Religious Overdose - Enough Lah

Posted by Simon Templar On 4 May 2011

Squatting Monkey, Jumping Lembu

Posted by Simon Templar On 7 September 2009

Incompetent PKR; Bungling Pakatan

Posted by Simon Templar On 19 April 2011

I Got Tear Gassed

Posted by Simon Templar On 9 July 2011

Najib The Ponzi Scheme Master

Posted by Simon Templar On 11 December 2009

SJPP - EPF To Foot Loan Defaults

Posted by Simon Templar On Tuesday, July 28, 2009 0 comments

Last Friday, I wrote an article titled '
SJPP; Another PKFZ In The Making' in which I belief that the taxpayers may have to eventually foot the bills of loan defaulters for loans guaranteed by SJPP. That may end up being a massive RM10 billion.

And today, Malaysian Insider posted on their site the following from Reuters:



EPF To Loan RM5bn to Prokhas

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — A government agency which is administrating two schemes under the first economic stimulus package is in talks with the employees’ pension fund for a RM5 billion, a business daily said.

The Malaysian Reserve, citing an unidentifed source today, said the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) was ready to fund the loan at an undisclosed rate to Prokhas, the government-owned special purpose vehicle.

The source added that Prokhas was also looking at other financing options including government bonds, private debt securities or a term loan that may give more competitive rates.

Malaysia announced its first stimulus package of RM60 billion in March to shore up the export-reliant economy against the global economic crisis.

Prokhas manages two schemes under the package and was allocated 5 billion ringgit each, known as Working Capital Guarantee Scheme and the Industry Restructuring Loan Scheme, which is under the Ministry of Finance.

EPF’s talks with Prokhas may draw some criticism, as loans to government agencies and corporations have in the past been called bailouts for poorly performing local companies by critics and the resurgent opposition.

In 2008, the government said it would transfer RM5 billion from the EPF to state owned fundmanager Valuecap to be invested in undervalued Malaysian stocks. — Reuters

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Note:

Extracted from The Star (24 July 2009)

"... SJPP is managed by Prokhas Sdn Bhd and both are wholly-owned units of the Minister of Finance Inc."


At one read, this looks like a usual business deal for EPF. But let's digest this news a little.

First, EPF is being used as the source of fund again. Whenever the government needs money to bail out anyone, it is always EPF who forks out the money. I am not sure if preferential interest rate is charged - I hope not. But again, the government is using our money as though it is theirs. This BN government has never stop squanderring our tax money and EPF savings, and there is no end in sight.

But that is nothing shocking in Malaysia. We are so used to it by now.

What intrigues me is - isn't the guarantee scheme a guarantee? If it is a guarantee, wouldn't payment need to be made to the bank if and only if the bank has exhausted all means to recover the loan from the company who took the loan? Why is there a need for cash now?

The article said that EPF is ready to 'fund the loan'. What loan? Aren't the banks the ones who are giving out the loans while SJPP stands as 80% guarantor? I don't understand. Or is it that the banks are not willing to extend the loans (and bear the 20% exposed risk) and as such the government is pumping the money into the banks only to be disbursed i.e. disguised as loans by the banks when in actual thruth it is EPF who loans the money to the distressed 'eligible' companies? Is someone trying to mask something here? This is fishy. RM5,000,000,000 of EPF money is at stake. A lot of rakyat's savings is going down the drain.

And the balance of another RM5,000,000,000 will be funded via government bonds, private debt securities or a term loan. Hey this strengtens my above suspicions even further? Why need the entire RM10,000,000,000 ready in cold hard cash. SJPP is supposed to be a guarantor only. Are they that sceptical that the loanees will not even repay a single sen?

Oi! Nothing seems to jive here. What is happening?

Is this a RM10 billion handout?

Fucking hell! Someone better come clean on this. These are the 3 directors of Prokhas Sdn. Bhd. (taken from SJPP's website). And they should know the truth.

1. Y. Bhg. Dato' Puteh Rukiah Abdul Majid, Deputy Secretary General (System and Control) Ministry of Finance

2. Y. Bhg. Datuk Latifah Datuk Abu Mansor, Deputy Secretary General (Policy) Ministry of Finance

3. En. Fazlur Rahman Ebrahim, Managing Director of Prokhas Sdn. Bhd.

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SJPP; Another PKFZ In The Making

Posted by Simon Templar On Friday, July 24, 2009 4 comments

Bravo! 2,738 business applicants have been successful in getting their arses saved by the government.

I am talking about The Star's article today on "SJPP approves RM3.5 bil loans" (Star Biz headlines). It was reported that Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd. ("SJPP") has thus far approved RM3,500,000,000 (that's a whole lot of zeros dei!!!) worth of financing to 'eligible' companies to help them survive this economic downturn. Basically, something like what the US is doing in keeping the likes of Citibank and AIG afloat with taxpayer's money - the now taboo term called 'government bailout'. Only slightly different, our government (SJPP is owned by the Minister of Finance Inc.) does not disburse the money direct but stands as an 80% guarantor for the loans disbursed to these 'eligible' companies.

Key point - if the beneficiary company does not repay the loan, the government will have to repay the bank with your money... and mine too!

That leads us to the question of who are these recipients of which we, the rakyat, are standing for as guarantor? How transparent is SJPP going to be on this? Will we, the guarantors, get to know what measures are being put in place by the recipients of the loans to ensure that they will not default on their repayments or worse, run off with the loan money?

So far RM3,500,000,000 have been approved. The total available under 2 separate funds is RM10,000,000,000. Yes! Whopping figures! Much larger than a Double Whopper burger. 99.99% of Malaysians will never come close to seeing this kind of money in their bank accounts.

Back to my question on transparency. Where can we taxpayers find out who are the beneficiaries of this scheme? Can we go to SJPP's website (http://www.sjpp.com.my/) to retrieve the list of names of the beneficiaries? So far I can't find any at SJPP's website.

Who are the directors and shareholders of the recipient companies? We taxpayers have the right to know. And we need to have an update on their loan status. Have they been making monthly on-time repayments? Is anyone in SJPP monitoring this? If a system is in place, then it is not very troublesome to post this on SJPP's website.

Can we have these disclosures on SJPP's website like how the PLCs post their announcements on Bursa's website. After all, is this not of public interest? A PLC has got a whole lot of disclosure requirements for the sake of good governance as the interests of the public is at stake. Even in a PLC's annual return and quarterly reportings the PLC is required to disclose who the PLC stands for as guarantor. That is just a PLC of which the interested public is more often than not its shareholders. SJPP has a much much wider interested party. Approximately 27 million of them.

We the guarantors have the right to know and keep a close eye on these recipients. No, there cannot be confidentiality. This is not between the recipient and his bank. This is between the recipient and all of us. If you require so much confidentiality, then please get someone else as your guarantor.

Mr. Minister of Finance cum Prime Minister, please look into this. You are calling for transparency here, there and everywhere. What about this RM10,000,000,000 that you may or may not have to disburse. By the time you have to disburse this much money, it may be too late for us to be calling for your blood. Another PKFZ in the making? I hope not.

