2018 – Things So Far


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(Miracle do happen! Karma do exist! For the first time in history, the opposition will form the Federal Government and take extra states compared to the last elections. It’s is time to clean up the nation and enforce the rule of law. Photo source: NSTP)

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Preamble

I can’t believe that I last blogged back in September 2017 – time does flies fast when one is not looking

Well, it is not that I had lost interest in blogging (I still do drafts now and then but don’t have the time to complete them) but I found that given the very little time that I have apart from work & family, typing on issues and events over the social media & instant messages (Facebook, Twitter and the countless Whatsapp Groups) is more convenient (just hit the “Share” button and your message gets through) compared to blogging which takes time as I tend to do more research and review the drafts over and over again.

Another reason was that the politics in this country was becoming more absurd and lack of any logic that it was pointless to discuss on it at length. The real battle was waged in the social medias and it made a lot of sense for anyone who is supporting the opposition to join them there and share and create the awareness of their points, arguments and speeches to others (especially for those who are still undecided or don’t care about the state of the nation).

But considering one of the main reason for me to blog was to improve my language (and my “penmanship”) and I have been slacking (very much) on this lately, it is time me to seriously look into blogging on a more regular basis. The real challenge would be to find time to do it on a regular basis but I am kind of inspired by Pakatan Harapan’s win in the General Elections and the volume of work that Tun Dr M is doing after taking up his place as the Prime Minister.

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Going into the year 2018 started with tragedies

First was this:-

A 15-year-old boy died when a chair, thrown from an upper floor of a block of People’s Housing Programme (PPR) apartments in Pantai Dalam, struck his head on Monday night.

The victim, identified as S. Satiswaran, a Form Three student of SMK La Salle in Petaling Jaya, was accompanying his mother, 45, who had just finished grocery shopping.

When they were about to enter their apartment block at about 8.30pm, an office chair, believed to have been thrown from one of the upper floors, crashed down and struck Sathiwaran.

(Source)

The other was this:-

‘This is not a suicide, this is a murder!’ the Malaysian Tamilar Kural (MTL) president thundered on Thursday, following the death of a 14-year-old schoolgirl who died after being in a coma since Jan 24.

David Marshel slammed what he called inaction by the Education Department and the police for not investigating a teacher who had accused the girl of stealing her iPhone last week – a charge the girl vehemently denied.

The Form Two girl passed away at the Seberang Jaya Hospital at 3.30am on Thursday, prompting David to demand that police take action against the teacher and her husband for allegedly threatening and striking the student, to the point that she attempted suicide at her home last week.

(Source)

And the year 2018 was also the year when we learned that 2 of our close relatives was diagnosed with cancer – one is my aunt, very tough lady with breast cancer (undergoing treatment and seems to be holding off) and another, my father-in-law’s elder brother (who we call Uncle) with throat cancer.

When we got the news that the uncle will not last long and the doctor had informed the family that there is nothing much they can do (he probably had days to live), my grandmother got in touch with me and asked me whether I could drive her to see him in Taiping before it was too late.

Despite of my busy schedule, there was no way I could say no to the old tough lady and so we packed up and drive up North to the uncle’s house with my wife & mum tagging along. We reached late and I thought my grandmother would be tired from the long journey and would like to rest first at my father-in-law’s house. But she said no, she was not tired – let’s visit the uncle first no matter how late it is and then think of rest (namely dinner) later. The mood in the uncle’s house was sombre and depressing and despite the late hours, there were plenty of people still awake in the house. No one had the mood to sleep. My grandmother met the uncle in his room, he was half awake from strong medication and blessed him before we left the house. The very next morning, we got news that he had passed away in his sleep.

Yes, beginning of the year was indeed depressing and full of tragedies

2018 was also the year when the country would be having it’s General Elections and the news on the ground was not good. It seems to favor the current Prime Minister Najib – he seems to be untouchable and despite Tun Dr M joining up with the oppositions under the same umbrella known as “Pakatan Harapan”, the chances of Najib winning another General Elections was indeed high. PAS who opted out from Pakatan Harapan remained the thorn in the bush with its leaders working closely with UMNO to frustrate the Pakatan Harapan’s chances in the upcoming General Elections.

