Sunday, January 21, 2018

Education Minister Threatens Teachers

Teachers and Education Ministry officers have been warned not to support the opposition, Kwong Wah reported on Friday. 

According to Malaysia’s Chinese language newspaper, Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid threatened disciplinary action against them if they insist on backing the opposition. 

Civil servants, education department officers and teachers are barred from joining any opposition party or criticizing the government. If they refused to comply, that would be tantamount to sabotaging and tarnishing the government’s image – he had added. 

The Padang Terap MP said those who were against the government should resign before the ministry asked them to do so. 

“We won’t allow any of our officers to join any opposition party or hold any party post. But it’s okay if they were to join the government”, Mahdzir asserted. WTF! 

GE14 is imminent. It’s going to be a close fight. Therefore, the profusion of threats and trickery from BN. 

The desperation builds up. The alarm shows. The fear is real. 

Malaysians, please make EVERY VOTE COUNT!

And the Minister should watch his mouth!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Tobacco Industry's Sneaky Move

The tobacco industry in Malaysia just conjured another sneaky plan to push cancer sticks to the public. 

They had the audacity to recommend that they be allowed to market smaller packs of cigarettes – known as “kiddie packs”. Professedly to reduce the volume of illegal cigarettes in the market. Ostensibly to provide a legal alternative to smuggled cigarettes. 

And British American Tobacco (M) Bhd bazenly came out with a public statement – as reported by The Edge yesterday – that the proposal was not intended to increase the number of smokers in the country and that their innocuous suggestion had been taken out of context! 

LOL! Who are they trying to kid? 











Webpage: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201710171058307931-cigarettes-daesh-terrorist-funding/

If I read this news report correctly, BAT was quoted to have said that the very sizeable presence of black-market cigarettes in Malaysia is the main factor frustrating and undermining the health agenda in Malaysia. 

Meaning, they prefer that Malaysians die because of legal cigarettes rather than illegal cigarettes. They themselves want to profit through smokers’ untimely deaths. Simply put, they are death merchants!

Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam had already announced on Thursday that the government would not support the proposal to allow “kiddie packs”. He labelled it as an excuse. 

He also said if the government agreed to the move, it would be against the National Tobacco Policy and Article 8 of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. 

BAT even had the nerve to make the smart ass claim that the cigarette black market growth has outpaced all enforcement and education efforts. 

We, of course, know that both enforcement and education have failed miserably. But that is due to corruption and stupidity respectively. 

BAT and other tobacco companies will do the country a big favor if they just leave the country. They are not welcomed here.

I was at THE POD in Sunway Putra Mall the other day. I came across these figurines in a CNY setting. And they remind me that the Lunar New Year is nearing.

Najib Razak Stars in a BBC Documentary

Prime Minister Najib Razak (right) is a star! He has appeared in the latest episode of BBC's "House of Saud: A Family at War", a documentary series on the conflicted Saudi royal family. 

"The Malaysian people are angry. They believe they have been robbed" – thus, began the hour-long episode, which aired on Tuesday and which may be viewed online in the UK on the BBC website. 

The second episode of the series traces the beginnings of the 1MDB scandal, to a deal the seventh son of the late Saudi King, Prince Turki Abdullah sealed in 2009 to receive $1 billion (RM4 billion) in investments via PetroSaudi International. 

Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor are shown in a picture with Prince Turki and Penang businessman Low Teck Jho (better known as Jho Low), on board the luxury yacht Tatoosh, where a plot was allegedly hatched to siphon money from the sovereign wealth fund. 

Sarawak Report's editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown is depicted in an interview telling the BBC that some $700 million had disappeared from the said fund. Leaked documents showed that $681 million was transferred to Najib’s personal bank account in March 2013, just before GE13, Rewcastle said. 

Prince Turki bin Abdullah allegedly received $77 million in commissions for his part in the scheme, the leaked e-mails told us, the documentary said. 

FYI, he was among 11 princes, four ministers and dozens of former ministers who were detained on November 04, 2017, according to Dubai-based Saudi channel Al Arabiya. 
















