Friday, 17 April 2015

Handling the heat

Today has been another exceptionally hot day.

I was planning to make a trip to visit someone in Perak but decided to cancel it because it was simply too hot to leave the comfort of the house.

Then there is also the matter of my recurring poor health largely caused by the extreme weather.

On the political front, the row between Tun M and gang against PM and his "supporters" are still hot and sizzling.

I have refrained from commenting on the subject mainly because I find the whole thing unproductive and damaging to the political interests of Malays in general at a time when we need unity more than anything else.

When they should be focused in making sure that everyone contribute to build on strengthening their collective political clout through unity, the Malays are further breaking apart into little fractions.

Everyone is so focused on their own opinions of what is right and wrong that they do not see that the ultimate direction they are taking us to is further fragmentation of the Malays.

He is often accused of being "lembik" and yet many failed to realise that DS Najib inherited an Umno that has been corrupted well before he holds the reign of power.

His style of appeasing the warlords within is the only way that he could hold the party together in order to ensure Umno stays in power.

In a way, I can also understand why he is surrounding himself with consultants - unlike the all powerful warlords with their almost cultic followers, these consultants are people under his payroll that he can control and lead to certain objectives.

I disagree with many things that DS Najib has done, in his way of governing the country and leading the nation, but I see that as his prerogative as the leader that has been chosen by his party, and through the election process, as our leader.

I personally disagree with BR1M, but I accept his sincerity in trying to give to the needy.

Besides, I have personally seen some of the feel good factor on the ground - what those few hundred ringgits could do to make them feel someone up there cared.

However, I wholeheartedly agree with the doing away of subsidies as I believe that blanket subsidies for consumer goods, including fuel, benefit those with better purchasing power more than the under privileged who make do with less.

The decision to implement GST is also good one although they could have done a better job of educating the public on it.

I do find the stories about 1MDB alarming but I will accept that the audits are required before any opinion is formed either way - that is because I am a strictly fact-based person.

As for the Altantuya murder and Sirul mention, I think that was not really directed at DS Najib, but at the Police, the Attorney General Office and the judges who investigated the case, charged all three of them, found the two policemen guilty and sending them to the gallows.

Actually it was the Altantuya question that made me decide to give DS Najib the benefit of the doubt - it was standard Pakatan-style politics of innuendo.

For me, that last question was really what made his explanations on the other issues easier to accept.

I hope he can ride through this heatwave and prevail.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Uninterrupted TV and other things

Yay!

We finally got Unifi installed at the house after more than 2 years of waiting and getting rebuffed with the same message of "missing address" or "dah tak ada port".

And for the first time we are watching tv uninterruptedly despite the heavy rain outside.

TM in the TV cabinet

We only subscribed to the VIP5 package, and yet uploading and downloading stuff from the 'net is sufficiently speedy and we no longer get "sakit hati" with the constant timeouts when browsing the 'net, especially when pictures are involved.

Even Yaya is happily browsing on her tablet, looking up gardening resources to expand her herb garden and new recipes for freezing now that we've got a bigger freezer.

Today, for the first time I made 6 pizza crusts for the freezer, and they turned out okay and now freezing nicely.

Pizza crusts in the freezer

I know, they look more like pita bread, but the boys prefer these fat, fluffy crusts to the thinner crispy ones that I like.

However, since the very reason we are freezing food stuff is to make it easier to prepare their favorite food, thick pizza crusts it is that get frozen.

We are planning to make more food stuff for the freezer this week - pau, karipap, roti canai, bread, gravy, meatballs, fishcakes, pasta sauce - as these pre-prepared food makes food preparation while on the go become less chaotic.

The boys' days are full - day school, religious school, homework, taekwondo, music lessons, basketball training - which means Yaya's days are full too as she ferries them everywhere and supervises their school work.

There isn't much time to spare, what with cleaning up after two boisterous boys who seem to demand constant attention, two cats who are equally attention seekers and having a life of our own.

I help out with tutoring them in my free time, the sewing and mending too, but food preparation that involves baking, roasting, or anything to do with the oven is what I love doing most.

I just love the fresh smell of bread baking, the scrumptious smell of pies cooling on the rack, and stretching gooey cheese as we break open cheese buns, still warm from the oven.

Kneading dough is such a soothing activity, just like sewing and embroidery work, which I love too.

Whenever I get stuck with work, I will start baking or sewing.

They keep the hands productive, but free the mind to think things through, and enable me to maintain some sense of balance.

