Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

(Adam and Laura wishing you a Happy New Year!)

Well, here goes…Happy New Year everybody. For the past few days I have been debating with myself if I will use the standard greeting for the start to 2007 and been tempted to drag out the lame old joke… “So what’s so happy about it?” But good manners dictate that I should not do that to otherwise more optimistic fellow-Malaysians. Personally I am not so ‘happy’ about the coming of the new year la. Because ah…think about it…what’s been happening in the last year that would qualify this as being a start to a ‘happy’ year? Nothing much, right? I mean rising prices don’t make me happy. Racial polarisation doesn’t make me happy. Political hams (and I don’t mean this in a haram sort of way, thank you) who play to the galleries with sharp-edged props and who are then allowed to continue to head our nation’s education system, positively make me very UN-happy. You?

But you know, as I sat watching the fireworks exploding in the surrounds of the distant Twin Towers and drank more haram stupor inducing alcohol I began to think that maybe things won’t be so bad in 2007.

Well, for one thing I think the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign is going to be an overwhelmingly success. Forget about just being Truly Asia. We are UNIQUE man! There’s no other place on earth where you can find what you can discover and enjoy in Malaysia man!

Forget Las Vegas. Forget Monte Carlo. Forget about Singapore in 2010. Come to Malaysia in 2007 for the most exciting games of chance ever invented.

Your body, my body. The latest hit (pardon the pun) game for all the family. Kill yourself or get a friend to do it for you. Lay bets on who’s going to get your mortal remains. It could be a short game or a long drawn out one involving months of court action and possibly millions in winnings for either party.

Forget Blackjack. Forget Baccarrat. Play Illegal Mansions. Instead of chips, buy a piece of land in the world’s newest ‘developed state’ (side bets taken on your ability to decipher just what the fuck that means) build your dream castle without bothering with such trivial details as planning permission. See how long you can play before your mansion is demolished. If you escape demolition you win!!! It’s not as tough as it sounds. Try it. Even simple ex-flag wavers for the railroad have played and won.

Win instant national, regional and international recognition. Take part in the most popular game in Bolehland…Here’s My Foot In My Mouth Suggestion of the Month Game. It’s an easy game to play but hard to win and the odds are low. Well, unless you can come up with better ones than these past winners…

***Give awards to Muslim men who agree to take widowed or divorced women as 2nd or 3rd wives.

*** Women are responsible for crimes such as rape because they dress provocatively and bring trouble onto themselves. (Good one to put your money on because it is a perennial winner)

*** Wishing each other Merry Christmas, Happy Deepavalli (a Hindu festival) or Gong Xi Fa Cai will condemn you to an eternity in Hell.

Thrill Rides. Forget about Magic Mountain. Forget Disney World. Forget Bunjee Jumping. Come to Malaysia for the thrill rides of your life. What’s a triple or quadruple loops rollercoaster? Just get on a Malaysian highway for the thrills of your life. Guaranteed to give you more than just white knuckles. And you DO bet your life on it!

For a more relaxed gaming experience try You Want To See My Marriage Certificate? Sign up for a weekend retreat to one of Malaysia’s island resorts. Book into a 6-star hotel or better still go all the way and buy your own luxury condominium. Place bets on whether you will get visits from ‘authorities’ demanding to physically sight marriage certificates. You win if you convince the ‘house’ that you and your partner are a) married and can prove it. b) you are merely showing him/her your etchings and that there are a cat and 2 Indonesian maids and a Bangladeshi gardener in the same room at the time. Or c) you are a foreign investor testing out Malaysia’s human resources.

Come to Malaysia for the best laughs. Forget Leno, Letterman, Seinfeld. READ A MALAYSIAN NEWSPAPER! Or better still come during parliamentary season and watch some comedy masters at work for free. For seating and show times visit the Malaysian parliamentary website

And the Biggest Game of All. Small bets. BIG winnings.

Try to identify a Malaysian without resorting to color, race or religion. Or visits to the National Zoo. Hurry. Hurry. Hurry. The bets are on.

Malaysia Truly Asia? Nah. Why should we be just truly Asia? I mean man we’re UNIQUE! I for one am not going to be shy about stealing a line from Singapore. They’re not unique. We are. Uniquely Malaysia. Better still… ONLY IN MALAYSIA! Okay la so it’s not original. But so true what. Where else la dei?

Okay, got some more leh…wait ah. I go and pour myself another drin…Eh? Empty already? Baarger! 200 Ringgit don’t buy much whiskey these days man. Shit!

Happy New Year.

(This article first appeared in a very slightly different form in the January 2007 issue of Off The Edge)


(Adam: NIAMAH!!!)

NIAMAH! My other blog dedicated to the little things in life in Bolehland.

NIAMAH! Say it out LOUD. It's therapeutic.

Sunday, December 24, 2006








Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone?

(Adam: Sigh. Please wake me up when it's over.)

I suppose that if our Malay friends and fellow citizens of Bolehland on the island of Penang celebrated Christmas they would indeed have a Jolly Christmas this year. Today’s NST carried the front page headline, “HOMES IN PRIME AREAS FOR PENANG MALAYS”. (Wow! Great sensational journalism by the NST flers. Keep it up and the NST’s circulation will overtake the tired old Star very soon.)

For those of you who have been asleep since 1957 here’s some background to that. Some months ago somebody up there in Pulau Pinang complained that the Gerakan led government wasn’t doing enough for the Malays on the island. Among the grouses was that the Malays could not afford to own homes in the prime housing areas of Penang. Of course any intelligent thinking person would have deduced that homes in prime areas cost more than others. That’s why they are called prime areas. And to buy them means that you have to work hard at something, succeed, make lots of money, then go buy the homes in the prime areas. But here in Bolehland that obviously isn’t the methodology. “Give me! I want!” seems to be enough to get the machinery chugging to grant the demands. Better than a magic wand if you ask me.

So how is it going to work for our friends in Penang? I read the NST story on page 16 but only after swallowing a Valium pill. Just in case, you know.

Second Finance, Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohd. Yakop announced that Pelabuhan Hartanah Bumiputera Berhad would purchase 3 parcels of land in “prime” areas to be developed into “affordable” housing and commercial lots for the Malays of Penang. The land was purchased from Island and Peninsula and TNB at what the minister terms “below the market price” (read whatever you want into that line and weep at why they didn’t do the same thing for the classic heritage Bok House in KL to save it from demolition) The minister also announced that the government was in the process of working out an innovative mechanism to ensure Bumiputeras, especially from the lower income group, would be able to buy the units. 2 questions here. Why would the lower income group want homes in ‘prime’ areas where everything else would be more expensive and where they would feel like second class residents among million Ringgit condominiums and bungalows with swimming pools? It’s like building low cost housing in Bangsar and Bukit Tunku. If you move lower income residents into a prime housing area wouldn’t that mean that the area would eventually become “non-prime”? Then how?

Hey there you are! You’re in a prime area now so what else you want? Isn’t this teaching the people to rely on handouts rather than to achieve and improve? You want to live in prime areas? Ok we give you la. Then you will always remain in the same shit state of mind so you will continue to vote for us. And…wait a minute! Ah maybe those politicians aren’t that stupid after all. Silly me! Hey listen I am 100% for the NEP and helping our deserving Bumiputera brethren but I don’t think this is the way to go man.

Towards the end of the NST article it was read that a trust was formed with RM2billion to ensure that real estate beyond the reach of the Malays could be purchased by way of a collective fund. Huh??? There’s probably some hidden wisdom for the good of our country behind this. But I’m sorry, folks. It escapes me. It just makes me really upset, as a citizen of this country to hear things like that. Real estate beyond the reach of the Malays to be purchased by a collective fund??? So how is that going to help in the development of a people? Sigh. That’s the way it is these days. Ask and you shall be given.

‘Tis the season to be jolly! But there isn’t really very much to be jolly about as we prepare to celebrate the season.

Samy Velu has already announced that our toll rates are among the lowest in the world. Of course he didn’t tell you that in countries that have higher toll charges you don’t have to pay the toll and then be confronted by blood vessel popping traffic jams right after you pay. And also, being Samy Velu, he told us that highway companies couldn’t recover their investments if there are no increases. Huh? Like the FUCK I care. It’s business isn’t it? You want the contract to build and operate highways you do your projections. And when your proposal is approved you’re on your own. Go shoot yourself and your board of directors if after a few years you realise that you’d made a mistake in your calculations.

Some other clown has said that our taxi fares are among the lowest in the region. Maybe true but the same clown didn’t say that we can only benefit from that if we can find a taxi driver who doesn’t ask, “pegi mana? Tak boleh ah. Jam la.” Or “Mahu pegi Ampang ah? 30 Ringgit” for a 5 Ringgit ride on the meter.

