Nee Sern is...

really really sleepy

Friday, March 28, 2008

Leaving colleagues...

Update 6.15pm 28/3/08:

And so it ends...


Today marks the last day of 3 colleagues.

First: the eternal joker BR who has entertained the lot of us and provided us with his wonderful jokes and stories. He leaves for Africa.

Second: the dedicated HM who is patient and diligent in her work, and never fail to liven up our spirits. She leaves for Singapore.

Third: the highly skilled programmer AP who is really precious because of his database and programming skills. He leaves for Latin America.

Wish all of you the best. Don't forget us!

A summary of the foodies I had in Penang

Asam Laksa
This is a hot, sweet and sour food that should not be eaten if you want to sleep after your meal. Powerful pungent tamarind based soup, large chunks of fish, generous servings of onions, pineapples, mint leaves, red chilies and of course chili padi! Sourced from the local Jelutong Market.

Hokkien Mee
This is a noodle dish with a shrimp based soup. Hot and sweet, it comprises of small shrimps, pork meat, taugeh, hard boiled eggs, and fried onions for that extra zing. Sourced from the stall downstairs.

Cha Hor Fun
Something like Wat Tan Hor, but not so eggy. It's sweeter and more easily eaten compared to Wat Tan Hor. Eaten with the sambal, it's heaven!

Cha Kuey Kak
This is Cha Kuey Teow but without the Kuey Teow. Instead, radish cakes are used. A smattering of garlic and Chai Poh is added to the oily mix. The owner is an old man, and his helper was probably his wife. They operate a small cart in front of the coffee shop fronting the main road, and his customers never seem to wane. A small packet is less than RM2. Where to find this? This was bought from the coffee shop just nearby.

Jawa Mee
The soup is a potato based concoction. Into this is added taugeh, hard boiled egg, vegetables, some Indian kueh, crispy "Heh Chih" and a generous dollop of sambal. Mmm. This is comparable to the Mee Rebus, but is really a different recipe. And best of all, this was home cooked!

Apom Telur
Sweet and fragrant pancake, typically made by the ethnic Indians. Normally sells for very cheap too. Something like 6 pieces for RM2 if I'm not mistaken. This was eaten in the car on the way back home to Subang.

Ban Chien Kuey
Comfort food, it's also a pancake but it's peanut based and thicker than the Apom Telur. Had this for breakfast. Sticky and nice, but would be better if it was eaten while it was hot.

Ais Kacang
Sinfully sweet cold dessert. Comprises of shaved ice and topped with corn, red beans, various jellies, and a flood of brown syrup. Strangely, the red syrup was missing. Anyhow, this dessert is a perfect companion to any hot and spicy food eaten in Penang. This was sourced from the Batu Lanchang Market.

Su Ko Teng (?)
I've never tried this before. It basically looks something like Leng Chee Kang, but the ingredients used are different. There's the assortment of jellies, atap chee, longan and white fungus. This was bought from the pasar malam just in front.

Taiwan Sausage
No need further elaboration. Same as what you can find here in Subang. Also bought from the pasar malam.

Siew Mai
These siew mai were huge! 3 pieces for RM1, but they are more like the size of giant fish balls. Definitely delicious, but would have been better if it was really hot and steaming. Also sourced from the pasar malam.


Earth Hour

Our company is practicing Earth Hour. What this basically means is that all non-essential electrical and water supplies will be switched off from 4pm to 5pm local time in order to conserve energy and reduce pollution.

How far can this initiative go? Let's wait for what the official reports will say!

The Mist

Watched Stephen King's The Mist yesterday. I've read the story before in the compilation Skeleton Crew. After watching the movie, decided that it is quite a faithful representation of what I had pictured when I'd read it. But there's a difference in the ending. While the book ends with uncertainty that the mist will continue to stay and the narrator is slowly going insane, in the movie the hero actually must face the consequences of his actions, as the mist slowly clears away after he had performed euthanasia on his compatriots and 5 year old son.

Fantastic creature and set design, and genuinely terrifying moments of horror make this movie a worthy visit to the supernatural and an examination of humanity at its worst.

Highly recommended!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hell's Kitchen

What a fantastic finish to Season 2 of Hell's Kitchen! It was a showdown between the gritty and gutsy Heather and the fantastic palate of Virginia. In the end, Heather's effective Kitchen management won her the executive chef position in the Red Rock resort.

Now, let's wait for Season 3 to air :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ah Long Pte Ltd

It's a laugh out loud local comedy that features the delicious Fann Wong ;)

While it starts out really nicely with all the jokes and gags, in the end it turned out to be an overdone social commentary on the dangers of Ah Long's.

