Collections of E-mail Blasts (Latest at the bottom)

17th February 2012 – 25th February 2012

 

The Old Man and The Sea – 17th February 2012

To the fans of Ernest Hemingway, the novel is not just a story about a fisherman who had not caught a fish for 84 days, but a story of human endurance.

 

Despite not only failing to make a catch, but also having his young apprentice banned from working with him by his parents, he resolutely set out alone on the 85th day and thus began his three days endurance test against a marlin.

 

Whilst the novel no doubt can inspire our fishermen, it seems that in Sepang the fishermen are more inspired by the exploit of the many “subsidy grabbers” in the country!

 

Apparently, only half of the fishermen there are using the subsidized fuel to go out fishing, while the other half is profiting themselves by selling the subsidized fuel or using the fuel for non-fishing purposes!

 

“Some of the fishermen …. own restaurants and are in the homestay programme. Others have sold their boats and are driving taxis. There is even a fisherman who is 78 years old who claims to still going out to sea daily…..”, said one of the fishermen!

 

An undercover reporter from the Star was able to purchase 20 litres of petrol at RM1.70, 20 sen below the petrol kiosk price. Since the fisherman bought the subsidized petrol at RM1.30, he made a profit of 40 sen, or 31%!

 

Even a petrol kiosk in Sepang is allegedly in cahoot with the fishermen, where some of the fishermen would leave their fishermen ID with the kiosk, and the kiosk would then sell the allocated fuel at normal price and then gave cash to the fishermen (based on their fuel allocation) weekly or monthly. Since a fisherman can be allocated anything from 100 litres to 1000 litres a day (depending on boat size), he stand to make anything between RM1,800 and RM18,000 per month!!!

 

What is even more galling is the confirmation by the Fisheries Development Authority that half of the fishermen taking subsidized fuel do not go out to sea! And what are they doing about it? Absolutely nothing!!! Eat my golf balls!!     

 

This is a great example of why subsidy is not only costing the government (and thus the taxpayers) an unnecessary burden, but turning people (who received subsidies) into lazy cheats!!!

 

Recently it was established that the total cost of ownership of cars in Malaysia is not the highest in ASEAN despite the fact that car price in Malaysia is higher than all other ASEAN countries due to the high import duties.  This is due to the fact that Malaysia has the second lowest petrol price due to the fuel subsidy. Now if you are to relate car ownership to a business, it basically means having high capital expenditure but low operating expenditure. Is that necessarily good? No! Because when opex is low, car owners don’t particularly care about running cost, and thus clog the roads in Malaysia. At the same time, due to the high capex, the capex has to be funded, thus increasing debts! So consumers are encouraged to borrow (thus the high level of household debts), and at the same time not discouraged to keep running costs low. So why bother use public transport?

 

The worse part of the fuel subsidy is that everybody is subsidized irrespective of income level! So who are we really helping?? The poor? But the fishermen are abusing the subsidies! And the rich? Why are they being subsidized? Because they have to pay high import duties for luxury cars? And why are the rich being subsidized for sugar consumption? And rice and flour? The list is endless. We are a country of subsidies!!! No wonder people have become lazier!!

 

In 2009 alone, the government spent more than RM74 billion in subsidies (RM12,900 per household!), 22% of total government spending, 4.6% of GDP, higher than Indonesia (2.7% of GDP) and the Philippines (0.2%), and there are a lot more poor people in both countries!!!

 

Yet, do we hear anyone complaining? Take away the fuel subsidy, and the whole country will be in an uproar! It will be like taking candy away from a child who has been living on a diet of candies since he was born! We have become too pampered!!!

 

In the meantime, the government looks like it is going to be complicit in what may well be the beheading of a misguided young Saudi Arabian! Whilst I am sure most Muslims would be incensed with the tweets allegedly posted by Hamza Kashgari, insulting the Prophet Mohamad (s.a.w), for the government to quickly accede to Saudi Arabia’s request to deport him back to Saudi Arabia, is just unwise, to say the least. But what can you expect from a Home Minister who has had more gaffes than George Bush, and clearly lacks the back bone to stand up to anyone!

