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

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


These past 2 years have been interesting years for Malaysia.

It seems that we are on the verge of change but thus far, little has changed and some believe we are regressing as a nation.

This blog is now 2 years old and will switch to a new URL here.

Just change the "2" for a "3".
Please update your bookmark but at the moment, the new site is empty except for a WELCOME message.

Making Smart Use of MYKAD for ASM Units

In a country that boasts IT savvy and smart managers, it is disappointing that ordinary folks have to endure long queues that end in frustration as the queueing was all in vain.

This is the second time that thousands of Malaysians were "treated" to a sold out situation for ASM shares.

While it is understandable to limit the offering to RM500m, the method of distribution leaves much to be desired.

I suggest the use of MYKAD to allocate such units on an allocation basis using the info readily available with PNB.

For a start, all those who have already more than 10,000 units should be ineligible for future offerings until everyone who does not own 10,000 units and wants to subscribe is given the opportunity.

Let's suppose we have 500,000,000 units and we want to allocate say 1000 units to each applicant. That means 500,000 citizens can benefit.
This is where the MYKAD can be used. The units can be distributed based on the states info plus perhaps the last digits ending with "0" and "1" for the first offering of the year, "2" and "3" for the second offering etc.

This means that all states will covered and 20% of the population comprising males and females equally will be able to subscribe.

PNB can advertise that those with the correct MYKAD numbers(and not already owning 10,000units) can apply for 1000 units within a one-week period by ATM transaction - no need to queue.

After the one-week period, if there is any surplus PNB can offer the same group of citizens (subject to 10,000units rule)the chance to subscribe for 2000 units within a two-week period.

One month after the initial subscription period, the balance is opened to all citizens (subject to 10,000units rule).

As the most important investment body in the country, one would expect that PNB should be able to devise a more equitable and efficient method to sell ASM units.

Unless those frustrated crowds at the banks make for a good photo shoot?

No Consistency in Policies

I find the inconsistency in government policies appalling.
Only yesterday, a minister remarked that the price war over the Harry Potter's latest edition was good as it enabled more Malaysians to buy books at a cheaper rate.

Maybe this Minister has gone "potty" after reading the latest best-seller and decided to end the price war of a different nature - this time among 5-star hotels.

Why not allow hotels to compete for their customers? It would be better to provide a price range for indication only with 5-star rating determined only by the facilities and service provided.
That way we will ensure that only the best hotels will survive and become leaner. Inefficient and poor quality hotels should be allowed to close down.

If hotel rates are lowered, it will ensure that more Malaysians will be encouraged to take holidays in Malaysia.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wedding Speech

As the bride's father, I was asked to deliver a speech at the wedding dinner.

Andrew’s parents , my wife Patricia,Cynthia & Andrew, grandparents, relatives and friends. GOOD EVENING!

Finally it has happened! Cynthia and Andrew have gotten married…..

Today is indeed a very special day as it signifies a major milestone for my second daughter Cynthia to her special one Andrew after seven years.

Such a happy occasion has been blessed by wonderful weather – we could not have made it wetter for the wonderful guests who have travelled from various places in Malaysia like Penang, Ipoh and KL. Penang is not the furthest place. People have come even from the UK and of course Karen came from Canada. Not forgetting the majority of guests who are from Singapore.

Sometime in the year 2000, C & A met at a tennis game and perhaps Andrew thought that Cynthia played like a Sharapova and decided to pursue her or was it the other way around?

But tennis was not their common interest. I was very surprised that Bible Studies was what brought them closer together and they had long discussions on religion.

Falling in love seems so easy. The story books used to have this plot. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. Those are fairy tales.

Cynthia and Andrew followed a different path.
After A levels, Cynthia went to NTU while Andrew did his National Service. Andrew then went off to the UK to study while Cynthia worked in Singapore for a few years before she too went to the UK to work.

Their love for each other grew in a colder climate until today we have come here to celebrate their wedding.

