Saturday, January 22, 2011

MCA: Three fingers are pointing back at you

Star, MCA-owned and therefore is the party's mouthpiece, published today a laughable report quoting its president Dr Chua Soi Lek's campaign trail in Tenang.

It is not only laughable, it lacks intelligence. It lacks innovation because Chua continued to play race and religious issues in his pathetic bid to win Chinese votes.

After 53 years, the tainted MCA president continues to rely on old and stale issues, devoid of any innovative thoughts to forward Malaysia as one nation.

Chua's comments, published by an equally sub-standard political newspaper, shows that Chua has failed to look at himself in the mirror when raising issues to attack his political rivals.

In fact, every paragraph of the report can be rebuked easily, revealing Chua, the MCA and Barisan Nasional (BN)'s hypocritical politics.

Let's rip apart Star's report from its headline down to its news text and you will see what it really means.

The headline, 'Chua: Don't risk it on PAS' can be easily replaced with 'Chua: Don't risk it further on BN-Umno-Perkasa-Utusan Malaysia'.

The text, “Labis: A vote for PAS means endorsing its Islamic state concept and once given the support, even the DAP would be unable to influence the party or protect Chinese interests, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek said.”

What a joke that MCA is able to influence Umno or protect Chinese interest. It may as well read, “A vote for Umno means further endorsing Umno-Perkasa's Islamic state.”

Star: “'Such an endorsement would bring the dream of PAS – turning the country into an Islamic state – a step closer to reality,' he said when addressing devotees of the Teng Toh Tong temple here yesterday.”

Let's face reality - BN-Umno-Perkasa has already declared Malaysia an Islamic state. What's the difference?

: “'The PAS brand of Islamic state would paralyse development in the country because their priority is to get people to base their lifestyle on what they (PAS) think is proper,' he said.”

Is that so? Is Kelantan paralysed?

: “Apart from this, Dr Chua added, PAS rule would derail the 1Malaysia concept where all Malaysians, irrespective of race and religion, would be taken care of in the country's development.”

Is that so? Is MCA defending us against the racist and unity-destroying Utusan Malaysia, the mouthpiece of Umno? I only hear PAS and PKR defending non-Muslims against the racial slurs vomited by Umno-Perkasa.

And what about Umno leaders who say “Balik China, India, Cina, India semua penumpang saja,” (Go back to China, India. Chinese, Indians are only squatters in the country) and the classic, “Kita tidak perlu undi orang Cina, India untuk menang,” (We don't need Chinese, Indian votes to win), as uttered by Umno leaders in Titiwangsa , Malacca and Penang?

: “'Do you want to give up what you have been enjoying and risk putting your future and that of your family in the hands of PAS?' he asked,” may as well read, “Do you want to give up whatever that you may have left after 53 years of Independence and risk becoming beggars under BN-Umno-Perkasa.”

And Chua also cautioned the Chinese that PAS was using its Pakatan Rakyat partner – the DAP – to lure them. This is stupid - so, what is MCA doing now campaigning in Tenang? Isn't it for Umno-Perkasa? It's an Umno candidate, Chua, or have you been blinded?

As for Chua saying “DAP is in no position to influence PAS or protect you after you have given them the support,” who would believe that you or MCA is in any position to influence or dictate to Umno?

This is only one of many ridiculous reports being dished out by the MCA newspaper year in and year out. Why are people still paying to read such garbage? I got mine online, for free.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Selangor Times - January 21 2011 edition

For a better view, please click "Full Screen" at the top of the page, and then scroll.
Selangor Times 21 Jan 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Congratulations are in order for Guan Eng and his team

Like they say, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". UMNO may brand LGE for being anti-Malay, anti-Islam and all that jazz, but the results speak for itself. The following report is from Harakah Daily.

Penang has come up tops for capital investments in the manufacturing sector last year by contributing 26 per cent of the total investment in the country in 2010.

According to figures released by Malaysian International Development Agency (MIDA), the Pakatan Rakyat ruled state has increased its investment by a whopping 465 percent from RM2,165 million in 2009 to RM12,238 million in 2010.

“The significance of this historic achievement is highlighted by Penang's contribution of RM12,238 million to Malaysia's investment constituting 26% of Malaysia’s total investments of RM47,177 million in 2010,” said chief minister Lim Guan Eng in a statement to Harakahdaily.

