(Time for some snippets. We all are friends when your enemy is also my enemy. Pakatan Harapan in place of Pakatan Rakyat – they are better organised and led by experienced people in the political area but will they stick together when their individual objective clashes? Image source: The Malaysian Insight)
Hi folks, it has been sometime since I last blogged – frankly speaking, I have been spending more time at other places (some DIYs at home, updating my Facebook, watching Youtube, playing games, etc) instead of blogging. But it does not mean I have not been keeping up with the snippets – unfortunately there is more depressing news snippets on where this country is heading. In fact, this snippet post and the title had been on a draft mode for months and had undergone several edits so don’t be surprised if you are reading very old snippets here.
As the date of the next general election draws nearer, I have to say that political situation in this country have continued to get stupid, weird and illogical. The oppositions have finally decided to ditch PAS (although a lifeline still extended to PAS by PKR) and formed Pakatan Harapan in place of the crumbling Pakatan Rakyat but it still shaky alliance with PAS leaning towards more to BN than PH & threaten a 3 corner fight at the elections and the inclusion of Dr M as one of the leaders for Pakatan Harapan had not gone well with some die-hard PH supporters.
(Substitute the chill beer, wine and other liquors on a board with locally made, sugar high cendol and a plane is guaranteed not to crash into the sea – so says a joker in Malaysia. Perhaps he is right but then again this is not the right time and the place to say these things. Some people just don’t get it, do they? Image source: http://www.infoway.co)
The fate of the missing plane has somehow been determined – more or less. We can only say our deepest condolences to the families of the crew and passengers of MH370 and hope they would find some kind of closure and peace over the lost of their loved ones. MH370 will be remembered.
Despite this affirmation after 4 weeks into the incident, this however does not mean it would be the end – we still have the daunting task of finding the MH370’s black box. As one Australian commander had said, it is not an issue of finding the needle in a haystack but rather it is an issue of finding the haystack first. And once this is found (no doubt will be with great difficulty), we will still a long way to go before we can determine with surgical certainty on what had really happened to MH370. It’s our solemn duty to ensure that we get down to the actual reason for the MH370 deviating from its original flight path and ending up in the Indian Ocean. It’s strange that a plane that was heading north ended up deep south for no good reason.
Having said this, we should not also lose sight of the existing weaknesses that need to be addressed to avoid a similar incident in the near future. And over the last few weeks, other than the need to relook into how we can improve on crisis management, there have been calls to relook into beef up the security and control at airports:-
Has Malaysia paid a high price with its Third World standards and attitude towards security and asset management issues, was the question posed by a veteran newsman when commenting on the missing Malaysia Airlines Beijing-bound flight MH370.
Former New Straits Times editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said that while waiting for news on the missing MH370, it cannot be denied that the control and security checks at Malaysian airports, including the Kuala Lumpur International Airport can be said to be “relaxed” compared with those in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
“Is this the repercussion for the corruption, abuse of power and negligence which have reportedly happened repeatedly in KLIA?” he asked in his latest blog posting, adding his voice to the growing criticism over poor airport security at the country’s main gateway.
As angry as Kadir Jasin may be, one cannot dismiss the fact that the 2 Iranians had easy ride out from KLIA on fake passports and this does raises some serious questions on the security and controls in our airports. Even if the 2 Iranians had come in legitimately (using Iranian passport), then why no red flags raised when they exited on fake passports? Why didn’t the system showed the Immigration officers that no one had entered using the fake passport (for them to exit with the same passport)? Is because our immigration system does not keep track of passports details coming in and out OR is it because some one had been careless and failed to check this important fact?
MACC seemed to have an answer:-
“However, we did find that the Iranians managed to slip through due to the policy of speeding up the clearance of foreign visitors. “We recommend that the government gives more weight to security to prevent such instances instead of giving priority to customer oriented service,” he said during a briefing session on “Is MACC Credible?” at Wisma Bernama, here Monday.
He added that it was quite impossible for Immigration to check all passports against Interpol’s system which lists more than 40 million missing passports in a short time.