 

As everyone knows, the Saudi Arabian government portrays itself as the defender of Islam, yet harbours dictators, and is propped up by the government of the United States, who incidentally is the biggest supporter of the Zionist government of Israel who has been terrorising the Palestinians for more than 50 years! But of course no Muslim government would dare defy them as two of Islam’s holiest sites are in Saudi Arabia, and every Muslim would not be complete in his religious obligations if he does not perform his pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. By the way, the Saudi Arabian government also loves Anwar. So that would put him in the “favoured list” together with Idi Amin and George Bush!!!

 

Meanwhile, the long-time tug-of-war for a 13 year old girl between her divorced parents have ended with the High Court placing her in sole custody of her father. Another sad case of how when couples divorce, the children become the main victim. A lot of the time, the interests of the child/children are the ones least considered! In this case, the judge chose to listen to what the girl wants, and clearly the child wants to be with her father instead of being shipped to London to be with her mother. Unfortunately, no one really wins here! The girl, whilst I am sure will be well taken care of by the father, looks like she will be estranged from her mother.

 

So, to Low Bi-Anne, you seem like a decent and well brought up girl. I hope you have a great future ahead of you. Despite your hatred for your mother, she still carried you in her body for nine months. And while she may be misguided in her attempts to separate you from  the father that you love and adore, the love of a mother knows no bound, and I hope one day you will forgive her.

 

Most marriage when broken tend to turn people into uncaring and irresponsible human being. Sure, marriages break-up all the time, but don’t let the children become the main victim. It is not their fault that the marriages failed in the first place. So put aside the egos and think about them first!

 

‘Ah, yes, divorce... from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet.” – Robin Williams

 

“The thing that experts agree on is that although divorce is difficult and stressful for kids no matter what, the real harm to kids comes from being subjected to conflict between parents. The longer that lasts, and the more severe it is, the worse it is for your children. If you truly want to shield your children from the pain of divorce, recognize that the more you take the high road with your spouse, the better job you'll do.” - Emily Doskow

 

On the political front, PAS is beginning to realize that when you sell your soul to the devil, the devil will consume you very fast! And when you support a man with sexual addiction, you will one day find him standing behind you naked with his dick eyeing your arse and me shoving my golf balls into their arses! Serve them right! Whilst they are willing to support Anwar due to political expediency, now they find it hard to stomach Anwar’s support for a Zionist state because he needed political support from his Zionist backers in the US!!! Bloody hypocrites!!

 

I can understand DAP’s support for Anwar. They lack the religious and moral high-ground and they will do anything to get to Putrajaya. Principles are not something that they understand. But PAS??? They claim to be an Islamic party!!! Islamic party my foot!!! Eat my golf balls!!

 

Though in the past, I have never agreed with PAS ideologies, I respected their religious credentials. Now, even their religious credentials are beginning to look suspect to me.

 

Netizens are also attacking them now for their Bangi assemblyman’s objecting to a Cineplex being built in Bangi. Apparently the man has deemed that cinemas are “vice centres”. Another past “holier than thou” attitude!! Why don’t they concentrate on educating young Muslim women about unwanted pregnancies instead? Another case of a baby being dumped at a surau in Kelantan has surfaced, and not a word from PAS!  Does anybody realized that despite Kelantan being ruled by PAS, there are more Malays with drugs and baby dumping cases in Kelantan than anywhere else in Malaysia! Well done PAS!! What great religious leaders you guys are!!

 

And DAP has cleared their Taiping MP of any wrongdoing in the case of the wife having contracts with the local council. So it’s not ok for government ministers to have their spouses getting government contracts but ok for the DAP? Hmmm, I am not comparing this to the Cow Family. That is just like comparing bank robberies involving millions with snatch thieves! But the principle of “conflict of interest” still applies. Damned, I forgot, DAP does not know the meaning of “principle”!  

 

On the international front, it looks like Greece may be out of the Eurozone soon! That’s what happens when you pamper your citizens too much!

 

Greece has been over-spending for over a decade! And when you spend more than what you get from taxation, you’ll get a bankrupt country! And if Malaysia continues subsidising the lives of its citizens beyond what it collects from taxes, it will too become bankrupt one day. And don’t think that will not happen to us!

 

Most Malaysians are oblivious of what’s is happening in Europe! But don’t think that it will not affect us soon!

 

In London, the teenager that robbed the Malaysian student of his bicycle has been found guilty. Good thing in Malaysia, despite the many cases of robberies and snatch thieves, Malaysians have not reached the level of the London teenagers, where crimes are committed just for the fun of it! That’s the sad state of the country!