Another red-nosed entertainer has told us that water rates need to be increased because the privatised company trusted with providing us with H2O has suddenly realised that they had taken on too many debts that they cannot pay back. So? The government wants to privatise water supply. You want the job and bid for it. You get it. So get on with your job and your business. Ask your consumers to pay for your mistakes?

And our government is spending millions of our money to send some joker into space and have the opportunity to call him an astronaut when he is just a paying space tourist. Well one thing to be jolly about is that at least they have done away with the teh tarik stunt after providing the entire world with laughs for a while.

They are going to build a multi-million Ringgit sports complex in England to train our sportsmen and women when millions of other talented Malaysians still have to kick a soccer ball on gravelly lanes and beside longkangs.

And the list goes on and on and on.

A Merry Christmas everyone?

P/S Oh yes, and don't forget that the PM has now allegedly bought himself a yacht that cost RM30 million on a PM's salary of...what? RM30,000 a month?

A Merry, Merry Christmas Everybody!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Castles In The Air

(Adam doing his impression of myopic Malaysian leaders.)


Did you see the artist's impression of the soon-to-built new Istana Negara? It’s on the front page of The Star Tuesday 14 November, 2006

When I first saw it I thought I was looking at some Arabian stud farm. I don’t know why I thought Arabian stud farm but I did. Also it looks like it is set to be built in the middle of some arid wasteland to rival Putrajaya. If you look at the photo of the model you will notice the bare landscape but of course just like in all Malaysian architectural endeavors, in this model there are actually little shrub-like things that we are supposed to think of as trees and greenery.
Reminds me of a time when a Singaporean friend laughed at us Malaysians. “Wah, you flers very optimistic leh. You plant those pathetic twigs in the ground and pray that they will grow into real trees issit?” We do that don’t we? Cut the big old trees down. Plant little saplings and then water them with hope and neglect. Okay la these days they have somehow taken to planting palm trees instead. Don’t look good. Don’t provide shade. In other words, worth shit to nobody. Anyway, I am digressing. Back to the Istana Negara baru…

I have never been good at math. But this really confuses the hell out of me la. Okay, the 9th Malaysia Plan has been allocated RM200billion or something like that, right? And I read today that that amount has almost been spent! Okay, that money is for doing great stuff. Eradicating poverty, building schools, hospitals, infrastructure. You know, stuff that help to take us towards that Vision 2020 dream of becoming First World. And when you come to think of it that way, RM200billion ain’t a lot of money these days. Especially since our Ringgit is worth close to horse manure outside of Bolehland. So when I read that the government was planning to spend RM400million to build a new palace to house the Malaysian king, the Yang Dipertuan Agung, I was a little peeved. Wouldn’t you be? And the news of this latest Bolehland effort to throw more of the taxpayers money down the toilet came too close to the debacle of the Klang flers and their million Ringgit mansions.

The reason that the Klang fler gave for building his horrendous mansion was that he had to house a rather large family. 11 children and 11 grandchildren or something like that. Oh yes, he also said that he had included a surau in the mansion which he fully intended to let his neighbours, who were all living in less than shanty town conditions around his edifice, use 5 times a day for prayers. In this respect the Klang fler had more reason for his folly than the government for spending money on large buildings. Approved or otherwise. Why? Read the reasons given for wanting a new Istana Negara.

“We need a new palace with bigger space. Currently, the Balai Rong Seri of Istana Negara is also used as dining and meeting rooms. One room for multiple use is just inadequate”…Works Minister, Datuk Seri Samy Velu. Why???

The Balai Rong Seri is being used BOTH for meetings and dinners? Yay! Great. Maximise usage. Save money. I am sure that palace officials who are worth anything will know not to plan dinners and meetings at the same time. Actually, why not? Dinner meetings or meetings over food has been a Malaysian thing since Parameswara and his members sat under a tree chowing down and decided to make Melaka their home.

And unlike the Klang fler’s mansion I don’t think the neighbours are going to be allowed to take their evening stroll on the grounds of this place.

And in the photo of the launch which had the PM and the DPM present even the King appears to be telling old Samy that the place is too big.
“See? We cut it in half like this. Save some money for the rakyat, Samy.”

I wish it was really funny. But it isn’t.

What is happening to my country?

And why are clowns getting away with murder?

UPDATE Monday November 27, 2006

Just so the Malaysian rakyat do not feel left out of the goodies handout, good old Samy has just announced that
toll rates for five highways will go up on Jan 1 next year. Why? The government can no longer afford to subsidise toll increases. Surprise! Surprise!

Maybe the money saved will be used to help
those 1,555 schools in the rural and interior areas of the country that still do not have water and electricity.

I know. Sometimes I am an optimist.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

People Power

(Adam the method actor beefed up for his impression of a fat cat Malaysian local councillor.)
The most popular topic of conversation these days whenever I get together with my friends in pubs, mamak stalls, restaurants or just sitting around under a coconut tree tokking kok is the state of the nation. How we are being screwed by the politicians, the ineffective administration, the rising costs of living. All the usual things that Malaysians love to talk about so much la. And as usual all we do is pretty much just talk. Then we go back to our mundane lives and try to deal with all the problems we talked about. Until the next time things become too much to bear. Then we gather round the pubs, mamak stalls, restaurants or under the coconut trees and talk some more.

Then a few days ago I got to thinking about how maybe we Malaysians can do something about taking charge of our own lives and to effect change. Huh? Can meh? Sure can one. How?

(Just so you don’t lose track of things. I just said we can do but of course we won’t la.)

Remember back a few years ago, the people in the Philippines used something called People Power and overthrew their dictatorial administration that was headed by the husband of a shoe crazy woman? When that happened we all thought, “Wah! People Power really good man.” Happening la. Syabas people of the Philippines. People Power became the catch phrase for a long time. People can make change. People hold the power of their lives in their own hands. Those Philippines flers really did something great man.

Actually, People Power isn’t endemic to the Philippines. Never has been. We first practised People Power in the march towards gaining independence from the British. We all were passionate about Merdeka. We got together as one people we appointed a spokesman in the person of the Tunku and we won our independence. Without bloodshed.

Then we sat back and enjoyed the fruits of our first People Power success. But life became so good after that that we began to relax. A little too much.

And then we lost our sense of People Power altogether. We became dependent again. We were colonised again. This time by the people that we chose to govern us and to continue the work which we started using People Power. Life became so good that all we wanted to do was sit back, relax and enjoy.

“Okay la. You do it for me la. I pay (elect) you. You do it.”

Things came to such a state that eventually when things got bad again and we began to suffer a little bit of this and that we began to ask, “Eh! What happened? How can this be happening one?” Then, the people whom we had asked to ‘take care’ of things for us, things that we should have done ourselves, said, “Well, you gave us the mandate to do things for you what? So let us do la. You just sit under the coconut tree and enjoy lor.” We knew something was not right. We did not like it. But sadly, we realised that we had been sleeping under the coconut tree for so long that we had lost the ability to think, to do things for ourselves. So we replied, “Oh yeah hor. We elected you to do things for us hor? Okay, okay. Sorry ah.” And we went back to talking and grumbling in pubs, mamak stalls, restaurants or under coconut trees. Only this time we added to our tokkok sessions the phrase, “Hiyah! What to do?”, just before we ordered another jug of beer or glass of teh tarik. And we happily returned to our anesthetized state.

Fortunately, in recent times it has been proven that not ALL Malaysians have lost the ability to use People Power to make their lives better. I can almost hear you thinking, “Where got?” Got, I’m telling you. Think about it.

Those flers in the newly created city of Petaling Jaya flexed their People Power muscles and got things done to their satisfaction. They all felt strongly about something and got together as a single unit and affected changes that improved their lives. The fought, using People Power, illegal billboards excessive spending on city status celebrations, cutting down hills for highways.

And I really tabik those police flers. They knew the potency of People Power and used it. How? I am sure you have read all about the IPMC? Everybody say the police corrupt la. Inefficient la. Needs to be watched la. So some big fler said okay let’s set up this commission and that commission to whip the police flers into shape. So what did the police flers do? They were faced with something that would affect their lives in ways that they thought less than desirable. So they got together as one unit and used their People Power to effective say to all of us, “F**K you! We are not going to take this shit from you. So there.” And what did we (read you and me and the administration we elected) do? We were stunned. “Sorry ah, boss. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.” Then we retreated back to the pubs, mamak stalls, restaurants and under the coconut trees and grumbled and tokked some more kok. “Wah! Those police flers damn terror la.”

Of course, there are some of you reading this who will say, “Hiyah they all police what. Sure can do la. You try and see they sure hantam you one.” Really?

Remember the taxi drivers in Penang? They used People Power also. The blaardy garmen asked them to use their fare meters. The taxi flers got together, used their People Power and told the authorities and all of us, “F**K you. Georgetown to Tanjung Tokong RM20. So there!” We were stunned. “Sorry ah, boss. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.” Then we retreated back to the pubs, mamak stalls, restaurants and under the coconut trees and grumbled and tokked some more kok.

