Monday, August 31, 2009

Is This The Malaysia You Want?

Hantu Laut

First it was demolition of Hindu temples by the Selangor BN government to necessitate development. Then there was Hindraf and the oppositions using religious sentiments and massive demonstration to rattle the BN government that almost turn ugly.

They cajoled the people and promised to stop demolishing Hindu temples if they come to power. The Selangor people voted them in.

Now they are in power they never kept that promise, they improvised, they plugged one hole but opened up another hole.

What is happenning to this beloved nation?

Before, mosques, churches and temples stood next to each other, we had no problem, we see it as just other beliefs of our fellow Malaysians, our brothers and sisters. Have we reached the nadir of religious and racial intolerance, we are prepared to destroy this peaceful nation so that some can satisfy their political agenda?

Is this the Malaysia that you want?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yes, Bring Back Tun Mahathir

Hantu Laut

Bring back Mahathir ? Did you hear it right? Yes, you did, I say bring back Mahathir.

By now Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should have realised he is surrounded by a bunch of self-preserving and half-cock incompetents. UMNO and BN are on the death throes if Najib doesn't make drastic changes to his trustees in

UMNO and his ministers in the cabinet. He is going to send this half a century old political institution to political oblivion if he doesn't act now to show his boys that he meant business and will take no nonsense approach to his reforms.He needs to change the mindset of the leaders in UMNO and change those who refuses to change or else expect to be changed at the next general elections.

Time and tide wait for no man, do it now, or face a humiliating defeat at the next polls.The powers that be would soon be the power that has been.

The negative public perception makes it difficult for BN to improve its image unless substantial and significant changes are made to the whole BN machinery. Corruptions, high on the list of public grievances have not been dealt with satisfactorily to change public perception.

The MACC, an old wine in new bottle, created under the Abdullah's regime has taken on even worse dose of infamy than its predecessor the ACA. With more power given to them to investigate and prosecute the MACC is like a runaway train. In the court of public opinion it is now seen as a monster and hatchet man for the powers that be. Even if that isn't true, public opinion is firmly galvanised by the mysterious death of Teoh Beng Hock, purportedly under its custody. If the Teoh's inquest can't find the true cause of death than bad politics will continue and public perception of the MACC unchanged.

Public perception is not necessary inaccurate or based on something other than the truth. It is something that can be changed if there is consensus for change.
The BN and UMNO in particular need to rejuvenate, need new blood and new ideas. Providing mere lip service without making serious effort to take corrective action is suicidal.BN has lost 5 out of 6 by-elections and if this does not ring the alarm bell than the BN and UMNO might as well close shop now.

Public perception, right or wrong, is the building or stumbling block for any businesses, for any government, politicians and anyone running for public office.

It is now almost a year and a half since the last general elections and what have the BN shown in term of regaining it previous glory.Are the leaders still living in the past?.Obviously so and worse.
They have not shown any noteworthy improvement.It is still dog eats dog affair.The Permatang Pasir fiasco is glaring example of promoting member of your clique rather than someone who is more qualified to contest the election, where party interest rather than individual interest should have come first.

A disbarred lawyer, no matter how innocent he claimed he was, should not have been considered as candidate for political office, not that UMNO can win the seat if other untarnished candidate was selected, because morally it's just a bad reflection on the party and its leadership.

It is also obvious that the Prime Minister has started some reforms and made changes in some sensitive areas which might not have gone down well with some leaders in UMNO and BN. Some of the changes might have transgressed the comfort zone of some of these leaders who wanted the status quo to remain for their own benefits and are willing to throw a spanner in the works.

It took Mahathir 22 years to build Malaysia into a fairly respectable economic power house and the envy of less fortunate countries. It took Abdullah Badawi less than 6 years to destroy the political dominance that was built by the Tungku, Razak, Hussein and Mahathir.It may take Najib less than 5 years to send UMNO and the BN into political oblivion if he doesn't act now and get rid of the self-preserving old turkeys in his party.

Maybe, it's time for him to seriously consider bringing back Mahathir as minister mentor and make his position the third most senior minister after the PM and DPM. Mahathir wealth of experience, shrewdness,assertiveness and politically savvy would be a tremendous boost to the revival of UMNO and BN.

Mahathir is still highly respected by majority of Malaysians and is popular with the youth of all races because they see him as a patriarch and a man of steel. His blog is testimonial of his popularity. No other political blog including those of Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and even the Prime Minister have become such a celebrity.He has over 22 million hits since he first started in May 2008.It could be the single individual blog with the biggest hits in this region if not in the whole of Asia.As I do not have any statistic I wouldn't want to speculate that he is the biggest in Asia as far as number of hits are concerned.

Undoubtedly, the return of Mahathir wouldn't be well received by the oppositions.They had a taste of Mahatirism when he was in power.

A kingfisher bird at Sukau, Kinabatangan.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Permatang Pasir:Plus Or Minus For PAS?

Hantu Laut

It will be a test for both PAS and UMNO as to who would grab the Permatang Pasir state seat tomorrow.PAS has the edge and is the favourite to win. UMNO is banking on the repeat of the neck to neck race at Manik Urai where PAS won by the skin of its teeth.

If PAS loses than it would be the beginning of the end of Pakatan Rakyat. No matter how much Pakatan boasting of taking over the Federal government in the next general elections losing this by-election or if the margin become uncomfortably close it will be the start of downhill slide from now on.

UMNO's candidate Rohaizat Othman shady dealings in the past had become a hot issue with the oppositions.PAS exploitation of Rohaizat's shady past may not carry much weight with the voters.Most have already made up their minds whom to vote for.

Most strange is the reaction of Rohaizat's ex-partner Yushri Ishak who denied that he was the one that ran away with the money as alleged by Rohaizat.He did not show any anger or threaten legal action to clear his name. His denial was feeble and didn't reflect the gravity of the accusation against him and the reaction that expected of an innocent man who was wrongly accused.Instead, he says he is a good friend of Rohaizat, supports him as a candidate and would even vote for him.

Wouldn't you be angry, if your friend accused you of being a thief ?

All he had to say that he was being used to demonise his good friend.

At the behest of PAS?

Will it be plus or minus for PAS this time?

Read latest on Bernie Madoff:

My story, by the mistress of Bernard Madoff

Sheryl Weinstein gave her life savings and her love to disgraced financier without realising he was world’s biggest swindler.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Read This Before Burning.

Hantu Laut

Writing for the sake of writing?

A newsportal that's not sure whether it should provide deserving news to the public or just churn out any kind of crap to fill the pages.

First there was :

With battle lines drawn, Rohaizat’s disbarment not a big deal

In less than a day it became:

Permatang Pasir could be quicksand for Umno

and the IRONY is,


READ this one below:

"While Rohaizat Othman’s disbarment has dominated the headlines, it is the economy and party colours which are the main deciding factors in this Malay majority seat.

Malay voters here seemed unmoved by the scandal weighing on the BN candidate.

The incessant attacks from the PAS/Pakatan Rakyat (PR) campaign on Rohaizat’s tainted candidacy may, however, have won back key Chinese voters who had grown suspicious of the Islamist party".

Than READ this one:

"Umno’s dream of capitalising on its resurgence in Manek Urai’s narrow loss could end up a nightmare in Permatang Pasir, where its campaign is sinking in the quicksand of its choice in scandal-hit candidate Rohaizat Othman.

It is understood that local Umno members “intend to voice their anger over the choice of candidate made by the Penang Umno leadership” by voting for PAS after a more favoured and popular choice, Permatang Pauh Umno youth chief Zaidi Mohd Said was bypassed by the party’s top leadership".

