Tuesday, December 29, 2009

RM50 for Credit Cards. Our Government Bankrupt Ah?

The recent decision of the government to impose RM50 charge for each credit cards is really a blow to small time consumers and really shows whether their noble goals are true or that they are desperate to look for alternative cash source as they are going bankrupt from overspending and corruption.

I got a card because of the convenience of paying without bringing out overt amounts of cash to pay for things like petrol and to avoid bank costs of charging 50 cents for each transactions past the first four for accounts with less than RM5000 only to find that they want to charge me for mt card. Really a sad day to sacrifice convenience since I've always been fiscally sound and paying my bills monthly. Rather the extra burden for students and young working adults will be a bigger impact than those with cash and spending multiple cards to pay for their extravagant lifestyles. The people that will suffer will be those least likely to be financially unsound and defeats the purpose of their so called noble government's reasoning of teaching consumer to spend wisely. So take your RM50, I hope the banks will realise that charging small time users will not benefit their services and end up bigger losers as people cancel their cards. Rather if it is really the government's purpose to teach wise spending, charge higher premiums for any cards above the first and set an incremental increase for all subsequent cards. I think consumers should really give our finance minister and for that matter our PM who says he cares so much for us Rakyat a piece of our mind, even if we know that it will do no good.

On the other note being a newly income earner and one who plans to get married one day and own property the new slew of taxes really hurts. From the soon to be imposed GST to the property gains tax and a more than likely increase in fuel price once subsidies are revised following the new year, living looks to be getting harder while real income are still low. The constant deficit spending and money lost to crony-ism and mismanagement of funds by the government (where it goes does not have to be said outloud as we all suspect why our government is constantly cash strapped) looks to be hitting the rakyat hard and the next year looks bleaker to those who does not own million (and cheating the IRB by not paying tax while we do) and live in comfy mansions in Klang or part of UMNO Putra.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

I-City Christmas Light Up



Sometimes the most unexpected finds are the most interesting ones. Driving to Shah Alam for a Christmas dinner hosted by blogger Sabrina both Viz and my head were turned to see the most garish sight along the highway which we eventually had to located. We stumbled into I City, Shah Alam with a display of Christmas lights, a veritable oasis in a sea of black. And it seems we were not the only one there as when we reached the place there were people milling about taking photos of just having a leisurely walk there. Usually I hate artificial fake lights but this display was beautiful in a garish kind of way and actually nice on some levels. Display will be up till new year so head there if you want to see it. I-City, Shah Alam, Selangor










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Friday, December 25, 2009

The Pursuit of Happyness


One day a girl had a bottle and showed it to a friend saying that in the bottle contained all her happiness and she was saving every little precious bit so that she'll always have it close to her. The friend saw her again one day crying and asked her why she was so sad. Looking up the girl in tears showed her the empty bottle and said she lost her happiness and she was without any left. The other girl stood silent, took the bottle and from her heart took a small piece of her own happiness and deposited it into the bottle. Stopping her tears, the first girl took the bottle back and asked "why?".

The reply, "We all want the fullness of happiness in our lives but then if we never know sadness or hopelessness, we'll forget to cherish it. So God gave us the means to keep on collecting happiness by tipping the bottle every so often, so that we may again find the joy of rediscovering our happiness and also to share it with others."

Remember it is the act of pursuing happiness that is the key to life and not the the end that should be valued. So share some happiness to those that don't have it and be enriched yourselves. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009


Life never goes the way you think it might. This year has been pretty bad for me and it seems that everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. Getting out of a rut is never easy and the worst part of it is that knowingly people that you thought you could depend on to be there walking away when things gets tough. It really feels like life doesn't have any meaning anymore at a point and all you can feel is an emptiness that just keeps on sucking the life away from you. You don't feel inspired, you don't feel joy, you just give up and lose hope that you'll ever be happy.

Being human means having to feel pain, its a constant struggle to stay on top and to keep on moving forward towards the pursuit of happiness. I don't want to be famous, I don't want to be popular, I don't want to be rich but I want to be happy and thats the hardest thing to achieve.

