2010 Reflection: Year of the BN

(Never underestimate the power of impressions, more so if it was handled by professionals. Image source: http://www.americanprogress.org)

2010 was unfortunately “their” year but they deserved it – they played their cards rights

One of the few best things that BN under Najib did in 2010 (although it was long, long overdue) was getting a new President for MIC but then again, MIC is old news and the old President did not go away with empty hands. He is still around on tax-payers’ payroll. But that is not the main reason why I say 2010 was the year of the BN. Let’s look back on what went wrong for PR and what went right for BN (in no particular order).

Went Wrong for PR

  • Keshwinder Singh of PR jumped ship to BN with a very flimsy excuse. People were getting tired of the “frogs” jumping out from the opposition camp
  • Resignation of Zaid Ibrahim from PKR who went out to form his own political party. Zaid was seen as the independent entity within Pakatan Rakyat to merge all the opposition parties
  • Resignation of Wee Choo Keong from PKR.
  • The “boo-boo” in conducting PKR’s party elections. PKR should have known that it would hit them in the face if they did it the wrong way
  • Banning the 1Malaysia logo despite it been used for years – it was simply stupid and downright childish
  • Sat on the submission of a PR friendly name for the Selangor State Secretary and when it was too late, get so hyped up
  • The hoo-haa on the illegal sand mining in Selangor and how badly the State Government reacted to the accusations
  • PR going all out to defend the criminals with outstanding traffic summons. Sometimes doing something popular does not mean doing something right
  • Start of the Third Force in the political arena which caused the concern that it will create a hung Parliament
  • Lost of the Hulu Selangor seat which was previously held by Pakatan Rakyat to a MIC junior politician (with Samy Vellu still on President’s seat)

Went Right for BN

  • Samy Vellu stepping down as MIC President
  • Khir Toyo (finally) charged for corruption but it was nothing to shout about it
  • Ling Liong Sik charged in the PKFZ fiasco – by then, one of the biggest fish to be hauled up by MACC
  • Najib unveiling NEM to propel the country to be high achievers, promising an interesting future for Malaysia
  • Putting a BN friendly entity to helm the State Secretary seat before PR Government decides to do anything about it
  • Dedicated “instigation” team to discredit the Selangor State Government

But frankly speaking, more damage done to Pakatan Rakyat by Pakatan Rakyat themselves than by BN and so-call NGOs.  If you think about it, some of the hard facts that Pakatan Rakyat failed to capitalised in ensuring continued voters’ support in the next general elections are:-

  • Selangor and Penang under Pakatan Rakyat is doing better than the time it was under BN. There is clear sense of accountability and reduction of corruption under PR than under BN
  • Samy Vellu is not out of the picture – he is still leeching tax-payers’ money in his new assignment (out of the many thousands eligible Malaysians, the Government cannot find no other better person?) and he is yet to be made accountable for the MAIKA fiasco
  • No head up on the PKFZ investigations and prosecution of those had raped millions of tax-payer’s money despite big fishes charged by MACC but who to is going to repay back the millions burned in this project
  • MACC is yet to be very effective – corruption is still riding high in East Malaysia according to reports in the Sarawak Report
  • BN is still weak in management of tax payers money – more so after Idris Jala warned of the high subsidies been paid out to keep prices artificially low. Still remember Tourism Minister RM1.28 million overseas trips?
  • Charge of corruption against Khir Toyo seems too late, too little – what about others?
  • The “Allah” issue – how well unity and integration among Malaysians been in 2010? BN is still consist of race based political parties but PR is more spread out and represents Malaysia as whole better.
  • Politician’s wife interference with the administration tasks and abuse of tax payers’ money (the lady is going on 3 nation trip but on who’s money?)
  • The case of Teoh Beng Hock who died when under interrogation by MACC is yet to be resolved.  He did not commit suicide but there is no homicide as well.

BN played the public relations card very well – they managed to play up PR’s shortcomings and in-fighting, play up the good things that the BN Government have done and at the same time down play the mess that the BN Government has and down play the good things that the PR State Government have done. It is not a big surprise indeed. After all, they had the means (APCO, mainstream media, etc) and the cash to pay for the public relations which would have been expensive. In 2010, PR was certainly at a disadvantage when it comes to the battle of the public relations.