And there was the issue of redelineation by the Election Commission that seems to be favoring the ruling political party and moving voters based on ethnic background.

Malaysia’s ongoing redelineation exercise is unconstitutional and will create a Parliament that is extremely unrepresentative of Malaysia’s people, no matter who wins, because it is severely flawed in two main ways: it either creates malapportionment, which is the manipulation of electorate size where one person’s votes become worth up to 3-4 times the votes of another person in a different constituency; or causes gerrymandering, which is the manipulation of electorate composition to the advantage of one party; or both.

Schedule 13 of Malaysia’s Constitution specifically prohibits malapportionment and gerrymandering of electoral boundaries, making the redelineation exercise unconstitutional.

(Source)

Of course, the same was echoed in the Economist’s article title “Malaysia’s PM is about to steal an election” and this did not help to calm things down. Pakatan was looking for another defeat and Malaysians a lost of opportunity to make things right.

Cost of living was on the increase too, no thanks to GST and other factors (such as Ringgit exchange rate, wide mismanagement, weak oil price, etc). We seem to be spending more and more for a smaller size of sundry goods on the monthly basis. At times vegetables were more expensive than chicken or fish. Eating out had become a luxury adventure and we hardly travel these days. And in the recent months, more businesses were closing down and this has direct impact on the national unemployment stats and income from taxation.

SOME companies have shut down because of the goods and services tax (GST), says Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani. Johari did not disclose details as the matter is still under investigation.

The Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia told The Malaysian Insight on October 20 that GST has caused many Malay businesses to close shop.

Its vice-president, Norsyahrin Hamidon, said the chamber has yet to obtain the exact number of members who had to close shop due to GST.

(Source)

And of course, this was before outcome of the General Elections when the country seemed to be going into the dark ages. It was running on the basis of “cash is king” and those who walk along the corridors of powers were untouchable and cannot be criticized whilst the wastages & the other nonsense continued.

Then on 9th May 2018, a miracle happened….

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Hiatus


You will know by now that I am not blogging frequent as I used to be

Work is one of the excuse and it is taking more of my time these days. But at the same time, I am spending my free times, not drafting for my next blog post but rather playing mobile games and doing plenty of reading. Perhaps it is due to the state of the nation that is so depressing and lawlessness running around. Perhaps I am just too tired tired to think of the content for the blog posts – there’s plenty to talk about on the subject of politics but it is getting tiring on daily basis.

Let me take a proper break from blogging before coming back again. This is not the last blog post, I can assure you.

Aaaacccchooo!


Trip

(A shot from my latest trip overseas – it was not so late and we just had a good dinner and we were on a tram, going back to our apartment. It has been an interesting trip and probably with the best first impression thus far this year. More of it later once I have recovered and put the details on writing)

I don’t know why that it seems to happen every time I step out from the country. It could be the weather (yes blame it on the effect from global warming) or the food or my immune system in a very bad shape, I don’t know.

I just came back from another trip with a very stuffy nose – yes, I am breathing through my mouth now. I am going off for a few days for rest, far away from my projects and work (I will try to, anyway) and have plenty of bed rest, vitamin C and chicken soup to recover faster. I guess age is finally catching up on me and I need to slow down a bit. I need to accept that I no longer have the same endurance that I used to have 10-15 years ago and with my daughter in the picture, I need to take things slow and steady especially when I have another few trips overseas lined up until the end of this year.

Seriously 2014 has not been a good year for blogging (it has not been a good year for the aviation industry too) – I hardly be able to come up with a post at least once a week. Nowadays 2-3 weeks gap has been a norm. There is no lack of ideas or contents to write, I am pretty sure of it. But what is missing is the time to sit down and write type all these down and press the button to publish it.

