Friday, March 31, 2006

Small change for Nazri

"It seems to be happening always", says Nazri here.

So I suppose it really is no big deal for him to lose hundreds of thousands of ringgit worth of cash and jewellery to thieving maids. That's not including how much he lost to the previous maid who also ran away with his valuables. Too rich to count his money???

The scary thing is, one of the two maids had worked in his household for SIX years! Very scary indeed for the thousands of employers having a foreign maid at home.

"I'm so rich I can still smile after losing RM350,000.00 ...
worthwhile price to pay to get my face in the papers what!

Anyone making a beeline to his household for the new job vacancy? This man is a pretty generous employer.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

See, the reaction is always the same - always

Another show of might over right.

Read here for details of the furore caused by a speech given by an MCA MP in Parliament on March 15 on "highly sensitive" subjects like distorted local history textbooks, new prayer recital guidelines and the problems faced by non-Muslims with regards to places of worship.

What's so new about what's been raised? The non-Muslims have been talking about these things for donkey years.

Of course, now that it was brought out in the Dewan Rakyat, we can expect more demands for apologies and retractions and further kow-towings to the mighty UMNO politicians for exposing the dirty truth in our haze-shrouded country. (Is that also why our bureaucrats are not in the least interested in resolving the annual haze menace that blankets our country? To keep everyone's line of vision nicely blurred?)

Some people are probably thinking that this subject could risk exposing one group's menacing agenda to enslave others into total submission by sabotaging the rights of others to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The undeniable fact is, you know, I know, and the whole world knows what is going on here in Malaysia.

But, they also know that the best way to keep the status quo is to pretend that it is not happening, don't talk about it, don't raise it in public, don't even think about it.

Because if you so much as dare to rock the boat, you better prepare yourself for a sojourn in a govt sponsored facility where you will get free food and lodging in exchange for some solitude time to think over what you have said and done and if possible, re-educate yourself to fall in line with the unspoken rules in this country.

Let's see what else happens next.

Update: This post by James Wong is interesting in relation to the problem we are facing with UMNO's politics.

Latest Update (@20:05): Thanks to Marvin, I have been alerted to this link which gives a twist to the subject matter here and the previous post below. The report heading says: "Khairy: Don't champion only one community". Please read it to understand the politics of this country. Thanks.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Trying to incite Muslims to hate Teresa Kok now, Nazri?

What's with this guy? He's gonna get the Anak Merdeka Award for Ugliest Malaysian Politician months ahead of time.

From the NST website today:-

AN Opposition MP was yesterday accused of "hatred for Islam" during a clash with a minister over the directive for policewomen to wear tudung during parades.

It started when Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) told Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nazri Aziz that the directive had violated human rights.

Nazri disagreed, saying the directive concerned uniformity.

This could be seen from the fact policewomen were not compelled to wear the tudung except when taking part in parades.

"It is not going against human rights, it is a matter of uniformity. For instance, parliamentarians wearing the Number One uniform are required to wear a songkok, even though they are Chinese or Indians.

"These people still remain Chinese or Indians and have not converted to Islam. Yang Berhormat (Kok) only shows her hatred for Islam when she brings this subject up," he said.

Kok did not take the remark lightly and demanded that Nazri retract it. She also called the Chair to make a ruling but Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Yusof Yaacob said it was not necessary and ordered the proceedings to continue.


Nazri is running out, no, getting bankrupt of tricks to get himself into the pages of the newspapers as the mother champion of all champions of the Agenda Muslim/Melayu now.

Is he also eyeing for the title of "Biggest, Shameless BN Bully" in Pak Lah's cabinet? I wonder when the other BAD guy is going to up the ante next.

Read what else others have to say about him here, here, here, here, and especially from HER here.



Monday, March 27, 2006

So, has it been a fair deal for the Chinese, Dr M?

I read this amazing piece of statement by Dr M published in Page 10 of The SUN today.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad does not mince his words when he says that if Malaysia depended only on taxes paid by the Malays, it would not have achieved what it has today, the Chinese press reported yesterday.