And you can be rest assured that BN will continue to play their upper hands on the war of public relations in 2011 and all the way until they are able to wrestle back the State of Selangor and Penang. What PR can do to counter that and get at least some of the confidence lost in 2010 in 2011? What PR can do to reverse the tables on BN?

Some of the steps that PR can take to improve their image and more importantly, the stand with the cautious voters is nothing new – in fact, we can take the cue from BN for some ideas, for example:-

1. Appoint a professional PR agency / military strategist / professional chess-player to advise PR on how to project a more stable, viable and feasible coalition and how to keep one step ahead of the more experienced, better “armed” BN. Just make sure that the agency’s fees are paid from political party funds instead from the State funds so that integrity of appointment can be persevered and creates no room for scandals.

2. Have proper channel for party members to voice their grievousness without them need to make noise in the mainstream media (where the fact can be presented in advantage of BN), twitters, blogs or personal press conferences. Once the channel has been established, ensure that all comments, critics and suggestions by the members are given its due consideration. For those who have a valid complaint / suggestions, give them the room to make their case – it will be helpful in the long run. For those who been making noise because they just want more position and without any substance, there is no need to tolerate them further – just kick them out from the party to minimize the damage.

3. Have periodic update of the oppositions’ progress of work – similar to BN’s KPI but back it with hard facts and statistics. Periodic updates need to be disseminated in multiple media and channels. Such dissemination of information is not only important to counter BN’s accusations and arguments but also to keep the voters who voted them into power updated on the progress of their representatives. Don’t take voters for a ride – voters know how to read in between the lines too

4. Have a selection committee to vet through candidates and representatives to ensure that they work for the people and is not easily swayed by emotion and personal views. Work closely with the Third Force and NGOs who can provide candidates with the right set of values. Give way to pulse of the local community – one good example, getting the right candidates to be appointed leaders to head Sabah and Sarawak branches.

5. Focus on actual work that benefits the people instead of working to highlight the past wrongdoing of the previous Government. Since 2008, too much time, effort and energy been wasted on digging out the past administration mess instead of moving on and doing a good job for the people. At the same time, the effort of digging up the wrongdoing of the previous administration should be left to the enforcement agencies in the country (if they sleep on this, fire the whole lot after you have become the Government)

6. Be more proactive and ensure that what need to be done to ensure smooth operation of the Government is done as early as possible and with the right procedures. Don’t wait until the BN appoints their own people before deciding to the change the constitution and finalizing your set of lists. After all, making the first move is a good strategy and makes it difficult for attacks to be made.

Frankly speaking, it does not take a genius to make the “dos and don’ts list” for Pakatan Rakyat to get their act together in 2011. There is no assurance that they will win back most of the confidence lost on them over the years since 2008 but who knows, Malaysians are forgiving type and there is a pain in the neck called BN who have not make major changes for the betterment of the country.

We still need the opposition to be strong and viable to provide the alternative option for the country. We have been doing nothing but waste money and precious time, bickering among ourselves instead of focusing on what is more important. For Pakatan Rakyat, 2010 was not their year but who knows what can happen in 2011.

Listen up and start getting things done.

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2010: Politics in Malaysia was won by Public Relations?

Political Double Speak

Snippets – 6 December 2010

A quickie before the holidays…

Khir Toyo Charged with Corruption

Ha, some interesting development with fishing in the “big fish” by the MACC

(Khir claims that this whole piece of property only valued RM3.5 million when others claims that it is about RM24 million. What do you think? Image source: TheStar)

The hands of the law could have done it better (like that costly RM1.8 million trip to Disneyland and the missing RM9.9 million Balkis fiasco) but I guess something is better than nothing…

The Star reports:-

Former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has been charged with accepting two land lots for RM3.5mil when the said lots were bought by Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Shamsuddin Haryoni for RM6.5mil.

The charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code carries a two-year jail term, fine or both.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail commended the MACC for a thorough investigation into the case and the prosecution would be calling about 16 witnesses.

Whilst we will looking forward with this case rather interestingly (because charging is one thing, conviction is another – still remember PKFZ?), one have to wonder why the AG took that long to pull the man into the “cage”?

