A Tale To Tell & Remember

I'm very much inspired by the words of Thomas L. Friedman in his book "The World Is Flat" which renders about the influence of bloggers in this new age. I want to keep the highest integrity and honesty in posting my words to the world. This blog act as a testimony to my alacrity of sharing information with the borderless world. Hope we can share a high regards of veracity and chivalry with this blog because that's why it is here. So help me God!

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Monday, 26 November 2012

Sahabat

Agus dan Teddy di Ipoh, Perak
Sengaja pada makalah kali ini saya ingin menukar bahasa perbicaraan kepada Bahasa Malaysia. Pengalaman sebulan yang saya tempuhi di Ipoh, Perak masih menusuk kalbu. Kepayahan dan kejerihan hidup dalam latihan intensif yang diadakan selama sebulan itu benar-benar menguji minda dan fizikal diri ini. Ada kalanya terlintas dibenak pemikiran untuk saya mengemas pakaian dan barang-barang dan pulang sahaja ke rumah di Kajang untuk menikmati kehidupan selesa seperti sedia kala. Namun gerak hati kecil saya menyatakan mungkin inilah tempatnya yang paling sesuai untuk diri saya sekarang. Jika bukan sekarang, bila lagi?

Kecekalan hati yang saya tempa kan pada semangat seakan besi untuk tidak menyerah kalah disertakan dengan contoh-contoh semangat dari sahabat-sahabat sekeliling membuatkan saya berasa amat bersyukur kerana membuat keputusan untuk menempuh tempoh perit jerih sebulan di Ipoh. Tetap tidak saya amat berterima kasih kepada beberapa sahabat yang menjadikan Ipoh seakan-akan rumah sendiri dan tidak jauh dari kasih sayang sahabat handai dan keluarga terdekat. Kami sama-sama bangun pagi, menempuhi PT, makan, tidur dan diuji mental berkali-kali oleh jurulatih yang ingin melihat kemampuan diri kami.

Pada ketika kami diuji dengan pelbagai ujian yang mencabar minda dan fizikal, sifat keperwiraan sahabat-sahabat yang menjalani latihan sekali lagi sentiasa menjadi pemangkin diri untuk cuba membaiki diri ini menjadi insan yang lebih baik daripada semalam. Tidak mungkin saya akan lupakan nama-nama sahabat seperti Agus, Abe Zul, Abang Zid, Mahathir, Adly, Shabri, Shobri dan lain-lain yang sentiasa mengingatkan saya betapa bersyukur dan bertuahnya Allah limpahkan hidup saya dengan pelbagai keistimewaan dan hadiah kebahagiaan bersahabat.

Pengalaman ketika kami berada di Bukit 83, pada waktu dinihari menanti cahaya pertama menusuk lembayung horizon diufuk timur, pasti akan sampai bila-bila terlekat diingatan betapa cantiknya pemandangan pada ketika itu walaupun diselubungi rasa sejuk yang menusuk hingga ke tulang. Pada waktu malam pula, dengan perbualan sahabat-sahabat yang menemani kami menggali kubu pertahanan menjadikan kerja yang cukup susah menjadi amat mudah sekali dilakukan tanpa menyedari waktu yang melewati.

Pengalaman, ilmu dan juga contoh yang saya perolehi akan sentiasa saya semat dihati agar ianya menjadi petunjuk kepada diri ini untuk sentiasa menyuluhi kehidupan orang-orang yang sentiasa memerlukan. Bukan niat utama untuk menjadi hero ataupun pahlawan, tetapi keputusan untuk menyertai latihan ini saya lakukan kerana untuk lebih mengenali diri sendiri dan memperbaiki kelemahan sedia ada. Rasanya tidak lengkap makalah ini jika saya tidak nyatakan akan keperwiraan sahabat saya yang bernama Agus. Orangnya pada fizikal amat biasa, tetapi hatinya amat cekal sekali. Mentalnya tidak mampu ditandingi oleh sesiapa yang saya kenali setakat ini. Beliau adalah pelatih contoh bagi saya dan banyak yang saya pelajari daripada sifat tidak mengaku kalah dirinya. Agus mempunyai kelebihan pada dirinya, ya jelas sekali. Beliau tidak menyerah kalah pada sebarang apa yang ditempuhi dan beliau sentiasa menerangi kami pada waktu kami diuji dengan rasa ragu-ragu diri kami sendiri. Saya salute kamu Agus!

Tidak juga saya lupakan sahabat-sahabat yang lain seperti Hadi, Mosly, Azmi, Cik Ah, Lim, Elridzuan dan lain-lain, saya berhutang nyawa dengan sifat baik kalian semua. Akan saya sematkan ke akhir hayat. Jika bukan kerana semangat, sifat kenakalan, dan lawak jenaka yang anda semua titipkan sepanjang berkursus, pasti kursus ini amat bosan dan tidak bermakna. Kepada Shahrilmie, ya! kita berjaya memberikan contoh kepimpinan yang terbaik, cukuplah pengiktirafan daripada sahabat sekeliling akan pimpinan kita pada serangan akhir. Saya tidak perlukan plak besi untuk menyatakan kejayaan kita, cukup perbualan kita pada hari terakhir kursus. Kalian semua adalah sahabat sejati saya.

Saya adalah manusia yang sangat lemah, tetapi berkat tunjuk ajar daripada sahabat-sahabat ini, saya mampu memperbaiki serba sedikit kelemahan ini. Mereka menjadikan saya malu dengan sendiri bahawa saya mampu melakukan yang lebih baik berbekalkan kelebihan dan keistimewaan diri yang diberikan oleh Tuhan. Sahabat-sahabat yang bersama dengan saya di Ipoh, Perak selama 30 hari ini pastinya akan sentiasa kekal menjadi sahabat-sahabat saya hingga akhir hayat. Saya salute kamu semua!

Grenade!! Gempur wira!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The good values of Abe Yie

My cousins, Abe Yie and me during the second day of Eid 2012

Actually I've been meaning to write something about my good friend Abe Yie. I just don't know how to pen my thoughts. Looking for the right words and phrases as I'm afraid that I might portrayed less than what I really should on the good values of this man.

I've known Abe Yie for years, since the day when I was in Tourism. A good friend of mine Dian introduce me to him. Ever since our relationship is close as ever, more like a brother. His real name is Mohd Sulhi and at that time he works in the Dept of Custom in Port Klang. Abe Yie probably the Malay enigmatic figures that are close to extinction or maybe colloquial to the most cliche Malays proverbs ever given to a Malay man, "lelaki Melayu Kelantan terakhir". His interest is the Dikir Barat (Kelantan folk songs) which he enjoys very much writing the songs himself and composing the music. He also plays the gendang ibu (musical instrument) and others traditional musical instruments mostly for dikir barat performance.

