Friday, 18 December 2015

Reacting to bullies and liars

I received something on my WhatsApp this afternoon that got me a bit upset.

I feel it was only right that I should put it up here, just in case there are those who read stuff here may be affected by it in some way.

 The Mole reported about it here.

Felda is an intrinsic part of the Bumiputra agenda, and for me, an attack on it is an attack on the Bumiputra agenda.

With the recent allegation by some foreign "news" outlet that Felda plantations not only hired illegals but mistreated them too, I see this as the latest move to attack FGV and all that is related to Felda.

I am not really sure why anyone would actually go to the extent of spreading false "reports" that affect the well-being of others, other than that they are really sick.

Neither do I get why anyone would willingly be a part of this scheme to paint FGV and Felda as an evil organisation hell-bent on abusing their foreign workers, to the extent that they would lie about something like this.

But I have always been for the underdog.

If I had in the past been neutral towards Felda and FGV, this situation has pushed me to be all for Felda and FGV, because I detest bullies and liars, for that's who these people who spread these lies are - bullies and liars who don't give a crap for the well-being of those affected by their bullying and lies.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Greater regional cooperation through improved connectivity

One of the attractions of living in Malaysia is the abundance of places to go to and its relatively close proximity to some the most exotic holiday destinations in the world.

Renowned for its warmth and friendliness, with a diversity of cultures and abundant natural resources and at different stages of economic growth, southeast Asian nations, or rather ASEAN, are at different stages of development and economic growth.

For the past couple of decades, ASEAN countries have been competing with each other and the rest of the world for the limited amount of FDI to fuel their economic development even as trade continues to grow among member nations.

This group of nations have such potential within itself to collectively become economically stronger and self-sufficient, if only they can overcome the barriers to greater cooperation which included socio-political differences and geographical barriers that have formed natural boundaries.

That was probably why the leaders of ASEAN have been working extremely hard to make the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a single regional market for goods and services, a reality.

Collectively, AEC is itself a huge market of USD2.6 trillion with over 622 million people and the third largest economy in Asia, seventh in the world.

One of the most important aspect of building a single ASEAN economic community is probably in creating an integrated and cohesive international transportation network that allows for seamless cross border connectivity of people, goods and services while at the same time maintain a semblance of national sovereignty over their territories.

More challenging will be the effort to apply a standard set of laws and regulations across member nations, where physical mobility is the least of the problems or language and cultural differences are obviously not barriers to trade at the borders.

At the 21st ASEAN Transport Ministers' Meeting, the decision was made by member nations to adopt the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (KLTSP), also known as the ASEAN Strategic Transport Plan 2016 - 2025.

The KLTSP emphasises greater connectivity, efficiency, integration, safety and sustainability of ASEAN transport.

It is a 10-year master plan, outlining 30 specific goals, 78 actions and 221 milestone which sets out strategic measures for developing sustainable trans-regional transport networks, enhancing mobility and strengthening connectivity throughout ASEAN encompassing land, air and maritime routes.

Coupled with improved transport facilitation, the objective of the KLTSP is not only to benefit international trade within the region but will also enable member nations to tap new avenues for growth and deeper economic cooperation.

The liberalisation of air services, or what is more popularly known as "open skies" is another progression towards creating a single and unified aviation market in the region and eventually this progression will encompass land and maritime markets as well.

The envisioned end result is greater connectivity, efficiency, integration, safety and sustainability of transportation networks in ASEAN, to serve as one of the foundation blocks of building an ASEAN economic community that can leverage their collective strength for continued and sustainable growth.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Life is precious

It has been a while since I wrote something here.

I have not been busy or anything, just taking things easy and taking care of my health.

As an asthma sufferer, the haze situation has restricted my movements these past few days, staying indoors as much as possible.

Even within the safety of the house, there were times these past week when I was wheezing pretty bad and had to resort to medication to breathe properly.

But that isn't the reason why I started writing again.

Someone asked me what I think about the dismal state of our road safety with an "Annie seems to go all statistics" among her sentence that I was like "Whoa, Annie and statistics don't seem to go together" so I went and checked her blog out.

