MH17 – The Final Goodbye


I drafted something else on MH17 and I worked on it for the past few days but in the end, after witnessing what the Dutch have done, I simply scraped it outright.

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(There is a serene peace and quietness when you see these images. Image source: Google)

These images of the Dutch giving the high respect to the bodies of the MH17 somehow shook me and left me in tears. As the hearse passes the overhead bridge, you can hear the claps from the people who have been waiting long for the hearse to pass by. Despite being thousands miles away, I too share the pain and sadness and simply remained in silence and prayed that the victims (a number of them, children) will rest in peace and the monsters who shot down the plane would be found and prosecuted.

Yes, it is a war zone and yes, mistakes may have happened but why the long delays in retrieving the bodies and the black box. Perhaps we can ponder on the another day. In the meantime, one need to salute the Dutch for what they have done, not knowing for sure the nationality of the victims that they are honoring. It did not matter – all in MH17 shared the same fate.

It was heartening when I read this:-

“This is how you honour the dead,” Dutch daily NRC headlined Thursday, contrasting the solemn return to the Netherlands of the first MH17 bodies with the traumatic chaos of the plane’s crash site in rebel-held Ukraine.

The NRC and several other papers printed front page photographs of flowers being dropped from a motorway bridge as the cortege of 40 hearses drove from Eindhoven airport.

Many contrasted the traumatic images of pro-Russian separatists handling bodies and personal belongings following the July 17 crash with the solemnity of the first plane’s arrival and welcome by Dutch armed forces.

“Soldiers wore hats instead of balaclavas,” wrote Thomas de Veen in the NRC daily after Dutch troops unloaded the 40 coffins from two planes.

“At last, a respectful homage,” headlined the AD, with 193 of the 298 people killed aboard the Malaysia Airways flight Dutch.

(Source)

There is a lesson to be learned from Dutch and I hope that the idiots at this part of the world will drop their short minded thinking and learn something about humanity

For a week, the usual bashing of the Church and the Opposition coalition was suspended, as the whole world mourned the victims of MH17. Now that the remains of the MH17 victims are in the process of being repatriated, troublemakers have resumed the fomenting of dissent and racial strife in Malaysia.

The situation in Malaysia has returned to “normal”. Scare tactics, involving race and religion, are used to distract the rakyat from important matters like rising poverty, increased crime and the economic and financial health of Malaysia. The first shot, to endanger national security was fired by the former Chief Justice (CJ) Abdul Hamid Mohamad.

At a buka puasa event last Monday, Hamid warned that Islam was under threat in DAP led Penang. He warned that the threat to Islam would spread throughout Malaysia.

The timing for Hamid’s announcement is critical. He waited until the world’s interest in MH17 had died down, so he could achieve maximum impact among the rakyat, especially the Malay Muslims.

(Source)

When we will ever grow up?

When we will ever accept that Malaysians of a different skin color, religion and culture at the end of the day are Malaysians too?

When we will ever accept the differences that we have and move on?

When we will ever grow a back bone and show the middle finger to these idiots who are bent on ruining the country out the door?

We had 2 tragedies months apart this year and we had lost 93 Malaysians and they say that when tragedy strikes the nation, everyone gets united and speak with one voice. It is a shame that despite these tragedies, we still act like we are living in a cave, with our brains firmly stuck to our backside, talking about fellow Malaysians on petty matters.

P.s. Selamat Hari Raya and have a good holidays next week

MH17: Oh My God, Not Another Tragedy!


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(What’s left of MH17 – a tragedy that should not have happened in the first place. Image source: BBC)

I did not believe when I first heard about it. It can’t be true. Someone must have made a mistake. Then the news started to trickle in. It was all gloomy and the outcome did not look well.

A Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 295 people has crashed in east Ukraine on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

There are no signs of survivors at the scene of the crash near the village of Grabovo, in rebel-held territory close to the border with Russia.

