Thursday, February 21, 2008

Who's the devil in disguise? Judge by yourself....

If you happen to watch the national television channels, i.e. RTM1 or RTM2, you may have come across a series of commercials demonizing the few rallies (BERSIH, HINDRAF) that took place of late: Protestors were seen resorting in "violence", and in "violence" they mean holding banners and chanting slogans merely. On the below were captions branding protestors as "pengganas" (terrorists). Then a few naive peasants would be "interviewed" and they would typically say rallies disrupt peace and business or some shit like that. At last, the few opposition figures would be shown and again a caption asking audience if they want such "terrorist" leaders.
To which I say: "Poorah!" National TV is supposed to be the government's channel and not BN's but of course in Malaysia government is equivalent to BN. I'm not a hardcore opposition supporter but I feel that enough is enough and stop demonizing those peace rallies and their unarmed supporters. Justice needs to be served and hence I present to you the link to the photos which depict what really happened and which quarter is the real demon. Click here for the Hindraf woes. Just to balance up the power in media war. Lest we forget what the powers that be have done to us rakyat, especially at this point of time when polling date is near.

Please vote wisely!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Astronaut or AstroNOT?

In economics, there is a thing called "information asymmetry" which is defined as a situation when "one party to a transaction has more or better information than the other party" (Wikipedia). Hence, the better informed party will more often than not be in a more advantageous position than the ignorant party. This is very true in the context of stock markets or any other markets, where the brokers or insiders usually possess some information which laymen like you and I will not know, and hence be taken advantage of. Putting it to the national context, it is not surprising that the theory holds as well, for haven't we witnessed how judiciary has been manipulated "secretly" for the benefit of some quarters, the evidence only to be revealed to the public recently?

However, pursuant to the technological advancement, particularly the invention of internet, information asymmetry seems to die down a bit as it is now way easier for the people to access to information. Everything is just a click away. Good thing or bad? Depends on which party you are. Of course those who had better manipulation of information would be cursing now. Example? You ask. Look at the recent "Angkasawan" farce. Wait, shall I continue calling Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor an "Angkasawan" after all?

Ever since the Angkasawan program was announced to the public, and that the "Angkasawan" will spin Gasing, eat Malaysian traditional food, observe Muslim rituals in the space (Our religious authority even came out with guidelines adapting religious rules to life on the ISS (International Space Station)), it has drawn negative response from the public, especially those educated middle class people: they are skepticle with regards to the purpose of the program, and most importantly, what is it that the Malaysians have to bear higher and higher petrol price while the Government is spending astronomical figures to send a fellow to the space just to spin Gasing? The Government said this is free as part of a deal where the Ministry of Defense buy 18 Sukhoi 30-MKM jet fighters from Russia. But it doesn't take a genius to understand the quote "there is no free lunch in the world". The cost to go up space is certainly not cheap and you think the Russians are generous enough to absorb the cost? For sure there are lot more about the Sukhoi deal which we do not know (information asymmetry?) but thanks to Raja Petra's Malaysia Today, we know that something fishy is going on. One may argue that what he wrote may not be true. However, the point here is not whether his article is factual, but the fact that we are exposed to a variety of information from different sources and hence can draw our own conclusion and not fully believe in Government's rhetoric utterance.

The gasing-spinning, Malaysian food-eating, Sarong-wearing, etc have drawn laughters and criticisms, and so out of embarassment, the Ministry of Science announced that the "angkasawan" will conduct a few researches, namely to study of the effects of microgravity and space radiation on cells and microbes, as well as experiments with proteins for a potential HIV vaccine. I'm not a scientist but may I ask what the hell are these researches being conducted in the space for? It raises doubts as to whether significant results can be retrieved within such a short stint in space and even if they could, what is the significant application of a research done in space for the patients on Earth? If it is the U.S. or Russia which conduct the researches, it may seem admissible since they have space stations in the space which enable them to continue their study over time (which also beats me why such studies had never been conducted by them as yet, obsolete, maybe?), but Malaysia? No comment... As for the Islam guide for astronauts, no offence to the Muslim friends but is it really necessary to strictly observe all the rituals even if you are out in space? After all, the guidelines was made by mere human in the name of God, not by God Himself.