Once upon a time there was a kingdom of some sort up there in the sky. Those flers drank out of giant tea pots and sat under coconut trees a lot. But some people didn’t think much of it so they got together, exercised their People Power and burned the whole sky kingdom to the ground. We were stunned. But instead of using our People Power to right a wrong we chose to retreat to the pubs, mamak stalls, restaurants and under the coconut trees and grumbled and tok some more kok.

Coffee shops increase the price of a cuppa by 10 sen because the price of sugar increased by 10 sen a kilogram or a ton or whatever. They all got together and used People Power. We retreated back to the pubs, mamak stalls, restaurants and under the coconut trees and grumbled and tokked some more kok. And paid the 10 sen more.

Toll highway operators ask for and get to increase toll charges. They all got together and used People Power. We retreated back to the pubs, mamak stalls, restaurants and under the coconut trees and grumbled and tokked some more kok.

The government implements policies and projects that we do not like or want. They used the People Power that elected them into office to subjugate their flock of ‘sheep’. Okay la, ‘kambing’ as we’re in Malaysia. What do we do? I think you got the picture.

Just days ago I attended a public forum that was to discuss what Malaysians can do to set Pak Lah “free”. Meaning that Pak Lah is ineffective as Prime Minister because he is shackled by people or circumstances beyond his control and that we as citizens should do something to free him so that he can do the things he promised when we gave him the biggest mandate in history.

The panelists were high profile bloggers with readerships that surpass the newspapers and included the patriarch of an opposition party. (That the forum was organised by this opposition party should have told me to stay home.) The panelists/speakers did nothing to set anything free except that they freely expounded on their mostly new found fame on the Internet. One good thing did result at the end of the forum that night. During the question and answer session it was proven conclusively that most Malaysians are indeed well cushioned by the success that their forefathers won for them. It was all about… “Err…yes this is MY problem. What are YOU going to do about it? What can YOU do for ME?”

Shockingly, members of the panel proceeded to actually answer. Propagating the disease of apathy.

People Power. For good or evil. A most powerful force that most Malaysians continue to ignore. Why?

The Malays – Never mind la. Whatever happens the kerajaan, which will always be our majority what, will take care for us la. We are of the soil.

The Chinese – Never mind la. Can make money enough lor. My family in Perth la. Yours?

The Indians – You only go to see them when you are sick or need legal advice, right? Yes. THEY will do for YOU.

(The above article was first published in the November issue of Off The Edge)

Saturday, October 07, 2006


After I published the last post I read in The Star's obituary page that my friend, Sunny is dead. Traffic accident. Another family has lost a husband and father. Sunny was 49 years old.

Rest In Peace, friend.

Let The Killing Begin

(Adam. Ready to cruise for the coming festive holidays. 10 kph slower of course. Notice the maniacal grin?)

Deepavali. Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. Christmas. New Year. Chinese New Year. The annual culling season is about to begin. The body bags are laid out in readiness. The meat wagons are fuelled and ready to rush out to collect the carcasses off the slaughter house tarmac. Imams, priests and monks practise their funeral chants. Families prepare for the mourning which they know is inevitable.

The nation looks forward to the day when the culling practice will end. When the dumb, the reckless, the ill-maintained, the badly designed will be totally annihilated and the whole country will be populated by those who deserve to be alive.

Innocents will be culled along with the guilty. The nation will mourn them as martyrs. The statisticians will refer to them as collateral damage. They will be forgotten. The blood will fuel change.

Huh!!!??? Eh? Sorry, sorry, sorry. I was just reading the newspaper reports about the reduction of speed limit on federal and state roads for the coming festive season “balik kampung” rush. My mind suddenly wandered off into this grim idea for a fictional horror story.

Fictional horror story? Not really. It is very real. Each year the death toll on Malaysian roads continue to rise during the mad holidays rush. And each time the horrors occur statements are made. Politicians put on their sad faces and make speeches. Promises are made to make things better only to be forgotten with the next day’s headlines. Ops this or that will be launched. And yet the bodies continue to pile up the statistics.

So this year the major attempt at reducing this needless tragedy is to reduce the speed limit on federal and state roads by 10 kilometers per hour. From 90 kph to 80 kph. Pardon me if I don’t stand up and applaud. Actually, the whole thing is quite laughable.

Since he took over as the Inspector-General of Police I have admired Tan Sri Musa’s optimism. He’s got a big job ahead and he’s really gung ho about achieving what his predecessors have failed to do. He vowed a fight against corruption in the police force. He promised to weed out all the weak elements in the force. He said that police personnel who do not do their job will be punished. And no favoritism will be shown. After a while I tended to believe him or at least give the man the benefit of the doubt la. That is, until he made the suggestion to reduce the speed limit on federal and state roads in order to reduce the number of fatal road accidents during festive periods. Ah so.

Remember the day that big news came out? I am sure you do. First, the one-time people’s hero turned golf-playing Mr. Establishment, Lee Lam Thye came out and said it won’t work and might even cause more accidents because people might get bored with the slow speed and do more stupid things on the roads. Then the Prime Minister himself came out and said that it was a great idea, Of course after that everybody nodded their heads la. Ya, ya, ya, good idea.

But I am thinking. How is 10 kph slower for a couple of weeks going to make an iota of difference to the death toll?

How are you going to get to slow down, motorists who break every traffic rule in the book on a daily basis.

How are you going to get to slow down, motorists who got their driving licences simple because they’d learned to start the engine, put the car in gear and go forward and reverse. Okay la, some of them even learned to park.

How are you going to get to slow down, motorists who run red lights right in front of traffic policemen.

How are you going to get to slow down, motorists who use the left lane of a major expressway as their personal parking lane.

How are you going to get to slow down, motorists who think practising lane discipline using the turn indicators are things only 'pondans' do.

I could go on but I think you get the drift. These “authorities” continue to come up with their “brilliant” ideas. They’re either thinking we’re really stupid enough to believe what they say. Or they are sadists who get pleasure from pushing their tokkok in our faces.

Right. Make the announcement. 10 kph slower from this Thursday. YESSIR! All Malaysian motorists will obey the order.

Well, maybe they will. They will slow down from 140 kph to 130 kph. So there. Speed limit? Ya, ya, ya got. My souped up, giant chrome exhaust pipe-d kap cai/Kancil/Satria/Waja/Gen2 can reach speeds of 120/150/180/200/220 kph. But that’s it la. That’s the limit. Cannot go faster already.

Actually, when you think about it, for many, many years now the government has not been able to do anything about the appalling habits of Malaysian drivers. Except to churn out more and more bad drivers each year. And launching more Operasi this and that to keep us entertained or irritated. So don’t hold your breath. Nothing new is going to happen this year either.

Okay, enough of this. Go service and tune up your your weapons...I mean vehicles. The culling starts in two weeks. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A 3D Piece Of Cake

(Adam. For once not doing anything in particular but just being cute.)

My wife, Min, recently decided to go into the cake-making business. Well sort of. It's still just a great hobby for her. And she IS having lots of fun. Couple of weeks ago she made a cake for a kid's birthday who'd wanted a Barbie doll cake. If the kid had said that to me I would have just stared and asked, "What the @#$* is a Barbie doll cake?" But Min, being the creative mom she is knew and came up with this...

Good eh? Almost everything in that 3D party scene is edible. You can't eat the Ken and Barbie dolls obviously. Unless you're a pervert.

On the table are a pizza, a jelly, cookies, hamburgers, ice cream cones and of course the birthday cake. All edible. The mini-ottomans they are sitting on are cake. The mini paper bags and gifts packages are also custom made and contain real presents. The candlelabra is made from chicken wire. Can't eat it but you can use it to pick your teeth after.

There's more stuff to see if you go to her blogsite...Mama Min

She's got a great tagline too...Happiness Is Homemade.

Am I putting in a plug for my wife? Sure. Can't think of anyone else I'd rather do it for. And the smell of cake baking sure beats the hell out of that haze shit.


Don't worry. It's still okay to breathe.

(Adam doing an impression of the state of the nation. Decaying. Ugly.)

I live in an apartment on top of a hill. From where I live I can get a panoramic view of almost the entire downtown Kuala Lumpur area with the Petronas Twin Towers as the majestic centrepiece. Well, that is on normal days la. This morning when I opened the windows I choked on my first breath of what would normally be fresh air. The air was acrid with the smell of burnt ash. Where the Twin Towers normally would be seen there was a thick white screen of what Malaysian's so casually refer to as "the haze". I could not see nothing but this greyish white blanket of pollution. It was as though I was standing on an elevated vantage point and looking down at a ocean of smog. I closed the window and went back inside to have my coffee and read the morning papers. Then I got even more upset.

