Thought of the day

I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. ~William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Government's promises are like the Ringgit, they depreciate with time.



Monday, December 13, 2010

A lack of competent leadership is a real problem for Malaysia

It's true what, what needs to be explained?

Do you want Singapore to further elaborate on your incompetency?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Protest against Najib's 100-storey Mega Tower: A different perspective

Every now and then when I cross over the Causeway, my light-hearted mood would eventually subside due to the traffic congestion along Jalan Skudai, Jalan Tebrau and the Pasir Gudang Highway.

If roads are the blood stream of the country, I think, Malaysia will be hit by stroke every single day. I can't help but wonder how our economy is going to improve with the road clogging with traffic. To travel from east to west in Johor Bahru will take up at least 45 minutes. With the jam, it may take an extra half an hour.

In Singapore or Hong Kong, one can attend several meetings in the morning, and another few in the afternoon (Note: Not via MRT). On average based on my experience, 5 to 6 meetings from 9am to 5pm. That's how fast people can travel in these cities. Johor Bahru? You are lucky to have one in the morning and another one in the afternoon. If one is able to clinch a deal in one session, our neighbour is able to make more than two-fold as compared to us. That is why they are in the First World league, and we are abang adik with Indonesia.

Pasir Gudang Highway (PGH) is a phenomenon, for more than 10 years. With only 2 lanes per way, it never fails to slow down the traffic, every single day. I would be very happy being a delivery boy as I would only make 2 trips per day, provided I only travel via PGH. Easy job. Just need to load the stuff in the truck, hit PGH and listen to my favorite radio station all day long.

No wonder I noticed more and more vehicles have car TV these days.

For more than 10 years, the situation persist and deteriorated. Is the government aware of this? Surely! But why nothing is being done to remedy the issue or at least alleviate the problem? For one or two years, it's still tolerable. For five years, the government is considered slow to react. For more than 10 years? This is a retarded regime and I think it's time for replacement. Haven't we given them ample time to perform?

And now, our Barisan Nasional led government wants to construct another 100 storeys skyscraper. According to my friend, the gazetted area for the mega project is located near his alma mater. Unless the government is going to replan and redevelop the traffic system at the area comprehensively, traffic congestion will be inevitable once the 100-storey commercial building is completed.

But, as we all already know, the current regime is weak in planning and execution. So for the folks living near (and not working at) the future Warisan Merdeka, it's time to head down to the nearest car accessories workshop to install a car TV.

Good luck.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

House Renovation Tips: Before you start

Before you start any renovation work:

Protect your floor tiles and parquet flooring. If you do not intend to rework or change the tiles, make sure that the flooring is protected with a blanket of cardboards before any renovation work. This way, the polished tile surface or the parquet's protective coating (lacquer, varnish, shellac or polyurethane) will not be compromised by falling rubbles or dropped hammer.

Monday, October 4, 2010

小赌 - 可以白手起家

是真的。

赌输了,就白手啰。
赌赢了,就起家。

Saturday, October 2, 2010

House Renovation Tips: Tiling

Negotiate for replacement. When you buy tiles and mosaic, remember to negotiate with the seller/manufacturer so that any defective products (colour, warpage, chipping, crack, different dimensions from tile to tile within the same batch of tiles) can be returned and replaced. This way, the contractor will be able to select the good pieces for tiling.

Plastic spacers come in different sizes.


Insist to use plastic spacers for tiling. This is to ensure that the gap between the tiles will be uniformed and at the same time pare down the unevenness from tile to tile due to warpage. Contractors will not pro-actively use the spacers as they claim that it will slow down their work progress. Ridiculously, they will use some non-standard guides such as toothpicks, cardboard and et cetera. Yes, they can finish their job within a day using their way, but you will then have to bear with the eyesore (irregular gaps) on your floor or wall everyday.Why compromise on the finishing quality when you're paying?

Check on workmanship. If possible, knock on each and every tile (floor or wall) to ensure that there is no void (air gap) beneath the tile. This is done simply by knocking using a coin and listen if there is any hollowness at the four corners and the centre of the tile. This defect is disastrous. Firstly, with the air gap trapped beneath the tiles, the adherence of the tile is questionable. You do not know when it will fall off and what it will hit when it falls. Second, the trapped air will expand and contract with respect to the change of temperature in a day. The rhythmical expansion and contraction quickens the wear and tear, causing the tile to crack other than fall off and worse still in some cases, cause the tile to explode.

Never pay until you're satisfied. Perform checks with the contractor apart from monitoring closely (if you have the time) before making full payment. Ensure that all work is done according to your requirements and the finishing quality is satisfactory before surrendering your cheque.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

堵懒

请问有没有那本萧XX的书?”

“你要中国版的,还是台湾版的?”

“有什么分别?”

“一个是简体的,一个是繁体的咯。”

好,那我要中国版的。”

“哦,中国版的没有了。”

“那就要台湾版的吧。”

“哦,台湾版的也卖完了。”

“... ... ... ... ... ...”

“你到柜台那边跟小姐预订咯。”

走到柜台前,

“小姐,我要订萧XX的书。”

“你要中国版的,还是台湾版的?”

“嗯,我要中国版的。”

“中国版的要等很久。”

“那就订台湾版的吧。”

“哦,台湾版的也要等很久。”

心里,“F*ck#$%#$&%*^&$%~#Sh*t”。

Friday, August 27, 2010

Facing the Giants

Keep it coming!

There you go!

You give me your best!

Keep going!

Don't stop!

You've got more in you than that!

Keep moving! Just keep moving!

Don't quit till you've got nothing left!

Keep driving!

Give me your very best! Your very best!

Don't quit on me!

Negotiate with your mind to find more strength!

You're doing good!

It's not too hard!

Give me more! Give me more!

You can! You can!

God's given you the ability of leadership, don't waste it!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chapter 1:

The trip to the CBD this morning is fortunately not a wasted trip, despite the disintegration between ICA and MOM and partially my carelessness to assume and conclude.

Good information obtained and we saved more than hundred bucks.

Most importantly, we survived to fight another day:)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Aussie Hot Mom: Karen's Fashion Sense


Just added Karen Cheng's blog to my "Blogs I Read" list.

Back in 2008, Karen was in Singapore organising "Doing the Karen Cheng" thingy and if I recalled correctly, Kenny Sia wrote an entry about this beautiful lady with her famous pose with a camera in her left hand snapping herself while she fashioned in different fabulous clothings. Back then, I thought she was just another young lass trying to sell fashion on the internet. I browsed through the entry not visiting her blog and that's that.

Then, I chanced upon her blog again this year via a link shared by recently conferred Dr Grace Ho and the first thing that caught my attention is the blog title: Snippets of Life. Wow, great minds think alike:p It's actually "Karen Cheng's Snippets of Life", but Karen uses her own portrait to replace her name instead. Then, I found out that she is a mother of three. Oedipus complex? Maybe.

Anyway, I went through her biography and eventually developed an affection for her. Yes, I admire her! Not because of her looks or hot bod, but because of her zest in life and the positivity that she projects in her blog. It's like an aura radiated from her inner self.

