Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Superior


I went to the nearest nursery to buy some potting soil this morning.

My palms needed re-potting as they had outgrown their pot.

I had been meaning to re-pot them since last week, but we ran out of potting soil, and so I had to buy some before I can give  them a new home.

We used to be able to get 7 bags of garden soil for ten ringgits, but today I was told that I must pay two ringgits for every bag, no matter how many I bought.

Since my beloved Kentia really needed a new pot to call home, and I am not particularly good at haggling, I went ahead and bought five bags anyway.

The Bangladesh national who served me was the only worker there, and he actually handled the cash register too.

We have so many foreign nationals working in this country and making a good living too.

The other day, Yaya told me she went to a shop nearby because she needed something urgently for the house and was served by a Bangladesh national who was absolutely fluent in Bahasa Melayu that she thought he had been here for years.

The conversation went something like this -

Yaya: Bagus la Bahasa Melayu awak.  Dah lama ke duduk sini?

Amer: Lama juga la kak.

Yaya: Ya ke?  Dah berapa tahun dah duduk sini?

Amer : Tujuh bulan kak.

Yaya: (Jaw dropped) ... Tapi Bahasa Melayu awak bagus betul.

Amer: Bukan susah nak belajar Bahasa Melayu.  Saya beli buku, belajar, cakap dengan orang yang datang beli di sini, tiga bulan saya dah boleh cakap macam ni.  Saya lebih pandai cakap Melayu dari boss saya.

This is not an isolated case - I have met quite a number of them myself.

I am beginning to conclude that these Bangladesh nationals are actually far smarter and more diligent, or in a single word, superior, than Malaysians who still cannot construct proper sentences in Bahasa Malaysia let alone speak fluently in the national language despite being born and bred here.

Oh by the way, here's a photo of my re-potted palms.



Pretty, aren't they?

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Resigned

Apparently everyone is saying something about 1MDB.

Someone even asked me about what I think about the matter and even shared some juicy tidbits he got through his network.

My policy is, unless I have clear irrefutable evidence about anything, I will not offer an opinion either way.

Since the possibility of my getting anything of substance in the form of information or data about 1MDB is practically none, it looks like I would never opine on 1MDB, so I told him "I have no opinion on the matter".

I do keep track of the matter on the side, of course - I can't help it, tracking such things has become a habit I suppose - so I am not completely unaware of the stories revolving around 1MDB and the characters associated with it.

I do admit that if what I read were true, I do find their investment decisions rather dubious.

However, one must admit that the characters involved with 1MDB tend to be the type usually associated with the classy educated liberals of the Saifuddin and KJ kind - definitely not the Umno totok or Isma types who are classified by the classy educated liberal urbanites as "low class" rural bumpkins.

So maybe my low class non-eminent brain cannot decipher the brilliance behind their decisions.

I doubt that kicking Umno out and voting Pakatan in would make  GLCs investment more transparent, and based on how Pakatan-controlled states run their GLCs, I feel the situation will probably be worse.

Reading this article at dissidentvoice.org caused me to be resigned to the fact that regardless of who is in power, the elites will continue to accumulate greater wealth, while the middle to low income households continue to struggle to make ends meet, and the upper middle income liberal leftists continue to shout stridently for UBAH to their various versions of utopia, while the "eminent" Malays will continue to live their lives in the comfort of their pensioned cocoon reliving past glories and imagined goodwill.

On the global scale, we are just as much a subject of foreign manipulation as everyone else, and that won't change any time soon.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Looking Onwards

Someone invited me today to a reunion of sort.

I thanked them for the invitation but I am not really a reunion kind of gal.

It is not because I am not appreciative of the invitation, but I have decided to move on and have no wish to look back or to reminisce on old times.

I decided months back to cut whatever ties I have with non-essentials and moved on with my life.

If the people I left in Johor had wanted to be in touch with me, they could have easily contacted me a long time ago as they had my number, and some actually did.

Most did not.

