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 :-)