There on page N4 of The Star was an air pollutant index map of Malaysia. I looked at it and saw that Kuala Lumpur was given a “Moderate” level reading. Moderate!!!??? It sure didn’t look that way from where I lived. If this was moderate I’d really hate to be around this place when the levels hit the dangerous or hazardous mark. But that’s what the ‘authorities’ are telling us. Shouldn’t we believe the ‘authorities’? After all, they were elected or appointed to take care of things. To take care of us. Given what’s been happening in the country the past few years I should say “No”.

How can I believe them when the memory of the reasons they gave for not publishing the air quality index a couple of years ago still haunts me. Remember? Back then during a particular bad dose of the haze some yang berhormat or other said that the government would no longer release daily reports of the air quality index. Why? It would scare the tourists!!!

They didn’t say it straight out but there must have been a call for us to be martyrs so that tourists can continue to enjoy Malaysia, Truly Asia. “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask how you should die for your country.”

How can I believe them when they continue to make senseless statements from the safety of their air-conditioned, ionizer protected offices. I am holding my breath. Not only from the haze but also against the day when some bright Yang Berhormat will come out and give us advice to handle the haze. Remember back a couple of years when they told us of all sorts of creative ideas on how to deal with the bad haze then?

Drink more water. Sure if the water that came out of our pipes was actually drink-able without being processed by expensive filter systems which most Malaysians cannot afford.

Don’t go out in the open so often. Sure that is good advice if you’re one of those who are chauffeur-driven to work in an air-conditioned limousine. Not so good if your only mode of transport is your kap cai and you don’t have money to buy a full-faced helmet to go with it. Sure it is good advice if your home is totally cocooned and air-conditioned.

Use surgical masks. Good advice if you don’t have children who refuse to wear them or take them off the second you drop them off at school. Not so good if your children’s classrooms are open to the haze anyway. Even worse advice when supplies of masks run short because nobody prepared for the eventuality.

Eat more cucumber. Remember that one? Still sounds hilarious. Can somebody remember who made that call and what it was based on?

I am sure somebody will also revive the call to install water sprinklers on tall buildings to make artificial rain, which will wash away the haze. This is not such a bad idea because with the water quality that we have the only thing worth doing with it is pour it down the drain anyway. Some more, think of the millions that scheme will cost. Can make money one. Good for the economy ma.

The front page of The Star today carried a picture of tourists at the Kuala Lumpur Tower looking out at a haze obliterated view of KL and taking a photo of a photo of what the view should have been. Says one thing. Tourists, at least some of them, are stupid and Malaysians are very creative. Turn to page N4 again and read the headline story. “No haze in tourist spots”. Of course. We have to protect the all-important tourists. Tourism Malaysia’s Director-General says that the haze and pollution levels are not alarming in most of the tourist destinations. Well great for them but where I LIVE I think it is pretty damned alarming, thank you very much. Being a creative Malaysian he also used the “better than Ghana” rule. He said that it is not considered a problem in Tokyo if the Air Pollutant Index is between 80 and 100. Where I live the index today is 87. If Tokyo says that is not a problem let them have some of our haze. Let’s ship it over there like we do LPG or whatever crap we sell them these days.
Another thing I find very alarming is how we Malaysians have all come to accept the haze as an inevitable annual occurrence like the coming of the monsoon rains. We no longer think anything of it. Aiyah!…haze again la…cough… cough… Let’s go for nasi lemak at that open air mamak stall next to the highway. I heard that the mix of haze and carbon monoxide gives a real high la.

The haze has been our scourge for many years now. And each time it comes around we say that it comes from forest fires burning in a neighbouring country (we don’t mention names because we are polite people). Our elected reps go out to the media and make statements to inform us of how many “hot spots” there are in that neighbouring country, how open burning is still banned in our country (but what they never say is what steps, and how successful they are, they have taken to stop open burning). Bottom line. Nothing definite is ever achieved. But on the other hand…

Some senile politician from another neighbouring country makes some dumb-ass statement about Malaysian Chinese being marginalised and the whole Putrajaya goes ape shit. Apologies are demanded. The Prime Minister writes a stern letter of admonishment. The Foreign Minister calls for blood. The aging Youth flers probably waved some menacing keris-es around.

Hello, if it’s not happening and we are confident and comfortable in the development of our own country’s politics why should we be so hot and bothered by the utterings of an old man. We sure as hell don’t think much of these things when that old man is one of ours. We don’t even give him press space. So there.

But this haze is killing our people slowly but surely. Shouldn’t we send some Putrajaya missiles over there? Enough of this “pak” and “ibu” courtesies already. But then…

On the way to the office this morning I was driving behind this little kap cai with a couple and a kid sandwiched between them. Mom and dad and their little cute toddler. Mom and dad had on helmets and full visor which probably protected them from the haze a little too. But the little girl was happily unprotected. Gasping in lungfuls of shit with every inquisitive smile. Then a huge concrete mixer truck passed them belching thick diesel smoke to add to the air pollutant index statistics.

Ahhhh…Malaysia, truly…a third world country with first world fantasies. Malaysia…my homeland…cough…cough. Sigh.

Malaysia, Truly Asia. Just don't drink the water and don't breathe the air.

Oh, by the way, in the last post I captioned Adam's photograph with the line "I love my country but fear my government." I don't think it is so funny anymore. Do you?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I took my family out to the Zoo Negara; our National Zoo, which it isn’t at all but that, is another story. It was a Sunday and it was crowded. Malaysians all out to enjoy a day out with friends and family at one of the cheapest and most enjoyable public facilities in the city of Kuala Lumpur. And what a fine example of Malaysia was there at the Zoo that Sunday. At the ticket lines there were Malaysians of all races queuing in an orderly manner. Smiling. Friendly. Happy. Being a Sunday there were busloads of school children with their chaperoning teachers and parents. All dressed in their crisp, colorful school uniforms. From the expectant looks on their faces and their barely conceal-able enthusiasm I deduced that they were out-of-towners on a visit to the capital city. When we were lining up to enter the turnstiles we were joined by other equally enthused Malaysians. Inside the zoo we walked in the company of tudung clad school children. Indian Malaysians clad in sarees in all the vibrant colors of the rainbow. Whole Chinese communities chattering away in almost all the dialects of the Chinese language. It was like a reenactment of the Tower of Babel but with a healthy dose of friendly diversity. When we stopped for a picnic lunch. We had sandwiches and sausages and salads next to a table where a Malay family was enjoying their picnic lunch of curries and nasi and ayam goreng and petai. When we rode the zoo tram a tudung-ed Malay lady and her little boy offered my 6-year-old daughter, Laura a chocolate cookie which she accepted with a polite “Terima kasih” and a smile of friendship. Totally unprompted. When we left the zoo for home I had this warm, gushy feeling. It’s good being Malaysian and living in this multi-racial, multi-cultural paradise. Sigh. We are SO lucky.

This feeling of almost euphoria lasted for almost an hour. We got home. Showered. Looked at the photos we took at the zoo. The smiles. The colors. The togetherness.

I sat down to read the Sunday newspapers. Then…POOF! Reality kicked in.

There on page 2 of The New Sunday Times the headline, “Najib wants Koh to prove he is CM for all races”. Apparently, the Penang Chief Minister had been criticized for allegedly not doing enough for the Malays. Our Deputy Prime Minister in an apparently display of true Malaysian spirit had come out and openly played a racist card by making the call to a Chief Minister of a state! Strangely enough nobody seems to have identified exactly what “not doing enough” for a particular community means. The message that comes across is just that a Chinese chief minister isn’t doing enough for the Malays in his state. Phwa! Sure goes a long way in promoting racial harmony and tolerance, right? If someone had actually come forward and said that this kampung needed a school or a hospital or a new road or a new bridge or clean running water or something and that the state government should look into it right away and make sure that what is planned is carried out – GREAT! Get it done. But no. It’s always Malays, Chinese, Indians lain-lain. It is always the politicians sowing seeds of misunderstanding, distrust. It is never a case of “Hey we are all in the same coalition government. We try our best to do what is best for ALL Malaysians.” Instead it is the same song and dance. We are fighting for the Malays. You are favoring Chinese. Indians.

Tell us la. What is the problem? In detail. And if it is true that a community is being treated unfairly all the electorate, Malays, Chinese, Indians and lain lain will make sure the CM or whoever is responsible answer for it.

But to me what is actually happening just sounds like “Hey, we are politicians and we are fighting for ourselves to stay in power so that we can milk this country for what it’s worth.” Keranamu Malaysia? KeranaKU, Malaysia seems more appropriate.

