Sunday, 28 December 2008

Change the Top!



It is odd that Malaysians can give UMNO led BN/Parti Perikatan 51 years of power and particularly continue to vote them in the last 20 years despite the emergence of corruption and abuse of power by the Government. Yet some of my friends and acquaintances 'complaint' about the Pakatan State Governments that they are not doing enough, and that after that Alliance took over some States 9 months ago. 

Let's look at some undeniable facts:-

1. The powers of the State Government have long been stripped by the Federal Government, particularly during Mahathir's regime.

2. The State's main revenue is some land tax and other minor taxes here and there, but the Federal Government has control over all Minerals (including Oil) and collects all major Tax (like our Income Tax).

3. The Civil Servant in the State Office have been working under below average governments all this years. The same Civil Servants are still there.

4. Many of the nonsensical decisions (like approving school lands for commercial project at Bandar Utama) was done by the former Government.


These are facts of what is happening. I have spoken to many State Assembly Representative and Member of Parliaments from Pakatan, and they have quietly disclosed that money is short and the Federal Government has cut off fundings.

I write this as I feel it is just unfair to attack the Pakatan-led State Goverment after only 9 months. To attack them that all they do is complaint about the former State Government is also unfair, because of the sheer magnitude of Shit that was left behind by the former regime, forcing the current Governments trying their best to make do with a Shit system they inherited. 

I speak with this firm view, as my work forces me to deal with the system all the time, and I can only say this - the system generally, sucks. I can however feel that since Pakatan took over at Selangor, Land Matters are better dealt or at least improving. It will take some time for them to impose change, as I feel in order to effect real change, 90% of the Civil Servant may have to be sacked. 

The trick is now, not to complaint about the current State Goverment, but to focus on change at the Federal level. I feel MCA and Gerakan should leave BN and join force with Pakatan. I know many leaders in MCA, and Gerakan, and some of them (like Dato Liow from MCA) have massive potential to lead well. 

MIC must also leave BN. UMNO is too strong and the Indian Community will continue to be sidelined. 

Eventually, I hope we can do away with this Race and Religion base politic and start to politic base on Issues and Matters. To me, the consumer which the Government must take care of is the People. The Government is here to serve us, and not the other way round. UMNO cant seem to see that. UMNO leaders have this misconception that they are gods and have all the right to do whatever they want in this country.  

I must however comment that the Pakatan government should be more prudent and make decisions which bring them closer to the People. 2 examples come to my mind :-

1. Lee Chong Wei should not have been awarded Datukship by the Penang Government. I wrote about this before in this Blog and feel the better way to immortalize Lee Chong Wei was perhaps to name a Badminton Hall in Penang after him. I feel we have cheapen the Datukship, and the DAP led government took that path merely to be one up on the gamesmanship that was going on with UMNO during the Permatang Pauh election.

2. Perak government in deciding to buy Camrys. I support the move to get rid of the Perdanas. That car is infamous for its gearbox problems, but perhaps Perak should have taken the lead by buying Wajas or even Perodua Nautica. Even Nissan's Grand Livina would be great.

That would put the former UMNO-led government to shame, and the humility of the State Excos to drive a more people-car, would have been good PR exercise. I recall a few years ago I met a Deputy Minister in Singapore and guess what car was he driving? A Nissan Cefiro, which was already a few years old. He had no driver and did not demand any special attention. He drove the car to the place of event, and just walked in as if he was one of the participant. What a show of humilty. (remember, Nissan Cefiro in Singapore is far cheaper, dollar to dollar; than Malaysian cars) 


I also wished Anwar would form a shadow Cabinet, something he has failed to do till now.

Other than that, I feel we should give Pakatan a chance, and like I said, focus on changes at Federal level and not attack the States. 

 

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Another away Win

Unbelievable!! Everton won again away. We beat Boro last night 1-0 and now went up to 6th. We are a little bit away from the top 4, but I suppose better to be in 6th then bottom 6. 7th away 

But our Home form is woeful. 1 win all season so far at Goodison Park. I can only suspect that teams come to Goodison and pack their midfield. Even when we lost to Portsmouth 3-0, we actually dominated much of the game, but for some reason whenever Portsmouth attacked, they scored. Also, we have to acknowledge that Everton was sometimes very poor at Home, like the game against Blackburn and Newcastle. Even our win against Fulham was fortunate. 

I hope we can get our 2nd win against the resurgent Sunderland this Sunday.

