MH370: The Transport Minister


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The case of a missing plane is no laughing matter but then again, seeing this image on Facebook reminds me of the need for Malaysian politicians who intending to be Ministers and Deputy Ministers to have the right qualifications, knowledge and attitude when the shit does hit the fan.

They should never handle a huge global issue as if it was domestic politics. I am sure that Hishammuddin Hussein, when he took over the portfolio on a temporary basis (after MCA had declined to take up any Government post), would not have expected for a plane to go missing under his watch. No one did. Todate, he has been doing his duty rather well and as expected of a Transport Minister except for that time when he screwed up things by not inviting the Pakatan MPs for a briefing on MH370 and then coming up with the usual dumb excuse.

Hope this will be a good lesson to all..

Image source: http://fakemalaysianews.com/

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Being Holier than Holy


Firstly my condolences to the parents and family members of the 2 young children who were murdered by their maid. It was tragic beyond any comprehension and no matter what is said and done, nothing can replace the 2 lovely children and console the parents. Nothing. The devil indeed walks on the earth in disguise of these killers. May the murdered children’s soul rest in peace.

Secondly, many laughed back in 2011 when the words preppers or prepping is mentioned. One person I know even boasted that his house water tank would last until the water situation was back to normal and preppers were wasting their time. But now with water ration in place (hitting at least 3 million consumers) and some places like Balakong had no running water for 2 weeks, I wonder how many of them regret for not prepping for these kind of situations. At home, we have stocked up drinking water and it should be enough to last us for at least 1 week but it may not be enough if the hot weather continues for the next few weeks (but we have worked out a Plan B & C, just in case).

Back to the post for this week…

Read these first:-

Some months ago, as I was lazing around the house (as usual), my wife came over and sat next to me. She asked if we could go to the temple later in the evening (it is a question that I usually get on the weekends). She said that it was crucial that we go to the temple on a weekly basis as it will be beneficial to us and the kids spiritually and it will bring in more of the positive “chi”. Well, I don’t discount the impact of astrology on our daily life but then again, as T.E. Lawrence had once said, nothing is written and I feel the same. Doesn’t God help those who help themselves?

Anyway, her point was well noted. No harm going to temples – there is certain sense of tranquility when we are there to say our prayers and thanks to Him. There is a sense of positive energy once you have entered the temple grounds. The thing is, being a 21st century devotee, I hate the lack of parking at temple compound (which leaves many to park their car haphazardly by the road side and sometimes find broken into) and sometimes the over-killed “time procedures” and elaborate ceremonies.

These are obviously added up (perhaps over past centuries) so that the temples can make more money through the various charges & services and also to bring in the crowd. Well, I don’t blame them – with too many temples in the same vicinity fighting for the same pool of devotees, they had to do something. Still remember the sudden appearance of the white snake in Puchong some years ago? This is why I sometimes opt to go to smaller, less crowded temples where one just walk in, buys the arachana slip and do the prayers and walk out without the need to wait long.

My wife was waiting for an answer, she knows that I hate going to the temples for the right reasons. I said “ok” in a low bass tone. Then as usual, later in the afternoon, I decided to take a quick nap and went to bed. I woke up at night, obviously missing the trip to the temple. It was certainly not a quick nap as I had intended it to be. My wife was not happy of course but this has become a routine in recent years, so it was nothing new to her. Besides, for me, the weekends is time to catch up on sleep, lazing around and playing with the kids and perhaps visiting relatives & shopping. Going to temples and spending hours there in sweat & frustration was never part of my weekend agenda.

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(Never let the religion man to do science work. The outcome will very likely to be unscientific. Image source: Facebook)

Let’s talk about temple priests as this too been a factor whether I want to go temples or not. I have come across a number of them over the years – some are simple & humble like the priest who went to India to do engineering and ended up learning on religion. He does things right and you can always have a friendly chat with him without the need to indulge in religion. And some are nothing but selfish, arrogant conman who say one thing and do another and insist everyone to do his way or else God Himself would be angry on those who had failed to abide (this causes some friction with some relatives as they would insist on us doing certain things just because some priests they know had told them so). These are same guys who will conduct the prayers on a touch and go basis and yet insist on payment on everything you touch. And I simply hate when the job is outsourced to priest’s inexperienced kids / relatives.

