Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lambaian Kaabah

InsyaAllah, pada 28hb November ini saya dan isteri akan berangkat menunaikan fardhu haji yang pertama. Walaupun telah dua kali dapat menunaikan umrah, kami tetap merasa gementar tentang cabaran yang akan kami hadapi semasa mengerjakan rukun Islam yang kelima ini.

Terasa sangat tidak bersedianya kami. Kami tidak sempat mengikuti kursus yang dijalankan oleh Tabung Haji. Cuma sempat mengikuti Kursus Haji Perdana peringkat negeri Selangor. Mujur ada seorang rakan menganjurkan satu kursus khas bersama Dato' Kamal Mohamad. Dapat juga berguru bersama beliau kurang lebih empat jam.

Bila difikir-fikirkan semacam belum bersedia untuk mengerjakan haji. Tetapi jika diteliti semula bila pula kita akan betul-betul bersedia. Tuhan telah lama memfardhukan ibadat ini, tetapi kita yang tidak mahu membuat persediaan. Hati sangat-sangat berharap Tuhan akan memberi kemudahan dalam kami menjalankan kerja-kerja haji ini.

Ya Allah, kami memohon supaya diberi kemudahan dalam mengerjakan ibadat yang telah Engkau fardhu keatas kami semua. Kami sebenarnya terlalu cetek ilmu dalam segala bidang dan sangat lemah dalam segala hal. Berilah kami kekuatan untuk melaksanakan ibadat ini, berilah kami kemudahan dalam segala perkara, jauhkan kami dari segala sifat-sifat yang Engkau tidak sukai ketika kami berada disana dan seterusnya dalam hidup kami. Tetapkanlah niat kami semata-mata untuk menunaikan perintah Engkau Ya Allah dan untuk mendapat keberkatan dan keradhaan dari Engkau. Jadikanlah kami manusia yang lebih baik dari apa yang ada sekarang. Ya Allah, maafkan lah dosa-dosa kami, dosa ibubapa kami, anak-anak kami, saudara-mara kami, guru-guru kami, rakan-rakan kami, jiran-jiran kami dan semua umat Islam. Ya Allah perkenankan lah segala hajat kami Ya Allah. Amin Ya Rabbalalamin.

Kepada semua yang membaca, maafkan segala kesalahan kami, halalkan makan minum kami dan hutang-hutang kami.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bangkok - November 11 to 14

I was in Bangkok to attend a Security Printing Conference which was held in the 5-star Hilton by the River. It was a nice hotel and expectedly expensive. As I was not familiar with Bangkok, I asked the office to put me up at the Hilton instead of some where cheaper.

The conference was a standard fare, met a few familiar faces and learnt a few new things. Nothing exceptional happened. I was also not feeling too well so I did not wander around town. I only crossed the Chao Praya (using the hotel's ferry) to look for some Muslim food after a few days of eating salad and bread.

On the 13th of November Thailand celebrated their Loy Krathong festival. The Chao Praya saw a hive of activities including fireworks. I did not joined the crowd as I did not have a camera with me. Even my handphone with its 10 megapixels camera worked against me. When I wanted to get into its camera mode, the message " "Not Enough Video Memory" popped up. So I just stayed in my room and witnessed the festivities from the comfort of my hotel room.

On my last day in Bangkok (Friday, 14 November) the whole city was in mourning. The revered King's elder sister was being cremated on that day. A majority of the Bangkok population were wearing black, even the younger generation. How I wished I had my camera with me. It was quite a sight. Apparently there was no compulsion, the people just do it on their own accord.

I reached KLIA on Friday evening. The waiting line for taxis was so long I decided to take the KLIA Express. That is another story.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Pakatan yang tidak sepakat

The UMNO elections are in the limelight these days putting the other political stories in the background. But the Pakatan parties are in the news for the wrong reasons.

In Selangor, the MB from PKR appointed a Chinese as acting head of PKNS and PAS is making a big issue out of it. In Penang the DAP led government started including Chinese characters in names of roads and many Malays are not happy. In Kedah, the PAS led government announced that the Bumiputra quotas for some housing schemes are increased to 50% and many non Bumis are disappointed.

As can be seen all the issues are race related and we thought the Pakatan Rakyat "coalition" is free from race-based policies. However, what is more worrying is the fact that the Pakatan coalition seemed to be working on their own without any consultation among them though they are supposed to be in a coalition.

I'm disappointed with PAS in Selangor especially its head, Dr. Hassan Ali, who I know personally. For him to question the appointment of the head of PKNS just because she is Chinese is not the Hassan Ali I knew. What is wrong with having a Chinese as head even if the objective of the company is to help the Malays? After all, Malays have headed the corporation all these years and they have failed their own race. Wouldn't it be good for the country, in fact for everybody, if we can get a Chinese to help the Malays for a change? But no. Now even PAS wants to champion "Ketuanan Melayu".

I'm also disappointed with DAP in Penang. What is the necessity to have names of roads in Chinese characters? Just to show that they care for the Chinese language I guess. I had hoped that the current DAP leaders are more mature in their deeds. It maybe asking too much for DAP to fight for promoting only Malay as the national language but changing road signs to me is petty and cheap.

It looks like the Pakatan is far from a real coalition. Maybe it is not time for them to take over the federal government just yet.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A post for October 2008

I need to make a post, if not it will be a record that I will not be proud of - a month without any post. I've been lazy. Truth be told, I've been busy but I've also been busy the other months before this. So, I can only truthfully say that I've been lazy and that is no excuse.

The Raya celebrations have been hectic, not as hectic as last year but busy nevertheless. To add to that my fourth child had his PMR two weeks after Raya. So we decided to postpone our Raya visits after he finished his exams on the 18th. Since then, it has been one open house after another.

We only spent two days in Melaka for Hari Raya. My visits were thus limited to the "compulsory houses" only, mostly my uncles and aunties. I can't help but note that all have them have aged considerably. When I saw them, it struck me that I may not be able to meet some of them next Raya. How I wish I can stay in Melaka and leave the hustle and bustle of Klang Valley. How I wish I have the financial means to realise this dream of mine.

I had other "better" stories but I'm too lazy to recollect and write about them. I just remembered I need to start preparing for my Board Meeting next week. I cannot forego my salary still.....sigh

That wasn't that tough after all.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

RPK ISAed

"Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) because his articles ridiculed Islam, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar." - The Star report.

There have been a lot of discussions on the relevance of ISA to our country's well being. Of course, a lot of the so-called concerned citizens have been vehemently against the ISA and they have articulated their views vociferously. There have also been justifications from those in power about the need to retain the Act. In this instance I'm not trying to support one view or the other but I'm trying to understand how the Act in its current form is being applied.

From my limited understanding, the Act was enacted by the British to counter the threat of the communists and terrorists. Given the real problems faced at that point in time, my feeling was that even the so-called concerned citizens of the day grudgingly concur with the decision then. I think, initially, that was how the Act was used. As time goes by, the government of the day find the Act a convenient tool to silence its critics. However, they still have the "decency" of adhering to the spirit of the Act. That is why when they decided to detain the two Dollahs and Pak Samad in the 70's they made sure these people are first labeled communists or their sympathizers.

Later on, such as in the Ops Lallang, the need to restrict the use of the Act on communists seemed to have been done away with. Now, any "threat to the country's well being" can justify one to be detained under the Act. That is why, now, we have document forgers and believers of deviant sects of Islam under ISA detention. With RPK in, we now have another ISAble offence i.e. ridiculing Islam.

I'm no lawyer. Neither am I an expert in Islam. I'm just a Muslim trying to practice the religion to the best of my ability but I have many unanswered questions.
  1. Who gives this Minister the authority to decide that someone or something ridicules Islam?
  2. What are the standards being used to say that a statement or an act ridicules Islam?
  3. Has he got a religious qualification? Has he gone to study Islam in Al-Azhar or Medinah or even Malaya university? Has he even gone to a pondok?
  4. I thought all religious matters should be referred to the proper religious authorities who are answerable to the Kings and Agong. How come in this case, somebody without religious authority is taking decisions to protect Islam?
It is my sincere believe that if someone has indeed ridicule Islam, our religious authorities have more than enough qualified people and laws to defend the religion in an open, factual and intellectual manner. Meet up with the person and point out his mistakes. If he disagrees, engage him in a debate. If he is still persistent, charge him in court. Don't tell me we are not confident in our own capabilities that we have to detain people without giving them a chance to defend themselves. Just lock them up and shut them up using an Act that is against the true teachings of Islam. How ironic can that be?

It is my opinion that the act of using ISA on RPK is in itself ridiculing Islam. We are giving a message that Islam is so shallow that we have to resort to detaining people who ridicule it without trial. To make it worse, Islam itself requires that those who are deemed to have commit a crime must be charge in an open court.

Before I end, I must state in no uncertain terms this writing in no way proves that I am in total agreement with what has been written by RPK. In many instances I feel that RPK purposely put himself in grey areas of the law. I would not like to speculate on his motives for taking such a stand but that should not preclude him from being accorded the right of defense.

I would also like to point out that all these are happening in the Blessed month of Ramadhan. So to those who are hiding behind the veil of religion, I hope you take this into consideration and seek God's guidance in your actions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

16 Sept came and went

Its 16 September and nothing substantial happened. Just more rhetoric thus continued uncertainty. I'm fed up. Nobody seemed to be working. Everyone are preoccupied with this supposed change that was supposed to take place.