Well, apparently she did write numbers and percentages unrelated to politics.

Not the latest, but several postings before that, which I skipped through all the in-betweens because I have an allergic reaction to politics nowadays, not quite an asthma attack but more of the nauseous kind, so there ...

And that was sad.

For one thing, the loss of human life has become just numbers to measure our "achievements" in comparison to others.

For another, it's kinda horrible to consider "the number of deaths declined by 3.9% from 4,940 victims compared to 5,138 victims last year" like yes, less people died, but thousands still died on the road while traveling from point A to point B.

I didn't get my driving licence in Malaysia, so I don't really know what kind of education would-be road users get prior to getting licensed to drive.

However, from my observation of how some road users behave on the road, I do believe they need to be thoroughly educated about proper usage of the road before they are even allowed out on it.

While some road users need to realise that these roads are not their own personal driveway or racing tracks, so please ...

Those private driving schools are okay I suppose, but I would like to suggest the transport department include at least a few hours of road safety awareness classes conducted by government officers/teachers/lecturers/law enforcement officers, with attendees being thoroughly tested for their comprehension to ensure that they understand the importance of using the road safely before they even get their licence.

And of course there are those who need serious psychological evaluations, driving tests are simply insufficient ...

Road safety campaigns and other such measures are simply ineffective after the fact because we have failed to weed out the most likely road killers and suicidal maniacs from getting licensed to create mayhem on our roads.

As for the adrenaline junkies out there, who are mostly youngsters and young at heart otais, they need to be gotten off the road into proper tracks where they can waste their life away getting all juiced up about whatever it is that get them all excited without endangering innocent road users.

I would like to suggest the government use some of those youth-related budget to set up and maintain a number of affordable public tracks where these speedsters can get themselves killed if they so wish (at least it won't get into our road deaths statistics).

Get one of these groups to kinda manage the place themselves ... if they can organise road races, they can surely organise track races.

Build a number of these tracks so that they can have inter-group events and such, allow them to have a place of their own where they can socialise and do their thing.

Do monitor them and take action when negative and unlawful elements start to creep in, but it is far easier for law enforcement officers to take action in a controllable environment than on the streets.

And for god's sake, don't let Umno Youth, or anyone with political affiliations, get anywhere near those tracks nor that budget ... they are just killjoys and will most likely fail.

For those who were caught flaunting the laws, instead of simply fining them, make them pay the fine as payment for 30 hours of mandatory road safety lessons and make sure they are banned from driving until they completed those mandatory hours.

If they were caught 9 times for various offences, then that means 270 hours of mandatory road safety lessons because they are too dense to understand that life is precious for others if not for themselves.

Even if they have to spend their entire lives attending road safety lessons.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

inconsequential nothings

I have been very lazy this Ramadhan, leaving the day to day work to Yaya and Ema while I brood in the solitude of my room doing my own thing.

Ida is spending her Ramadhan with her family up north, so I doubt that we would see her on the the first day of Raya, but Ema will only be flying back three days after the end of Ramadhan so she'll be around for Raya.

There are four of us girls - Ida is the eldest and the prettiest, next is Yaya who does everything hereself and takes care of everyone, while Ema is the socially adept one with a large circle of friends, and then there is me, the odd one.

I can't remember when was the last time we were all together at the same time during Raya as even back then when I was a lot younger, someone was always somewhere else during any family get-together, Raya included.

However, what I like most about celebrating Raya back in the kampung was the nervous anticipation of waiting for the announcement on the eve, the "Takbir Raya", and everyone being up all night cooking the "ketupat", "rendang" and "kuah kacang".

Dad would not be back from the nearby mosque until much later, and then he would take over presiding over the final stages of the cooking.

We had this outdoor cooking stove where we cooked the ketupat and rendang.

I wasn't much into the "bunga api" and "mercun" let alone the noisy "meriam buluh", so I spent most of the evening trying to help out in the kitchen.

Mom and my sisters would be up very early in the morning to cook the "sayur lodeh" and other quick cooking stuff for the morning breakfast.