Unfortunately, it is not a good answer as this also means criminals, terrorists and other parasites of the society have an easy way in and out of the country. And in MH370, we were dealing with Iranians. What about the string of the so-called Nigerian students who come to this country for nothing but scams and drug peddling? It seems to be on the rise too. When we going to ban these parasite “students” outright from coming to this country and contributing to the crime statistics? When another plane goes missing? When there have been a massive shootout in public over a failed drug deals?
And then there is an issue of the failure of the Malaysian military to properly track and intercept a commercial plane that had deviated from its flight path. This issue has been a big question for many people.
The Time reports:-
The world wants to know how a rogue Boeing 777 can fly at will over Malaysia without military jets being scrambled. “Clearly they had let an unidentified aircraft pass through Malaysian sovereign territory without bothering to identify it; not something they were happy to admit,” writes aviation consultant David Learmount, who had previously decried “a chaotic lack of coordination between the Malaysian agencies.”
The Malaysian military spotted the missing jet passing through three military radars over the country’s far northeast, before it headed out over the Strait of Malacca. But despite its erratic behaviour, the American-made F-18s and F-5 fighters on alert at Butterworth Air Force base sat idle. Had the jets been scrambled, the world would have been saved a massive and extraordinary search operation.
“There was clearly a significant failure of response on behalf of the Malaysian Air Force. There’s no real way around it and you might imagine heads would roll for that,” says Anthony Davis, Bangkok-based analyst for defence-and-security-intelligence firm IHS-Jane.
According to the NYT report, a four-person air force crew based in Butterworth watching for intrusions into the country’s airspace either did not notice or failed to report a blip on their defensive radar and air traffic radar that was moving steadily across the country from east to west, heading right towards them.
Even the crews at two other radar installations at Kota Baru did not designate the blip as an unknown intruder, while the jetliner continued to fly across the country without anyone watching or alerting a superior or the national defence command, despite the fact that the radar contact’s flight path did not correspond to any filed flight plan.
And as a result, combat aircraft never scrambled to investigate.
Once again, the question is whether it is a failure of the system or the people behind the system? And it cast a dark shadow on the integrity of our air defence system and tracking of what flying in and out of the country (never say that Malaysia is immune to attacks like the 9/11, not after we had the Sulu intrusion in the past).
Then RMAF responded with this:-
In revealing this today, Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri said the air force decided to ignore the radar signal because the aircraft was categorised as non-hostile in nature.
“We thought the aircraft was non-hostile, we assumed it was a directive of the control tower that had directed the plane to turn back,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.
Many have pointed out that a telephone call from the military to the air traffic control on that morning could have alerted the tragedy, saved lives and millions of ringgit used for the search and rescue operations. The civilian air traffic control was also faulted for not raising the alarm when the aircraft went missing off its radar.
Now that is out in the open, it is unsettling to know that the military assume things (some commentators mentioned being lazy) when they detect something out of the ordinary. And there seems to be a massive breakdown of escalations when the DCA failed to contact the plane.
Moving on, here’s one to turn your stomach around and puke in disguise:-
Amid the frantic search for the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, a pro-government Islamic talk-show host has drawn up a list of lessons to be learnt from this saga, including the advice that female flight attendants be allowed to don the hijab. Ridhuan, in the Sinar Harian column, also urged Malaysia Airlines not to imitate Western values and suggested the airline stopped serving liquor on its flights.
“Those who ask for liquor are those who are used to drinking. Distract them with more nutritious local food like cendol and such,” said Ridhuan, referring to the sweet coconut milk dessert.
Frankly speaking, I don’t know whether this supersedes the Bomoh coconut clown show at KLIA in this crisis but thing for sure, it by far most, this has to be one of the dumbest statement coming from a fellow Malaysian. Then again, there’s nothing new from this Chinese who tries too hard to be a Malay.
