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Monday, February 12, 2007

Don't bang me la. Everybody also same what.

(Lion: Eh! Don't bang me la. Everybody same what.)

Something always confuses me at this time of the year when Chinese New Year is around the corner. What is it? This thing about the fireworks ban is what. Each year during the Chinese New Year season there are always major stories in the mainstream media about the police arresting people caught selling banned fireworks. Firecrackers in particular. A few days ago the circus started with a full color story in The Star about police success in napping some fireworks merchants. Today in The Star the Customs Department director-general announced that they will now fine, on-the-spot, people caught lighting up firecrackers for the coming Chinese New Year celebration. RM100 compound fine. No talk. He even said that if the offender is a child then the parents will be fined.

Wah! Very tough talk man. But seriously. Fireworks are banned and we as law abiding citizens should and must abide by the law. All of us.

Okay, what I am going to say next may make me sound like I am racist and trying to disrupt the racial harmony of Bolehland. I am not. I am merely trying to understand how things work here. I have a right to know. I am concerned.

I live in a predominantly Malay area. I daresay that more than 75% of the population of the area is Malay. Each year during the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri season I hear crackers and fireworks going off in the area making a din to rival American firepower in the Middle East. I live with it because it is a time of celebration for my Malay breathren. Although fireworks are banned. Hiyah. Close one ear lor. We are all Malaysians ma. So I presume that these same people are illegally selling fireworks during those time of celebration. Yes?

Then how come there doesn't seem to be the same efforts made to catch illegal fireworks traders during that particular time of year? Well, not with as big a deal as they always want to make it during Chinese New Year. If this action is to used as an example that people should not break the law then it should be used for all festive seasons when there might be fireworks involved during celebrations. We are all Malaysians. We are law abiding rakyat. We will all support the policing of the law. So don't single out one community as being fireworks crazy criminals can ah?

Maybe, the police think that Chinese Malaysians are more prone to want to make 'noise' during the celebrations than other people. Maybe the newspapers just think that these 'arrests' make good stories during Chinese New Year instead of at other festive occasions. I also don't know anymore la.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Hallelujah! They finally got it!!!

(A Malaysian contractor's idea of "What? Clean already what."

Government contractors don't have the expertise? Not enough money to complete the job? Selling contracts for fast profits? No proper equipment for the job?

Why is the government saying these things now as if they consitute a revelation? Every member of the rakyat in Malaysia could have told them that years ago. We knew. Why didn't they?

Actually, there's no need even to focus on those multi-million Ringgit fuck-ups. Take a look around your neighbourhood.

The garbage collection contractor comes by in a little lorry with plywood wings attached so that they can carry more black plastic bags of household refuse while dripping the area with juices from rotting refuse.

The contractor given the job to repair major roads arrives with a couple of Indonesian labourers with a couple of shovels and cangkuls and a puny little roller. Yes, there is always the little can of tar and a twig with a rag wound on one end which is used to drip molten tar on the road surface before the stones or whatever rubbish is put on to fill potholes or pave uneven surfaces.

Of course, you also have to pity the public toilet cleaner who is armed only with a dirty rag and an even dirtier mop which is used to wipe everything from toilet bowls to toilet floors to even the wash basins. Disinfectant? Gloves? Cleaning paraphernalia? Oi! Hello this is Malaysia la.

So I would just like to tell the cabinet ministers and their fellow Rip Van Winkles that there is no need to shout about contractors who screw up all those multi-million Ringgit projects. It's the way it's always been done here in Bolehland all the way down the line.

Now, you have to tell us why you allowed it to happen?


Friday, February 02, 2007

Waffor I want to smile? You first.

(Adam: Come on. You smile first.)

These days government departments have launched campaigns to encourage their staff to provide service with a SMILE. And as you might have read in my account of my recent visit to renew my passport the service with a smile campaign is obviously working. Much to our delight after years of being confronted with sour-faced civil servants.

Today I discovered that a car distributor has also adopted a customer relations programme to encourage SMILES. This German-American company dresses their front line staff in T-shirts which bear the slogan…now wait for this…



Sometimes the best of intentions can go terribly wrong because of a variety of reasons. This slogan obviously was thought up by a creative writer who’s been through the Malaysian sekolah jenis kebangsaan system of English comprehension.

So if we don’t smile you won’t issit? We are your customers you know.

Ya, ya, ya. I know that what they meant was if their service is good enough to put smiles on our faces they’d be happy and smile too. But the message sure lost something in translation.

Oh did I mention it was a German-American company? This is surely a German-American fuck-up.


No la. Leasing only.

(Hmmm...shall I have it with beige or pink leather seats? Would a jacussi be too extravagant?)

I like Pak Lah. He has an honest face. He has a nice smile. For a time he looked like a man who could be trusted.

Following hot on the heels of the multi-million Ringgit yacht debacle and the untimely RM23million “gift” to his old school he’s now being grilled on the blogs about the purchase of a luxury executive jet which purportedly may cost up to US$60million.

Of course, the usual and by now typically lame Pak Lah excuses…

No it’s not for me. It’s for everybody. The King will use it also.

No, the government is not spending taxpayers money.

The plane will be purchased by a company.

Of course he does not mention, but everybody knows, that the company that he named is 100% owned by the government.

I still like Pak Lah. He has an honest face. He has a nice smile. He looked like a man who could be trusted.

But Pak Lah is turning out not to be a good or even adequate politician.

And as a Prime Minister he sucks. Big time. So far. (See? I can be optimistic.)