Thursday, November 22, 2007

Please mind your manners

Today I got a rude reminder of how uncivic-conscious Malaysians are. Coming back from the office on the LRT, I spied a seat and made a beeline for it, only to discover that some person (maybe a kid?) had left an empty paper cup that had contained pink syrup water which subsequently dribbled all over the seat. No one had bothered to pick up the cup and wipe the seat so now no one could sit there. Better yet, on the opposite row of seats, was wet with droplets of water. Who's betting that it was done by the same person?

We can aspire to have the best facilities and all, but if we still have a 'kampung' mentality, it will all be for nothing.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Malaysian 1 sen coin to be phased out


The Malaysian government announced yesterday that by 01 April 2008, the ubiquitous 1 sen coin would no longer be legal tender. This effectively means that the consumer has about five months to get rid of whatever 1 sen coins they have lying around in their pockets, purses, cars and houses before it becomes a worthless copper coin. The Bank Negara says it will save RM18 million yearly on production of 1 sen coins with the implementation next year.

However, consumers are informed that ALL payment totals will be either rounded up or rounded down depending on the final total. I wonder whether the consumer will benefit from this move or will businesses stand to gain more? In the long run, I think businesses will stand to gain in the long run as I'm sure that prices of a lot of goods will be 'restructured' soon to take advantage of this situation. It's just another excuse for the prices of goods and services to go up again. Bah.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's coming, you know it

I blogged about it briefly on my other blog, It's all about the spin..., but here are my thoughts in full.

Was reading the news today when I spied this article that said prices of crude oil had made a sudden jump to a new high of nearly USD94 on reports that Mexico had suspended a fifth of its production. Wasn't it just last year that oil prices made a sudden jump to the USD60s range that prompted the last round of fuel hike? (You may correct me if I'm wrong.)

Back then, I could fill up my little Kelisa tank with premium V-Power fuel and a full tank only cost me about RM42. I love my car, so I give it the best la. Then with the fuel increase, I switched down to regular fuel and now a semi-full tank already costs me RM40 plus. If I were to really fill it up, I'm sure it would easily be over RM50. And that's for a small Kelisa. I shudder to think of my Dad's Waja, which right now drinks about RM90 plus of fuel every four days or so (he travels a fair bit). Luckily, his company pays for the fuel.

I don't want to think about next year when the promise of the government to NOT increase the prices of fuel expires. With crazy oil prices like this, by next year I could well be spending RM80 just to fill up one semi-full tank of petrol for my car. That is just madness, I'm telling you. Somehow or other, I get the feeling of impending doom that one day, humans will just use up everything that's viable on Earth and then we'll all go extinct.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A space-y issue

So our very first Malaysian astronaut went up into space and came back down to earth safely. Should we break out the bottles of champagne? I dunno. With all that talk about sending the second fella up now, it's not very good news for me and my taxpayer ringgits.

The news today said that the
second Malaysian astronaut could probably take off in the year 2010 - 2011 as the Russian space agency had offered. But I agree with the statement by Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad that a second bid *may* eat into funds. In my opinion, it's highly likely that that will happen.

So gee, I'm paying to send a man into space. How exciting. Not!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

'Because he's already trained'

Forgive me if I sound unpatriotic Mr. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, but why should I stand a few inches taller just because one man (albeit a Malaysian) has blasted off into space? I am but a normal Malaysian on the street and while I think it's great we launched a man into space... it wasn't our technology. It wasn't our training, we had to send him to learn from others. It isn't our space shuttle. Borrowed one nia. It isn't our space mission. Just kinda like hitching a ride.

And... once was alright la, in my opinion. Now you want to send the next fella just because he's 'trained'? Not disrespecting that second fella and his dreams, but if I were to train an orangutan, you'd also send it just because it already received training, izzit?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Drive, baby, drive

I don't understand Malaysian drivers. They just don't seem to be able to drive properly.

