Friday, June 4, 2010

The Israelis warned the flotilla

I, like any peace loving persons on this planet earth, deplore the abhorent act of the Israelis of shooting and killing unarmed civilians especially when these people are on a mercy mission to a nation that has been cut off from the rest of the world. However when one looks at the whole episode objectively, it may yet paint a different picture. The Israelis provided early warning to the crew of the Mavi Marmara not to approach the militarised area and went further by instructing the crew to dock at the Ashdod Port instead, where they can then proceed using the formal land crossings under the crew's supervision. Why did the crew not adhere to the instruction and instead responded by saying, "Negative, negative ... our destination is Gaza". If you were to ask me, such stubborn act is merely inviting trouble since Israel is a nation on war footing for the last 60 years and will not hesitate to retaliate if they felt threatened. In any case, the world had better take a step back before the region explodes into another international crisis which we can do without.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Boycott BHP!!!!!!

When a Perodua Myvi caught fire this morning [June 3] on Jalan Cheras, bystander Teo Chai Yong rushed to a nearby BHP petrol station for help.

He little expected that his request for a fire extinguisher would be refused by the two BHP staff on duty and as his pleas fell on deaf ears, the Myvi's female driver died as the car burned.

NONEThe Myvi in question was severely damaged in an accident involving a lorry and a Toyota Vios.

According to Teo, he heard the Myvi's female driver call for help while at the same time, a fire around the engine area was spreading.

The accident occured at around 3.30 am, near the Cheras velodrome according to Bernama.

While making calls to the fire department and police, Teo made his way to the petrol station.

His requests were denied, the staff claiming that the management did not allow the loan of fire extinguishers to the public.

[Source: Malaysiakini]

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In nine years time, I shall be eating towgay and ikan bilis

So, after years of ripping off the nation's coffer, feeding their greedy wants, now they tell us we will be closing shop in nine years time. I do not mind if the country has good governance and well managed, i.e. corruption free, but when you have brainless people going around spending tax payer's money like it is their "ah kong's" (grandfather in Hokkien) money, then I can only surmise that this is not only negligent of the highest order but criminal as well. They said that the removal of subsidies will only affect the petroleum products. Hello, friend, the moment petrol prices go up, all rest will follow, or don't you know.

Idris Jala in his report failed to mention about corruption in the government. All he did was to explain plain economics. We want the realpolitik stuff. To begin with, if Ibrahim Ali so loves the Malays, he can start by donating his wealth to a "Tabung Melayu". That Toyo fella can auction off his RM24m mansion and donate it to the same fund. Mahathir another hard core "Malay", can start by selling off his Country Heights home and donate it to the fund. What about his son, Muhkriz? The "self made" billionaire. All UMNO members from top to bottom, should follow suit. After all why take it out on the little men when they are trying to live from hand to mouth? So what do you say, UMNO? Don't you think its time to do your bit for your race? With all the money collected from the donations which I believe will be in the billions, the nation can ride the tide come 2019.

Here is an interesting article by blogger Hakim Joe, which I would like to re-produce here.

The government is telling me that the country will be bankrupt in 9 years unless subsidies are slashed. Does this mean that there will be no more favoring the Bumiputeras as well? No more wasteful projects and no more bailouts?

No…the government tells me that terminating fuel subsidies is more than sufficient to keep this nation afloat. We can still go on with the crooked scenic bridge if we wanted to or keep bailing out GLCs but retaining the fuel subsidies in a petroleum producing country is definitely a big no-no.

Well, what about the purchase of the goddamned submarine that cannot dive and the helicopters with the reverse signals and side mirrors? What about the bill for the full page advert of the fat imposter who wants to be the Permaisuri Agong and the handouts in the Hulu Selangor and Sibu by-elections? What about Bakun Dam and PKFZ?

According to TDM, Petronas earned hundreds of billions of Ringgit at the time when petroleum subsidies were given to all Malaysians. He should know better since he had carte blanche to the Petronas dollars whilst he was still the Malaysian dictator. Now our present PM tells me that this situation is no longer valid. The country is so poor that they are willing to barter the KTM land for two plots of commercial lots in uptown Singapore.

What do all these spell for the common Malaysian trying hard to earn a decent wage? It means that you will be totally and comprehensively fucked (excusé le French).

One, with our miserable public transportation, it will mean that Malaysians will stay as one of the major users of petroleum in the world, unless something drastic is done to improve it. Fuel consumption is high. The perpetual traffic jams will see to that. Perhaps the use of bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation? Not unless they clear all the kopi-o license drivers from the road and patch up those ravine-sized potholes.

Two, all commodities are tied to fuel prices. One can produce semi-cheap vegetables from the not-so-cold-anymore Cameron Highlands but they require transportation down to where the consumers are. Ditto everything and last time I heard, these modes of transportation require fuel. Add that to the price of these commodities and there you have it.

Three, when the price of world petroleum goes up, Petronas earns more. When this occurs, the government collects more in taxes from Petronas. The PM’s personal Petronas kitty is henceforth also enlarged. With fuel subsidies, it doesn’t mean a thing to the petrol users in Malaysia. Without subsidies, you pay more for fuel as the pump prices mimic the international fuel prices.

With less cash to spend on non-essentials, the national economy shrinks. With inflated prices on just about everything, the inflation rate rises. When that happens, the value of the Ringgit falls against all currencies and interest rates will go up. Market confidence will however go the opposite direction and the quality of life as a Malaysian deteriorates.

Companies will tighten their belts and in come the rounds of instant dismissals and voluntary retirement packages. When jobs are scarce, money is scarce. When money is scarce, the crime rate goes up. When the crime rate goes up, foreign investment takes a dive. When foreign investments dry up, the value of the Ringgit falls. International trade will therefore be lessened. All in all, the shit will hit the fan.