Lim added the state had moved up to occupy the highest ranking in 2010, from its fourth place in 2009. Selangor came in second with RM10,641 million in 2010, a 50 percent increase from RM6,759 million in 2009.

Other PR-led states Kedah and Kelantan also saw increase in capital investment, with Kedah registering 30 percent more investment (RM1,960 million) in 2010 and Kelantan 34 percent more (RM169 million).

Penang leads

Lim said the 465 percent increase in state investment was a reflection of investors’ confidence towards the state's human capital, as well as an affirmation towards the state government’s strategy of promoting Penang as a choice destination for investors.

“Penang believes that competency, accountability and transparency (CAT) has also built confidence that a government with integrity can make things happen and both execute and deliver," he stressed, and added that Penangites could now proudly proclaim that "Penang leads".

He also said the state had received praise in the recent Auditor-General's Report and from Transparency International.

- Harakahdaily

Yet another Malay who joined the DAP

The short-sleeved white shirt was a dead giveaway. It’s marked out Mr Zairil Khir Johari as an active member of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), as it is the attire favoured by this Chinese-based party.

‘I’m just an ordinary member,’ he said.

But he already devotes a substantial amount of time to party work. The 28-year-old businessman had made his maiden political appearance last month when he gave a well-received speech at the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) convention in Penang. The DAP is one of the parties making up the opposition PR alliance.

His speech raised a few eyebrows for two reasons: one, he is a Malay who has joined this Chinese-led party; and two, he is the son of an illustrious Umno politician, Tan Sri Khir Johari.

As his late father had served in the Cabinet of the first three prime ministers in a career spanning almost 30 years, the decision not to join Umno sent an uncomfortable signal to the dominant Malay party.

But it was his choice of DAP that caused the greatest stir. It is rare for a Malay to join this party seen by many Malays to be a Chinese chauvinist party.

He is not the first Malay to do so. Three years ago, Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim, a former vice-chairman of anti-graft organisation Transparency International, also made waves when he joined the DAP.
There have been other Malays within the party as well, but none as high-profile as Mr Zairil.

The DAP hopes these high-profile members can help allay the anxiety among Malays about it. The Malay acceptance of the DAP, as Mr Zairil puts it, ‘is at its lowest point’.

This is not good news when the Malay population is growing much faster than the non-Malays, and as more seats become mixed constituencies. In the 2008 general election, the DAP won the Malay votes because of the backlash against Umno but it won’t be able to count on this in the next general election, widely believed to be called this year.

Political analyst Ibrahim Suffian, who runs the pollster Merdeka Centre, said the DAP must transform from being operationally a Chinese party into a true national party for its survival.

Mr Zairil said it was unfortunate that DAP is saddled with an anti-Malay image, recalling how he was asked by a well-to-do Malay woman recently if Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng – who is also DAP’s secretary-general – was anti-Malay.

Flabbergasted, he pointed out that the authorities in Penang are so meticulous that the island even separates its revenues from halal and non-halal sources. Islamic activities are funded only from halal sources.

‘It’s all vicious spin,’ he said.

But he realised this perception is far-reaching when some Malays accused him of betraying his race by joining the DAP. Fortunately, his friends and family were wholly supportive.

He, however, does not believe that the DAP should try to recruit more Malays as part of its efforts to shed its anti-Malay image. Instead, he believes it should work on issues affecting the Malay working class, such as jobs, housing and transportation.

These issues are, in fact, the concerns of the urban poor of all races. He warned that the DAP must avoid playing to the ruling Barisan Nasional’s mould of racial politics. ‘That would be silly,’ he said.

In a bid to attract more Malays into its fold, the party has set up several Malay-led branches in Kuala Lumpur.

So far, it’s still an uphill battle. But the party is banking on the younger generation to be more open, its strategist Liew Chin Tong said.

[Source: Singapore Straits Times]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hatta Wahari, the brave journalist

This is Hatta Wahari, senior jounalist for Utusan and President of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). He was unceremoniously removed from his job after he spoke out about the journalistic ethics practised by his employer. A domestic inquiry was scheduled but did not take place due to certain arrangements stipulated by Hatta for the hearing and in which the management was not in agreement.

Hatta is now camping outside his office as a protest of his indefinite suspension from his job.

