental condition permits. Rivers crew has won as many as 6 competitions worldwide.

Enjoy!

Royal Commission of Inquiry for Teoh Beng Hock's Death?

Here is another probable outcome should a RCI is formed:

The government has said it will not prosecute a lawyer who featured in a sensational video where he appeared to broker judges' appointments.

The decision to drop the most controversial VK Lingam case as revealed early this week by the government has drawn sharp criticisms from the legal fraternity as well as politicians.

Those who are calling for yet another wasteful, irrelevant and non-productive RCI, they should instead participate in mass voters' registration activities and make sure that these newly registered voters come out to cast their votes in the next general election.

Vote for justice. Vote out abuse of power. Vote out corruption. Vote out racism.

Vote for your future and the future of your children.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Justice for Beng Hock is Justice for All Malaysians

A Pathologist View:

Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand told the Coroner’s Court this morning that there was an 80 per cent probability that Teoh Beng Hock’s death was a homicide and not suicide, and suggested that some of his injuries were sustained before his fatal fall.

She said that Teoh’s injuries showed he could have been strangled and that he sustained anal penetration before he fell to his death earlier this year.

Using a graphics presentation, she told the court that not all the injuries sustained by Teoh were consistent with that of a fall.

The skull fracture on Teoh’s head, she said, was not typical of an injury from a fall, but more compatible from blunt force applied directly to the skull.

She also noted round marks on Teoh’s neck which could mean “manual strangulation” with fingers.

An Act of Desperation:

At the inquest, several parties have tried to use some unrelated issues e.g. Beng Hock's financial situation, his female housemate and a psychology test to strengthen their case that he might have committed suicide.

The harder these parties try to use these unreasonable and illogical tactics, the more they would be made to look like desperadoes.

Justice for Beng Hock is not justice for Pakatan or DAP. Justice for Beng Hock is justice for his widow, his unborn child and for all Malaysians. We cannot allow the use of coercive force and abuse of authority go unpunished.

Monday, October 19, 2009

BN Perak Government Maybe Legal But Not Moral

Prime Minister Najib Razak told Perak folk today to accept that Barisan Nasional’s (BN) takeover of the state government earlier this year was done according to the law.

“I hope the people will accept that the due process of law has taken place in Perak; from the formation of the government and then back to the process in court."

“We will not do anything against the provisions of the law. We will follow the rules."

“The starting point was then they stole one of our ADUNs. So, they played the game actually, it was not us,” he said.

Najib's attempt to justify the Perak power grab casts doubt over his ability to understand the change this country needs and his ability to deliver it through his leadership in UMNO.

Perak power grab may have been endorsed by the courts but this does not mean that the process cannot be subjected to a full scrutiny by those who are well-versed with the constitutional process.

At best, the court's verdict is inconclusive. There were legal opinions which suggested that the court may have erred by ruling against the legality of the duly elected chief minister and assembly speaker. Some have questioned the use of public institutions e.g. the police, the state secretariat etc. to interfere with the legislature.

Another glaring flaw in Najib's assertion is the opinion of voters of the three constituencies where their elected representative had defected. Did the assemblymen seek a conclusive agreement from the voters? No. These voters would have welcomed the idea of being able to vote on their assemblymen's decision to defect.

Hence, should Perakians accept the BN government in Perak as legal? Najib should hold a referendum (direct state elections) if he wants to find out.

What is legal may not be moral and democratic e.g. the ISA, the OSA, the NEP, the Printing and Publication Act etc.

In the case of Perak, what is legal may not be democratic. The BN government is not a popularly elected government.

On who started the defection game is not the main issue now. It could have been Anwar and PR but it was BN which stole the government from the people.

It does not take a wrong to justify another. Najib was quick to ask his partner, MCA, to be moral in the party's next course of action. It is an advice for himself to ponder too.

Rhetoric apart, Najib should do better than this. This is why I have called for the people to measure the sincerity of politicians to initiative and implement change. Is Najib sincere enough to walk his talk?

The best way to prove is to call for a fresh state general election in Perak.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What to Expect at the Korean Cultural Festival?