Not bad, but not great either...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Terengganu Crisis

It's been 2 weeks since the 12th General Elections was completed. All the states have appointed their state leaders, with the exception of Terengganu. See, our prime minister who's also UMNO president has submitted one name, but the Terengganu palace has rejected the PM's choice and instead wishes to appoint someone else, who does not have the support from UMNO.

So now it's boiling into a confrontation between the PM and the Terengganu Sultan, who so happens to be our DYMM Agong!

While the Menteri Besar post should be selected on the basis of the person who commands the majority support of the state assembly, the Agong has the discretion to appoint anyone he deems fit to be PM. This is very very interesting. Let's see how it plays out.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


1) We were supposed to buy the house but due to "no floor plan" cannot buy.
2) Found out another house was being bought but also "no floor plan". Didn't understand why.
3) Clarified that the "floor plan" is actually the "land plan" not the "house layout plan". That's why our house cannot buy but the other one can.

These people got nothing better to do is it?

This from NST:

Seriously, these guys need to get a life. Someone must have paid them to do this. Satu lagi projek kerajaan BN.

Our PM's quotable quote

There's this one quotable quote as taken from theSun today in Page 2.

My response:
Yes, you have to explain it. You are an employee of the government, in other words your salary is paid by our taxpayers money. Therefore, we are your boss. You have the obligation to explain your actions to your boss! Don't forget, you are not a "government servant"; rather, you are a "civil servant". Your allegiance is to the People, not to your cabinet!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jobs in Penang or Singapore?

Anyone got any lobang?

Cabinet - names which made headlines...

I don't profess to know all the names in the new cabinet line up. But here are some of the more popular ones, guaranteed to make heads roll...

Najib Razak --> I'm sure this name needs no explanation.
Nazri Aziz --> The trigger happy dude who repeatedly shouted "racist" in parliament.
Johari Baharom --> He was allegedly involved in the "freedom for sale" case.
Hishammuddin Hussein --> Keris, anyone?
Noh Omar --> "If foreigners think that Malaysia police are brutal, please go back to their own countries" (squatgate)
Muhammad Muhammad Taib --> "I tak paham bahasa inggeris"
Azalina Othman --> How much was it again? 400 million for a "training facility" in the UK?

On the way to work

Saw this banner hanging over the Universiti flyover. It says: "UMNO Memerlukan Pak Lah Memimpin Negara". Not sure what the Chinese words are saying...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why am I not surprised?

This fler is really irritating. Let's recap what happened to him in recent times.

He was publicly booed and chased away, had to be escorted around by police and private bodyguards, lost his Sg Siput seat (and along with it his ministry), refuse to step down and take responsibility for his party's massive loss, make friends with his political enemies from within and without, and now making statements like this to ensure his grip on MIC is maintained for life.

Seriously. Can't he accept defeat with grace, like Koh Tsu Koon?

Nizar does a Guan Eng

Following the footsteps of Penang CM Lim Guan Eng in waiving all local council compounds and summonses, newly minted Perak MB Mohammad Nizar announced a similar incentive for the state of Perak.

Erm... will we get similar incentives in Selangor?

Adapting to the new climate

DAP suffered major electoral defeat in 1999 when they worked together with PAS to form the Alternative Front (Barisan Alternatif, BA). Henceforth, DAP has always vehemently denied any electoral pact with PAS, fearing similar repercussions should such an alliance be forged.

In 2008, it seems that the public doesn't care about this any more. If the thousand-odd comments in LKS's blog is any indicator at all, the Malaysian populace has matured significantly. Although PAS's ideology is rooted in religiousness, and DAP is firmly supporting a secular stance, these 2 parties are forced to cooperate in the states of Selangor and Perak, or else relinquish state governance to the BN. And it looks like the initial attempt by LKS to denounce any DAP support for PAS leadership in the state government of Perak backfired, and got Malaysians riled up about such sheer idiocy.

LKS realizes now that the DAP can and should change its firm stance and work out proper alliance strategies with its partners, PAS and PKR, so that a strong coalition can emerge from this loose alliance. Only with a strong leadership, common manifesto, and converged operational mode will the PDP have a better chance in forming a sustainable government!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Is this guy for real?

Don't we have better things to do? I thought 22 Muslim NGO's have praised Lim Guan Eng's ideas for running Penang? So why do we have people making statements like this?


Friday, March 14, 2008

Ini bukan budaya kita?

Remember what the MSM was parroting days before the elections? "Ini bukan budaya kita" (this is not our culture) was the phrase of the day, referring to the recent highly publicized public rallies organized by BERSIH and HINDRAF.

