Tuesday, 29 September 2009

UMNO is the cancer of Malaysia


Amazing?! For the 2nd time in a row, UMNO chooses a candidate tainted by Corruption. They chose Rohaizat Othman at the recent by-election at Permatang Pasir. Rohaizat was disbarred by the Malaysian Bar for misusing Client's money.

Now for the Bagan Pinang by-election, they chose Tan Sri Isa Mohd Samad who was suspended by UMNO's very own disciplinary board for money politics (read : corruption).

And the most amazing thing was UMNO members from that branch wanted only Isa and threaten to boycott the by-election if UMNO chose another candidate.

Najib must be so desperate to win a by-election, that he bowed down to pressure and chose a tainted man like Isa. The fact the Bagan Pinang's UMNO branch demanded for Isa's selection only reflects the kind of people who are members there.

This selection is the product of many years (starting from Mahathir's time) where UMNO gives out contract to their members. And Isa is popular not because he is a quality intelligent leader, but a leader who knew how to play the system and passed on the contracts to the relevant people there.

All the noise from Najib that he wants transparency and accountability in his government is merely empty promises. By right, UMNO should discipline their members at Bagan Pinang for even threatening to boycott the election, but instead he chose the easy path with short term gain.

It is very unlikely that Pakatan can win that seat as it is a traditionally UMNO seat. So, I can imagine that Najib craves that right to brag after UMNO wins (assuming they do), to the entire Malaysia. After all history has shown how UMNO brags that the people supports them, and how the opposition is rejected at every by-election they won. Having tasted so many defeats, I think Najib will do almost anything to win one by-election in Peninsular Malaysia.

UMNO is the cancer of this country, and I hope a miracle happens in Bagan Pinang and that Pakatan upsets UMNO; and more importantly, I pray that Malaysians will open their eye to see that we cannot go on being governed by people who subscribe to corruption as a normal practice.


Monday, 28 September 2009

US Adventure 2009 - Memories






Been back to work since Wednesday 23rd September 2009. The places I visited at US were great. My last stop was Houston, where my cousin and her hubby resides. We then drove to New Orleans. It was a 5 hour drive, but a nice scenic one. A part of the journey saw the highway build above the legendary swamps of New Orleans. 

To be precise, we were specifically visiting the French Quarters of New Orleans. Very similar to our Jonkers Street in Malacca, time seems to stand still there. Buildings build more than 200 years still stand and there were many nice quaint shops and restaurants. I particularly like the food there. It was delicious and different from the other American gourmet. 

I must thank my cousin and her husband for planning the entire trip out for me. They were really gracious hosts. 

They also just purchased a lovely home at Houston at West University. Very cosy and classy place. Kudos to them. All their hard work is slowly but definitely paying off.

Just before my sojourn to Houston, Soon Seng took me to Lake Tahoe for a nite camping. The lake was breathtaking. I was also lucky to visit Lake Tahoe when the weather was very accommodating. I camped out in a tent and slept under the pine trees of Lake Tahoe. It was bitterly cold and uncomfortable but I actually want to do it again. If I am back in US next time around, a night camping will be on my agenda. 

I also manage to squeeze in a day trip to San Francisco city and a tour of Alcatraz. I must say that SF has a charm to the place. You cant help liking it. I enjoyed my trip to NY back in 2005. NY was awesome and cool; but SF is live-able, warm despite the cold winds and lovely to walk around despite the hilly streets. If I have to chose a place to stay between NY and SF, I would rather stay at SF.

Seeing how Lisa and Soon Seng get on with their life, makes me feel proud of them; particularly Soon Seng. From a mahjong-king in his school days to a responsible and abled husband and father, Soon Seng has come a long way. I was telling my buddy Chow Hoong when we met last week, 'Soon Seng is not on his way anymore, he is already there'.

Till the next trip overseas, its back to Malaysia. Missed the roti canai when I was at SF.

  

Friday, 18 September 2009

US Adventure 2009 - Vegas/Grand Canyon





Grand Canyon is a place I longed to visit, and I was standing in the middle of the Canyon on 9.9.09. What a date to be at the Canyon.

