Make My NuMbErS Grow!!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Anyway, below is an article written by one of my friend who is political conscience and because e is also a law student and in the Student Representative Council of University Malaya. I do not claim any credit on this write up but just to share with all. Do read on...Lastly, Malaysians, go out to VOTE!!!
Attach: Written by Vignesh
In recent weeks, the world’s attention shifted to the presidential elections in America. Obviously, it is all because a black man and a woman stand a legitimate chance to be the President. Either way,it writes a new page in the history book of the United States. Back home, Malaysia is having her 12th general elections as well. As usual, nation wide campaign has begun and media has been deploying their squad to the scene. Every day, the general public hears that the economy is doing well, the people are safe in this country, how important for us to be united and how stupid is the opposition.
We seem to be a troubleless society now after everything that happened for the past four or five years. Politicians visit their constituencies and they settle all the problems there and in their ceramahs they say that we are all Malaysians with equal treatment and opportunities.
Honestly however, I can only see this happening now. Why can it be like this all the time? Back to the American elections, what caught my attention besides Obama and Clinton is the process of democracy practiced there. Even though America is currently ruled by a Republican Government, the Democrats are given full access to the media and campaign could be done technically anywhere in the country. Is it possible the same thing do happen in our country? Well, the opposition in this country does have their say in the papers but it is just a 2 inch column in the 5th page. Mainstream media always serve as the most effective tool of campaign for the ruling party. Another interesting point to note is that this time around, there are approximately 700 000 new young voters.
This bulk of young people care about the fate of their country and they want to have a say in building this nation. Sadly however what values does this election teaches them? The people in power always have an upper hand over the others? The majority overrules the minority? Many even choose not to register to vote because of the feeling that nothing will change even if they vote.
Pathetic…However, the young who still has faith that they can make a change, the time has come.
Friday, February 15, 2008
While walking down the street one day a Malaysian Boleh Minister is tragically hit by a truck and dies.
His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.
"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."
"No problem, just let me in," says the man.
"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."
"Really, I have made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Yang Berhormat. "I'm sorry, but we have our rules," says St. Peter.
And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.
Everyone is very happy and dressed in the finest batik there is. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly
game of golf and then indulge themselves on lobsters, caviar and the most expensive food there is.
Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.
Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.
The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St.Peter is waiting for him.
"Now it' s time to visit heaven."
So, 24 hours pass with the Yang Berhormat joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."
The Yang Berhormat reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think Ai yam better off in hell."
So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.
He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.
The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.
"I don't understand," stammers the Yang Berhormat. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"
The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning just like you during an election...... Today you voted."
VOTE WISELY IN THE COMING ELECTION.
DON'T GET CONNED BY THE BARISAN . WHY ONLY DURING ELECTION THE PM AND DEPUTY IS GOING AROUND THE COUNTRY TO PROMISE HEAVEN> AFTER ELECTION WE WOULD SUFFER ANOTHER 4 YEARS.
BARISAN WOULD WIN WITH THEIR MACHINERY BUT ENSURE THERE IS A STRONG OPPOSITION TO QUESTION THEM
Source: Can't be publish due to ISA Threat
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Stories by STEPHEN THEN, JACK WONG and SHARON LING
SIBU: Malaysians must not harbour racial prejudice in their hearts, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
The Prime Minister said there should not be any confrontation among the races as it would jeopardise peace and stability.
“I want Malaysia to be a peaceful country. We must maintain the good reputation of our country,” he added when opening the RM7mil-SMK St Elizabeth Mill Hill Franciscan Centennial Hall at Jalan Oya yesterday.
Abdullah said Malaysians should respect and help each other to live in harmony and urged teachers to instil in their students love for the country and goodwill to one another.
Meet the people: Abdullah, together with his wife Datin Seri Jean Abdullah and chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, arriving in Bintulu to officially open the Sarawak Corridor SCORE.Regardless of race or religion, Malaysians were all comrades in nation building and bringing development to the country, he said.
On education, he gave an assurance that the Government would not forget to assist Chinese and Tamil national-type primary schools as well as mission schools.
“We will not neglect these schools and bring them into the mainstream of educational development.”
Abdullah urged students to excel in science and technology, as only then would they be able to help implement development projects and tap the country’s vast natural resources.
Citing an example, he said although oil palm and rubber were not native to Malaysia, the two commodities had brought wealth to the nation through the efforts of local researchers who come up with many value-added products.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud praised SMK St Elizabeth teachers for their dedication in helping to produce many top students and achieve excellent academic results for the school.