Ok, ok. Since the Government insists to go on (how can they abort such high-profile project halfway?), fine. At least, we will have our first "Angkasawan", or first human to eat Nasi Biryani in space, or first Muslim to celebrate Hari Raya in space, first this, first that, etc for us to BRAG about. But hey, according to NASA, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will only join the spaceship crew as "spaceflight participant", unlike the Commander, Peggy Whitson, and Yuri Malenchenko who are the "flight engineers". As the word "spaceflight participant" suggests, Sheikh merely went up the space in the capacity same as an U.S.-Iranian billionaire's, who spends millions worth of dollar to engage in the space tour. The Press Kit of the Expedition 16, which is available on the website, stated that Sheikh "flies in space under a commercial agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency"(I heard it's free?) and that he will perform "a number of Malaysian science and outreach experiments as part of his stay on the station". And that's all that's mentioned about him in the 96-pages Press Kit. See, the NASA angmos don't even bother about what kind of research you are carrying out.

So, what is the relevance of the information asymmetry I have mentioned earlier on with this? Well, imagine we are in an era where there is no internet, and hence it would be very hard for us to lay our hands on NASA's detailed information and thus find out that our "angkasawan" is indeed not an angkasawan. Therefore, we would be fooled by the authority through the mainstream media that ours is indeed a full-fledged angkasawan, and not a space tourist. And the Government's goal to use this program as propaganda for the very soon election would be achieved. And mind you, our Government is very good at utilizing media to remain in power: making propagandas like the (once) tallest building, Sepang F1, the landing of a Proton car in North Pole (though to date I still wonder what's the point of doing so), etc; keeping down all the scandals which are about to break out by issuing warning to the mainstream media, and so on. But with the widespread use of Internet and the recent rise of bloggers, information which is detrimental to the Government is made available to the public. And no wonder the Government is on the bloggers' trail nowadays. Having said that, Malaysian grassroots are actually buying all these propagandas. Ask the people in rural areas, and they will say that Malaysia is very "canggih" and better off than many countries, all thanks to our Government. And you can't really blame them because unlike urban dwellers like us, they hardly feel the pinch of inflation of almost everything. Worst still, their main source of information is from mainstream newspapers and televisions, which either suffer lack of press freedom, or are a subsidiary of the dominating Party of the country. But being the net-savvy, informative and educated urbanites we are, will we believe in whatever the Government says, for we have seen so many insider information and scandals which broke out from the Net? Now that we can gather information from various sources such as NASA website, are we likely to believe in "Malaysia Boleh" propaganda and follow suit into the space hype and hysteria the Government is creating to instill "feel good" factors among voters? After all, bloggers are "monkeys" which in nature, are rebellious. Notwithstanding, do not expect a political climate change in short-term, as Malaysia is still made out from majority of ignorant grassroots, who would be very proud of Malaysia's "achievement" in space.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

There are Cyber-Intelligentsia as well as Cyber-fools

The recent hoo-hah about the BN Government's threats to reprimand those bloggers who are alleged to have "disrupted peace in Malaysia" and "disrespected the King and Islam" has certainly sparked the latest round of bout between the powers that be and the cyber peasants. If you ask me, I would certainly side the bloggers, for I am in fact a blogger as well, albeit the fact that my blog is so ill-maintained... All in all, it is a battle of a certain significance, for the outcome of it will decide whether we are heading towards a more liberal, open society which assumes "freedom of speech", or we will be heading backward to the society described by George Orwell in his epic novel "Nineteen Eighty Four (1984 for short)", where people's thoughts and comments were subject to the scrutinity and supervision of the authority. "Big Brother is watching you," as he famously described it, and everyone was living in fear, just like how they did in real life in the U.S. during the 50s era, and in Taiwan during the 60-70s, all thanks to the Government's anti-Communist antics.