Flew into Vegas from San Jose for a 3 night stay, and signed up for this Heli tour from Vegas to Canyon. Cost me a bomb, but I suppose I am so near already, so - what the heck. Go!

It was a superb tour. The Grand Canyon is just that - Grand!

At Vegas, just walked along the strip and did some window shopping. The Casinos were awesome and the waitresses were.. well very well dresses, if you know what I mean.

Watched Le Reve at Wynn Hotel. What a show, superb use of the water and great acrobatic display. This kind of show is called a 'Cirque de Soleil' show.

Flew back to San Jose on Sept 11, another significant date in US.





Monday, 14 September 2009

US Adventure 2009 - San Francisco

The Thai Restaurant we visited for Lunch


The Tram at SF. Cool!



The crooked Lombard Street


GG Bridge with SS and son, Ryan


San Tung Restaurant. Good food!


On 7th Sept 2009, US celebrates Labour Day. So it being a holiday, Soon Seng & Lisa took me to SF city.

What a hilly city! We literally drove up and down in that place. Had lunch at a Thai restaurant. It is apparently the Wong Family's preferred makan place. But I must say, the food was tasty.

After a quick walk around Union Square in SF (where I got to see the iconic Tram of SF) we took off in Soon Seng's car to see the other part of the City.

We drove through the unique street of Lombard Street. It is a tiny narrow winding street, with houses beside it. It must the most crookedest street in the world.

Anyway, after driving around, came THE best moment, the drive on the Golden Gate Bridges. THE Icon of SF. It hovers over the San Francisco Bay, and the wind was strong. It's unique colour makes it more special.

We then drove to a nearby town of Sausalito which has a street which oversee the Golden Gate Bridge. Ryan had some ice creams, while SS, Lisa and I had coffee. Nice quaint town.

After taking more photos at a hill near Golden Gate, we had dinner at SF. This time at another Wong Family's favourite - San Tung restaurant.


US Adventure 2009 - Monterey

Gilroy Premium Shopping



Pebble Beach



Monterey Coastal Town




A lovely coastal town just South of SF. About one hour drive from Soon Seng's place. We all visited that place on the 6th September.

Had a great seafood lunch, before we drove along the coastal road to visit Pebble Beach Golf Course. The drive was scenic, and as we had to drive thru a National Park from Monterey's Fishing Wharf to Pebble, the drive took a more nature feel from then on.

Pebble Beach is a world class golf course. This is the 2nd so-called famous golf course I've visited after St Andrews at Scotland, back in 2000. I still some Malaysian golf courses are as good if not better; but I suppose that is just the Malaysian in me, always thinking we have better things then everyone else.

Ended up at Gilroy Premium Shopping Area. Some really affordable stuff there. Even when I visited NY back in 2005, I already discovered that despite the currency change (RM3.5 to USD1), many things sold at US is still lower in price to Malaysia. Whilst I am not a 'shopping-kaki' but I have to confess; I fell for the shop-bug and bought some items for my family and myself.

Dinner was at California's 'In & Out' Fastfood restaurant. Good Burger. Unique thing about this restaurant - all their cups have Bible verses printed below it.


Wednesday, 9 September 2009

MOO-ving away from Sedition & Unlawful Assembly Laws


I read with interest that the heroes from Section 23 Shah Alam will be charged with Sedition and unlawful assembly after that Cow-Head incident last month.

I dont agree with the unlawful assembly charge, as I feel people have a right to peaceful assembly. I also dont agree with the Sedition charge, as the Sedition is a form of censorship. People have a right to say and do what they want, in my view.


I know in my earlier postinsg I strongly recommended that the Section 23 heroes be charged, but my mind was focused on Section 298 and 298A of the Penal Code. I re-produce that here :-


298. Uttering words, etc. with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.

Whoever, with deliberate- intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utter any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person, or makes ant gesture in the sight of that person, or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.


298A. Causing etc, disharmony, disunity, or feelings or enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing, etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.