Those who did only because they wanted to use my skills for the benefit of people who have no appreciation for what I can produce for them.

For some reason or other, every time someone from my past gives me a call or sends me a message, I instinctively think to myself "What do they want now?" as I know for certain that it is not my person that they value but my skills with number crunching and data analysis.

I am not disappointed, just resigned.

As such, going to a reunion to meet up with people who have no regard for me as a person, only as a means to keep in touch in case they need my skills, seems such a waste of time.

Someone said its called "networking" but I call it phony.

I was in the business of "networking" once, and I know exactly why you have to "network" with people you detest and put up with the very things that make you detest them.

I am no longer in that business now, and I hope to God that I never have to "network" again.

Time waits for no one, and I have no wish to waste what time I have on hand on something that would be of no value to me or my loved ones, so a clean slate, a fresh start, and life goes on.


Monday, 8 December 2014

Clean Your Own House

I was going to write about Joe Biden's opinion about a particular case being tried in our courts as “Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal gives Malaysia a vital chance to make things right and promote confidence in its democracy & judiciary. -vp,”.

The twit also tweeted this “Amid growing US-Malaysia ties, Malaysian govt’s use of legal system & Sedition Act to stifle opposition raises rule of law concerns. -vp,”.

Since Chedet had already written what I wanted to write in as scathing a tone as he could manage as a statesman, I can only express my full agreement to Chedet here.

Well maybe he has to say something about international relations, and it is much easier to pick on small 3rd world countries that refused to allow their stooge to become Prime Minister.

Besides, it is altogether probable that Vice Presidents are only allowed to venture into international waters only in places not considered big enough or important enough to American interests - all the important stuff are reserved for presidential opining.

But Mr Biden, sir, didn't the Democrats lost significant number of seats to the GOP in the mid-term elections recently and lost control of both the House and the Senate to the Republicans?

Overall, the elections resulted in the largest Republican majority in the entire country in nearly a century, with 54 seats in the Senate, 246 (56.55%) in the House (which could rise to 247, or 56.78%), 31 governorships (62%), and 68 state legislative chambers. Moreover, Republicans gained their largest majority in the House since 1946, the largest majority in Congress overall since 1928, and the largest majority of state legislatures since 1928.
Source Wikipedia

Shouldn't that be of more concern to you?

Wouldn't addressing the matter that caused the Democrats' losses is far more relevant to your political career, or aren't you thinking of running for President of The United States of America, the one and only super power in the world, the one that decide what is wrong and what is right, who to destroy and who to bribe, which country to bomb to smithereens and who to be assassinated and sodomised?

If you become the next US President, you can opine on the state of much bigger countries, like Russia or Iran or China, and far bigger personalities like Putin and Ahmadinejad... far more impressive than throwing your support behind a geriatric who thinks he is much bigger than he actually is, or concerning yourself with Malaysia's Sedition Act that is neither as repressive nor as invasive as the USA Patriot Act.

So just leave us alone to deal with our situation the best way we can, because as I see it, all the countries where American brand of social liberation and democracy were touted as the cure for all social and political ills always end up in deep sxxx and never realise whatever form of social cohesion they were promised.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Rememberance

Today I received a call from an old college friend, whom I haven't seen for a long time.

The last time we chatted was when she called me to tell me that she didn't complete some of her courses that semester because her water broke during the finals exam week and only managed to sit for one paper.

And that was the reason Haze took a year off from full-time college to care for her baby.

It brought back memories of those carefree days when I was seventeen, young and naive, starting college in a foreign land away from family, home and everything familiar.

Haze, Indy and I were together almost from the first day that we met at the admission briefing.

As freshmen, we were required to stay at the dorms and despite being assigned different roomies, and aspiring to graduate with different degrees, we managed to spend an inordinate amount of time together.

It was just natural that when we were allowed to reside off-campus, the three of us decided to room together in a 3-bedroom rented apartment about four miles from college.