One would just hope that the foreign media does not pick up this little bit of insult and turn it around for another round of laughter at the expense of the missing crew, passengers and the country as whole. It is dangerous too as he now implies that the plane had crashed only because the airline had served liquors and female flight attendants not wearing to the “right” uniform. Has he forgotten that the iconic current uniform itself is a modern manifestation of the baju kebaya, itself is part of the Malay traditional dress? On the case of liquor, no one is forcing anyone in the plane to take them – it is just part of the service. Just fly Emirates (the largest airline in the Middle East) and you will know.
Didn’t I say that this has to be one of the dumbest statement coming from a fellow Malaysian, did I? The joker is barking on the wrong side of the tree.
Let’s focus on what is more important in respect to the tragedy and have some courtesy and due respect to all those who had perish in this tragedy and hope we make amend on shortcomings without any delays so that the nation will not face another tragedy at this scale.
(I spent more than 5 months in Africa – culturally it is very challenging but Africans in Malaysia need to adapt to the local culture and law too. When that does not happen, we have a problem. Image source: TheStar)
I don’t support racial profiling and negative profiling on any race is even worse but after recent “close” encounters with some of the Africans in Puchong over the weekend, I think it is high time that the growing number of Africans “students” need to be closely monitored. Are they really students or they are public menace (or criminals like here and here) in disguise?
The Cabinet has set up a task force to deal with the large number of Africans coming into the country and this has resulted in an increase in crime and social ills. According to the source, the task force was a result of complaints from many quarters over rising crime that included black money and drugs. Immigration figures made available to The Malay Mail show a rising trend in arrivals from the African continent.
From 51,383 arrivals in 2001, the figures jumped to 111,805 in 2008 and, as at Oct 31 this year, 99,769 arrivals from Africa were recorded. The figure includes both tourists and students. Africans found to be involved in criminal activities were mainly Nigerians, the source said. They are known throughout the world for dabbling in black money and using foreign women as mules to carry drugs in false baggage compartments.
Among the 153 Africans arrested for various crimes this year, 69 were Nigerians, while 25 were from Sudan, 16 from Botswana, 14 from Algeria and 10 from Zimbabwe. Seventy-five per cent of the offences were for overstaying, and, up to Oct 31, 38 Africans were prosecuted and 124 were deported. The source said because of lax monitoring, many African students used this privilege to stay in the country and carry out illegal activities.
Over the years, the growing presence of Africans in many urban areas has created panic and uneasiness among residents. The locals complain of fights, drunkenness and rowdiness among the Africans.
African communities have sprouted in apartments and condominiums in several areas, including Damansara Damai, Kota Damansara, Puchong, Cheras and Balakong. It is believed that the next target would be Indonesians, who form some 65 per cent of the 1.2 million foreign workforce and are largely blamed for house break-ins.
Not only are Africans a problem in neighbourhoods but local higher institutions also face problems with Africans but many choose to keep mum.
Let me tell upfront – not all Africans in the country are public menace – there are good ones like one in my cousin’s place (they are friendly, helpful and keep very profile) but there are ones who still think that they are in Africa and law & public order means nothing to them.
Last weekend I went over to pick up my aunty near Pusat Bandar Puchong and drove past Jalan Wawasan when I saw about 10 Africans gathered in front of the shops (those staying at this area would know this place – the Africans often regroup at the same place on daily basis). Seeing a large group of foreigners in front of the shops is nothing new – I have seen Indonesians and Bangladeshis doing the same on the weekends but my aunty who stayed nearby suddenly remarked that the group often drinks and then fight – this happened on a daily basis until to a point the neighbours could not take it and decided to call the police. The police came in one day and rounded the men up and for almost 2 weeks, there was peace. Now the group is back making the place dirty and rather dangerous with occasional fights and reckless throwing of empty beer bottles onto the road. She wished for regular police patrol to keep this group of men away.
After I picked her up, I decided to return home to get some items for the function. On the fast lane, there was this white Myvi driven rather slowly. Couple of cars high beamed them but nothing moved them. The white Myvi stuck on the fast lane and forced other faster cars to overtake them from the left. When I overtook the Myvi, I saw the problem – 2 Africans driving as if they own the road. I say “problem” is because this is not the first time I have seen Africans hogging the fast lane – every time I see an African on the highway, he is hogging on the fast lane or moving into the fast lane creating a crawl on the fast lane (seen different times and on different cars). Perhaps this is why we get accidents like this:-
The four students killed in the traffic accident on the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) just after midnight yesterday have been identified as Africans. The fifth student injured in the rented Toyota Vios was in stable condition at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre. According to police, the students were travelling from Kota Damansara to Bandar Sunway in the middle lane of the LDP.