Freedom of speech, huh. Here, I gotta qualify myself first. When I mean "freedom of speech", I mean, one can freely exercise his rights to voice out his opinions and comments, preferably with good reasoning and rationale, and most importantly, having taken into consideration racial and religious sensitivity, for we are living in a multi-ethnic society. In other words, I'm in support of our PM's statement that "there is no absolute freedom in this country", but I would definitely support him more should he make sure that his bunch of party monkeys will abide by this simple rule and stop waving a crooked Kris and taunting to soak it in a certain race's blood. In this sense, this aforesaid "freedom of speech" should apply to every Malaysian, be he a politician, a citizen, a Muslim, a Chinese, a Malay, An Indian, A Christian, etc....

As for the troubled bloggers, the reason why I support them is, they had not put down any sorts of racial or religious discriminating remarks in their blogs, let alone seditious ones. Nathaniel Tan was remanded under Official Secret Act (OSA) because he was alleged to be accusing a certain Minister of taking bribes, whereas Raja Petra was "invited" to the police station because of some sensitive comments left by some anonymous on his infamous blog, Malaysia Today, the action of which, he suspects, was actually done by the dominating political Party. I especially regard Nat's case a serious violation of freedom fo speech for what wrong does he have for revealing the wrongdoings of an authority high above the hierarchy of power? The powers that be can use all kinds of accusations or engage in all sorts of machineries to take action against him, "for the stability of the country", but it always seems to me that these bloggers are screwed not so much for the stability of the country but rather for the stability of a certain group of people's political position.

Now allow me to back to the topic of "freedom of speech". If you are observant enough on current issues, or you happen to be a youtube addict, you would probably have come across this rap song called "Negarakuku" which was created by a Malaysian who now resides in Taiwan. As the song title may have already suggested, the song was made by modifying our National Anthem "Negaraku". Apparently, the creator who called himself "namewee" is a graduate in multimedia studies, hence I must admit that his piece of work is of quite high quality, at least there is creativity and it is well presented, minus the vulgaritiy, of course. But as much as I acknowledge his creativity, I am really troubled by the music video. Here, he had cleverly used the Visit Malaysia Year 2007's advertisement as the base of his MV, with also excerpts that he collected elsewhere. But what really annoys me is the song's lyrics. In his song, he addressed all the problems which have been faced by Malaysia all this while, particularly from a Malaysian Chinese perspective. Police bribery, limited entry to public universities for the Non-bumis, the nonchalance attitude of the Government servants, racial politics were all being touched in his song. I certainly have no qualms against him addressing all these but the one thing which I cannot tolerate is how he touched on religious issue: he actually made fun of Muslim's morning worship and their loud prayers. There had been an issue with regards to loud prayers early in the morning before and it is fine if you want to bring out this matter in a reasonable way. But you should not mock or insult other people's religion and their rituals. I presume this is quite basic. Ask yourself, do you like it when people of different religion insult your religion or your race? Apart from that, all his remarks about denial of entry to public uni for Chinese independent school students only suggest that he sees only his own kind's benefit in his eyes, and he has surely forgotten that in Malaysia, besides Malays and his Chinese counterparts there are also other ethnicities: Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, Seranis, and even Caucasians. I bet this certain namewee grew up in an all-Chinese environment and had minimal exposure to other races, be they Malay, Indians or Mat Sallehs, and hence his ethno-centrism in all his views.

So, while you accuse the Government to be racist (something which I cannot deny, sadly), are you yourself a racist as well? Making fun of other people's religion, stereotyping a certain communal as lazy, bragging about Chinese capability, emphasizing only Chinese welfare, etc., are you in anyway better than the powers that be? There's a Chinese proverb that reads: "If you don't like something to be done on you, don't do it on others." I guess you are certainly more aware of this proverb than I am, since you are fully Chinese educated, from primary to tertiary, whereas I only had 6 years of Chinese education at primary level. My friend said that you really have got balls to have created such a song, but I would call you a bloody coward who has got no balls. If you have the courage to create such song, don't hide yourself in Taiwan and come back to Malaysia. Since you have so much discontent towards the Government or the dominant race, comeback and protest against them. Be an activist like Nat Tan, be a politician like the likes of Ong Ka Ting, Lim Kit Seang or Tian Chua to turn things around, or be a movie director to voice out your discontent in your movies, though I really doubt that you can reach the level of another Taiwan-based Malaysian director, Tsai Ming Liang, after seeing your vulgarities and mediocre antics in your song.