I admit that I am not very handy around the house - whatever I can do, someone else can do it better and faster.

That's the problem when one is the youngest in a family of achievers, you find yourself to be in the way most times instead of being useful, and after a while you simply do not know how to be useful.

For example, Yaya not only does the cooking, sewing, cleaning and gardening, she also does things like  putting up wall fans, shelves, curtain railings, to tiling and painting the kitchen walls.

She makes her own organic fertiliser, plants vegetables to supplement our store bought foodstuff, and now hardly ever have to buy herbs because her herb garden is thriving.

Yesterday, we helped her cleaned and serviced all the air-conditioners in the house in addition to cleaning up all the ceiling fans.

She is also responsible for maintaining three other properties too.

She is also raising two boys who are doing reasonably well academically and fairly well-behaved.

I can only say that I may not be nearly half as accomplished as Yaya is, but putting up the curtains in the living room for Raya this year is fully my responsibility.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Towards total collapse

The attack is now moving on to Mara, the first vehicle that enable Bumiputra economic and social empowerment, now that they have fully established public distrust against the present administration under PM Najib.

Previously their attacks have mostly been against those associated with PM Najib, but now they are moving towards creating greater public distrust and disgust at everything that was built by the BN government and the Bumiputra agenda.

Politically speaking, the Peninsular Malays as a whole have completely lost their collective political power, it is the Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputra that continue to determine whether the Bumiputra will continue to hold on to govern the country.

All three states that contributed the most to the present Bumiputra-controlled federal government - Johor, Sabah and Sarawak - are under intense pressure, politically speaking, with certain powers in Johor pushing for secession and Sarawak demanding more autonomy, while Sabah has both Manila and the secessionists in their landscape.

What amazes me is how easily people are being manipulated to further weaken our own socio-political situation.

It is very disheartening to see my people being manipulated to a point where we have lost sight of the big picture, being blinded by overwhelming ego, insatiable greed and flawed judgement.

For me, it is pretty interesting to watch how we have managed to get to this point where an entire ethnic group has been fractured into little bits - ensuring that they will eventually lose their majority power in a western-style democratic election system to determine the next administration.

First they attack the man at helm, making sure that he is seen as weak and incompetent.

Then they attack his initiatives to further undermine him, his administration and everything associated with him.

Once that distrust and disgust has been firmly established, the connection between him, his ethnicity and the establishment means the present administration is continuously on defensive mode as they make their attack from one establishment to another.

Now every issue raised against the establishment is immediately perceived by the public as true and the demands are made for explanations, even though hardly anyone actually believed the explanations given.

Our country is breaking apart, and yet there is nowhere I want to be as I believe that what is happening here is also happening elsewhere.

It is a time where chaos will rule.

Just a note to those who practice "The End Justifies The Means", the Almighty determines "The End", we should think how we will be judged by "The Means" that we employ to achieve "The End" that we wanted.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Salam Ramadhan

It is the first day of Ramadhan.

Everyone was at the dinner table this early morning including the cats.

Well, Seman and Sammy had their bowls by the fridge, but they joined us at the table as is customary at meal times - they have their own stools where they would gawk at us while we eat.

Last night the boys went for their taraweeh prayers at the nearby surau.

But from tomorrow onward, we may just go a little further to a more familiar place, insya Allah, but it is a good start for us.

I feel peaceful and blessed.

For all Muslims, may you have a blessed Ramadhan too.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Living Safe

It has been a while since I last posted something here.

Right now, I feel that I am needing less and less reason for a public outlet for my thoughts as I am still going through a phase of detachment from whatever is happening out there that doesn't concern me directly.

Since I don't travel much these days, the horrendous traffic situation no longer bug me.

However, when I do venture out of the house, I find the roads are getting from bad to worse - which is why we may just have to invest in a bigger and more robust car for Yaya.

That little Viva simply cannot withstand the constant bumping it gets from the poor road condition.

My Proton Saga fares better, but not by much.

Trash collection around our neighborhood has improved - we no longer had to deal with week-old uncollected trash and maggots invading our home.