Expect this to more explosive! Korean "Riverse' Crew, the R16 champions, will be making a special presentation. Come join us on 21st October at the Kompleks Kraf, Jalan Conlay.

Korean Cultural Festival 20-21st October in KL



Here is another good news for those who missed the Saranghaeyo Korea Festival in Kota Kinabalu.
The Embassy of Republic of Korea is organising a Korean Cultural Festival at the Kompleks Kraf, Jalan Conlay on the 20-21 October at 7.30pm. This event is supported by GFW.

The performance on 21st October is open to the public. Please come and enjoy an exciting Korean performance - traditional versus modern B-Boys.The visiting dancers are selected from the best in South Korea. The b-boy 'Rivers' crew were the R16 champions.
See you on the 21st October. Just come, no ticket is required. Look for me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

HAPPY DEEPAVALI


To all my friends and readers, may the good triumphs over evil.

We Should Heed Ku Li's Call

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah made an impassioned plea today for ordinary Malaysians to defend the supremacy of the country’s secular Constitution.

He also urged the public to demand from political parties the adherence to such constitutional principles like equality of rights, separation of powers and the prevention of discrimination.

Tengku Razaleigh said ordinary Malaysians should demand that all political parties should not be allowed to propagate economic and political policies which discriminate against any citizen.

Political parties should also refrain from involvement in business, he said.

“The question of whether the Federation should be an Islamic state, for example, was considered and rejected by the Rulers and by the representatives of the people. Had we wanted to be ruled by syariah, the option was on the shelf, so to speak, and could easily have been taken, because prior to this the states were ruled by the Sultans according to syariah law.

“The fact that we have a Constitution governed by common law is not an accident nor an external imposition. We chose to found our nation on a secular constitution after consultation and deliberation.”

Ordinary Malaysians, said Tengku Razaleigh, needed to demand from their political parties reforms that would embrace the spirit of the Constitution.

He said the entire political system needed reform to be in line not just with the Constitution but also the principles of the Rukun Negara.

“We should not expect our political parties to reform of their own accord. Leaders who owe their position to undemocratic rules and practices are the last people to accept reform."

Ku Li is calling for a new and permanent political awakening of all Malaysians. The outcome of the Bagan Pisang by-election is a good example which shows that Malaysians have yet to fully understand the need of a clean and credible leadership.

At the recent UMNO General Assembly, its leadership has spoken on the need for a true reform. A number of UMNO leaders especially its deputy president Muhyiddin is now confident that UMNO has changed just because the party has made some changes to its party constitution to allow for a wider participation from its members to choose their leaders.

UMNO wants MCA to emulate its change initiative.

I agree with Ku Li that UMNO's change initiative is not wide enough. The party must demonstrate that it is willing to respect the rule of law, separation of power, the dichotomy between party and government and the federal constitution.

UMNO's interpretation of respecting and protecting the interest of all Malaysians must not exist within the context of race discrimination, supremacy and a false sense of fairness. An UMNO which cannot accept that it needs to respect the equal rights of all Malaysians is not going to be able to reform successfully.

Politicians such as Ku Li will not be with us forever. It is best for Malaysians to heed his call. I had criticized him for not walking his talk by continue to stick to his party, UMNO. In this regard, I would like to apologize for my unnecessary outburst.

Regardless of his political affiliation, Ku Li has proven to us that he can still become a good leader who is sensitive to the needs and aspirations of a multiracial and secular Malaysia.

Supporters from both the political divide should learn to appreciate and respect good leaders. Political participation based solely on blind loyalty is not going to help this country to improve and progress.

Malaysia is at a cross roads.

I have said this many times and Ku Li has reaffirmed my statement - we cannot depend on the politicians to make the necessary change. We must demand for it.

Register to vote. Make an effort to come back to vote. Vote out racism. Vote out arrogance and abuse of power. Vote out corruption. Vote to ensure that Malaysia can continue to provide a viable and suitable environment for our next generations.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Should Ong Tee Keat Stay or Go?

Over the next few hours, some would try to tear each other apart (in the Wisma MCA boardroom) and others would be debating if the embattled MCA president Ong Tee Keat should stay or step down.

