A concerned Malaysian writes about current affairs in Malaysia. If you like this site, please tell your relatives and friends. WE have the POWER TO CHANGE MALAYSIA. If you want to read earlier posts, please remove the "2" from this URL

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Die Another Day in Putrajaya

Looks as if all the buildings in Putrajaya are unsafe with this second failure within a month.

That's what happens when the Works Minister spends all his time trying to campaign for a state by election instead of ensuring that public safety is safeguarded.
Instead he told the PWD Works Director of Putrajaya to "shut up" after the last incident.

If you remember, the director mentioned that such incidents are "just accidents waiting to happen" in many of the new buildings. How prophetic or is the public being kept in the dark about the unsafe conditions in many buildings?

"What's the big deal?" some will say. "After all no one got hurt." I suppose someone needs to get killed in one of these incidents before the authorities in Putrajaya wake up.

Maybe such an incident in the new royal palace of Putrajaya is necessary before we get some urgent action.

Photo: Thanks to New Straits Times
PS. I added the "Die" in the heading to emphasise the danger our civil servants are being exposed to daily.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Will You Light a Candle for Malaysia?

As we approach the nation's 50th year of independence, many Malaysians feel that as a nation we have become more intolerant and less free.

Even a simple event like a by election in an relatively unknown place like IJOK can demonstrate how the forces of deceit and desperation can use thuggery and bullies to intimidate election workers and even the police show that they cannot be fair to all the parties but simply side the BN candidate.

This is a peaceful demonstration to show that you really love Malaysia and to tell the authorities that you are really fed up with some of the following issues:

*The total lack of progress in bringing to justice important people who have been accused of corruption
*The continued feet dragging to implement the IPCMC after two years
*The loud silence on the toll agreements after the declaration that the agreements would be made public
*The lack of concern for the suffering of non-Muslims who have been marginalised by spouses who convert to other religions without a civil divorce
*The failure of judges of the civil courts who cannot decide on civil matters as they fear a religious back-lash.

Even a proper approach by Cabinet ministers on religious issues had to be withdrawn and so non-Muslims have no voice as far as the Muslim leadership of this country is concerned.

This is a simple demonstration to show that you really love Malaysia and want the national leaders to urgently address some of the issues that are slowly tearing the fabric of this nation.
All you need to do is to light a small candle outside your house from 8:00pm to 8:30pm on the first Sunday of every month beginning from 6th May 2007. Recycled candles can also be used. Please ensure no combustible materials are nearby and there is no possibility of burning the property of others. If you live in an area of wooden houses, please do not light a candle unless you are prepared to watch the fire all the time. If you cannot light up your candle for 30 minutes, do so for even a few minutes during the designated period just to show your support for a brighter Malaysia.

If your neighbour asks, you can tell him about this campaign to light up Malaysia.
There is no point simply cursing and swearing about how things are. Do something about it. Instead of cursing the darkness, light up a candle.

If you support this idea you can spread the message of peace in your blogs or via SMS but please remember to always keep yourself safe and Malaysia peaceful.

graphics: Thanks to http://www.animationlibrary.com/animation_download/25473/
I wanted to add the tune Amazing Grace to the candles but sadly the song2u site seems to be out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Something Good to Write About

Today I will not write about all the bribery that is going on to win the votes in IJOK or unreported case of incest or body snatching in Malaysia.

This is an everyday matter that I suspect happens quite often anywhere in Malaysia.
I am the "Marketing Manager" in the family which means I get to buy all the foodstuff from the wet market and the routine is to go once or twice a week.

About 2 weeks ago I discovered I had some strange items in the fridge a few hours after I had returned home and so I asked the maid about them.

It seems I had an extra chicken, noodles and coconut milk andso I realised that I had accidently taken someone else's stuff.
What to do lah? It was quite late and I was not free to get back to the market.

On the next expedition to the market I asked the Malay stall owner selling dry sundries if any of her customers had lost their items.
"Yes" was the reply and it seems someone had rung her a few times to see if the goods had been returned.so I gave her RM15 to cover the costs plus some hardship compensation. So the stall owner took the money and told me she would return any surplus.