The AG have explained it – we hope that the case is water-tight – the last we want is for this case ending up as nothing but shadow play for the Government’s concerted fight against corruption. We do not want those who wasted tax-payers’ money by the millions to slither away by means of technicality and lack of evidence (we sure hope having rival groups to the “Conquer Selangor Mission” has nothing to do with it).

Samy Vellu (yes, finally!) Steps Down

(End of an era or end of a headache? Image source: www.daylife.com)

So, this is it? After years being a pain in a neck for the community, MAIKA shareholders and many of the highway users, we finally heard this – “The moment I leave this room, I am no longer the president” – Hallelujah!

But it sounds like it is not the end of the story. Not the end of the taxpayers’ money wasted down the drain. Free Malaysia Today reports:-

So the deal was made. Samy Vellu leaves, and in return he gets the post of Malaysia’s special envoy for infrastructure to South Asian countries. A position with ministerial status. It is also apparently to give him face, provide him a dignified exit.

But why should the MIC get another ministerial position after its poor performance at the last general election? Where is the regard for values if rewards are given when they are not deserved?

More importantly, why create a new position which would incur cost to the taxpayer? Samy Vellu’s salary, perks, claims and whatever else in the new position he’s taking will amount to a substantial amount. Why does the rakyat have to pay for it?

Does that sounds so wonderful – some kind of “rewards” for the earlier date for stepping down as the President!

Child Marriage

(A case of a wealthy Muslim cleric who took a 12-year-old girl as his unofficial wife. In Indonesia, the court was not amused with this and handed six years prison sentence. In Malaysia, it is a whole different story. Image source: http://sheikyermami.com)

For a moment there, I thought it happened some where in deep, lawless village in Pakistan but as one can say, nothing is impossible in Bolehland.

The New Sunday Times had front-paged the picture of 14-year-old Siti Marham Mahmod, and husband Abdul Manan Othman, who participated in a 1Malaysia wedding celebration at the Federal Territory Mosque on Saturday. The couple had tied the knot in July after getting the consent of the Syariah Court (Source)

It is good that the Government via the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is making a lot of noise on this but will the “noise” translate it into forceful action?

And the funny part of the whole deal is that the marriage was approved by the Syariah Court – what happened to the protection of the minor? Why the parents could not wait for a few more years until the minor is able to decisions for herself? It certainly unsettling that this is happening in a modern Malaysia. Still think we are on route to achieving Vision 2020?

And lastly…I leave you with a joke…yes, it is

(The mean big brother is no more? According to MCA supremo, everyone is equal. Image source: Blogger)

At least, that is what I thought when I read this:-

MCA made full use of today’s Barisan Nasional (BN) convention to push for equal treatment within the coalition, sternly telling its Umno allies that there should not be a “big brother, small brother” system in the ruling pact (Source)

Ya, right!

Read Also

Don’t change the country, change your government

United for what?

Oh, MIC still alive, ah?

(It is better for us if we are more united as a country instead as a specific race, controlled by political party. Image source: http://www.archives.gov)

Frankly I have not been following up on MIC lately – after all, it is nothing but a “gone with the wind”, one man show political party. What the head honcho of party says matters little these days especially when he is struggling to keep his hands on the president’s seat and opts to simply sack those who question him.

But this one caught my eyes:-

The MIC will spearhead the consolidation of the Indian community in a bid to strengthen the party’s power base and bargaining power with the government, party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said on Monday.

He said the MIC, being the third largest political party in the Barisan Nasional (BN), has to lead the consolidation process to ensure that the party becomes “a much stronger voice” for the community.

“The time and political situation in the country demand that we unite or risk breaking up further into many groups which, in the end, will only make the community lose its strength,” he said in a statement here.

(Bernama)

Here is one good example of the past the shelf life ideology in work – that all Malaysians need to be categorised based on their racial make-up. And for each race, there must be a political party representing it. For the “Indians”, it looks like according to Samy, there is no other choice but MIC. Oh, you meant the fucked-up champions who played out the Indians in a mega scam called Maika? Great Samy great!

And why we should go back to MIC?

