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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ladieeeeeeeeeeees and gentlemen......children of all ages......

While I was on the treadmill at the gym this morning I spent about half an hour watching the CNN broadcast of the American election campaigns. What a show! It is almost like a circus. Animals, clowns, jugglers, ring masters....

Well I guess most elections in any country in the world is like that. It's a big show. But there is something about the American version though. Of course, it is bigger, better, more glitzy than anyone else's. I mean not that our Malaysian elections, whenever they happen are any less of a show. But if we compare the two then I would say that the Americans are like a 3-ring circus. A huge Barnum & Bailey extravaganza while our more modest Pilihan Raya is more like a Royal London Circus la. It's there, you've seen it and you're not much inclined to go again. Know what I mean?

But while watching CNN's coverage of the American caucusses, primaries and what have you...I could not help but notice how 'INVOLVED' the American people are in their presidential elections. So I know la, like everywhere else, the puppet strings are being pulled by hidden masters but in the USA there is at least a show of the people's involvement. Every video they show. Every news report. Thousands of Americans. Out in force. Supporting the Republicans, the Democrats. American citizens in the process of determining who they want their leader to be. Electing the saviour of the Free World. Blah blah blah. Good show.

But here in Malaysia there seems to be a distinct lack of participation by the people in elections. Whether they are general elections or by-elections. Our elections all seem to be shows that only star the politicians of the ruling parties. Ever realise how little we the people count in our elections?

Sure they (the politicians) come out and court voters. But it is always about THEM not us.

Remember how WE got you this and that. Be grateful for what WE have done for you. WE have achieved so much for the country. So you must vote for US.

I remember listening to Hillary Clinton on CNN saying to her supporters after winning the New Hampshire primaries, "...I listened to you and in the process I found my own 'voice'...." What a good line. Can you imagine a Malaysian politician giving that credit to his electorate? Well maybe they do la but it would probably sound like this...".... I listened to you. But we must be sensitive, tolerant. Be mindful of our diverse cultures and all. May 13 you know? In other words...what was I saying already? Oh for ME so that I can TELL you how to live and what to do. Okay?"

Real life Malaysians are ever only featured in elections when they are used as public relations props for the politicians. Babies to carry. Mak Cik's and Pak Cik's to pity or give some miserable few bags of biscuits or rice to etc. before the YB gets back into his Proton which will ferry him to his Mercedes Benz S500 which will zip him to KLIA to his/her 1st class seat to visit his son/daughter who is pursuing a degree in political science in Australia or UK or USA.............and so on and so forth.

Malaysian politicians should learn from the Americans how to put on a good show. Then maybe when we, the rakyat, get screwed we won't feel so bad. At least we had a good show.


Shit reasoning.

On page N18 of The Star today, the deputy minister of education was quoted as saying that parents who want their children to enjoy 5-star toilet facilities in their schools must be prepared to pay. Be afraid, be very afraid......this guys is the deputy minister of EDUCATION! But he is just perpetuating our typical Bolehland approach to doing anything these days which seems to be Don't address the inherent problem. Just spend money to buy stuff.

Since we are speaking of toilets in Malaysia, my wife just told me this horrifying story. She and the kids were in one of the KLCC toilets recently and witnessed its cleaning procedure. The cleaner came in with a mop and bucket. She proceeds to one of the toilet stalls and ....... wait for it ....... dunks the mop into the toilet bowl, flushes the toilet and rinses her mop in it! Then she proceeds to mop the toilet floor and repeats the process. And this is the KLCC, folks. Welcome to our capital city.

I once witnessed a toilet cleaner using the same mop to mop the toilet floor and then without even rinsing it in the toilet bowl or bucket uses the same mop to 'clean' the wash basins and table tops!

So you think behaviour and attitudes like these can be solved with money and more equipment?

Oh before I forget, here is today's MSM mystery. Why would anybody propose a theme park for an international airport?