Ok la, I am not really that good in words and marketing, so I'll let her work speaks fro itself. Karen's blog has bagged numerous awards and was ranked 13th in the Top 100 Australian Blogs in 2008 and 1st in the Top 50 Australian Women's Blog and she is the Top 20 Female Bloggers in the world and one of the 50 Most Influential Female Bloggers. Feel free to drop by someday and I am sure you will be able to discern the shimmer of her halo.

This is a blog I would recommend for Carrie Bradshaw and the likes, husbands and wives, mothers, parents and kids.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chicken Soup of the Soul

在外食翅嘆鲍鱼,不如在家粗茶淡饭饮鸡汤。
得空,返家食饭啦。

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Applebee's @ TripleOne Somerset

Beef quesadilla with lotsa cheese!

Shrimp skewers served fresh and succulent.


Steak!

And the signature dish - Pork ribs!

Had a hearty meal with TK and CY celebrating CM's birthday at Applebee's. We have done it for 3 years straight, it's going to be tradition now, I think.

The American restaurant is located in the TripleOne Somerset premise and according to CY, it's similar to Chilli's. Nice place (parking is a killer though), nice ambience, good service, delicious food and great company.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Cendol Factory

Chanced upon this humble cendol shop while we went to JB near Mount Austin. It's located on the 1st floor of the shoplot and we were attracted by the signboard, a blackboard with "The Cendol Factory" written in chalk.

Simple setting without exaggerating deco, reminds me of the tea house where I used to hang out with friends during secondary school in Kluang. The boss is camera shy and it's stated that he is a finance manager on the namecard. Maybe this banker had earned enough to start a business he is passionate about. The cendol? Nice! Super nice on a stifling day :)

Feel free to drop by The Cendol Factory when you are around the area.

Location: No. 41-01 (Upper Floor), Jln Austin Heights 3, Tmn Mount Austin, Johor Bahru.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Enough is as good as a feast

There were times while I was desperately pursuing and pushing for something higher, I intermitted, and thought of the low hanging fruits that I'd bagged along the way. This is when I would feel blessed, blissful and contented.

There is this sudden state of tranquillity, and I would hold on to it long enough before the next pebble drops in and rippled the placid water in my mind.

Am grateful for everyone, everything that comes into my life.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

在美国看洋媳妇教子

儿子去美国留学,毕业后定居美国。还给我找了个洋媳妇苏珊。如今,小孙子托比已经3岁了。今年夏天,儿子为我申请了探亲签证。在美国待了三个月,洋媳妇苏珊教育孩子的方法,令我这个中国婆婆大开眼界。

不吃饭就饿着

每天早上,托比醒来后,苏珊把早餐往餐桌上一放,就自顾自地忙去了。托比会自己爬上凳子,喝牛奶,吃面包片。吃饱后,他回自己的房间,在衣柜里找衣服、鞋子,再自己穿上。毕竟托比只有3岁,还搞不清楚子的正反面,分不清鞋子的左右脚。有一次托比又把裤子穿反了,我赶紧上前想帮他换,却被苏珊制止了。她说,如果他觉得不舒服,会自己脱下来,重新穿好;如果他没觉得有什么不舒服,那就随他的便。那一整天,托比反穿着裤子跑来跑去,苏姗像没看见一样。

又一次,托比出去和邻居家的小朋友玩,没多大会就气喘吁吁地跑回家,对苏珊说:“妈妈,露西说我的裤子穿反了,真的吗?”露西是邻居家的小姑娘,今年5岁。苏姗笑着说:“是的,你要不要换回来?”托比点点头,自己脱下裤子,仔细看了看,重新穿上了。从那以后,托比再也没穿反过裤子。

我不禁想起,我的外孙女五六岁时不会用筷子,上小学时不会系鞋带。如今在上寄宿制初中的她,每个周末都要带回家一大堆脏衣服呢。

一天中午,托比闹情绪,不肯吃饭。苏珊说了他几句,愤怒地小托比一把将盘子推到了地上,盘子里的食物洒了一地。苏姗看着托比,认真地说:“看来你确实不想吃饭!记住,从现在到明天早上,你什么都不能吃。”托比点点头,坚定地回答:“Yes!”我在心里暗笑,这母子俩,还都挺倔!

下午,苏珊和我商量,晚上由我做中国菜。我心领神会,托比告别爱吃中国菜,一定是苏珊觉得托比中午没好好吃饭,想让他晚上多吃点儿。

那天晚上我施展厨艺,做了托比最爱吃的糖醋里脊、油闷大虾,还用意大利面做了中国式的凉面。托比最喜欢吃那种凉面,小小的人可以吃满满一大盘。

开始吃晚饭了,托比欢天喜地地爬上凳子。苏珊却走过来,拿走了他的盘子和刀叉,说:“我们已经约好了,今天你不能吃饭,你自己也答应了的。”托比看着面容严肃的妈妈,“哇”地一声在哭起来,边哭边说:“妈妈,我饿,我要吃饭。”“不行,说过的话要算数。”苏珊毫不心软。

我心疼了,想替托比求情,说点好话,却见儿子对我使眼色。想起我刚到美国时,儿子就跟我说,在美国,父母教育孩子时,别人千万不要插手,即使是长辈也不例外。无奈,我只好保持沉默。

那顿饭,从始至终,可怜的小托比一直坐在玩具车里,眼巴巴地看着我们三个大人狼吞虎咽。我这才明白苏珊让我做中餐的真正用意。我相信,下一次,托比想发脾气扔饭碗时,一定会想起自己饿着肚子看爸爸妈妈和奶奶享用美食的经历。饿着肚子的滋味不好受,况且还是面对自己最喜爱的食物。

临睡前,我和苏珊一起去向托比道晚安。托比小心翼翼地问:“妈妈,我很饿,现在我能吃中国面吗?”苏珊微笑着摇摇头,坚决地说:“不!”托比叹了口气,又问:“那等我睡完觉睁开眼睛时,可以吃吗?”“当然可以。”苏珊温柔地回答。托比甜甜地笑了。

大部分情况下,托比吃饭都很积极,他不想因为“罢吃”而错过食物,再受饿肚子的苦。每当看到托比埋头大口大口地吃饭,嘴上脸上粘的都是食物时,我就想起外孙女。她像托比这么大时,为了哄她吃饭,几个大人端着饭碗跟在她屁股后面跑,她还不买账,还要谈条件:吃完这碗买一个玩具,再吃一碗买一个玩具……

以其人之道,还治其人这身

有一天,我们带托比去公园玩。很快,托比就和两个女孩儿玩起了厨房游戏。塑料小锅、小铲子、小盘子、小碗摆了一地。忽然,淘气的托比拿起小锅,使劲在一个女孩儿头上敲了一下,女孩儿愣了一下,放声大哭。另一个女孩儿年纪更小一些,见些情形,也被吓得大哭起来。大概托比没想到会有这么严重的后果,站在一旁,愣住了。

苏珊走上前,开清了事情的来龙去脉后,她一声不吭,拿起小锅,使劲敲到托比的头上,托比没防备,一下子跌坐在草地上,哇哇大哭起来。苏珊问托比:“疼吗?下次还这样吗?”托比一边哭,一边拼命摇头。我相信他以后再也不会这么做了。

