Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Jallopying Jallowacks

I chanced upon this one yesterday but decided to wait till today to see if the headline comes out different.

Nope. Nothing of that sort happened, so here we are with NST’s report headlined:

“Five anti-gay activists charged”.

Admit it; the headline just sort of jumped out on you and begs to be read further, which was exactly what I did to find the following:

Five activists of the anti-lesbian gay bisexual transgender movement were charged at the magistrate's court here, yesterday under the Minor Offences Act 1955 with putting up certain posters.

"They were said to have put up, at a public space, posters with pictures and words such as "Lim Guan Eng Racist", "Lim Guan Eng Anti Melayu", "Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans" and "Undi Ambiga Undi Seks Bebas"."

Ah so anti climatic.

Am very curious, though, as to where NST found the anti-gay activism connection for the five accused as nothing was mentioned within the news article.

Note too that the second line reads “anti lesbian gay bla bla bla” but I supposed anti gay is so more, urm, current and newsworthy these days.

Inserting the phrase makes the most ordinary of lackeys into something more passionately heroic in the eyes of some.

Conspicuously missing also was any mention that the posters also included national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said as reported earlier.

Wonder why.

Could well be the way the charge sheet read.

Anyway, applause, applause, to NST for such a creative selling of what would have otherwise been a mundane piece of court news, I must say.

Hey, is that Bonnie Tyler I hear in the back of my mind?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Populist Posturing

Be it June or September, there is already too much politically charged posturing from both camps of PR and BN that borders on the insane.

It is thus unfortunate that we are so chronically divided on party lines politically that you can’t get the best, a core group of administrator to govern and do what’s best for the country and its population.

And much as I loathe the excesses of the current (and past) BN government, there are still good people within a quietly rotting bunch.

Selangor’s Ronnie Liu is correct when he told the State Assembly: "It's irrelevant whether they have an Umno background or not. What is important is whether they are capable of doing their jobs."

That is exactly the way it should always be.

The system became rotten when those holding the purse began to act as brokers; earning commissions and thus leading to those seeking the contracts to inflate their tender prices to cater for such payments.

Let's call these “administrative costs”, why don't we?

Worse is that these commission earning acts aka duit kopi (shame on you!) is seemingly perpetuated by the lowest echelon right up to the highest levels.

Sidetrack: A colleague told me of her civil servant relative saying that if she does not (take), there will be others who will.

What a shitload of an excuse.

Once you accept such illicit acts as something that “everyone does”, then it becomes entrenched as nobody will be looking to rock the boat.

And that is exactly why the country is now deepshit in debt when every darn public procurement and contract is inflated by so and so percentage to cater for this group of leeches.


It is good to hear some PR leaders acknowledging that the ability to perform basically overrides political affiliations as this attitude can help close the political rift threatening to rend this country asunder.

Imagine if you will what would happen if this rift continues to broaden through divisive statements from both sides.

The whole country could be stuck in stalemate situations where by the losers are not gracious.

We saw that happening in Perak which was in limbo for a long while as BN just could not accept being the losing side.

If only we can be like Senegal, eh?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Hop and Skitter

How I wish I was at a field
Grassy expanse providing seats unnumbered
Watching birds hop on their thin legs
Flitting from blades to shrubs to dandelions odd

I shut my eyes from the glare of the morning sun
Shaded so by sky cottons, white unblemished
Sharing space so vast a landscape so clear
A cheery visage of creation magical

Around the chatter of adults and children
Enjoying some bustling, yet, serenely quiet moments
The nuclear family of bygone days remembered
When life was simpler and toiling, fettered

Birds hop and skitter
Squirrels whiz and peer
Buzzards group and hover
An arena of nonchalance unhindered

Alas at the moment I am elsewhere
A blinded window my fixed portrait
Walled in pseudo-faked comforts so-called
Tapping away of plain husks words

Outside my glassy domain
A bird, black, on the ledge it stands
Spies through a break in blinds green
Perhaps it thinks, maybe it ponders
Why the coop, whence the surrender
A life imprisoned, a cocoon self made
As if flies away, the slight hint of smug
Of freedom afforded
And life expanded

How I wish I was at that field
Where birds hop and squirrels whiz

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Riotus Statisticus

As sweeping statements go, this one uttered in Parliament and published for the news reading public surely tops everything else.