I used to drive to clear my mind, but now I realise that driving around aimlessly not only wastes petrol, it also contributes to air quality degradation, traffic congestion and cost of car maintenance.

Besides, with the state of the roads in Selangor nowadays, it can be right down dangerous.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Surviving in the Cat World

Two days ago, we finally made the decision to adopt Sammy formally into the family.



He is now practically THE house cat, more so than Seman who comes home only when he is hungry or when he needs a comfortable place to sleep in peace.

The ultra cool Seman tolerates him, even allowing him to sleep on the living room ottoman and the dining table, although Seman never entertained his tentative licks of friendship.

He never tries to compete with Seman, always giving way to him, and will only eat after Seman has had his fill at the food bowl.

That kind of easy relationship that he has with Seman, the first stray that we adopted because he was just the coolest kitty ever, is the main reason that we decided to adopt him.

When Sammy first began to come regularly for meals, we found out from a neighbor that he was originally one of four kittens that was born into a young family two blocks down the road.

However, as the family grew, with a new baby and a less than attentive new "bibik", the kittens grew up to be neglected adolescents.

Sammy also had the misfortune to be the runt of the litter, so he lost out to his brothers; being the last to eat, and constantly chased out of the brothers' territories, be it under the cars, under the porch or other comfy nooks and crannies for cool afternoon naps.

Eventually he was abandoned by his family to the mercies of the neighborhood cats and the ferocious Persian foursome from next door; Shifu the beautiful brown tabby, Blackie the orange-eyed gang leader, Night the chubby enforcer and dainty Cutie Pie who depends upon her brothers to ensure the neighborhood is safe for her. (These are of course not their real names as given by their owner).

He became another semi-longhair stray, spending most of his time with backlane strays who were mostly similarly abandoned by their families, waiting on the mercies of the neighborhood samaritans for scraps of food and napping at the edges of the group for safety against bullies.

Then one day, all the backlane strays disappeared, but Sammy was still there furtively hiding under Yaya's plants.

He scratched on our kitchen door one wet morning, drenched, hungry and pathetic looking, begging to be let in, so Yaya took him in, toweled him dry and fed him off Seman's bowl.


Now he hardly ever leave the house, his only activities are either sleeping or eating or begging to be petted.

My only worry now is whether we can afford to keep him fed as he seems to have a huge appetite.


Monday, 23 March 2015

Scary Shadows

Everyone is getting all excited about the hudud implementation in Kelantan.

Like an anonymous commenter in my previous post noted, what's the fuss?

Firstly, it will only be in Kelantan.

Secondly, it is only for Muslims.

Thirdly, Kelantan is overwhelmingly Malay and Muslim.

Fourthly, it was done through democratic processes, i.e. tabled and voted in.

Fifthly, the people residing in Kelantan are not the ones getting all excited, in fact they have voted in PAS every time on the promise of hudud implementation.

The majority of Kelantan voters wanted hudud to be implemented for the past couple of decades.

They wanted it so bad that they have been putting up with what I would consider as unacceptable socioeconomic non-development for all these years, their youngsters going elsewhere to look for employment, but going back to Kelantan without fail for every GE to make sure PAS are voted in every time.

Even if Umno and PKR reps were to vote against the bill, they would not be able to block it; all they would have achieved is to lose their seats in the next election because the people they represent in the Dewan wanted them to say yes to hudud.

It is their democratic right to want to be subjected to hudud.

Democratically speaking, what right do we have to deny them from implementing their version of Syariah laws?

You don't like it, don't enter Kelantan.

You don't want your states to make similar amendments, you just make sure you select your representatives who will not vote for it in the Dewan.

Simple, kan?

Why are non-Muslims all agitated over some laws being amended in Kelantan?

Why are some Muslims all out against it to the extent of ridiculing and insulting their fellow Muslims over it?

Can't you people see that in a democratically elected representation system that we practice in this country, the majority in the Dewan wins?

No matter how loud and obnoxious the minority is, the majority gets to decide what kind of laws they want.

And so you don't share the majority values or beliefs, does that make it right to force your values and beliefs on them?

Do democracy, justice and freedom only prevail when they serve your interests, values and belief system, no matter if the majority do not share those values?

What kind of arrogance and conceit drive some people to make presumptuous and derogatory statements about other people's character, simply because they hold different views?

I have written this in some form before this, although not necessarily in this blog, that the level of education is not a measure of a person's intellect, neither is it an indication of wisdom attained.

