Thursday, 22 June 2017

Italian Ducati, Malaysian Proton

Ducati is the Ferrari of motorcycles.

But I don't really care much for it, preferring the more mundane but practical Japanese of Kawasaki, Honda and Yamaha.

Still, I always have respect for the brand.

It's after all Italian.

At least that's how I always see it.

So do most other people who care about motorcycles, I think.

However, this morning I saw this story,


excerpts;


U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is lining up a takeover bid for Italian rival Ducati, potentially bringing together two of the most famous names in motorcycling in a deal that could be worth up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.67 billion), sources told Reuters.

Indian motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto and several buyout funds are also preparing bids for Ducati, which is being put up for sale by German carmaker Volkswagen.
So, Ducati is actually own by the Germans and about to be sold to the Americans or Indians or whomever else later.

By the way, the Indian Bajaj is the one which recently partnered Malaysian Modenas.

I think everyone knows Harley. That clunky and noisy American contraption of middle-aged men :)

Still, somehow I think Ducati will still be Italian.

I never see it as German despite all these while it's own by Volkswagen.

It still seems Italian sexy even though I prefer the technologically superior and efficient Japanese bikes.

Only a Lady Ducati can ride wearing heels like that. I know I can't.

It just feels that way.

Doesn't matter who will owns it later, the bike still feels Italian.

It's the same with Volvo being Swedish despite now it's own by China's Geely.

It just feels that way.

No one will say Volvo is Chinese, right?

Somehow, that's the way it is with other automotive brands too.

Rolls Royce and Jaguar, for instance, will always be British even if they are own by Martians.

Therefore I think, Proton which is now partnering Geely will always be Malaysian.

I don't think it will turn Chinese because of Geely's interests in it.

Proton will always be Malaysian, as far as I'm concerned, the same way Ducati being Italian despite being own by some Americans, or Indians or Nepalese or whatever.

I know, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was sad back then when the Proton-Geely partnership was announced.

That's understandable. I don't get it why some people mercilessly whacked the handsome old man because of that. They shouldn't, okay.

Dr Mahathir is the father of Proton and he wants Proton to remain totally Malaysian.

Just like a Kedahan father who wants his child to remain a Kedahan.

But the child needs to grow up and in the process he may not retain the original Kedahan ways like what the father wants.

The father may be unhappy about the changes but that's just the way things are.

It's unavoidable if the child is to grow up.

He needs to go to school and college and later on the workplace where he may learn other values than that of what he learnt as a child of Kedah.

But despite all that, I believe the child will remain a Kedahan and loves his father, no matter what.

At least that's how I feel about it. 

Okay, back to Ducati and Italy, here's a video,


See, it's still as Italian as ever.

That's all.

Ciao.

Monday, 19 June 2017

A hungry mob is an angry mob (updated)

UPDATES

Oh, okay. They have apparently just now cancelled the latest GST order.

Just received this,


Good lah.

ORIGINAL POST

All the Chinese newspapers' main frontpage story today are about the government going to start charging GST for some food items such as sweet corns, potatoes, grapes, mee hoon, kuey teow etc.


Apparently it was an "exclusive" story that they shared.

The other "mainstream" newspapers don't seem to have the story.

The Star Online was however quick to check and confirmed the Chinese newspapers story this morning,

GST on more than 60 food items from July 1


PETALING JAYA: More than 60 types of food items will have the Goods and Services Tax (GST) imposed on them starting July 1.
These include certain seafood, vegetables, fruits, tea, coffee, spices and noodles, China Press reported yesterday.
Customs Department director-general Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy confirmed the report and said a full statement would be issued today.
“It’s only a few items not consumed by the masses,” he said.
The new items that will be levied with GST include eel, swordfish and imported fruits like avocados, figs, grapes, nectarines, cherries and berries. However, vegetables such as potatoes, long beans, peas, spinach and sweet corn would also be taken off the GST zero-rated list.
Other items include bihunkuey teowlaksa mee and coconut oil.
The Government introduced GST in April 2015 in the form of a 6% tax on goods and services. For the complete list of zero-rated goods and services, visit gst.customs.gov.my or www.federalgazette.agc.gov.my.

I'm of the opinion that the timing of this whole thing is all wrong for the BN government.


Is it really necessary to do this now?

It's near Raya la.

These kind of stories are not good to be discussed when people get together to celebrate Raya.

Can't they do it bit by bit instead so that people don't get the perception that the cost of living is getting higher without end.

And the fact that the Chinese newspapers are the ones which broke the story is even worse.

Now the mainstream media have to follow their lead.

They should have at least preempt the story by being the ones who break the story, complete with the rationale on why the move was taken.

Now the damage done already, okay.

Some may argue, that a few sen of price increase is nothing much, but for the people out there earning small salaries, it means a lot.

Higher cost of living for me is a more dangerous threat to the government than all the other issues put together.

1MDB, for instance, is to me just an issue only understood by those who know the financial world. Ordinary people like me don't really understand it.

Sometimes I feel that those who claim to know the 1MDB issue and boasting about their higher intellect are merely a bunch of show off.

I found them irritating.

Now, issue of higher cost of living is more immediate and easier to understand.

Pricier goods - you go to the grocery store and you can understand what it's all about.

Townsfolk or kampungfolk, they all can understand it.

If they are not happy about it, then the government will be in trouble.

As simple as that.

Well, I'm just stating the facts here, okay.

If the BN government don't care about it, then that's not my problem.

If they care, they better do something to manage the people's perception on this whole thing.