Yet, just take a look at what happened today in Penang. Apparently, there's a new kid in town: MELINDRAF!

Anyway, this rally didn't get the support of the general populace. It was purely political. As such, I doubt the grassroots will be influenced by the childish display of "power".

A new perspective

I am heartened by this article. It gives a new perspective on the many crises afflicting the new PDP state governments. Perhaps we, the Rakyat, have been too harsh? After all, when the PM was newly elected, we did give him his honeymoon period, no?

Childish lah...

Not even one week after losing, they throw a tantrum.

I just had a thought...

You know, now we have so many people commenting and lamenting about the state of affairs concerning the MB selection and State exco members selection in the PDP states. All this open bickering, discussion and disagreement on the surface seems to show that the PDP is not ready to form state governments.

Which brings me to this thought... why are we subjecting PDP to so much scrutiny in terms of the MB selection and State exco formation, while we neglect to show the same amount of interest towards the BN controlled states? Even previously, when Khir Toyo (who hails from Indonesia, by the way) was appointed the Selangor MB, why didn't the Rakyat question the decision?

Why only now?

Some call it political awakening. I call it double standard. I am guilty of it too.

Perak: all systems go!

Finally, they have compromised!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Testing Windows Live Writer

If this doesn't show up, that means I screwed up!

Regarding Perak...

So the latest is that Raja Nazrin has ordered the PDP (I just like this acronym! PKR-DAP-PAS) alliance to get their act together and pledge support to the PAS MB-to-be. This is the royalty exerting its rightful power!

Anyway, I've been thinking about this whole Perak fiasco, how it started with Kit openly asking for a boycott of the swearing in ceremony for the PAS MB, followed by his dramatic reversal and apology, followed by PKR's statement that they do not agree to the composition of the state exco and threatening to pull out from the government.

Then I read this blog, and realized that we, the Rakyat, have not been living in a real democracy under the previous administration. We were never privy to all these internal problems. Difficulties were overcome by a powerful top figure who dictated everything and disallowed other dissenting views. No open discussion ever made it to the media, as it was muzzled and never informed the public. Politicians of yesteryear thought that the populace was stupid and ignorant and uninterested in their affairs.

Now I realize that we are stepping into a real democracy. One that welcomes participation from the people. One that listens to the people. One that believes in the people.

By the way, Lim Kit Siang was merely communicating his views to the Rakyat. It worked. His blog entry at last count attracted >800 comments! And I believe he got instant feedback to this, and used it to counter the attacks coming from the federal establishment.

Meanwhile, the story that PKR is threatening to pull out from the state government really means just that. It does not mean that they are defecting to BN or not willing to stay in the alliance to support the government. It just means that they don't want to be part of the administration. Can you imagine if this were a problem with the other side? We probably wouldn't even hear of it. Possibly the largest party would have bulldozed through their agenda and the remaining parties would just play along, having no choice but to oblige.

The fact that we get to know about all these developments means that we, the Rakyat, really have a say in how our states are governed. It is a positive development in democracy, but I guess voter education has not ended. In fact, it is only just beginning. Makkal Sakti!

Hope may be lost for Perak

This doesn't auger well for the Barisan Rakyat in Perak...

Flip flop, or art of war?

Updated 13/2/08 4.43pm:

Many spoke last night and this morning, claiming that LKS may have jumped the gun (myself included). However, perhaps he may have planned a superb political move that basically shut MCA up and reaffirmed the people's confidence in the Barisan Rakyat. Check out Oon's analysis here.

Now, the only obstacle is PKR's vehement objection to the composition of the state exco which heavily favours DAP.


So now LKS has apologized for his outburst yesterday (see here also).

The question that remains unanswered: was this a genuine miscalculation from LKS camp, or was this part of a greater agenda?

On hindsight, probably LKS was forced to make his statement in defense of non-stop attacks from the other side claiming that DAP has duped their supporters by collaborating with the Islamist party PAS. LKS had to do some damage control, but no matter which way he spins, he loses. If he supports the PAS nomination, he gets bashed by MCA. But if he does not support the PAS nomination, he gets bashed by the Rakyat. Either way, he loses.

But it's better to have one person take the downfall than to have the entire party (and the entire Barisan Rakyat) crumble due to allegations of shaky coalition and lack of unity and marriage of convenience.

So am I still disturbed? I feel that the supporters of Barisan Rakyat have matured beyond racial/religious politics. However, it's the other side that's manipulating the Rakyat via race cards. Therefore, I hope that BR will have in place mechanisms to counter such attacks from the other side and educate the populace (especially those who have no access to alternative media) about the noble objectives of BR. Hopefully this will spell the end of the old and the beginning of the new!