Sometimes, too much education simply leads to arrogance, pretensions and self-importance.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Hudud

Someone asked me about why Umno Kelantan supported the Hudud enactment in Kelantan and why I have not posted something about it, everyone else did.

I was like, eh?

First and foremost, how would I know about the motivations of Umno Kelantan?  I am not even Umno whatever ...

Secondly, I am not everyone else.

My position on Hudud, or laws of any kind, is simply to leave the matter to experts in that particular field.

However, since I am already on the subject, might as well put down my thoughts here - just my own personal thoughts as someone who is totally unlettered and quite ignorant about the laws.

To me, as a Muslim, of course I accept being subjected to Islamic laws.

However, I can also see why non-Muslims may not like being subjected to Islamic laws.

Why should they be subjected to something that is not of their faith?

But the thing is, we need laws in order to maintain peace and order, so why not Islamic laws?

Why are we willing to be governed by the present laws, but not Islamic laws?

Maybe the punishment is deemed harsh by non-Muslim standards, but wouldn't that make greater deterrent for would-be offenders?

If the threat of punishment do not deter them from the deed, then the offenders deserve the punishment if caught and convicted.

If the Islamic values that define what is considered an offence differs from that of non-Muslims, then that's where they should only apply to Muslims.

However, I don't see that offences such as murder would be an issue as even now the death penalty applies.

Here's a thought, if only Muslims are subjected to the Hudud implementation, Malaysia will eventually reach a stage where criminals will only be non-Muslims as Muslim criminals would either be deterred by the harsh punishments, or decommissioned early from the crime career path once caught and punished with either death, amputation or bankruptcy.

Muslim criminals will not decide to become apostates to avoid the laws because that would be certain death under Hudud.

Criminal profiling would become much easier for the police, and we can address the question of crowding in prisons as incarceration of Muslim offenders would be less likely, either they are dead or handicapped or bankrupt.

Wouldn't that be a positive thing?

One more thing, can we just do away with incarceration as punishment - just prohibitive fines, amputations and death?

Our cost of maintaining law and order as well as the upkeep of criminals in prisons would be lower.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Simple Life

I have just sent off the kids and their mummy to the airport to take an early morning flight to their "kampung".

It will only be for 5 days and I will have to pick them up again from the airport on Sunday afternoon.

At the moment I am all alone at home with the two kitties, Sammy and Seman, both sleeping in their unique ways, Sammy curled up in his corner of the living room while Seman is stretched out on Al's bed.




Before leaving this morning, Yaya reminded me to clean the water containers at the back, just in case we need to store clean water again.

She's worried that we may be faced with another round of unplanned water disruption or even water rationing now that the water agreement between Selangor and Federal government had been rescinded by the MB.

We are also planning to ensure that we have sufficient water storage facilities at all our other residences so we won't have any problems should we face water supply disruption at any one of the houses.

I am not sure what is the actual reason for the cancellation of water agreement signed by the previous administration, as the reasons given were too wishy washy to be believable, but I hope that they could quickly address the water supply issue so that we won't have to go through water rationing again.

I have promised to give room for the new MB to show what he is capable of, but after 6 months, he has not shown much results other than public posturing and political grandstanding.

He should also quickly do something about that collapsed flyover to Taman Sains Selangor 2 near Cyberjaya - it has been like that ever since I can remember.

And the condition of the main roads are still horribly pot-holey and dangerous to smaller vehicles like my Proton Saga or Yaya's Viva.

In some places, you just can't avoid the potholes, they are like all over the road.

I always worry about losing a wheel or something when I'm running errands, even simple things such as going for groceries or sending and picking up the boys to and from school.

I can honestly say that, I'll be more than happy to have him as the MB as long as he can provide these three things - decent roads, uninterrupted water supply, acceptable waste management operation.

I am even willing to let him off with the unacceptable dengue statistics if he would just provide those three things.

Maybe getting Selangor people to be concerned with living in a clean and healthy environment to reduce dengue cases is simply impossible, but at least we should have decent roads in order to move about safely and despite Malaysians' littering habit, at least we should not have uncollected rotting trash by the roadside.

 With the current state of Umno and BN in Selangor, I am certain that this state will continue to be governed by Pakatan after the next GE, so I really, really hope that Pakatan will just get their act together and focus on the governing part as opposed to the politicking part.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Living Quietly

I haven't posted anything in a while.

Several reasons for that.

Firstly, there just seem to be nothing new to comment about, politically speaking; I hate repeating myself, so I wont.