Recently, I've been posting articles from local newspaper due to certain reasons such as the upcoming general elections. Although no one knows for sure when will it be but the majority thinks it'll definitely be soon.
Well, taking a ride on all the whoo-hah that's happening at the moment, I would also like to drop my 5 cent worth of thoughts to be shared.
Recently, I've notice that many 'goodies' are being given out to rakyat (although it's being denied, but I think the general perception is true). Suddenly, vernacular schools such as SRJK (C) and SRJK (T) are given MILLIONS and I emphasize again MILLIONS of ringgit to re-build or maintanence purposes, farmers (non-Bumi) are 'suddenly' given lease for the land they work hard upon to earn decend living..sudden care for vernacular schools is sometimes too 'over-whelming' as they are suddenly being cared. It's as if the prodigal son came back to his father after being in the wilderness for a long time.
I'm not denying the good works of our minister but then again, why the sudden care (if you get what I mean)? Those days when I was still a student in SMJK (C) Chung Ling Butterworth, which is a vernacular school, I don't remember being 'love' that much by the ruling party. Our school hall which was then being refurbish to fix on air-con was purely from the support of our local community, those who really care for students' welfare, the betterment of infra-structure.
Discussing on racial unity of current Malaysia, I wonder who are the guys and gals that make us what we are today? Disunity don't happen overnight because it's an on-going process. In fact, it's the trickling effect that pose a more dangerous situation to this beloved nation. The British use 'ala divide and conquer' but Malaysians (who are high up there) use ala NEP and May13 aftershock to make what we are today. Discrimination among races although not that obvious happens-in fact, within the majority race, discrimination exist too!! What do I mean by so, you may ask.. Well, how can you justify a rich millionaire of Bumiputera status to obtain 10% discount for property buying (unless you are saying that the 'poor' non-Bumi is still 'richer' in some way compared to the Bumi which to me is utterly nonsense); how can you justify that after 50 years of Independance, state like Kelantan is still so backward in development? (is it because it's govern by opposition?)
So far, this are a few points I would like to share for the moment. I hope I make sense in this writing and I'm open to criticism as long as it's given with sincerity.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Muslim community leaders have spoken out against a school’s attempt to ban non-halal food from its canteen, calling the move a step backwards for the community.
Ridzuan Wu, chairman of the Centre for Contemporary Islamic Studies, which promotes conversations between different religious groups, said:”I think we’ve come to that stage in Singapore when it’s really not practical to look at things in such a narrow way.”
A furore started when Boon Lay Garden Primary School wrote to parents last Friday, saying that on halal food could be eaten or taken into its canteen, which sells only halal food.
The announcement upset non-Muslim parents, who felt it smacked of discrimination. The school said on Monday that it had made a mistake and will not go ahead with the move.
Yesterday, religious leaders said it was not wrong for Muslims and non-Muslims to dine together, as long as Muslims eat halal food.
Religious leaders and school principals The Straits Times spoke to all pointed to the need for more eduation to avoid misunderstandings.
-The Straits Times/ Asia News Network
This excerpt was taken from The Star, page W51 on Thursday (7 February 2008) and included a picture showing Muhd Saiful Alam, an imam, teaching his daughter Minnatullah that it’s not a sin to sit next to a friend who is eating pork.
This article caught my eye on how ‘progressive’ the Muslim in our neighbouring republic is moving forward as what Islam Hadhari which is propagated by our Malaysian government is shouting on. However it is flabbergasting to note that the ‘rules and regulation’ regarding to the faith of Islam that is being practice in Malaysia seem to be quite opposite (In my personal opinion). We have been brought up knowing that we can’t share the same table as a Muslim if non-Muslim are eating non-halal food, drinking water by non-Muslim are considered ‘rude’ during the month of Fasting, non-Muslim can’t share their teachings with a Muslim (do note that I’m saying sharing, not preaching); just to name a few. As one person has mention to me before, religion should be the uniting factor in our society, but the opposite is happening in reality. It makes me wonder whether the fault lies with the religion or the practice by men which includes their own interpretation of what’s right.