托比的舅舅送了他一辆浅蓝色的小自行车,托比非常喜欢,当成宝贝,不许别人碰。邻居小姑娘露西是托比的好朋友,央求托比好几次,要骑他的小车,托比都没答应。

一次,几个孩子一起玩时,露西趁托比不注意,偷偷骑上小车,扬长而去。托比发现后,气愤地跑来向苏珊告状。苏珊正和几个孩子的母亲一起聊天喝咖啡,便微笑着说:“你们的事情自己解决,妈妈可管不了。”托比无奈地走了。

过了一小会儿,露西骑着小车回来了。托比看到露西,一把将她推倒在地,抢过了小车。露西坐在地上大哭起来。苏珊抱起露西,安抚了她一会儿。很快,露西就和别的小朋友兴高采烈地玩了起来。

托比自己骑了会车,觉得有些无聊,看到那几个孩子玩得那么高兴,他想加入,又觉得有些不好意思。他蹭到苏珊身边,嘟囔道:“妈妈,我想跟露西他们一起玩。”苏珊不动声色地说:“那你自己去找他们啦!”“妈妈,你陪我一起去。”托比恳求道。“那可不行,刚才是你把露西弄哭的,现在你又想和大家玩,就得自己去解决问题。”

托比骑着小车慢慢靠近露西,快到她身边时,又掉头回来。来回好几次,不知道从什么时候开始,托比和露西又笑逐颜开,闹成了一团。

管教孩子是父母的事

苏珊的父母住在加利福尼亚州,听说我来了,两人开车来探望我们。家里来了客人,托比很兴奋,跑上跑下地乱窜。他把玩沙子用的小桶装满了水,提着小桶在屋里四处转悠。苏珊警告了她好几次,不要把水洒到地板上,托比置若罔闻。最后,托比还是把水桶弄倒了,水洒了一地。兴奋的小托比不觉得自己做错了事,还得意地光着脚丫踩水玩,把裤子全弄湿了。我连忙找出拖把准备拖地。苏珊从我手中抢过拖把交给托比,对他说:“把地拖干,把湿衣服脱下来,自己洗干净。”托比不愿意,又哭又闹。苏珊二话不说,直接把他拉到贮藏室,关了禁闭。听到托比在里面发出惊天动地的哭喊,我心疼坏了,想进去把他抱出来。托比的外婆却拦住我,说:“这是苏珊的事。”

过了一会儿,托比不哭了,他在贮藏室里大声喊:“妈妈,我错了。”苏珊站在门外,问:“那你知道该怎么做了吗?”“我知道。”苏珊打开门,托比从贮藏室走出来,脸上还挂着两行泪珠。他拿起有他两个高的拖把吃力地把地上的水拖干净。然后,他脱下裤子,拎在手上,光着屁股走进洗手间,稀里哗啦地洗起衣服来。

托比的外公外婆看着表情惊异的我,意味深长地笑了。这件事让我感触颇深。在很多中国家庭,父母管教孩子时,常常会引起“世界大战”,往往是外婆外公护,爷爷奶奶拦,夫妻吵架,鸡飞狗跳。

后来,我和托比的外公外婆聊天时,提到这件事,托比的外公说了一段话,让我印象深刻。他说,孩子是父母的孩子,首先要尊重父母对孩子的教育方式。孩子虽然小,却是天生的外交家,当他看到家庭成员之间出现分歧时,他会很聪明地钻空子。这不仅对改善他的行为毫无益处,反而会导致问题越来越严重,甚至带来更多别的问题。而且,家庭成员之间发生冲突,不和谐的家庭氛围会带给孩子更多的不安全感,对孩子的心理发展产生不利影响。所以,无论是父辈与祖辈在教育孩子的问题上发生分歧,还是夫妻两人的教育观念有差异,都不能在孩子面前发生冲突。

托比的外公外婆在家里住了一周,准备回加利福尼亚了。临走前两天,托比的外公郑重地问女儿:“托比想要一辆玩具挖掘机,我可以买给他吗?”苏珊想了想,说:“你们这次来,已经送给他一双旱冰鞋作为礼物了,到圣诞节时,再买玩具挖掘机当礼物送给他吧!”

我不知道托比的外公是怎么告诉小家伙的,后来我带托比去超市,他指着玩具挖掘机说:“外公说,圣诞节时,给我买这个当礼物。”语气里满是欣喜和期待。

虽然苏珊对托比如此严格,托比去却对妈妈爱得不得了。他在外面玩时,会采集一些好看的小花或者他认为漂亮的叶子,郑重其事地送给妈妈;别人送给他礼物,他会叫妈妈和他一起拆开;有什么好吃的,也总要留一半给妈妈。

想到很多中国孩子对父母的漠视与冷淡,我不得不佩服我的洋媳妇。在我看来,在教育孩子的问题上,美国妈妈有很多值得中国妈妈学习的地方

Malaysia - Singapore KTM land swap - 2nd Link Toll Down

Follow up from my earlier entry, Second Link users will pay 30% less toll come Aug 1.

Currently at passenger cars would need to pay RM10.80 at Tanjung Kupang Toll Plaza (Malaysia) and another S$4.60 at Tuas Checkpoint (Singapore). A 30% discount would amounted to RM7.60 and S$3.30. This is still a far cry from the RM2.90 and S$1.20 for those using the Causeway.

If one uses the Second Link starting Aug 1, the monthly cost will be RM176.8 + S$75.9 as compared to RM248.4 + S$105.8 previously, and RM66.7 + S$27.6 via the Causeway.

Well, a 30% discount is better than nothing, but I think we could go lower, couldn't we?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Australia - Land of Dream


20100528: Touch Down

We reached Melbourne at a quarter before twelve midnight. My mind was still not at peace as I wasn't sure if our visa will actually get us through. Applied the visa online back in April and it only took me 5 minutes and 40 Australian dollars to complete the application for both of us. This was way too easy. The flutter in my stomach only ceased when the immigration officer finally stamped our passports and let us through.

Too bad, they confiscated our "bak gua", gifts for our friends in Aussie. Luckily the shrimp roll and broiled cuttlefish were undetected.

We felt the chilliness of the early winter even before we stepped out of the airport. We wrapped ourselves up with layers of winter outfits, mittens, scarves and hats and pushed our carts like two walking rice dumpling and headed to Thrifty to collect our transport. They upgraded us from a Toyota Corolla Ascent Hatchback to a Hyundai i30. Cool, though I don't know the difference:p Anyway, the i30 is really a good ride.

It was time to put our newly purchase Garmin to the test. We missed quite a number of junctions being fairly new to the device, fortunately it proved its valour despite kept directing us to the toll way (which after, we learnt from EC that we could set the device to avoid it). We finally arrived at the hotel at the wee hours in the morning. After a relaxing spa bath, we tucked ourselves beneath the cosy quilt.