Let me share with you a little about Cynthia. She was the quiet one in the family but she could also be quite mischievous.
When she was about three years old, she kicked against the table whilst seated on a high chair and toppled backwards. She was stunned and we had to admit her to the hospital for observation.

Perhaps that jolt somehow stimulated her brain cells and enabled her to gain admission to the Gifted Education Program. But please don’t try this at home.

When she was about six years old, that was the time that fast food was the trend and I can still remember the family eating McDonalds and after 40 minutes, we were pleading with Cynthia to eat her food. Fortunately for McDs, there are only a few customers like C or they would have gone bankrupt!

When she was in early secondary school, I remember she came home one day and boldly declared, “I want to be a housewife!”
Obviously we had not coached her properly on a career choice.

Andrew strikes me as a quiet person though I understand both Cynthia and Andrew are quite capable of animated discussions.

But Andrew is a brave fellow. To win Cynthia’s heart, Andrew has had to venture into dangerous territory. He has followed Cynthia back to our home in JB and they even took the bus on a few occasions.

Cynthia is the second of my children to marry a Singaporean. Perhaps someone could recommend to the Singapore and Malaysian governments that such couples are the best people to negotiate projects for the two countries; crooked bridges or otherwise.

To the happy couple, I would like to give some friendly advice in just 3 areas – sex, money and relations.

There are other areas but I think these three are critical.

Starting with sex – just three words will do as we have children in the room. “Practice makes perfect.” The Bible urges “Go forth and multiply” but I suggest “Replace yourself.”

As Cynthia is an accountant, she should know about money but to reduce money complications I suggest the following:

Open 3 different accounts - one joint account is to pool income for shared household expenses and one each for personal savings and investments. Remember the basic requirement to becoming rich is that you must always spend less than what you earn.

The third item is your relations with your relatives.
Relatives always mean well and want the best for you but the advice they give may not be in the best interest of your special relationship.
Only you can decide if any advice will improve or worsen that relationship.
Be prepared to say, “Thanks for the advice. I will see how that can help things.”

Getting married is the starting point of a long journey and I am sure in seven years you have discovered how to settle some differences? That will surely help for marriage is a bed of roses. Remember there are thorns here and there.

Today as you start a new life together I have this wish for you

"May your love grow throughout the years
And may your children spare you many tears
When you do fight learn to quickly pardon
Before your hearts begin to harden
May your journey in love teach others to care
That life’s a mystery, a bounty to share.”

Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you Cynthia & Andrew!
Photo: Thanks to http://www.sunandseabeachweddings.com/DSC_0135_edited.JPG

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Taking a Few Days Off

My second daughter is getting married on Saturday in Singapore.
But if you like, you can read older articles during the first year of MALAYSIAWATCH at the same URL but minus the "2".

Should be back on Monday.

What's Wrong with the RMAF Nuris?

It is sad that six people had to die in another helicopter crash.

The actual cause is not known but hints have been given about "weather conditions".
If one examines the crash history and casualties of the Nuri since it went operational in 1968, it seems that we have had more deaths after the Emergency.

Is there a maintenance attitude problem in the RMAF?
According to this paper, the pilot was scared of flying the Nuri "as he felt uneasy.

"During the conversation, he told me that he had complained to superiors many times about the problems he faced with the helicopter.

"He said he had informed them that the Nuri had problems with its fuel pump," Hashidee said.

"He said he would rather drive a truck to Kuantan, because he felt safer.""

Will the inquiry disclose what steps were taken to solve the fuel pump problems?

According to this reference, the Nuri has the capacity to fly 31 combat troops and I just wonder why the helicopter was flying with only six persons on a non-critical mission. Does the RMAF need to use up its quota of aviation fuel?

Of course there is now the usual call to upgrade or replace the Nuris with lots of commissions to be earned but if one studies the chart of accidents, it could point to pilot errors,maintenance weakness and operating procedures.

The chart is taken from the Star graphics above and analysed in a different manner. It looks as if maintenance was taken more seriously at first as the copters had to be combat ready during the Emergency.