 

Oh, you are black, let’s beat you up for the fun of it! Oh, you are a foreigner, let’s rob you just for the fun of it! We are drunk anyway!!!

 

Passe une bon weekend!

 

Maxima debetur puero reverential – 19th February 2012

“We owe the greatest respect to a child.”

 

Another sad case of an abandoned child, who somehow found happiness with his foster family, only to lose it all when authorities in Singapore were more interested in applying the law rather than think about the happiness and future of an innocent four year old!

 

A Malay boy born out of wedlock to a Malaysian mother who was sent to jail in Singapore and then given by the authorities to a loving family in Singapore, to only later be deemed as an illegal immigrant in Singapore and returned to the mother when she came out of jail and deported back to Malaysia. Despite his pleas to be allowed to stay with his foster parents, the “super-efficient” and heartless authorities decided to deport him with his mother. And what did the mother then do? Left him in a welfare home in Johor Baru and disappeared! He is now in his second welfare home, and the mother could not be located! Some women are just not meant to be mothers!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             There is a Facebook campaign by the foster parents in Singapore to try and get the boy back. The boy is now traumatized and child experts are condemning the actions of the Singaporean authorities! What do you expect from Singapore? A country with no soul! They could not care less what happen to the boy. In as far as they are concern, the boy is an illegal alien. Yet when the boy’s mother was sent to jail, they forced the foster parents to take care of him. The foster parents took him in because they did not have the heart to let the boy be alone over Hari Raya four years ago!

 

What a shame! The great, super-efficient country of Singapore, yet a country with no compassion and no soul!!

 

“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” – Oscar Wilde

 

“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and the soul of its people.” – Mahatma Gandhi

 

“To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse than starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body.” - Mahatma Gandhi

 

The Singaporean authorities clearly has deprived this innocent boy a loving home and a future! Eat my golf balls!!

 

On the political front, the much anticipated public debate between the two Chinese political strongmen took place on Saturday. And apparently it went very well, though the consensus amongst political analyst is that both failed to answer the question that was the theme of the debate.

 

It was obvious that each has his own agenda to put forth, and in the end there were more questions than answers, especially with regards of DAP “playing house” with PAS. Let’s face it, there is no way that DAP can answer the question of PAS. It is political expediency!!! The very same thing with their support of Anwar!! Don’t forget that the DAP Chairman was the first person to bring out the issue of Anwar’s sexual activities many years ago! Talk about principle!!! Ooops, I forgot, that word does not exist in DAP!!

 

And Anwar is very smart! When you are guilty as sin, look for Karpal! It was Karpal’s genious that got the judge in the first trial to allow the damning testimony that implicated him to be “heard in camera” and what caused Malaysians not knowing why he was convicted in the first place!!

 

What happen to DAP, the Opposition party that was a good “check and balance” to the powers of the BN? Obviously they failed that too, as BN, in particular UMNO, was raping the country without restraint!

 

First they pandered to the Chinese chauvinist, then they anointed Anwar the leader of the Opposition!! And now they say that they represent all Malaysians!

 

I did not watch the debate as I don’t speak Mandarin, and apparently the simultaneous translation in Malay (on TV) wasn’t that good. But the consensus seems to be that it was a good, lively event, though some commentators were disappointed with the crowd, which was apparently over-vociferous in their reactions to the debate!

 

Well, what can you expect from a Malaysian crowd? There’s no such thing as objectivity to the Malaysian public.

 

A few years ago, the crowd heckled a Chelsea FC football player because of his Israel citizenship. Sure, he is Jew, and an Israelite, but he is not the one stealing land from the Palestinians. There’s Jew, there’s Israelite and then there’s Zionist! A Jew is supposed to come from the 12 tribes, and descendants of the Prophet Abraham. A Jew may not be an Israelite or a Zionist. Then there is the Israelite, which is most likely a Jew, but may also not be a Zionist. Then there is the Zionist, who is most likely a Jew. The Zionist basically don’t give a shit about the Palestinians or anyone else for that matter! Whilst the Zionists rant about Iran’s nuclear program, Israel is the only country that does not comply with the nuclear treaty (besides the US)! No one knows what is Israel’s nuclear stockpile, though some has estimated that only the US, Russia and China have bigger stockpiles!! And the US is scared shitless of them!! The biggest superpower in the world scared of the tiny nation!!!

