The Lovable Mat Rempits?


I think internally there is a competition among the politicians in this country to come up with the wildest, dumbest ideas. And the latest one that have hit the headlines is the one that deals with allowing pesky Mat Rempits aka public nuisance to race on public streets.

Road safety experts expressed regret and disbelief over a proposal to legalise ‘Mat Rempit‘ racing. The experts who spoke to theSun, raised grave concerns on whether the government would take responsibility should bodily injury or loss of lives occur during such races.

Their concerns come in the wake of a proposal earlier this week by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to allow bikers to race in certain parts of the capital city to curb the tendency of “Mat Rempits” who speed in residential and commercial areas.

Universiti Sains Malaysia deputy vice-chancellor Professor Dr Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah described the proposal as risky and a disservice to road safety.

(Source)

And even it leaves the police in disbelief with the Minister’s ambitions (remember the police declared war on Mat Rempits calling them the cancer of the society?):-

Inspector-General Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar wants to meet Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor over the plan to close certain city roads and allow motorcyclists to race.

“I believe he has his reasons to propose it. I want to meet him to discuss it,” Khalid told reporters at the Bukit Aman police headquarters here.

“I will meet him first to see what his views are,” he said when asked to comment further on the matter.

(Source)

And not leaving the nuisance in the West Malaysia, there were even plans to bring over the nuisance to the East Malaysia:-

The plan to provide motorcycle racing tracks in the city is still on the table, with the possibility of extending the proposal to East Malaysia as well.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said that the matter was among the issues discussed at a meeting with other Federal Territories Members of Parliament (MPs) at the ministry today.

“I have discussed the ‘Mat Motor’ issues, and I want to solve the matter at hand,” he said, adding that he is looking for a way to provide space to allow motorcycle racers to do what they are interested in.

He said the move would also help tackle syndicates involved in illegal betting who use “Mat Rempits” for their own financial gains.

(Source)

And the insurance companies were quick to wash their hands off of the proposed plan by the Minister:-

Meanwhile, Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM) said motorcycle insurance policy does not cover activities as racing and it is an exclusion under the policy.

PIAM said any such activity is done at the rider’s own risk and if they injure a third party or damage another person’s property, they will be personally responsible for any damage costs.

“In the event an Insurer (Insurance Company) is held liable to pay by virtue of the provisions under Section 96 of the Road Transport Act, the insurer can seek indemnity from the motorcycle owner and/or rider,” it said.

(Source)

At the end of the day, everyone is against the idea of allowing Mat Rempits running loose on public roads – all except the Honorable Minister. What the police need to do is this – agree to the Minister’s idea and when the Mat Rempits shows up with their bikes, round them up like rounding up some cattles and charge them on endangering other road users.

Advertisements

Land of Dumb & Dumber


dumb

(Never mind the movie, it seems like there are way too many of dumb people in this country. Image source: The Net)

It was rather “funny” to hear the old man to say this:-

“Malaysians are stupid. They don’t know how to manage aviation,” Dr Mahathir was quoted by news portal Malaysiakini as saying in comments over Christoph Mueller’s appointment as chief executive officer-designate of Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS NewCo).

Those responsible for the losses of the ailing national carrier were now trying to make things right, he said.

(Source)

Does that mean we are smarter in all other areas? If you think we do, you still have a long way to go.

Now read this – it’s a long read but enough to make any true blue Malaysian’s blood boil with rage:-

In 2008, a boisterous young man by the name of Jho Low Taek, a Penang-born Wharton grad with a taste for Cristal champagne and Broadway blondes, approached Malaysia’s Terengganu state government with a proposal to use the state’s authority to sell RM10 billion (US$2.87 billion) in bonds to start a state-backed investment fund.

That proposal has led to what Tony Pua, a Democratic Action Party lawmaker, has called “the mother of the mother of the mother of all scandals in the history of Malaysia.”

That might be one mother too many, but Pua is not alone, with critics of what is now called 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, coming from outside the opposition as well. It is certain that the proposed Terengganu Investment Authority has metastasized into a mess that can properly be called huge and has put Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s tattered reputation on the line yet again. Much of the story has been detailed in two Malaysian publications, The Edge and the online news portal Malaysiakini’s business unit, Kinibiz.

Najib, the head of the 1MDB advisory board, has faced a barrage of questions from opposition lawmakers in Parliament for weeks and an attack on his own flank from former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his allies, including former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, over what can only be regarded as an astonishing level of mismanagement.

The question was why Malaysia needed another government-backed investment fund in the first place, especially one dreamed up by a young friend of the PM’s family. It has Khazanah Nasional Bhd., the 23-year-old investment holding arm that manages Malaysia’s assets and makes strategic investments, and the Employee Provident Fund, which also invests employee pension funds. Both are creatures of the Ministry of Finance.

The Terengganu Sultan, Mizan Zainal Abidin, had misgivings over the plan by Jho Low, as he calls himself, so the 27-year-old Low went to the parents of a friend he had made among Malaysia’s privileged elite in the UK. While anti-colonial rhetoric still spews at home, Malaysia’s wealthy have always known where to send their scions. Jho Low was at the exclusive 450-year-old Harrow, with his friend Riza Aziz at nearby 150-year-old Haileybury, which trained English youth for service in India. Riza’s mother is Rosmah Mansor, Najib’s second wife.

Thus the proposed Terengganu Investment Authority metamorphosed into 1Malaysia Development Bhd., also under the Ministry of Finance. Today 1MDB has accumulated debt of RM36.25 billion (US$10.4 billion) that is only covered by repeated accounting upgrading of the value of property handed to it at a knock-down price by the government to get it started – a 196-hectare former air force base near the center of Kuala Lumpur.

In recent months, the government, in an attempt to build up the fund so it can be listed, has strong-armed at least three no-bid contracts for 1MDB to build coal-fired and solar power plants. One of those power plants, in Port Dickson near Malacca, was awarded to 1MDB despite a lower bid from a joint venture of YTL International Bhd and SIPP, partly owned by the Sultan of Johor, who is said to have been enraged by the loss and is demanding privately that SIPP be given its own no-bid contract for another plant.

