Snippets – 07 June 2012


(The Telegraph reports this as one of the rarest astronomical events occurs on Tuesday and Wednesday when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, a transit that won’t occur again until 2117. But in Malaysia, we seems to have other things to be interested with. Image source: http://haryanaabtak.com)

Million Youths Drag Race Accident

You probably have heard about this incident that happen last month during Najib’s Million Youths Gathering. 17 people were seriously injured and accusations have been flying around on who suppose to take the blame for the incident. But if you have read in between the lines, there seems to be a larger “accident” at work:-

He said he would suggest to the cabinet that a proper drag racing track as long as 800m, complete with spectator seats, be built. “I will speak to the cabinet as soon as possible. The suggestion had been brought up previously, but it was not approved. “I feel that it is timely for us to build a track with proper facilities and safety features so that fans of motorsports can enjoy the race and also to avoid such accidents in the future,” he said.

(Source)

And it was rightfully pointed out by a reader over at Funtasicko Design:-

Ini lah Malaysia. Setakat nak buat track untuk perlumbaan drag pun nak kena kelulusan kabinet. Dulu elok-elok dah ada trek Batu Tiga, sapa suruh robohkan? Sepatutunya, setakat bendalah ‘simple’ macam trek perlumbaan hanya perlu kerjasama kerajaan tempatan (dalam hal tanah dan alam sekitar) dan ‘sanction’ dari AAM untuk memastikan trek memenuhi piawai antarabangsa. Kenapa perlu sampai ke kabinet? Apa yang jemaah menteri tahu pasal sukan permotoran? Tukar tayar kereta pun tak reti agaknya,sibuk nak cakap pasal motorsport.

(Loosely translated) This is Malaysia. They need Cabinet approval for even trivial things like doing up a track for drag racing. We used to have the excellent Batu Tiga racing track – who asked it to be demolished? Actually simple things like this can be resolved with the help of local authorities (on issues of land and environment) and AAM’s sanction to ensure that the track meets international standards. Why you need to bring it all the way to Cabinet? What do the ministers know about motor racing? It is doubtful that they even know how to change tires on their car and here we have the same people taking about motorsport.

What is more distressing – a car flying off from a rudimentary unsanctioned track and seriously injuring 17 people or a Federal level minister who do not seems to know what he is talking about? Do we really have the right people with the right knowledge and skills for the job – more so at critical decision making level?

And we are seeing it again in action with the freeze of education loan for the Unisel students.

Reporters grilled Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, on the matter only to have the minister say ad nauseum that the freeze is a test for PKR to prove it can implement its free education proposal. Backing Muhyiddin was Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister and Selangor Umno deputy chief Noh Omar, who at the same event said students will not suffer as a result of the move as PTPTN will resume giving out loans once PKR admits it was wrong.

(Source)

I do not want to indulge much on the politicians’  level of intelligence but on the other hand, to have the Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Education Minister to say that the freeze is due to PKR’s stand is simply dumb. Just because they want to make a point, they gamble with students’ future – what’s next? Setting aside all those who had voted the Opposition from all benefits until these people vote for BN again (it is not like that they have not done this on smaller scale)?

The opposition have been calling for free education and the abolishment of PTPTN for some time now – one may need to study further on the merits of abolishment. It may be a good thing (young graduate with low starting pay not burdened with high repayment of education loan) or a bad one (poor students not having enough money to study) but even if they come in power and decides to abolish, it is evident that these cannot be done overnight. They can say a lot of thing now but if they become the Government, there is plenty of things to do before they can even talk about implementing it – alternative funding must be ready and other infrastructure is in place before this is done and BN knows this too.

You can have your own little dirty politics within and outside your political party especially with the elections around the corner but it should not affect your duties and responsibilities especially when it comes to education and students. The timing is not right and it does not achieve anything positive and puts unnecessary distress and pressure on the students. You have to be fair – you want to freeze, you freeze all or you counter the Opposition with the hard cold facts.

Anyway they have now decided to reversed this decision after the Selangor State Government had decided to liquidate assets to assist students who are unable to access the study loans – however the reason for the reversal seemed to be dumber than the earlier reason to freeze

(Still remember Nurin or Sharline? They were not the only children who went missing in this country. Who is to be blamed? Image source: http://linkenlim.blogspot.com)

Ah, Some Parents!

When will they ever learn? It is apparent that there are still some parents out there who take things for granted when it comes to children safety. Come on, just imagine – if adults are being abducted in day broad-light, what more of young defenceless children?

A housewife nearly lost a child in a carjacking incident in Bandar Baru Kangkar Pulai here on Monday.

Recounting the 11.30am incident, Khazlim Saat, 35, said she had left her three children, Nor Sabrina Damiah Mohd Hisham, six, Nor Sofea Hadirah, four, and Mohd Ryan Hazim, still a toddler, in her Perodua Myvi car with the engine still running in front of a grocery shop as she intended to spend just a few minutes to buy some household goods.

“As I was going into the shop, Damiah came to me and even before she could open her mouth I heard Hadirah screaming. “I rushed out of the shop and saw Hadirah was outside the car and a man getting into it and driving away with a door still ajar,” she said, adding that panicked, she asked passers-by to call the police.

(Source)

Leaving kids in the car whilst running off on a quick errand is nothing new for most parents. It is the same case for us and our son but until he had learned to lock and unlock the car from the inside, we never leave him alone in the car with the engine still running. And even now after he had mastered the locking & unlocking of the car door, we still do not leave him alone in the car (my wife will always sits with him – we do not want him to unlock the door to some strangers) except on a rare occasions – when we really have no other choice, we simply brings him along on the errand. On other occasions, we simply leave him at home (again, not alone) or at our neighbor’s house – it is thousand times safer than having him alone in the car.

The same goes when he wants to go to the playground – even he is playing with his group of friends and do not want us to be standing nearby, we always ensure that we are within a safe distance from him. And even so, we would give him a list of strict instructions and repeat them a couple of times before we even consider leaving him alone at the playground.

So imagine my horrors when some parents had left not one or two kids in the car with engine still running but three including a toddler. No doubt there will be times when some of us may not have a choice but to leave the kids in the car with engine still running but do we think twice of the risks before we do that? And this not necessarily is limited to kids and car – it can also mean sending kids alone sundry shop or letting kids playing by the roadside unattended. Where do we place our priority – our children’s safety or a mere inconvenience of doing things the harder way?

Khazlim Saat should have counted her lucky stars that the car-jacker did not drive off with her 3 kids and they did not end up couple of days stuffed in a gym bag.

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