However, the communal trash collection bins in the neighboring flats and shop houses are still pretty bad if not worse than before.

Whenever I was visiting friends in that part of the neighborhood, the smell was overwhelming and you can't avoid it because you can't perpetually hold your breath.

I can't imagine what it is like for families who couldn't afford better living conditions and having to put up with putrid maggoty uncollected trash under their windows.

I lived in a flat in JB too when I was working there - not one of those posh foreigner-filled expensive condos, but one of those regular flats, with regular folks as neighbors in one of the less reputable districts of the city.

It was simply a stark contrast from what we have here - my neighborhood in JB was clean throughout and those who failed to clean up after themselves were warned.

We did get regular fogging because our neighborhood was identified as a dengue red spot, so I can't imagine what the dengue situation is here when I saw how much dirtier it is and hardly any fogging done at all.

My neighbors in JB were a diverse lot.

Some were factory workers, most were employed by the small businesses around the area, and there were a number of shady characters too - I was told they were involved in undefined underground activities.

Some commute on their motorbikes to Singapore, while some were low-ranking government servants and there were also the occasional shop-owners.

Someday I will probably write about them as one of my favorite past times was to sit on a the park bench and just had impromptu conversations with everyone there including the police officers assigned to watch the neighborhood on the sly.

As for now I will just worry about my neighbors who had to live in what I consider as unacceptably dirty surrounding.

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


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


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


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


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.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Passing On

Received word that an aunt passed away earlier this week.  Al Fatihah.

I couldn't make it to the funeral but I just added her name to the list of names on my Yaasin dedication.

Feeling a bit sad tonight, redha, but still sad, thinking of Mom and Dad and how things used to be when they were still around.

I wish that I had been a more obedient child.

Dad wanted me to take up medicine, the only time he ever attempted to suggest anything major, but I had other ideas.

Mom was happy for me whatever I decided.

That was the only major regret that I have, if only I wasn't too lazy to study medicine, I would probably have made my Dad happier.

Al Fatihah for Mom, Dad and my brothers who had passed away.

Al Fatihah too for me and mine who are still living.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Reading and Thinking

The case of Eric Paulsen got me thinking.

In my mind, there is no mistaking that this fella is an extremist.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary definition


: either one of two opposite conditions, feelings, positions, etc., that are thought of as being far from what is normal or reasonable
: an amount or degree that is far beyond what is normal or reasonable

Online definition


a tendency or disposition to go to extremes or an instance of going to extremesespecially in political matters:
leftist extremism; the extremism of the Nazis.

Nowadays, I listen to khutbah Jumaat at Masjid Negara every Friday on TV1, and there was nothing extreme about what was being preached in the khutbah.

The nearest I could consider as political were the calls to strengthen the ummah, for the ummah to be united against any forms of aggression, to strengthen our aqidah, and not to forget the economic empowerment of Muslims, which were all important messages since the times of Muhammad S.A.W. who was himself involved in trade/business.

Is he then implying that Islamic traditions itself is preaching extremism?

Extremism is not just about taking up arms and killing people.

It is also about one's world view, state of mind, shared opinions, belief system and even faith that take one's perspectives of what is right and what is wrong, and to take that to the extreme ends from the middle point of non-commitment such that they are willing to kill or die for their extreme commitment.

All the more reason why the Moderation Movement being headed by Saifuddin Abdullah and The Star should be viewed with caution if not alarm as to what exactly are they trying to define as the middle point from where extremism is going to be measured in this country.

The problem with the majority of us Malaysians is that we rarely think about the true meaning of extremism; instead, we tend to take in whatever we read or hear and form our opinions and judgments from there.

In some instances, even the opinions or judgments were not ours, but fed into our belief system by others whom we thought to be cleverer than us.

We are just plain lazy to think about what really matters - one can be too lazy to write, too lazy to speak, too lazy to go clubbing, but a human being of the faith should never be too lazy to read and to think.

Thinking is the basis of how we make our decisions on how to live our lives, so if one were to leave the thinking to others, we are no different than a herd of cattle being herded to the slaughterhouse.