At Km11.3, near the Kelana Jaya LRT station, they tried to move into the fast lane but knocked into the rear of a Proton Iswara already in the lane.
Things then got really nasty. It was late at night when I was driving back from a wedding dinner function in Klang. There was less cars on LDP when reached Puchong. I reached an overhead bridge when I noticed the car next to me was the same white Myvi with an African driver. Not knowing what this idiot would do, I decided to slow down. At the corner of the overhead bridge, I counted my luck when I noticed this idiot cuts from his lane into mine and then back to his lane without any signal or indications. If I had kept my speed, the idiot would have bumped into me. I was angry but from what I heard on how Africans react to accidents caused by them, it was not worth chasing the idiot. I just drove away from this idiot.
I also noticed a growing number of Africans near my housing area but unlike the group at Jalan Wawasan, this group has been rather tame and so far kept to themselves. That was when they started to move in. But now they have started their ruckus but it is still at a manageable level. But one thing that we are getting rather annoyed these days is the way they cross the road. Despite seeing an approaching car, they would walk as if they are the kings of the road – often we have to slow down and wait for them to finish crossing. My wife had a shock of her life last week when an African man suddenly walked in front of her car, causing her to slam on the brake hard.
Last night, I was driving on the lane when I saw 2 Africans crossing the road. I did not slow down as I gather they would have crossed the road by the time I pass them. But it was not. The idiots walked very slowly even though I know they have seen my car. One guy managed to cross in time but unfortunately not the 2nd guy. I stopped my car just in time in front of him. He looked surprised and then started to shouting something at me. My wife was inside the car and she too was angry on how these idiots take their own sweet time to cross the road and in the process almost get themselves knocked down by on-going traffic. I decided not to confront the idiots since I have my wife in the car otherwise they would have learned a lesson that they will never forget.
I drove off feeling very angry. I know that it is not going to be the last time I confront these Africans.
There are some foreigners who have forgotten that they are in another country and do not act accordingly. They end up becoming public menace or danger to other road users. We don’t mind having foreigners as our neighbours but once they become a public menace (regardless they are foreigners or locals), we need the swift hand of the law to deal with them.
Former Selangor Umno liaison chief Dr Mohd Khir Toyo believes that the repeated attacks on PKR Hulu Selangor by-election candidate Zaid Ibrahim’s past as a drinker was a good campaign strategy.
The move to highlight Zaid’s admission that he used to consumed alcohol in his younger days was a way to discourage PAS’ grassroots from supporting the former minister, said Khir.
If that is true, perhaps Khir can comment on this:-
(No word on the street that Kamalanathan also drinks but Indians are known to take alcohol like water. Image source: http://scottthong.wordpress.com)
Interestingly the above evidence did not come as an “issue” during the last general election (in fact, there was pin drop silence from people like Khir on this). Is it because when it comes to BN, past is past, bygones are bygones and not for others?
Even if we accept that Zaid used to be a drinker, does it really matters?
Zaid, in turn, is being whacked for his alleged ‘drinking habit’. Okay, let us say he does. So he drinks. So what?
Does he buy his drinks using the taxpayers’ money? Does he rob the rakyat to support his drinking habit? Is his liquor being bought using our money? Or does he indulge with his own money and not the money he stole from us?
So you see, even if he does drink, and I am not saying he does, does he hurt any of us or only himself?
Compare that with this news:-
Bakti members comprising wives of ministers and deputy ministers, who were travelling home via Europe, had to reschedule their return as most airports in the continent remained closed due to lingering volcanic ash from Iceland.