And in the case of the most unfortunate of events that this turns into another scam, of which the chances are damn blardie high, remember, Simon Templar has warned you rakyat Malaysia on this.
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- So now they cane you if you drink alcoholic drinks. Wow!!! im amazed that our politician/judiciary got their priorities wrong.
- Dear politician/judges, please get your priorities right. Drinking is not a crime/do not cause crime. Whipping people is a CRIME!!!
- How can you muslim sleep soundly at night?
- physically causing hurt to female/lady is totally unacceptable in malaysia!!!
- Even if it's murder, you are not to whip a lady!!!
- Malaysia must be guided by love and knowledge.
- Malaysia must not go down the road of other failed nation like afganistan/pakistan of punishing and hatred
- To all muslim, please educate and spread love. Do on to people what you want others to do on to you.

-----------------------------------------



'Prison can carry out syariah caning'
2009/07/23

By V. Anbalagan

KUALA LUMPUR: A syariah lawyer said the part-time model who was sentenced to six strokes of the rotan for drinking beer could be caned in a civil prison if all conditions are met.

Muhamad Burok said Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno must be sent to a prison accompanied by a syariah court order that imposed the sentence.

"She must be punished by a person who is trained to execute the caning," said Muhamad, who is also adviser to the Malaysian Syariah Lawyers Association.

Muhamad said he was made to understand that prison staff were trained to cane according to syariah requirements.

However, he had no knowledge of women being caned for violating syariah.



He was responding to a statement by Kartika's lawyer, Mohd Zuki Che Muhamad Ghani, that prison authorities could not carry out the caning as the syariah court judgment did not include a jail term.



On Monday, the syariah court in Kuantan sentenced Kartika, 32, to six strokes of the rotan and fined her RM5,000 for drinking beer at a nightclub. She paid the fine.

This is the second time the syariah court sentenced a woman to be caned.

The first case involved a waitress and a man caught together with Kartika during the same raid by the state religious department at 1.20am on July 12, 2007.

The 38-year-old man from Kemaman, Terengganu, and the 22-year-old waitress from Selangor, were also fined RM5,000 each and were sentenced to six strokes but the caning has not been carried out as the appeals were pending.

The same syariah court in June 2005 meted out a similar sentence on two brothers for drinking beer and the authorities were also in a dilemma as the penalty was not accompanied by a jail sentence.

It is unclear whether the brothers were caned.

Meanwhile in Ipoh, Kartika said she wanted to get the ordeal over with so that she could focus on her life with her family and two children.

"I will accept this earthly punishment, let Allah decide my punishment in the hereafter," she said yesterday.

Kartika, who has been living in Singapore for the last 15 years after marrying a local citizen, said her husband was aware of her desire to undergo the caning and he respected her decision.

"I want to advise youngsters to learn from my experience and not cause shame to themselves and their families."

On Tuesday, Mohd Zuki said she would not be appealing against the sentence.
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Police To Throw Nazri Out Of Building

Posted by Simon Templar On Wednesday, July 22, 2009 1 comments

I read the following article and was horrifyingly shocked.

Nazri may not be the most loved guy in Malaysia (I will gladly run to lead the prestigious office of the I-Despise-Nazri Club - and I know there will be stiff competition), but surely they cannot finish him off just like that. Poor Nazri.


Article extracted from Malaysian Insider:

Police will use dummy to re-enact Teoh’s fall

By Neville Spykerman

SUBANG JAYA, July 22 — It sounds like an idea out of the hugely popular CSI TV series but local police are going to re-enact Teoh Beng Hock's fall with a dummy.

In order to determine how Teoh's injuries could have been sustained, they will drop a dummy from the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam where the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office is located.

According to Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar, the exercise was supposed to have been carried out today by two pathologists and a police investigator who revisited the scene where the political secretary was found dead last Thursday.

However, the re-enactment did not happen and the investigators are expected to return.

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Who Says That Tun Is Wrong?

Posted by Simon Templar On Tuesday, July 21, 2009 11 comments

I see this massive furore over Tun M's article Kaki Dalam Kasut. The very blunt Khoo Kay Peng responded almost instantaneously and held no punches back. I can see where the both of them are coming from. Tun being a realist; while the very intelligent KKP, in my opinion, is sometimes too much of an idealist.

Hey, no offence KKP. You are one of the better guys around. And I tabik you for your style.

I know I am gonna be getting a whole lot of stick for being on the side of dear old Tun. And 2 days in a row at it. But, truth be told, Tun had just spoken the truth.

The Malays are in power but the Chinese are in control of this country. Why? Because the elitist Malays who are in power are whores to wealth. How many among the 'elite' Malays in the corridors of power truly have their heart for the people or even the Malays? And how many of these Malays in the corridors of power aren't at where they are for money, money and money?

The Chinese know this. And they also know that they do not have the numbers to create among them a Prime Minister. The Chinese are realists. They are survivors. Realising that it is not possible for them to form the government, they instead find ways to control the government. People say that the Jews and the Chinese are the smartest - and if you asked me, I say they probably think alike too. The Chinese in Malaysia control the Malaysian government the way the Jews control the US government. Something new? Think about it.

To the Chinese, and this must be the worst kept secret, the Malays in power are lazy and greedy. Easy money. Easy money. And with this knowledge, the Chinese gets their way by providing financial support for Mr. Malay. Patronage. I help put you up there, you take care of me. Then we plunder together. Since Mr. Malay is too lazy to do the actual dirty work to earn the money, he will always need the Chinese to earn him his dough. Some of you call this cronyism. But this is not cronyism. The Chinese call this playing it smart.

Count me the number of Chinese in Malaysia's top 10 richest. Extend that to the top 100. Do you think it's easy to get that many projects with that many zeros in value? The Gohs, the Tans, and the Yeohs are the ones who truly decide where the country is heading. They come up with a master plan and their toy boy Menteri finds ways to implement them. This is how it is done, not the other way. Malaysia is not planned based on Kementerian wanting to this and then implement. Those with interests come up with the plan. The Menteri simply gets paid. Who looks like the real masters here?

And that's at the upper level. What about implementation?

The Malays have been enriched in the past couple of decades but only a select few truly benefits from it. That's because the Chinese have created a 'structure' where the ultimate wealth will flow among the Chinese. Let's take an example of a construction project. The government allocates RM100 million to build a road. The Menteri and his cronies award the project to a Bumi company. The Menteri and his thieves take a 15% cut. The Bumi company keeps 5% of the project value. The project is then ali-baba-ed to some Chinese sub-contractors. (Tun said "Mungkin semua ini disebabkan kesalahan orang Melayu sendiri. Mereka tidak guna peluang yang disediakan bagi mereka".) The Chinese sub-contractors on the other hand no longer sub it down. They share the balance of RM80 million among Chinese businessmen via provision of labour, materials, freight, and what is and what not.

This 'sharing' is made possible because the Chinese have extended their interests in all forms of businesses in this country. And we all know how much the Cina Ah Peks don't trust the Malays in doing jobs for them. Heck, they don't even trust the Malays to deliver ordered raw materials. You can't really blame them when the Malays have such poor track records. So where did the wealth ultimately end up with. You heard me right, the circles of Chinese. And a vicious circle is thus created.