I respect this guy so much. In a way he taught me that life is doing something that you really love doing, and do it with full honesty. Honesty is the word. It hit straight to your heart. Abe Yie taught me to never be afraid of taking risk for something that you love doing. He also taught me that life is all about colors and uniqueness in oneself that created the zen of life. If you dare enough to dream, go and realize it. When you do something, do with full honesty.

Abe Yie now no longer works for the Custom Dept. He took an early option to concentrate fully on his career which is dikir barat performance. Most of his friends taught that he has gone mad by unravel the complacency of working in the government services. But he went ahead throwing away the safety net just to chase a dream. Currently Abe Yie is attached with Astro often performs for the Warna channel - Karoot Komedia X. His show is also nominated for the Asia's most authentic show (portraying local culture). But more often you will hear him says that all the efforts are not his alone, more by learning from the great maestro Sabri Yunus in script writing and choreographing a performance. But I know he contributes a lot in it.

Every now and then he invited me to watch him perform at Finas studio, Hulu Klang. He also told me he's been getting a lot of performance offers either local or international. Looking at him now, you can clearly see the happiness on his face most of it during his dikir barat performance. I always joke with him that his face looks brighter and happier whenever I saw him on TV with that authentic smiles, he replied that he did something that he loves and it shows naturally. What more important to him is that his fight to bring back the glory days of dikir barat looks bright.

Last raya I brought my little cousins to visit Abe Yie at his house in Pasir Mas. I was trying to inculcate to my younger cousins that if you have a dream, go and follow it and make it happen. No matter how stupid people might think of you, but you dare to dream it ends by doing it. Do something that you really love doing most and follow the good values of Abe Yie. Then success will follow you. I know Abe Yie can be more than he is now, I just know. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Keropok Lekor Bukit Tok Beng, Kuala Terengganu

Keropok Bukit Tok Beng, Kuala Terengganu

While I was on my way back to Kuala Lumpur from Kuala Terengganu, I stop by at one of the most popular Keropok Lekor shop. Located at the Kampung Bukit Tok Beng on the way to the airport (Seberang Takir), it was one of the best place for you to buy yourself some Keropok Lekor (fish crackers) to be brought back home. The uniqueness of this shop is that you have to queue to wait for your turn, more often visitors find themselves queuing long hours just to wait for the cashiers to call your number. The system used here is by a number ticket as you've probably encounter most at the government offices. 

The shop counter

We arrived there at noon and most of the customers are waiting for the cashier and counter staff to call their number to be entertain. Through my observation selling Keropok Lekor in Kuala Terengganu is a very good business. I bet the owners are making tens of thousand ringgit a month probably up to seven figures numbers as there were so many customers waiting for their turn and each of them probably bought around RM50-100 per buying. They did prepares the Keropok Lekor near the counter where we were serviced as they were selling and you can see clearly the line mode of preparation. Through my observation also, the owners were using traditional method of boiling the dough using firewood. 

Boiling the Keropok Lekor dough using firewood

My taxi driver also gave me the shop phone number just in case if I will return and looking for a quick turn. Visitors are highly advised to give a call first and book through the phone how much you wanted to buy just to skip the long queue. The number are 019-9130 369 (Keropok Lekor Bukit Tok Beng). I was informed that apart from this shop, there are also numerous location where you can get a very good Keropok Lekor in Kuala Terengganu. Some of the place are Kelulut, Chendering and Chabang Tiga. I wish I could explore Kuala Terengganu more. 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Kuala Terengganu


Me during the boat ride

I was in Kuala Terengganu during the weekend, it's been years since I came here. So much has changed, Kuala Terengganu itself has been transformed from a backwater place into a very beautiful, clean and booming city. I can't help but notice the beautiful esplanade (Dataran Shahbandar) near the iconic Pasar Payang or the many cranes that are building large hotels near the city center. Petroleum money does really been used for good purposes here. There are also some big development going on also near the hotel where I'm staying where they are doing some land reclamation all the way. 

Some views from my boat ride

Some views from my boat ride

During my free hours I took the opportunity taking a boat ride near the Islamic Heritage Park located near the State's Museum in the Wan Man Island. It cost me RM15 and I do enjoy the boat ride. They took us sight seeing to the nearest small islands around Kuala Terengganu. I was really surprised to know how many small island lies around Kuala Terengganu. You can also see some of the states athletes training for the SUKMA. No wonders they are doing very well in sports.

That's a very odd view coming from Malaysia

The weather in Kuala Terengganu is very hot indeed. During the tour I can't help but notice some very odd views coming from the boat. The Dome of Rock structure for example coming from a place like Kuala Terengganu. The boatman and our tour guide were explaining about the history of the Dome of Rock and it's related stories. Doesn't amuse me much as I'm much more interested to know about the local peoples, local culture and local history. Didn't I mention local? I always believe the most beautiful architecture coming from Terengganu itself is the State's Museum. We don't need to be an Arabs where our own culture is pretty much unique and priceless. Religion got nothing to do with architecture and culture, it's one man life long journey finding God. But that's my personal views about life and religion. Nevertheless you know how often Malays got mix up and confused between being an Arabs and Muslims.

The weather is very hot indeed

With the current rate Kuala Terengganu is developing, I can't wait to see what will hold the place for another five years. Kuala Terengganu is a very clean city indeed and hope they retain it that way. Apart from that there's nothing much to share here. Oh ya, they did make a very good songket. The best in the world!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Cotabato, Mindanao

Teddy taking photo with the Philippines security forces in Cotabato, Mindanao

I was very fortunate yesterday for an opportunity to follow some of our local reporters for a brief visit to Mindanao island. The island is the second largest in the Philippines located south of the Luzon island (Manila) with significantly large Muslim presence. I was being briefed that it was once predominated by the Muslims who lived a traditional life mostly works as a farmer and fishermen. Later the policy of the central government which have encourages the Christian Filipinos to emigrate down south as a solutions to ease the density of the people in the Luzon island venturing into other economic activities with such a fertile volcanic land in Mindanao for coconut field and palm oil had created a tension between the Christian and Muslim populations in Mindanao. Funny as it sound I still remember when Dato' Mokhtar Selat taught us in UM, the Moros nickname of the Muslims in Mindanao were given by the Spanish when they landed in the Philippines due to the religion professed by the Filipinos resided there as a preponderance to the religion of the Moroccan people of the North of African hence the nickname the Moors or the Moros.



Me taking photo with the current MILF leader standing in the middle

The civil war and emergency problems in Mindanao is very complicated which started as early as in the 1914 according to my friend stationed there. This might sound cliche but what started as a family quarrels over an inheritance of land had put most Muslims in Mindanao at war between each family clan/ tribe. Looking at the volatile situations of the family feud what make it worse is that such quarrels over the inheritance had turned into an armed clashed between the family clan/ tribes thus the long feud came in the civil war which put the whole island into a very bad light over these years. As the Christian Filipino from Luzon settled in with the backing of the central government with official land grants, the Muslims became more embittered when pushed aside and start to take up armed struggle over the infringement of land that was once belong to them in Mindanao.

