The Dandelions

.. the mutual admiration and bashing society.

Archive for the ‘Opinions’ Category

“Hunger makes a thief of any man” – Pearl S. Buck

Posted by barbie on April 16, 2009

Canteen helper sells her body to support family

A WOMAN who works as a canteen helper in the morning works as a prostitute at night to support her family, China Press reported.

The lady, who wished to be known only as Fatimah, 22, said she had to support her husband, who is an odd-job worker, and their one-year-old son.

“Besides that, I will have to foot my old folks’ medical bills,” she said, adding that she had been prostituting herself for more than three years in Alor Setar.

Fatimah, from Pahang, said she was forced to be a prostitute by her former boyfriend, and charged her customers RM80 each time.

“However, I am getting older and also have given birth. Now, I can only charge RM50,” she said, adding that her customers were aged between 13 and 70.

The daily reported that Fatimah’s dream was to save enough money to start a new life in three years’ time.

A good friend once mentioned about a lady she knew as a child, who was a neighbour. The poor woman was left to fend for herself and her 4 children after her husband got caught stealing milk powder for the kids and was sent to prison for a good number of years.

Being a housewife with no employable skills, she had no choice but to turn to prostitution to put food on the table and roof over their heads.

When her husband was released, instead of understanding and appreciating her sacrifice, he left her. She was also ostracised by everyone in the neighbourhood.

I may not know anyone personally who has been in that situation, but I can truly understand why those mothers did what they had to do. My mother would have done the same, in fact I would have sold off my kidneys for the same reason if I had to.  Please allow me to exaggerate and generalise to a certain extent that, if a comparison must be made,  I would say most parents love their children more than the latter love their parents.

Parental love is not something that can be described in words and it goes without saying that a mother’s love is instinctual, unconditional, and forever.

Young mothers especially, either retrenched or abandoned, are resorting to committing crime for their children’s sake.  How many of you realise that there’s been quite an increase of reports about mothers being sent to prison for stealing for their young?

What on earth is happening to this society? And what will become of the next generation, raised in an environment where only desperation, poverty and lawlessness prevails?

“The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other.  It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich.  Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied…but written off as trash.  The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing. “- John Berger

Since I can remember, all our past and present government leaders have been singing the same old tiresome tune about championing the poor and eradicating poverty and improving the social welfare services…….

And till today, we still see the same snail-pace processing of genuine cases. Till today, we still see these so-called heads of various governmental welfare departments (who are usually so well fed that they’re practically dripping with fat) dragging their feet in disbursing measly sum of welfare aid to the poor.

Ella Mae totally hit the nail on the spot when she said this…..

“That’s how our society is. We are ever so willing to raise funds for disasters thousands of miles away but when our own neighbour is in need… we don’t do anything.

This is what i believe, each one of us can make a difference in this world. We must look out for our neighbours, friends and loved ones.

I am not saying we give away big sums of money, but if we can share our food with those who are in need… we too can make some difference in this nasty world.”

Posted in life, Malaysia, Opinions | Tagged: , , , , , | 13 Comments »

One’s Legacy………….

Posted by ErnieJean on March 31, 2009

Recently a monster-of-a-husband of a dear aunt of mine passed away suddenly. Shocking, not because he was loved, but rather we expected him to live on for a couple more decades to torment those around him….you know what they say about the nasty ones usually dying last, right?

How nasty was he? Well, let’s just say he was the classic example of Jenkle and Hyde. A very very seemingly nice guy to outsiders, the physical and mental torments started right after they got married. He would kung-fu kick, karate chop and make really degrading remarks about her looks, including refusing to allow her to visit her family home…….By the way, he also got his secretary impregnated along the way and forced my aunt to accept his infidelity and the new family.

Thank goodness all these stop the day his sons grew up and fought back. However, the mental torment still continued………

My aunt, being deeply religious and generally a compassionate softie, hence divorce was not an option, accepted all these abuses throughout the years for she was always hopeful that God will change him……..obviously that was some wishful thinking………..he remained mean and nasty right up to the end.

Anyway, it was not surprising that no one wept during his funeral. In fact, the reactions to news of his death were not at all flattering…..they ranged from “Thank Goodness he’s finally crocked” to “Well, it’s about time!!”.

Hats off to my cousins, his children for giving him a decent funeral……their mother obviously taught them well, to not harbour hate and revenge, for those negative feelings can surely eat up and destroy a person.

I wonder if he knew that this was the sort of personal legacy he is leaving behind, would he do the same all over again?

The same goes for all of us still living and breathing. How would we want to be remembered?

What sort of personal legacy do we want our children and their children to inherit? Our stories, values, hopes, wishes, advice and blessings……..or the shame and embarrassment of being associated with someone who was cursed till the day he/she dies???

And so, in the very same vein, what sort of legacies are our current bunch of leaders planning to leave behind? Or is all that too insignificant, if compared to the lust for power and wealth?

legacy

Posted in erniejean, government, Malaysia, Opinions | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Hello UMNOsia, Goodbye Malaysia????

Posted by ErnieJean on March 27, 2009

So, after all that talk about soul-searching and post mortem of the March ’08 Elections results, and finally having their long-postponed annual general assembly, did the UMNO delegates and their leaders finally walk the path of calls to REFORM and TRANSFORM?

