Wednesday, 24 December 2008

WTF! @ Crash Boom Bang

These must really be desperate times for our government.

The latest bomb is a The Edge report that an EPF-led consortium is close to buying three parcels of prime land in the Klang Valley.

Producing verbatim snippets here:
“204 acres of land near Jalan Cochrane, Kuala Lumpur. It reported that the provident fund was also the favourite to buy two parcels of land at Rubber Research Institute in Sg Buloh and Jalan Ampang.

According to The Malaysian Insider, property consultants have valued the land in Ampang at between RM150 and RM250 per sq ft (psf), the land in Jalan Cochrane at RM100 to RM200 psf, and the site in Sg Buloh at RM8 to RM12 psf.”

My maths isn’t that good and I might get things wrong here but a guestimate for such an adventure of acquiring Jalan Cochrane alone would cost the EPF led Consortium a hefty RM888.6 million at the lower price or RM1.78 billion at the higher price.

That’s a whole lot of our money to be spent.

I remember the DPM’s statement on the above sometime back and in my mind names like YTL, YNH, Sime, SP Setia, Mah Sing (to name a few) came up as the possible contenders to snap up these prime zones.

These housing Juggernauts are after all well equipped to profit when the good times returns.

I have never been more wrong in my life.

EPF yet again. ValueCap’s injection is still ringing in our ears.

Just like the suspicions cast by many of grubby hands wanting a dip in IJN’s cash reserves, the EPF is - for the umpteenth times - THE honey bowl of which everyone - even those in the streets, that's you and me – want to desperately open up.

Never mind that its our "Simpanan Hari Tua".

Hence the reduction in our monthly contributions: where despite public assertions that many would want to maintain was still forced upon us with silly administrative procedures.

Sometimes its justified for parents to dip into their children’s saving during rainy days, but it is utterly reprehensible to eye the savings as the MAIN option, and especially when the net effect does not in any way benefit the family as a whole.

Pray tell how this move to acquire prime land would benefit the Rakyat?

Does it mean that EPF would sell off the land to a third party?

But at what cost? The additional premium would surely put off any buyers who would probably rather be a first hand purchaser for such transactions to make business sense.

Would they develop it themselves, then?

EPF; in the property business. It’s highly risky, especially since even our giants in the housing sectors seem to be taking things easy for the time being.

And this is despite some having ample liquidity in their accounting.

Just like the IJN piratisation - (ahem.. excuse me) I mean - privatization, move, this doesn’t make sense.

Except for this: The national coffer is empty.

A worst-case scenario whichever way you look at it.

Crash Boom Bang.

Do say a prayer.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Bored Pastiche

It’s hard not to feel like James Stewart did as L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries in Rear Window (1954) these days.
Bored guy with a telephoto lens
Bad news unfold at worryingly dizzying pace, and just like Jeff, there’s little that you can do, really but rant.

There are so little to look forward to even as the year nears its ending days. Not even the upcoming Wolverine movie.

Am definitely not impressed with its all-action, little nuances, trailer despite the tie-in characters’ roll call, which includes Gambit, the Blob, Deadpool and Sabretooth.

Not helping matters is the now-deferred piratisation (Reggie (Sunday Star, Dec 21) Lee’s word, not mine) attempt of the IJN; a blatant show of “we can do whatever we want to” of the rich, the powerful and the connected amongst us.

Rant all you want. Ain’t nothing you can do bout it.

Poor schmuck, Us.

Time will tell if our rants made any difference.

I certainly won’t put much stock in the so-called powers of the “Rakyat’s Voice” – a peculiar phrase politicians would normally use whenever there are justifications to be made.

There were initially some exciting deviations from the mundane in our (meaning, local movie) very first lesbian kiss (Yowza!) as well as the (world’s?) first group nude stalking courtesy of Tayangan Unggul’s Histeria and Reformis (now former ) president Ramlan Abu Bakar respectively.

We know now what happened to both.

I was so looking forward to how Reformis would do their nude stalking thing. A plan so out of this world, really.

Had often wondered if they had the balls for it.

As I said earlier: I’m like L.B. Jeffries these days.
A True Princess

On second thought, James Stewart did have the company of the beautiful Lisa Fremont (played by Grace Kelly).


If only I can go for an Alfred Hitchcock “better known movies” marathon this coming long weekend like they often have in the UK all those years ago.

Should be way better than reading the daily bad news or Rocky Bru’s current fixation with Chin Peng.

Something worth doing over long weekends?

James Stewart and Grace Kelly

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Sugary Sweet

Finally, it has come down to seven options.

“It” being the teaching and learning of Maths and Science in English in schools.

I wonder what would be going through the minds of our Cabinet Ministers when the matter comes to a head and needs resolving.

Brownies!Hopefully no one is thinking about scoring any political brownie points, despite the obvious popularity of such a move.

On my part as a parent whose eldest daughter would be amongst the ten of thousands of children making their first step into formal education, I fail to see the benefit of taking a retrogressive step by going back to the mother tongue in both subjects.

The way forward is always fraught with the need to push and step up in efforts.

It’s really no different here.

While it may be true that the usage of English seems to give an undue advantage to the urban and suburban students over those in the rural areas, this is a matter that could be resolved with the appropriate human resources policing.

(I say seems because personal experience shows that the so-called advantaged group has equally atrocious grasps of the language. Perhaps a different set, then..)

A particular advantage in pushing for the continued teaching in English for the two subjects is – in my mind, at least – that it would “force” students into practical usage of the globally accepted language.

Students (except for some select few) generally do not put too much stock into learning a language, as it seems to be something learnable at home and elsewhere.

In other words: they are taken simply for granted.

It’s the same for any language, be it English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin or Tamil.

Perhaps it is this deterioration that is prompting champions of the mother tongue to push the discontinuation of English as the teaching medium.

Could it be that the case of a fear that the language would eventually die a natural death for a lack of impetus in their continued use as a commercial language?

Modelled sweet cravingsLike I said, there’s a good deal of brownie points to be made.

My hope is that current sweet needs are tampered with the realization that too much would lead to the future risk of diabetes.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Whispered Shout

Is that a cry I hear?
Barely a whisper, nestled in the breeze,
A solitary note, a whimper of a shout,
Far too timid,
Or is it cowed?

Crowded out in a mass of unblinking chatter
Black doves and white ravens
Highbrow lummox and bourgeois pariah
Lustful clerics and frigid harlots
Each in vapid cognizance of listless living
Some craving solace
Many seeking serenity
And finding none in a world without patience for the lethargic
Without forgiveness for the miscreant
Tired of repeat showings
Of countless rebirth
In false Messiah
In suicidal dullards
Seeking the pinprick of a black hole
An eyelet to swallow it whole
To a cherished blankness
Is that her cry,
I hear?

Mother earth?

Quiet Solitude: From