He said Malays have to acknowledge that the Malay community contributed the least to making Malaysia a model country and to its current status in the world.

Addressing a forum on the Future Challenges of the Malays organised by the Kedah Malay Assembly Hall in Alor Star on Saturday, Mahathir said there is no doubt the country has progressed and prospered under the leadership of the Malays but that such progress was built on the hard work of other races.

"The government used taxes from the people to develop the country, but who contributed the most in taxes?"

"The Chinese! Their success in business has made them the biggest contributors in taxes."

He said Malays are behind the others not because they are inferior or lack resources but because of their culture and attitude.

Is anyone aware whether this piece of news was reported elsewhere in any of the other mainstream papers in this country, especially the so-called govt mouthpieces?

The fact that Dr M bravely acknowledged in public the huge contribution made by the Chinese community in prospering this country as well as financing the NEP that has helped the Bumiputras achieve so much in so short a time speaks a lot about this man who wrote the controversial book, The Malay Dilemma.

For too long, the non-Bumiputras have been made to feel like they have been taken for a ride because it is the price that has to be paid for the privilege of setting up home here.

And the older generation who witnessed the transition of this country from colonial rule to independence probably felt that it was a small and worthwhile price to pay. But surely they too did not bargain for eternal sacrifice to be exacted on their offspring and the future generations to come?

But this is exactly how most are feeling now. That there seems to be no end to it - the freeloaders obviously are not about to give up their cushy position.

There are many ways to continue robbing from Peter to pay Paul, some subtle and some truly offensive.

The question is, who is in a Dilemma now? Did the affirmative actions and policies unwittingly created a bigger beast that had gone berserk and out of control? Or did it create a lame duck, a sitting target waiting to be finished off by the unstoppable global forces?

The saddest part is, most people (in particular politicians) still do not realise that they have a lit fuse right under their nose. It is just a matter of time before they self-destruct because of continued ignorance and arrogance.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Even Proton is facing problems appealing to the dead

This is quite funny.

In this report published in The Sunday Star today, one prayer paraphernalia seller gearing up for Ching Ming or All Souls Day on April 5 has discovered that foreign models of paper cars are selling faster than our Proton, despite the price difference.

Apparently, one popular BMW model from China costs RM16 while Proton only costs RM3 but still, she said that "... Proton ... they are not so popular."

Maybe the power windows also do not work with the paper models, eh?

So very sad. Our national car is giving nightmares that refuse to die. It goes to show that people would not mind forking out a bit more money if they can afford to avoid buying this model, even if it is made of paper. (Maybe, even with the real stuff.)

Looks like Proton is being rejected left, right, center and even down-under.

Do you agree that Proton is suffering from serious IMAGE problem? Are YOU surprised? Amused? Disappointed? Saddened? (even Vindicated?)

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One more promise from our Education Ministry

Am I being optimistic in thinking that our Education Ministry is finally getting its act together?

I have mentioned in an earlier post about the skewed priorities in deciding where the limited funds allocated to the Education Ministry should go to. So, reading the news reported in page 10 of the Sunday Star today sort of give me hope that perhaps these guys have finally realised something is not quite right with the way they are running the Ministry.

In the report, our Education Minister said that, "In the next 5 years (in line with the agenda under the 9th Malaysia Plan), the Government will concentrate on the welfare of schools that lack basic necessities to make all schools equal, ... in terms of teachers, infrastructure and equipment."

He acknowledged that, "Some rural schools now still do not have enough teachers and are not supplied with a 24-hour power supply. We hope to change this."

I'm glad he has finally acknowledged that there are serious shortcomings in the fair distribution of public funds for the education sector.

I also hope Datuk Seri Hishamuddin will keep his promise, even if in the intervening 5 years of the plan to make things right, he may no longer hold the post of Education Minister. Because it has so often be proven that policies are changed and promises forgotten each time a new person takes over the Ministry.

And I do agree with the Minister that "Premier, heritage and residential schools with modern facilities and infrastructure are expected to source funds on their own for upgrading."

These schools have "churned out many successful Malaysians, including those from the royalty, who could help source funds for their alma mater" instead of depending too much on government allocation.

The way I see it, these schools should be proud of the fact that the govt has a high regard for their ability to set a bold example to the public that they can throw away the crutches and stand tall and survive on their own without the need for handouts. We are talking about the high number of successful Bumiputeras that have passed through the doors of these elite schools.

After all, if most of the Chinese primary schools can successfully garner the support from the public to fund upgrading of their school facilities and other necessary improvement projects for the benefit of their students, I don't see why these elite institutions can't do the same for the betterment of their own community.

It's just a matter of whether their community has a deep sense of responsibility to give back to society what they have richly reaped from the help given by others to them in the past.

That is the difference between being able to stand on your own two feet or forever playing the role of the weak and helpless.

So, is that really bad news for schools with modern facilities?

Not really.

They should look at it in a positive way.

They have finally "graduated" from being dependant on the govt for their survival and can now show us what they are truly capable of - the ability to soar high and continue to achieve milestones of successes on their own.

To be world-class. To attract the best because they can be the best given the opportunity to stand on their own.

That is something to be truly proud of, to aspire to. That will also be their first step to being glocal, err ... global.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Sabar, jangan mengamok.

How embarrassing.

Nazri's threat to non-Muslims in our country to shut up on issues concerning Muslims and Malay rights has travelled far and wide, an example of it is in this news report in the South China Morning Post here.

Why do some Muslims in this country constantly feel that other communities are belittling them whenever the subject of their religion is being discussed? Are they suffering from paranoid disorder?

Is it such an untouchable subject? We can't even be permitted to ask some questions so that we can be enlightened about certain issues which troubled us because we are deemed ignorant?

Other communities have experienced their fair share of insulting remarks made against their religions and cultural practises and the type of food they are permitted to consume. Has anyone taken to the streets to protest against the insults?

But of course, our rights are deemed less important and therefore for the minorities, there is no need to be so damn sensitive about it. If you are not happy, you can leave. Good riddance.

From The Star: “But you must remember the word amok comes from this country and there is a limit to everything.”

There are limits for some people but at the same time, there is also no limit to the level of tolerance and acceptance expected of others. Obviously, different strokes for different folks.

The amazing thing is, some people feel the need to constantly renew their threats to mostly peace-loving and law-abiding non-Muslim citizens. It feels like you are being reminded to shut up if you know what's good for you. All the time.

Is this how they promote unity in this blessed country? By cowing others into total submission?

Malay = Amok ?? Certainly not, my friends.

How sad.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

The strange priorities of our Education Ministry

It was reported in the NST website today that our Education Ministry is seeking a special (& substantial) allocation under the 9th Malaysia Plan to upgrade school fields nationwide.

I don't have any problems with improving our school fields. Just that it seems strange that this should be the priority of the new Deputy Education Minister Datuk Noh Omar. My guess is that perhaps he has not made an in-depth study of the files of shame that's gathering dust at the Education Ministry.

In the Aliran monthly issue 2005:Vol.25No.8, P. Ramakrishnan reported that out of 4,036 national schools, 794 were without electricity and 1,555 without toilet facilities.

Shocking, isn't it?

That works out to nearly 20% of our national schools not having electricity connection. That effectively also means that these schools and their students, almost all from the rural districts, were sidelined from the national policy of developing e-knowledge to equip all students to face global challenges in this new millenium.

And this is even more shocking - almost 39% of national schools are without toilet facilities.

I can't imagine how the teachers and students of these schools cope each time they need to ease themselves during school hours.

Do they have to go into the nearby bushes, or perhaps carry an umbrella to protect their dignity?

And I'm pretty sure these same schools have a huge problem with clean piped water supply.

To quote Mr Ramakrishnan himself:-

"How do these students wash themselves, ease themselves, and keep themselves clean? When schools are expected to teach cleanliness and the need to eradicate diseases, how was this neglect tolerated?

We need to know how this pathetic state of affairs arose. Practically all those schools were rural schools, mostly attended by poor Malay children.

Was it a lack of expertise that led to those schools being deprived of electricity and toilet facilities?

Was it a shortage of funds and allocations? Was it indifference to the education of rural children?

How did UMNO, ever ready to advance every Malay interest, permit this neglect?

... In the name of the NEP and improving the economic position of the Malay community, ... has the re-distribution only benefitted cronies and well-connected elites - rather than the deserving children of fisherfolk and farmers?

When rural schools can't be properly equipped with electricity and toilet facilities, what's the point of talking about '30% equity', 'APs' and the 'new national agenda'?

Or are we talking about 2 sets of standards - one towering set for well-connected wannabees and one depressingly low set for the cable-less ordinaries?"

This is why I find it strange that our Education Ministry is now seeking substantial funds from the Federal Govt to improve school fields while so many other students in rural areas continue to study under such harsh conditions.

No wonder most teachers dread being posted to rural schools. Those kind of working conditions are the stuff of nightmares.

But we don't hear these stories of neglect in our mainstream media, do we?

That is NEP and Agenda Melayu for you. In the REAL world.

Cemerlang, Gemilang dan Terbilang??

Let's shout it again ... and again.


Update (@5:05pm): It was reported in The SUN today that the govt is spending RM1.15 billion to provide security at the 7,225 schools nationwide for 3 years.

Datuk Mohd Noh Omar said 128 security companies are providing the services. One-year contracts to supply guards cost the ministry RM290 million while 3-year contracts for high-risk schools cost RM865 million.

My appeal to the government: Can we also have an allocation of RM1.15 billion to provide 794 schools with much-needed electricity supply and 1,555 schools with even greater need for proper toilet facilities for the next 3 years?

Is this too much to ask for the poor little boys and girls who will also one day inherit Malaysia along with the more privileged kids who need additional security protection in mostly urban schools?


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cemerlang, Gemilang & Terbilang - Again??

Wahahahahaha.... this statement should be attributed to YB Badruddin Amiruddin, no?

I had actually promised myself not to indulge in my passionate (and time-consuming) interest in blogging for the time being until I have cleared up my backlog of work.

But something caught my attention while reading the papers during breakfast this morning.

And I cannot resist ...

It was reported in The Star today that Pak Lah called on civil servants to be "Cemerlang, Gemilang dan Terbilang" during these trying times. He further said that while everyone should practise moderation in all aspects, such moderation should not be applied to the job, and that the quality of human capital should not be measured only by their skills but also by their morality.

That's when I started choking on my coffee.

First of all, the very mention of the much repeated slogan "Cemerlang, Gemilang dan Terbilang" brought to mind this entertaining piece here by M. Bakri Musa. This piece was followed-up by an exchange of letters between him and Din Merican here discussing the leadership of Pak Lah during his first term as opposed to the spin put out by NST's Brendan Pereira.

You might like to check out both articles here if you haven't done so already. They are pretty interesting, to say the least.

And then, there's this talk about productivity, human capital, skills and morality. Again.

If Pak Lah is talking about the civil service, did he actually commission a survey to find out whether since the implementation of the 5-day work week, has productivity actually increased or the reverse is true, that things are moving slower than they were before, that the long weekends civil servants are enjoying seem to make them even more lethargic and uninspired?

And then, does anyone seriously believe that our civil service is staffed by highly skilled, efficient and morally upright people, even prior to the 30 sen fuel hike, before everyone is now supposedly in such low morale brought on by trying to make ends meet because we are caught in trying times due to effects from the fuel hike?

If the civil service was bad BEFORE insiden tigapuluhsen, am I (and everyone else) being realistic in expecting the civil service to marginally improve its efficiency level AFTER insiden tigapuluhsen? Merely on the sage advice of Pak Lah?