Have they finally endeared themselves to all Malaysians??

Has UMNO changed for the better??

Will Pakatan Rakyat be shown the exit door next election??

What can we expect with these newly elected faces of UMNO leadership?

With such a “fantastic” mixture of ass-grabbing, crap-spouting, money-siphoning, Mongolian exploding and extremist inciting individuals, I can definitely forsee a BRIGHT BRIGHT future for this beloved nation of ours……….

Amongst some of the calls made during the speeches and debates, to loud cheers and applause, if I may add, from delegates, were;

“Those days, an application for a taxi permit would require the endorsement of an Umno branch or division chief. If the branches and divisions are strong, then Umno will be strong again,”

“……the party made a mistake in trying to curtail money politics as it showed that Umno leaders are not grateful to the members who have sacrificed for the party.”

“Please make sure the faculty members are all UMNO men, and the same goes for other civil servants,”

“…ensure only UMNO loyalists be appointed senior positions in public universities……” (I mourn for the death of decent education for our future generation….)

Sorry….me a little blur here…….but what happened to all that screaming and shrieking and shouting about defending Malays’ rights??

Or have they become so brazen that they no longer bother to even hide behind that excuse anymore??

Doesn’t it seem to you now that UMNO is promoting that ONLY UMNO men (and women) are allowed to prosper, to be appointed for top civil service positions, to leech onto GLCs, protest against royalty……….(This must be the all-new NEP that they have been talking about huh? Do away with 30% Bumi-quota……..and replaced with UMNO-quota perhaps????)

As for us Non-UMNO folks? (Well, it used to be non-Sons-Of-Soil…..but that category has obviously been altered) We’re the lower-class citizens, born on Malaysian soil to plough the earth……………..so that the LOAFERS can continue loafing and LEECHES continue leeching…… 

Perhaps that is why Najib’s opening speech rang sooooo hollow for me…………

 

Posted in Bangsa Malaysia, erniejean, government, Malaysia, Najib Tun Razak, Observations, Opinions, UMNO, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Malaysian aka UMNO Politics Will Never Change….Will They?????

Posted by ErnieJean on March 19, 2009

I had such a GREAT couple of days vacation getaway with the family recently, totally secluded from all the monkeying antics of nation’s political leaders. There were no newspapers, internet facilities that were too extorbitant to be bothered with and a vacation crowd that was not interested in discussing Malaysian political crap. Totally refreshing, but I guess, one has to come back to Mother Earth sooner or later.

Natural, it was almost a “rude wake-up call from the escapade dreams at Neverland” to open up today’s papers and see that nothing has changed much…..someone is still seriously hell-bent on claiming his stake at the throne (by killing off those who may not be his political alliance in th future), idiotic ass-kissing politicians making nonsensical statements and of course the theatrical antics that comes with it all.

Seriously…….when are we ever going to see changes for the better…FOR ONCE!!!!????

The UMNO disciplinary board mentioned something about Malaysians being generally cynical over their every action…..well, A-BUH-DEN!!!??? I know we’re the country of coincidences, but where got so many coincidences wan!!! You tell me lah!!!

So it seems, Ali Rustam and the famous (but not for long) SIL are the first victims of the “UMNO Spring Cleaning” exercise. While I’m glad the racist Malaccan bigot is getting what’s due, honestly, it doesn’t matter who goes first because do you seriously think there’s one, just one, honest-to-goodness UMNO politician in the entire pack? Especially the ones who are contesting for positions this coming UMNO assembly?

As for idiotic “throwing stones in the glasshouse that one lives in” statements, this latest one by a politician from an almost completely wiped out political partner of BN takes the cake;

(The Star) – Gerakan vice-president Huan Cheng Guan has called on Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to resign if there is evidence that members of the DAP-led state government are involved in corruption.

‘‘Practise what you preach. Lim has been going around saying his government is the cleanest ever but now there is an allegation of wrongdoing in his government,” Huan said.

He said that as a matter of principle, Lim should be responsible for the actions of his subordinates.

You know what? I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU Mr. Huan…….so how about issuing that statement to all political leaders besides the ones who kicked you guys out of your political home?

Come On!!!! Be a MAN!!!! Say it to the face of the big boss UMNO taikor about being responsible for his subordinates who threatened Malaysians with keris and bad breath, scaring little children with bad plastic surgeries, throwing diva tantrums, harrassing harmless wheelchair bound old men, embarrassing the nation, siphoning the nation’s wealth to some other foreign land, messing up the country’s education system and a whole lot of incredibly unthinkeable wrongdoings.

And then, say the same thing to the big bosses of your fellow ass-kissing BN political partners about stealing plots of land from the people, building illegal political centres, selling out the ones that they were supposed to protect for power and wealth……….

Yes, it’s nice to know things still remain status quo as far as our political landscape is concerned………while our economy slips a few notches down south……….

stupid-politicians

Posted in BN, Current Affairs, erniejean, government, hypocrite, Mainstream Media, Malaysia, Observations, Opinions, politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

All Hail The “Unprecedented” Stimulation!!!!!