I know. Maybe I am just being naive. But I think that on the ground or what is popularly referred to as grass root levels Malaysians are a happy lot. Sharing. Caring. Able to discuss and resolve issues peacefully among themselves. Add keris-waving, shoe leather-loving politicians into the mix…Malays, Chinese, Indians, Lain-lain.


On the same page of The New Sunday Times just above the DPM story is a quote by our Prime Minister which, depending on how you want to take it, provides a ray of hope or is just another pile of bovine manure.

“Keep your promises to people, PM tells reps.” Pak Lah was ordering assemblymen to be committed in serving the people. A commitment which surely must include preserving racial and cultural harmony, right?

Funnily, this order from the PM was read out by his deputy! And in the presence of the Chief Minister of Penang!

But then, these days we rarely take utterances by our Pak Lah seriously anymore. Or do we?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Happy Birthday, Malaysia. My country. My home.

(Adam: Malaysia is my country. My home. I'll not let anyone F**K it up.)

In a few hours my country celebrates its 49th birthday. 49 years since we were rid of the shackles of the colonial masters. 49 years since we became a nation. 49 years of trying unsuccessfully to be ONE people.

Throughout the peninsula and over in Sabah and Sarawak millions of once-a-year patriots will be waving Jalur Gemilang’s and shouting MERDEKA!!! on cue. In stadiums, on the streets, in pubs, by the beach. Millions more will be at home in front of the TV. Contributing their few seconds of annual patriotism. Before they switch channels back to the EPL or some reality show calculated to instill such great values in our Malaysian lives as envy, greed, pipe dreams and overnight success without passion or effort. There will be much party-ing and celebrations. The reasons for celebrating? Nobody really knows except that it is August 31 and it is our Independence Day and it’s a day off work. For most Malaysians I daresay it will be just another holiday with the chance to look at some fireworks if one happens to live near enough to where they are being fired.

Tomorrow will be a different story. It will be back to the mundane routine. Of trying to earn a living while trying to avoid being run down by mad drivers, enduring badly maintained public transport, coping with rising costs with static salaries. Of wishing for better things. Of having absolutely no options. Wondering what has happened to the last 49 years of hopes and aspirations.

For some it will be a return to debates about the really IMPORTANT things in life. Luxury cars and who are entitled to buy how many at what price. How to cut down more trees and build more houses and then how to refute all allegations of wrong doing when lives are lost in landslides and collapsed homes.

For others it will be back to arguing about scenic bridges and sand deals. How many bullets national service trainees expand in the novel idea of shooting guns as part of service to the nation.

Long after the smoke from fireworks has blown over to a neighbouring country to choke their lungs for a change. And the celebratory litter has been cleared from the streets, proud Malaysian flags will be left to rot and tear in the ever-choking smog of indifference. Until next August 31.

Hopefully, there will be some Malaysians who will spend the day quietly reflecting on the times when ALL of us were just Malaysians without the distinctions of race or creed. Living, working and being ONE people in an independent nation with tremendous potential to become a happy, prosperous country of diversity.

Hopefully, there will be many Malaysians who will make a stand and not allow their homeland to deteriorate into a slum of polarised disintegration. Malaysians who will say “Enough!” to political double-speak and make personal commitments to work hard towards efforts to really achieve true nationhood. Malaysians who will stay and fight for real independence, harmony and solidarity. Malaysians who will finally understand the oft-misinterpreted slogan KERANAMU MALAYSIA. That Malaysia is NOT Pak Lah. Or Najib Razak. Or any of the circus of politicians with facial hair that jostle to get their mugs included with that slogan.

Malaysia is you and me. Our families. Our neighbours. Our communities. Malaysia is US!



Sunday, July 23, 2006


(Adam: Malaysia Boleh? Boleh, boleh, boleh. Jom! Kita makan dulu.)

While in conversation with a friend the other day I had an epiphany. Of sorts. For years we have been so proud of a slogan we borrowed from a chocolate milk drink.

Malaysia Boleh!

Using it to tell ourselves what a wonderful nation we are. We can do anything. Malaysia Boleh means Malaysia Can Do It.

Can Malaysia do it? Malaysia Boleh? Of course. We CAN do anything. The relevant question we should have asked ourselves before shouting that slogan is whether or not we WANT to. Sadly, the answer is NO!

Rightly, we should shout to the world and more importantly to ourselves WE WILL DO IT! But no.

Malaysia Boleh. Malaysia Can Do It. We have shouted it from our rooftops. From the world stage. We have taken it to the top of the world and across the oceans of the planet. It didn’t matter if getting to the top of the world is a feat that is achieved almost every month of the year by almost anyone who cared to try including paraplegics. It didn’t matter that we tax payers had to spend millions of Ringgit to salvage the Malaysia Boleh effort to literally drag someone’s boat half way round the world just so we can say we did it. We also drag out the slogan whenever a Malaysian, it doesn’t matter if he or she has not lived in the country nor could care less about Malaysia, makes some headlines anywhere in the world.

For years I’ve wondered why we are so happy to shout “Malaysia Boleh” at every opportunity. I still don’t understand. We’re still in the shit hole. We have been voted the 3rd rudest country in the world. Our universities are at the bottom of the poll list. We are no longer better than Ghana in a lot of things. See? They made it to the World Cup while our football is still the stuff jokes are made of.

Why? Why? Why?

Why? Malaysia Boleh merely means Malaysia CAN do it. Sure we can do it. We can do anything that we put our minds to. If we work hard. If we persevere. If we are passionate about wanting to achieve great things. If we are all those things then surely Malaysia WILL do it.

But we’re quite happy to remain just above the shitty level in achievements and to wallow in our mediocrity. Thank you very much.

Malaysia Boleh!

Post script. Somebody just told me that there is no word for “WILL” and “WANT” in our National Language. True ah?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Relek ah Brudder.

(Adam: Eh relek la brudder. What's your problem?)

We Malaysians are such a relaxed people. Nothing ever seems to faze us. Much. The word emergency does not seem to exist in our vocabulary or it is a word that conjures up a totally different reaction from any other people in the world. Emergency ah? Wait ah. Minum dulu ya?

Saturday 21 July, 2006. Bukit Antarabangsa. City of Ampang in the recently declared developed state of Selangor.

Around 2 o’clock in the afternoon Bukit Antarabangsa was assailed by hurricane force winds. A fairly common occurrence in the area. As expected this caused a fair amount of tree damage. Along Jalan Wangsa 1 leading up the hill to the housing area are decades old pine trees which are rotted and probably termite infested. With winds of that force I expected some of the trees to lose branches and maybe even be totally felled. At 3.15 p.m. I drove along Jalan Wangsa 1 and sure enough there I saw debris strewn along the whole stretch of road. Big branches broken off. And smaller twigs blown off by the winds littered the road right down to Jalan Ulu Klang. About 1 km below. Halfway down one of the trees had lost a huge branch which lay across the road one end on one side of the road and the other precariously hanging from a fork in the tree trunk on the other side. Traffic had to navigate across the opposing lane and under this heavy branch. Dangerous situation, no? A passing car could be badly damaged. An unsuspecting motorcyclist could be killed if the tree fell on him. An emergency situation surely.

I called 911. A lady answered. I told her the about the situation. She listened patiently, asked for my name which she insisted on pronouncing as “At trick”, and then said that she was going to connect me to the Ampang Fire Department. Less than 30 seconds later a man answered identifying himself as Balai Bomba Ampang. I explained the whole situation again. His tone of voice when he reacted to my story told me that he was a little less than interested. He then asked for my phone number and my name which when I told him he insisted on pronouncing as “At Trick”. I shall never again think of my given name as common.

Bomba: Okay la. I will call and inform the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.

Me: Call the MPAJ? But this is an emergency. The tree could fall and kill somebody.

Bomba: Ya? Oh you mean the tree is hanging across the road ah?

Me: Yes.

Bomba: Okay la we call MPAJ and see how.

Me: But this is an emergency and you are an emergency service, right?

Bomba: Ya la. But we call first. If MPAJ knows about it then we don’t have to come out la. But if they are not there then we will come out.

Me: (Resigned) Okay la. Terima kasih.

Come out? We’re talking about taking a leisurely stroll are we? But that’s the way Bolehland works. No problem, beb.

This incident reminded me sadly of what happened when my father died in a private hospital in Ipoh. My father was terminally ill in the Intensive Care Unit of this private hospital well-known among Ipoh folks for being very expensive. (I should have known then that in Bolehland high prices do not buy you high quality services.)
When I saw that my father was having great difficulty breathing I went to the ICU nurse’s station and asked if there was anything that she could do to make him feel more comfortable. She never looked up from the file she was working on and casually asked if I wanted her to call his personal doctor? When I offered that she should have a look at him and decide professionally if he needed the doctor’s assistance her reply shocked me into a stunned silence.

“We only call for the hospital doctor when it is an emergency.”