As the civilizations creeps in, and the surge of oil prices from the middle east in late 1970s has catapulted the intervention of the Libyan government headed by Muammar Gaddafi which supplied weapons and funds for the local Moros from the island to taken up Jihad against the central Philippines government up north in Manila. The 100 years long of instability in Mindanao had freeze the development of the island and the long civil war fought among the family clan/ tribes and between Moro International Liberation Front (MILF) and government forces has halted the much needed development of the whole island. The situation in Mindanao is very much worse nowadays as the residents hasn't been able to experience even a brief period of stability and every disagreement however small they are were settled by the muzzle of a gun. 

Tank are clearly visible to guard a checkpoint in Cotabato, Mindanao

For one to buy a gun is as easy as buying a bread at the local town. Even the bakery are also guarded by a heavy armed security personnel. The local roads were full of the army personnel manhandled heavy weapons and there are also a tank and armored car visible along the busy road with one checkpoint for every kilometers stretch. Our driver drove the taxi like a race driver as he wearies of the security threats along the main road due to the rampant bombings and shootings occurred over the weekends. I thought Southern Thailand was bad, I guess I was wrong, dead wrong. I was briefed that the economy was quite bad as there are almost no investment from abroad due to the volatile situations there. Curfew were effective as early as 5pm and after that life of every man is on his own. Most of the killings cases were classified by the police as unable to be resolved. Through my observation, the commerce activities in Cotabato were active mostly along the main road. Even the local pharmacy were heavily crossed iron like a jewellery shop. Mosque and churches were many and clearly insight. One of the services offered in Cotabato are the trishaw, but the trishaw here are one of of its kind that are custom made with anything that's available. 


Types of trishaw and services offered in Cotabato
My friend told me among the famous services in Mindanao are domestic helper. For an expatriates, Filipinos maids are willing to accept as low as 2000 pesos per month for them to work as domestic helper. That account to as much as RM200-300 per month. One household with five family members can live for a week just for 800-1000 peso, that's RM80 per week. Life is really tough in Mindanao and cheap too. I wish to return back, perhaps for more closer look at the life of the Filipinos especially in Davao city. Filipinos that I met in Cotabato are very friendly, even their security forces personnel are more than happy to talk with me and taking photos when asked upon. Kids are as usual, they are wonderful whenever you go. But, there's nothing much that I can learn from a one day visit in Cotabato except observe it through the windows of my taxi van. I hope I can come back with a closer look one day.


On my way home

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

TRANSFORMASI EKONOMI NEGARA KE ARAH BERPENDAPATAN TINGGI


Oleh: Ahmad Syah Ejaz Bin Hj Ismail

Teddy in Awana Porto Malai, Langkawi - still remains to be one of the most potential place in Malaysia to be explore and develop
1.         Wawasan 2020 yang diilhamkan oleh Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang ke empat, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad melalui Rancangan Malaysia Keenam (RMK-6) pada tahun 1991 adalah pada jarak capaian masa yang sangat singkat iaitu lapan tahun lagi. Namun sasaran dan pencapaian yang digariskan ketika mula-mula ianya diperkenalkan masih belum menampakkan hasil yang tuntas dan boleh dibanggakan. Jika ditanya kepada rakyat Malaysia termasuk Tun Dr. Mahathir sendiri, apakah pencapaian ini mampu digapai menjelang tahun 2020, rata-rata semua agak kritikal terhadap keupayaan negara untuk mengharungi sembilan cabaran utama yang digariskan di dalam wawasan tersebut. Apakah terdapat kelemahan ataupun kekurangan daripada sudut pelaksanakan diperingkat dasar ekonomi negara yang menyaksikan kurangnya penglibatan sektor swasta bagi sama-sama berusaha ke arah mencapai status negara maju menjelang tahun 2020? Apakah perkara yang tidak kena sehingga menyebabkan kadar pertumbuhan negara yang pesat pada pertengahan dekad 1990an pada kadar 8-12% setahun kini menjadi lesu dan seakan-akan bergerak sangat perlahan pada kadar 5% setahun? Mungkin juga kini rakyat Malaysia telah menjadi terlalu selesa dengan kemewahan harian hingga menyebabkan mereka tidak lagi mempunyai daya saing yang tinggi serta semangat juang serta tekad pencapaian seperti pada awal dekad 1990an?

2.         Kita akui pencapaian pertumbuhan Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar (KDNK) pada tahap 8-12% yang dicapai dalam dekad 1990an seakan memberi harapan tinggi bahawa Malaysia mampu menjadi negara maju menjelang tahun 2020. Namun, dengan perubahan iklim sosio-ekonomi dunia pada pertengahan dekad 1990an yang menyaksikan Kesatuan Soviet dan negara-negara blok Komunis mula membuka pasaran masing-masing ke arah yang lebih terbuka dan bebas, Malaysia mula mendapat tekanan persaingan yang sengit daripada negara-negara membangun yang lain di Asia Tenggara seperti Vietnam, Kemboja dan Indonesia. Manakala negara Thailand yang bersikap kekal mengamalkan sistem pasaran terbuka melalui pelbagai insentif pelaburan yang mesra perniagaan dengan disokong oleh kadar buruh yang murah telah menyebabkan Malaysia menjadi semakin kurang kompetetif kepada pelaburan langsung asing (foreign direct investment). Melihat kepada perubahan iklim ekonomi dunia ini, negara perlu berubah untuk menjadi sebuah negara yang berpendapatan tinggi melalui transformasi pasaran dan adaptasi inflasi yang teratur daripada sebuah negara yang menawarkan tenaga buruh yang murah kepada negara Knowledge-economy (K-ekonomi) serta sebagai platform menarik untuk pelaburan asing portfolio (Foreign Direct Portfolio – FDP) terutamanya kepada syarikat-syarikat Fortune 500 dunia.
  