The group, which arrived here on Thursday after visiting a children’s handicap centre and a youth high-risk centre in Washington last week
Surely there are not “drinkers” in the eyes of BN but how much of tax payers’ money went into their travel expenses, accommodations, shopping and “sounds important to justify the trip but it is not” visits to handicap and youth centres crap.
What is the need for the Bakti members to be travelling to US and returning via Europe (cough for “shopping”?) when they do similar “welfare” work right here in Malaysia?
And some people say corruption is at a manageable level in Malaysia. I rest my case – Zaid can have all the drinks he wants (not that he wants it) but he will come out cleaner than some of the people claiming to be better.
It looks like beer, it smells like beer and the people are drinking as it is beer but certainly it is not beer.
(Great stuff from Holland!)
Iran, I guess is the second country that I have been to without any drop of cold beer. Brunei was the other country although I could have brought a crate of beer after declaring to the customs. Interestingly there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks from local and European breweries to choose from here. And the drinks which come in many colourful can also come in many flavours – plain, lemon, apple, etc. And here is one part of the drinking “style” that I found very peculiar in a country who not only allows anyone to beer in the open but also bans the sales of beer – that the non-alcoholic drink is served in the same nature of serving alcoholic beer – in a iced beer mug.
Malaysia certainly is the best to be drinking beer although these times beer is not cheap. I say it is the best because very rarely I drink alone – there are always friends, colleagues or cousins who are more than willing to be my beer drinking buddies. The thing is I have cut down a lot on drinking beer – one is for slowing down the ever growing tummy and another is due to the fact that beer in Malaysia is not cheap. The day when I can say that “beer is cheaper than water” to my Aussie friend is a far, far away.
(You may have mistaken this for some beer drinking session in some coffee shop in Malaysia)
Ghana is one country where beer was kind of free-flow. It is cheaper but was more diluted as well. One needs to drink 2 large bottle of lager before one can feel the drunkenness a distance away. Perhaps we Malaysians are so used of having heavier content alcohol in our beers that when we are in Ghana, the local beers almost tasted like water. It was indeed diluted. But the locals usually can get drunk with just one small bottle – one of those unexplained funny paradoxes that I encountered when I travelled abroad.
For now, I had to do with non alcoholic lemon flavour drink as my nearest replacement for a good old mug of cold beer, at least until the next round of beer drinking session with friends and cousins.
Selangor PAS wants the state government to include beer in its ban on the sale of alcohol in all Muslim-majority areas and state executive councillor Ronnie Liu to be removed from his post as head of local government
This is not the first time that the Selangor PAS raised the issue on banning of beers in this State. Whilst I understand where PAS is coming from on this matter, I believe they are misguided and hitting on the wrong solution. It is unfair for beer drinking citizens should the ban materialised as suggested by PAS.
There are just too many loopholes in the PAS’ demand, namely:-
How PAS will determine which area is a Muslim majority area? By electoral list? By some survey? By household number? By number of Muslims on the street? Or by some hidden, random numbers?
Assuming the government had identified as Muslim and non Muslim majority areas – would there be a “yearly review” to be determine if there has been any shift in the composition of the people in the said areas?
What happens on a non Muslim majority area? There will not be any ban on the sale of beers? If so, does it look too unfair for the non Muslims who are staying on Muslim majority areas? That they are getting unfair treatment compared to non Muslims in other areas?
What stops some Muslims from travelling from Muslim majority area to non Muslim majority area and buying and consuming beer? If PAS are claiming a wide ban will discourage these Muslims from drinking beer, how they will monitor the same in areas where beers are sold?
There are indeed loopholes on the call for beer ban and whilst it is going to be a problem enforcing this ban (to meet its original objectives); it is also being unfair to the non Muslims who have all the right to drink beer.
PAS instead of calling for ban on beers should look at other means of meeting the objectives of ensuring Muslims are not consuming beer (or any alcohol). These means should include among others:-
Education – by putting a ban on the sale of beer, it is effectively puts a stop on the supply but not on the demand. When beer drinking citizens find it is harder to get the supply, they will either travel elsewhere to get the supply or get their supply from the black market or other illegal means. PAS should instead start on educating the citizens on the implication of drinking beers from religion, moral and health aspect
Enforcement – allow the outlets to sell beers but with a strict condition that it must be sold to non Muslims. If these outlets are found violating the conditions, then heavy fine must be imposed. Periodic checking must be done to ensure that the conditions are enforced all time.