20100529: Rise and shine to Philip Island

Woke up at 8.30am, scheduled to meet EC for breakfast at 9am. Met EC on the way out to grab a tube of toothpaste from 7 Eleven. EC brought me two kathmadu fleeces and lent us one of his cellphone. After a brief breakfast with our dear friend, CM and I hopped into the car and head off Philip Island. We stopped along the way whenever we came across any nice sceneries, starting only two blocks away from where we stayed. Pls pardon us because to "suaku" like us, any scene is breathtaking and worth cam-whoring:p

Churchill Island Heritage farm is a nice place to hang out and to get hands on the several farm activities like milking the cow, sheep shearing...etc.

Penguin Parade - It's fascinating to watch the penguins emerge from the sea after dark, preen themselves on the beach and taking counts before parading off to their nests. Too bad, I am not allow to take any pictures.

20100530: Melbourne City Walk

After a pleasant breakfast beside the manor operated by a Korean couple, we drove to the city, which was not a sound idea as it was pretty challenging to drive with so many traffics in a foreign land with weird rules like the hook turn, and scarce parking spaces. We finally landed a parking lot after wrestling with the seasoned city dwellers and risked almost being run down by the tram. ~wipe sweat off forehead.

There are many magnificent buildings and structures which caught my attention like St. Paul's Cathedral and Flinders Station. Even went to the Old Melbourne Gaol to check out the Ned Kelly legend, he is probably the guy who invented the first kevlar vest.

Went to Mulgrave to meet EC for dinner. It is a nice suburb he is staying, but he is moving to a better place:) EC brought us to Kingsway which is saturated with Asian food and we had a bud-tantalizing bowl of pho (Vietnamese beef noodle)! After dinner, we dropped by at the Philips in Boxhill, another suburb known to be occupied by many Malaysians. The Philips are staying in a rented heritage house, the exterior looks old yet cosy and the interior is spacious and homey. Love the kitchen, living room, and the veranda!

20100531: Great Ocean Road

We woke up pretty early for this as the GOR stretches more than 200 km. Along the way, we stopped anywhere we wanted to as EC's saying goes, "This is the beauty of free and easy tour."

We stopped at Bells Beach for some photo and had brunch at a little town in Anglesea. Right at the roundabout before the town, a grey kangaroo hopped like nobody's business beside us, overtook us and bounced across the roundabout and vanished into the bush across the road. After the meal, CM bought her shades and we moved on to Split Point Lighthouse, Aireys Inlet.

Pam, the tour guide at the lighthouse is a jovial petite lady and made us felt at home immediately with her cheerful laughter. We toured the lighthouse with 3 Indian dudes and 3 local ranchers from Queensland.

We made another stop at Separation Creek near Wye River as I was attracted by the wooden bridge at the river mouth.

Stopped at Apollo Bay tourist centre at about 3pm, the staff told us that we will be able to reach the Twelve Apostles by 5.30pm to catch the last glimpse of light. And this is the part where I started to drive like a rally driver, with my co-driver dozing off:p The GOR does not stick along the coast all the way, it leads towards inland somewhere after Marengo as it slices across Otway National Park.

We reached the Twelve Apostle at 5.15pm, still sufficient light for me to shoot some nice pictures. We think that the greatness of nature can only be felt there and then, no postcard-like picture is able to convey the message across entirely. Discontented with the time we spent with the rocks, we decided to stay overnight at the nearby Port Campbell, which was not in our plan.

We had a sumptuous dinner at Waves before we went searching for a place to put up for the night. We checked out a few places before settling at Port Campbell Hostel for AUD25/night, which is the all time favorite for backpackers. Pretty decent stay for such a cheap price, clean bathrooms and toilets.

Woke up at 6.30am and headed for the apostles again where we practically own the entire lookout deck all to ourselves. More cam-whoring before we dropped by Loch Ard Gorge and marvelled at the work of nature, how the wind, waves and rain craft the natural sculpture skillfully with time. And the best part is, it ain't finish till the end of the world.

20100601: Ballarat

We checked out from the hostel and had our breakfast. The owner has a collection of artwork, mainly paintings on the rocks and the port, it is ther work of the owner's mom. Refilled our fuel tank, and off we go to Ballarat in search of gold!

We visited Sovereign Hill, a mocked up gold mining town recreating the gold rush yesteryear in the 1850s. I was awestricken at the mining technology these people invented back then, how strong is the will of man to achieve something they strongly desire. And also we observed the dire condition our fellow Chinese ancestors were put through back in those days when they were lured to this barren land to seek fortune. At least now their younger generations live in a place where they can freely call home. Sovereign Hill is highly recommended for family with kids because you can shop, dine, and have fun all day long.

Next, we moved over to the Gold Museum which is opposite Sovereign Hill. Our eyes glittered at the generous showcase of gold nuggets and gold dust. The good news is that you're still able to stumble upon this precious element if you look for it hard enough in Australia. Who knows, you might find a nugget while you're gardening in your own backyard.

We returned to Mel city in the evening to meet up with CM's secondary school classmates, JY and HL. Initially, JY intended to treat us to Gordon Ramsay's restaurant but once we reached the place we turned him down as it's too posh for us:p So we detoured to a Greek restaurant for kebab.

20100602: Dandenongs

Yay, it's zoo and wine day! Healesville Sanctuary is located 61km to the east of Melbourne. It was a relaxing day since we do not need to travel very far. And so in the morning, we reached the sanctuary at about 9.30am and stayed there till noon. Saw the emu, roos, koala, tasmanian devil, wombat, platipus and dingo, which are the only one we were interested. And then we moved on to Yarra Valley to visit the vineyard.

Was back in the hotel at 6.30pm, waited for EC to pick us up and go to Little Italy. Sort of like a farewell dinner before we depart for Sydney. And again, it's not about the food or wine that night that matters, it's the moment together that counts. How unpredictable life can be when 2 years back, we hung out in Penang in search for local delicacies and 2 years later, we were dining in Aussie. God knows where we will meet again years later.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Big tight slap on the face, Dr Mahathir!

A day after Dr Mahathir uttered nonsensical remarks regarding the Malay Singaporeans kowtowing to others during the Gertak function, this is what we hear from our friend in Singapore:

*******************************************
In Singapore, we don't kowtow

I READ with concern Tuesday's report, 'Malaysian Malays might kowtow to others if...', in which former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad claims that even though Malay Singaporeans enjoy the benefits of a more developed country, they have to 'terbongkok-bongkok' (kowtow) to others.

Tun Dr Mahathir could have been more sensitive towards the feelings of Singapore Malays.

As a Malay Singaporean living and working peacefully with fellow Singaporeans of all races, I cannot agree with what he said.

Singapore's leaders worked hard for many years to achieve racial harmony, tolerance and understanding among Singaporeans. Today, we live and work together as one family; and we have reaped the rewards of being one of the safest and most developed nations in the world.

While Dr Mahathir's opinion on Malay Singaporeans enjoying the benefits of a developed country is spot-on, we have never kowtowed to others. Singaporeans of all races, including Malays, engage in healthy debate and discussions with our Government. The decisions made by the Government, after hearing feedback from its people, are respected as we trust it is in the best interests of all Singaporeans.

Through community support and hard work, Malay students in Singapore have bettered their results in various national examinations. Such achievements are celebrated by all Singaporeans.