Posted by ErnieJean on March 11, 2009

shockingnews_thumb3

So, it has finally happened……..after months of denying till their faces are blue, what the rest of us ordinary Malaysians have known since last year, our dear Finance-Minister-cum-Incoming-UMNO-Tai-Kor and his 2nd Finance Minister have admitted that they can no longer pull wool over our eyes about the inevitable recession…..

And then, just like that, they somehow waved a “magic wand” and lo and behold!!!! We have RM60 BILLION !!!!!???? Where on earth did the Finance Ministry dig those figures from!!!???

Mr. Rosmah, who is already smelling the fragrance of the nation’s PMship, called his “baby” “unprecedented in the nation’s history“…….Well, I totally agree with him. It’s “unprecedented” alright…….but IN WHAT SENSE!!!???

Remember when Najib unvieled his 1st Economic Stimulus Package of RM7 billion on November 4 and he issued this statement?

On November 4, I introduced a 7 billion ringgit ($1.93 billion) pro-growth stimulus package to implement projects with high multiplier effects, building on the previously announced 5 billion ringgit allocation of existing investment capital to ValueCap, Malaysia’s asset management company.

The stimulus package as a whole is designed to enhance domestic growth and improve market confidence. This package ensures that a larger segment of the population will realize the benefit of productive expenditure from the government.

We anticipate no additional expenditure in implementing these measures. The larger stimulus package is entirely funded by savings on subsidies as a result of falling global oil prices. ValueCap will enhance existing assets and multiply the benefit the Employees Provident Fund already provides Malaysian workers.

To address your suggestion that parts of the stimulus package might be inappropriately managed, all measures, including ValueCap, will be supervised by Malaysia’s Project Monitoring Unit. They will report directly to me, the Minister of Finance, and I will provide regular updates and, I suspect, receive candid assessment by an active political opposition, the public and the press. (Well, obviously this Malaysia’s Project Monitoring Unit is sleeping on the job!!!!)

Malaysia is no stranger to this sort of scrutiny. During the last crisis, our “unorthodox” stimulus initiatives were loudly criticized and largely condemned. The current crisis, however, has reinvigorated interest in and, apparently, the validity of those initiatives.

Malaysia is well positioned for the coming economic challenge. Our financial sector is in a much healthier position today than 10 years ago. The capital adequacy ratio of banks at 8% is much higher than the minimum international requirement. Non-performing loans of all banks are at an average of 2.5%. Financial institutions have ample capital liquidity. Foreign reserves are high at $100.2 billion. The current account surplus is 15% of GDP.

All I wanna know is what happened to that RM7 Billion announced to be injected to save our country from further despair? If the government agencies can’t even handle RM7 billion, how are they expected to handle EFFICIENTLY an amount that’s 10 times larger!!???

Maybe it’s too early to judge the success (or failure??) of this package……maybe we shuld give Najib and his team the benefit of the doubt and see where we end up after a couple of months…..and hopefully, Malaysia does not end up in the dog house by then…………

Let’s have a quick look at the following salient points in the mini-budget announced by Najib, courtesy of Malaysiakini

GDP growth is expected to be in the range of –1% to 1% for 2009. Without the two stimulus packages, the economy faces the prospect of a deep recession.

RM60 billion stimulus package – RM15 billion is fiscal injection, RM25 billion Guarantee Funds, RM10 billion equity investments, RM7 billion private finance initiative (PFI) and off-budget projects, as well as RM3 billion in tax incentives.

According to the government, the budget deficit, which shoots up from 4.8 percent to 7.6 percent in 2009, can be financed from domestic sources. It added that the financing of the deficit will not crowd out the private sector in sourcing funds. (Pray tell us in detail, what are the domestic sources??? Our EPF again!!!???)

60 billion budget stimulus the four aims breakdown 100309The RM60 billion is allocated to achieve four aims:

1. Reducing unemployment, increasing employment – RM2 billion

2. Easing the burden of the rakyat, especially vulnerable groups – RM10 billion

3. Assisting the private sector – RM29 billion

4. Building capacity for the future – RM19 billion

RM2 bil to reduce unemployment, increase employment

To create a total of 163,000 training and job placement opportunities in the public and private sectors

To establish 22 JobsMalaysia Centres and upgrade 109 existing centres to facilitate access for workers and employers to obtain job placements, career counselling and information on training opportunities

Employers who employ workers retrenched from July 1 2008 be given double tax deduction on the amount of remuneration paid. (What about the majority of us wage earners who got our salaries cut!!?? Why are the Employers the ones enjoying tax breaks whilst the employees have conveniently been side-stepped!!??)

Government to recruit 63,000 staff to fill vacancies and serve as contract officers in various government agencies. (As it is, aren’t our civil service departments already filled to the brim with non-productive leeches?)

To encourage more Malaysians to pursue Masters and PhD by financing tuition fees and research grants up to RM20,000 for student pursuing PhDs locally and RM10,000 for those taking Masters programme. (What are the criterias for one to be qualified to apply? If all unemployed undergraduates are eligible for these grants, would our local universities be capable of handling such huge intakes?)

Levy on foreign workers will be doubled for all sectors except construction, plantation and for domestic maids; the levy will be paid by the employers and not by the workers.

RM10 bil to ease the burden of the rakyat

To assist oil palm and rubber smallholders whose incomes have been affected due to declining commodity prices.