A selection of those arrested by Saudi Arabian authorities. Webpage: https://www.argaam.com/en/article/articledetail/id/513047 

The arrests came after the Kingdom on the same day, had announced the formation of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Importance of Communicating in English

Let's be honest. Graduates have only themselves to blame if they fail to get jobs. 

According to the Malaysian Employers Federation, there are many vacancies but they are not competent enough to fill them. 

MEF was responding to remarks by Pakatan Harapan’s prime ministerial candidate Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday, who lamented the fact that many graduates end up becoming drivers for ride-hailing companies such as Uber or Grab, or selling nasi lemak. 

The PH chairperson said this should be a source of embarrassment for the country. 

Mahathir said the rising number of graduates who were not doing what they were trained for was a testament to the government’s failure to create more job opportunities. 

Speaking to FMT, MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan admitted that one major graduate failing is the ability to communicate in English. 

“Most of the jobs available require knowledge of English as you need to communicate with your clients or customers, especially in marketing and sales, which are normally the kind of jobs available now”, he explained. 

“When you don’t have that requirement, it’s very difficult for the employers to do anything”. 

Shamsuddin advised graduates who were struggling to find employment to take a crash course in English communication. 

“If you don’t have money, then go on the internet. There are lessons on YouTube for free. This is my frank advice to job-seekers”.

The Parent Action Group for Education agreed with MEF that much more needs to be done to improve graduates' employability, including learning English.

The PAGE chairperson Noor Azimah Rahim said when it came to learning English  or any other language  immersion was key. She maintained that the deeper the immersion, the shorter the learning process will be.

Azimah said that in today's Internet age, there seemed to be little excuse for the large majority of Malaysians to not find avenues where they could be more exposed to an English-speaking environment  even if that environment was virtual.

We all know this, don’t we?  

More importantly, what are the graduates doing about it?

I say, be pro-active. Take the initiative. Learn English.

Tying Up Loose Ends

Prime Minister Najib Razak (right) appears intent on resolving a number of recent key scandals as his administration battles allegations of corruption and mismanagement ahead of the 14th general election. 

The two major controversies – the abrupt return of Felda plots of land which were dubiously transferred more than two years ago and the settlement of 1MDB’s final debt to Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund – have all been resolved with sudden swiftness. 

By comparison, during GE13, Najib’s administration was saddled with the glaring unresolved “cow scandal” of UMNO women’s wing chief, Shahrizat Jalil, and allegations that the prime minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, had purchased a RM24 million ring. 

Barisan Nasional retained control of Putrajaya, but lost the popular vote to the opposition coalition. 

Najib cannot afford to be complacent again.

And to avoid a repeat of GE13, he is now tying up loose ends with the scandals ahead of GE14 – which must be held by August 2018. 

And even as GE14 nears, we will hear many stories of EC shenanigans to manipulate the election. 

One case in point. Mahathir Mohamad had revealed on Sunday that there exists 900 voters with the identical name of 'Fatimah Ismail' and with the same birth date registered in polling stations nationwide. 

The names were among many other questionable information that were detected in the electoral roll he claimed to have obtained. 

Right-thinking Malaysians must vote in GE14 in order that we can save this country before it is too late! Please, please, do your duty as a citizen! 

Know that the country needs you now  EVERY VOTE REALLY COUNTS.

This evening, I attended a Berpidato Bersama Toastmasters meeting @ THE POD. Only a small group today but still, there was learning. And fellowship.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

BN's Great Expectations in Sabah

For GE14, I am not putting much faith in Sabah – insofar as Pakatan Harapan chances are concerned. 

The opposition bloc is not only up against the mighty BN but have to contend with the disparate forces which are made up of local opposition parties. And they are so many of them. Warisan, Parti Anak Sabah, Parti Cinta Sabah, Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, PKS and Gabungan Sabah (consisting of Harapan Rakyat, STAR, Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah and SAPP) and to be sure, others. 

I don’t think I am able to keep track of all of them. And this is because switching sides is a favorite pastime of politicians here. It would seem that this malaise is contagious. 