3.         Malaysia masih mempunyai ciri-ciri sebagai sebuah destinasi pelaburan asing yang menarik khususnya dalam industri pembuatan dan sebagai destinasi baru pelaburan asing portfolio iaitu pusat operasi syarikat-syarikat Fortune 500 dunia. Justeru tidak hairanlah sehingga tahun 2009, eksport pembuatan negara menyumbang kepada 6% KDNK negara (dengan jumlah sebanyak 41% eksport total) dan mencipta lebih 520,000 peluang pekerjaan kepada rakyat Malaysia. Oleh sebab itu, adalah penting bagi negara untuk mentransformasikan polisi, struktur pasaran serta standard layanan terhadap pelabur dan rakan kongsi luar supaya Malaysia menjadi sebuah destinasi pelaburan asing portfolio (FDP) yang lebih menarik daripada mana-mana negara di Asia Tenggara. Justeru, tindakan kerajaan untuk menyenaraikan FELDA di dalam Bursa Malaysia melalui Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) adalah sebuah pendekatan transformasi ekonomi yang segar dan harus dipuji kerana tindakan ini bukan sahaja membawa FELDA keluar dari kepompong pemikiran hanya dalam ruang linkup sempit domestik perusahaan komoditi kelapa sawit sahaja malah ke arah sebagai pemain global utama dunia di dalam industri hiliran termasuk kepada pelaburan lain seperti bidang komunikasi, infrastruktur atau pemborong dan peruncitan. Tindakan penyenaraian ini juga secara tidak langsung akan mengelakkan kekayaan FELDA daripada disalah guna untuk kepentingan individu tertentu serta menggalakkan pengurusan kekayaan dengan lebih telus dan accountable. Justeru, langkah penyenaraian ini akan mencipta satu suasana baru pasaran pelaburan di Malaysia yang perlu dicontohi oleh pelbagai syarikat berkaitan kerajaan (GLCs) seperti Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) di bawah Kementerian Pertahanan, dan syarikat-syarikat berkaitan kerajaan yang lain dibawah Khazanah Nasional. Suasana pasaran yang mesra pelabur ini adalah penting kerana kadar aliran wang asing bukan sahaja mencipta suasana persaingan yang sihat serta membawa masuk kepakaran ke dalam pasaran domestik tetapi juga meningkatkan kadar eksport barangan Malaysia ke luar negara di samping mendekatkan jurang kadar nilai tukaran wang asing antara Malaysia dan negara pengimport.

4.         Bagi mencipta sebuah negara berpendapatan tinggi, pembuat dasar ekonomi di Malaysia perlu menyemak semula beberapa indikator penunjuk prestasi ekonomi secara kualitatif khususnya seperti indeks pengkali gini (gini coefficient) dan kadar pendapatan garis kemiskinan. Semakan ini adalah penting bagi mengelakkan kekeliruan yang timbul antara good feeling factor hasil daripada perbelanjaan yang dibuat daripada pihak Kerajaan bagi mencipta permintaan domestik daripada situasi ekonomi sebenar pasaran di Malaysia yang dijanakan oleh pihak swasta. Ini adalah bagi mempersediakan rakyat Malaysia kepada sebarang situasi krisis yang mungkin timbul pada masa hadapan contohnya seperti krisis makanan, krisis tenaga, impak krisis ekonomi di Eropah dan lain-lain perubahan yang boleh menyumbang kepada mengurangkan kuasa beli rakyat Malaysia. Adalah penting bagi Malaysia untuk mempunyai kerangka ekonomi utama (fundamental economic framework) yang utuh dan resilien terhadap kesan krisis dari luar. Ini adalah penting kerana sistem pasaran terbuka adalah sentiasa berhubung kait dan receptive terhadap perubahan sekeliling. Penunjuk angkali gini di Malaysia untuk tahun 2011 adalah pada tahap yang lemah iaitu pada kadar 0.4 (0 bererti tiada jurang pendapatan dan 1 bererti wujudnya jurang pendapatan mutlak) dan situasi ini mencerminkan bahawa masih wujud golongan miskin tegar yang mempunyai jarak pendapatan luas dengan golongan kaya di Malaysia. Bagi mencapai objektif negara berpendapatan tinggi, negara perlu mempunyai benchmark jelas menjelang tahun 2020 dengan mencontohi negara maju yang lain seperti Jepun dan Korea Selatan dengan mencapai indeks pengkali gini pada kadar 0.28-0.30. Objektif ini dapat dicapai dengan mempelbagaikan peluang mencipta kekayaan dan pekerjaan bagi rakyat Malaysia membaiki taraf hidup mereka khususnya berkaitan industri yang dapat mencipta peluang pekerjaan un-orthodox K-ekonomi seperti bidang perkhidmatan kesihatan, pemborongan dan peruncitan (termasuk pemasaran secara maya), perkhidmatan unik seperti pelancongan, industri kreatif, komunikasi dan multimedia yang semakin mendapat permintaan di pasaran global. Sebagai contoh computer generated images (cgi) produk Hollywood terbaru Snow White and the Huntsman yang dibuat di Cyberjaya sedikit sebanyak mampu mengembangkan bakat rakyat Malaysia di dalam industri perfileman global dan meletakkan Malaysia sebagai sebuah destinasi FDP (portfolio-intellectual property) yang sangat menarik di dunia.

5.         Bagi mencipta masyarakat berpendapatan tinggi di Malaysia, polisi ekonomi negara juga perlu bersifat dinamik dan berubah mengikut peredaran semasa. Sebagai contoh, satu semakan secara jelas perlu dibuat bagi melihat kuasa beli masyarakat di beberapa lokasi di Malaysia seperti kawasan pinggir bandar dan pendalaman. Diakui bahawa masih terdapat golongan isirumah yang berpendapatan dibawah paras garis kemiskinan iaitu RM400 sebulan serta golongan ini tidak mempunyai kemahiran tinggi bagi mendapatkan pekerjaan yang bersifat K-ekonomi. Namun jika usaha untuk meningkatkan kadar pendapatan golongan ini tidak disokong dengan polisi ekonomi yang tepat, pasti golongan ini akan kekal berada di bawah paras kemiskinan menjelang tahun 2020 tanpa sebarang peluang baru untuk meningkatkan taraf hidup mereka. Apatah lagi sejak akhir-akhir ini terdapat perubahan polisi di peringkat buruh yang tidak membantu menarik pelaburan asing ke Malaysia bagi mencipta peluang pekerjaan kepada golongan ini. Paksaan ke atas pihak swasta untuk melaksanakan dasar gaji minimum akan menyebabkan negara menjadi kurang kompetitif di dalam menawarkan tenaga buruh yang progresif kepada pelabur asing. Walaupun dasar gaji minimum diperkenalkan bertujuan untuk membela kebajikan golongan pekerja di Malaysia, namun dasar ini tidak banyak membantu kepada menjadikan Malaysia sebagai sebuah negara yang berpendapatan tinggi. Kita akui bahawa rakyat Malaysia mudah tertarik dengan skim mudah untuk memperolehi kekayaan dan kesenangan hidup, namun dasar gaji minimum yang diperkenalkan ini tidak melihat dari sudut holistik pengembangan evolusi pekerjaan sebagai satu komoditi yang berubah-ubah dan boleh diperdagangankan, dan hanya melihat dari sudut tanggung jawab sosial sektor swasta dan Kerajaan.