And this is where Tun gets frustrated. The Chinese will not change a system that treats them even better than an open market. Whenever the Malays try to come up with a new system, the Chinese will manipulatively re-invent and send the lazy Malays back to square one. The Chinese will fight to maintain status quo. In no part of the transaction do they lose a single sen. The portion 'retained' by the Malays is not even their profit. It's the public's money, stupid - the project has been awarded at a price much higher than that in a free market. The net profit may also even be higher than that in a free market.

Of course there are some smart alec Malays who tried to break this 'structure'. But without the expertise and work ethics, they ended up shitting themselves in the pants with the likes of MRR2. Tun touched on this in his pengayuh beca analogy.

So, the Chinese have no social ethics. Sure they did not ask for grant or subsidy, but they damn well manipulated the system. Too bad that they are too smart!

You just have to give it to them. The Chinese are street smart, hard working, entrepreneurial and most important of all, they are realists.

So yes, the Chinese controls the nation and wealth of the country like what Tun said. He is not senile la. And to proof that even further, lets compare the wealth of Malays and Chinese based on categories; apple to apple.

At the top category of super rich with massive businesses, the Chinese on the average are richer than the Malays.

At the lower category of rich with businesses the size of SMEs to large PLCs, you cannot deny that there is definitely way more Chinese than Malays.

At the medium category of well to do income earners and small businesses, lets be honest and again give it to the Chinese. They head this corporation and that MNC. You see small Chinese businesses everywhere.

At the below medium category of good income earners, look around your office and peek into your managers' rooms, and I shall not say much more.

At categories below that, things might start to get even. Or it might not.

So, was Tun wrong in what he said?


Side note. Khoo Kay Peng, you mentioned Tun's super rich sons. What do you expect? Which man do not first enrich himself and his family first? This is human's nature. In which country does this not exist? Look at the US. The elites are always wealthy. Just that they don't to it that obviously. So, maybe Tun was not very subtle with his boys' wealth. But that's how it is. This is the real world. To me, it's a foregone conclusion that the leader(s) will take. But I only hope that they make sure that they do their job in leading the nation. The country must benefit from his leadership. And this I think Tun M did. He built Malaysia. No questions about that. Badawi on the other hand, took way much more in a much shorter time and gave nothing back in return. As to you struggling to make ends meet, your destiny is in your own hands...
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Dear Tun

Posted by Simon Templar On Monday, July 20, 2009 14 comments

Dear Tun M,

I hope that this open letter reaches you in the pink of health.

(I am writing this letter in a casual manner and I hope that you will excuse my ignorance of protocols here).

I have always, among my friends and relatives, openly declare that I am a ‘Tun supporter’. I may be but two fifth your age but I pride myself with the knowledge of your personal development from Lorong Kilang Ais to The Mines Resort. As an urban resident, without you Tun, there will not be the luxury and comfort that we are able to enjoy today. But many shallow Malaysians take this for granted.

Many do not agree with your actions and policies implemented during your tenure as our Prime Minister. They are wrong. They are ignorant. There are merits in your every policies. What the general public does not understand is that to move the country forward, there will have to be sacrifices.

I do not fault you for implementing policies that benefit the Malays. Anyone who calls you a racist is a nincompoop. They only need to look at your circle of friends and confidantes to know the truth. To carry the nation forward, the Malays being the largest population of our nation has to be made the catalysts. And hence your policies to improve the Malays financially, economically and socially. Fine by me.

But I know, and you know, that regardless of how noble your plans and policies are, they did not work. And this isn’t going to change. Instead, a group of monstrous, greedy and corrupted Malay elitists have been created. The true Malays, the general Malays, are falling further and further behind by the day.

The Malaysian Chinese will never be affected by whatever policies the government of the day implements - they are excellent survivors. And oh how you envy them.

The Indians have been poor and will continue to be poor. And so are the non-Malay bumiputeras.

Tun, it is now time to re-evaluate your Grand Plan.

UMNO is now an incurable disease. I know that you know that. And I know that you know that you are helpless in trying to rectify the situation. UMNO will not change from within - not with its spread of long evil tentacles springing from the top echelon down to the warlords and little ketua-ketua at the so-called grassroot level. Is there really such a thing as the ‘grassroot supporters’ of UMNO today anyway?

UMNO is killing the Malays. And along with that the rest of Malaysians. To help the Malays and all Malaysians, UMNO will now have to be the sacrifice.

Malaysia is now a failed state.

The people no longer trust the BN Government.

The people no longer trust the Police Force.

The people no longer trust this… apa nama… MACC.

Hope is a key component of life. Security or the very sense of it is a key component of life. I shudder to think what Malaysians who have lost these two elements of life are capable of doing. I was at the Kelana Jaya Stadium yesterday for the Justice for Teoh Beng Hock Solidarity Gathering. I am afraid that UMNO has awaken the ‘don’t get involved’ Chinese. I hope I am wrong for the Chinese have numbers. And the Chinese have the money to get much to be mobilised. And if that is true, then a perfect storm is brewing.

To top that, Malaysians know that the general election is not fair. Let’s add ‘The people no longer trust the Elections Commission’. UMNO via BN will continue to rule Malaysia because our elections are not fair. I hope Malaysia as a nation can survive until the next general elections. I fear that desperate Malaysians will do a Bangkok? I fear that Malaysia will end up being a Pakistan. A Bangladesh. A Myanmar. But if this does happen, can you really fault these fellow Malaysians?

Tun, you can help us red blooded Malaysians make a difference. Please help us return the country to us.

Will you help us topple UMNO, please?

Will you help us establish a two party system in Malaysia, please?

There is no need for you to be a part of Pakatan Rakyat. That will be quite a challenge. You will have your ways should you choose to.

The fall of UMNO today will not be the end of UMNO. It will be the beginning of a new UMNO. A real UMNO baru. One which you vision. And with that, we will put UMNO back in government again.

But Tun, we need you on the side of the rakyat now. You will make the difference. And that will be your ultimate legacy to Malaysia.



Warm regards,

Simon Templar of Salt, Pepper ANd a little Kicap
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RIP Teoh Beng Hock

Posted by Da Maniac On Saturday, July 18, 2009 3 comments
Simon has spoke his mind, and it was a fiery point of view indeed. Myself too am filled with anger and frustration about the tragedy, not because he is Chinese or any other particular race, but that he died in such a tragically mysterious way. MACC has been as usual over zealous in investigating the opposition and deafening silence when it comes to people form the ruling party. This whole tragedy stinks to the highest of heavens.

When the IGP and Home Minister has to step in to reassure that the tragedy would be investigated thoroughly and professionally, the more it stinks of a cover up.

So are you frustrated about what is going on? Why not stand up and be counted for! Don't just sit down on your confortable chairs cursing and swearing. Physical number counts.... not online votes or how many members there are in any Facebook group. Will you stand up and be there to show your support and stand up! Show your solidarity and justice for Teoh!