Some people just can't make up their mind or they wannabe:

William Randolph Hearst

Breaking News:

Lunas rep quits as PKR member.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

UMNO Scrapped Bottom Of The Barrel and Bearding The Lion In Its Own Den

Hantu Laut

Dirty politics are becoming the rules rather than the exception. There are no rules of engagement for both sides.It's open season.Both sides made no apology for the litany of lies and half-truths.

Malaysian politics have gone wild and woolly and getting duplicitous, slanderous and way down dirty.

UMNO must have scrapped the bottom of the barrel and have tied an albatross around its necks for choosing someone tainted to a fault.Not only was he disbarred as a lawyer (officially confirmed by the Bar Council) his appeal to the High Court was also thrown out.Next, he says it was his partner who absconded with the money which his partner has came out and publicly denied that he was the culprit.Rohaizat had not responded to his ex-partner's strong denial.

Did his partner threaten to sue him for defamation? No mate ! Instead, he says he would vote for his former mate. That's the kind of comradeship that exists in UMNO that you don't find in Pakatan Rakyat.A true flocking of the birds.

I am a BN supporter yet I find it difficult to swallow such avoidable mistake and pathetic reasoning given by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in defending his choice of candidate.Can you blame the oppositions for having a field day trying to tear Rohaizat Othman's character to pieces? Not a shred of evidence has been put forth by UMNO to counter the allegation of misconduct.

I do believe a man must not be condemned for life and should be given a second chance and Rohaizat should be accorded the same.Unfortunately, in politics things don't work that way.Digging into opponent's past, dishing the dirt against opponent and outright falsehood, can in the political survival game, be the rules rather than the exception. That's why a clean slate is essential prerequisite for candidates who run for public office.

Rohizat's misdemeanour is on record and is indefensible in trying to paint a picture of innocence.Saying, he is victim of circumstances is beating the proverbial dead horse.Saying, he should be given a second chance is a better alternative and may even call the dogs off.

Sometimes, those who have made serious mistakes in life, traumatised and are filled with remorse, came out a better person than those who haven't gone through the trails and tribulations of life.

For UMNO to maintain that PAS or Pakatan Rakyat were all out to assassinate their victimised candidate leaves a bad taste in the mouth.It is the lack of perspicacity on the part of the Deputy Prime Minister and those responsible for selecting the candidate that gave the oppositions the ammunition to shoot down the undesirable character of the candidate.

Now Muhyiddin is caught between the rock and a hard place and bearding the lion in its own den.

The lion's den is in Anwar Ibrahim's stronghold.

In politics anything can happen.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Who Should Get Swine Flu Shots First?

By BRYAN WALSH Friday, Aug. 21, 2009

Influenza vaccinations are usually an afterthought for most people. Despite the easy availability of the shots, fewer than 40% of Americans get them in any one year — never mind that flu kills some 36,000 of us annually. But this flu season is likely to be different. Thanks to the new H1N1/09 virus, to which almost none of us are immune, flu anxiety is high — and demand for the new vaccine should be too. Washington is now gearing up to respond, hoping to inoculate millions of Americans and blunt the severity of the first pandemic in four decades.

The problem is, there won't be enough vaccine to inoculate all 300 million of us right away, and that means health officials have to prioritize. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the groups that should get the very first doses, and the list did not contain many surprises: pregnant women, children between 6 months and 4 years of age, anyone in a household who has contact with kids younger than 6 months old, health-care workers who have direct patient contact and all kids ages 5 to 18 who have underlying medical problems. "[Prioritization] is a very important step for planning vaccinations in the fall," says Anne Schuchat, director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The elderly, who usually get first dibs on seasonal flu shots, are conspicuously missing from this list because they have so far been much more resistant to the H1N1/09 strain than young children.
(See pictures of thermal scanners searching for swine flu.)

On its face, this plan makes sense, especially since it conforms to the usual epidemiological practice of protecting the most vulnerable first. But a new study in the Aug. 20 issue of Science suggests that in this case, the usual practice might not be the best. Rather than inoculating the people likeliest to die from H1N1/09, we may want instead to inoculate the people likeliest to spread it. After all, even the most at-risk among us can't get sick with a virus we never come in contact with. "If you can stop transmission, you can protect the people who are vulnerable," says Jan Medlock, a mathematician at Clemson University and one of the authors of the Science paper.

Medlock and co-author Alison Galvani of Yale University School of Medicine studied mortality data and data of infectious contacts from the influenza pandemics of 1918 and 1957. They then built a mathematical model to determine the best distribution by age for vaccinations, in order to contain the spread of a theoretical pandemic. In their calculations, the most effective policy was to aim first for inoculating children ages 5 to 19 and adults ages 30 to 39. That's because school-age children are such a powerful nexus of flu infection: they get sick, infect one another in the close and less-than-hygienic hothouse of school and then bring the virus back home to their parents. The parents, in turn, can then infect others in the community. Knock these links out of the transmission chain, and the spread of the virus slows down considerably — an assertion backed up by studies from Japan, where vaccinations of young children against regular seasonal flu reduced infections and deaths among the most vulnerable elderly. "There's really a disproportionate amount of transmission going in schools," says Medlock.
(See pictures of soccer in the time of swine flu.)

The new strategy is a variation on what's called herd immunity — the idea that even if you can't vaccinate an entire population, you can achieve nearly complete disease control by vaccinating at least the overwhelming portion of it. That's because every inoculated person serves as a sort of firebreak against the virus; surround the disease with enough people who are immune to its spread, and it simply winks out, never reaching the few people who still aren't immune. The Science study offers a chance to get a kind of herd immunity on the cheap by inoculating the super-spreaders first. "As long as there are more than 40 million doses of vaccine, this looks like the best way to go," says Medlock.

The CDC's vaccine recommendations track with the Science study more than they seem to, since the government does recognize that the elderly are less vulnerable to H1N1/09 than they are to regular flu and that super spreader school children are more vulnerable. Vaccinating the kids, as well as people in their parents' age group, could go a long way toward protecting all of us.

Source:Times Magazine

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Deadly Is Swine Flu?


By Katharine Herrup


It seems like everyone is freaking out about the upcoming flu season and the havoc H1N1 might wreak in America. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius says she’s “preparing for the worst.” Experts are worried vaccines won’t be ready in time. Schools are contemplating quarantine situations. And the media is very concerned, judging by all the “Swine Flu – How Will It Affect Your Weekend?” stories each week.

But how worried should we really be? The facts can sound a little staggering: swine flu first hit the scene in late April, and by June 11, the World Health Organization declared swine flu a pandemic. The last flu pandemic declared was in 1967, 42 years ago—the Hong Kong flu, which killed about 700,000 people worldwide. So far, this swine flu is responsible for 1,462 deaths globally. Already, hundreds of thousands of people have contracted swine flu—so many that the WHO has stopped counting. In America, 447 people have died.

A little perspective shows that H1N1 isn’t as scary as it sounds. Pandemic, with all its seemingly lethal connotations, simply means geographically widespread. The common cold, for instance, can always be classified as a pandemic.

So far, the deadliness of swine flu pales in comparison to heart disease, cancer, and other flu pandemics like the Spanish flu of 1918, which wiped out 50 million people worldwide and the Asian flu of 1957-58, which killed about 2 million people. Furthermore, the swine flu appears to be behaving like a regular seasonal flu, with mild symptoms and many full recoveries.

That’s not to say that the seasonal flu is harmless. It’s the eighth-leading killer in America, with approximately 1 out of 5,000 dying from it. But deaths from the flu mostly occur because of complications like pneumonia or underlying chronic diseases like diabetes. Of the 56,326 people that died from the flu in America in 2006, only 849 of those deaths were caused directly by the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so if you're young and healthy—or even older and healthy—you're in good shape.