With better education, Malay Singaporeans have achieved a better lifestyle for their families compared with a large percentage of Malays in Malaysia. We worked hard to be where we are today and in no way kowtow to anyone to gain success. Meritocracy remains the benchmark of our society. While this works in Singapore, it may not work in Malaysia.

Having many relatives, friends and business associates of all races in Malaysia requires me to travel frequently across the Causeway. Over the years, I have seen and learnt that for the minority to succeed in Malaysia, they need to kowtow to others.

The irony is that many ordinary Malaysian Malays who have no connections, or fail to share their potential success with the 'right' people, will never have it easy to succeed. Perhaps, favouritism, cronyism and bribery are problems Dr Mahathir may want to address in his country.

As for me, a Malay Singaporean, I would like to say thank you to my Singapore leaders. You have made Singapore the best place to live peacefully in for me and my family.

Mustaffa Othman
*******************************************

Once again, in the clash of the Titans, Lee Kuan Yew wins hands down. Nenenepupu.

Remarks from other Malay Singaporeans:

"Like others, Malay Singaporeans work hard for the benefits in a meritocratic system." Mr Ahmad Abu Bakar

"The Malays in Singapore stand shoulder to shoulder with other Singaporeans." Mr Niaz Mohamed

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Power of 308

The 308 political tsunami (and the recent Sibu by-election result) must have hammered Barisan Nasional so hard, that the shattering tremor traveled up via the spine chord and electrified the brain. They are starting to think now.


Two laudable news which are pleasing to my ears are the immediate cut of Second Link toll fees and the rapid transit link between JB and Singapore in 2018. How significant or satisfying will the toll cut be is still not known at the moment, within a month according to The Straits Times. And if the rapid transit link between Singapore and Tanjung Puteri (Pasir Gudang) by 2018 is materialised, this will be a major motivation for me to invest in this piece of land.

Good move. But, let's not be over-optimistic for now.

Singapore Sling

~ perfumed, decent

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Najib: You help me, I help you

There's a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.

~William Wallace, Braveheart

BN, UMNO and Najib have so, so much to learn.

Friday, April 30, 2010

WHAT else do Chinese Malaysians want?

Another marvellous piece by Zaini Hassan, Utusan, April 28. Enjoy.

WHAT else do Chinese Malaysians want?
Let us put aside the reasons why they do not support the current government in Kuala Lumpur. Let us study first what else they want.

For that, we have to go back to history. The Chinese came to Malaya to seek opportunities. They had lived a hard life in mainland China for hundreds of years. Like the whites who migrated to the American continent because it was the land of opportunity, the Chinese migrated to Malaya to make their fortunes in this bountiful land.

The strategy of their forebears has borne fruit. The Chinese have attained what they wanted. They now live in the lap of luxury in this land of opportunity called Malaysia.

In fact, it is not only in Malaysia that they have attained what they wanted. They have even gained full control of Singapore.

Singapore is not their original country. The Singapore Chinese and the Malaysian Chinese were originally boat people. The difference is that those who landed in Singapore managed to gain full control of Singapore, but those who landed in Malaysia did not manage to control Malaysia.

In Malaysia, the Chinese live in peace with the Malays, the indigenous people and the Indians. In comparison, in Singapore, the Chinese control politics and the Government. In Malaysia, the Malays still control politics and the government.
The systems of both governments are the same, but it is vice versa: The Malays dominate in Malaysia while the Chinese dominate across the Causeway.

In contrast, the Malays in Singapore and the Chinese in Malaysia are very different. The Malays in Singapore lead ordinary lives while the Chinese in Malaysia lead lives that are 'more than ordinary'.

In fact, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad once stated that if all the Chinese-owned buildings in Kuala Lumpur were lifted from the map, only the buildings in Kampung Baru, a Malay area, would remain in the city.

All the other buildings are owned by Chinese Malaysians. The well- known shopping centres in Malaysia are owned by the Chinese.

The Chinese Malaysians are fantastic. They control all the cities and major towns in peninsular Malaysia, as well as Sabah and Sarawak.

They produce the largest number of, and the most successful, professionals. The school system of the Chinese Malaysians is the best among similar school systems in the world.

The Chinese account for most of the students studying in the best private colleges in Malaysia. The Malays can gain admission into only government-owned colleges of ordinary reputation.

With regard to corporate and private organisations, it is the Chinese who dominate. The Malays number just a few; most of them are low-level employees.

In fact, knowing Mandarin is a pre-requisite for applying for jobs in these organisations.

Finally, an annual survey by the Malaysian Business magazine has found that eight of the 10 richest people in Malaysia are Chinese. The following is the list of the 10 richest people in Malaysia:

  1. Mr Robert Kuok Hock Nien
  2. Mr Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan
  3. Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng
  4. Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow
  5. Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay
  6. Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan
  7. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary
  8. Puan Sri Lee Kim Hua
  9. Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King
  10. Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun

This is the reality in Malaysia, my beloved country. Is the current government, which has been in power for 52 years, cruel and totalitarian?

What else do the Chinese Malaysians want?

马来西亚华人,你们还要什么?

这是个很有意思的话题。马来西亚华人究竟还要什么?先不谈他们不支持现有政府的原因,让我们先探讨他们到底还要什么。

  这就得追溯历史了。华人是前来马来西亚寻找机会。他们几百年来在中国大陆过着贫困的生活。就像移居到机遇之地的美洲大陆的白人一样,华人前来马来西亚这个富足的地方,是为了追求财富。

  他们的祖先的作法取得了成果。华人获得了他们所要的。他们现在在马来西亚这个机遇之地过着奢华的生活。

  事实上,他们不止在马来西亚达到他们的目的,他们还完全控制了新加坡。新加坡不是他们原来的家园。新加坡和马来西亚的华人是远渡而来的船民。不同的是,那些在新加坡上岸的,成功地完全控制了新加坡,来到马来西亚的却没有办法控制马来西亚。

  马来西亚的华人同马来人、原住民及印度人和平共处。新加坡的华人控制了政治和政府。相比之下,在马来西亚,政治和政府依然在马来人的掌控中。

  两国的政府体制是一样的。相反的是,马来西亚是由马来人统治,新加坡却是由华人支配。
  新加坡的马来人和马来西亚的华人有很大的差别。前者过着普通的生活,后者却是过着“绝不普通的生活”。

  事实上,马哈迪医生曾说,如果把吉隆坡由华人拥有的建筑物全部从地图上除去,剩下的就只有甘榜巴鲁(Kampung Baru)的建筑了。也就是说,其他所有建筑物都是属于马来西亚华人的。

马来西亚华人真是了不起。他们控制了马来半岛、沙巴和砂劳越的所有城市和主要市镇。他们也培养了数目最多和最成功的专业人士。马来西亚华人的教育制度是全球类似系统中最好的。

  马来西亚最好的私人学院的学生,大部分是华人。马来人只能进入声誉一般的政府学院。马来西亚知名的购物中心也是华人拥有的。

  华人也垄断了企业和私人机构。马来人的数目很少,多为低层的员工。事实上。懂得华语是申请加入这些机构的先决条件。

  最后,马来西亚一份商业杂志的年度调查显示,马来西亚的10大富豪中有8个是华人。以下是马来西亚10大富豪的排行榜。

  1. 郭鹤年
  2. 阿南达克里斯南(Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan)
  3. 李深静
  4. 郑鸿标
  5. 林国泰
  6. 郭令灿
  7. 赛莫达(Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary)
  8. 李金花
  9. 张晓卿
  10. 陈志远

  这就是我深爱的国家马来西亚的现实。已经执政52年的政党,是否是个残忍和极权的政府?

