Friday, December 28, 2012

Sometimes You Need To Learn to Be Quiet

There was saying - discretion is a better part of valor - meaning that sometimes, it is better not to do anything lest your usual valor will invite more trouble from the opposition. In the political arena, sometimes it is necessary to maintain silence lest you give ammunition for the opposition to hit left and right for nothing.

There's still the need for the opposition parties to grow up, be more mature in and playing smart, not charging into battle with the assumption that a win is guaranteed. Didn't Sun Tzu mentioned emphasized about playing smart lest you fall into the hands of the old man who is well versed in our Malaysian politics? 

Winning the war is not about winning every battle. Sometimes, losing a battle is deliberate way and decision taken before heading for the win. Likewise if the present opposition wants to take over Putrajaya.

With many people, mostly from DAP and PAS talking all sorts of things here and there, they conveniently placed themselves and providing the opposition hands ammunition to attack them with their lies and manipulation. Why do you think Utusan and those UMNO-associated media people keep saying things that the opposition say that they are lying about?

Even doing this discretion means being silent of who and where would you place until at the very last minute. Do you ever wonder why I have not been writing things lately, or why I see the same bunch of people commenting often at Malaysia Today? True, I may have write once a while there, but it's merely to say yes or drop by a greeting or two, but the saying goes that a real smart person don't always talk much but goes to the point, keeping it plain and simple. Talk is cheap right? 

When I read about the ANAK-led Felda demo today in Semarak, I mused that there are a few number in Felda that has started to realize that it would be disastrous to do the listing at the stock market (FGVH in this case). At least it's a little footstep towards mental revolution. Everyone should have the freedom of thought and reasoning, not to follow things so blindly.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Maxis Iphone 5 Launch

A little just a week ago, the Malaysian launch of Iphone 5 happened at Capsquare KL. By the time the weekend was over, there were thousands of people lining up to get the phone. Maybe it was the last minute lucrative offers by Maxis for existing customers that actually got more people interested to get their hands on even a single set of the phone. This of course was the reason I happened to take the advantage of getting one. It's much lighter anyways.

People who had booked their sets and plans ahead before the launch are able to get their hands first. I was informed that there were 45 people who have been lining up like mad since the afternoon all the way until midnight there. But foregoing dinner at the usual time in exchange for donuts and cups of hot beverages surely made the 5 hours waiting time worth it. I thought it was putting my name and coming on Sunday to collect initially, until I came across the barricade.

Not even 9 pm, and the crowd is building all the way to the end!
There's paperwork to be done and that's part 1.

You've got paperwork to attend to and there's Maxis staff crew helping you out in filling the particulars and giving you the SIM card that you hold until you collect your handset. The cool thing is that you can carry your settings that you've backup for your previous phone and just carry over to your new unit once you've got your thing.

If you look at the pic above, you'd see that it's a mad queue at the barricade while some people would bring donuts and tea over.  At least, this helps to put my cold down for a moment, for I was sneezing at times. Plus, there's a recharging station on the other side. But the crowd control still remains mediocre.

One more hour to go!!!!!

There's crew from TV3 and 8TV covering the event, coupled with a few online TV content and radio stations like ERA, HITz.FM and even MyFM covering the event as well. People in the crowd were randomly questioned about waiting time and their feelings towards getting their new iPhone 5. Emceeing the event was NTV7's Will Quah ad 8TV's Julie Woon (Quickie TV). 

Will Quah and Julie Woon

And yes, I was randomly interviewed by her at around 10+ pm. Next thing I never knew that just after midnight, my mum called me asking, "Son, were you on TV?". 

"Am I?"

Then I realized that I was on air for a moment when asked the question on how long I've been waiting.

Seconds to launch!!!
At the stroke of midnight, there's the customary launch pleasantries and there's a queue number that you need to take. Including the first 45 people who have been given the privilege to line up first, I guess that I must be around the first 200 to get the phones. Can you imagine yourself being among the red carpet while you are being filmed by the TV crew when you're attending a gala premiere? Except that you are dressing lavishly like a Hollywood

Smile, you're on candid camera!

You got to wait for the number. And when it came to my turn, there's some confusion over the paperwork. Apparently there are some who are not aware of the last minute offer that Maxis throws out their special offer for their existing customers. There's a 10 minute delay for me before grabbing it. They do have an counter where they help to setup the set for you and some accessories where you should get a screen protector before leaving.

And when I was done with the whole can still see plenty of people lining up there. And there's of course sneaking for some free dinner provided by Modestos for the corporate clientele in an another lounge - more comfy and it's air conditioned there.

