Friday, July 31, 2009


Every time I get down to Kuala Lumpur, I can’t help but watch to my utter dismay, the rot that is infecting our society that is supposedly affluent, in trend with modernity and with numerous skyscrapers to pride of, that our city is emerging into a flawless world class city.

Sadly, the modern physical structures that we see mushroomed around the city center, the zooming of BMW’s, Mercedes and Jaguars of the rich and famous in and out of the narrow roads and alleys, the wailing of sirens escorting VVIP’s and important visiting dignitaries; all this means nothing if the city dwellers and public in general have little regard for being courteous, friendly and more importantly, having an eye for cleanliness.

I have had several nasty encounters with some unscrupulous city dwellers, taxi drivers, security guards, and even with some boisterous students who think the world around them is solely theirs, without any sense of respect and regard for an elder like me who now have little patience for noise and rudeness. It makes me look stupid to speak out at them, and it makes me look a bigger fool if I just ignored them. I think age has made me what I am.

Even the number of law enforcement officers, e.g. policemen, municipal law enforcement officers and road transport enforcement officers that are supposed to uphold and ensure some sense of traffic security around the city center seemed to play ignorant i.e. with their eyes, mouth and ears tightly sealed, at the sight of motorist blatantly beating traffic lights and speeding dangerously, and sometimes bikers riding in the opposite lane oblivious to the dangers that they are likely to pose to the public. I witness these traffic mobsters everyday, and I begin to wonder it there is any worth in having traffic law enforcement officers manning the city center.

It was only a few days ago that I witness a taxi driver at KLCC arguing with what looked liked some Arab tourists over the charges for a taxi ride. And witnessed to the argument was a well dressed security guard who just stood by and watched with amusement, the on going argument. Why this argument about the taxi rates? Are our taxis running without a meter, or was the taxi driver trying to exploit the tourist for additional money?

A ride on the LRT which is my daily routine, give me a helicopter view of the Gombak River that runs besides PWTC. And every time after a heavy down pour, the river is filled almost to the brim, not only with murky water but with a pile of rubbish and filth as well. There goes the slogan……’keep our rivers clean’. Does anyone knows where these pile of rubbish and filth comes from? Or has the authorities accepted the fact that the river can now be turned into a rubbish bin? Where are the authorities that monitors the rivers. I thought we have a department that does that. If Singapore can turn the once murky Singapore river to pristine, clear and clean river; why can’t we think of doing the same for the famous Gombak and Klang river that traverse through the city center.

I wonder who really cares for some the highlights that I have stated above. It is a pity that despite having so many organizations, authorities and agencies, no one seemed to be doing what they are actually suppose to do.


Saturday, July 25, 2009


I had on two previous occasions posted an article concerning former Director General Tourism Malaysia Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab who was accused of accepting gratification in the form of a paid dental treatment amounting to RM 13,860 from Perunding Pakar Media Sdn Bhd director without consideration.

I firmly held that Datuk Mirza is innocent of the charge, and that he is a victim of some unscrupulous officials reportedly from within his department, rather than he being a villain. And sure enough, the KL Sessions Court had on Friday, July 24, 2009 acquitted Datuk Mirza of the charge of corruption, after four years of agonising wait and overbearing humiliation.

Since being charged in 2005, Datuk Mirza had been under suspension from duty, and I am not so sure whether he had been paid a salary. I could imagine how he and his family had to endure the long trial, shame and humiliation at knowing that he did not commit the offence. And to those that had initiated the report with malice in their hearts, I can only say that their time to be placed on trial will be in the hereafter. There will be no lawyers to defend them. It is only their hands, mouth, legs, eyes and ears that will bear testimony and witness to their misdeeds in front of Allah, the All Mighty. As a Muslim, 'fitnah' is a grievous crime.

Truth and justice had prevailed in this instant. But for a mere RM13,860, Datuk Mirza's image that had been held in high esteem by his colleagues had been battered, and it will take sometime for him to rebuild that lost image.

We occasionally read today that there are many others that have got away with millions in ill- gotten wealth, and are shamelessly enjoying themselves, and with one former Menteri Besar to quote. Even reports have been made against them, but somehow it does not seemed that important for a case to be filed against them by the authorities.I suppose being rich and a position in society in this country, gives one the immunity against a criminal proceeding.

I bid Datuk Mirza and his family well in their future undertakings, and I am quite sure that with time, all that they had gone through will hopefully be erased from their memory. I am not sure whether Datuk Mirza would now want to continue with his previously held occupation, and will there be any effort to pin down the main culprit that had with malicious intent, launched the report against Datuk Mirza.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Having claimed that the Education Ministry had failed in its policy with regards to the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English in primary schools, they now say that the teaching of English will now begin at pre-schools. It will interesting to see how such a policy will be implemented by the Education Ministry, and whether they will succeed with this policy. Definitely, the results can only be seen in no less than 5 years from today, or thereabout.

We were taught in military schools that if having failed in a particular piece of military operation, we should not try to force another plan with the view to winning the failed military operation. The military term used here is ‘to reinforce failure’, because reinforcing failure will lead to more failure.

