Snippets – 07 June 2012


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

Million Youths Drag Race Accident

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

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

(Source)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Source)

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, Some Parents!

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

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

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

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

(Source)

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

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

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

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

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New Found Care?


I guess to portray a bad image on someone; you can try to make as much noise as possible and hope that the real facts gets drown in the noise…

(What is the real mission of “Misi Tawan Selangor”? Want to wrestle back the state for the good of the people in Selangor or to continue the nonsense that happened before the last general election? Image source: here)

Selangor BN been quite sore ever since they lost one of the “wealthiest” State in Malaysia, so this piece of news was not a big surprise:-

Selangor Barisan Nasional Youth will send a memorandum to the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, on Thursday on the sand and water issues in the state.

State Barisan deputy chairman Datuk Seri Noh Omar said the memorandum to be sent to Istana Kayangan here, would appeal to the Sultan to advise the Selangor government not to risk the state’s future merely for its own political interest.

Another 17 ceramah will be held until Aug 8 as part of the ‘Save Selangor” roadshow which will also raise issues such as the alleged lies by PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, sand mining controversy involving Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd and the alleged crisis in the Pakatan Rakyat state government.

(Source)

I never trusted Noh Omar and his justifications to bring Selangor back to BN’s control. At the end of the day, it is nothing but politics. I am part of Selangor and I just want to ask this Noh Omar one simple question – “What Selangor Pakatan Rakyat have done that is worse than the time Selangor was led by Khir Toyo?”

Let us trace our steps back for a moment.

Illegal sand mining?

Well, that problem had been a pain in the neck even before PR took over the state. So, what’s the big deal? At least the PR State Government is pressured by the own people to work on this (I did not hear the same when Khir was at the pilot’s seat). BN only came in later – perhaps exhausted of new ideas to go against PR in Selangor.

And talking about BN making a lot of noise on sand mining, here is a disturbing news from the net:-

There apparently is more than meets the eye in Barisan Nasional’s attacks on the Selangor government over the sand-mining issue.

There may be large reserves of tin underneath the sand and BN does not want them discovered while Selangor is under Pakatan Rakyat’s rule, according to a memorandum submitted to the state government by the Sand Mining Operators and Contractors Action Committee, which represents sand-related businesses registered with the state-owned Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd.

The memorandum, signed by the committee’s chairman, Raja Kamaruddin Raja Abdul Wahid, urged the state not to give in to BN’s demands.

(Source)

It may just be the case of sand contractors trying to protect their source of income but then again, what if what they are saying is true? Whatever the reason may be, eliminating illegal sand mining activities in the State is not an easy matter.

What remains to be seen is how effective the PR led State Government is in managing the sand mining in the state and coming down hard on illegal miners.

Water issue in Selangor?

No water issue during Khir Toyo’s time? Are you sure, Noh? Still recall Bukit Cerakah? Is it due to blatant development of water catchment areas during the BN’s time that the State may face a water crisis now?

And it is not like the PR State Government is not aware of the potential water crisis:-

Khalid insisted that there would be sufficient water supply to meet the demands of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur consumers up to the year 2019, based on expert consultations and their calculations of population growth rate, past and present water consumption rates, current production capacity, and water levels in the dams.

He also cautioned against pushing through a large, lucrative contract like the Pahang-Selangor water transfer, saying that it that would incur further national debt, and recommended instead that the project be implemented in 2016.

Khalid had also suggested four alternatives to meet growing water demands instead of the costly Pahang-Selangor water transfer project.

He called for an increased promotion of water recycling, including rainwater harvesting; the exploration of alternative sources of water, such as water from rivers and lakes; and underground water technologies.

Khalid also cited the need to reduce the current high non-revenue water (NRW) rate from 35 per cent to below 20 per cent, and to improve the inter-connectivity of water supply by ensuring a more efficient water transfer from the northern to the southern region of Selangor.

(Source)

Is the transfer of water from Pahang the only option available for Selangor? Any Plan B in the pocket? What happens if Pahang also faces a water crisis in the future (PR claims that Pahang plan is not a viable solution & there is a conflict of interest) – so where that leaves Selangor?

PR Government is right to push on alternatives for now – they should implement the alternatives and see the impact. They should strive for long term plan on the water resources in the State.

There seems to be a concerted effort by BN to portray PR as being very reckless with management of water. But are they? If you still recall, in 2009 there was a proposal from the State Government to take over the various water operators in the State but guess who went and sabotaged it?

Read Nut Graph’s “Who caused Selangor’s Water Woes?” for the twist.

Final Say

PR State Government is not perfect; I have to admit that – they have their faults especially when it comes to getting all the 3 component political parties to work together and agree on the policies and directions. Finger pointing and dissatisfaction by the PR politicians among each other in the open can be a serious “pain in the neck” for those voted them in.

But at least, they are more accountable than the previous Government. The State’s Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency have done a fine job unearthing abuses of power and funds by both BN & PR and that should keep everyone on their toes.

And finally, at least under PR, I don’t see the current MB going off to Disneyland with his family and his maids using the state’s funds or seeing any PR assemblymen building palaces and show their middle finger to the authorities at the same time. At least some of the nonsense has stopped.

Read Also

Letter by Tony Pua on the issue