Besides the fact there are just too many frogs.

Let me identify some of these more well-known amphibians. 

We know that PKR, at one time, were swarmed with frogs. Penampang MP Darrel Leiking hopped to Warisan. So too did Terrence Siambun of Moyog. Wilfred Bumburing of Tamparuli and Lajim Ukin of Klias jumped ship to set up their own respective parties, PCS and Harapan. Assemblypersons Jeremy Malajad of Kadamaian and Jailani Hamdan of Matunggong also ditched the party and declared themselves as independents. 

DAP too have their share of frogs. Junz Wong of Likas skipped to Warisan. Edwin Bosi of Kapayan left for Parti Anak Sabah. Hiew King Chew of Luyang crossed over to BN after selling his soul to MCA. 

Thomas Anggan walked out on PBS and started PKS. 

And Jaujan Sambukong of Sulabayan showed his finger to UMNO and went over to Warisan. 

I am certain frogs will continue to play a big part in Sabah’s political landscape. One thing I know is that in this state, nothing is really permanent – only because frogs are most prolific here. Not just in PKR. Or DAP. But everywhere.

This brings to my point that the opposition in Sabah is wretchedly fractured. And therefore, hopelessly divided. 

The truth of the matter is Sabah BN are heading into GE14 on a very confident note, holding 21 of the 25 parliamentary seats and 48 of the 60 state constituencies. 

Still, I must not give up hope. I cannot be disillusioned. More importantly, I shall pray that Sabahans can get their act together. Surely, they have had enough of BN? 

Wake up, Sabahans. It is time to kick them out! Enough is enough!

Don't Let the Dog Out

Some Malaysian businesses have decided to look stupid because they want to avoid any canine depiction  as Chinese Malaysians prepare to usher in the Year of the Dog on February 16. 

Sunway Malls chief operating officer Kevin Tan, for one, told The Malaysian Insight the mall did not use any display of the dog in 2006 (the previous cycle of the dog year) – and this was because of creative considerations. 

He even said he had many choices and so, he did not necessarily have to use the image of a dog. 

A mall is a public space, different races will be gathered here, he tried explaining. "We'll avoid any decorations with contentious elements”. Meaning, don't let the dog out!

Don't give me that malarkey! Tan is so full of bull.

Already, Universiti Sains Malaysia political scientist Azmil Tayeb – an expert on Islamic politics in Southeast Asia – said, as quoted The Malaysian Insight: “It’s definitely not healthy. It’s ridiculous. The tolerance is one way. This is due to years of intimidation (from some authorities). It’s overboard”. 

Weird, kan? The Malay person can see it in this light; the Chinese person doles out horseshit. 

Azmil reiterated: “Because non-Muslims have been told so many times not to offend, they think this is the best way to be safe than sorry”. 

My advice to Tan: Don’t celebrate the Lunar New Year this year because the dog is contentious! 

Woof, woof! Tan is telling us very subtly that Malay-Muslims are reactionary, narrow-minded and intolerant. Since when have pictures of dogs become offensive? 

[Note: The Chinese zodiac assigns a different animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. And the dog comes after the rooster and before the pig in the zodiac]. 

Don’t forget that the dog (and the pig) are part of Chinese culture. 















Pic courtesy of Pos Malaysia, January 16, 2018 










Image credit: http://newsdata2.bernama.com/bernama/newspic/ge/SETEM%20HAIWAN.jpg 

And yet, Pos Malaysia today issued the first stamp series of 2018 themed "Working Dogs". 

Their Stamp and Philately Unit commercial postal and courier head, Diyana Lean Abdullah said the stamps feature three types of well-known working dogs, namely detector dogs, protection dogs and guide dogs. 

"This collection highlights the importance of working dogs trained to perform specific tasks to assist humans, for example, in crime prevention, detection of concealed substances or objects and to assist visually impaired individuals", she said on Tuesday. 

Dogs are being pictorially depicted. On Malaysian stamps. What irony! 

What say you, Tan? I suggest you stop making us Chinese feel insecure and looking like fools!