Both sides in Ukraine’s civil conflict accused each other of shooting down the plane with a missile. It is still not clear why the plane came down.

It is the second disaster suffered by Malaysia Airlines this year. Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Malaysia to China in April and still has not been found.

At a news conference at Schiphol airport, Malaysia Airlines’ European chief Huib Gorter said they were still trying to identify some of the passengers from flight MH17.

He said of the passengers that have been identified there were:

• 154 Dutch nationals, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians
• Six Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three from the Philippines and one Canadian
• All 15 of the crew were Malaysian

Other airlines have announced they are now avoiding eastern Ukraine.

(Source)

The question that needs immediate answer is why and who.

Najib rightly had put the view of the nation when he said “This is a tragic day in what has already been a tragic year for Malaysia”. We have yet to overcome the loss of MH370 and certainly we do no need another tragedy involving our planes. My brother in law is certainly in a shock over the loss – he flew on the route quite often and know personally some of the crew. This has been the second time he had been very lucky by missing out on the 2 routes where MH had gone down.

It certainly has been the case of the plane being at the wrong time and place and unlike MH370, we have the wreck and to some extent, some kind of a closure. We must find the one who pulled the trigger and make them pay dearly (the case already building up on the pro-Russia rebels as being the main culprits). The lost of 295 passengers and 15 crew members is not a small of a matter to be swept under the carpet and called as collateral damage in the on-going conflict.

It’s a tragic indeed…

Just Another Day in Paradise


Firstly watch the video:-

Secondly re-read and embrace the lyrics:-

She calls out to the man on the street
“Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?”

He walks on, doesn’t look back
He pretends he can’t hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there

Oh think twice, it’s another day for
You and me in paradise
Oh think twice, it’s just another day for you,
You and me in paradise

She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she’s been crying
She’s got blisters on the soles of her feet
Can’t walk but she’s trying

Oh think twice…

Oh lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
Oh lord, there must be something you can say

You can tell from the lines on her face
You can see that she’s been there
Probably been moved on from every place
‘Cos she didn’t fit in there

Oh think twice…

Thirdly, brave yourself and read this:-

Soup kitchens will no longer be allowed to operate within a 2km radius of Lot 10, which covers a large portion of the city centre, effective immediately, said Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

“This activity just encourages people to remain homeless and jobless. There have been many such people whom we have found jobs for, who returned to that life because they said it is easier,”

“We already have all kinds of garbage-related problems in the city and spend more than RM90mil a year collecting it. I do not see my actions as harsh but necessary in order to create a disciplined society,” he said.

Tengku Adnan added that the soup kitchens have not been officially notified of this and a meeting with them to discuss it will be held soon.

However, he said they would be given the next two days to comply with the decision and action will be taken against those who continue to run the activities.

(Source)

This is the problem when certain politicians gets too fat with all the luxury, wealth and power – they can think they can snap their fingers and problems goes off just like that. And they expect the people to elect them year in, year out despite the nonsense they say and do and when that fails, they threaten the same people with another racial clash.

They forget that they are living on borrowed times…

Living in a Dreamland


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(The image above has nothing to do with the post below but it’s damn funny. Just letting you know. Source: Malaysian Gags Facebook Page)

Yes, I am still here…

In the morning, one of the first things I do when I am away from the country, is to switch on the news channel (BBC & CNN preferred but if there is none, then the local news channel). It has been my habit since I started flying overseas for assignments. You will never know what would be the breaking news for the day.

That is how one day back in 2004 when I was in Ghana, I woke up to a beautiful morning and switched on to the BBC news channel and watched the tsunami that killed almost 280,000 people. I recalled my wife saying that they were going to the beach. I panicked and desperately tried called the numbers that I knew but no one answered. It was a good 30 minutes before my wife picked up and noticed the 20-25 miss calls. They were at the beach with my Big Boss (who was a few months old) and had not known what had happened on the other side of the world. They went back to the hotel room and were glued to the TV for the rest of the day.