I know, the opposition is in a mess, but as I wrote previously, if the people get too angry, they would just show their anger without thinking of the consequences.

Orang dah geram bukan peduli apa nak jadi.

Okay, that's all.

Here's a song to go with this post,


Sunday, 18 June 2017

About a friend's help and a bit on buka puasa functions

I have an appointment with a doctor later this afternoon.

This doctor is one of those expensive ones.


By right, I actually can't afford the treatment (even with my insurance) but the appointment was arranged by a rich Chinese guy who said he is paying for it.

Initially I was reluctant to take up his kind offer, but after he repeatedly said he just wants to help as a friend, then I decided to agree with it.

Felt that if I still refused, it's like not wanting to be his friend.

I actually don't really like owing anything to anybody.

My little bit of pride, that one.

See lah, if the bills turn out to be not too expensive, I'll pay for it myself.

I need the treatment because I have been suffering from my ailment for almost a month now.

The other treatments I had over the past weeks didn't seem to improve my condition.

Even though I can now actually move around quite a bit, there are still lots of pain involved.

Hopefully I will not be accused of eating dedak if the Chinese guy eventually pays for my medical bills.

He's pro-Najib but nonetheless is just a friend who wants to help me.

It doesn't make a difference to me either if he's pro-Dr Mahathir, okay.

And nope, my rich Chinese friend is not Jho Low....almost, but not him :)

No kidding, okay.

Later on, I have a buka puasa appointment which my boss wanted me to attend.

It's part of my job, actually.

The function is somewhere in downtown KL. Hopefully there will be no jam and my condition holds till then.

I planned to escape from the buka puasa function as early as possible.

Anyway, I'm not a big fan of buka puasa functions.

Always awkward, especially when bumping into people that I don't like at such functions. It could spoil my puasa mood.

Prefer having it in the comfort of home instead.

This is going to be my first buka puasa function this year. Hopefully the last one too.

Okay, need to get ready to go now.

Ciao.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Couldn't care less

Spent yesterday mostly lying down.

On drugs.

Yup, I'm still not well.

Saw some little commotions in the Wassap groups over the new 1MDB-related legal suit by US Department of Justice (DoJ).

But it was just between some pro-Najib supporters on how to deal with it.

My only input was that they shouldn't worry too much about it.

I don't think the new DoJ's suit makes any difference.

Well, it doesn't make a difference to me.

A year ago, when DoJ filed the first suit, I did three postings on that single day to get all the angles to the story.

Not this time.

I was like...Oh another one. Que serra serra.

I think most people are also like me.

Tired of the whole mess.

Even the anti-Najib crowd seems not to care too much about the new DoJ suit.

Not care as much as last year, at least.

I think most people just want to go on with life and peacefully wait for the election.

They probably have made up their mind.

They don't want to hear about anything politics too much.

It's getting really tiresome.

That's why I hope the election could be held early.

Get it over and done with.

Honestly, these days I just read news of current events.

I skip all the opinion and theory pieces.

All the whacking and counter whacking seemed stupid and a waste of time.

Tired of reading people with over-inflated ego who think they are right all the time.

I rather watch anime, actually.

A scene from Only Yesterday

Or listen to rock music.

Why can't we have rockers as leaders of our country?

I meant the clever ones la.

It would be so cool, I think.

Most rockers are cool, okay.

They are much better than politicians.

At least to me la.

In fact, this is much better to me than a political speech,


What to do, I'm like that.

Cheers and enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The sad breakdown of Singapore's first family

This is sad,

Singapore PM’s siblings say they feel threatened, have lost confidence in him


excerpts;

At the heart of the family dispute is the future of the house in which their father, Lee Kuan Yew, lived for most of his life. He was the first Prime Minister of Singapore and ruled the country for three decades.
Lee died in 2015, and according to the younger siblings wanted the home demolished rather than turned into a monument. They claim that the prime minister and his wife, Ho Ching, had opposed this wish.
The younger siblings accused the prime minister of wanting to milk Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy for their own political purposes. They said that they believed the prime minister and his wife, Ho Ching, harbour political ambitions for their son, Li Hongyi. 
All that are very unfortunate, isn't it?

I wondered but not dare to speculate what actually happened between the siblings.

It's hard for me to believe that Lee Hsien Loong is as bad as what his brother and sister said.

The guy is so nice and gentle.

Anyway, I felt that the whole matter may be too private for me to comment.

It's after all a family matter.

I actually began to admire the Lee family after learning more about them after Lee Kuan Yew's death.


Whatever it is, I hope they could resolve their family problems soon.

It's always sad to see a family breaking up.

Here's some  old posts that I did about them,

Another LKY story




And here's what Lee Hsien Loong said about his father after LKY passed away,


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Getting angry at Nazri

Everyone seems to be angry with Tourism Minister DS Nazri Aziz.


You can read about it at Rocky's

Nazri's poor tact


I'm not angry with him though.

In fact, I almost expected him to behave that way.

He has always been like that, what.

I think he was even made a minister because he is like that.

Really.

Not at all surprising.

Nazri is simply a pugnacious man.

But such a man can be useful in certain situations.

I believe that's why he's been a minister for so long.

So, what's going to happen to him now?

I think nothing.

He will remain as he is and he will continue to behave as he is.

Of course unless PM DS Najib Razak sacks him, which I don't believe would happen.

Sack him for what?

For being rude to a state "minister"?

I don't think so.

The guy even quarrelled with the powerful Johor royalty two years ago and nothing happened.

