Sunday, 20 July 2008

You Know Malaysia Is Falling Behind When...

How the tables have been turned.

I recall a few years back some minister said that the type of FDIs we are attracting are not in competition with nations such as China, India and Indonesia as Malaysia wants to attract investors that "adds value" to our economy and discourage those type that requires cheap labour.

Now, the mantra has somewhat changed. According to Muhyiddin, we are now targeting investors pulling out of China because of high costs of operating there. Of course the usual "we are attracting those who high end technology and less labour" mantra is still being chanted.

So how will Malaysia attract these investors? Apparently this is what the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce Malaysia chairman has to say:

"Malaysia could look into attracting them to come to Malaysia, which has good infrastructure, low labour costs and interest rates."

He also cited that one of the reasons why investors are leaving China is due to:

" amendment in the labour law there, high interest and inflation rates especially in Guangzhou."

So much for attracting those with high end technologies. I am sure they are just as labour intensive to consider Malaysia since we offer cheap labour.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The Govt Is Asking For It

I fear for the rakyat.

Imagine yourself going to the Bank and borrow RM10,000 to be repaid over 5 years only to hear from the Bank 3 years later recalling the facility. Why? Because you miss one payment which does not tantamount to an event of default? Is it fair when you can't possible at the short notice find the balance of the principal outstanding to repay the Bank?

Though I believe the police has the right to detain Anwar should they have reasonable suspicion he has committed a crime, they should not do so by following the ways of Big Ears when it comes to the date of dissolution of the parliament and raising petrol prices eventhough his party has promised not to do so.

I am not sure what PDRM has in mind when they decided to arrest Anwar at least an hour prior to today's 2 p.m. appointment. But their action seriously did little to assuage the rakyat we can trust them in enforcing the laws.

The rakyat may be tired of all these political shenanigans post 8 March election but agitating them now which such oppressive actions will only increase their deep distrust and disenchantment, even if the police has the power to do so.

I hope the authorities know that they have to be seen and act independently and fairly with Anwar (whether he can or cannot be PM).

Otherwise, may God have mercy on Malaysia.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

A Sunday Reflection As We Sing In The Park

What a tiring week this have been.

While the rest of the world talks about impending global recession, I still need to work till late nights. Oh well, I guess some things wouldn't change. *sigh*

Anyway, my church and I took the Sunday school kids for an outing. It was quite enjoyable for the kids (I have to take care of three young and active boys so you can imagine the "joy" I had) and it is certainly refreshing to praise and worship the Lord in the park. The sound of children singing somehow conveys the message of innocence which this world is increasingly lacking. It wasn't a long worship (about 15 minutes) but for that short moment, the joy of knowing and having a relationship with your Creator and singing alongside the future generation sure beats the e-mails I keep getting on my Blackberry reminding how entrenched I am in the secular world.

Anyway, I realised I have been serving in the children ministry in my church for about 4-5 years now. It is amazing considering how much love-hate relationship the kids and I have. To them, I am an easy prey to be bullied. To me, they are a bunch of critters needing to be taught on a topic they dread. Haha... just kidding...

To be honest, I took up the challenge because I know the foundation of truth must be imputed when they are young. I don't go for "you must do this otherwise you go to hell" approach. Instead, I tried teaching them the context of approaching life with biblical values so as they learn to make decisions based on reasoning and considering the pros and cons. I know between 10-12, not many could make life changing decisions, but if you are reduced to "I don't want to friend you" decisions, it can be quite stressful for kids (or at least so I think). What more those are at the threshold of teenage years and many might engage in sex out of curiosity/peer pressure?


Reminds me of myself when I wanted to smoke at 5 years old because I thought it was cool. I did try it then, out of curiosity of course, only to taste the bitter taste plus the overpowering and suffocating effect of smoke going down your throat. Yes, you might wonder how I manage to get a hold of a cigarette. Well, I picked up what's left of what people threw and tried it. I have to admit, at 5, I don't think I can be called to make intelligent and rational decisions though I wonder whether much have changed since then. *wink*


Sometime during the week, I received an e-mail about children suffering acute hunger and poverty in Africa and Asia. There was a picture of a desperate boy drinking and showering in cow's pee due to acute drought, while another picture of a dying boy crawling to the food relief centre being trailed by a vulture (see the picture above). The first thing that went through my mind was, hopelessness and numbness. Am I living too comfortably to notice the suffering around me? Well rather than engaging in an intellectual struggle, I decided today I will sign up a child sponsorship programme under World Vision Malaysia.

Yes, I am guilty of trying to lessen my feeling of guilt and helplessness. But if this monthly RM50 commitment will bring about economic changes to the child, why not? At least that is RM50 less monthly wasted on what I want rather than what I need.

I wonder what lies ahead. I dread of tomorrow, not just because it is working Monday, but that as I grow older, I am more cynical to what I see happening out there. Will there be innocence and compassion left to a world sorely needing it when I wake up tomorrow?

Lord, tarry no more as your creation is groaning with much labour pangs...

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Big Ears & Nazri - Birds Of A Feather

Another early break for me today. I get to leave work at 9.30 pm after working for a "measly" 14 hours. Well for their staff that works late night slogging away to bring money to the company, my company should be a bit loose with their internet access policy.

Basically, all I want to read is Malaysiakini and I can't have my daily dose of alternative media until late at night when I log into net from my home. They could always ban things with key words like "porn", "sex" and so on but why should they ban access to Malaysiakini when I can still access Malaysia-Today or Malaysian-Insider?

Anyway, I noticed nowadays there is no more wholesome fun cartoons like Road Runner. Kids are crazy over disgusting cartoons like Spongebob Square Pants which I felt has a bit of overdose in terms of violence and insanity.

One thing I learn from Road Runner is that the Wolf will never win and all his plans, despite how well it was schemed, will always back fire. Despite testing a few rounds, success is not guaranteed and repetitions doesn't mean the next time it will happen as intended.


The Road Runner theory can very well be applied in real life as well. A very good example is when Big Ears try to make Anwar sounds guilty to the ear of listerners. When asked about Anwar's denial, Big Ears said it is common for the accused person to claim he was innocent. Perhaps, Mr Big Ears have intended it well, it sure sounds hollow and lacking in intelligence. So, imagine if someone walks up to him and ask,"YAB, are you stupid?" I wonder what will be his reply.

Oh well, like they say, you can fool some all the time or even fool all some of the time, but you can't fool all at all times.

Anyway, I noticed another "intelligent" reply given by Nazri in Parliment today. As reported in Malaysiakini today, when Teresa Kok asked him whether the government has any plans to reduce the voting age from 21 to 18, he said there are no such plans as most of them are still at school level. I wonder why can't students at school level be deemed with intelligence to make the right decision when the law recognises a person is an adult at 18, capable of bearing full responsibility for the crime he/she commits?

Anyway, he could have stopped there but he "brilliantly" said this:

“This is different from Western countries where their youths mature earlier as they have access to better education at a younger age,” he said.

We can definitely see the product as he testifies to it.