My take is, let's give everybody a few more days. If nothing happens can we just continue with our lives and wait for the next opportunity? As for those that are supposed to govern, for heaven's sake, could you just do what is expected of you?

Come to think of it, who promised something will happen on 16 Sept 2008? The promise was something will happen on 16 Sept., what year only God knows. But I know a lot of people are disappointed.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lawak Bodoh

Kerajaan Malaysia menangkap 3 rakyatnya dibawah undang-undang ISA hujung minggu yang baaru lepas. Yang pertama ditangkap ialah Raja Petra, pemilik (kalau betul) website Malaysia Today. Yang kedua, wartawan Sin Chew dan ketiga YB Teresa Kok, ahli Parlimen dan juga ADUN Selangor.

Raja Petra ditangkap kononnya kerana menghina Islam dalam tulisan di blognya. Sebelum ini beliau telah disaman oleh beberapa orang termasuk kerajaan kerana tulisan-tulisan beliau yang agak kontreversial. Beliau juga pernah di tahan dibawah Akta yang sama beberapa tahun lalu. Saya sebenarnya tidak risau Raja Petra ditahan kerana saya rasa orang yang menahan beliau tidak akan dapat apa-apa dari Raja Petra, cuma sakit hati saja. Jikalau pihak yang menahan berharap dengan penahanan Raja Petra kritikan terhadap mereka akan berkurangan, saya rasa ia sudah agak terlambat. Rakyat telah mula diperkasa oleh orang seperti Raja Petra. Tambahan pula pihak berkuasa telah memberi terlalu banyak sebab untuk mereka di kritik. Menahan satu Raja Petra akan membuat lebih ramai rakyat ala Raja Petra dilahirkan. Mungkin tidak se prolifik Raja Petra, tetapi jumlah mereka akan dapat mencapai impak serupa atau lebih dasyat lagi.

Wartawan Sin Chew ditahan kerana menulis laporan berkenaan ucapan salah satu ketua parti yang berkuasa yang telah mendapat perhatian ramai. Yang peliknya ketua tersebut telah didapati bersalah dan digantung keahlian partinya selama 3 tahun, tetapi tidak di ISAkan. Yang menulis laporan pula diISA. Yang lebih lawak Menteri menyatakan wartawan ditahan dibawah ISA untuk melindungi beliau dari bahaya kerana polis mendapat maklumat keselamatan wartawan tersebut diancam. Kalau nak melawak pun biarlah berhemah. Kalau awak dah bodoh, jangan ler anggap kami pun sama bodoh. Wartawan mencipta sejarah menjadi tahanan ISA paling singkat, selama 20 jam. Menteri kata polis telah membuat penyiasiatan teliti sebelum membuat tangkapan. Kalau betul teliti takkan selepas 20 jam apa yang disiasat telah bertukar.

YB Teresa Kok pula ditahan kerana dikatakan membangkang seruan azan yang terlalu kuat dan mahu azan dibuat tanpa pembesar suara. Tuduhan tersebut telah dibuat oleh seorang bekas ketua parti yang berkuasa tetapi sekarang pembangkang negeri. YB Teresa telah menafikan tuduhan tersebut dan telah pun bercadang untuk mengambil tindakan undang-undang. Tapi beliau tetap diISA.

Hari ini saya baca berita Persatuan Pengguna Islam (PPIM) pula membuat laporan polis terhadap YB Teresa. Yang persatuan nie sama sibuk pasal apa? Beberapa masjid yang kononnya terlibat pun dah buat laporan polis menyatakan mereka tidak pernah dilarang dari menggunakan pembesar suara ketika azan. Yang paling saya kecewa ialah Persatuan Pengguna Islam menyokong tindakan kerajaan mengguna ISA dalam ketiga-tiga kes diatas. Yang saya tahu, PPIM selalunya membuat pengesahan tentang halal atau haram satu-satu produk, satu usaha yang baik. Tapi bila mula berpihak ke satu kem, saya rasa kredibiliti PPIM akan merosot. Sepatutnya PPIM membuat kajian sama ada ISA satu akta yang menepati kehendak produk halal.

Banyak sangat lawak bodoh yang di persembahkan oleh pihak berkuasa kita, tetapi saya tidak berupaya untuk ketawa kerana mengenangkan nasib yang akan menimpa kita jika badut-badut ini masih memimpin kita.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Pak Samad telah kembali ke Rahmatullah

A. Samad Ismail, better known as Pak Samad, passed away yesterday, 4 September 2008 after being hospitalized for a few days. I've been following his condition from Nuraina's blog. I do not know the man as I have no occasion to meet him but I've been reading about him quiet a bit. Just from reading about him I cannot but feel in awe of the man. The country has lost a great son.

I managed to join the congregation at Kolej Islam's mosque for Friday prayers and thereafter the jenazah prayers. Alhamdullillah, the jenazah prayers attracted a large crowd. Even the PM was there. I also saw Pak Samad's friend Dr Syed Husin Ali. At the car park I saw an official car from the Singapore embassy. I think SIngapore's presence was appropriate. After all Pak Samad was a founding member of PAP together with Lee Kuan Yew.

I hope I could read more about the man soon. I really like to know more about how Pak Samad was roped in together with the 2 Dollahs into the ISA in the 70s. Pak Samad, a communist? How convenient. Reading Nuraina's bolg entries in her "Tuesdays with Bapak" series really whet my appetite on this subject. I would also like to read about first hand experiences from journalists who have been trained by Pak Samad in NST or Berita Harian.

Al-Fatihah. May Pak Samad's soul be grouped with those who are enlightened.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Kak Long's Birthday

Today is Nurlina's, my eldest daughter, birthday. I still remember my anxiety more than 20 years ago when she was about to be born. She was our first baby and being ignorant, both me and my wife were a total wreck. My wife started having pains on 30th August. Not wanting to take any chances I sent her to University Hospital. My father in law who was an ex-Director of the hospital insisted that our first 2 children be born in the hospital. "In case of any complications, that is the best hospital to be in", he had said many times and I'm in no position to say otherwise.


I sent my wife and using the excuse that nobody was allowed to be in the room, I waited in my in-laws, a few minutes drive away. Even if I had been allowed to be with my wife, I doubt I would have the courage to go through my wife's ordeal. My father-in law also insisted that my wife be tended to by his good friend, a professor who has long stopped delivering babies. On Merdeka day I visited my wife and had a word with a doctor who had been instructed by the professor to look after my wife. "Had it been me, I would have asked both of you to watch the Merdeka parade today", the junior doctor told me.

On 1st September my first child still refused to step into this world. That night the doctors decided to induce the birth. The first attempt failed and they had to do it again. If the second attempt failed too, my wife would have to be operated on or else there is a possibility that the child would drown. I was real worried but finally she decided to join us on 2nd September.

Being the first child, Nurlina, was of course quiet pampered but she was also our subject of experiments as many a time we were clueless as to how to look after her. The fact that both me and my wife were motherless made it more challenging for us. But ALhamdullillah, somehow we managed and she is now a full grown working adult. Of course, there are many stories that I can write about her but I will keep that in future years, God Willing.

Happy birthday Kak Long. May you be blessed and guided by Allah swt throughout your whole life.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It has been a busy August

There have been quite a number of interesting happenings in the past 2 weeks but I have been busy. So, to make it up, this posting will summarize the events for posterity.

21 August - We had a kenduri at our new office, just before we moved in on Friday, 22 August 2008

24 August - Annual General Meeting of my mosque. It was a tame affair and everything were passed without debates. The only "excitement" was when our "Advisor" decided to resign from his post as he felt he was treated like Dr M, whose advises were not heeded. I think these "Advisors" failed to understand the meaning of the word "advise". They thought that "Advisors" should be treated like the British Advisors when we were colonized by the British. Then, those Advisors were actually Rulers who held real powers. Anyway, its a pity we had to accept our Advisor's resignation as he had contributed a lot to our mosque.

26 August - Election Day for Permatang Pauh by election. Three candidates contested. Anwar, won with a bigger majority than his wife did in March. Hopefully this will pave the way for a period of reduced politicking.

27 and 28 August - A government delegation from Uzbekistan made a visit to the Malaysian Dept of Immigration.

30 August - The mosque held a course for slaughtering of chickens for youths. I brought my wife for check-up at SJMC. The doctor asked her to be hospitalized and she had to undergo a procedure. Major or minor I'm not sure.

31 August - Merdeka Day and eve of Ramadhan. I'm supposed to go back to Melaka for a kenduri but with my wife in hospital, I'm not sure I will.

Monday, August 18, 2008

RFC

Me and family drove up North on Saturday, 16 August to attend a staff's wedding scheduled for Sunday, 17 August. We decided to leave on Saturday so that we do not have to make 2 trips between KL and Sik, Kedah on the same day.

We left quite late for 2 reasons, one, we are not pressed for time and two, we want to avoid the expected jam near Seberang Jaya, Penang as the nomination for the Permatang Pauh by-election is on Saturday morning.

When we reached Penang, I started making calls to check for rooms availability. I had earlier planned to spend the night in either Sungai Petani or Alor Star which is already close to Sik. But my first few calls to hotels in Sungai Petani proved futile as there are no rooms available. The people going to Permatang Pauh must have been forced o go further north to S. Petani to get rooms. Finally, I decided to call Faizal who is back in S. Petani (his home town) for a kenduri for help. He managed to get 2 rooms in Emerald Puteri.