Heart disease, on the other hand, kills about 1 out of 50 people per year in America, which accounts for 26 percent of deaths in America annually. Cancer constitutes about 23 percent of America’s yearly death toll, killing 559,888 people in 2006. The flu accounts for a measly 2.3 percent of deaths. Its death toll is just slightly higher than the number of people killed in auto accidents per year (43,664). Diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, accidents, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, hospital infections, even lung cancer are all more deadly than the swine flu (so far) and the seasonal flu. (Of course, you are more likely to die of H1N1 than being one of the roughly 37,286 per year that die of poisoning and other noxious substances or being one of the 38 randomly hit by lightning.) With what little data we have—remember, swine flu only hit the U.S. about five months ago—it’s a safe bet that you probably won’t die from swine flu.

But the odds are much better that you’ll be sick with it: experts predict as many as 122,883,484 if 40 percent of the population does become infected with H1N1, more than 122 million people might contract swine flu. “What makes flu so bad is that it infects so many people,” says Dr. Martin Blaser, chairman of the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, be it swine, bird, or regular sick-kid-on-the-schoolbus flu.

H1N1 is spreading more quickly than the seasonal flu, in part because most people haven't built up an immunity to this new strain of virus. The flu’s also targeting a much younger, healthier age group. Typically, the large majority of people killed by the flu are those 65 years and older. However, the swine flu has been more prevalent among pregnant women and young adults. Currently, 6 percent of swine-flu deaths worldwide have occurred in healthy, pregnant women, compared with less than 1 percent very rare occurrences with regular flu deaths. Even though mortality will stay low, “the social impacts of the deaths will be greater because it produces death among younger people,” says Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, the Pan American Health Organization’s regional adviser in immunization and vaccines.

In Argentina, 20 to 25 percent of the population has been attacked by the flu over a three-week period. That could easily occur in the United States, where pandemics typically attack between 25 percent and 40 percent of the population. “If we get slammed with this massive burden of flu in a short period of time, even if the mortality rate is .01 percent, you’ll feel more mortality,” says Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. “You’ll have such overwhelmed medical systems that you will have people who will die because the systems are overwhelmed.” (Luckily, the fact that swine flu hit in the off-season gave America time to prepare.)

We can’t know, with 100 percent certainty, how the flu will act once flu season kicks off this fall. “Swine flu is not deadly right now, but we don’t know what it will become,” says Stephen Morse, epidemiology professor at Columbia University’s School of Public Health. “Most believe that this is likely to come back during flu season and be more severe.” But for now, the statistics offer some safety.

And while it’s always good sense to wash your hands and not cough on strangers, there’s no need to break out the protective masks and quarantine kit quite yet. Instead, hit the gym, eat some fiber, and wear your seat belt.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Invisible Enemy Within Our Midst

Hantu Laut

When I wrote 'H1N1: Something Gone Terribly Wrong' on 13 Aug there were 44 deaths.Today, the deaths stand at 67. In just a week 23 more people have died from the disease.Those are just the reported cases, there could be some unreported or wrongly diagnosed cases.

The government apathy towards the greater danger that this disease could manifest into new strain endangering the lives of greater number of Malaysians is unbelievable.The Health Minister's statement that the government would only consider calling an emergency if there are new waves of infection and when the mortality rate rises above 0.4 percent is certainly not taking a holistic approach to the problem.

The government may be looking at the wrong numbers.Where they got the 0.4 percent as the threshold before drastic action could be taken to curtail public activities and closing down of public places is a puzzle.The reality is Malaysians are dropping dead faster than most countries that got the pandemic.This is due to government inaction and the people apathetic view of the insidious danger of this invisible and voracious serial killer.

The government need not shut down every public places, only those considered non-essential should be asked to shut down or reduce their operating hours as suggested in my earlier article here.

Malaysians may have to sacrifice their personal liberty and lifestyle for a short while if they do not want to become the next victim of this invisible enemy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Anything That Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong

Hantu Laut

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.That's the adage known as Murphy's law.

There are probably thousands of candidates UMNO can choose from to be their man for Permatang Pasir and what did they do? Screw up big time? Not according to 'MARAHKU' blog here.

The oppositions is having a field day trying to use the disbarment of Rohaizat Othman as moral impediment for him standing as candidate.

Of course, the biggest noise came from none other than DAP hatchet man, the irascible old coot Mr Lim Kit Siang who claimed himself to be impeccably clean and of high moral standing.

Why choose someone with stain on his shirt? Can't they separate the wheat from the chaff? Maybe, the DPM should give an explanation.

UMNO defended Rohaizat's innocence here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pakatan's Circus Back In Town

Hantu laut

The circus is back in town.Malaysians will be really awestruck with the amazing feats of the Chinese, Indian and Malay minstrel show, a truly multi-racial and multi-faceted talents of Chinese Kung-Fu, Indian pantomime and the ultimate Malay
wayang kulit.

The Pakatan circus is here to entertain you, so tighten your belt, the first show has just started here.There will be many more.

See the guy on the ground he is part of the act.

Padang Serai parliamentarian N Gobalakrishnan is handcuffed and sitting on the ground after scuffling with police during nomination for the Permatang Pasir by-election this morning. – Picture by Jack Ooi.

He defied police order to go behind the barricade and repeatedly ignored the police's calls to move. He retaliated with physical force when the police tried to force him behind the barricade.

Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan was arrested following a scuffle with police officers in Bukit Mertajam.

All these
wayang kulit have been prepared for this occasion to make the police look bad, to make the government look bad and ultimately to make Najib look bad, and the target audience? Malaysians who are easily fooled by this bunch of desperate and shameless politicians with their equally shameless antics.They are no different from the guitar smashing maniacal pop stars.

These political desperadoes are suffering from serious bouts of ADS (Attention Deficit Syndrome) every time there is a by-election. They do all kind of things to attract attention including self-inflicted injury to prove to the people that the police is brutal and acted under the instruction of the Prime Minister. Most stupid Malaysians would believe them.

Listen to this idiot who blasted the police and said the aggression shown by the police was unwarranted.

PKR youth chief Syamsul Iskandar said “What did he (Gobalakrishnan) do? I asked the police what he is being arrested for and none answered. Shameful,” he said.

PKR information chief Latheefa Koya said the party will prepare a team of lawyers to try and resolve the matter.

What did he do? Are you idiotic? You were reportedly present at the scene. Who are you trying to fool? Didn't he ignore and disobey police order. Even worse he tried to assault the police officer and you expect the police to keep still and just let him off the hook.

By now I hope Malaysians can see through their dirty tactics and show them we are fed up with their 'sandiwara' by denying Permatang Pasir to them.

The police should arrest him, charge him for defying police order, for assaulting police officers and resisting arrest.Throw him in the slammer. This so-called kuching kurap leader is showing bad example to our younger generation by openly showing disrespect for law and order.

The government should stop being amiable to them.Just enforce the law and be done with it.Forget about what foreigners think, to hell with them.This is no more time to be on the defensive, to be the good guy and let them do as they wish.

'Tayangan Hebat' Tamil di Permatang Pasir. Starring: N.Gobalakrishnan, PKR MP for Padang Serai.

They have attacked enough.Now it's time to attack them back.

Laughter is the best medicine, if you are stressful, so they say.With this one you can laugh your heart out because Pakatan's leaders' head had become so swollen with power they can actually pass their own law.

<span class=

Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim is the law unto himself. He can pass the law without going to the state assembly or federal parliament.We all know only dictators can pass their own laws.Well, maybe, he is not a dictator, just a political upstart.