I still maintain this habit and one thing about watching the news on Malaysia overseas is that there is less propaganda and biased reporting (honest, it seems to be so). When it comes to calling a spade a spade, you get the raw deal. Yes, you still see Najib on the news but the foreign news channels do not waste the opportunity when the administration bungled big time (not like in Malaysia where such delicate matters are swiftly swept under the carpet or the respective Ministers coming out in public and making dumb statements).

Then someone pointed out this and it got me thinking (my first thought was WTF!):-

KUALA KANGSAR: Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, chairing his first meeting of the Perak Dewan Negara since ascending the throne, told its members to always tell him the truth “no matter how bitter it may be”.

“Do not tell me tales to send me into dreamland when the reality on the ground is something entirely different.

“Hopefully, members of Dewan Negara will help me in all sincerity and honesty so that I can discharge my responsibilities fairly and equitably,” he said in addressing the 159th meeting of the Perak Dewan Negara at Istana Iskandariah here yesterday.

Sultan Nazrin recalled that his late father, Sultan Azlan Shah, when addressing the 150th meeting of the Dewan Negara in March 2012, had said that the institution of the monarchy would remain relevant so long as it had the respect of the people.

(Source)

In an ideal situation, in an ideal country, this would have admirable but it is not. This is Malaysia and of all places, this is Perak where in 2009 BN politicians staged a coup (sort of) with 3 assemblymen frog-jumping to the dark side of the force and took control of the state in the most undemocratic way.

(Still remember when legitimate Speaker of assembly was man-handled and dragged from his seat on the orders of his Deputy who just happen to be one of the three who defected to the side of the fence? Seriously, ask yourself – are these kind of faces that going to tell the good Sultan the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth?)

And now 6 years down the line, the new Sultan addresses the assembly and asking the politicians (the very same ones who were involved in the power tussle in 2009) to tell him the truth no matter how bitter it is. The good Sultan’s intentions may be noble but this call is a mere wish list. It is not going to happen – not now, tomorrow or ever. Which politician have been angel and been the one who tells the truth, nothing but the truth? There are a couple of them out there but you not going to find it in the Perak assembly where even pepper spray was even used. And because, most of the time, the trouble makers are the politicians themselves. The last thing they want to do is to point the finger at themselves.

Even in the net, some even questioning why the Sultan is asking the politicians for the truth? Doesn’t he has other alternative sources? Doesn’t he had aides who can go and check around on the issues in the his State? Doesn’t he has the power to call up people who are involved and ask them directly? Does he has any powers to punish or make things right?

And speaking of living in a dreamland, there is one clear winner in this country.

You also know who is the person. And this is one reason why this country going down the drain. It does not take an Einstein to know that you are in dreamland. Just look at the front pages – child custody issue and the police confused which law to follow, Malaysians getting famous for the reasons as fighters in other countries, racial and religious slurs and accusations is flying all over the place and at a rate of free for all. And where the guy in dreamland doing? Busy flying around the world and closing one eye to all these issues. In other words, no where to be seen. That’s right – no where to be seen.

And I am not talking of him not being in the country (well, lately he has been doing just that). What I mean is he is not in the thick of the situation. Child custody issue – both parents gets involved, both courts gets involved, the police gets involved and then get confused and both side politicians gets involved and ask the Government to step in and makes things clear. The man in charge is no where to be seen. He is still in the dreamland where the country is doing well and the citizens living happily ever after.

And sometimes, he sends his dumb minions to check on the issue and they seems to have the same delusions and symptoms of being in dreamland. For example:-

This incident Saturday morning where a skinned cow’s head was found in front of R.S.N Rayer’s house in Penang is a result of the Seri Delima assemblyman’s big mouth, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Dr Ahmad Zahid said this was the price Rayer had to pay for being a “mulut celupar” (lose cannon).