In planning a military operation, we should not allow a situation where the enemy can overwhelm us. If we allow the enemy to overwhelm us, and to take control of the battle area, it will be much more difficult for us to regain what has been lost. The option to adopt when faced with such a situation would be:

1. To be reinforced early using the reserves available before the enemy is able to overwhelm us, with the view to sustaining the battle, and weakening the enemy’s resolve.
2. If reserves are not available, to withdraw to be regrouped to fight another day’s battle; thus avoiding unacceptable losses.

Taking the military lessons described above, I would have thought that a better option to resolve the problem faced by the Education Ministry in the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English is not to rescind the policy, but to adopt a two prong solution i.e. to continue with the current policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English, and simultaneously impose the policy of teaching English at pre-school. This option is much unlike what the government has adopted i.e. rescinding one existing policy and introducing another policy that is totally different and with uncertain results. This is quite similar to term ‘reinforcing failure’ that I have stated above, that is likely to end in disaster.

I know that to adopt the option that I had described is not an easy one because it requires a lot of English teaching staffs to be trained. But what we shall get in the end are more and better trained teachers that a proficient in English.

And is this not what the government wants to achieve at the end of the day? More English speaking teachers.


Monday, July 20, 2009


The Sun dated July 20th 2009 featured an article titled “ How drug firm got tourism job” in which the Tourism Minister has denied “any political link in the awarding of a RM 19 million contract to a drug company to built the Malaysia Pavilion for the 2021 World Expo in Shanghai, China”.

Sure, it raises doubts to many because what has a drug or pharmaceutical company got to do with a construction business. But Tourism Minister said that “the multi-million ringgit contract was awarded to Venturepharm Asia Sdn Bhd via an open tender and the process was carried out in a clear and transparent manner”. This explanation sounds silly, but it is possible that it can be done they claim, regardless of what the bidding company’s core business is.

I am reminded of a similar case that happened to a tender bid for the Defence Ministry sometime ago. A local company that had invested millions of ringgit in the transfer of technology for the manufacture of bullet resistant vest locally had bidded for the contract, knowing that theirs being a locally manufactured product would stand a better chance to be offered the contract. But to the surprise of the company, they had a competitor in the form of a tailoring company that had also bidded; of course for an imported product.

Simple and logical reasoning would straight away disqualify the tailoring company from bidding because they are merely traders, without any intention of a transfer of technology from its original equipment manufacturer. And for the same simple and logical reasoning, the company that had manufactured the product locally should be offered the contract, provided the product meets the specifications. Even if the product does not meet the specifications, surely the purchase can be deferred to allow the local manufacturer to improve on the product quality.

I believe there are other locally manufactured products that has somewhat lost out to imported products, because the users have a better preference for imported stuffs; not because the product does not meet the required specifications, but merely the fancy for anything that is imported.

In our desire to see that the local defence industry grows, the Defence Ministry has to be serious in formulating policies that gives preference, or the ‘first right of refusal’ to companies that have invested in technologies to develop and manufacture any defence related products locally for both the local and export markets. If such policies are to be adhered to strictly by the ministry, I believe there will be more private sector participation in the development and manufacture of defence related products. We need to be serious in putting a stop to the ‘buying culture’ that had drained out millions, if not billions in our foreign exchange.

Malaysia now has a strong industrial base and a well developed human capital that can spur the development of a modern defence industry. What is actually lacking, and as I have said it many times before, the political will to do something right for our defence industry.



Investigations into the death of Teoh Beng Hock is getting more muddled now, with everyone riding on this most unfortunate incident to make themselves heard, but forgetting the sentiments of the families of the victims whom I believe would prefer to have this incident rested quickly, and the truth revealed……not just a show of public sympathy.

The general consensus among the concerned public is a call for the setting up of the Royal Commission of Inquiry. This is the only means acceptable to quell public opinion since investigations by the police or MACC, however independent and transparent they claim their investigation to be, will not fully satisfy the public, and especially the families of the victim.

I know read that the police have now gone into the MACC HQ to take away documents and obtain statements from several MACC officers. Even the CCTV is not spared. This sound like the comic series Spy vs Spy in my favourite Mad Magazine that I used to read in my younger days. I am just wondering what other agency, if there is one, to now investigate the police over this matter. Not MACC I hope.

With everyone focused on the death of Beng Hock, what will be the fate of the investigation of the alleged false claims by several PR Selangor state assemblymen that was carried out by the MACC? Will it slowly fade into oblivion, or kept in hibernation to be revisited later? I ask this question because there are already too many cases that have faded into oblivion or kept in hibernation.

And can someone brief me on the status of the investigation that the MACC has started, concerning the Palace of Khir Toyo? Not kept in hibernation I hope.


Sunday, July 19, 2009


Former Health Minister and MCA's Chairman for Bakri Division Dato Chua Jui Meng had at 4.15 pm Saturday, July 18th 2009 announced at a PKR public forum held at Sunway Lagoon, that he is joining the ranks of PKR. I suppose this is the least that MCA had expected from an illustrious senior politician who had been a staunch party member for more than two decades. What concerns MCA now is the fear that more will follow the steps of Jui Meng, who still have a strong following in MCA.