*Still skeptical but no longer disturbed*

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I am deeply disturbed

Within 3 hours, this posting has attracted some 250 comments from readers all over the nation. 99% of them bring one message: WTF?!?!!?

Barisan Rakyat indeed. It looks like this is the beginning of the end :(

I can't help but wonder what exactly was his motive in making the announcement? Why didn't he consult internally with the partner parties in the coalition before plastering it in his blog? Why did DAP's candidate for MB in Perak publicly announce the party's acceptance for whomever was appointed by the Sultan if the DAP CEC did not ratify PAS' candidate?

Somebody give me answers! I am losing hope in the DAP leadership...

:( :( :(

21 A's in SPM... now this is just getting out of hand!

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this article in The Star:

21 A's! What the heck was the student thinking? I remember during my years, where the most keng student in the class took 10 subjects and we were like "wah you take 10 subjects ah!" See, most of us opted for 9 subjects. Some even went below that to the minimum of 8 subjects. So to get an achievement of straight A's (average 9 A's) was considered amazing. But today we have students who actually take 21 subjects and gain 21 A's. OMG. I wonder how big is his certificate going to be to fit all those A's.

Seriously, is education all about getting a string of A's? I won't judge this student. Who knows, he may actually be a well balanced person in life. However, I feel that this development is unhealthy as it places too much emphasis on academic achievement, leaving almost no room for creative and physical development. What use is an A in "English for Science", "Mathematics", "Advance Mathematics", etc. if one can't function well in university, speak up and think critically to solve issues at hand? Many SPM leavers who enter university for the first time face difficulties catching up to the demands of the new environment. Many still rely on handouts, "tips", step by step guidance, all the trappings of the primary and secondary education system.

Now that Tony Pua has been elected as an MP, let's hope that he will bring his plans for educational reform to national highlight and hopefully we will soon see a change in this country's educational policies!

I do believe...

... that this is the most number of comments to a single blog posting I've ever seen!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

2 states I'll be watching...

Selangor, my home state, under the leadership of CEO turned MB Khalid Ibrahim.

Penang, elsf home state, under the leadership of ISA detainee turned CM Lim Guan Eng.

May good governance prevail. All we want sometimes is just a better quality of life.

Good meeting

Yesterday's ninebugz / rtm / incovar meeting was one of the more productive ones. We managed to chart forward our direction in the different projects. ninebugz is moving forward with the design phase. rtm is reinventing itself into i-Monday. And incovar is pushing forward, merging IDC and IGC to the camp management portfolio. Big picture planning will start soon.

Keep up the spirit!

Monday, March 10, 2008

KLCI down 10%, trading halted!

This is unbelievable. I wonder how will the MSM spin this?

For the first time in 4 years...

I was telling my cousin last night... that Saturday was probably the only time when our PM couldn't fall asleep for the first time in 4 years :)

Wish lists

So the Selangor State Government will be at the helm of the DAP-PKR alliance. My personal wish lists:

1) Local Council Elections
- let us elect MPSJ councilors from the grassroots who know the ins and outs of the constituency and will be able to serve without bowing to the political masters

2) Freedom Of Information Act
- let us have the access rights to government documentation (where applicable, if it does not harm national security), example toll agreements, council meeting minutes, etc.

3) Live Telecast / Recorded State Assembly Meetings
- let us see for ourselves what actually transpires in the state assembly meetings in order for us to make a good judgment of the performances of the assemblymen

4) Constant Engagement With The Rakyat
- let us meet our elected representatives regularly, get regular updates on their work, provide our honest feedback, in order for us to be a well informed society

Personal wish for Subang Jaya:
1) No more high rise developments! Just look at the stretch facing the Federal Highway, it is littered with so many high rise service apartments. Bring back the trees, grass and greenery!
2) No more highways! We don't want Subang Jaya to become one big major toll-free inter-highway interchange.
3) Improve public transportation! Subang Jayans have too many cars choking up the roads. We could introduce a tram system or improve the reliability of the feeder bus system to serve the needs of the residents here.
4) Keep our greens green! Please, please preserve Taman Subang Ria. It is the only green lung we have. Spruce it up, pay some professionals to maintain the beauty and cleanliness.

The DAP SJ team will be converting the SS14 operations center to a full-fledged service center. Let's give them some time. Meanwhile, I guess we can still contact Hannah via email?

Congratulations to the winners of this GE2008!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Barisan Rakyat state wins

Hmm, all this while DAP has been saying "we have nothing to do with PAS"

But with the shocking and unprecedented win in 5 state seats (DAP-PKR-PAS combined tally), I believe this is the most pragmatic approach towards a truly unified alternative front.