 

So anytime Israel feels like bombing Iran to smithereens, they can do it! And the US will not say a word! And when Iran is building a puny nuclear reactor, that probably don’t have enough power to blow up a synagogue, the US and Israel cry foul!! The Iranians are just “sabre rattling”. They need to show that they are against Israel. These Persians don’t have the power nor the guts to take on Israel. They know that it will be self-destruction if they so much as lob a grenade into Israel!! That’s why they use Hezbollah (the Shia militant group) instead!! War by proxy!!!

 

Most people see the middle-east conflict as a religious conflict. In fact it isn’t, though religion has been used to justify the many wars! It is about land!! In fact Muslims and Jews were never in conflict until Britain (with the support of the US) decided to carve a piece of Palestine and gave it to the Jews! It is strange that an Austrian baptized as a Roman Catholic decided to obliterate Jews from Europe and the Muslims of Palestine has to pay the price!!

 

In the meantime PKR has stated that Anwar only needs to explain his stand on Israel to Nik Aziz, the spiritual leader of PAS! Yes, so that he can con the old man about Anwar’s need for financial support from his Zionist backers??? He needs to explain his statement to all Muslims and all human beings who are concerned about peace in the middle-east!! Stupid!!! Eat my golf balls or shove them up your arse Anwar!! At least you’ll enjoy it too!!

 

The man will sell his own family if that will make him the Prime Minister!!

 

On the European front, Greece is deeper and deeper in crisis, and it looks like the EU is ready to pull the plug on Greece. The country that brought democracy to the world has never taken to the idea of fiscal responsibility! More than 60% of Greeks do not pay income tax!

 

And by the way, in Malaysia only 1 million out of the 28 million population pay income tax!! That means 96% of Malaysians don’t pay tax!!! That’s why the GST needs to be implemented!! But that will not happen soon, as that is a big “political issue”. After all the Opposition has promised so many things to Malaysians!! Now, who do you think is going to bankrupt the nation faster than you can say “bankrupt”?

 

No wonder Anwar spend more time overseas than in Malaysia!!! He needs the Zionist to bankroll the country when the country is bankrupt!!

 

And yet Malaysians don’t understand that!!! Eat my golf balls!

 

I am going into the business of supplying KY Jelly when the Opposition wins the elections!!

 

Kalo savatokiriako!

 

Anyone who knows what the above means get one year supply of KY Jelly!

 

In varietate Concordia – 22nd February 2012

“Unity in diversity”

 

Strangely enough, the above is also the motto for Indonesia. Of course it is not in Latin but in Javanese, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. You can see the phrase below the Garuda (a mythical bird in the emblem of Indonesia). To most people, Indonesia consists of a single ethnic group, though in actual fact there are more than 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia. But like the Malays in Malaysia, most Indonesian are descended from the Austronesian speaking people who migrated to South East Asia from what is now Taiwan, thus the similar look. The Malay language was adopted as a unifying factor as the it was the lingua-franca of the Johor-Riau Sultanate.

 

So, unlike Malaysia, the Indonesian motto must be referring to the more than 300 ethnic group and not the races. Though right now, Malaysia needs the motto more than Indonesia!  

 

Malaysia has become more and more polarized and the politicians and the government, as usual, are being blamed for the polarization. No doubt they played a great part in it, but the apathy shown by Malaysians in general is at fault as well!

 

I have always believe that the schooling environment is what made many of us into what we are today. It is not the medium of instruction. And without the racial interactions that many of us had enjoyed in our schooling days, we would have been even more polarized.

 

Just for once, I am going to agree with the statement by the Deputy Prime Minister, “Schools the best place to promote unity”.

 

To those who have been following (and hating) my writings (writing NOT blogging!), I “have a beef” with the DPM over an incident at my golf club. But I shall not waste my time repeating the story.

 

The DPM said the above at the launching of the of the school-level World Interfaith Week at a school in PJ. 

 

Recently, the Deputy Minister of Education also stated that 90% of non-Malays go to vernacular schools, whole almost all Malays go to national schools. Now, he had quoted the statistics to show that the government has been supportive of the other races. But what he does not realized, is the fact that this is a big factor that is contributing towards the racial polarization today!

 

When children are ignorant about the different races in the country, and the different cultures, how would they be able to appreciate and understand the different needs of the other races? Racism is born mainly out of ignorance, and not pure hatred!