Although its dealings are opaque, sources in Kuala Lumpur believe it was Jho Low, previously regarded as a savvy investor despite his tender years, who drove 1MDB into disaster. Although the chairman of the Board of Directors is Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, who holds the high-ranking honorific of tan sri, he is regarded as a figurehead and many of 1MDB’s major decisions have Low’s fingerprints on them

Low, who has accompanied Rosmah on forays to New York to meet celebrities including Lionel Ritchie and Paris Hilton, landing in the pages of the New York Post, involved 1MDB in backing his failed 2011 bid to buy three prestigious London hotels – Claridge’s, the Connaught and The Berkeley, according to documents filed in the Chancery Division of the UK’s Royal Courts of Justice.

A Los Angeles law firm accused the government of Malaysia, without mentioning 1MDB, of racketeering in funding the phenomenally successful movie The Wolf of Wall Street, an Oscar-nominated picture starring Leonardo DeCaprio and co-produced by Riza Aziz, Rosmah’s son. How that might have been done is unclear. The lawyers for a Los Angeles plaintiff who sued over the rights to the movie refused to elaborate, citing lawyer-client privilege. But in the case of the Claridge’s campaign, 1MDB issued guarantee letters saying the fund would stand behind the purchase. Presumably that meant Malaysia’s sovereign fund would cover any losses accrued if the sale failed.

The fund loaned RM7.2 billion to finance oil exploration for another chum out of that rarefied London ex-colonial society – Tarek Essam Ahmad Obaid, a London playboy said to be a grandson of the Saudi Sheikh Obaid, one of the kingdom’s most senior grandees. Tarek met Jho Low a few months before the deal for the loan was consummated, according to Clare Rewcastle Brown, a former BBC reporter who has followed the 1MDB affair closely. Tarek is the founder and chief executive of PetroSaudi International, Ltd. Despite its pretentious website there is little information on PetroSaudi, which was only incorporated three years before the entry of 1MDB. The money, to be loaned at 8.75 percent, has disappeared.

What 1MDB has not done is make enough money to cover its huge debt, although determining anything is difficult because no up-to-date accounts have been filed.

“I was the finance head for oil companies before I entered politics,” Rafizi Ramli, strategic director and secretary-general of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat, told Asia Sentinel. “Nobody I knew had ever come across PetroSaudi before. We tried to check what it was. It was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. While it is normal for financial investors to enter into ventures, how could a government commit such a huge sum of money with a greenhorn company with no known track record, incorporated in a haven for dodgy money, in an industry where capital risk is so huge?”

When the bid to explore for oil collapsed, the money appears to have been invested in speculative yen forex deals, insiders told Rafizi. Forex trading is not for amateurs. By early 2012, it began to appear that the money had altogether disappeared, according to Tony Pua. 1MDB was having trouble filing its financial reports, a signal that something was wrong. When 1MDB said the funds had been moved into a fund in the Cayman Islands, its managers refused to say who was managing the money.

Today, Pua said, the entire operation appears to be built on debt, although with audited financial reports delayed it is impossible to say for sure. Its managers are seeking to cover the losses through additional borrowings and money raisings, including a US$4.75 billion one engineered by Goldman Sachs, the international investment bank, that cost 1MDB 10 percent of the offering, a phenomenal amount for “commissions, fees and expenses” according to the prospectus. By comparison, Tenaga Nasional, the state-owned energy utility, paid a 2 percent fee on a US$300 million money raising. SMBC Aviation Capital, which leases jets to Malaysian Airlines, paid 0.5 percent on a US$1 billion capital raising. The fees paid to Goldman worked out at US$1.54 billion, Pua said.

The fund today is betting its future on becoming the country’s biggest power producer and a global energy player. It acquired a string of overpriced independent power producers from the Genting gambling interests and Ananda Khrishnan, the country’s richest businessman and an UMNO crony, for RM11 billion to generate cash flow, at what were astounding valuations. Indeed, within six months, the fund’s auditors wrote off RM1.2 billion of the valuation because they were so overpriced.

“Because they were desperate to borrow to cover the acquisitions, they had to pay higher interest rates,” Pua said. “And because they were desperate, they paid Goldman crazy fees to arrange the loans.”

On top of the enormous interest burden from the debt, it turns out that the cash flow from the IPPs is so small that it was barely enough to cover the interest, let alone pay back the RM15 billion principal.

With the hole from the initial failed loan to PetroSaudi, and the vast debt from the IPP purchases, 1MDB is now trying to list to raise US$10 billion from the market. But in order to write a credible prospectus for the listing, it requires strong financials. 1MDB’s financials do not come anywhere near credible enough to assure potential investors of future cash flow.

The government has stepped in to extend the contracts for the IPPs, which were supposed to end after their contract periods ended. That is still not enough. The government then tendered a contract to build the coal-fired plant in Port Dickson. Critics charge the contract was unnecessary, that Tenaga Nasional, the state-owned utility, had the experience and capital to build the plant itself. The tender turned out to be a fiasco, with the YTL-SIPP consortium coming in with a lower bid, only to be disqualified on what many critics have said was a technicality.

Since then, the government has awarded three contracts to 1MDB, the other two without the potential embarrassment of a tender process. But critics point out that 1MDB has never built anything and is mainly relying on the expertise of Tenaga Nasional. The bid for a 50 megawatt solar power plant project in Kedah in the north of the country is to be the largest solar plant in Malaysia despite the fact there is no guaranteed offtake, that prices for solar, even though they have fallen sharply, still exceed that of conventional plants, and that Malaysians are going to end up paying more for their electricity.

All of these moves are an attempt to rescue 1MDB and give it the potential to demonstrate income to investors. So on the advice of a 27-year-old neophyte and friend of the prime minister’s family, the country has created a state-backed investment fund, got itself involved in a series of businesses it knew nothing about, put the country’s sovereign backing behind a private hotel bid and a Hollywood movie, run up a vast amount of debt, and now is seeking to bail itself out via preferential contracts to build electrical plants with expertise so far it doesn’t have. The critics expect that this is going to cost Malaysia’s taxpayers and ratepayers a considerable amount of money.

(Source)

When we first heard that 1MDB had “parked” RM7 billion of our money in the Cayman Islands, that made many of us to question the reasons why a Government linked company have to invest in dubious ways. And when reports of losses started to trickle in, it seemed like our fears came true.