When you think that you are doing your own kind a favour, Namewee, or whatever your real name is, the fact is, no, you are not helping us in anyway. You are instigating hatred among races. The Chinese youngsters who saw your seditious MV will generate hate against the Malay, and the Malays who get to know about your rubbish will be angered by it. Good job, Namewee, for producing a junk which defeats its own purpose.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

See you very soon....

Yes.... one more exam to go..... and after that..... all hell's gonna break loose......haha hahaha ! The evil of examination will bug me no more!!!!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

She ain't messin' with no broke, broke?

Argggh.....exams, assignments, all come to haunt me at once. I'm so damned worn out by all these....worse still, there will be so many events happening on the coming weekends, F1 Carnival, Hitz Birthday Bash, KL Band Comp, and Kanye West's concert, and I have to suck up with all those books....!@#$%

Speaking of Kanye West, I wonder what the concert will be like. You know, whatever performance which is endorsed in Malaysia has to be of decent nature and suiting the "Malaysian" context, which, unfortunately, is rather vague to define. Remember Michael Jackson's concert in Malaysia, where Mr Wacko Jacko had to modify his trademark "balls-touching" gesture to show decency? Of course, that was years ago. Wait a minute, do you remember Pussycat Dolls' tour to Malaysia last year? Apparently the concert got too "heat-up" by these chicks' sexy dancing and gestures (one of them accidentally got her top off!), and Rais Yatim was so furious about it that he slammed PCD and the organizers thereafter.

OK. I'm not saying who's right and who's wrong because it is very subjective. But the truth remains that there are differences in values between these performers from the West and the authorities of the East. Of course Kanye West is not too vulgar if compared to the likes of 50 Cents but still, his songs contain obscene and sensitive contents, which the authorities may deem as "inappropriate". So can you imagine how Kanye is going to perform Gold Digger in Malaysia?'s version may provide a clue: (words in bold are edited; words in red are original lyric)

[Jamie Foxx]
She take my money when I'm in need
Yea she's a trifflin friend indeed
Oh she's a gold digga way over town
That digs on me

(She give me money)
Now I aint sayin she a gold digger (When I'm in Need)
But she aint messin wit no broke broke (niggaz)
(She give me money)
Now I aint sayin she a gold digger (When I'm in Need)
but she aint messin wit no broke broke (niggaz)
get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave)
get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave)
get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave)
get down girl go head

[Verse 1:]
Cutie the bomb
Met her at a beauty salon
With a baby louis vuitton
Under her underarm
She said I can tell you rock
I can tell by ya charm
Far as girls you got a flock
I can tell by ya charm and ya arm
but I'm lookin for the one
have you seen her
My psychic told me she'll have a (beep*)(ass) like Serena
Trina, Jennifer Lopez, four kids
An I gotta take all they bad (beep*)(ass) to show-biz
Ok get ya kids but then they got their friends
I Pulled up in the Benz, they all got up in
We all went to din and then I had to pay
If you(beep*)(fuckin) with this girl then you betta be paid
You know why
It take too much to touch her
From what I heard she got a baby by Busta
My best friend say she use to (beep*)(fuck) wit Usher
I dont care what none of ya'll say I still love her

(She give me money)
Now I aint sayin she a gold digger (When I'm in Need)
But she aint messin wit no broke broke(niggaz)
(She give me money)
Now I aint sayin she a gold digger (When I'm in Need)
but she aint messin wit no broke broke(niggaz)
get down girl go head get down (on your knees)
get down girl go head get down (on your knees)
get down girl go head get down (on your knees)
get down girl go head