I have an advice for Ong. He should ride into the sunset if he thinks that change is so easy to initiate and achieve. His detractors can call Ong a bad politician. I was told that he was too straight forward to be able to lead the party. In the end, the crocodiles have made a mince meat out of him.

But no one can blame Ong for not trying to stand up against his detractors, trying to fulfill his pledge to be accountable to the people on the PKFZ and to try to change the political culture in his party.

Ong must accept a bitter lesson. A habit which tolerates immorality, corruption and tribalism cannot be simply changed once it has been embedded into the MCA culture. Since the 80's, which MCA leader was seen as clean and innocent as a white piece of paper?

Hence, what Chua Soi Lek did - his prowess, his comeback kid stamina and his determination - actually caught the sympathy and imagination from many of his male colleagues. Yes, many men think that having an affair with younger women is a prove of libido. It is a cause to be celebrated and a bragging topic over beer and chivas.

If Ong wants to fight for a change and to convince us that he is serious, he should emulate his opponents such as Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim.

The Lims and Anwar did not have it easy. Probably much tougher than a simple vote of no-confidence Ong faced at his party's EGM. A number of these delegates care more about their next session up Genting Casino than the outcome of the EGM anyway.

Ong may not like the Lims or Anwar but he should try to respect and emulate the struggle of these leaders who had faced detention, jail term and electoral defeat but came back with even more to offer.

Ong can choose to join the ranks of true national leaders and reformists or ended up as a cry baby or a whimper who walks away because some morally insensitive folks who thought he was not fit to lead them. They were just telling the truth. Many of us won't make the cut to lead the mafias.

Ong should go if he has lost his marbles to continue to fight for what he believes in. I still want the PKFZ to be investigated.

Are You Easily Stimulated?

I have been asked over and over again by the media if I am impressed with the promises and statements made by UMNO leaders at the party's AGM.

1Malaysia, UMNO to become a centrist party, Malays must lose the siege mentality, 1Tandas etc.

Are we that easily stimulated by slogans, statements and empty promises? Should I give Khairy an Oscar for being able to play different roles so well? The image of Khairy defending the notion of 'Ketuanan Melayu' and claimed that he would not apologize for protecting his community's interest is still livid in my mind.

Malaysia Insider says Khairy needs to be consistent. I applaud him if he has changed for the better, forever. However, I would like to remind Khairy that his speech at the recent UMNO General Assembly will come back to haunt him if he changes his position in the future. The next challenge for Khairy is to walk his talk - dismantle 'Ketuanan Melayu', stand up for his principle even if he might lose his position and walk the talk.

Of course, I would welcome the day when UMNO and other race based political parties decide to embrace all Malaysians.

I would be greatly moved if our politicians can focus on governance and not empty talks.

But, I am not that easily stimulated. Nope, I do not need a Viagra. I need to see some sincerity and action from these politicians.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Rise of MCA Crocodiles

The before the dust of EGM clears up, some of the MCA leaders are already gearing up for another battle to wrestle the crown from the fallen leaders, Ong Tee Keat and Chua Soi Lek.

The two most obvious choices are vice-presidents Kong Cho Ha and Liow Tiong Lai. Others include Ng Yen Yen, Tan Kok Hong, Wee Ka Siong or even Chew Mei Fun.

However, should party elections be called, other former top MCA leaders like Dr Fong Chan Onn, Donald Lim Siang Chai or Ong Ka Chuan are likely to join the race to fill the leadership vacuum.

Chua Soi Lek may also try to make a comeback.

Too bad. Whoever leads the party will not be able to excite the Chinese community. The new leadership will still need to explain to us how it intends to handle the PKFZ fiasco. It has to explain to the people why its delegates did not support the endeavour of its party president to address the crisis.

Any attempt of the new leadership to sweep the PKFZ fiasco under the carpet will be dealt with severely at the next general elections.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Good Night, Feudal Malaysia!

Isa Samad won because he was a very popular chief minister of Negri Sembilan. The Chinese community had benefited from his largess. Yes, kiss the hand that feeds you. Never mind if it was something a chief minister or any elected representative was supposed to do - taking care of his people's interests.

Never mind if he was corrupted. A number of Malaysian Chinese still believe that it is okay for a leader to be corrupted as long as he/she can bring development. Hence, for years many of them had a bitter sweet relationship with Dr Mahathir.