With Kelantan firmly in PAS's hand, Kedah by PKR-PAS, Selangor sweep by DAP-PKR, Penang by DAP-PKR and now news that Perak has also fallen to DAP-PKR-PAS, 5 state seats will be governed by the Barisan Rakyat. While the remaining 8 state seats (Perlis, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah, Sarawak) will continue to be governed by BN.

Interesting to note is that almost all the parliament seats for WP Kuala Lumpur have been swept up by Barisan Rakyat, leaving a sole seat to BN.

With this amazing outcome, the people of Malaysia will be given a chance to witness 2 very different governments performing their jobs. This can be considered "orientation" period or "probation" period for the newly elected governments.

Who will be the next parliamentary opposition leader?

When PAS won the most seats in 1999, they were the parliamentary opposition leader.

When DAP won the most seats in 2004, they were the parliamentary opposition leader.

In this 2008 General Elections results, PKR has secured the most seats among the 3 main opposition parties (see below from SPR).

So does this mean a PKR parliamentarian will be the parliamentary opposition leader?

Why BN lost in Selangor and Penang

BN's specialty --> development, development, development

Selangor --> first developed state in Malaysia. So no need any more development.

Penang --> overdeveloped! No need any further development.

Err, can't say much for Perak, Kedah and Kelantan. Those were lost on different reasons.

A new dawn...

I wake up today with a new hope, that our country is once again renewed and invigorated. Never before has the election results been so democratized. We are seeing a slow but sure transition to a true 2-party parliamentary system. No matter what happens from now on, things will only improve for the Rakyat. I thank BN's leaders for admitting defeat gracefully, and I hope that this will signal a change within their internal structure to improve themselves and possibly merge into one true party instead of the current loose coalition. I also hope that they will be able to catch up to the realities of the people on the ground. We are not saying that you will be bad forever. We also want you to improve. So listen to us.

Gosh... I only slept for 5 hours and I can't sleep already. It's a new beginning!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

As I sit at home...

So I finished my station master duties in SK USJ12 today. The results were fantastic. 670 to the DAP vs 220 for the BN and only 2 spoilt votes (most likely from older citizens).

And now tuning in to NTV7, where panelist Honey Tan is giving a good commentary and I'm surprised NTV7 actually invited her!

Am also tuning in to Malaysiakini and for instant updates!

Friday, March 07, 2008

More forms of electoral fraud and foul play

See part 1 here.

This is part 2.

1) Cutting off the power supply during ballot counting period, especially when it's already dark or in rural areas. This will cause confusion in the counting room, and provide the opportunity for ballot stuffing or swapping.

2) Saboteurs in the polling room, who steal the notes and electoral roll of the opposition parties when they are left behind. There is simply no sense of fair play.

3) Deliberate or accidental mismatch of number of votes tallied and number of votes recorded in Borang 13. Either by mistake or by mischief, the vote counts could be switched between the parties contesting, given that the Borang 13 is a generic form with no mention of the political parties contesting. Therefore the sequence should match that of the ballot paper. But it could be switched around. A win could turn out to be a loss!

Friends... BN and SPR are not playing clean. For all you know, SPR has already been compromised. Therefore, every vote, every volunteer, every person is an asset to this campaign. Come forth and lend your hand, it's only for one day. For one day to change the next 5 years of this nation. Please, please, lend your hand.

The venue is Sekolah Kebangsaan USJ12 Subang Jaya. From 8am onwards, volunteers are needed to man the pondok panas and provide moral, physical and logistical support to the DAP. Come and offer your help please!

Penang wants change!

elsf' hometown has been rocketed into an atmosphere of change. It looks more like a rock concert than a political talk. See it to believe it!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Who Is Hannah Yeoh?

Updated 6/2/2008 5.22pm:

It could be the work of a cybertrooper, but who knows, right?

On another note, I volunteered to be the "leader" for the morning shift agents in USJ12. Tonight there's supposed to be some briefing in SS14 so I'll be going there!


Somebody has started a new blog "Who Is Hannah Yeoh?" and features some hard hitting questions posed to the DAP candidate for N31 ADUN, Hannah Yeoh. While I don't know who's behind this blog, the questions posed are quite valid and it will be interesting to hear Hannah's response.

However, if the blogger has any sense of fair play at all, he/she will also send similar questions to the BN candidate to ensure that Subang Jayans have a balanced view of both sides. Only with sufficient information can we make a good decision this Saturday.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for confirmation on my volunteering work this Saturday. Last night I was informed to be placed in the morning shift at USJ12 school. Unfortunately, I have no idea if it's the primary school, or the secondary school!

I'm so sick of The Star!

