Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Batu Caves condo controversy

 The Sri Subramaniam Temple in Batu Caves

Another political ploy? 

The recent demonstration by about 300 people against the construction of a 29 storey condominium near the iconic Sri Subramaniar Temple in Batu Caves opens up another controversy that was created and is being by capitalized by politicians with the approaching general elections.It is strange that the very people who  who approved the project in 2007 are now publically demonstrating against it being implemented by another party.

The reason given for their opposition to the high rise condominium is that it is too close to pose a danger to the temple which is the focus of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year from all over the world. They are also deeply concerned of its unfavourable effects on the surrounding environment.

While admitting that citizens have right to demonstrate against any project they feel will be harmful to the people and environment, some questions remain as to the timing and the people who are demonstrating against it. Why was there no official complaints whatsoever since the project was approved five years ago? Why is that that the very people involved in its approval are now vehemently against it? Why has the temple committee allowed it to be manipulated by members of the ruling party led by none other than the former Works Minister?

The initial reaction by representatives of the Selangor government as usual was to engage in a blame game and absolving themselves from any responsibility as the project was approved and implemented by BN in 2007. The issue is not about who is responsible but whether things were done in accordance with the laws and in good faith with the welfare of the people at heart. Obviously this issue is being politicized where both BN and PR are blaming each other for approving the project.

However the prompt intervention by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to issue a stop-work order and a review of the project by neutral experts is commendable as by delaying action things may become ugly and racially exploited by our opportunistic politicians. It was a right and timely move by Khalid to stop the escalation of the blame game.

Khalid’s decision may not be politically expedient but it is the right thing to do.Far too long we had leaders who placed political expediency above righteousness and Khalid’s action brings some reassurance to the people whose must prevail at all times. The people must always be the winner in any dispute between politicians and their parties.

The Batu Caves condo controversy reveals a gross defect in our system of administration – irresponsible local councilors who are subservient to their political masters who appointed them. It is time for our local councilors to be democratically elected by the people to truly represent their interests and not theirs or their political masters.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The 59th.MCA General Assembly


The final nail to its coffin?

MCA's 59th annual general assembly began with high spirits and hopes. Adopting the motto “MCA can deliver” and “Battle without fear”, the delegates tried their best to put up a brave front and display great confidence of victory in the coming most crucial and decisive 13GE. But to many Malaysians who are following the political developments in the country, it was nothing but a great ‘sandiwara’ to try and regain MCA’s rapidly losing support among the Chinese.

There were three excesses that we witnessed at the just concluded MCA General Assembly which goes to show how desperate and jittery the party is with the approaching 13GE which many believe could give a fatal blow to the 63 year old second largest component in the BN,resulting in its demise.These were :
1.Excessive praise for Najib to the extent of idolizing him as though he is the de facto MCA president and savior of the party in the coming crucial 13GE.
2. Excessive attacks on the Pakatan Rakyat for its alledged "failures" in the states under its rule which showed the deep- seated fear for the opposition.People on the ground,including MCA members themselves,especially in Penang and to a certain extent Selangor know the ability of the Pakatan governments in administering the states under their care.
3.Excessive anti-Hudud and anti-Islamic state rhetoric to create fear among Chinese in particular and the non-Muslims in general. The MCA president went to the extent of saying that under the Hudud laws imposed in the Islamic state set up by Pakatan, the Muslims will be permitted to rape non-Muslim women.
The attack on, Mursyidul Am, Nik Aziz Nik Mat, a righteous and highly respected man for allegedly instigating rape of non-Muslim women is not only an  blatant lie but illustrates arrogance and rudeness at the highest level.It shows nothing but a total disrespect for a simple,honest and righteous elderly man who is revered by many,Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Will the MCA fair better after the general assembly? Has it succeeded in winning back the Chinese support with its fear tactics of an Islamic state and Hudud laws? What will be the effects on Malay voters who make up the majority in nearly all the ‘safe’ constituencies contested by MCA representatives? Will their attacks on Hudud and Islam go down well with them?

To my mind the MCA came out worse than they were before. Not only the Chinese have lost the little faith they had in it to represent them in the government but it has also lost the very vital Malay support needed to remain in power within the BN. Umno, being insecure itself, may be reluctant to allow them their ‘safe’ seats to contest for fear of losing the seat.

These desperate tactics together with change of the color
of their attire at the assembly from its traditional white to blue makes this general assembly a mockery of MCA as the legitimate representative of the Chinese community. Nothing was said about how MCA is going to address the many urgent problems facing the Chinese, non-Muslims and the nation in general. Nothing was discussed about the rampant corruption that is driving the country to bankruptcy, the increasing racial and religious animosity that is threatening the peace and harmony we have toiled to build together and the open disregard for the laws and blatant abuse of power by those entrusted with it.

In fact the MCA General Assembly may have struck the final nail to its coffin as to most Malaysians, the MCA has become irrelevant, so is Gerakan, MIC and to some extent Umno. The demise of these race based parties may be a blessing in disguise as we need multi-racial parties to move forwards to survive in a globalized and highly competitive world.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Automated Enforcement System in fighting road deaths

AES - Education not instilling fear the long-term solution

The Automated Enforcement System (AES) to be implemented nationwide by the Road Transport Department (RTD) is surrounded by controversy and being resisted by the opposition and many ordinary Malaysians who feel the system is ill planned and aimed at reaping huge benefits by the companies tasked to manage it instead of really benefiting the people.

However the RTD denies these allegations and insist it is meant to reduce road accidents and deaths associated with them. The department is convinced that the electronic enforcement system could help reduce road fatalities by between 17 to 71 percent as international studies conclude. According to the RTD the system is to further increase what is called as the Perception of Being Caught (POBC) and instill fear among motorists thereby reducing the rate of accidents.