On my next visit I was told the person had still not visited the stall since the items went missing.
But last week the Malay lady told me the person had collected RM12 and returned me RM3 even though I told her to just give the other person all the money.

I asked the stall owner who the third party was and she said it was a Malay.
I wonder if this incident shows that among common folks there is still a measure of honesty and integrity among many Malaysians.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Apostacy and Human Rights

I watched the film on the alJareeza program Everywoman.

The most striking event was the security guard threatening to call the police. It looks as if they do not like the publicity. It was not an official film to explain to the world on the merits of Islam Hadhari.

It is most unfortunate that Islam appears to be a religion that can force humans into detention for such long periods like 100 days plus another 80 days as I remember one of the basic tenets of the religion is:

"There is no compulsion in Islam"

So how do you explain that someone like this unfortunate woman is being detained against her will and deprived of her freedom; supposedly to reform and redeem herself?

According to the SIS spokewoman, even Muslims would be shocked by this recent incident of body-snatching.
The movie lasted only about 10 minutes; hardly any time for crucial issues to be debated for the benefit of Malaysians.

My only issue is I wonder if taxes I have paid have ended up in providing such detention centres? If so I protest that taxes collected from non-Muslims should not be used to fund Islamic rehab centres and the Muslims should collect their own funds if they insist on such programmes that really do little to enhance the beauty of the religion.

I recently watched a movie on the Spanish Inquisition about the time of the famous Spanish painter Goya and the film was entitled "Goya's Ghosts".
I don't think the Catholic Church would approve of this movie as it depicted torture, corrupt priests and how humans if tortured will confess to anything.

It appears that the strappado is still used in some places. But with new techniques like continuous abuse, sleep deprivation and others one does not need such old methods to reprogramme human beings.

The question is, "What do we do about such violations of human rights?"
Why has SUHAKOM been merely a bystander in the proceedings?

Picture: image of strappado thanks to http://inquisition.pp.ru/gallery/torture-01.jpg

Monday, April 23, 2007

It May Embarrass a Few........

So all those overseas tours have not been effective in drawing the tourists to Malaysia by the plane-loads.

Maybe they should have invited some of those African nations to come over here to witness the two recent by elections at Machap and Ijok. They could have learned some finesse on how government machinery is used by the ruling party with impunity.

Now the Tourism Ministry wants to collect data on why 15 million Malaysian travel overseas each year.

Do you reckon there will be a consultant appointed to analyse all those cards? I don't expect the Minister will be able to get his staff to do such mundane work.

Besides it may be embarrassing for even a few leaders. I mean how do you enter the card for the following?

Need to carry bags of money to buy property in Australia
Have a headache with all the flood problems - need a break in Perth.

I suggest this is another hare-brained project of the BN government.It would be better to study why Malaysians do not want to travel more within Malaysia.

It could be some basic reasons like:
Toll rates are too high and people are fed up of tolls.
Hotels with basic facilities are also expensive.

What do you think of the latest idea?

graphics: thanks to http://www.overthedarkness.com/DLdepot/light_for_dummies.jpg

Learning More About Apostacy Cases

I think there were thousands of SMS criss-crossing Malaysia last night as I received three about a program on apostacy cases in Malaysia.

The SMS read:

"Don mis astro 9:30 2nite on aljazera news.it will make u ? wat d msain govt is doing abt apostacy cases, specifically involving conversion out of islam n its impact on non-muslims here.never b4 seen footage of apostate in detention, taken by Ong Julin, filmaker re:broga incinerator.PLS 4WARD"

That made for an interesting preview and my brother wanted to come over to watch.So I decided that the Chelsea-Newscastle soccer match was too boring anyway. I thought it was quite strange that the authorities would want anyone to know what goes on behind those detention doors.

Come 9:30 and alJazeera was showing a documentary on Iraq. My brother made a phone call and soon I guess a few thousand more SMS were again being sent all over Malaysia.