And now, it seemed that it has only gone downhill. So it is a wonder why major investigations have not been launched into 1MDB’s affairs and if mismanagement, scams and gross negligence  indeed exist, why we are not going after these guys and revoking their passport and bring them down to be answerable for their dubious ways of doing business and for the huge losses?

Instead we foolishly spending considerable time, money and resources to go after this joker:-

Alvin-Tan-featured

(The country’s no 1 enemy, so according to some stupid in this country. Image source: Cilisos)

Now you see why Dr M is calling Malaysians stupid?

Dumbass Mechanic 2


Update 1: The problem finally solved! I went to my usual workshop (with proper appointment) and I did not had to wait for long. The mechanic took almost 1 hour to resolve the problem. The ECU was flashed and the brake switch was checked and reinstalled. The check engine warning light went away and it remained so. The mechanic informed me that I should not have the problem (not like the previous dumbass mechanic) but went further to say that if the problem still remained, the next course of action would be to change the entire brake switch itself.

Back to the original post…

Read the first instance here

check engine light

(The last thing I expected to see on any car is the check engine warning light and that too on a well maintained new car. But I understand that over time all things will deteriorate and breaks down. The important thing is to get it fixed on time and without much hassle. The last thing we need is a dumbass mechanic in the equation. Image source: http://www.progressiveautogroup.com)

It was almost a perfect ride up North last weekend – the morning was cold, the traffic was light and the music on the radio was good. It was a good time to “clear those carbons” from the exhaust (I noticed that the fuel consumption often improves greatly after a long journey north).

I had my grandma in the car (she followed us to go to her younger brother’s house which was on our way) so I had to ensure that I make the necessary stop for this fragile old lady who is still going strong at a very old age. Just when I was thinking of stopping at the next R&R after Tapah, I noticed something flashing up on the dashboard – something I missed earlier because I had my left hand “covering” it (I hold the top of the steering wheel with my left and the bottom with my right). The check engine warning light was on – it never appeared before and I just did a major service to the car couple weeks ago. Maintenance has been top-notch and I don’t push the car to its limits.

Certainly something was amiss here and stopping at the next R&R made a lot of sense – I was also worried that there could be a bigger problem with the engine (although I did not notice any difference in performance and the fuel consumption kept improving). We stopped and immediately my wife, my son and my grandma got out stretching their legs and then head to the toilet, leaving the baby at the back seat (she was sleeping) and under my care. I double checked on the baby and she was sleeping rather nicely. I checked on the buttons inside the car – to make sure I had not pressed any of the wrong buttons or dials. I switch off the ignition and on again but the check engine warning light was still on. Since the baby was sleeping and my wife had came back, I switched off the engine and got out of the car and did a quick check to the air-intakes – nothing out of the ordinary. I went back in and counted to ten and switch on the ignition – the check engine warning light came on for a moment and then it went off.

I thought that was the end of it until after we had reached our destination and after driving around the town, the warning light lighted up again (good thing, it was not flashing which is an indicator of a more serious problem). Unfortunately it was a Sunday and the authorised service was closed. As before, I tried to switch off and on the ignition and as before, the check engine light went off.

I decided to head to the nearest service centre near home first thing in the morning the next day. I decided to go to the one near my house instead of the one in Taiping because I already expecting to be wasting my time at the service centre for the whole day (hallmark of any car service centre in the country, I suppose). We left to KL quite early in the morning – hoping to reach the service centre near the house as early as possible. Throughout the journey back, the check engine light did not lit up and the journey was smooth and uneventful. By the time we reached home, it was already 9 in the morning. The warning light still did not lit up. So I decided to go for a quick runabout for lunch and some investment and 2 packets of cold cendol first (it was worse in Taiping). Perhaps the long run back to KL had perhaps cleared something and everything was back to normal. So I thought. With plenty of time to kill, I decided to cancel my trip to the service centre and head out for some chores in PJ. Just as I drive out from my residential area, the nagging check engine warning light was back!

Feeling frustrated, I made a U-turn and headed straight to the nearest service centre, hoping that there will be few cars on queue on the appointment. It was not. I reached there almost at 12 pm and saw the customer area full of people (some were even sleeping on the sofa – they must have come in early) – thankfully I already an early lunch. I told the sweet lady behind the counter that I did not have an appointment but I was willing to wait as long as I could get to the bottom of the nagging check engine warning light. The lady told me that there were plenty of cars to be checked for the day but she was willing to slot me in (those who came in later without any appointment was promptly turned away).

So I waited for my turn by drinking the freebie water, reading the same old magazine over and over again and of course, taking short naps on the sofa.

It was almost 4 pm when I saw the mechanic looking at the charge sheets on the wall and selected mine. I followed him to the working area as he parked my car in the working bay and hook it up to the diagnostic computer. I stood next to him and explained on what had happened but he was not listening to me. He was seriously looking at the computer screen and waited as it run through a series of tests. I gave him the benefit of the doubt – after all, he is the professional, well trained mechanic and he knows what he is doing.

All were in green until one red mark popped up – the stop light seemed to have short-circuited and need to be grounded (the stop light were still working though). He checked something in the car. He ran the test again and I noted the same error message was still displaying on the screen. He went back and checked something – I could not see what he was doing under the dashboard and then suddenly he disconnected the computer and started to drive out the car from the working area.

He did not update me on what was the problem and what has been fixed. I caught him and asked him what was the problem and has it been fixed – he with a blur face (or rather surprised face) remarked that it has been “solved”. He then drove around the car, slammed on the brakes a couple of times and then parked it. He walked to me and passed back the keys and said settled. I asked if the problem would occur again and his remarks (with the same blur face) were “maybe, if yes, bring back the car”. It was not as assuring as I wished it to be. What the fuck he meant by “maybe”? Did he and did he not fixed the problem? And why the comment “bring back the car” – as if I had nothing better to do in my life.

I didn’t trust the mechanic, not by the way he responded to me. Just to be sure, I drove around – I still had to settle some of the outstanding errands but I kept with one eye on the dashboard. The check engine warning light did not come back for rest of the day. Perhaps the mechanic did fixed the nagging problem for good. I had a good night sleep that day – at least one problem has been resolved. The next morning as I got ready to drive to work, I was suspicious but the check engine warning light remained switched off. Is everything back to normal? Unfortunately it was not – I left the workplace in the evening and barely 10 minutes into the journey back home, the check engine warning light lit again and it has been so for past few days. Switching on and off the ignition somehow solves the issue but not on long term basis – I am not sure what else is being damaged in the process.