They voted overwhelmingly for him when the economy was doing well and punished him when the economy was not doing well. It did not matter if Dr Mahathir was an autocrat. Never mind if he had acted undemocratically and harshly against his political enemies.

On Saturday, the MCA delegates voted to keep a similar rotten culture in their party.

Isa may have won. Chua Soi Lek may be thrilled to see his opponent being disposed. Isa and Chua did not win.

Ong Tee Keat may have been rejected but he did not lose. But he would be remembered as a casualty of those who would not hesitate to do anything to protect their own interest and wrongdoing. His next move will determine if he will enjoy the last laugh.

This nation has lost another chance to change and to reject the bad.

Good night, feudal Malaysia. Continue to kiss the hands of your corrupted leaders, no matter how dirty and smelly they are.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In Frame: MCA in Dilemma

The party delegates have spoken. Both leaders, Ong Tee Keat and Chua Soi Lek, were rejected by the delegates.
Ong lost a vote of no-confidence by a mere 14 votes. Chua was reinstated as a member of MCA but did not manage to retain his deputy president position.

Ong was rejected because his leadership style has upset a number of delegates. He was seen as arrogant and aloof. A number of delegates complained that Ong did not use the proper process to deal with Chua's sexual scandal. Chua was not seen as a desirable choice to take over the party too.

However, a vote of no-confidence is not a vote for the removal of the president but it should be enough to trigger a resignation of a leader who has lost the vote. Ong is expected to step down from the party leadership.

MCA is facing a serious leadership crisis at the moment. None of the leaders appear to be ready to take over the party leadership. The party leadership is already seen as weak and meek when facing UMNO in the coalition.

The exit of Ong Tee Keat and Chua Soi Lek will further weaken its leadership.

It is best for the party to call for a fresh election. The outcome of MCA EGM is a tragedy.

Manhand - The Best of 988


Local rap group, Manhand, has been voted as the most popular Malaysian artiste by the DJs of several radio stations. They received their award at the 9th Global Chinese Music Award special function at Redbox, The Gardens.

The award giving ceremony was organised by 988.
Manhand will perform at a countdown concert in Penang. Details to be confirmed.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Peril of Mahathirism

NEAC chairman Amirsham Aziz does not have to look so far e.g. Taiwan, South Korea and Eastern Europe to find out what is wrong with the Malaysian economy.

It might be more productive and effective for Amirsham and his team to study the peril and consequences of Mahathirism.

The Malaysian economy over the last few decades has been dictated and influenced by Mahathirism, a mix of socio-political economic model introduced by the nation's longest serving PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Mahathirism is a unique blend of social and political interests which were used to define the major economic policies.

The New Economic Policy was subtlely transformed into a main policy which was used as a symbol of the Malay/UMNO political and social dominance. The nexus has made it very difficult for any administration after Mahathir to try to change or repeal the economic policy without facing a major repercussion or protest from the community.

Hence, the economic liberalisation step undertaken by Prime Minister Najib Razak was limited in scope and impact. Only sectors and sub-sectors which do not have a high participation of bumiputeras were liberalised.

Ironically, a renowned US ivy league has found his economic liberalisation effort so significant and interesting until it merits a comprehensive study. It was reported that the Harvard Business School in Boston will undertake a case study on Najib’s "courageous and bold initiatives to tackle the financial crisis."

There is another irony. This announcement did not come from the university spokesman but from the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia president G. Gnanalingam.

By now, it should be clear that Najib's economic liberalisation programme is neither 'courageous' nor 'innovative'. There was no follow up on any further liberalisation. If any, Malaysia is only playing catching up compared to more liberal economies in the region such as Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and even Indonesia.

There are still restrictions to foreign ownership, land transaction, equity ownership, public procurement, licensing and others. There is little change in the bureaucracy which hampers any reform effort.

Najib's stimulus package of RM60 billion created limited ripples. Until today, only a fraction or 20 percent of the amount has been used. Since the extra budget is spread over 3 years, it will not generate a significant growth for the local economy.