‎”As a politician, I sympathise with what he has to go through in the incident. But that is the price he has to pay if ‘mulut celupar’,” he told reporters after launching the Certified Security Guards training programme here Saturday.

(Source)

As a politician, he sympathises but as a Home Minister, shouldn’t he be doing something? Or is he like his big boss, still in a dreamland where ministerial job is taken as something exclusive and opened to the selected few and failure to discharge their duties rightfully, unbiased and with greater responsibility & care means nothing?

Nah, this too is not going to happen and you know why? The big guy is sleeping on the job and still in a dreamland. No one knows who is on the pilot’s seat. Will he wake up and come out and smell how the real world smells like?

When the Mind Goes AWOL


I did not check but this probably one of the longest gap when it comes to blogging.

Working 7 days a week including working up to 10 at night on the weekdays sure pulls the energy from the mind. Somehow, I still force myself to take a late night shower (I have tried but I could not bring myself to bed without a shower…it simply feels too “sticky”) and sometimes put the clothes for washing. Then it is off to the bed and wake up again at about 6.30 am (without alarm) after the alarm goes off at 5.45 am, 5.50 am and 6.00 am (I am rarely aware of the time I switch off the alarm on 3 separate occasions).

I went back home for a couple of days just before Father’s Day. My kids were waiting for me at the front door as I got down from the taxi. First to hear was my youngest’s voice calling me loud and the next is my son rushing to open the front gate. They were indeed very excited to see me back (although it was for a few days). We slept very late that night with my son having tonnes of story to tell (as usual) with the youngest chipping in with her own baby language and jumping on my stomach as she often do. When I falling off to sleep, she even passed me her favorite blanket. My wife had a list of her own for me starting with the washing machine which have been giving some trouble (I almost smiled when I heard the washing machine mentioned).

Yes, I missed my car too. My wife had forgotten to get it washed before I came back but it did not matter much. Driving for that few days and despite being stuck in traffic jam did not deter me from having a great time driving. Ya, Malaysian drivers are still one of the worst kind out there and pesky motorcyclists remains the parasites of the road but some how it was different for that few days. Perhaps after almost a month of being driven around from the workplace and to the apartment and judging on how others drive the car made me miss my own driving. Perhaps.

I miss the good old Malaysian food as well (and yes, that includes my wife’s cooking). Somehow the limau panas tasted better than ever and it did not cost me a bomb for me to have a good healthy lunch with plenty of vegetables. A far cry now where a simple nasi campur have plenty of rice and chicken but almost non existing vegetables and it cost as much as dining in 5 star hotel. But I found the perfect place to dine (yes, it is still expensive) but somehow healthier than the other more premium looking place. This is one reason why home is still the best place to be.

It was a short break indeed and soon it was time to fly back for the overseas assignment.

FD

The night before I flew back overseas was great. We had a good dinner and a quick shopping for the essentials. My son had wanted to buy a rabbit (he knows the right time to ask me) but there was no time to go to the pet shop. I told him that we will revisit this once I am back. My son knew that I was flying out the next morning and I saw sadness in his face but my daughter was still too young to understand things (the same happened to my son when he was small to a point that he thought I worked at the airport). And that night, my son presented me with his “Father’s Day” wish card which was lovely and very touching indeed. He always have something to say that leaves me speechless and it was the same case this time around.

This morning, I had a good conversation with an elderly gentleman taxi driver (he was 72 years old but drives perfectly) who had served in the Air Force back in the 1960s and at once was attached to the Royal Malaysian Air Force. When he heard that I was from Malaysia, his first question was this – “What had happened to Malaysia? From a country that had a good chance to be one of the powerful country in the region, it had turned into a country that full of crime, corruption and going down the drain”. I kept my silence. Not that I am not angry with a foreigner speaking badly of my beloved country but because I saw in the old man’s eyes, he was very disappointed. He was sincere. He knows the nonsense that the so-called leaders are doing on a regular basis (in case you don’t realised by now, the country is running on auto pilot on a very regular basis and has come to a point, had become a heaven for terrorists from all around the world and religion extremists). There was some truth in what he said. Just like the old man who is a foreigner, we are asking the same question.