Haze was the attractive, vivacious one, tall and tanned with long wavy brown hair and an infectious laugh - she reminded me of Jennifer Lopez.

Indy was the more serious intellectual, petite and demure, with very fair skin and glossy black hair - looks very much like that actress Tiz Zakyah.

And I was like totally nondescript compared to them, although they insisted that I was an annoying Miss Know-It-All and just took control of every situation (I was just being practical, I don't know why they got annoyed when I was right most times).

Although we were so different in looks, personality and social background, and later took different directions in life, throughout the four years of college (Haze took one extra year to graduate because of her baby) we stayed close friends.

There were so many memories that we had together, some pretty hilarious.

There was that time when we were interviewed by the local papers and was featured in a pull out about summer school - Haze started receiving fan mail ...

What got her real scared was that one letter was written by a guy who was going to come and see her as soon as he was able to get out of jail where he was serving a 20-year sentence for manslaughter.

She was even thinking of transferring out.

Then there was that time when Indy and I were featured on footage of the local television news about foreign students enrollment and Indy was indignant as she wasn't a foreign student.

She actually called the station to protest only to be told that I was obviously foreign in my baju kurung, she just happened to be there with me.

However, the most memorable to me personally was when I was accosted by some pervert as I was walking home (the bus was late so I decided to walk) from the nearby hospital where I was doing some volunteer work, taking a shortcut across some unsavory parts of the city.

I managed to make some self-defense moves that left him lying on the icy sidewalk, which I thought was awesome, but when I  bragged to the others as soon as I saw them, I got totally lambasted for being foolhardy.

They took me to the police station to make a report and got blasted by the police officer too, with the both of them nodding in agreement.

I lost contact with them when I went home and then began working in Britain while they continued pursuing their lives across the Atlantic.

I am so glad that Indy managed to get hold of me and shared my number with Haze.

And so this posting is for friends that you cherish, shared discoveries that you treasure, and lasting friendships that make you feel warm inside.


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Thriving in the heavy rain ...


We have had a lot of rain lately and our plants are thriving because of it.



Yay! Two more banana baby trees growing sprightly and healthy.  They are just too cute.

My mother's maiden hair fern gets all drenched and droopy after every rain shower, but they look green and healthy with many new shoots that will grow bushier as they age.


Here are the two sansviera babies among the other ornamentals growing in our backyard while mama sansviera is producing another baby on the post box ledge.


The curry tree is now reaching the roof and badly needs trimming, which I am certain Yaya will do once the rainy season is over.



While in front, the rose bushes are growing very strong shoots and I hope we will have more deep pink roses once the rainy season is over while the blush pink roses are still flowering non-stop although not as abundantly now that the sky seems to be permanently overcast.

Here's a photo of a deep pink rose that I captured last month.



I really should go and snap better pictures, but I am just plain lazy to take off downstairs just to get better pictures at the moment.

Now, if I have the Canon EOS 70D that I have been drooling over, I might just be motivated to actually spend time getting better photos to put up here.

With a phone camera?  These are good enough.

By the way, I went to IOI Mall Putrajaya with my family last Sunday purposely to spend time at the Aeon Index Living Mall.

Aeon Index Living Mall is a joint venture between Aeon Malaysia and Thai furniture manufacturer and retailer Index Living Mall.

The prices seemed reasonable enough and the furniture designs are more Asian, hence far more pleasing to our family Asian aesthetics.

I do like a couple of things that I may just buy for my room, an iron bed frame and a chilli red swivel chair, now that I am more or less a permanent resident in my sister's house.

Yaya found many things she liked for the house too and are already making plans to create the space for them.

Oh, and parking is free!  At least for the moment ...


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

I was going to write about Index ...

... but the blogs are a buzz about Umno bloggers being called bangang and some airhead not wanting to be ruled by the stupid.

Apparently pro-Umno bloggers were called bangang by Umno President, while somewhere else, Tun Mahathir's daughter claimed that she inherited her stupidity from her father.