"A study has found that, right now, three out of 10 men in Malaysia are gay. This is scary," he said when debating the motion of thanks for the royal address at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

Attributed by Bernama to YB Baharum Mohamad (BN, Sekijang) in a news piece about the call to “establish a homosexual rehabilitation centre to prevent same-sex relationships from getting rampant in the country.”

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this piece of statistical extravaganza.

And just how did the study extrapolate this particular ratio? By asking people: Are you gay? What about you? Perhaps You, Then?

Or perhaps it was by way of a survey:
Please tick your sexual preference – Gay, Not Gay, Wishy Washy Unsure, Don’t Care, Don’t Know.

How about some simple maths: Take the number of male Representative in Parliament and divide that by three; so some 67 of them are gays going by the so called finding.

Or the whole country: Around 14.2 million men in Malaysia, so some 4.7 million are gays.

I have to agree, THAT IS one huge figure.

And note that the key word here is men: females with same sex preferences are not included so the figure for rehab would balloon even more.

Good business, though, if you can get in: Billions of Ringgit in contracts, surely, for food, lodgings, admin stuff, the works…. PLKN-styled camps, maybe?

Am more curious as to why Bernama pick this, urm, piece of news up?

Scoring political brownie points? Highlighting the inane in our Parliamentary proceedings? Providing some LOL reading moments for its readers? Why?

At least, Bernama could have given us the background of this so-called study and its scope.

Here I was thinking of posting something about Marvel’s second run of the X-team’s Age of Apocalypse miniseries and my missing out on “The Siege” as well as “Fear Itself”, fed up with the unending run of Malaysian politics.

As it is and going by the news headlines of the MSM of late, the 13th General Election must be really, really close.

Can you smell what Jormungand is cooking?

Friday, 16 March 2012

Culinary Kupangs

Dua Ringgit Tujuh Kupang the sum total
A breakfast dish of fried noodles, egg and sambal
Coffee own brewed at the office pantry
Company supplied, shared with colleagues and all sundry

Lunch time is always headache routinely expected
Of finding a place to eat, to nourish a stomach depleted
Mamak, Thai, Western or Bakery, which shall it be
Choices prompting expenses of differing degree

Prompt service is the Mamak’s promise
Titillating the tastebuds the Thai’s forte
Western’s plenty the halalness self perceive
Bakery’s safe, cheap and cheery a tad taedium vitae

There’s always the food court with menus plenty
Servers zipping one table to another all abuzzy
A heady mix of chats, laughs and office talk all gossipy
Not a place for one seeking an hour’s solace definitely

Whichever the choice have at least a Sepuluh Ringgit ready
With small change returned for the cheaper variety
Others look to add a few more notes blue, red depends
Good enough filler while waiting the workday ends

Dinner is a often a household chore
Between a quickie fastfood tapau the kids adore
Or a swift sauté, pan, and deep, all frying styles encore
To fill hourly window as the evening night restore

Once in while we’re allowed indulgence
In entrées and main courses in plush ambiance
Of menus exotic amidst so stylo an audience
A risque wallet adventure of sheer extravagance

That’s usually a plus plus affair
As pricing components queue up and pairs
Smiling cashiers exuding cheerful air
At their side, in bowls, some free chocolate éclairs

As you pay up daring the littlest in despair
Of money concerns and budgetary impairs...

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Rainsunshiny Scrooge

“…the first batch of 7,000 people who qualify for the loans would receive the offer letters next month…”

Care to tell us who these people are, RNC?

That’s a big group of people who, for some reason or another, couldn’t qualify for loans from financial institutions who will now be getting one from the our pension fund, the EPF.

By any chance are they folks in Lembah Pantai or there abouts?

So, how much is going to be the first drawdown from our retirement fund? RM315 million, is it, @ RM45,000 x 7,000?

June, July disbursement, eh?

Wait, isn’t everyone who’s no one saying that’s when the General Election's going to be held?

If it is, talk about coincidence and the impact of 7,000 “grateful” people waiting for their “housing loan” to come through, eh..

Of course, this is purely a hypothetical, far-fetched and way subversive an idea.

Nah… Perish the thought! It’s just not ethical to be dipping into public fund as to further one’s political future.

The “sangka baik” thing would be that it’s all for the rakyat, even if a portion of the very same rakyat – say a few EPF contributors - are crying out against the scheme’s use of their hard earned money.

What do they know, right?

Am curious, though, as I didn’t read anywhere about the setting up of the SPV handling the same scheme.

Wasn’t it reported some time ago that the vetting of those applying for the funds will be done by this particular outfit?