After checking-in (our 2 rooms were located at different floors), we decided to get something for dinner. I remembered the last time I was in S. Petani I saw a restaurant called Radix Fried Chicken but was unable to try it out as the place was full. So this time, I thought we should give it another try.

We arrived around 8:15 pm. The place is again full but we managed to get an empty table. I asked my children to stand in line and order the chicken which has an uncanny resemblance to KFC. It was a long wait. We only managed to get our food around 9:10 (almost an hour wait for fast food!!). No wonder the place is always full, people are there waiting in line for their food.



While waiting, I managed to snap a few photos of the place. My comments of the place:

1. The have a good crowd of customers. Not only are they customers, they are also customers with lots of patience.
2. The place is not well served. Even though it seemed to have a lot of staff, the tables are not quickly cleaned and the floor is strewn with things. I had to ask someone to mop the area around my table as someone before me had drop their drinks.
3. The wait for our order is too long. According to my children who made the order, the counter staff were efficient but its the kitchen that is late.
4. The overall decoration of the outlet is good. With its striking red, it is definitely eye catching. But the staff must be quick in tending to the tables.
5. To me, the food is nothing to shout about but it is a novel idea and I think the crowd will at least give it a try and having tried they could be persuaded to come for repeats. The drumstick that I had was bigger than normal so much so that the inside of it was not properly cooked.
6. The food is competitively priced compared to other similar joints and this could be its strongest selling point.




I hope the owner make the necessary changes fast because the outlet definitely has potential to be successful especially in the Malay heartland. As one of the customers remarked "They should get someone senior from one of the established fast foods francise such as KFC or McDonald's."

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Walakathon



Today is Walkathon Day for SMK Sri Permata. The PIBG of the school badly need to collect funds to repay loans of about RM100,000 taken last year to build a roof over the students' assembly area. Last year, we decided to build the roof costing about RM220k despite only having RM120,000 in hand. We had anticipated the cost of building materials to increase substantially and had we waited to have sufficient funds before proceeding, we would be forever waiting. On hindsight, we were proven right.

We had targeted to collect about RM150,000 this time around. Besides paying off the loans, we wanted to make another structure at the school field to make it more comfortable for students to be at the field during games. However, the current economic situation made our efforts more challenging.



The school has about 1,300 students. If each of them managed to collect a minimum of RM100, we would have had no problem reaching our target. But this is not the case. Some classes, hardly managed to collect any contribution. Personally, I feel, the teachers play a very important role in making the students do their part. However, not all teachers can be depended upon. But my biggest disappointment is reserved for parents who fail to contribute and encourage their children. Some of these parents said the government should be taking care of all the needs of the school. After all the government pride itself of being able to provide free education. But they forget that we also have to help ourselves despite the political rhetorics.



I left the school at about 2:30pm. It was tiring but I'm pleased that I've done my small part.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Anwar charged for sodomy for the second time

Anwar pleads not guilty to sodomy
Aug 7, 08 9:08am (updated 10:40am)

PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim pleaded not guilty to the charge of having carnal intercourse against the order of nature at the Sessions Court in Jalan Duta court complex this morning.
MCPX

"This is a malicious slander and I'm not guilty," he told Sessions judge SM Komathy.

The prosecution did not opposed bail and proposed bail be set at RM20,000 and that Anwar be required to surrender his passport.

However judge Komathy said that there was no need for the RM20,000 bail and instead a personal bond would suffice. He also said that Anwar need not surrender his passport as the opposition leader was not likely to abscond.

The charge, preferred following a complaint by 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, carries a punishment of up to 20 years' imprisonment if found guilty.

Anwar was charged with having committed sodomy on Saiful under section 337B of the Penal Code on July 26 between 3.01pm and 4.30pm at Unit 11-5-1 Desa Damansara Condo in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

Earlier today, Anwar arrived at 9.45am to chants of 'reformasi' from 200 supporters who have gathered outside the court complex. He was accompaned by his wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and eldest daughter Nurul Izzah.

Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng read out a short joint statement from the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

He said should Anwar was denied bail, Wan Azizah would be the coordinator of the Pakatan council.

Other Pakatan leaders present include PKR leaders Azmin Ali and Tian Chua, DAP leaders Lim Kit Siang and Gobind Singh Deo and PAS leader Husam Musa.

The de facto PKR leader, who was in a greyish jacket and light purple shirt, appeared relaxed. He smiled and talked to some of his supporters and Pakatan leaders inside the courtroom.

He told Tenaganita director and PKR leader Irene Fernandez that this court case would be the "final round".

Anwar is represented by a seven-member legal team headed by Sulaiman Abdullah. The other defence lawyers are R Sivarasa, Sankara Nair, Saiful Izham Ramli, Amer Hamzah, Edmund Bon and Leela J Jesuthasan.

There are also other lawyers who are holding watching brief for Bar Council and Washington-based Human Rights Watch, Paris-based International for Human Rights and Bangkok-based Forum Asia.

Heavy security

The police have put the entire court complex under heavy security, with police personnel lining up along the roads leading to the complex, as well as within the complex itself.

At least seven police and Federal Reserve Unit trucks are seen in the court parking area.

Similarly the police have also mounted several roadblocks in certain parts of the city, causing massive gridlocks in all main arteries that enter the city centre.

The police are also limiting public access to the courtroom - Sessions Court 1 - in which Anwar will be charged. All members of public are also asked to register themselves before entering the courtroom.

Had bail been denied, as was the case when he was charged 10 years ago, Anwar would be detained and will have to fight his Permatang Pauh by-election behind bars.

Source: MALAYSIAKINI

Sunday, July 27, 2008

HBO's Place is one year old

I and 18 of my staff are in PD from yesterday until tomorrow. We are conducting a Maintenance Course for my technical staff over the period. The course is now ongoing but I'm at the Api-Api Coffee Terrace checking my mails. I'm also not well. Since yesterday I've been having running nose and a slight fever. Quite a few of us are caught by this bug making the session less bearable for me.



I was going through my blog a few days ago and realised that it has been one year since I started this. I've made almost 100 posts, not bad if I must say so myself. Of course, I could have done better but there were times in the past few months when I thought this blog would have died a natural death.

Reading back my earlier postings, it made me realized that I must continue with the blog. How I wished blogging has been around since many years ago. So, if there are any young ones reading this, please go ahead and start your own blog. No need to make daily postings, weekly would suffice. Many years later you will be glad that you have the blog as you will be able to go back in life which I am sure you will find interesting.

I am hopeful that I will be able to continue for many years more.

Happy Birthday Aizat



Today, 27 July is Aizat's, my fourth child, 15th birthday. I'm now in Port Dickson with my staff having a course. I'm sure Aizat must not be thrilled that I'm not home on his birthday. He would have asked for a sushi dinner tonight. How on earth he caught this expensive taste for Japanese food I don't know.



Aizat is the engineer at home. I can count on him to fix things up, be it the TV, Astro, some appliances we can depend on him. He is also the easiest to ask for help, so much so, sometimes I feel we took advantage of him.



But, Aizat is also the moodiest of all my children. He can get riled up for the simplest of things though he will snap out of it as easily. I've warned him to take things easy failing which he is a prime candidate for a heart attack. Lately he has improved in this area but there is still room for improvement.



As for his studies, well, I know he can improve. He definitely has the capability to do well. But it is so difficult to get him to sit down and study. If you force him to do anything he can finish a chapter in just five minutes. Me and wife always wonder what he achieve in the 5 minutes.

Sorry Aizat, I'm not able to be with you on your birthday this year.

Happy Birthday son.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In dire need of leaders of calibre

Both UMNO and MCA will be having their party elections in the coming months. While MCA will be seeing a new President and Deputy being elected, UMNO will be stuck with their "passed their used by date" leaders. It is a pity that the largest party in the country is in such a predicament after its worst election performance in its history.

One would have thought that after such a dismal performance the party would take steps to rejuvenate itself, the leaders would mend their ways and things will improve. But sad to say it is a case of things remaining status quo despite all the rhetoric. The leaders still in power continue to plunder the country's wealth, newly elected leaders jumping on the band wagon and would be leaders (or leaders in-waiting) preparing themselves to join in the fray. Such a sad state of affairs.

Lets take a look at the list of names that have been bandied around as potential candidates for the UMNO Vice President's post. The holders of these 3 positions are supposed to be next in line for the national leadership. How can names like Muhamad Muhamad Taib, Rahim Tamby Chik, Rais Yatim, Adnan Yaakob, and Isa Samad et al instill confidence in the rakyats who are facing tough times ahead?

God help us.

Muzakarah, Muqabalah dan Munawarah

Heboh semua menceritakan pasal muzakarah. Tapi belum ada pihak yang ingin memberi makna sebenar istilah muzakarah. Belum sempat saya faham apa itu muzakarah keluar pula istilah lain termasuk muqabalah dan munawarah, antaranya. Tetapi dalam pada ramai yang saya pasti tidak tahu apa sebenarnya muzakarah semua ingin bercakap tentang baik buruknya muzakarah. Surat khabar bercerita, tv dan radio juga sama, orang UMNO bercerita, orang PAS apa tah lagi. Sampai Karpal Singh dan Lim Kit Siang pun dan pandai bermuzakarah. Alhamdullillah, istilah Arab ini semakin popular.