6.         Umum mengetahui bahawa sektor swasta beroperasi adalah bertujuan bagi mendapatkan keuntungan dan mengejar kepentingan individu/ pemilik. Justeru, dengan kemakmuran sesebuah perusahaan swasta, masyarakat sekitar juga dapat menumpang kekayaan dan juga kemakmuran yang diperolehi melalui cukai korporat, tarif permintaan bahan mentah dan pengembangan industri hiliran yang tumbuh bagi memenuhi permintaan sesuatu perusahaan ini. Keadaan ini dapat dilihat pada transisi perubahan jenis pekerjaan di mana pernah suatu ketika di Malaysia terdapat jenis pekerjaan yang bersifat rencam/ umum seperti penjaga lif dan juga jurutaip. Namun dengan perubahan sosio-ekonomi dunia dan pengembangan teknologi global, dan juga pengenalan kepada aspek pengurusan era baru seperti multitasking dan transisi keperluan pekerjaan yang lebih kompleks dan khusus berdasarkan kepada kemahiran tinggi, pekerjaan umum seperti penjaga lif dan jurutaip ini telah dihapuskan sama sekali seperti komoditi yang tidak lagi mendapat permintaan. Terdapat juga pengurangan kepada tenaga kerja pengawal keselamatan yang hanya perlu menyelia video CCTV daripada berada pada sesuatu tempat secara berpanjangan. Jika pendekatan dasar gaji minimum diteruskan, aspek pekerjaan sebagai satu komoditi tidak akan terlaksana dan akan menjadi lebih kepada unsur tanggung jawab sosial sektor swasta/ Kerajaan dan menyebabkan mereka rugi kerana terpaksa membuat tanggung jawab sosial bukan berdasarkan kepada produktiviti pekerja. Masalah ini seterusnya akan menyebabkan negara menjadi rugi kerana tenaga kerja tidak digemblingkan kearah yang lebih produktif sesuai dengan perubahan keperluan semasa ekonomi dan perdagangan dunia yang semakin bersifat khusus berdasarkan kepada kepakaran tertentu.

7.         Mungkin situasi pasaran di Malaysia masih terlalu muda untuk rakyatnya memahami aspek kelangsungan pasaran berdasarkan kepada kepentingan tertentu individu yang memiliki sesebuah perusahaan tersebut. Oleh yang demikian, aspek perbelanjaan yang secara berterusan dibuat oleh Kerajaan untuk mencipta permintaan domestik di dalam negara tidak akan dapat menampung aliran tunai di dalam pasaran domestik dalam tempoh yang lama. Kekayaan sesebuah negara akan hanya bergantung kepada kejayaan sesebuah perusahaan yang dibuat oleh sektor swasta kerana hanya mereka mempunyai kepentingan untuk melihat perusahaan tersebut berjaya dan mencapai keuntungan. Pendekatan sosialis dan populis di dalam sesebuah negara akan memberikan impak negatif kepada kelangsungan pasaran tersebut untuk jangka masa panjang. Justeru contoh paling mudah yang dapat dilihat adalah pada psikologi isirumah dibawah paras kemiskinan di Malaysia yang mendapat bantuan daripada Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM). Umum mengetahui bahawa JKM banyak membantu golongan yang berada di bawah garis kemiskinan untuk mengharungi kehidupan sekiranya mereka ini memenuhi kriteria miskin tegar melalui bantuan sara hidup pada jumlah dan kadar tertentu setiap bulan. Namun jika ditanya kepada pegawai-pegawai JKM yang berkhidmat, mereka pasti akan menceritakan bagaimana kumpulan miskin tegar ini akan sentiasa menunggu dan meminta apakah lagi jenis bantuan yang boleh dihulurkan oleh Kerajaan kepada mereka setiap hari dan bukan berusaha ke arah membaiki taraf hidup melalui pengembangan perniagaan sendiri. Justeru, sekiranya pendekatan sosialisme ini diteruskan secara berterusan tanpa menilai semula kejayaan di peringkat kumpulan sasaran, objektif pencapaian menjadikan rakyat Malaysia sebagai kumpulan yang berpendapatan tinggi tidak akan berjaya.

8.         Kita akui bahawa perubahan harga minyak di pasaran antarabangsa melalui peningkatan permintaan daripada negara-negara yang sedang pesat membangun seperti China, India dan Russia pada awal dekad 2000 daripada USD30 setong kepada USD100 setong juga banyak memberikan kesan kepada pengurusan kewangan isi rumah di Malaysia bagi membina sebuah kehidupan yang selesa dan mewah. Banyak dasar dan polisi ekonomi diperkenalkan oleh Kerajaan selepas peningkatan harga bahan api dunia pada awal dekad 2000 bertujuan melindungi kemewahan rakyat supaya kekal mempunyai kuasa beli seperti dekad 1990an. Keadaan ini wujud pada harga yang sangat tinggi iaitu melalui pendekatan memperkenalkan pelbagai bentuk subsidi kepada rakyat bagi menyerap peningkatan mendadak harga komoditi dunia. Ciri-ciri sebuah masyarakat berpendapatan tinggi adalah dimana indikator kemiskinan yang dinilai bukan lagi berbentuk kepada kemiskinan tegar (hardcore poverty), namun lebih kepada berbentuk kemiskinan relatif (relative poverty). Walaupun pelbagai subsidi diperkenalkan bagi menyerap kesan krisis bahan api, namun pengenalan subsidi ini hanya memberikan kesan jangka pendek iaitu sehingga pelarasan kuasa beli pengguna dibuat oleh pengguna sendiri berdasarkan kepada pendapatan isirumah dan perbelanjaan bulanan mereka. Pemberian subsidi secara tidak terkawal ini akan hanya menyebabkan berlakunya situasi market numb pada pengguna domestik di Malaysia di mana masyarakat sentiasa mengambil mudah terhadap harga sesuatu barangan tanpa peningkatan kesedaran pengguna yang perlu wujud dalam aspek perbelanjaan bulanan mereka tidak seperti pada ciri-ciri masyarakat di negara maju. Sebagai contoh, di Malaysia masyarakat tidak mengambil endah perubahan harga bahan api dunia dan juga harga jualan bahan api tersebut pada harga apungan yang akan memberikan kesan kepada keseluruhan aspek perbelanjaan bulanan seperti perbelanjaan pengangkutan, bil-bil utiliti dan lain-lain. Situasi ini amat berbeza sekali dengan masyarakat di negara Thailand yang lebih resilien terhadap perubahan kos bahan api dunia. Ini dapat dilihat di setiap stesen minyak, harga bahan api sentiasa di paparkan kepada pengguna secara tidak langsung menggalakkan persaingan yang sihat dari kalangan syarikat bahan api untuk menarik pelanggan pada harga yang lebih kompetitif dan rakyat itu sendiri mempunyai kesedaran pengguna untuk memilih harga yang paling menarik. Masyarakat di negara Thailand juga lebih bersifat dinamik dan progresif serta tidak terlalu mengharapkan bantuan Kerajaan apabila berlaku krisis bahan api di negara tersebut. Situasi pasaran juga lebih bersifat vibrant dan tidak bergantung sepenuhnya kepada perbelanjaan Kerajaan bagi mencipta permintaan domestik. Oleh sebab itu, syarikat-syarikat gergasi automotif seperti Honda dan Toyota lebih berminat untuk melabur di negara tersebut berbanding di Malaysia.