Especially in these few days of election period, The Star has been extremely partisan in their views, and even letters to the editor are not excluded. Just view a sampling of what a typical The Star opinion piece and letter to the editor sounds like.

I am sure that many letters have been written in to The Star highlighting the other side of the story, the Barisan Rakyat side of the story. But these letters will never see the light of day.

In contrast, just look at what Malaysiakini (which by the way has opened its doors to free reading for this election period!) has to report from the former prime minister Tun M.

Why is the BN so afraid to air alternative news? They claim that they are confident, that they are not afraid, that they will win big, that they can feel the positive vibes. But if that is really the case, why not allow fair media access to all who are contesting in this elections?

I'm not even going to give much mention to the TV stations, who have prostituted themselves to the BN coalition. I caught a glimpse of an interview on TV3 yesterday with Abdul Rashid of the EC and Tan Sri Musa of the PDRM, both of them trying to explain the issues on the indelible ink reversal, the no phantom voters tirade... I mean, how low can you go?!

What about the radio stations? I hate the one constantly being aired on Lite FM, which features several "typical Malaysians" trumpeting the achievements and promises of the BN government. Among which I find ironic and downright false: "BN allows freedom of race and religion"... puhhleeeeeeaseeeeeee... it's the Federal Constitution that allows it. BN takes it away by demolishing Buddhist and Hindu temples and Churches, denying state and federal resources (money and land allocation) for the building of such places of worship, at the same time building too many "mansions" for their own usage.

When DAP ceramahs can attract 20,000 attendees in Klang, it is conveniently ignored by The Star. But when the BN can attract some thousands (don't believe the numbers from The Star wholeheartedly!) to an event organized by BN, it is given such prominence! I even suspect that the photo may have been doctored to show more attendees than what actually transpired there.

Barisan Rakyat has the confidence to perform well this coming elections, provided that electoral frauds are kept in check. However, with the recent turnabout decision concerning the indelible ink usage, the risk of multiple phantom voters is greatly magnified. This is coupled with instances of vote buying and the possibility of collusion between the EC, PDRM, and BN.

Therefore, every vote counts. Each vote could tip the scale towards Barisan Rakyat and that one vote may be the only vote that matters in a polling center which may have been compromised by electoral fraud.

This Saturday, I'm going to make sure that my vote matters!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

How large is HINDRAF's influence?

I stumbled upon this blog (Makkal Sakti) during my reading blitz. It is basically a compendium of news articles interspersed with the comments of the blog author. What surprises me is that for such a resourceful blog, the readership seems to be very low. I am basing my observation on the fact that there is not even one single comment left on the blog articles!

So now I wonder, if HINDRAF is not active via the internet, how united are their efforts? Are they merely communicating via SMS, e-mails and word of mouth? Will existing MIC members or family of MIC members sympathize with the plight of the HINDRAF 5? Can HINDRAF make history by contributing the deciding votes to a positive change in governance?

Possible forms of electoral fraud

During yesterday's Polling Agent Training, the speaker highlighted the following possible forms of electoral fraud, that the polling agent and counting agent should be aware of:

1) Vote Buying
- The perpetrator will prepare a fake ballot. He will then solicit the help of unwary targets to drop the fake ballot into the balloting box and remove the empty genuine ballot from the voting room. Upon surrender of the empty genuine ballot, the target will be paid a token sum of money.
- This is dangerous if left unchecked, as entire stretches of votes may be compromised.
- Look out within the compound of the polling center for any suspicious activity, such as unnatural clustering of people around a secluded area.

2) Vote Impersonation
- The perpetrator will offer to vote on behalf of a genuine voter using the target's NRIC. Everything else is genuine. Upon completion of the vote, the target is paid a token sum of money.
- Look out for inconsistency between the NRIC number and the voter. E.g. if the NRIC states a female, but the voter is male; if the NRIC states a 50 years old man, but the voter is in his 20's; if the name on the NRIC is Chinese, but the voter looks like an ethnic Indian.

3) Phantom Voter
- Multiple fake IC numbers are used to register the same voter, who goes around different polling centers to cast ballots.
- Look out for weird IC numbers, e.g. if the date of birth is in 1885, etc.

In this general elections, not only the game is lopsided. Even the referee and the linesmen are on the other side. Not to mention the fact that they can shift the goal posts at any time. I believe that the majority of Malaysians are ready for change. Unfortunately, if these electoral frauds are left unchecked, the voice of the people may not be heard.

Gloomy birthday to me...

There have been too many shit problems afflicting my life until I have no mood to celebrate my birthday this year...

At least the Polling Agent Training was fun...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

An amazing man...

Mr Lim Kit Siang

I have volunteered...