The question begging to be asked is not why the subsidies must be taken away but how we got ourselves into such a miserable situation. Malaysia used to possess one of the most vibrant economies in Southeast Asia. Now they tell us that situation is ancient history and that we are facing bankruptcy within 9 years, not that the time really matters because we are heading there anyway. This round will be the removal of fuel subsidies, what will they take away during the next round of cuts? Will the imposition of VAT be on the cards soon? Will taxation become the chief income earner for the government?

Until corruption is thoroughly checked, whatever income the nation makes will never be sufficient to nurture the appetites of the corrupted. Until checks and balances are stringently imposed, the public will forever be the first to suffer from it.

And then we have a former dictator saying that the construction of his crooked but scenic bridge is still viable…..

Monday, May 31, 2010

Greece and Malaysia - the economic gloom

I have just watched a documentary regarding Greece 's financial and am appalled. These are the why's and how's this historic and beautiful country came to grieve.

Bureaucracy: Greece's bureaucracy is famous in the whole of Europe. To open a cafe or pub there are 25 processes to go through. This is a country of rules and regulations.

Bloated civil service: There are 1.05 million civil servants (excluding police and armed forces). The population of Greece is only 10 million. More than 10% are government servants. Salary increases every year and benefit for civil servants in Greece are one of the best in Europe.

More and more money is needed to upkeep this bloated civil service. The retirement age is 62 years old.

Corruption: Greece is the most corrupted nation in the Eurozone. Citizens pay 'under the table money to:

- be admitted into a public hospital

- pass a driving license

- to enter the public service

- to renovate your business premises or your home

- to avoid income tax

Every government project is awarded to political cronies and at hugely inflated prices. Transparency International compared the prices of the construction costs of stadiums built for the Athens Olympics recently with similar structures in China - they 500% more expensive than the Chinese and when compared to Los Angeles and Sydney - 50% more expensive. All this with tax payers' money and borrowings.

Tax evasion: Officially 80% of its citizens are supposed to pay tax but only 37% are doing so. Big businessmen and corporations have refined tax evasion to a fine art (or have the tax men take some coffee money?)

No transparency in governance: The politicians and bureaucrats falsify economic data and painted a rosy and manageable picture while the economy was rotting away .

Unabated borrowings: Meanwhile, the politicians and bureaucrats continue to issue government bonds to keep afloat, series after series. They tried to cover up the financial mess they had created, creating one big hole to cover up the previous.

Lacking political will power to reform: To keep a hold onto political power, politicians are prepared to lie and commit economic and political fraud. If reforms were taken some five years ago, the country need not go bankrupt and its citizens need not suffer so much.

Political expediency and greed for political power overrode everything else and hence Greece is now a bankrupt country. Luckily, it is part of the European Union and its currency is Euro, otherwise the Greeks would have to eat grass to survive.

Laid back attitude: Tourism is the only industry in Greece and over the years the Greeks have had an easy time. Many flocked to see the historical sites and enjoy summer vacation on the islands. But they forgot that not many tourists will return after visiting the sites - there are so many other tourists attractions in the world, some maybe more exotic and perhaps cheaper.

So once tourism waned coupled with the higher cost of living, the Greeks could not and refused to adapt and transform. Greece has no natural resources, no electronics industry, no R&D - no anything. And even now, the civil servants refuse to take a pay cut.

The producer of the documentary had hired a taxi driver to go around while doing this documentary. The taxi driver had studied economics for four years in the US and this was his parting words:

'My biggest mistake was returning 15 years ago. I should have stayed back in US. My nationalist instinct made me returned. The politicians screwed me. I loved my country but my country did not love me.

Friends, I can see a lot of similarity with Malaysia. I need not go into boring details, it is there for all to realise. Unless we transform politically and economically, sadly this day will surely come . It is not a matter of 'if' but only a matter of 'when'.

Monday Humour

A priest was being honoured at his retirement dinner after 35 years in the parish.

A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to give a little speech at the dinner. However, the politician was delayed, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited:

"I got my first impression of the parish from the very first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it.

He had also stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss's wife, taken illegal drugs, and gave VD to his sister. I was appalled.

But as the days went on I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people."

Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived and showed his grand entrance, full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and gave his talk:

"I'll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived,' said the politician. 'In fact, I had the honour of being the first person to go to him for confession."


A father walks into a restaurant with his young son. He gives the young boy three coins to play with to keep him occupied. Suddenly, the boy starts choking, going blue in the face. The father realizes the boy has swallowed the coins and starts slapping him on the back.

The boy coughs up two of the coins, but
keeps choking.Looking at his son, the father is panicking,
shouting for help.

well dressed, attractive, and serious looking woman, in a blue business suit is sitting at a coffee bar reading a newspaper and sipping a cup of coffee. At the sound of the commotion, she looks up,puts her coffee cup down, neatly folds the newspaper and places it on the counter, gets up from her seat and makes her way, unhurriedly, across the restaurant.

Reaching the boy, the woman carefully drops his
pants; takes hold of the boy's' testicles and
starts to squeeze and twist, gently at first and then ever
so firmly.. After a few seconds the boy convulses violently and Coughs up the last coin, which the woman deftly catches in her free hand.
Releasing the boy's testicles, the woman hands the
coin to the father and walks back to her seat at the coffee bar without saying a word.

As soon as he
is sure that his son has suffered no ill effects, the father rushes over to the woman and starts thanking her saying, "I've never seen anybody do anything like that before, it was fantastic.

Are you a
doctor? "
'No,' the woman replied.

'I'm from Jabatan Hasil Dalam Negeri.'


“Look, Officer – I already checked the glove box three
My registration isn’t in there.”

Police Officer:

"Please Check again!”

Singapore taxi drivers learn to speak French