Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Brain Drain

Not enough time to post- Hungry baby and hungry mummy on the loose!
It's true that BFing makes you hungry and thirsty all the time..... and it makes you look like you have Pamela Anderson's chest if you don't feed or get on the pump soon. Ah- nice.

Anyway, I looked through an old post about Malaysians and stereotypes.
Wow. Looked at the comments section and it looked like a MalaysiaKini opinions page.
Most people were talking about Malaysians who choose to migrate. Who are these Malaysians?

The comments are too long but I will post one of them here.

No brain leader said...

"Now if you followed speech about a new agenda to help bumis. So this is the way to create towering malays - just give them more handouts.

All talk was about helping, read enriching the malays. No one had the balls to talk about the Malaysian agenda. If this is what our future leaders spew, then I shed tears for my beloved country.

Much of so-called leakages of bumis allocation has not gone to other bumis but merely lost. Look at the ringgit depreciation, the loss of Proton, the debt of Perwaja, the bank write offs etc, and you get an idea where they have gone. The non-bumis benefit is marginal compared to the larger loses.

Just look at how many of the Menteri Besar and Chief Ministers reap profit from their position for personal gain, compared to few did not do it. They must be using the same pretext of some noble cause like NEP. But at the end the one benefiting is their closet cronies.

What left to Malaysians is the exorbitant car prices, high toll rate, no viable alternative public transport in cities, ever increasing water tariff etc. Who is suffering at the end? Isn't it the "rakyat" at large and bumis forming the largest portion?

Have they not considered why previous implementations failed? In fact one needs not look far to find the answers - CORRUPPTION and ABUSE of POWER leading to cronyism and nepotism.

A simple solution is to implement an independent judiciary, answerable to parliament and freedom of the press as a starter.

Instead, Umno is asking for more privileges. Who are the main beneficiaries? So long as Malaysia's resources are plentiful, the non-bumis as scapegoats, the use of religious fear factor works on the rakyat, Umno will continue to call the shot.

Unfortunately there is not enough resources to satisfy the greed of Umno, the rakyat will remain poorer while the rich get richer.

For non-bumis, their ultimate aim is going abroad. Those left behind, well, the left over will join the poor including the bumis in Malaysia. Thus denying Malaysia the skill and wealth of the emigrating Malaysians.

Don't forget the call for more help, enriching the malays are actually for Umno, selected few and cronies! Not all the malays!

Do read them carefully and not counting it as every malay or Malaysian! Because of this nature of speech don't count it as "for all malays" and a case for you to bombast the innocent malays!

With all the multibillions and hundreds of millions of ringgit contracts going to the Umno bumis and crony companies, with all the Approved Permits (APs) going to the bumis (almost), with all the banking licences going to the bumis (almost), with all the big Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) coming under the control of the bumis, with all the government jobs (almost) going to the bumis, with all the petrol stations, transport licenses going to the bumis, etc, etc.

Perhaps one reason that Umno Youth perceived that the bumis are not faring too well in the economic field is that the wealth that is now in their hands is not well shared out, and is concentrated in the hands of a small number of elite and crony bumis.

If you look at the number of government contracts going out to bumis is really discriminating against the non-malays.

Until now, I have not heard of one malay who has the courage to admit, that about 90% of the government projects and assistance that went to help the malays has gone to waste - huge squandering and wastage.

It is the reason why they are not being respected by other races.

That is their huge weakness. No matter how much monetary assistance you give to the malays, somehow or rather it doesn't improve their character and attitude towards work. It doesn't improve their knowledge on any business they are in.

Their business ethic is the lowest among Malaysians. Their wealth will never improve. Later down the road, they will be spending most of their money if not all on material gain rather than on building values, skills and knowledge.

That is why, 90% of the student scholarships, or 90% of the government projects goes to them, has gone to waste. They didn't take the opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skills but merely for material gain.

They have no confidence in themselves after so many years of independence. No confidence and faith in themselves to do their best and compete in the world. None at all.

Because most of the time, they spend their money and time on politics, and material gain. I would say malays place more importance on the form rather than on the substance.

Look at the amount of protocol they have to follow in their daily life. Most of it is not practical at all.

In short, we are stuck in medieval concept of balance of conflicting interest rather than those about moving forward to be become one.

So long as we are stuck in such medieval thinking, so long as we will be paralyzed by our fears and insecurities, and honestly second-rate as a nation."

Why can't the nation's leaders LISTEN? If I were a CEO I'd be heavily reliant on market surveys and customer feedback.
Why don't you have any opinion polls? Is it because you don't care what people think?

Or is it because you want to tell people what to think because you think people don't know how to think for themselves?
That last question is very typical of old-school politics in Malaysia.

That post was in the beginning of 2005. We're in mid 2008.
Anwar faces sodomy charges again.
It's all still the same old, same old again.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It's a GIRL!

Background: We decided that we did not want to know the gender of our baby- we would be happy with anything.

Being waaay overdue, I was checked in to be induced. 24 hours on, after much pain but minimal dilation, my Ob-Gyn decided that a c-section was the best way to go. The little princess was born with a very pink complexion for (the most part) asian parents, she has very long fingernails and loves to hold her hands together. BF has now been established.

We are all warm and fuzzy now.

Both grandmas are staying with us. The grandfathers will join us later, as there is a big-news important diplomatic event happening in Malaysia this week, so they have to be there.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A few months back, when travel was still possible, I visited KL while hubby was away in London..............

I spent some time with my feet up and did some furious shopping, stayed at my parents' home in the good old 50490 'hood for some rest and relaxation before my tummy got too huge.
As with all visits, I am amazed at how different KL looks and feels each time.

If you'll bear with me, please: I want to talk about 2 dinners that I attended while in KL. This is of particular interest because the people at dinner#1 are people who have considerable influence on the everyday lives of Malaysians. People at dinner#2 is maybe an example of how we begin to chip at these walls average Malaysians surround ourselves with.

Went to dinner with my parents and their friends at a place in KL frequented by a very middle age demographic. (Don't want to name names because Dad is a regular) A person/people at this dinner table very probably built and/or (depends on which building) own the building that your blogging ass is sitting in right this very moment, one is the MD of a listed holdings company, a former politician slash doctor/lawyer/dentist. All of them are very high profile people. People came up to greet and shake hands with the people at this table. (Including me! An engineer I was involved in a project with a few years ago came up to say hello.)

We talked animatedly about politics contrasted and compared politics in Australia and Malaysia. First, we agreed that all governments have corruption to varying degrees.
Second, the former politicians felt/feel like a slave to petty party politics- they felt it affected the direction of the nation TOO much. You could see the frustration in their face as they talked about it- but doubt that anyone put a gun to their head and threatened to kill them if they didn't toe the line, even if it was beyond the boundaries of common human decency.
Third the businessmen agreed that it was much harder to make any real money in transparent governments like Australia and the corruption and bureaucracy in Malaysia made them their fortune. That's true- we all know that every cent in every politician's allowance is transparent and accounted for in the very egalitarian political system in Australia.

Not an actual pic of the event above: just setting the scene.

I love dining with the older generation! I was happy that they included me and always spoke to me like an equal.


I went to The Gardens and met up for dinner with my old kaki from the 50490 'hood at the new avant-garde Alexis bistro. (You see, this time, I am naming names of places because the visual setting is important for the point which I will get to)

This time, yet again, the no-good (I jest, I jest!) guys left early because "takut bini". Heh heh I knew it. But the husbands of my friends were more than happy for them to stay out as long as they liked. (Well, some of those husbands are much older Dato's who are seldom at home, some still at work, one of them was at home with their kids- Whoa! That's because he's Mat Salleh.)

Anyway, I look around the room and this table stood out amongst the usual diners in these establishments: obvious foodie bloggers, table of all-female label whores/wanna-be's and dating couples. There was a table of guys and gals resplendent in their Hong Kong style trendiness. They spoke only cantonese. One of those guys, with his dyed hair and J-pop star wardrobe, was REALLY gorgeous. Around 6ft, nice body-muscular & not skinny, nice face. He was only two tables away. We could smell the Calvin Klein perfume on him.

Some visual cues of such HK chinese and Japanese hotties to help:
We all agreed and had a group-perve. One of us at the table, "J", was 100% chinese, but I've never heard her speak chinese maybe because she couldn't/wouldn't. I'm not exactly sure why. But get this: she was absolutely disgusted with the guy, the whole group. WHY?

J: I don't care if he's Brad Pitt under all that designer gear, cologne, hair colour and gel- he's still "Ah-Beng" garbage. Just look at the rest of his friends.
Us: *shock* I can see the stereotype, but it's quite possible that he's a person underneath all that.
J: I think I know what kind of a person that is: he likes imported cars, he loves canto-pop, he's chinese educated. Trash.
Us: *shock* Where did all this hatred come from?
J: I've been surrounded by it all my life. I hate it when people lump me into the same group as these people just because I'm chinese.
Us: "People"? What do you mean by that? We've been friends for many years and we've never thought of you in that way.
J: That's because I have always tried very hard not to be identified as too chinese.
*J gives us a few examples throughout the years that we've known her- and we nod and listen mostly because we feel some sympathy for her*

Can you imagine what it's like for "J", who has had to deny an integral part of who she is for fear of being racially stereotyped? I have a feeling some people actually know, because, come to think of it, I know lots of chinese friends who insist on being 100% westernized, dating outside their race and speaking only malay and english. It's scary.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Some critical media advice for Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim

Last night, on Bloomberg Asia, we (in Australia) saw Anwar Ibrahim being interviewed live over the phone by a journalist (probably broadcast from a studio in Hong Kong or Singapore) regarding the new sodomy charges against him. A foreigner would be at best, puzzled by the verbal barrage that came from the other side, mentioning the "IGP" a couple of times, the "Mongolian model case" once. He talked of "they" and "them" (who are these people? My personal guess is the UMNO people-not the top dogs but those who are in the succession plan are shitting in their pants because they're scared of Anwar taking power) who continue their crusade against him. The journalist did not question what he meant- because it sounded like a lot of incoherent verbal diarrhoea.

If I were in Dato Anwar's esteemed position, I would choose my words carefully for the audience- you are not being interviewed by a Malaysian journalist from a local paper. No one outside Malaysia knows what an "IGP" (Inspector General of Police) is. No one outside Malaysia knows what the "Mongolian model case" is all about.

That invaluable media opportunity to confirm his political position to the world unfortunately didn't do much to help his case at all. Time to get a little bit more media savvy, Dato Seri.

Not all media are like the monkey see-monkey do three ringed circus performers (RTM, TV3, TheStar, NST, etc etc) that you get in mainstream media in Malaysia.