To be a polling/counting agent for DAP. You should too!

Simply stunning

When I arrived at the USJ12 field around 10.15pm, it was raining like mad cats and crazy dogs. I had to wade in muddy grass across the road to the field from USJ11, and when we arrived, many people were leaving! I wonder why... perhaps the rain was getting too heavy, or maybe they were heading back to the cars/houses to get extra umbrellas!

Whatever the reason, the crowd didn't seem to dissipate. In fact, it remained large and could have increased in size throughout the night! The speakers were familiar to the crowd by then, but there were one or two faces who represented the common resident of Subang Jaya, who just wanted a breath of fresh air.

The clincher had to be the (late) arrival of Lim Kit Siang, the leader of the DAP. When he arrived at 11.30pm, everyone gave thunderous applause and loud cheers to welcome the legend. He quickly made his way toward the stage, precluded by flag bearers and his band of supporters. As he addressed the crowd, I noticed that his voice was coarse. Yes, he had been up since 3.30am this morning, and will be up till 3.30am (that's 24 hours of campaigning!). Kit Siang touched a lot on national issues, as well as taking jabs on the current political leadership in Malaysia, or the lack thereof.

For Lim Kit Siang to come all the way to Subang Jaya to endorse Hannah Yeoh really speaks volumes of the caliber of this candidate. For a newcomer to the political arena, she has managed to enthrall the audience with her clear voice and diction, her amazing ability to relate to the common people, her sincerity and generosity to make things right again in this constituency.

The winds of change are blowing. The ground is trembling with movement. People power will rise to the occasion to reclaim this country.


Monday, March 03, 2008

The difference between fried mee hoon and...

Recently, Get An MP PJU initiative interviewed the 2 aspiring parliamentary candidates for the coming GE2008. Here are some excerpts:

Question :
Will you support the idea of retaining subsidies of oil and other essential items?

"Yes, I think so"

TP : "I think the subsidy system at this point in time needs to be readjusted as such that it benefits the poor and marginalised more and less so the wealthy. So for example the subsidy system in existence benefits more of the wealthy because they use the product more, then it is an unfair allocation of resources. So we believe in a system whereby grants are given directly to the poor and to the lower middle income to cope with the rising price increases. They are targetted and controlled, you won’t find leakages. For example our subsidised diesel being sold by fishermen from Malaysia to Indonesian fishermen. So that is the problem with the existing subsidy system and those need to be resolved"

Score so far... CMF:0, TP:1

Question :
Will you support the idea of abolishing the New Economic Policy (NEP)?

CMF : "I thought the NEP has already ended…"

TP : "Absolutely. We believe that the NEP as it stands today favours the rich, wealthy and influential particularly from the bumiputra community. It does not benefit the bulk majority of the bumiputras as well as the non-bumiputras in this country. So inequality in the country has been increasing rapidly and only with opposition and it’s replacement with a policy that focuses on merit and needs, will the equality be reduced"

Score so far... CMF:0, TP:2

Question : Will you support that Petronas’ accounts be made public?

"I thought they already have their annual report. I thought the annual report is actually the accounts for (listed) companies to disclose to everybody"

TP : "Absolutely. I think it is important because Petronas controls a huge amount of wealth of the nation. Oil resource of the country belongs to the people and Petronas being the agent that manages the oil wealth of the country must be transparent for the people in order to show that the money has been invested and reinvested and distributed fairly"

Score... CMF:0, TP:3

Seriously... TP outclassed CMF in every way possible. While CMF answers "I think so, I thought so..." it makes you wonder what CMF really knows with absolute conviction. Compared to Tony's answers which are elaborated with amazing precision and depth, TP shines!

Go Tony!

Shit happens to me...

Apparently the bank valuers have valued the house much lower compared to the purchase price, so now there's a problem that I cannot get the margin of financing that I wanted. That means having to cough up more downpayment in order to achieve the level of financing offered by the bank.

The other option is to forgo the deposit and search for a lower-priced property, but that means no more PH and LP for the property hunting, as the property price there is really inflated.

Another option is of course to renegotiate the purchase price with the vendor, but of course I believe the vendor will not budge, especially after the booking was confirmed...

Sigh... of all shit to happen!!!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another inspiring night!

I just came back from this ceramah. It could be considered a star-studded one, and also one that attracted even more audience than the first one. Cars were parked all the way to USJ13 and USJ11, and I would even think USJ4, but I'm not so sure. Flag bearers were showing the way to the field, and when we arrived at 9.20pm, Tony Pua was already speaking in his entertaining and no-nonsense approach.