Oh, never mind. No point talking about it now. The only way we can clean the house proper is through the elections. I don’t see the logic of the corrupt, the extremists and the short-minded ones to be continued to be voted in to rule this country. There will come a day when the corrupt, the lazy and the selfish are caught, stripped naked and lashed by the millions on public grounds. We seems to have more bad things lining up compared to good things and this gets amplified when one is abroad where there is more unity among the people, extreme view of race & religion is non-existence, very strict control & enforcement at the borders to keep the foreign criminals & scammers away (we on the other hand are welcoming them with open arms) and there a general direction and accountability from the local politicians (I say “general” because politicians from matter from which country, era or background will never be angels).

That’s all for now, hopefully I can write something next week but for now, I am squeezing all available free time on catching up on sleep.

When We Look the Other Way…


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(The CCTV grab above, which shows a toddler being led by a man out of Kota Raya Komplex, could possibly be the last moment Siti Soffea Emelda was seen alive. The image was taken by police from the shopping centre located in Puduraya on the day Soffea was abducted by the man and hours later found dead with her head severed on the bank of Klang River. Image source: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/)

When I am abroad on work assignment, things are pretty much of a routine – wake up early in the morning, take a couple slices of bread to fill the stomach for the morning rush (until it is time for lunch), take the cab to work place and work until night, came back to the apartment dead tired with just enough energy to take shower, a bit of food as dinner and perhaps putting the dirty clothes into the washing machine and go to sleep. I hardy have time to blog even when the Big Boss celebrated his birthday couple days ago and I only managed to wish him through the phone.

Then I read this and I was speechless and got very, very angry:-

A CCTV footage purportedly showing two-year-old Siti Soffea Emelda Abdullah being abducted at the Kota Raya shopping complex has gone viral.

In the video, the suspect was seen trying to lure her away. The CCTV footage in the complex later showed the man walking away with Siti Soffea. The man was said to have abducted and beheaded the toddler with a ceramic tile on Thursday before jumping into the river in an attempt to escape.

Police found the body of the man in the Klang River near Jalan Tun Sambanthan, bringing a closure to the case. The body was found floating in the river near Bandar Sunway here on Saturday. A police source said that witnesses of the incident had already identified the suspect through photos and police are studying the CCTV footage.
Police believed the suspect, who was in his late 30s, was released from prison recently and had previous criminal records, mostly drug-related.

The source said the man had worked as a parking attendant near the Kota Raya shopping complex in Kuala Lumpur where the girl was abducted. Siti Soffea was with her mother Siti Salmy Suib, 32, who left the toddler with her friends as she needed to use the toilet on the fourth floor of the complex at about 3pm on Thursday. When she came back about five minutes later, Siti Soffea was not with her friends.

They searched the building but could not find her. Siti Salmy only learnt of what had happened to her daughter when police tracked her down and alerted her later that night.

(Source)

A young kid abducted in day broad light and no one took notice of it until it was way too late. I do not know how filthy this society had come to be – from being the usual “tak apa” attitude to murderous monsters who prey on little innocent children. When this will even stop? In this case, the mother alone cannot be faulted for losing her kid. What happened to her friends who were entrusted to keep an eye on the kid when the mother had to use the bathroom? High on drugs? What happened to the security guard who saw the young girl forcibly pulled by the stranger but opted to do nothing? It is not part of his job scope? Has human life had become that cheap for everyone when they could have done something and opted to do nothing?