COYB!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Paddling with our Heart


The Government announced they wish to sell IJN to Sime Darby. Immediately Najib, after moving to the Finance Ministry makes a baffling decision. How else can you explain why the Government want to sell IJN to a private Company. IJN helps saves lives, including our Mahathir. It is affordable and has world class equipment. For all the money our government spend (sending a man to the Space, building Monuments after Monuments all over the Country etc etc) the least it could do is give the Rakyat what we deserve, a proper medical care. But that is our Government-lah. They continue to make baffling decisions, which looks like it only cares about them. 

Jerit continue to cycle around Malaysia. On Monday, a few of us were at Rawang Police Station till 5am to help the arrested cyclists be released. They were eventually released after much negotiations. 

Now we cant even cycle in Malaysia. The Federal Constitution is clear - we have a right to assemble. The 'subordinate' Act of Parliament - the Police Act is the Act which states that a permit is required in order to have an Assembly. How can a subordinate Act prevail over the Federal Constitution. If the Principle Law guarantees our right to assemble, that right cannot be fettered by a normal Act of Parliament. If the Federal Constitution states that we can assemble, how can the Police Act be used to say that the right to assemble is 'subject' to a permit?

Anyway, if one read the memorandum that Jerit is handing over the Government, it asks for better medical facilities, better education etc etc. What is wrong with that request?

And if BN feels that this request must be done by a 'proper channel'; my question is, wasn't these requests done thru UMNO, MCA, MIC etc etc all these years, and has our medical facilities improved? Has our Schools got better?

Instead, we now have our BN government hawking IJN to Sime Darby.  

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Reflection




The year is coming to an end. What a year for me. On a personal note, I was a little sad when I had to leave my former firm YH Teh & Quek. That firm was cosy and warm, but unfortunately I could not gel in with the firm, and decided to leave and set up my own firm. My close buddy, Edward Saw is still there. He had joined that firm, partly cause I was there. So when I had to leave, I knew I had let him down. It will take a while for me to make up to him, though knowing how nice a person Edward is, he wont be too pissed off with me.

But my time at YH Teh & Quek woke me up. Yoke Hooi and the other main partners had opened my eyes to my deficiencies and pushed me to improve. I will remember her advise.

My new firm, Messrs Richard Wee went through a slump the last few months. Partly due to my massive involvement with the Bar activities, but largely due to me trying to find a footing on my own again. I will never blame the Bar activities for the problems at my firm, as the former is a self-inflict voluntary activity. I enjoy helping out the Bar, but my focus will always be to my firm first.

In January 2009, my firm will merge with Messrs Sunil Lopez, a close friend of mine. We will be known as Messrs Richard Wee Lopez by then. Watch our for our new website at www.rwl.com.my. That website is still under construction. I hope next year, despite the expected slowdown in economy, Sunil and I will create a presence in the legal services market. We are confident that our resilience, endeavor & effort will pay off.

A cousin of mine, Wee Thian Aun passed away yesterday. I admit I was not close to him, but he had a wonderful life of love and attention, though he suffered from an ailment which left him bed ridden since he was an infant. He was 27 when he passed away yesterday. This departure, comes almost a month after my grandfather left us too. It is a time of grief in the Wee family, but we will all stay strong. The memory of the departed, will be celebrated and cherished by us all.

My close friends like Chow Hoong and gang remained intact. We have known each other for almost 20 years. And some of them know each other for 25 years. That is a mighty long time. They have been very good friends and I cherish friends who have been honest, loyal and supportive to each other. No stabbing in the back. No betrayal etc etc. I hope that gang will remain intact for many years to come.

I am also very blessed to know many many people, some of whom become close friends. This year alone, I made so many new friends. My friends in the Bar is diversified. I hope to not let these friends down, though there were times a selected few have deeply let me down.

Everton continue to be steady. No more final day relegation battle for now, but football is such; anything can happen. A few bad games, and down you go. Under David Moyes, Everton has shown resilience and focus; though we are just unable to break into that top 4 yet. Lets hope Everton wins a Cup next year.