I think he went on till 9.45, then a special arrival of Nurul Izzah Anwar, the daughter of former DPM and de-facto keADILan leader Anwar Ibrahim. The audience gave a respectful standing welcome, and Tony stayed silent while welcoming her to the field. She spoke in immaculate English and addressed the crowd very professionally. I was very impressed with the way she held herself, and for a newcomer to the elections, I think she is doing very well. If the voters of Lembah Pantai are intelligent, they will vote her in over the useless incumbent Shahrizat.

Loh Gwo Burne spoke next, and this time he spoke marginally better than the previous time. Although he still has a lot to learn and improve on. Many people still do not believe he can make it in parliament against heavyweights. Each candidate must be well vetted and presented to the voting population so that we may make a better informed decision. I believe in giving keADILan the benefit of doubt, so he may have my vote but if he screws up, he will get the message!

Haris Ibrahim of the People's Parliament spoke next. It was my first time listening to him speak, and he strikes me as someone who can stand for the rights of the People. He has his principles and what he said made much sense. That we are the boss of the elected representatives. That we have the right to get to know the candidates for MP and ADUN. That we are responsible to reclaim the country's governance from corrupt and useless governments. That we have the duty to vote in a responsible government.

The next speaker was the veteran speaker, some Mr. Chua - I fail to catch the full name - who didn't offer anything new in terms of content. I thought he was very old-school in his approach.

Edward Ling spoke next, and as usual he explained the reason why he took 2 weeks of annual leave from his company to help run Hannah's campaign. Again he reiterated his admiration for the movie V for Vendetta, and quoted "The people should not be afraid of the government; the government should be afraid of the people!"

Finally it was Hannah Yeoh's turn to take to the stage. Again, she spoke amazingly well. Each sentence was punctuated with a calculated pause while waiting for the audience's applause to quiet down. Each point was made clear. Her speech was well structured, and she managed to connect with the audience with her humility and straightforwardness. Once again, I am inspired by her. I believe she has taken some pointers from her first ceramah, from feedback given to her during the walkabouts and via the blog comments, so her speech this time tackles some of those questions. The fact that 2 weeks of campaigning doesn't give her much time to talk about local issues one-by-one. The fact that she may be young and inexperienced but she is clean and not corrupt. The fact that she may be just married but apparently one great leader of the country was also recently just married! More interestingly, she presented some unscrupulous expenditure by MPSJ in the recent years. Squandering away some hundred eighty million of our taxpayer money to projects which have not seen any improvement in our quality of life. Hannah reiterated that should she be voted into the Selangor state assembly, she will expose all these problems and act as the watchdog for any lax expenditure, bad governance, misallocation of funds, to ensure that Subang Jaya people are properly represented and protected!

The evening continued with the speech by Teng Chang Kim, the existing Opposition leader in the Selangor state assembly. He spoke predominantly in Mandarin, and I suppose his speech managed to capture the hearts of the "aunty" demographics. Although I couldn't really understand many of the words and phrases used, I sort of caught the gist of his topic. Of all his expose's of the BN state assembly representatives. Of Muhamad Muhamad Taib's "I don't understand English" 2.4Mil cash smuggling, of suspect land alienation procedures at ridiculously low premiums, of other interesting problems in the state assembly.

Teresa Kok showed up to round off the night. She spoke in mix of Cantonese, Mandarin and English, and brought the latest news of the China Press evening edition. Apparently, our Pak Lah has setup a website that allows the electorate to contact him directly and write in Chinese! And he will also reply in Chinese! No comment here...

Anyway, all the invited speakers openly pledged support for Hannah and fully endorsed Hannah's candidacy. It is indeed heart warming and inspiring for so many party heavyweights to openly support a green candidate as new as Hannah. I'm sure Hannah is very inspired and touched by this, but I also hope that the voters of Subang Jaya constituency will give Hannah a boost and vote her in to the state assembly (hopefully making the MCA candidate lose deposit too!)

Perhaps my only complaint, and probably this was a mistake on DAP's part, was that there were still speakers talking about Chinese this, Indian that, Malay this... I thought that DAP was multiracial and non-communal. If so, please don't talk about "the Chinese rights, the Indian share of economy, the Malay problems..." and also, try to refrain from having a Chinese-only speech, as it will push away the non-Chinese-speaking audience (I saw an Indian family and several Malay families leaving as soon as Teng said he would be speaking in Mandarin).

Well, anyway, apparently according to this posting, Lim Kit Siang and Jeff Ooi will be supporting the following ceramah on Monday 3rd March in USJ12 (again). So I hope that I'll be able to catch the ceramah, as Monday's are also my RTM days.

Just Change It! Jom Ubah! Long live Barisan Rakyat!