RM674 million in subsidies to be allocated to avert price increases of necessities, such as sugar, bread and wheat flour.

To provide RM480 million to ensure that toll rates are not increased. With these above measures, the government will allocate a sum of RM27.9 billion for subsidies in 2009. (Why are we still putting our hard earned money into these cronies’ pockets!!!???)

House buyers be given tax relief on interest paid on housing loans up to RM10,000 a year for three years.

RM200 million to repair and maintain drains and roads. (So, what happened to the RM500 million allocated in the 1st Stimulus plan for this purpose?????? This road and drainage repair works never seem to end, don’t you think so?? And we all know why that is so…….)

RM150 million for renovation, maintenance and repairs of welfare homes, fire and rescue stations and quarters, as well as public toilets in mosques, surau and tourist spots. (Isn’t this a little too much for renovation works? Do you smell “Happy Class F Contractors” with the fondness of marking up 100% on their contract sum, here?? !!!???)

RM1.95 billion to build and improve facilities in 752 schools, particularly in rural areas as well as Sabah and Sarawak, with RM300 million to be used to improve facilities in government-aided religious schools, national-type Chinese and Tamil schools as well as mission schools. (Do you notice Sabah and Sawarak seems to be getting a lot of allocation during budget announcements but they never seem to receive the actual amount at the end of the day?? Anyone care to tell where those money get channelled to???)

RM230 million will be provided to increase the coverage of electricity and water supply in rural areas, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak. (After 50 years, there’s still a need to increase coverage of these basic amenities!!!??? )

RM350 million will be provided for the construction of rural roads. (Once again, didn’t they already allocated RM500 million form the 1st stimulus plan for this purpose??? SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!)

RM1.2 billion to be allocated in Sarawak and Sabah. This include the expansion of Sibu Airport, deepening works at Miri Port, repair and improve infrastructure damaged by floods, upgrading of schools as well as construction of Lawas Training Centre, Kota Samarahan Industrial Estate and tourism facilities.

In Sabah, among the main programmes and projects to be implemented include building of Giat Mara centres, Kota Kinabalu Electricity Transmission System, as well as upgrading of schools, roads and bridges. The government to take action to resolve issues related to health services in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Sabah.

Existing tax exemption of RM6,000 given on retrenchment benefits be increased to RM10,000 for each completed year of service. Banks to allow retrenched workers defer the repayment of their housing loans for one year.

RM29 bil to assist the private sector

RM5 billion to provide working capital to companies with shareholder equity below RM20 million. The government to provide guarantee in the ratio of 80:20, that is 80% will be guaranteed by the government and 20% by the financial institutions.

To set up an Industry Restructuring Guarantee Fund Scheme totalling RM5 billion for loans to increase productivity and value-added activities, as well as the application of green technology.

Securities Commission to implement additional measures to reduce time-to-market to enable companies to raise funds in the capital market in a more efficient and cost-effective manner including doing away with approvals for rights issues by listed companies.

A new programme where permanent resident status would be considered for high-net-worth individuals bringing more than US$2 million for investments or savings in Malaysia.

RM5,000 discount to be given to car owners, who trade in their cars which are at least 10 years old, for the purchase of new Proton and Perodua cars. (HEY!!! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PROMISED IMPROVEMENTS ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!!!!!!!!?????)

RM2 billion for a new LCCT at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is expected to be ready in 2011.

A rebate of 50% on landing charges will be given for a period of two years effective 1 April 2009 to all airlines that operate from Malaysia. Likely to result in lower air fares.

Company’s current year losses be allowed to be carried back to the immediate preceding year.

An Accelerated Capital Allowance to encourage companies to renovate and refurbish their business premises. The allowance is capped at RM100,000.

RM200 million to upgrade infrastructure in tourist spots, diversify tourism products, organise more international conferences and exhibitions in Malaysia as well as improve the homestay programme.

RM19 bil to build capacity for the future

To promote domestic private investments, the investment funds of Khazanah Nasional Berhad will be increased by RM10 billion.

Khazanah to invest RM3 billion in the telecommunications sector, which among others, will facilitate its subsidiary to improve broadband infrastructure.

RM1.7 billion of Khazanah’s investment to go into Iskandar project for the building of infrastructure, hotels, theme parks as well as universities.

RM5 billion for 23 projects implemented on off-budget basis, including LCCT at KLIA and the expansion of Pulau Pinang Airport at an estimated cost of RM2 billion and RM250 million.

RM2.4 billion for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to improve telecommunication infrastructure.

RM100 million to build sky bridges and covered walkways between buildings, especially in the Golden Triangle, Kuala Lumpur.

RM2 billion for private finance initiative (PFI) and public-private partnerships.

RM20 million for Radio Televisyen Malaysia to implement several projects to develop the local music industry.

All government procurements will be made through open tenders or restricted tenders, except for specific cases. (This additional clause of “Specific Cases” totally freaks me out!!!!!)

I dont know about you guys……….but this 2nd Stimulus Package is definitely what I had anticipated……A COMPLETE DISAPPOINTMENT for the ordinary folks like me………

Like how an accountant friend quite aptly put it, insteadof spending on non-productive matters such as upgrading and increasing job placement centers and beautifying firemen’s quarters, the government could have implemented more people-friendly measures such as abolishing personal income taxes for individuals, quit rents and assessment rents for 2 years. This should be the true spirit of the stimulus plan, which is to help the rakyat get back on their feet. Instead, what we are seeing now is that it looks very much like the AMNO cronies and businessmen will be getting the bulk of the money.

