Sunday, October 30, 2005

Malaysia and Singapore

The Star 30th October 2005 featured an article Too Close for Comfort which touched on the relationship between the two neighbours. Malaysia-Singapore ties has long been a bumpy ride. Issues ranging from the price of water, air-space and the recent land reclaimation by Singapore that brought silt to Johor's shores. It's no mystery why both nations' citizens have indifferent feelings towards each other. Malaysians think Singaporeans are kiasu and snobbish. Their counterparts think that we are some ulu-kampung folks and lazy. Reading some of the interesting comments from both parties in the article gave me the urge to highlight some of them in my blog. Here goes...

We’re so over it, you know? We’ve moved on. The subject just doesn’t interest us anymore. Singaporeans ... well ... they’re obsessed.

“They’re supposedly the superior nation, economically and whatnot, but you wouldn’t have guessed it. They need constant reassurance and this play gives them the opportunity to laugh at Malaysia and feel good about themselves. It’s so pathetic,” - A Malaysian Theatre fan on Separation 40, a play on the separation of Malaysia/Singapore.

This is clearly a disgruntled Malaysian whose sentiments are shared by mostly Central and Northern Malaysians who are not "brainwashed" by Singapore's terrestarial TV. Like what the article said, Malaysians are jealous because economically, we are inferior to Singaporeans. (That doesn't make Singaporeans superior to Malaysians in any way IMHO)

“In Malaysia, the Malays are handed everything on a silver platter. It must be difficult for the non-Malays ... and embarrassing for the Malays.” - Leeza Hassan, 17, a Singaporean Malay.

These words, coming from another Malay. No comments.

“They are so racist there. The Chinese look down on the Malays and rarely have Malay friends.” - Jessica Tan, 18, Malaysian

Oh really? Are Malaysian Chinese/Indians/Malays interacting with one another? We tend to stick to our own race and all the talk about racial harmony is just BS. We are just tolerating each other's presence and we only interact with each other when it's necessary. Are Malaysians any better than Singaporeans in this sense? I don't think so. This young Malaysian doesn't even know the problems in Malaysia and she goes making comments like this. It shows how ignorant she is towards our local issues.

“I feel very sorry for Singaporeans because only a minute portion of them are enjoying the good life...The general population is restricted in so many ways that it is difficult for them to achieve their dreams" - Penangite Jeninder Kaur, 33

If you read my previous blog entry Singapore...to and back, i did mention that Singaporeans are an obedient lot. The Singaporean Government is like a big parent, micro-managing her children. Thanks to that, Singaporeans behave like escaped convicts when they come over to Malaysia. They drive like speed-demons and break every rule that was imposed on them in Singapore. The moral of the story? Don't go down South if you love chewing gum and tend to treat anywhere other than your house as a rubbish dump. You will be so sadly deprived of the pleasure of vandalizing public property without getting caught.

At the end of the article, the author Daphne Lee asked,"So, what if Singapore had never left Malaysia? Would it mean better public transport and worse food in Malaysia? Would Singaporeans then be more spontaneous and less smug?"

Well, if Singapore never left Malaysia, Singapore would just be another Malaysian state with lousy infrastructure, corrupt authorities which provides poor governance, disgruntled 2nd-class citizens (you and i know who these are) and of course, shopping in Singapore will no longer be cheap! Either way, i am glad Singapore broke off and became what it is today. This so-called First World country will always be there for us to compete with. (and b*tch about to vent our frustration!) I dare say, Malaysia will just be another backwater country it was 20 years ago if it wasn't for Singapore's success that brought out the kiasu-ism in our country. Wouldn't you agree? Hmmmmmmmm...



Thursday, October 27, 2005

Taiwan mulls over banning corporal punishment

BBC News reported that Taiwan is in a furore over a teacher caning her student for submitting his homework 10 days late. Her act of administering the punishment was recorded by another student using a camera phone. Now, law-makers are pushing for amendments to the existing laws to ban corporal punishment altogether. According to the report, even President Chen Sui-bian and Prime Minister Frank Hsieh is throwing their support behind this move. If the amendment is passed, Taiwan will be part of the list of countries that has already banned any forms of corporal punishment. The list includes China, UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Germany, Israel, Iceland, Romania, Ukraine and Hungary.