Click on this link to read a bit about it,

Royalty in the ring


Don't tell me it's okay for Nazri to be rude with Tengku Mahkota Johor but he can't be rude with a Sarawak "minister".

Yes, this one will also blow away like last time and Nazri will go on with his merry ways.

All the angry people will cool off soon anyway.

Personally, I'm already used to Nazri's antics.

Kinda provide some humor to the political scene, don't you think?

I also find him not the worst among Najib's people.

In fact, I prefer him more than the likes of Ku Nan and Puad Zarkashi.

Really can't stand those two.

At least Nazri is relatively macho and handsome, okay.

Eh, enough lah.

Listen to this song better,


Okay, I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day.

Not full recovered yet.

Ciao.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Battle of Dedak

Feeling a bit better this morning, did bits of work and now writing this.

Just a short one to keep this blog alive.

I was totally cut off for the past week, so I have to rely on other blogs as source for this one.

Saw this post by Big Dog,

Dedak Tak Serupa Bikin?

It's about Pribumi Bersatu preparing to distribute essential items to the public in conjunction with Ramadhan and the coming Raya.

Based on the pictures, it's a lot.

Must have costs the party quite a huge sum of money.

I wonder how Pribumi Bersatu managed to get the financing for the initiative.

Well, never mind.

Whatever it is, the effort will be good for the needy as it takes a bit of load off their shoulders for the coming Raya.

A sack of rice and few days supply of other essential food items mean a lot for poor people.

I think I understand a bit about poor people. One day I will tell you the story of my father who is from a poor family.

Okay, about it being a counter dedak from the Dr Mahathir's party, I think that's besides the point.

Poor people don't care about all that.

They will just be happy and grateful that there are people who care about them.

 I think you all know what that means - more votes for Pribumi Bersatu.

Yeah, it's just a token handout compared to what the BN government is doing for the rakyat, but giving out rice and essential food items feels real for the needy who receive it.

Dedak or not, really doesn't matter to them.

It's even better than BR1M, because BR1M is a government's initiative. The poor expect the government to assist them, so the impact of BR1M is lesser.

"Hey, it's the duty of the government to help us. We don't owe the government anything for BR1M," some of them would say.

So, what can BN do to counter this Pribumi Bersatu initiative?

Just bitching about it wouldn't help, okay.

Well, BN should also embark on similar effort.

Outdo what Dr Mahathir's people are doing.

Buy lots more rice and essential items and distribute it before Raya.


I'm sure Umno, MCA and the others can do it.

It would be money well spent.

Better than paying tones of money to useless media barons and cybertroopers who don't really know what they are doing.

Whatever it is, they need to hurry because Raya will be here soon.

As I said, dedak or not doesn't really matter at this point.

It's a battle of who can give more and be appreciated in return of votes, okay.

Anyway, the sure winners will be the poor and needy.

They can get lots of stuff, courtesy of both sides of the political divide and enjoy Raya better.

What's wrong with that, right?

Yes, dedak or not, I don't think we are in the position to tell the poor to be idealistic with an empty stomach.

Okay, I need to rest now. It's starting to hurt again.

I leave you all with this nice song.


Cheers.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Innocent until proven guilty

I'm still like yesterday, writing this using my phone from my bed. Can't sit much.

Just passing time.

Someone forwarded me this story earlier around sahur time,

Penang Uber driver bashed, car smashed after sexually harassing female passenger | http://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/06/246798/penang-uber-driver-bashed-car-smashed-after-sexually-harassing-female

That someone was complaining that the story was not being fair to the beaten up Uber driver.

She also forwarded a Facebook posting by the guy's sister-in-law which insisted on his innocence. Unfortunately I  can't publish it here because if I do so I may be accused of inciting racial hatred. It's the way the sister-in-law wrote her piece describing the ethnicity of the mob who beat up the Uber driver.

Anyway, despite that, she has a point because one is not supposed to be assumed guilty until proven so. The headline of the report does make it as if the Uber driver is already guilty of sexually harassing his passenger.

It's the same as what the mob did - beating him up before giving him a chance to defend himself. They should let the police handle the matter instead of assuming the guy's guilt and beating him up.

Wish I can put the video of the beating here but since I'm writing this using my phone, I just don't know how to do it. Maybe you all can check it out at YouTube.  Quite bad from the looks of it.

Well, whatever happened it's  wrong to beat up the guy like that. Especially so in cases such as this where the mob was made of mostly from one particular race and their victim from another. It could easily turn into a racial fight.

So guys, please be extra careful with these sorts of things, okay.

That aside, my condition is still the same this morning. The pain comes and goes.

A close friend said she will take me to a place near Genting to see a Malay traditional healer said to be good with curing my kind of ailment. Tried the Chinese one already.

I'm trying these alternative healing things because the conventional one doesn't seems to improve my condition.

Well, nothing much to lose in trying, right?

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Painful after sahur rambling

Talked with a friend who used to be a staunch Umno supporter but now with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the other side of the fence.

He is actively campaigning for Pribumi Bersatu.

I asked whether his new party will be ready if the general election is to be called within the next few months as many believe it would be so.

"I think we still have plenty of time. Najib will likely stretch it till the end like in the last general election in 2013. He has no real reason to call for an early polls," he said.

The deadline for the next general election is in August next year.

"How about the economy? Will it holds up for BN till next year?" I asked.

"Looks like it," he said.

It doesn't look good for the opposition parties if what my friend said were all true.