To those people that really hurt be, I've learnt that karma is very much real. I feel that I am going through this time of troubles because I have caused the same hurt and pains to someone else, someone that deserves better than me and because of that the cosmic balance decrees that I should receive that back in equal measures. Realising that doesn't make it easier but it does give hope that every valley soon climbs to the peak again. To those people that acted like friends in name only, I guess I'm more sad for the fact that you can treat people like that rather than what you did to me. The worst are those that used you and never once step forward to support you in any meaningful way while wanting to take and not give anything.

While I can't say that I'm completely over from the beating I had last year, I think it's time to take those few small steps to move up the mountain again, I don't know how long it will take but I'm a patient person. As I step back and review the past 20 years, I guess I am a little sad, I wished I could've been more likeable, I wished I had better friends and I wished I had achieved more of the goals I wanted to reach for. But if life gives you lemons make lemonade.

I do have to thank one friend in particular. I guess it goes to show that when you least expect it, there are people that really comes up and help you without asking for anything in return and no matter what will not take no for an answer. I think I owe my sanity to her and I would be worse for wear if she was not there to push and prod and even kick my ass when I needed it. You find the strangest connection when you least expect it and for that I thank whoever sent such a person my way. I owe much and I hope to repay that. I wish there were more people like that but this is not a perfect world. People associate with others for what they can gain from them or how they can benefit from such an association. A sad fact in this world we live in. I still hope that there are people who can accept me for who I am, judge me for what I do rather than what they expect me to do for them and will really see the person I am despite the many flaws I have. I always believe that no matter what idiosyncrasy someone has we all have our good and bad points. I've always looked beyond the shallow surface of people and always give someone a chance whether they deserve it or not but I guess expecting the same from others for yourself proves harder.

I guess I'm sad that I'm sitting here in my room alone on my birthday. It hurts. But I guess I can smile a little again and hopefully this year will pass by and the next treats me more gently. Thank you.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Namawee? Modern Crusader or Loudmouth Hill Billy?

One thing you've got to hand it to Namawee, he got guts. Looking at his video, people will either love him or hate him. While many of us can emphatise with the notion that Malaysian service providers and utility companies including the civil service is more often lacking, its a question whether the method he went about it was the best method.

We all have our share of power cuts though people in the Klang Valley will not truly understand the crux of the matter compared to people living away from the urban center. I was in Sabah for five years and I can tell you the service there was terrible. Often blackouts occur nearly every single month and god help you if it occurs at night, then you can expect no service till the next morning. Though this may have improved things there as of now I still wonder. For consumers it is a right to question why service providers cannot deliver when customers are paying their bills and yet the same excuse time after time is that 'best service available' policy which literally means 'it's not our fault we keep on getting subscribers and later complain out rollout of infrastructure cannot meet peak demand'.

Should we stand for this? Take for example my Astro has problems every time it rains and I cannot watch, meaning in a tropical country like Malaysia, say bye bye to your telecast during monsoon season. This after they have promised better service transmission with the launch of the new satellite and digital system, not happening. Streamyx is another thorn in the foot, for years this monopoly has provided subpar service and while other neighbouring country are heading forward with better broadband and faster speed, we are still crawling and Streamyx imposing bandwidth capping citing '20% of the users are using 80% of the bandwidth'. So What do you expect? Files are getting bigger, online tools such as streaming videos and filesharing programs are the norm, if they cannot keep up with people's need, give the job to someone else. But having said that while there are headaches, and some very chronic indeed, not all their staff are bumbling idiots.

Citing an example recently, I had problems with slowdown of internet in my home and called the call center a day before Hari Raya, they said they will rectify the problem by Monday. To my surprise they came on a Saturday, checked the system and resolved the problem. Kudos to the two fellows who came.