9.         Contoh kedua yang paling jelas dilihat adalah pada kumpulan nelayan di Malaysia yang pada ketika ini kekal mengharapkan subsidi diesel daripada pihak Kerajaan untuk terus beroperasi. Sekiranya berlaku situasi krisis ekonomi/ bahan api naik secara mendadak dan memerlukan penstrukturan semula subsidi kepada golongan nelayan, pasti golongan nelayan di Malaysia tidak mampu untuk turun ke laut menjalankan pekerjaan menangkap ikan. Seakan-akan dilihat, subsidi yang diberikan ini seumpama gaji bulanan kepada mereka daripada pihak Kerajaan untuk memastikan kelangsungan pekerjaan mereka ini diteruskan dan bukan kepada aspek memenuhi permintaan sumber protein rakyat Malaysia. Justeru tidak hairanlah kita melihat daripada jumlah RM30,000 kos bahan api keseluruhan yang memerlukan mereka mengoperasikan bot laut dalam selama dua minggu, separuh daripada kos tersebut adalah subsidi daripada Kerajaan. Segelintir daripada nelayan yang tidak bertanggung jawab lebih selesa memilih menjual minyak subsidi di tengah lautan bersama barter trade ikan dari nelayan asing dan masih mampu untuk mencapai keuntungan serta tidak perlu bergadai nyawa merempuh ombak setinggi bangunan di tengah lautan. Pengajaran daripada kisah ini adalah manusia akan tetap mencari kaedah paling mudah untuk mengaut keuntungan walaupun kaedah tersebut adalah salah. Pembuat dasar sebagai social scientist perlu menstrukturkan semula subsidi ini agar masalah ketirisan yang berlaku dan kelangsungan pekerjaan nelayan ini dapat bertahan walaupun berdepan dengan situasi krisis. Inilah ciri-ciri masyarakat berpendapatan tinggi yang diimpikan berdasarkan kepada cabaran ke-9 Wawasan 2020 iaitu mencipta masyarakat yang berdaya saing tinggi, resilien dan dinamik.

10.         Mungkin penjanaan usaha mencipta penduduk berpendapatan tinggi tidak akan tercapai hanya jika dasar ekonomi negara hanya tertumpu kepada aspek pusingan modal/ market volume dari kalangan 26 juta rakyat Malaysia. Jumlah ini mungkin terlalu kecil untuk mencipta peluang pekerjaan serta sumber kekayaan baru bagi ekonomi berdaya saing tinggi oleh pihak swasta di Malaysia. Justeru, di peringkat ASEAN, Kerajaan perlu berusaha membuka tarif dan berunding agar barrier to entry kepada barangan dari Malaysia dapat diberikan pada kadar nominal. Bagi memajukan industri agro-pertanian di Malaysia, pasaran ASEAN adalah lebih relevan dengan jumlah market volume berpopulasi 600 juta penduduk. Penawaran produk agro-pertanian dari Malaysia tidak harus dilihat pada produk mentah semata-mata malah perlu lebih kepada produk berbentuk produk siap seperti snack food, produk yang telah diproses dan dipek serta mempunyai standard dan mutu yang tinggi. Peluang daripada market volume ASEAN ini telah dibuktikan dengan kejayaan pelan pengembangan perkhidmatan tambang murah penerbangan AirAsia yang mempunyai niche pasaran dari kalangan penduduk di Asia Tenggara. Justeru tidak hairanlah secara micro-manage Tony Fernandez kini sedang berusaha untuk memperkemaskan cengkaman AirAsia dengan membuka pusat operasi khusus di Indonesia, sebuah negara yang mempunyai populasi penduduk terbesar di Asia Tenggara.

Sekian.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Time

1. I've just finished reading a superb piece by William Manchester entitled, Goodbye, Darkness - A Memoir of The Pacific War, and I feel obliged to share the secrets of life pen down by the author on the essence of time. His thoughts on time does really opened up another dimension on how I see life as a gift to me cherished upon and lived on. Living ones life based on your own understanding of it and to make each day count whether it is in the time of war or peace.

2. Before ones could understand war and peace, you had to come to grips with the nature of time, with awareness of it as the essence of consciousness. The passage of time was probably the first phenomenon observed by a prehistoric man, thus creating the concept of events succeeding one another in man's primitive experience. Our own each life exists in another dimension and it is different from one another and definitely not similar. Heraclitus saw it five hundred years before Christ, and he wasn't the only one. Time was an eternal struggle between thesis and antithesis; Marx in the next generation, interpreted it as an inevitable conflict between bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Jews, Christians, and Moslems all agreed that time would reach its consummation in a frightening climax i.e. the judgement day.

3. Theoretically, once man had perceived time as a stream of experience, they began trying to measure it, beginning with the sun, the stars, the moon, the two equinoxes, and the wobbly spinning of the earth. In 1583 Galileo discovered the pendulum; seventy-three years later a Dutchman built the first pendulum clock. Splitting the day into 24 hours, or 86,400 seconds, followed. A.M. (ante meridiem, "before noon") and P.M. (post meridiem, "after noon") became accepted concepts on all levels of society - the week, having no scientific validity, varied by as much as three days from one culture to another - and in 1884 the world was divided into twenty-four time zones.

4. The International Date Line, electromagnetic time, confirmation of Newton's laws of motion and gravitation, and the transmission of time signals to ships at sea, beginning in 1904 as navigational aids, united the civilized world in an ordered, if binding, time structure. That is the historic concepts of the ticking time and nothing got to do with the concept of making each time counts as you lived through the life.

5. According to Heraclitus, "No man crosses the same river twice, because the river has changed, and so has the man". Heraclitus believed that the procession of time is the essence of reality, that there is only one earthly life. The riddle of time was baffling because no one knew whether it flowed past men or men passed through it. The point was not picayune, it was infinite. Either life was a one way trip or it was cyclical, with the dead reborn. The life you lived, and the death you died, were determined by which view you held. Often we saw occasion where one man tries to impose his own version of life towards the other and thus resulted in a conflict and hatred.

I'm blessed with my great life within the understanding of my own rhythmic cycles of time 
6. Despite all evidence to the contrary, most thinkers, with the exceptions of the Egyptians era and the twentieth century, had come down hard on the side of rebirth. Plato, Aristotle, the fourteenth century Moslem Ibn Khaldun, and Oswald Spengler believed men and civilization were destined for rehabilitation. So did the biblical prophets; Abraham, Moses, Isaiah and Jesus. All used the same evidence: the generational cycle and the cycle of the seasons. "Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but, if it dies, it bears much fruit" - John 12:24.

7. Like it or not, time is really a matter of relevance. We all have rhythms built into us. It wouldn't be much matter if all the timepieces in the world were destroyed. Even animals have a kind of internal clock. Sea anemones expands and contracts with the tides even when they are put in tanks. Men are a little different. John Locke wrote that we only experience time as a relationship between a succession of sensations. No two moments are alike. Often time drags. Often we encounter moments that time fly us by and sometimes time seems to be so long; moving very slowly. There are also occasion arises where time is running out or the leisure of killing of time during ones free hours when the amount of time is stagnant with the cyclic 24 hours a day that never changed. Depending on the relevancy of moments ones encounter.

