Thursday, 28 February 2008

GDP & Demonstrations: A Case Of Wrong Correlation?

Sometimes I wonder who to trust. You hear some comments made with so much concerns and worries for the rakyat yet when the results came out, you realised most of the things highlighted before is to me, more of a bunch of bullshit bogeyman theory.

If you read the Edge online headline today, it was reported that 4th quarter of 2007 GDP grew by 7.3%! Apparently, according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM in short), this is the fastest quarterly growth since the 2nd quarter of 2004. This contributed to the full-year 2007 GDP growth of 6.3% , exceeding both the BNM target of 6% and overall market expectations (which basically means average of estimations made by economists, analysts and such) below 6%.

And how did this come about?

...on the back of robust domestic demand driven by strong private consumption spending and investment activities and increase in public sector spending...

So which sectors contribute to this fast growth rate?

On the supply side, the services and agriculture sectors were the main drivers for the economic growth, while for the demand side, the growth was underpinned by the double-digit growth of private final consumption and gross fixed capital formation.

...private consumption expenditure grew by 11.1% supported by high disposable income due to strong commodity prices, salary increment in the public sector and stable employment market.

Gross fixed capital formation increased by 11% in 4Q, due to increased capital spending by the private sector, as evidenced by higher loans approval and disbursement to the manufacturing and construction sectors and imports of capital goods, as well as higher disbursement for development expenditure.

On the supply side, growth was led by the services sector, which grew by 9.1%, followed by the agriculture sector at 6.9%, manufacturing 5.6%, construction 4.7% and mining 3.5%.

The expansion in the services sector was supported by double-digit growth in the wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and restaurant, and finance, insurance, real estate and business services sub-sectors.

Boring stuff aside, you must wonder, so what does all this mean? Remember back in November 2007, two significant events took place here in Malaysia. Forgotten? Well, let me remind you, 40K turned up for the BERSIH rally on the 10 November 2007 and Hindraf rally on 25 November 2007.

I remember clearly a number of BN politicians came out strongly to say these rallies are bad for the economy. I even blogged about it. However, to emphasis the point just in case any of us forget, Dr Lee Chong Meng, the current aspirant to be the MP for Bukit Bintang by legitimate means, has this to say (with like 400 NGOs) about the impact of these two rallies back when the Star reported it on 7 December 2007 on the economy:

Not only have tour operators suffered losses, so too have hotels, shopping complexes and businesses,” he added.

Bukit Bintang MCA chief Senator Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng said the two illegal street demonstrations by Bersih on Nov 10 and Hindraf on Nov 25 had damaged the country’s reputation and image in the world, especially in terms of tourism.

“Some tourists from South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, China and Singapore have cancelled their trips here,” he said, adding that million-ringgit efforts by the Government to promote tourism with events like Visit Malaysia Year had gone to waste because of the coverage on the demonstrations by the foreign media.

Hmm, I seriously wonder. Do these so called "experts in running the country" know what they are talking about? BNM reported the FASTEST quarterly growth since Q2 2004 (despite the anomaly of having two huge rallies during the same period) while these politicians said millions are wasted, businesses suffered losses, economy affected in a bad way, et cetera, et cetera.

No wonder Dr Lee said he can't debate on national issues. This must be one of his shortsightedness...:P

And do you still consider voting for them the so-called self proclaimed, look-at-our-track-record "experts" in running the country?

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Shifting goalposts the EC way!

This election is quickly turning into a farce. I am shocked to see how underhanded the Election Commission keep changing rules to ensure the playing field remains uneven and lopsided. What just happened in Gum Gum state seat is really a joke. The Star Online at 7.53 PM today reported that the sole BN opponent i.e. Mohaspa Mohd Hassan has withdrawn from the race at the 18th hour.

"Huh?" you said? Yes, you read it right. 18th hour.

Per the Star article, "Noon deadline today for candidates to pull out" dated today, the Election Commission secretary, Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor:

He said under the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981, candidates can pull out within 72 hours from the time the respective returning officer announces their candidature to prevent their names from being printed on the ballot papers.

Ok, so why the 18th hour? Well, Mohaspa withdrew at 6 PM today! Yup 6 hours from noon deadline. And you know what the Sabah Election Commission has to say?

Sabah Elections Commission Md Idrus Ismail said that the latest withdrawal was the third in Sabah as of 7pm Wednesday and the 72-hour cooling off period for withdrawals ends at midnight on Wednesday.


How convenient isn't it to bend their backs and change the deadline? First the off on stamp duty rule, now this. What would they do next? Outright adding phantom voters in opposition strongholds on the election day itself?

So fellow Malaysians, what are you going to do about it? Sit back, do nothing or watch TV because you have given up on the system? If you see a woman is about to be raped, will sit back and enjoy or pretend you can't see and walk away? Or will you have the decency to do the right thing, fight off the rapist or get help ASAP????

I am going to quote this and it is also featured on Edward Lee's blog.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" -Edmund Burke

It is time for us to forget about the sikap tidak apa. If we keep going in life with this attitude, the EC, Mr Big Ears and all his cohorts will happily trample all over us. What is the point of whining and bitching? Seriously, we have only ourselves to be blamed for doing nothing. The pain will not go away unless we step up to put our foot down. But will we do it? Will we actually show them what it means, "Enough is enough"? Will we send them to the other side of the August House by putting an alternative government in power?

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The Sun versus Hwa Beng : You Decide (Round 2)!

Well, well, well. Guess what? Y.Bhg Dato Lee Hwa Beng or Mr Lee for short, must have had enough of Christians demanding answers from him on the church-operating-from-shoplots-and-factory-outlets annual permit issue. He finally decided to e-mail to the Sun to clear his name. So on 23 February 2008, he wrote:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dato Lee <>
Date: Feb 23, 2008 2:25 PM

The Sun
Dear Editor
I refer to the recent article that appeared in your paper quoting me that all churches need to apply for permits from MPSJ.
I wish to clarify that MPSJ has never asked any church to apply for permits. MPSJ has also not taken action against any church for having their premises in shophouses or factories. Hence there is no necessity for any churches to apply for any permits.
I hope this clarification will put to rest all the concerns on this issue.
Thank you.
Lee Hwa Beng
MPSJ Councillor

He can keep on hoping since I find his clarification as cloudy as ever. To ensure he meant what he wrote, he was quoted by the Star today as fuming mad when he said the following:

“Churches in Subang Jaya are not required to apply for permits to operate,'' said the MCA leader.