Penang CM Lim Guan End also couldn’t have sum this up any better when he said;

“To stimulate the economy, the government should give the money to Malaysians, like what Singapore, Taiwan and even Thailand are doing.

“For the next two years, things are going to get bad.

“We need to help the poor families in order for them to have money for their day to day life.

“Currently, there is no direct financial aid to all Malaysians,”

Posted in BN, Budget, Economy, erniejean, government, Malaysia, malaysiakini, Najib Tun Razak, Observations, Opinions | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Malaysian Schools…….The Playground of Suppression…….????

Posted by ErnieJean on March 4, 2009

We all know that our Malaysian school system practises a suppressive approach to educating our children….they’re taught to never ask questions and not encouraged to think for themselves, but to just receive whatever’s been fed to them, even though it may be crap……but what I didn’t expect was that this “suppression” was not confined only to the books………..

My 8-year old : Mum, I’m not allowed to bring the sharpener to school.

Me : Why? What if all your pencils (6 of them, by the way) broke?

My 8-year old : My teacher said that we will dirty our classroom if we used the sharpeners in class.

Me : *jaw dropped*

On the surface, this may seem like a petty issue…..but if you examine closely, on a larger scale, this is the sort of mentality  that has created the sort of governance Malaysians are stuck with at the moment…….where the higher authorities simply decide to ban whatever just because they can’t be bothered to deal with the intricacies involved in explaining or following up on certain issues.

Doesn’t this sound just soooo like the typical UMNO-style of doing things?

By disallowing the children to use the sharpener in school, how are these kids expected to learn to keep their classrooms clean while sharpening their pencils?

Instead of taking the trouble to teach and guide these school kids to do things correctly, the teachers basically chose the easy way out……by pretending that the cause of the action doesn’t exist, hence less matters to think over…..

No sharpeners, so no pencil shavings on the floor……EASY-BEASY.

Is that why our youngsters these days generally lack social maturity and responsibilities? Is that why littering and vandalism are still very much part of our society?

Yes, ultimately parents play the important role of moulding their children to be responsible citizens….but weren’t schools and institutions established in the first place to create/churn out good decent human beings too?

Isn’t it important that whatever has been taught at home be allowed to be put into practise when in school and for that matter, in public places? 

My main bane is that, from the very bottom of the food chain aka the schools, right up to the top of the pyramid aka political masters of this country, this form of “suppression” has conveniently been made a tool to keep the rest of us in our place, hasn’t it?

School kids wanting to question the rationale behind a certain theory……………..SUPPRESS

Sex and sexuality……………….SUPPRESS

Citizens’ rights to peaceful expression of discontent…………….SUPPRESS

Usage of “Allah” by religions other than Islam, since it’s accepted internationally, even in the Middle East…………….SUPPRESS

Debate on jurisdiction of our royalty…………………SUPPRESS

True Democracy………….SUPPRESS

And now you know why all our Prime Ministers must have a stint at the Education Ministry first, as part of their training………to learn how to effectively “Suppress”…….

IT ALL STARTS FROM OUR SCHOOLS, FOLKS………

suppress

Posted in Education, erniejean, government, Human Rights, Malaysia, Observations, Opinions, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

The David Copperfield of Malaysian Law: Law today, gone tomorrow

Posted by Oscar the Grouch on March 1, 2009

Were we all not amazed when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear? The jaws of the world dropped – literary – at such magical feat. How did he do it? Perhaps David Copperfield was actually gifted with powers of the supernatural. Perhaps he dabbled in the occult.

But then, what is that compared to the kuasa sakti of our Home Minister, Syed Hamid Albar. With the flicker of his magical Harry Potter pen, he made law disappear. On January 21, he signed a directive under the Internal Security Act by way of gazette, allowing the conditional use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications. The gazette came into effect on February 16. On March 1, Syed Hamid Albar said that he would issue a fresh gazette to rescind the earlier gazette – the reason being – there were “mistakes” made in the drafting of the Feb 16 gazette.

This issue is in relation to the usage by the Catholic Church of the word “Allah” in their publication – the Catholic Herald. A legal suit was filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court to challenge the ban by the government. In a surprising turn of event, Syed Hamid Albar issued the gazette allowing the use of the word “Allah”, provided there is a disclaimer to the effect that the words “For Christians” were clearly printed on the publications. But of course, this decision is now reversed, by reason of mistake.

I do not wish to dwell on the usage of the word “Allah”; let that be something for our dear courts to decide. I do wish to point out, however, of several foolish and unwarranted implications arising from this blunder from Syed Hamid Albar.

Firstly, how can someone make a “mistake” in issuing a directive, which later was put on print as gazette? Once a gazette is issued, it becomes law of the land, albeit subsidiary and secondary to the principal Act, the Internal Securities Act 1960. I don’t know the actual workings of the issuing of a gazette – but I’ve been made to understand that the document would have to be drafted and proof-read by at least 2 people and a committee before it could be signed by the minister.