Najib still does not have an answer to restructure the economy which is overly dependent on low cost and low skilled foreign labour. His NEAC chief has identified this as a core concern. Najib has asked for a strategy to be identified to attract local talents back to the country.

Again, the brain gain programme was implemented in the past and the outcome was dismal. What is the real problem? Low wages? Lack of opportunities?

All critical indicators and rankings e.g. education quality, competitiveness, desirability and others have shown a steady decline vis-a-vis other countries. If we have not regressed, it means that other nations have progressed.

On the education, despite having served in the portfolio the prime minister still does not have a solid solution to reverse our decline. It was recently decided that the teaching of both Maths and Science subjects in English will be reversed in 2012. Nothing was mentioned about the quality of curriculum and teachers.

Do we need to take a trip down to South Korea or Taiwan to understand why we cannot produce innovators and entrepreneurs? Lessons are aplenty by just looking at our own education system.

We can go on and on about the things which Najib could have done better in the recent months of his administration. However, the premier should take a serious note about his own inadequacy.

It is becoming clear now that he is suffering from a 30-year fatigue in politics. His brain has refused to function or the only method he knows and understands is the only socio-economic model he is familiar with - the Mahathirism.

Najib needs to be awaken from his slumber that he has been governing merely through slogans - 1Malaysia, 1This and 1That - and the people are no longer as ignorant and naive as during the early years of Mahathirism.

Whether he realises it or not, he is trying to emulate Mahathir by trying to use symbolic projects e.g. 1Malaysia F1 Team, 1Malaysia Unit Trust Fund and others to convince the people that he is running the economy and the country well.

Najib should not run away from addressing more serious concerns about the economy e.g. corruption (e.g. PKFZ and others), civil service inefficiency, mediocre economic growth, development wastage, poor broadband connectivity, poor education system and deteriorating race relations and the emergence of extreme conservatism in the country.

Politically, Najib's method strikes an uncanny resemblance of his mentor. It appears that he does not hesitate to use the public institutions and other legal coercive forces to his advantage.

The renewal of IGP Musa Hassan tenure for another year is yet another reminder to Najib's exponents that he does not need a viable reason to decide. The nomination of a tainted ex-strongman Is Samad to stand in the current Bagan Pisang by-election should erase any doubt that Najib is not a loyal student of Mahathirism.

Again, why study Najibronomics? There is nothing really new about Najibronomics. It is really Mahathirism in a new name.

Mahathirism had made the NEP and other policies e.g. tertiary admission, scholarships and grants and others so intertwined with the racial politics of UMNO that any total policy revamp is not only difficult but impossible.

Hence, I would like to advice Amirsham to stop his acting. Of course, his appointment as the new NEAC chairman (with a minister status) is no free lunch. Reports will have to be produced, working groups will have to be formed, more appointments will have to be made and the budget will have to be spend to show that his team is doing its job.

But does he seriously believe that his 'work' is going to help change anything?

10 years, 20 years down the road, Malaysia will still be dependent on oil and gas and other natural resources.

Our intellectual pool will continue to lose its substance. These ministers, politicians and advisers will continue to talk about Taiwan, South Korea and maybe Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia too.

Nothing is going to change until and unless more Malaysians wake up and realise that to change we must do it with our hands.

Yes, vote out incompetency. Vote out racism. Vote out Mahathirism. Fly back to vote. Register to vote.

If we cannot make a small sacrifice, stop bitching about how bad this country is.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Is Najib Better Than Abdullah? NO!

Penang CM Lim Guan Eng said PM Najib is better than his predecessor Abdullah Badawi. I say NO.

Not when the PM was trying to hard (again) to justify his party's choice of a tainted former leader, Isa Samad.

Defending Barisan Nasional's decision to field Isa Samad for the Bagan Pinang state by-election, Najib said the former has already paid his dues.

Ex-MCA leader Chua Soi Lek would readily welcome Najib's statement. Why not? Most of BN component parties will soon be led by expired, tainted or immoral personalities.

Who said Malaysia is a dull, boring and conservative Muslim majority country? We go after beer sales, beer drinking models and other menial and petty things just to show how holy we are? But let the bigger issues go unchecked?

Is Dr Ridhuan Tee going to speak up against the candidacy of Isa Samad? Can he give us a lecture on how unIslamic it is?