8. Truly is, time really is relative. Einstein wasn't the first to discover it - the ancients knew it, too, and so did some of the modern mystics. In our memories, as in our dreams, they are set pieces which you live on and on, overriding what happened afterwards. You hang up time up in great bells in a tower, you keep time ticking in a delicate pulse upon your wrist, you imprison time within the small, coiled wafer of watch.  But each man has his own rhythms, a separate time to lived, to make it count, to be pondered upon and to be understood. That is the essence of life, and whomever holds the key to grips time, he holds the key to a great meaningful life.

Reference: William Manchester, Goodbye, Darkness - A Memoir of The Pacific War, Little, Brown and Company, 1980. pp. 294 - 297.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Gunung Raya, Langkawi

Teddy at the peak of Gunung Raya overlooking the west coast of Langkawi
I went up the peak of Gunung Raya in Langkawi on my second day at the island. My good friend Tuan Shahruddin brought me, Luqman and Syukri for an intrinsic visit at the highest peak of the island. I never went up to Gunung Raya before, just merely looking at the car windows whenever I commute between Padang Matsirat and Kuah Town. I guess it was my lucky day as Tuan Shahruddin pursuant to be troubled by my request as we strengthen our friendship since 2009. He has been my mentor since I knew him during my Tourism days.
Teddy and at the background the cabinet house
I was told that, during Tun Mahathir time as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, he once brought up the whole cabinet ministers for a meeting at the Gunung Raya peak. Perhaps with the intentions of seeding some perspectives towards his cabinet ministers of how great the island is with it's vast potentials. I guess it doesn't work much as the old man seems to be too visionary for a 20th Century ministers. We took the same road that lead to the Galeria Perdana and the junction heading to the peak is just besides Galeria Perdana.


Luqman near the small resevoir of the waterfalls
It was quite a long ride as we head up to the peak. Along the way we saw a small waterfall just beside the quiet road. Tuan Shahruddin stop by so that we can taste and feel the freshness and coolness of its reservoir. As we arrived at the peak, we can see a magnificent view of the whole island be it overlooking the Kuah Town or the Padang Matsirat area. The air is so cool and as the dusk wind blow upon us, I felt like I was in overseas as the winds are cooler then Genting Highland breeze. It was really a lovely spectacle especially as the sun sets down over the west coast area.

View overlooking Kuah Town
Me and at the background view overlooking Padang Matsirat 
However, I was rather disappointed to see that at the peak, the main building were not so lively with tourist as we are told that it hasn't been develop and innovate as a unique tourism products for the tourist and very much neglected. Looking at the abandoned restaurant and the empty resorts, I guess LADA hasn't been doing a very good job compared to the potentials of the place and it's unique location. I took some photos and perhaps my viewers can appreciate it as much as we does. As we descend the peak, I went back to my hotel with very much criticism upon LADA in my head.

Quiet resort

Monday, 21 May 2012

Visiting The Loaf at Telaga Habour, Langkawi

Fadhli, me and Luqman in front of The Loaf at Telaga Habour
I'm in Langkawi and took the liberty of my free time visiting Telaga Habour to get re-acquainted myself with the island. It has been an almost exclusive visit for me nowadays since my Tourism day as I didn't get that much of oppurtunity to visit the island. Me and my friends went to the famous bakery in Telaga Habour which is The Loaf opened up by the former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir. The bread was really good, puffy and delicious. But nothing can compare to the serenity and tranquality of the park as you can see luxurious yacht parked there. However, I am quite dissappointed to see the decreasing in number of tourists to Langkawi. Perhaps in facing the competitive tourism products from Southern Thailand and Vietnam, we could do more to attract high end tourist here in Langkawi. For the island to be develop as the number one tourist attraction place in Southeast Asia, the tourism products must come from a passionate entrepreneurs and not the government spending beforehand. That will create a unique factor which can easily beat off vibrant night clubs in Phuket or Krabi. I hope much can be done by the policy makers as we are just seeing a 15% of Langkawi opening up of its true potentials. 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

The calmness of Alor Setar

Me at Tun Mahathir house
I went to Alor Setar last Thursday for a work visit. While waiting for our return flight scheduled at night, a good friend of mine, En. Zul brought us to see the other side of Alor Setar town which we never knew before.

Luckily for us En. Zul is also a history enthusiast and much we can learn from each other. He brought us to the old town of Alor Setar (the Chinese and the Malay town). We passed through the old MAHA clinics that was once saw Tun Mahathir practice medical and gave free service to the poor peoples of Alor Setar. It is located at the old Malay town and currently used as a pharmacy (not the current MAHA clinic located in front of the Pekan Rabu).

Tanjung Chali
En. Zul also brought us to Tanjung Chali that was once the quay where traders anchored and offload their cargo for Alor Setar. Currently the location sits a small custom office a reminder of the bustling port before the World War 2. I presume it was named after an English officer name Charlie, and maybe locals pronounced it Chali (by listening), but please correct me if I'm wrong on this. Boy sure this place is the most calm place I ever saw in Alor Setar. By dusk you can see the most beautiful sunset simmer down on the city. Truly is beautiful.

Chettiar alley

The old Chinese town was once a bustling place for trade, and En. Zul showed us the Chettiar alley where in those days Tamils chetty offered loans for traders and locals. They still operates there today, but most of the shops owned by them are rented to local Chinese for groceries store. We also visits the site for a river crossing where locals still use sampan/ kolek (small rafts) with a modest fare of 30 cents. We talked to the owner of this service, and he told us that during high seasons he could get up to RM50 per day. It reminds me of an old P. Ramlee movie in Anakku Sazali.

Sampan/ kolek service to cross the narrow straits in old China town
Others than that, En. Zul also brought us to the site - origins of Alor Setar town. Located near the Zahir Mosque where an alor (small drains) leads to the river nearby and sits a Setar trees hence the name Alor Setar (Setar trees usually grows near a small ditch). I was really happy to be there really I am, because I now understand thoroughly the history of the Alor Setar and its origins and place of start. Quite a humble beginning for a beautiful city.

The site where Alor Setar starts, humble beginning for a beautiful city
We also stop by at the birthplace of Tun Mahathir. I begin to understand how he became such a calm person during his tenure as Prime Minister. The Alor Setar city itself is a very calm place. I wish you all could be with me through out the day, Tanjung Chali, chettiar alley and the river near Tun Mahathir house. This place encapsulates you totally with calmness and seeds you to be a person who embrace your surroundings with love and a great life. Other than that, En. Zul also showed us the favorite hotel of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman known as Royal Hotel located beside a river in the heart of Alor Setar city. Tunku frequented the hotel whenever he went back to Alor Setar during his lifetime. As an honor to the great man, it was named Royal Hotel and still operates today.