So I have a new SMS that reads:

"Sorry correction - al Jareera prog(Everywoman) on apostacy. Its at 12:30am today mon 1130am, 5pm. tue 1:30pm, wed 1030am,3:30pm; thurs 2:30pm, fri 3pm."

I encourage all Malaysians to check it out to study how much we have progressed as a nation that promises freedom of religion to all citizens.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Memory from IJOK - 35 Years Ago

I had a school-mate who was posted as a teacher in Batang Berjuntai and I can remember visiting her in her quarters as it was considered a rural posting.

In those days Batang Berjuntai was really an "ulu" place that no one visited except to take a break on the KL-Ipoh journey.

With the North-South Highway I don't expect motorists would bother to stop over here unless there is a special reason.

So IJOK is now in the national spot-light again and it was fortunate (and some consider unfortunate)that there was no earthquake there on nomination day as at least 5 ministers could have perished.

Looking at the ugly incidents on nomination day and the RM32million vote bribing it appears that the BN is somewhat worried about this seat and the sudden and immediate windfall instead of mere promises for the future shows the means by which the ruling party hopes to cling to this seat.

So voters of IJOK you should vote with your conscience.
In a way you are better provided for than the people in Machap. The goodies have already been delivered. If you believe that PKR may make a good change for Selangor, you should vote PKR.

Let a new party represent you in the State and give them a chance to make Selangor a really advanced state.
If the BN loses this time, they may spend even more money to win back the seat during the next General Elections. After all it is only your monies that you paid with your blood and sweat.
If anything you should be asking these questions of yourself:

1.Why does the BN government only spend this RM32m just before the elections?
2.What did they do to improve IJOK after the last elections?

In a democracy, your choice should be respected. I urge you to make a good decision for the future of Selangor and Malaysia.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Only 7% Feel that Islam is a Fair Religion

That is the result of MALAYSIAWATCH POLL 26 that posed the question:

"What Do You Think of the Latest Case of Subashini the woman whose husband converted to Islam and who now wants to convert all their children?"

There were 100 readers who took part. Thanks for participating.

This is the breakdown of choices:

56% chose "It is a black mark on the Judiciary when Muslim judges cannot differentiate their proper role and duties they should perform in a secular state."

14% chose "This could lead to many broken homes if non-Muslim men are allowed to convert to Islam and are then given custody to children who are not allowed freedom of religion but a forced conversion".

13% chose "I don’t expect a non-Muslim woman will get a fair deal in the Syariah courts. Even Muslim women can get treated unfairly".

10% chose "The man should have settled the divorce proceedings in the civil courts before being allowed to convert."

7% chose "Islam is a fair religion to all"

No one chose "I think it is OK for her to make an appeal to the Syariah Appeals Court"

Let us all strive hard to keep Malaysia as a secular state. If some judges cannot use different thinking caps, we should retire them earlier.

Sewer Politics in IJOK

There is a phrase "gutter politics" that means politics is a dirty game where opponents will try and sling mud on each other so the voters may pick the candidate who comes out looking cleaner.

Reading the reports on the incidents at the nomination centre it seems the police could have done more to reduce the possibility that a political standoff should not escalate into mob violence.

In this case the area around the centre should have been kept clear of supporters who should have been kept at least 500 meters apart at all times and the candidates should have been allowed to take only 10 persons into the centre.

In Visit Malaysia 2007 it is a good time to proclaim to the world that we are taking gutter politics to a lower level ie "sewer politics". With RM36million to be injected into the area in the next 2 weeks it is a good lesson for the electorate to enjoy the wind-fall and also be free to select the candidate that gives more hope for the future.

If one watched the TV3 news report at midnight I am sure the Education Minister made a vivid impression on the thousands of our school children.

In today's Star, there is a photo of the the following ministers and their entourage actively campaigning for the candidate:

Deputy PM
Transport Minister
Education Minister
Penang CM
Perlis MB

If Malaysia intends to become a "world-class" nation we should ask the following questions:

1.What duties are so many ministers doing in Ijok?
2.Did they take personal leave if they just went for the campaign?
3.Were taxpayers' funds used if they went for personal reasons?