“Many Christians in the community have approached me regarding this. So I want to clarify now that as far as the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) is concerned, there is no need to apply for such permits.

“And for the 14 years that I have been sitting in the council, I have not come across any action being taken against churches if they did not apply for permits,” he added.

To ensure he appears to speak in the spirit of Muhibbah, the Star added the following:

He said this does not only apply to churches but also other places of worship like temples and mosques that operate from factories and shop houses, where they would not be disturbed.

Only Mr Lee has a say, everyone else, you get the idea...


As you know, I posted a comment cum letter on his website earlier on this (it is apparently still being moderated. Tells you much about the efficiency of a MBSJ councillor huh?). You can read it here. Anyhow, I do give him credit for writing to the Sun. Yet he didn't even bother explaining how the Sun managed to get the direct quotes or demanding for an apology. Hence, to make the matter clearer, I decided to post another comment cum letter today.

Feb 23 2008: Letter to Editor
Submitted by Anonymous on 26 February 2008 - 5:46pm.
Dear Y Bhg Datuk Lee,

I refer to my earlier comment sent but not posted on your website. I applaud you for your recent action where you courageously inform the Sun they have misquoted you.

However, in your e-mail dated 23 February 2008 and your reply reported in the Star article today, you have not addressed the reason as to how the Sun managed to obtain direct quotes from you. For your ease of reference, I have reproduced the two quotes printed by the Sun in their article dated 18 February 2008.

“We have not asked them to close down, but to submit their application for permits,” said Lee, adding that such churches have to get a permit to operate from business premises.

Lee said: "If they are on their own land then there is no need for them to apply for the permits for their religious houses, but in the cases of the churches, they need to apply for the permits because they are operating from out of the shoplots in business centres and factory lots in industrial areas."

Based on your statements, it would appear you are implying the Sun pulled those quotes from the air. For the sake of clarity, could you kindly affirm that such is the case and as I have said before, could you then raise a legal suit demanding for an apology for the sake of clearing your good name?

Second, in reference to your e-mail to the Sun editor dated 23 February 2008, you mentioned MBSJ has never asked any church to apply for permits and they have not taken action against any churches for having their premises in shophouses or factories.

To ease the concerns of Christians living in areas under MBSJ jurisdiction, in your capacity as MBSJ Councillor and on behalf of both the Selangor state government and MBSJ, could you:

i) Explain why in MBSJ has proposed in their local draft plan to commence the requirement for churches to apply for annual permits to operate our of shoplots and factory permises?

ii) Assure that such proposal, i.e. requiring application for annual permit to operate churches from shophouses and factory permises, will never be considered by MBSJ?

iii) Assuming you have been elected as a member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya, if such a proposal is to be raised by any local, state and federal government, would you, in your capacity as an elected representative, move a motion in Parliament to oppose and vote against such measures?

I would be glad to hear from you as soon as possible, preferably before 8 March 2008, where your Christian voters will know your view and decide on whether to cast their support of your candidacy.

Thank you.

26 February 2008

To all concerned Kelana Jaya parliamentary seat voters, we shall wait and see by 7 March 2008 to know what is his response. Otherwise, you know what to do...:)

Monday, 25 February 2008

Enough la! Please get your priorities right!

It makes me boil. I don't get it. These people are supposedly leaders and we are supposed to look up to them. But don't they understand the concept of unity? Also, can't they be more creative if they want people to believe them? Sigh...

Tell me about it, you are not the only one fed up with things...


Today Malaysiakini reported a startling "revelation" about Po Kuan. Apparently, a member of DAP alleged that Po Kuan hatched an elaborated ploy to allow her to exit while pushing for Mr Thomas Su to be her successor. Apparently, Mr Cheong Peng Choon claim that Po Kuan wanted Mr Su to be her successor but Perak DAP leadership will have none of it hence she has to go through miles i.e. do a dramatic 11th hour exit to force Mr Su down their throats to be her chosen candidate for Batu Gajah.

Honestly, am I shocked? Of course. Do Mr Cheong really think any intelligent person will believe him? What evidence has he to offer to begin with? Given there is none on offer here, I have a few things to ask.

1) What is in it for Po Kuan to push for Mr Su?

As far as I look at it, any politician would want to push for their own agendas. But in doing so, they want to get something out of it. In the case of Po Kuan, what is her agenda to push for Mr Su? If it is because she wants to quit, then why is she going through all the hassle to find a successor?

2) If Mr Cheong implying Po Kuan is stubborn and selfish then since she wants things her way?
Pray tell why then Po Kuan be bothered to recontest? According to Mr Cheong:

her plan had backfired as she and the party were receiving a lot of negative publicity.

But if she is selfish and all she wanted is to quit, why would she be bothered about negative publicity? Why would she want to save her party by recontesting? Isn't her original aim is to quit?

After saying much about the internal fracas, he went on to complain that it is because of Po Kuan he can't contest because she has upset the Perak DAP lineup. Apparently, he was slated to contest in the Tronoh state seat until she upsets everything by opting to recontest.

Question: Isn't it in Perak DAP interest to convince Po Kuan to recontest? By that statement, one would rationally understand who has priority on the candidates list. So wouldn't it be reasonable to assume Perak DAP has prepared a proper line up with her in mind and a contingency plan in case she is firm with her decision to not recontest? Also, didn't Mr Ngeh himself who said he supported Po Kuan to be a candidate for Batu Gajah? So why is Mr Cheong complaining as though he has more right to get nominated than Po Kuan?

Ultimately, I may not get satisfactory answers but like I said before, why should I be bothered about internal party fracas if Po Kuan delivers as a Member of Parliament? Also, can't these leaders understand that it is the rakyat who decides who to represent them in Parliament? They can offer choices but ultimately it is the rakyat who decide.