Najib added: "The question here is whether he deserved a second chance or not."

"In our system, even a criminal gets a second chance and can contest the post after serving his or her punishment."

He should have told Nordin Mat Top this before the latter was killed by the Indonesian military offensive. Yeah, as long as Nordin repented he too can be made a state assemblyman or a member of parliament.

Najib's hypocrisy should have been extended to ex-CPM members such as Chin Peng too.

With such a twisted logic and sense of righteousness, what can we expect from Najib and his 1Malaysia slogan?

Nothing.

Nothing will be achieved too at the end of his tenure.

Malaysia may find itself lagging behind Vietnam soon. So, stop laughing at our poorer neighbours.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Why the Malaysian Economy is in a Dilemma?

Why is the national economy in such a sorry state? NEAC chairman Amirsham Aziz admitted that Malaysia was still relying on the old model, as a low-cost manufacturing hub with low wages and adequately skilled workers.

Hence, he wants to take a proactive step to reinvent the economic model. But what is the main dilemma of our economy?

This is it. Ignorance. Incompetence.

He said the New Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) will send its team to South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and several east European countries soon to learn about how they have transformed their economies.

Amirsham A. Aziz said Korea, Taiwan and Singapore had successfully remodelled their economies and their economic growth has been impressive.

If these advisers and policy makers still do not know why these economies are successful, then it is best to find others who already understand the dynamics behind these economies.

South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have a thing in common - a good education system, a high work rate, a socio-economic system based on merit, capable civil servants and policy makers, low barrier to entrepreneurialism , market liberalisation and performance driven.

Malaysia? Nepotism, know-who, increase marginalisation of SMEs, ignorant policy makers, incompetent civil service, poor education system (overly politicised), NEP, high barrier to entrepreneurialism, corruption, non-productive public projects, policy flip-flops, institutionalised racism apart from low wages and less than professional work attitude.

More study teams? If Malaysia can learn the secret of success from these countries in 1-2 weeks study tour then we would not have been in this situation in the first place.

We did not learn a bit since 1990's when the nation was amply warned of the bottleneck of low cost economic model. We did not learn in 30 years. Can we learn anything in a few weeks?

The last I checked, where was the Disneyland report? Most of the recreational parks in the country are barely working.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Isa Samad versus Nik Aziz

“How is Kelantan better than Negri Sembilan? We have brought a lot of development to the state,” Isa told reporters.

He urged PAS to advise Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat how to better run the Kelantan government instead of exposing his alleged failure as the Negri Sembilan mentri besar for 22 years.

We all know the real truth why Negri Sembilan has more infrastructure development compared to Kelantan, except for maybe Isa.

Remember Trengganu and the suspended oil royalty? The same is happening to Kelantan. The federal government refuses to release the royalty payment to the state. A legal suit has been brought against the federal government by the Kelantan state government.

Remember Penang and the suspended heritage development fund? The refusal of the Tourism Ministry to help promote the state?

We can only have a basis to compare if the federal government is willing to practice fair play and allow the channeling of funds to these states.

Isa is better than Nik Aziz? Probably wealthier. Tok Guru has a moral authority which Isa cannot even dream to have. This is the most poignant difference.

I was asked to analyse on the possibility of another tainted leader (involved in a sex scandal) to take leadership control of a BN component party. Why bother if the party delegates want to commit 'hara-kiri' (suicide)?

I should not say it is 'hara-kiri' because this method of self-sacrifice is closely related to personal honour and self-principle. In this case, it is pure foolishness.

BN leadership needs to show some respect to the stakeholders. As it is now, it will be difficult for the coalition to avoid an imminent defeat in the future.

Mooncake Delights


Five of the main cast members of TVB's Heart of Greed II: Moonlight Resonance are in town. They will be making a presence at the Tai Thong Restaurant in Kepong tonight at around 7.30pm.
They are:


  1. Ha Yu as Kam Tai Jo or Jo Bau (boss of a successful mooncake business, Ka Ho Yuet Yuen)
  2. Louise Lee Sze Ki as Chung Siu Hor, or Hor-ma (Kam's first wife)
  3. Chris Lai as son Yuen
  4. Moses Chan as son Ka
  5. Wayne Lai as Lin Chi Yung (worker in Hor-ma's mooncake business)

Remember to catch the grand finale on Monday (Astro Wah Loi Toi).