Damn that mechanic! Now I have waste my time again to make appointment and get my car checked again at another service centre – hopefully one that has less dumbass mechanics.

GE13: You Know, BN Talks Cock Too


Read these first:-

zul

(A kiss on the cheek and all religion bad-mouth nonsense is quickly forgiven? Never mind it looks more like Zul is being strangled than being kissed but it’s irrelevant. Najib seems to think that all can be forgotten with a simple peek on the cheek. So can Salman Rushdie do the same? Image source: Malaysiakini)

Over the last few days as we get nearer to 5th May, the focus has shifted to Najib and how he has been the “best” PM to date and how the country will be better if “Najib led” BN continues to rule it. I am not sure about you but Najib is definitely better than the sleepy Pak Lah but is he the best PM to date? If you ask me, that honor should go to the first PM – Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

Anyway, in between the subtle messages in the media to remind Malaysians to be more “grateful” and how the oppositions have been (and will be) “screwing up” things up, some of the BN politicians have been putting their foot in the mouth. Are they talking cock or the truth or they are simply too dumb to run for office?

Let’s start with the obvious:-

BN chairperson Najib Abdul Razak today attempted to douse the anger over Perkasa vice-president Zulkifli Noordin‘s disparaging remarks about Hindus, claiming that Indians have now warmed up to him.

“There are Indians who have even kissed him already,” Najib said, adding that he endorsed Zulkifli’s (right) candidacy for the Shah Alam parliamentary seat.

“Forget about the remarks he has made. He has apologised. Let it be,” the caretaker prime minister said in Shah Alam as he stressed that the statements were made when Zulkifli was part of a “backward” party.

(Source)

Somehow after lacing the Indians with water cannon, tear-gas and imprisonment without trial under draconian ISA, it was a big surprise when Hindraf turned around, wipes the dried stain from their back and then worships the same old BN as their one and only savior. It does not take rocket science to know why Najib had become extra polite to the Indians this time around. Hindraf may have opened their champagne on the day Najib signed the MOU with them but seriously how they expect to enforce a MOU if it is not carried out. And speaking about the Indian votes, I am sure that would have been last on his mind when Najib set Zul loose to run in Shah Alam against the tolerant, well-liked Khalid Samad from PAS.

Yes, the Indians were not happy. MIC has been silent and so do the new ally of BN – Hindraf. Najib may have his own strategy with Zul in Shah Alam but I think he should not rub it in with the Indians by saying that the Indians are warming up to him and some of them (must have been highly paid morons) had even kissed him. Make no mistake about it – Zulkifli Noordin is not an angel. He lied about making the racial and insensitive statement about the Indians 10 years ago. He made fresh one last March. And we all know that his half forced apology is nothing but a ruse to gain some votes from the Indians. And of course, he took the opportunity that blame on his one sided view of the various races and religions in this country on PAS. You have to be a very dumb person to believe that. If it is indeed that it is due to PAS, then what about Khalid Samad – his opponent in Shah Alam who even gave a talk in a church and very moderate in his views on race and religion. What about the other PAS politicians who highly respect other Malaysians irrespective of race or religion? Even there is some sense of truth on his claims, doesn’t he has a brain and self-conviction to sense something is not right and resign from the political party?

Then we had this:

A newcomer representing BN in the Pasir Gudang parliamentary constituency has urged Indian voters to be patient with the government in solving the longstanding issue of stateless Indians as the government does not want to create another Sabah.

Linking the stateless Indian issue with the influx of illegal immigrants into Sabah, Normala Abdul Samad explained that the government should learn from the lesson in Sabah and be cautious in handing out citizenship to Indians.

(Source)

I don’t know who Normala Abdul Samad character is but it is clear that this “newcomer” is certainly walking on the wrong side of the plank. The issue of citizenship in Sabah is a whole different than the issue of citizenship to Malaysian Indians in the country. The one who got the citizenship in Sabah were foreigners and some are newcomers. And if we follow the serious allegations in Dr M’s Project IC, it even borders on sense of treason. Stateless Indians on the other hand were born to parents who are Malaysians and had failed to get their national identity card due to missing documentary evidence, plain ignorance and procedural red-tape. If you trust the figures on the net, it is frightening too:-

The plight of some 300,000 stateless Indians is more than enough a reason for you to change the federal government. This problem should have been resolved long ago and therefore the Indian community in Malaysia cannot continue to trust the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government.

These stateless Indians have either lived here for decades or were born in this country. They can also communicate fluently in Bahasa Malaysia. Why must their application for citizenship be rejected or their files left in the cupboard to collect dust?

In contrast, why were 600,000 Muslims from Indonesia and the Philippines in Sabah given citizenship and bumiputra status to vote in Malaysia? The majority of the Filipinos cannot even speak Bahasa Malaysia.

(Source)

Thus to say that it is one and the same with the issue in Sabah itself and then asking the same Indians to be patience (when they have been very patience for some bloody years) is derogatory and insulting to Malaysian Indians. And the issue of Sabah although has been an issue for sometime now, hardly made any dent on the federal government list of critical issues until lately when the Government is somehow forced to set a RCI on the issue. One cannot use it as an excuse to hold back the granting of citizenship to the Malaysian Indians who should have gotten them a long time ago. So is Hindraf still comfortable with the BN being the one and only saviour for the community when simple things like stateless Indians are kept on hold with dumb excuses?

And finally here is the evidence why the Pakatan led state government are having hard time to get the necessary funding and assistance from the Federal Government:-

The Barisan Nasional (BN) wants to wrest Selangor in the May 5 general election to pursue the coalition’s transformation programme for the people in the state, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said today. He said the support from Selangor voters was needed to return BN to power in the state.

“We want the state leadership in Selangor to return to BN’s fold. We’re tired of the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government (in Selangor). “If the state government is different from the federal government, it’s difficult,” he said when speaking to BN supporters at Taman Melawati in Hulu Kelang.