In his speech following his announcement to join PKR, he was reported to have said that “I know I am leaving the comfort and security of my present life for a road less traveled – a tough and rough road” and he further said that he is “about to take a journey of change”. These are strong statements reflecting presumably his frustration at what is happening to the country today, and a rebuke to the leaders of the ruling party in particular. His decision to quit MCA does not come as a surprise to some. He is known to have an uneasy relationship with some of the top MCA leaders in the past, and he has failed in his attempt to secure the party's top leadership post twice.

I do not know whether the PKFZ scandal that involves a string of former MCA leaders, and the mysterious death of Teoh Beng Hock at Shah Alam recently is partly the reason for Jui Meng to break ranks with MCA. But I certainly think that this two issues have somewhat affected public opinion of the government, and made even worse by the ruling party's poor handling of the Perak fiasco that is still lingering in the courts.

I have just returned from a wedding last night, and the main topic of discussion was the death of Teoh Beng Hock. From the discussion, I could sense that even the Malay majority among the crowd, does not see any logic for Beng Hock to have jumped to his death; rebutting the characterisation made by the infamous Nazri Aziz.

There has to be strong reasons for Beng Hock to have forsaken his life, and he being in the custody of the MACC at the time of his death, should take full responsibility for the incident. To most, this is a mysterious death, unheard of in the country's 52 years of independence, and an incident that can even take a racist twist. Denial by the authorities is not the answer, and to ask the concern public to stop making assumptions, opinions and remarks regarding the incident is impossible. A Royal Inquiry seems the only way out to satisfy public opinion.

The Kugan's death while in police custody is now silent. The alleged abuse by MACC investigating officers upon witnesses is now taking a new pattern.............I suppose, likening it to the CIA/FBI methods of investigation/interrogation that see little value and respect for the human life.

And when can this utter disregard for human life cease, and don't the authorities know that such demeaning acts of some unscrupulous government officials runs contrary to the government attempts at winning public support to their side after a failed March 8th 2008 General Elections? The only way for the government to stop the slide of public support is to come down hard on these unscrupulous government officials and their unwarranted acts.


Saturday, July 18, 2009


Utusan Online July 18th 2009 reports that Defence Minister Dato Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is currently visiting Malaysian troops on UN peacekeeping duties in Lebanon, had announced that “Malaysia will supply Lebanon with defence equipments around the middle of next year, to enable the country to defend her territorial integrity”. Dr. Ahmad Zahid further stressed that the equipments meant “are purely defensive in nature, and he will soon be meeting with defence equipment manufacturers to request them to be ready with the supplies”.

This is a bold statement and offer by the minister that will benefit the local defence industry. However, no specifics is given to the type of equipments to be supplied to Lebanon, but I suppose the term “defensive” could conjure up equipments like amoured protective vest, a full range of webbing equipments, combat boots and uniforms; small arms ammunition; all of these are available for manufacture in the country.

Certainly, the country is not yet ready to supply more sophisticated equipments such as small arm weapons, vehicles and radio communication, all of which are some of the vital equipments required in battle, but have not been given enough emphasis for research and development to reach the export level. I believe, we already have an established automotive industry that can further be developed to produce and manufacture vehicle to meet military specifications.

Likewise, the small arms weapon industry that was anchored by SME Technologies that was producing the Steyr Assault Rifle for the Malaysian Army can as well begin the research and development of its own indigenously designed weapons. The company has the experience, the human resource, technical know-how and machineries to undertake the project. We can learn from the experience of our nearest neighbour i.e. Singapore in weapon development, and that she is today an exporter of small arms weapon. I do not wish to dwell more on Singapore's defence industry, because her progress in the industry will put our country to shame.

Both our political and military leaders have to admit that our country has willfully ignored the importance of the defence industry. I may be wrong in saying this, but after 52 years of independence, what really substantive has the country produced in terms of fulfilling its defence needs. Producing boots and uniforms is not enough. But surprisingly, we have a Malaysian Defence Council in place for some years now, but what emanates out of the council's meeting in terms of developing the defence industry is not known. Once again, I wish to draw the lessons of Singapore, South Africa and Iran for all to understand how these countries have progressed to be world renowned defence equipment producers and manufactures. Basically it is the political will of their governments, and the enormous amount of money spend on R&D.

We have lacked far behind in almost ever aspect of our defence industry, and I attribute this to the lack of a political will by our national leaders, including that of our military leaders. If we are to remain stagnated as what we are in the development of our defence industry, then we might as well omit the phrase that discusses our self reliance capability in our National Defence Policy.


Friday, July 17, 2009


Why is it that it has to be the ‘bigger crook’ Nazri Aziz to make the announcement on the increase in the public transport fare now, at a time when the economy is not doing well, and his public image over his description of Tun Dr. Mahathir, Tun Hanif Omar and Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, as crooks is hotly being debated? Is it not the Transport Minister or the Domestic Affairs Minister to be making such an announcement? And there goes the ‘Rakyat di dahulukan’ slogan, or is it ‘Rakyat di kemudiankan’.

Who would really want to listen to such a statement from this uncouth minister who is only good as a cheer leader. At least, cheer leaders looks pleasing with their multicoloured dresses and dancing to the rhythm of some raunchy music. This bigger crook has none to please anyone.