Back to the Bar, the KL Bar elections last February 2008 showed me that members will vote on popularity. I finished 4th out of 12 in 2007, but in 2008, i barely made in by finishing 9th out of 14-15 candidates (top 10 make it in). Also, I have to concede, in our push for reforms and change from 2006 till this year, I had stepped on many tails and pissed off some lawyers. That is the price I had to pay for demanding and pushing for change and improvements. I foresee this coming elections in 2009, I will not do well again. I just hope members will vote on based on the work I have done, and not merely on my character. However, in our journey of self improvement, I have made it a point to change my way of work and be less aggressive and more people-friendly. I realize that being aggressive all the time, whilst making sure the work is done, is unhealthy in retaining friends.

The country has seen some change and I hope change for the better, will continue to prevail. With Obama elected as President, the world will be invigorated by that, and I hope that spirit will stream towards Malaysia too. I am unhappy that UMNO-led BN continue to misrepresent the Malaysians. The lack of courage to tackle corruption has seen corruption now part of our work culture. I wish to know how the UMNO leaders tell their children that they are corrupt and it is ok to be corrupt. I will not want to be in their shoes.

My desire to travel saw me visiting Bangkok and Beijing for the first time this year. Both trips were brilliant and I look forward to visiting the 2 places again.

I will continue to reflect this last 2 weeks of 2008, and I am very happy that my family is generally well. My parents are healthy and very supportive of their kids. My sister and I love them very much and hope we will continue to make them proud. My sister continues to do well. She is a brilliant girl, brilliant since she was young. I am sure, she will surge up the corporate ladder.

Will 2009 be better?


Sunday, 7 December 2008

Landslide

Another group of people lost their lives at Bukit Antarabangsa. There is just so much development at that Hill. Despite the tragedy of the Highland Towers around 15 years ago, our Local Government continue to approve projects around the Hill.

Accountability of the Local Authority? That will not happen now, after the Federal Court in the Highland Tower case, affirmed that the Local Authority is immune from negligence suits. Basically in short, if the Local Authority is negligent in matters related to housing etc (and I am being general here); they cant be sued. 

Already the Local Authorities is tainted with suspicion of corruption. Mysterious projects are approved, and I sometime hear horror stories from friends about how they have to bribe the officers at relevant Local Authorities in order to get their projects approve. And when the project is approved, and something goes wrong, these corrupt Local Authorities is off scott free. Really, Malaysia Boleh! 

Now at Bukit Antaranbangsa we read of people losing their lives. And the Government's re-actions ?? :-
1. Ban Hill developments (hmmm.. heard of that before)

2. Send the whole cabinet to go visit the Site (when what we need is less people visiting the Site as the police and all needs to dig in to find the missing people)

3. Continuing from No 2 above; make sure ALL local TV zoom into their Ministers when these Ministers go visit the place.

(post script)
4. Blame Pakatan State Goverment of Selangor, even though all the projects at that place were approved by UMNO led via Khir Toyo's former Selangor Government. The Pakatan Government already banned all the Hill Development several months ago. Get your facts right-lah UMNO. How to support BN when it is led by power grabbing, 'me, myself & I' party, called UMNO. Get rid of UMNO, and maybe BN will be better.  


So, there we go again, more people died; and there have been numerous reports of landslides in that area (there was a report in the NST around Nov 14 or 16 about this too) and I can bet you; after this Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy is over, a few years down the road, we will see another condo/housing project on that Hill.  

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Roger Tan retires as Malaysian Bar Website's Webmaster

There were times that I would visit Roger Tan at his office at Johor Bahru. When he is in KL, we would sometimes meet up for dinner. But everytime I meet him, his mind is not far away from this Website.

He would constantly check his PC or laptops at office and also his Blackberry when outside. He would receive e-mails, Forum postings and Comments from us, the Bar. 

I can see him pondering to either approve the Forum posting/comments or otherwise. Many a times I noted he takes a liberal approach to the approval of the Comments/Postings. He would encourage free speech but he also demands our members to be responsible when exercising this right of free speech.

His son told me before that he sees his father waking up as early as 5am to update the website. There was also once I know he was on a family holiday, but we all continue to enjoy reading this website, as Roger would run over to a nearby Internet Cafe and update this website.

I found this out, when I 'bump' into him online and ask him:-

'Roger, what you doing online? Aren't you on holiday?' . 

His reply (with his typical trademark 'aiyahs'):-

"Aiyah, I have to update the website lah"

So, Roger; thank you. Thank you for making this a superb website that it is. Thank you for making this website the top website for all things news amongst many lawyers. Thank you for your time, effort and energy. 

We should have a dinner to thank you for the 4 years of Webmaster-ing that you have given to the Bar.

Regards,
richard wee