Walau apa pun makna muzakarah, saya amat musykil mengapa ramai orang (terutamanya ahli PAS) yang tidak suka ia diadakan. Saya mengsyaki mereka tidak suka muzakarah ini kerana ia melibatkan UMNO. Kalau itu sebabnya, maka ia amat tidak menasabah. Apa salahnya dua golongan rakyat Malaysia bermuzakarah? Bukan kah kita dituntut untuk berbincang untuk menyelesaikan masaalah? Mana mungkin kita tahu pandangan orang lain jika kita tidak duduk berbincang?

Apa yang kita takutkan sangat? Dulu semasa PAS lemah (sekarang PAS kuat, tetapi belum tentu apa yang menyebabkan PAS kuat; mungkin cuma sebab UMNO lemah), PAS ajak UMNO muzakarah tetapi UMNO menolak. Sekarang UMNO lemah dan dia ajak muzakarah, tapi PAS tolak. Jadi, dalam hal ini, PAS dan UMNO sama saja, tak ada beza. Apa kah penyokong PAS tidak yakin dengan pemimpin mereka? Kalau muzakarah dengan UMNO nanti akan bawa PAS masuk BN. Kalau begitu dengkel pemikiran penyokong PAS atau begitu lemah semangat pemimpin mereka, sememang patut mereka tidak memerintah.

Muzakarah, muqabalah atau Munawarah? Saya masih tidak tahu apa makna istilah-istilah tersebut, tetapi buat lah apa yang patut. Nak muzakarah dengan UMNO ker atau PKR ker atau DAP, MIC, MCA, SUPP dan sebagainya teruskan. Tetapi pemimpin mesti pergi dengan mata dan hati yang terbuka dan penyokonmg mesti punyai keyakinan penuh pada mereka. Kita sekarang kuat (kalau betul kita kuat) jadi kita kena tunjuk keyakinan diri kita. Jangan layan provokasi media arus perdana atau mereka yang berkepentingan. Jangan jadikan isu kecil mengganggu perlaksanan program yang besar dan penting untuk rakyat.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

An evening with Ros



Rosinah Ismail was a colleague of mine in Southern Illinois University way back in 1976. We were part of 16 students who were sent by MARA to Carbondale, Illinois, an American "kampung" where the university is located. (I'll need to write a book or even a series of books to cover that part of my life)

Anyway, I left Carbondale in 1980 upon my graduation to start work while Ros furthered her studies. We met once in KL in the early 80's and that was the last time I saw her. Many years past and whenever I met up with my friends from that era, we would often talk about Ros or her whereabouts. Nobody seemed to know about her, only the fact that she is no longer in Malaysia.

Last year when we wanted to have a Reunion, we started looking for Ros in earnest and we finally located her in Sweden. We started communicating again and when she was back in town recently organizing a seminar for the United Nations on some government related matters, we finally managed to meet up again, after all these years. It was a pity we were not able to gather too many people as Ros was exceptionally busy and so was everyone else. But we had a good time reminiscing about the good old days.

Ros is now married to a British working for a French company in Sweden. She is working for United Nations agency. They have a 13 year old daughter. She left for Sweden on Saturday, 19 July 2008. Take care dear. Till we meet again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

An Open Letter

AN OPEN LETTER TO TEACHERS WHO ATTENDED THE MHS REUNION ON 12 JULY 2008

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

My name is Hussin Othman. I studied in Melaka High School from 1971 to 1975 (Forms 1 to 5). My last “real” class was Form 5 Science 1, though I was in Lower Six Science 3 for a few months in 1976. First of all, on behalf of everyone who was at the Reunion I would like to thank all of you for your presence. By the Grace of God all of you looked healthy and cheerful that night. Some of you, notably Mr Chin, Mr Poh and Mr. Chye Boon didn’t seem to age. You must share your secrets with us now that we have just reached the half century milestone ourselves.
I’m terribly sorry that I can’t meet all of you personally as I was busy catching up with friends whom I have not met for more than 30 years. I can see that you were also busy catching up with your old colleagues. We must thank the Organizing Committee for giving us the platform to do this.

Sir/Ma’am,
When I met some of you, most did not recognize me and some looked a bit disappointed. Not to worry Sirs/Ma’ams as I did not expect any of you to remember me. You see, I was not a super sportsman like Syed Abu Bakar or Amardas. Neither was I a super student like Wong Fung Chu or Leow Sien Beng. I was also not cuddly and likeable such as Edmund Tay. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was also not one of the “class rascals” like Alan Neo, Raymond Ho, Tong Kahm Chee, Yeo Kok Seng, Asorkar or Ibrahim Omar (sorry guys, I’m forced to name names). These guys have “special qualities” that made them stood out and be remembered. As for me, I’m just the average guy who will pass through life without being noticed. Unfortunately, those in my category form the largest segment of the student population so it makes it even more difficult for you teachers to remember us. But I was not slighted at all. On the contrary, some of you should be the ones who are disappointed as I was not able to recognize you. How can I forget teachers who have helped make a man out of me?

Sir/Ma’am,
All of you can be proud that a significant number of your students are now very successful. We have got among us doctors such as Wong Fung Chu, Archuna, Ghazali Othman and Fong Kam Weng. There are pilots like Alex Chan; engineers like Sien Beng, Idris and Razak; accountants like Lim Bin Hoe, Ho Whye Yong and Radhuan; architects like Nor Ismail; lawyers like Armadas; Professors like Ramlan Aziz, Dianne and Ahmad Jamal. There also successful businessmen like Dato’ Halim, Asorkar, Ibrahim and Fong Ngan Teng; property valuers like Ahamad Latib; computer specialists like Henry Chan, Basir Bachik and Tong Kahm Chee; bankers like Mokhlis and Ismail; senior administrators like Syed Bakar, Leslie and Sim Say Kiong; optometrists like Lee Toong Fah; pharmacists like Koo Tsu Koon. Quite a number have also followed your footsteps in joining the noble profession of teaching such as Edmund Tay, Wong Chee Yin, Ali Manap and Shafie Ibrahim. (I am sure there are a lot more successful ones that I do not know of). As you can see, all of these ex-students of yours are very successful. Even for the rest like me, we have been doing okay and have not been a burden to society. You may also be glad to know that none of us have been in the wrong side of the law (at least not that I know of).

Sir/Ma’am,
It has been more than 30 years since you last helped me and my friends prepare ourselves to face life’s many challenges. In the process, we may have either intentionally or otherwise misbehaved. For these, we seek your forgiveness. Being young, one would have expected us to make these mistakes. Your understanding in dealing with us will always be cherished. Of course, some of the actions taken by some of you may seem harsh by today’s standards but I’m sure those have long been forgiven even though these incidences still make good conversation pieces during gatherings like the Reunion.
I think I have taken too much of your time so I better stop here. Please forgive my writing. It may not reach the standards set by my English teacher, Ms Alice Chia. It may in fact disappoints her but let me assure you that even if it contains grammatical or structural mistakes it comes from the heart. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a healthy life. May God give us the opportunity to meet up again in five years time, at the latest. We may even try to meet up again before that.
Again, thank you for all that you have done for me for which I’ll be forever grateful.

Yours sincerely,

Hussin Othman
Your ex-student, 5 Science 1, 1975
23 Jalan SS7/14, Kelana Jaya
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
013-369 4373; hussin1958@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Muak, Mual dan Jelak

Sejak akhir-akhir ini terlalu banyak berita sensasi melibatkan ahli politik negara kita. Saya sudah rasa muak dengan kerenah mereka yang sepatutnya memikirkan kaedah yang terbaik untuk menyelesaikan masalah rakyat. Baik dari pihak yang telah diberi mandat untuk memerintah mahupun pihak yang bercita-cita untuk memerintah dengan apa cara sekali pun.

Tidak cukup dengan janji-janji yang tidak nampak bila akan ditepati ditambah pula dengan tuduhan-tuduhan yang dibalas balik dengan tuduhan lebih dasyat semuanya menyebabkan jentera pemerintah kini jadi lesu. Akhirnya rakyat bawahan yang menderita. Mereka yang berebut kuasa sudah cukup selesa dengan harta bertimbun entah dari mana datangnya.

Saya sudah muak, mual dan jelak dengan apa yang berlaku. Mulai semalam saya sudah tidak ambil peduli tentang cerita politik tanah air. TV sudah disimpan dalam bilik; surat khabar telah lama tidak dibaca; blog politik pun sekarang sudah saya tidak buka.

Sekarang pun telah masuk bulan Rejab, tak lama lagi Ramadhan akan muncul kembali. Semoga diberi Allah umur yang panjang untuk kita sampai ke Ramadhan selepas itu diberi kesihatan yang baik untuk kita mengerjakan ibadat Puasa dengan sempurna. Ini pasti jauh lebih baik dari memikirkan tentang perkembangan politik tanah air.

PROTES (2)

The Protes event at the Kelana Jaya Stadium near my house took place as planned over the weekend. I was not there and I did not even bother to ask anyone close to me if they went. But I did read reports about it.

My take on it:
1. I do not think it achieved the objectives the Organizers had in mind.
2. It was more of a carnival than a protest
3. It was an avenue for politicians to speak. Mind you, politicians love to speak, more so when there is a crowd.
4. It created unnecessary problems to the People's Coalition (Pakatan Rakyat)
5. PAS members and supporters which normally form the bulk of these types of programs were clearly "pissed off" with the way the program was organized. I'm sure Dr. Hatta will have an earful from the other PAS leaders.