Others, well I am sure you would have heard of the famed “Swami Nithyananda” who takes advantage of the ignorance and blind faith. Now, having said that, there are also good ones and the bad ones at every corner and in every so-called mainstream religion. Once in a while, we will hear the worse of the worse such as this and this.

Let’s face it – not all priests are not holy man and not all holy man are priest. I know some who even wear a suit to work and lives a normal life and yet holds the highest level in integrity, conduct and a good knowledge of religion. They read a lot and they do debate the issues of religion and science (the bane of religious men and this leads to sometimes peculiar situations) in good manner and they readily accepts the evidence of science. They had never dismissed it outright as for them, God works in strange ways and science would be one of that way.

Over the years, temples (and the minions who run them) have become too commercialized. No, I am not talking about the usual donation and service charges that they imposes for prayers. That’s normal as everyone has overheads and even this is not enough (which is why temples must merge). I am referring to those who have gone to do the religion business on the concept of MLM.

That is why I rather go to a quiet corner of the house and say a silent prayer. I know that God speaks and understands many languages so I don’t necessary need a priest to translate into Sanskrit. And I am sure He did not mean prayers to be very complicated and for common people like you and me to reach HIM only through some complex ceremonies & mantras. Even better, I am very sure that just by thinking and doing the right things and without any malice is more than enough to score good karma than doing all things evil and then trying to bribe God by going to temple and doing elaborate ceremonies.

Think about it when you meet another holy man asking you to do things that does not make any sense…

Kangkung Factor


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(Among the many funny things posted on Najib’s statement that the price of kangkung had gone down, this stands in my mind as the funniest bit. I just love Ronald’s face on the second photo – it looks like he had answered too many phone calls asking for McKangkung. Images source: Facebook)

If you have missed out on the joke on Najib, look again – it’s on the front page of BBC, rather cheekily titled “Laughing Stalk“:-

Malaysia’s prime minister is being widely lampooned on social media for a comment he made about the price of kangkung, or water spinach.

Food is a faux pas minefield for politicians, especially when it’s perceived as being used in a get-down-with-the-people kind of way – think of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s pasty moment or Chancellor George Osborne’s “posh burger” tweet. The almost inevitable response seems to be ridicule. That’s where the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak finds himself right now. With the government under fire because of price hikes in basics like fuel and electricity, he chose to push back by highlighting a reduction in the cost of the leafy green vegetable kangkung.

Kangkung – also known as water spinach, morning glory and Chinese spinach – is widely eaten in Malaysia, and is cooked as a stir-fry with a little garlic or chilli paste. But it’s cheap, grows wild alongside streams, paddy fields and drains, and is not considered a staple. Moments after a video of the prime minister was posted making the comments, the sarcasm and jokes began to trend on social media in Malaysia.

There have been hundreds of thousands of tweets, a Facebook page set up – with 10,000 followers already – a YouTube re-mix of his comments, the lyrics to popular and traditional folk songs have been re-worked, and “Keep calm and eat kangkung” T-shirts have been made and rushed to market.

(Source)

Thanks to Najib, the whole world is laughing at Malaysia!

But certainly it is not a laughing matter. All items that was promised (during the election campaign) to cost lower went the other way around. And just when you thought that these idiots would have learned a thing or two from the whole kangkung incident, they decided to go on an overdrive and make a fool of themselves many times over:-

A special Cabinet committee formed to tackle the high cost of living will look at the root causes of price increases to check unreasonable or arbitrary hikes. The committee, representing various ministries, understands that not all price increases stem from government fiscal consolidation measures. Some are due to market structural issues, including supply and sale, with unscrupulous businessmen exploiting the situation, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

(Source)

What, only now the Government want to set up some shit and want to find out “why” the cost of living had gone up!

You mean to say that they have been sticking their head in the ground all this time? Issue with market structural issues, including supply and sale, with unscrupulous businessmen exploiting the situation sprang up only now and without any warnings? Don’t you think it is a bit too late now especially the issue of price hike was actually raised and discussed in detail long before Christmas last year? Still remember one kangkung Minister telling off the consumer that if they feel that the price of chicken is high, then don’t eat chicken? Back then, this seemed to be the only best solution that they can come up with when consumers hit back at the Government on the drastic price hikes. One idiot went aboard with the “leave Malaysia if you don’t like BN” call which left many speechless. Perhaps all of them were aiming for the grand Kangkung of the Year award. 

