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Archive for October, 2008

Hear hear, Zaid my man!

Posted by barbie on October 31, 2008

Zaid: Ketuanan Melayu has failed
Oct 31, 08 2:32pm

The ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ model has failed, declared former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim in an incisive speech at the LawAsia 2008 conference in Kuala Lumpur this morning.

It has resulted in waste of crucial resources, energy and time and has distracted from the real issues confronting the country,” said Zaid, who criticised the race-based policy despite being a member of the ruling Umno party which was set up to safeguard Malay interests.

Zaid also noted that ‘deputy premier in waiting’ Muhyiddin Yassin had suggested the need for a closed-door forum for leaders of the Barisan Nasional (BN) to develop a common stand, a renewed national consensus grounded on the social contract.

“This is positive step but it should include all political leaders and be premised on the social contract that was the foundation of independence,” said the lawyer by training who was made senator and subsequently minister entrusted with the task of reforming the judiciary by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi following the March 8 general election.

He quit last month in protest against the arrest of three individuals under the Internal Security Act (ISA) which provides for detention without trial.

Zaid said March 8 was a clear indicator that the ruling BN coalition no longer exclusively speaks for the people.

He also underscored the importance of promoting discourse and dialogue so that Malaysians learn to talk and to listen to one another again.

“Communication and trust amongst the people must be re-established,” he said.

The former minister called on the BN government to abandon its ‘reworked’ concept of the social contract and embrace a fresh perspective borne out of discussions and agreements made in good faith with all the communities.

“It is time for us all to practise a more transparent and egalitarian form of democracy and to recognise and respect the rights and dignity of all the citizens of this country.”

Mukhriz singled out for criticism

Singling out Mukhriz Mahathir for criticism, Zaid said the Umno Youth chief aspirant typifies what is perceived as the kind of Umno leader who appeals to the right-wing of Malay politic.

Zaid also referred to the recent remarks made by the son of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad that there was no need for law and judicial reforms as it would not benefit the Malays,

“That he may be right is sad as it leads to the ossification of values that will only work against the interests of the party and the nation,” Zaid lamented in his 16-page speech.

This type of thinking may pave the way to a suggestion in the future that we may as well do away with general elections altogether as they may not be good for the Malays for, if the justice that a revitalised rule of law would allow for is not to the benefit of the Malays, what is? More inefficiency, more corruption and a more authoritarian style of government perhaps.

“We are a deeply divided nation, adrift for our having abandoned democratic traditions and the rule of law in favour of a political ideology that serves no one save those who rule.”

According to Zaid, the obsession with the Ketuanan Melayu doctrine has destroyed something precious in Malaysians.

“It makes us lose our sense of balance and fairness. When a certain Chinese lady was appointed head of a state development corporation, having served in that corporation for 33 years, there were protests from Malay groups because she is Chinese,” he said referring to the controversy involving the appointment of Low Siew Moi as acting head of the Selangor Development Cooperation (PKNS).

“A new economic vision is necessary, one that is more forward looking in outlook and guided by positive values that would serve to enhance cooperation amongst the races. This will encourage change for the better, to develop new forms of behaviour and shifts of attitudes, to believe that only economic growth will serve social equity, to aspire to a higher standard of living for all regardless of race.

“We need to meaningfully acknowledge that wealth is based on insight, sophisticated human capital and attitude change. A new dynamics focused on cooperation and competition will spur innovation and creativity.

“Some might say that this is a fantasy. I disagree. How do we go about transforming the culture and values of the bumiputeras so that their ability to create new economic wealth can be sustained?

“By changing our political and legal landscapes with freedom and democracy.”

On that note, Zaid said Mahathir was right to have asked the Malays to embrace modernity but the 82-year-old statesman fell short by only focusing on the physical aspects of modernity.

“He was mistaken to think all that was needed to change the Malay mindset was science and technology. He should have also promoted the values of freedom, human rights and the respect of the law.

“If affirmative action is truly benchmarked on the equitable sharing of wealth that is sustainable, then we must confront the truth and change our political paradigm, 40 years of discrimination and subsidy have not brought us closer. There is a huge economic dimension to the rule of law and democracy that this government must learn to appreciate.”

Conflicts of jurisdiction require resolution

Zaid conceded that relationship between Islam, the state, law and politics in Malaysia is complex.

“How do we manage legal pluralism in Malaysia? Can a cohesive united Bangsa Malaysia be built on a bifurcated foundation of Syariah and secular principles? Will non-Muslims have a say on the operation of Islamic law when it affects the general character and experience of the nation? This is a difficult challenge and the solution has to be found.”

He quoted leading Muslim legal scholar Abdullah Ahmad an-Na’im who believed that a distinction should be made between state and politics.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, he noted, believes that Islam can be the mediating instrument between state and politics through the principles and institutions of constitutionalism and the protection of equal human rights of all citizens.