From 1968 to 1981, there were only 4 deaths in a crash.
In 1981 there were two crashes resulting in 2 deaths and 13 injured.
1989 was a really bad year with 3 crashes and 37 deaths. The first incident of 1989 was an emergency landing the cause of which was uncertain. If it was a mechanical failure, could steps have been taken to prevent the next two accidents that caused 37 deaths?

Things improved after that with no accidents until 1996 with one crash and 5 deaths.
Then in 1997 there was a unexplained accident involving 2 copters that resulted in 11 deaths.

I suggest there were some improvements made as no accidents happened again until 2004 when there were 3 crashes that lost 5 lives.

The pattern of accidents and deaths is hardly random and could be caused by:
Change of personnel in charge of routine maintenance.
Change of suppliers for critical spare parts.
Change of maintenance contractors.
Change in operating procedures.

If this is the RMAF record during peacetime I wonder how we will cope with possible invaders with derelict air planes.

Graphics: Thanks to the Star

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


After 37 years it seems some people have become addicted to the NEP that started soon after the May13 riots with the noble aims to eradicate poverty among Malaysians and to remove job limitations for the various races.

No doubt the NEP has transformed Malaysian society and one needs only to visit the new housing estates in the cities to see a large section of middle-class of all races living in harmony.

I suggest that the best part of the NEP is that more Malaysians have been able to go to university, graduate and move into a good career path.

However the NEP has slowly morphed into a program to enrich mainly those with close connections with the ruling elites and this is done mainly through lucrative contracts like toll concessions that remain secret after so many years. You can give your opinion on the use of OSA for such projects in the green poll on the left column.

The NEP has become so addictive that even some Malays feel that the time has come to end such abuses.

However some leaders still insist the NEP is necessary.
This should hardly be surprising as the ruling elites gain the most from such secret sweetheart deals like licensing agreements and lucrative projects.

These usually fail as the profits are skimmed upfront and the jobs get done with substandard quality as seen recently in the case of the collapsing ceilings and burst pipes.

Do you feel marginalised? You bet I do. Even if I do not want to do government contracts, the very fact that we have to spend RM20m just to do extra building inspections means that government funds is being wasted.

The NEP would have been palatable for 12 to 15 years and the government should have started the weaning process at the beginning ala Steven Covey's dictim
"Begin with the End in Sight."

Why 15 years?
This will allow about 3 children in every poor family to be assisted through tertiary education and get good jobs in the civil service or the private sector.

There would have been no sweetheart deals like APs and all government projects would be fully disclosed with no deals protected by the OSA.

So I oppose the NEP as it now means Never Ending Parasites. I'm going to look for the Shelltox now and you should do the same.

Photo: Thanks to http://www.scienceclarified.com/images/uesc_08_img0434.jpg

Monday, July 16, 2007

Secret Toll Agreements .....To Tell or Not to Tell?

The Works Minister recently announced that toll agreements would remain secret under the OSA.

What do you think of this about face? That is the question posed in MALAYSIAWATCH POLL 28.
Please take the poll soon.

Another Nuri Down...

Planes crashing is an inevitable event as this can occur as a result of pilot error, bad weather, equipment failure or a combination of all three factors.

I wonder if anyone has the record of all the planes and pilots we have lost during the past 10 years.

There is always an inquiry held but details are usually scant or not even published.
When this happens, not much pressure is exerted to rectify problems such as possibly having more rules or operating procedures for bad weather conditions or maintenance problems.

I would have imagined that upgrading planes and helicopters with a minimum of voice recorder and a proper black box should be a prerequisite for a modern air force rather than buying the latest fighters that we have problems to maintain.

I am sure all Malaysians hope and pray that these men and women will be safely reunited with their families soon.

Meanwhile I hope that any inquiry to investigate this crash will come up with a report similar to this.