I listened to the news last night, and there were clearly parties that are happy, and others that are not to pleased with the public transport fare increase. The increase is quite high. Even OKU’s and senior citizens like me is not spared. They now have to pay more i.e. 75% of the total fare as oppose to only 50% now. What is rational for increasing the fares for OKU’s and senior citizens is mind blogging. Are such groups categorized as productive wage earners having the capacity to earn thousands every month?

A friend of mine who travels to work daily by bus from Seremban to Kuala Lumpur says that he will now have to cough out RM 15.60 for a return trip or RM 312.00 per month. I think, this is about the costliest bus fare in the region, and once again, in runs counter to the slogan ‘Rakyat di dahulukan’?

Owners of public transport companies are the most to benefit, and it is the larger section of the public that suffers. I am not against an increase, but the timing is certainly not right. I just wonder whether ministers will also suffer from this fare increase.


Thursday, July 16, 2009


A ‘crook’ as defined in the Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary, is ‘a person who is habitually dishonest’. That was what the Minister in the PM’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz described Suhakam Chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, former IGP Tun Hanif Omar and former PM Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed. And for whatever be the reason for Nazri to use such a description of the three persons mentioned, it is unacceptable, disrespectful, silly and rude.

Nazri does not seem to realize that the three persons are personalities that have contributed so much for the nation, and have been duly honoured with honorific titles by the King for their tireless and loyal contribution. Nazri’s standing on the other hand is nothing near to either of the three persons, and the least that I can say of Nazri is that he is merely UMNO’s cheer leader in parliament.

Let me say this to Nazri that Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, Tun Hanif Omar and Tan Sri Abu Talib Osman are no crooks, and it is you who should take a peek at the mirror to recognized who the bigger crook is, and you will see that it is non other than you…… Nazri. I am quite sure you do not like to be described a bigger crook… you?

I too am a retired government servant, but if you say to me to just nod at everything the government does; be they good or bad, and to shut my mouth, you are totally mistaken. If anything that is wrong with UMNO/BN today, the blame is on you.



I read two interesting statements made by Defence Minister YB Dato Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi recently. The first being the need to increase the allowances of the Army Commandos befitting the nature of their job, and secondly, the desire to see that soldiers own affordable homes prior to their retirement, and are gainfully employed in a second vocation. I applaud such statements, and I believe the soldiers are equally enlightened by it.

The Army Commandos, and similarly the elite units of the other two sister services i.e. Navy and Air Force should not be left out in any consideration for an increase in their allowances and benefits. I am not privy to the nature of the allowances, but I suppose it has to do with the training skills and hardship while serving in the elite force. I have no doubt as to their capabilities, professionalism and the extreme risk they face in the performance of their duties. And for this, one should not be envious of the little extra income that they get by being a member of the commandos. One has only to witness the grueling and nerve wrenching training that these special breed of soldiers have to go through, to qualify for the exulted green or maroon beret.

Getting an affordable home upon their retirement has always been a primary desire of soldiers. Soldiers would generally prefer retiring back to their kampung, and to be closer to the surau and mosque. It is not surprising if one were to find that the Bilal or the Imam of a mosque in some of the kampung are ex-soldiers.

However, returning to the kampung upon retirement may not be welcomed by the soldier’s children nowadays. Military camps are no longer in isolated areas, but are now in the vicinity of major towns and cities. Hence, the children are more exposed to urban life, attend urban schools and later are admitted to colleges and universities. And once they enter the job market, they generally remain in cities and towns. Hence, the demand for houses for soldiers, either for those still in service or are retired, are greater in urban rather than back in their kampung.

I applaud too, the proposal by the Defence Minister to apportioned government land assigned to the ministry, to be developed for individually owned homes for soldiers. I suppose the end result will be affordable and better houses, since the land cost would be cheaper. Another advantage to this proposal is that the soldiers who throughout their military career have been living alongside one another in military quarters, will again be residing together within the same housing complex upon their retirement. The families are therefore able to maintain a social life, and the kind of neighborhood that they are so accustomed to, while residing within a military complex. Hopefully, a soldier like me, and many others who have retired for more than a decade, can also benefit from this proposal.

With regards to a second vocation, this has always been the desire of the government to ensure that soldiers are provided some form of training that will be useful to them upon retirement. Soldiers, particularly the lower ranks normally retire at an early age; normally in their early 40’s where most still have school going children to take care for. Merely living off their pension may not be sufficient; hence they will need to labour on with some form of a vocation to meet their family obligation.

This is where institutions like the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) and PERHEBAT plays an important role to ensure that soldiers are not neglected in retirement. I am told that LTAT is cash rich from money derived from soldiers contribution, and why not use the money to create businesses, wherein soldiers can be employed upon completion of the training provided by PERHEBAT that is fully funded by the government.

We know that soldiers of the Armed Forces are trained in various skills e.g. mechanics, electricians, welders, brick layers, carpenters, machinist, vehicle and heavy machine operators, deep sea divers, trainers, workshop management, and many more. I suppose managing an outfit like SPANCO should not pose a problem, since the skills needed to manage a vehicle maintenance and repair workshop is in abundance among members of the Armed Forces. LTAT could easily take over the management of SPANCO to be managed and operated by retired soldiers with the required technical and managerial skills.