Nowe back to the video, first of all again while I emphatise with the grouse he had, trust me if this happened in KL every single datuk will be ringing up the TNB chairman to get power up within the hour so realistically being in the dark is no fun period. Secondly three blackouts within the year is not a small problem, question begs as to why this has occurred as in the case of Muar for Namawee's case, is it due to inadequate maintenance, sub-standard equipment or as he claimed TNB staff not doing their job?

While Namewee tends to be rude, okay very rude, I believe he is quite brave to do what he did. How many Malaysians actually stand up and get down to the matter of things? How many qould question why things happen such as blackouts and why action in getting power back on are not as efficient as it should be? How many people would make formal complains and ask for an explanation for which as a paying customer he has the right to? Most probably none. While the manner of his is not diplomatic, I can emphatise with the fact that desk officers are not often the most friendly bunch, more often the norm rather than the exception. To be more efficient and beholden to the customers I believe that the companies should be more responsive. We all don't ask for much, we want to know of the explanation when something happens so that we can ascertain if its a reasonable enough explanation. We would also like to see service providers ensure that the customers are getting what they paid for. Would TNB be more efficient if say they have to compensate customers for downtime? I've experience before TMnet Streamyx service getting cut for a week whereby I couldn't do any work and still the same amount of bill came at the end of the month. Should I have been given a rebate for loss of service? Yet all I got was a phone operator telling me, we are trying our best to solve the problem, that is if they can be reached at all.

Bottom line is, customers all want quality service commensurate to what they pay. Should Namawee be blamed for his outburst? No really but I did cringe with the language he uttered and how he treated the TNB workers, he had a legitimate claim but the way he put if forth made them hostile. What can we learn from this? We all should bring along a portable camera when we go and meet service providers to complain and ascertain how they actually conduct their job. Namawee will most likely make as many enemies as he does admirers. But Malaysians should also take his video as an eye opener that we should not just sit down and take whatever service providers dish out to us and not bat an eyelid. If they are not keeping up the quality of their service, exercise your right to complain, we have consumer associations, we have politicians, heck even the service providers have complain desk (when they actually work), so go through the proper channel first. If that don't succeed, well Namawee has shown us another outlet to vent your anger right?

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

No Plans

What's the use of planning if the only result you get is to see all your hard work in reaching your goals come crashing down on you and you can't do anything about it? It just leaves you depressed, disenchanted and feeling sorry for yourself. Better to live day by day without any expectations so that you don't end up hurt.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

That's IT!!!!!!!

I'm going to set some goals to help me survive till the end of the year and hopefully by then get myself out of a rut that has been sinking me to a slow death day by day. Don't know how successful I'll be but doing something is better than nothing.

1. Stop feeling sorry for myself.

2. Remind myself that despite everything I have it better than so many people out there that are worse off.

3. Find joy in the small things.

4. Find one reason a day to feel happy about.

5. Recharge myself, get my butt out of the house and live again.

6. Rediscover my lost passion of the lens, go somewhere new each week, take photos that I like and to please no one else but myself.

7. Take one step at a time, forget the past and move on.

8. Stop stop stop feeling so helpless and depress.

9. Find real friends that accepts you for being you.

10. Rekindle relationships that has stagnated from caring for just one person.

11. Find love, but to first find reasons to love myself first.

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Who'd Ever Thought Smiling Was Hard?


If you'd told me that the simple act of smiling, of being happy and joyous and of having an uplifting feeling that tomorrow holds endless promises was something that comes naturally I would've agreed months ago. I've always been a pessimist but I've never let myself feel hurt or down or to fall into despair. When times were tough I've always been able to cope and to bounce back, all it needed was a good night sleep and the next day all way right in the world again. Yet at this moment, no matter what I do, things all feel as if all the effort I put in are futile, that whatever I do seems so pointless. It feels like the hardest thing to feel happy again and not to fall into self loathing and pitifulness. And it has never felt so lonely before ever. I know I really have to shake this feeling off, but at this point in time, I just can't. So for those out there that have someone to be with, or are able to enjoy their happiness, cherish it and grasp it so tightly that it can never escape you.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

It is a Sad Day So Near to Merdeka

If you haven't read about the Cow Head Incident in Selangor please do.