“Whatever the formula, we can only devise a system that rejects absolutism and tyranny and allows for freedom and plurality if we are able to first agree that discourse and dialogue is vital. Democracy and respect for the rights and dignity of all Malaysians is the prerequisite to this approach.”

Zaid stressed that the conflicts of jurisdiction in Malaysia require resolution.

The civil courts, he said, are “denuded of jurisdiction” to deal with matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the Syariah court.

“No court has been given the jurisdiction and power to resolve issues that may arise in both the Syariah courts and the civil courts. The present separation of jurisdictions presupposes that
matters will fall nicely into one jurisdiction or the other.

However, human affairs are never that neat. What happens to the children of a marriage where one party converts to Islam and the other party seeks recourse in the civil court? Or when the Syariah Court pronounces that a deceased person was a Muslim despite his family contesting the conversion?

“Or where the receiver of a company is restrained from dealing with a property by a Syariah Court order arising out of a family dispute?

Where do the aggrieved parties go? I had suggested the establishment of the constitutional court, but that plea has fallen on deaf ears.”

Malays not under seige

The former minister had also touched on the use of draconian measures, which according to him have seen a marked increase in dealing with political and social tensions.

“Some people say that groups such as Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) advocate violence and therefore this justifies the use of such measures. They may have overlooked the fact that
violence begets violence.

“Was not the detention of Hindraf leaders under the ISA itself an act of aggression, especially to people who consider themselves marginalised and without recourse?

“It is time that the people running this country realise that we will not be able to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully if we ourselves do not value peaceful means in dealing with problems.”

Zaid argued that the situation had been aggravated by the absence of an even-handed approach in dealing with organisations such as Hindraf.

“While I applaud the prime minister for calling upon the Indian community to reject extremism, should not a similar call be made on the Malay community and (Malay daily) Utusan Malaysia?

I call on the prime minister, both the outgoing and the incoming, to deal with such issues fairly. Start by releasing the Hindraf leaders detained under the ISA. The release would create a window for constructive dialogue on underlying causes of resentment.

I also appeal for the release of (Malaysia Today editor) Raja Petra (Kamarudin) from ISA detention. He is a champion of free speech. His writings, no matter how offensive they may be to some, cannot by any stretch of the imagination be seen as a threat to the national security of this country.”

The Malays, Zaid said, are now a clear majority in numbers and the fear of their being outnumbered is baseless.

They are not under seige. The institutions of government are such that the Malays are effectively represented, and there is no way the interest of the Malays can be taken away other than through their own weakness and folly.”

For the last time, nobody is going to take away what already enshrined in the Constitution regardless of race, religion and political belief. How I wish there are more honest and rational politicians like Mr. Zaid Ibrahim, then this beautiful country definitely is going on the right track.

I wrote about a lengthy post on Ketuanan Melayu before, outlining how politicians used magic words ‘Ketuanan Melayu’, ‘Malay unity’ by creating unfounded fears among Malays that they are under siege by other races. If any of you noticed, Malay politicians (sorry to say) are the one often making every single words/opinions/things/events/(fill in the blank) into a ‘Malay’ or ‘Islam’ issue. I couldn’t help but to relate this as an inferior complex syndrome. Please, not every suggestions or things are done in spite of Malays.

For example issues like – adding other languages to the existing Malay road signs, hiring a Chinese to head a majority Malay owned company, using English language to teach Science and Mathematics, etc. – these things are not done PURPOSELY to create disadvantages for the Malays. 50 years living together, are they really going to believe that the ‘immigrants’ are plotting to overthrow the Malays? That is the biggest bull shit, fanned by irresponsible politicians. What good the ‘immigrants’ can achieve through this lurid imagination of plotting against the Malays? We need each other, that’s the reality. Is that so hard to understand?

Blame who? No one else but bigots like Mukhriz Mahathir. A famous dictator once said, the killing of this particular race was necessary, for the interest of another ‘great race’. See the parallel? We shall not let these kind of useless politicians lead us. Well, it is worrying, looking at the number of nominations he gathered, taking into account of his ‘capabilities’. Stop screwing up the nation by putting the interest of certain groups ahead of the rest. Ketuanan Melayu is a joke, years from now, just like the apartheid policy. What good it will do? It is making this country more divided, people getting suspicious of each other. . it is retarding the growth of the country. At what expense? A very few rich, fat cats and more retarded academicians (Nordin Kardi and that yoga guy from UKM came to mind) Sure something is wrong, after few decades of affirmative policy, the ‘data’ still show the Malays are still far behind. The policy must be flawed to the extent it should be replaced by a new approach.