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Koh-Lim: An Unproductive Debate


After several dares, Koh Tsu Koon said he was prepared to debate Lim provided the Penang CM publicly disclosed the full text of all minutes related to discussions on the Kampung Buah Pala issue in all state executive council meetings during the previous BN and current Pakatan Rakyat (PR) administrations.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he was prepared to take on his predecessor from the Barisan Nasional (BN) in a nationally-televised debate without any conditions set.

But the DAP secretary-general said Koh had shown what he described as his trademark indecisiveness and evasiveness by setting pre-conditions for the debate to happen.

This is a 'shiok sendiri' (self gratification) debate which serves no purpose. However, politicians hate to be pointed out that they have erred. They are thin-skinned.

Can the debate reverse the misfortune of the Kampung Buah Pala folks?

Both Lim and Koh should focus on the work ahead; the former to help develop Penang and the latter to ensure that the government is performing.

Sabah versus Korea B-Boy Battle - What Happened?

In the heat of battle between two B-boys
For the photo album - a battle of friendship

A Korean b-boy attempting a power flip


Adoring crowd at the battle ground

GFW has established yet another milestone in organizing dance performances and competitions.
My intention is to help enlarge the dance and performing arts scene in the country.
Hope to see you at one of the biggest B-Boy Dance competitions in the region in 2010. Watch this space!



Wanna Know More About This Gal?


Can you believe it that model Diana Lim was quite a tomboy when she was young? Click here for more. Or log on to The Daily Chilli for more entertainment news and find out who Gary Chaw bashed up.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Before F1, Can Tony Make Sure That Air Asia is Punctual?

I was on a flight back from Brunei on 30th September. The flight was scheduled at 8.20pm but was delayed for an hour.

I reached here past 12 midnight (after collecting my luggage). I ended up having to pay an extra midnight surcharge for a taxi service.

In the taxi, the driver insisted that I pay him extra because my condo's name has a 'Damansara' in between although it is situated in SS2. This moron registration number is HWC 9052 (Proton Waja).

The ticket clearly says that the fare covers SS1 to SS24.

With a moron like this, who needs F1 to promote Malaysia as a tourist destination?

Tony Fernandez should work on keeping his planes on schedule first. F1 can wait.

Back Stage Candid Camera

Reception at the Korean Ambassador's house in Brunei
Wahhh...injured her leg...now smiling

A dancer taking a stroll on the beach

Dancers on the elevator - heading for some fresh air

Breakout-boys monkeying around - ouch! that hurts...

Saranghaeyo Korea Brings Cheer to Brunei

Graceful & Splendid - The Royal Court Dance

Brunei Minister of Health, Korean Ambassador to Brunei & Permanent Secretary of the Brunei Foreign Affairs were the guests of honour

VIPs seated at the front row of a packed house

A final goodbye to Bruneians - Sarangheayo!
We managed to stage one of the biggest performances in Brunei for years. More than 1,300 people turned up to watch the Korea House and Breakout performance. After nine days on the tour, the 35 performers and most of us (the managers) just wanted to enjoy a good massage and a good rest.
See you again soon! Watch this space to know what is in store. You will surely be thrilled!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

UMNO Picks Status Quo over Reform


UMNO has said it clear and loud in the Bagan Pinang by-election by nominating a former MB Isa Samad as the Umno candidate. The party prefers to keep the old, make its warlords happy and to put electoral victory above everything else.

Najib administration's enthusiasm to embark on a bold renewal and reform of the party fizzles out lamely.

The fact that Najib bows to the pressure of a few warlords in Teluk Kemang to field the tainted leader, who was suspended for money politics, indicates that the prime minister can be cowed into submission - not by the people but by his party warlords.

The party leadership has yet to learn from the lesson of Rohaizat saga in the Permatang Pasir by-election. It has promised not to repeat the same mistake. Now, the party leadership is going through a great length trying to justify the nomination of a tainted leader.

Where are all the good leaders in UMNO?