  马来西亚的华人还要什么?我想我知道,我想你也知道。

原载《马来西亚前锋报》

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Foreign Direct Investment

Was debating with some guy on FB and he questioned why FDI (foreign direct investment) in Penang plunged from RM12b to RM2b within 2 years (after Lim Guan Eng took over).

Never mind the numbers.

Because if more than 20 years ago, we are crying out loud for foreign investment, and today, we are still dependent on foreign investment, this country has a serious problem.

Mahathir coincided with my view as follows:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Barisan Nasional = Dimwit

'Govt hired Apco for protection'

Yes, the regime is at its wit's end to protect itself. That's the bad news.

The good news?

Don't worry! Because by spending some moola, Barisan Nasional can count on APCO to stage powerful comeback in the next general elections. As the parlance goes, "Any problem which can be solved with money is not a problem at all!" The only thing is that, the problem is solved at the expense of our money, the people's money. RM77million.

Nazri mentioned that APCO is the reason Najib is able to meet Obama. And now, Kota Belud MP Rahman Dahlan told Parliament today that BN “was forced to appoint” APCO to bridle and contain opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat.

"I want to say that RM77 million is the risk, the amount needed to rectify the damage triggered by Pakatan," he said.

The UMNO-dominated has totally got the wrong point as to why they suffered huge losses in the Mar'08 general election and barking up the wrong tree.

If RM77million can get Najib to meet Obama, surely Malaysians can cough up the same amount for Anwar to meet Obama.

So, do we really need the BN dimwits to lead our government now?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Anonymous Letter

The most important asset of a country is not its natural resources, but rather human resources. This is especially true in a knowledge based economy, which of course will be the trend in future if not already the trend in most of the western countries.


My daughter, who is in her final year medicine in Auckland , told me that a team of Singapore recruitment officers have just visited Auckland and talked to the Malaysian students there, offering job and training prospect for the final year students once they graduate. My daughter also told me that over the last few years, quite a lot of her Malaysian seniors, after graduating from medical courses in NZ, have gone to Singapore to work as house-officers and subsequently stayed back in Singapore for their postgraduate training. Similar teams are sent to Australia and UK for recruiting Malaysians there to work in Singapore .



About a year ago, in one of the articles in Reuters, this was reported: Malaysia is counting on bright, ambitious people like Tan Chye Ling for its future, to lead it away from manufacturing and into the knowledge age. But the 32-year-old scientist, a post-graduate in molecular biology, is not counting on Malaysia to look after her future.



'I felt very suppressed in Malaysia ,' said Tan, who moved to neighbouring Singapore, the region's pace-setter for biotech investment, after a decade of study and research in Malaysia .



'I have benefited from the better research environment and salary scheme here. Things are much smoother,' she said by phone from the National University of Singapore where she is studying dust mites and allergies. Tan estimates that 60 percent of the research teams she works with in Singapore are from Malaysia , despite her country's efforts over several years to develop a biotech industry.




The Malaysian government unveiled plans last March to spend $553.3 million over five years to boost research, attract foreign investment and build new facilities. But its efforts are wasted unless it can retain more talented people like Tan.



'By the time we have the research environment in place, every other country would have taken a slice of the biotech investment pie,' said Iskandar Mizal, head of the state-run Malaysian Biotech Corporation which oversees the government's strategy.



There is a serious problem facing Malaysia and that is the problem of Brain Drain. Why are Malaysians overseas not coming back to work?



Well, pay may be part of the reasons but is not the main reason. Singapore recruitment team offered Malaysian students there a salary which is a few times they would expect to get in Malaysia : S$40,000 a yr for houseman after tax (equivalent to RM86000) which is about 5 times the pay of a houseman in Malaysia . But, as I say, pay is not the main problem. The living expenses Overseas is high. And for a person working overseas, the loneliness and the stress level is also high. So not everyone opts to work overseas because of pay. Many would not mind to work for lesser pay if they can stay near to their loved ones.



Why do people choose to work overseas, away from their loved ones?



Malaysia has many state-of-the-art hospitals and research centres, which may even be the envy of many countries. But hardware alone would not attract these experts to come home. In the medical fields, I have so many friends /classmates working overseas, many in world renowned centres.



Why do they do that?



Some of my classmates and friends did come back as specialists. After working a few years (many lasted a few months), most get disillusioned and went off. There is really not much prospect of career advancement. How many can hope to become a professor, even when they are an acknowledged expert in their field? On the other hand, lesser beings are being promoted to professorship for doing much less.



How many of them can have any say about how things are to be run? How many of them can blend into the local team where the work attitude is vastly different from that overseas? There is an unwritten rule that even if the person is very good, the head of the team has to be someone from a certain ethnic group who may not even be half as good as him.



In everyday life, some become disillusioned with the corruption, the red tape and tidak apa attitude of the officialdom. For an overseas doctor applying to work home, the application can take up to 6 months to get approved, whereas, Singapore sends teams overseas to recruit them on the spot, giving them forms to fill and offering them jobs immediately as long as they pass their final examination. See the difference?



It is the sense of being wanted and being appreciated that make these people stay overseas. Back here, they are often made to feel that they are of a lower class; they do not feel wanted and they do not feel appreciated. That is the main reason.



For those with children, the education system puts them off. Even school children can feel being discriminated; one glaring example is the 2 systems in Pre-University education.



All these make them pack their bags and off they go again, leaving behind their parents perhaps, siblings, friends they grew up together, favouite food that is often not available overseas. No one likes to be like this; circumstances and a sense of being recognised for their worth make them go away. It is really sad.



Parents spend huge amount of money educating them, but the ones who benefit are the Singaporeans, the Americans, the Australian, the British and so on. As long as race politics is not done away with, this problem of brain drain will continue and Malaysia will always lack behind the advanced countries, no matter how many twin towers and Putrajayas we build.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Lame Joke


周杰伦(周董)爱车大家众所周知,尤其是跑车。但是又有没有人知道周杰伦是不步行过马路的的呢?我有幸针对此事访问了周天王:
我:为什么你不在马路上走路的?
周杰伦:不行啊!每次在马路上行走,交警就会开罚单给我。
我:咦?为什么哩?
周杰伦:不知道啊!他们都说我“Jay walking”!

Monday, April 19, 2010

For Dummies

My dear friend, Akunamatata, one of the author of the For Dummies series recently finished his write-up on "Name of Large Numbers and what they really mean For Dummies". Thinking that there's a potential large market in Malaysia where most people can't differentiate between million and billion, he sent me a copy of his book and sought for my opinion.

"My ol' friend, not all Malaysians have this problem. But if you were to market this book to the government sector, I think they will surely pay you handsomely for solving one of their major problems. And maybe once they understood the numbers, they would probably spend the rakyat's money with care." I told Akunamatata via the telephone.