Idiots choose idiot leaders. A proven universal theory. Politicians like Mukhriz Mahathir know shits but to parrot something stupid but surprisingly well accepted by some people that it is beyond explanation. How the hell are we going to progress forward with these kind of ‘kampung’ mentality? It is not only we are called ‘jaguh kampung’ in sporting events, but our politics also ‘politik kampung’, built on false promises and sweetened candies, much desired by gullible rakyat.

Updated:

Check out Zaid’s full speech ‘Malaysia- A lost democracy’ in Malaysiakini.

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Posted in barbie, Malaysia, Opinions, Politicians | Tagged: , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Journalistic Ethnics And Coincidences……We Sure Have Plenty Of ‘Em…..

Posted by ErnieJean on October 31, 2008

Hey!!!! Wanna hear some good news to end the month of October?

Yes, I know another 15 cents will be reduced from our present fuel price…..but I wouldn’t jump for joy just yet lah. As far as our fuel price is concerned, it’s a permanently fluctuating figure. But no, it’s not about this price cut that I am talking about.

1) Good news #1 – We Still Have Journalistic Ethnics To “Boast” About

Our dear Minister of Information revealed that, in comparison with some other countries, our standard of journalistic ethics is “not as bad as many believed”. WOO HOO!!!!

Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said yesterday the standard here was, in fact, better than in many other countries

Now, one wonders which countries he is referring to, because he declined to name names……..but knowing our BN government, they have this fondness for making references to countries that are usually much much worst off than ourselves, never comparing up, but always comparing down. An excellent example would, of course, be them comparing our petrol price with those in other non-oil producing countries.

He said as far as he knew, the Malaysian media did not practice “envelope journalism” (Yes, but of course……and UMNO does not practise money politics too) but were tightly controlled under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (Wah……is he aware that he’s just contradicted himself here? Envelope Journalism doesn’t mean there must be a physical envelope present lah!!)

“Just because we have curbs on sexually-explicit materials like gay and lesbian rights or sensitive religious issues like caricatures on the Prophet, we have been unfairly atatcked as having oppressive media environment. (Not displaying direct oppression doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, you goat.)

“We need to ensure that sensitive issues do not get out of hand and cause unnecessary social conflicts.” (So, is that why Utusan Malaysia, Ahmad Ismail and the rest of them screaming sissies are still running around?)

2) Good news #2 – Someone’s Been Acquitted.

No, unfortunately, it’s not Raja Petra. However, I’m glad for this person and his family, as I do believe he had no hand in the order of the brutal murder of the poor Mongolian lass, even though he’s walking out a very very rich man (taxpayers’ money in commission?)

Shah Alam High Court Judge Mohd Zaki Md Yasin this morning acquitted Abdul Razak Baginda of the charge of abetment in the murder of Altantuya Shaaribuu.

The judge however ordered that the two other accused, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azha Umar, enter their defense to a charge of murdering Altantuya.

So, that sms between Mr. Rosmah and Shafee is yet another coincidence? RPK’s prediction also merely a coincidence? Can strike lottery lah like that!!

Any guesses whether the master mind behind this will ever be arrested and punished? Will hell ever freeze over?

So, while I leave you good folks with thoughts of what good hands our country is in, do have a Good Weekend and Happy Holloween!!

A Holloween Costume or For Real?

A Holloween Costume or For Real?

Posted in Current Affairs, Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, Politicians | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Confessions Of A “School Parent Crusader”………

Posted by ErnieJean on October 30, 2008

Sometime back this year, my 8 year old child, came home looking really troubled and traumatised. After much prodding, she revealed that a teacher had pulled her ears, along with a few other kids, supposedly for making noise in the classroom.

Apparently, my 8 year old who was the class monitor, had to keep the class in order while the teacher went MIA, and as expected of 8 year olds, the kids are not about to allow their fellow classmate tell them to shut up and behave. So, while my poor little child had to scream on top of her voice to get the other screaming kids to tone down (bad strategy obviously), a teacher who was walking past the classroom, came in and without finding out the actual senario, proceeded to twist the ears of the poor 8-year old class monitor and the other noisy kids.

Anyway, like a typical parent who believes in being involved in one’s child’s growing up years, I thought it would only make sense that I speak to the teacher (in a really really nice and polite manner of course), as to how a parent like myself is expected to explain to a child that, while she is being taught that pulling ears, amongst many other rude actions were a big No-No, a school teacher who is supposed to be respected went ahead and did it anyway.

After approaching the teacher, let’s call her Cikgu X, we went thru the whole incident all over again, and this was the final portion of our conversation (more or less)….

Cikgu X : I am a strict person, all students know that.

Me : Yes, and I absolutely have no problems with that. If the child really deserves punishment, by all means. But why was the class monitor being punished for doing her job? And don’t you think twisting ear is a rather demeaning act? Perhaps I could suggest caning on the palm of the hands with a ruler or making them stand in a corner or something more appropriate.