So, who screwed up? The person who took wrong notes during the meeting? The AG’s Chambers who drafted the wordings of the gazette? The committee who was supposed to vet the document? The Minister, who was obviously half-asleep when he sign it? Or perhaps, it was the government printers, who took it upon themselves to print something else than what was instructed upon them?

In any event, it doesn’t appear as if the revered concept of ministerial responsibility – practised in jurisdictions of Westminster parliamentary systems – would apply to Syed Hamid Albar. Dear minister, this is not main-main punya perkara; for God’s sake, you’re issuing a law that binds the citizens of Malaysia. Where can mistake-mistake punya? In Japan, hara-kiri would have been an honourable outlet of redemption. But I guess, in Malaysia, the thought of resigning would not, however fleetingly, cross the mind of Syed Hamid.

Which brings to mind the actual wording of the gazette, entitled “Internal Security (Prohibition on Use of Specific Words on Document and Publication) Order 2009”: –

Paragraph 2(1):

The printing, publication, sale, issue, circulation and possession of any document and publication relating to Christianity containing the words Allah, Kaabah, Baitullah and solat are prohibited unless on the front cover of the document and publication are written with the words “FOR CHRISTIANITY.”

I fail to see, from the wordings of the order, how a “mistake” can arise? The provisions appear crisp and clear. The whole episode appears more to be a decision-taken-in-reverse, rather than a technical mistake. This appears evident, considering that there were calls by certain bodies, notably the Malaysian Islamic Da’wah Foundation, urging the government to withdraw permission for the conditional use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications.

This is definitely not the type of governmental decision that we want to see – laws being made – and un-made – not for the good of the citizens, but at the influential behest of certain important individuals or organizations.

Another damning implication arising from Syed Hamid Albar’s action in issuing a fresh gazette to cancel the earlier one – is that it creates an unhealthy precedent affronting the rules of retrospective laws. Article 7 (1) of the Federal Constitution provides that no person shall be punished for an act or omission which was not punishable by law when it was done or made.

For example, if smoking is not an offence today, then a law cannot be made tomorrow to declare smoking an offence today – this is retrospective laws. This means, I cannot be convicted of smoking yesterday, last week or last month by a law that operates retrospectively.

But by issuing “cancellation” orders, Syed Hamid may be doing just that. On February 16, the law allows me to use the word “Allah”. Because of that – I start printing, publishing and circulating to people in my church. 2 weeks later, a new law come up to revoke the old law – to the effect that there was no such law in the first place. This means, technically, I have committed an offence and can be charged under the ISA.

By doing what Syed Hamid has done, a precedent has been set. Let’s take another example: – say now, a law is passed today to legalize the smoking of marijuana – and people start doing just that, smoking marijuana – 6 months later the Home Minister revokes the law and puts everyone in bars. Is that possible?

All said and done, Syed Hamid Albar is truly Malaysia’s resident magician – Law today, gone tomorrow.

Posted in Observations, Opinions, Oscar the Grouch | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

An Economic-Bimbo’s Guide To Surviving The Crunch…..

Posted by ErnieJean on February 26, 2009

Brace yer-self people!!!

The effects of incompetent economic management by our gutter-government combined with the current world-wide economic crisis, is almost upon us. Though the full effects of recession has yet to set in, one can just sense the glooming dark clouds coming in.

They say the first clear signs of recession is when shoppers start holding back on their spending…….and by the looks of how quiet the cash registers are these days, I’d say the signs are loud and clear.

You know Jusco? Everyone’s favourite Japanese retail chain store?

Remember whenever they have their very popular “Members’ Day Sale“, one would always avoid the roads leading to where these stores are because the traffic jam can be so darn horrendous? And if you’re one of the Jusco member card holders who would take a day off work just so to go grab some bargains, you’d see so many people that it may just give you claustrophobia? Or where it takes at least 30 minutes to pay for something?

Well, Jusco had one of those “Members’ Day Sale” two days ago, and guess what? The road in front of my office which leads to Mid Valley, that houses a Jusco, which used to be jammed pack during such sales, was clear of traffic!!!! Even the internal roads within Mid Valley was clear!!!

So what is going on!!??

A friend told me that, apparently, retailers at a high end shopping mall (the one that is standing on what was previously a convent school in KL’s golden triangle?) are planning to appeal for a waiver off several months of rental due to bad bad bad sales.

Recently, I checked out Metrojaya’s Members’ Preview Sale………it used to be so packed that one would potentially lose weight just by standing while waiting to try out an outfit at a fitting room. Well, not this time………the crowd was not only a lot smaller but it felt like any normal shopping day, despite the great discounts and free supper 😀

Even prudent spending has gone to healthcare.

Wednesday February 25, 2009

It’s a sign of an ailing economy

IPOH: Longer queues at government hospitals and health clinics. That’s one of the side effects of the economic crisis.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad said more people were seeking treatment at public hospitals instead of private ones to save on expenses.

And patients did not mind waiting for three hours to seek treatment, he said. “Even those with minor problems are seeking aid at the Accident and Emergency units,” he told reporters after launching the third Perak Health Conference.

“When there’s a reduction in purchasing power, you naturally spend less. This is why people try not to seek treatment at private establishments.” – The Star

I’m an economic bimbo……….when economists discuss or explain how the economic machinery works, they’d probably get 5 minutes, max, of my attention, after which my eyes just glazed over and thoughts wander into space.