I must have missed out on that news item then, and must commend it's staff on the efficiency of their work to be able to clear 7,000 (must be more, right? Can't be 100% approvals or can it?) applications in such quick time.

Work, work, work, come rain or shine kind of work ethic. Very commendable.

Let’s do some maths, shall we: an hour per application @ 8 hour per day equals 40 per workweek or 160 per month per vetting staff.

So it takes around 44 staff working at such breakneck speed to do 7,000 within a month.

Was it a month since the SPV was set up?

Like I said, I missed out on all the excitement.

Worrying about people dipping into my retirement fund to do God-knows-what does that to you.

In the meantime, congratulations to the 7,000 formerly-cannot-qualify-for-loans-but-now-is soon to be proud house owners.

Hope you remember whose money it is you are using.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Shylock Empathies

“If we reduce it to 2.5 per cent, it will be RM161. It is only RM82 difference.”

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen.

One statement is all it takes to show the EPF funding for the non-eligible-for-loans-poor was never really per se about the supposed beneficiaries.


Just how far removed is RNC from the realities of those who have to tighten their belts for life's daily grind, I wonder?

RM82 is enough to cover a school going child’s pocket money for at least a month.

RM82 is enough to pay the water and electricity bills.

RM82 is often the difference between having decent food to put on the table for a whole month or resorting to instant noodles every time.

Not that if the cut is made then it’s all kosher where the scheme is concerned.

Such an act would make the whole scheme even more unreasonably unfair to EPF's contributors.

If he is so intent in helping the poor, venture building homes that can be owned by paying the monthly lease / rentals for a certain time span.

That way you will not have a group of supposedly “poor” house-owners making good monthly income from renting out their units (units, mind you!!!) to others.

For a government that can shell out Billions in Ringgits to build this and that and the other, what’s a mere few millions for such a lease-your-own-home scheme? Right?

After all, it is ONLY a few millions (give or take a few hundred thousands here and there in , ahem, administrative whatchamaccalit).

ONLY RM82, huh?

Jokes on us poor schmuks.

PS: Spare an Al Fatihah to poor Nurul Nadirah and all the other children who had to suffer death and worse at the hands of devils in human disguise. May God rest their souls.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Prayers for Safe Return

There are monsters amongst us and all it takes for them to pounce is a split second lapse of concentration.

My heartfelt prayers go to the parents of missing 5-year old Nurul Nadirah Abdullah in their time of grief.

Amin to her being safe return, and soon.

Yes; at such a vulnerable young age she shouldn’t have been out running errands of older children and adults, but it is far easier for us who’re not hit by such tragic and painful events to utter judgmental statements.

Only recently I had a similar momentary lapse which could have easily turned tragic.

In a rush from afternoon (religious) school pickup and returning home, I had stopped at a Hypermarket near my house to buy a much needed fluorescent bulb.

My two girls wanted to follow and a quick and sharp “No” turned to “Okay, but no shopping” when they sulked.

Both in tow, I went to a DIY store and quickly grabbed a unit before proceeding to the cashier to test and pay for the items but the testing took a while as the girl manning the cash register poked about.

Minutes later, money and item were exchanged and off we went to my (then-pregnant) wife waiting at the Hypermarket car park.

An initially-curious-turned-harrowing conversation ensued as we were sauntering down the escalator.

Abah, Adik mistook someone of calling out to her just now,” said the sister to a grimaced protest from her younger sibling.

I was immediately all ears: “What?”

“She thought a man was calling out to her just now. Turned out his friend was near us.”

My mind was a mixed of zipping thoughts as I stuttered a quick succession of questions: Who was it, when and what happened.

A male staff of the store. During testing and she was nearly walking over to the man the split second of realizing that it wasn’t her at all that he was motioning to.

Right there I developed a cold sweat and a heavy feeling of guilt enveloped me.

Fortunately the incident was genuine. Fortunately the store was sparse with shoppers. Well lit and open. Fortunately nothing untoward had occurred.

Had it been one of those slicks, devious and thoroughly evil monsters masquerading as fellow men and women, though …

I sushed my mind from such thoughts but they didn’t go away. Not for a long, long while.

Later, I got a good tongue lashing from my wife. We all did.

My youngest in forgetting the constant reminder to not respond to strangers’ beckoning. Her sister for not being more protective of her sibling.

And, ME for being the neglecting adult in the midst of children innocent.

Yes; be wary of the monsters walking amongst us.

BUT they depend entirely on us slipping.

A few seconds. That’s all they need.