Well, in all their infinite wisdom Malaysia Airports Bhd. are proposing just that. Its managing director has announced that 10,000 ha. of land around the KLIA is to be developed. The development will include a recreation park, business centres, offices and a theme park. I think that being the managing director of Malaysia Airports he should concentrate on making KLIA a better airport and making sure that it is used to its full capacity. Instead he's going to put his resources behind some pussy footing attempts at building something out in the middle of nowhere and expecting people to want to go there to have a good time at the theme park? Hello? Priorities la, priorities. Okay la so I know that there's a lot of money to be made by launching a project like that, right? Clearing forests, building infrastructure, approving stuff, appointing contractors, handing out contracts and the list goes on. It might be interesting to find out who the owners are of those 10,000 ha. of land which I guess otherwise would be Well, I guess the bright side is that KLIA will be in the record books as the first airport that has a theme park attached.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Daily mysteries

News is intended to inform and perhaps enlighten, right? Well at least that's what I thought for most of my life. But apparently in Malaysia our news, or at least the news we get from the main stream media (MSM) is calculated to mystify. Today's STAR is full of mysteries.

On the front page..."Govt to flood market with 70,000 tonnes of cooking oil".

Eh? For the past few days the news was all about cooking oil shortage...

Manufacturers can't make enough fast enough...Subsidised cooking oil is being smuggled out of the country...Selfish people are hoarding...and there were a few more reasons which I can't even bother to remember.

And then suddenly......"Govt to flood market with 70,000 tonnes of cooking oil".

Now where did the government get the extra cooking oil from? And we ain't talking about two bottles or 5kg you know. We talking 70,000 tonnes of the stuff here. So? Where did they get it from? Were they part of the hoarders cartel? Did they smuggle some out to some secret government warehouse? Or did somebody fuck up again and talking cock?

Anyway, if you read the MSM stories today on this cooking oil 'flood' you will also read some subtle but big hints about what is coming. Possibly after the elections? Some joker from the Prime Minister's office has begun the usual spin. About subsidies. And how it costs the government RM800 million annually. So expect an increase in the price of cooking oil sometime soon I guess. Just the thought should oil your thinking about how you want to vote when the General Elections come. Right?

Mystery #2

The man who committed adultery and was caught out "live" and in color walks free after 'apologising' to his wife and family and the whole country. Forgive and forget. Move on. That's the call from political parties etc.

In the meantime, 3 people caught for making copies of the DVD showing the adulterous minister have been fined and jailed. Well, I guess if the minister had been caught making copies of a DVD which showed 2 women and a farmer in Johor having sex the minister too would have been arrested, charged, fined and jailed. Right? Sure one...I think. No?

Mystery #3

Page N13 The Star, Tuesday January 8 2008 headlines a story that says driving schools can now operate with a minimum off 50 learner drivers a year.

When I read that I was truly flabbergasted. Wasn't it just recently that plans were announced to make our roads safer and accident-free? Cameras would be installed. New driving test curriculum would be introduced. More stringent tests on driving skills etc.

Today's announcement by Chan Kong Choy just screams that things are going to be made even more easy for anybody to get a driving licence irregardless of their knowledge and driving skills. Can you imagine the standards of a driving school that graduates 50 students a year? And the biggest msytery here is the announcement that this action is taken because these so-called driving schools "...provide an important service to the rural community."

And what service is that, YB? A rural folks culling service?

And finally...

Some words of wisdom from the Inspector-General of Police...

"The present generation should appreciate the peace and security they enjoy now."

Hey, Musa! I always thought you are an intelligent man. But I guess I was wrong. Please la stop treating us like your little errant children ok? This lightly veiled threat disguised as advice which is actually a command to be 'grateful' for what we get went out with Dr. M's departure la. Actually, you should be grateful to us for being so tolerant of the continuing fuck-ups evidenced by the Police almost on a daily basis. Anywhere else we would have fired your ass.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Wow!!! What a revelation!!!

Photo from online version of The Star

There is a story in The Star today that really makes me want to puke.

"Malaysian Institute for Road Safety Research (Miros) director-general Prof Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi said the overhangs were not only at the same height as a car's windshield but also had a lot of space underneath, which means a car keeps moving after impact. “When a car collides with the rear of such a lorry or truck, there is no bumper-to-bumper impact. Instead, the overhang slams straight into where the drivers and passengers are sitting."

Duh! Any damn fool could have told you that.