Read what YB Ronnie Liu's political aide Wong Chuan How says below.

“I was not hiding or running away. After the Teoh Boon Hock incident, the Menteri Besar’s office issued a circular stating that no Selangor State government employees should talk to MACC officers after office hours or when away from their office. We are also required to have a lawyer present during the meeting with MACC officers,” (Wong) added.(Courtesy Rocky's Bru's blog)

That sums up what Pakatan government would be like if you vote them in in the next general elections.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just What Is A Traitor ?

Hantu Laut,

Been away for two days up in the mountains doing some photography and a bit of soul searching.The cool mountain air was invigorating but as soon as it dropped below 10 C it was a miserable spine chilling experience.It reminds you of the awesome power of mother nature.

From the subliminal to the ludicrous, if one can decipher what message the writer is trying to convey.

Spinning the ball but his inexperience hand shows his lack of expertise in the game of chance.The banker's choice of mediocre spinner.

Just who is a traitor? A game of roulette that Malaysian Insider spins it all here.

'Is Anwar a traitor?' and put forth an argument why Anwar is not a traitor to the Malays and why he should not be called a traitor seems more appropriate.

Just what is a traitor?

The online Cambridge dictionary says 'a person who is not loyal or stops being loyal to their own country, social class, beliefs, etc: the online Oxford dictionary says in short and simpler form ' a person who betrays their country, a cause, etc.'

Is Anwar a traitor to his race? Was Muhyiddin wrong?

If going by the English inventory of words, a dictionary or a lexicon, if you like, than Muhyiddin may not be far off the mark. You can be a traitor to your country, your race, your religion, your family, your friend or to the cause of a group of people.The list doesn't stop there.

I don't think Anwar is a traitor to his country but that is not what he is accused of. There are Malays who feel betrayed by him and making their feeling known is not against the law.Lim Kit Siang of DAP have, in the past, accused the MCA of betraying the Chinese.

In times of war if you give away your country secrets to the enemy than you would have become a traitor and have committed the gravest of all crimes, treason, which is punishable by death.

Why is Anwar riding on the tides of non-Malay support and not using the Malay's constellation in furtherance of his political career? Is he a traitor to the Malays or to UMNO's political cause?

Do majority of Malays feel betrayed and not giving him their support?

We may have to wait until the next general elections to find the answer.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Inadequate Journalistic Aptitude:A Lesson To Be Learnt

Hantu Laut

You probably have read the story about Utusan reporter Mohd Nizam Mohd Yatin who told the court that he thought the phrase 'ultra vires' means 'to insult'.He was under the impression that Karpal Singh used the word to insult the Sultan of Perak.He appeared in court as prosecution's witness in Karpal's sedition case.

Karpal's defence lawyer Jagdeep Singh may be expecting too much to expect that Mohd Nizam, a Malay reporter, should understand the meaning of this legal jargon derived from Latin.The term is mainly used in legal works.Ultra vires literally mean 'beyond the powers' which in simpler form would mean 'doing something beyond your legal power or authority' which is the opposite of 'intra vires' which means 'within the powers' which is not as much in use as ultra vires, which can be found in most dictionaries.

I do not know the educational background of Mohd Nizam but to be fair to him it is not his educational background that is at fault here because he is not alone, many English educated persons are just as clueless as he is about the meaning of the word.This is what Mark MacCormak says in his book 'What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School'.You only learn about it after you left school, college or university, whichever the case may be.

Was Mohd Nizam wrong for not knowing the meaning of the word? Yes and no.There is a thing called common sense.You are a reporter and confronted with a word which is Greek to you, what would you do? Naturally, unless you are lazy, which may be the case here, you would want to find out the meaning before you submit your report to your boss.I believe all reporters have access to the Internet and it would have saved Nizam the embarrassment if he had been a bit more diligent, a click of his mouse would take him only a few seconds to get the meaning of the word.

Nizam was not wrong for not knowing it before he came across the word but what was wrong was him groping in the dark, for his presumption of the meaning and for his lack of curiosity after he came across the word in the course of his work.Curiosity does not kill the cat here.As Mahatma Ghandi had said "Indolence is a delightful but distressing state; we must be doing something to be happy"

I would not like to question the standard of journalism in this country but there have been many cases where journalists made boo-boos of what they wrote because they are just too lazy to learn about the subject and the jargon associated with it.

A while ago I read an article in a local newspaper where it was reported that a state-linked companies made over RM400 million in profit exporting rubber and rubber products.I know the company personally and know for sure they couldn't have made that much profit. I have seen it happened many times and in different newspaper where reporters mistook 'turnover' or 'gross sales' as profit.Whether it is the reporter to be blamed or the editor who sent the wrong reporter to cover the story, never edit the content, or the editor himself is ignorant.

If you are a business reporter you are expected to know the jargon associated with the industry, otherwise, you would be just like a parrot that repeats what it hears and not know what it means.Just like, I came across many years ago 'amortization of assets' which a reporter thought as enhancing the assets value when it actually mean reducing the assets value through depreciation. You can either amortise your assets or your debts.There are other forms of amortizations which I will not go into details.

To be honest when I first started using the Internet, I didn't know the difference between an Internet and Intranet, I thought they were one and the same.Curiosity and the need to know helped me to find out that they are not the same.Intranet is a private computer network used by employees within an organisation or companies.

The search for knowledge is like the receding horizon, it's infinite, you never reached your destination.

One can write a text book on ineptitude of reporters and bad journalism if one wishes to but that should be left for another day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

H1N1; Something Gone Terribly Wrong

Hantu Laut

Something has gone terribly wrong with the spreading of the H1N1 influenza in Malaysia and the Malaysians 'mindset' of not taking adequate precautionary measures to protect themselves.

This is an imported disease and much could have been done to contain it if close monitoring and screenings were given earlier at all points of entry into the country.Stories from visitors and friends I collected revealed a very lax, typical Malaysian 'tidak apa' attitude at our entry points.Although, we can't police everyone coming in, strict procedures and serious-minded personnel who took pride in their jobs would have helped in better detection.

That may be water under the bridge now. The local transmission is moving at a dizzying speed with fatalities embarrassingly high for a modern nation like Malaysia which has better health care system than many other countries in the region.Is our government just talking but not doing the right things?Do Malaysians have such low immunity that makes the mortality rate so high.

Britain which got the pandemic earlier and with population of almost three times more than that of Malaysia has only 29 deaths and its neighbour France only has 24 deaths.At the rate Malaysians are dropping dead in no time we will surpass the US and Mexico death rates which stood at 211 and 119 respectively as of July.

India, with a patchy and fragile health care system, has recorded 17 deaths so far, but is expected to have particularly big toll, which is not surprising, due to its huge population.Surprisingly, the Indians seem to take the disease more seriously than the general Malaysian public.The picture tells a story.

Passengers wore protective masks as on a train to Pune at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Our government seems to be talking a lot more than doing what they should be doing.Even the lowest form of human live is valuable and should not succumb to this heinous scourge due to incompetence of our Health Ministry.

By now Malaysia should be put on red alert and unnecessary public and social activities should be minimised or curtailed.

The first thing the government should do is to close all schools by bringing forward the year end school holidays, which means closing the schools for at least one and half months.They could be re-opened earlier if the pandemic has slowed down or fizzled out. Discourage people from going to cinemas, entertainment places or any crowded public places and disseminate information about the symptoms of the disease and how to avoid contracting the disease using the mass media. All TV and radio channels should be asked to beam at least every hour on the hour the public broadcast.If the pandemic gets worse than all public places like churches,mosques,temples,discos, and bars should be advised to limit their activities and those who ignored such warning should be compelled to close temporarily.