Unlike some pretender who dreams of unseating Teresa Kok, Po Kuan is the real deal when she contested in her twenties in hope to bring changes to this country. She spoke up for the rakyat, served her constituency well and fought for our rights. That to me is better than many Lassie wannabes who just obediently tow the command of their masters.

It is good Po Kuan decided not to speak to Malaysiakini to defend herself. In my opinion, she does not need to explain about her family affairs. As long as she knows what is at stake and fulfill her destiny to serve the rakyat in honesty, equality and justice, who cares about a sore loser making noise for not being made a candidate?

Sunday, 24 February 2008

David wasn't naive

I am still estatic that Po Kuan is recontesting. Well, I did see what MSM been quibbling about as they can't retract Najib's validation and endorsement of Po Kuan's good track record and ability but the fact of the matter is, Po Kuan is putting the nation first. Hence what is the point of highlighting Perak DAP in-fights (don't even know if this is true in the first place)? I am quite sure any other BN affiliated parties have their fair share of in-fights (and Najib has to warn his own party members not to sabotage). I recall not too long ago, a certain Datin Paduka got 6 months suspension because of a certain fraca in MCA meeting. But do MSM go round highlighting it now? Obviously not right. Anyway, now that she is no longer competing in the upcoming election, let us let sleeping dogs lie.

It is only when party in-fights begin to affect the ability of a MP to serve the rakyat, then I will sit up and care. And sometimes I can't help it, is BN focusing on the candidate or the party?

Yeah, I think you can stare Carol down with that look...:P


Anyway, amongst the many notable DAP MPs, other than Po Kuan, I am really happy DAP has Ms Teresa Kok, the 2-term outgoing MP of Seputeh. She has been a very hard working lady who cares for the needs of her constituency. One only need to see her website on the activities she does. I even highlighted one earlier, on the MBSJ draft local plan to impose annual permit fees on churches operating from shoplots and factories.

It is interesting to note that NST decided to post this article today entitled,"Rookie Carol out to slay Seputeh veteran Teresa".

I too, am curious as to who this Carol is since I believe Pak Lah meant well when he said he only put credible candidates to contest in this election. Nevermind that one just got disqualified on the grounds that he is a bankrupt, a long serving Sungai Siput contender unsure of his birthdate and the man himself has been awfully forgetful of late, I bet the rest on his list should be credible.

So this is what she has to say.

"I recognise that Teresa is a strong opponent and is known to the people because she has been an MP for two terms.

"But I believe I have the youth, dedication and commitment to serve the people of Seputeh," she said yesterday.

Teresa, someone is complaining you don't have the youth, dedication and commitment. Never mind you have dedicated your life to this selfless job by remaining single (not that being married is bad since Po Kuan is doing fine), you even went over to help out rakyat in other constituency and have proven track record of commitment, this 28 year old is saying you are old (yes we know you are still in your prime at 44 this year) and you should bow out. I wonder, why don't Pak Lah give up too since there are plenty youthful, dedicated and committed candidates out there?

She said her interest in politics was spurred by Wanita MCA chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen, to whom she is the confidential secretary. "My boss (Dr Ng) approached me after I emceed a function, and said that if I was involved in politics, I would have a better network and exposure to both the public and private sector," she said.

Oh, so that is your intention is it? Why don't you join MLM? I am sure you get a lot of network from there too. Or is this your grand plan to help the constituency by using killing two birds with one stone strategy i.e. be elected to be MP first and the join MLM and get your constituency to join along with you as the top liner? Waaahhh...

"I'm not discounting the importance of understanding the area and its issues, but the most important thing for any wakil rakyat is the attitude. You'll be able to do much more with good attitude than full understanding of the area," said Chew, who is from Kuala Lumpur but lives in Petaling Jaya.

Hmmm, Carol, honestly I am not too sure about that. I thought the rakyat would want a sincere and understanding MP not an either sincere or understanding MP. Which is why in terms of attitude and understanding, Ms Teresa has both. Good example is how she handled the Kampung Hock Ann issue despite some opportunist members of a certain party trying to make a big fuss. I think they are from the same party as you.

However, a good attitude might not be enough to take down Teresa, who has enjoyed nine years of unwavering support for her promptness in handling local issues and outspokenness in parliament.

Surprisingly, even NST seemed to agree.

Chew, however, was confident that being from BN would give her an edge over the opposition candidate. "I believe when it comes to problems with government departments we would be able to address the issues more effectively because we have the linkages and network to do it."

Really, perhaps you can demonstrate this is the case by first going over and ask DBKL to fix the Jawi road signs in Taman Seputeh? Wait, how unfair of me. You have no local knowledge (HSBC must have gotten their marketing ideas wrong too since they proudly proclaim to be the world's local bank). Just good attitude right? Good thing Teresa did inform DBKL and taken the liberty of erecting 10 Muhibbah roadsigns.

Anyway, Carol, if you are reading this, I wish to give you my 2-cent advice. David wasn't naive when he battled Goliath. He went there prepared with strong convictions on his task ahead. He is going to defend his homeland, not invading some foreign land. He wasn't there for any networking and emceeing job of course. Also, do you know why David used a sling instead of a spear, shield and sword like any normal soldiers? That's because David was trained to ward off (and kill if necessary) wolves and lions with his sling to protect his sheep. A sling provide the advantage of attacking from a distance. This means he knows himself well and how to use his strengths and weaknesses to his advantage. So unless you can do what David did, please tell NST to not equate you to David. It is not fair to him, no matter how good natured you are.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Po Kuan Is Recontesting!

News Flash!

Malaysiakini reported that Po Kuan reversed her decision and decided to defend her seat for the 3rd term! Yippie!
Waiting for further updates...:)

Latest Update:

Hallelujah! Praise be the Lord Most High!


It's been confirmed! Our beloved Po Kuan has a change of heart and will be recontesting! See here for Malaysiakini update @ 3.35PM and here for the Star update @ 4.17PM. This is what she has to say:

"It was definitely a very painful decision (to withdraw). However, I felt very remorseful when I discovered how much a majority of the people cared for me and supported me.

"Indeed, the reflection of their immense support touched me deeply which brought about the thought that I must not fail them," she said.