On the possibility of the opposition parties being able to use the extra time to mend their currently acrimonious ties, my friend said the chances of that would not be so good either.

"Too much mistrust between the (opposition) parties," he said.

My friend however said he will continue what he is doing now.

"We have to at least let them know that the corrupt practices can't go on. We have to speak up against it," he said.

Well, good luck to my friend.

He was actually visiting me yesterday afternoon after hearing that I'm sick.

I'm writing this lying in bed using my phone.

Can't even sit and write properly using my laptop.

Woke up earlier about 2.30am and can't go back to sleep till now.

Nothing else to do, so I'm writing this just to pass the time.

Had some biscuits for sahur just now.

Trying to keep my puasa intact and refusing to take my pain killer.

Maybe Allah giving me the pain to cover a bit of my sins and therefore I should take it as it is.

I'm quite a sinner, actually.

Sorry, I'm beginning to ramble.

Hopefully things will get better.

I'm already feeling guilty for not being able to work.

Okay, I better rest now. Left side of my body beginning to get painful again as I lay on it to write this.

Cheers.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Bullies are the scum of the earth

The death of Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) student, cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain is really upsetting.

My condolences to his family. AlFatihah.


 Zulfarhan Osman and his parents
I was first informed about the case yesterday by a JB friend. 

Zulfarhan was a JB boy.

I was told that he was tortured and beaten to death by his fellow students.

Reports so far indicated the same.


'Bullied' navy cadet dies, police investigate case as murder 


Whatever it is, let's wait for what will come out of the investigation.

I have always been against bullies in any form. If I happened to encounter them, I tend to fight the bullies even though I know I can't win and have to suffer for it. 

This is a little venting I did on bullies in Johor and at my old workplace back in February 2015,


Achtung! Bullies in the building!


In the case of Zulfarhan, I thought there were no more physical bullying in our universities these days.


I thought our young ones are more sophisticated than us and therefore they don't do that sorts of bullying to express their sense of superiority over others.

Guess I was wrong then.

Ya, probably these bullies who killed Zulfarhan will later on become like those at my old workplace who victimised their subordinates and others due to their misplaced sense of superiority.

I sure hope the authorities will quickly charge them and serve it as a lesson for others who have the urges to pick on the weak and helpless.

I also hope that in cases like this, I would not in future see these kind of lame headlines anymore,

Higher Education Ministry Views Zulfarhan Osman's Death Seriously

Can't they come out with something more intelligent or meaningful to say?

What? Could they possibly view the case any other way but seriously? Come on la.

I wish the ministry could instead give some sorts of assurance that in future, when parents send their children to universities they don't have to worry about them getting beaten and tortured to death.

I sincerely hope this case will not end up like so many others - forgotten after all the publicity had died down.

I'm still waiting for what will happen to the teacher who beat up tahfiz student Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi who later on died of his injuries as highlighted in this post,

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

About stupid editors and Frim's canopy walkway

Just released this comment at my last post,
Salam Annie. lama tak de posting. Where are you. Japan may be.

Nope, I'm not in Japan, though how I wish I am.

Well, actually I have not been well. Still a bit sick.

That's why I have not been writing. Better that way because I tend to over-bitch when I'm not well.

Okay, I better write a bit. Otherwise people may thought I'm dead already :)

The hottest thing happening now I think is that stupid The Star insulting Muslims thingy leading to,

Star suspends two editors


Someone asked me what I think of it, and I said it's just plain stupidity.

People get stupid sometimes. That's all.

Personally, I don't think The Star maliciously intended to insult Muslims.

Why would it want to do that for? Just for the fun of it? Seriously?

I don't like the newspaper and I don't buy it, but I have to be fair by saying that it was just a stupid oversight on the part of the editors in charge.

By the way, I don't buy any newspaper anymore. Read everything online. Save money a bit.

Whatever it is, this insulting Muslims thing happens all the time.

Even New Straits Times, which is The Star's main competitor (if you can call it so despite the huge gap between their circulation figures) had been accused of the same thing when in 2006 it published a Danish cartoon said to be insulting Islam.

Click for better view


NST, however, got away with it. You can read the whole saga at this link,

No Action Taken Against NST After Public Apology


Well, The Star had issued a public apology too in this latest incident.

So, everything should be okay.

Even the suspended editors should be okay. Just embarrassed a bit for being stupid.

Being sometimes stupid should not be too bad.

We are after all only humans.

In case of editors, they make stupid decisions too and I don't think we should be too hard on them.

This whole thing actually reminds me of an incident not long before the last general election in 2013.

I was driving to work that morning when I received a message informing me that there will be a coordinated attack against a top editor.

The attack was to be carried out by several top pro-BN bloggers.

I never asked why they wanted to attack that editor but I felt that they shouldn't do that as I know a bit about the editor and he is not such a bad person.

True enough, later that day the blogs posted several negative comments on the editor and they demanded his resignation.

At that time I was part of the Big Cat blog team, So, I persuaded my team leader to post something which I wrote about the whole thing.

You can read what I wrote at this link,

Editors' job hazards


Well, of course there are editors who are really assholes, but despite that I rather give them some benefits of doubt.

From what I know of them, they are smart people who tend to once a while get stupid rather than malicious.

Sometimes they miss things they should't have.

Even the great ones are like that.

So, I think everyone should cool off.

That aside, I'm hoping once I get better can visit the FRIM conservation centre in Kepong.

I saw this story yesterday and decided that I want to walk along that canopy walkway one last time,

FRIM’s canopy walkway to close after 25 years 


 I have fond memories of that place.