Justice for Teoh Beng Hock events

19 July (Sunday)4.30 pm: Justice for Beng Hock Solidarity Gathering (organized by Selangor state government)Stadium Kelana Jaya

20 July (Monday)10 am: Funeral Beng Hock’s family home, Alor Gajah

21 July (Tuesday)10 am: Memorandum to Prime Minister to demand for Royal Commission of Inquiry (Pakatan Youth Wings)PM’s Office, Putrajaya

21 July (Tuesday)8 pm: Justice for Beng Hock Solidarity Gathering Kompleks Masyarakat Penyayang, Jalan Utama, Penang

22 July (Wednesday)8 pm: Justice for Beng Hock Solidarity Gathering Malacca DAP Headquarter

23 July (Thursday)8 pm: Justice for Beng Hock Solidarity Gathering Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, KL

Why should you? Read RPK has to
say.
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Life Is Cheap In Malaysia

Posted by Simon Templar On Friday, July 17, 2009 15 comments

I am terribly disturbed and upset by the tragic death of Teoh Beng Hock (may he rest in peace). And am sure many Malaysians with a heart and conscience is finding it difficult to grasp the logic of this event. Emotions are running high now nationwide for sure. To quote Jeff Ooi, "The coffee-shop crowd is very angry. The restaurant crowd is very angry. The whole town is very angry."

RPK was quick with an article on this. I don't know what his source is and am therefore not taking that as the gospel truth (yet). But the people are putting the pieces together on their own and all stories seem to lean towards the same - micro details apart. That's how much distrust we have for the government.

Malaysian Insider reported that the body was found at 1.30 pm but at 6.30 pm, the body was still not moved. Why? Why was Teoh's death not been made known immediately? MACC wants to prevent the body 'from being tempered with' and hence no quick action could be taken? If everyone is co-operative, am sure the forensics and PR's experts could have processed the scene much quicker. Have you got no respect for the dead? Mother fuckers! MACC, you have guilt written all over you. Your stories don't blardie jive. Your stories don't fucking make sense.

I am an emotional person. Tell me, why I should be any different today.

I have been saying it over and over again - do not let Kugan die in vain. Pursue the case and bring the culprit to justice. The message has to be sent to PDRM and MACC. But no. Every Malaysian is a fucker for himself. The Malays could not care less. Neither do they want to prosecute their own kind. To the Chinese, Kugan is 'just another Indian'. The Indians tried to fight but Samy Vellu insist on being the asshole he is. But that's how it is in Malaysia. No one cares when another fellow Malaysian dies. Life is cheap in this country.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fucking race. Fucking race. Fucking race. Why must everything is this country be about race? Why? So, you like it racial? I'll play the race game with you.

Come on you 'protectors' of the Chinese. Time for you to stand up and be counted. Chinese blood has been spilt. Literally. What are you descendents of the dragons going to do?

Editors of Chinese newspapers. Remember your first day of journalism? Pursue the truth. Time for you to wake up from your fucking self denials. You have always claim that you act in the interests of the Chinese. Now a Chinese man is dead. Are you willing to put your career at stake, Mr. Editor? Are you willing to put your publication license at stake?

Huh? So what are you going to do Sin Chew Daily. Your former employee in now dead. Do you have the balls? Do you have the BALLS? (This article has been emailed to info@sinchew-i.com)

Nanyang Siang Pau. What are you going to do? Check your trousers. Are your nuts still there? (This article has been emailed to info@nanyang.com)

China Press. How? Found your eunuch container? Can your balls still be re-attached? (This article has been emailed to enews@chinapress.com.my)

'Champions' of Chinese, MCA. Are you willing to put your political differences aside and stand up for a fellow Chinese? Are you willing to go against your political masters to live up to what you claim is the objective and purpose of MCA? You dare or not? Ha, Ong Tee Keat? Chua Soi Lek? (This article has been emailed to info@mca.org.my)

Gerakan. Ahhh... Never mind. Ah Koon boh lam pha*. (This article has been emailed to gerakan@gerakan.org.my)

* Hokkien for 'no balls'
.

Mr. Prime Minister. Take my advice. Don't cover up. The bad news is whatever cover up you are about to do will not work. The public has already made up their mind. If the 'ball-lesses' above found their nuts, then heads will have to roll. In any decent country, the MACC chief is already a goner by now. The Home Minister should be counting his days. They may not have blood on their hands, but as the leaders, they will have to take the shit.

And I hope you realise that your 65% approval ratings has just gone down the drain. Not that I believe in the fucking numbers at the very first fucking place.

One for the road. Nazri shaddup lah. Soh hai!
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We in Malaysia have to put up with stupidity on a daily basis.

That's a strong statement.

First things first, no one has the right to call anyone else stupid (straight at the face at the very least). But sometimes, referring to someone else as 'stupid' is not insulting the person but merely describing the action performed by that person. And a person who does something stupid is a stupid person. This is English. How else can we refer to this person. The stupidor? Or stupider? No, it's a stupid person.

Malaysia has many people who do stupid things. It's not our culture to do stupid things for sure, but the frequent occurrences cannot be explained. Stupid acts are abundance in Malaysia. Here are but some stupid acts done on a daily basis nationwide.

Crossing the highway on foot. Not roads, highway. NKVE, LDP, SPRINT etc. If you jaywalk at Jalan Bukit Bintang with care, that's still reasonably acceptable even though the overhead bridge is just 10 meters away. We know of many overhead bridges which are not well located. But running across highways with cars traveling at top speed is plain stupid. And we get this on a daily basis in Malaysia.

Riding a motorcycle 'superman' style. No prizes for guessing the culprits. Your mother went through a whole lot of pain over 9 months plus a crazy-as-hell-non-stop-cursing labour and you try to show off to your mates by doing a superman and placing your blardie life at extreme high risk. All it takes is a rock on the road and you can say hello to Death himself. Our mat ramp-its put all X-Gamers to shame I tell you. This is not a silly act. This is plain stupid. And of course this is again a nightly routine in all major roads in Klang Valley. I don't know about the rest of Malaysia though.

And here are something closer to home, stupidity seen from my eyes.

Technicians coming to troubleshoot at 4.00 pm when his working hour ends at 4.30 pm is plain stupid. Trouble shooting means there's a problem. If a problem is easily rectified, then you don't need a technician. So, a technician giving himself half an hour to solve his problem is only asking for trouble.

I had this TM technician who came to my office at 4.00 pm to rectify my fax line problem which he could not fix. And then he disappeared and was never heard off again. I am not sure if his day ends at 4.30 though (just my guess), maybe he just went ular. Am sure this happens on a daily basis with Telekom Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional, and all other GLC monopolised businesses. Mind you, the fax has been down for some 3 weeks and it took TM that long and after numerous complain calls before they finally decided to despatch this... this... this 'person' to my office. Nothing fixed though. But that's Malaysia. Did I tell you about our Streamyx broadband? Never mind, am sure you have had your 'personal compliation' of our fucked up Streamyx. Well, that's Malaysia and her monopolies.

Unreasonable clients. Everyone has their fair share and honestly, I can tolerate and take unreasonable people most of the time. Most I said, not all the time. But Malaysians at their unreasonable best are no ordinary monsters.

What have we?

Clients who want you to provide them with solutions but will not accept solutions which do not come from them. Oh, yeah.... But am sure many of you are not surprised. Why hire a subject matter expert anyway?