"Besides, this coming election is very crucial to all concerned Malaysians.

"I promise to remain to shoulder the responsibility to be at the frontline with all Malaysians for the benefit of many generations to come," she added.

(For a full text of her press release, read here!)


It takes a bigger person to think beyond oneself to put oneself into genuine servitude for the rakyat.

I salute and thank you from the depths of my heart that you, Po Kuan, set aside your qualms and misgivings you might have about serving for the 3rd term.

Just as you are the voice of the rakyat in the August House of Parliament, we will be your support to achieve the dream of justice, fairness and equality for all prevailing for the good of the nation!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Sun Versus Hwa Beng: You Decide!

As I was doing my rounds reading my favourite blogsites, I noticed Lulu has been getting a lot of comments on her entry, Lulu's VERY Concerned For The Churches In Subang Jaya. I have blogged on the same topic earlier and also commented on her blog but I am intrigued by a comment left by Anonymous @ 9.20PM. He mentioned that Hwa Beng said he is misquoted!

I am shocked of course as I for one don't want to wrong anyone especially when I quoted MSM (in this case, the Sun) who might have done sloppy work all for the sake of advertising revenue. So I proceeded to google for Lee Hwa Beng's website and I found his reply. Basically, this is all he wrote in reply to the article published by the Sun.

I have been misquoted in the Sun. MPSJ and the State Government has never asked churches to apply for permits to have churches in shops and factories.

Lee Hwa Beng

Gasp! Really. Hey wait a minute. I feel cheated. Is that all he has to say to refute the Sun? Is he in such a forgiving mood for the error committed by the Sun who basically soiled his name if MSM decided to pluck words from the air all for the sake of pleasing the new controlling shareholder? No, no, no. This will not do. Something is fishy. That is when I decided to post the following in his comment page.

At least some do enjoy mud


(Those bolded indicate correction made)

Dear Mr Lee,

With due respect, if the alleged misquote did occur, may I ask how did the Sun derive direct quotes from you?

“We have not asked them to close down, but to submit their application for permits,” said Lee, adding that such churches have to get a permit to operate from business premises.

Lee said: "If they are on their own land then there is no need for them to apply for the permits for their religious houses, but in the cases of the churches, they need to apply for the permits because they are operating from out of the shoplots in business centres and factory lots in industrial areas."

Are you alleging the Sun place words into your mouth? If that is the case, I am quite sure you should write to the Sun to complain on their shoddy reporting and lack of journalistic professionalism and request that they issue an apology for this error.

Anything less would only constitute double talk and denial of reality. I believe your good name should not be dragged into the pool of mud and being a fellow Christian, your stand on this matter would help to enlighten our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ on whether they made the right choice to cast their votes in support of your candidacy.

Thank you.



Come to think of it, I could have written more. You know, if what he said is true, how come Theresa Kok as reported by the Sun would file an objection to MPSJ's local draft plan in relation to their plan to implement annual permit fee of RM1,000? Perhaps, he is right, MPSJ and the State Goverment has never asked because it is afterall still at drafting stage. Perhaps post March the 8th, they may commence the asking part. Just not now.

I hope he takes note of what I asked and get his name cleared (and post my comment and reply me too!). Otherwise, his rather short denial merely reinforce my perception that he is afflicted with selective memory lost quite prominent displayed during the recently concluded Lingam tape inquiry as well as Mr Big Ears. This is bad considering it is quite severe amongst those who aligned with the outgoing ruling coalition. Tsk, tsk...

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

When You Can't Beat Them, Call Them UnMalaysian

Utter rubbish. Is this what a minister has to show for when his party can't compete in a free for all Internet? Is it me or do I smell a sore loser crying foul?

Bernama today have this headline:

Bashing Govt In Blogs Not Malaysian Culture - Rais

Firstly, blog is a relatively new phenomenon. But the culture of bashing government is neither new nor alien to Malaysia. As a Cultural, Arts and Heritage Minister, I lament at your poor understanding of history or selective memory of what has transpired through the whole 50 years of this nation. Didn't UMNO criticise and oppose the British when they wanted to form Malayan Union? Don't tell me the bullshit, "Oh I forgot or it was during Malaya time."

Bloggers should evaluate themselves before indulging in an unhealthy culture of bashing others, including government leaders, through their blogsites, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said.

"They (bloggers) condemn the prime minister, ministers and other members of the administration but not themselves. As the Malay adage goes, it's pointing the forefinger to the front and thumb to your chest. "I am saying that you should look at your own heart to see if it is clean. If it is not, then don't bash others in your blogs," he said...


Truth hurts isn't it? That's what happen when you lie through your teeth with your mouth wide open and get exposed in public. Ask Mr Big Ears why he conveniently forget that the parliament was dissolved the next day when the day before he claimed it will not be dissolved.

When a minister fails to perform what he/she is tasked to do, are you to tell me we should praise and worship at his/her feet? If the minister did the right thing in the first place, be open, transparent and accountable, do you think the rakyat can't differentiate left from right? Also, who asked them to take up the job if they don't know the description? Ask any customer relationship officer and they will tell you, getting scolded and cursed at is part and parcel of the job. What more a minister holding public office where their bosses are the rakyat? So before you act like kettle calling the pot black, examine your own heart whether it is clean.


"Nowadays, not only the bloggers are having a mental block (disturbed) but the PAS' spiritual leader's mind too is blocked (unstable) when he equated Umno members to orang utan.

"The bloggers are getting bolder, but I see it this way -- the general election is the season for condemning or "killing" others with words but this is not BN culture. I suggest that they attend courses on good manners as good manners is Malaysian culture."

Oh and I guess it is ok when you label others as having mental block? Just like your colleagues who like to call others as penyangak or goblok or monyet? So when a BN person resort to name calling, it is good manners and part of Malaysian culture and being mentally sound? I suggest you announce to the world you have discovered the instant cure for insanity. Try experimenting with Tanjung Rambutan patients by asking them to wear BN logo T-shirts. Afterall, it is free advertisement for BN.