I read quite a few comments from readers of various blogs that touched on the "performance" of Carburetor Dung (what a name) and would like to state my opinion.

Quite a few people commented that PAS members look at things with a blinkered view and was intolerant to the acts of others. While I can agree to the view that one can do anything as long as they are not illegal, people must also remember that PAS members also have their "rights" of not listening to thrash. After all, the event is supposed to be a protest on the increase in fuel prices. That is why they brought their families, including children, to the event to show the government that the whole family is affected. Can any one blame them if they did not expect their children to listen to vulgar words being uttered by singers who also believe that showing their butts to the crowd is entertainment?

I know some of the PAS supporters came all the way from Kedah to support the Pakatan in voicing their disgust at the increase in fuel prices and what they saw was some long haired singers showing their butts at them and uttering foul language. Do you expect them to just keep quiet and show their tolerance?

While we are considering the rights of the singers please do not forget the rights of the PAS supporters? When we ban smoking in certain places are we not depriving smokers of their rights? But we still do it because we know there is more good than bad to our actions.

But I still think there is some good out of this. For sure there will not be another rally or protest for a while.

Monday, July 07, 2008

No more TV

This year two of my kids are sitting for major exams. Hani will be sitting for her UPSR in September and Aizat his PMR in October. My wife and I have had difficulty in controlling the TV watching times.

I have many times threatened the kids that I will put the TV in my room if they failed to control their TV watching habits. My threats have failed miserably. Finally, we decided to pull the plug off the TV once and for all. The TV is now in my room, not even connected to its power source and the Astro card is in my wallet. So, no more TV for everyone in the house for the next few months. I wonder how life would be like. So much the better, I presumed.

The first casualty was that I missed the classic Wimbledon final between Nadal and Federer last night. I do not know how I will take it when the BPL season starts. I may have to go out to the neighbourhood mamak stall for my dose of BPL football.

Things we have to do for our kids..

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Another Reunion

In August last year I was part of a group of friends that managed to organize a Reunion among our university mates who graduated around 1980, about 28 years before. In fact, this group of friends first met in 1975. We had a great time meeting up after all these years.

Next Saturday, 12 July 2008, I'm attending another Reunion, God Willing. This time I'm not involved in the organizing, just coming as a participant. This is more challenging for me because it involves friends I first met in 1971 when I first stepped into my secondary school, Melaka High School. A group of us decided that we should meet up in conjunction with our 50th birthdays in 2008. I thought it was a very good idea. There were more than 250 of us in Form 5 in 1975. So far, about 100 old friends have confirmed joining the Reunion. But what makes me more excited is that about 30 of our old teachers are also joining us. That would be something to look forward to.



It would be a challenge for us to recognize our old friends after more than 30 years but I can't wait for the challenge. If only more of my friends share my enthusiasm

Saturday, July 05, 2008

PROTES

There is going to be a BIG protest near my house tomorrow. That is what has been planned anyway. Its called Protes Sejuta Rakyat or something to that effect.

It is supposed to show the government that the rakyat is not keeping quiet about the government's decision to increase the price of petrol by 40% last month. As I wrote earlier, I'm not against the increase in petrol prices per se. In fact I support the government's efforts to reduce the subsidy on fuel prices as it creates an artificial economic scenario. Moreover, those not deserving to get the subsidy benefit the most.

So, I'm not too supportive of the protest. Anyway, I've got plans in the morning, our company is having a futsal carnival. I feel protests are only effective if they are done once in a long while. It is going to cause a lot of discomfort to bystanders and neighbourhood residents. It is also going to cost the participants of the protests dearly. It open opportunities for provocateurs to cause trouble. I know this because I attended the rallies of the Reformasi days.

Despite not attending, I'm hoping that the event will be well attended and pray that no untoward things happen to the participants and residents.

Good luck, rakyats.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

What is happening to my country?

I was talking to a friend yesterday and we were both in agreement that what we need is a stable government to help the country get through the expected world economic downturn. It does not matter who the government is, BN, PR, PAS, DAP or what have you, as long as it is stable. I initially said we need a stable and non-corrupt government but then I said, after what we had for 50 years, we cannot get any worse as long as it is stable.

And today another bombshell of a Statutory Declaration. What is it with SDs nowadays? Everyone seemed to be wanting to make one. There must be money to be made. After all, it only costs a few Ringgits to make one. With such low production costs the return on investment must be tremendous. Maybe I'm in the wrong business.

By the end of the day, I was thinking maybe we need the army's help to secure a stable government. What a thought.

May Allah swt have Mercy on us.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Satu Cerita

At breakfast this morning I met up with an old friend from my days with the national shipping line. It has been quite a while. We were talking about his company and he said he is already semi-retired. His two sons are working for him and he only drops by once in a while. Good for him.

In no time we were talking about a common friend who used to work for him. In fact he was a shareholder in the company. He passed away a few years ago, of kidney failure.

Ceritanya begini. This friend of ours was the bread winner for his family. Everybody were dependent on him and in fact stayed with him in one of his many houses. So much so that he only got married when he was in his forties. This was when the problems started. His family members felt threatened with the arrival of the wife. Staying in the same house, there was no privacy for the new couple. Not long after, this friend of ours began to become sickly. The family, however, are firm believers of the bomoh, so he did not go to see the doctor but instead consulted their family bomoh. The diagnosis was that he was "santau-ed by someone close" to him. Therefore the prime suspect was the wife. Things became so bad that the wife was not allowed to return home.

By God's Will, the bomoh died and the family had no one to turn to. The friend I had breakfast with this morning forced his partner to see a doctor, a specialist. The diagnosis was that both his kidneys had failed. The patient did not believe this and he went to another Specialist center. Again, the same diagnosis was made and he was asked to immediately undergo dialysis. But he refused to do that. By the time he agreed, his condition was bad.

And all this while his wife was not allowed to visit him. After a few months he died. When the time comes to distribute his considerable assets, the family refused to give any share to the wife. The case went to the Syariah court. The family said that before our friend died he had divorced the wife. The Syariah court refused to accept the family's contention and decided that the wife is entitled to her share. The family is now appealing to the Syariah High Court. So, after more than four years of our friend's death, his assets are still in limbo.

My friend whom I had breakfast with cannot wait any longer and decided to dissolve the company and transfer his business to a new company.

It is a sad story but I am posting this in the hope that it will not happen again to anyone. In this day and age, things like this should not happen anymore.

No..Not again

Ten years ago Anwar Ibrahim was accused of sodomy and it started the Reformasi movement. A few days ago, another police report was lodged by a purported victim who said he was sodomized by Anwar Ibrahim.

Ten years ago, I wrote an email to Anwar Ibrahim asking him to take an oath in the Name of Allah swt to deny that he was a sodomite but he did not do so. I'm thinking of writing to him again, asking him to do the same thing.

I can not trust man anymore in these matters and would like them to submit to The Creator to be judged. I know, most Muslims do not take an oath in the Name of Allah lightly. If Anwar can do this and spread the news via Youtube and other means to the masses, I think it does not matter anymore what Men and their man made laws decide.

When we should be concentrating to find ways on how to help the rakyats go through the difficult economic times, we are now bogged down with the never ending political games. Of course, the rich and those in power can afford these diversions but can the rakyats?

I have had enough of these nonsense.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Petrol 40.6% higher

It had to come sooner or later. The government just announced a 78 sen per litre or 40.6% increase in the price of petrol (or gas as the Americans called it). I have said earlier that we cannot go on living on subsidized fuel. People became complacent and start taking things for granted. Even those who in actual fact cannot afford to own cars are buying cars just because petrol cost is low. And people who can afford it, waste petrol just because it is "cheap".

Why should we subsidize these extravagant spending? To make it worse, we are also subsidizing citizens of neigbouring countries and also fuel smugglers. I read a few initial responses from the so-called public and all are criticizing the government's actions. Come on folks, there are many things that I'm not happy with the government but lets be realistic in this matter. At RM2.70 per litre we are still getting fuel at below their actual prices.

Now, Anwar Ibrahim and his friends are going to say that we should not be paying high fuel prices because we are a net exporter of petroleum. The high world oil prices should enable us to increase our subsidy further, they would say. After all, we are getting more money for our oil. That is why their election manifesto promises a reduction in fuel prices. Of course, we can afford to do this at this point in time. But we will be a net importer of oil in a few years time. So, is reducing the fuel prices now the most responsible thing to do for the long term benefits of the country? Or is it just for political convenience? Won't keeping the fuel prices low, encourage our people to be wasteful and discourage new research on alternative fuel sources?

Why don't we be prudent? After all, at RM2.70 there is still a need for subsidy. Let everybody feel the pinch. Hopefully, the people will now take another view of how they consume fuel.

Now, lets get to the more important issues which I feel the government should address. How to help the people who will be most affected by the increase in fuel prices such as public transport operators and the lower income rakyats. How about the government's efforts in providing viable and reliable public transport systems? How about alternative fuel sources?

Of course, another important issue is how are the profits earned by Petronas earned from the ridiculously high world oil prices going to be used for the benefits of the country? This must be thought of on a long term basis because we are going to run out of oil in no time. Lets lay the groundwork for a long term solution using the profits from Petronas instead of just giving a simple subsidy to keep the pump prices at unrealistically low levels just for political expediency.