(Source)

Najib may have forgotten that it was the people of Selangor back in 2008 voted for Pakatan Rakyat. It was not like they woke up one fine morning and found that the government had magically changed hands to Pakatan. And if the only excuse that Najib is making his case for the state to be returned to BN is that it will be “difficult” if the state government is different from the federal government, then it is high time we go for a complete change of the federal government. What BN is expecting in a free democratic country? Are they expecting to have BN to be ruling every nook and cranny of Malaysia forever? It’s time they wake up and accept reality.

It is obvious that in the last 5 years, the one who have been making things “difficult” for the people in the state is not the State Government.

Think about it – when Pakatan took power, instead of channelling the necessary funding to the new State Government entitled to, the Federal Government went on and appointed BN friendly “representatives” at village level, duplicating the work of the official appointed headmen, usurping powers illegally and end up making things hard for the State to do its work. And the State failed to carry on with its project due to a lack of funding and necessary approvals from the federal government, it did not take long for BN fellows to jump in and accuse the State as not keeping their promises. That was back in 2008 when unexpected happened and BN lost the states of Selangor, Penang, Perak and Kedah to Pakatan.

Moving forward, what does Najib implies when he says “if the state government is different from the federal government, its difficult”? It is a warning to the voters not to vote for opposition? The federal government can make it difficult for the state government if only if they want to. The last general election in 2008 already showed that things are changing and its high time they change their stand too.

Listen, Listen, Listen….Listen


sharifah ego

(Listen, listen, listen….from someone who suppose to be listening in the first place. With that magical word and gesture, all the sudden the esteemed speaker have been reduced to nothing but patronising and rude unwanted propagandist who now is the end of the unwanted attention of the country. Image source: http://wargamarhaen.blogspot.com)

The main “news of the week” (other than that SYABAS managed to resolve the water supply disruption in the Klang Valley) has to be this:-

A second year law student became an overnight sensation when she stumped a NGO leader with her questions on free education. KS Bawani took on Suara Wanita 1Malaysia (SW1M) president, Sharifah Zohra Jabeen at a forum entitled ‘Are University Students in Line with Politics’ last month in UUM. In the video entitled ‘Forum Suara Mahasiswa Part 4′,

Sharifah was unable to counter Bawani’s argument in favour of free education and went ballistic against Bawani. Sharifah insisted that Bawani listen to her explanation. She said ‘listen’ and ‘let me speak’ seven times.

Meanwhile, higher education deputy minister Saifuddin Abdullah criticised Sharifah Zobra Jabeen’s action as “condescending and patronising”. “I am sad with what I saw in the video. Sharifah should had let Bawani complete her speech. Even if you don’t agree with her, you should reply nicely… not condescending and patronising.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin meanwhile disassociated his party from SW1M. The 1Malaysia tag is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s clarion call to unite Malaysians regardless of race.

(Source)

It is a bit sad that we could not get to know what Bawani was trying say as she was told to shut up before she can complete her statement and asked to go back, sit down and continue to listen to the brain-washing session (well it is not the first time we hearing this nonsense).

“Someone” thought that since no local public university students would dare to talk back against the Government as many probably are there on Government grants and scholarships (same case expected of the Government students) and afraid to voice out in fear of losing their place in the university and in view of the up-coming general elections, decided to use some unknown pro-BN NGO to indoctrinate them with strong sense of obedience to the Government’s policies and instil deep hatred to the Oppositions or anyone who do not share the same views (hmm, sounds familiar?) and it back-fired very, very badly.

One sole brave soul had enough of the nonsense, stood up, collected her courage and blasted the speaker with hard cold facts and left the speaker speechless to a point where the speaker could not say anything intelligent other than “listen, listen, listen, listen…..listen” and asking Bawani to leave the country if she was not happy in Malaysia. KS Bawani who took the brunt of patronizing and cheap response from the speaker, Sharifah Zobra Jabeen, a leader from a NGO known as Suara Wanita 1Malaysia, has been labelled unsurprisingly brave, factual and an inspiring future leader whilst Sharifah as patronizing, unprofessional, hard to control and downright rude.

Thanks to the Youtube and the comments flying all over the place in the internet, Sharifah’s faults seems to be just too obvious – she should have just stopped and waited for Bawani to finish her arguments and then professionally reply Bawani with relevant facts of her own. Even she did not know how to reply Bawani (perhaps because Bawani’s facts made more sense and is the truth), she should have at least said that her points have been noted and she will check on it later. She should have done that instead of uttering “listen” 10 times and rudely pulling the microphone away from Bawani. Bawani on the other hand should have kept herself one notch cooler than how she was when she was facing Sharifah (without any support from her fellow students) – at least, this would have killed the some of petty contentions that she was too emotional during the talk but then again, seeing from Bawani’s point of view, who wouldn’t be emotional when faced with a series of lies and brain-washing.

The undue rude response from the speaker may be seen by some as something isolated or trivial perhaps but we should look at it from a bigger perspective.

Looking at the incident in UUM, one have to asked whether this would have been another failure in our system where there is an overwhelming fear of an open debate on something that the establishment had decided for. Or has this been the business of the day where the people in power are bent on asking others to hold their silence just because they do not share and support opposing views? Have we lost our sense of courtesy on listening to what others have to say just because we are bigger and in a higher position than the rest?

Bawani could have just asked her to shut-up and listen to her first in the same manner this rude speaker asked Bawani to stop and listen. But perhaps Bawani had a better sense of courtesy (the speaker is after all just a guest in UUM) and better judgement (she did not organise the forum in the first place, so perhaps it is better to let them have their way first to talk their share of the garbage and go away). And as whole, it seems that time and avenue is still not right for students to be vocal and able to disagree to whatever characters like Sharifah’s can say in public forums:-

Two influential varsity students associations as well as PAS Youth and Muslimat wings have praised a student for her courage in speaking out against government policies during a Barisan Nasional-backed event in Sintok, Kedah. University of Malaya’s outspoken Islamic Undergraduates Association (PMIUM) gave the thumbs-up to law student K.S. Bawani in the face of insults publicly hurled at her last month by the head of a pro-UMNO outfit during a forum in Universiti Utara Malaysia.