I presume BN are filled with gentlemen and ladies. They don't condemn or kill others with words during election, they just use MSM like some outgoing deputy prime minister saying DAP of inability to keep their own house in order. Or better still, before the election, conveniently circulate books like Fifty Reasons Why Anwar Can't Become Prime Minister. Yup, it is good manners ala BN style.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

It Doesn't End Here

This is the 3rd day since Fong Po Kuan announced her decision not to recontest for her Batu Gajah parliamentary seat. It is very discouraging to see a rising star choosing to opt out. What could be so discouraging that prevent her from serving effectively as a member of parliament?

Her blog, Chamber of Thoughts, shed little light except all she could offer is an apology. It appears she is not only "punishing" her supporters but importantly, she is punishing herself. Why? Why must she be so cruel to herself? Is this really self preservation? What would compel an idealistic 26 year old to brave an old world in hope of bringing changes to drastically reverse her course almost 10 years later?

Fong Po Kuan (冯宝君)
MP for Batu Gajah
(Taken from her blog. The funny thing is, she still identifies herself as MP for Batu Gajah)

Some of her commentators are less forgiving. From being labeled as selfish to being a quitter, one sees great disappointment and disillusion. The comments sometime border on exasperation and desperation. This merely echoes the deep sentiment of the rakyat, fed up with continued broken promises, lies and neglect. Various reasons are given to coax her and yours truly also posted two comments plus signing up for a petition in hope it will jolt her to reality. It is so personal as Ricky, a 54 years old commentator, wrote:

I am 54 years old and have been a full supporter of DAP all my life. I am begging you to retract your decision, if you want me to kneel down to beg I will do so.

Or, Sean, a father of 2, wrote:

I have 2 daughters. They are 3 and 1 year old. In fact, I would want them to look up to you as a good example of serving the people. I would be a proud dad if they can excel in life and gain respect and honour like you. Please retract your decision. I am now in tears(imagine a 37 year-old guy and a father of 2 said that).

Imagine, a 54 year old willing to kneel to beg while a 37 year old man cry. She surely must have done much good to raise the hopes of ordinary people like you and I to finally "feel" the winds of change sweeping the land. Yet, deep down, I doubt she will change her mind. She must have undergo a very strong blow to make this hard decision. It is afterall, easy to quit working in a company to go to the next after serving 8 years but imagine, a public figure stepping down due to mysterious reasons.

Whether she knows it or not, she has been a source of inspiration. As tan81 wrote:

Many years ago,when i know you became one of the youngest female MP of DAP, it was giving me an excited hope on malaysia future.I was 18 years old that day.After 5 years, i heard you defeat Ong, it gave me some hope on something can change in chinese society.

Will the requited love from her supporters overcome her fears? We can only look on to the future in hope she will.

Good saying indeed, will we take cognizant and focus on what is more needful and important?

Meanwhile, the battle continues.

When all hope is almost lost, we have only each other to hang on to. Our faith and believe in the common good should remind us that our fallen comrades do put upon us additional burden to carry but it is not only hers alone to bear. So why should we be unduly harsh on her? She has her own demons to battle and until she overcomes it, we are but to raise a new champion and let those who are able to shine. We know who failed us. I believe our predecessors have given those who claimed to have development track records ample opportunities to improve the nation. Rightly or wrongly, with hindsight, we see the price of present development of the past and today is increasingly developing into future costs that our children and their children would have to bear with little benefits to reap.

We know Poh Kuan has anointed a successor, Su Keong Siong, formerly Pasir Panji state representative. Surely her 2-term good track record and endless pursue of justice tells us her choice will not be too far off? Should we not let her rest while we support the continuity of her legacy in her anointed successor? If we truly call ourselves Malaysian, our love for our motherland should compel us to bear the burden to bring changes to this land. Only from our common goal and united pursuit can we dare to hope for change.

So remember my fellow readers, think not that your 1 vote matters not but it is your one vote that will be edged in history as the 1 vote that collectively bring changes to this nation.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Of Shoplot Churches & Nurtured Lassie Wannabes

I am upset with my family dog of late. He seemed to have return to his bad habits of biting our shoes. Grrr... Can't he understand we need those shoes to walk about? We don't have paws like him. To make matters worse, instead of learning the good things like every golden retriever should i.e. listen to command, lead the blind to cross the street and such; he has self learned how to open the shoes cabinet to access to our shoes!

Don't be fooled by his handshake antics and innocent face, he is only there for biscuit treats. Hey wait, isn't Lassie wannabes just the same making their rounds shaking hands and hoping for vote treats?

Anyway, as I browse through the Malaysia Today website, I came across this article published by the Sun, Shop House Churches Must Get Permits. Being intrigued and concerned, I proceed to read it. Lo and behold! It appears that MPSJ has drafted a local plan requiring churches operating out of shoplots and industrial lots to APPLY for permits! And it costs RM1,000 per annum to obtain such permits. Now, I am not trying to give excuses but seriously, pastors and church elders more often than not are tied up with ministries. If they don't have time to run through the local plan, it is not surprising. So, Ms Teresa Kok, the 2 term elected former Seputeh MP (surprise, surprise!), being a good sister in Christ herself and perhaps have a good understanding of what commitment to one's ministry entails, made an effort to go outside her constituency to file an objection to this plan.

And what do we read instead? A Lassie lookalike complaining that Ms Teresa Kok twisted the facts. According to Datuk Lee, who himself apparently a follower of Christ, he said:

We have not asked them to close down, but to submit their application for permits,” said Lee, adding that such churches have to get a permit to operate from business premises.

If the former Subang Jaya MP is reading this, can you tell me if a church decides to operate without a permit unknowingly, is it legal?

If it is a NO to that, then my next questions are:

If the same church then apply for it, will it get the permit automatically with no questions asked? Also, will the same church get it renewed on yearly basis with no questions asked?

If there are no immediate YES answers to both the questions, one would have no choice but to take it that these churches are at risk of being shut down. Christians in MPSJ jurisdiction should tremble with fear, given the way Little Napoleans with a bit of religious fervour work; one can say good bye to all these churches.

Stop eyeing the biscuit! Darn it!

