Friday, 30 December 2011

Prime Eventualities

It used to be that times flies when you’re having fun, but these days, times zips through regardless. In barely two days time, 2011 ends and in comes 2012.

Just what CAN we expect next year for Malaysia?

From the looks of it, pretty much the same of tired shtick in political maneuverings between the two combatants of Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat with a general election due to be called anytime between now and 2013; one which PMNTR surely hopes to finally give him the “official” mandate.

Right now he is up there courtesy of being an Umno president elected by party delegates which accounts for no more than 0.02 percent of the whole population.

I wonder if we can ever elect our choice Prime Minister ourselves. Say, from the list of Parliamentarians elected through the general election. Shouldn’t be difficult to do, give the technological advancements we’ve seen since the last decade or so.

That way, the PM will have NO CHOICE but to be accountable to the general public at large. The political party with the prerequisite number of seats to form the government gets to nominate the fellas to lead the country, but should the Rakyat feel the options offered are crappy, they can opt for another in their place.

Of course, each of them will have to tell exactly why we should choose them – something along the lines of having a Prime Ministerial debate session or so. Televised would be a good option in reaching the masses.

We can then assess if the upcoming leader of the country is truly worth his salt for a vote, or otherwise.

Thus we can take away the party’s influence (where the alleged warlord and what not interests can sometime hold a leader sway) especially when it comes to the financial benefits of being the hand that signs the document.

I think I made a list sometime ago of possible candidates from Umno, but with the party seems burdened with a bewildering inertia on all things civil and the ABU campaign being ramped up exponentially; we may need a second, an alternative list.

Perhaps the parties vying for the Rakyat’s vote can nominate possible PM contenders prior to the GE voting, so that the Rakyat can discard unwanted candidates right off the cuff and culling the list to the minimum, thus making the choosing much easier.

Fairer still, we should review the voting from the current first-past the post method with its inherent unfairness vis-à-vis gerrymandering of the constituencies to something more proportional.

(Proponents of the ABU movement will say that the current system tilts the balance to the long-time-lording-over-the-masses Barisan Nasional. Well, blahhh…. We don’t see any peeps from you guys on changing it. Or have you? MY apologies if I missed that one.)

Alas, this is wishful thinking, and come March, or July, or whenever it is that PMNTR finally decides to be the opportune time to dissolve the Parliament, the PM will be someone who is first and foremost a Party man and country second.

Hell, you don’t have to look any further than NTR himself.

Sigh… 2012 could very be 2011 replayed.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Trombone-ing Pastiche

US truck driver David Dopp won a 640-bhp Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster, crashed it within 6 hour of owning and now plans to sell the convertible as the 34-year old couldn’t afford neither the supercar’s insurance nor its taxes.

Talk about luck, huh?

I was once stuck behind a Murcielago waiting for the traffic lights to change GO near the Kota Damansara toll plaza.

Know the feeling of being in a small car stuck in traffic with a behemoth of an old, diesel powered lorry shaking every nuts and bolts of your Perodua Viva loose? It was exactly the same with me and the Murcielago.

I think the owner did some modification as the exhaust vent was huge; enough to shove a whole head inside and check out what brewing!

Funnily enough, the driver didn’t actually zoom off the moment the lights turned green; happily ambling along like the rest of the ordinary automobile mortals.

Ivory white, so low slung that it seems to hug the road (is that the reason why you opted for slow, good sir?), the Murcielago was quite something to behold.

The driver was a youngish, bespectacled Chinese chap who had a smiley, friendly face so much that I didn’t end up envying him for having such a superb example of a motoring draw.

What would I do with a Lamborghini? Probably sell it like David Dopp. Only because I had a slip disk episode some time ago and couldn’t tolerate any sitting position other than the sit-upright style.

Tax and insurance? Yeah, that too. Even servicing my current two locally-licensed cars are already giving me quite a yearly headache.

And the money could sure go a long way in clearing off the long list of household debts which I hear is growing in good old Malaysia.

For sure, if your thoughts HAVE to veer towards such mundane things in life, a Lamborghini (or any other similarly high end motoring brand) is probably not for you.

These are the weekend toys for those whose worry is the next clear stretch for an 80 to 200kmh torque test.

Yep. All that thrum-thrumming coming for the huge exhaust is not for show.

Or rattling the nuts and bolts of its puny(er?) motoring counterparts.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tasked Simply

A little boy came to a bridge rickety
Made of wood, planks and steely bits
54 sens in his palm held tightly
Coins entrusted for purchase for treats

One step on the bridge, the boy started
Not too fast neither too slow the advice accorded
Careful of nails and steels bar, his mother had shouted
Off he walks on slippers thin threaded

A second step, and a third, his pace assured
Working into a rhythm, in his mind a song heard
A Sifu singing, streaming words on a species of a bird
Tanya sama itu Hud Hud, the boy’s soft voice stuttered

What was he to buy, this boy of age so young
Running errands to a shop so far flung
Shirt un-tucked atop black shorts worn low slung
Atop a bridge workers past worked unsung

He remembers now, the boy with hair uncombed
Salt it was, said it out loud with much aplomb
54 sens will get me a packet, he chirped out loud
While the light darkens, the sun hidden behind a cloud

Squinting his eyes, he saw the shop his only stop
Reaching the bridge’s end, from walk he hops
Passing bushes, rotted palms trees and fallen logs
Eager to show his mom he can earn his chop

A pack of salt, please he says
To a man who seems to has seen better days
Thrusting his hand the palm open its content displays
54 sens no more a single coin misplaced

A guffaw as the boy display a shocked face
“Don’t worry son,” the man says with practiced pace
Here’s the packet of salt, and a coin to replace
For the one lost, fell or simply displaced

And on to the rickety bridge the boy went with a grin on his red flushed face

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Stenched Rotten

“There is also a failure of leadership over the whole NFC debacle. Najib should have taken decisive action when it first erupted, and demanded Shahrizat’s resignation.”