 

Human by nature is always afraid of the unknown, and when stereotyping is added to that unknown factor, it becomes worse! And thus prejudice is born!

 

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones. - CHARLOTTE BRONTE

 

“I happen to think that the singular evil of our time is prejudice. It is from this evil that all other evils grow and multiply. In almost everything I've written there is a thread of this: a man's seemingly palpable need to dislike someone other than himself.” - ROD SERLING

 

“A fish will sometimes with pleasure rise out of his element, and spring into ours: so a man will sometimes with pleasure rise from prejudice and falsehood, into the sphere of reason and truth. But the fish will most naturally and joyfully dive again into his element of water; and the man as joyfully and naturally into his element of prejudice and falsehood.” - FULKE GREVILLE

 

Whilst many of us work in a multi-racial environment and move in multi-racial social circles, how many can also say the same about their children? I dare say very few!!

 

And we want to blame it entirely on the politicians and the government for that??

 

Yes, the education system and the political system have failed, but WE allowed them to fail!

 

THAT’S THE SAD TRUTH OF THE COUNTRY!!!

 

In a week’s time, I will be meeting up with two former schoolmates who are Chinese, who I have not seen for more than 30 years! As usual nowadays, they found me online. And with a name like mine, it is not difficult to remember and determined that I was their schoolmate. One is now an established doctor in my hometown of Ipoh, and the other one I have always remembered for his rather peculiar Chinese name and his talent for arts. While the doctor was always the brainiest in class, the other one marvelled us with drawings that only boys (with raging hormone driven by the angst of puberty) could appreciate! I am really looking forward to the dinner that we had planned.

 

Do you think in 30 years’ time your children will be doing the same? Having a laugh over dinner with their multi-racial former schoolmates. I seriously doubt it!!

 

And to the annoyance of Monsieur Rene (I shall zay diz only wanz!) Artois, I have to say it again, THAT’S THE SAD TRUTH OF THE COUNTRY!!!

 

We blame everyone else but ourselves for the ills of the country!

 

“Our culture peculiarly honours the act of blaming, which it takes as the sign of virtue and intellect.” - Lionel Trilling

 

“There can be no doubt that the average man blames much more than he praises. His instinct is to blame. If he is satisfied he says nothing; if he is not, he most illogically kicks up a row.” - Arnold Bennett

 

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

 

In the meantime, in Selangor, the Chief Minister is being attacked for failing to address the issues of a government owned publicly listed entity that for unknown reasons had forfeited land belonging to it and the controversy over the sacking of whistle-blowing employees in its sand mining company. Even the stock exchange had queried the listed entity on the forfeiture of the land.

 

Now, the Chief Minister used to be the CEO of the largest Unit Trust organization in the country and thus fully aware of the listing requirements and obligations of listed companies! Has running the state made him forget what he had practiced in the corporate sector??? Or perhaps, because the Economic Advisor of the state is always travelling overseas (instead of doing his job) to pay homage to his Zionist backers!! Eat my golf balls!!!

 

When a listed company loses its property, the value of the company drops and thus shareholders would be losing out! Now, who is going to compensate the shareholders for the unexpected drop in the value of the company assets, which the company had failed to make known to the Exchange? An investor buys the shares of the company on the Exchange based on the value of the company and the expected growth of the company. How is the company going to grow now when its asset (that is to be used to grow the business) has been lost?

 

On the telco industry front, consolidation talks have begun between some of the nine 4G licensees.

 

According to a telco analyst, “There are clearly too many operators for a market like Malaysia…”. Duh!!!! Haven’t we heard that many times before? Haven’t we seen consolidation in the mobile telco sector before??? Yes, we are repeating it over and over again!!! Never learned!!!

 

A country with a population of 28 million with 9 4G licences!!!

 

The first world’s first 4G network was launched in Sweden and Norway one year ago by a single company TeliaSonera, one company in two countries! TeliaSonera now operates 4G services in 4 countries. And we in Malaysia have 9 licensees!!! And one of the 9 licensees don’t even have any experience in telecommunications!!! But of course the company belongs to Syed Mokhtar, the man who seems to know every business in the economic sector! But fret not, very soon he will own all nine licensees!!

 

Rudd Shock for Gillard – 25th February 2012

Yup, I am into Australian politics today.