Clients who insist you come for a last minute meeting even though you have prior engagements. No! No representatives allowed. But what about my other meeting? No, you must attend personally. This is a very important meeting. Huh? So I am attending the other meeting because the other client of mine needs someone to breathe the oxygen in his office?

And clients who want Porsche at the prices of Perodua Kancil. Not even a Myvi. A Kancil. I even know of some who wants a Kancil for the price of a scaled model. What happened to these people? Is it our rice? It's our water right? It must be the Malaysian air.

Enough about me. Let's go a little macro, current and hot.

What's the deal with the remains of Mohan Singh anyway? What's with all this 'body snatching' issues we have in Malaysia. To me, it's just a stupid issue caused by stupid people. What is the religious department's craze with the body of a dead person, muslim or not? Let's go back to the very objective of a grave. Apart from obvious hygiene reasons of burying the dead in a grave, does the grave not serve as the place where the family members of the deceased will come to say 'hello'? Is the grave not the 'new home' of the deceased? The man is gone for heaven's sake (no pun intended). He has a family for crying out loud. How can the religious smart asses claim to be religious when their very actions cause hurt and pain to someone else. And to top that, who benefits in any way at all from having Mohan Singh buried in a muslim cemetary? Who?

So, the religious authorities insist Mohan Singh be buried in a muslim cemetary. And what? Are Haji this and Haji that going to visit him at his muslim cemetary during Hari Raya? Are Haji this and Haji that going to maintain and ensure that the grass is well kept? Come on la Malaysians.

So, let us say that Mohan Singh's family will still visit him at the muslim cemetary. Sensibly, there is nothing they can do, so they should just accept his grave - muslim or Sikh.

But there is also the matter of funeral rites. Those who believe in the after life wants the departed to have an easy route and good after life; and this is where funeral rites come in. Give the man's family his body and let them do whatever religious rituals that they deem is fit for the dead. Why can't you give those alive this peace of mind? This is a matter that may traumatise some for a very long time.

What is religion anyway if not 'something' spiritual? Can you substantiate that burying Mohan Singh elsewhere (even if he was a muslim) will prevent him from going to a muslim heaven (even if there is such a thing)? Can or not? But what can be proven is that by denying his family members the opportunity to perform upon him funeral rites which they deem appropriate cause his family members heartache and stolen peace. We don't see the American muslim authorities doing the same with Michael Jackson's body do we? (There is a rumour that MJ had converted to Islam prior to his death). Why in Malaysia? Why? Why are we so fanatical? This is not Islam bashing. I am merely pointing our actions carried out without common sense. I am merely pointing out actions carried out that stray away from the objectives of the very action itself.

Or what if Mohan Singh never converted to Islam? And by denying him his Sikh funeral rites, he cannot go to heaven. Can you live with that Tuan Haji? (Honestly, I think you can).

So you see, I am not trying to insult these people by relating their stupid actions. But how else can you describe them and their irrational behaviour? Darn. That's the word. I should have used 'irrational'. Sorry.
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Yahoo!!! PAS nearly lost

Posted by Neo On Wednesday, July 15, 2009 4 comments
- I'm glad that PAS won with a severely reduced majority
- In fact i want
PAS to lose. This is to show that all this unity talk nonsense
- the way they govern Kedah and
- total NO RESPECT with partner in PR cause alot of disatisfaction
- Like i said many time..
PAS 'wolf in sheep skin' will do anything in the name of religion.
- this causes them to have 'narrow point-of-view'
- Anyway, i won't give
PAS any hope.
- THey break the very first rule in engaging with people which is:-

SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE TO BE UNDERSTOOD

--------------------------------------------------------------

Civil war within PAS appears inevitable
Ong Kian Ming | Jul 15,
09 8:15am

PAS’ narrow 65-vote victory in Manek Urai was a surprise since most analysts, including myself, were expecting a more comfortable PAS victory, albeit one with the reduced majority compared to the 2008 results.

MCPX


The ‘saluran’ or polling stream results show that BN made headway against PAS in all areas including splitting the vote almost 50/50 among the younger voters.

While Najib can take some credit for BN’s improved performance with his policy activism on the economic and political front, including getting rid of the teaching of science and mathematics in English and the announcement of a list of ‘goodies’ or ‘giveaways’ in his 100th day in office,
PAS must take the lion’s share of the blame for the steep loss in support that almost cost it the seat.

The proposed unity talks between
PAS and Umno made the Islamic party less distinctive, confused the voters and gave Umno an increased sense of legitimacy which no doubt contributed to the BN’s increase in vote share in Manek Urai.

Near loss will increase schism

In the aftermath of this tissue-thin victory, the finger pointing within
PAS has already started. Some would point fingers at the last-minute ‘goodies’ offered by the BN, including the promise to build a RM7 million bridge in this constituency, as well as the unusually high voter turnout of 87%, as factors contributing to the BN’s victory.

This misses the point since it is common practice for the BN to offer such ‘incentives’ in Kelantan and the turnout in Kelantan is normally higher than in other states in Peninsular Malaysia, all the more when it involves a closely contested by-election.


The pro-unity faction within
PAS, led by Abdul Hadi Awang, Nasharuddin Mat Isa and Mustafa Ali, would no doubt blame the ineffectiveness of two of the Erdogan faction’s leaders, Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat and Husam Musa, to protect the electoral turf on their own backyard in Kelantan. Nik Aziz and Husam will counter by accusing the pro-unity faction of giving Umno the opportunity to exploit the schism within PAS using the fa├žade of unity talks.

Some Pakatan Rakyat supporters would no doubt be hoping that this near lost would lead to a closing of the ranks among the
PAS leaders. I am less optimistic. It seems to me that the schism between the Erdogans and the pro-unity faction, already very obvious before and during the Manek Urai campaign, will only grow as the finger pointing between the two sides escalates.

If the leaders of the pro-unity faction could not see the electoral harm of having or even proposing talks with Umno before Manek Urai, it is hard to see how this would have changed their minds. The pro-unity faction will use this by-election result to further their claim that working with Umno is inevitable instead of realising the need to distance itself from their political enemies.

Terengganu
PAS did worse electorally

The irony of attacking Nik Aziz and Husam on the grounds of losing support in their own back yard should be apparent to
PAS watchers since the two leaders most associated with the pro-unity faction – Hadi Awang and Mustafa – were instrumental in engineering a precipitous decline in PAS’ electoral performance in Terengganu.

PAS in Terengganu under the duo experienced a 14% decline in its share of popular vote from 1999 to 2004 which resulted in PAS losing 24 out of the 28 state seats it won in 1999 and subsequently lost control of the state legislature. PAS in Kelantan under Nik Aziz, experienced a smaller decline of 10% in its share of popular vote and managed to retain control of the state assembly by three seats.

In the 2008 elections,
PAS in Kelantan increased its vote share by 5% and won 39 out of 45 state seats while PAS in Terengganu only managed to increase its votes share by 1% and only won eight out of 32 state seats.

If electoral performance is to be used as the yardstick to gauge the political effectiveness of a leader, Hadi should have been relieved of his position as
PAS president a long time ago.

Not only was the Teregganu faction in
PAS’ leadership responsible for PAS losing ground in their home state, there were also responsible in hastily passing the hudud legislation which they knew had no chance of being implemented. This was one of the key decisions which eventually led to DAP leaving the then opposition coalition, Barisan Alternatif.