The crowd lining up even after I'm done there.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pondering Why Our Politicians Won't Quit

1. I felt that after reading reports about the Singapore Parliament Speaker resigning over infidelity (read here), a senior citizen Lynas activist who was arrested for calling for Adnan Yaakob to resign (read Malaysiakini report here), how most Japanese politicians would resign over admission of improper conduct as well as how our own Home Minister refuses to quit after it is proven to have be in improper conduct over handling his duties, it might worth to comment and make inferences over why most Malaysian politicians simply won't quit if there is sufficient evidence and substantial, corroborated  witness testimony implying of that politician.

2. My reasoning over that subject is mainly due to three main factors. 
a) Fear fall of dignity and capitulation
b) Cut off from lucrative monies
c) Society / people perception over the person

The first two are inter-connected for sure.

3. I had always wanted to answer this question by my own words and view that I often tried asking some of my Malay friends about "dignity", or why people are unwilling to quit. I get a mixed bag of answers usually. But the starting point about the this question would be that we need to go back to the origins of the race (root Austronesian) and the culture that you've to understand that well. If we examine the political scenario of our present running coalition government (BN) over the last 30 years or so, we have noticed that as with the Cold War mentality, they do not take dissidence quite well and  it's worse than it was before the Mahathir years (1981-2003). 

Note: The Tun Razak years (1970-1976) were less severe as it with the Hussein Onn years (notable instances during that time including where "King Ghaz" as Home Minister signing quite a number of detention orders against dissidents)

The book "Mental Revolution" (Revolusi Mental) written by 14 intellectuals within the UMNO organization, in 1971 summarizes that the Malay society is characterized in general as not honest with themselves; blaming others except their own faults; being fatalists, which makes them less keen on making efforts; lack the courage to fight truth. This has been largely resulted from exploitation from other communities and the prolonged effect of the English colonization of Malaya. The characteristics mentioned there also similar to our present trait of some of the politicians, not just BN but some of them within the present federal opposition. (some of the excerpts / descriptions were from the book The Myth of The Lazy Native by the late Syed Hussein AlAtas)

4. I often look at the question above in analogy with the Provisional IRA wing in Ireland in the years prior to the Good Friday agreement in 1998. Like them, many of them believe that should something that goes against their stance, or a setback, (their way of showing their stance is like forcing it on your throat) many think of it as capitulation to the enemy.

In our local context, ask ourselves why the Home Ministry that simply seizes books / magazines that do not conform to their defined way standards (read here) or simply summons editors of newspapers that publishes articles that reveals a chink in their armor. But look at what it has gotten them into in the long run? Complacency.

5. On the individual level, I surmise that it is their fear and paranoia over self-dignity that will be gone, the moment if they caught with their pants down. How can we explain based on the famous unpublished stories that: 

a) A famous politician was caught for proximity in Port Dickson in 2006 with a famous local artiste.
b) A minister famously assaulted a man for his affair with the minister's daughter who was or on the verge of divorce. Police report was made but no action taken.
c) The Jamaluddin Jarjis case in April 2008 at Havana Club, Hotel Meridien? (Read here, Malay version)

6. Yes everyone fears of their dignity stripped completely if caught. But having observed the similar cases of politicians found to be in misconduct in Japan, China and in much more matured thinking nations, there is no need to fear, for every person still has a small ounce of dignity having hitting the rock bottom moment. When reaching that moment, there is an ample time for a person to step away and the plenty of opportunities to rebuild his image, but outside of the circle of influence they used to be.

7. Haven't we noticed that in most religion books that humans are taught of mercy, compassion, love thyself and thy neighbor? Indirectly it also means that every human being should at least have a small ounce of dignity in themselves no matter what really happened to them, good or bad.

8. In related to the first factor, the money factor also plays part of it. Being a politician, a Parliamentarian earns around RM 10K per month (including extra benefits). It goes higher if you are a minister and so forth. If you are also part of the board of directors in a company, you earn more. On rock bottom moment, you lose everything, for you are pushed to resign. From that on, it's back to square one, but the problem would be where to start over again and doing outside your usual circle.

This is arguably the two main reason on the individual level why our politicians are unlikely to quit, except if going for retirement of course.

9. The last factor is also attributed to our current society structure. I once recalled what Raja Petra said about the Malays usually indulge with gossip more than their non-Malay counterparts whereas non-Malays can take insults on religion or others in a pinch of salt. How can we explain why when Chua Soi Lek resigned as the minister or when he came back as the MCA president in the party elections that the number of Malaysians would question that matter is less? On the contrary, when any thing comes to Malay politicans e.g like Anwar alleged to have commit infidelity, Mat Sabu talks about Mat Indera, Nazri's son in misconduct this and there, people from both sides start hitting that person as if flogging a dead horse. Although I hate to delve into this point, but it is necessary to say that this external factor also plays part on the problem above.


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