Cikgu X : I believe in being strict to instill discipline and I don’t usually hesitate in my punishments.

Me : (Erm……which part did she not understand again?) Yes Yes I know. I’m glad you are strict. But can we perhaps not use demeaning ways to punish a student? After all, they are only 8 year olds. By the way, why was the teacher away?

Cikgu X : OK, I’ll talk to the discipline master to see what other punishment we can come up with. The teacher? Oh, she had to go perform her prayers.

Me : (Don’t mean to offend anyone but…..prayers in the middle of a lesson!!!!!?????) Yes, do go discuss with your discipline master please. Thanks.

Now, before anyone starts tearing me to bits for being an overly protective mother, it’s not about protecting my child from receiving a deserving punishment, but rather it’s about speaking up when something is not right and fighting for one’s rights. Being punished for trying to do one’s job is just not acceptable, nor is being subjected to demeaning acts of punishment. Yes, they say some teachers have been doing it since the begining of time, but doesn’t mean it’s still right.

Also, I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I just can’t accept teachers going off to fulfill a personal obligation, such as prayers in this case, while leaving an entire classroom of active children to their own devices. Can’t it wait till the lesson is over? Am I missing something here?

And that is only one small part of what is soooo wrong with our present national schooling system…the teachers, the syllabus, the school heads……..which all leads to the main man himself, the Minister of Education. If only he is just able to differentiate between his political ambitions and social obligations, our education system would have been a lot more respectable. 

Someone asked me why didn’t I send my child to a Chinese vernacular school or a private school. Why send to a National School then?

Chinese school? Well, for one thing, the particular chinese school near where I stay (think we’re only allowed to send to the school nearest to our place of residence, or something like that), had sort of indicated that I am to contribute quite a handsome sum to their “Building Fund” if I wanted my child enrolled into that school. It also didn’t help that I had to deal with extremely rude and LCLY teachers and school administrators, and coupled with the infamous mountain high workload and stressfull competitive environment, I was ready to “deny my child the right to learn her mother tongue” (as some well-meaning relatives have accused me of). But I gotta admit, the cleanliness and student discipline in these schools are top-notch. And to be fair, I’m sure not all of these vernacular schools are guilty of what I’ve experienced. Just  my bad luck to have crossed path with one “black sheep”.

Private school? Not rich enough. Period. Anyway, as a tax-paying citizen, shouldn’t we be expecting affordable quality education?

National School…..yes, the overall quality of teaching, building facilities, etc are really sad and depressing. But my priority for my child’s elementary education was to be more of a well-rounded sort of education and not just scoring As. I mean, what will 15As do for kids their age? I also realised that, in some schools, there will be a majority of students who come from families who are just as involved with their children’s lives as I am and believe in instilling the Ps & Qs……and that’s the sort of environment that I want my child to be growing up in. Lessons wise? I’ll just have to tutor my child at home and not depend on her teachers.

However, having said all that, not all teachers are horrible. There are those, especially from the old school, who remain dedicated and professional……hopefully,  they will continue teaching even after retirement 😛

There has been many proposals and recommendations to improve our pathetic education system, but as long as there is no will from the top honchos to make those improvements, we can wait till the cows fly home and the education system will still suck.

In the meantime, parents like myself will just have to continue being “School Parent Crusaders”.

Posted in Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Fatwa on yoga? What next?

Posted by barbie on October 29, 2008

Fatwa on yoga soon

The National Fatwa Council will come out with a ruling relating to yoga exercise soon.

The announcement would be made by the council’s chairman, Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin, said Deputy Director-General (Operations) of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) Othman Mustapha.

He told reporters this after opening the two-day seminar on Islamic Jurisprudence and Eternal Islamic Thinking at Universiti Sains Malaysia jointly organised by the Islamic Studies Division of the university’s Human Knowledge Study Centre and Jakim here today.

Yesterday, lecturer Prof Zakaria Stapa of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Islamic Studies Centre advised Muslims who have taken up yoga to stop practising it for fear that it could deviate their belief.

(NST)

Yoga was banned in Egypt (not sure about now), where where clerics say the 5,000-year-old practice violates Islamic law and decribed yoga as an “ascetic Hindu practice that should not be used in any manner of exercise or worship”, “an aberration” and said mimicking it is “forbidden religiously.” Is Malaysia going to follow this example?

It is hillarious to the point of ridiculous, because yoga is neither a religion nor claims to be a substitute for any religion in the world. Why can’t anyone does Yoga or Kung Fu or anything that was based off some other faiths, as long as they do not accept the belief system that goes with it?