“What???!!! My father could be dying. If that is not an emergency what do you term an emergency?”

“When the patient stops breathing”, was her nonchalant reply.

Of course less than 10 minutes later my father’s breathing stopped. Then all hell broke loose. Pandemonium. Bells and sirens actually went off in the ICU! At a volume loud enough to have caused several more fatalities in that Intensive Care Unit of that very expensive private hospital in Ipoh.

My father died that night as a result of our radically different interpretation of an emergency.

At the apartment where we live the fire and smoke alarms have gone off on numerous occasions. Each time my family and I are the only ones who have left our unit, walked down the emergency stairs to the ground to await resolution of whatever caused the alarms to go off. Others stayed home. Watching football on TV, having their dinner or simply shrugging their shoulders.

Emergency? Jangan risau (worry) beb. Kita call dulu (we call first) then we come out.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


(Adam in SUMO mode.)

My sincere apologies for not updating the blog for so long. I have been busy working on Afdlin Shauki's new film, SUMOLAH!

Please go and visit the SUMOLAH! blogsite.

You can take part in a contest to win cell phones OR a walk-on role in the movie with Afdlin Shauki, Gurmit Singh a.k.a. Phua Chu Kang and Thailand's Inthira Charoenpura (of Nang Nak fame) OR a free trip with the cast when they film in Fukuoka, Japan.

Or you can just go visit and see photos of the shoot, the locations, the stars. Or just kay-poh with what's happening on SUMOLAH!


Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Malaysian Disease

(Adam: "Ya what?")

I hosted an event at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton hotel in Sentral. As part of the deal I was accorded the use of a day-use room at this spanking new, 5 (or some claim 6) star rated luxury hotel. It's a HILTON! Those of you who have been there before will know that just to get up to the driveway requires your submission to a security check. Okay la so the check is done by a couple of tired-looking, bored boys in police uniform and equipped with a mirror on a stick. Oh yes, there is the mandatory flashlight as well. Of course, everything about the hotel is top quality. The uniforms are crisp. The finish on everything is expensive. The rooms are luxuriously furnished.

From big screen plasma TV...
to silky smooth sheets and fluffy pillows. Okay la, so I'd messed up the bed a bit before I took the photo.
The bathroom is excellent. Separate bath and shower stall and toilet. Top of the range toiletries. Thick, soft towels. Bathrobes in batik cotton.
Personal office space...
Personal mini bar and refreshment centre...

But..........obviously, someone forgot about the minor details of maintenance. This was the condition of the electric iron plug. For a Hilton hotel this is surely unforgiveable...

Also as part of the deal my manager and I were each entitled to a RM50++ meal voucher. As I mentioned earlier, most of everything in this Hilton hotel was top quality. Visuals of Mat Salleh Hilton managers drilling and grilling the staff about quality crossed my mind. Then we were handed our meal vouchers...

They were slightly larger than postage stamps. They looked like they were hurriedly printed from the sales secretary's computer and cut with a pair of blunt scissors from...TA DA!!!...the infamous A4 sized paper!

So what's the point of this rant?

Is doing business in Malaysia or just being a Malaysian similiar to being infected by a deadly disease? Does our infamous apathetic attitudes infect everything and every person who comes in contact with us?

To add to this theory of infectious Malaysian-isms, I recently visited a sales office in the ultra efficient Singapore. But because the business was Malaysian...

Me: "Good morning may I..."
Them: "Ya what?"
Me: "I wish to find out if I may change (details deliberatedly left out)"
Them: "Cannot..."

...and so it went on. It made me feel right at home.

Think about it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Malaysian Slogans

(Adam practising for a possible career in slogan writing for the Kerajaan.)

Through the years since Independence we have been bombarded with loads of government slogans. Most of them have been crap and have achieved nothing more than taking up space. Slogans are by definition a word or phrase used to express a characteristic position or stand or a goal to be achieved. In typical Malaysian style the creators of Malaysian slogans have done little except provide a good laugh for the readers. Sometimes.

Since I started a list of Malaysian slogans in the comments section of the Stay Home blog a number of comment-ers have sent in their 'contributions'. I thought that it would provide a good giggle so instead of leaving them in the comments section which some visitors to the blog might miss I have decided to list them here. Contributors in (...). The list will be updated as and when new slogans are remembered and/or received. Enjoy...

(For the sake of some of our foreign visitors who may also want to understand and learn from our Malaysian slogans, can someone translate the BM into English? Thank you. I've done some that I can. Please excuse my less than SPM BM, okay?)

1. Visit Malaysia. It's Like You Never Left Home (I can't blame this on anyone cos it's my own:-)
2. Malaysia. Truly Asia.
3. Bersih. Cekap. Amanah.
4. Berkhidmat Untuk Negara - Service For The Country
5. Keranamu Malaysia - Because of you Malaysia
6. Cinta IT,Sayang IT (anonymous) - Love I.T.
7. Sekolahku, Rumahku...(manny) - Your School, Your Home
8. Malaysia Boleh!!! (can't believe you guys forgot this (manny) - Malaysia Can Do It!
9. Budi bahasa budaya kita (ummi) - Courtesy Is Our Culture
10. Efisyen Efektif (and two other E's that I've seen on a Khir Toyo billboard, can't remember though) (unladen swallow) - Efficient. Effective.
11. (removed)
12. Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang (Ummi)
13. Negara bersih, rakyat sihat (Ummi) - Clean Country. Healthy Citizens.
14. Satu Lagi Projek Dari Kerajaan Barisan Nasional (bongkerz) Another Project By The Barisan Nasional Government.
15. Belia Benci Dadah (Deb) - Youth Hate Drugs
16. Bahasa jiwa bangsa. (actually, this is one of the few good ones) (Adrienne) (Thank you, symposium for pointing out that silly spelling mistake...Bangsar!)
17. Tak Nak! (Anonymous) - Don't Want
18. Saya anti rasuah (Nazir) I Am Against Corruption
19. Bersatu kita teguh, bercerai kita roboh (Deb)
20. Undi BN, Undi Pembangunan (bongkerz) Vote BN, Vote Development.
21. Majulah sukan untuk Negara (Deb)
22. Pandu cermat jiwa selamat (Deb)
23. Pandu dengan cermat. ingatlah orang tersayang (TG Sheril)
24. Jauhi diri anda dari dadah... (echo...dadah... dadah... dadah...) (Keropok)
25. Mesra, Cepat, Betul (Mesra? Okay lah, to be fair to the men in blue, sometimes when you talk to them nicely, they can be very helpful and friendly. Syabas!

Cepat? Ever tried calling them about a robbery? They will only arrive at the scene 2-3 hours after the robbers have looted everything clean!

Betul? I agree with this one... They are always RIGHT! Don't argue with them, they are always right! No matter how wrong they are, don't "cari gaduh", just shut up... ) (Dean Arif)
26. Kepimpinan melalui teladan (Anonymous)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Stay Home

(Laura practising her harem girl dance steps.)

When I visit U.K. I try to experience the English lifestyle. Warm beer, pub grub. I also try to see as much of the cultural and historical sites I can. Buckingham Palace, the Changing of the Guards, Stonehenge, the moors etc. etc. When I get the chance to visit the USA I will also want to try the American way of life. "Have a nice day", real beef burgers, giant milkshakes, popcorn by the ton etc. etc. In either place, the last thing I want to do is go look for nasi lemak or teh tarik or dim sum or any of the other things that I can get at home at a fraction of the price.

Well, apparently the Arabs are a little different from me when they travel. Or so it would appear looking at some of our efforts to attract more Middle Eastern tourists. Right in the heart of KL's Bukit Bintang area is Arab Square, a little square of land which used to be a children's playground for the residents in the area. It has been transformed into a piece of little Arabia.

Ain Arabia (meaning ‘source of water’) has a gazebo, park benches, feature wall, kiosks and pedestrian and street lights. It features works by Uzbek carvers and Syrian painters, a welcome archway AND an Arabian teapot-water fountain as a welcome symbol ...

(didn't someone say tea pots were really bad things when they raided that Sky Kingdom commune?)

The ex-member of the Yemen Parliament, Dr. Saadaldeen Talib even said that, "It’s very relaxing for both mind and soul and makes an ideal meeting place for the Arabs," says Saadaldeen who was among guests at the recent official launching ceremony by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

Tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said that with these and other efforts at Arab-ising "...we foresee a good increase of tourists from those regions..."

In efforts to further woo Middle East tourists to Malaysia, Adnan said a designated area called "Ain Arabia", or the Arab street, located inBukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, was introduced to showcase various Middle Eastern restaurants and shops.

So instead of building on the history and the color and the cultures that are inherrent in the Bukit Bintang area we are on an all out effort to create something alien and totally out of place. Sound familiar?