Okay, I need to rest now.

Cheers and happy puasa.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Chinese are never to lose

When I wrote this post


on the Bandar Malaysia issue, a commentator replied,

tebing tinggi4 May 2017 at 20:15

The Chinese are just playing games ,jut to see that they could gain more .

The Chinese are never to lose ,jut wait and see .

Well, the comment turned out to be true as far as the Proton strategic partnership plan is concerned.

This is the story yesterday,

Geely Holding buys 49.9% of Proton




It certainly make this observation of mine kinda stupid,


I was so sure the French going to get the deal when reports said Geely had pulled out of it.

Turned out, the Chinese were just being smart business people.

They were just bidding their time to make the right offer, it seemed.

I think they are really smarter than the French.

They must have known that DRB-Hicom would prefer not to let go of the controlling stake, at least for now. That's probably why they only take 49.9 per cent.

The general election is coming after all and Proton being taken over by foreigners may upset too many people.

After election, different story lah.

Personally, I don't really care as long as it will do good for Proton in the long run.

I argued on that point here,

Maybe Dr Mahathir wouldn't mind the Japanese too much


Anyway, in a related story, the Chinese are getting 51 per cent controlling stake of Proton's Lotus as part of the deal, and it was said that the

Lotus sale gives DRB-Hicom 100 million pounds


Perhaps Lotus is what the Chinese really want in the first place.

Lotus is a good brand name with excellent track record. Probably the best thing that Proton have.

Well, doesn't really matter to me.

If DRB-Hicom think it's a good deal they are having with the Chinese, then who am I to complain.

I got no prejudices against the Chinese anyway.

If they are smart enough to make a good offer, then they deserve what they are getting.

Anyway, I have never seen a Geely car.

When I was in China, I saw lots of Volkswagen and Japanese cars.

Can't remember seeing a Geely.

Maybe they were there in front of me, just that I didn't notice their badge.

So, this is a video about one of their cars,

I still prefer the Japanese, but this is also not too bad.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

BN will win if the opposition parties remain the same

Someone asked me yesterday whether the opposition parties will be able to defeat BN in the next general election.

I said no.

Well, not if the opposition parties remain the way they are now.

Honestly, the way I see it, the opposition parties are simply in even worse shape than BN.

That's the truth. Even the opposition supporters, if they are honest with themselves, will have to agree.

There's that Pas factor to begin with, which will break the opposition's vote bank among the Malays.

The opposition parties were hoping for a Malay tsunami against BN, but without Pas in the same camp as the others, I don't think that's going to happen.

This Pas matter has been discussed quite a lot, so I don't think I need to elaborate on it.

Let's go to the other opposition parties and see what's wrong with them,

Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia

It is basically a Dr Mahathir's party consisting disgruntled Umno people who quit or forced to quit the party after the latest failed Umno rebellion.

Their way of thinking is however still as if they are in Umno. Lately they were even squabbling for positions the same way when they were in Umno.

This latest blog post by Dr Mahathir confirmed talks that the infighting has been serious,

PENYOKONG SAYA

They are also finding it hard to play second fiddle to the more senior opposition parties such as PKR, DAP and even Amanah.

It would be hard for many of them to swallow the fact that even if they win, they will have to submit to the other parties' wishes.

On top of that, they may even have to accept that Anwar Ibrahim is to be made PM if they win the next general election. That's going to be very hard for them as they have been whacking the guy for a very long time when they were in Umno.

PKR

PKR is still stuck with the ideology of making Anwar the PM, plain and simple.

Yes, they do talk about justice and a better Malaysia, but their end game is still all about Anwar.

As of now, they seem even willing to sacrifice everything else including the goal of winning the next general election, to achieve that objective.

For them,  beating BN would be meaningless if Anwar is not to be PM.

Thus the other day at their convention, they sort of forced everyone, including their guests from the other opposition parties to hold up the Anwar to be PM placard.

Dr Mahathir, who was there actually avoided doing that.

PKR's Anwar as PM dream is actually off putting for many people who hates BN as they equally can't stand the idea of the former DPM running the country.

DAP

The Chinese-based party is currently stuck at third gear.

It can't improve from it's Chinese tsunami mode of GE13.

It's for all intent and purpose is still actually a Chinese party.

All its effort to appear multi-racial have not been making much progress.

Any attempt to dilute it's Chinese flavour only causes it to lose chunks of its Chinese vote bank.

That's exactly what happened when they fielded a Malay girl at the Teluk Intan by-election in 2015.

For many Malays, DAP is still a Chinese political bogeyman that scares them.

It doesn't help that some of the DAP personalities openly displayed their lack of sensitivities towards the Malays.

For example, by openly promoting evangelicalism, some DAP leaders do not seem to care what the Malay Muslims feel about such activities.

They even contemptuously dismiss the Malays unhappiness over the matter.

They probably feel that they can get away with such behaviour because their constituents are mostly Chinese and that they may even actually win more Chinese votes that way.

However, the effect would actually be damaging for the opposition parties as a whole because Malays, who are the majority in this country tend not to take such nonsense too kindly.

Its a case of "Menang sorak Cina, kampung Melayu tergadai".

Amanah

Consisting mostly Pas rejects, it's the only opposition party which in my opinion is without too much baggage.

Okay, party president Mat Sabu may be a baggage because of his not so handsome face as well as crazy antics and background, but the other leaders seem not so bad.