All Malaysians should applaud the courage of this man for taking on the might of Utusan, and I believe that all Malaysians would like to wish him well and support him in whatever ways possible, including his proposed nasi lemak stall to keep him financially going.

This reminds me of a quote made by the late Sir Winston Churchill during the battle for Britain with Nazi Germany, "NEVER IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN CONFLICT, HAVE SO MUCH OWED BY SO MANY TO SO FEW". Here, the truth rings.

The spoken quote appears at 3:06.

And Hatta, this song is for you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Poor English skills bad for economy

A nation’s economy is only as good as its education system. So powerful is education that even the subtlest tweak has the propensity to either elevate or relegate a nation on the global stage.

Policy-makers therefore tread with great care when proposing policy amendments, acutely aware of the staggering impact their decisions would have on the country’s future.

Malaysia’s policy-makers, however, appeared to have lacked this attention to detail when deciding to reverse the teaching and learning of Science and Maths in English (PPSMI). And that move has placed Malaysia’s economy on shaky ground.

Cheong Kee Cheok, a Senior Research Fellow with the Faculty of Economics in Universiti Malaya, expressed grave concern over the system’s failure to produce the human resources needed to propel the country forward. And this, he warned, would severely cripple the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Malaysia.

“One of the benefits a country reaps from FDI is the acquisition of technology,” he said. “But we can only acquire it if we speak the language of technology, which is English. Unfortunately, we are losing out to the Thais, Vietnamese and Chinese in our ability to communicate in English.”

“We have enjoyed FDI for 30 years but what technology have we acquired? To a certain extent, piracy is a key indicator of a country’s technological prowess. China is able to pirate almost anything whereas our piracy is limited to DVDs.”

The inability of a nation to acquire a certain strength leaves it no choice but to be dependent on other nations. This stagnancy will gradually reduce its competitiveness and eventually ease it out of the economic supply chain altogether.

“Our lack of technological expertise will dissuade technologically capable industries from investing in Malaysia,” Cheong said. “Right now we are still locked in a supply chain but our position will shift as other nations become better.”

Fear of backlash

Another professor, who declined to be named for fear of backlash from the Education Ministry, revealed two other flaws in the education system. Both are related to the Public Service Department scholarships.

The first flaw, she said, was a shortage of scholarships for physical sciences. The second – and more alarming – flaw was that these scholarships were being awarded to students who either didn’t have the aptitude or the interest to pursue a career in physical sciences.

“Malaysia produces less than 20% of physical science graduates,” she stated. “Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and China produce 30% to 40%, which increases their preponderance for acquiring technology.”

“And because most of our graduates weren’t interested in physical sciences in the first place, they carve careers in other industries upon graduation, which further dilutes our already limited resource pool.”

She blamed the political powers for handicapping the country by using its education system as a political tool, especially in the PPSMI reversal.

Pointing to Vietnam and China as examples of governments with foresight, she said that both countries had each launched an all-English government university.

“Their governments recognised English as an international language, not a colonial one,” she emphasised. “And they essentially told their people that if they didn’t like it, then they didn’t have to come. But that opportunity was there for those who did want it.”

“Malaysia has a myopic vision. We look inwardly to see how fast we have improved without taking into account how our competitors are faring. Our education system is not producing people who can think, which is fundamental to a country’s growth.”

But it is not just the science and technology industries that are suffering the butterfly effect of the PPSMI reversal. Even the food industry is fearing for its future in the global market.

English terms

At a recent public forum organised in support of PPSMI, an entrepreneur who only wanted to be known as Mazidah related the struggle she faced in her food-processing business.

“Our previous interns weren’t exposed to Science and Maths in English and had problems understanding industry terminologies,” she recalled.

“Their working papers were downright embarrassing. I recently found out that many have opted not to pursue a career in the food industry after all because they can’t cope with the English terms.”

Her recent batch of interns, however, underwent the PPSMI and she marvelled at the difference in their capabilities. According to her, they understand the industry requirements, have better communication skills and are on top of advancements in the industry as they are able to read books written in English.

“The food industry can be very difficult if you’re not exposed to scientific terms in English,” she stressed. “And we’ll drop very far behind if we don’t do something about our education system now.”

The other issue that greatly aggravates her is the Health Ministry’s decision to hold two separate workshops on food safety management systems – one in English and one in Bahasa Malaysia (BM).