Yoga originally stems from polytheist beliefs and worship rituals and intimately connected to the religious beliefs and practices of the Hinduism. However, many martial arts, languages, foods and other cultural acts have some sort of background to them. Likewise Yoga is done by many people all over the world regardless of their beliefs. It is done as a form of excercise and is very beneficial for that. As long as you do not compromise any of your own beliefs and also you seperate any of the nonsensical meanings to some of the forms then it is fine, no? Er, perhaps in future we should have a fatwa on Tai Chi exersize for its close link to Taoism as well? It may corrupt your belief.. yeah right. I wonder if one’s faith is so fragile that it is so easy to waver everytime it faces challenges? Then is it worth saving one’s faith to the religion by imposing certain rules to avoid the person from going ‘ashtray?’ God cannot be that desperate, since He’s so magnanimous.

Jakim seems to be quite efficient in focusing on petty issues when there are better things to do. Instead of playing moral guardian cum police, Jakim should……. nevermind, I am not a Muslim and I am sure it is none of my business to tell Jakim what it should do. Why should I care, right? Let these religious bigots bask in their self glorified shallow interpretations and tunnel vision. Christianity, Islam, what ever religion out there, seems to impress people on making life more difficult by imposing many rules instead of making life easier, all in the name of God, heavenly rewards and hell destined punishments.

ps: I wonder if they are aware that the act of performing Islamic prayer itself involving several movements itself can be considered as yoga. The Muslim prayer has five positions (as well as the recitations we make while performing the prayer), and each of the five prayer positions has a corresponding ‘yoga position’.

Posted in barbie, government, hypocrite, Malaysia, Observation | Tagged: , , , , | 29 Comments »

Mukhriz Mahathir, who? The Eunuch? The Puppet?

Posted by barbie on October 29, 2008

Oh my.. It is been a while since I posted anything at this blog. Thanks to my fellow dandelions, this blog is still alive.

What are we up to? Umno election of course. I couldn’t help but to poke fun at Mukhriz Mahathir over his latest statement on public debate. I quote his reasons for declining to debate with Khairy and other contenders for the Umno Youth chief post.

Contesting for posts in a party is an internal matter. This is like a family contest, therefore it is not necessary to draw external attention.

“Furthermore a public debate will only undermine efforts to strengthen the party especially if the issues brought up are sensationalised by the Opposition,’’ he said.

Dear Mukhriz bin Mahathir,

That is very disappointing, (although predictable) coming from you, the old man’s son.

1. Contesting for posts in a party is an internal matter.

Umno is the biggest party in this country. Umno election is definitely not an internal matter, what ever outcomes from the election will greatly affect this country. You are running for the Umno Youth chief post, in future you may even be the Prime Minister of this country, (Damn!) what is more important for people to see how articulate, knowledgable you are, fit for the position? (Not that Umno grassroots is capable of making good decision anyway, with scums like M2M and Ali Rustam, you can gauge their level of maturity). For example, Najib Tun Razak was the Umno Youth Chief in 1988 and he is going to be the next Prime Minister! (Damn!) Every time Umno sneezes, the country catches the flu. You are not that ignorant, right?

2. A public debate will only undermine efforts to strengthen the party especially if the issues brought up are sensationalised by the Opposition.

Grow up, please. Stop latching your balls to your father. That is not very mature of you and pathetic, invoking Opposition’s name in vain at every opportunity. Suprisingly, I can understand your logic actually, since your father also came up with such logic – contesting for top posts in the party will undermine the unity of the party, he once said. Only Umno goons will come up with such logic, but we cannot blame them. What you can say if they think their ‘power transition plan’ is the most democratic practise in the world?

How can you be a leader if you are afraid to say something for fear that Opposition could spin you out of context? Not a good leader material, no? A public debate is good for people to know what you stand for, how you perceive issues, articulate your ideas and addressing the public. If you cannot communicate openly and clearly, what good shit are you? If you have problems getting your views and opinions out in the open, what good are you actually for? Perhaps you are not well learned enough, and your ignorance will fail you when it comes to subject matter discussions?

Show some balls Mukhriz, stop hiding behind papa’s kain sarung. You are in the race because the old man is pulling the string. It is time to show that you are your own man, got substance. Wait, probably the old man advised you not to accept the challenge to debate, especially when it came from Khairy J., the smooth talker.

Hmm, now that I think of it.. it is a smart move. You are leading front runner, let the other two whack each other silly and explose their weakness – self destruct. Damn, the old man must be behind this! To quote a comment somewhere in the blogosphere:

“Look at Mukriz’s face. Do you see a smart cookie, an intellect? I don’t. “

A puppet, more like it.

ps: It is funny, how the old man is following the steps of his arch nemesis across the causeway, playing minister mentor and mentor to the son. How ironic. Ha! Ha! Ha!

pss: Some idiots said that Umno is not mature enough for debates. To quote:

“Speaking up is already there but to me, Umno has not fully matured. We have not reached that stage yet. If we want to hold debates, we must be ready to face the risk,” he said.

