Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Different Ballgame Together

Serdang's MP Ong Kian Ming gave his own analysis of the recent Kajang by-election describing the 3 percentage increase of popular votes as a signal of increase support for Pakatan. His analysis has been published on Malaysiakini here.

However, in the overall statement, I am not in agreement with it because Kajang is just a different ballgame compared to other areas. As Kajang is considered an urban area, it can be said that a Pakatan victory is almost certain, regardless of the vote majority.

The East Malaysia such as the upcoming Balingian by-election is a different ballgame. The challenge there is the Malayan-style of politics can hardly work in there, with people do not take kindly to the people from the Peninsular in particular to meddle with the state affairs. I once recalled having some friends going over to Batang Ai to see the campaign during that by-election. However, it was noted that the form of persuasion and thinking of people there are not as the same as it was, subsequently some gave up and left days before the polling day.

The much tougher ballgame challenge that Ong and his coalition colleagues should understand and tackle immediately would be the rural areas of the peninsular. One area of instance would be in Lenggong where I was told that almost the majority of voters there do not have Internet and clearly rely on the MSM - hence most would believe of the stereotypes of "Chinese taking over the country and etc."

It is important to understand these ballgames are not the same as one another. It clearly depends on the location and whether it is situated in Peninsular or in East Malaysia.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

#MH370 Thoughts and Observations

As this weekend marks the 7th anniversary of this blog, I originally intended to write a few observations that I noticed during the yesterday's unusual appeal trial of Anwar Ibrahim until today's incident where a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 craft crash landed in the sea 153 miles of the coast of Vietnam, prompted me to put that writing aside to talk briefly about the incident.

While we all put our hopes and prayers on whether most of the 239 people including two infants will be able to make it out unscathed, the focus on the issue is on one of the things that MAS group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya had stated earlier on. 

In the press statement, Jauhari stated that there has never been such a MAS-related flight accident for over 20 years, but however did say that the craft is nearly 12 years old. The craft or the vehicle age is the gist of the subject here. 

At this point time, most press updates stated that there's yet to be seen of any wreckage meaning, should the plane crash lands, with the entire craft intact, there's a better chance for rescue teams to see find any survivors (e.g Hudson River airplane crash) or by usual means, the craft breaking into two halves. In the mean time, it is 15 hours since the crash landing so we're hoping that if there are still survivors, they are still hanging on until help arrives. 

There are several probable causes why the plane could crash despite clear telemetry and data feeding to the control center:

a) Cabin depressurization malfunction: if this could be the cause, the pilot must execute a 35,000 feet to 10,000 feet drill in order to stabilize the pressure within the stipulated time. This drill is obviously trained and mandatory bi-annually. Failure to do so could result in the plane nosediving towards impact point. This is arguably the most common sign of a start towards a plane crash. 

b) Electrical or cargo fire: if there is a case of fire in either holds, the pilot will have to fly at a lower altitude of 10000 feet or less, then ensuring that the fire is put out adequately before the oxygen system is activated. Failure to do so can be potentially disastrous, worst case scenario is the plane explosion.

c) Monitoring team on the ground fails or neglected to provide sufficient data and information for the pilot to act accordingly, thus resulting in human error in piloting the vehicle.

d) As it have be alleged, there two people traveling on a false passport, thus leading to as what United States of America to believe - hijacking and deliberate crashing at the neutral waters 

Escalation to National Disaster

Foreign presses are doing round-the-clock coverage of the disaster. This has appeared across most major world news channels including BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera, and ABC. However, local TV stations have not shown the coverage round-the-clock. This, coupled with the authorities late-than-expected responses prompted many people wondering whether the government and the media are not very honest and not focusing on today's incident but rather on Anwar Ibrahim's trial yesterday that they still keep playing on and on. Malaysiakini has reported that the 'no update' by authorities have made family members in China angered.

In other words, there are still many people still want to play "village hero" but buckled when facing international pressure. The other question remains on why only Malaysia Airlines would be the only party giving out the press statement but not the PM, his cousin or even the Department of Civil Aviation giving out information as well. This of course can cause anger from international parties. Other countries are dragged in because there are more than half of the total passengers who are non-Malaysians, 153 of them being Chinese nationals. 

The whole thing can become a national disaster. China and other nations can elect to take action against Malaysia via the International Court. Likewise, Boeing can choose too as a result of remarks, appearing on Al-Jazeera of someone from the airlines earlier on saying that there was not much of a worry about on the incident - but the craft was manufactured by Boeing.      

MAS Mismanagement?

The aborted share-swap agreement between Air Asia and Khazanah could also indirectly play a part in this incident. In fact there have been warnings all around that MAS could not cope with the intense pressure of maintaining their 100+ airplane fleet due to the share swap. And this could be the result of the aborted deal.

The replacement of the MAS Engineering director with someone not as well competent as he does a few years ago, can also be attribute to the negligence in maintenance. All-in-all MAS top management is going get the big heat for this disaster from all fronts, in addition to relevant government officials.  

It All Goes Back to our Automobile Policy

A similar domestic incident such as this, but not an aviation craft was the Genting bus incident which occured last year. The investigation report points a possible reason contributing to the accident was largely due to the age of the vehicle. All in all it all goes back to the issue of vehicle acquisition ability.

Vehicles at the older age tend to generate higher safety risks and maintenance cost.  

Sad to speak, the top brass and policymakers in Malaysia had an inappropriate picture. People wanted to replace aging cars, not to stock up more cars at home for nothing. At the same time, external factors such as inefficient, unsatisfactory to the proper standard of public transportation, geographical factors and time constraints prompted the need of getting a transport for oneself. Thus the stereotype of acquiring a vehicle  as a privilege stated by a certain politician is no longer correct, but it has already become a priority.

The prices however, is a factor of hindrance. Actual vehicle prices, including service taxes and import taxes paid to the Customs department including the mandatory car insurance forms from about half or up to 63% of the marketed (RRP price), depending on the vehicle engine's CC. In the present age's scenario where Malaysia's economy has yet to reach it's full target potential, the policy remains in efficient. Not even the January-announced NAP nor the Barisan Nasional's election manifesto of vehicle price reduction promise can solve the issue. The latter is viewed as a broken promise by some parties.

On the individual perspective, as a person who is not born rich or rich inherited, supporting a policy of getting a vehicle at a artificially inflated price is morally viewed as:

a) Not honest with oneself having calculated viewed many perspectives on the subject of vehicle acquisition.
b) On the financial factor, indirect saying that you are willing to burn more of your hard-earned money to get something 
c) Government indirectly implies telling people that safety risk increase by aging vehicles can be neglected as it is unlikely any incidents can be happen except from the human factor.  

These can be put under the stereotypes of the lazy native persons that Malay Dilemma or The Myth of The Lazy Native has related and narrated about

The bus incident last year still has yet to awaken policymakers and politicians as well as other people alike that this thing as a privilege is already a wrong believe and a stereotype. Few can understand that people falling in between the 80% of the total population (poor and mid-class) people would want to acquire a much better and efficient vehicle, but not at the kind of present ridiculous inflated prices.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...