We have given the party plenty of chances in the past – long before we had the multiple race political parties like PKR & DAP. Samy Vellu has been a powerful Minister under 2 Prime Ministers and under Mahathir, he and MIC was rather “untouchable” when it comes to representing the Indians in Malaysia. But despite that, Samy and his powerful party must have done something “great” that saw the emergence of Indian pressure group called Hindraf and the unprecedented street protests by ordinary Malaysians.

Samy says “risk breaking up further into many groups which, in the end, will only make the community lose its strength”. That is bullshit.

It is high time we break this racial barrier (created and consistently enforced by politicians for dubious reasons) and be more united as Malaysians. This is because, we need to ask – are we Malaysians that disunited and now need, of all the people, MIC to unite us back? Or are we more aware of the bullshit that the party been spewing and how the community has been falling back in many areas since Samy took over the party?

We all can see the real intention to call for unity – we are not dungus. If the call for unity is indeed for the benefit of the community – Samy could have done something even better and simpler – gracefully resign and come clean on what he did on the Telekom shares.

Snippets – 16 April 2010

(The one that got screwed for Hulu Selangor by-elections, both Samy and Palanivel – Image source: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/)

Kamala vs Zaid

After some ‘interesting’ delays and threats of sabotage, BN finally decided on their choice for Hulu Selangor by-election (I am pretty sure G. Palanivel did not back off so easily, after all, didn’t the MIC branches in Hulu Selangor threaten sabotage if Palanivel did not contest the seat?).

Kamalanathan is young and one of the newer politicians coming into limelights but he is still MIC and he is still Samy Vellu’s picked man and a win for Kamalanathan means a win for Samy Vellu. This is something that the voters in Hulu Selangor have to consider when deciding whether to give that young man a chance to serve.

PKR MP Resigns

Before we consider the “merits’ of the state assemblyman for Bakar Arang in Kedah, Tan Wei Shu’s decision to resign, one need to consider this – what a PERFECT TIMING to announce the resignation! With 2 by-elections at hand, Tan Wei Shu picked the right time to make the announcement. That in effect puts a bad image on Pakatan Rakyat (see how BN manipulating this news). Good going, Tan!

And just look at reason given for resignation – another internal conflict within the party member (or in his words “certain leaders in PKR had used him for their own interests”). What a cock a mania bull shit is this?

TheStar quote him saying:-

“….saying that I’m incapable and not doing my work, when I have a proven a track record in serving the people for the past two years”

If he has the backing of his constituents, why he just quit talking cock and remained as an ordinary state assemblyman and continue with his ‘good work”? Internal pressure may exist in any environment – you can complain about it to the leaders at state level and if that fails, probably bring it to the leaders at national level but that does not mean you quit the party and cause one seat less in the state assembly.

But then again, this could be a blessing in disguise for PKR to continue with its housekeeping before the next general elections.

(The right message for many motorcyclists who think their helmet-less kids on their bike is crash-proof)

Motorcyclist & Kids

I had encounter with another idiot on the road last night but this time with a motorcyclist who had a child sitting on the front basket and had no helmets.

He was waiting at an inner lane, waiting to cut across the main lane. There were other cars at the inner lane, patiently waiting for the traffic on the main lane to clear for them to cut in. Not this motorcyclist – he was so impatient waiting, he decided to cut in just when I about to drive past this inner lane junction. If I had not braked hard, it is likely that the child would have been under my car, probably squashed to bits.

Good thing I managed to brake hard and the motorcyclist missed my car. Before I could get down and give a piece of my mind, the idiot sped off with the kid still sitting on the front basket.

What is it with motorcyclists and their reckless act of taking children along? If possible, don’t take kids on motorcycle but if that is not possible (especially for some poor folks), at least get the kids children helmets and be extra careful when riding the bikes (no sudden moves).

Myprocurement Portal Boo Boo

Interesting revelations of the information listed in the portal been made by PR’s Tony Pua and one wondered just how much of public fund went down the drain with hiked up contract amount (see the report here).

The Government however reverted by saying that there are typo errors and will be taking the steps to rectify them. That sounds good but where is the typo error? Basic language, perhaps spelling and grammar errors? Or on the contract amount itself? We hope that it is on the contract amount because some of the amount stated is worrying.