50 years, not fully matured? That is a rotten age, way past maturity stage, using human’s life as yardstick. But, now you know the answer, why this beautiful country is going to the drain and in such bad shape. It is governed by a bunch of immature farts and wagging dogs. (This applies for the component parties)

 

 

 

Posted in barbie, Current Affairs, government, hypocrite, Malaysia, Observation, Politicians | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Our EPF…….A Retirement Fund……For Who?

Posted by ErnieJean on October 29, 2008

I know this sound pretty silly, but let me ask you folks this…..Do you know what our Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF, also known as Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja, KWSP) is for?

According to their official website www.gov.my, EPF was set up to “provide retirement benefits to private sector employees and non-pensionable public service employees”. A noble idea, yar?

So, that’s our retirement fund folks….every month, 11% of our hard earned salary goes to this fund, and other than the usual mini-withrawal schemes that we are allowed to apply for, majority of that money will only be released upon us reaching 55, death or migrate.

In the meantime, we’re assured that our savings are in good capable hands. Really? Really Really? For how much longer?

UMNO government calls them “Investments“………but we know better, don’t we? It’s more like a glorified term for “Crony Bail Out“.

Yes, we still get the obligated dividends, but for the vast amount “invested” in these so-called “guaranteed” schemes, we should have definitely gotten more. OK, to be honest, I’ll be thankful if I can get back whatever I’ve put in, with or without the extras earned from the so-called investments, what with the continuous careless usage of our retirement fund by the government under the guise of smart investments.

Then, there is this latest proposal to take out RM5 billion from our retirement fund to be injected into this ValueCap Sdn. Bhd, a government agency………do you smell “a stinky fish”, fellow contributors?

Honestly, how much do you know about this company? The set-up of ValueCap, its activities which all seems to be so highly “secretive” and totally lacking in transparency and accountability, and coupled with the government’s constant assurances that about ValueCap’s investment but at the same time, refuses to entertain Pakatan Rakyat’s demand for more details, I’d think it’s time to demand for outright answers, no?

When someone keeps on assuring you of something but refuses to discuss further about it, be very afraid, folks….very very afraid………………

Didn’t our Father of Contradictions and Mr. Rosmah insist that the fundamentals of our Malaysian economy remains strong? So, why the need to inject so much into yet another one of the many many useless government linked investment companies? Do these people actually know what’s going on economically, in the first place!!!????

And it seems our retirement fund is never short of interested suitors, after all, there’s a RM300billlion cash cow to be milked…….

With Badawi making his exit soon (or so it seems), his personal 4th Floor guys will have to start looking for a new job because according to CheDet in his blog, Mr. Rosmah is planning to appoint Ethos Capital as his own 4th Floor Advisors……….which seems to be the current trend among our new breed of leaders, doesn’t it? Round up some smart-talking fork-tongued youngsters with impressive education background and political connections, set up a base for them to play play with the taxpayers’ money and if there’s any returns made, then it’s happy hour for everyone……..

“2 for you, 3 for me and 1 for everyone else………..”.

I think Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) President Syed Shahir hit the bull’s eye when he reminded the government that EPF “as the provident fund, is the custodian of the workers’ money and not some sort of ‘automated teller machine’ for the government”.

 

Posted in Current Affairs, government, Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, Politicians | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Our National Security’s At Risk From……………..

Posted by ErnieJean on October 28, 2008

We’re living in dangerous times people…..very dangerous times indeed………
 
Nope, not talking about the ever increasing violent criminals roaming our streets unchecked……..that one is almost like part and parcel of our daily lives already………so, no sweat…..
 
I’m talking about the latest addition to the list of “Threats To National Security”, according to our BN government……
 
Introducing Malaysia’s latest Dangerous Citizens……….*drumroll*………………….
 
1) Folks wearing same coloured clothings who come in groups comprising more than 10. Be especially watchful of little harmless looking girls, for they could be “trojan horses”.
Orange colour donning folks are very dangerous....it seems......

Orange colour donning folks are very dangerous....it seems......

Also, how can the little girl be carried on the shoulder of a burly man!!??

It’s supposed to be a “privilege”, only accorded to the influential politicians. Didn’t they know that the “Richest-Unemployed-SIL” had to sacrifice so much and marry himself off to the daughter of a prominent politician, just so he gets to be “shoulder-hoisted”?
 
Tsk Tsk Tsk…….No Big, No Small.
 
And the Teddy bear…….what an insult!!! No sparkling and gleaming crystal-like bits, just plain ol’ soft toy………Our leaders “deserve” so much better lah……..
 
 
  
2) Bald old men, who inspire, who have no political ambitions, who write from the heart and who touches all Malaysian, regardless of race, religion or culture.
Bald Man in Black.......super duper dangerous indeed!!!