Asked if this was the same requirement imposed on mosques, suraus and temples, Lee said: "If they are on their own land then there is no need for them to apply for the permits for their religious houses, but in the cases of the churches, they need to apply for the permits because they are operating from out of the shoplots in business centres and factory lots in industrial areas."

We acknowledge that the church is not the building which houses our families in Christ when we go there every Sunday to worship but if we can afford it and we have Articles 10 and 11 of the Federal Constitution, why can't we worship peacefully from shoplots and industrial lots purchased with our collective funds?

First they went after our dogs lovers with nonsensical licensing requirements, now our houses of worship with annual permit requirements. What next? Pork? Wait... Isn't that what they did in Malacca when they forced pig farmers to move their pigs out of that state?

I know who I am voting for on 8th of March, not for some nurtured Lassie wannabe in action, that's for sure.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Living and Leading By Example

I read with sadness that fellow Malaysians are being mass arrested today. They wanted to present roses to the PM in conjunction with the Valentine's Day. Yes, the roses carried a different message from that of love i.e. please heed the Hindaf 18-point demands but does this warrant mass arrests? It is not like they are armed with hidden daggers and guns attempting to assassinate the PM, setting the public properties and streets on fire. To top it off, it is not adults but 200 children who are presenting the PM with roses.
As if the police can't get their point out clearly, they decided to demonstrate their strong commitment of their tasks by:

i) firing several tear gas canisters despite outnumbering the demonstrators by 3 to 1,

ii) spraying water laced with chemicals to disperse the crowd,

iii) arresting about 200 of them (MSM reported 160+) out of an estimated 300 participants.

iv) They also blocked many roads and lo and behold, silly old me was caught in one of the artificially created traffic congestion.

Is this how a government show they care? By arresting peaceful people intend on giving the recognised leader of a nation roses? By showing them the rod and lambasting them each and every turn of the way, ignoring their plights and refusing to speak to their anointed representatives which in this case is Hindraf? If you must know, this is not the first time Hindraf attempted to see the PM and hand in the memorandum (They marched to Putrajaya on 12 August 2007 to submit their demands).

Dear readers, ask yourself, is this an exemplary way to treat desperate and despondent people? The same people who entrust this very government their fates, lives and future for 50 years in hope for a better future only to face a bleak and dark tunnel with no light at the end of the tunnel? I thought someone claimed he has big ears. Obviously it is either clogged or covered with pillows.

For this coming election, I will be using the People's Parliament People Declaration and the Christian Federation of Malaysia's brochure (see below) as my voting guides. I know I would want to tell my grandchildren someday that we should resist evil and injustice and cite my coming vote as one of the actions to do so. Afterall, we told to lead our lives by example right?

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Life Sucks!

Hopelessness. Despair. Utterly useless.

That is how I feel after the meetings I had the past few days. Sigh... I feel like a failure. Everything that can go wrong, somehow did. I not only forgot important procedures, I felt like a let down to others. If only I spoke better. Why can't I be like my colleagues and bosses. I guess I am not good with words. Sometimes I wonder what am I doing here working in this organisation. I wish I can speak well. I truly do. If only...sigh...

How apt indeed is the statement above in describing that which I feel...

I don't want to find another job. This is afterall my sixth job in my entire working life and I like my working environment. Yet if I don't perform to their expectations, I would only be a liability to my employer. That cannot do. This is of course further compounded by inability to make my head pleased with my work. When she took over from my just-reassigned-best-ever boss, I had my reservations. She projects a no-nonsense image. Her methodical mindset and thinking is hard to argue against. However, she concedes/yields when it is appropriate to do so. Some, will never concede out because they are stubborn. In this she projects a pragmatic approach to working with others. Much indeed I can learn from her. Yet, she is not my just-reassigned-best-ever boss. Somehow, I sense a gap with her. Not that I don't with my former boss but with her, there is a noticeable gap. At times like this, I can only say I miss my former boss.

Two qualities I believe a boss should always have are sincerity and principle. Sincerity to her subordinates, clients and superiors and yet, principled to ensure fairness and equality with compassion to all. In some ways, my former boss manage to naturally project. As for my current boss, her principled self is one of her strongest projection thus far with her methodical mindset as a clear testimony to that. I like her firm and conservative stance. It is these anchor-like quality that form the roots of strength that is characteristic of my organisation. As for sincerity, I sense genuineness when she spoke to each and everyone of us. Somehow, she sees potential in everyone of us which she wants to develop. I wonder, how many passionate people can one find in their workplace?

From what I heard, she goes all out to bring up talents within the organisation. This has to with her assertive nature. Her side job is of course to be both cupid and venus for all the single colleagues and clients!...:P

Yet, somehow, I feel like I am testing her patience. But the timid me don't dare to approach her and ask her what areas I can improve on. Anyhow, I can roughly guess the areas I am screwing up like the one I identify above. Oh where oh where is the light at the end of the tunnel?

So I am giving myself 1 year to improve. If I still suck at it, perhaps it is time to find something else I might excel in. The good thing is my organisation has semi annual performance reviews. That is an avenue I can use to approach my boss. In some ways, I look forward yet dread for this first half yearly review.

Oh well, this has been a crummy week. Disappointments after disappointments.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Liar, Liar

It was only yesterday when the PM dismissed the rumour on him announcing the dissolution of the Parliament today.

And what did he do today? At 11.22 a.m., Malaysiakini reported:

The prime minister has called for a press conference at his office at 12.30pm where he is expected to announce the dissolution of the Parliament.

And at 12.37 a.m., Malaysiakini reported:

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today announced the dissolution of the Parliament at a specially arranged press conference at his office in Putrajaya.

He made a brief statement to the media - and carried live by RTM - stating that the Election Commission will have to fix the date for the nation’s 12th general election.

If only Abdullah learn something from watching this movie...


If you didn't believe he is liar when it comes to his promises before, perhaps it is best you now reconsider. Do you trust this man when he promised to consider your needs?

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Are we really blessed?

I recently met a friend who return from Hong Kong for the CNY break for lunch. She is still as youthful as ever and she seemed tired. Perhaps the weariness of work there? I know Hong Kong is competitive. My other friend who recently went over also told me the escalators move faster there!