“The ministry officials told us that the BM workshop is meant for the local market and the English version is for those who wish to export their products,” she said. “But this is ridiculous! Not only will it widen the existing class divide but it will also hamper our global competitiveness.”

[Source: FMT]

Meet Normala Sudirman, our candidate for Tenang

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Humour



My daughter and I went through the McDonald's take-out window and I
gave the clerk a £5 note. Our total was £4.20, so I also handed her a
20 pence piece. She said, 'You gave me too much money.'
I said, 'Yes I know, but this way you can just give me £1 back.'
She sighed and went to get the Manager who asked me to repeat my request.
I did so, and he handed me back the 20 pence and said 'We're sorry but
we do not do that kind of thing.'
The clerk then proceeded to give me back 80 pence in change..

Do not confuse the clerks at MacDonald's.


We had to have the garage door repaired. The GARADOR repairman told us
that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough
motor on the opener.
I thought for a moment, and said that we had the largest one GARADOR
made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower.
He shook his head and said, 'Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.'
I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4 and he said,
'NOOO, it's not. Four is larger than two..'

We haven't used Garagedoor repair since. Happened in Moor Park , near Watford .


I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbour call the
Highways Department to request the removal of the 'DEER CROSSING' sign
on our road.

The reason: 'Too many deer are being hit by cars on this stretch of road!
I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.'

Story from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.


My daughter went to a local Kentucky Fried Chicken and ordered a Taco.
She asked the person behind the counter for 'minimal lettuce.'
He said he was sorry, but they only had Iceberg Lettuce.

From South Oxhey , Hertfordshire.


I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked,
'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?'

To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?'

He smiled knowingly and nodded, 'That's why we ask.'

Happened at Luton Airport .


The traffic light on the corner buzzes when it's on red and safe to cross
the road. I was crossing with anntellectually challenged friend of mine.
She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for.
I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red.
Appalled, she responded, 'What on earth are blind people doing

She is a Local County Council employee in Harrow , Middlesex.


When my husband and I arrived at our local Ford dealer to pick up our
Car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the
Service Department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock
the Driver's door.

As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door
Handle and discovered that it was unlocked.

'Hey,' I announced to the Fitter/Mechanic, 'its open!'

His reply: 'I know. I already did that side.'

This was at the Ford dealership in St Albans , Hertfordshire

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's a small cup after all

THE Prime Minister declared a public holiday. Just because the national football team won the AFF Suzuki Cup, involving Asean nations.

The Youth and Sports Minister said financial incentives would be given to the members of the team.

The MIC president asked for a datukship to be given to K Rajagopal, the coach.

The mainstream media went to town with its coverage of Malaysia’s victory over Indonesia in the final, with newspapers devoting pages to the news, including their front page, hailing the players as “heroes”.

Muzium Negara is going to hold an exhibition showcasing the team’s success in winning the Cup.

Please! We are going overboard!

Our football team did well and deserves to be congratulated. We should commend everyone who played a part in its victory and tell them they did a good job, and wish them future successes.

They should be praised for their courage in the second leg of the final for facing a hostile Indonesian crowd in Jakarta and losing by only 1-2.

And then we should move on.

What is the real agenda in declaring a public holiday? We didn’t win the World Cup; we merely won a tournament featuring the nations of ASEAN, a small regional grouping in the context of the big world out there.

Only eight teams participated in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 – the highest-ranked among them according to FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) was Thailand, at the 121st spot. Another participant, Laos, was the lowest among them, at number 167, out of 203 footballing nations.

Malaysia itself is ranked number 144.

So what’s the big deal in winning the Cup to warrant the declaration of a public holiday? If Malaysia had won the Asian Cup, that might have been something more to crow about. Although that still would not warrant a public holiday.

We sound like a desperate footballing nation clutching on to a small trophy and declaring it a blue ribbon. To outsiders looking in, we must appear a laughing stock.

Declaring a public holiday for a low-level achievement is sending out the wrong message and inculcating the wrong values.

It’s saying we don’t have to bother about standards, so we can celebrate mediocrity. The values cultivated from this are obviously negative: we don’t have to do really well in order to be rewarded handsomely. Hasn’t this been our national malady in the last few decades?

It’s also important to consider that one swallow does not make a summer. Our team’s victory this time in a competition involving Asia’s football minnows is not an automatic sign that bigger achievements are in the offing. As it is, we didn’t even qualify for the Asian Cup 2011.