Contract amount like this:-

According to Pua, there is another contract worth RM77,920,599.20 which has already been highlighted in the Malaysian Insider, a project to build a hostel for 200 male and female students at SMK Kuala Jenderis, Hulu Terengganu which was awarded to Rafa Sepakat Sdn Bhd. He (Idris) said that, in Hulu Terengganu, it is actually cheaper to buy a RM380,000 luxury bungalows for each of the 200 students

Typo error or is this just a tip of the iceberg on cases of misuse of public fund?

Samy Vellu = MIC

It looks a case of Samy Vellu = MIC or rather MIC = Samy Vellu, forever and ever…

(Read my lips – I will resign if my No 2 man is ready but….. Image source: http://daylife.com)

Not a big fan of the ‘self claiming representatives’ of the Indian community (a mirage that was scattered by the Hindraf rallies) and whom backsides got whacked left, right and centre in the last general election but recent developments in calling the MIC supremo to stand down has been nothing but comical.

In recent months, if you have noticed, there has been a steady stream of attack against Samy Vellu – from the huge protest in last Maika shareholders’ meeting, the recent posts by Raja Petra on Samy Vellu, the recent disclosure of ‘what really happened’ with Maika shares, how Samy Vellu became the President due to missing votes and of course Dr M’s attacks on Samy Vellu.

What Dr M said about his ex-member in the cabinet was understandable but still a classic:-

‘In other countries, when a leader fails, he resigns voluntarily. In Japan, he commits harakiri (suicide). We are not asking him (Samy Vellu) to commit harakiri’.

(Source: Malaysiakini)

No one could be more direct than Dr. M but some people still don’t get the message, don’t they? Of course, that triggered the call for ‘shoe garland’ for Dr M but only after an overwhelming condemnation, Samy Vellu decided to act – the person who called for ‘shoe garland’ was swiftly disciplined and cornered Samy Vellu decided to throw in a challenge:-

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said he was prepared to hand over the leadership of the party “tomorrow” if his deputy Datuk G. Palanivel was ready to take over.

(Source: TheStar)

Samy Vellu preparing to leave the party was not something new – he have said many times and every time that happens, he is still in the helm of the party (I recall him saying the same thing – if the party members do not want him, he will leave).

The likelihood of Samy leaving with the issue of Maika shares still fresh on many frustrated Indians is very small. Remember Samy keep saying that he has some ‘unfinished business’ in MIC and therefore still hanging on to the post? The question is what is this unfinished business? Is it getting the Indians back on the prosperity or fortifying himself or getting things in order from future sanctions? If there is ‘unfinished business’, why can’t someone else take over and completes it? The argument of ‘unfinished business’ is getting too suspicious.

Well, that is what I think too – otherwise he would have left if not when UMNO’s Dr. M or MCA’s Lim Liong Sik left, at least when MIC got whacked in the last general election  – get the party revamped by someone new.

But no, he remained where he is and there is no sight of any change of guards at MIC at least for next few years.  There was talks of ‘rebranding’ but unsurprisingly it affected everyone else but him.

Then there was even pressure from the PM to get Samy Vellu to leave his seat and get someone else to take over. After all, both UMNO and MCA have changed their presidents since the departure of Dr. M, didn’t they?

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he would meet MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for the second time this year to discuss the party’s succession plan.

(Source: NST)

But the thing is – no body believed Samy Vellu when he said he is prepared to leave and true to the predictions, Palanivel decided not to take Samy Vellu’s challenge and decided to remain a loyal, quiet pussy:-

MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel has thrown the ball back to party chief Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu on when the long-serving MIC president will vacate the post.

(Source: TheStar)

Palanivel’s action to throw back the decision to vacant the president’s seat back to Samy was anticipated from day 1. After all, he is the president’s main man and next in line – surely he will not wish to ‘rock the boat’. So, while the battle for the pilot’s seat at MIC is still on-going (in the open and covertly), Najib have started to open another channel to reach out to the Indian community:-

The Prime Minister has accepted the invitation to launch the newly-formed Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party on Oct 10. The party, which was officially registered early this year, is a splinter group of the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) which organised anti-government rallies in November 2007.

