Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ISA again.

IPOH: Those responsible for spreading rumours that petrol stations in the country were going on strike would be dealt with severely, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said.

“This is an evil and treacherous act to sabotage the economy. I will find out who is behind this and I will take action against them under the Internal Security Act,” he warned after closing the Internal Security and Public Order Department Endurance Test Event here on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, petrol stations throughout Sabah and parts of Sarawak saw long queues of panicked vehicle owners after word had spread that the stations were going on strike for three days.

Police had to go around in patrol cars and advise people by using loudhailers not to resort to panic-buying as there was no truth to the rumour.

It was later learnt that petrol stations were not planning a strike but had only suspended credit cards sales.

Detention without trial for 2 years, simply for passing a message of concern ?
What constitute a RUMOUR ? What's next ?
Will the regular Mutu and Ali go to jail for telling his wife to go buy more rice as the price will soon go up.
Will Mrs. Ali go to jail for telling her sister to go buy more rice ?
Will Ah Chong to chicken rice seller go to jail for expressing his concern to his wife to stock up on rice.
Instead of putting some semblance and acknowledgement to the panic the regular rakyat is threathened with the ISA, yet again.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Singapore Medicine

I took a cue from some one whom I would like to call a friend, crankshaft, she blogs on crankshafted
In her blog today, she wrote about Singapore's armament industry

My mind took off to an advert I read about SingaporeMedicine in one of the many inflight magazines I've glanced over.

Singapore has not only positioned itself as a financial capital, leading innovator in the arms industry, petroleum processing centre, biotechnological centre. It has now almost emerged as a medical hub. Providing unsurpassed medical treatment and care to well paying patients either from countries where medical treatment are prohibitive and countries in which expertise are lacking.

A quick review at the accoladates section and the patients testimonial would suffice.

I will highlight a few snippets here to highlight my point

1. Testimonial by Khalid Ibrahim of the UAE
Arriving in Singapore's Changi Airport, we were tense, worried about our daughter, but I remember being soothed by the attention I received from the medical staff waiting for us at the airport and the efficiency and harmony of our surroundings. They are ready, I thought, and a bit of the load on my shoulders left me. Our Fatma's condition was caused by a very large tumour in her chest. It was so big that it was pushing the heart to the right. Therefore, her lungs could not work as well as they should. And the cancer was growing very fast.

The doctors swung into action immediately. It was a nerve-wracking time for all of us. We held each other tightly every day. We couldn't talk because there were no words left. Each night, we would go back to the apartment near the hospital, pack what we needed and go back to the hospital. Luckily it was close by. Public transport in Singapore was so efficient that travelling anywhere at all was a breeze. Besides, being a small country, every thing was within arm's reach anyway. Furthermore, being a multi-cultural country, we found great comfort in finding mosques nearby where we could gain succour and relief through our faith. We were also greatly relieved and happy to find halal food easily and widely available owing to the large Muslim community in Singapore


2. Madam Chua B T, Henry's 42-year old mother. Further tests by a specialist later diagnosed hepatoblastoma, a rare early childhood liver cancer. Henry's parents were paralysed with horror.
After 14 months in Melbourne, the doctor there suggested going to Singapore to continue Henry's treatment as it was nearer to home. They did so, but with a premonition that the end was near for their son.

In November 2004, Henry was brought to Singapore to see Associate Professor Tan Ah Moy, Head and Senior Consultant of the Children's Cancer Centre at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH). "When Henry came here, we began chemotherapy and there was a good response initially but then it recurred. We tried another form of chemo and it reduced the size of the tumour. When small enough, one of our surgeons went in to remove the remaining traces," outlines A/Prof Tan.

In April 2005, Dr Chui Chan Hon, Senior Consultant of Paediatric Surgical Oncology at KKH operated on Henry. Henry's lungs were cleared of the tumour but he underwent a few more rounds of chemotherapy to remove any possible remnants. They then returned to Kuching.

Henry was to return to Singapore again in March 2006 after several tumour spots emerged on his left lung. His liver and right lung remained clear but AFP levels had moved out of the normal range. This time, chemotherapy was no longer an option since all protocols had been tried. Besides, Henry had become chemo-resistant.

3. From the day his son was born, Mr Ahmed Befal Ahmed Alshzhhi Alshehhi knew that something was not right

Recalled Mr Ahmed, "We approached as many as seven doctors, many of them foreign specialists based in Dubai. But none of them would take the responsibility to treat my son. They said he was paralysed, blind and deaf, and there was no treatment for him. I was disappointed that I couldn't find help at home." Despite the bleak prognoses for his son's condition, the businessman persevered on to find a cure for his child.