By all means, we should give due encouragement to the team and build on their Suzuki Cup success, but big-scale celebrations are certainly premature. The rewards for now should be modest and proportionate to the achievement.

Giving a datukship to the coach would cheapen the value of such titles, if they are not already questionable in some cases. Let Rajagopal take Malaysia to the second round of the World Cup finals, then talk about giving him a title. That would be some achievement; although even to qualify for it is, at this point, unimaginable.

So why do we want to swell the heads of our footballers? Hasn’t it been the Malaysian hubris to laud sportspeople as heroes before their time has come? And then when they perform the next time on a bigger stage and falter, would it really be their fault if they failed to live up to our expectations?

So, instead of giving substantial financial incentives to the players, why not use the money to provide better training facilities?

Was Prime Minister Najib Razak acting responsibly in declaring a public holiday? Football is big in Malaysia, and especially among the youths, and he knows that. From the way it looked, he exploited the victory to score points and raise his popularity ratings, which could translate into votes for his party at the next general election.

But this time around, he took a cheap shot. And came out looking like an opportunist. Whichever Blue Ocean strategy he employed, it isn’t one that comes with moral considerations.

Leadership means imparting what’s right, not attempting to be populist. In fact, politics in this country has become so dirty that our leadership has lost sight of what it means to impart the right values. The most obvious example of dirty play is BN’s takeover of Perak from Pakatan Rakyat.

If that’s leadership by example, it’s no wonder that the people have also been influenced to play dirty. That’s what was manifested during the first leg of the Suzuki Cup final played in Kuala Lumpur – when Malaysian football fans flashed laser lights on the faces of the Indonesian players to distract them from playing properly. That was, to say the least, a despicable act. From whom did our football fans learn to play so dirty?

Addressing this moral issue is more important than winning tournaments. And it is this that Malaysian leaders should be doing rather than placing priority on the winning. They should be asking whether the Malaysian value system has deteriorated – and if so, why. They should be asking how it can be salvaged, and improved. And whether we have become so corrupt that we don’t know what’s right and wrong any more.

Coincidentally, as the Cup final was going on, news broke of a WikiLeaks disclosure about a government cover-up of a rape committed by a senior Malaysian Cabinet minister on his Indonesian maid three years ago. Could all this football hype be intended to distract Malaysians from that issue?

Conspiracy theorists believe it could be. If they are right, it would confirm how morally low we have sunk. Even worse if the rape report is true.

When just last week, former Israeli president Moshe Katsav was convicted on two counts of rape, sensible Malaysians would have taken heart and wondered if such a vindication of justice could ever happen in Malaysia, especially involving a former head of state. Going by the current priorities of our government, the jury is still out.

[Source: Kee Thuan Chye/Malaysian Digest]

Nostalgic Weekend - Tracy Huang

Tracy Huang is a Taiwanese and was a successful artiste in her home country recording her works in Mandarin. It was only after she moved to Singapore in the mid-70s that she became well known to Malaysians and Singaporean (and I believe Philippines too) when she started releasing albums after albums in English. This was the first Chinese cross-over that I know who never failed to surprise with each album. The tracks recorded were all cover versions but she was a hit no doubt. She has a silky voice that is so pleasant to listen to, especially with your eyes closed. She certainly reminds me of one international artiste who was also making waves during this period, Olivia Newton-John. Here are three of her popular tracks, "What a wonderful world", "Feelings" and "He ain't heavy, he's my brother".

Previous Features:

The Saints, Kuala Lumpur
The Quests, Singapore
The "Little" Falcons, Kuala Lumpur
The Crescendos, Singapore
Rose Iwanaga, Sarawak
Naomi & The Boys, Singapore
Rocky Teoh, Ipoh
The Surfers/October Cherries, Singapore
Janice Wee, Sarawak
Roy Chew & The Merrylads, Kuala Lumpur
The Checkmates, Singapore
Terry Thaddeus and The Teenage Hunters, Kuala Lumpur

The Thunderbirds, Singapore

The Straydogs, Singapore
The Strollers, Kuala Lumpur
The Western Union Band, Singapore
Frankie Cheah, Kuala Lumpur
Sharifah Aini, Kuala Lumpur
Sudirman Arshad, Kuala Lumpur