On our behalf

In life, many times, things are done on our behalf. Our parents did most things on our behalf, and probably made important decisions for us through our early years (and sometimes even beyond our early years). That's okay, for parents always have our good outcome in mind. Along the way, elder siblings, the kind aunt or kay-poh uncle and your Mum's best friend neighbor probably weighed in a bit too. That too was probably okay. 

We would think that as we grew up, much fewer things would be done, on our behalf; that we would instead do more on our own, in our own way, to meet our own needs and desires, intentions and outcomes. But it may not be so.

And sometimes, we must think if these "on our behalf" actions is really to our own good. Or is it actually serving another. 

One of the biggest worries of actions done on our behalf is in politics. As a democratic nation, we pick people to represent us to formulate government actions. In the early years of democracy, politicians did represent the people. Their actions was guided by what the people wanted, individually, or at least for the greater good. But today unfortunately this is no longer the case - politicians represent themselves most of the time, their political party some of the time, and you almost none of the time.

They fight, quarrel, sometimes even create riots and fear purportedly in our name. They then govern as they wish because they claim to have been given the mandate to rule. (really? I thought they were given the mandate to represent us. Represent us is quite different from Rule us!) 

So, no more I say. We must at least take back some of our rights. At least, the right to decide. Then definitely the right for due process. The right for justice, fairness and transparency. The right to tell our politicians to bugger off when we want them to. 

We must take back ownership of our schools, our courts, our newspapers, our institutions, our nation. We must take back our minds ability to think for itself, our voices ability to speak for itself, and our hearts ability to love our fellow Malaysian for who they are, varied, different and yet similar. 

And we must never, ever again, ever allow bloody politicians to get away with so much, on our behalf.


The Horror Movie that was July 2015

I think we as Malaysians will remember this month July 2015.

If not for its momentous events, then maybe as the month we as Malaysians lost pride as a people and a nation.

If not for its breaking news, then maybe as the period when we explored how far can we bend our values, and beliefs, before breaking ourselves.

If not for its many unanswered questions, then maybe a month we will remember, for after it, we will never be able to look our children it their eyes and explain without some creeping disbelief and trepidation in our hearts that there is God's value to being good, and decent and kind, and truthful.

At several stages during the month, it was entertaining for a while. A little bit like seeing JR Ewing in Dallas squirm and connive. But it quickly turned into a full-scale horror movie, with blood galore, senseless brutalities with some quite atrocious lines. What was obvious, though politics tries its best to appear clean and acceptable, power itself stinks of the sewers.

And though we hoped, and hoped, that the horror movie would end, and some glimmer of movie-like ending would come eventually, we were left with …. a continuing sequel, and worse, an almost JR-like snigger at the end.

I think the question is this. Do we just bend, until we break ?

The Silent Majority or the Silenced Majority ?

It is a favourite excuse of the powers-that-be in Malaysia, to say that voices of opposition, discontent and dissatisfaction are coming just from a small group of dissidents, of trouble-makers and 'pengacau'. They often claim that the "silent majority" of Malaysians are very happy and satisfied, and that is why they keep silent. Of course, those who support them will often parrot this argument. Even when the opposition won almost half of all votes in 2008, they still insisted that the "silent majority" was with them.

But let me ask you, the common man, the average Malaysian on the street. Are you happy with the way things are going ? Have you tried to voice out your dissatisfaction, only to realize that you can't ? Have you written in complaints to the Press, only to see only "favourable" letters praising the government of the day being printed ? Have you felt helpless as your leaders brought the country along a direction you don't want to go ? Have you felt that you are not heard, and your point of view not considered ?

Well, you are not wrong. Malaysia has built a large gap in the last few decades; a gap not between the races, not between common Malaysians. That gap is the gap between the people and its leaders. We, in fact, TOP the world, in that we have the largest gap between the common man, and their leaders. Our common Malaysians cannot communicate with our leaders; they cannot hear us (or maybe they just don't want to hear us). For this, of all things, Malaysia BOLEH!!!

So then, are we now the silent majority, happy satisfied content and silent because we have just nothing to say; or are we the "silenced majority", who shout out but are not heard, who tell but are ignored, who suggest but are laughed at, who resist and are labelled trouble-makers ?

I REFUSE to be silenced anymore. I will shout out for me, for my family, for my friends (even those who continue to support BN), for my neighbours and my fellow Malaysians; for our future, and our common path toward that better tomorrow.

Han Chiang college 28 april 2013 - I was there, so were 80,000 others; and I, we, will not be silenced anymore

Les Miserables "Do you hear the people sing?"