 

Not that I am forgetting Malaysia, but I am going to spend less of my weekend time on Malaysia and Malaysian bashing this weekend. I have to admit I quiet enjoy my role in insulting Malaysians, and it is giving me more satisfaction than my golf, which seems to have hit a plateau! It looks like the handicap is going to be stuck at 16 for a long time and my long ambition to get below 10 will be just a pipe dream!

 

I have enjoyed insulting Malaysians so much that every morning the first thing that I think is what insult should I be uttering today! Ahh, the responsibility of the “official insultor”. I know there is no such word, but who cares! It has become insuperable, and intolerable to some people! I should be more amorphous (in the word of Mahathir and my best friend the Bosnian), but you can’t be more amorphous, as there is no such thing as being more amorphous! But I am definitely not amorous like him, he he he.

 

But I have been “advised” by certain parties to tone down my writing a bit! As if I care!!! Perhaps the Special Branch may have to look for my old file (which is empty and will remain empty). The last I check, the Police are now more careful with the storage of C4 that are sometimes used by the Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK), or the Special Action Force. They don’t let the C4 out so easily now after the “Mongolian Incident”. And it has always been their policy not to use C4 on Malaysians (unless you are a terrorist)! They use money to silence Malaysians nowadays! And it will only cost them RM25 million to make me stop writing. Small change for the Empress Dowager and the Cow Minister!

 

Man, how many CLS can I buy with that? 32!! I can have one for every day of the month! But I think I shall stick to one, a pink one, like the pink Hummer that the inimitable Leng Yein has! Yup, the stick-thin model (and former Miss Pahang) with two gigantic melons on her chest!! Well, that’s how a friend (who is her neighbour) describes her!  

 

Now back to Australian politics.

 

What can you say about Australians? Well, first, they are the descendants of convicts, who were shipped there by the English government at the end of the 17th century. So you can understand why Britain has always look down on the Aussies! They also refer to Australia as “Down Under”, though the term is more due to the antipodes location of the country (together with New Zealand) and not as a derogatory term. The Aussies on one hand refer to the Brits as Pommies, and there are many versions of how the word came about, from “prisoner of her majesty” (as the first Englishmen in Australia were convicts) to pomegranate, as that was how the skin of the Brits look like when they first step onto the antipodean sun!

 

Now, the population of Australia is only 22.8 million (smaller than Malaysia), though the land is 23 times bigger than Malaysia! Yet despite the small population, it is the 18th largest economy in the world, compared to 29th for Malaysia. And it is one efficient country!

 

The politics are dominated by two parties, the Labor Party (which currently rules the country by a very slim margin), and the Liberal Party. The Labor Party last won the election under the leadership of Ms Julia Gillard (who has a lived-in man maid, cook, sex slave and more importantly hairdresser, all in one!). Ms Gillard had wrested control of the Labor Party from Mr Kevin Rudd, the Mandarin speaking former diplomat. He even has a Chinese name,   Kèwén (Chinese: 陸克文 or in simplified Chinese: 陆克文). As many Chinese speaking people would know, there is no “R” in Chinese, thus . That’s why some Chinese pronounce “lorry” as “lolly”!

 

Now, despite having ousted Mr Rudd from the Labor leadership, Ms Gillard had the political sense in her to make Mr Rudd the Foreign Minister, since he was a diplomat at one time. Good move, and Rudd happily accepted the role. But as in politics, many have been egging Rudd to challenge Gillard, as the Labor Party is becoming very unpopular with the population. (Well, most female leaders of governments are never popular anyway. Think, Margaret Thatcher! Though many actually changed their countries for the better, including Britain!) So unpopular, that many are saying that if elections are held tomorrow, the Liberal Party would win hands down!

 

And being a man that Rudd is, egotistical according to many, he resigned from his ministerial post and now has openly challenged Gillard for the leadership of the Labor Party! Big mistake!!! I think he will regret it soon, and will be eating kangaroo balls soon!! Leave the koalas and wombats alone!!!

 

Talking about efficient countries, of course we don’t need to look very far, but just across the causeway. We all know how efficient the Singapore Civil Service is. So efficient that it was even considered as the most efficient civil service in Asia! Despite the efficiency, many are now lamenting the lack of creativity in the civil service and in Singapore in general.

 

The latest to criticise Singapore is Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple (the other Steve, as he was known to some). In a BBC interview, he said “Look at structured society like Singapore where bad behaviour is not tolerated….”. He also questioned the existence of creative people, great artists, great musicians and great writers in Singapore!