However, PMIUM expressed regret that not one from among the 2000 students gathered in the auditorium had attempted to come to Bawani’s defence when the latter was continously interrupted by Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin, the head a group calling itself ‘Suara Wanita 1Malaysia’ which organised the event.

“Not one undergraduate had the courage to defend the student (Bawani) when she was attacked by president of Suara Wanita 1Malaysia. Perhaps they were muted by the promise of (Samsung) Galaxy Note? “Friends, undergraduates should not be fooled in such manner!” said PMIUM’s women’s affairs committee chairperson Noor Afifah Jamaluddin.

Questioning the real agenda of the forum, Afifah challenged Zohra to meet UM students and prove her claim of practising mutual respect by engaging in a discussion.

(Source)

And at end of the day, there must be a proper closure to this chapter – not by punishing Bawani and others like her with forcing them to shut and listen to whatever nonsense, biased and half-baked garbage that anyone with the wrong credentials can dish out in front of fellow Malaysians. They must wake up and realize that we are no longer in 1950s where having strong thoughts about something can be dangerous and easily misinterpreted, we are no longer limited to one source for information (these days information is at one’s finger-tips) and we are no longer need to keep quiet if want things to change for the better (Bersih and Hindraf rallies are testament to that).

In that sense, it was heartening to know that people like higher education deputy minister Saifuddin Abdullah took Bawani’s side and was not happy on the manner Sharifah conducted herself. But we need to do more. It’s time for critical thinking. It’s time to have plenty of avenues for open debate and to forward one’s thoughts & facts on the current issues. Let’s stop all this brain-washing forums, seminars and rallies at schools and universities level where students should only focus on education and nothing more. It is not right and it brings more harm than good.

Indicators & Common Sense!


(Sorry for the strong tone of the post below but seriously some people deserve it left right and centre and more)

Read Also

(How hard it is going to be to look into your mirrors, put on your indicators and when it is safe, change lane? We all learned this when we started driving but why the obvious laziness and recklessness now? Is it because you think you are driving on your grandfather’s road? That you all alone on the fucking highway and you can change lane at your whims and fancy without looking?)

Seeing idiots changing lane without indicators in this country is nothing new.

I was quite pissed off this morning of an idiot who decided to change lane just when I was about to pass him. I was sure that the idiot did not check for other vehicles in his rear mirrors before changing lane. Otherwise he would have seen me next to him and would have stopped in his tracks. And it was worse because I saw another car on the fast lane (probably “flying” at 200 km/h) in my rear mirrors and I knew that it was not possible (and dangerous) to move to the fast lane to completely avoid this idiot.

I was stuck in the middle lane with this idiot turning to my lane, no signal whatsoever, probably high on drugs called “idiocy” and me unable to move to the fast lane. There was no time and space to slow down – I horned and I high-beamed but this idiot continued to change lane (despite plenty of space on his lane). I move slightly to the fast lane but keeping enough space for the faster car to pass through. The idiot on my left probably woke up at the very last minute – he slowed down back to his lane and the idiot on my right probably missed me by inches. It was a miracle that it did not turn into a bloody mess in the morning otherwise I swear to God that I would bash up the idiot on my left to a pulp if it has been.

Unbelievable – how some people are when it comes to using their brains and doing the right thing.

Let me ask you bastards out there who rarely (or had never) use the indicator (and rear mirrors) whenever you are changing lane or turning into a junction a question. How much energy or time it takes for you fuckers to switch on the indicators? How much ah? If you think turning on your indicators is going to take a lot deal of your time and energy, you rightfully deserved to have your ass shoved with the sharp point of the indicator stick! It is not like it takes some kind of special skills to push up & down the indicator-stick (unless you are retarded in which case you should not be driving in the first place). It is not like the indicator switch is located at some hidden place that you need to spend hours looking for it. It is not like the operation of “looking into the mirror-put on the indicators-then change lane” is so complex and tedious – for God sake, it will only take a couple of seconds to do that!

And I know what you are thinking, yes I do. I am sorry to break this to you but contrary to what you have been thinking all this while, a majority of us do not have the magic skills to read one’s thought. We wish we could but unfortunately we are not mutants. We don’t have such powers. We won’t know what is your sorry piece of shit in your skull is thinking next. Perhaps it is still sleeping. Perhaps it  wants you to be bashed up for a good reason but is unclear how to go about it – if so just hang out a sign on your windows and we will be more than happy to do that to you.

And in case you are playing ignorant and arrogantly stupid, here are some basic tips when to use the indicators. Read them slooooowly and repeat reading them for a million times (perhaps more for some of you who have shit instead of human brains up there):-

  • Turning left or right
  • Negotiating roundabouts
  • Changing lanes
  • Overtaking parked vehicles
  • Overtaking cyclists
  • Joining motorway
  • Coming off motorway
  • When pulling out or moving off from parked position
  • Pulling over to stop
  • Signalling to emergency service vehicles
  • Remember to use before any braking not after as modern bright brake lights “overpower” indicators so they’re not noticed as easy (some morons uses them AFTER they had changed lane)

(Source)

It is not hard to remember this and to use them when it is appropriate (if it is, write down and paste it on your steering wheel or the windscreen or the forehead of your fellow passenger).

And whilst the Pakatan morons is fighting the implementation of AES in this county for dumbest reasons, quite number of idiots on the road are getting away with other traffic offences like not using their indicators before changing lane, using the emergency lane, not using a helmet, etc. When we are going to get some kind of enforcement system against these morons and for these offences? When we are going to pull them out from our roads and highways and send them to the gallows? Will it be challenged by the Pakatan morons too? The indicator-stick in your vehicle for a good reason.

Anyway have a good weekend and next time, please use your fucking common sense when changing lanes. Have some basic courtesy – indicate where you want to go and go where you have indicated.

AES: Why We Really Need Them?


(Another fucking moron on the highway, the fact the idiot is getting too excited whenever he sees a high powered car is beside the point but with speeds in excess of 200 km/h with no cops in sight is clearly endangering other road users. This is where AES can come in very effectively – catching such idiots on camera 24 hours a day and in all weathers. Source: Youtube)

I don’t understand why some people failed to see that it is not an issue of profit but rather an issue of enforcement & road safety.

KUALA LUMPUR: The federal government and the concessionaires stand to collect RM51 billion from traffic summonses should all 831 Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras are installed nationwide, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today.