So shut up about the silent majority already ....

whewww !      

You mean there was all that MONEY in the other pocket ?

This election has seen government spending on an unprecedented scale. From free concerts by Psy and Taiwan artists, to big-name events like Michelle Yeoh and Alan Tam. From handouts to all and sunder, to free makan, free beer and free T-shirts. From spending on flags and banners (with enough cloth to clothe all the poor in Malaysia for 5 years at least), to online ads on every social media webpage that you may be on.

In any other democracy, this would have constituted vote-buying, an election offence. It is an election offence here in Malaysia too, but as always, there are two sets of rules; one for the governing, where "we'll close both eyes" is the guiding principle; and the other for the rest of us, the governed, where we learn quickly "do as I say, not do as I do".

The amount of money spent is staggering. Where did all this money come from ? Where is this other pocket, where we had all this extra money to spend ?

I wish we had known about this other pocket full of cash when -
  • we were short of money for specialized medicines
  • we had to treat patients 4 to a room
  • we had not enough beds and had to treat patients on wheelchairs, until ...
  • we ran out of wheelchairs
  • we have not enough ambulances
  • we asked for an allocation of just RM 5 per person in the community to provide additional ambulance services
I wish we had known about this other pocket full of cash when - 
  • we treated that retired school teacher who was getting RM 350 in pension to survive on
  • our staff was so much in debt that his six children were just taking one meal per day; the church group came in to support this Muslim family with daily rations
  • the whole family structure disintegrated when the sole breadwinner suffered a stroke; and they are now all relying to donations from fellow villagers
Free beers and free makan ? I really find it distasteful.

Absolutely ….. !!

Rabies is not endemic in Malaysia ie we don't have this. If you have been bitten by a dog in Penang for example (unless there were incredibly suggestive features eg drooling crazy dog who bit you and then died) I would really not think about rabies. 

But rabies is endemic in Thailand. And Westerners, being Westerners, like dogs, and like to pet dogs who don't belong to them. Invariably, some of them get bitten. So, rabies, being endemic in Thailand, it makes sense for them to get an anti-rabies vaccine. This is almost always started in Thailand. But this vaccine requires multiple doses over many days. So this Western tourist decides that they can continue their travels to, Penang !!

Now, when in Penang, they now want to continue their anti-rabies vaccine. Which we don't have. It is not unreasonable for us not to have it, since rabies is not endemic in Malaysia, it is very expensive, and really, should we carry vaccines for something that uncommon ?

Generally, these Western tourists are usually diverted to private hospitals, where apparently they are charged about RM 500 per dose. "What ?? RM 500 ?? Are you trying to rip us off ??" becomes the standard reply because they think we are cheap. 

Bring your sick dog to the vet in UK, and it would easily cost you 100 pounds. Ditto the US. Ditto everywhere in the Western world. But because we are "cheap", these tourists make noise. 

If you make noise at the private hospital, they have one standard option. They tell you to go to the government hospital. 

So, now the already upset tourists appear at your doorstep, expecting something more, and ready to make even more noise. 

Are we wrong not to store anti-rabies vaccine ? 

Remember we are spending the rakyat's money. Each dose costs a couple of hundred bucks; you don't know when you will use it, and it expires in under 2 years. Will you decide to stock up this vaccine ? What say you ?

What next, you may ask ?

Well, let me tell you. We have no King Cobras in Penang. Cobras, yes; vipers, yes. Kraits, probably yes. No King Cobras. So we keep anti-venom for Cobras, Vipers and Kraits. Being good people, we also keep some anti-venom for sea snake just in case, considering that we are an island, and a sea-snake bite is rather deadly. A few thousand RM per vial. We did not keep any antivenom for King Cobra.

Last year, a zoo in Kuantan imported and kept King Cobras without informing anyone. One of their staff got bitten, and of course, everybody was in chaos. A King Cobra anti-venom was sourced finally after many hours, and administered. The blame game then started. Easy to blame. Why no anti-venom stock ? Why govt hospital so lousy ? Interestingly nobody blamed the zoo.

But similarly to rabies, would you stock an anti-venom which costs a thousand RM, and lasts less than 2 years, if you have no King Cobras in your expected area ? Would you ?

I wouldn't. And we didn't. 

Until a couple of weeks ago, and I nearly fainted when I found out; that the Snake temple people have imported King Cobras and are conducting snake shows, where the handler will kiss the head of the snake. 

And now we are hearing the some people like to keep exotic pets including rattlesnakes.

So really, what can I say; I am absolutely ..... !!   [speechless!]