But when you see empty retail shops, or hear about family or friends being laid off, it certainly doesn’t take an economic genius to have one’s worry nerves being tickled? How NOT to know and worry about the recession that is round the corner, or if not, already setting in, as far as some folks are concerned. How many of us here who are already living within the boundaries of our salaries even before this economic turmoil started?

Our current Deputy Prime Minister, who is also our Finance “Tai Kor” (God help us all…….),  has announced a much bigger 2nd stimulus plan to be injected into the ailing economy.

Firstly, “Thank You” Mr DPM, for FINALLY acknowledging that our economy is in trouble, instead of insisting that we still going strong…..that our “economic fundamentals” are rock solid. However, like the 1st  stimulus package, we can expect zilch or minimal details as to how this “stimulation” is going to be carried out.

So, let’s just discount this government from coming up with anything brilliant to save us.

Although things have not gone to the “bottom of the sewers” just yet, but based on what’s going on now, think there’s no other way but to take matters into our own hands and consider these options, in order to survive this round of economic woes ;

1. Cut down on impulsive and frivolous spending.

Easier said than done, I know, but one way of achieving that would be to leave your credit card behind if you’re going out window shopping. And get rid of all but one ATM card for emergencies only.

(Darn!!! And just when all the major retail stores are having their sales!!! AArrrgghhhh!!!)

2. Find a better paying job.

If local employers are using the economic downturn as an excuse to pay Peanuts, then wish them “Monkeys“. Look for jobs elsewhere or overseas. Check out jobstreet.com or similar websites.

I know it’s tough leaving one’s family and loved ones behind, but consider the overseas stint as a temporary measure and the experience would definitely make one’s resume look good.

3. If No.2 is not an option, then increase your earnings.

I know a lot of people who are supplementing their current pay by taking on a 2nd job or operating a small-time business. The extra earned could go into your emergency fund, which would come in handy during times of financial emergency.

4. Identify and eliminate nonessential and discretionary expenditures

Some experts call it “Trimming away the Fats”.

That may mean terminating your Astro, club membership, weekly buffet treats, Starbucks or club-hopping. Also, you may want to consider cutting down on those cigarettes, alcohol and high-maintenance dates.

That may put a damper on your social life, but just think of it as a “temporary reprieve” and it’ll help.

 5. Last but not least…..stay focused, determined and always adopt a positive outlook.

Being depressed will not help anyone, much less yourself. Face each challenge head on and always remember that when one “door” is shut, there will always be other “doors” opened……..PERSEVERENCE is the key

(Sounds totally cheesy, I know, but it’s sooo true!!)

stimulus

 

Posted in Dandelions, Economy, erniejean, government, Malaysia, Observations, Opinions, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Stuck In The AMNO Rut……..How To Move Ahead Like That!!!???

Posted by ErnieJean on February 20, 2009

Know why Malaysia is still in the humdrum?

Why husbands of some people I know who had to go overseas, leaving the family behind to earn a living because nothing seems to be moving here?

Why there’s another 80,000 folks (and not 40,000 as conservatively estimated by the government) who got retrenched?

This despite the first stimulus package being “supposedly” already released into the economy…………..

Because, despite most of us knowing very well what’s really wrong, especially with the administrators of this country,  we seem to be stuck with nowhere to go……Still stuck with the same set of money-devils playing with the nation’s coffers and legal framework who are hell-bent at staying in power by using whatever dirty means.

While leaders of developed nations (now we also know why some nations are called “developed nations” and we’re still “developing” in a never-ending cycle) focus their attention and energy on solving their country’s economy woes, ours are engrossed in playing “masak-masak”…….where the main ingredients are :-

1. 500 gms of RACISM

2. 450gm of LONGKANG-POLITICS

3. 10 tbs of CORRUPTION

4. 1 roll of HYPOCRITISM

Tun Dr. Mahathir had more or less confirmed that the racial politics, played to perfection by UMNO and their “running dogs”, are more for political power concerns rather than actual concerns for the race they profess to be conning “protecting”.

“Whether we like it or not, if Umno is no longer a race-based party, the likelihood is that PAS will take over the Government,” he said in reply to a question after giving a talk on “Malaysia at the Crossroads” at Cambridge University on Wednesday.

And how about this candidate who is currently one of the three scallywags “turks” vying for a place as one of the nation’s future leadership……Who had proudly proclaimed that UMNO, under his leadership, lost the Selangor state because  the party was NOT racist and Islamist enough.

This same frozen-faced chap actually believed that Umno should continue actively promote their brand of UMNO Malay agenda and UMNO Islamic policies, and the party will succeed in turning the tide in the next general election.

Well, Mr. Frozen Face……how about you please do us that big favour and continue with those racist proposals and next election, the rakyat truly send  you packing along with the ‘tsunami’ tide to Timbuktoo!!!

I came across this extremely racist piece of crap, entitled “Bodohkah Melayu” written by some chap who, believe me, seriously doesn’t look at all like an “Earth-Prince” but more 100% something else….say of the Indian ethnic background?

However, like all UMNO mamak breeds, this guy is adamant that he be as racist as possible, perhaps with hope that people can forget where his true origins are from………pity his ancestors and parents…….