They are slow to react and move their cars when the traffic light turns green.
They think that amber light means speed up and red light means go!
They honk and flash you because you didn't shoot the red light like they would.
They agressively speed up when you signal that you are changing lanes.
They honk and flash you when they think you are driving too slowly.
They honk at you when you (rightly) don't let them muscle their way into the lane.
They agressively tailgate you even in the midst of a traffic jam.
They steal the parking space that you have been waiting for; with your indicator on.
They take their own sweet time getting out of parking spaces.
They park indiscriminately.
They double and even triple park when it suits them.
They harass you to evacuate your parking lot / petrol pump / move out of the junction / roundabout.
They think that the highways are racetracks.
They pimp up their cars until they are unrecognizable.
They love
big-@$$, low-riding exhaust pipes that make it impossible for them to go over roadhumps without slowing to a near complete halt.
They love to tint their car windows black until you cannot see the inside of the car.
They show you the universal finger when it suits them.

Then we have the motorcyclists.

They weave in and out of traffic like wannabe MotoGP participants.
They think they have right of way; all the time.
They shoot red lights frequently or they congregate in the front so that the cars can't move.
They refuse to travel on the motorcycle lanes provided when there is one.
They like to ride in the center of the road at a slower pace than other vehicles.
They seldom use their signal indicators.
They ride in packs known as Mat Rempit to intimidate other motorists.
They'll harass anyone found guilty of accidentally knocking down a fellow motorcyclist.
They are prone to yelling at you when they find they have less space to ride the bike.
They sometimes hit your car or side mirrors to make a point that they are passing by.
They show you the universal finger when it suits them.

Welcome to Malaysian roads.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pointing the blame finger

A lot has been said about the events surrounding the tragically brutal and gruesome ending suffered by 8 year old Nurin Jazlin.

Barely has little Nurin been buried a few days when we have uncaring people saying that they should be
hauled in for neglience and punished under the Child Act 2001. I agree with lynnee's take here that the parents shouldn't be blamed. Haven't they gone through enough suffering already knowing that their little girl is dead (in the most brutal manner) and that nothing they can say or do will bring her back? Why punish them further? They have their own guilt to bear for having let her out of their sight. It's easy to say that they shouldn't have let her go to the pasar malam on her own. It's easy to blame the parents (especially the mother) for not keeping an eye on her children. And what about the sister who was supposed to have followed Nurin to keep her company? Do we blame her for not going along when she could have potentially saved her sister or ended up as the killer's second victim?

But most importantly, why are we so hung up on hanging out the parents to dry when we should be redoubling efforts in the search for the killer?

There Nurin Jazlin's parents would do anything to have her come back to them, and here we hear of a
woman caging up her own seven year old daughter in a cage outside her house or locking her outside the gate for hours.

What has Malaysia come to?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Reward me, I'm patriotic

Help us catch the culprit who burned the national flag, and you will be richer and holier. That seems to the message I'm getting from the Terengganu State UMNO Youth. They're offering a RM5,000 reward and a trip to perform the umrah (pilgrimage to Mecca) to the person who can provide information leading to the arrest of the person caught on film burning the national flag during the riot at Batu Burok on Saturday night.

If we were truly patriotic about this country of ours that we live in, we wouldn't need these rewards to catch culprits because none of these incidents would happen. Naive thinking? Yes. But better than burning flags.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Burning up our nation?

I never thought we would experience this in Malaysia. This incident somehow reminds me of Ku Klux Klan and Martin Luther King type of happenings. What is it? Flag burning.

Apparently some Jalur Gemilang (national flags) and UMNO (ruling party) flags were burnt on Sunday night at a political gathering. Somehow, just hearing this news makes me feel unsafe. What will happen next? Riots? Oh wait. There were protests and mini-riots at the same political gathering when a fracas broke out between the police and those who had gathered there, leading to shots being fired and people injured.

Did I mention that I don't feel safe anymore?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Makin' musical HIStory?

Time now for a bit of feel-good, Malaysia Boleh news.

The Star online reported here that a six-year-old musical prodigy was recognized last night by the Malaysia Book of Records as being the youngest composer ever in Malaysia. Already a published musician at age six, Julian Chan's book of music titled Original has 10 of his compositions since 2005.

I can't remember what I was doing at age six. Still playing masak-masak and reading books, I guess.

Now we have a musical prodigy, a golf prodigy and who knows what other talented kid will pop up next? Truly, Malaysia Boleh!