A doctor in a government hospital then suggested that he look overseas. Among the options were the US, Germany and Thailand, but the doctor highly recommended Singapore as he was confident of the standards of medical expertise there. Though Mr Ahmed knew little about Singapore, he took the advice. Through the Singapore Consulate in Dubai, he sent over photographs and notes of his son's condition, and was advised by a doctor in Singapore to fly over immediately for treatment. The doctor was Dr Vincent Yeow, Director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Centre at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH).


We could have been the Singapore of today, but on a larger and grander scale. We had the best Judiciary within the Commonwealth, we had an English-speaking and efficient Civil Service. Top medical school and university in the University of Malaya. Most of all, we had the people who clearly and dearly shared a common vision to make this country their home, their pride and joy.

Alas, this is not to be. UMNO plundered. UMNO divided the nation along racial lines. Created a nation of rent-seekers who dared not question their political masters, lest their crumbs and contracts are taken away.
The NEP, Reduced universities to mere social engineering factories. Commerce was stifled, when market competition was distorted based on quotas and easy loans to the well connected. All these under the auspices of the undebatable NEP.

Yes, we have regressed, and we have regressed tremendously.

I know some commenters on this have said non-Malays should get out while we can. Well the question is - what do you have when everyone with half a brain has left this forsaken land ? It is easy to answer or shout and scream Ketuanan when your child's life is not in the hands of a substandard doctor.

Islamic brotherhood aside, how many rich Arabs will send their sick child to Malaysia for medical treatment ? Lest they would rather have infidels treat their sick child.

Wake up to the real world.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The old man cornered

To perpetuate and legitimise the occupation of Iraq, the United States government successfully brainwashed the run-of-the mill Americans. Ask a regular Joe of the streets, "Why are we fighting in Iraq ?" Most likely his answers will be :
"Freedom" or "Democracy" or "9/11"
Never mind Iraqis have nothing to do with 9/11 and Iraqis today have nothing that resembles Freedom nor Democracy. The Americans essentially have an unsanctioned military occupation force in Iraq.

What can be so bad to go to war and die for lofty ideals like "FREEDOM" or "DEMOCRACY" ?

It was so apt when I read this blog and also remembered Samuel Johnson "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" that everything rings so true with the Bush Administration and Mahathir (both are now on it's way to become useless appendage to humankind)

I quote from the blog above, which was aptly titled, Open Reply to Dr. Mahathir
It is quite obvious that you have mastered the fine art of manipulation. When everything else fails, what better than to stoke racial sentiment in order to gain support. That was what you were doing in Johore Bahru recently when you quite irresponsible pointed out that the Malays are the ones who would lose out if the IDR project were to continue. You than quickly followed it up in Japan when you reminded the Malays to unite and be strong because, according to you, other races are now asking for many things and questioning Malay rights. Samuel Johnson's "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" would normally be a cliche to repeat, but in your case, I would make an exception. Just change the word "patriotism" to "racialism" and you would, hopefully, catch my drift.

Again, it was heartening that a cooler heads (cooler than mine at least) have prevailed and the sight of an elder statesman stoking emotionally charged sentiments is certainly not welcomed.

Today very interestingly, another High Court Judge - Justice Ian Chin revealed high-handed tactics by Mahathir to arm twist the Judiciary. Full transcript here from the KK Highcourt

I truly wonder how many more skeletons and ghosts are lurking in the shadows, waiting to come back to haunt the old dude. Anyhow, he did mention, he does not care how history will judge him.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What goes around comes around

It was an interesting week, a spike in petrol prices has literally awoken the entire nation from it's slumber. I hope everyone will now take a long gaze at the Twin Towers, Formula 1 track, the grand Putrajaya and the Cyberjaya failure in a new context and a new light.

Did we not consider Norway's model of a Heritage Fund
Could we have anticipated or pre-empted the current situation. After all, the authorities were fully aware that our Oil reserves may not last till 2010, given the current rate of consumption.

Today the Norwegian Petroleum Trust is the world’s second largest sovereign fund, and fast expanding. It may have already exceeded half a trillion (500 billion) dollars. When the oil wells run dry, as they inevitably will, the Norwegians could still enjoy their present lifestyles as the Trust Fund’s income could cover the country’s budget till perpetuity.

It was indeed dissapointing for a senior statesman like Mahathir to succumb to racial rhetorics, at this juncture of the nation's economic and political situation.

A drowning man, will almost always bring down anyone that came near him, as he cluthces at anything to keep him afloat.
Yes, this is Malaysia, and every down and out politician will make one last dive to his personal political fountain of youth.