Bald Man in Black.......super duper dangerous indeed!!!

So, what’s deemed non-threatening?

I suppose, Malaysians of all walks of life should emulate the actions of those who have gotten the stamp of approval and endorsement from our BN leaders huh?

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting all things nice, that are deemed totally non-threatening (and if one feels threatened by them, then it’s one’s problem)……..*drumroll*…….

1) The National Hand Gesture For “Peace and Love”………..perhaps we can practise that in time for the next festive open house by the Prime Minister huh? Would definitely make his day ;D

See how happy that hand-sign made the man standing behind? It is indeed a "feel-good" gesture.......

See how happy that hand-sign made the man standing behind? It is indeed a "feel-good" gesture.....

2) This is called “Passion” people, not “rabid-like screaming of a Zombie wannabe”……..

Doesn't this make one have fell all nice and fluffy?

Doesn't this make one feel all nice and fluffy inside?

3) And would we ever forget this one…….we, Malaysians, are so “lucky” to have a government who believes in “Freedom of Speech”….doesn’t matter that it’s only for a certain group of people……so long such allowances are being given………

So don’t feel threatened by the wide open gap on the face, nor the saliva about to make its way onto the microphones, or even the sharp pokey looking object…….just feel the “Love For World Peace” vibes coming from the Mr. Big Nose here……….

For one with such a big mouth, he's gotta have a big heart too, right?

For one with such a big mouth, he should have a big heart too right?

Posted in Current Affairs, government, hypocrite, Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, Politicians, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Happy Deepavali Malaysians!

Posted by Madame on October 25, 2008

The Dandelions would like to wish each and every Malaysian a very Happy Deepavali!

May the festival of lights dispel the doom and gloom of the last few months and renew our hope and faith in humanity 😉

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

On Abortion and Assisted Suicide…Personal freedom or should it be legislated?

Posted by Madame on October 25, 2008

With the US Presidential election coming up in a little over a week….the never ending question of “Are you Pro-choice or Pro-Life?” rears its ugly head again! McCain wants to over-turn Roe v Wade and make the individual states responsible whilst Obama, prefers that it remains with the Federal Courts….and so the age-old debate goes back and forth.

What is ‘assisted suicide’? It is the now the most politically/socially correct term for what we called Euthanasia. It is the right to put an end to your life if for some reason, you find that you are beyond medical help and can no longer enjoy the quality of life that you are used to. There is a big debate going on in the UK right now about this as well.

I have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about these two issues and keep wondering to myself….Why the fuss? Isn’t Man/Woman the master of his/her own destiny…albeit supposedly? Are we not deemed capable/intelligent enough of making the decision that would be right for us and our loved ones? Frankly, I find these two debates demeaning to us as thinking, rational human beings!

Every baby that is born into this world has the RIGHT to be loved and wanted. I say that this is a fundamental right…it is non-negotiable! Do you think that by ‘forcing’ an expectant mother to keep her baby….the baby will then be loved and wanted? For those of you who say….well, she can always give the baby up for adoption… My reply would be…There are more than enough un-wanted and un-cared for children in the world with over-flowing orphanages. So, does the world really need another child thrust into the orphanage system? I think not….definitely! Every woman has the right to decide whether she is prepared for the life-long commitment of being a mother just as every baby has the right to be loved and wanted!

I think that by legalizing or illegalizing abortion, it takes so much away from the woman. The decision of motherhood is a serious one and one that should be pondered carefully and not taken lightly….but this decision rests squarely and entirely with the woman. It should NOT be a political issue bandied about by candidates to garner more support. It should NOT be a religious issue preached about by religious leaders. People who sit on their high horses and preach so sanctimoniously about Pro-Life issues, should sit back and think about the long term repercussions of unwanted children…. both socially and psychologically.

We can never chose the way that we are born or the circumstances that we are born into….but we can sometimes choose, the time and way we die…or atleast, we should be allowed this choice. Imagine a person who has been bed-ridden for the last 10yrs with no prospect of ever being mobile again… Imagine a person who has to go through so much physical pain, that it consumes him… Imagine a person who has no chance of recovery and who understands that his illness is causing so much emotional and financial stress to his family…. Is this person then, who already has gained the  agreement of his family, not allowed to precipitate his death? Is it criminal to allow a person to die with some modicum of dignity?

Is it more humane to keep a person alive at all costs even when it has been confirmed that the person will never recover? Well….many countries seem to think so sadly. Again, the right to live or die should rest with the individual in consent with the family…it should NOT be dictated to us by governments and religious leaders. This is plain wrong!

For we are thinking, caring, feeling and rational human beings who are more than capable of making a decision that would suit our needs best….we dont need any laws to dictate to us what we can or cannot do to our own bodies and lives! Let our moral and social conscience decide….