Anyway, she told me people in Hong Kong is very different from people here. She added that the employees here have more rights than over there. There employees are virtual slaves and apparently thankful they have a job unlike people here. She finds people there are too obsessed with making money. Apparently most of her local colleagues have this passion to the extent that many she observed would rather spend their after working hours to run their own little import/export businesses, investing in stock market and such.

She also told me given the lack of space, rent is expensive. She pays about HKD12,000 per month for an approximately gross 600 square feet apartment. That means she has to pay HKD144K per annum or at an exchange rate of HKD100 : RM41.56, that means she forks out approximately RM59,800K per year! Wow! That is equivalent to getting a low cost house (which incidentally would be about the same square feet) here! Also, she told me rent has went up by 20% since the beginning of the year.

Well, I am amazed by what she said of course but I can't help but wonder, are we truly blessed? I read somewhere before that Malaysia has one of the best employee protection laws. People here can't be as easily dismissed than say, America. Also, not many countries implement state sanctioned superannuation plans. In fact, Malaysiakini also reported we have far more public holidays than other developed nations like United States and Britain.


I guess we tend to see greener pastures elsewhere until we step on the fields. Yet many who did venture to these nations never want to return to Malaysia despite the lower protection they receive as workers in foreign nations. Somehow, they lament about their home country yet choose to stay put in.

At times I wonder why. Why would anyone choose to go to these nations? Aren't we happy with more national holidays? Aren't we happy with more rights as employees compared to say those in Hong Kong and America? Besides that, why would anyone want to pay such high cost to live elsewhere?

Yet people are leaving.

It is not a once off phenomena. Most people I know when asked would tell me of their friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbours who have left. Also, many of my friends whom are only a call away to meet up have now left. I even have a neighbour who have left for Bangkok and left his home empty for years now. Sigh... Sometimes, I can't help but feel left behind. I wonder, are we truly blessed?

Monday, 11 February 2008

When Two Become One

It is a strange affair really. Two person unknown and unconnected, undergo courtship, enter into a relationship and build a connection of trust and love in hope. Each new day brings new revelation and understanding and yet, we don't mind yanking our masks to reveal our ugly selves to one another. We scream, we shout and get angry at each other in the day, yet come the twilight of an evening, we mend our ties and hurts after pulling a bit of trust and love towards each other, only to fill the gapping holes with renewed trust and love as we stare into the silent and cold nights. Sometimes we see Orion but most of the time, we only see dark clouds. Will there be a silver lining somewhere? Yet we gaze on, in awe and wonder; what is the chance of two square pegs fitting together to fall into a round hole?


It is indeed strange as well to lie on the bed staring at her looking into the bright city, yet seeing her troubled eyes, anxious and worried what tomorrow might bring. The mystery of what goes on in her mind will not be revealed simply because she just wants to be alone, lost in her thoughts and only when the time is right, will she approaches your shoulder to find rest and solace. There are no words to be said, only the stroke of one's hands on her soft, thick and black hair to comfort.

Why do we torture ourselves anyway? Why do we want to open ourselves to strangers, to leave the comfort of our masks and seek vain familiarity? It is indeed very, very strange.

Would not books offer us some means to open our imagination? Would not the internet offer us links with others separated only by distance and the walls before us? Yet, we seek the touch of another; to look at another's face intently, to see the beauty despite the pimple here, the blackspot on the nose there as the gentle light makes its way through the shadows of leaves cast on her.

And the weirdest of all is the conscious choice to commit, to declare to all that we will share ours lives together, through thick and thin, hardship and prosperity, health and sickness with only love, faith, due consideration and respect for one another. What about having a joint savings account to pay for my beauty care? Can one live on water alone as the Chinese saying, "Lovers fill their hunger with merely water"? Or what about squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom and not from the centre?

And yet the irony of it all! Falling head over heels for the one that completes the otherwise you just thought the complete you. Allowing love to prevail, faith to sustain; to see the seasons pass, the clear smooth complexion replaced with crows feet and deep wrinkles. Will this truly last? Can I last as I erode through time and remain a memory of an apple in her mind once seen through her eyes as she is and will be in mine?

If it starts with love and sustains through faith, daily renewal of commitment and show of due care, so help me God that I neglect not a single day, from the waking till the closing of my eyes, as she lay beside from the beginning and at the end of each day till the end...

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Of New Year and Full Fledged Adulthood

Today is the 3rd day of Chinese New Year, the first New Year I celebrate as a "full fledged" adult. I often wonder why do the olden Chinese tradition consider a married person a full fledged adult rather than someone who reaches the age of 18 or 21.

The 2008 Chinese New Year evening sky taken from my in-laws premises. Can you see the robin on the antenna?

I wonder if this has to do with expectation of pro-creation and setting up of a family in a conservative agricultural Confusius based society. Under the Confusius teaching, the family forms the core unit of a functioning society and disharmony in a family will likewise contribute to disorder in the society. So how do a family start in the olden days if not by being married? Without marriage, an adult cannot fulfill its function hence the recognition of being full fledged only comes with the priviledge of bearing the responsibility of starting, nurturing, caring and growing a family. Nevermind the concept of adoption, single parenthood or live-in couples having kids. These are not Confusius idea of an ideal family unit.

As part of the duty and "joy" of being a full fledged adult, I have the "priviledge" of handing out red packets/angpows filled with money. Not only that, being the first year both of us appear before our relatives and friends as a married couple, we are somehow "reminded" on the importance of both of us giving out red packets. Normally, it is usually a couple giving 1 red packet to the young, non-full fledged adults and elderly.

According to my dad, the reunion table has to be filled with dishes to indicate that it has been a fruitful year and we should strive to have more next year. Nevermind if we can't finish it, we must be seen to have lots of blessing. For five small eaters, this is a lot. Oh yeah, we have abalone soup as well...:)

It is a norm for the Chinese to have prawns and fish. Prawns in Cantonese are pronounced as "Har" which sounds like laughter while fish is pronounced as "Yee" which is often associated with this famous Chinese saying of "Nien Nien Yau Yee" or may every year you have surpluses.