Even if they took annual leave, they should not be accorded all the other perks like police escort and the usual entourage except for the official bodyguard.
It is quite easy to check if Ijok was in their official schedule at the beginning of 2007.

As for the EC Chairman who has publicly admitted his unwillingness to perform his official duties our MPs should demand his resignation.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

PROTON - the Saga Continues

Between Malaysia and Zimbabwe

I'm not sure if our PM included Zimbabwe in his current African tour as that country would have provided useful lessons on how not to destroy a bustling economy into a basket case nation.

After the locals took over, there was a massive land grab with the white farms being redistributed among the locals who knew nothing about modern farming. The end result is that a rich nation soon became just another poor African country with the main problems of unemployment, inflation and corruption.

Malaysia was more fortunate as the large migrant population were offered citizenship and today with Singapore(sometimes against it) we have become the strongest economic powers in South-East Asia aided by our strong ties with the USA, the UK, India and China.

But our systems have also not been properly maintained and in some instances the Constitution has been so manipulated that a national malaise has developed.
We have seen the deterioration in the police that now resists the IPCMC, the inability of the Executive to control the police except acquiese to their wishes, the RM36million campaign to buy voters in Ichok that is deemed "business as usual" by the Elections Commission Chairman.

So the ex-PM is right when he says, "Corruption is now above the table."The ICHOK Campaign can be considered such an example.

Where am I heading with all this? All these are signs that Malaysia is heading in the wrong direction and we may end up as another Zimbabwe.
But it is not all doom and gloom. As you can't fool all the people all the time, a day will come when people will rise up and say, "NO MORE!"

I am not sure if we will have a military takeover, a people's revolution or a radical change in the BN component parties but with the present scenario, I think such a change can happen within the next 25 years.

The only thing is that I will probably have left planet Earth by then.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

When the Circus Comes to IJOK

Gather round folks the circus is in town
Without a doubt we will see many clowns

Promising you the sun and the moon
After many years their visits are none too soon
But what is the catch you may want to know
It’s only your votes they aim to secure

VIPs will come and go
You all know it’s just a show
The roads will gleam with a coat of black
To cover after many years the cracks of neglect

A school here and a hall there
You finally get what you truly deserved
The purse strings now opened to show they serve
Just vested interests your taxes to disperse

When the clowns go all around
Using government assets is the norm
With integrity long gone the clowns will frown
Wondering by their acts a victory you will crown

The ringmaster is an utter disgrace
Dishonest crooks he has no guts to face
With taxpayers funds they proceed to plunder
The fragile fabric of democracy to rape and render

With hollow victory now a forgone conclusion
We must live with the grave illusion
That clowns will continue to lead us astray
Our fair Malaysia marked for future dismay

The dust has settled and the town is clear
The circus has gone and the crowds no longer cheer
Another year the clowns will come again like lepers
Hoping that time has erased their broken pledges

But wait; the day will come when people will finally awake
Before too late the reform cause to celebrate
Of just Malaysians upholding a free and just nation
Leading our fair nation to greater expectations

(dedicated to the voters in Machap and Ijok)

photo: Thanks to http://www.cisnyc.org/Images/MayorCircus/CircusCollage.jpg

"Render unto Caesar...."

They say only taxes and death are inevitable.

However it is good that the IRS is improving their services to taxpayers so that paying taxes will be as painful as donating blood.

A few suggestions to reduce the tax problems of Malaysians:

The IRS should encourage taxpayers to opt for "Pay as You Earn" for all those earning RM2000 per month and above.

The standard monthly deduction would be pegged as a married person opting for separate assessment and with 2 children below 21 years old and needing support with some standard allowances for EPF, insurance and medical expenses.

The final assessment is made after the taxpayer submits a new form to declare dividends and other supplementary income like bonus received in the same year and married status and number of eligible children.

According to the report,
Hasmah said such problems cropped up because bonuses for a particular year were paid the following year or on a staggered basis.

It is suggested that bonus for wage-earners be treated as and when received and not complicate prior years tax liability.

I expect about 80% of wage-earners would have a tax credit with the IRS and this should be refunded within three months and not the years it currently takes for unknown reasons.

Self-assessment is also difficult for many wage-earners and I think the previous scheme was better for taxpayers.
It is like adding more salt to the wound - it is painful to declare the income and then you even have to calculate how much the actual taxes will hurt.

PAYE is also good as it takes care of most of your tax problems and will be a form of savings if you are due a refund.
Of course the IRS is expected to refund within a grace period of say 3 months or pay interest at bank rates if refunds are delayed.

Assuming the IRS computer system is secure, taxpayers should be able to check online if the employer has actually paid the monthly taxes.

picture: Thanks to http://www.skd-dresden.de/media/images/museen/muenzkabinett/300_muenzkabinett.jpg

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Holistic? That Sounds like our Systems are Full of Holes!

We always hear nice speeches from ministers at grand functions where they can expound beautiful phrases and make lots of promises but the sad truth is that many of our systems of welfare and care are struggling to exist.

"We need an integrated and holistic approach in prevention, rehabilitation and enforcement, and also the emotional and psychological support from the community and families," Najib said.

After 50 years of independence, the fabric of society has become fragmented and tattered. Families no longer provide the safety net as young people move to cities and leave their old folks behind.

Politically we have had a fragile coexistence with political parties still harping on race issues rather than working towards a Malaysian identity. After all not everyone agrees on "What is a Malaysian?"

One major contribution to the social distress is the lop-sided NEP where rich cronies with political connections get awarded billion-ringgit contracts without competitive tenders and so the rich get immensely wealthy while the rest get crumbs.

As families struggle to cope with rising costs, most parents work and young children are poorly supervised. The inevitable result is juvenile delinquency with teachers having to cope with poorly disciplined students.

Broken homes and one-parent families also need more urgent support and it is unfortunate that people have been encouraged to contribute to the 70million population target by the previous Prime Minister.
That would be sustainable if families stayed united but now that policy has seriously damaged the social fabric.

Enforced staying with step-parents also exposes young children to incest, rape and other social ills.

So when we hear the word "holistic" there is the tendency to think more of holes in the system.

Something to Entertain You

I've decided to share this drawing with you.
Remember our Works Minister declaring that tolls would not be increased without his approval?

Your comments please.

Monday, April 16, 2007

How Much is a Minister Worth?

That seems to be on the minds of many Singaporeans as their ministers' pays have taken a quantum leap to probably become the most highly paid ministers in the world.

How should we evaluate a minister's pay?

Let us make some interesting comparisons:

In the UK a professional accountant with four years working experience can draw 40,000 pounds per annum whereas a professional footballer can earn more than 100,000 pounds per week.

Some will say that it is a crazy world that someone like Ronaldo of MU who is only 22 gets that kind of money just to play around with the ball.

But let us look at the pay the Singapore ministers are getting.
They peg the pay to two-thirds salary of the top professions in the private sector.

The rationale is transparent in terms of the monetary considerations but giving a high pay is no guarantee that the person is going to perform well as a minister.
But Singapore has built a strong reputation for acting against corrupt officials and so paying ministers a good salary is important to enable them to carry out their duties without fear or favour.

Since GDP is used as a measure of the value of the pay, perhaps it would be appropriate to use a variable salary scheme.

A less dramatic pay scheme for Malaysia would be:

Based on the average salary of the leaders of the twenty top most democratic countries of the world, Singapore excluded.

I think that would be a good deal if it can help reduce corruption in Malaysia. Plus all ministers will declare all their assets to Parliament.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words.....

So I will not write a thousand words but ask you to look closely at the photo in this article.

Now what is wrong in the photo? No prizes for guessing the right answer and I won't spoil your fun. Let's see what observations you would like to share in the Comments section.

In this related artice, it is mentioned “Security guards heard a loud noise at about 7pm yesterday (on Tuesday) but a check by the maintenance staff found nothing wrong."

“Then, the control room system detected a power trip at 2am on the 7th floor. The water seepage, however, was only detected about 8.30am.

The following was also reported:
“The joint between the pipes was not good. This is an embarrassment to the Government. This was a problem waiting to happen."

Abdul Rahim added that the two-year warranty period for the building by the developer Putrajaya Holdings would end on May 2.

“I have seen similar shoddy workmanship at several other buildings in Putrajaya,” he said.

If so can we please advise all staff in Putrajaya to be wary of falling objects as we cannot be sure what else will go wrong. If you are working here, go and invest in a hard hat as that may save your life.

How could we have accepted a building with obvious defects and just wait for the problem to happen?

The Works Ministry should do a complete survey of all buildings in Putrajaya so that defects can be recorded before the warranty periods end.

As for those maintenance staff who did the initial checking, they should be sacked for not finding the burst pipe. It was not a leak but a burst pipe.
Just imagine if we operate a nuclear power station with these irresponsible clowns.

Is There More to the PTPN Loans Scandal?

I found these emails posted in the PROMUDA newsgroup and it could be just the tip of the recalcitrant students’ loans repayment problem.

The emails have been shortened for brevity and names have been omitted – you can join the newsgroup if you want to read the full story.


"When I was studying in Australia, I remember having to work at 2 part time jobs to pay for my living expenses, etc whilst my friends who were on government scholarship had a few hundred dollars banked into their account every forthnight.
To earn what they were getting as allowance I would have had to work full time in a pretty decent job. I remember telling my friend,"Why don't you put some of it into Fixed Deposit and earn some interest or pay back some so that you don't have to pay back later" and her answer to me was. "Aiyah, no need to pay back one, no one does."

I also remember feeling SO angry with her because I thought of all the
Malaysians who would have really appreciated the scholarship, especially
those from the rural and interiors and she was the daughther of a rich man
who could have afforded to send her anyway, she was failing subjects (but
when you are on a Malaysian Govt scholarship, it seems the University can't
expel you!) and every 2 weeks when her allowance came in, she would go out
and spend it on the latest CDs and clothes.

The only people these delinquents are hurting is their future generation,
really. Don't they realise (after getting a degree, no less) that without
paying their loan back (interest-free some more!) that the Govt won't have
enough to fund others who will eventually be their own offspring?"

Post2"After finishing my SPM, I did my matriculation in UKM... we were the last
batch to go for matriculation under different universities, instead of being
under the ministry. Once I finished my matriculation, I used the results I
achieved to apply for a place in universities in UK. Alhamdulillah, I got
accepted for a place to do my BEng over there.

Since the academic term in Malaysian universities start in June or July, and
the academic term in UK doesn't start until end of September, I decided to
go for the first semester in UKM, which ran from June to September. In the
meantime, I was actively searching for sponsorship for my education
overseas. Alhamdulillah again, MARA agreed to sponsor my education, so I
knew that I would be leaving UKM at the end of the semester.

During that first semester, we were given the option of applying for PTPTN
loan. Since I already knew that I was leaving, I didn't apply for any loans, I didn't sign any agreements, nor was I in contact with anyone regarding the PTPTN loan.So imagine my suprise when last year, I received a letter from PTPTN saying
that I owed them RM7000 for the PTPTN loan during my studies in UKM. A loan that I never applied for, I never signed any agreement for, and I never accepted any amount of money from. I was all that while studying overseas and receiving funding from MARA.

I already contacted them, and an officer said, "Oh, in that case, just
return the money la..." But what money? I didn't receive anything?

Then a couple of weeks ago I received a letter from a legal firm asking for
the money. I already told them that I didn't receive anything, and all these
while I was a MARA scholarship holder, and I have all the documentation to
support my claims.

There's obviously something really wrong about the whole PTPTN management.

How many more cases were like me, where they just gave out money to people who didn't apply for any loans?
How could they have given loans to people when no agreement were signed?
How much from the RM12Billion are actual loans, and how much are the 'missing' amounts?"

Now if some students did not receive the loans there are some really serious implications for the missing amounts.

The following come to my suspicious mind:

1.Loan details actually were not properly documented and borrowers cannot be traced or no receipts obtained.

2.Monies have been stolen by loan officers with the connivance of banks.

3.Bank officers took the monies when they realised that PTPN had a bad record of getting defaulters to court and it was monies to be given away anyway.

4.Officials at universities cashed in the loans of the undocumented students.

A public inquiry could uncover the sordid details but after the disappointing saga of the IPCMC, that may also prove a waste of time and more money.
Remember the saying, "You can't put monkeys in charge of bananas!"
photos: Thanks to http://usera.imagecave.com/liveplants/wiholene.jpg and

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Corruption of Dogs

Man's best friend has been a major success in the busting of the pirate video industry that runs into millions of ringgit, if not billions.

Some people may think that dogs are not really some men's best friend as they go about their task with singlemindedness and so far nothing seems to stop them from sniffing out contraband.

There was a news feature the other day about dogs being trained to ferret out hidden mobile phones in prisons as those posed a security threat and enabled gangsters to conduct their operations from behind bars.

Corrupt officials too may not like the dogs as they disrupt cosy arrangements with syndicates that offer rewards for tip-offs and other assistance.

Apart from placing a reward on the heads of the canine crime-busters, I am sure the syndicates are also thinking of ways to corrupt the dogs. Maybe a diet of chappati and curry will dull their senses?

Who knows? Once we have our own units and with the usual lack of proper discipline even dogs may get corrupted.

photo: Thanks to http://www.all-americank-9.com/images/police.jpg

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Getting Rid of Thieves and Incompetents will Help Malaysia Progress.

Today’s headline in the newspaper is rather appalling.
Our young citizens have been encouraged not to pay study loans amounting to RM12billion since 1997.

Just imagine that! For the past 10 years they gave out loans totalling RM12 billion and have only managed to collect back RM350million or a mere 2.9%
of the loans provided.

Now if you operate a business with such a record, you will be bankrupt within six months but since Malaysia is busy extracting all our oil reserves post haste RM12billion over 10 years is just peanuts.

The terms of the loan repayments are also very generous and the collection process seems to have been decided by jellyfish who are spineless to lay down strict conditions to enforce collection.

Giving 5 to 30 years is definitely too long and the money repaid is worthless after 30 years. So the repayment period should be cut to the maximum of 10 years.

The 75% rebate is also too generous. This should be restricted to those who obtain First Class Honours only in critical fields and returning to serve the nation after graduation.

It appears that the PSD has no clue on how to recover loans except to “station officers in Britain, the United States, Japan, France, Germany and Australia, where the majority of its students are located.”

It seems to be such a nice posting but with minimal success when “the number of Malaysian scholars who remain abroad has dropped from 117,297 in 2000 to 56,609 in 2005.”

The recent steps to finally tackle defaulters is really “too little, too late” and akin to just giving a little slap to the hand that has stolen thousands.

I think the following plan will yield much better results:

*Sell all the loans to the banks at a discount such as a 25% or RM9billion

*All those who refuse to return will not be allowed to renew their passports overseas but have to return to Malaysia and not allowed to travel unless they make arrangements for loan settlement.

*If they give up Malaysian citizenship we should sue them in their adopted country.

*I would also enact laws so that the estate of loan defaulters will be charged with the loan amount plus the accrued interest at market rates for the period after graduation.

With a comprehensive loan recovery scheme, the government can recall back the scores of PSD officers stationed abroad as borrowers will soon develop greater responsibility.

photo: Thanks to http://g.1asphost.com/mybank4u/ringgit.jpg

Friday, April 06, 2007

An Unnecessary Death

It is rather brave of cops to give chase to criminals but I believe we should give them better training in order to reduce unnecessary deaths as in this sad case.
Any death of a policeman on duty should be mourned as they are actually looking after our security.

This guy was only 21 years old and I wonder what kind of pursuit training he would have received.
The story mentioned that the suspect "kicked his motorcycle" which indicated that the cop had gone too close to the suspect on the open road.

With 2 cops chasing they should have shot to wound the suspect after a warning shot in the air if he had refused to stop. At the time of the incident there would have been little traffic on the roads and the chance of a stray bullet injuring others would be very slight.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

No Monkeying About in the Cabinet?

Much has been written about the super-large Malaysian Cabinet which qualifies for a world record of sorts.

However in a Cabinet it is not the quantity of ministers that matters but the quality and so we have come to expect not very much from a mediocre bunch of ministers, most of whom are just there to make up the numbers.

I guess it will take a good 10 minutes just to get through all the pleasantries even before any meeting can start.

The other result is that even the most mundane issue needs Cabinet approval.

Maybe the Cabinet really needs to set up some priorities as to what should require its attention most urgently.

Otherwise they appear to be just monkeying around instead of managing pressing issues like solving those 18 VVIP graft cases.

Lack of evidence and missing witnesses seems a rather lame excuse. I expect some of those witnesses could have died in the years it has taken to identify them. Perhaps the police too have not really used much of their energy to locate witnesses.

Why not publish a reward for tracking down witnesses? I am sure the public are also keen to see justice done.

photo: thanks to http://images.esu11.org/mgrove/gorilla.jpg

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Police + Public = Crime-Busting

When members of the public give tips to the police, they can really respond very well as in this case of the two girls who were abducted.

The person who called the police should be commended and I think the security guards at the UKM should be investigated to see if they had complied with procedures on the entry and exit of vehicles.

If a bus routine is only within the campus for six hours, the bus should be boarded by a security guard when it enters and leaves the campus.

Looking at the photo it is quite a big bus with the marking Bas Pekerja - surely not the type of bus authorised to transfer students?

Finally a word of profound thanks to the cops who went beyond their duty by jumping into an effluent pond to get their man. Maybe the police can add more bitepower by making use of trained dogs to pursuit criminals?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Useful Film on Landslides

I just watched on Astro's National Geographic Channel at 10pm a program on Landslides.

You should watch it too if you want to understand a little on how the landslide in Putrajaya occurred, unless you want to be fooled by some of the reports in the newspapers about "a rise in ground water level".

Allow me to share one of the scenarios of how the Putrajaya landslide occurred:

There was heavy rainfall and also the leaking water tank mentioned by the Works Minister but no one wants to acknowledge.

According to the documentary and the geologists, it is possible that there is an impermeable layer below the surface of the hill slope and this causes the water to soak into the soil until it becomes saturated with water above the impermeable layer.

As more water soaks into the slope, the water pressure builds up and the whole slope becomes unstable as the soil particles become separated by the water and will slide.

So it points to that leaking tank that kept the hill slope wet and the final slide occurred when the rains added to the water pressure.

Not forgetting the earth drains that should have taken away some of the excess water if they had been properly maintained.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Non-Muslims and Syariah Courts.....

This is the question to ponder for MALAYSIAWATCH POLL 26 -

"What Do You Think of the Latest Case of Subashini the woman whose husband converted to Islam and who now wants to convert all their children?"

You can help the cause of "Freedom of Religion" for all Malaysians by forwarding this poll to all your friends and relatives.

97% of Voters Think Vision 2057 is Flawed....

32 readers responded to the question on Vision 2057.

The question for MalaysiaWatch Poll 25 was
"What Do You Think of Vision 2057 recently reported in the news?"

16 readers or 50% picked "Pure Balderdash! We must be mad to let them continue for another 50 years".

6 or 19% chose "Seems like a smokescreen to advise that Vision2020 cannot be achieved"

6 or 19% chose "Think you can fool all the people all the time?"

2 or 6% picked "Our rankings in corruption etc show that government policies have really failed to improve Malaysia’s performance in the global economy."

1 or 3% chose "The PM is trying to make people “feel better” before calling for elections."

The only support for the policy came from
1 or 3% who chose "It is good to have such a far-sighted policy"

You could help to make the polls more accurate if you tell us your choice.