Lets hope our politicians (both those currently in power and those in waiting) do the honorable and responsible thing. Oh.. what am I saying? Asking politicians to be honorable and responsible? I must be out of my mind :-)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It must be difficult to retire gracefully

I'm not of retiring age yet, so I may not know how it feel having to retire.

After working for so many years, especially if you are an excellent employee (even if it is only you who believe this), it will be difficult to let go. You would think that your successor has not done well enough and you need to butt in, off and on.

The fact of the matter is that since you have retired, just go off gracefully. If you have done your job well, people will remember you for it (if not now, maybe later when you are no longer around).

But whatever is the case, just let go and let the new person do his job. If you do not feel the urge to help him, just step aside. If he fails, the people will have a way of taking care of him. After all when you were doing your job, most people tolerated you even if they do not fancy seeing you there.

I'm afraid that your actions will harm the rakyats. Maybe you do not care. After all, you and your family have more than enough of what you need. Its just your ego that cannot be satisfied.

I'm really sad but you are pitiful.

Lets get back to work

It has been almost 3 months since the last elections. New Cabinets have been formed both at the federal and state levels but it seemed that our politicians are still playing politics.

Dear YBs (whatever that means), please get back to work for the rakyats. There are so many things to be done. The world economy is not moving in the right direction. Food and fuel prices are going up but the politicians are busy talking instead of working.

Lets cut the crap and get on with things. If it is fated that the new Cabinet is going to be replaced in a few months, so be it but meanwhile, earn your keep.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

One Win and One Loss

THE WIN

Man Utd won the UEFA Championship over unlucky Chelsea on penalties on Thursday morning. I had to make a trip to Kedah and Perlis on Thursday morning but how can I miss the last game of the season? So I ended having only 1 hour of sleep before the trip as the game went to extra time and then penalties.

It was a tense affair. Man Utd should have wrapped up the game in the first half when Chelsea was totally outplayed. Only Peter Cech was lucky to make some excellent reflex saves which prevented Man Utd from being a few goals up before the first half was over. Just before the half time whistle, Lampard got lucky when a shot towards goal was deflected twice before it reached him and he shot passed a stranded Van der Sar.

The second half was basically Chelsea's and they had two shots hitting the post and the bar. The extra time was also evenly contested but Man Utd was unlucky to see Giggs' attempt headed away by John Terry at the last minute.

The penalty shoot out was another event altogether when MU's top scorer of the season, Ronaldo, who had scored 42 goals made a feeble attempt which was well saved by Cech. All seemed lost for MU when Terry stepped up to take his penalty. Had he scored, Chelsea would have been champions. But he slipped just before making his kick and the ball shaved the outside post. Two attempts later, Van De Sar saved a shot from Anelka and MU had a memorable double season.

THE LOSS

The International Court of Justice decided that Pulau Batu Putih belonged to Singapore. How did that happened? I thought the whole area in the region (including Singapore) belonged to Malaysia. So how can a state the that chose to quit Malaysia in 1963 managed to claim land that is clearly closer to Malaysia than to Singapore?

My first thoughts (they maybe wrong) on why we lost include the following:

1. We did not send our best legal team to fight our case. I heard an inexperienced lawyer was part of team just because she was a daughter of somebody "important"
2. Our team failed to a good research job. For example they used a photo from a newly created and unverified website to support its case.
3. Somebody or a group just screwed up

Since we have agreed to honor the decision of the ICJ we have no choice but to do just that, respect the decision and hand over the "rock" to its owner.

But we must show that we are a sovereign country able to act for the sake of its people. We have to take steps to show that we are no push overs. We may have lost a disputed land but in our country, every one better respect our laws. So, I suggest that we take the following steps:

1. All non-Malaysian registered vehicles coming into our country must pay a levy of at least RM100 per entry for using our roads, causing congestions, pollution etc
2. All lorries taking goods out of the country should be charged a levy of at least RM500 per trip. All lorries coming into the country should be charged a similar amount. Empty lorries should be chaged half the rate for a loaded lorry
3. Non-Malaysian registered vehicles should not be allowed to purchase subsidized petrol as the subsidy come from Malaysian taxpayers
4. All acts of showing disrespect towards our country should be dealt in the most stringent manner. For example, any incursion into Malaysia's air space should be dealt with firmly including reporting the matter to the UN. If not in a few years, these foreigners will use the excuse that since we did not demonstrate our rights we seemed to have consented to their actions.
5. Review all agreements that were entered into during the time when a certain state was part of our country. Of course, those agreements were very favourable to a member state but it is not reflective of the prevailing market rates but was merely a federal government gift to a state government.

I hope the government acts like our government who has OUR interests at heart.

I'm pissed off

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Devils go to Moscow

I managed to watch the MU vs Barcelona game last night. It was a tense affair. We did better than the game in Barcelona last week but not by very much. Barcelona was having most of the possession but just like last week, they did not make that advantage count. MU's defence was good, though Van Der Sar looked jittery at times in the first half. But what counted in the end was we won and we are going to Moscow.

Lets win the next 3 games and celebrate a memorable double.

Note: MU won courtesy of a Paul Scholes' goal in the 15th minute. There were a few more chances after that notably the header by Nani and an effort by Park Ji-Sung.

Continuosly Opposing

On my way to the office today I chanced upon hearing the live broadcast of the Parliamentary sitting over the radio. I may not be in the best position to pass comments as I only heard a portion of what was going on but the little that I heard does not please me one bit.

Ipoh Timur was "busy" going against the new Speaker and the rest of the herd (both BN and PR, I'm sure) were busy heckling everyone else on the opposite side. From what little that I can make out, they were busy talking about Point of Order. I know it is important to do things according to the book but lets get down to "doing the right thing instead of just doing things right". There are so many questions from the MPs (despite the fact that some MPs find it fit not to submit any question) that need to be answered that time wasting should be the last in everyone's mind. But no, they have to "put their foot down" on doing things right and show to the world that we have a "First Class Parliament".

Maybe we should blame the fact that the session was being telecast live over TV and radio and everyone want to score points. Even the sole (I maybe wrong here as they could be other independent MP) Independent MP managed to say something stupid just to make sure that his name will make it into tomorrow's papers. Seemingly, it doesn't matter if he was reported in a bad light as long as his voters know that he was in Parliament making his presence felt.

Maybe some MPs from the PR stable have been in the Opposition for so long that they forgot that they are actually the "government in waiting" (at least that is what they claimed to be). They also forgot that there are now 82 of them now and they cannot monopolise the question time just because they have been in Parliament for so long (some of them in fact have been in parliament since 1969, that is almost 40 years ago). I read an article recently about the Jurassic BN MPs but I feel some in PR are equally, if not more, Jurassic.

I would like to humbly suggest to the PR MPs to show some good examples and act like they are really worthy of being called YBs despite the fact that the Speaker maybe biased and the BN MPs are acting like street bullies. I would also like to suggest that PR give more opportunities to their newer MPs to show their capabilities instead of the MPs who have been in the limelight all these years. The senior PR MPs can act as advisors and chip in as and when necessary.

I know I maybe asking for too much but as they say there is no harm in asking. The worse I will get is they will say no. So what?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Old Folks do not blog

I was on the phone with my son who is currently studying in Monash University recently. He said his friends just found out about my blog and they were surprised. I asked him what is there to be surprised about. Oh..they thought only the young write blogs.

Do I have news to these friends of my son. They must have been really busy studying for their exams that they do not have time to web hunt. There are many senior bloggers who have religiously managed to keep writing and updating their blogs. I can name a few of them very easily. Pak Idrus and Pak Zawi immediately come to my mind. Of course there are some ex-journalists like Dato' AKJ who blogs consistently but writers can't stop writing or else they will go crazy. But I'm talking about non-writers who suddenly found their penchant for writing through blogs at a late age in life, mostly after they retired.

As for me, I would just like to record the pertinent events in my life for posterity. Of course, there have been many interesting events lately but I've not been writing 'cos I've been too busy reading.

Anyway, I'm not as old as these people. I'm not a retiree yet. But more importantly, I do not consider myself anywhere to being old. So my son and his friends better stop thinking that I'm old.

A word of advise to my son and his friends: you all better start blogging from now. Do not wait until you are old.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Its been a while

Phew.. it has been a while since I last made a post. I've been busy, real busy with work. My Principals from Dubai and Japan were in town. We made a presentation and demo to our Client. I thought it went well and now we have to wait for their evaluation. In the meantime, exciting things are happening on the political front. I have been wanting to write on this but somehow or other cannot find the time.

This weekend is going to be another busy one. Both the KAFA school (where I'm an AJK) and my son's secondary school have events that I need to attend. To make matters worse my wife was involved in an accident when the car she was driving was hit by another car. Luckily, she was alright but one side of the car was hit quite bad. I need to send the car to the workshop to get an estimate of the cost of repairs.

On Sunday, I intend to bring the family to visit the Book Fair. Hope I can do it.

Have a good weekend.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Gentleman

It is not easy for any competitor to accept defeat, what more for a politician. But for Dr Koh Tsu Koon it seemed like it came out naturally for him. Nobody expected his party, Gerakan, to lose so badly in the last election. As such, there is no way for him to have prepared for it. But he came out refreshingly magnanimous in defeat. Very early on, he congratulated the DAP for their win and informed the Governor about it. He then showed Lim Guan Eng the Chief Minister’s office and wished the incoming government their best. He even offered his time if the new CM wanted any advice during the transition period.
Compare that to some of his “friends” in his coalition who won their seats but refused to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new CM. After all, this guy is the new CM of Penang not just DAP. Also, compare that to the ex-MBs of other states who even tried to destroy state documents after they lost their right to govern.

Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, I take my hats off to you. You are a true gentleman. I wish you and your family well.

Friday, March 14, 2008

It will never be the same

I've been meaning to blog about a lot of issues regarding the recent election but I've been spending more time reading rather than writing. There are just so many intelligent and refreshing views and comments, unlike the main stream media.

The formation of the government in Perak has still not been resolved at the time of this posting. I was sad, disappointed, angry and ..... I feel there is no need to play politics, right after an election but I guess that is what politicians do, play politics. Anyway, what do I know as I'm no politician.

It seemed settled after the apology and all but, it still hurts...deeply. Sometimes it takes victory to unearth the real person. Now, we know and some people can tell me "I told you so". The only saving grace is that a lot of my friends on the other side of the divide (you see... we now have to divide again) share my very thoughts.

Whatever...

It will never be the same again.

Good luck Malaysia, you need it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Its a pleasant surprise

I've been meaning to write on the election since Saturday, 8th March 2008, the election day itself. I was however taken over by events. I've actually been busy reading the works of others and enjoying them so much that I did not find time to write myself. I realised this is such an important event in my life and as such I must put it on record for my children and grandchildren to savour my feelings of joy.

I started my Saturday early. After breakfast, me, my wife and 3 children set off for the day. First, it was Sultan Abdul Samad in PJ where my wife is to cast her vote. It was for DAP and PKR. We do not even know who the candidates were but it does not matter any more. I know one of them is very active with the residents association but the other I have no idea. My wife? She does not even care as long as it is opposition. How sad, when we reach a stage where we became so fed up. The constant propaganda on the main stream media really pushed us to the limits.

Then we headed for Kg Dato Keramat (Titiwangsa) for me to vote. That was where I registered in the early 80s upon my return from my studies. I was staying with my cousin and his friends who were UTM students when we registered. I'm quite sure if anybody were to check, there maybe 30 names with the same address as me. Most of us do not bother to change our address and continue to come back to this place to vote. I checked my voting number at the BN booth. The line was not too long at my Saluran 3 but I still had to stand for about half an hour. Everybody in line seemed to be very quite as though they were really up to something. I tried to start a conversation with the guy in front of me. Though he responded I feel he was just trying to be courteous. When it was turn, I took my time as though to savour the moment. As I put in my ballot, I even took the opportunity to peek through the transparent ballot box to see what the others had voted. I voted the first name on the ballot.

We then headed for Taiping to attend to my staff's wedding reception. I was quite relaxed all the way. Traffic was rather heavy but still smooth. When we reached the Changkat Jering toll, we meet up with my staff in his full pengantin gear. He was actually waiting for the bride from KL. So, I joined the bride's entourage which was quite small as most of their relatives had gone back to Kelantan to vote. At the recption, me and wife even managed to sit at the main table.

After some time we left the reception and headed to Taiping town. I told my children I want to look at the poster war as I've read that the BN candidate there is going to face a tough time defending his seat. As we drove through Taiping we can see people still voting. It was already 4:00pm. Finally, we checked into Taiping Resort where we will put up the night. After taking a short nap we went out to get some food. Not knowing where to look for food in Taiping, we headed back to Changkat Jering. At the restaurant, we watched one of the TV channels which had a special program on the elctions. There was a panel discussions involving some academics. To me these academics are no better than my office boy who did not even pass his PMR. They are so full of the ruling party's rhetoric that certainly did not do justice to their PhDs. By 7:30 we were already back in the hotel.

What happened during the night was a pleasant surprise. I only managed to sleep at 4:00am. The Malaysian public has finally waken up from their long slumber. There have been so many factors that came into play. Which is the most significant is anybody's guess.

It was FANTASTIC night. The only blemish was that Manchester United lost to Portsmouth in the FA Cup quarter finals, at home. But I would have gladly traded Manchester's Premier League and Championship's challenge for the election result anytime.

I hope to write on this again, sometime.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Man Utd through to quarterfinals

Just to get away from the elections for a while.

Man Utd managed a 1-0 victory over Lyon at Old Trafford in the Champions League early this morning with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his 30th goal of the season but the team did not play to its true capabilities. The second half was a jittery affair. They were lucky Lyon did not score with a try that hit the post and bounced back into play. The defense did well though, limiting Lyon to long range shots.

The next game is against Portsmouth in the FA Cup quarterfinal this Saturday. It will take place when we are waiting for the elections result. Lets hope that we will have a double celebration.

Irrelevant?

Dictionary.com defines "irrelevant" as

"having no bearing on or connection with the subject at issue"

Therefore an irrelevant politician is someone that has no bearing on or connection with politics or politicians.

However, in Malaysia, an irrelevant politician is someone that has been derided at least by the following:

1. The Prime Minister who slams him for "misleading people"
2. His friend of 30 years who said that he is a man of many faces
3. The Education Minister and Youth leader who questions his actions when he was Education Minister many years ago
4. The advisor to one main stream newspaper wrote a full page commentary that the nation should not be made to bear his burden
All the above appeared in one newspaper on the same day.

Before that, his "old friend" told Malaysians that if this irrelevant politician becomes Prime Minister the country would face disaster. I wonder how an irrelevant politician who is not even contesting in an election can become Prime Minister and this friend was called an "academic" and "reformist" by the Advisor to the newspaper.

In addition, about every politician worth his salt, even those who have retired, have something bad to say about this irrelevant politician. This include the Deputy Prime Minister, the leaders of all component parties, the ex-Prime Minister et al.

I wonder how a relevant politician would fare.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Coincidence?

Just heard that SPR will not be using the indelible ink in this election after all despite having spent more than RM2 million to buy the inks. It has something to do with security and legality or whatever. SPR must be really shorthanded. They only managed to announce the need to stamp the nomination papers 3 days before Nomination Day (the eve of the weekend in Kelantan, Trengganu and Kedah) and now they only realised that using the indelible ink will be a threat to security (3 days before Election Day).

Coincidently, the IGP also announced that nobody will be allowed to stop buses ferrying voters into Kelantan and Trengganu.

It is my sincere hope that those given the responsibility to serve the people remember that there is God Almighty and they will be answerable for their actions to Him. On my part, I will NEVER forgive these people if their actions were to infringe my rights unless they seek forgiveness from me personally.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Myth of Special Malay Privileges

Since Independence in 1957 but more so since he inception of the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1970, the issue of Special Malay Rights have been a hot topic of discussion. It attracts the attention of so many people, both the Malays (who are supposed to be the recipients of the rights) and the non-Malays (who are supposed to be discriminated against) love talking about it. However, the government of the day has found it convenient to disallow any open discussion on the subject. As such, the real issues never see the light of day. In their places, there have been assumptions, presumptions, myths and sometimes blatant lies being bandied around.

Before I continue any further let me put the record straight. As far as I can recall I'm a beneficiary of this rights on 3 occasions. First, when I was given a Federal Minor scholarship to study in an English secondary school without having to pay the RM9 monthly fee. Second, when I was offered a scholarship to study overseas by MARA (which I had to repay part of it) and third was when I bought a house in late 80s and got 7% Bumiputra discount.

I offer no apologies for getting the scholarships as I came from a poor family. My father was a policeman in Singapore earning about $400 per month and I lived with my grandfather who toils his 3-acre rubber plantation and I have 8 other siblings. I went to a High School where Malays represent about 30% of the students population and from Form 1 to Form 5, I was always in the best class out of about 8-10 classes per form. I graduated among the top 3% of the graduating class from a university in USA. I will be forever thankful for being given the scholarship by the government failing which I think I would not have been able to afford to pursue my tertiary education.

After working for almost 30 years, dutifully contributing to the growth of the country either through my work or my taxes, how come I'm feeling so disillusioned? When the topic of Special Malay Rights is brought up, how come I'm the one feeling guilty as though I'm part of the group that is monopolizing the wealth of the country at the expense of other deserving citizens just because they are not of the same race as me? And I have many more questions.

>How come I did not get any Bumi shares when I know a few people who repeatedly got them and sold them off after a few months? In fact, I have not even got hold of the famous "pink forms"
>How come I did not get any APs to import cars when some people can have thousands?
>How come I did not receive grants to start a business when I have an Honors degree in Finance when some Malays who knows next to nothing about business get millions but still fail in their business?
>How come I was not given any "direct nego" contracts when I tried going into business a few years ago?
>How come I did not get any "easy" loan from Bank Bumiputra which I heard was the cause of it having to be rescued a few times? The one time I stood guarantee for a friend to buy a lorry to start his business but was unable to pay, I was harrassed by the bank until they put my name in CTOS making it impossible for me to apply for loan even though I'm now paying more than RM2k in income taxes monthly?
>How come there are so many Malays in the villages that are still living in poverty? If you do not believe me, watch the TV program, "Bersama Mu"

There are many more "how comes" that I can come up with but the above should suffice. Frankly, I'm not too concerned about not getting the so-called Malay privileges. By the Grace of God, I think I can now survive in this world on my own accord. After all, I do not need more than 2 cars, more than one terraced house, an overseas holidays every year, etc. So, I am quite contented. But what I cannot stomach is every time the subject of special Malay privileges is brought up I'm looked at as being a beneficiary just because I'm a Malay, a Bumiputra. A non-Malay friend of mine can say that "you Melayu senang lah". My friend, let me tell you the truth, I'm not the Melayu that had it easy. There maybe some Melayus that fall into the category but certainly not me. So, please don't look at me as one of those that had deprived you of your rights. When I get a promotion, it is as though I got it because the company has to promote a Malay not because I have done a good job. Just imagine this, when I do well, it is BECAUSE I am a Malay but when a non-Malay does well he did it DESPITE being non-Malay. How can we continue living like this?