While the aim to reduce road accidents and the loss of lives associated with them is a noble one, what needs to be answered is whether the AES is the best option we have considering the cost involved in setting up and maintaining the system. While speed is a cause of fatal accidents in our, is it the main cause in our country?

Being a driver on our roads for over 30 years I am of the opinion that the most common cause of accidents in the country is recklessness resulting from indiscipline and inconsiderate attitude of drivers. Issuing summons to such drivers is not going to effectively reduce accidents significantly on the long run. It can only be corrected through proper education and guidance from young which sad to say is lacking these days.

The way the AES is being implemented rashly, without adequate study and public debate and the way the contracts were given to certain companies aligned to political parties, do not augur well for the motive behind the implementation of the AES. Are we really ready to implement the AES now? Do we have the required infrastructure in place? Are the companies operating them capable to effectively maintaining them or will all these monitoring cameras and other devices become ‘white elephants’ in a couple of years like many of our other projects?

In fact the BN government is fast losing credibility as every project it starts seems to be poorly planned,improper, non-transparent and riddled with corruption. The people are fast losing confidence in its ability to carry out projects for the benefit of the people as a whole. They tend to increasing believe the opposition as the latter seem to be more logical in their arguments and sincere in their motive at least for the moment.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fear of Christian state unfounded

How can 10% take over the power?

Recently there have been accusations that some Christian groups are planning to set up a Christian state in Malaysia. This fear is not only unfounded but most ridiculous as pointed out by none other than a senior member of PAS, Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s who is a central committee member of the party. His dismissal of the possibility of Christians setting up a Christian state as their believers consist of only 9.2% which is a tiny fraction of the country’s population is very logical and reassuring especially coming from a member of an Islamist party that was long thought to be fundamentalist.(
Why the fear for Christians who form just 9.2% of the population? Is there a real threat of a Christian state or is it being spread by irresponsible people to win votes? How can 10% of the population take over power in democratically conducted elections? These are the questions which the voters must consider before they cast their votes come the 13GE.

It is reassuring that at least our friends in PAS have the courage to speak out against this abnormal “fear” of their fellow Muslims for Christians Malaysians who just want the freedom to practice their faith in peace and harmony as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

We do not leaders who will blindly support their own people for political gains even when they are wrong. We do not want leaders who will not hesitate to instill hatred for one another as long as they can cling on power. On the other hand, we want leaders, like Mujahid who are moderate and considerate of the rights of all groups in the country - Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We need leaders who will defend the rights of all Malaysians regardless of their race or creed even at times of disputes and crisis. Unfortunately we do not see such leaders in Umno-BN today like we used to before.

It is ironical that PAS which was portrayed as the enemy of the non-Muslims before is indeed become their friend and a comrade in their struggles for justice and equality. We hope PAS continues to be a moderating partner in the political development in the country, to ensure peace and stability, as we are poised for the possible change of government.

It is time for Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and members of all other religions to put aside their differences and together get rid of all those who propagate racism and religious fanaticism in the country. Let’s together get rid of those who pit one community against another in their political game remain in power.

There is enough for everyone under the Malaysian sun. All we need is to share it out fairly among all. There is no need to fight one another.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Advice for the Sixty and above

Sixty plus and Still Going Strong.
(Translated from the original in Chinese)

There are 1000-year old trees in the mountain, but not many 100 year-old people.
At the most, you live until 100 years old (only 1 in 100,000).

If you live until 90, you only have 30 years.
If you live until 80, you only have 20 years.

Because you don’t have many years to live, and you can’t take along things when you go, you don’t have to be too thrifty.
Spend the money that should be spent, enjoy what should be enjoyed, donate what you are able to donate, but don’t leave all to your children or grandchildren, for you don’t want them to become parasites.

Don’t worry about what will happen after you are gone, because when you return to dust, you will feel nothing about praises or criticisms.

Don’t worry too much about your children for children will have their own destiny and find their own way. Don’t be your children’s slave.

Don’t expect too much from your children.. Caring children, though caring, would be too busy with their jobs and commitments to render any help.

Uncaring children may fight over your assets even when you are still alive, and wish for your early demise so they can inherit your properties.

Your children take for granted that they are rightful heirs to your wealth; but you have no claims to their money.

60-year olds like you, don’t trade in your health for wealth anymore;
Because your money may not be able to buy your health.
When to stop making money, and how much is enough (hundred thousand, million, ten million)?

Out of thousand hectares of good farm land, you can only consume three quarts (of rice) daily; out of a thousand of mansions, you only need eight square meters of space to rest at night.

So as long as you have enough food and enough money to spend, that is good enough.

So you should live happily. Every family has its own problems.
Just do not compare with others for fame and social status and see whose children are doing better, etc. but challenge others for happiness, health and longevity.
Don’t worry about things that you can’t change because it doesn’t help and it may spoil your health.

You have to create your own well-being and find your own happiness;
As long as you are in good mood, think about happy things, do happy things daily and have fun in doing, then you will pass your time happily every day.

One day passes, you will lose one day;
One day passes with happiness, and then you gain one day.

In good spirit, sickness will cure;
In happy spirit, sickness will cure fast;
In good and happy spirit; sickness will never come.

With good mood, suitable amount of exercise, always in the sun, variety of foods, reasonable amount of vitamin and mineral intake, hopefully you will live another 20 or 30 years of healthy life.

Above all learn to cherish the goodness around ……and FRIENDS……all friends make you feel young and "wanted"…without them you are surely to feel lost!!

And may I add......

Historic Parliament after historic GE14

  New Parliament symbol of hope and democracy Congratulations to all our newly elected MPs. The first session of the 14th ...