Similarly, the Oil and Gas industry (O&G) pays a handsome salary for its skilled workers, such as welders, technicians and deep sea divers. In this regard, PERHEBAT could provide enhancement training to the soldiers with such basic skills, meeting the standards of the O&G industry, with the view of an employment in the industry.

Another profitable business that LTAT could look at is to go into animal farming e,g goats and cattle. There is a huge consumption for meat in the country, and the supply does not always meet the demand of consumers. Hence, meat is being imported from overseas whose halal status for Muslim consumers is reasonably in doubt. I am told that even the religious authorities dared not claim that all imported animal carcass (either whole or cut) are halal, and if this is true, who then could guarantee that all imported meat can be consumed by Muslims? It is for this reason that I forbid my wife from buying imported meat, although it is reasonably cheaper than local meat.

A lot more can be done for the betterment and welfare of members of the Armed Forces, either while in service, and even more upon their retirement. Allowing retired soldiers to become taxi drivers and security guards should no longer be the only vocation befitting retired soldiers, but the creation of entrepreneurs and a highly skilled work force should be the ultimate.


Monday, July 13, 2009


In the next few hours, voters of Manek Urai, Kelantan will decide who among the two candidates for the by-election will be elected as the rightful representive to the State Assembly. It will be a straight fight between BN candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat, and PR candidate Mohd Fauzi Abdullah, the latter being ridiculed for 'not being academically inclined', and whose vocation is a mere fish wholesaler.

The feed back that I obtained from my Kelantanese friends is that the BN had won outright the propaganda and publicity campaign, while the PR had been the crowd puller at the nightly political campaigning. Both parties have made lots of promises, and even a place in haven or hell if one is to cast a vote for a particular party. I just wonder how mortals like us can be the arbitrator of a free passage to haven or hell.

The entire BN election machinery has been galvanised early in the election campaign to ensure a victory that has been slipping from the BN's grasp in previous elections. There was also the accusation that the resources of the military has been used to boost-up BN's popularity in some grey areas in Manek Urai. I am not quite sure as to the roles of the military in Manek Urai, but if this accusation proves to be true, then I would blame it all on the military leadership to have succumbed to the unlawful employment of the military, especially prior to an election. We do not want to see our military to play a role like that of the Honduran military recently. And politicians must understand too that the military does not have a role in politics, and if a precedence has been set, it will have dangerous consequences.

I remembered well during the 1998 Reformasi Movement that came about after the ouster of Anwar Ibrahim from government. There was clearly officers who were inclined towards the movement, and others who were not. I understood the feeling of those officers who showed sympathy for Anwar, and they had voiced their feelings quite freely among themselves. However, such personal expressions was not welcomed, and a warning was out to cease any talk concerning the Reformasi Movement.

I was then at the verge of retiring, and I thought trampling the freedom of expression over the Anwar Ibrahim episode among the officers corps then was wrong. There is clearly a distinction here between the freedom of expression, and the freedom of being physical or riotous, and I thought that the officers were not inclined to act in a way that will bring disrepute to their noble profession.Of course, freedom of expression here does not extend to them participating in political 'ceramah' for any one political party, which is clearly an abuse to the apolitical stance of the military. Likewise, employing the resources of the military prior to an election is also an abuse.

I do wish to predict the outcome of the by-election tomorrow, but whoever wins, the honorific title of the Yang Berhormat that come along with winning, has its trials and tribulations.


Sunday, July 12, 2009


I am glad that Tun Dr. Mahathir has come out openly to voice his disagreement regarding the decision by the government to revert to Bahasa Malaysia in the teaching of Mathematics and Science in schools beginning 2012. He had even “called on the people to make their unhappiness known to the government”. He also reasoned out why he had introduced English for the two subjects, which he did a year before he left office, and that his proposal was agreed upon by the UMNO Supreme Council then. He further said that “it is not about learning English. It is not about learning Malay. It is simply an acknowledgement of the fact that today's knowledge come to us in the English language”.

Tun Dr. Mahathir's reasoning is plain and simple to have solicited the approval of the UMNO Supreme Council then, and is even well understood by the people today. And why now, with a change in PM does the government think that the proposal has failed. It is unfortunate that PM Najib and DPM Muhyiddin are not medical doctors. Otherwise, they would have offered a different prescription to cure the decease that is infecting the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English. Tun Dr. Mahathir is fortunate to have a wife who is also a medical doctor in whom he could confer for a second medical opinion.

Like all medical doctors, they will not prescribe any medication until they have thoroughly examined the patient, and having satisfied himself. Sometimes they would seek an second opinion from another doctor, and that was exactly what had happened to me, when the doctor suspected that there was something amiss with my heart when I underwent a stress test. Even the second doctor that examined me later was thorough in examining me, before a final decision to perform an angioplasty on me.

I suppose, the government did not practice what good doctors would do to patients before prescribing a medication, and for this the government is now confronted with the problem of trying to justify their decision. This could have been avoided if the proposal was widely discussed right down to the parents who have every right to know everything that will affect their child. It is not merely for politicians and some civil servants in the comforts of the ministry to make a decision, or was it an idea to please some national laureate in Malay poetry or a Malay linguist?