Malik Imtiaz made a good case here

Excerpt follows :
Though I am loath to say it, Tun Dr Mahathir has crossed the line. I recognize that he is fully entitled to act in the interests of UMNO. However his invoking of race and his equally dangerous incitement of racial fears directly threaten our existence and our future. His assertion that the Malays will suffer for the fact of non-Malays gaining political power is both unsubstantiated and dangerously misleading. No non-Malay politicians are challenging the status of the Malays. The Federal Constitution guarantees their protected status and there is a glaring absence of any discussion of an amendment to the Constitution. In the same vein, the call for a more equitable method of affirmative action can only be beneficial to the Malay community, a community that, despite the many years of the NEP and its successor policies, many of those under the stewardship of Tun Dr Mahathir himself, is still afflicted by poverty. This sad state of affairs is indisputable and has even prompted calls for reassessment by Malay opinion leaders.

Ahmad Mustafa Hassan was spot on, with his analysis of the fools that run this country. Where everthing is treated as joke.
We take the ‘UMNO’ general assembly as a case in point. Due to lack of positive brain power, the ‘kris’ was used as a symbol of manhood and courage. After this show of socalled belligerence, the stand up comic, Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn would then take over the proceedings of the assembly.E ach speaker would try to outdo the other in coming out with hilarious and so-called witty comments and flattering pantuns.The leadership was entertained and so were the other participants. Serious talkers would be out of place in such a gathering.

And finally, Raja Petra on Mahathir (now aptly named the "Thorn in UMNO's flesh who have removed itself by Musa Hitam)

It must unnerve Mahathir that those whom he’d defeated have all bounced back. The impeached, sacked and suspended judges of 1988, recently rehabilitated, are public heroes, he the remembered villain.

The Malay Rulers have asserted their power more strenuously than at any time since 1984, his fight with them forgotten in an Umno chorus to rally the Malays around their rulers. For Mahathir, indeed, ‘Umno is no longer respected by the Malay Rulers.’

His old Team B foes – Razaleigh and Abdullah, and Tun Musa Hitam – are respectively active politicians and an elder statesman, he a cantankerous Old Man, or, as Musa described him, a ‘thorn in Umno’s flesh’ that had voluntarily removed itself.

Sabah, whose regionalist dissent he quashed, and whose peninsula-styled Umno-dominated politics he imposed, is again restive but now holds the key to Umno’s survival in power. Even the mass media pour scorn on him, he whose words and pictures they’d slavishly used to adorn their front pages, once upon a time in Malaysia

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Of corruption, our public services and what are we paying for ?

On the day after the petro hike tsunami. Blogosphere is a buzz with the 0.78 sen hike on petrol prices.

In the typical learned-cum-academic fashion, Malik Imtiaz has properly summed up the conundrum that is Malaysia's
These choices are not necessarily prompted by elitism. It comes down to confidence, or the lack of it. The truth is that the public services are worryingly deficient, if not in levels of competence then in resources, to an extent that for many they are no longer a viable choice. This is especially true where children are concerned. Parents want to give their children the best, often at great personal sacrifice.

In short he is saying our public services is incompetent to an extent Malaysians have to resort to private means. Often with great economic consequences.

Failure to provide world-class education in the form of a meritocratic university entrance system and education system, means that parents literally squander large amounts of money for thier children's education overseas.

Failure of our law enforcement has resulted in most middle-class neighbourhoods hiring private security guards.

Failure of our Health care system with qualified doctors has resulted in large amounts of private funds used for private medical treatment and health care.

Failure of good governance and sound planning has resulted in faulty management of economic policies coupled with endemic corruption has resulted in funds used in non-productive efforts.
Space trips, North Pole trips, Monsoon cup, Formula 1 circuit, bank bailouts just to name a few.

Failure of our urban planning and transportation system, has resulted in our reliance in private vehicles (which are way overpriced in the first place)
Failure of social programmes means that parents must either have a maid to care for their children, depend on their aging parents or hire a maid

To paraphrase Malik Imtiaz, why are we paying taxes for ?

I remember Lee Kuan Yew who once made a statement, along the line of - Singapore owes it to her citizens to utilize the most economically and efficient means available for the benefit of her citizens.

Were we ever serious of our survivability as a nation, or were our governing masters busy lining their pockets all these while ?

It's not a difficult question.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Katak, kataks everywhere !

Malaysians and Malay are truly the proverbial katak bawah tempurung. I guess it's a mark of a denial symptom and a combination of a truly secluded society running on State sanctioned television broadcast and a cartel of major political parties controlling multiple mainstream media channels (both in print and broadcast)

One commenter who goes by the name of Jamil actually "pitied" me in that with university fees as high as US60,000 per year and according to him "good luck with your savings"

I actually pity him and am ashamed of him, pity him for his ignorance. I guess the adage, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king, holds so true. In Malaysia, where idiots rule, those who can read and speak a little English is a prodigy.