The political moves made by Hadi Awang have clearly been found to be wanting. His continued insistence of unity talks with Umno also does not make political sense as Manek Urai has shown. Not only will it lose PASPAS had contested in a more ethnically ‘mixed’ seat, it would have found that it has lost ground among the non-Malay voters as well who voted for
PAS in large numbers in 2008 precisely on the grounds that it was not Umno.

And yet, three of the top
PAS leaders – its president, its deputy president and its secretary-general – are said to be in the pro-unity faction.

PAS may split into two

With these leaders occupying the top spots in
PAS hierarchy, it seems likely that the pro-unity faction within PASPAS will leave Pakatan and join the BN with perhaps the Erdogan faction leaving PAS to form a new political party.

After all, why go through the motions of unity talks and suffer the electoral consequences, if you are not willing to go all the way of actually forming some sort of unity government? much-needed Malay votes, it is arguable that if may prevail over the Erdogans. If this occurs, it seems almost inevitable that

If this occurs, PAS will slowly but surely degenerate into a shadow of its former self as it becomes less and less distinguishable from Umno.

It is hard for me to see how the conflict within
PAS can have a positive ending. Internal conflict that threatens to be a public civil war rarely results in positive endings for all the parties involved.

The silver lining in this dark cloud for Pakatan and
PAS is that there is a while yet before the next general election is due. A majority of the PAS grassroots seem to be against any unity talks with Umno.

If the rank-and-file within
PAS can show their support for Nik Aziz and the PAS faction that is firmly against any sort of cooperation with Umno, perhaps PAS and by extension, Pakatan can be saved.

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You No Speaking Engrish? Very Well Then

Posted by Simon Templar On Thursday, July 09, 2009 15 comments
I was schooled in sekolah kebangsaan from Standard 1 up to Form 5. In my secondary school, English was the common medium even though it is a sekolah kebangsaan. Our teachers basically taught us almost all subjects in English; Bahasa Melayu being the exception. Maybe Pendidikan Moral too, but I can't remember. But the lingua franca in school was English. Everyone spoke English. Yeah... text books were in BM but our teachers spoke in English. My classmates all spoke English. Nobody had any complains. In fact, I'll be surprised if the Principal walked into our class and started sumbat-ing us in BM. So you can see that the environment that schooled me made be very comfortable, no, i correct myself, most comfortable in an English medium environment.

But I guess my teachers were quality cikgus. English or BM was not a problem to them. Did you know that my Form 5 BM teacher was a Chinese guy? Cool. But that's out of context. I've been told that the quality of teachers today has deteriorated - steeply. Teaching was a passion back then. Today, teaching is merely a job to many teachers. Of course there are exceptions, but unfortunately, exceptions mean that they are a minority. The teachers today are the result of our failed education system over the past few decades. I should not dwelve further to describe the state of this failure or its causes or what is and what not. That will be too much to write. But FAILED it is; capital F, yes. And our teachers today are also the products of some poor teachers' college and ever changing education system and syllabus. Sistem lingkup!

As in many things in Malaysia (except for prices of goods), English in Malaysia has taken a nose dive in the past 1-2 decades. Look at the command of English of our young adults and school kids today - what a shame. My English is barely acceptable but these people speak Martian. I read resumes and conduct interviews. So, this is not a made-up nightmare of mine. Horrible English is very real in Malaysia. But what do you expect when their teachers cannot differentiate 'is' from are' and 'you' from 'your'? Well done, Mr. Education Ministers of the years.

But is it of anyone's concern that our English is so poor. Apparently not. Politics are more important. Our Ministers have to please the nationalist Malays whose missions in life are to protect the Malay language and culture konon. Our Ministers have to please MCA and the other Chinese gung-hos who breathe and eat Mandarin and Chinese culture. Don't get me wrong. Culture is important. But there are other ways to protect ones culture. Risking the future of the next generation is not one of it.

The Malays argue that the Japanese, Koreans, French and Germans do not study in English. But let us be honest and realistic. We are Malaysia. We all know where we stand. And we all know how the country is being run. (Yes, it's all the government's fault). Unpatriotic I may sound (though I am not), we are no Japan. Neither are we Korea (shame shame shame), France or Germany. Why live on a lie and fantasy?

The Chinese language supremacists will lecture you on how China is exploding and how important Mandarin will be when China becomes Captain Earth. But while the day is still not here yet, please be realistic that English is presently the single most important language in the world TODAY. Yes, it may be too late when Mandarin finally takes over (I can live with that), but only a fool will sacrifice English today for what may be of Mandarin in the future. Today is certain, the future is an uncertainty.

But whatever it may be, this is a democratic country (or so we like to believe). People get to choose what they think is best for themselves. If the Malays and the Chinese do not want English, then fine by me. (Where are the Indians anyway?) It's their choice. Go send your kids to Chinese school, go on. I am ashamed to admit this, but the more they want to go backwards, the better it is for the "English" crowd like me, my family, my colleagues and my friends. It is no secret how a good command of English opens you up to opportunities (or is it a secret still? Damn). Go to an MNC and try for big positions with a half past six English. You can be darn well qualified, but you better not speak. Wanna be a consultant at BCG or McKinsey? Harbouring hopes of being an investment banker at Goldman? JP Morgan? What about going global? Try the States, Ing-ger-lern or Australia.

It's all fine by me. Just when we thought that competition is getting tougher for a top tier career, Malaysia opens it up for us again. Poor Singaporeans. They need at least a Masters to get a decent job. Over here, life is a breeze. Not because we are good, just that the others are lousy. So, go on Malaysia. And you Malay language and Mandarin champions too. Go on.

If you read this article and understood what I am taking about, good for you. But then again, you may think that you understand but the truth is... you may not. Why? Based on comments seen on my past articles, and also those comments posted on the articles of the likes of RPK, Hakim Joe, and the other frustrated writers, I know that many readers do not understand what we write. Engrish speaking and reading no powder kot.
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Lim Guan Eng Losing The Kg Buah Pala Battle Because He Is Not Thinking

Posted by Simon Templar On Wednesday, July 08, 2009 11 comments

Lim Guan Eng is a breath of fresh air for Malaysia.

He is not exactly the typical leader Malaysia has seen in the recent past; well none has been as humble and down to earth as this Chief Minister of Penang. I respect this chap - for his principals and sacrifices made for the people of Malaysia. And of course actions such as his insistence of flying budget airlines or economy only, minimal renovation to his official residence (although some may argue otherwise on his 'new' abode), and his simplicity in having meals among the rakyat, among others, go to show a man who is in touch with the ground.

But I cannot help but wonder why he screwed up on the Kampung Buah Pala issue. Yes, you read it right, he screwed up. He can come up with a thousand reasoning on how the previous BN government is the cause of the issue but that does not matter to the rakyat involved. His duty as the CM is to solve the rakyat's problems and not explain to the rakyat that the problem is that of his predecessor or that of the central government. The Kampung Buah Pala folks are not interested in the truth. They are not interested to be a party of a land scam or whatever it may be. For crying out loud, they just want their lives back - together with the roof they had over their heads all these years.