The accident report concluded with this brief:

"The formal analysis of this accident noted the following circumstance as valid contributors:

The pilot continued the flight into adverse weather beyond the point of having a visual external reference.
The risk of not being able to turn around onto a reciprocal track without visual clues was high as the pilot was not instrument rated and the helicopter was not IFR rated.
The pilot's operating culture was conditioned from having 'got through' adverse weather on previous occasions.
Having decided to track via the shipping channel because of turbulence consideration on the coastal route, the pilot overlooked the coastal route as an alternate course of action.
The weather information passed by the tower controller probably placed an expectation in the pilot's mind that he could negotiate the weather successfully. *
More details of this accident are contained in Occurrence Brief 199901009."

Photo: Thanks to http://www.chiangmai-mail.com/157/pictures/home-157.jpg

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Only 6% of Pollsters Support the PM's Frequent Flying..

"What do You Think of our PM’s Frequent Trips Overseas?"

That was the question posed for MALAYSIAWATCH POLL 27.

For the 65 readers who took the poll, here are the results:

31 votes or 48% were for "It is a waste of public funds"

15 votes or 23% were for "I think there are more urgent matters at home"

9 votes or 14% were for "He should delegate most of these trips to ministers and deputy ministers"

6 votes or 9% went to "N-E-X-T!!"

2 votes of 3% went to "I believe he is doing his job competently"

2 votes of 3% went to "I support this activity as it promotes FDI"

Thanks to all who participated.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Father's Tough Decision....

Sometimes you have to be tough to show your care and concern for your children.

Often parents indulge their children too much and really spoil them. When they grow up they do not become responsible citizens and resort to crime.

I am sure this father regrets that he did not raise his son to be a more responsible adult and now faces trials for multiple rapes.

Of course the son is ultimately responsible for his own actions but I believe many parents really do not pay enough attention to how their children behave in school or when growing up.

At his late stage, it is really too late for anyone to do much but allow the law to take its course.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Before We Start Praising our Financial Expertise

I find this story a little amusing.
The Second Finance Minister is praising himself on the basis that the government was able to spend all the monies it received in the first half of the year "to create economic growth".

I wonder if the amounts includes the following:

1.RM20m required by the Works Ministry to inspect buildings for shoddy contract works.
2.RM200m compensation to a company for cancelling the "crooked bridge project".
3.RM15m(my guess)compensation to a company for cancelling the Broga incinerator.

Any fool can throw money away,especially if it is taxes of the hard-working raayat who should feel cheated that government projects are started without serious thinking.

In most countries a government will have public hearings and proper studies done before even approving the concept plan and principle. But in Malaysia we dash headlong into awarding a project and then see if anything is wrong. The "crooked bridge" and "Broga" projects are just too recent example.

Maybe you could add a few more like the Bakun dam project etc.

Photo: Thanks to http://www.familycourtchronicles.com/philosophy/wasted/money-to-burn.jpg

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pssst! Anyone Want to Hire a Gun?

You see those guys hanging about crowded areas and they usually approach you with a smile and ask,"Do you want a nice watch?"

So far no has has yet asked the question posed in the headline above but maybe that day is not far off.

Just imagine the implications of this story.
A corporal was able to sign out a sub-machine gun for 4 weeks for a "special mission" and the person issuing the weapon was a constable who did not maintain proper records but then again the recording system also had a loophole as there was no section in the log-book to record the number of bullets taken out.

No wonder the police has been resisting the IPCMC with such vigour!

With this slack control of weapons and bullets, the following is possible:

1.Rogue policemen may take out weapons and hire out the guns to criminals.
2.Bullets issued by the police may be used to supply such criminals.
3.Rogue cops may use the weapons to commit robberies and other crimes.

I am sure the police should be able to devise a more secure method of issuing firearms and bullets.

For example:

1.Bullets may be issued by a constable but all items must be counted and recorded down on issue and return.
2.Small weapons must be issued by a higher ranked officer like a sergeant and proper documentation must be provided. The approval must be signed by the next person in authority, higher than the person making the request.
3.More power weapons like a submachine gun must be approved by an ASP or similar rank.
4.Use such as "special mission" will not be accepted and each request must have its own request code that can be traced to the purpose for the mission. The person issuing the weapon need not know the purpose but it can be properly tracked.
5.All issues of weapons should be confirmed with the person who approved the request.