Anyway why you need a special (ahem!) committee when you know they are only going to waste time and a lot of taxpayers money and in the end would still be clueless on why there has been a drastic price hike of essential things? At the most, they will come back and say that the increase is justified, it cannot be controlled and thus the Government have done its best and should not be blamed for it. Perhaps they will even justify the kangkung statement from Najib. This is what will happen at the end of day. The reason is this is simple – we had a handful of committees all the way from Pak Lah’s time too but nothing positive came out from these committees.

It does not take rocket science to know that there is a cascading effect on the price of basic items once you hike up the petrol and toll charges. The other part that causes unreasonable or arbitrary hikes is corruption, unnecessary  spending (what happened to that 2nd private jet that was rumored recently?) and lack of enforcement (if you say that the business owners raises the prices arbitrarily – then why they are not booked?). You still need a special committee to investigate the root cause? Why not entrust the related Government departments to do up the study and propose immediate action plan to the Government? Or this too has been curtailed by the billion ringgit consultants? Don’t you think with this, even the best kangkung jokes seemed rather pale?

Think about it and in the meantime, enjoy this video (ya, more kangkung jokes and it only shows that the Malaysians are always step ahead of the low thinking politicians):-

Have a good weekend ahead and make sure you take up a lot of kangkung (last I heard, it was cheap, very cheap)…

Stop Section 114A!


Update 2: theStar reports – The Cabinet is carefully studying Section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950 in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s directive, after it became a much discussed matter in cyberspace. Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Wednesday the Government held a firm stand on the matter but so far, there were no plans to make new amendments to the Act.

If I were you, I would not lose my breath over this “Cabinet carefully studying…after Najib’s directive”. Now they have the edge (after all, the Act have been passed by the Parliament), you think they going to let go just like that?

Update 1: I do not know who this Fatimah Zuhri is (a BN cyber trooper?) but running through her “arguments” in support for Section 114A, it is clear she is missing a point in her support for Section 114A (no doubt the amendments have its merits as highlighted by her). The point that she missed is on the burden of proof shifting to the accused. She says that yes, the accused is now guilty until proven innocent but then goes on to say that if one is innocent, then it is easy to prove it so.

This argument is seriously flawed as 1. under our legal system, one always presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, so why the sudden shift then? Will the resources be made available by the authorities for the accused to prove the innocence? and 2. she is talking about proving your innocence using IP & MAC address – is she a computer expert on cyber crime or she is just a casual PC user who knows nothing more than using some easy Microsoft programs and surf the net.

Look at the comments by one Ah Beng under her post and you will realised that proving your innocence using IPs & MAC Addresses may be futile if the real perpetrators are experts in covering their tracks (there are plenty of tools on the net just for that) and since you are presumed guilty until proven innocent, you are screwed. There seems to be a clear loophole on the horizon (since it does not stop anyone who is not happy with what has been written online from hiring certain experts to hack and create trouble for the writers under Section 114A) and that should not be the case.

Back to the original post

Read these first:-

They have been trying to censor the internet for ages now but so far their attempts have whacked them back on their face. This seems to be the latest of their attempt to censor what is said & discussed on the net but this time around, it is coming through the “back door” via the Evidence Act 1950

From Stop114A:-

How does Section 114A affect you?

Titled “Presumption of Fact in Publication”, Section 114A holds the following people accountable for publishing content online:

(1) those who own, administrate, or edit websites open to public contributors, such as online forums or blogs;

(2) those who provide webhosting services or Internet access; and

(3) those own the computer or mobile device used to publish content online.

In other words, if allegedly defamatory content is traced back to your username, electronic device, and/or WiFi network, Section 114A presumes you are guilty of publishing illicit content on the Internet.

But what if you were the victim of identity theft and a hacker wrongfully used your Twitter or Facebook account to post defamatory content?

Under Section 114A, you are still considered guilty until proven innocent.

What is wrong with Section 114A?