Having said the above, I also believe that non-Muslims have to play a part and be brave enough to voice out their mind otherwise stop complaining within their inner circle. It’s been some time since listening to the grouses of my community on how come we (non-Muslim) can’t drink freely anytime we want during Puasa, is it purely out of respect we can’t drink publicly? Which pops another question into my mind; how come this respect only goes one way and not mutual respect; meaning to say we (non-Muslim) drink due to necessity, not out of disrespect while Muslim respect others that they are not bound by Islamic teaching, therefore having the RIGHT to drink and eat. Saying this, I understand we live in a harmonious and peaceful environment (depending on interpretation as long as ‘sensitivity’ are not question) with Malay Muslim as majority. But as long as NOBODY impose their teaching and way of life on others forcefully, I believe we Malaysians can move forward to a truly Malaysian future or as politicians say it “BANGSA MALAYSIA”…
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Anyway, enjoy reading it. The article is quite long and it's taken from http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/2/3/focus/20225325&sec=focus&focus=1
By WONG CHUN WAI
IN an interview at the Prime Minister's office last week, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Abdullah spent more than an hour tackling a host of questions ranging from the expected tough fight from the opposition against the Barisan, particularly the MCA and Gerakan, in the urban seats and the anti-establishment pattern among these voters.
In an unusually frank interview, Abdullah spent over an hour and 40 minutes at the Chinese Room of his office sharing his thoughts on how the Government intended to fight crime and the increasing cost of living – two major issues affecting Malaysian voters.
The Barisan Nasional chairman also spoke about how the lives of Malaysians had been made easier because of the huge subsidy given but many are unaware and have seemingly taken it for granted.
As his body guards hinted their impatience because the interview had delayed his departure to Kota Kinabalu, the Penang leader looked at his watch and asked his press secretary Teoh Ai Hua, another Penangite, in Hokkien “kooi tiam leow” (what time is it?), apologising for the abrupt end to the interview and suggested it should continue at another time at Seri Perdana, his official residence.
“We shall continue at my house. Please be on stand by, there is plenty of work to do and I want to talk about what the government is doing,” he said.
Elections and the economy
Wong: The election fever has started with all political parties busy making preparations. Many are expecting you to dissolve Parliament after the Chinese New Year with polling in March. Is this a fair assessment?
Abdullah: It will be this year. (laughter)
Wong: In the urban areas, Barisan Nasional politicians say they are expecting a tough fight from the Opposition. How are you going to handle this?
Abdullah: In a way, I would say yes because there have been grouses on all sorts of issues from the public ranging from the escalating price of oil, prices of goods, transport and others. We cannot dispute that this situation has primarily been caused by the rise in oil prices but then again, the public needs to be educated about this. They must understand that it is not the government's doing to increase oil prices but rather a cause and effect from the global economy.
In addition, when compared to other countries our oil prices are relatively low, especially since we provide fuel subsidies to the public. And we must also remember that the portion subsidised by the government is more than what the public is paying.
But coming back again to the point, I expect all parties to work hard and fight for every vote. We have to convince voters why we are worthy and Barisan Nasional has the track record to show the voters. We don't just depend on rhetoric, press statements and ceramah to win votes. We don't make unrealistic promises either.
Wong: The government has been providing subsidy from petrol to cooking oil. Have Malaysians become so used to such subsidies, which has reduced the cost of living, that many do not accept that the rising costs are due to the global trends?
Abdullah: I believe so. It has become a kebiasaan (normality) to them. I must say that the situation has been managed properly and the people must understand that what we are experiencing is a global phenomenon and not just an issue that affects Malaysia.
We now spend about RM40bil on subsidies, which is not a sustainable situation. Each country has its own problem. Take for example food prices in the United States that have gone up because they use corn to be converted into ethanol. Simple economics will tell us that when a shortage is created, regardless of the product, there will be an increase in price. I suppose it is convenient to blame the government, but people should really look at it as a global issue.
Wong: Many urban voters are said to be unhappy with the Barisan. To be more precise, the non-Malays talk about punishing Umno leaders for certain statements made that have angered them.
Abdullah: Every party has its share of this kind of people – those who have made statements without first thinking about the consequences of their words. I feel it is unfair to judge Umno based on what a few people say, since the party has more than two million members and more than 100 MPs.
Our policy responses have been measured even though some of these people have made these kinds of statements. Ultimately, I would not condone any sentiments which are hurtful or insulting, especially to other races. It is their responsibility to not terlanjur kata (go overboard with words) and they should be also accountable for their actions.
If you remember, during my winding-up speech in 2006 (at the Umno General Assembly), I said Umno must be supported and respected by all races. But support and respect must be earned. And the delegates clapped. They supported my statement.
People should remember that Umno is committed to power sharing. Even in areas where non-Malays are a minority, Umno is prepared to make way for our MCA or MIC friends; they are our loyal partners. Umno will fight against PAS or PKR in favour of MCA or MIC candidates.
In Ijok, we stood firm in appointing an MIC candidate and vigorously campaigned for him, even though the opposition selected a Malay candidate. (Deputy Prime Minister) Najib campaigned hard for him. Even I went to visit Ijok once. Other Umno leaders went too. And he was elected with an increased majority. We did not succumb to the politics of race.
A place for all Malaysians?
Wong: There has been a sense of disquiet among some non-Malays and even Muslims about their place in the country. What is your assurance that there is a place for all Malaysians?
Abdullah: There is definitely a place for all Malaysians. More evident than before, we have corrected the social imbalance by providing better infrastructure, basic needs and quality of life.
In both rural and urban areas, necessary steps have been taken to ensure there is steady growth regardless of race or religion. There is always the thought that we are not doing enough, especially for the non-Malays.
Take the Klang Valley for example, an area which is predominantly inhabited by the Chinese. Look at the amount of development that has taken place. Or Penang, which is also predominantly Chinese.
We have now launched four development corridors around the country, with another one to come in Sarawak soon. All of these developments are for all, not just for the Malays as some cynics would claim. We have embarked on this plan to reduce disparities not just among ethnic groups, but between geographical areas and between urban and rural areas. These new developments will make the respective areas attractive to work and stay in and will help reduce the influx of people who would otherwise throng into the city, causing more slums and squatter areas to spring up.
Our promise was to develop the nation as a whole, and taking into consideration the need of every Malaysian and making sure that no one would be left behind or left out. This is what we are doing with the development corridors; in a nutshell, this is an effort and development for equitable distribution of quality opportunities.
This would invariably also create new sources of income for the rakyat. From time to time, there will be issues or episodes which will upset and make us question our place under the Malaysian sun. When that happens, we all have to try and seek a resolution to the problem.
Wong: I'm sure you're aware that of late some urban middle class parents have been telling their children to stay back overseas after they finish their education because they have no future in Malaysia.
Abdullah: I am very disappointed if some parents think in such a manner. It is as if they are instilling in their children that their country provides them with no benefits or anything good to offer. It is just not right. The children ought to remember that their own parents have earned credible incomes to afford to send them abroad to further their education.
I am not against the notion of furthering one’s profession overseas but to portray such an image to their children is not right. Our country has so much to offer and we are growing both economically and socially. There should be no reason to say that Malaysia possesses no professional opportunities.
Corruption and crime
Wong: Since being elected in 2004, you have declared war on corruption and promised to eradicate it. However, there is word that despite all the strong talk, the administration’s record in the fight against corruption has been patchy. The people are expecting for more to be done.
Abdullah: What I announced when I took over the leadership was not based on a five-year manifesto. It is a plan that spans across three development periods until 2020. Efforts to reduce corruption is a long-term battle and we are all well aware that it will not disappear in the wink of an eye. There have, however, been various significant improvements. For example, the awareness to eradicate corruption is higher than in previous years and what's more, we now see a trend of people coming forward to report such cases to us rather than just keeping quiet about it. There are even people who are willing to report attempts to corrupt officials.
The public play an integral part in the fight against corruption simply because they possess the power to stop it. The Anti-Corruption Agency has also been pivotal in addressing this issue. They have been given more manpower and better tools to do their job, such as forensic accounting capabilities. The ACA has increased its own investigation teams.
The number of corruption-related arrests has increased by over 70% from 2001 to 2006; the conviction rate for corruption-related cases has increased from 50% in 2004 to about 75% in 2006 and there has been a 25% increase in the number of corruption reports made by the public in the last four years. The ACA acted quickly after the Auditor General uncovered improper behaviour in his report. In fact, the openness of the government to deal with these issues and the speed with which action was taken is proof that we are determined and committed to fighting these abuses.
But despite all this, we still see that the public is sceptical. In their mind, they must see blood even if there is no blood. Even if a person is said or perceived to be corrupt, it does not mean he or she is definitely guilty of such accusations.
Therefore, this is what I mean when I say the public want to see blood. Such judgements are unfair and sometimes the media must lend a helping hand by not blowing such cases out of proportion and pronouncing people guilty before the courts do. The point is that fighting graft is not about making headlines or expecting quick results, but rather having the stamina for a long-drawn fight.
Wong: Crime is on everyone's mind and plenty of complaints have come streaming in. They say that the streets are not safe anymore.
Abdullah: Let me first say that we hear Malaysians loud and clear on this. Fighting crime, however, is everyone's concern and not just the police. I must say that the increase that has been reported on the nation's crime index since 2006 is due to five more categories of crimes added to the index of 14. But nevertheless, we must learn to take crime prevention measures and work together.