He also criticised the system for enriching certain individuals at the expense of sorry traffic offenders, saying that no government would try to gauge profits from traffic summonses. “If we did something wrong, you summon us, no problem. But why when issuing summonses, certain individuals are getting profits…” he said.

(Source)

And in response to the above allegation, we have this reply:-

Abdul Rahim in denying allegations that AES operators, Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and Ates Sdn Bhd were capturing images of traffic offenders for profiteering purposes said RTD had the authority to issue summons, not the operators.

He said the government had made certain provisions to control the profits of the AES operators. Abdul Rahim said the operators bore all the cost of supply, installation and maintenance of AES system as well as its upgrade, if necessary. He said the operators were willing to accept losses in the event of less summons issued due to positive changes in the behavior of road users or vandalism risks on their equipment and cameras.

(Source)

But before we go further, we also have this complaint in the papers:-

It was reported that 63,558 offences were captured by 14 cameras over eight days under the Automated Enforcement System (AES). Therefore, on average, each camera recorded 567 offences a day or one in every two and a half minutes. At this rate, a staggering 171,772,650 offences will be captured in a year when all 830 cameras are used.

Can the Road Transport Department issue such a huge number of summonses and are motorists willing to pay? Laws and rules are meant to protect the majority. If a huge number is penalised, then something must be wrong and ought to be changed.

Super cars are treated the same as jalopies as the cameras cannot discriminate between vehicles. Yet in most instances, it would be no more dangerous for a German car to cruise at 160kph than a 660cc car floating at 110kph.

(Source)

When it comes to enforcement, road safety and adherence to traffic rules & ethics, one have to wake up to 2 stark realities in Malaysia

One – we have a serious case of enforcement of traffic rules and this is largely attributed to the shortage of enforcement personals and higher priority and allocation of limited resources on more serious crime. It is a fact that the police cannot be everywhere at the same time and they have better things to do than to waste time and resource to chase someone who has been speeding. Something more effective is needed to address this and the Government has been trying to address this in recent times under its various measures in its NKRA for crime but it is clear that there is still plenty of work to be done before the general public perception of reduction in crime improves.

Two – we have a load of morons who are on the road on daily basis causing inconvenience and posing serious danger to other road users. Don’t get me wrong – they could be the best husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, boyfriend, girlfriend, co-worker, buddies, etc, very charitable, religious and helpful but when they are on the road, they can be a fucking idiot and a pain in the neck to others. And not surprisingly, a large number of them ride a motorcycle. And it does not take long for them to kick a big fuss (with the usual misplaced & lame excuses and often in collusion with opposition politicians who some are waiting to politicize anything under the sun when it comes to Government policies) whenever the Government announces stronger measures to enforce the traffic laws. Still remember when the RM1,000 fine was proposed and then cancelled? It is not an issue of education but rather care-less attitude.

(The basic flow of AES in Malaysia but it is not a perfect system – there is still room for improvement. Image source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com / TheStar)

AES or Automated Enforcement System is not something new. Seeing policemen with speed cameras / radars by the side of the highway has been a norm for many years now and we also had CCTV cameras in certain area of the traffic for monitoring and enforcement purposes. The old method of having a policeman manning the speeding camera has its weaknesses – one obvious weakness is that the policeman cannot man the speeding camera 24 hours and in all weathers (I personally have seen them “closing shop” when it started to rain and things get more dangerous for others). And it is a wrong allocation of resources –  why sit under the umbrella manning speed cameras for hours when the same policeman can be allocated to do street policing work or work on serious crime investigations?

So the mindless oppositions to the implementation of AES has really dumb-struck me. And the fact that opposition politicians joining in road offenders (hmmm, habitual offenders must really be feeling the bite now) in calling for the AES to be on hold is greatly missing the point. Yes, I agree that there may be an issue in awarding the AES contract to a selected few and perhaps there may just be an issue on the computation of the payments to the AES operators but that has nothing to do with the urgent need to have AES in place for enforcement of traffic rules. Politicians (from all sides) should stress the need for better and effective enforcement methods – one that will take out the man in blue from mundane enforcement work and into more important effective policing work.

They can still voice their concern on the implementation of AES but it has to be with the right focus and questions.

Enriching the Few Allegations

Lim Guan Eng’s contention that the system is enriching certain individuals at the expense of sorry traffic offenders is sorely misplaced. Firstly the system only works if there are traffic offenders. If no one breaks the law (existing laws and not one that was created out of the blue), no summons would be issued and no “individuals” would be enriched “unnecessarily”. It’s dumb to say that the system is designed to enrich only certain individuals (and not for enforcement of traffic laws). Secondly what he meant by “sorry” traffic offenders? If you break the law, you can utter all the sorry you want but at end of the day, you need to pay for the offence.

Rocky’s Bru in his post rightfully call some people including Guan Eng a moron and in this case, they are. Some people simply don’t just get it – AES burdens the traffic offenders, not the taxpayers (same case as the RM1,000 fine but then it was politicized and wrongly portrayed as burdening the tax-payers).

There is a proper place and time to politicize certain issues but not on the measures that actually enforces the traffic laws and one have proven to reduce accidents in a positive way. If these politicians who are opposing AES have a better way to improve the enforcement of traffic laws and reduce the number of fatalities, they should come forward with their ideas. Unfortunately there has been none to date except complaints and allegations on AES.

Educate, Not Punish?

Elsewhere some argues that AES is simply the wrong method deployed to educate the drivers who flaunt on traffic rules. They are arguing that educating drivers must be the priority of the authorities and the authorities should not be focusing on the punishment of the said drivers.

But this is where I don’t understand on why there is a need to “re-educate” the traffic offenders. Unless there some element of “duit kopi“, didn’t they go to driving school and sat for driving test? Have they now become way too stupid to understand that red light means stop or driving more than 110 km/h means the car is driven more than the regulated speed limit? Have they now become way too stupid to read the various warning posted by the authorities by the side of the road and continued to ignore them? If they are, then they should not be allowed to handle a vehicle in the first place (you did not see “Forrest Gump” driving a car, did you?)