There have been too many things happening in this world that in one way or another have moved us to think harder, be more compassionate to others and open our bloody mouth and act on it. The 2 MH tragedies, the slaughter that is happening in Gaza, Syria and Iraq and the various incidents that could easily trigger another World War 3.

Back home, things are not so rosy either. We have now PKR buggers battling each other for the post of MB of Selangor (what’s wrong with these people!), the water reserves drying up and this could mean another spell of water rations and Malaysia nowhere close to kicking out the religion and racial extremists from our society. These guys are having a field day with our PM still missing from the scene and remains silent. We are continuing to walk backwards whilst others have moved on past us.

And I am easily distracted too these days. Could this been the signs for me to finally stop blogging and move on? I have been blogging for more than 9 years now and the 1,590 posts I did is probably nothing to shout about but it has helped me in different ways. My writing skills have improved tremendously and I have forced to read and analyze on a lot of things for my blog posts and thus improved my grasps on many things others would have dismissed as trivial. I don’t know. Perhaps I could think better once I could breathe through my nose again.

Have a good weekend!

Missing: William Yau Zhen Zhong


william

All we need to do now is to keep our eyes open and pray for the safe return of little William to his parents (finger pointing and certainly charging the parents with sheer recklessness can come later once he is safe and returned without any harm).

Missing Kid: T. Sathiskumar


He is still missing since last August 2012…

T. Sathiskumar went missing after following his grandfather E.P. Veloomurugan, 46, to a food court in Jalan Permatang Pauh here. He was travelling with his father, T. Tamil Vanan, 30, in his lorry until they stopped at the food court at 12.30pm. Tamil Vanan, from Ampang Jajar, Butterworth, was heading towards Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah, on his delivery rounds. At the food court, Sathiskumar disappeared in the crowd and could not be found.

State Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Mazlan Kesah said the boy weighed 15kg and was 70cm tall. He was last seen in a pair of green shorts and a T-shirt with a yellow Spiderman hat. Those with information on Sathiskumar’s whereabouts can call Inspector Mohamed Ehsan Abu Bakar at 012-2494002, or the nearest police station

Please keep an eye for him and parents, please keep close eyes on your kids too and don’t let them be another number in the missing children statistics.

Still Here


An interesting email dropped into my inbox today – it is from my weekly Chinese horoscope and interestingly it said “Early November is overflowing with the scribbling of lists and organizing of schedules”. Interesting because I just completed a long checklist and finalize project schedule for the weekend

Sorry for long absence – one was due to work but the other reason is that there is a “great wall” blocking access to Facebook, blogs and Twitter, So, I have do without those for now and update only after I come back.

P.s. photo caption – the view from my room at night – taken with a N8

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Short Hiatus


They say when an opportunity drops by unannounced; one should quickly take it…

I am taking one week off from my daily routines to take care of some personal matters. One can also call it as a deserving break. I will be travelling, so is my family (which includes the ‘big boss”), so I do expect a very interesting  (hope not tiring) travel.

I may not be able to blog (or approved comments in moderation) for at least a week, so I apologise upfront if you cannot see your comments up for a week – please bear with me on this.

But during this period, I hope to get some things done – one in particular, my novel titled “Unexpected Mission” – a project that was done for the 2009’s NaNoWri project. I have uploaded a polished up version of my 2008 novel titled “The Malayan U-Boat”, you can read or download here – please do give me your feedback.

A long travel will probably give me the right chance to fully utilise my DSLR which in some way been lying idle (it is not easy to bring the big sized camera around, I realised now).

I may miss the results of the Hulu Selangor by-election; I hope that Pakatan Rakyat’s Zaid wins by a large majority. There have been enough mud-slinging from both ends (RPK of Malaysia Today still have doubts on Kamalanathan’s degree and Rocky of Rocky’s Bru still talks about Zaid’s racing horses) but end of the day, it is up to the voters to decide who can serve them (and not the political master) the best.

Depending internet availability and free time, see you in a week’s time…