Surprisingly, I find joy in giving despite my fears of burning a hole in my pocket. Hence, to lessen my fears, I have reminded my fellow friends and colleagues who are ever so "keen" to get angpows from me to come and visit my humble home. To those who can't come, here's a picture of the angpow as my e-wish to you to have a joyous and prosperous new year!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Of Nasty Rats and Yes Minister

Today is a very important day to the Chinese. It is the Chinese New Year Eve where families will usually gather together after working hard and far for about a year since the last gathering. This is especially true for those who are involved in business as they don't quite rest on rest days. In every Chinese psyche, they do hope that in ushering the coming new year, it would be joyous and prosperous, free of disease and malice; filled with peace.


Though I do not subscibe to Chinese astrology, I was told since young that being born in the year of Horse, the year of the Rat would not be good year for me. This is because the Rat and Horse are not compatible to each other. I wonder whether this thinking may have infected my dad's thinking since he strongly believes in astrology and Feng Shui. He is afterall, born in the year of the Rat.

As I read about the attributes of the Rat Zodiac in Wikipedia, I find this very intriguing.

Intelligent and cunning at the same time, rats are highly ambitious and strong-willed people who are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas, which often include money and power.

Behind the smiles and charm, rats can be terribly obstinate and controlling, insisting on having things their way no matter what the cost. These people tend to have immense control of their emotions, which they may use as a tool to manipulate and exploit others, both emotionally and mentally. Rats are masters of mind games and can be very dangerous, calculative and downright cruel if the need arises. Quick-tempered and aggressive, they will not think twice about exacting revenge on those that hurt them in any way.

Quite scary creatures I must say. Luckily I have yet to see my dad exhibit most of these characteristics.

Anyway, talking about Rats, recently two interesting news surfaced in the Internet about our beloved Bolehland and it makes me wonder if our separation of powers observed by the Government of the day has decided to take a page from a very old British sitcom TV program "Yes Minister". As it is described in its website:

A bedrock programme in the UK comedy structure, Yes Minister embodied the early 1980s attitude to authority and politics as a gently hypocritical world filled with doubletalk.

The series follows Right Honorable James Hacker MP, Minister for Administrative Affairs, and his attempts to make officialdom and administration make sense. He does this whilst pushing his own self-serving agenda, and keeping his head above any nasty political waters. Throughout his career, he's up against Whitehall’s Sir Humphrey Appleby, unflappable symbol of a machine that has no gears, only brakes (i.e. the civil service [added by yours truly]).

Jim's policies, whether cutting costs or trying to streamline red tape, are sabotaged by Appleby's Machiavellian skills, often accompanied by brain-wrenching sentences designed to confuse Hacker - and often succeeding. Absolutely snobbish and elitist, yet blind to anything that does not serve the Whitehall way, Sir Humphrey is the avatar of the British State.

As you should know, our PM is on the election prowl again. Appealing to the masses that he wants us to work with him, not for him and promising something short of heaven on earth, specifically Malaysia for all, the Star reported on Monday that Abdullah promises to consider needs of all Malaysians. He made sweeping statements like:

The Government will not abandon, sideline or not provide opportunities to any one race. We take into consideration the needs of all Malaysians...

As long as their demands are reasonable and genuine, we will see how to execute the right steps (to meet them)...

Whether it is Chinese, Malays or Indians, they have their own needs and we will look into them...

Wow, isn't it great? From the mouth of the rabbit himself (he is born in Nov 1939). Surely, we will have heaven on earth now right? Despite giving BN the biggest majority ever in 2004 election, we should at least observe that things are getting better and people are happier. Alas, if only that is true.

I wonder how will he explain to Juliana Nicolas, a missionary returned from a trip to the Philippines on 28 January carrying with her two boxes containing 32 English bibles meant for her church group and she has a letter to that effect, whose bibles were confiscated by the Customs department under the pretext that it needed to be referred to Internal Security Ministry’s Publications and Al-Quran Texts Control Division.

Juliana would want to be molified of course. She was upset. She wanted an official apology from the Internal Ministry. Well, Datuk Fu, the Deputy Internal Minister has this to offer:

He said the that English Bible was confiscated by a Customs officer from the woman who had just returned from a visit to Manila. He said it did not involve the ministry.

“The Customs officer has no authority to do so and on being told of the matter, we asked the Bible to be returned immediately to the person,” he said.

Is that an official apology? I leave it to you to decide. Nevermind that under Article 11 of the Constitution we are supposed to have freedom of religion.

As for the call by Dr Hermen Shastri of Council of Churches Malaysia for the prime minister, who is also the internal security minister, to make a clear and unequivocal statement to assure Christians in the country that they will not be subject to such harassment and that their holy books will not be subject to the scrutiny of the Control Division of Publications and Al-Quran Texts of the Internal Security Ministry, well, Datuk Fu seemed to have conveniently explained that he clarified this matter with CCM.

Similarly, I wonder how will he explain on equal opportunity to Norhayati Abdullah, who allerged she was sacked because Bank Negara failed to act against two top officials of a government financial institution for alleged fraud, bribery and abuse of power and wanted to cover it up. Nevermind that she whistleblowed and should be rewarded for her bravery, instead, some unseen hands managed to get the accused conspirator i.e. an advertising agency who overcharged Bank Negara to say Ms Norhayati demanded and received a commission from them. She was also investigated and no evidence is found to prove she is guilty but she was sacked nonetheless for criminal breach of trust.

This is Bolehland and one must wonder, what is the head of the government, who commands the largest majority seats in Parliament since Malaysia independence, doing when his underlings can be so bold as to overstep their boundary of authority, refuse to apologise for their mistakes and allergedly setup the weak innocent whistleblower? Is the head aware that his hands are very very naughty?


Perhaps, this description found in the same BBC website on "Yes Minister" surmised much we know of our PM:

Always buffeted by fate, wanting to do good but too scared of losing votes and status to do anything, Hacker is the symbol of all of us, wanting to be better, and not quite making it.

If 90.4% majority in the Parliament is insufficient mandate to right the wrongs, I wonder whether we should just reverse and vote the opposition into power to see if they can do it. Afterall, UMNO claimed to have 50 years of experience. It is perhaps time for a change.