Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Problem Solving Tactics

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that there is a war between Israel and Lebanon. Of course by now there is a ceasefire in place though for how long it will last, its anyone's guess. While everyone has been busy scrambling to take sides in this war, we in Malaysia have been busy thinking of ways to show our displeasure with Israel, America and Britain(the major 3)

So of course there was the infamous Khairy Jamaluddin protest and demonstration. Then there was the University Student wear-a-hand-bracelet-condeming-Israel demonstration, and of course the many politicians who voice their opinions on the cruelty of Israel and the supply arms to Lebanon stand taken by Tun Dr. M, and oh so many more.

But my FAVOURITE one has to be the recently approved flag burning exercise!
I mean, who can resist burning the major 3's flags? Oh, it will be so much fun!After all, by burning the flags and while its on fire, trampling on it( kids, do not try this at home unless supervised by equally enthusiastic flag burning parents) it will definitely SHOW the world what Malaysians think of the war, oh forgive me,not the war but of the major 3s!
Come to think of it, there really isnt a more effective way of showing our displeasure. While some other countries might pooh-pooh our flag burning exercise, as long as we Malaysians do it with passion and vigour and hatred, it will send along a strong message. Wouldnt it?

The whole idea of flag burning to show the country's displeasure of the war is so downright silly it borders on damn right stupid. What good does it do to burn the flags? Why is it that we Malaysians place so much value on a flag anyway? Just because we dont display a plastic flag (which by the way sticks to your car and doesnt come off without leaving an ugly glue mark) on our car makes us unpatriotic? Does it make us love our country less? Apparently it does according to the Ministers.

Ok, I digress. Back to flag burning. So, what good comes out of it again? Doesnt it just put into focus our lack of skills in problem solving? While we host and chair ASEAN and OIC meetings, and we discuss political and economic problems and ways to overcome them, it amazes me that we still can come out with a silly idea like burning flags!
Oh good gawd.

Who comes up with these ideas anyways? For example, how does THIS

help at all?

I do not mean any disrespect to the religion but one has to wonder how effective these people are when it comes to problem solving!Thought admitedly, there are many out there who can think rationally. All religions advocate peace and forgiveness. Yet we humans have decided to misinterpret and lay down rules to distort the teachings of the religion. If only one day we realise that if we stop using religion as a weapon for our selfish needs, the world might just be a better place.

While I agree we should strive for peace, respect for all religions and a disaster free world, I do not agree with the methods which some have come up to solve these problems. And the worrying thing is that here in Malaysia, those with these ingenious ideas are in the Government.
How did they get there in the first place? Those with similar ideas put them there of course.

Damn. If only I had registered to vote. Then maybe I can try to make a difference. When is the next election again?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Making the choice to be ignorant

I think while I am writing this, I have successfully managed to make a few more enemies from a mass email fiasco.(Sigh. I guess only my family will come to my funeral!) Firstly, I have to apologise to my good friend who was caught in the fiasco and had some people writing to her complaining about the contents of what I discussed or pointed out in the email. (I subscribe to the lawyer's egroup discussion and in there, it is common for us to discuss issues and voice our opinions.)

My friend pointed out (correctly) that not everybody in a forum shares the same opinion as me. And sometimes, eventhough some people agree to the discrepancies or errors in something, they do not necessarily want to discuss it publicly. In fact, they do not want to participate in any discussion but would prefer to let it be. Does it not make you wonder why some people are so afraid to voice their opinions? Or offer their take on a subject? Or tell people what they truly do think? It is because of our upbringing? Or it is just that some people are born like that?

Many articles have been published to criticise the youth today for being ignorant of politics and government. It has been said that we do not care about anything which does not directly affect us or our ability to pursue our career and wealth. We were only antsy and upset when the Government increased the petrol prices, because obviously that affected our pockets. However when it comes to the enactment of say, unjust laws or issues of racial discrimination and stereotyping, most of us retreat into our "tidak apa" shell and could not be bothered.

While I do not advocate having mass demonstration (as the youths in the Universities plan to do in their yellow Anti War-STOP ISRAEL!FREE LEBANON!FREE PALESTINE!" wrist band), I do however advocate speaking up on issues which affect us. We must stand up for what is unjust. We cannot ignore all these things which are happening in the world.

Ignorance is the cause of problems which we face in the world today. Ignorance of one's religion and beliefs, culture and upbringing, government and politics, will lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation which in turn will lead to hate and in turn, will lead to war.

What is sad is that youths today CHOOSE to be ignorant. They choose to be such as it is an easy alternative. It is easy not to have an opinion and remain neutral. So this way, if anyone asks, you say "I have no opinions on this" and hope the person who leave it as that. But when it comes to having opinions about why Tom Cruise is not married to Katie Holmes, we can offer not one but a variety of alternative opinions!