This issue, I believe will not just fade away that easily, because the voices of the people are getting louder and bolder as the day passes.


Saturday, July 11, 2009


I was driving up along Jalan Padang Tembak this morning on my way to Kg. Datuk Keramat, and I decided to drive uphill along the road that leads to the Armed Forces Staff College (AFSC). Back in 1985, and once again in 1993, this was the road that I frequently used on my way out to town, since I lived in one of the military quarters just below AFSC. My main reason for the diversion was to drive pass AFSC where I once served as a Directing Staff, and also to look at the military quarters that I had once stayed along Lorong Kubu.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the development projects that is going on around the area, which will definitely change the landscape of the surrounding area once the projects are completed. The entire area where the Armed Forces Officers Mess once stood has all disappeared, including the bachelor officers apartments. The area is being fenced up, and construction of a new Armed Forces Officers Mess is fast appearing. I am told that the Officers Mess is modeled along a four star hotel with all its modern amenities befitting of a posh hotel, including a grand ballroom that can take in one thousand people in a single sitting. I am amazed at the description of the Officers Mess, and I only hope that I am still around to bare witness to the facility when is it completed. I am proud that the government has given the officers of the Armed Forces what it truly deserve.

The Mindef Stadium as it was known before, is also undergoing major reconstruction. I observed a new covered grandstand is being built and including some other sporting facilities. This is indeed a worthy project, and I am quite sure the facilities will be fully utilised when it is ready.

During the period that I was in Mindef, the two playing fields and the other sporting facilities are most popular among the officers and soldiers, especially on Wednesday's and Friday's; both days being compulsory games days. In most instances, there would be more by-standers than participants. This is because there are not enough sporting facilities to cater for the large number of participants. I am not quite sure what is left of the two tennis courts that had once been my favourite sport.

The Mindef Mosque too is undergoing major renovation. From what I observed, the mosque has doubled its original size, and this hopefully will cater for the growing Mindef population, as well as the civilians around the neighbouring Kg. Datuk Keramat area, especially during the obligatory Friday prayers. I do hope that the development of the mosque takes into account the need for a much larger car park constructed within the mosque area itself.

I commend the people that had mooted the projects that is sure to bring benefit to the Mindef population. But what concerns me most is the quality of work that the contractors will provide at the completion of the projects. We have seen too many shoddy work, and I blame this on poor supervision and utter neglect by the authorities concern. Let us hope that incidence like the collapse of the roof of the grandstand of the new Trengganu main stadium recently does not occur to any one of the projects mentioned above.



I just cannot believe that some high level politicians can be so inward looking. And I am referring to the Deputy Education Minister when he said that “the government would spend RM5 billion in its effort to improve the teaching and learning of English in schools”, and in the next breath he says that “ the government would save RM40 million a year from 2012 when the teaching of Mathematics and Science is carried out in Bahasa Malaysia”. What sort of an argument is this, coming from a supposedly learned Deputy Minister.

Can someone notice the contradiction in the two statements above? On the one hand the government would spends RM5 billion (note the amount), and on the other hand the government would save RM40 million (million and not billion). Do we see any sense and logic in the Deputy Minister's statement? Please compare the amount spend against the amount saved. What do we get in the end; a huge drain in government spending against a meagre saving, just to improve the proficiency of English in schools.

Why can't that RM5 billion (if indeed the government has the funds) be used to continue the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English, and at the same time to continue improving the proficiency of English in teachers? What we will achieve in the end are students and teachers that will be proficient in English. Isn't this what our education system wants to achieve.........students and teachers that are English proficient?

And looking at the comments and responses received from the general public over this issue, a large majority is against the abolition of English in Mathematics and Science in schools. There was one particular blogger who even vowed that he and his wife will not vote for the BN in the next general elections because of the failure of the government to seek the views of parents first. And even our former PM Tun Dr. Mahathir is against the abolition of English, and the early results of the survey in his blog indicates a high disapproval rating of the government decision.

What does all this mean? To the ordinary people, it shows that the decision of the government is one that appears not to have taken the peoples views into account. I now tend to believe that even the teachers and academicians may not have been consulted. Any discussions may have been within the walls of the Education Ministry only, and for the government to say that its decision is one that is good for the future of our children, and the nation is a blatant lie.

There goes the 1 Malaysia slogan.........Rakyat di dahulukan, pencapaian di utamakan. I hope this slogan is correct.


Thursday, July 9, 2009


What is wrong in using English for mathematics and science, and how sure is the government that by reverting to Bahasa Malaysia the students are expected to perform better in the two subjects.

I am in total disagreement with the decision to revert to Bahasa Malaysia, and I view it as a regression in our attempt to bring our future generation to greater heights in mastering both the subjects, as well as the English language. The only words to describe my disagreement is for me to say that the government is making a mess of our future generation. I just do not know what will become of my grandchildren who are now confused, and does the government really care? I know they don't because they can afford to send their children and grandchildren to be schooled overseas. I certainly cannot afford to give my grandchildren such luxury.

If the reason to revert back to Bahasa Malaysia is because the students, especially those in rural school, have performed poorly in the two subjects, then do not blame the students for their failures; blame the government for this because the government did not provided enough English training to the teachers. Haven't the Education Ministry heard the rumblings among some teachers of their concern in teaching the two subjects in English? Or was the Education Ministry merely thinking of making a test case out of these affected students?

