Thursday, February 26, 2009

August and September people, let’s shower this world with love and happiness.

To those who knows me will know that I am a little “human” type of person. Are there other types? Yes, you may ask and you may object. I define human as those who are related to the word “humane”. On a one-dimensional scale, we can categorize people into 2 main categories; humane and others. Forget about the others category.

Okay, regarding the people with humane qualities: type “humane” in MS Words and check the thesaurus for this word. You will see many feel good words.

If we try to see who are the people in this category, you will notice that you can name million and one people from all over the world. Yes, you are indeed very observant person and you are able to see the real quality of the people. If I ask you to see the similarities among the people you have named, you may in a way, identify a pattern.

Similar to the 7 habits of the highly effective people (by Stephen R. Covey), we can identify similarities in people whom we define as good people (that are humane).

I tried to carry out this observation among my own family members. My family means including the families of my 2 brothers. The list consists of my parents (2), my elder brother’s family (4), my family members (4) and my younger brother’s family (5); total=15.

Among all these people in my family circle, I will only recognize 9 people as good people. They are my parents(2), my son (1), my daughter(1), my sister-in-law (1), my nephews(2), my niece(1) and myself as the best. What is similar among us…………..we were all born in the month of August and September. Among the 15 members in my family, 9 great people were all born in August and September.

You say this has no basis………..Obama was born August. He is good right. Not enough !

Wait till August 2009 and you will see 2 more great people being born in the outer ring of my family circle.

We are waiting for one to be born in Kuala Lumpur…….my father’s younger brother’s first son’s 3rd child.

The other should be arriving in US to my father’s sister’s son - 2nd child.

As I told you in the 1st line, I am a little “human” type person. I love to be in a gathering of people especially gatherings of family members, it makes the gathering even more memorable.

August and September people, let’s shower this world with love and happiness.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Today you have pain, tomorrow you will have joy.

This morning (19th of Feb 2009) I had the privilege to ride a motorcycle on the Penang Bridge from the mainland to the Penang Island. The Penang bridge requires the users to pay a toll of RM7.00 (the payment is only collected at mainland side).

You may ask what is so special about riding a bike on the Penang bridge.

You would agree with me when I tell you that you will be able to witness a great phenomenal reality framed in time. Exact to the words I used, the scenario was indeed a framed picturesque.

About 2 kilometers before reaching the toll booths, we can see lines of vehicles queuing up. You must note all the details here. When I say lines it doesn’t mean straight lines but a little jagged. Okay, I can hear those who use the bridge on daily basis will not agree with the term jagged, they prefer to say “interlaced” lines……in simple English, it means vehicles cutting into other lanes indiscriminately ….. you want a more appropriate word….erratically. There are 20 toll booths. Simple maths, you should have 20 lanes, but in Malaysia “toll collection” technology”, we have 7 lanes with 20 booths. It is neither innovative nor extraordinary but, rather a practical way of making you feel that you are moving fast, where in fact you are at the same place for a very long time.

After paying the toll, the 7 lanes magically become 2 lanes. This is where you will find your “squeeze yourself” skill come into play. You will see small cars tip toeing in between 2 big vehicles. At one moment I was wondering whether the small car was actually small or it became small after being squeezed by the big vehicles.

With all the acrobatic maneuvers, you will see victorious drivers smiling when they take the lead and enter into the 2 lanes.

This is the normal life you will see on the Penang Bridge, but this morning it was quite different. I am sure all have heard about the bridge expansion project. They are building the 3rd lane. At the mainland area, there is an approximate 2-3 kilometers of 3rd lane ready for use. This morning the short span of the 3rd lane was opened. Yet, the vehicles were queuing up and to be specific, it was even worse than the normal days.

This is where my privilege of going on the bike prevailed. I managed to dance using my bike and swam through the thick piles of vehicles with a smoothness of a silkworm. Throughout the path till I reach the toll booths, I saw very little movement of the vehicles. Simple logic, there must be something holding everyone at the other side of the bridge.

My bike was still breathing well and had youthful energy to dance and swim again. From the 7 lanes area, I am now at the new 3rd lane area. I was indeed very proud to be on the newly built 3rd lane. My thoughts paused and thought for a while, why aren’t the vehicles moving even with the opening of the 3rd lane? To know the answer, I know that I had to move forward.