“Not doing so would mean that he condoned what she did, no?”

Farah Fahmy asked a very pertinent question in her column , and I am pretty sure that many of us will say “Yes” to that.

At least I hope so.

There seems to be an information explosion on previously hush hushed public funds' misfeasance and utter corrupt acts that is as if a floodgate had opened from way too much accumulated crap and sludge that the silent walls just gave way.

Not a week passes these days without us discovering of yet another pillaging act, another act of abhorrence by the very people entrusted with managing our national wealth.

Everything is/was out in the open but the perpetrators – alleged or otherwise – seemed to be utterly shameless of their greed in (Still alleged? After all the expose?) siphoning the nation’s wealth into their and their likes own pockets.

Much has been written on this by more astute bloggers, including SakMongkolAK47 , Aspian Alias and others that about sums the utter disgust we should be feeling towards these modern day pirates garbed in an elitist, executive cloak that hides little of the stench emanating from within them.

They see nothing wrong in all the wrong things that they are doing.

Some are beyond saving, methinks but then....

Should the General Election be called soon while NOTHING is done and the same bunch are again propped up smirking on the political stage – this seems to be where the god awful rot starts – what does that say about us in the society?

That we are blind? That we are deaf? That we CONDONED their cheating and pillaging ways? That we find NOTHING wrong with such acts?

Or that we couldn’t care less so long as we get our teh tarik-roti canai / nasi lemak-kopi O / Jom Hebohing and EPL games weekend etc etc etc combo?

Gerrymandering can only do so much without voters who put a cross, a tick on the piece of ballot paper come Election Day on the very same Suspect Yahoos.

Ghost (and alleged-hastily created instant citizen) voters shouldn’t overwhelmed the millions of – dare I say – God fearing ordinary folks who should know what is right and what is not?

So what kind of a society are we if we allow these same swindlers to cheat us again and again and again?

Rather disturbing, isn’t it?

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Submerged Ambiguities

Sometime tomorrow, Lim Guan Eng and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is going diving in one of the two Scorpene submarines said to be costing Mindef some RM6.7billion in public funds.

Apparently the dive is to disprove allegations, urm, floating around that the submarines can’t dive.

Never mind the peripheral issues on the same purchase – the justification of having such purchases, the said hefty price we are paying for the subs, the alleged commission paid to local company Perimekar, the horrific murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya etc.

A multitude of issues which points to the bigger concern in the non transparent nature of the national defence spending.


It seems that our first priority would be that of proving to the critics that the subs (Sub? Only one will be involved, correct?) are actually dive-able.

Such a profound PR exercise.

How deep should a dive be to prove that a sub can dive?

How long should it remain under water to prove that it can dive?

How many man hours do you need to ready the sub for this particular dive?

How much in public fund do you need for the one-off dive to prove that the sub can dive?

What will the dive prove other than the fact that submarine we bought which are supposed to be dive-able can indeed dive?

And will LGE go all “Eureka! It’s actually money well spent, guys!” after the monumental event? Doubt so.

It sure looks like an exercise of scoring a political point without tackling any of the core issues on the subs.

What’s next, then? A ride in the Pars 8x8 to prove that they are worth the said RM7.6billion for 257 units of the armoured personal carrier?

It’s the equivalent of scooping the frothy bits from a bubbly coffee or teh tarik.

Won’t tell you jackshit as to how sweet the real deal is.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Progressive Retrogression

I may be wrong here, but it does look like a new age of Islamic renaissance is growing in this country.

Not by way of the so-alleged Conservative Islamists movement or the CSL-fearmongering Hudud-potong-tangan version.

Nope. Not those but a religion that is a proponent of progression, education and professionalism.

For example, moves are in place for the setting up of a University Darul Quran - where you can learn and espouse all there is to know of the Al Quran (and perhaps even the Sunnah).

It's a future I wait with some impatience. Not everyone shares my enthusiasms, though.

Just this morning I chance upon this letter in the Sun, which amongst others said:

“… a disturbing trend among some parents who send their children to Tahfiz boarding schools, paying as much as RM250 a month for their education, food and boarding. I may be opinionated here, and I hope I’m wrong, but I think this is a retrogressive step as the students learn only the Quran and nothing else…”

The writer concludes with saying: “What future do they have?”

Hmm…. The future is blurry indeed, but for whom?

I am one of those old schoolers who “studied” – very loosely so – the Al Quran informally all those years ago, and unfortunately, my lack and dismal attention to what was being taught by the Ustazah sees me suffering the ignominy of crawling in my reciting of the Surah todate.

Imagine a 40 plus man having to go through a second round of learning the Quran. That’s me.

It’s not something I wish for my children and, yes, to me, having a Hafizah or two or three in the house will be heaven sent.

As to them having a future; well…

I believe that learning the Quran by heart helps one improve their thinking capacity, and being a Hafiz or Hafizah doesn’t stop them from taking on and excelling other, urm, worldly, professional disciplines.

In fact, if one does follow strictly the ethos of Islam, the acquiring of such knowledge is literally a Fardhu Kifayah as these will be the springboard to help the ummah progress as a whole.

Imagine having professionals with the Al Quran and all its principles firmly etched in their hearts and practiced in their lives. Professionals with the necessary tawakkal and who do not see money as everything there is to life.

Doctors and specialists who don’t only speak to you but also to your soul when you’re on your deathbed, for example.


If this is so, I certainly don’t mind going backwards all the way if this is the path to a new age where worldly possessions no longer hold us hostage.