Monday, February 25, 2008
an exceptional article written by mr patrick teoh on his blog, http://niamah.blogspot.com/
Abdullah Badawi (I really don't want to call him Pak Lah anymore) has announced the dissolution of Parliament and the elections must be held within 60 days of that action. And once again Malaysians are given the chance to have their say in the way they want their country to be run and by whom. Call me a cynic or whatever other name you want la but I am not really holding my breath for any earth shattering results that will make life in Bolehland any different from the way it's been the last 3 decades. Why you ask? Maybe you've been living in Lalaland or somewhere as far away but if you need to ask that question you really need to stay where you are. In Denial. Why? Just take a look around. Take a look at what's been happening the last few weeks leading up to this announcement of the dissolution of Parliament.
We Malaysians, or at least the way the ruling YB's treat us, seem to be like a bunch of spoilt, bratty children. We whine and cry and stamp our feet. Then like bad parents the YB's throw us a few candies and we stop whining and become good, obedient children for a while. Meaning we keep our mouths shut and out of the parent's way as they go about doing whatever they want. We don't care what. Got sweet already enough la.
So elections are coming. So the YB's travel the country distributing their candy pacifiers and come election day they will get their two thirds majority and then they will screw things around for another 5 years and then we start whining again and then they throw us some candy and then...........
And the thing is they do it in such a blatantly middle finger-in-your-face way. As if to say Nah! Niamah!!! Take this and keep quiet la, dei! Farmers who've waited decades for land suddenly get what they have legally applied for from the same fuckers who didn't want to hear or process those same applications. Until the farmers votes were needed. Schools that needed funds for maintenance or development and never got them suddenly get some grant or other. Which I guess will have to last them at least 5 years because they ain't going to get shit else until the next general elections roll around.
We know what we want for our country. We know the YB's who've been screwing us time and again. We know that we have the power for change in our hands. We know we must take an active stance and participate in how our country is managed and how to maintain a future for our children and grandchildren. But will we do anything about it? Somehow I doubt it. Already some of my friends who had been whining and griping are saying, "Hiyah! Never mind la. Better the devil we know than the devil we don't la. Just keep quiet and try and make some money lor."
And I am sure that you've read the results of the latest "survey" that claims that the majority of Malaysians (all 3 major races of course!) are against demonstrations. Oh really? That's the YB's telling us in our faces that we are dumb schmucks who only can manage a squeak every 5 years or so and love being screwed. And we all go, "Really ah? Ya la demonstrations affect business la. Make bad traffic jam la. We sokong you, YB!"
And then before you know it the YB's will win their two thirds majority and then we will start griping again.
But of course to celebrate "the people's victory" there will be some good fireworks and festival events with lots of loud beating drums and candy. You know....Just to show us and tourists that Hey! Malaysia is just doing fine man. Look...everybody is so happy.
TAKE CHARGE OF YOURS AND YOUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE.
I know I am going to.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
In 1970, my mum was working as a maid, earning a monthly salary of RM 50. That was the year the NEP started. My sister had to stop schooling early because my mum could not afford her school expenses. I was farmed out to be taken care of by relatives. My dad had died more than 10 years earlier. We were living way below the poverty line. Yet, with her salary, she could buy 0.5 oz of gold, which cost USD 35/oz.
I managed to secure a state scholarship to do engineering at the University of Malaya. With my starting salary of RM 750 as a graduate engineer with the government in 1973, I could buy 5.9 oz of gold (official gold price USD 42.22 per oz, although the free-market price was much higher, varying from USD 58 to USD 97. See here: http://www.nma.org/pdf/gold/his_gold_price.pdf)
Today, a fresh graduate will earn RM 1785 per month in government service. That salary will buy 0.6 oz of gold (USD 905 per oz. See here: www.kitco.com ). In other words, after 35 years of the NEP, from 1973 to 2008, a graduate’s earning power has dropped by almost 90%! She is almost at the poverty level of a maid in 1970! We are talking about graduates. Don’t even think about the poor farmers in the field or the estate workers. They are in such a deep hole, that we don’t even know where to find them.
My question is: How can we be doing well with such numbers? Just do some simple comparisons. In 1970, a bowl of mee cost RM 0.70, a car RM 7,000, a double-storey terrace house in SS 2, Petaling Jaya cost less than RM 39,000. Mind you, that was a 26 feet wide house (8m), not the pigeon holes we call terrace houses nowadays. Today, the corresponding prices are between 5 to 10 times higher. But our salaries have not matched inflation. Honey, they have shrunk our ringgit!
Over the years, many readers at Malaysia-today have wrung their hands over the overt racism and discrimination of UMNO. I would like to suggest that our problems are not with UMNO per se but rather with the system of the Rat Race. I will elaborate on this in Part II – The System. Stay tuned.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
February 16, 2008
By SV Singam
The ruling coalition has enjoyed an almost unbroken 50 years of 2/3 majority in parliament. The only time this overwhelming majority was lost was in 1969. Immediately, the race riots were triggered, parliament was suspended and the National Operations Council (with 100% control) installed. The semblance of democracy was only restored after the major opposition parties were sucked into a new and larger coalition and the 2/3 majority regained.
The ruling coalition operates on the Whip principle – component parties and representatives must toe the official line. Under no circumstances is a Wakil Rakyat allowed to vote according to his conscience or according to the mandate the rakyat he represents gave him.
So what has 50 years of 2/3 majority given us?
- The Malaysian Constitution has been amended some 690 times. The USA has been in existence for more than 200 years and their constitution was only amended 27 times.
