Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Tree felled to stop addiction

The Star, Nov 29 - SOME 43 policemen, with the help of local villagers, chopped down and destroyed a ketum tree which had stood tall for 60 years in Kampung Badariang, near Grik, on Sunday.

It was not because the 30m tree – the only one of its type in the village – had posed a danger or harboured a nasty hornets’ nest.

The reason it was wiped out: the police felt it had contributed to the increasing number of drug addicts in the Hulu Perak district. For many years, addicts would pluck its leaves, brew them and drink the concoction to get a “high”.

“We destroyed the ketum tree to prevent the emergence of a new type of addiction among the young,” Hulu Perak deputy district police chief, Dept Supt Ismail Deraksa told Utusan Malaysia after leading his men and the villagers in cutting down and burning the tree late Sunday.
The paper reported that in Perlis and the interiors of Kedah, the ketum drink is easily available and can be bought at RM1 a glass.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

'Gema' of the Lemma

I'm half-way through reading the Chinese Dilemma.Very interesting book. Not very objective but definitely very interesting.

I was just reading a news article today on www.nst.com.my about theplight of the chinese widow who's rubber tapper husband committed suicide after being cheated of a piece of land for RM30,000. It says of the widow named Koh and her deceased husband,Pang:

"Koh, who earns RM600 a month tapping rubber, said she just wanted to forget the episode and get on with her life.Pang's mother, Liew SiongYin, 72, said her late husband had purchased the land for RM14,000 inthe 1970s."We worked hard selling vegetables and eventually managed to save enough money to buy the land."It is the only property we ever had and we later gave it to our eldest son who sold it," she said. ""

The next interesting article was the 7 appointments of the Federal Court Judge and the Court of Appeal. It says;

"According to a source in the Judiciary, three names have been submitted to the Conference of Rulers for positions as Federal Courtjudges, and four for the Court of Appeal.Those listed for the Federal Court are Court of Appeal judges Datuk Arifin Zakaria, Datuk Richard Malanjum, and Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abd Rahman. Judges listed for the Court of Appeal are High Court judges Datuk James Foong Cheng Yuen, Datuk Azmel Maamor, Datuk Wira Low Hop Bing,and Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari. According to the source, as of last Friday no name had been submitted for the position of Chief Judge of Malaya, to replace Tan Sri HaidarMohd Noor, who retired on Nov. 8. When contacted, Chief Justice Tan Sri Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halimsaid the appointment of the Chief Judge was "in the process". The list was put together by the Chief which meets tomorrow."

What strikes me on these two articles is whether the New Economic Policy has fulfilled its objectives of equitable distribution of wealth for the Bumiputras and elimination of economic and political function by race.

On equitable distribution of wealth - The story of the Chinese rubber tapper shows that ignorance and poverty strikes all races whether Chinese, Indian or Malay. The Malay people are no longer the poor villagers, the Chinese no longer the cunning business townsfolk and the Indians no longer the rubber tapper railroad workers. As we move forward into the future, would the policies upheld by the NEP be relevant today and if yes, for how long?

On the subject of elimination of economic and political function by race, it is evident from the 2nd article that the racial function still exists today. Non-Bumis are still very uninvolved in governing and civil occupations where as Bumis are slowly and currently doing very well economically - we can tell who is who among the leading businessmen in corporate Malaysia today- CEO of so and so company, Managing Director of so and so holding company... and good for them. But it is evident that although we as Malaysians and are so called 'Bangsa malaysia', supposedly share equal responsibility in the development of the country - be it governance or economic growth etc - there are still some issues not ironed out no matter what everyone says. Why does racial function still exist today and what are we going to do about it?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Blog-in Your Sorrow for Your Successors Tomorrow


I'm pretty excited about my first blog. (What a word - blog blog blog - I like how it sounds)

Its amazing what people would invent next. Frankly speaking, I find most blogs terribly uninteresting -random unremarkable thoughts belonging to someone translated into squiggles of html. Normally I'd screen through the first few lines and I'd get lost there-on.

But then again, if you want to peer into the person's mind - look into his blog. And what you write can be a pretty powerful thing . Writing reveals a lot about a person - what can be more baring than writing your daily thoughts down, what more on the net a.k.a. the WORLD Wide web.

Malaysian culture does not encourage one to express one's opinion lest weaknesses are revealed. It is said "if you want to bring your enemy down, take advantage of his weakness" So would that mean that whilst writing a blog, you're at risk of exposing your vulnerability online? -In this part of the world, I would presume that blogs are a rarity then. (Ha -someone go look this up)

OR it could be said that if you want to know how 'free' a person is, look at his blog entries. The amount of leisure time one has would have a high correlation with the number of blog entries. So if you want to know whether some one has too much time on his hands, look at the number of blog entries.

Well that's my half-baked ideas for the day.

"Watch your thoughts; they becomes your words.
Watch your words; they become your actions
Watch your actions; they become your habits
Watch your habits; they become your character
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny"

ps. Look at more opinions on blogs

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Choon How's Wedding

Choon How's Wedding
Originally uploaded by fwmching.
Here's Foong Lin, Fiona and Pooi Ling at Choon How's wedding in Jade Palace, Penang

Raya on a Tue with Nothing to Do

Its the 2nd day of Hari Raya and a Tuesday. I honestly thought it was a Sunday and even told my ole american friend Matt on MSN Messenger-"It's now a Sunday morning and it's a holiday" That would make the time-difference between Malaysia and US by a good 48 hours. Hooray talk about living in the past.

Today I'm currently finding internet surfing very entertaining - you should do what I do:

1) Get a book on current issues
2) Start highlighting stuff you don't know about.
3) Then, start 'search'ing it on Google.

My 'diggings' are as follows:

Source of info : All from Thomas Friedman's book "The Lexus and the Olive Tree"

What I'm curious about? "Word Search"
1) Why would they call bonds Sally, Ginny and Fanni Mae? "Sally Mae Bonds"
2) Where is the Golan Heights and what is the issue with Syria? "Golan Heights"
3) Since when did Britain & Argentina have a war? Where is the Falklands? "Falkland+map"
4) Where is Palestine? "Map of Palestine"

Happenings in the Homefront, Malaysia and the World:
Nov 14 Malaysia celebrates Hari Raya
Nov 11 Yasser Arafat Dies - plunging the Middle East into uncertainty
Nov 11 I went to Penang to attend Choon How's wedding

"To be curious and be killed is better than to be asleep and unfulfilled"