(1) Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by signs, or by visible representations, or by any act, activity or conduct, or by organising, promoting or arranging, or assisting in organising, promoting or arranging, any activity, or otherwise in any other manner-

(a) causes, or attempts to cause, or is likely to cause disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will; or

(b) prejudices or attempts to prejudice, or is likely to prejudice, the maintenance of harmony or unity,

on grounds of religion, between persons or groups of persons professing the same or different religions, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years.

(2) Sections 173A and 294 of the Criminal Procedure Code (F.M.S. Cap. 6) shall not apply in respect of an offence under subsection (1).

(3) Where any person alleges or imputes in any manner specified in subsection (1)-

(a) that any other person, or any class, group or description of persons, professing any particular religion;

(i) has ceased to profess that religion; or

(ii) should not be accepted, or cannot be accepted, as professing that religion; or

(iii) does not believe, follow, profess, or belong to, that religion; or

(b) that anything lawfully done by any religious official appointed, or by any religious authority established, constituted or appointed, by or under any written law, in the exercise of any power, or in the discharge of any duty, or in the performance of any function, of a religious character, by virtue of being so appointed, established or constituted, is not acceptable to such person, or should not be accepted by any other person or persons, or does not accord with or fulfil the requirements of that religion, or is otherwise wrong or improper,

he shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection (1) by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of persons professing the religion referred to in the allegation or imputation.

(4) (a) Where, on any ground of a religious character, any person professing any particular religion uses for burial or cremation of any human corpse a place other than one which is lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that religion, he shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection (1) by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of persons professing that religion.

(b) Where any person, on any ground of a religious character, counsels, advises, instigates, urges, pleads with, or appeals or propagates to, or in any manner or by any means calls upon, whether directly or indirectly, any other person or persons professing any particular religion-

(i) to use for burial or cremation of any human corpse a place other than one which is lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that religion; or

(ii) not to use for burial or cremation of any human corpse any place which is lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that religion; or

(iii) not to use for worship any place which is lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that religion,

he shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection (1) by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of persons professing that religion or different religions.

(5) Where any person who is not a religious official appointed, or a religious authority established, constituted or appointed, by or under any written law purports to exercise any power, or to discharge any duty, or to perform any function, of a religious character, being a power, duty or function which can be lawfully exercised, discharged or performed only by a religious official appointed, or a religious authority established, constituted or appointed, by or under any written law, he shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection (1) by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of persons professing the same or different religions.

(6) The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to-

(a) anything done by any religious authority established, constituted or appointed by or under any written law and conferred by written law with power to give or issue any ruling or decision on any matter pertaining to the religion in respect of which the authority is established, constituted or appointed; or

(b) anything done by any person which is in pursuance of, or which accords with, any ruling or decision given or issued by such religious authority, whether or not such ruling or decision is in writing, and if in writing, whether or not it is published in the Gazette.

(7) It shall not be a defence to any charge under this section to assert that what the offender is charged with doing was done in any honest belief in, or in any honest interpretations of, any precept, tenet or teaching of any religion.

(8) If in any proceedings under this section any question arises with, regard to the interpretation of any aspect of, or any matter in relation to, any religion, the Courts shall accept the interpretation given by any religious referred to in subsection (6), being a religious authority in respect of that religion.


It is my contention that with the specific provision in the Penal Code, we need not refer to the laws of Sedition.

Also, I am extremely annoyed with the AG (and the Govt) that they took so long before they decided to do this. I know some of you would say "they dont charge you upset, they charge also you upset"; but let me say this; that this kind of issue, the Govt MUST act fast to instill confidence in the people. The principle reason for Malaysian to lose confidence in the UMNO Govt, is their inability to act swiftly when expected to.


Instead, the Govt has no qualms to charge the people who took part in the recent Anti-ISA Rally. Also the speed of which they charged Anwar Ibrahim for the alleged offence against the strong looking Saiful is another issue.


But I suppose this is a positive step towards gaining our confidence. Now I hope the AG will prosecute properly. How many times we have seen people being charged for what is clearly an offence, but poor prosecution coupled with lousy police investigation has led to many acquittal. I believe the Malaysia Kini video is sufficient proof of any offence under S298/298A of the Penal Code.