"What about the price? How much should I tag this book?" Akunamatata asked.

"Any price, just add more zeroes. As you know, they still can't tell whether 6,500,000 is 6.5 million or 6.5 billion. If you are lucky, they may think that 6,500,000,000 is only 6.5 million. All the best and good luck, mate!" and I hung up.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Echo

APCO: Course of Event

March 17, 2010 - Anwar claimed that the Barisan Nasional Government had engaged the services of international management consultancy firm Apco to create the 1Malaysia concept and aspirations. He said Apco was engaged by then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to create the One Israel concept in 1999.


March 18, 2010 - Apco issued a statement the next day to deny the allegation by Anwar, that they did not create the 1Malaysia concept and did not work with the Israeli government. Puzzlingly, Najib’s response in Parliament did not deny Apco’s comprehensive involvement, and not specifically to the 1Malaysia concept only.


March 31, 2010 - Apco issued a statement to Bernama yesterday, reiterating that it had neither worked with the Israeli government nor helped to create the 1Malaysia concept.


April 1, 2010 - The CEO and top officials of Mindteams were also the same people who had signed agreements on behalf of Apco with the Malaysian Government to help burnish the country’s image overseas, Anwar claimed, holding up papers which he alleged were evidence which showed Malaysia’s links with Apco. The same day, Khairy claimed that Datuk Seri Najib Razak coined “1Malaysia” 11 months before the Government signed a contract with Apco Worldwide.


April 7 ,2010 - Earlier in the Dewan, Anwar claimed Israeli’s military intelligence agents were working in Bukit Aman through a company, a matter which first came to light in 2008. He alleged that the police had carried out a project known as Apco P25 (a Police Reporting System) costing RM980mil which was contracted to the company.


April 14, 2010 - BY July, the Government would have paid Apco Worldwide Sdn Bhd’s subsidiary Mind Teams RM76.8mil for work done from last June. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, the payment was for services in public affairs, government affairs services and strategic communications, public relations and press outreach.

If you really want to know if Malaysia has progressed for the better since March 2008, don't solely rely on the headlines in mass media.

I am not being cynical, just a little reserved judging at the way Barisan Nasional has led us so far. They came up with the correct slogan, announced imminent favorable reforms and stressed on purging the venom which has deeply poisoned the nation for many decades. And, with all the deliberate publicity in praise of the current cabinet, especially the premier, who is in the limelight for photoshots with the US President and the Vice, the peasants are starting to believe that the rhetoric regime is beginning to change. Yes, the euphoria of reform fills the air.

Like I said, I still have my reservations.

I think that if one really wants to gauge the determination of the government to walk the talk and the level of propaganda translated into firm and resolute actions, the best way is to talk to people who are dealing with the government bodies and government servants. And, indeed, I happened to talk to a few.

"During Hari Raya, they wanted to take extra days off and we (non-Malays) would take up extra shifts to relieve them. But when it's Chinese New Year, they wouldn't allow us to apply for leaves because they too wanted to take extra days off! This is too much! Is this what you'd called 1Malaysia?" from government servant A.

"We had to do most of the work, because we are the only ones who are able to handle the task, to extract the numbers, interpret them and analyse. And we had to summarize the story for the big shots in the meeting. I applied for a transfer, but they wouldn't let me go because I am the only one who knows how to do it." from government servant B. B and his wife are in the public sector. Subsequently when their applications for transfer have been approved after multiple submissions, they had to reject the offer. The offer will transfer B and his wife to 2 separate towns which is 200km apart.

"Don't hope that your own kind will help you. They are busy smarming up to them (Malays) so that they can be promoted. Mind you, they are the ones that are exploiting you instead!" government servant C on his Chinese superior. Sounds like MCA and Gerakan to me.

"Last time, the medicine given out was tiptop. But now since the government is really out of money, we are buying drugs from secondary suppliers for a cheaper price. Everytime, when I prescribe drugs for patient, I felt that I am cheating because the effect of the medicine is as good as not taking any." a doctor in a general hospital expressed his worries.

"Do you think that the SMEs are really getting any financial aids? Don't be naive. You see my stall here? It's been a year since I started my business, I haven't receive the f*cking 3000 ringgit I applied for." from a business owner.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Ultimatum as Promised

For those who has been following my blog all along, you'd know that it has been a rocky boat ride for me to use Maybank's online trading system.

Every now and then, I would have trouble logging into the system or loading the page due to site maintenance (during active trading hours) or server problems, again and again. I had tried numerous ways to feedback and hope that the issue will cease once and for all, emails, call ins... To my dismay, no one heed my call.

And so, before my blood pressure shoots up beyond the uncontrollable threshold. I think, I better pull the plug. Today, I transferred all my equities to Public Bank.

Bye bye, Maybank! Without me, you still have the "67%" to support you. So, please keep on with the lackadaisical attitude. They're lovin it!

ps: Oh, did I mentioned that when I wanted to transfer my money today, it took me more than an hour when I am the only one doing telegraphic transfer at the Maybank's Taman Universiti branch? And I had to fill up 4 forms, because I cannot transfer more than X grand in one form. Good job, Maybank!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mini-CIQ for pedestrians to be built next year (2011)

Good news for Malaysians working in Singapore.


Nonetheless, let us not be overjoyed just yet. If Barisan Nasional wants to fish their votes, they better put words into deeds.


Let me keep this in my checklist and see if BN actually cash the cheque by 2011.


Mini-CIQ for pedestrians to be built next year


By FARIK ZOLKEPLI



April 11, 2010


JOHOR BARU: Construction of a mini Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex dedicated to pedestrians is expected to start early next year, says Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Samad.


He said discussions between Home Ministry officials, state non-governmental organisations, the police, state assemblymen in Johor Baru as well as city councillors show positive signs in implementing the project.


Shahrir said closed-door discussions, which had been held three times, were chaired by Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam. Others who attended were himself and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.


“In the latest meeting, the IGP had concluded that the mini-CIQ would not pose any security threat to the state or the country.


“We are optimistic that the project will get under way after we iron out some technical issues,” Shahrir told newsmen yesterday.


He said that among the technical matters were the issue of land near the Causeway, which is owned by the state government, the size and design of the complex, cost as well as whether the complex could cater to both in-bound and out-bound traffic.


He added that the proposed mini-CIQ for pedestrians was first brought up in 2008 after the public complained about traffic congestion and the lack of facilities for pedestrians.


“Most Johore folk and businesses want this facility. It can also revive businesses in the Johor Baru city centre which took a drastic hit when the new CIQ opened,” he said. Presently, traffic via the new CIQ flows to the Stulang area.


Shahrir said the mini-CIQ would afford convenience for pedestrians travelling to and from Singapore via the Causeway.


Currently, public transport commuters leave the CIQ through Johor Baru Central and City Square, requiring a long walk to the nearest bus stop.


In January last year, Shahrir, who was the then Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, had proposed utilising the old CIQ for pedestrian traffic, which could be the solution for the long walk public transport users had to endure at the new CIQ.

Shark Tale

After UN meeting rejected proposal to regulate shark fin trade.