These guys are after all mostly professionals who joined Pas believing that they can do good in the Islamist party.

When they were still in Pas, the party seems less Taliban-like.

Well, too bad that they got kicked out by the Pas Ulama gang and have to set-up their own new party.

However, they don't have the Pas' Islamic fanaticism which attracts a lot of Malays, especially those from the rural areas.

Unlike Pas leaders who can claim that supporting their party is akin to buying a ticket to paradise, the Amanah guys, who are not ulama could only project a moderate Islamic image which may not be attractive enough for the more religiously-inclined Muslims.

Amanah may do some good in non-Malay heartland states such as Johor and Malacca but that's about all that they can do.

It may not likely stand much chance in three cornered fights with Pas and Umno such as what happened at the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections last year.

Mat Sabu may not be handsome in my eyes but some girls do love him though.
Well, that's my honest opinion about the opposition parties' chances for the coming general election if they remain as they are now.

Unless they do something drastic to overcome their problems as laid down above, they will lose again.

A lot of people that I know are fed up with the opposition parties despite their hatred towards BN. Some of them don't even want to talk about politics anymore and may likely not bothered to vote later on.

This, however, doesn't mean Umno and the other BN parties will have it easy in the months ahead leading to the general election.

If they get over confident and cocky, which they tend to do all the time, they may get the people to be so angry that they don't really care whether the opposition is any better or worse to replace BN in Putrajaya.

They would just vote for the opposition out of spite because they are pissed off by the arrogant and stupid remarks as well as failures to do the right things coming from the BN side.

Actually, I believe the opposition parties' only chance to win the next general election is if the people become so angry with BN that they couldn't care less whether those to replace the ruling coalition are any better.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Can Khaled do what Ghani did in handling a Malay tsunami?

According to this Bernama story,

Johor BN Will Focus Efforts To Recapture Seats From Opposition

JOHOR BAHRU, May 20 (Bernama) -- Johor Barisan Nasional (BN) will focus its efforts to recapture seats lost to the opposition in the last 13th General Election (GE13).

Johor BN chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said BN would ensure victory, despite the opposition´s confidence of capturing 5 parliamentary seats in the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14).

"Ask the opposition to specify which areas (15 seats) that they want to capture in Johor," he told reporters after launching the Mega Sale �Muafakat Johor´ Carnival 2017 at Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium, here today.

The Johor Menteri Besar was commenting on a statement by Pakatan Harapan that expressed confident to capture 15 seats in the state in GE14 after a special meeting of the Pakatan Harapan Johor yesterday.

In the GE13, Johor BN won 21 of 26 parliamentary seats. The five opposition seats are Kulai, Gelang Patah, Kluang, Batu Pahat and Bakri and Pagoh.

On the Mega Sale Carnival, Mohamed Khaled said the carnival would be expanded to Iskandar Malaysia as it would help the people in the face of rising prices of daily necessities at the moment.

Not a very well written story, but never mind.

Well, since Khaled asked where are the five parliament seats the opposition is confident of capturing,
let me take a wild guess....errr, one of them should be at his own division of Pasir Gudang where BN's majority was slashed in 2013 from over 20,000 to less than 1,000.

It's 935, to be exact.

The others should be Ledang (1,967), Tebrau (1,767), Muar (1,646), Segamat (1,217) and Labis (353).

Out of the 25 parliament seats won by BN by less than 2,000 votes in the last general election, six are in Johor.

That makes it one extra more than what Khaled asked for.

There are several other places in Johor where BN's majority had been significantly reduced, but let's save those for another story.

Can BN win back its lost parliament seats in Johor?

For that, maybe we can just look at the majority won by the opposition in Gelang Patah, which is 14,752, Bakri (5,067), Kluang (7,359), Kulai (13,450) and Batu Pahat (1,524).

Maybe Batu Pahat can be taken back by BN.

In the first place, BN was not supposed to lose that seat in the last general election but the Umno headquarter's decision to ignore Johor liasion committee's recommendation not to field Mohd Puad Zarkashi there handed the seat to the opposition.

For more on that, read this,

Meroyan kalah pilihanraya



So, what could possibly be Khaled's strategy to avoid BN from losing more seats, or to put it as he said, to recapture those now with the opposition?


If we look at all those 50-50 seats, they are mostly racially marginal.

That means BN, or to be more precise Umno can't rely solely on Malay unity in Johor.

It needs to win back some non-Malay votes in the state, especially among the Chinese.

I'm not sure how they can achieve that, but definitely not by the approach of some who went around saying that the next general election will be about Malays versus Chinese.

Some people told me that the Bangsa Johor campaign led by the palace may do the trick as it makes the Chinese happy.

Maybe kut.

Well, I don't know. Only the Johorean Chinese can tell whether they are happy or not.

As for Malay unity in Johor, it  has always been unity in Umno.

Nothing to do with Umno-Pas unity. That's why I couldn't care less about all those perpaduan ummah talks. In Johor, it's perpaduan Melayu didalam Umno, okay.

Khaled personally told me that 83 per cent of Malays in Johor voted for BN in the last general election.

That's how strong was Malay unity in Johor.

I believe if not for that, the Chinese tsunami of 2013 would have swept away the state from BN.

In light of the Umno rebellion led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the opposition is expecting a Malay tsunami against BN in the next general election.

They expect Johor to be hit hard by it, thus their confidence in capturing more parliamentary seats in the state.

The last time there was something which could be described as a Malay tsunami was during the 1999 general election.