Sunday, 6 September 2009

US Adventure 2009

San Francisco International Airport


Los Angeles International Airport


The Plane. My Sitting partner is holding a burger. Can you Spot him?



Soon Seng's Home


Been in US since 5th September 2009. The trip started off hilariously when I (only) realised that the flight from KL to LA was gonna stop at Taipeh. I thought it was a non-stop direct flight.

Then at the plane, as I was about to get comfortable in my seat, came this chap sitting next to me (whom I later found out is an American Muslim with roots in Pakistan) reading a book with arabic verses... dont tell me he is another terro..... never mind.

By the time I arrived LA, I was too tired to think. Caught a connecting flight to SF and eventually after almost 24 hours of travelling, I was in Soon Seng's car. It was a relief to see Lisa and him (& of course their boy, Ryan).

Then I notice the big bulge on Lisa.. Dont tell me she put on THAT much of weight. It can only mean... "Lisa is pregnant, 6 months already..." said Soon Seng. OK, another mystery solved (haha).

Congratulations to Lisa & Soon Seng on their soon-to-come 2nd child.

I will put up short Blogs on the places I will be visiting. Look out for it.


Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Why we must take back our country!


Ever since BN fell in a few states in the last election, we see the extremism in them or the BN-linked NGOs or people related to them. My last blog post was about that poor cow's head. But it is not just religious extremism we see. Let me just list down some of my favorites.

1. Syed Hamid Albar as Home Minister, arrested the Chinese Daily Journalist under ISA 'to protect her', while the hero who started the whole mess by calling "Chinese Pendatang", got away.

2. MACC investigates Tan Sri Khalid on cow gifts, but not checking out Khir Toyo with his HUGEEE house.

3. BN bitching about Anwar's proposal to invite BN MPs over to Pakatan, but did not carry it out; and instead we see BN induced 3 Pakatan Adun in Perak to withdraw from Pakatan. They are trying to do the same thing in Selangor and Kedah, I suspect by either buying off the Adun or using MACC to scare the Aduns

4. Attacking PAS for being extreme about the beer ban proposal in Selangor, but UMNO-linked NGO dragged a cow head about a Hindu Temple. How insensitive is that!?

There are a lot more examples I can give, which if I do, will only make this posting like a summary of events since March 2008.

But we can see the trend. The extremism taken by BN. The 'must-win-at-all-cost' attitude. There is no inner morality to take the country forward. There is no proposal for solution, but always an excuse for their failure.

Just recently at the Permatang state election, UMNO blamed the lack of voters turning up as the 'reason' for their defeat. Never mind that the UMNO-controlled Election Commission was the one who chose to have an election on a weekday, defying all logic that the election should be held on a weekend. We all know that UMNO is scared to have an election on weekends, as the outstation voters particularly those from KL, may fly back to vote against UMNO, like what happened on 8th March 2008.

Then we always hear of this mythical 'silent majority'. Every side claim to be the 'silent majority'. I dont intend to claim that, but instead I will claim the status of 'silently unhappy'.

I will say if I am part of the silent majority, who are silently unhappy - to ask my fellow unhappy friends to rise and take this country back. Take it back from the extremist. How, you may ask? Why easy, ignore these people. Put them in their place. Speak out. And if really really necessary, assemble peacefully to put your views forward as a group. Maybe a 3rd alternative party would be good. I have suggested this idea before, and I will continue to float this idea until such time the current political alternatives offers us the credibility, morality & honesty that we all crave for.

I would on the hand, say; if I am the silent minority, that we must do what we can to convince the purported majority of the illogicality that this Country is heading towards. We must convince the so-called majority that the country is heading to a meltdown. We cannot have a country run by extremists. And this would of course include PAS.

The people must prepare itself for the next election. Not to be swayed by the usual BN's tactic of boosting the share market to ensure we all have more money. Not to be swayed by the promise of the better tomorrow, when that was the promise given to us since the 80s but the promise remains unfulfilled.

We must take this Country Back, and this project starts NOW.