Woa...that seems to be an awful lot of countries that outlawed corporal punishment. The rise of middle income parents has brought forth a generation of pampered brats. What's wrong with caning a child if he or she misbehaved? I am not talking about caning a child until the child bleeds or requires hospitalization. That would be child abuse. Critics claim that confining a child or imposing a fine will sufficiently discipline a child and we need not apply any "barbaric" corporal punishments. I beg to differ. Say a teenager became a snatch thief and was caught during one of his/her snatching sessions. If we follow the rationale of not imposing corporal punishment, we would have this fellow detained in some detention center for a period of time. Wouldn't this be as barbaric as administering corporal punishment on the teenager? Incarcerating this individual for say 5 months, practically ruins his future altogether. How? Once you are sent to some Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre, the community will know and the society at large generally discriminates ex-inhabitants of such centres.

In my opinion, instead of abolishing corporal punishment, we should impose harsher punishments such as those in the Syariah Law. No, i am not advocating Islam here. By having harsh corporal punishments, one might think twice before committing a crime. In the Syariah Law, adultery is punishable by being stoned to death and stealing is punishable by chopping off the hand that stole. Barbaric? Yes, but it serves as a grim warning to the society so that they will reconsider before commiting any crimes. Look at the number of incest and rape cases in our country! Flip open your daily newspapers and i can assure you can find at least 2-3 cases each day. This does not include cases that are not reported! What has imprisoning or the few strokes of rotan done to prevent such inhumane acts? I'd say we castrate these bastards! Look at UK, they banned corporal punishments but their crime rates are rising every year!!!

Just think about it. Corporal punishment is indeed barbaric but crimes are equally as barbaric. Society at large hasn't evolved to a point where corporal punishment is not applicable. I'd say we keep corporal punishment and at the same time educate the society. Once they have reached a matured and civilised mindset (probably a couple of decades from now) only do we reconsider other forms of punishment. Till then, i doubt the world is ready for the abolishment of corporal punishment.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Trainees aka Free Labourers

Ah...just two weeks into my Industrial Training Program and my supervisor is making full use of the three of us stationed at Legend Hotel. After sending Tan and myself throughout the Legend building to recover serial numbers of every printer and dumb terminal and their keyboards, he sent both of us to Legend Worldwide Holidays to jot down monitors and CPUs' serial numbers as well as the hardware and software specifications of each.Mind you, there are around 30+ PCs scattered all over the building and we have to go to each and everyone of them.
If that wasn't bad enough, yesterday, my supervisor told us to bring T-shirts and told us to clean out the store. Ah...in the store, we had to clear out 30 + Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) the size of a conventional tower CPU casing but weights like a tonne, 17 Monitors, 30 + CPUs (mostly from the Intel 75-133Mhz era) and 15+ dot matrix printers which are also darn heavy. We had to lable them one by one and to record all their serial numbers. Man...wearing slacks and leather shoes, only to carry stuff like conventional labourers. Hmm...this is what you call engineering industrial training. Doing conventional Indon labourers' work.

To spice things up a bit, i was told that the three of us will be sent to recover serial numbers of around 100+ CPUs and their hardware/software specifications throughout Legend Hotel tomorrow! Wooooooooooooooooooooooohooooo...sounds like "fun". Hmmmmmmmmm!!!!

I dread the day i have to really start working from 9 to 5 everyday. Working really sucks!!!! I can't sleep any later than 12 am or risk looking like a panda at work the next day. On weekends, i will be so tired that i don't even feel like going out at all. Sleep seems to be a luxury when you start working. Awwwwwww man...can't believe i am actually going to graduate in 8 months time. Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...

P.S : Too all my fellow juniors...cherish your student life more! Sleeping at 4am and waking up at 12pm will soon be a thing in the past. You can't do this anymore once you start working! So...start becoming vampires as often as you possibly can!!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Obsolete Laws

Recently, a local daily highlighted a dog abuse case. A German Shepherd (bloody darn good breed i tell ya! I am having one! :P) was abused and neglected till a point veterinarians had to put the dog to sleep to end its misery. Lo and behold, our magistrate court just slapped the owner with a RM100 fine. The end. A dog's life is only worth RM100. The reason for this low penalty is due to Animal Ordinance 1953 which only permits a fine up to RM200 and imprisonment not exceeding 6 months. This law was enacted in 1953 and back then, RM200 was a huge amount. In the year 2005, is this Act relevant? You can't even pay for a single room in our overpriced Cyberia condominiums with RM200.
Besides, The Star used to have a section on SPCA in the Metro. (I am not sure if it's still featured) The sad thing is, SPCA which is suppose to be the protector of pets do not have the power to prosecute pet abusers. They can only go and investigate any abuse cases and forward them to the local municipal councils. It is then up to the municipal councils to prosecute the wrong doers. Based on the track record of our municipal's "efficiency", it's no mystery why many pet abusers get off the hook.
Now it's already a week after the case was highlighted and people are in a furore over the inadequate penalty imposed on the German Shepherd's owner. It's only matter of days before this whole issue is forgotten. The Act will remain unamended and till the next case arises, animal abuses will continue to be neglected for many years to come.
On a sidenote, i have noticed most of the animal abuse highlighted are dog abuse. I wonder if our Government will be jolted into action if cats were abused. Hmmmm...that my friends, will be food for thought!

Photo was taken from The Star Website 18th October 2005

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Stupid managers should be shot

It's been a long and unfruitful day for me at my workplace. Thanks to some idiotic Operations Manager who is technology ignorant fool, i spent my entire day troubleshooting some non-existent problem.
It all began when this moron complained that his Pentium III 800Mhz with 64MB SDRAM was taking too long to process a software to generate entitlement. This department that this idiot manages basically deals with Legend Worldwide Holidays (LWH) members. Thus, everytime he generates an entitlement, the software processes the data of a member since the day he/she joined LWH. Say if a member joined in 1997, the software will generate all the data such as the number of nights he stayed in Legend Resort Cherating in 1998 and San Francisco in 1999 up to the current date from scratch. When dealing with such huge amount of data, it's no suprise that his hyper fast Pentium III 800Mhz with 64MB RAM lags considerably. Not only did he complained about his PC, he complained that all his front desk staff (7 PCs in total) are all "extremely slow that it cannot be used and hangs all the time".
This fool, instead of submitting a complain to the IT department of the company (where i am stationed at), he took the liberty to send a complain to the Vice President of Legend Group. Of course, even if such small matter reaches the VP, it becomes a huge issue. The VP sends an email to my department's manager demanding an explanation, the manager then instructed his assistant (which is my supervisor) to handle this case. My supervisor then instructed us to perform a detailed inventory check and software troubleshoot to find out the source of the problem. Mind you, at that time, none of us knew what caused the LWH PCs to be that slow. So off Tan and i go to the LWH office to perform typical maintainence processes (Scandisk, antivirus scan...etc). After taking the whole freaking day doing it, we found no problem whatsoever with the PCs. Of course the computers are slow compared to a newer one but the performance is as fast as the hardware can provide. At 630pm (we end our work at 530), that basket manager came out and blurted out that the PC is slow and revealed that the hardware isn't fast enough. Thus, our fruitless troubleshooting for a non-existent problem ended with a revelation that the stupid Operations Manager was too damn stingy to get new PCs for his department and he expects us to miraculously make the PCs super fast using a magic wand.
Sheeeeeesh...technology ignorant people like him should be taken out to a field and shot. Thanks to his ignorance about PC technology and his smart arse move to complain directly to the Vice President, Tan and i spent hours troubleshooting some problem that was not there in the first place. Now i really hope that fat old man dies of a heart failure or something. Sheesh...

Enough of that ape, i just watched Doom. Those who played Doom, especially the recent Doom 3, this is a must watch. You will find a lot of familiar scenes and even the settings are exactly like the game itself. Go check it out.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Dr.Mahathir's words of wisdom

It all started when Tun Dr.Mahathir made noise on the issuance of APs that affected the sales of Proton. This got Rafidah into hot soup and because of this, the whole nation has once again began criticizing Proton. At the end, after weeks of bickering and criticizing, Dr.M had had enough and said it would be better for Proton to close down. To make things more interesting, Dr.M claims that he doesn't know how Naza Ria became a National Car.

What puzzles me is that all the issuance of APs and Naza Ria's National car status happened when Dr.M was the Prime Minister. How is it possible for the PM not to know what his ministers are doing? The probable reasons i could think of are:-
  • The PM is so incompetent that he cannot manage his ministers
  • Rafidah was so daring to dupe her beloved mentor and issued the APs without consulting the PM
  • Rafidah intentionally dupe Dr.M into agreeing to elevate Naza Ria's status to a National Car.
I guess age really affects a human's mind no matter how brilliant you are, you will one day get old and be senile. Our beloved former PM is indicating every bit of a senile old man. What does he take us for? Morons? The words that come out of his mouth are absurd. How can a PM not know what his staff are doing especially when it deals with major issues such as the AP and National Car status? If that is really the case, this shows how stupid and incompetent the PM was till his ministers dare to do things behind his back. Seriously Dr.M, please don't treat us as imbeciles and shut your hole. You are embarassing yourself publicly.




Monday, October 17, 2005

First day of work...

First day of work at the Legendary Legend Hotel. Ah...
I literally spent the whole morning attending briefings. The moment i arrived, the Human Resource Staff who was in charge of hiring the three trainees from MMU, briefed us on how to groom ourselves, gave us our meal and punch cards and lectured us about Legend's policies. An hour later, we were sent to our department, called the MIS department. My beloved supervisor, Nicholas (Yes...it's Nicholas) briefed the three of us for another hour before taking us for a tour around the Mall and Legend building. At 12pm, Chan (See where i am heading to here?) came into the office. Oh yeah, i forgot to mention that there are only 3 permanent staff and 3 trainees in my department. Now that there's a Nicholas (Assistant Manager) and a Chan (the other officer), i can't be called Nicholas Chan. I had to be referred to as Aun. This is the first time i can't use my surname or my Christian name!!!! Well, my department is basically the "Call For Help" department that deals with anything from changing ink cartridge to reformating a staff's PC. Everyone knows the two staff (The third is the boss and he is never around) by Nicholas and Chan. If i start introducing myself as Nicholas Chan whenever they call, it would be very confusing! Hehe...

It was relatively a slow day throughout the morning but i still had to handle two cases of call for help by technology ignorant staffs. The first case was in the Coffeehouse. The cashier can't seem to be able to use the Micros (a touch screen computer system) and urged us to send someone to assist. I went up there to see what's the problem and after rebooting the machine, the problem was solved. Geez...he talked as though it was some major hardware malfunction or something. The second case was more interesting. A staff on the 32nd floor had problems printing using the photocopier/printer machine. Brian (a fellow trainee from Malacca) and i was sent there to assist. We tried to troubleshoot both the PC terminal and the photocopier itself. We finally managed to get some printing done! Hurrah! To our dismay, everytime the machine prints on the 7" X 7" envelop, it sort of crashes. After spending almost an hour trying to troubleshoot the hardware, we finally gave up and called the machine's service centre and asked for help. The best part was, we did manage to spend an hour doing something! Amazed? Prior to this task,we were just sitting in the office the whole afternoon doing nothing. I was there playing SNES games on my N6630, Brian was staring into space and Tan was literally reading the Legend brochure veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery slowly. We were that bored.

I hope Legend and its sister departments have more problems tomorrow so that i have something to do. Sitting in an office which is freezing cold without anything to do isn't exactly fun. Geez...look at the time now, it's almost midnight! I have to turn in soon...else risk not able to wake up tomorrow morning! How i miss my MMU days when i can sleep at 4am and wake up at 12pm. Sigh...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Singapore...to and back

On 12th October, my friend and i went down to Singapore for a short vacation before we start our industrial training. We came back on Sunday (16th October) morning. This was my first trip to Singapore since i was 6-7 years old. I have noticed certain things and i am going to share it here.

First of all, when i exited Tanjung Pagar station in Singapore, i noticed how clean Singapore is! I can't see a single piece of plastic bottle or tissue paper on the streets! Look at the picture on the left, this is Orchard Road. Do you see any rubbish on the ground? I was very amazed because to find a rubbish bin is fairly difficult even within malls. Unlike Malaysia, we practically have (overflowing) rubbish bins everywhere and yet our streets are covered with rubbish.

Another thing i noticed is how obedient their citizens are! When i say obedient, i really mean it. I have not seen anyone jaywalking or crossing a street elsewhere other than the zebra crossing or pedestrian bridge. Probably Singaporean Goverment impose so much fines that they are all pretty scared to break the law. Besides, vehicles always give way for pedestrians to cross! This is unheard of in Malaysia.

When it comes to moving around in Singapore, we definitely relied on their MRT system because it can bring you to any part of Singapore. The MRT stations are so well designed that you can hop from MRT line 1 to other lines without the need of exiting the underground station. Some of these MRT stations even have underground passageway with cafes and boutiques along the sides. Take a look at the right photo, this is Citylink mall which connects City Hall MRT Station to Suntec City, Esplanade and Raffles City. Besides, all their buses and MRTs utilizes Esylink (Touch 'n Go in Malaysia). They implemented it in such a way that it is more expensive to use their public transport system without using Esylink. It costs slightly more to buy tickets of the automated machine. Look at Malaysia, paying KTM or Sunway parking via Touch 'n Go costs 5-20 cents more. How does this encourage us to use the system? Another thing i noted is how punctual the MRTs are. When i arrived in Singapore, it was office rush hour, the MRT arrived every minute! Plus, onboard passengers always move towards the centre of the MRT to make way for boarding passengers and they never hesitate to give up their seats to those who needs it more. Boarding passengers on the other hand always allow disembarking passengers to exit the train before boarding. Do you see this happening in Malaysia?

I also noticed that most of the Singaporeans are dressed to kill. They really know how to groom themselves and 8 out of 10 women, may it be 13-50 years old, tend to put make up. There are so many hot chicks and good looking guys in Singapore. Seriously, i am not exaggerating. Try visiting Singapore to verify my statements. Besides, Singaporeans are really technology savvy people. Why? Every other person carries either an Ipod, a high-end mobile phone, a PDA or a combination of the previous few items. I even overheard two middle aged women discussing about the technical aspects of a laptop.

Hmm...i think the reason Singaporeans are so tech savvy and well groomed is because of the low cost of living. Stunned? Don't be. Imagine you earn $2000 in Singapore. Sony Ericsson W800 (Walkman phone) costs $800 (Half the price if you sign up with their Telcos for two years). A Nike cap costs $15-30 and Adidas limited edition classic series shoes, $129-169. Heck, even their Ipod nano costs $419 for the 4GB version. I was so shocked to be able to get a $2 chap fan that has one meat dish and one vegetable dish as well as a $3 beef noodle within City Commercial area! Now, if you are in Malaysia and earn a meagre RM2000 income. SE W800 will cost you RM1600. Nike cap easily costs RM35-65 and similarly, Adidas classic series costs RM350-450. Ipod nano? RM1219. Can anyone get RM2 chap fan or RM3 beef noodle within KL Commercial area? Compare...which country has higher cost of living?

Looking at their citizen's mindset and country's infrastructure really amazes me. Their infrastructures are so well planned and executed and their citizens literally have 1st world mentality. One may argue that Singapore is small and easy to manage, i beg to differ. Is Kuala Lumpur bigger than Singapore island? If we follow the rationale of "Smaller-is-easier", Kuala Lumpur should have infrastructures that can rival our neighbour but is this the case? That's food for thought!
Before i end this post, i have to post this Air Force and Army recruitment posters. I think it's pretty good advertising, at first glance, i thought it was a movie poster.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The ordeal is over...for now.

Ah...
After toiling over my Final Year Project report for more than 2 days straight, it has been completed! Phew... I can breath a sigh of relief for now though i am pretty sure my dear supervisor will reject the first copy and instruct me to amend it.

Tonight will be my last night in Cyberjaya and i will only return to this God forsaken place in February. Next Monday, i will officially be a kuli to Legend Hotel.There, i will be helping out ignorant PC users (who deserves to be executed) troubleshoot problems they created themselves or change printer ink catridges when they run out. Well, that's what the Human Resource Manager told me during my interview a couple months ago. No pay and such a crummy job. Geez...i am only doing this to fulfill my degree requirements. Two more trimesters to go and i will be out of this shithole which is supposedly the Intelligent City.

Before starting my crummy job, i will be heading down to Singapore tomorrow! Woohoo!!! Going down south for 4 days to release some pent up stress and i hope i can buy myself a decent pair of sports shoes. My FILA shoes which faithfully followed me up to Mount Kinabalu last May is falling apart. Too bad my overstretched budget doesn't allow me to purchase any electronic goods from our neighbour. Sigh...

Anyway, i guess i won't be updating this blog for the next few days or till i get my Streamyx up and running in Kepong. Till the next update...stay tuned!

Monday, October 10, 2005

What the f**k?

My letter to God.

Dear God,

Once again, i question why are You so unfair. Things happen to my family members one after another. What the hell do You want? If You are all that compassionate and loving, why are You letting your faithful servants suffer and let bastards like rapists or murderers get away with what they do. Oh yeah...divine judgement when they die. Hmmmm...why not let them suffer for their sins on Earth? Oh no wait...You prefer to let good people suffer multitudes of sickness and agony for the fun of it.

Hell...forget what i said. I am ranting over and over again. I converted to Christianity knowing that You were never FAIR! You never was and never will be fair. Screw it. I am really pissed with You but i know that i will never comprehend Your doings. God, i pray for more faith and help me overcome this anger in myself. Let Your will be done and i pray for wisdom to accept that. Amen

The first post

Hmmmmm...

This is my very first blog. I used to think that bloggers are real lame people but after reading through a number of my MMU-ian's blogs, my perception has changed till a point that i decided to start my own blog.

Here i am, stuck in Cyberia during the first week of the trimester break doing my Final Year Project report. This sucks big time but on the brighter side, i can download all the crap i want using the broadband and enjoy the tranquility of Dullsville.

That's it for my very first post. Hope to post more rants in the future.