How many years had it been since the then minister of transport in his infinite wisdom decided to approve these over hangs for lorries so that they can carry loads which they were not designed for? Only now does Miros realise that it is unsafe??? Oh I see, maybe Miros was just waiting for the quota of deaths resulting from these extensions before taking any actions or making announcements about their danger. According to the story this is the 5th fatality involving these 'overhangs'.

From the first time I laid eyes on these lorries fitted with these extensions I could see that there were accidents waiting to happen. Mostly made from flimsy looking these extensions hang with a limp nonchalance from the back from these little lorries. And the authorities who thought them up and approved them think that AWAS painted in red on the panel is a super duper way of extending the payloads of these vehicles safely. Standards? Hiyah! Never mind la.

So okay. Now 5 people have been killed by these things so it's time to do something else. I am wondering what the director-general of Miros has in mind. I am sure it will be another masterpiece of creative thinking.

And then the Star story ended with this example of great journalistic writing I thought...

"Prof Radin Umar said the results of investigations showed that the problem had to be dealt with, especially in improving crash compatibility."

"...the problem had to be dealt with???" What else would you do with a problem?


Friday, January 04, 2008

Greetings from Singapore

Being in Singapore raises some problems for updating this Niamah blog la. No access to Malaysian newspapers except for the online versions which somehow doesn't really hit the spot in so far as getting inspiration for Niamah blogging. Okay la I know some of you will accuse me of all sorts of things. I read with interest a comment on Rocky's Bru that I am too involved with my "projects" to care anymore. And that I am typical of so many Malaysians. Make money first before anything else. A bit unfair la I thought. I am a working man and I have to cari makan right? And I do not for a moment place myself or my blog in the same league as rocky or zorro or jeff ooi. Niamah is my thoughts on things that matter to me that's all. And which I share with fellow Malaysians who visit the blog. Thank you.

Okay, just to share with you about my trip to Singapore. I really picked a bad time to come here. After getting off the bus and a shower later I turned on the TV news and was informed that taxi and bus fares here have gone up since January 1, 2008. A lot. And as you know our Ringgit doesn't buy a hell of a lot here. But it is nice to enjoy the typical Singaporean efficiency for a while. You know, busses that run on schedule, motor vehicles that don't belch black smoke, information about almost anything that is freely available on the phone, on posters or on the Internet. Stuff like that la. And yes, not having to look around and see billboards with faces of ruling politicians telling you how great they are or how grateful you should be or preaching to you like you were a 2 year old child.

I read the online Malaysian newspapers this morning and saw that the ex-Health Minister is still very defiantly 'garang' about his botched up sexcapade. It amazes me that he would say things like how he made a mistake about using the same hotel and the same room. It's like ...... FUCK! I got found out. If I didn't I would continue doing it....sorry, HER. Then he also said that his political mistake was taking his job as minister too seriously! I did my work properly so my enemies now want to crucify me. Huh? What is the logic in making a statement like that? My thinking is that if he had done his job properly and didn't screw around he would be AOK. Right?So whose cock-up is that? So don't blame other people can or not? I also saw him on TV at his press conference when he was obviously unhappy with what some of his MCA colleagues must have said during the closed door emergency that they had after the broadcast of his sexploits on DVD. To me he sounded like he was actually threatening his colleagues saying that they are not pearly white clean either and that they shouldn't throw stones...or else. Okay la I paraphrase badly there but that's the gist,of it, right? My take is....Mr. Chua you took a chance and did something you shouldn't have. As a husband, father, cabinet minister and a trusted member of parliament of your constituency. You betrayed trust. So just say sorry and go.

Before I decided to publish this post I read a newspaper story about our Deputy Prime Minister saying how un-Islamic PAS is for not building enough mosques since they took power in Kelantan. And how if the people of Kelantan voted BN back in the BN would build so many mosques to make Kelantan, I can't remember the exact words, but I think he said something or other about making Kelantan an Islamic centre or something like that. Basically, what he meant to tell the good people of Kelantan was that being Islamic is merely to have a large number of mosques you see. Meaning the more mosques you build the better Muslim you are. I think the people of Kelantan ain't that dumb. Nobody is. But our DPM doesn't know that. And that surely will add to the woes of the BN in the next general elections. Right?

I am not sure I want to read the Malaysian papers tomorrow.