It is a sad day and worrisome incident that such a thing happened and within the Holy Month of Ramadhan which is a month of contemplation, fasting and forgiveness and within days of Merdeka, a celebration of freedom for ALL races. It is sad or scary if you consider:

The people of Section 23 say they are left with no choice but to take protest and bring a severed cow head to the Selangor State Secretariat. A wholly "Muslim" congregation parades a symbol sacred to another religion to protest the construction of a religious worship center in their housing area is provocative and sacrilegious. And these people are suppose to be fasting this month. God knows only how swift action would be taken if anything nearing bacon was wielded and calls for death to infidels would be incited if it was the other way around. And through all this time have they seen Indians or for that matter of fact other races protest violently when only the Section 23 residents have acted uncivilly?

"We object to this temple" and "Rodziah Babi" written on the fence. Using an item forbidden by ones religion while wielding the object of sacred nature of another in protest is just sheer hyprocracy and bigotry.

These people claim to represent the voice of all Section 23 residents. So it is really 90% Muslim or 40% Indian in Section 23? I can't believe who's right at this moment but just hop over to the Department of Statistics and it can be cleared up easily right? But why does racial composition matter anyway? Oh right, allocation of land for worship depends on the area's racial composition and thats why Indians, Chinese, Christians are finding it so hard to build places of worship while under the government policy, land is alienated for suraus and mosques in every housing estate. 1 Malaysia I salute you.

Police took no action in halting the illegal protest and no further action were taken even if from my eyes the act warrants ISA if there was ever a case. Other illegal rallies and protests were put down with the full force of the law. Bloggers have been arrested, questioned and jailed. A mysterious death of a person brought into MACC questioning is slowly dying down and no answers are forthcoming. A murder of a Mongolian national has gone off the radar and no justice is forthcoming. A death of an Indian in police custody has no solution though evidence have pointed to the fact that there was foul play. Body snatching and demolition of Indian housing were greeted without an eyelid of those not concerned with other races. Where were the people of Section 23 then?

They said they feel cheated by the PR Muslim Leaders. What does Pr or not have to do with this? Or are there some malignant forces from the cough 'opposition' stiring the pot because the corrupt and bigoted ex premiers got booted off when they deserve it and now is stiring the hornet's nest to regain power, God wonders if these people should even be elected ever. Why feel cheated, the people of Kg Buah Pala also said they feel cheated by PR but wasn't these problems a legacy from the previous administration? Will voting UMNO save the day for the Section 23 residents?

They say they were not consulted? Is this the relocation of some dangerous nuclear waste dump, some hillside project that threatens their life? From the sound of it relocating a temple is akin to putting a mental asylum or pusat serenti or even a prison with violent criminal next to their house. It boggles the mind to understand how siting of a religious temple in a housing estate would need consultation or their approval. For god sakes people its a temple and you can't coexist with one when the rest of Malaysia have happily coexisted with Malay houses of worship built with tax payers money at every corner of the country. Have we ever protested. Oh yeah we forgot what a ruckus it was when Teressa Kok was slandered by Utusan concerning her disapproval of the azan being played from a surau which turned out to be untrue. Did we all come with pork and did the unthinkable. I think we are more civilised and tolerant in that sense.

160 m from a house, 50 m from a playground and 150 m from a surau? Why is this relevant or even a concern? People please take a drive down to Harmony Lane in Melaka where a Chinese temple, Masjid and Indian Kuil are within walking distance of each other and is there any conflict? 160 m from the house? Industrial areas have been built within less distance and are more harmful than a mere kuil can ever be and no one complains. 50 m from a playground and comments that parents now fear letting their children play near the temple? Mind boggling as it makes it sound as if temple going people are liable to cause mischief and trouble to the point that children need fear. I've entered numerous temples and joined them while they pray and not once have I feared for my safety and life. It's scary to think if these people actually have this mindset against other races or pity them if they really think other races are as such.