But with the current mud-slinging among the leaders in charge of security in the country do you think this issue will be given serious consideration?

Photo: Thanks to http://www.streetpro.com/usp/images/hk53.jpg

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What Really is the Good Government Hiding?

How Convenient!

The government now proclaims that it will not reveal the details of the Agreements with the toll operators as there is a clause which requires the consent of the companies'before details are disclosed.

I have written an article earlier when TDM mentioned that they did not read the Agreements in detail before giving approval.

Privatised highways can be considered a form of taxation as road users have to pay to use a public facility that could have been funded from all the taxes collected. Tolls are in fact additional taxation. But the government that approved this tax now says we will not be told how the tax collector has been advantaged.

I remember that the LDP operator was reported in the press that they would agree to the terms being disclosed to the public.
So this change of heart by the government is indeed a step backwards. Could it mean that other toll companies have been granted even sweeter deals all the way to the bank?

Why don't you request your MP to find out the details for all road users? Even George Bush has been forced to reconsider his stance on Iraq. So why should a toll agreement be subject to the Official Secrets Act?

Graphics: Thanks to http://www.okipoker.com/images/money-pile.jpg

Where Love Has Gone

Man is capable of really intense emotions and at times when a marriage breaks up, what was once intense love can turn to intense loathing for anything that can remind one of the relationship.

When a marriage turns sour and about to break up, young children may be at risk as perhaps the new love interest may not want any young children as a burden.

Family members who are aware of the situation should try and counsel their relatives if they suspect such a situation even though in modern society, many families do not really keep in close contact with each other.

If you are a single parent and want to start another relationship, you should make sure your new partner is OK with the fact that you have young children or another disaster like this can happen again.

I wonder how could a mother ever agree to the callous disposal of her own child like this case?

Monday, July 09, 2007

One Minister who is Doing a Good Job.....

Most readers will have the impression that I usually criticise the government but let me give some praise where it is due.

The quick action by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister to revoke the price increase of rice is most welcomed. Everyone eats rice and the unwarranted price hikes would have angered everyone.

Action was needed and a decision was made without having to involve the whole Cabinet. It is strange that the monopolistic company decided to raise prices without a proper proposal.

Perhaps the market would be better served if one or two other companies were also allowed to import rice. That would provide a good check and balance against profiteering.

Photo: Thanks to http://asiarecipe.com/images/fc31rice5.jpg

Is Malaysia Becoming a Sick Society?

This story must wrench at the hearts of parents with smaller children.

The little girl is not only kidnapped but brutally killed and her body disposed by burning. What kind of animals are we dealing with? Even animals do not descend to such barbaric behaviour.

I believe that there is more than meets the eye. This poor girl is possibly the victim of a personal vendetta against either of her parents and the police should cast their suspicions far and wide wide.

I wonder if the sensational news about the Mongolian beauty murder case may have prompted these criminals to try and dispose of the body in such a fashion.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Risk Management for the Malaysian Government?

It is good that steps have been taken to eliminate the careless lack of control as reported by the ministry after the Deputy Commander of the UTK admitted that operators could sneak out explosives that may not have been used up during exercises.

However it appears that is a lack of a proper system of controls in many government agencies such as the Finance Ministry with respect to incompetent contractors and the PWD with taking over shoddy projects.

Whenever there is a "bocor" or other problem everyone starts running about like headless chickens at best or demure "Semua-lah OK" syndrome.

I suggest that the government can make better use of some of the 30% over surplus staff in the civil service.

Perhaps 2000 of the civil servants will be reassigned to the Office for Risk Management that will overseer all risks associated with government activities. I am not sure if they should report to the PM's Office or the Auditor-General's Department.

The duties would be to provide independent advice on all procedures devised by other departments so that grave loop-holes like the "free explosives" problems will be spotted earlier.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

BEWARE! Explosives could be Anywhere.