Firstly, let's take the published rate for a typical private school (say the prestigious Stanford University, in Palo Alto is USD34,800)
This does not takes into account grants, endownments which are pretty substantial.
See here for aid statistics (
and here for fees (

Let's take another prestigious public school, UC Berkeley - Per semester is 4,465.75 for California residents and 14,769.75 for non-residents.
Medical Program is 12,353.25 per year for residents
Again, this is the publish rate, which in most cases are much higher and does not include any financial aid and grants.

Translated to RM terms with dollar to dollar value, can you afford that kind of fees ?
MBA programme at Indiana University - $9489.00/term for Indiana residents
Another private school, Dartmouth University - $36915 per year (
It even comes with a disclaimer for the fees.
If you're considering Dartmouth, don't hesitate to apply because you think your family won't be able to afford the cost of a Dartmouth education. We meet 100% of each student's demonstrated need for all four years of your undergraduate career.

Approximate tuition at another public school, Purdue University - for Indiana residents is $8,060 per academic year
And of course, one can google more examples.

Closer to home, Australia National University charges A$8499 per ETFSL for Medicine.
EFTSL is the study load, for a year, of a student undertaking a course of study on a full-time basis.

International students pay A$40800 for MBBS and that is for Graduate Entry only.
National University of Singapore , Medicine - $18,230 for Singapore Citizens

Put $5000 per year into an college investment account every year and hopefully within 18 years and with a reasonable rate of return, say 6%, the college fund could grow to close to USD100,000 (not taking into account the effects of compounding).
Can I afford to have my kids at Stanford or Purdue. You bet I can.

Question is can you have your kids at Stanford or Purdue with your savings in RM ?

Of course, Malaysians don't need Stanford, neither do they need Dartmouth, Indiana nor Purdue - their universities are the best.

Graduates from Malaysian local universities can communicate with the Chams in Kampuchea. Which I am so ashamed to say, the typical Dartmouth business major will not be able to do.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Altered Sheep and the Mahathir Hypocricy

Originally posted here by Altered Sheep
Excerpt from here

Most comments in the quoted piece clearly had the idea that the Malay cause is more superior than the other races' plight for equality. Funny thing is how Malay supremacists think their cause isn't one which will make them look like filth in the eyes of the world.

Tun DrM should be ashamed of himself for claiming that many non-Malay citizens cannot speak in Malay. My stint with with the National Service is just exactly the opposite. Though people may not have the highest proficiency in it, they do try to speak in BM, and theirs is one which is understandable. It is these kinds of statements that promote racism. Shame of yourself Tun DrM. I wonder if you've met and known better more lay persons than a commoner like myself has.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mahathir is now out of ideas and he is turning to be a village idiot

The old man has no more ideas. Like a dying fish, he is flailing and gasping and like all dying politicians in Malaysia, they have to play the race card.

Thump their Melayu chest and again paint the the non-Malays as bogeymans.
The old man has his post here.
In other countries including the much-admired democracies of the West, citizens are not linked to or classified by their countries of origin. They speak the national language habitually, go to schools where the national language is the medium of instruction and adopt the culture of the indigenous people, or at least the people who originally founded these countries (the indigenous people having been systematically wiped out).

But in Malaysia although the national language is the language of the indigenous people, many Malaysian citizens cannot speak the language, much less use it habitually in their homes and with fellow citizens. Whenever some foreigner speak Bahasa Malaysia to them, they would reply in English. Foreigners cannot understand why they seem to downgrade their national language. And yet these citizens question why there is, for practical purpose, no Bangsa Malaysia.

I will spit on the floor right now ! If I could, at the old man's face !

How dare he starts questioning after non-Malays are literally treated like shit in their homeland. The official medium of instruction for ALL public exams is in Bahasa Malaysia. We learnt the language, excel at it. What we speak at home is none of the state's business.

Let's get real.

Why does an immigrant to the USA like myself, habitually speaks English ? For that matter, I also speak Bahasa Malaysia at home. Here I am treated equally, my children has access to the best universities in the world. In due time, they can function competently in the global economy.
The price I paid when I bought my home is the same as the next white guy. I am informed of my rights under non-discrimination laws. What has Malaysia offered anything to second or third generations immigrants (the non-Muslim kind, mind you) ? What have we benefitted from learning Malay. How many libraries are there in Malaysia ? Anyhow, I do like to look on the bright side of things, at least now, I can communicate with the East Timorese and the ancient Cham Muslim of Kampuchea, after 12 years of Bahasa Malaysia instruction, for that I thank you.