It was estimated that less than 40 per cent of Malays voted for BN in that election

The ruling coalition was saved by the Chinese who went all out to vote for it after being spooked by the violent mostly Malay-led Reformasi riots of  Anwar Ibrahim.

Umno, nonetheless, lost a lot of seats with Pas capturing Terengganu that year.

Johor was however untouched by that Malay tsunami.

Johor BN, led by then MB TS Abdul Ghani Othman, won all the parliament and state seats in that 1999 general election. It was an amazing 100 per cent victory at the height of a Malay rebellion against Umno.


Back then, Johor was truly the tiang seri of Umno.

Lets see if it is still so, and whether Khaled can do what Ghani did in leading Johor into what the opposition believe will be another Malay tsunami.

I do hope for Khaled's sake that he agrees with me that in Johor, it is not wise to stop a Malay tsunami by saying "you are with us or against us", 'no retreat, no surrender" and other such stupid things now very popular among some clever Umno people and supposed supporters.

Bear in mind that back in 1999, there were many Johorean Malays who disliked Dr Mahathir for what he did to Anwar, but they still voted for BN because of their loyalty to Umno.  It helps that Johor Umno, then under Ghani, never witch-hunted them.

Maybe Khaled can learn from that.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

About Malays versus Chinese

A friend who is a Sabahan Chinese called to complain about this article by RPK,

GE14 is about Malays versus Chinese


He said such an article is not helping Barisan Nasional to win back Chinese votes, and may cause difficulties for the coalition in Sabah and Sarawak.

My friend, who is a staunch BN supporter had sounded very distressed.

"Can you help counter this RPK's article?" he asked.

Seriously, I wish I could help him, but in this case I don't believe I can.

I explained to him that he needs someone with a bigger and more influential platform to do that.

Mine is after all merely an insignificant anonymous blog - just a little anchovy compared to RPK's hugely popular Malaysia Today.

I do understand though why my friend was so worried about such racially provocative articles.

I was also guilty of writing such articles in the aftermath of GE13's Chinese tsunami. And my post of those sorts were relatively well read.

I was mostly venting out my frustration at that time because I was so disappointed with the Chinese for choosing to abandon the moderate Malays of the establishment during that general election.

But, as I previously wrote, things cooled off after that as things slowly went back to normal.

I believe the Chinese political tidal wave of 2013 had also receded to a certain extent over time. The signs were there during last year's Sarawak elections and twin by-elections of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar.

BN actual managed to get a decent percentage of Chinese votes during those elections.

I never expect BN to get overwhelming percentage of Chinese votes in future elections but it would be good enough if the percentage could be increased to 20 or 30 percent. Maybe it could help stop our society from becoming more racially polarised.

More importantly, it may even shut up those who are advocating racism as a political tool.

Actually, I never believe that we Malaysians, despite all those racial rhetorics, are really racists at heart.

Those ugly racist feelings, for me, were the faults of politicians who exploit communal sentiments to win support.

These bad people and their minions always tried very hard to deny that we Malaysians could live together and that there are those among us who could be the best of friends or even love and accept each other the way we were.

In my last post

Annie's favourite Ang

I highlighted this (excerpts),

Later on I have a Chinese friend who is like Hillary. He doesn't play a guitar but can mix around with Malays very well. He is so well liked that even the local Pekida and Tiga Line guys hang out with him. I think it's something to do with his sincere heart.

A commentator then accused me of lying about having such a friend as he can't believe that such a Chinese exist. Pekida and Tiga Line are after all known to be extreme Malay organisations.

In my reply, I provided this link to a previous article of mine where I mentioned about my friend,

Annie and Najib's advisers


Yes, that Chinese friend of mine really exist and if the commentator who accused me of lying bothered to check on him, he will discover that my friend is exactly as I described him.

The guy even looks a bit like a young Hillary Ang of the Search fame.

A young Hillary Ang
Let me add a bit more about him here.

When his father died a few years ago, I spent several days with him and his family at the funeral parlour during the wake. A group of Pekida guys turned up there to pay their last respect and convey their sympathy to my friend and his family.

It turned out that the Abang Long of the group is sorts of his "abang angkat".

No kidding.

The Pekida and Tiga Line people are not exactly the same as the people of Ku Klux Klan, okay. If we take out the politics, these guys are as normal as anyone else. They also like good people irregardless of race and religion such as in the case of my friend.

For me, all that matter is for us to regard each other with sincerity and honesty.

As for my Sabahan Chinese friend's request, all I can say is - let us all try not to be influenced by people who want us to hate and fight each other so that they can benefit from the chaos that comes out of it.

Give it a try, okay.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Annie's favourite Ang

Relax.

This Ang is nice and the best, okay.

I'm talking about Hillary Ang.

In case you don't know him, the guy is a lead guitarist and founding member of Search, the greatest Malaysian rock band ever.

And Hillary is not a girl like Hillary Clinton. He's a real macho rocker guy.

That's him on the right,


That's in the mid-80s when the JB boys of Search ruled the Malaysian music scene.

I was just a kid at that time, but when I first heard his guitar riffs, I knew that Hillary was exceptionally good. Perhaps even the best among local rock guitarists.

Back then I always wondered how the quiet Chinese boy could be part of the Malay rock band. The Chinese are after all not known to be so into hard rock music. That's what I think made him extra special.

Later on I have a Chinese friend who is like Hillary. He doesn't play a guitar but can mix around with Malays very well. He is so well liked that even the local Pekida and Tiga Line guys hang out with him. I think it's something to do with his sincere heart.

