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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Robin Williams: 1951 – 2014


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(That funny man from Mork & Mindy will always be remembered. His role in Good Will Hunting however was a total depart from his usual fare and one class up. Image source: http://toptenfilmz.com)

I had never expected this

Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams has been found dead at his home in California from suspected suicide, police said Monday.

A statement from the Marin County Sheriff’s Department said the 63-year-old funnyman was found shortly before midday at his home in Tiburon, northern California.

“At this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia,” the statement said.

The veteran actor’s publicist said the Good Will Hunting star he had been battling depression prior to his death.

(Source)

Coming back to Robin Williams, the why would why but then again, depression does make strong willed man to do crazy things. I should know, a situation that we were in once and still keeping an eye on this. However being one of the funniest man around, little we were aware that he has been battling depression. It is a silent killer.

Talking about Robin Williams, I will forever loved his roles in the Mork & Mindy (of course!) and other movies like Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji.

I loved his role in Good Will Hunting the most. He should have done more serious roles like this. Should have. He will be missed.

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

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?

Karpal Singh: 1940 – 2014


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(He may have said many things but he have always been consistent and highly principled and that earns the respect and admiration. Image source: Malaysiakini)

From theStar:-

Bukit Gelugor MP and veteran DAP leader Karpal Singh died in an accident near Gua Tempurung here early Thursday. The prominent lawyer and his assistant, C Michael, died on the scene. His son Ramkarpal and the car’s driver, C Selvam, were injured in the 1am incident. Their bodies have been brought to Kampar Hospital. The Toyota Alphard in which Karpal and the three were in had collided with a lorry. Karpal was on his way to Penang to attend a court case.

A great loss to DAP and Pakatan Rakyat indeed!

RIP, The Tiger of Jelutong

Andy Griffith: 1926 – 2012


From CNN:-

Actor Andy Griffith, who played folksy Sheriff Andy Taylor in the fictional town of Mayberry, died Tuesday at the age of 86, his family said.

Griffith died at about 7 a.m. at his home on Roanoke Island, according to Dare County, North Carolina, Sheriff J.D. “Doug” Doughtie. He passed away after an unspecified illness and “has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoake Island,” the family said in a statement.

Other than the Little House on the Prairie, The Andy Griffith Show (that featured Ron Howard as Andy’s son Opie) was one of “the” shows that we often watched during tea-break when we were still little kids. Even as kids, Andy’s situational jokes and family oriented storyline was easy to follow. Andy Griffith also starred in Matlock but it did not come close to the more famed The Andy Griffith Show.

Rest in Peace, Sheriff Andy.

Whitney Houston – 1963 – 2012


(Passed away at 48 years old – Image source: Wikipedia)

From BBC:-

American singer and actress Whitney Houston has died in Los Angeles at the age of 48. Police said she died in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she had been staying as a guest.

Houston was one of the most celebrated female singers of all time, with hits including I Will Always Love You and Saving All My Love For You. But her later career was overshadowed by substance abuse and her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown.

Police were despatched, but paramedics who were already at the hotel because of the party attempted to resuscitate her, without success. She was pronounced dead at 15:55.

Not really a big fan of Whitney but she was one of the well-known female singers in late 1980s.

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