To date Malaysia have recorded 44 deaths from the H1N1 flu and for a population of just 26 million that's was wee bit too high.Most died of other complications.Infant, young children and the elderly are more susceptible if they have other ailments.

The Prime Minister should kick the Minister of Health's ass and ask him to shape up or sack him. The late response to the insidious danger of the disease has been the cause of the high rate of mortality.I bet most of the hospitals do not have Tamiflu to treat serious cases for those in the high risk group.

Below are statistic of fatalities of H1N1 for the countries mentioned above.

US 211 deaths Pop: 307 million
Mexico 119 deaths Pop: 109
UK 29 deaths Pop: 60
France 24 deaths Pop: 64
India 17 deaths Pop: 1.1 billion

India may be too early to judge and the people probably may have better immune system.Surprisingly, Indonesia which was the epicenter of the H5N1 epidemic in humans and home to the deadliest version of the virus has only confirmed 1 death from the H1N1 virus.
Some countries do under report such pandemic so as not to cause panic but that would be unfair to the citizens.

At 44 deaths the Malaysian government should announced red alert before it's too late.We should take cue from Mexico City where the city virtually shut down, closing restaurants, cinemas, sport venues and other public places in a bid to contain the disease.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Deserving Apology To MASwings

Hantu Laut

When I wrote 'MAS and MASwings,Shame On You' I based my information on what was reported in the mainstream media and concluded that MASwings tried to muscle its way using its status to monopolise the Sibu-KK air route without knowing the history that gives RAS (Rural Air Services) exclusivity (inherited from FAX, an Air Asia subsidiary) to MASwings.Sibu is included in the RAS.

The Managing Director Encik Mohd Salleh Tabrani of MASwings has kindly clarified the case and it would be rude on my part if I do not bring it to light.

Below is his response

Anonymous Malaysia Airlines said...

Hi Hantu Laut, everyone,

I'd like to take this opportunity to comment on this conversation, and to help clarify the situation revolving around the Kota Kinabalu-Sibu route.

The Kota Kinabalu-Sibu route is exclusive to the operator of Rural Air Services (RAS) because AirAsia had in fact requested for routes exclusivity when its subsidiary, FAX operated the RAS.

This took place during the domestic rationalisation exercise of March 2006, and AirAsia demanded for exclusive rights to almost all of the air routes within and intra Sabah and Sarawak, which naturally included the Kota Kinabalu-Sibu route. Only AirAsia's subsidiary, FAX had the exclusive rights to ply these routes.

Therefore, we were following the RAS Agreement that is in place, and allegations of us forcing AirAsia out of the KK-Sibu route is in fact untrue. In addition, it should also be pointed out that AirAsia is bound by the RAS Agreement and as such, cannot fly these routes, which is only afforded to FAX.

Perhaps a little more history behind what actually took place: AirAsia, through FAX, took over RAS from MAS in 2006, and received higher subsidies as compared to MASwings for the same scope of air services. However, AirAsia quickly surrendered (13 months) RAS back to Malaysia Airlines when they realised how unprofitable the routes were. Is this a case of cherry picking and choosing only to operate on profitable routes? I leave it to your kind selves to make your own conclusion.

Regardless of how this is perceived, it is clear that loss of taxpayer’s money is involved here. As many of you may know, we cross subsidise profitable routes (such as the KK-Sibu route) with other unprofitable routes. By doing this, we in fact help save taxpayer’s money, as MASwings’ P&L is born by the government. There is also the untold story of job loss, as we were forced to retrench hundreds of long serving staff in Sabah and Sarawak under a Mutual Seperation Scheme, due to the initial handover handover in 2006.

Lastly, it is also noteworthy to mention that MAS handed over seven Fokker 50 as well as five Twin Otter aircraft to FAX, all of which were in excellent flying condition. When MASwings resumed RAS operations in 2007, 50% of the Fokker 50 aircraft and almost all of the Twin Otter aircraft were not airworthy. As a result, we spent an additional RM36 million to restore these aircraft back to operational conditions.

I hope that with this, you have a clearer picture of what has transpired, and will help everyone to better understand the situation with the facts in hand.
Thank you.

Encik Mohd Salleh Tabrani
Managing Director

I hope the above clear the air.

However, I still think competition is the way to go and is healthy and should be encouraged.What I still would like to know is the fare disparity, why the huge difference between the two airlines?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Geobbles Of Pakatan

Hantu Laut

Why is Anwar Ibrahim courting supports from the non-Malays? Because he has little grassroots support with the Malays and he knew relying wholly on the support of the Malays through PKR is not possible because many Malays do not see PKR as a Malay based party or capable of looking after Malay interests. He needs PAS to galvanise the Malay supports for him.

Let's face it communal politics and race-based political parties are not going to go away, not so soon, anyway.As a matter of fact, Pakatan Rakyat has, over the past two years, done more harm to peace and stability that divide the various races than the BN has for the past 50 years.

Anwar Ibrahim and Zaid Ibrahim are day dreamers if they think multi-racial party and their version of Malaysian Malaysia is going to be a viable proposition, at least not now. The country is more divided now than before.

To prove that they are serious and meant what they say about equality for all the races, a truly Malaysian Malaysia, I challange them to dissolve DAP, PKR and PAS and form a single multi-racial party and fight the next general elections under this one umbrella.If not better put your money where your mouth is.

The rise of Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat was at the expense of foregoing racial harmony and political cooperation of the different races in the country nurtured by the BN government for over 50 years

The good old days of peace, stability and prosperity are gone.The good old days when Ahmad, Ah Long and Samy can sit on same table and have nice cups of 'teh tarik' and not touch anything on race and religion are gone. The good old days when Chinese were happy to get fair share of the economic pie and the Malays don't feel deprived and the Indians never felt marginalised are gone.Tell me who started it?

There are corruptions in the government, in the ruling party that needed to be changed, we all know that, but is that reason enough to split the people, cause racial tension and endless political bickering.

Malaysians are now coached to be more defiant, show no respect for each other, break the law and even revile the sultans and Agong if they have to and that's what they called freedom,equality and Bangsa Malaysia.

The recent attack on the Sultan of Perak by a blog associated with some leaders of the oppositions shows how far they would go to fulfil their desperation for power. Civil society is no more civil.They have been used to pursue the opposition's political agenda.They are so intoxicated with greed for power they are prepared to destroy the peace and stability of the nation under the pretext of peaceful demonstrations, a brand and brainchild of Anwar Ibrahim who knew without constant protests, civil disobedience and street demonstrations his name would be on the back burner and soon forgotten.

Anwar's must constantly churn out punitive publicity to portray him as the innocent victim of conspiracy by UMNO and BN, anything less would mean his sympathy support would evanescent from the people's mind.

Why has Najib condoned the Umno-inspired hysteria and gunning for Loke Siew Fook for insulting the Perak royalty and Islam when these allegations are completely groundless?

That's what Lim Kit Siang has to say about the offending article attacking the Sultan of Perak without himself knowing the truth.Instead of condemning it, as usual, he plays the blame game and called it UMNO-inspired hysteria.He should have said it was Malay-inspired hysteria because their Sultan has been insulted.

It is common knowledge for those who is familiar with the blog 'Might Of The Pen' that it is supporting Pakatan Rakyat political ideology which is nothing wrong as this is a free country and you can support, follow or join any political party you fancy.

To ignore and pretend as if insulting the Sultan is a small matter goes to show the arrogance and chauvinistic attitude taken by Lim.

This grand old coot was quick to condemn Utusan Malaysia and also condemned DPM Muhyiddin Yassin for saying Malay rights should be protected when, he, himself is a big culprit in stirring up racial issues.