 

He also said that “although many people are educated, have well-paid jobs and nice cars, creative elements in society seemed to have disappeared”! Duh!!! Nothing new there about Singapore, isn’t it?

 

It is all about rules and regulations there. Of course rules and regulations are important, but there are times when you have to bend the rules, like the case of the little Malay boy who was deported after being cared for by a Singaporean family when his Malaysian mother was jailed! Basically Singaporeans (especially those in civil service) blindly follow orders. Actually not much different from the Malaysian civil service, but I am not supposed to insult Malaysia today!

 

Surprisingly some Singaporeans agree with Wozniak’s assessment! One Singaporean was quoted as saying, “He (Wozniak) is quite right that a company like Apple is unlikely to emerge in a society where polishing apples helps to win promotion. Creativity lies with the non-conformists, never with the conformists. The government should ponder over his hard truth”.

 

I have never really had much encounters with the Singapore civil servants other than the immigration guys at the airport. They are efficient, though lacking warmth!

 

As for Singaporean companies, my longest engagement was when I was with the Exchange where 7 years ago we had started the Exchange Link project (still nothing so far!!!). These guys at the Singapore Exchange (SGX) are really smart guys and led by an inspiring CEO. But the Singaporeanness (or kiasuness) clearly came out very fast. After quickly realising that they could not walk all over me, they switched tactic, and decided to go after my rather weak boss, the CEO. So at the next meeting in KL, the first thing after they arrive at our office, the SGX CEO requested a private meeting with our CEO.

 

And to our shock, after they came out of our CEO’s room an hour later, they both announced what had been agreed, which clearly favoured SGX. I immediately said that the management needed to discuss that first before officially agreeing on anything.

 

So at the next meeting (in Singapore), I arranged for my CEO to be bundled away for an interview at one of the foreign media office in Singapore and that the issues will be discussed and agreed only by me, our CFO and the Head of Operations of SGX. And we twisted them and managed to get a better deal! Of course now all three of us are no longer with the Exchange, with me first jumping ship (more than 6 years ago), followed by the CFO soon after and last year the CEO left. Until today, nobody knows what happen to the project!!!

 

In Japan, the planned increase of sales tax from 5% to 10% has been delayed, and may cost the country lower sovereign debt rating. Though Moody’s Investors Service have no plan to downgrade the rating yet, they warned that “weak policy formation threatened efforts to curb the country’s massive debt burden”. As many people would know, Japan, despite being the third largest economy in the world (after recently being overtaken by China), also have the most bureaucratic civil service! Which is really odd! But then Japanese have always been odd! Maybe it is the oddity of the Japanese that made Japan into what it is today!

 

And in Britain, the economy shrank in the fourth quarter. Not unexpected, considering the Greece contagion has not really been fully felt. It is just a matter of time! So move now, my British friends!! The sun is shining brightly over here, though that could turn into a torrential downpour within minutes! Like yesterday! I was so confident that it would not rain when I went for my Friday prayers, as it was hot and sunny. And just as we were about to finish prayers, the sky opened up and we ended up stuck at the mosque for almost 40 minutes!

 

Since I am not going to insult Malaysians in full force today, I want to just relate an unfortunate accident that I had on Monday which ended in less traumatic fashion than I had initially thought.

 

While on the way to a lunch meeting in the city, I was rear ended by an idiot in front of the Renaissance Hotel. I wasn’t even braking suddenly but just slowing down as the road is a single lane and there was quite a few cars along the lane. Now, he claimed that he wasn’t going fast, but if you had looked at his Perodua Myvi, you would definitely think otherwise. The front was smashed up. The impact was so hard, that my stereo and display unit was dislodged (which I did not know was possible). My bumper cracked and the sides were dislodged. Now, Mercedes bumpers are hard!!   

 

I went to the Traffic Police Headquarters after my lunch meeting to make a police report. And just as I was walking out, I received a call from a car workshop operator. He was waiting at the section where the police takes the photos of the cars involved in accidents. And he took the copy of my police report and told me to bring the car to his workshop and he will handle the rest (including all the insurance claims against the other car).

 

And within two days I got my car back with a totally new bumper!!

 

You can always trust a Chinaman to take advantage of the country’s inefficiencies and make it work!!!

 

祝你周末愉快(Zhù zhōumò yúkuài)

 

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