[Verse 2:]
18 years, 18 years
She got one of yo kids got you for 18 years
I know somebody payin child support for one of his kids
His baby momma's car and crib is bigger than his
You will see him on TV Any Given Sunday
Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai
She was spose to buy ya shorty TYCO with ya money
She went to the doctor got lipo with ya money
She walkin around lookin like Michael with ya money
Should of got that insured, GEICO for ya moneeey
If you aint no punk holla We Want Prenup
It's something that you need to have
Cause when she leave yo (beep*)(ass) she gone leave with half
18 years, 18 years
And on the 18th birthday he found out it wasn't his

(She give me money)
Now I aint sayin she a gold digger (When I'm in Need)
But she aint messin wit no broke broke(niggaz)
(She give me money)
Now I aint sayin she a gold digger (When I'm in Need)
but she aint messin wit no broke broke(niggaz)
get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave)
get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave)
get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave)
get down girl go head

[Verse 3:]
Now I aint sayin you a gold digger you got needs
You dont want a dude to smoke but he can't buy weed
You go out to eat and he cant pay yall cant leave
There's dishes in the back, he gotta roll up his sleeves
But while yall washin watch him
He gone make it into a Benz out of that Datsun
He got that ambition baby look in his eyes
This week he moppin floorz next week it's the fries
So, stick by his side
I know his dude's ballin but yea thats nice
And they gone keep callin and tryin
But you stay right girl
But when you get on he leave yo (Beep*)(ass) for a white girl

Get down girl go head get down
Get down girl go head get down
get down girl go head get down
get down girl go head
(lemme hear that back)
Oh, maybe he won't sing this song at all....

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm bannin' it

I don't know about you all but I seriously find this rather stupid: the recent controversy about fast food and all. I'm quite sure that even my friend McIvan, a hardcore pro-BN ( and PDRM) ultra, would find the hoo-hah rather futile since he himself is also a hardcore McD fan.

The story went like this: Our most honoured Health Minister YB Dato' Chua Soi Lek is feeling that Malaysia should impose a ban on fast food advertisements at televisions since fast food is supposed to be the "primal suspect" for the cause of the increase in population of obesity in Malaysia. According to him, fast food has been proved in countries like the U.S. and the U.K. the main factor among all to have caused obesity.

While what he has argued about may proved to be true, it may not be totally true in the Malaysian context. The real culprit of the increasing obesity rate may still be out for verdict, since we Malaysians are not only glued to fast food, but rather we are always indulging in Nasi Lemaks (tambah the Sotong), keropok this, keropok that, Char Kuey Teow, Satay, etc., all of which contain high calories and high cholesterols. Which do you think, fast food or the Malaysian delights, is more popular among Malaysians? I will definitely place my bet on the latter, for you should consider the differences of the price between both: Nasi Lemak Ayam+Teh Tarik (which is usually super-sweet) will cause you around RM5.00 to RM5.50. McValue Meal of Big Mac(M)? RM8.15 excluding tax.The answer is quite clear as to which of both is our favorite breakfast.

From the economic point of view, such act actually violates the basic economic law introduced by Adam Smith, which is the operations of a free market: authorities should not interfere in any economic activities as long as these activities are legal. While this theory is quite unrealistic to be implemented since there should always be a class of control by the government on certain economic activities such as cigarettes and liquor (which are regarded as being "sinned"), can fast food industry be considered "sinned" and be regulated as how they are with Marlboro and Carlsberg? They are food, anyway!

Instead of lingering with the issue of whether fast food ads should be banned from the television, why not put some time in thinking of more effective ways to educate the people properly, that high calories or high choresterols food, be it fast food or mamak food, should be taken lesser. All in all, Malaysians are not idiots to not being able to think by themselves what's good and what's bad to them, and the Government need not interfere with our daily lives with what we eat, what we do with our couple (Mat Skoding!), what movie we should watch (Amir Muhammad's new film is banned again), and so on. If they really care about us, check out what prices are we paying for oil, salt, rice, toll, and so the list goes. I think we Malaysians are more concerned with that.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Kuda- The biggest threat to security?