After being so badly savaged, can Najib’s 1Malaysia be salvaged?

Another of his repudiation of Najib. Among all the opposition leaders this man has the most efficient propaganda machine.Mostly noises with no substance.He is the Joseph Goebbels of Pakatan Rakyat and should be made Minister of Propaganda if Pakatan do win the next general elections.

DAP is known as a Chinese party,PKR is a pariah party,PAS is an Islamic party and UMNO a Malay party.What is so wrong with that ?

If the Malays are with PAS, why worry, they will be with PAS.

If PAS is not going to protect them the Malays might just return to UMNO.What is wrong with that too.

So, please, Mr Lim stop raising all the racial bullshits that first started by you and your cohorts and expect others to keep quiet.

The privilege is not only yours to shout, others can shout back too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Biadap, Kurang Ajar Dan Naik Kepala

Hantu Laut

This is an apology to YB Loke Siew Fook who has categorically denied he was the one who posted the offending article against the Sultan of Perak.

Below is an extract from Rocky's Bru:

Loke Siew Fook, did you write that about our Sultan?

update: "No, I did not," says Loke.
The YB has left a strong denial in my comment box, which I am reproducing here:-

Dear Mr Rocky,

I strongly deny the allegation that I have written the article to insult the Sultan of Perak and Raja Nazrin. I have no prior knowledge whatsoever on that particular blog

My ONE and ONLY blog is

I have NEVER written anything that insult the Royalty, Malays or Islam in my life. There is an effort to slander DAP Youth and myself and spread lies that we are anti-Islam and anti-Royalty.

I do not know who is behind that blog and I have nothing to do with it.

As a responsible blogger, I hope you can first verify the facts before making any assumptions. I will be lodging a police report today to deny the article and I hope you can publish my explanation to clear the air later. Thank you.

12:08 PM

In Sabah and Sarawak we don't have Sultans, we only have Yang Dipertua Negeri, the equivalent of a governor, which is not of royal blood.In certain ways they have the same standing as sultans as far as state constitutions are concerned.They have the same prerogative to appoint chief minister of the state whom they think carry majority support of members of the state legislative assembly. They are accorded the same respect.So far no Sabahan and Sarawakians have openly insulted their heads of state.

Sultans are held in higher esteem and are apolitical.Whatever they do in their official functions must be in accordance with their state's constitution and the Sultan of Perak has in all respect abides by the constitution.Pakatan Rakyat in general and DAP in particular have painted a wicked picture of the Sultan to poison the people's mind to fulfil their political agenda.Now they have started insulting the Sultan.

As the Malay saying "dikasi betis nak kepala".In a moment of anger and refusal to accept their lost of power in Perak this bloke from DAP broke the cardinal rule and overstepped the invisible line of civility by insulting the Sultan of Perak and the Regeant.

DAP leaders deliberate obtuseness on the issue and poisoning the people's mind about the Sultan is now going to bite them back. They still could not accept that they have lost the Perak state government. It would be interesting to hear what the leaders in PAS would have to say about their partner's 'kurang ajar' against the Sultan who was only doing his job according to the state constitution which empowered him to make such decision.

Of course Pakatan leaders would say it is not the party's stand but when it comes to members of UMNO making remarks that they don't like they would condemned the whole party and the government.

Below is the 'kurang ajar' article;

The Might Of The Pen
August 6, 2009
Filed under: ARTICLE (LATEST) 06/08/2009, conspiracy, politics — sjsandteam @ 08:47
Kuala Lumpur, Aug 5, 2009: "Democracy does not mean
anything goes. It certainly does not mean mob rule," Nazrin
of Perak said Wednesday night. He said in any functioning
democracy, there were rules as to how society was to be
governed, and in Malaysia, the rules were enshrined in the
country’s constitution. "Our constitution spells out not only
what our rights are but also what the limits to those rights
are. These limits ensure that decisions are not made by those
who wield the most power, shout the loudest or behave in
the crudest manner," he said.
Nazrin who sold the state of Perak to the BN thieves, was
delivering a speech titled "Imbued with Integrity, Endowed
with Ethics: Foundation for Managing Malaysia through
Enlightened Value-Driven Leadership" at the 25th Tunku
Abdul Rahman Lecture organised by the Malaysian Institute
of Management here.

Nazrin of the stolen state of Perak said: "If we seek to settle disputes through mob rule and
lawlessness, our disputes will never be settled." "Precisely because we have so much riding on the
judiciary, it is vitally important that there is judicial independence and impartiality. Without them,
the rule of law cannot prevail. And when the rule of law has become unhinged, it must be fully
restored," said the know-all Nazrin of Perak. He said since the country’s last general election in
March last year, political contestation has become more common and more intense, and this is
likely to continue for some time to come. "But whatever our differences, our overriding concern
must be to create the type of nation we can all be proud of. We must never turn our grand positive
sum nation-building endeavour into a fractious and destructive zero sum one. "We have a good
system of governance in place that has served us well and Malaysians should seek to improve on
1 of 9

and strengthen this system."
Nazrin of Perak said: "Wherever there are weaknesses, we should acknowledge them and strive to
overcome them." He said the Malay rulers are above partisan politics, and this is what a
constitutional monarchy means and what the rulers assiduously believe. "For until and unless
rulers are placed above everyday politics – and the controversies that will inevitably follow – they
will be unable to carry out their constitutional functions properly. These functions are necessary
for the operation of democracy in this country," he said.
Nazrin in trying to protect his ass said the present situation
in Perak stemmed from a political problem, that of political
crossovers, "but was very quickly compounded by other
decisions and actions of questionable legality.""By the time
the ruler became involved, it has escalated to such a point
that it was not so simple as to press the reset button as some
would have liked. "When rights may have been violated and
laws infringed, one cannot just conveniently wipe the slate
clean and pretend as if nothing had happened. "The ruler
cannot take sides in political contests, whether with acts of
commission or omission. He has to make decisions based on
justice and the rule of law," he said. In making the right
decision in any situation and act in a manner that is fair and
impartial, the ruler must be guided by the constitution, it encapsulates all the values that form the
very foundation of Malaysian society. In the Perak case, the ruler adhered closely to the letter and
spirit of the state constitution, he said.
After all, the ruler of Perak "Azlan has considerable knowledge of the law, having spoken and
written about it extensively throughout his career (as a judge and Lord President)," he said.

The Mighty Pen says: Nazrin the son of the senile ruler of Perak, take note that democracy is a
principle whereby the control of authority comes from the public, and ruler and non-ruler are the
same. Even though there is no specific, universally accepted definition of democracy, there are two
principles that any definition of democracy includes. The first principle is that all citizens, not
invested with the power to govern, have equal access to power and the second that all citizens
enjoy legitimized freedoms and liberties. When these basic freedoms and liberties are robbed of the
people, then the only civilized course of action by any
responsible citizen who cares about his nation, is to ensure
that his voice is heard loud and clear! Get this straight into
your ever conniving brain! When injustice becomes law,
rebellion becomes duty! If rebellions become the order of the
day, the nation is simply ruled by the criminals and the
corrupt. Ask yourself whether you and your family members
including your ‘guardian angel’, the Agong Najib, have
plundered the nation’s wealth and robbed the poor of a bare
minimum standard of living! It is a pity that only in Malaysia,
even the right to a peaceful demonstration is robbed of the
people! What’s worst, the peaceful demonstrations are
converted into lawless mobs by ‘peacekeepers’ who are
supposed to protect the peace of this nation.
Nazrin the illegal seller of Perak: Saintly words should never be uttered by a person who has lost
all sanity! If you still insist in building an impossible bridge between two mountains, just for that
clap of your ‘creativity’, then let us warn you that our actions too will have far reaching
consequences; we will destroy those mountains to mere ashes, and stuff your filthy mouth with the
last peck of that dust and prepare you for your last journey to the gates of the condemned hell!