If only we would stand up for what we believe in. If only we knew the power which we have in our hands to effect a ripple of change. If only we realise that the world needs change and it needs for humankind to find its path again. If only we understand that we have youth on our side and we can make a change if we want to.

If only.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fighting Fire with Fire

As much as I respect Tun Dr. M, the suggestion that the OIC arm Hizbollah to fight Israel makes me recoil in horror and disgust.

Why fight fire with fire?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, BLAME!

While everyone is still reeling from the shock murder of the bright young boy in Setapak the other day, we are told of the death of another young girl, both due to snatch thefts/robbery.

As soon as we were informed of these deaths, we kicked into the typical Malaysian mode. We looked around for someone, something to blame. Of course the police bore the brunt of the blame. Oh, how come you do not patrol the area often enough? Did you not know of the high crime rate in Setapak? Oh, blame blame blame. (Actually, if we sit down and think about it, every damn place in KL has a high crime rate.)

Then we blame the Government. Oh, there should be bus services to take these students from the LRT to their homes. Why isnt there public transport for the commuters? It isnt safe for the students!Why why WHY?

Then, the doctor who refused to treat the dying boy was next in the line of fire. Oh!Why did you not treat him? Why did you turn him away? We will sue!Why isnt the Ministry doing anything to punish him for refusing to treat the boy? Sue Sue SUE!

Well, before we point fingers at this doctor for not treating him, I wondered if anyone bothered asking him why he didnt treat the boy. Was it because he didnt have the facilities or even the expertise to treat him? Or did he rely on his experience to judge that nothing he could do in his clinic would have saved the boy and the best option would have been to rush him to the hospital where the ER doctors can help him? If the doctor had tried to treat the boy, say, by attempting to stop the bleeding and the boy still dies due to excessive bleeding and delayed ER medical help, are we going to blame the doctor for being negligent? That he should have known that the boy needs immediate professional medical help?

Not all doctors are trained for ER work. That is why some doctors are surgeons and some are GPs and well, some are specialists. Obviously they each know what they can and cannot do.

Why is it that we tend to rush severely wounded persons to the nearest clinic and expect the GP there to perform miracles? It is a clinic. Chances are, the doctors there are not certified surgeons or ER trained. Would it not make more sense to,oh, I dont know, rush them to the nearest Hospital? Yes, I do realise that sometimes the "nearest" Hospital is quite far and the clinic is the nearest alternative. But it is still a clinic. Nothing much can be done to help the wounded person. Nothing substantial anyway. I think it would make better sense to use the time "wasted" at the clinic to rush the person to the Hospital.

Of course it would be blameworthy if a hospital declined to treat a person due to the fact that they had no insurance. That I agree is abhorrent.

Then we turn to blame the management of the building. Why is it that you do not ask your guards to patrol the building? Why is it that you allow glue sniffers in the shopping mall? Mat Motors and China Ah Bengs allowed to sit around and harrass us patrons and harm us as well?Tsk tsk tsk!

Ok, firstly, I think it is hard to control WHO hangs around the shopping mall. Sure, if there were glue sniffers hanging around and a complaint was made to the management, their failure to chase these people away would be to a certain extent, negligent. But how can you control who hangs around OUTSIDE the shopping complex? Do we blame the management for failure to control the people who choose to hang around outside? If lets say I were to step out of MidValley and while walking over to the Boulevard Hotel someone rushes at me and stabs me in the stomach, do I say, "Oh the Management did not do their jobs? They should have chased that mad man away!?If they did he would not have attacked me!"

Yes, I do agree the Management must take some responsiblity in creating a safe environment for their patrons, such as maintaining their CCTVs and ensuring the parking lots are safe but everything has its boundaries and limits. It would make sense to assume they will keep the inside of a shopping mall safe but it would be harder for us to assume they would keep the outside safe as well. Maybe within certain parameters, but not too much of it.

Let us not be quick to blame and threaten to sue. Let us not run to the press and point fingers at everybody whom we think is blameworthy. Firstly, there must be an investigation and the result of the investigation will prove whether there was in fact negligence. And IF negligence is established, then we consider whether there should be legal action.

Lest it be misunderstood, I sympathise with the families of the victims and I am sorry to know that Malaysia has reached such a state of crime that it is impossible to feel safe anywhere,anymore.

But still, I wish that at least if the Press were to ask victims of crimes(or their families), so what is the next course of action? They will not always start with "Its (fill in the blank) fault!" And follow it with "WE WILL SUE!"