Millions of hammerhead and whitetip are extracted from seas each year, mainly to satisfy a burgeoning appetite for sharkfin soup, a prestige food in Chinese communities around the world. The demand for fins has slashed populations by 90 percent in several regions.

The fish are often tossed back into the water after their precious fins have been sliced away.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Flipper

Recently watched The Cove's trailer on Facebook and I was deeply saddened by the fate of this lovely creature exposed in the documentary.

"The Cove exposes the slaughter of more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises off the coast of Japan every year, and how their meat, containing toxic levels of mercury, is being sold as food in Japan and other parts of Asia, often labeled as whale meat."

Of course, I am aware that dolphin butchering also happens elsewhere in Europe. But like what Ric O'Barry said in the documentary, if we can't stop it in this little body of water, then there is no hope to stop the slaughter in any place on earth.

If you want to see dolphins, watch them in their natural habitats.

Every divers' dream

Please watch the documentary and take part to save the dolphins here.

Photo of the Week

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Who let the dogs out?

"Bumiputeras should own 67 per cent of the country's wealth, in accordance with the population ratio." ~Ibrahim Ali, President of PERKASA.

33% of population sustaining and creating more than 80% of the nation's wealth, only to be shared by the other 67% of people?

As far as I am concern, the non-bumiputeras have never ever attempt to control the nation's economy. The non-bumiputeras, especially the Chinese, slogged tirelessly day and night to earn a living. First, they eke out a meagre living. Penny by penny, they accumulated and they strived unflaggingly to protect and to grow their wealth. Because, they believe that Heaven is fair and will award those who work hard to earn an honest living and that diligence is the key from rags to riches. With that said, surely, the non-bumiputeras wouldn't hinder other ethnic groups from sharing the economic pie as long as everyone works for it.

Furthermore, when there is a bumiputera-dominated government (Malay-dominated to be exact) and a Pro-Malay policy for more than 5 decades, and only a handful have benefitted from the New Economy Policy (NEP), who is to blame?

Open your eyes, my dear friends. You do not need to beg because you are not as weak as the government wants you to think.

And think again, 33% of population sustaining and creating more than 80% of the nation's wealth, only to be shared by the other 67% of unproductive people just doesn't make any sense. And to distribute the country's wealth by population ratio? Imbecilic.

菩萨

昨晚,在两个roti prata和两杯teh tarik之后,CM终于领悟了朋友和法侣的分别。在公车上回家的15分钟车程里,我上了一堂佛法课。

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

发现

昨天,CM发现她喜欢华文的原因。

Monday, April 5, 2010

I am sorry...

To those speculators and investors lurking out there, waiting for me to take up the shares that you all eagerly wanted to sell...

I am sorry.

To those people out there waiting to buy the blue chips from my portfolio...

I am sorry.

Because, once again, Maybank has done it again. I'd been stucked at this stupid page multiple times today. No matter what I tried, the trading page just wouldn't load.

Who am I to blame but my stupidity to stay with this horrible system?


Wait for my ultimatum, you SOB. 1Malaysia Boleh!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

马华328特大 重选成绩

今天的马华,四不象。

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NEM or NEP?

Najib unveiled the New Economy Policy Model this morning yet the impact towards Malaysia's financial market is minimal, up only 0.01% to 1319.35. With all the hooha prior to the announcement, I can't help but wonder why is the market not taking it more positively? I spent 15 minutes to go through the PM's keynote.

Very ambitious goal, I would say. Or maybe it's just a wishlist, to double the dollars per capita annual income to USD15,000 within 10 years, albeit it is not entirely impossible as Singapore had achieved this in the 90s. The question is HOW are we going to make this a reality? Just by privatising a few GLCs and gazetting a few parcel of lands for development? Come on!

However, one thing is sure to stay. There will still be two groups under the 1Malaysia umbrella, the Bumiputera and non Bumiputera, as mentioned repetitively in the keynotes.

"For instance, one important consideration will be developing a competitive and transparent tender process, with set and clear rules for the whole Bumiputera community, made of both Malay and other indigenous groups. This is set out as a common-sense enhancement of our policies for a new economic reality and where Inclusiveness is a key component in our new economic model. In practice, this approach will mean greater support for the Bumiputera, a greater support based on needs, not race. The Bumiputera segment still forms the majority in the vulnerable groups by any measure, and while our new approach will help those on low-incomes from any group, it will still largely benefit the Bumiputera community and at same time provide for the disadvantaged of other communities."

"The NEAC report sets out its view that the previous mechanism that concentrated on target setting should now focus on structured and dedicated capacity building investment that allows the Bumiputera to take advantage of new opportunities in the economy. In addition, fair access and opportunities to retraining, upgrading of skills and ability to gain employment will also be emphasized for all Malaysians."

"...transparent process will be implemented to ensure that potential private sector bidders meet a minimum set of criteria, including financial standing, track record in business expansion and management excellence, and that their proposals help grow the Bumiputera and 1Malaysia causes."

NEM replacing NEP. Same script, different title.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Do what you love (no excuses!)

Check Out What Uncle Bill Is Up To


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why I think Iskandar Malaysia Tak Boleh

Here, you will listen to how the (3rd) CEO of Iskandar Regional Development Authority, Ismail Ibrahim is grilled on The Breakfast Grille (BFM 89.9). ~lol~



Iskandar Malaysia has obtained RM56bil investment since 2006 to date, which has exceeded the targeted RM46bil. The way I hear it, there are 10 reasons that the Iskandar project will end up like our mega projects in KL like Cyberjaya.

  1. Lack of focus and the IRDA is branding on nothing. It has no plan.
  2. We are merely copying what Singapore has been doing with all those creative industries mentioned (IT, entertainment, filming, animation) and we have no edge against Singapore. Medical tourism? How can you succeed when your MPs, Ministers and Sultans go to Singapore for medical treatment? My point is with Singapore in the vicinity, it's checkmate for Iskandar Malaysia.
  3. Infrastructure wise, we are not ready. Broadband bandwidth of only 1Mbps, how to support those creative industries?
  4. Manpower wise, we are only starting to develop now? And for my friends who had proudly graduated from the local universities and colleges (including me), you know how much we weight. You've been there, you know what kind of graduates our higher education institutions are capable of producing.
  5. Cybercity in Kulai? Look at Cyberjaya, no Mc Donalds? Pffft. History in the making.
  6. Create higher income society? Just crossover the Causeway lar.
  7. Khazanah-linked FDIs - Come, I am paying you guys to f*ck me!
  8. Downstream manufacturing -> upstream manufacturing -> manufacturing intensive to service sector intensive. Our neighbour used 30-50 years to make the shift, what makes you think we can do it within 10 years? Some more with so many competent competitors in the region.
  9. Friendster coming in, yey! But, do you still use friendster these days?
  10. Our dear Ismail Ibrahim himself has so much doubts that he uses "perhaps" and "hope" so many times in his response. It's like saying, "Insya Allah, maybe one day perhaps hopefully Iskandar Malaysia will make it." And if you listen carefully, he keeps beating around the bush without convincing facts and figures.

More merry-go-rounds here: