Friday, April 27, 2012

Chinese school is not part of our national education





It's not surprising that our Prime Minister  Najib Tun Razak has said that the Chinese school is part of the national education. This is the election year and so far the Chinese are still with the Pakatan . The most that the BN would get would be   10 % of the Chinese Chinese votes . The rest would go to the opposition. It is their strategic voting patterns as a way to weakening the Malay domination in politics. No matter what the government does they would  always go for the doctrine of the Pakatan or the ultimate realization of the Republic of Malaysia.


I personally believe that the Chinese vernacular schools are not part of the national education. They are a deviant in terms of achieving the Malaysian school system. The reason is simple. The medium of instruction of these school is  Chinese. The language is a foreign language and not native to Tanah Melayu. The native language of the Nusantara Melayu is the Bahasa Melayu. If the Chinese school is to be part of the national education it should be propagating the national language - Bahasa Melayu and not Mandarin. But instead they want the school to be 100% Chinese and the teachers to be 100 Chinese. Logically, a Chinese school could never be part of the  national education. Najib you are wrong.

The products of the Chinese school are also alien . The education systems are detached of the reality of the situation in the country. They are propagating education that is built in a vacuum. It is alien and dangerous. What kind of education is this? The products they produce are deviants who could not possibly adapt to the real world. These students are not able to communicate in proper language and not able to mix with other ethnic groups. They  could only function  in China . Probably in an  isolated state in a rural China. Even China itself is opening up. Everyone is learning English. The Chinese in Malaysia are more Chinese in character then the Chinese in China. I have not seen a Chinese who graduated  from the Chinese school  is able to befriend another Malaysian especially a Malay. Is this what you called as part of the national education. No way Mr Prime Minister.


If I were Najib I would close all these Chinese schools. I would follow the Singapore model. I think we should learn from that country . Najib you  need to be strong and be telling the right thing. You need to say close the alien schools.  They are not part of one Malaysia. You need to be telling the Chinese that the Chinese schools are not part of the national education. Don't try to pander them.


Cervical Spondylosis Mylopathy/ Spinal stenosis / Back pain / Sakit belakang kebas kaki dan tangan

CSM


I remember almost three years ago  my health was going south and I did not know what caused the gradual deterioration of my health. I thought  it was just  the ageing process since I was entering my 50s and that I would feel tired easily. Normally, after coming back from the office at  6pm I was totally mentally and physically  exhausted. It was a total lethargic feeling that I really felt lazy to do anything else. The minute I fell into the bed I was almost totally knocked out. I had the feeling that I would rather be in bed than be doing something else.



Earlier in the day at the office I had problems climbing the staircase. Climbing the staircase was an arduous task for me  and sometimes I had the feeling that it was an insurmountable task of just climbing the few staircase. At first I thought I had some form of osteoporosis since I was on the heavier side. My weight was around 100 kilos. I know it  was  no easy task for the knees to support the extra weight. My knees had been doing a  fantastic and reliable  job of providing the support but after decades  of trouble free knees there is bound to be some wear and tear to the soft tissues or the cartilage or  the padding between the knees and the bones. But it was not osteoporosis. It was something else.

I also had problems with my arms and fingers. I had  difficulty to actually buttoning and unbuttoning my shirt. A simple thing of buttoning and unbuttoning the shirt has become a seriously  difficult task to do. Sometimes I needed someone to assist me with the simple task. Another problem is that I had difficulty with is  twisting the knob of a stove as my hobby then was cooking. A mundane thing that some people  take for granted was an extremely difficult task  for me to undertake. I felt so helpless. My arm was also becoming less and less muscular. I could not hold things strongly and firmly. And the arms could not hold things for long.Meaning that the things that I grabbed or gripped was not very strong. It seemed that my muscle was loosing its flexibility and strength or what doctors called  as muscle wasting.This was also compounded by the lack of sensation when touching things.  My fingers were practically numb and almost useless. I had difficultly in using my fingers to eat and I had to resort to using bigger forks and spoons. It was OK for a while but later I even got more clumsy in using the utensils and  it was getting from bad to worst.
Spinal stenosis

The last straw that really makes me realized that I was experiencing something that was not right  was that I was walking gaitly (walking abnormally). My body  balance was not behaving normally. I was not actually walking normally.In fact, I could not walk properly and this was aggravated by the feeling of  lack of energy to walk. Then I decided to let myself be admitted to the hospital. After a battery of tests and the use of MRI, I was diagnosed as having what the doctor called CSM or Cervical Spondylosis Mylopathy or sometimes called Spinal Stenosis. This is actually a disease of the spine or the compression of the spine. Sometimes it is called Spinal stenosis. So If you have those symptoms my advice to you is to seek advice and see the doctor ASAP for further confirmatory tests.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sinar fm


Sinar is Malaysia's favourite station


When a person reaches 50, he  or she would opt for something different and something that is more appropriate for the age. A person changes physically and  emotionally as time goes by. A  50 year man  is more accommodating, more tolerant, more reserved and   sometimes more handsome compared to when he was young. I interpret people 40 and below as young. Even political parties set the age of 40 as the cut off point for youthfulness. When I was young I used to ponder  why political parties consider 40 and below as Pemuda. When one reaches 50 one understands why the age of  40 is considered as very young. You don't feel old at all at  50.

Because I am in that age category the radio channel that I automatically tune to when driving is the Sinar FM station. I seldom listen to radio at home. I only listen to it  when I drive. If you live in Bandar Baru Bangi the Sinar FM channel is set at 96.7 megahertz. I love this radio channel because it plays beautiful songs that were really famous in the 80s and the 90s. The choice of songs is just really fantastic. You can't complaint much. They play beautiful  songs like Benci tapi rindu by Diana Nasution. When I listen to the song , I would just reminisce the late 70s when I was a secondary school student at Ibrahim Secondary School. We would rush to Pak Bahadur's  Ais Kacang stall located by the dirty oily Sungai Petani river. Ibrahim students would just crowd the stall and keep on inserting 20 sen coins to the Jukebox to continuously play the song. The fact that Pak Bahadur had beautiful children was another factor that motivated us to go to that hang out.

Salleh Yaakok, Kak Engku and Krill
Sometimes the radio station plays songs by Jay Jay a singer who is famous with his song Rindu Bayangan. I just can't have enough of that song. There is also the song by Dahlan Zainuddin with his rendition of Dari sebuah desa berbekal gitar tua. But the best songs are sung by Uji Rashid. I don't know the names of the songs but they are just beautiful and easy to listen to. I especially like the songs in which she would duet with Latiff Ibrahim, a young handome singer who just passed away recently. Sometimes I got chocked up listening to the 80s songs. Old memories would just fall down on you. Sinar FM station really knows how to play the the emotions of their matiure listeners. No wonder Sinar is the best station in the country. What I don't understand is why there is a lack of quality advertisements on Sinar Fm. The major advertisers tend to go for English radio channels. This is truly misleading.The truth is that the mature and established listeners are actually listening to Sinar FM Station, the no 1 station in Malaysia.

The appearance of Salleh Yaacob together with Kak Engku and Krill  from 6 am to 10 am in Sinar Pagi really makes the the radio station much more enjoyable. You cant stop  laughing listening to their jokes. The three of them really create havoc at  the radio station. You will never feel bored listening to them. Most importantly Sinar station plays the nicest songs from the 80s and the 90s. Sinar Fm my favourite radio station.

Halal Malaysia

Is this halal?
This is an emotional issue to some Muslims in Malaysia. Malaysia a renown Muslim country in the world and a  pioneer in promoting the halal awareness. However, it  is still grappling with the interpretation of halal and the mechanisms of the implementation of halal certification. We tend  not to  do anything about the many so called institutions providing halal certifications. It seems that we tend to close one eye to this important issue.

 We are supposed to be the main promoter  of things  halal  but  but we are still vague and  ambiguous in our actions. The halal policies are haphazard and lacking in directions. It is really a pity considering that we are the an  economic  powerhouse amongst the Muslim countries.The halal issue has been politicized too much. Umno the backbone of the political system in Malaysia is too overly sensitive of the non Muslims sensitivities. We are   still arguing among ourselves as how to manage and promote the halal issue in the country. We provide no leadership to other Muslim countries.By all accounts, Muslims tourists and locals alike would not have problem  in finding foods and  dishes that are truly halal but the apathy attitude  of the Jakim officials and the lack of halal awareness among much of the statistical Muslims contribute to the lack of seriousness with regard  to the issue of halal in Malaysia.



It is not uncommon to see restaurants and food stalls in Malaysia displaying different logos of halal at their premises. By showing the halal signs they are tempting and inviting  Muslims to visit their premises and enjoy their dishes or products. In other words, they are saying that the products they offer are halal. I see lots of Chinese restaurants, bakeries, nasi ayam stalls claiming what they offer as halal .Are they truly halal?  If you asked the non Muslim owners  definitely they will say its halal. They seem to know better than the Muslims of what is halal and haram. You see many food stalls at  KLCC claiming to be halal. Have the Jakim officers verified these places as halal?


Mr Porky
This insensitivity of non-Muslims to the Muslim religious needs happens as the direct result of the lackadaisical attitude of the Jakim officials and the Muslims themselves. The inapt attitude of these Jakim officials contribute to the reckless attitude of the non Muslim traders with regard to the issue of halal. To them the halal concept is a non issue. It involves only the slaughtering of animals. They claim they buy and  use  products which are halal. But we always not sure of the status. The sad thing is that Muslims just  patronize these so called " halal" premises without any reservation. This is compounded  by the lack of enforcement and monitoring by the Jakin officials. Malaysian authorities are also too soft in implementing and monitoring the halal issues. They are just afraid of the perceived  non-Muslims backlash.

We Muslims must be conscious of the dietary requirements. The non halal food that we feed our children will inadvertently be   part of the flesh and blood of our children. Do we want our children to consume food that is haram and do nothing about it. Do we want to continue with the status quo or change for the better.I believe we  need to formulate a stronger response to the halal issue in systematic and scientific manner. We need to confront the issue head on in a clear manner and  we must act now.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

7-15 % discount for Bumiputera house buyers



I know this is a very sensitive  issue among the bumiputeras. But I feel that the requirement imposed by the government that bumiputera house buyers be given  discounts up of between  7- 15 %  is outdated and not relevant anymore. This ruling has been implemented since 1970 in the wake of the establishment of  the New Economic Policy. I believed the ruling served its purpose well for the last 30 years. Today, buying a house is not a luxury anymore and it is a requirement especially among the newly weds. Whether you are a bumiputera or a non bumipurea you need  a roof over your head. I don't think the government should make this a very discriminatory plan. We all need our own homes. Every one should be facilitated to get a house to call  home regardless of their ethnic groups.

I feel that if discounts are indeed  to be given, it must be given to all first time buyers who earn less than RM 3000 regardless of whether they are bumiputeras or otherwise. Discounts can also be given to government servants. This is to show recognition of the contributions made by the government servants. Moreover, their salary they earn  is much less than those  in the private sector.  Discounts however  should not be given to the greedy speculators and I notice that these speculators are like vultures and deprive ordinary people from buying their first homes. In fact, the government can impose some form of taxes on these opportunists very much like  the RPGT (real property gain tax) to discourage them from speculating on housing market. The money collected from these taxes can be used to subsidise other housing projects or use as discounts for first time buyers.


Another thing that  I don't agree with the government is they always like to increase the amount of loans that  government servants can take. I believe that the government takes this questionable step because of pressures from housing developers who are  a greedy lot. They want to make more money. I dont think this is the right strategy -to jack up the the amount of loans that a government servant can opt for. This is because the repercussion of this is really great. For one, the housing developers will automatically raise the  price their houses to match  the loans taken by government servants   .  The price of houses are now actually very ridiculous. In Bandar Baru Bangi the price of a link house is around RM 400,000. 


I think the best strategy that a governement can do is to monitor the price of houses. They have to control and regulate the prices of the houses in the country. But I'm very pessimistic. I dont know what the future  holds. I dont know whether my children are able to buy landed properties in and around KL. The price of a house is beginning to be beyond reach. 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Technology


Music can be downloded using MP3







The word technology is probably an over-used word. Nowadays, our life is partly run by technology. But for young people technology is nothing special. It's ubiquitous. They are already exposed to it so much so its not an interesting part of the vocabulary when they discuss about something. It is not uncommon today to see children as young as three years old playing with their Ipads or Samsung tablets at cafes and restaurants. Next to them are their fathers enjoying  breakfast and the mothers  reading the newspaper. However, for mature adults whose age is 50 and above like yours truly technology does not have a positive notion of technology. It's a complex term and   requires a complex mechanism to operate.


One personal device that is full of technology is the hand phone. There are so many applications and uses of a hand phone and  that some of us do not  knowhow to  use it. In my case, I don't even know how to use the BBM of a Blackberry hand phone that I own. I don't even know what it is for. I've  been told that one can in fact send a message to another person using the BBM . It is more like the SMS but more interactive or synchronous. Moreover you will not be charged if one  uses the  BBM. I heard that youngsters love BB for this reason. I also heard that a person  can also use a BBM with another person without a BB using the Whatsapp software. I think that is how  the application is  spelled. You are not always sure at this age.

Another application that one can use is the Skype or Yahoo Messenger. This is a form of video communication between two persons. I have not used the application but it really sounds interesting. A person can Skype- meaning communicating using the video with another person half the world away without paying a sen except for the internet charges. You can also do video-conferencing using Skype. I have not used this application even though I believe we can actually use it for many purposes including for consultations  between a lecturer and a supervisee.

Another form of technology related device that is very popular among children and young adults are the MP3s. You can download songs from the Internet and store them  in the USB. I know my car has a USB socket but I myself have never downloaded songs from the internet and listen to the songs in my car. What I would normally do is  buy the  CD from the CD shop or Pasar Malam  and play them on my CD player in my car or using my audio player at home. For me, its so difficult to use and operate the technology. I rather pay RM 25-35 dollars for the CD at a shop  and listen to the songs .

The problem is not the technology . The problem is with me. I dont know why I find it a bit slow to adapt to  the ever changing technology but it is not something that I would rely 100 %. I can certainly live with  my phone at home and still lead a normal and happy life. But I know some people could not be without their mobiles even for 10 minutes. Without  100 % technology , I can still do my work and do it rather effectively.  But Im not running away from the technology. It is part of our life.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Women drivers

I've attained my half a century "age medal" in January this year 2012. It's just like a surreal thing  to be at that age considering that I am still very healthy aside from some minor irritations to the knees. Yours truly can still jog slowly or do some brisk walking. But one thing that I despise doing now is driving especially in and around KL. I would always offer my children to be the "supir" (driver) if they are back at home from the college. Talking about driving I remember I got my license when I was 18 in the first attempt while  I was studying at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. It was really a milestone and a big achievement for me to be "conferred" the driving license especially at that age.
They wil scream at you first.

I can  still remember that my first car that I shared with my Kedahan friends was a green colour four door Buick Le Sabre. It was  a super smooth 8 cylinder car with a displacement of around 5,000 cc. The car was very quiet at above highway speed limit  and it was sold by a professor at the university for a mere 800 US dollars. But it was a large sum of money for a pauper Malaysian student. We were getting a monthly allowance of 280 US dollars. Since the day that  I got the driving license , I had so much of experience driving not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, France, Romania, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong. I have to say that driving in Indonesia in Jakarta, and Vietnam was not easy. The traffic was chaotic but at least the motorists follow the flow or the traffic system. 
One of the things that women drivers can do

However, I have to admit that I don't like driving in Malaysia. The drivers generally drive  very fast and sometimes recklessly. This is especially true of women drivers. They would just zig zag in between the traffic. This is a common driving feature  of young women drivers especially those driving  Perodua Kancils. They would drive with their dark shades on and sometimes texting or chatting over the phone while driving. The biggest sin  that they they like to do and that I don't forgive them is not yielding to the vehicles that circle the roundabout. By right the vehicle that is about to "enter" the roundabout would have to give way to the other vehicles at the roundabout.   What happens is that these women drivers would just squeeze in and drive straight onto the rounabout without giving way to other oncoming  vehicles. This is one of the major causes of accidents in the country. The girls  just do not know how to yield . They just want to be home on time and fast.




I think that we need to have extra classes for these women drivers. They need to be retrained. I believe that most of the causes of accidents are the result of these drivers. I'm not trying to be sexist but it's the reality. Fast driving does not cause accidents as proven by the autobahns in Germany. They drive exceeding 100 mph but there  are very few accidents. We have among the highest accident rates in Malaysia and those creatures are the main culprits. Dear police officer! please monitor all those  women drivers.







Friday, April 13, 2012

Astro



I am a loyal customer of ASTRO and and I've been  ASTRO's customer for more than 10 years.I spend at least RM150 a month to subscribe to ASTRO channels . This means that I subscribe to most of the channels on ASTRO minus only some of the Chinese channels. But do  you realize that even though you have a lot of channels there's nothing much that you can watch. Most of the documentary channels are useless. Sometimes they repeat the documentaries again and again using different channels. In one instance you have a documentary on food on the History channel. Previously it was on one of the food channels. I think ASTRO has nothing much to offer and it's recycling too much. I'm considering unsubscribing  ASTRO if they just do not improve their channels. 


1) I notice that the movies on ASTRO  are getting from bad to  worst. Sometimes the movie channels show movies that are truly outdated. I remember they showed movies that I remember watching them  in the United States when I was doing my BA degree. I am tired of watching the Poltergeist again and again. I'm also tired of watching the Hercules movies. I am also tired of watching the Avatar . I think I have watched it more than 4 times. They show some   movies dozens of times. ASTRO please do not show any more black and white movies. Please do no show again the movie the Bridge of Remagen. I remember watching the war movie when I was 10 years old at the Ampang Park cinema. Now, I'm more than 50 years old. When I was travelling in Vietnam and Indonesia I noticed that the movies that they show in those countries  are  latest and better. What I can presume is that ASTRO probably pays peanuts to get all those lousy movies for their not so important Malaysian viewers. Sometimes , I find the movies offered by the terrestrial tvs are much better.

2) Despite paying for more than RM 150 a month, Astro now demands more money if you want to watch movies  that are  hot of the oven . But being half a century old you don't really watch Malay movies. Even my children do not watch the movies. This is not to say the movies are bad . It's just that we are more attuned to watching to English movies. I'm not surprised that one day ASTRO will demand more money for us to watch English movies that are two or three years old. I think they will repackage the channels and ask us to pay more. I hope that the contract that  ASTRO has with the government will expire soon. I think we need more competition.  More companies should be allowed to compete with ASTRO.

3) Do you realize that ASTRO will jack up the monthly subscription once they introduce one or two extra channels. The channel they introduced are the channels that people generally do not watch. ASTRO please take care of your customers. You are making the customers running away from you. It's just a matter of time that they will run away in droves.

4) I think another aspect that I notice is that ASTRO just ignores the Malay subscribers. Do you realize that most of the announcements made on ASTRO are in English. They are very few announcements that are in Bahasa Melayu. But do they realize that most of their customers are Malays. I think the Malay subscribers are given  raw deals. I think even Tamil is given prominence. I don't think they have any  respect Bahasa Melayu. Astro is AS..TRO.

Dear AS..TRO I'm making my  decision soon.