It such a game of eeny,meeny,miny BLAME!

Friday, August 04, 2006

What are the boundaries of Parental Responsibilities?

A friend of mine was very, and I mean, VERY pissed off when someone else's mother told her that her parents were not doing a good job as parents as they allowed her to take a loan to fund her own studies. According to the self proclaimed supermum she would never allow her golden boy to have to be burdened with loans to fund his own studies. (its obvious he is pampered as he is now constantly whining about his job eventhough he is paid more than any of us fresh graduates are.Whiner.)

So the soalan cepu emas is, for how long do our parents need to support us?

The Star today featured an article by an 18 year old who said that her father who left home a few years back, has applied to court to be relieved of his responsiblities to support her as she has turned 18. She said that there was a lacuna (a gap) in the law which allows for her father to abuse the law. The law meaning the Law Reform(Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 . The apex Court had decided amongst others, that once a child has turned 18, the parents no longer need to support them.

The first thought that popped in my mind was that this girl must be from a middle class or upper middle class family. For she assumes she is entitled to higher education as her father can afford it. She assumes he has to pay for it as it is her right to be educated to the degree level in order for her to succed in life. But I think she forgets she is priviliged to be able to actually think she is deprived of these things. There are so many children from poor and broken homes who at an even younger age than she is, have to come out and work to support themselves. To have to make their own money to fund their own studies. And there are some whom with grit and determination have worked their way up the ladder of success with nothing much but SPM qualifications .

So why do we constantly think that our parents "owe" it to us to educate us? I believe that we have been pampered too much. We assume that it is their duty as a parent to provide us with all that we want. But i think their duty, first and foremost, is to love us unconditionally and provide for us. By providing I mean to have a roof over our head and to make sure we do not go hungry, that is while we are still unable to fend for ourselves. However, when we turn 18, we can play our role and help out, can we not?

If that 18 year old girl says her father does not want to pay for her education, then all she has to do is to apply to do her form 6(hopefully she was smart enough to work hard and get good grades in high school), and when she finishes that, apply to enter a public university and if she gets in and needs some funding, she can apply to PTPN for a loan. It is not IMpossible for her to obtain her degree. It is just a matter of perseverance and exploring all options open to her.
Instead she chose the easy way out.

She whined and wrote to the newspaper. She says the law is flawed. She says her father has abused the law. Perhaps she forgets that her father may have another family to support as well. Sure, he must be made to continue giving monthly allowances to help her mother feed the family, but perhaps that should be all that he is required by law to do. Is it our legal right to be educated to a degree level? I doubt it.

There are so many out there with sadder stories that you girl. There are so many out there who are not even educated enough to read or write, yet they survive because they have the determination and the grit. While you are pursuing wealth and success, many out there are fighting just to live.

So to her, I say be independent and fight your own battles. Fend for yourself. You are no longer young and helpless. Quit expecting things to be given to you.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stupids need not apply

When my friend read yesterday's Star headlines, the first person that came to her mind was probably me. She expressed her concern for the contents of my blog and the fact that some people might misunderstand me or misrepresent my ideas and twist it into anti-Government or malicious rumours which will land me into heck of a lot of trouble.

I pondered about it and I realised that I should be ok. Well firstly, I have to clarify my position.

I am not anti-Government. I may not agree to all the Government policies which are or will be implemented but that does not make me an Anti-Government, BN flag burning activist. You definitely will not find me chanting anti Government slogans anytime soon. I think its futile to be anti-Government. The Government as a whole functions very well. The country is up and running. We have a stable economy (though it CAN be better) and the country is peaceful. What is there to be anti about?

The only thing I am anti is stupid. That has always been my stand. I am anti-stupid. And if I could, I would post a notice stating "Stupids need not apply".

For example, does anyone know this:
When you take the Monorail and when u get to thewhatchamacallit to exit the station, and u use your T n G card to get out, you will obviously have to touch the T n G sensor thing to get out. If the machine does not register and the bar does not go up, do not touch it again. Why? Simply because, you get charged according to how many times u touch the sensor thing. If you did it twice, they charge you twice.
Clearly, if the bloody bar doesnt go up and I cannot exit the station, common sense tells me to try again correct?


The stupids in Monorail thought it fit to charge us according to how many times attempts we make to try to exit.

So if you approach the people stationed at the counter and ask them why, they stick your card in the machine reader and tell you that they do not know why you have been charged a penalty but if you are truly interested to know, you can find out from the staff at T n G. The only two counters that have T n G services are found at Kelana Jaya and Masjid Jamek. So you would have to haul your ass to the nearest station and ask the people there.
Once you get there, they will tell you exactly what I said previously. You touch it twice, they charge you twice. Three times?Three times it is.
Of course they follow it up with this soundly advice " Lain kali, kalau sudah cuba satu kali tak buka, janganlah cuba lagi. Dapatkan bantuan."