Now the government has said that they will take all necessary steps to prepare teachers to be proficient in English, and increasing the time allocated to the teaching of English. There is also a proposal for the importation English teachers. This sounds like the time that I first started schooling, where some of the teachers were foreigners, especially the English teachers who were reportedly from Ceylon. And by increasing the period for English lessons, this will perforce increase the schooling hours. Or is the Education Ministry thinking of sacrificing some other not-so-important subjects, and what can these subjects be?

I am rather skeptical of the proposal brought forth by the government over this matter, because changes are seen to be made, simply because there is a change of a Minister. I do not know what actually goes on prior to a change being made, but if the decision is based on a political expediency, one can rest be assured that the decision is doomed to failure.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Once again, former Selangor MB Khir Toyo is back in the limelight, this time over a house (or was it a palace) that he has built in Section 7, Shah Alam that is reported to cost more than RM 20 million. Khir Toyo claimed that he had taken up a bank loan of RM 3.5 million to purchase the land and subsequently built the house. But what is not known is how much was spend to built the house that resembles Michael Jackson’s palatial home, and fittings and furniture’s that is reported to have been imported.

To most people that had viewed the photos of the house, the obvious reaction would be one of surprise and bewilderment. Questions would then be asked as to how much would the house cost, and could Khir Toyo genuinely afford to pay for such a grand house with the income that he gets previously as the Menteri Besar, and now as a state assemblyman. It would have been different if he had purchased the land and built the house prior to venturing into politics. And being a dentist prior to being the Menteri Besar, it was hardly possible for Khir Toyo to even afford buying a house that is worth RM 1 million.

Now, Khir Toyo has decided to sue DAP’s Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim for raising to public notice, the palatial home that Khir Toyo has built, stating that he is “fed- up with all the baseless allegations that have been leveled against him”. Khir Toyo certainly has every right to sue assemblyman Ng Suee Lim, but I believe this will not stop others from exposing fresh allegation of supposedly corrupt practices by Khir Toyo and the previous BN state government.

It is a known fact that for a person who is involved in corrupt practices, it is not easy for the person to continually deny his involvement in corruption. To deny would mean that the person has to craft a convincing lie, and subsequently many more lies as a cover or justification to an earlier lie. This lying process will go on until such time the person gets tangled up in his own lie, before the person finally breaks down. I hope Khir Toyo knows this and it is for this reason that it is better to tell the truth, even if he has to admit that he has done something wrong. For one to admit that he has done wrong is virtuous, and people are always willing to forgive and forget once forgiveness is sought by the wrong doer.

Since being ousted as the Menteri Besar, Khir Toyo has been the obvious target for corruption by the present ruling PR government. But I still find it strange that none of the previous BN executive council members of the Khir Toyo administration has come to the defence of their former boss. They all seemed to be in hibernation since having lost their position in government, or are they too afraid to speak up, fearing that some of their corrupt practices (if they are any) will also be spilled out.



Santa Claus in once again back in Malaysia; this time in Manek Urai. And having to arrive in the scorching heat of the Kelantan weather, must have taken its toll on Santa who is only accustomed to the cold winter of the Nordic region. This time around Santa Claus will be distributing free school uniforms and bags to more than 6,000 students; with the courtesy of the Education Ministry, and just prior to the by-elections scheduled this July 14th 2009.

In the previous by-elections in Kuala Trengganu, the Education Ministry had promised computers and laptops to students, and I wonder how many students actually received it. In other by-elections, roads were resurfaced, sawing machines and bicycles were handed out, and not forgetting the kain pelekat for the elders. I just wonder why such extreme generosity; and of all times prior to a by-election.

I find it most hilarious and odd for free school uniforms and bags to be distributed to students at this time of the year. Usually, school uniforms and bags will be purchased around the close of the year, and just before the first school term begins. I would have welcomed the government's good gesture if such handouts were given out at the start of year, and not only for Manek Urai, but throughout the entire country. This would be more meaningful, especially to needy parents who have many other school going children. And I am quite sure, the impact on the parents to support the BN government would be more positive; if such was the purpose of the free handouts.

I am of the view that there is a lot more wrong for the BN government to proceed with this ridiculous idea of offering free school uniforms and bags to students at Manek Urai, supposedly “as a gesture by the ministry to lighten the burden of the people”. And certainly, this instantaneous good gesture is definitely not a winning strategy for the BN to woo the electorates to vote in favour of the BN in the up coming by-election. Previous by-elections have proven clearly that gestures like this have little impact on the voters.

I know that the BN government is not short of ideas to win back the support of the voters. But bringing back Santa Claus, every time there is a by-election is definitely wrong and it only reflects the short sightedness of the BN government.


Monday, July 6, 2009


July 5th 2009 was a memorable day for me and including all those that had served with the Malaysian Army Contingent under the auspices of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) from March 15th 1992 to July 5th 1993. Sixteen long years have passed from the day the contingent returned home to Malaysia after a 15 months tour of duty with the UN in Cambodia.