If so, certain laws of nature does not apply in Malaysia.

In the NST, it was reported that:-

Reiterating the need for civil servants and Malaysians to be prudent in their spending following the recent fuel price hike, Abdullah said a modest lifestyle for Muslims should encompass all aspects of life.

For Muslims??

So Pak Lah is indirectly admitting what YB Lim Kit Siang has said in Parliament the other day, that it is not wrong to say that our Malaysian civil service can also be rightly identified as the Malay civil service after all?

That's calling a spade a spade, isn't it? And what is wrong with being honest about this, huh, MP from Jerai? Are you ashamed to admit that the civil service of today is dominated by no less than 90% Malay staff? Is it also because we all know how bad the level of service we get from civil servants these days?

Before I digress further, perhaps it would have been more appropriate to re-phrase that sentence to say,

"a modest lifestyle for Barisan Nasional leaders, Chief Ministers, State Councillors, Pengarahs, Department Heads of civil services, etc... should encompass all aspects of life to show leadership by example."

A. Kadir Jasin (ex-chief of NST) says it aptly in part of a piece he wrote in his blog:-


IT’S okay for Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Najib Abdul Razak to advise us to change our lifestyle in preparation for the high oil price policy.

But how sure is he that every Malaysian can change his or her lifestyle to cope with rising consumer prices, higher inflation and more moderate growth?

We are not talking about Ministers, top civil servants, the residents of Bukit Tunku and those with palatial official residences in Putrajaya.

These people can be prudent, no doubt. From a 5-litre car they can step down to a 3-litre one. From a family holiday in Las Vegas, USA they can downgrade to Perth, Australia. And there are many more things they can do to save money without risking hunger and indignity.

We are talking about padi farmers, smallholders, vegetable gardeners, low-ranking civil servants, construction workers, lorry drivers, low-ranking pensioners and those on welfare.

Can they rise up to Najib’s challenge and change their lifestyle when, in reality, they don’t have any kind of lifestyle to talk about? Theirs is mere survival.


The irony of oil price subsidy is, while it benefits the rich -- those with fuel guzzlers more -- but it has greater impact on the wellbeing of the poor. The rich can stomach the higher gasoline prices and the inflation it is causing but the poor is less capable.


In line with its own mantra of transparency and accountability, it is incumbent upon the Government to explain clearly the operation of petroleum subsidy so that people are convinced that they are not being short-changed and that in the long run, they will not fare badly


Not everyone is convinced that the Government has the rakyat's best interests in the long run.

Heck, they can't even agree on how the govt should use the savings from the fuel subsidies. The newspapers say people favour improved public transportation, govt poll shows public health services, ... and me?

I think education should be looked into, especially those schools in rural areas both in the Peninsular as well as Sabah & Sarawak where even basic amenities like electricity and clean piped water are not available, let alone a proper roof and non-termite infested buildings for those poor schoolkids and long suffering teachers.

I digress again.

Fact is, some things will never change. They are just given a new coat of paint to cover up the rot and fungus that have embedded deep into the woodwork.


Take this example.

Our MP from Jerai has proven time and again that he has been consistently consistent in making a fool of himself by exposing his total inability to comprehend facts and figures even when it is laid out in front of him. As always, he prefer to drown it all out by flounting his animalistic behaviour.

Maybe he thought labelling his opponents as animals is more acceptable than words like "keling"? What else will he come up with next?

You might want to check out the hansard on this shameful behaviour here, courtesy of fellow blogger The Senseintrovert.

Excuse me now, I have to get back to work because my Ringgit has shrunk and I am now forced to change my lifestyle, whatever that means to those who live in ivory towers.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Harap Maaf, Siaran Tergendala Sebentar

Meow ... Gotta take a short nap. Will be back soon.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

In honour of her on International Women's Day today

"When Dana whispered those life-saving words to me, 'You're still you. And I love you,' it meant more to me than just a personal declaration of faith and commitment. In a sense it was an affirmation that marriage and family stood at the center of everything, and if both were intact, so was your universe."
- Christopher Reeve

"Some of the choices in life 'will choose you'. How you face these choices, these turns in the road, with what kind of attitude, more than the choices themselves, is what will define the context of your life."
- Dana Reeve

In memory of Dana Reeve, widow of Christopher Reeve, a non-smoker, who passed away from lung cancer yesterday.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Postcards from Seremban

Seremban was once known as Sungai Ujung, one of the founding territories of Negeri Sembilan. It is now the state capital located about 30-mins drive from KLIA and 45-mins drive south from Kuala Lumpur via the North-South Expressway.

These pictures you see here were taken last weekend, so it's probably the most up-to-date view you can get of Seremban on the Net!

I hope you enjoy them as well as the short commentary that follows. This is really for all you guys and gals out there who need a break from all the depressing news we have been getting in the local front lately.

This building above is the first you will see upon entering the Taman Seni Budaya or State Cultural Complex, located near the main exit from the North-South Expressway to Seremban town centre. I think it is the administrative building.

Not to confuse newcomers to Seremban, the angle for this shot was taken from inside looking out onto the road leading into the complex.

The buildings within this state cultural complex stand out for the Minangkabau architectural styles, brought centuries ago by migrants from Sumatra across the Straits of Malacca. Minangkabau influence in Negeri Sembilan is reflected in the upswept roofs shaped like Buffalo horns found on traditional houses and modern state buildings, the hot and spicy traditional food and the thick Minang dialect.

The above building is the handicraft centre located opposite the Teratak Perpatih.

This main building is called the Teratak Perpatih. It stands next to the administrative building. It was initially built for a Quran Recital Competition and is now the State Museum displaying the historical roots and matrilineal traditions of Negeri Sembilan including artifacts, ancient tools, craft collections as well as traditional costumes and jewellery.

Descendents of the Minangkabau still practise Adat Perpatih, a unique matrilineal social system in which females head the household and inherit property, unlike the patrilineal Adat Temenggong in other states.

The picture below is an inside view of the Teratak Perpatih taken from the bottom of the staircase leading to the upper floor of the building.

Next is the Istana Ampang Tinggi, a royal palace originally built in 1865 in Kampung Ampang Tinggi. Made entirely out of wood, with fine wall carvings and a pair of heavy sliding doors, the palace was rebuilt here and remains sturdy to this day.

It houses historical artifacts such as weapons, brassware and silverware and a fableau portraying a grand royal wedding.

This picture below is a replica of an actual Minangkabau traditional house, called the Rumah Minang or Rumah Negeri Sembilan.

Stone megaliths from Port Kempas.

A view of Seremban Lake Gardens, above and below.

This park is located in the heart of Seremban town. It is ringed by the Istana Hinggap, the city palace of the State's Ruler, the State Mosque, the State Library and the State Assembly Building.

There used to be a Bird Park here but somehow, it was torn down during the massive rebuilding and landscaping exercise that was carried out a few years ago. I wonder why ... even the ducks that used to glide in the lake are gone. (Bird flu??)

This is the main street (Jalan Dato' Bandar Tunggal) in Seremban town. As you can see, there is nothing much to see here.

This is how sleepy it looks on a Sunday late afternoon.

Quote of the day:-

"Do you know that you would have to apply for at least 36 types of licences to build a single hotel (in Negeri Sembilan) ? Have less red tape, less bureaucracy... and they (investors in the tourism industry) will come."

This revelation came courtesy of Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who is set to welcome tourists to Negeri Sembilan in an effort to boost revenue as a measure against the recent decline in foreign direct investment (FDI).

It will be interesting to see how the Yang Berhormat MB plan to shake Seremban out of its giant slumber.

Related websites on tourism in Negeri Sembilan: here here here on Negeri Sembilan hotels and traveler's forum here

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Pak Lah is not sweating in his job

I want to put up the following excerpt from M. Bakri Musa's blog because it was so descriptive of the current administration under Pak Lah as well as what we can expect from our PM throughout the remaining term of his office:-

"The performance of Abdullah and his team has been anything but cemerlang (excellence). It would be hard to have a straight face in referring to them as gemilang (glorious). Only they fantasize terbilang (distinction). This new team, with its core members securely ensconced, is nothing but temberang (bullshit). "

and this:-

"Abdullah and his “new” team is prepared only to coast along. It is the same old tired crew, being led by an equally tired skipper who is clueless and rudderless. We would be lucky if we were not swamped in these turbulent times."

You can read the rest of the text from "More Perspiration, Less Inspiration" which he co-wrote with Din Merican.

I wonder how many out there disagree with the popular perception that our Prime Minister's recent cabinet reshuffle and subsequent public announcements has failed spectacularly to inspire confidence in the rakyat that they had made the right choice in supporting the BN government during the last general election.

Expect more temberang in the coming days ahead when the rakyat start to get real angry upon waking up to the reality that their fixed Ringgit salary cannot possibly keep up with the increased costs of living.

More business for Ah Long from Bukit Beruntung?


This teacher has a "fresh linen" fetish

Actually, I had wanted to take a short break from blogging. But before I switch to "silence mode", I want to relate a little story about what is going on in one of our Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan.

Now, this is a true story, a "KISAH BENAR". You shall be the judge of the moral behind it.

L is a 15 year old studying in a local national school. She will be sitting for her PMR examination this year. Her form teacher is a nice lady, not too young, not too old. However, she has a strange fetish for "freshly ironed linen", in this case, tablecloths.

Each student in her class is assigned a piece of new fabric at the start of this year, which is to be used to cover up their desk. Those school desks, although not brand new, were not exactly an eyesore either. Who exactly paid for the tablecloths remain a mystery.

Every morning, before classes begin, the tablecloth must be laid out nicely over the desks. At the end of the day, they are folded up and taken home. This is where it gets interesting.

On no account, the students were told, the tablecloth is to be WASHED. It is now March and the students have already used it for 2 months, unwashed. However, EACH day, it must be IRONED before it is reproduced for the next day's use.

And what is the punishment for not heeding the teacher's instruction? Well, every morning, a student will be assigned to "inspect" the laid-out tablecloths for evidence of "creases". So far, none has been caught in defiance of the ruling, so no one knows what the punishment would be for disobeying the teacher's orders. Either the students in that class are an obedient lot or the teacher had managed to strike awesome fear in their hearts. L unfortunately belongs to the second category.

If you ever had to endure the unpleasant task of ironing a piece of unwashed linen almost every day, you will understand the exasperation at the logic and mentality of some people who are tasked by our government to "teach and nurture our future generation of leaders and workers alike".

Why is everyone keeping quiet about this and not do something to end the silliness of the situation, you ask.

Because, like all the rest of the students, L does not want to be the person to tread on Madame Cikgu's toes and spend the rest of the year in her bad books.

So, mummy dear will just have to swallow it, iron that piece of cloth Sunday to Thursday and after each ironing session, just take a damp cloth and wipe the iron clean.

The evidence is below, with creases and all.

In case some one is wondering if this is the same school as the one I blogged about in "Misguided HM in National School" last year, the answer is NO.

Both are in Negeri Sembilan, though. If you think the above tablecloth looks familiar, you may have the answer to the mystery of this school.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Aerial snapshots of Putrajaya & vicinity

The two pictures above and below were taken as the plane was gearing up to land at KLIA from Chiangmai.

From here, I think I got the sequence a bit mixed up because it should have been the scene from Putrajaya first before the swampy lakes as seen in the approach towards the KLIA in Sepang. Anyway, the last few shots were taken above Putrajaya. Correct me if I'm wrong, though.


Aerial snapshots of Chiangmai

This snapshot was taken on board my flight to Chiangmai last December as the plane was approaching Chiangmai airport.

An aerial view of the city of Chiangmai, above and below.

The above picture was taken as the plane approach the runway.


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