- The Constitution is amended for matters as trivial as extending the term of office of the Elections Commission officers, simply to avoid facing rejection by the Agung.
- Because of the overwhelming power available to the Executive, the Legislature has been reduced to a rubber stamp, the Judiciary has been emasculated and corrupted and the powers of the Agung have been clipped.
- The legal system is a sad joke, serving only further the desires of the ruling clique.
- The Elections Commission serves only to ensure that the ruling clique is returned to power.
Look at the statistics…
In the last election, Barisan Nasional received only 63.8% of the popular votes but has 91% of all parliamentary seats. All due to gerrymandering, phantom votes, voter relocation, voter substitution… there are even suspicions of ballot box stuffing.
UMNO received 35.9% of the popular votes, has 50% of the parliamentary seats and holds 71% of the ministerial positions. The other members of the coalition have been reduced to running dogs, wagging their tails and begging for scraps.
Little Napoleons have been allowed to run rife and the rights of non-Malay, non-Muslim communities have been trampled upon. The Wakil Rakyat do nothing even when constitutional amendments threatening these rights are proposed. It is left to the opposition members to highlight these alarming matters and try to prevent total steamrolling.
Meanwhile, it’s not like the rights of all Malays are really being addressed. Claims of hard-core poverty among rural Malays indicate that wealth distribution is not making real headway. Under the umbrella of the NEP, wealthy UMNO leaders continue to steal the wealth of the country, feeding pittance to the rakyat. And the Malays are being deprived of the ability to compete and gain new skills.
Under the aegis of the NEP, incompetent people (skilled in politicking) are given promotions while capable people are being deprived of the opportunity to lead. Major national corporations and companies are blundering from error to error. We have lost our competitive edge in practically every field.
How much more of this can we take? How much more of this should we take?
Change may not necessarily be better.
But without change, it is not possible to become better.
If we want to become better, we must want change.
It is time the 2/3 majority in parliament is dismantled.
We hold that power.
Friday, February 15, 2008
"Welcome to heaven," says the angel. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."
"No problem, just let me in," says the man."Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."
"Really, I have made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Yang Berhormat"I'm sorry, but we have our rules," says the angel.
And with that, the angel escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course.
In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.Everyone is very happy and dressed in the finest batik there is. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.
They play a friendly game of golf and then indulge themselves on lobsters, caviar and the most expensive food there is. Present together is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes.
They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.
The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where the angel is waiting for him."Now it' s time to visit heaven."So, 24 hours pass with the Yang Berhormat joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing.
They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and the angel returns."Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven.
Now choose your eternity."The Yang Berhormat reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I am better off in hell."
So the angel escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.
He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.
The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder."I don't understand," stammers the Yang Berhormat. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"
The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning, just like you did during an election...... Today you voted."
Thursday, February 14, 2008
we still dream of overseas education; chinese and tamil schools still need private funding; universities still practise racial discrimination;
what have the government done to battle corruption?
ACA still are toothless without the power to charge BIG fishes; PDRM and government still deny police are corrupt; little napoleans still bermaharajalela across the country; even the judges in the highest court in malaysia are proven to be corrupt!!
what have the government done to improve security?
police were sent to disperse peaceful protesters instead of helping find missing kids; how to trust corrupt police running lock-ups and jails? how can we put our trust in police when whenever they wished, they can set-up mobile toll collection booth on the streets?
what have the government done to foster racial harmony?
racial sentiments being instilled into the minds of little kids; racial discrimination being incorporated into every aspect of our lifes (why differential treatment for bumi and non-bumi?); is an obsolete NEP still relevant today?
what have the government done to manage public funds properly?
mega projects with mega over-spending, everybody in construction knows you need to bribe to get certain things done, and the government is still in denial; why do the bandaran(s) always have to build stupid looking useless things that don't work all over town? do we need RM500,000 SMART toilets that costs RM0.50 per pee all over KL? why do we still have to pay obnoxious amount for toll, to use a private highway that was built using tax-loan, that is compensated by the hundreds of million annually using tax-money, that is always jammed- while the highway goes on making hundreds of million in profit every year?
a country's politics is not about whether you get to eat pork or not. it's not about whether you get a free dustbin for your premise. it's certainly not all about petrol subsidy.
yes, you cant possibly expect the government to subsidise every single thing from cooking oil, petrol, gas, etc. however, with improved effiency on the distribution of wealth, the government can improve the economy and help the rakyat AFFORD the inflation. instead of subsidising and creating an artificial sustainability. this is where i think the current government failed miserably! (well, actually i think the government failed miserably in almost every single department). i've always tell people this, and i reiterate again, we are poorer than we should because the money that belongs to us are in the wrong pockets! politicians, authorities, armed bodies...are all stealing money from us through corrupt practises. a bridge costs rm2,000,000 here in malaysia when the exact same bridge should only cost rm1,000,000 in say singapore. contractor had to inflate the price to feed-off officers from the authorities. tax payers had to fork out an additional rm1,000,000 that does not benefit anyone but the sinners and swiss banks.
"be happy with what you have, we are actually much better off than many developing countries" ...........how many times have you heard this statement??
what is the use of comparing ourselves with lesser nations?? how can we feel contended with saying we are living a better life than people in the third world countries? malaysia has so so much more to offer than just providing us with mediocre education, nasi lemak and roti canai. what about chasing wawasan 2020? what about becoming a developed nation?
BN was voted into power based on the premise that they will ensure peace, fairness to all, economic growth, curb corruption, etc. they have done some, ok...bravo. but shamelessly put up a facade to hide the true picture from the blissful ignorants, yet letting the rest of the nation suffer in its incompetence.