If you follow up with a curious question as to why the system is wired that way they will say " Tak tahulah. System itu memang macam tu. Tak sama macam Putra. Putraline you cuba beberapa kali pun kita charge satu kali saja."

And then there is the check in two hours before policy at KL sentral MAS counter. If you make it to the counter exactly two hours before, you're already too late. This is because the system shuts down right on the dot, two hours before the flight. So clearly, the common sensical thing to do would be to tell passengers that one would have to check in THREE hours before or 2 1/2 hours before. But NO, that would be too much for MAS to handle. So they tell you two hours before and when you get there two hours as told to you, they say SORRY, you're too late.

So you see?
It is stupid people and stupid systems like these that I abhor. Unfortunately for mankind, many of these people roam freely around us. If we are unfortunate enough to meet them, we're screwed.

I am somehow very idiot cum stupid prone. I think I should go and mandi bunga sometime to be rid of that.

I do not spread malicious rumours. Simply because by the time I know anything about it, they cease to be rumours and have already happened or proven not to have happened. As much as I would like to consider myself being oh-so-in-the-know, I think I am probably not. My sister all the way in Italy knows more about what is going on in my house then I, who live under that roof, know.

So for those who think I am going to be in trouble for saying the things I say, I hope you are able to understand that the bottom line is not that I am a rebel in the making. Or that I am a trouble maker and I am stirring up anti whatever sentiments which may cause national disunity, I am just simply, one who is very much, anti stupid.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Chanting Slogans Together-gether!

While I was watching the star world news the other day, I chance upon the news of our beloved PM's son in law heading a public demonstration cum protest in front of the KLCC while the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting was goin on.

At first the name Khaery Jamaluddin did not register.. but when they interviewed him and I had a glimpse of his face, I realised that it was our very own UMNO youth president! Taking a stand! Having his headband on!And of course, shouting like a blabbering idiot.

"We did not invite her(referring to Ms. Rice herself), She has no right to be here!"

Or words to that effect. Oh you know, nothing much, just chanting anti America and anti Israel slogans.

Of course in the course of his public protests and perhaps due to the tightness of the headband around his head, he forgot that a) he is the PM's son-in-law and maybe it would have been more appropriate to leave the embarassment of your father in law to someone else, b) that the last time I checked, Malaysia is in NAM.

So, I am quite surprised that this huge protest did not raise so much as an eyebrow. Perhaps because it was done by UMNO? I believe if the PAS supporters or even KEADILAN supporters had been on the streets that day chanting these silly anti-whatever slogans, hell would have broke loose. But because it was headed by Mr. Kheary himself, no one seems to have their panties in a bunch.

Why the anti America and anti Israel slogans? Why the need for "WE SUPPORT HAMAS!" banners? Clearly it was a Muslim/Islam motivated protest. All they see is a Islamic country being attacked by a non Islamic one, hence the "we support Hamas" stand. We are in NAM, we do not take a stand for or against any country. We take a stand against violence, senseless killings, genocide...etc etc. But we as a nation do not and should not be supporting any one country against another or any one political party against the other.Correct me if I am wrong, but isnt that what being in NAM is all about? To remain neutral. To just stick with our own beliefs and our religion(s) and our democracy and government but to keep neutral when it comes to taking sides in the international front.

In the first place,I do not see the point of a public demonstration whether it be against the fuel hike or the war in Iraq because really, what does it achieve?Seriously. What do we get from a public demonstration or protest?
The police have to waste their manpower controlling the crowd, they have to use their tear gas and water guns or what not to disperse the crowd and then they get shit for it.I mean if the crowd DOES go out of control, what do u expect the police to do? Okay, of course we are not saying that they should resort to violence but they are trained to contain a crowd and so they use the only way they are taught.

So the question is why the need for a public demonstration?(of course the othermore relevant question is of course, how do you get leave to go take part in a demonstration?) Has the Government stopped the fuel hike? Did President Bush all the way in America stop the war in Iraq because Malaysians were staging a big protest? Do you think the Malaysian Government will bend to our dissatisfaction and grouses just because there was a massive protest?


The last time I checked, it was to hell with what the rakyat thinks, we in the government do what we want! Like build a massive sports complex in another country and burden us all! Do you actually need more reasons for not wasting your time with public protests? They want to fine and imprison us for losing out MyKads for godssakes. Do you think they care what the rakyat wants?

Sheesh. Be real.