Guys like Hillary and my friend are among the main reasons why I can't hate the Chinese even if I try. Believe me, I tried after the Chinese tsunami of 2013. Cuma boleh marah sekejap je. You can't hate the entire race when you know and like the good ones among them.

Well, at least I can't.

Anyway, here's Hillary and his Search gang playing at Planet Hollywood in 2007,


And this is him and the gang when they were much younger and at the height of their power,


Nowadays Hillary looks very uncle uncle....


....but he's still as cool as ever, especially when he is with a guitar.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Umno's campaign styles and memories of Tenang

Umno celebrated its 71st birthday at the National Stadium last night.

National news agency Bernama estimated about 150,000 people at the event.

It's almost as many as the whole of DAP membership.

This is its report on what Umno president DS Najib Razak said at the event,

UMNO Remains Strong As It Always Struggles For The People - Najib

This is a picture from the event yesterday,


The last time I remember of such a gathering was the Umno's 66th birthday celebration on May 11, 2012.

This is a picture of the event from back then,


Looks the same and the number of crowd was equally as impressive as yesterday.

It was part of the built up to the 13th general election which was held just short of a year later.

The main reason for the gathering back then was as explained by Najib in this Bernama report picked up by The Star,

Najib: May 11 mass gathering to prove Umno's strength 


I believe the gathering yesterday was also held as a show of strength and part of preparations for the coming general election.

I'm not however a believer of big party gatherings being helpful in winning elections.

After all, despite the similarly big birthday celebration of Umno in 2012, which was followed by other crowd-pleasing events such as the Jelajah Janji DiTepati programme, BN did not do really well at the polls the next year.

Personally, I'm more for real works on the ground such as door to door campaigning, providing efficient community services, showing genuine care for the constituents, helping out when people are in trouble, etc.

It's after all a matter of winning the hearts and minds of the people.

Showing how strong a party is, doesn't really do that.

Okay, maybe it's good for party morale and such but that's all about it, I think.

It's something like having five main pages of your event highlighted by a newspaper which is read mostly by your own party members and supporters.

I don't actually think people would react like "Huih, ramai dan bersemangatnya ahli Umno....hmmm, aku nak sokong Umno lah macam ni."

Don't know lah, but those are my thoughts.

I actually developed this line of thinking after being on the ground during the flood-hit

Tenang by-election

of 2011.

BN at that by-election employed a very practical campaigning approach, especially by approaching voters at personal level and persuading them that BN is their best choice.

The BN campaign on the ground was led by local leaders as they knew the locals better. Outsiders, including high ranking party leaders were told to play a supporting role if they wish to lend a hand for the campaign.

There was hardly any big gathering or fun-fair type of events to spice up the campaigning.

Even outriders escorting VIPs were told not to use their sirens going into the villages, Felda settlements and residential areas.

Johor MB at that time TS Abdul Ghani Othman even told a group of local Wanita Umno members not to proceed with their plan to have a lunch gathering at the KFC outlet in Labis town.

The reason for it was to prevent the locals from getting irritated by what they may deemed as pompous behaviour among the Umno campaigners.

It was felt that the presence of a huge crowd of Wanita members in their red and white uniform swaggering around all over the place may have that very effect.

In contras, Pas which was heavily backed by especially DAP at that by-election embarked on their usual big ceramah and gatherings.

There were a lot of unhappiness especially among Umno people who came to Tenang for the by-election as they were told not to do the usual.

I remember a friend from Kelantan asking me "Tak ada buat gelombang merah ke? Macam mana nak menang kalau macam ni je?"

Even pro-Umno bloggers and social media players were heavily criticising the Johor Umno's campaign style.

"Hambar", "Tak meriah", etc they wrote.

The unhappiest among them were however people from the Umno headquarters in KL.

They were told that for the Tenang by-election, they didn't have to organise any event which may costs the party a lot of money.

In another word, Johor Umno at that time was saying that no one would be allowed to make money out of the by-election at the party's expense.

If those fun-fair like events were allowed to be held, contracts would have to be doled out to certain individuals and paid by the party. This, Johor Umno felt was not worth the expenses and furthermore not really helping the campaigning effort.

Despite BN later on winning the by-election by a significantly increased majority, the unhappiness of the Umno headquarters people remains.

Note the multi-racial BN crowd celebrating with their candidate Mohd Azhar Ibrahim after he was announced as the winner of the Tenang by-election.

Johor Umno was again heavily criticised at a party war room meeting after the by-election.

The debate on the matter led to the Johor Umno war room director being later on banned from attending future meetings.

The excuse given was that only those who led an Umno division were allowed to attend the Umno headquarters' war room meeting. The Johor Umno war room director was the only one who was not a Ketua Bahagian.

All the nonsense were despite Najib himself praising the leadership of Johor BN and Umno for the victory in Tenang.  The campaigning for the by-election was described by him as being the most well managed and costs effective ever.

I'm not sure what it's going to be for Umno and BN in terms of campaigning style after this. After all, the next general election may be just a matter of months from now.

If I'm an Umno member or supporter, I would prefer Najib as my party leader to do the right thing rather than allow some people to use the party to enrich themselves via fun-fair contracts.

Well, of course I'm not a party member or even a supporter, and therefore all that I'm writing here is just actually sharing my experiences and thoughts on the matter.

If Umno wants to have a fun-fair like campaigning for the next general election, than that's their choice.

None of my business, really.

Okay, that's all.

Cheers.