(By the way, going to the Prime Minister to solve the problem is plain silly. Yes, Lim Guan Eng wants to show that Najib couldn't give a damn but what is he trying to achieve anyway. We already know that BN is bad. Making Najib look "more bad"? Bad is bad la. Period. The episode only got twisted into an "incompetent CM running and crying after the PM for help". I hope Lim Guan Eng is not so naive as to expect Najib to actually resolve the issue.)

How true is the RM200,000 compensation I do not know. But again, that is not the problem. These guys do not want to move and maybe they should not have to. (Actually what's with not accepting the RM200,000? That is a lot of money eh.) Sentimental values maybe. Or maybe they are used to the amenities near the area. Maybe their kids have settled at the nearby schools. Maybe the graves of their ancestors are at the backyard. The list of 'maybe's goes on. The bottom line is - it is their homes.

Lim Guan Eng is a good man. But he is not very savvy. And I don't think that he is very creative in solving problems too. So far, he has definitely not been thinking out of the box. This Kampung Buah Pala issue can be solved and turned into a mega advertisement for Pakatan Rakyat.

The Penang Government need not buy the land at taxpayer's expense. Pakatan Rakyat is riding on a popular wave now. We are talking about millions of supporters in this country. Why not do a fund raising exercise. It costs PR nothing. Mobilise the active members of PKR, DAP and PAS. If the membership figures are true, this exercise will be easy.

Why a fund raising exercise? Politics is all about image and perception. PR going for a nationwide campaign to save an Indian village is going to score brownie points. It shows a government who is willing to go all out to help the rakyat. It also helps to shut HINDRAF up and maybe make them irrelevant - especially since HINDRAF seem so much UMNO infiltrated nowadays. It also tells the rakyat that the central government is so keen on punishing the rakyat for kicking BN out that the helpless rakyat now need to live on the charity of fellow Malaysians. This is a super-turbo-lightning shadow kick-upper cut power punch against BN.

How can the fund raising be done? Key will be the 4 PR controlled states as it will be easier to get permits. And sorry for saying this, but Selangor and Penang are the richer states anyway. PR can do house-to-house or road shows. PR can organise events, concerts and even dinners. Come on, we did all these back in school (to raise fund for school buildings etc.) as kids. I remember a year when we raised a million bucks for our school. And we were only kids. Budak-budak sekolah! A bunch of adults cannot organise the same and do better. Sell a brick for a ringgit. Organise dinners at no costs - donors pay say 25 ringgit for 10 ringgit food. No one is expecting shark's fin. Get Anwar to speak. Lim Kit Siang can sing My Way. These donors are not interested in seeing Rihanna sing Umbrella. There are a whole lot of things that can be done. How can PKR, DAP and PAS not be able to do this? Aren't political funds supposed to be raised from the public and corporates anyway. (Except for BN cause they take it from our pockets). Such exercises not only raise money, it brings the PR leaders to the rakyat. It wins the hearts of the people.

And what do we do with the money? The amount raised is not the issue. It is the image portrayed that is the point of the entire exercise. But the Kampung Buah Pala issue must be resolved nevertheless. If by miracle, enough money is raised, please don't pay it to the developer. By the time the exercise is in full force, the developer's project will already be seen as the biggest sin in Malaysia. Do not under-estimate the might of advertising; or negative advertising in this case. No Penangites with the right mind will buy the project. Malaysians are very concerned of how their friends and relatives view them. To buy the property when the rakyat have to fork out to save the village will be akin to labelling yourself a scumbag. Staying there will be even worse. Imagine - the most cursed housing estate in Penang. Buyers for investment purpose will not touch the project for fear of no secondary market. The developer can keep the land undeveloped for a long long time. I hope they take a big loan on the land too.

What about the present villagers? If the developer decides to abandon the project, well, problem solved. But if the developer wants to play hard ball, then well, lets build the Kampung Buah Pala folks some new houses - on an adjacent land or nearby. By being nearby, nobody's lifestyle should be affected adversely. The construction of the project will be borne by the fund raised.

We are talking about 45 families involved right? So, lets build 45 new low cost houses. On the average, low cost houses cost between RM40,000 and RM60,000. Lets take an average of RM50,000. The rule of thumb for construction is 40% land cost, 40% construction costs and 20% profit. For a low cost project, the profit margin may be 10% only. If the profit margin is any lower, then there are leakages as a result of corruption and/or inefficiencies. But leakages should not be expected of a PR project, especially 1 with so much publicity. The public can even compare a PR project vs a BN project. Oh make sure the building is of good quality too.

The Penang Government can be the developer who provides the land for free. Why not? Every piece of land in the country belongs to the rakyat anyway. PR being a corruption-free alternative that they preach to be, the cost of a unit of house should be approximately RM20,000 only (RM50,000 x 40%). Only construction costs; land is free, profit equals zero. Multiply that with 45 homes, you have a total cost of RM900,000. That's not a lot of money. My schoolmates and I raised more than that back in school.

What about roads and other infrastructures? This is a small development. The people have also been staying there for a while now. That should mean that there is already existing supply of water and electricity. Please don't shock me with news of otherwise. Roads. The developer has to build roads leading to their development right? Brilliant. The low cost development can simply tumpang the jalan and do extensions. How much will that cost? I mean at PR government prices, not BN government prices.

You don't need architects, quantity surveyor etc. The state government has them in house. If the Penang PR government do not want to manage the project, fine. Contact me. I'll arrange for developers to manage it. For all you know, for such a cost, many may want to even build the houses for free just to get into the good books of the state government. The state government can always pay these developers in lieu of other developments projects in the state or even other PR led states. But of course, all transactions at arms length. Welcome to the business world.

This is of course but a very simplified scenario. But it also shows that it is not very difficult. Maybe PR and Lim Guan Eng are politicians who are not exposed to the business world. * In the tough business world, you have to be creative to survive. Thinking out of the box is a necessity. Play the right game and you can convert your headache into a victory.


* PR does have a supposedly top grade businessman cum corporate leader in Khalid Ibrahim. But too bad, his character is flawed.
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Muslim just don't wanna integrate

Posted by Neo On Tuesday, July 07, 2009 2 comments

- the rioting in China really piss me off!!!

-everywhere around the world, muslim are not willing to intergrate... southern phillipines, southern thailand,

- now it's china!!! nabeh..

- china government should go there with all their tank and missle and shoot down all those 'violence induced' muslim

- shut down all the mosque.

- jail them for life!!!

- once and for all, bring a big broom and sweep clean.. so that china can start anew!!! just like they did to those fa lung gong.. all those that pray all kind of majic/bullshit..



------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JULY 7 — Riots in China’s restless Xinjiang province are nothing new. In 1990, 50 people were killed in the town of Baren when armed police put down a demonstration against Chinese rule by 3,000 disgruntled Muslims.

In 1997, members of the province’s ethnic Uighur population gathered in the city of Gulja to protest against the execution of 30 activists who had been campaigning for an independent Eastern Turkestan. After two days of demonstrations, Chinese riot police moved in. The official death toll was put at nine, but some western observers say as many as 400 people died.