“Democracy does not mean anything goes….”
Daulat-ing means fulat-ing. Now we know – for sure.
Comment by wits0 — August 6, 2009 @ 08:50
you tell him mighty pen. your pen strike very deep in his arsehole. i dunno whether it can penetrate
Comment by jimcurry — August 6, 2009 @ 09:10
i am sure he would have enjoyed it.
Comment by jimcurry — August 6, 2009 @ 09:15
Its incredible how a supposedly wise person who was so well admired and overwhelmingly respected just
about a year ago could crumble so low in the popular rating now. So true of the saying “Never judge a
person by his looks and sweet talking” In the end, Truth always prevails. Now we all know, he is just
another one of them. For him to win back the same respect will take him another 2 lifetime.
Comment by toyolbuster — August 6, 2009 @ 09:19

It seems the might of the pen has fallen into a filthy hand.A hand that has become a weapon of its own destruction.

This is what have become of Malaysians since Pakatan Rakyat took over the 5 states.They have taught the people to be rude, defiant and show no respect for the law and now no respect for the Sultan.Winning only 5 states have made them arrogance and intolerably rude.What more if they were the Federal government.By now the Malays should realise where Anwar Ibrahim and PAS are taking them to.

They made a big hullabaloo of the article in Utusan Malaysia, let's wait and see what kind of noise they make on this one.

Will Pakatan leaders come out and condemn this man who wrote such reviling article against the Sultan ? What about Nizar who was the cause of all the bad things happening in Perak, will he apologise to the Sultan?

Believe me, the answer will come at Permatang Pasir.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

MAS and MASwings, Shame On You

Hantu Laut

They are always afraid of competition, they need protection and they need to be spoon-fed.These are bunch of shameless incompetents. With that kind of privileges who need smart asses to run an airline.Just sit on your goddam asses and let the government makes the money for you.

Government collect taxes from the people and have social responsibility to return the money back to the people in the form of infrastructural development, public amenities and other social obligations.

If you can't compete in business than you have no business to be in business. We all know the horror stories associated with government linked companies and what kind of people employed to run them.Why would we ever want to continue financing the laziness and inefficiency of these incompetents.This is the kind of lazy good for nothing ragtag band of incompetents that gives the government a bad name.These are the kind of pseudo corporate leaders who were there because of who they know, not what they know.

The Prime Minister's 1 Malaysia "People First Performance Now" would be a mockery and laughing stock if what happened recently in Sabah and Sarawak, which is causing great inconvenience to travellers between Sibu and Kota Kinabalu is not rectified immediately.

Air Asia has been servicing the sector for a while now, parallel with MASwings, and had become popular with travellers from Sibu to Kota Kinabalu and vice versa, which is now a hub with easy connections to other destinations. The low cost fare, good aircraft and efficient service given by Air Asia has attracted almost 80 percent load factor since its inception.

Now, MASwings, a subsidiary of MAS wanted to have the business all for themselves by claiming it is a rural route so it should be their monopoly.If MASwings can offer the same kind of service and cheap fare as Air Asia would the people shun them? Not only they are more expensive, they also used smaller and slower turboprop aircraft.While Air Asia uses the bigger Airbus 319, MASwings uses smaller turboprop Fokker 50 and Aerospatiale/Alenia ATR72 and has 4 dialy flights while Air Asia has only 1 daily flight.

It gets even more ridiculous with the fare.On checking with the online booking of both airline, MASwings return fare KK-Miri was quoted at RM342 and Air Asia RM158.Given the choice which airline would you choose to travel with?

I have flown with Air Asia a number of times and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the airline.You pay for no frills and that's what you should expect to get.I would prefer to fly an airline where everyone paid the same fare rather than an airline where I paid RM1000 for my fare and found my fellow traveller next to me only paid RM50.That's exactly what you get when you fly MAS.They put their low fare passengers together with normal paying passengers.They can't decide whether they want to be a full-fledged airline or a cheapo airline.

Instead of resorting to using government to kick out the competition, the people in MASwings should have used their brains to find ways how to compete with Air Asia in a healthy manner.They are receiving subsidies from the government but yet unable to provide good service and cheaper fare to the public.This is the kind of thing that get the people going against the government because it is seen as a punishment.

If Prime Minister Najib truly believes and practises his 1 Malaysia this is the time he can show the people that they come first and kick the asses of those incompetents in MASwings and its parent company MAS (Malaysian Airline), which, amazingly, has announced fantastic profit for its fiscal 2nd quarter, while all other world airlines,including the beautiful and most efficient Singapore girl, are losing money big time. SIA(Singapore Airline) announced loss of S$307 during its fiscal first quarter and have warned of being in the red for the full year if adverse business conditions continue.

This may seems a small matter but it will have its effect in the ballot box.You can give us more ministrial positions, more developments, more this, more that but at the end of the day it is the people's happiness that count and that Mr Prime Minister can translate into votes.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Do You Really Want Pakatan As Your Next Federal Government ?

Hantu Laut

They might just be a flash in the pan or one term wonder as bespeaks Lim Kit Siang who, nevertheless, is no less responsible for some of the flare-ups.

Suspicions and air of distrust among the coalition partners are getting worse with each passing day. The left hand and right hand not in synchronicity. The devoutly Muslims members in PAS have found great discomfort sleeping in the same bed with their pork-eating and beer-drinking ally. If beer can become a major issue what next? Will PAS want total ban of alcohol and maybe sale of pork if they won the next general elections and became the leading partner in the coalition?

PAS appears to have little control over its second tier leaders particularly those at state level.The PAS top leadership would ignominiously try to patch up the rift as and when DAP applied pressure on them to intervene. The two groups exist in a state of mutual distrust.

In Selangor selling of beer in Malay majority areas has become a contentious issue between PAS's Hassan Ali and DAP's Ronnie Liu. DAP is now accusing Hassan of acting in the interest of UMNO and Barison National.

As usual, void of any other plausible explanation for their petty squabbles, DAP would always use UMNO and the BN as their punching bag.A boo-boo to hoodwink the people and make them hate the BN more. One would think it was more a case of Hassan devoutly believing in his religion rather than acting on behalf of UMNO.

Well, it sounds very foolish of Lim or any Pakatan leaders to think that it is only their privilege to try topple the BN.Likewise, it is also UMNO and the BN job to topple them and make sure they will not become the next government.That's what democracy is all about.The best will win.

"State government leaders who openly defy party and coalition discipline and work in the interest of Umno and Barisan National must be harshly reprimanded, with stern action taken to not only ensure the continued viability of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition but also to restore public confidence in Pakatan Rakyat,” said DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua today referring to Hassan's call for Ronnie Liu to be stripped of his local government portfolio for demanding the officers of MBSA(Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam) to return the beer seized illegally.

In Penang the Islamic Forum for Muslims demanded that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng either asks Jeff Ooi to apologise to Muslims in the country or if he refused to sack him from his position as his chief of staff for ridiculing Muslims by calling Jamaah Islah Malaysia an extremist organisation which some Muslims took offence to.

PAS Hasan Ali may be barking up the wrong tree to single out alcohol as the ultimate sin for Muslims and demanded the removal of beers being sold in Muslim majority areas.Most Muslims have self-restrained themselves and those who don't comprises just a small number and there are Sharia laws to deal with such problem. It is not a vice that have discoloured the Islamic faith to become such a hot political issue. Muslims don't need Hasan as discipline master and his presumption that it is Muslims that buy beer after midnight is annoying and has no basis.