I believe there is much about Alor Setar and Kedah that I need to explore and understand, and as I told most of my good friends, I am always be in love with Kedah and its peoples. They always treat me with love and compassion when I went there. I'm truly grateful to God for this love which you can't really explain unless you experience it. 


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

My visit to Gemas farm

Teddy under the green house fertigation system for Cili Kulai

9th May 2012 - I visited one of the many agro farms located in the heart of Negeri Sembilan. I always believe that for Malaysian to venture into high end farmings it should be done with the help of high technology. By investing into such scheme, it will help in maximizing the quality of the products and also the quantity of yields per acre (total capitalism concepts).

Malaysia is a blessed country, receiving a high density of rain, ample sunlight with high quality of top soil that can be turn into a high tech farming activities. The market for these agro products will be more opened perhaps with the free trade agreements signed by Malaysia and other countries. Malaysian should see foreign market as a motivating factor to get involved with agro industries.

That's starfruit trees three more years for first harvesting
And as the country keeps developing and growing with the handsome of total household incomes everymonths, we would see more demands for luxury food items such as starfruit, dragon fruit, jackfruit and top quality vegetables that can be marketed. Not to mention the rise of agro tourism among the well off citizens. Certainly agro industries in this country has never been this exciting. 

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Volunteerism and self satisfaction

Me in Port Dickson
6 May 2012 - I was given a rare opportunity today to get involve into an event organized between Ministry of Tourism and the National Service Dept where we try to inculcate the importance of volunteerism work among our youth for community work. It was great since I have the opportunity to meet my close friends from Tourism. 

Pulau Burung with magnificent mangroves trees photos taken at sunset by me

It was truly is a great experience as a one day Deyjay. Meeting younger youth of cohorts with lots of vigor and energy for community work just completes your day. Even though at the early hour it was raining heavily, but that doesn't stop us from having a great day cleaning the whole beach and come noon it was perfect with lots of fun and enjoyable activities. I arrived a day early for the program and Port Dickson beach was full of local tourists camping near the beach. And there is this beautiful pier newly developed by the state government between Pantai Cahaya and Pulau Burung. It is a must visit place. I will post some of the photos later as soon as I got it from my friend Afzan.

The concert held by the Ministry of Tourism for the visitors yesterday bring a lot of memories back especially from the day I was involved organizing it. I was really happy to see my close friends back, Lin, Syafik, Zuhairi, Wafa and all just cemented deeply my love to MOTOUR. The were asking the same question again and again of when will I be back? I guess the answer is clearly written on my forehead.

Teddy with younger cousins and staff at one of the Wat in Tumpat

The day before I went to Port Dickson, I was invited by the Ministry of Agriculture for the ceremony of Prime Minister officiating the Rural Transformation Centre in Kelantan. I also manage to find time visiting the city of Tumpat and many of the wat for the Siamese Buddhist there. I guess there is so many of the tourism products that can be develop in Kelantan, but none in the political will dept.

Will post some of the photos from my visit later.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Post Bersih 3.0 - Chaos and the Beginning of the END

Not the type of Tahrir Square chaos that foreign media would like to cover. This time around the police are being beaten by the rogue and vile protesters. 



Chaos and the Beginning of the END

By: Lim Chee Wei
29 April 2012


An obituary is something that is not easy to right [write]. One never knows what to say as consoling those that have lost a loved one is nearly always an exercise in futility. The violence and chaos rained down by thousands of bused in Opposition members led by Keadilan’s Deputy President Azmin Ali yesterday was the final nail in the coffin of the political life his mentor, Anwar Ibrahim. 

I am not a fortuneteller but the writing is clearly on the wall. This is the beginning of the end of the political career of Anwar Ibrahim which has spanned more than 40 years. What should have been the natural support base of Pakatan Rakyat marching in KL on Saturday now, more than ever, has begun to count the toll of damage Anwar has done to the argument that all rallies are peaceful.

The advent of a full democracy in Malaysia is not dependent on Ambiga’s unreasonable demands for the resignation of the entire Election Commission or the implementation of all reforms demanded before the next GE. Full democracy in Malaysia is dependent on the setting up of a sustainable and viable two-party system. People seeing Anwar lose control and sending his storm troopers in to destroy everything in their way has led many peacefully marching to believe that for democracy to face the BN, Anwar has got to go. 

The sheer desperation and willingness to cause the BN political damage at any costs, even causing damage and injury, shows that Anwar knows this GE is his LAST chance. It is the final salvo of one of the most divisive figures in Malaysia’s political history. Anwar will be 65 this year and waiting for the 14th election will see him just a shade under 70. This is his time, after GE13, it will be the time of the true leaders of Pakatan. Younger leaders who don’t want their families to dominate their parties, who are not singularly driven by a desire for power to take revenge on Tun Mahathir etc. and leaders who don’t have the baggage that a former Deputy President of UMNO will always surely have. 

It is sad to see an otherwise intelligent man blind to the fact that he will never be Prime Minister. The destructiveness he unleashed on Kuala Lumpur this weekend is the final act of desperation of a man hoping in vain that he has still got one final act to play. What he does not realize is that his audience has left and moved on to something, or someone, that far more closely resembles an ideal of leadership with which they want to spend time and watch. 

Datuk Ambiga herself conceded that the Police acted after the political segments of the rally intimidated and attacked the Police. In her own attempt to salvage what has become an irreparable situation of chaos and violence, she naively asks the Government to think about why some people would act so extremely. The motives of men smashing cars lies not in a desire for electoral reform. Rather, they were doing so because Anwar told them to do so. He told them to do so because he knew that if they rained chaos on the streets, the Police would be forced to act. Only then would his friends in the foreign media be able to dedicate many minutes of coverage to chaos in yet another Muslim majority country. 

Datuk Ambiga has to take some of the responsibility despite her attempts to ask the crowd to disperse before the trouble started. She herself repeatedly requested PAS and Keadilan to bulk up her numbers in the event that ordinary non-partisan Malaysians did not show up. It is as clear as day that Bersih has been entirely taken over by the Opposition. This could have been avoided if Datuk Ambiga never started on that slippery slope of sharing the Bersih stage with Anwar in particular. 

I am Chinese and the first trait of my people is pragmatism which is why we felt that there needed to be a much stronger Opposition in 2008 given the wanton corruption and abuses of the BN then. Pakatan would do well not to take my pragmatism for granted for this way of thinking does not know political loyalties. Chaos and desperation are not pragmatic. For the first time since 2008, Anwar does not seem like a pragmatic choice for Prime Minister. 

Democratic progress is NOT upturned cars on the streets and vigilante rowdies running riot in our cities. Democratic progress is the setting up of a true two party system. Pakatan needs a real leader who believes in the ideals of democracy and has NEVER practiced otherwise. With this, I hereby write the beginning of the end of Anwar Ibrahim’s political career on 28 April 2012.

Faces of Tun Teddy

Faces of Tun Teddy