Secondly, my priorities, professionally speaking, have changed and I am no longer invested in what is happening with current issues.

Thirdly, real life is getting interesting and I intent to spend more time to make the most of it.

Truthfully, I am seriously considering locking down on this blog space because I do not have anything considered remotely SOPO in my interesting stuff list at the moment.

I am finding it difficult to even get motivated to form an opinion about current issues, let alone write about them.

Let's see, I have already commented about PR1MA, the 1MDB thing to me was not something I should comment on seeing that, technically, based on confirmed data, I don't really see anything wrong with it, pro-BN bloggers trying to get rid of Najib - hahahaha ...I think they should really examine their own reasons for doing so.

The external debt thing ... I think Economics Malaysia did an excellent explanation.

GST ... I can only say that we should have implemented that a long time ago.

Now, what else is there to write about?

Rafizi with his dumbass opinions and allegations on a range of issues of which he has no knowledge of?  Pfft ... my nephews' opinions on why "Phineas and Ferb" is more interesting than "Star Wars Rebels" are far more intelligent.

PAS troubles?  Heh ... them lot invited trouble when they got themselves involved with Anwar and his politics, now they are reaping the rewards of that association - total destruction of their own political ideals from within.

PAS should have learned from what happened to Umno when Tun Mahathir brought in Anwar Ibrahim - it still has not recovered from that association.

Anwar's wife and daughters' non-stop allegations against the government?  I really think that was rather "tak cerdik" of them, but if they wanted to make sure more people get more curious and wanting to know in greater detail about the case, that's their choice, although Nurul Izzah's attempt at being a drama queen with her speech in parliament recently was a comically pathetic effort.

DS Rosmah's extravagant ways?  Heh, TKC thoroughbreds have put up with all kinds of mockery and put-downs since we were eleven, and being a true TKC gal, she understands that the best way to handle haters is by ignoring them and just doing our own thing.

I mean, why waste our time explaining when they won't give us the benefit of the doubt, see our point of view or even listen to what we have to say about what they are griping about?


Thursday, 19 February 2015

Alma Mater

Today is a restful day without the kids as they are away at Daddy's.

It is literally a spring cleaning day for us, taking the opportunity to clean and clear things that we couldn't possibly do in peace with the children underfoot.

It reminded me of the times when I was in school and we would be having our weekly house cleaning day, the inspection that followed which will lead to being awarded points that will then be added up to our academic and sports achievements for the competition between houses for the Best House award at year end.

It became my home for most of my growing up years, and despite having moved on with my life, I sometimes find myself going back to look it up from time to time, which is truly unlike me.

That was the place where I first learned how to be an independent person - I washed my own clothes and school shoes, learned how to iron my school uniform properly (I never bothered with the rest of my clothes), do my own bed in the mornings, and scrubbing toilets every month when it came to our turn during the weekly house cleaning exercise.

It was also the place where I began to explore my creative side.

While other girls vie for places in performances, I tended to prefer the making up of costumes and stage props.

While the girls were busy connecting with other schools, hosting visits from other schools and getting all excited with school outings, I took any opportunity to sleep in as heaven sent.

The only time I was involved in any social event was a day when we were invited to too many schools and there were not enough senior girls to go to all the places at the same time, so I was told to spruce up and be sociable because a military school was hosting us girls for the day.

I took a book, about Stalin's life if I was not mistaken, just in case I needed to read a book to pass the time.

It wasn't a disastrous outing, but I was on my best behaviour and kept mostly quiet and nodded at everything.

I bet the boy who was my attendant that day thought I was the most uninteresting and vapid girl he had the misfortune to attend to.

Life at school was very regimented; there was a bell for everything, and we were only allowed to wear jeans on Sunday - imagine a teenager not allowed to wear jeans every hour of the day, let alone modifying them with our personal stamp of creative self-expression.

The days were full of activities, the nights were largely reserved for study, the weekends for personal recreation and rest.

I was also a loner, in the sense that friendships formed in school stayed there and never strayed into my personal life - I never shared stories of my family with school friends and I rarely talk about school friends at home.

It wasn't like I wasn't involved with all the usual activities - I was very enthusiastic when it came to cheering for the school whenever there was a home game, or when our debate teams won prestigious competitions.

I just never had BFFs or even a clique.

It was really weird that I never formed any lasting friendships from my school years considering that I spent more time with those girls than I did with my own family during those years.

I even stayed at the dorms during holiday breaks as going home for public holidays would not be practical for me.

Maybe because from the very beginning I was reminded of what my goal was, and it wasn't to look for friendships, although I doubt that was what my dad wanted of me.

My dad's words to me before he left on that morning of registration stayed with me until today,

"... the only reason you are going to this school, so far from home, is because it is a privilege to be chosen to study in the best school in this country so you must study hard, discover your potential, do not stray from that, do not get distracted from your goal, to be the best that you can be ..."

Maybe I just took it too far.

Or maybe I was just a weird kid and grew up to be a weird person.

But I did very well, academically and I admit that I learned a lot about being focused, about being disciplined and about striving to excel in everything that we do.

That was what my alma mater was all about, life long excellence.

But now those school buildings are now occupied by another school and it is rather strange and sad seeing some of those buildings being called by a different name ... okay I confess, I looked up that school's facebook.

I bet the dorms have different names too.

I stopped going further because somehow it is just uncomfortable to realise how affected I am to know that the school where I grew up in looks the same but is no longer the same and that the connection is now truly dead.


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Elitism

From my point of view, this was a straight forwards case of a man committing sexual assault on his own staff member.

The victim lodged a police report against him.

The police conducted a thorough investigation on the case.

The Attorney General office decided that they have a case to prosecute.

What about justice for the victim of the assault?

There was no doubt that the deed took place; that was what this case was all about.

Would the Courts be deemed fair and justice is served if they had just buried the case and left the victim to deal with the trauma and stigma on his own?

Those of you who cried foul over the Malaysian Court's  decision in the Anwar Ibrahim's conviction of sodomising his aide seems to have your own interpretation of justice.

And that include the various foreign governments who saw it fit to judge the Malaysian Courts simply because their man was found to be guilty of a criminal act according to Malaysian laws.

In fact, I find the hypocrisy of those governments who consider their laws, and by inference their ways, to be superior to others' that they feel it is perfectly alright to insultingly dictate how we should conduct ourselves while preaching freedom of expression and free will to be downright nauseating.

They find nothing wrong in their attempt to dictate our government to intervene in the Courts' decision over a criminal case and allow their man to evade being tried in our Courts of Justice, and yet here they are accusing our government of manipulating the Courts for political gains.

In the face of overwhelming evidence that was presented by the prosecution that the deed was indeed committed by the accused, what makes them think that their man was innocent when his defense was never substantiated with clear evidence for the Courts' consideration?

I am now even more fully convinced that to them, justice is only served if they and their own are allowed to do whatever they wish regardless of how they impinge on the rights of others.

Criminal justice is only applicable to others, whereas they are governed by their own laws of "everything we do is right because others do not have rights" no matter how self serving their actions are.

They act like they belong in a separate class, the elites that deserve to walk all over people, dictate how we live our lives, force their own convictions to override our own belief system and cultural values while they insist that they themselves are not to be subjected to the laws of the people of the land.

Which makes them nothing more than just hypocrites and whatever they stand for is simply a sense of elitism, a set of rules for themselves, apart and above from the rest of humanity.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Guilty

And so he is found guilty by the courts ...

I really hope this will end the noxious drama that has been going on for years.

There are better things to occupy the front pages of our newspapers than the drama involving the greatest drama queen of all time.

Maybe now we can spend our precious time on more important matters and issues that benefit the rakyat instead of continuous political grandstanding by irrelevant politicians that add no value to the quality of life of the public in general.

I really don't get the public's fascination for him ... he is just a washed out irrelevant political animal who refuses to accept that his time is up.

Besides, he had his chances in the 90s and he squandered his opportunities back then.

During our regular chats, my journalist brother and his friends told me stories of what happened during those period of political decadence within Umno.

I also listened to the stories circulating around my politically active friends back then when I was in Johor.

I have a great respect for Dr Mahathir for I think he is brilliant and all that, but I do blame him for the ascension of Anwar Ibrahim in the 80s and 90s where he developed his brand of insidious political network of corruption and money politics that is now pervasive in Umno.

From my perspective, what happened to him when he lost it all and how it happened is something he needs to ponder upon in these twilight years of his.

I believe that everything in this world is pre-destined according to Allah's Design, and how we walk that road towards the destination that has been pre-determined is a matter of making choices on how to get there.

Whether we get to that destination full of Allah's Favor and Blessings, or we reach that same destination full of shame and Allah's Condemnation, is dependent upon the kind of choices we make as we journey towards the end.

And that is precisely where I differ from Machiavelli's "The End Justifies The Means".

To me, the means is the reason for our living, the end is just that, The End.