Prices of houses falling? Property devaluation? I believe similar concerns were voiced by residents of a condominium when plans for the expansion of a Muslim cemetery right outside their property were approved but in the end with all their peaceful protestation it was snowballed through. Where was the justice then and you expect the opposite now? What of the Muslim cemetery in Bukit Damansara and Sg Buloh Forest Reserve? So green space can be trammeled for the sake of religion while siting a religious temple in an housing estate is unacceptible?Prices falling, let me see research showing this actually occurred, that property near temples and kuils actually devalue. In the end such flimsy excuse denigrate the intelligence of the people in the area. Please refrain from making asses of yourselves.

Relocation of the temple was proposed by BN to an industrial estate which as far away from any residential area. Smart move and its no wonder why its not a good move to relocate the temple to a housing area nearer to the masses. It's no wonder under BN's policy permits to construct places of religious worship for other races are curtailed. Complex and long hauled permit and planning permissions? normal. Race-based requirements such as percentage of total population to site building? with slowly reducing non-muslim birthrates siting looks likely to become impossible in future. Its no wonder and sad to see so many Christian worshiping in shophouses and Indian temples being demolished as illegally sited. Sad Sad. The tenets of freedom of religion is guaranteed in the Constitution but in practice is sorely true. And I thought we were living in Malaysia and not Myanmar or China.

If the legacy of the past 50 years have led to paranoia and xenophobia among the population concerning each other then its a sad sad day indeed. What can make residents who are Muslim's fear for another religion as if it is so antithesis to have them nearby I cannot fathom. At the same time it is scary to see if true that the general populace holds such disdain and loathing for people of other religion and races. If it only involves a handful of people then its ok but if it really is the general attitude and perception shared by the majority Muslim population something is wrong in this country. Playing with fire concerning religion and race will lead to long term impacts and those wishing to use such tactics to their own gain are really the most despicable persons on earth.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Merdeka 52 Years of Malaysia

This Merdeka is our 52nd year of existence as a nation. It might be a good time to reflect on what it really means to be Malaysians. Does it only end at us ticking an immigration form stating our country of origin? Is it just a denomination we use to reply to others who ask us which country we are from? Is it nothing but a name and no more? Lets look back to nearly half a century and see what we had to go through to get to this point in history. Multiple races finding their destinies entwined in a foreign land, staying on because of the promise of opportunities and a place to call home, hardships and wars, having to forge a nation from so many diverse patches of origins, people, religion and background can be a daunting task. We might gripe and complain that things are not right in the country, we may bellyache about the corrupt and incompetence of our politicians, our growing mistrust and fragmented society, our unjust and self-defeating lack of meritocracy and fairness but we must also take to mind that we have a lot to thank for. Where as could've gone the way of Yugoslavia with its endless sectarian and racial wars and terror leading to its eventual breakdown as a country, we are still very much vibrant and intact as a people and as a country. So what does that say about us? No country is perfect.

For this Merdeka, forget about the political infighting, the actions of extremist and fanatics that want to paint us Malaysians as a intolerable, bigoted and fascist bunch, the ever present corruption and injustice. What Merdeka means to us is freedom, freedom to do right or wrong but by our own. If we fail than we have only ourselves to blame. Politicians would always like to remind you that the success of the country is due to the Government and how they have led us the past 50 or so years. I say the success of this country lies more in the ordinary people that have given their sweat and blood to build this country up. As great as leaders such as Tunku Abdul Rahman and those lesser leaders that has followed in his footsteps, Malaysia would not be a reality if not for the man on the street. So let it be a celebration among us the rakyat and that no matter how bad things are on the top, we as a nation led by the actions of the individuals chart a course that will bring us to greater heights.

When the national anthem Negaraku starts playing, stand tall and sing, not for the politicians, not for the government but for your country and for yourselves. Happy Merdeka Day come Monday.

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