Leaving our thinking to others is akin to refusing to utilise the 'akal that Allah gave us as human beings to think for ourselves, the one characteristic that distinguishes human from animal.

We were encouraged to listen to and take guidance from teachers, yes, but we were also encouraged to learn from as many sources as possible and form an educated opinion about matters pertaining to our faith and our way of life and referring to teachers who are knowledgeable.

My wish is for Malaysians to begin looking at things from multiple perspectives, from worldviews that are different from our traditional ones, to put ourselves in other people shoes, and form our opinions based on what is right and wrong according to our faith in its basic form, not the one that have been corrupted by prejudices and bias.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Interior Renewal

With the kids still holidaying with Daddy in Japan and won't be back until Monday, Yaya and I decided to continue with our "Interior Renewal Project".

I know, it is far easier to send chairs to be re-upholstered by professionals and buying store-assembled furniture, but we have always enjoyed doing these things ourselves although we are not crazy enough to actually make the furniture from scratch.

That's the reason why we bought most of our furniture at Ikea because assembling them ourselves is fun.  It is like putting together a 3D puzzle - a Lego game for grown-ups.

All our curtain rails and wall shelves were put up by Yaya, while our sofa, tables and chairs were also self-assembled by yours truly.

Yaya even re-tiled our kitchen and painted the dining room walls all by herself.

Nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing our handiwork being used around the house.

This morning it was re-upholstering the dining chairs.

We bought these chairs from Ikea's "AS IS" section when they were clearing out their display items last year (or was it 2013 - it was a long time ago) so they were already assembled, but the off-white seating covers looked really dingy after a while, what with 2+1 kids and their grubby hands all over them.

I had about 2 meters of damask fabric (something I found in the remnant bin at Jakel some 3 years ago in JB) that Yaya deemed suitable to replace the seating covers that came with the chairs.

I always buy these fabric remnants when I find them - just in case I needed them for some such projects. My present bedroom curtains were made up from fabric remnants.

I did all the dismantling and re-assembling of the said chairs while Yaya prepared the new covers on her sewing machines.

While I was at it, I also assembled a couple of stools and a side table that we got from Ikea last Monday.

Then we re-organised the store room, re-arranged the kids' toys and preparing their schoolbooks in preparation for the new school year.

All in all, it has been a rather productive day.

Saturday, 3 January 2015


2014 has generally been a disastrous year for Malaysian government.

We've had air disasters, floods and political strife.

It has been an extremely challenging time for the Prime Minister especially, although the political strife originated partly from his own policies and decision-making processes.

It is easy to put the blame on someone, and the Prime Minister and his First Lady are easy targets.

He is currently under attack from all directions that I find it amazing that he had maintained a fairly dignified stand amid all the abuse being hurled his way.

I can understand if the attacks come from pro-Opposition politicians, but to have his own party members attacking him and spreading lies about his wife is rather sad.

I disagree with some of his decisions and policies, but 5 years into his administration has not turned this country into a disaster zone.

One can hardly blame him for the air disasters or the flooding.

One cannot entirely blame him either for the present political strife within UMNO and BN - he wanted to make a difference and yet he has to work within the constraints of the present administrative bureaucracy and the political culture within his party.

Understanding the constraints that he is facing, and the less than desirable result of his trying to avoid addressing these constraints to maintain his liberal stance, I can only hope that the changes that he wishes to make happen, happen soon.

Now that I can see for myself what some of the so-called leaders within Umno are capable of doing and what they generally lack, I am seriously not surprised that our Prime Minister is making changes in the way Malaysia is governed.

Through the massive number of ministers and consultants in the PMO and with almost every development initiatives originating from it, we are seeing a new style of governing.

I have no opinion on how we are governed, as long as it is not by adhering to the Machiavellian principle of "the end justifies the means" as I find that particularly abhorrent.

As for Datuk Najib, my one wish is for him to persevere in instituting those changes he wishes to make as he is now way too deep into it and to back off now would be even more disastrous for him, his party and our country.