This way, PAS can meet its objective whilst ensuring fairness to the non Muslims. Clear guidelines must be drawn up to ensure that both the consumers and the sellers are aware on who beers and alcohols can be sold and on what conditions.
Calling for a blanket ban on beer will not achieve much and instead it will only back-fire.
(No offence to any ladies and any non beer drinking Malaysians out there)
(Strictly for die-hard fans. Image source: http://carcino.gen.nz)
I got this joke titled “Girl vs Beer” via the email from a friend of mine today. I guess a lot of them were upset with the idea of a blanket ban on beers (which luckily did not materialise):-
Most men like women. But, most men like beer too! So, for men it becomes a rather confusing choice between women and beer! Following is a debate, developed by the University of Mumbai, in India to help you analyze which is better! Here is the debate:-
A Beer is always wet, a woman is not! 1 point for beer!
Beer is horrible, when it is hot! 1 point for women!
A cold beer satisfies you! 1 point for beer!
If you come back home smelling beer, your wife can get angry at you. If you come back home smelling women, your wife will get angry for sure and she might even not talk to you again! Draw! (Depends on your point of view)
10 beers in a night and then you can’t drive. 10 women in one night and you don’t have to drive anywhere! 1 point for women!
The older, the beer is – the better, it is! 1 point for beer!
Many beers can make you see UFO’s. Many women can make you see God! 1 point for women!
If you ask yourself how the next woman will be, you are normal. If you ask yourself how the next beer will be, you are an alcoholic! 1 point for women!
For a beer, you pay taxes! 1 point for women!
If you take a second beer, the first one doesn’t get angry! 1 point for beer!
You can always be sure that, you are the first one ‘Opening’ a beer! 1 point for beer!
If you shake a beer, after a while it calms down by itself! 1 point for beer!
You know exactly how much a beer costs! 1 point for beer!
A beer does not have a mother! 1 point for beer!
You can do it if you want, but beer won’t ask you to hug her for half an hour after! 1 point for beer!
So the final score is beer beats women – 9 to 6! If you are a woman reading this and getting angry, know that a beer would never get angry! So, another point for beer! Now the final score is Beer beats women – 10 to 6!
Beer might very well be one of the greatest inventions (I like this one a lot!).
As ubiquitous as beer is throughout the nations of the world, it may be the only beverage that’s ingrained in our DNA. Historically, beer has the prestige of being one of the earliest recorded recipes, dating back to Mesopotamia’s Kingdom of Ur (2050 BC).
The elixir-like qualities of beer even kept throngs of peasants alive when water wasn’t so potable. The creation of beer through the combination of four simple ingredients (water, grain, barley, and hops) is as remarkable in its simplicity as it is in its complexity and variety.
Frankly speaking, I love beers and what a great way to spend a great time if not with friends with a beer mug on one hand. So when I read this in theStar, I was left wondering what these guys were trying to achieve with a blanket ban on beers. Don’t they have much more important things to do? Read an interesting piece from RPK here.
Drinking alcohol is prohibited for the Muslims and this has been the case for a long time. That is fine with us but the idea of banning outright the sale of alcohol may prevent some Muslims from obtaining alcohol but at the same time, it is denying the right for the beer drinking Non Muslims.
Thankfully the Menteri Besar saw a better way to deal with this situation when he said:-
“The state executive council meeting today (on Wednesday) decided that we will instead increase enforcement to ensure that these outlets do not sell alcoholic beverages to Muslims and those below the allowed age,” he said after chairing the state executive council meeting.
That’s right – enforcement is a better option than an outright ban. That way, the sale of alcohol to prohibited persons can be curtailed whilst leaving the rest to enjoy their pint of beer.
Besides, a mug of beer is still healthier than a mug of strong coffee.