Posted in Abortion, Current Affairs, Debate, Euthanasia, government, hypocrite, John McCain, madame, Opinions, religion, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

It is all about Obama, McCain and ironically, Palin (Where is Biden?)

Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on October 24, 2008

Okay, US election is drawing nearer and nearer. Due to a combination of Bush’s unpopular policies and enigmatic yet charismatic Barack Obama, this US election is probably one of the most closely followed events around the world, even amongst terrorists.

One terrorist even claimed to support McCain presidency, to speed up the destruction of America. Already, America is spending more than $10 billion dollar a month to finance 2 wars, plus the recent financial fall out that adds to a further $700 billion dollar in expenditure. When the financial dust finally settles, many economists, financial ministers and advisors claim that US will no longer be the financial powerhouse it once was, strained by the both aforementioned factors. McCain’s support in prolonging wars would facilitate a speedier collapse of United States, as claimed by the blogger cum terrorist.

This eerily seems to echo the fall of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union invested too much money in military, much more than the US in the 1980s. Its financial lifeline was on the balance, finally brought to its knees by collapsing oil prices, the primary revenue of the Soviet Union. Will US follow the same route under McCain’s presidency, collapsing under financial strain? Already McCain is thinking of putting even more money into the military (keeping in mind that at the moment, US has already outspent in military expenditures of every other countries combined!).

Whether or not US has defeated crazy terrorists is probably a matter of subjectivity or further debate. ‘Victory’ in Iraq has been glossed over to simplistically by McCain while Obama didn’t capitalise on the issue of a pyrrhic victory. Why pyrrhic? Take a step back and look at the whole picture. As a financial powerhouse, it has collapsed spectacularly in front of our very eyes aggravated by indiscriminate spending especially in wars! Its international relations hang in tatters! Without a check and balance system between Iraq and Iran, Iran now has become belligerently bolder! Internally, United States itself is suffering one of the worst cultural wars in history (a combination of Bush’s presidency and McCain’s campaign) which is an aftermath of war on terrorism. It is also too strained economically and militarily to counter Russia’s new found ‘hostile’ confidence, as what a far right political pundit would claim. So where is the victory in all these mess?

Then there is the issue of negative campaigning on the side of McCain. It has promoted extremism, xenophobia, racism and Islamophobia. It has insinuated that black people are Arabic, egregious Islamists and supporting terrorism, a bunch of negative attributes put together. Lately his campaign has also been bombarding voters with automated telephone calls that slander Obama for being an Islamic terrorist cum double-agent version of a Manchurian candidate. If that is not despicable, I don’t know what is. His vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin during one of her speech, heard comments from her supporters exclaiming that Obama should be killed and decapitated, yet she smiled without correcting her fanatical supporters. Do I smell endorsement? I believe in leadership by example, and what she has done there is outrageously objectionable leadership. But there are also consequences of playing with fire! As noted by the Nation, McCain toyed around with fanatism to gain support but when it got out of hand, he tried to bring fanatism back under control; he got booed by his supporters instead.

Then, just about a week or two ago, a report came out stating that Sarah Palin have abused her power during the time as her governor in Alaska. I am not going to dwell on what she did, as that will be a long story in itself. What I want to talk about is Obama. He has opportunity to attack Palin’s integrity when a reporter gave him the chance to do so, but instead he concentrates on policies rather than seizing the opportunity to denigrate her character considering what she has put him through!!! Again he has another chance to take a swipe at her character when he was given a chance during the final presidential debate when asked to compare between Biden and Palin, again he didn’t resort to denigrating Palin’s integrity.

There are also accusations that Obama’s economic policies are socialist (stopping short of saying communist) like socialism is some kind of foul plague to be avoided. Many of these people don’t even understand the philosophy behind socialism or liberalism but jump into hasty and testosterone charged conclusion. Let me highlight the term CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY, it is based partly on socialist principles, and according to John Rawl, it will be JUSTICE AS FAIRNESS. Let me give an example, if the majority voted for the rights to discriminate racial minorities or own slaves, the CONSTITUTION can over-rule a majority vote to ensure minorities have equal rights and opportunities. THAT IS A SOCIALIST PRINCIPLE! So I don’t understand how can spreading wealth to the poor be bad! In fact amongst the OECD nations, US has the second largest wealth gap between the poorest and the richest, behind Luxembourg. Don’t these people learn anything from history? That great nations and empires collapse due to excessive wealth gap? The rich are few but the poor comes in endless throngs. It is the wealth gap and the poor that spawned revolutions in dynastic China, monarchic France and everywhere else. The excessive fear of socialism is to justify the need to feel selfish. What many people don’t realise is that we live in a hybrid of capitalism and socialism. The difference between each country is just the difference in the location of the capitalism-socialism spectrum.

 

 

Posted in Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »