Thursday, 30 May 2019


I was chatting with a friend, former colleague and veteran business and macro-economic journalist last night about the current Pakatan Harapan government and the sorry state of the economy over dinner and single malt whisky (Tomatin 12 years) last night.

The restaurant which was normally packed at 8.00pm two years back, last night had only about a third of the tables occupied and the supervisor told my friend that business had dropped dramatically and that it was tough to survive.

My friend, who is inquisitive, as good journalists should be, had spoken to various promoters and counter staff in a shopping mall cum office complex along Jalan Semangat, Petaling Jaya and a promoter whom he described as an attractive, middle-aged woman told him excellent English that she did not like the job but had to do the job to earn money for her family.

Other staff he spoke to told him that they have technical diplomas but had to accept such work, standing all day to make a living.

Well, so much for "upskilling themselves to be able to be employed up the skills and value chain", which I have heard no end of from government ministers, officials and management CON-sultants at the many press conferences I had attended, and of Malaysia becoming a "knowledge-based, information-rich, high-income nation nation" by the year 2020, under former prime minister Najib and postponed to 2024 under current prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir.

He also spoke to some financially-savvy gentlemen in a bank nearby, one of whom said that prices on Malaysia's stock market had dropped and he had lost lots of money, whilst another said that the stock market is not expected to recover until the end of the year or early next year.

Staunchly anti-Barisan Nasional and having rejoiced at the Pakatan Harapan victory on 9th May 2018, my friend now disbelieves statements by Pakatan Harapan government ministers that the economy is doing well and that Malaysia will "become an economic tiger soon".

He concurs with me that having achieved its objective to oust former prime minister Najib, his UMNO party and the Barisan Nasional government from power in the 9th May 2018 general elections, they now have no idea of how to move on and govern the country, except that they may be a relatively clean government but otherwise incompetent.

The Pakatan Rakyat and later the Pakatan Harapan pact of political parties had been talking about Ubah (Malay for change) and Reformasi (Malay for reform) since 1998 when they were in opposition but what radical changes and reforms have they implemented in Malaysia's governance, apart from a few minor tweaks here and there. Moreover, they started out in 1998 to oust then prime minister Dr. Mahathir from power, along with the UMNO and Barisan Nasional which he lead and 20 years later on 9th May 2018, they ended up ousting from power prime minister Najib, along with the UMNO and Barisan Nasional which he lead and brought back Tun Dr. Mahathir as prime minister to lead the Pakatan Harapan government.

Ubah and Reformasi, my foot!. This convoluted political feat should be included in the Guinness Book of Records.

I have also concluded that the Pakatan Harapan government has no clear vision of what a "New Malaysia" should be, especially at the local level which impact upon us us directly. Instead, they just carry on with policies implemented by the previous Barisan Nasional state and federal governments, whilst claiming that their governance is more "competent, accountable and transparent" (CAT) than the Barisan Nasional's but that means nothing much to us on the ground, when roads are still bumpy with potholes, street lights especially at dangerous parts of roads are not working, drains are still clogged and there are flash floods, when Selangor state has the highest incidence of dengue in the country and so forth.

Instead, they are very good at putting up fancy decorations, bicycle lanes and bicycle stands which nobody uses in the Petaling Jaya New Town Centre, like is done in some arty farty cities in the advanced countries in the west, so as to make Petaling Jaya appear "world class", whilst they turn the rest of Petaling Jaya into a concrete jungle and a heat island.

Issues such as 1MDB, whether or not Malaysia should sign the United Nations  International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), remain signatory with or withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court means bugger all to ordinary citizens like me, when prices on the shelves and the cost of living remain high, whilst the ringgit has steadily weakened to RM4.19 to the U.S. dollar today and is heading towards RM4.20 or even more to the U.S. dollar in the future.

A weaker ringgit contributes to further increases in the price of goods on the shelves and a higher cost of living, since the cost of imported goods or domestically produced goods with imported content will inevitably rise.

And today (30 May 2019), The Star reports:-

Disabled activists say Pakatan govt worse than BN at dealing with their issues

Thursday, 30 May 2019
3:41 PM MYT

by joseph kaos jr

PUTRAJAYA: The Pakatan Harapan administration is worse at dealing with issues concerning people with disabilities, compared with Barisan Nasional, says several activists.

Activist Anthony Thanasayan said since Pakatan took over the government last year, it had yet to engage with disabled groups and requests to meet the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) have not been entertained.

"We have tried to meet with the minister (Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail) and her deputy (Hannah Yeoh) and we continue to be ignored.

"Today, we are here to protest and meet with them, but none are willing to come and see us, even though we have notified them earlier that we would be coming.

"Even under Barisan, it was not like this. I am not a Barisan supporter, but when the ministry was under Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, she would cancel her meetings to come and see us," said Anthony.

He added that both Dr Wan Azizah and Yeoh should make a public apology to the disabled community for not meeting them.

"To come all the way to Putrajaya is not an easy task for people with disabilities like us," he said.

Anthony, who is president of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive), and about 20 other disabled activists, staged a protest outside the ministry here on Thursday (May 30).

The group, all wheelchair-bound, held up placards with quotes such as "We the disabled suffer from your attitude, not our disabilities!" and "PH begged for votes from the disabled, now we have to beg to see you!"

G. Francis Siva, the president of the Independent Living and Training Centre Malaysia, held up a placard with photos of Dr Wan Azizah and Yeoh and a caption that said "Report Card KPWKM - XXX".

Francis read out several demands in a memorandum, which was later handed over to officials of the ministry who came out to meet the protesters.

"The National Council for Persons with Disabilities should have grassroots members such as us. We don't need academicians in the council. We are the ones who understand the plight of the disabled and we should be listened to," said Francis.

He also proposed that the disabled be given a minimum RM500 aid to help with their welfare.

Another proposal is for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to be enforced at all levels of the government.

"The CRPD is an international convention of which Malaysia is a signatory. The country is obliged to implement it," said Anthony.

Well, it looks like the Pakatan Harapan had used us "gullible guppies" (to borrow a term used by blogger KTemoc in his blog KTemoc Konsiders) as useful idiots to get them into power and now they quite literally fart in our faces and disregard us a one disregards used toilet paper. "Wakakakaka!" as KTemoc often goes.

That's the thing with representative democracy based upon citizens voting for parties, each of which represent competing factions of the ruling class - i.e. where each party's politicians promise voters to deliver them the sun the moon and the stars but when they are elected to power, they quite often implement policies 180 degrees opposite to what they promised and those who voted for them cannot do anything about it except to vote for a different set of politicians at the next elections, only for them to also vote in their voters' faces once elected.

Elected representatives ad governments in western liberal democracies do this all the time. They let citizens protest peacefully, post blogs and criticise all they want but fart in their faces and carry on as they, not their citizens want.
My friend also spoke to various staff an even some executives in the new high-rise buildings in Section 13, Petaling Jaya and across the Federal Highway in Section 8, learned that the lights in some units were turned at night to give the impression that they are occupied.

He suggested that the media should conduct investigations and publish reports about the number of unsold or unoccupied units in these high rise monstrosities and question local authorities such as the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) as to why such developments are approved when units within them would most likely remain unoccupied or unsold for many years.

Well,  can expect that the stock reply by the local authorities will be that these are private properties and their occupancy rate is beyond the local authorities' jurisdiction. 

I had expected that monstrous high-rise development in Petaling Jaya and elsewhere in Selangor and Penang would have been curtailed under the Pakatan state governments which had won ruled this two states since March 2008 but my friend said that he was told that building approvals had been given by the local authority as far back as 10 years or more ago under Barisan Nasional state, and that there is nothing the local authorities can do to reverse these approvals without being sued hundreds of millions or even billions of ringgit in compensation.

Like on 27 May 2019, The Star reported prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir as saying that:-

"Dr M says abolishing tolls will burden govt's finances"

Most of these highway concessionaires are government-linked companies (GLCs) in which the government often a controlling stake and the government cannot cannot just direct these companies it controls to abolish tolls or hand back the highways to the government which will abolish the tolls.

How about this - Pakatan Harapan federal government - Declare a state of emergency and take back the highways without compensation under emergency rule and abolish the tolls.

During previous emergencies, the then Barisan Nasional government and earlier, its predecessor the Alliance suspended many rights and freedoms which citizens had and following the bloody 13th May 1969 race riots, the government suspended parliamentary rule and instead set up a National Operations Council (MAGERAN) which ruled by decree for over a year before rule by parliament was restored.

This time, why not revoke the rights and freedoms of the corporate sector under citizen-friendly emergency rule, including the rights and freedoms of the GLCs which the government owns and controls anyway?

Are you a "government for the people" as you claimed during campaigning for the 14th general elections or was that just a load of politischeiss (political bullshit) to get our votes?

From my experience of the Pakatan state government of Selangor since March 2008, they mostly have ignored residents' protests, such as those of residents of Damansara Perdana and Mutiara Damansara who have been objecting to the routing of the Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (DASH), an elevated highway running right past their high-rise condominiums and commercial buildings in their neighbourhood.

Below are the four parts of a video I shot of the residents' protest on 20th March 2016 against DASH running through their neighbourhood 2016 and the impassioned statements some residents and supporters made.

Say No to DASH protest Damansara Perdana 2016-03-20 Part 1

Say No to DASH protest Damansara Perdana 2016-03-20 Part 2

Say No to DASH protest Damansara Perdana 2016-03-20 Part 3

Say No to DASH protest Damansara Perdana 2016-03-20 Part 4

In September 2018, I took a drive into Damansara Perdana to view DASH under construction.

Construction of DASH begins and construction in Bandar Utama

My friend commented via WhatsApp:- "DASH began works even before approval was given. It wasn't in the Master Plan then. The have been working through the night and enforcing diversions that pose risk and inconveniences. Another example of a government that allows you to speak but knowing they will not listen."

I replied:- "I call this letting the people speak freely,demonstrate and protest but proverbially fart in our faces, much like happens in the liberal democracies of the west."

To be fair though, our Selangor state assemblyman Y.B. Rajiv Rishyakaran supported us residents in our objection to a high-rise Transit-oriented Development in partnership with a private developer on two plots of land currently owned by Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB), a wholly Selangor state goverment-linked company, as Star Metro of 8 April 2019 reported:-

High-rise proposal raises concern among Section 14 folk   

I've subsequently am led to understand that a technical unit within the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) rejected the application by the developer upon grounds that there is only one access road to the proposed development from Jalan Utara, hence a high likelihood of traffic congestion.

However, it's possible that the developer can come back with an alternative proposal which includes more than one access roads.

Star Metro's earlier report of 18 december 2018 about Section 14 residents' concerns over this this proposed development provides more background about it.

Residents fear another high-rise

If this proposed development is eventually approved by the MBPJ, it than cannot claim that it was approved over 10 years earlier under the Barisan Nasional state government.

Meanwhile, up north in Penang, which also has been under the rule of a Pakatan state government since March 2008, the state government has recently farted in Penang people's faces over their objections to the construction of three man made islands on reclaimed land off the southern coast of Penang island (the Penang South Reclamation project), which Penang's activists, including fishermen's groups fear will jeopardise the livelihoods of fisherfolk.

"Ecological nightmare haunts Penang"

On 26 May 2019, The Sun reported:-

"GEORGE TOWN: 45 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Penang plan to send a joint memorandum to request the intervention of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to cancel the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project."

So will Pakatan Harapan prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir listen to their concerns and act in their favour or will he proverbially fart in their faces?

Meanwhile, my dear readers (non-Muslim) - Cheers and to your good health!!!

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BTW. I have no personal interest in Drinks Connexion Sdn. Bhd., nor am I being paid by them to post this.

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But please, don't insult a single malt by mixing it with a canned soda drink. If you want to mix a whisky, then do so with one of those cheaper blended versions which have been popular in Malaysia since before independence.

Yours trully


Monday, 15 April 2019


This video of an owner or owner's representation trashes own 'luxury' apartment in the 'Golden Triangle' of Kuala Lumpur in protest against property developer Tropicana.

The Luxurious Tropicana The Residences Gets Trashed!

Tropicana snubs man who thrashed luxury unit with sledgehammer (VIDEO)

Published 1 hour ago on 15 April 2019

By Jerry Choong

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Tropicana Corporation Berhad has refused to negotiate with a man who thrashed one of its luxury serviced residences with purported defects.

The property developer said the man featured in a viral video damaging a unit at Tropicana's The Residences development situated in the vicinity of Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) — which he claimed contained marble flooring defects and was not luxurious enough — had demanded monetary compensation.

"The Representative emphasised and threatened that he would make it his life mission to damage Tropicana's reputation if the Group does not accede to his demands," Tropicana said in a statement, referring to the man.

"Today, Tropicana is in this situation as the Group refused to negotiate with such an individual, who clearly has malicious intent towards the Group. This is clearly a premeditated attempt to extort financial gains from the Group."

The property developer said it stood by its consultants and staff, whom it described as having shown professionalism in handling the matter

Adding the untoward incident has deeply affected the Tropicana team, the company apologised to anyone affected by it.

"The Group hopes that these unreasonable actions do not repeat as it completely undermines the whole building industry as well as the laws and regulations that govern housing development in Malaysia," said Tropicana.

A video that has gone viral features a middle-aged man ranting angrily about the quality of the purchased unit at The Residences, which he said cost RM2 million. It is believed to have been recorded by one of the people present with him.

Among other things, he accused the developer of using cheap furniture and materials to construct and to pass off the unit as a luxury condominium. He also complained about the lack of a curtain rod, sliding doors that were difficult to open, and small dressing tables.

Aside from taking a sledgehammer to smash a table and the unit's flooring, the man also used a red aerosol paint can to spray markings on the furniture, floor, and curtains. It is not currently known who the individual is.

Referring to the incident which took place last Wednesday, Tropicana said the man featured in the video was not actually the unit owner, but supposedly her representative.

"The actual owner took vacant possession officially of her unit at The Residences on March 23, and was satisfied except with the potential marble flooring defect.

"She subsequently lodged a defect report with Tropicana solely on marble flooring on April 1, which we were ready to rectify based on our Standard Operating Procedure, and in accordance with the terms of agreement with the owner," Tropicana said.

But the representative intervened and demanded specific members of Tropicana staff, main contractor and consultants present themselves for a meeting in the unit, the day the incident took place, according to Tropicana.

"However before the consultants were able to explain the typical natural characteristics of the marble flooring, the representative deviated from the defects reported by the owner and started becoming aggressive.

"The representative berated everyone and out of fear for their safety, the consultants decided to leave the unit. The internal staff of Tropicana also intended to leave however the Representative threatened to cause more damage," Tropicana said, adding that despite being traumatised, Tropicana staff remained within the unit out of safety concerns for its residents.

Tropicana added that by bringing a sledgehammer into the unit prior to the meeting, the representative clearly had a premeditated action in mind without intending to resolve the matter at hand.

Yours trully


Wednesday, 10 April 2019


Results of a study released by the Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) highlighted problems with Malaysia's rice producing industry, The Malay Mail of 10 April 2019 reported.

However, going by The Malay Mail's report, the KRI offers no clear and concise solutions.

"Poor policies are also behind what KRI called a "midstream squeeze", in which rice millers are forced to buy low quality grains at a premium and sold at a controlled price despite a steadily increasing production cost."

"The think tank said protectionist policies aimed at safeguarding farmers and consumers neglect the difficulties faced by midstream players.

"Dealt with a thin profit margin, the study said most millers either diversify or resort to "malpractices", which deepens the distrust between them and farmers that KRI said worsened after the government standardised the RM1,200 Guaranteed Minimum Price per tonne nationwide."

"There are also numerous cases where millers were forced to close shop."

"This is what we call a midstream squeeze: they are forced to buy low quality grains from farmers and then they have to sell it at a controlled price," Serena said, adding that millers need urgent federal support.

"In Kelantan, only one miller is still operating while the rest couldn't operate anymore."

"Malaysia is predicted to remain a net rice importer for the next 20 years despite decades of production-oriented policies, KRI noted."

Going by the excerpt from the article above, it would appear that the KRI is implying that Malaysia remove all price controls on rice to allow rice millers to earn a higher profit margin, which in turn implies higher prices of rice to consumers.

I'm sure consumers, especially the those in the B40 lower income group who are already struggling with having to cope with the high cost of goods and high cost of living will love that.

OK! I have a suggestion - where agriculturally possible, convert some land used to grow oil palm for rice growing, whether by small holders or industrial scale rice farms using industrial scale farming methods and farm equipment. Also, such farms can include in-house rice milling facilities as well.

The Malay Mail article follows bewlow:-

Rice industry in dire straits despite billions in federal aid, says KRI study

Published 50 minutes ago on 10 April 2019

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — The country's rice industry remains severely deficient despite having received billions worth of federal subsidies, incentives and other forms of assistance, said a new study on food security by Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) released today.

The think tank in its 'Status of Paddy and Rice Industry' report found the rice trade is beset with structural weaknesses, even if production has increased over the last 30 years to allow Malaysia to meet its safe self-sufficiency target (SSL) of 60 to 70 per cent.

If left unaddressed, KRI said any supply shock risk hurting the most vulnerable groups such as the poor, rural residents or migrant workers, the most dependent on rice as a food source.

"Households in the below 40 per cent group, rural areas and non-citizens spend a higher proportion of their monthly F&B expenditure on rice, compared to their respective counterparts," it said in a fact sheet.

"For some consumers such as undocumented workers, their consumption is invisible and are therefore easily left behind making these communities more vulnerable."

The study identified four key weaknesses that needed urgent remedies.

At the policy level, it found the government's definition of food security too narrow and heavily-production driven with rice SSL used as a proxy for food security.

KRI said this definition only covers availability and exclude nutritional importance of other food, which pushes farmers to focus only on meeting production targets, neglect quality and resort to unsustainable methods like the overuse of dangerous but cheap pesticides.

Dr Sarena Che Omar, lead author of the report, said the government must expand and incorporate food quality factors in a broader definition of food security.

"We need to emphasise on nutritional values... it's important because we need to design the right policies," she said during her presentation of the report here.

Malaysia ranks among nations with the highest obesity rate, according to the World Health Organisation in 2018.

Poor policies are also behind what KRI called a "midstream squeeze", in which rice millers are forced to buy low quality grains at a premium and sold at a controlled price despite a steadily increasing production cost.

The think tank said protectionist policies aimed at safeguarding farmers and consumers neglect the difficulties faced by midstream players.

Dealt with a thin profit margin, the study said most millers either diversify or resort to "malpractices", which deepens the distrust between them and farmers that KRI said worsened after the government standardised the RM1,200 Guaranteed Minimum Price per tonne nationwide.

There are also numerous cases where millers were forced to close shop.

"This is what we call a midstream squeeze: they are forced to buy low quality grains from farmers and then they have to sell it at a controlled price," Serena said, adding that millers need urgent federal support.

"In Kelantan, only one miller is still operating while the rest couldn't operate anymore."

Malaysia is predicted to remain a net rice importer for the next 20 years despite decades of production-oriented policies, KRI noted.

Some economists have called on the government to return its focus on agriculture for food security reasons.

Consumption goods imports totalled RM2 billion last year, down from RM6.5 billion the year before with food and beverages posting a RM440 million drop or 44 per cent year-on-year, official data showed.

Yours trully


Monday, 8 April 2019


Already burdened with cost of living which remains high or has risen since the 14th General Elections on 9 May 2019, I'm pretty sure that Malaysians who travel out of Malaysia by air will be 'delighted' to have to pay a RM20 departure levy when flying to an ASEAN country and RM40 when flying elsewhere, when the proposed Departure Levy Act is passed.

I suppose our 'New Malaysia' government will argue that if one can afford to fly, even on a budget airline, one can afford to pay a departure levy, so this proposed departure levy looks unlikely to affect most Malaysians in the B40 (lowest 40% of household income earners) who mostly travel by bus, train, car, boat, motorcycle, bicycle or walk across borders to Singapore, Thailand or Indonesia.

Let's wait and see what the public reaction to this will be.

The Star's article follows below:-

Malaysians leaving the country will have to pay when Departure Levy Bill is passed

Monday, 8 Apr 2019

6:58 PM MYT

Monday, 8 Apr 2019

6:58 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR: Anyone flying out the country will have to pay a fee when the Departure Levy Bill 2019 is passed in Parliament.

The Bill tabled by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah (pic) for its first reading on Monday (April 8) seeks the implementation of a new levy on any person leaving Malaysia.

However, the amount of the proposed levy was not mentioned in the Bill.

In Budget 2019, the government had proposed a departure levy of RM20 for Asean countries and RM40 for non-Asean countries.

The Bill also proposes hefty punishments for those who avoid paying the levy.

Any registered person who makes an incorrect return or information can face a fine not exceeding RM500,000, a three-year jail term or both, upon sentencing.

According to the Bill, a registered person means any operator or agent of foreign operators.

The Bill also states that anyone with the intent to evade or assist another to avoid the departure levy will also be liable to a fine not exceeding RM1mil, a five-year jail sentence or both upon sentencing.

The proposed Act also states that any person who in any way assaults, obstructs, hinders, threatens or molests a Customs officer in the discharge of his function or fails to give reasonable assistance to any Customs offer will also be liable to a maximum three-year jail term, a fine not exceeding RM500,000 or both if found guilty.

Yours trully


Wednesday, 3 April 2019


So the long awaited trial of former prime minister Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak began today.

Let the prosecution handle this issue which has been the subject of endless, tiresome, circular talk amongst Malaysians over dinner, tea, beers and on social media for several years now.

Meanwhile, we have bigger issues at hand, such as the economy, high cost of living, unemployment, low wages and salaries, poor enforcement of public safety and environmental protection regulations and other issues which affect us directly to bother about, which our "Malaysia Baru" government needs to address.

Meanwhile, Malaysians can follow live updates of the trial's proceedings by The Star over here:-

Yours trully


Thursday, 21 March 2019


HMMMM! I thought that Malaysians would be a world's most delighted people following the victory of the Pakatan Haparan (Pact of Hope) over the Barisan Nasional coalition in the 9 May 2018 general elections more commonly referred to as "GE14", and for the very first time overturning 61 years of Barisan Nasional (and earlier its predecessor the Alliance) rule over Malaya and later Malaysia since independence.

Malaysians looked forward to more freedom of speech, freedom of press, abolition of highway tolls, repeal of draconian laws, reduction in cost of living, lower prices in the stores, more affordable housing, cheaper cars, more academic freedom in our educational institutions, repeal of the University and University Colleges Act which restricts students' political freedoms, recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate for entrance to Malaysian universities,   relief on graduates repayment of PTPTN loans, greater inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony and so forth.

However, close to one year after Pakatan Harapan became the federal government, The Star reported (see below) that Malaysia ranked 80th place in the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network's and the Ernesto Illy Foundation's 2019 World Happiness Index, down 45 places from 2018. Also, Malaysia came forth in South-East Asia in 2019 down from second in 2018.

A friend who went for a medical check up at the University Malaysia Medical Centre (PPUM) related to me what a doctor or doctors told him that they had observed a recent increase in cases of tuberculosis and asthma, whilst he also learned that many patients he saw there had sought treatment at PPUM, a government hospital, because their claims on their private medical insurance plans had been rejected.

I'm sure most would already have read that about 6,000 of people, including school students falling ill from inhaling toxic chemical fumes, including hydogen cyanide, released from toxic waste illegally dumped into the Kim Kim River (Sungai Kim Kim) in Pasir Gudang, Johor, with many requiring hospital treatment, schools being closed and so forth. Sure, we have more than enough tough regulations on the books but there's poor enforcement.

Health Ministry: Almost 6,000 sought treatment over Sungai Kim Kim pollution

The authorities will run around like headless chickens when something goes wrong and soon afterwards, it will be back to business as usual.

Without further ado, The Star's article:-

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is ranked the 80th happiest nation in the 2019 World Happiness Report, a massive drop of 45 places compared with 2018 when it was ranked 35th.

This latest report of 156 countries covers the period from 2016-2018, while the 2018 report covered 2015-2017.

In South-East Asia, Malaysia is ranked fourth behind Singapore (34th), Thailand (52nd) and the Philippines (69th).

In the previous report, Malaysia was ranked second happiest in the region.

The top spots for happiest countries in the world go to the Nordic nations, with Finland being the happiest followed by Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

The unhappiest country is South Sudan, with Tanzania, Afghanistan and Central African Republic just above them.

The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be.

This year's report focused on happiness and the community: how happiness has evolved over the past dozen years, with a focus on the technologies, social norms, conflicts and government policies that have driven those changes.

The report is produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, in partnership with the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

The overall rankings are based on the pooled results of Gallup World Poll surveys.

Earlier, Malay Mail Online reported that a Selangor state assemblyman, Mohd Shaid Rosli proposed to the Selangor state assembly that his constituency should be the centre of ganja (marijuana) production for medical research and export purposes.

I suppose Selangor state needs the revenue and the crop will be strictly controlled so that it will not be used for recreational purposes.

However, judging from how toxic chemicals were illegally dumped in the the Kim Kim River despite strict regulations against doing so, we can be pretty sure that thanks to Malaysia's legendary lack of enforcement of regulations, many Malaysians, especially Selangorians will be getting stoned and perhaps Malaysia will shoot to the top of the World Happiness Index in 2020 as the "happiest" people on earth.

SHAH ALAM, March 20 — A Selangor lawmaker wants to put his state on the world map as the biggest ganja producer in the world.

Jeram assemblyman Mohd Shaid Rosli proposed to the Selangor state assembly that since the Kuala Selangor area has been designated as an agricultural cluster, his constituency should be the centre of ganja production for medical research and export purposes.

"Let me give you an example. You can get RM3,000 an acre per year for palm oil. Ganja brings in RM9 million a year... one acre with three harvests can get you RM9 million a year.

"If Selangor can produce (ganja) across more than 100 acres, we will be the world's biggest (ganja) producer. This can put Selangor on the world map and make us famous," said Mohd Shaid as other members of the House broke into laughter.

He then referred to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which allows government departments to plant the drug for medical purposes.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) lawmaker added that National Poison Centre Director Professor Mohamed Isa Abd Majid has conducted a study and agreed to work with a local company to plant ganja for medical research and export.

Mohd Shaid also pointed out that since Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad is the MP for Kuala Selangor, the state government should also give its cooperation for the medical research ganja farm if it receives Putrajaya's nod.

However, Ijok assemblyman Dr Idris Ahmad cautioned his fellow party member and the House saying that enforcement could be a difficult issue.

"Historically, ganja was used as a medicine but it has been abused, just like opium and morphine. These are dangerous drugs that must be controlled. Even simple medication classified by the Health Ministry is difficult to control.

"I'm a doctor, I know this problem regarding controlled medicine. We need better enforcement," said the medical professional.

However, Mohd Shaid insisted that security measures for a ganja plantation should be tighter when compared to other plantations.

He said that Selangor should look to other ganja-producing countries such as Canada and the United States where even planes are not allowed to fly through a ganja production facility's airspace.

"This plant is not like palm oil. It's a specific plant and it needs tight security. I'm not just talking about on the ground but also airborne security like the facilities in the US and Canada. We should use the same system," he said.

You see, there are two methods of oppression:-

1. Oppress political dissidents with brute force, beatings, incarceration and even execution.

2. Allow them any amount for freedom to let off their steam in protests, demonstrations and on social media but ignore them and carry on with business as usual - an approach I term as the government "farting in citizens' faces", as they do in most liberal democracies.

    Promote hedonism, as the rulers of ancient Rome did,  with endless bread and circuses for the people, including entertainment, indulgence in violent gladiatorial sports where slaves battled other slaves to death in the arena and a people high to the eyeballs on alcohol (forbidden for Muslims) or high to their eyeballs on ganja, will forget all their concerns over their real-world condition, as they seek refuge in their escapism.

   Perhaps we may also want to get poor foreign workers (latter day slaves) from our neighbouring countries to battle it out in wrestling matches as part of the "bread and circuses" to entertain the Malaysians masses. I'm sure this will be much cheaper than paying for the rights to air those very well choreographed and play-acted wrestling matches on TV. 

   Also, perhaps the Selangor state government may also want to legalise prostitution and promote sex tourism which will bring in plenty of revenue for the state.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak looks like he's very happy that his trial has been postponed once again.

PUTRAJAYA, March 21 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak's case over RM42 million funds belonging to former 1MDB unit SRC International Sdn Bhd was postponed again today.

Justice Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof, who chaired the Court of Appeal's three-man panel, allowed Najib's request for a temporary stay of proceedings.

"This is our decision, we will grant the stay pending the appeal to the Federal Court," she said.

Earlier, the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed three of four appeals filed by Najib in relation to the case.

However, it unanimously allowed his appeal in his bid to challenge the appointment of senior private lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah as his lead prosecutor in this case.

Najib's lawyers had asked for a stay of trial proceedings pending their appeals on the three unsuccessful bids to the Federal Court.

Najib's trial over the RM42 million funds was initially scheduled to start from February 12 and run until March 29, but the trial was put on hold until the Court of Appeal decided on today's appeals.

Well that's my roundup of politischeiss for today.

Meanwhile - Don't worry, be Happy!

Yours most truly


Friday, 8 March 2019


Neoliberal economic policies practiced by former Barisan Nasional and now Pakatan Harapan federal and state governments believe in allowing market forces to determine prices, such as allowing housing prices to be determined by free market forces, rather than impose price controls for the benefit of the people, who increasingly are unable to afford the skyrocketing housing prices.

Aiming to make big profits from increasing demand for housing, developers have built more houses priced at above RM250,000 which most ordinary people cannot afford and are now caught with having completed properties worth a total of RM27.4 billion which remain unsold, whilst there is a shortage of affordable houses priced below RM250,000.

Whilst I am anti-neoliberal, however according to von-Hayekist, Chicago School, Ron Paulist, Thatcherite, Reaganite neoliberal capitalist economics so loved by economic planners and obviously by businesses and business CON-sultants today, to clear the glut, these property developers should live up to their neoliberal ideals and sell these unsold properties which they have priced at RM500,000, RM750,000, RM1 million or more - at RM250,000 or below, even at a great loss to themselves or even at the risk of going bankrupt. That's neoliberal economics after all!

The "people-friendly", "New Malaysia", Pakatan Harapan federal and state governments should adopt regulator policies so despised by neoliberals, and make it law that all complete properties which remain unsold after nine months must be sold at RM250,000 or below to low income people whom the government will qualify to exclude property speculators who would take advantage of this measure to buy at RM250,000 or below and sell at a huge profit later. At the same time, qualified low-income buyers who buy these properties must be subject to a regulation which forbids them from selling their property for the first 20 years of ownership or which allows them to sell to similarly qualified buyers at the same price they bought their properties within 20 years after purchase.

At the same time, the various state development corporations should develop quality public housing, not low-cost, ultra high density pigeonholes, and sell them to low income members of the public who qualify, subject to the same 20 year conditions.

These state development corporations must hold open tenders in which building contractors must bid for the contact to build such housing at competitive prices and to the standard stipulated by the contract, with heavy penalties if they cut corners, use sub-standard materials and so forth. Also, any corruption involved on the part of the developers or government inspectors must be severely punished.

Look at how government officials in India demolished a sprawling luxury seaside bungalow in Alibaug near Mumbai which belongs to Nirav Modi who was accused of his involvement in a Punjab National Bank fraud case. 

The bungalow was deemed to have been illegally built by the seaside and violated coastal regulations. 

MUMBAI: The sprawling seaside mansion of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused in the USD 2 billion PNB fraud case, was demolished Friday using explosives, Raigad District Collector Vijay Suryawanshi said.

The district collector told PTI that it was controlled blasting.

The senior IAS official had issued the demolition orders after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) handed over the property situated in Raigad district, over 90 km from here.

Neoliberals will hate such laws and regulations but too bad.

Do current Pakatan Harapan federal and state government have the political will to adopt such measures which benefit of the ordinary people?

Malay Mail article of 9 March 2019 follows below:-

Developers caught in rut as demand for affordable housing higher than supply, with expensive homes unsold