As a father to 2 young kids, I am very angry with this whole tragedy. We have been losing kids (some like the Sathiskumar who went missing into thin air or William Yau who got down from the car and later found to be dead) on a regular basis. And no matter who we try to lay our blame on others – the parents (there are super sized morons who do not deserve to have any kids), the suspects (a big surprise on how the long arm of the law does not do much to keep them away from society), the society (who usually chooses to look the other way until it is too late – the famed tak apa attitude) and even the Government (who have plenty of time talking cock when it comes to dirty politics but have not demonstrated a sense of some intelligence in protecting the society), at the end of the day, it is the young innocent children that get the raw deal.

Let’s admit that everyone of us is guilty in one way or another to this tragedy (forget about the Home Minster coming to the rescue – the past few interviews and statements made by him simply reinforces the notion that we all have been dumb enough to continue to allow certain morons to hold public office and these morons have no shame whatsoever demonstrating their lack of good judgement & intelligence on what matters more when it comes to good governance). As a Home Minister, he should stay at home and save a lot of trouble and embarrassment to the country.

What I am afraid of is that we have too many of these tragedies of having missing and dead children and one day, we may find ourselves waking up and deciding that missing or dead children is a norm in this country. Can we stop this nonsense right here, right now  before that happens?

Tour of Duty, Again


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(Caught this shot with my phone on the way for an overseas trip. Somehow I had the dread thoughts of MH370 but all ended well when nothing out of the ordinary happened and we landed safely)

Firstly sorry for missing out on the regular posts for past 2 weeks. You see, it is the time of the year when I clean up my drawers in the office, prepare the monthly budget for my wife, hunt for new clothes / shoes and prepare myself for a painful good-byes to my kids (my precious ones in an eerie Gollum voice).

It’s time for tour of duty where I pack up and go for onsite work in another country for couple of months. Hopefully, I will have time to work on the blog but it is a wishful thinking – 2 weeks into the tour and I am still struggling to do one post. It is almost 9.30 pm as I drafting this post and we have not taken our dinner (my stomach making loud noise protesting).

And I know the team work on the weekends, forgoing sleep, water and food to get the job done. Some of them are coughing and sneezing rather badly, so that put things in a different perspective as well. I know how bad it is to be working with tonnes of pressure and with a stuffy nose (or a bountiful of malaria parasite in the blood stream a few years ago).

It will be living hell – not because the clients like to play the role of the devil (some of them are). Most of them are humans too and they understand the constraints that we facing too. After all, we are all in the same boat, with the same destination, timeline and deadlines. It is living hell primarily because we put ourself into a situation where we want to give the best in what we are doing (a dose of “Malaysia Boleh” sprinkle into it) and try to out do what we have done the day before.

But all is not lost – there is always a silver lining in every clouds. One thing for sure is that we will always learn something new and it can be work related or not. Don’t laugh but this time, I might learn something that is related to washing. To be more precise, washing my clothes with the washing machine. You see, we are not staying in a hotel where we can just chuck our dirty laundry to one end, fill up the form and come back to see the clothes all washed up and ironed and stacked away neatly on the table.

We are staying in an apartment where it can accommodate a larger number of us and is more cost effective to the customer. There is a laundrette nearby but the owner, an old lady often closes the shop before we come back from work (which is usually very late). And it is expensive and slow as well – it takes a week for the clothes to be back, unless you give her extra $$$ and you will get a faster return. So, when I saw my colleague washing his clothes in the apartment washing machine, I asked him about it and he showed me how to get this done. Don’t get me wrong, there is washing machine back home too but I had never tried to wash clothes myself. It is uneconomical. Why waste time, water and electricity when this can be done once everyone had put in their dirty clothes. And this usually would be handled by my wife or my sister.

So, this was considered my first time “venturing” out on my own with the washing machine. And I have already one washing and it was not that bad (I loved when it started to spin on hyper-speed) and looking forward to do my own washing in the coming weeks. I can save up money and get my clothes the very next day.

Another thing I had learned (although this could be very old news to some of you out there) is to set my phone as a hotspot so that I can get internet connection for both my smartphone and my laptop at the same time.

Got to go now – please expect irregular blog posts in the coming months