(Source: TheStar)

Does this means another nail has been struck on the coffin on Samy’s attempts to still clinging on the president’s seat in MIC? Whatever it is, it remains comical to see a desperate man clinging on the post whilst fighting off the call to step down with promises to step down in near future.

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MAIKA Screw-up Revisited

(“I’m innocent – I don’t know what happened to the Telekom shares. Besides, ACA have cleared me”. Image source: http://www.topnews.in)

MIC party polls are coming up in September…

And thus far, there is no clear challenge to the head honcho and his nominated men. At this juncture, Raja Petra of Malaysia Today revisited the Maika – Telekom share scandal from an interesting point of view:-

A bit about Maika. Maika Holdings was once touted as the miraculous economic vehicle to elevate the Indian poor from the shackles of poverty. Launched by MIC in 1982 as their investment arm, the original plan was to ensure that at least RM30 million worth of shares were subscribed to but so successful was the promotion campaign that by 1984, RM106 million was raised from almost 66,400 shareholders with SV being the largest shareholder with 2.8 million shares.

From then onwards, it was downhill all the way.

Read the whole post here

When one reads the sequence of events pertaining to the Maika Telekom shares fiasco, one would realise why MIC should continued to be denied from any representation and the wrongdoers in the Maika Telekom shares fiasco need to be caught, stripped naked and flogged by each of the 66,400 Maika shareholders.

Read Also

Missing Maika Money

Maika – say no to bailouts

Maika Debate

What MIC really needs to do?

Voted and Kicked Out

What a week it has been!

The day started with re-watching of PKR’s Raja Petra talk in Brickfields in my laptop whilst my dad & mom were having their breakfast. We planned to leave the house at about 9 in the morning, vote and come back to relax. My parents’ voting day went well – it did not go so for me.

There are about 3 schools in the area that I am voting and for the past 2 elections, I have been going to the same school for voting. I guess it must be so for this election. But when I handed my MyKad, the lady checking the identification told me that I came to the wrong school and pointed me to go to another school, thankfully within walking distance.

So, I went to the other school but when I reached there, I was redirected back to the earlier school. I was angry with the first lady who pointed me to the wrong school and wanted to confront her. But then, the crowd was getting bigger, so I decided against giving her a piece of my mind.

I got my number and went for voting without any further problem. I double checked on the voting slip and made sure that my cross was properly marked for the opposition party candidate. With my obligation done for the day, I walked back feeling proud to contribute one vote to the opposition.

But something caught my eyes – a lady wearing BN cap was inside the voting area talking to the people who were walking in and that too was done in front of the police and the EC staff. No action was taken on this although this is a clear violation of the EC rules. So did many people who gave her the “angry” look as they were walking in (thankfully in the end of the day, DAP won this seat).

The traffic was heavy but we managed to come back early – feeling satisfied and eager to see the outcome of the election, which was not a big surprise for those been familiar with what’s been happening in this country. Malaysians finally able to bring down the expired politician – Samy Vellu and in the process, showed the exit to Shahrizat, “anti-blogger” Zainuddin and gave 4 more states to the opposition to set things right. Get this done well and swell, the opposition should not have any problem taking over the Federal Government

By the way, the one closed eye Jasin fellow not in the running and the Jerai fellow beaten by PKR candidate, the Kinabatangan & Sri Gading fellows must be feeling lonely without their fellow clowns in Parliament up against the real MPs from the oppositions.

Thank you, Malaysians!

Toll Hike 2006: Reasons & Excuses Looks a Load of Crap!

touch n go

You saw the crap on the front pages today.

The crap is not the increase in the toll but rather the lame excuses given by the government for the increase. Samy Vellu can keep saying that the government is “sharing” the burden with the public. Samy Vellu may think that the public will agree with him on that but he is in fact rubbing salt on the wound by making such statement. When was the last time the government actually came down from the sky to share the burden of the people? Will someone refresh my memory?

RM1.20 increase for LDP (to and fro) – that’s about RM28.80 for 24 working days and RM345.60 for a whole year (assuming another toll increase is not scheduled). For RM345.60, it can easily cover 86 lunch or 5 full tank of petrol or 11 weeks of market expenses and so on – you get the drift.

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