You can focus on all the re-education that you want and until the fat lady sings perhaps but I can tell you now that nothing whatsoever will change. This is because the issue at hand is not due to lack of education (people are not that dumb) but rather it is due to attitude problem. These people know that due to lack of enforcement, they can get away with it. There is a clear lack of the perception of being caught and this is why some of the traffic offenders are repeated offenders and that is why AES caught 63,558 offences within one week. Imagine the number of offences committed in areas where the police are not around or AES is not in operation.

At end of the day, if nothing changes, alternative methods must be deployed especially when dealing with habitual offenders. Don’t bother to waste time with calls for education. Some morons will only change their ways when you hit them where it pains them the most – on their wallet, when their driving license is cancelled and when they are banned from driving. For some, punishment can be a powerful form of education too.

(The use of ANPR or Automatic Number Plate Recognition in the UK to detect and remove serious criminals, unsafe vehicles and unsafe drivers from our roads. Yes, they actually seize the car in addition to giving the driver the summons. In Malaysia, we are still being soft on criminals on the road – we don’t seize the unsafe or uninsured vehicles on the spot. Source: Youtube)

Big Car, Small Car Distinction

“Super cars are treated the same as jalopies as the cameras cannot discriminate between vehicles. Yet in most instances, it would be no more dangerous for a German car to cruise at 160kph than a 660cc car floating at 110kph”.

So what? What is the writer’s contention? That the fat rich guy in the big car can break every traffic rules in the book but the poor guy in the small car must strictly adhere by the rules?

When the authorities set the speed limit on a certain length of the road, it is meant for all vehicles – small, big, expensive, cheap, etc. A German car that flies on the fast lane at 160kph kills the same and causes the same bloody mess as the 660cc car floating at 110kph. Technology makes a big difference in terms of safety and comfort to the occupant of the car but it should not make any difference in the eyes of the law. So stop making this big car, small car distinction – it does not any make sense as it does not make things safer for other road users. The treatment of the law must be equal on all.

Talking about speed limit, it is imperative that we need to have a comprehensive study whether the existing speed limits is reasonable given the current status of traffic, road condition and the types of cars that uses the road. If one stretch of road allows you to drive up to 110 km/h but at the very next corner, the speed goes down drastically to say 60 km/h, one need to study whether enough time, notice and room have been given for the driver to slow down to 60 km/h.

What Need to Focus on AES Instead?

We need the AES but in the same case of highways (we need them too), we do not want it to be turned out an economical burden.

We do not want the Government to end up paying millions of ringgit in compensation due to reduced number of summons collected or issued. It happened for highways too – we welcomed the construction of the highways and even know why we pay toll but what we question is the substantial increase in toll charges and the huge compensations paid especially when it is clear that there is also a substantial increase of vehicles using the highway. We question the toll concessionaires’ agreement which is shrouded in secrecy and attempts to view them are met with unbelievable opposition and threats.

We want the politicians to vet the AES contract with greater scrutiny and to ensure that the slip-ups that happened in highway concessionaires’ agreement do not appear in AES agreements. We do not want to end up paying higher summons rates or pay millions of compensation even with high number of summons issued. And this is what the politicians should be focusing on. Keep the implementation of AES intact but ensure that tax-payers money is well protected from any future compensation or bail-outs.

Then we have this:-

The two local contractors handling the Automated Enforcement System (AES) may have paid RM404 million more for the speed cameras.

Anti-Saman Ekor Campaign (KASE) legal adviser Zulhazmi Shariff said today that a Transport Ministry parliamentary reply indicated that the private companies implementing the project for the government, namely Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and A.T.E.S. Sdn Bhd, had invested RM717 million in the nationwide project.

“From what we found from a filing to the Australian Security Exchange dated Dec 19, 2011, Redflex had announced that it has obtained a contract worth more than USD50 million (RM151 million) to install 450 fixed cameras and 140 mobile cameras for Beta Tegap,” he said, showing copies of the filings of both companies which he obtained online. For Jenoptik Robot, he said the company had announced that it was receiving USD53 million (RM160 million) to install 550 cameras for A.T.E.S. He said the price included implementation and comprehensive support for five years.

Zulhazmi, who is also a PAS member, said this totalled to about RM312 million spent, which was RM404 million less than the RM717 the local companies had invested. “That would make the difference of RM404 million. Why such a high mark up price? “This is pure earning for these companies. Why didn’t the government buy these technologies directly?” he asked.

(Source)

The Government is saying that they or the taxpayers are not paying anything for the hardware and the implementation as it is outsourced to the 2 private companies (who will also bear the costs). So who cares if the companies paying more than what is needed – it is not our money in the first place but is there any implications on the computation of payments to the 2 private companies from the summons collected? Or worse, what happens if the Government is going to “reimburse” the companies at a later point of time for the same hardware? What is the amount we going to pay in the end? We are interested to know this.

(Traditional traffic law enforcement relies exclusively on the presence of an officer to observe violations and identify and cite offenders. Obviously, this limits the effectiveness of traffic law enforcement because police cannot be everywhere. An automated enforcement system fills this gap in enforcement. Source: Youtube)

But AES Still Needs Improvement

There are clear merits on implementing AES and issue of cost aside, AES on it’s own is not perfect and does not cover all aspect of traffic enforcement especially when it comes to enforcement on motorcyclists and heavy vehicles. At the moment, it only covers excessive speeding and running the red lights and it is a good start but it is not enough. A bulk of the fatality involves motorcyclists and a good number of them ride around without helmet, speeding off with any care for red lights, weaving in and out of lanes without any indicators and riding against traffic.

The truth is AES is not designed to work alone – that is very clear from the start. It is designed to work as part of a bigger, comprehensive enforcement system which involves the enforcement agencies and other sub-systems like speed camera, CCTVs and public information. We still need the police, RTD and the local authorities to do their share of the enforcement which includes mobile speed trap, road blocks and patrols. We also need to ensure the various databases from the various departments (police, RTD, National Registration Department, etc) are well integrated so that information is readily made available for all arms of the enforcement agencies any time, any place.

At end of the day, we just want to drive from A to B without the need to be fear or be inconvenient from other road users. As such, we need systems like the AES to be widely used to stem the abuse of traffic rules. And it was good to know that the Government are strict on implementing AES and will not back off from the unfounded oppositions to AES for the time being. That is what all traffic law abiding road users wants also, I am pretty sure.