We are told that pre-9/11 the Middle Eastern flers loved to visit Europe and the USA. Do you think that the Europeans and the Americans tried to change their cities or their cultures to tap the Middle Eastern tourists $$$? Of course not. They knew that tourists come to experience the American or European lifestyle. And if they, the Arabs, couldn't do that they wouldn't go, would they?

I am told that according to ministry figures Singaporeans make up the largest group of visitors (8.79 million) to Bolehland. So how come we don't set up shops selling Bak Chor Mee and other uniquely Singaporean delicacies? How come we don't dedicate a section of the city to them? Let's say, Jalan Alor. Managed with typical Singaporean efficiency? With all the eating stalls housed in ultra-clean hawker centres with clean toilets. The Thais make up the second largest group, 1.73 million. So, let's build lots of big, golden Buddhist temples somewhere.

Sigh. I guess Bukit Bintang is going to undergo a transformation whether we like it or not. Wait...I've got a slogan for the Tourism Ministry's marketing efforts in the Middle East...


It's Such A Joke!

(Adam cringing at some of the things people say.)

On page N29 of The Star today there was a really laughable quote from our ex-P.M. The old Tun is the chairman of the Perdana Leadership Foundation which organised the Perdana Global Peace Forum yesterday. During a special session titled Action Plan For The Global Network For Peace he said that the media in the United States that propagated freedom of press was in fact controlled by five media moguls. He said the media there did not report the true picture of what took place in Iraq or Afghanistan. He added that journalists were subordinates in a controlled media. Because of this, he said, the local media should not depend on the foreign wire services for news reports on other parts of the world.

Really? So the media in the USA is controlled by 5 moguls. What about the media here in Malaysia? The last time I looked it sure looked like most of the Malaysian media is controlled by organisations linked directly or indirectly to the ruling parties in the coalition. Is that better? Will that ensure press freedom? And if the local media do not depend on foreign wire services who should they turn to? Bernama? Journalists subordinates in a controlled media? Sure is not the case here. Or is it?

Funny story isn't it?

Thursday, June 15, 2006


(Adam: Wake me for food only.)

Some days when I wake up in the morning and I think…

1. Nationwide increase of fuel prices
2. Nationwide increase in electricity rates
3. Perak to increase water rates by 15% from July (I expect it will be nationwide eventually.)
4. Landslides kill innocent people.
5. Authorities lay the blame for landslides on God.
6. Authorities insist that they are powerless to stop unsafe hillside developments.
7. Unsafe developments continue.
8. Malaysians continue to buy unsafe, substandard housing.
9. Nationwide sugar shortage.
10. Formaldehyde in fish.
11. Bird flu.
12. Liars in Parliament.
13. Kids dying in national service (that statement is so tragic).
14. Hollywood-style shootouts on the streets.
15. Ulamas offering to destroy racial harmony, cultural understanding, community acceptance. And replacing brotherhood with “Tolerance”.
16. Et cetera…et cetera…et cetera…


Then I think…

1. The food is great.
2. The weather is not severe.
3. No natural disasters. Well…close one eye la.
4. Lots of public holidays and shopping malls.
5. Cheap DVD’s.
6. It’s better than Ghana
7. Errrrr……errrrrr……errrrrr…….

………..I think I will go back to bed. Goodnight.


(Adam: One last ice lolly before changing lifestyle.)

Last night I was surfing the tv channels trying to avoid the World Cup when I tuned into the closing seconds of a news story with our Deputy Prime Minister. Can’t remember the exact words but the DPM was expounding something or other on the current sugar shortage. Apparently, smuggling was one of the causes of the shortage and Najib said that if it smuggling persists the government will have to raise the price of sugar. (Oh-oh. Guess what is going up in price next.)

He said that the rakyat would not be happy about that. OR…he suggested…we can choose to take less sugar. In other words, change your lifestyle!

Thank you, Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, SIR!

Tell us la how you are going to solve the problem and we will willingly pitch in to help as responsible citizens. Take less sugar, squeal on smugglers, whatever it takes la. Just don’t talk to us like we’re small children la. Can or not? Hiyoh! Like that also don’t know.

Okay lah. Just to piss you readers off some more here is a photo of the DPM and his ma cai's supposedly having a BN management meeting. and I presume that one of the things they discussed was the sugar shortage and how Malaysians should cut down consumption of sugar. Sure looks like a lot of the sweet stuff on that table.........(Photo copied from NST Thursday15 June, 2006)
And another thing...the table appears more cluttered with food than meeting notes. And the way they are dressed and all the food on the table doesn't give me the impression that they had done or plan to do a lot of 'meeting' or work. Is it just me? Come on.

Smells Fishy

(Adam: You sure or not???)

I looked past the glassy eye of the dead kembong fish to the piece of the New Straits Times it was lying on. Pak Lah’s photo. Now, say what you like the guy has a great photo image. The Prime Minister la not the dead fish. Can’t tell the difference issit? Ya, Pak Lah is photogenic, the most so of all our PM’s I’d say. Great, “sincere” smile. Makes you want to look at him. Makes you want to see/read/hear/listen to what he has to say. But of course when you do he doesn’t really say anything worth shit la. But that’s a different story.

Last Tuesday’s NST front page screamed “Answers: Government to explain to the people”. Cool, I thought. Finally we’re going to get to the bottom of things. The real story. The Expose.

Turned out I was just hallucinating because my morning coffee had No sugar and too much caffeine. On the left of Pak Lah’s photo the story revealed that the government was going to kill off allegations made by the ex-PM. Good. But it goes on to say that these explanations may or may not be a tell-all read. Huh? How can explanations NOT tell all. Tell half ah? And then?

Wait, there’s more laughs coming. Apparently, our dear PM with the great smile told the MP’s and senators that “he did not want anyone hurt in the process”. And it went on to say that several of the MP’s took that to mean that the PM did not want Dr. Mahathir’s image dented. My initial reaction to reading that bit was, “What the F***K???!!!” Did not want anyone hurt? Did not want an image dented? Hello! The lights are on but is anyone home? As a simple, tax-paying, law-abiding citizen of Bolehland I could care less about dented images and hurt feelings. All I want is the truth and justice to be done. Is that too much to ask? And while we’re at it what about our very dented image as the laughing stock of the global stage? Maybe some attention should be paid to repairing that since we’re so concerned about images.

Okay la, that part of Tuesday’s NST front page irritated me but the last paragraph of the front page story really pissed me off la.

“Datuk Mohd. Said Yusof (Jasin) said: “At no point did he lose his cool and or start accusing anyone. He said the Government must show Malaysians that we are transparent.”

Remember this Datuk? Yup, he’s the ‘close one eye’ fler. He’s still there. He is now telling you and I about being transparent! I almost choked on my sugar-LESS coffee.

What happened to his case? Does anyone know? Does anyone remember? Does anyone care? I guess not.

I used Pah Lah’s page to consign the dead kembong to its icy crypt.

Then I read the wrappings for the vegetables.

And I am glad I did because on page 4 of last Tuesday’s NST there is a photo of that “one-eyed” MP from Jasin. This time with this laughable quote on the Mahathir/Pak Lah battle…

“All the MP’s are happy with Pak Lah. We offered to explain to the rakyat because if Pak Lah did it, he would be accused of being biased”

Yeah right! And when YOU do it we might think you’re LYING?

Is it just me or is it the general feeling of distrust and scepticism whenever we hear or read of utterances by our politicians? I mean, there used to be this kind of trust:…oh is it ah? Okay lor. I accept your explanation. But these days…no la.

Recently, there were reports that the fish sold in our markets contained formaldehyde (the stuff they inject into corpses to keep them ‘fresh’. Sorry. Couldn’t resist that.). What???!!! You mean I am embalming myself each time I eat ikan bakar? Chicken got bird flu. Meat is not good for health. And now fish also got problem. Eat what next ah?

But don’t worry …Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr. Abdul Latiff Ahmad assures us that the formaldehyde level in our fish is at a “permissable level”. I want to believe him but…somehow I can’t la. Not 100% anyway. Sure got something or other not told to us. So that no images will be dented or feelings hurt ma. Get it? And some more don’t have photos of YB’s sitting at a table tucking into plates of fried fish. Sounds fishy.

Excuse me while I transfer Pah Lah and the kembong out of the freezer and into the garbage.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

It's His fault. He did it. Again.

(Careful guys. HE's watching your every move.)

Photo of the Eye of God copied from

If I was God I'd be damned pissed off at Malaysian officials. They have blamed a lot of things on the Almighty. Cracked highways. Floods. Landslides. Even for the all forgiving, all compassionate big Guy in the sky I am sure there must be a limit.

When the killer landslides in Ulu Klang happened I was waiting for the inevitable to be uttered. Well, to their credit they did manage to spend the first couple of days just pointing fingers and passing the buck. But yesterday it happened. And this time it was the Ampang Municipal Council president, Datuk Ahmad Safii Saidin who was given the task of passing the ultimate buck.