The rakyat must help do their part. Stop domestic crimes and ensure safety of their children, their homes and their possessions like cars. Support and be active in Rukun Tetangga activities, be ready to coorperate with the authorities, for example, be willing to report and be witness to any crime committed. At shopping malls, owners must install CCTV and engage security guards.
On the government's part, we have allocated RM8bil under the 9th Malaysia Plan which includes the purchase of high technology integrated communication system. For the new police stations, we want to install CCTVs inside lockups and CCTVs would also be installed at streets and public places by local councils. In addition, over 3,000 patrol cars and 4,000 motorcycles have been purchased. The government has also approved the recruitment of 60,000 police personnel over the next five years.
The current police training academy cannot accommodate a surge in trainees, more centres need to be built first. The ratio of police to the population ideally should be 1:250 people but, in Subang Jaya for example, the ratio is 1:3,000. So we need to improve the situation.
Police districts which are too big should be broken up to smaller units to fight crime better. For the short term, we have decided to rent or lease shoplots in town centres to be used as police stations. This way the people have better access to the police. Four areas have been targeted for more intensive police surveillance and operations. They are Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Kinta Valley, Penang, and the IDR in Johor.
The media, once again, must also not cause too much panic among the public. It would be made to seem as if crime was uncontrollable when in actuality the police have been working very hard. It was recently found that our police's response time to a crime in progress is higher than the Interpol average. We are (snaps finger) very quick. Our crime solving rate is better than the Interpol average.
But that aside, I have told Musa (Hassan) to make sure that the money that has been allocated is utilised quickly and that whatever instructions that have been given are implemented.
New faces, the keris and Chinese education
Wong: Will we see newer faces in the impending general election and possibly of even senior leaders giving way? You have mentioned before that there are credible candidates with great quality. What about Mentris Besar moving to contest in parliamentary seats?
Abdullah: Maybe. I will study a number of different factors.
Wong: There have been DAP ceramahs in Penang recently with posters of Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein wielding the keris.
Abdullah: I think enough has been said, but of course the opposition wants to play up the issue. I think attacks on Hisham(muddin) as being anti-Chinese is unfair, especially since he has done a lot for Chinese schools. That's a fact. He has been a fair politician. The MCA and the Chinese educationists can give you the statistics of his work. In fact, he is currently helping missionary schools to renew their land leases.
Hindraf and poverty
Wong: What about the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) issue? Will this affect the votes, especially the Indians in the coming general election?
Abdullah: Yes I think votes will be affected somewhat.
Wong: Towards this end, what is being done to address their grievances, especially in terms of poverty? And what about the recent cases of Hindu temples?
Abdullah: I have given instruction that whatever grouses they have should be attended to. We take these matters seriously and I have even made time to listen to them. It is not as if we are not doing anything. We have been working hard to eradicate poverty all this while. We have reduced it (the poverty rate) to 3.5% and hardcore poor is down to 0.7%, although obviously there are still poor people in the country. Of course our job is not done yet, but we have made a lot of progress.
There are not just poor Indians, but also poor Chinese, Malays and other bumiputra as well. This is why eradicating poverty among Malaysians, and I stress the word Malaysians, has been on our agenda and remains one of our priorities.
As for the Hindu temples, I have asked the MB to let the Hindu organisations decide for themselves how they intend to tackle the number of illegal temples in Selangor.
Wong: Malaysians are worried over how we will be affected due to fears of a US recession.
Abdullah: I was in Davos recently and the dominant topic of discussion was whether the US would go into recession or whether it would just be a slowdown. Many of the corporate leaders who came to see me also brought up this issue. I told them that although there would be some effect on the Malaysian economy, we are quite resilient. We have been managing our economy prudently and now we can see the success and the value of that approach. Our deficit has been reduced from 5.3% in 2003 to 3.2% in 2007. Our reserves are now over US$101 billion. Market capitalisation of Bursa Malaysia is over RM1tril. The ringgit has strengthened from RM3.80 (to US$1) to RM3.20. So we are in good economic health.
Number two, we have diversified our trade partners. The US is still an important trade partner of course, but our trade with China, India and the Middle East has grown and Asean will be more important to us going forward.
Finally, about 86% of our GDP is domestic driven. Domestic consumption and investment is up and high commodity prices have been good for us. With all of this, I believe we will continue to grow.
This is not to say that things will not be challenging. We are an open economy and not disconnected from the rest of the world. But our policies are good. A strong and stable government has allowed us to manage our development well and we will continue to need that strength and stability. Stability was the biggest attraction for a lot of the companies that I met in Davos. We have been able to plan and implement good policies because the country has been peaceful and we have enjoyed stability. So we must continue to safeguard it.
The interview was transcribed by Paul Choo