And here I am planning to write a shallow piece about my trip to IOI Mall Putrajaya to check out the newly opened Index Home Living outlet.

I don't feel that I am included in that "bangang" category because I am not on Umno's payroll despite BigCat being born well after 2008 - heh ... so I am confident too that we are not among those categorised as moron by rockybru here.

The fact of the matter is that independence means I have no obligation to write all nice and sunny stuff about Umno and I have free reign to write what I like about anything I feel strongly about.

I do have clients whose reputation and image I am obliged to take care of, but they are not really in the business of scamming people so there aren't really anything negative that I can write about them.

Just as I am careful about protecting the interest of my clients, these bloggers are just as careful to protect the interests of their paymasters.

I am also aware that some of these bloggers actually do use their blogs to blackmail people into paying them, which I have blogged about here.

However, the thing is Mr Prime Minister (not that I think he even read BigCat but I am addressing him anyway), the problem lies not with the bloggers but their paymasters who are Umno warlords and Bahagian chiefs who probably used the "peruntukan" that Umno gave them, the chairmanships that you shut them up with and the business contracts that they managed to finagle from your administration to further their political career.

That is the reason you need to man up to the task of ridding your party of these warlords starting with those that have been intimidating and threatening you to get their way.

You spent so much time trying to bolster your personal popularity that you forget one fact, Umno leadership is not about just the President, it is about the entire leadership from the President down to the Ketua Cawangan.

Every single one of them contribute to the image of Umno on the ground, and if they are largely rotten ...

Darn it, why do I even bother?

As for the one who blamed her father for her stupidity ...

Makcik, you have had more than 50 years to improve the quality of your cerebral output by developing on whatever you inherited from your parents, and the best you can do is blame your lacking on your father?

At your age, you are still dragging your parents into the picture every time people say something about you that you dislike?

Wow, aren't we the bratty one?

Monday, 1 December 2014

Disappointed

I am largely disappointed by the recently concluded Umno General Assembly.

Maybe I was expecting too much because Tan Sri Muhyiddin's speech gave me hope.

I should have known better.

On one hand we have a bunch of clueless self-serving nincompoops, on the other a bunch of conceited pretentious egomaniacs.

What choice do the ordinary people have now?

Any wonder why most thinking people are simply fed up with the political situation, and would rather ignore the whole lot of them if it hadn't meant leaving the country to the dogs.

Thank God for the ordinary antics of my little nephews and niece that have kept me busy and entertained.

Oh yeah, my (adult) nieces are now here visiting and we are planning to eat out.



I was thinking of taking them to Alamanda for lunch and maybe some retail therapy, then maybe on to Mydin or Tesco to stock up on stationery for the upcoming school year (they are teachers).

Politicians?  Hah ... I have officially given up on them.

They all can continue on their merry ways for all I care, so long as they make sure public facilities are maintained and taken care of.

As for the MB of Selangor, his 100 days are almost up and it is almost end of the year and we'll see how he has performed.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Growing A Spine

Ha! Umno Preseident and Malaysian Prime Minister made a U-turn on the Sedition Act.

This is one U-turn I fully support, not because I am particularly enamoured by the Sedition Act, but because Najib is finally listening to the voices of the people who voted him into power that they wanted the Sedition Act to stay.

For you lot who did not vote for him in the last GE despite his promise to repeal the Sedition Act, just stop the whining, the griping and the lambasting.

Logically why would any sane individual go against the demands of the majority of his supporters when it is obvious that nothing he does would make his detractors desist from opposing him at the ballot box?

It is only right that he should be pandering to the people who supported him at the ballot box, not the ones who not only did not vote for his political party, but also publicly ridiculed and insulted him, his wife and his children.

Personally, I am sincerely tired of hearing the pretentious superior smugness of the DAP politicians, their non-stop whining dictating things according to their whims, the constant "it is Umno's fault, it is Excel fault, it is ROS fault, it is someone else's fault" every single time they messed up, the belligerence against those who do not share their opinions, and the holier-than-thou pronouncements on tweeter by political twits who seem to not care how their public tweeting magnify their lack of depth.

Next Najib needs to assert himself as leader of the majority in Malaysia, otherwise he will be just a wimp in the eyes of Malays and nons alike.

He should show more appreciation to leaders from the states that gave BN the most seats instead of pandering to the non-performing dead weights who are dependent upon the votes of the people whose welfare they seem to neglect.

And the first thing he should do is give the biadap and tak tahu malu MCA and Gerakan leadership some talking to.

So smug and self-righteous, telling Umno delegates what to say and what not to say when they have been saying whatever they wish to say without any consideration to the sensitivities of the majority of the Umno machinery on the ground who put them where they are.

They should be told to pull their weight instead of leaving everything to Umno - the work and the blame - they want to enjoy positions in government and yet insulting and threatening the majority of people who put them there.

Giving them face the way Najib has been simply adds to their arrogance and self-importance.

Self-reflection is not something they do voluntarily, so we should force them to do it to see where they really are in the Malaysian political scene - in my estimation they are at par with PSM.

Deal with Opposition sympathisers within Umno and stop giving them free reign with government and party funds.

If MCA refuse to do anything about The Star, that nest of DAP supporters, then Umno should do something about cutting them off from government departments subscriptions and funding - 80% of their commentaries are opposition-biased.

He has to deal with the enemies within before he can take the fight to the enemies without.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

DPM's Speech



I watched Umno Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's speech last night in full and I feel hopeful again.

Maybe because I have not heard such frank admission of what is wrong with Umno from a senior party leader before.

If the Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri wings actually take DP's words and translate them into action maybe the future will not be looking too bleak.

I hope Shahrizat took note of DPM's statement to "berundur dengan cara terhormat" and let younger people takeover leadership of the party.

Surely Wanita have better alternatives than Shahrizat among the former Puteri members who have graduated into Wanita.

If not, what is the point of having Puteri?

Sure, there are many of these former Puteri leaders who are just a bunch of self-absorbed non-performing freeloaders using their position within Puteri to accumulate wealth.

I have even met one who admitted openly that she was in it for the business opportunities and contracts that she can acquire through her position as the Puteri Division Head.

But surely there are some who sincerely believe in the struggle for "Agama, Bangsa dan Tanah Air".

Let us have a strong and charismatic Wanita chief who is in her forties who can build and expand on Wanita's role as the backbone of Umno machinery on the ground.

I am also hopeful that Pemuda would actually do something to stop the rot currently infecting them beginning with its top leadership.

What I have observed during the time I was in Johor, working with people closely related with Umno machinery on the ground, Pemuda is completely out of touch with their support base.

Its chief is more interested in gaining popularity among the classy urbanites who despise them, while seemingly intent on transforming the movement into an insular grouping of shallow and self-centred individuals that have managed to totally alienate the majority of younger Malay professionals who find  their pretentious posturings repellent.

I have long ago lost any respect whatsoever for Khairy Jamaluddin and consider whatever he has to say politically as just noise because from my perspective his actions do not seem to reflect his words when it comes to upholding "Agama, Bangsa dan Tanah Air".

Is it any wonder that I am more attuned to ISMA than I am to Umno?

Pemuda too have grown irrelevant among the grassroots because none of them seem to be part of the grassroots.

The problem with Umno is, they value verbal abilities above and beyond substance.

What is the point of being articulate if whatever you are articulating is without any substance?

I saw Umno Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi on TV last night and I was struck by how he seems to be in love with his own voice and opinions, someone who can talk endlessly in such a round-about way that I was bored to a point where whatever he said just became noise in my ears.

If nothing is done to reverse the decline in Pemuda, imagine the future of Umno leadership filled with Puad Zarkashi clones being impressed with themselves, and an Umno President being surrounded by his special officers who are openly DAP and PKR members instead of just sympathisers and covert supporters like now.