There are bigger vice facing the Muslim community especially our youths.The biggest and more menacing problems are drugs and sadly no Muslim or PAS politicians has come out and spoke strongly against this evil or do something to try reduce the incident of youths taking this heinous and wicked substance that have destroyed the lives of thousand of kids, mostly Malays. The other even more menacing immoral behaviour is the Mat Rempit menace which also involved Malay or Muslim boys.

Greed,envy,dishonesty and lust are considered vices that society should frown upon and these are areas that leaders should be more concerned with for the greater good of society.In a multi-racial society it would be grossly unfair to impose our will on other culture.If patience is a virtue than intolerance is an unpalatable human weakness that should have no place in society.

If this can happened at state level, what chance have they got at federal level?

What's going on in Pakatan right now are reflections of their incompetence and infinite disability to govern.Do you really want this kind of government? They haven't from day one shown Malaysians the government they promised.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Dark Side Of Doing Business In China.

Hantu Laut

China is the fastest economic growth centre in the world and many companies and individuals have gone there in the hope of getting into the actions.It is also a huge source of cheap manufactured goods and cheap contract manufacturing.

There is a dark side of doing business in booming China where government enterprise is often your partner.

In Malaysia failure to pay your creditors can get you sued, in China it can get you arrested and thrown in jailed for months without any charges being filed against you as in the case of David Ji, a China born US citizen who built a billion dollar business selling cheap DVD player to the US. Ji eventually was forced to sign over his company to his Chinese supplier in China.

There are many horror stories of doing business in China.Kidnapping, unlawful detention and using government enforcement agencies to arrest foreigners as bargaining chips to get the best deal is not unheard of.

Rio Tinto, the mining giant,experienced the harsh reality of doing business with China.In July this year it was trying to secure the release of four Chinese staff, including Stern Hu, an Australian of Chinese origin who is their chief iron ore negotiator. All are accused of paying bribes for “state secrets”. They were arrested during tense negotiations over iron ore pricing with China’s steel mills.The four are still in detention

In 1996 a Chinese employee of Shell working in government relation was arrested for spying, thrown in jail for a year and later released.She has since left China.

China is also a haven for contract manufacturing where many international companies get their products made cheaply.The danger face by these companies are strict quality compliance where they have to be constantly on the alert to ensure the contractor manufactures strictly according to specifications and quality set by them.Any slack in the monitoring could spell disaster. Chinese contract manufacturers are also well known for short-changing.A number of US firms have suffered product recalls due to dangerous materials used in the manufacturing process.In 2004 the death of 13 babies in China from drinking adulterated milk that contained excessive melamine touched off an international scare.

Below is another story of the dangers of doing business in China for those who are less vigilant.

A Corporate Drama of Perfidy
Written by Alice Poon
Tuesday, 04 August 2009

A story of deceit and perfidy in the business world of China, as experienced by the German boss of an advertising and exhibition company called Business Media China.

A friend pointed me to a real-life story reported in the Financial Times by Jamil Anderlini entitled "A Cautionary Tale from China".

Here is a recap of the article:-

It is a story about how a Mr. Klaus Hilligardt, founder of German-based Business Media China (‘BMC’), had his trust betrayed by his secretary and her husband, both native mainlanders. His erroneous belief - that putting local Chinese in charge of his business would let him reap the benefit of utilizing Chinese drive and knowledge of the market – almost cost him his entire company that he had built up from scratch.

Hilligardt hired his secretary Teresa Tu in 2001, who has been looking after his business dealings, his personal finances and investments and other details. In 2003 he recruited a young executive named Li Yangyang whom he meant to groom as his successor. Then in 2006, the two employees got married.

As Hilligardt continued to put his trust in the couple, Li began to hire his former university classmates into the company. Everything looked fine until after the Olympics. It was then that Hilligardt was beginning to suspect something fishy was going on. He found out that Li had set up a shadow company to bucket the most lucrative advertising contracts of BMC. Li and his former classmates even found a way to getting BMC to pay for all the operating expenses of the shadow company while swallowing all the profits made. Meanwhile, the couple arranged for Hilligardt to meet with an attractive, middle-aged former model to keep him under the “spell”.

When the German board of BMC started to get suspicious, it forced Hilligardt and Li to resign from the board and brought in a veteran Swiss entrepreneur with extensive Asian experience as the chief executive to deal with the mess created. With the tip-off from an employee pointing to Li’s shadow company stealing BMC’s clients, the CE was able to plan a raid on the company.

One day in early June, accompanied by lawyers and a police escort, the CE raided the Beijing headquarters of BMC and retrieved paperwork from the finance department that provided evidence of the ongoing fraud.

I have personal experience of doing business in China in the eighties when its doors were not fully opened yet.My company got a fairly substantial contract to supply railway sleepers to them.Unfortunately, there were some delays in our shipments due to monsoon and flooding in Malaysia at that time that caused logistic problems.I went to Beijing to negotiate with them to accept the slight delay.The first meeting we couldn't reach an agreement.I asked for another meeting the next day but was utterly shocked on being told that the next meeting would be next week, same time, same day.I eventually have to stay in Beijing for almost one month and had three meetings and no resolution.Only on my second visit a month later and after two weeks in Beijing we managed to resolve the problem. We had to pay a hefty penalty for the delay.

I have seen the Great Wall twice, Forbidden City three times, Ming Tomb and Summer Palace once each during my sojourn in Beijing.There were only two prominent hotels back then,The Great Wall Sheraton and Shangrila.

The Shangrila and World Trade Centre was built by Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Martin And Osa Johnson Story

Hantu Laut

In the first half of the 20th century an American couple from Kansas named Martin and Osa Johnson captured the public's imagination through their films and books of adventure in exotic, far-away lands...Photographers, explorers, naturalists and authors, Martin and Osa studied the wildlife and peoples of East and Central Africa, the South Pacific Islands and British North Borneo...They explored then unknown lands and brought back knowledge of cultures thousands of miles away through their films, writings and lectures.

From 1917-1936, the Johnsons set up camp in some of the most remote areas of the world and provided an unmatched photographic record of the wildernesses of Kenya, the Congo, British North Borneo and the Solomon and New Hebrides Islands...Their equipment was the most advanced motion pictures apparatus of the day, some of it designed by Martin Johnson himself.

When the young adventurers left their home in Kansas to explore and photograph these lands, little did they realize that they would provide the world with a photographic record of the African game of unimagined magnitude and beauty...The Johnsons gave the filmmakers and researchers of today an important source of ethnological and zoological material which would otherwise have been lost.

Murut Orchestra 1936

Their photographs represent one of the great contributions to the pictorial history of the world...Their films serve to document a wilderness that has long since vanished, tribal cultures and customs that ceased to exist. Source: The Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum.

One of the two Johnsons' Sikorsky used in Sabah and Africa

Martin and Osa Johnson came to the than British North Borneo (Sabah) in the 1930s after their harrowing encounter with a tribal chief of the Big Nimbas tribe in the island of Malekula in the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) who refused to let them go.They escaped with the intervention of a British gunboat.

The Johnsons spent some time in Sabah making feature films and taking photographs of the people and natural heritage of the place.Most of the photographs that I have seen were just breathtaking. In one of the photographs I was shown the Johnsons were seen together with the Agnes Keith (Land Below The Wind) and her husband Harry.

Herd of giraffe

The Sabah state government in collaboration with some individuals is publishing a pictorial book of the collection of the Johnsons photographs on Sabah.

The books are expected to be out before the end of the year.