" is all in God's hands. God creates everything and if disaster strikes then it is God's will..."

Listen to what you said, YB. Sure God created everything. So if you fuck around with what he created He will kick your ass. And He did. And do you think that He will take kindly to the loss of those lives He created that were snuffed out by your inadequacies? I don't think so. Those will be on your account and guess where that reckoning is going to take place? What will you say then?

But...Surprise! Surprise! I never knew it would happen but it did.

In today's New Straits Times, the original "'s an act of God..." fler, Samy laid this latest one on ... human failure! Samy's learned his lesson? Or maybe God told him in a dream or vision, "Oi! Samy! Enough already. Or else..." Maybe the cracks in all those highways were his final warnings.

But the cynic in me has this niggling feeling that those cracks may be just indications that after blaming God for so long, Samy may have made a pact with the other guy whose name is always spelt in uppercase. Repairing those cracks is a multi-million Ringgit business you know. Hmmmm...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Not so funny leh.

In response to my blog about the rising prices of utilities like electricity and petrol a reader make a comment in jest (I think) that it won't be long before we get charged for breathing the air. I smiled when I read it. But today in the NST there is this advertisement which wiped the smile off my face for a minute. Has it started? Are they now showing us how to make clean air? Just like they so subtly got us buying and using water filters when clean water is a tax payer's right? Don't laugh. It might just happen. What? You think air is free ah?

The Circus Is In Town...send in the clowns

(Laura doing her impression of a Malaysian local councillor in full regalia)

Friday June 02, 2006: I am still reeling in disbelief after reading today's newspapers, The Star and The New Straits Times reports on the killer Ulu Klang landslides. There were excuses flying around, fingers pointing in all directions, bucks being passed. All accompanied by what the NST called "Another round of rhetoric, recriminations, accusations and stern warnings." But even without having to read too closely or between the lines we all realised that nothing good is going to come out of this circus performance. Nobody is taking responsibility. Nobody is making plans to stop this from happening again. And both our Big minister and his ultimate boss, Pak Lah (quite frankly, I am beginning to not want to address him as Pak anything anymore) have not learned the difference between giving warnings and using the extent of the law to protect lives and property. In page 7 of NST, this Prime Minister of ours continues to "hope", suggest, advise. I think he should kick some sorry asses and use the big stick. This pussy footing is killing innocent people.

Well, the story did report that he has directed the Public Works Department to carry out regular inspections of hillslopes and riverbanks. This is tragic because I seem to have heard this line before. Many times. The more people die, the more regular inspections are carried out. What happens after those inspections nobody knows and more will be carried out to commensurate with the body count at the next disaster.

Read this quote from the NST..."I hope the PWD will immediately start conducting regular inspections, especially during the rainy season. If this is done, appropriate follow-up action can be taken to strengthen the affected areas."

Anything wrong? Yes. 2 things.

First it is only the PM's "hope". And we all know how those having been going south recently.

Second, the follow-up actions hoped for somehow never happen. Ask any of the victims of all the landslides. Oh, sorry they can't answer you cos they're dead.

Elsewhere in the NST it is revealed that the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council had been warned about the unstable areas that are prone to landslides. But this finding was not made public because some quarters feared that it would cause a drop in property prices!!! And so the land did slide and with it all property prices around the area. So what's the nett result? Some innocent people died. But that's okay. We got more.

In the same story, the accused developer denied any responsibility. I almost cried when I read this quote from the CEO of the company. "We were not required to build the retaining wall in our original layout plan which was approved by the authorities but decided to do so out of goodwill upon a request from the authorities." You know that the area is not safe. You continue to build and sell properties there. And a safety feature to you is just a good will gesture to satisfy some 'authorities'???

The CEO goes on to point the finger at another development which she claims is the cause for the land becoming unstable. Okay, so the other guy did it. But isn't it your corporate and human responsibility to stop work and stop selling once you made that discovery and also start actions to report and or rectify the situation?

But one 'good' thing did happen in today's NST. The Big minister obviously got his P.R. people to do the right thing. The NST published a photo of him in his "upset" mode. Yesterday, he was fuming. Remember? But the photo of him in profile didn't really give the rakyat the proper impression. And so today...

"I'm UPSET. You hear?"
Actually, looking at his teeth he might have made a fairly decent dentist. Pity.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

More excrement from the big guy

(The Big Minister: See I told you baargers already. Now how?)

Photo copied from laman web Menteri Besar Selangor

There was another landslide in the Ulu Klang area yesterday. This time the landslide killed 4 innocent people.

I live in the Ulu Klang area.

I am very sad for the families of the victims (and I shall slap the next person who tells me that it's lucky it is only an Indonesian squatter area).

But more than sad I am ANGRY.

I am angry that such a thing could have happened again in an area that has already experienced 4 other fatal landslides since 1993. I am angry because like all the other times the politicians come out and visit the area, they put on the requisite sad and concerned looks. And they make statements. And then all will be forgotten until the next landslide.

Since I moved into the Ulu Klang area about 5 years ago I have seen hills being cleared, housing built and being built on precariously steep hill slopes. Since the 1993 Highland Towers tragedy there has been much talk about scrutinising developements on hillslopes etc. and how the authorities are going to be more careful in their approval of such projects. Talk, talk, talk...then more people die and talk some more. So 4 more landslides have occurred since 1993 and more people have lost their lives. Watch out for more talk and pronouncements from our elected representatives.

And then be prepared to die. From landslides caused by irresponsible development, drinking the tap water or just simply from working yourself to death to pay for the higher priced petrol and electricity cos nothing is going to happen make anything better.

In The Star today, the Big minister of our developed state was reported as "fuming". Meaning
that he is very, very, very angry la, that this has happened. He "...put the blame squarely on
greedy developers, contractors and consultants and ordered the proper authorities to review
projects situated in high gradient areas..."

So there. But this next quote is a killer one la.

"...I am fed up with the developers' attitude. In this case <...> the stage government's technical team foresaw the problem and had recommended the developer take mitigation measures to prevent a landslide. But they did not heed the call, and I am coming down hard on the developer of this project. I will make sure future projects involving high gradient areas are scrutinised with a fine tooth comb."

Just from that one paragraph alone, I as a member of the tax paying rakyat have a lot of questions I demand answers to.

Fuming? If he had any conscience or an ounce of honour he would resign. Sure the developers are to be blamed for cutting the hillside. But who gave them the approval for the project in the first place? It is a high gradient project in an area where there has been 4 other fatal landslides. So why were more developments allowed?

The government's technical team had foreseen the problem???!!! If they had foreseen the
problem why the f**k did they still allow it? Measures to prevent landslides? If such things were 100% possible the big Man upstairs would go out of business.

And the developers "did not heed the call"??? What the f**k does that mean? So what were
you doing about it? You mean they told you and your people to go f**k yourself and you let them? How many had to close one eye to allow that to happen?

So now you say that you are going to scrutinise all future projects involving high gradient areas.
So after the 5 landslides and the tragic loss of lives you are still planning to approve projects in
Ulu Klang which you yourself admit is a landslide prone area? I don't get your logic.

One more thing. So those people died and the Big minister made all the right noises at the
site. But I hope that as he drove out of there he also noticed all the other "projects" that are
being carved out of the Ulu Klang hills. Doesn't need his technical team to foresee shit. Just
drive along Jalan Ulu Klang. Anybody can see that there are scores of landslides waiting to

Wait...wait...wait...with one eye closed how to see, Patrick. Shit!

postscript: This MB guys is so full of crap that if he doesn't release some on us from time to time he'd this bit from the state website (which they copied from The Star)...

Retaining wall failed, says MB
Posted on Thursday, June 01 @ 15:19:22 MYT

KUALA LUMPUR: The landslide, which flattened the longhouses, was caused by the failure of a

retaining wall built by the developer of a nearby project, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr

Mohd Khir Toyo said.

He said the retaining wall was only completed a week ago.

“Maybe it was a faulty design by the developer's consultants,” he said at the scene last night.

Dr Khir said the 54ha development was a distance away from the houses that were buried in the landslide.

However, he said the state government ordered the retaining wall to be built because it had reason to believe that the building works would cause the soil to become loose.

He added that the land where the longhouses were located was given to Malaysians but they

were rented out to Indonesians.

Dr Khir said the retaining wall was 100m long and 0.6m high.

“This incident should not have happened at all. I am very disappointed with the irresponsible

attitude of the consultant and contractor,” he said.

He hoped that the relevant authorities would take the necessary action against them.

the star online

I have red-lined the bits I think are shitty and stupid coming from anyone who is the Big minister of a developed state. You want to play also? Get a red marker pen.

I am not being very funny today as I write this. I find nothing to be funny about. Strange.