The death of the former Penang police chief, Datuk Albert Mah, in the attempt to resist the robbers who broke into his house, has rung the alarm and indicated to us how bad crime has become in Malaysia. How more ironic can it be that the once most-feared crime fighter had to die in the hands of a few small-time robbers. However, on the other hand, the recently-appointed CID Director Datuk Christopher Wan is still lingering with Kuda, having announced that the police force has been successfully seizing Mesin Kuda across Malaysia.

Yes. You heard it right. Not Dadah, not Ecstacy, but Kuda. Ever since he stepped up to the post, he has been so relentlessly eradicating gambling machines, as if Kuda has become the most severe threat ever to threaten national security and our people are so addicted to it that it will eventually cause our national defense to weaken, just like what opium did to China in the 18th century. And since Chinese New Year is coming, the police force has been in full alert to catch motorists who breach the traffic law, small time crooks who keep fire crackers at their houses, and gamblers who play Mahjong at 3 a.m. (remember last year's bald shaving case?). Big time robbers and snatch thieves? Haha sorry. Help yourself. You will claim yourself lucky if you don't mess up with police during your long journey back to your hometown.

This reminds me of the prefects of the Victoria Institution back in my secondary years. These jokers caught all types of students for the so-called faults they committed like not wearing name-tags, the hair being slightly longer beyond their foreheads, having a Pallas label at their shoes(!), and bringing highlighters or liquid papers to the school. But if there was ever a serious fighting, you wouldn't even see their shadows passing by the scene, or if you happened to lose something, say, a handphone, and asked for their help, they would conduct a spotcheck on all classrooms but at the end of the day they snatched highlighters, liquid papers, Playboys, walkmans, and even novels (yes, novels, be it decent or indecent, are prohibited), but they would never find you back your handphone. Efficient, huh? This is the moment of truth for you non-Victorians, who might have thought that prefects from the V.I. are elites of the elites. They only catch small-time rule-breakers or Form 1 boys so that they can maintain their self proclaimed dignity (really, nobody really acknowledged them except for themselves). Most of them are there because they happened to be the teachers' pet, or they are of some affluent backgrounds. Having said that, there were also nice people in the Prefects Board back in my time but they were usually of those mild manner types who did not bother about power or political struggle within or outside the Board. But that is of course another story all together.

I'm not saying that the police force is not doing anything to fight crime but I must stress that priorities need to be set. Kuda definitely won't top the list since we mere peasants are more concerned with robbers, snatch thieves and rapists who are apparently getting more brutal and fierce. Malaysians are constantly living under double paranoia that he/she may mess up with police or criminals, both for the wrong reasons. It turns out that small peasants like us are the greatest victim under the existing legal enforcement. Why is this so?

Having said that, kudos to them for solving the robbery case which happened at Subang Jaya within 2 days. But sincerely the Royal Police Force can do much more, and much better. Let's hope Datuk Mah did not die in vain, that there will be more protection and security for Malaysian citizens by our police force.

Riot Van by Arctic Monkeys

Up rolled the riot van
And sparked excitement in the boys
But the policemen look annoyed
Perhaps these are ones they should avoid

They got a chase last night from men with truncheon’s dressed in hats
They didn’t do that much wrong, still ran away though for the laugh

“Please just stop talking
Because they won’t find us if you do
Oh those silly boys in blue
Well they won’t catch me and you”

Have you been drinking son, you don’t look old enough to me”
“I’m sorry officer is there a certain age you’re supposed to be?… nobody told me”

Up rolled the riot van
And these lads just wind the coppers up
Ask why they don’t catch proper crooks
Get their address and their name’s took
But they couldn’t care less

He got thrown in the riot van
And all the coppers kicked him in
And there was no way he could win
Just had to take it on the chin