I found this story truly incredulous on the lack of control of explosives used by the Special Action Unit (or UTK) as reported in malaysiakini.

The UTK is involved in covert as well as overt activities and the former includes operations that are "kept secret from the public."
One wonders if that includes blowing up problem makers like the Mongolian girl.

If you read the story in malaysiakini, the lack of control of weapons is simple astonishing. They might as well leave the place unlocked.

"Mastor also explained the procedure for taking and returning explosives from the UTK armory storage. He said that explosives, once taken out and if not used, should be returned.

He said the explosives can be taken out for the use of training exercises.

However, he added, the amount of explosives used or not used during training was not recorded.

Since no records are made, Mastor said it was possible for explosives not used during training are not returned."

Mastor is the Deputy Commander of the UTK.
I wonder why such a basic lack of control can exist.

This situation only shows how urgently we need the IPCMC.

Graphics: Thanks to malaysiakini

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Some Good News for the 50th Merdeka Celebrations...

This is very good in principle as it acknowledges that all Malaysians should be given the chance to celebrate our Hari Kebangsaan without any political undertones.

I wonder how will the money be disbursed and accounted for?
I hope all MPs will make public announcements on what events they intend to hold so that more of their constituents can participate.

It would be good for the ministry to provide some guidelines on what events would be suitable and also ask the MPs to submit the expenditure records for checking by the ministry.

All citizens pay income tax and no area should be left out because they voted opposition. This RM30k indicates that the government can give the citizens a fairer deal and should be encouraged.

The concept can be extended to state governments. If the opposition wins in the state, there should be no cut-back in federal funding for various projects but the central government should also adopt an equitable approach unless it is willing to change the tax laws so that the state can get a share of income and other taxes collected.

Let each Malaysian celebrate Hari Kemerdekaan close to home and avoid the perilous highway traffic. But if you must travel, do be careful.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

We Can't Have Government Officials Tossing Mud at each Other

The situation we find our country in can be considered a tragi-comedy.

Tragic as some of those involved in crime-busting may also be crooks but funny as criminals laugh all the way to the bank.

The tentacles of corruption have spread so far and wide that many Malaysians now doubt if there is any integrity at all in the system.

We need a public body like the IPCMC to bring sanity back to the system.

When the PM has no confidence in any Minister, that minister should resign.
The MPs should also voice out their concern instead of playing deaf, dumb and blind.

Fight Rising Crime Public Hearing in JB

Parliamentary caucus “Fight rising crime” public hearing in JB at Tropical Inn
The first “Fight Rising Crime” public hearing of the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance will be held in Johor Baru on Sunday, 8th July 2007 at 2.30 p.m. at Tropical Inn, Jalan Gereja.

Please help to pass the word, by all means available, including blogs, SMS and word of mouth, to have a capacity attendance.

Let this be a people-centred, people-driven and people-empowered event.

(This note was copied from Lim Kit Siang's blog)

A Mother's Love is Truly Special

If your mother is still alive, you should give her a big hug and a kiss as soon as possible - no need to wait for Mother's Day.

There is really nothing like a mother's love. Often children easily forget but a mother's love edures. All you need to do is to show her that you care about her too.

It is common in today's society for many families to be brought up by single mothers, many through divorce and a few through the death of a husband and such families really experience great hardship and sacrifice with many children becoming deliquent and wayward as the mother struggles to make ends meet.

So this story is really heartwarming as this mother struggled for more than 20 years to give her children a good education and even managed to send them overseas for further education. I wonder if the family received any assistance from the government like just one sponsorship?

I salute you Leong Eng Yee for you have proved that a mother's love is really special. Penang should give her a special award as Outstanding Mother of the Year as a token of this family's noteworthy achievement.

Photo: Thanks to http://www.goldenpetals.com/send_flowers_to_india/send_flowers_to_india/send_flowers_to_india_PinkandWhiteCarnations.jpg