Section 114A is problematic for a number of reasons:

i) It disproportionately burdens average Internet users who are wrongfully accused of publishing seditious or defamatory content.

ii) It makes Internet intermediaries–parties that provide online community forums, blogging and hosting services–liable for content that is published through their services.

iii) It allows hackers and cyber criminals to be free by making the person whose account/computer is hacked liable for any content/data which might have changed.

iv) It is a bad law passed in haste and does not take into account public interest and participation.

Click the image below for more details:-

(All images sources: http://stop114a.wordpress.com/)

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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Will he change too?


The man with many words befitting his role on information & communications…

(“Trust meeeee…..who needs the Internet? It is a Western tool to erode our culture and way of our life.  I know this, I am in charge of information and communications….old school! Image source: http://orangminyak.wordpress.com)

Recently, the Minister in charge of “information, communications and culture” said:-

Readers will most likely shift to the Internet for news if the traditional media continues with its old style of presenting news based on what the editors feel that people should read, or using the media as a propaganda tool (perhaps Rais was referring to this).

This was because the Internet allowed the people to read what they wanted to read. The Internet has created a new phenomenon of change all over the world.

Hmmn, that looks too obvious that the speech was scripted by someone else especially when the key word here is “new phenomenon of change”

Because this is the very same guy who said:-

Muslims and other religious groups must be wary of the Internet as it was introduced by the West. Users must not be influenced by what they see and hear when using the Internet. The Malaysian government has warned against excessive use of micro-blogging sites like Facebook and Twitter, arguing that they could erode the country’s culture

And earlier contemplated this:-

Despite a guarantee of no censorship in Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor, Datuk Seri Rais Yatim’s ministry is evaluating the feasibility of putting an Internet filter blocking “undesirable websites” — similar to China’s aborted “Green Dam” software. The study is to be completed by this December and the results will be handed to a shadowy unit monitoring blogs and websites.

And who, much earlier, said that:-

The idea is good (for bloggers in Malaysia to be registered) but we have to see it from the legal aspects and from the aspect of freedom of Internet use.

What is the real role of the Information, Communications & Culture Ministry when it comes to the Internet? Is to closely monitor of Malaysians using the Internet and curtail them whenever it comes to Malaysians using the Internet to critise or highlighting the wrongdoing of the Government? Or is it to facilitate the wider usage of the Internet in a more productive and effective ways so that the nation will make progress in areas of information and communications?

As the Ministry that holds the power of information and communications at its hands, the Ministry should be one of the most progressive ministries in the whole of the Government. It is the one ministry that can have much positive impact on other area of the Government namely Education, Science and Technology (that is obvious), Finance and Commerce (everything runs on information technology these days) and Human Resource (are our people being readied for the online information age?)

What is then the vision and mission of the ministry?

Interestingly a ministry which is in charge of ‘information and communications’ does not even have an entry in the famous Wikipedia unlike it’s counterpart from the South (wondering just how embraced are the people in the Ministry to the internet. Or are they seeing Wikipedia in the same threatening manner of Twitter and Facebook?)

Anyway from their own website, the vision of the ministry is:-

To spearhead the creation of a nation state grounded on the ideals of 1Malaysia and Rukun Negara, through information, communication and culture

That does not sound right, doesn’t it? I sorry to say this but the vision itself does not sound too progressive (“grounded” on the ideals of 1Malaysia which yet to be seen it’s effectiveness and Rukun Negara which principles whilst ideals at times has been rarely upheld by Malaysian Politicians)

Just look on how the Minister in charge of communications behaves himself in front of the world when it comes to the Internet. There seems to be much dislike and fear – the internet is not about one person or one country but it is about a global community and almost endless load of information to be discovered and made use of.

As in many things, there are bad and good things in the internet but ultimately it boils down to how we are going to engage the overwhelming information on the internet and what we going to use them to better ourselves and the country as whole.

As Facebook user said (to the Minister’s warning on Twitter and Facebook):-

The West did not give you your will power. “If an individual cannot control what they (sic) take in, something must be wrong with him or her.”

The INTERNET in the words of the politician is indeed a “new phenomenon of change”. But it remains a distant phenomenon if nothing is done to embrace and grow with it. It remains meaningless if despite knowing the benefits and the potentials, attitude towards it is not change from a fearful one to a more positive one.

Read Also

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