Early reports following Sunday’s riot in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, estimated that 140 people were killed and more than 800 injured when police and soldiers broke up a peaceful demonstration by Uighurs, which quickly turned violent. The riot, in which Han civilians were attacked, cars overturned and shops set on fire, has been described as the most bloody since the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989.

More so even than Tibet, Xinjiang is the jewel in the crown of the People’s Republic. A strategic buffer between China and the former Soviet republics, it accounts for a sixth of China’s land mass and is rich in oil and gas deposits. The Communist regime is anxious, to the point of paranoia, that a coherent separatist movement will lead to an independent Xinjiang and thus to the fracturing of the country.

For this reason, it will stop at nothing to suppress Uighur dissent. If history is anything to go by, the next six months will be a desperate period for the Uighurs. In the wake of the Baren incident, every male in the area between the age of 13 and 60 was arrested. After the riots in Gulja, so many Muslim men were taken into custody the authorities were obliged to move them to a sports stadium on the outskirts of the city.

According to Amnesty International, the prisoners were hosed with water cannons and had to live without shelter for several days. It was mid-winter. Many lost hands and fingers to frostbite. The alleged ringleaders of the Gulja uprising were driven through the streets of the city in open trucks en route to a mass sentencing rally. Witnesses reported they appeared drugged and were beaten by their captors in full view of the crowd.

During this period, house-to-house searches became commonplace across Xinjiang. Curfews were imposed and foreign journalists barred from entering the region. A similar picture emerged in Tibet after last year’s riots. Monastery towns were sealed off and mass arrests carried out.

Around 1,200 Tibetans seized during this period are still unaccounted for by their families. Beijing blamed the Dalai Lama for instigating the riots. It came as no surprise, therefore, to learn that events two days ago in Urumqi have been blamed on Rebiya Kadeer, the businesswoman who lives in the United States and is regarded by the Uighur community as a ruler-in-exile.

The Uighurs and their Han rulers are engaged in a cycle of violence and despair that shows no sign of abating. In recent weeks, tensions between them were running high due to the seemingly heedless destruction of the old city of Kashgar. Buildings of enormous historical and cultural significance are being torn down to make way for highways and apartment blocks that symbolise the Chinese economic miracle. Uighur families who have lived in Kashgar for decades are being forcibly evicted to new homes on the outskirts of the city.

The frustration and resentment felt by most Uighurs at China’s crass insensitivity boiled over last Sunday. It can only be hoped that the continued suppression of Uighurs does not drive its more radical elements into the hands of ideologues and fanatics. — Guardian

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Malaysia, Decades Behind Hong Kong

Posted by Simon Templar On Tuesday, July 07, 2009 7 comments

I was away to Hong Kong recently. This was not my 1st trip there but this little island of nothing never fail to amaze me. Hong Kong is actually pretty much like Singapore, but Malaysians have this 'thing' against Singapore. So anything said in comparison to Singapore will not be taken seriously.

Hong Kong used to be known as a country of rude people. If you had gone shopping there years ago, browsing and flipping through items have better led to a purchase. Or else you are gonna kena from the auntie manning the store. Waiters and waitresses were infamous for throwing dishes around the table. And talking very loudly too as well. But Hong Kong today has left behind their arrogance and poor manners. The people of Hong Kong have changed to survive.

Many attributed this character change to the 1997 crisis. Hong Kong was hit really badly then. They are a global financial hub and a financial crisis will undoubtedly hit them hard. Property prices came tumbling down. Tourism also took a hard hit. Businesses everywhere were failing and it woke the Hong Kong people up. A very drastic attitude change was required to revive the little island of dim sums. I don't know how the government pulled it off but in a very short time span, Hong Kong took a very sharp turn in the attitude of their people.

Today, walk into any retail outlet and you will be greeted with a big welcome - foon ying kong lam, chui pin thai ha la... That translates to 'Welcome. Please browse around.'. And all said with some spirit and a smile. All their sales people are trained to do that - regardless of if it is a designer boutique or plain street wear store. You may even get greeted a few times in a single store. And the service is excellent. The sales personnel go all out to make sure that you get your size. And they are more than happy to remind you that so and so items are on discount. And if you purchase so and so number of items, you get additional discounts. And when you walk out, you get thanked in abundance. And it doesn't matter if you had bought anything at all. As a consumer from Malaysia, this is indeed a very pleasant experience.

Here in KL, we get uptight sales personnel at designer boutiques who think that they are some god sent angel simply because they have on them an Armani uniform. Or when you walk into a more humanly affordable store, you get poor service, or sometimes no service, because you are a cheapo who should scramble through a pile of clothes to find that medium size t-shirt. Apparently we consumers in Malaysia owe these stores a living. Of course you stumble upon some nice helpful sales personnel but that's because your stars and planets have lined in the correct position on that lucky day.

How often have you waved your hands to attract the attention of the waiters to fill up your glass of water? I had in many occasions walked to the serving counter to serve myself. There is only so long that my right arm can hang in mid air. Not in Hong Kong. You will be surprised at how quick service is offered. There is a simple reason to that - the waiting staffs are attentive. They are on constant look out for what the customers require. And food is of good quality too. In Hong Kong where rental and wages are crazy high, it is not easy to do business. I think the restaurant owners in Hong Kong must have found the right formula to success - serving quality food. In a competitive environment, quality is critical to success. Yes, it is true that the prices of food is expensive but that's because our Malaysian Ringgit has low purchasing power. I have travelled quite a fair bit and I dare say that at parity purchasing power, Hong Kong offers excellent food quality at their prices. In Malaysia, we have to pay through our sorry arse to sample some top notch food at some fancy restaurants. And most often than not, even with your blood drained and after losing a couple of limbs, the food is still below acceptable level. You see, in Malaysia, we owe the business operators a living.

What about cafes? This is going to be depresing. Hong Kong cafes provide better services than many Malaysian restaurants. I had a meal at Cafe de Coral - a popular modern looking chain of cafes serving very affordable food. You choose from a large menu on a wall, place your order at the cashier and collect your food at the meal counter. Pack as it may be, the entire process is quicker than your average visit to KFC. The workers at this cafe works at extreme quick pace. How they are able to cope with this speed day in day out is a mystery. But I guess that's survival. I confidently say that our average Malaysian F&B workers will not survive at this cafe. And did I mention that the food is pretty decent too?

Oh and a little extra on Cafe de Coral which I was pleased. Because of the sheer crowd, getting a table may be a hassle. But fear not cause the workers are so quick that the moment a patron gets up, it gets cleaned right away. What a departure from our Malaysian practice of begging the waiters to clean our table. Remember, this is a fast food cafe. When I had to wave to the auntie to come clean my table, lo and behold, she rushed over to my table, apologised and clean the trays in a blink of an eye. Yes, she apologised. She even wiped the table with a clean cloth when food is placed on a tray. I was very pleased. This is some good service.

We in Malaysia need a major attitude change. How we are going to do it I don't know. And I doubt even if the man upstairs know. We are in such bad shape. We need to revamp our schools and education system. Our government needs to wake up. The world is changing but we are not. In a truly level playing field, Malaysia will falter. There has to be a stop to protect our people especially certain overly protected ones. It is about time Malaysians get thrown into the sea and start swimming. The world will not wait for Malaysia.
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