Out of the 850 strong army contingent, today only a small percentage of officers still remains in service, while almost 90% of the other ranks have retired. I still have in my personal possession the entire list all those officers and other ranks that were with the contingent, and it saddens me for not being able to maintain their exact whereabouts and their present preoccupation.

At the time when I completed documenting our experience in Cambodia in a book in 2004, there were already seven members of the contingent that had passed away, and I do not know now if that number have changed. I knew fairly well each and everyone of them, and one in particular whom I had talked to during my usual round of visits to the forward locations, died on a UN evacuation flight to Bangkok after having been diagnosed for malaria.

The 15 months tour in Cambodia was not without its excitement or danger. I personally felt some stressful moments of having to fulfill my responsibilities amidst the uncertain security and political environment surrounding the entire UN mission, especially during the period leading up to the UN sponsored general elections.

Political killing was on the rise, and the UN electoral workers who were deployed to the remote areas to established polling stations were threatened by some rouge soldiers. Some polling stations had to withdraw until such time the electoral workers personal safety was ensured. This was when we needed the Cambodian provincial military units to assist us in ensuring security, and they did so after some serious discussions with their leaders. I suppose, it was their trust in us, and our sincerity and hard work to bring peace to Cambodia that had made them realised the importance of a successful general elections.

Had the Cambodian military units refused to assist us, we would surely have failed in creating a safe environment for the people to come out to cast their votes during the election. Because of the close cooperation that we had with the Cambodian military units and the UN electoral workers, the Battambang province in which we were responsible recorded the highest voter turnout for the whole of Cambodia i.e. 95% voters turnout or 288,993 voters, out of the 303,705 voters registered.

I knew that my officers and soldiers played a sterling role throughout the period of the general elections, and some sleepless nights for those deployed in the interior where they were constantly faced with uncertain dangers.

Our return to Malaysia on July 5th 2009, were well received by officers and our families, and what had made our tour meaningful was that we had succeeded in giving the Cambodians the opportunity to cast their votes through a democratic process, and to elect a legitimate government of their choice. Cambodians have been deprived of a general election for decades, and their sufferings under the dreaded Khmer Rogue is still being felt till this very moment.

I would like to conclude by saying that Malaysia through the participation of its military contingent and staffs during the period of UNTAC had contributed to the peace and prosperity that Cambodia enjoys today. And let us hope that through her participation in ASEAN, Cambodia will no longer be the rouge state that she once was, but a thriving democracy with every opportunity to prosper and remain peaceful like all others within ASEAN.

And to all the officers and soldiers who were with me throughout the trying period in Cambodia, I only have this to say, “that without your cooperation and hard work, we would not have succeeded in our mission in Cambodia, and for this I remain thankful to all of you”.


Thursday, July 2, 2009


I have been fairly busy the whole of last week attending to preparation of my daughter’s wedding reception held on June 21st, 2009. This is my third experience organizing a wedding reception of a family member, and I should thank dearly my friends and former colleagues, and their spouses for extending their willing assistance in ensuring the success of the wedding reception. For those who wish to view photos of the wedding reception, please go to You Tube and click ‘Majlis Akad Nikah Sharizan & Omar’.

And let me take this opportunity to thank all my guests for attending the wedding reception and the gifts extended to us. It was indeed an honour to receive guests who were my former bosses, colleagues, friends and the many relatives that came with their families from Ulu Langat, Jelebu and Johore.

Weddings will not be over yet for the family. There will be another wedding reception to be arranged for my son, hopefully in November this year, and this will our last.

I have had little time to follow events that had happened the whole of last week, but one event interests me i.e. the call by the Menteri Besar of Kelantan Ustaz Nik Aziz for a debate with PM Najib over a remark that the former had made during a ‘religious ceramah’ on 21 June, when he referred to UMNO/BN as being a party that has deviated from the teachings of Islam. As a result of such a remark, Kelantan UMNO Youth had filed a police report stating that Ustaz Nik Aziz remarks were seditious and could cause public dissention.

Former PM, Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tun Abdullah had both ‘rubbished’ the idea of a debate with Ustaz Nik Aziz, and many others too from within the BN had rejected a debate as an ideal way of resolving problems. Interestingly, both the former PM’s have finally reached a consensus, for the very first time over an issue. Hopefully, we will see many more agreements between the two, that could finally get them back together.

Most have preferred a round table discussion, but some have argued that a round table discussion does not expose to the public the full details of the discussion, and reporting by the mainstream media only reflects what the public needs to know, that is usually biased towards the government of the day.

I wish to defer from the views of those who had opposed to the debate, as I would have thought that a debate is the best forum to test a person’s intellectual prowess and articulation. A debate is not an easy public discourse, and politicians despite them being known for making fiery speeches in parliament, are not necessarily good debaters. There is a marked difference between making a speech and articulating during a debate. Speeches maybe prepared and may not always be authored by the speaker himself, but debates has to be spontaneous and the views expressed has to be well researched……. herein lies the major difference.

We know that PM Najib is a well read person and articulates well, but I suppose the topic that Ustaz Nik Aziz has offered may not be to former’s liking. It will require someone with the religious prowess of Ustaz Nik Aziz to accept the challenge, and will there be one from within UMNO/BN to take up the challenge?