Excerpt from “Bodohkah Melayu” at http://www.tepakbersulam.com/ aka Khazai Abu Bakar

(p.s. I’m only going to do a very simplified translation……..as most of what’s being written is more or less in the same crappy tune)

Melayu tidak lagi serupa UMNO melayu. Melayu tidak lagi sayangkan UMNO melayu, melayu menulis menghina pemimpin UMNO melayu, melayu mahukan hak UMNO melayu terhakis, melayu mahukaN melayu terus menjadi kuda, Melayu mahukan melayu jadi boneka.

(Loose Translation : Malays don’t love themselves anymore)

Lihat saja apa yang berlaku di Perak semalam sehingga hindu yang menjadi speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri perak boleh menjadi hakim. Hindu itu juga telah menghina Sultan Perak. Hindu ini juga telah mengaibkan bangsa ku bangsa Melayu. Hindu ini juga telah mencemar nama baik bangsa melayu. Hindu ini juga menghina Menteri Besar kita. Hindu ini juga menghina institusi beraja kita selama ini milik kita. Namun masih ramai lagi bangsa ku yang sedang tidur nyenyak dan masih bermimpi 916.

(Loose Translation : See how they allowed a hindu to be the speaker in the Perak state assembly. That Hindu insulted our king and our race)  *vomit blood*

Masih bermimpi jalan ke Putrajaya sedangkan jalan bangsa melayu kini menuju kelongkang yang busuk. Kita terus sokong hindu ini kata mereka, kata bangsa ku yang sedang tidur nyenyak ini. Kita terus berdiri di belakang hindu ini, yang penting UMNO – orang melayu itu tersingkir. Biarlah mereka lawan dengan hindu ini, yang penting kita dapat jadi pemerintah. Tak kiralah asalkan pemerintah, tak kiralah …biarpun jadi boneka atau kuda, ini saja jalan yang kita ada untuk menjadikan kita pemerintah. Jika tidak Anwar akan terus kempunan untuk jadi pemerintah. Gadaikan hak melayu, gadaikan maruah bangsa, tak apa kata mereka, tak apa kata pemimpin Pas, gadaikan maruah agama. Tak apa kata mereka lagi. Asalkan kita berkuasa.

(Loose Translation : Supporting the hindu is akin to negleting the malays. We must do whatever, at all costs, to ensure that we are the kings scumbags ones on top and in power.) 

Bangunlah bangsa ku, bangun dan lihat ,bangsa kita mahu dijajah kembali, Bangsa kita diperlekehkan, raja kita di persendakan, bangunlah….. lebih dari 50 tahun kebajikan, maruah, martabat kita dijaga, bukan oleh mereka, UMNO lah yang membesarkan kita, UMNO lah yang memberikan kita pendidikan, UMNO lah yang menjadikan kita bijak dan pandai. UMNO lah yang telah membawa bangsa kita menjejak kaki ke bulan. Kenapa kita hendak menjadi bodoh kembali hanya kerana mahu, menyokong mereka segelintir melayu yang hanya mahu merebut kerusi menjadi Perdana Menteri. Tidak akan hilang Malayu di dunia, tetapi melayu akan terus hidup merempat jika ini cara melayu.

(Loose Translation : ARISE my people….ARISE!!!!!! For more than 50 years, malays have been enslaved protected by UMNO, not them!!! UMNO is the one who handicapped nutured us so how can we turn our backs on them!!)

Can someone please tell our incoming PM that launching some dumb “One Malaysia” campaign with fancy fancy juvenile slogans and giving speeches such as , “Let us develop not only the economic and political ties but also the social and cultural relationship with all ethnic groups in the country,” will not buy the hearts of the voters……..not when it is so obvious that under your leadership, the total opposite is being practised, endorsed and approved.

 

Posted in erniejean, Malaysia, Najib Tun Razak, Opinions, politics, Racism, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Responsibilities

Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on February 17, 2009

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY/IRRESPONSIBILITY!

“Banks are to be blame for financial crisis, predominantly British and American banks.” This statement above is a bit of a populist ‘blame-everyone-but-me” approach.

No doubt banks are partially responsible due to the some dodgy deals such as Credit Default Swap (CDS) pioneered by JP Morgan in the mid 1990s and predatory sub-prime mortgage lending. British and American consumers are at fault as well.

On average, each British spend (spent?) 175% while an American spend (spent?) 150% of the salary they earned. They live on credit (AKA debt). A consumer’s debt is a bank’s profit and since an average trans-Atlantic Anglo-American consumer/customer is heavily on debt, no wonder liquidity runs dry and hence the credit crunch.

No government dares to ask their electorate to change into a more ‘miserly’ lifestyle and responsibly shoulder part of the blame. The governments gladly/grudgingly exaggerated the victimhood mentality of their citizens to pin the blame entirely on financial institutions. They should be thought about personal responsibility.

WONG SAI WAN, MALAYSIA’S ALAN GREENSPAN?

Wong Sai Wan is an idiotic layman from The Star who does not deserve to be journalist or editor. He claims that by talking about how bad Malaysia’s economy is, we actually help to aggravate the dire economic situation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Current Affairs, Malaysia, Observation, Opinions | 2 Comments »