Can we just stop all these crap about special Malay privileges and put in place special privileges for the poor? I'm very sure if we do this, out of the 100 poor people we help, 70% would be Malays the balance will be other races. At least nobody would begrudge us for helping the poor Malays and not the multimillionaire Malays just because they are Malays. Maybe then, nobody can look at me and think that I'm able to get this far just because I'm a Malay.

Before anybody accuse me of being ungrateful for the special Malay privilege that I got before, let me reiterate here that I'm so thankful for it and I thank the government then that helped people like me. But just a reminder, I was so sure that I deserve the help. My parents were poor and I was qualified, so I'm not at all ashamed. In fact those days, the country is not even rich. Oil has not been discovered yet in the country but the leaders then had the vision to help us by giving us the opportunity through education.

I can go on and on but.... it is sickening, Can't we do something? I'm sure we can.

Friday, February 29, 2008

An Evening in Brickfields

I left the office right after Maghrib prayers. I've decided to attend a ceramah tonight, my first in this election. I had earlier wanted to go to the one in Wangsa Maju where Wee Choo Keong is contesting but after more than half an hour decided to forego the plan as I could not locate Section 1 of Wangsa Maju. After driving around Kg Baru without finding any ceramah I decided to head home.

Along the way, I remembered that Nurul Izzah have a ceramah in Brickfields starting at 10:30pm. This could be interesting, I thought. As I turned into the Brickfields area from Jalan Bangsar, I could see cars parked along the road. I found a slot and decided to park my car and take a walk to the scheduled area which was about 1 km away. As I approached the area, the road started being clogged with cars. A lot of people were heading towards the same area. Mostly Indians but quite a significant number of Chinese and Malays too.

As I reached the area, a parking lot, I can see a large group listening to someone giving a speech. An Indian guy who I do not recognize. The sound system is bad. Those standing at the back can hardly hear a thing. The car park is full of people. I do not know how to estimate the number, maybe 500-600, 80% Indians while the balance equally spread between Chinese and Malays.

I remained at the entrance as there is hardly any space for me to move forward. It was then that I saw Raja Petra of Malaysia-Today and his wife. He and a few Chinese ladies were selling Barisan Rakyat posters at RM1 each. Raja Petra was also signing the posters. I bought some posters but did not ask Pete to sign them.

Meanwhile, Nurul Izzah went up to deliver her speech. Again, I could hardly hear her. After that it was Wee Choo Keong's turn to speak. His rendition of correct, correct, correct, drew applause from the crowd. I saw Gobind Deo left the stage after a while. Apparently he was there to lend support to Nurul though he is contesting in Puchong (I think).
Failing to hear the speeches, I decided to strike conversations with the people around me. There was an Indian guy who told me that he was an MIC and Gerakan member but decided to support opposition this time around. Meanwhile I saw and heard people congratulating Raja Petra for his good speech. He must have spoken before I arrived. Maybe he was invited to speak by virtue of him being an old resident of the area.

At about 11:20pm Anwar arrived. He was welcomed by an Indian drums group and shouts of Reformasi. He is definitely still a popular figure. Whether all the show of support will translate into votes is anybody's guess but to say that he is "irrelevant" and a "spent force" can be detrimental to the party saying it.

As the crowd quiet down to hear what Anwar was trying to say, I decided to leave so that I will not be caught in the jam when everybody leaves later. Its another 1 km walk. I reached home at a quarter past midnight. I was happy to see the crowd but I was unable to hear what the speakers were saying. I guess at this point in time, it does not make any difference what they were saying. I have already made up my mind.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Disappointing UMNO line up

I was away over the weekend and therefore missed the Nomination Day Carnival. I had to surf overtime to now read the events of the weekend. My first objective was to see how much changes have been made to rejuvenate UMNO. Change has been the buzzword, not only within the ruling party but also the opposition.

After going through the list of candidates, I am most disappointed. Why are some of the former Ministers still contesting after so many years of service? Doesn't the ruling party have a succession plan in place? Why are the MPs who show no respect to our intelligence still contesting?

The former MP of Shah Alam is almost 70 and still refuse to relinquish the seat to some one younger. What else can he expect to contribute? And if the PM thinks that he will not appoint this guy as Minister in his next Cabinet, why the hell should be contesting in the first place. If he was already a Minister before, giving him just an MP post will definitely not motivate him to work. Might as well give a young leader a chance to experience Parliament. I really hope the people of Shah Alam will send to Parliament somebody who will contribute and show wrong UMNO has been in this case. If the so-called "educated" people of Shah Alam cannot be counted upon to do this, there is little hope for us.

I also read somewhere that the Elections Commission introduced a new ruling whereby the nomination papers must be stamped. This directive was given out on Thursday, 3 days before nomination day. Given that the East Coast states have their weekends on Friday and Saturday and the nomination is on Sunday, it sure looks like EC is trying to pull a fast one on the east coast candidates (be it opposition or the ruling party). Why they did this is anybody's guess, though the opposition is saying that it was aimed at them. As it turned out, it was the ruling party that had problems complying with this last minute ruling. Apparently a few BN candidates in Trengganu failed to get their forms stamped. It must be because, the party took a long time to decide on their candidates as there were too much lobbying. When the opposition protested, the EC officials came out with a new ruling which said that the earlier ruling (issued 2 days earlier) had been rescinded. Funny though, the new ruling was dated on Saturday, when offices are supposed to be closed. Moreover, the opposition parties were not even given a copy. If this was planned to sabotage somebody I would just like to remind the perpetrators that you would need to seek forgiveness from the people being sabotaged (and this include the voters) before God will even consider forgiving you. I pray that the voters will decide to correct the wrong that had been intended on these candidates.

Earlier, I did not have too much hope on this election to provide a platform for change. But after my visit to Kelantan and Trengganu over the CNY and the latest developments, I'm more optimistic.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Petrol prices should be increased

One of the election campaign promises made by the Opposition Front is to reduce the price of petrol the minute it forms the next government and this is getting the rakyat excited. PKR's de facto leader is going round the country telling everybody that care to listen that in his 8 years as Finance Minister, the pump prices of petrol was kept at RM1.10 and now Pak Lah has almost doubled it.

To me, all these are a lot of bull. The only reason why petrol prices during Anwar's time remained at RM1.10 was because the world's crude oil prices remained at "manageable" levels for the government to continue subsidizing it. Not because of Anwar's brilliance at financial management. I think he should stop taking us for fools. He may end up sounding like the same people we are trying to avoid.

If the world's oil price is now at USD95.00 per barrel why should Malaysians pay prices like when it was at USD50.00 per barrel? Who use petrol? Everybody. Everyday folk trying to earn a living, transport operators moving goods, services and people, the rich showing off their gas guzzlers, fresh graduates who just started work but already bought cars when they actually cannot afford them, the lower income wage earners who had to have their own transport because the public transport system is unreliable and many more.

Why not conduct a proper study and determine who needs to be helped and how?. Price subsidy is just one way. It may be the easiest way just because we happen to be a producer of oil, but it may not be the best way. Why not look at conservation, alternative fuels such as NGV which we have in abundance etc?. When we adopt the easiest solution we do not encourage research in other areas. When people are forced into accepting the high petrol prices they will be encouraged to look into other economical alternatives.

Granted, we need to support the logistics and public transport companies with their fuel bills, failing which all costs of goods and services will be increased which affect the masses. But price subsidy is not the only solution. Lets encourage them to convert to NGV by giving tax breaks for them to convert and also incentives for companies to set up NGV stations. Petronas should also set up NGV depot and terminals.

Just look at the fishing industry. The government provides the fishermen with subsidized diesel thinking that they can keep the prices of fish at reasonable levels. What actually happened? The fishermen found out that they can make more money selling the subsidized diesel to industries rather than toil in the sun to go fishing. So, we ended up paying for the subsidy but without the fish making the cost of fish go higher. To solve this, a new department is formed to check on the fishermen to ensure that they do not sell the subsidized fuel. Increased bureaucracy, increased chance of corruption, increased costs.

Let the cost of petrol increase. People will then be more prudent in their usage of petrol because they will feel the pinch. If we continue to provide a "false" pricing level, they will continue to take things for granted and waste this valuable resource. Use the money saved and also some of the profits earned by Petronas to reduce other cost of living expenses such as education and medical care. Encourage conservation and use of alternative fuels.

I know my suggestion will be too much to ask from politicians at this time but lets see if there is somebody brave (or stupid enough) to say the right thing. I was just thinking my uncle who rides his bicycle everyday in my kampong should not be asked to subsidize the cost of petrol used by an Umno leader who uses a Daimler or Porsche which he bought using money from selling shares which he got through the Bumiputra quota. Well, my uncle may not be paying anything in taxes because he is not earning much to be taxed but the savings in fuel subsidy could be used to improve the medical facilities which he makes use often. Maybe now, the Health Ministry can employ more doctors to operate the overly expensive equipment which are only used once a month when the specialists who knows how to use them comes to the district hospital. Oh, now I'm touching on another subject...