As I moved further I saw the 3rd lane coming to an end I can see the vehicles merging into the old 2 lanes. Although this can be a cause of the slow traffic, I still thought there should be another better (worse) reason. After traveling another 4 kilometers, the 2 lane traffic was forced to merge and be 1 single lane. And this is the main reason why the entire traffic on the Penang bridge was damn slow.

I wonder whether the contractors were trying to equal the equation, you add the 3rd lane in the front and deduct 1 lane from the existing 2 lanes in order to make the equation equal. Not to disturb the “ying yang” of the bridge I guess.

I was fortunate to be on the bike today and not as frustrated as the guys in the vehicles that were either not moving or just moved a little. Since I was always moving, I didn’t feel the boredom that could lead to frustration, anger and violence.

I can smile and write this with cheers because I could see the entire scenario from the beginning to the end. I hope we all can bear these kind of frustrations a little longer till they get the entire 3rd lane opened completely.

If you add something, then you should subtract something… make it equal.

Today you have pain, tomorrow you will have joy.

By the way, the picture of the Penang Bridge is a dream situation which every user would like to see.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Checkmate or are there any other moves?

I like politics because it is a test of a man’s ability to understand a group of humans, convince that group of humans, manipulate that group of humans and make that group of humans agree with the man on whatever the man decides to do.

Now replace the word “man” with any political party’s name.

Does it make sense now? Surely it does.

To understand this further, you have to refer to the happenings in Perak State Government (a state in Malaysia). If you have been following politics, you will know that Perak was ruled by PR (opposition party) with a slim majority of 31 against 28 in a 59 seat assembly.

The BN (ruling party) played it’s game by asking their own member to jump to the opposition and then later jump back with 3 more PR members. This makes BN having 31 members against PR’s 28. The whole scenario has changed. The government was handed over to the BN in name that it commands majority seats in the assembly.

Embattled in this rather funny situation, the PR guys started a series of counter strikes. One of them is the suit filed by the PR Chief Minister. Among others, is the silent bomb by the speaker of the state assembly, that is a member of the PR.

This speaker, coolly suspended 7 members of the BN (the newly appointed Chief Minister and his 6 executive councilors) for a period of 12 to 18 months.

Apart from this the speaker also not going to allow 3 members whom jumped from the PR side to the BN side.

I think by now, you should have taken out your “super high tech” calculators. Start calculating.

PR has 28 members, BN, which had 31, will not have 7 for the next 12 months, and most probably will never see the 3 party hoppers in the state assembly again – that leaves only 21 to carry on with whatever they can carry on.

In my view, the assembly looks like a hung assembly with no parties holding the simple majority. I don’t know law very much but I think you cannot win “a confidence motion” or even “a no confidence motion”. What will happen?

Surface analysis – dissolve the assembly and call for a fresh snap election.

Or, a super genius from BN should come out with a sophisticated counter movement that will lift off the checkmate done by the PR.

Politics makes life livelier ….. Wait and see for the next move. Checkmate or are there any other moves?


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Whose decision is it really?

When you see the word decision, I am sure you will know that this article is about politics, a subject that I did not write in this blog for a long time.

All attentions (Malaysians) are on the state called Perak in Malaysia, simple translation; the SILVER STATE of Malaysia.

The ruling government “is” or “was” a coalition government called Pakatan Rakyat (PR) which is an opposition party in the Parliament. The majority held by them was very slim. Total seats were 59 and the PR coalition government had 31 against 28 (Barisan Nasional {BN}).

The BN guys just needed 2 guys from the PR to defect and give BN a simple majority to overturn the PR government and form their own government.

To everyone’s surprise, 1 legislative member from the BN side jumped from the BN camp to the PR camp. Everyone was wondering why, but rather than spending / wasting time thinking why this happened, the PR was so happy and celebrated. Now PR has 32 against 27, any sane mind would have considered this as a structural reinforcement for the PR government.

Suddenly 2 PR legislative members were missing, then there was 1 lady saying she is not defecting from the PR side. In this chaotic situation, the PR government made a decision to dissolve the existing government to pave way to a fresh election to get firm mandate from the people.

While all these were happening, the 2 missing members together with the lady member declared that they have quit their parties under the PR coalition and now stand a s an independent members.

You need to pass at least university maths to understand all this. Now the numbers stand at PR 29 against 27 BN and 3 Independent. Just when everyone thought they can put back the calculators, the guy who switched camp from BN to PR now have switched camp again. This time from PR to BN. Yes, please use your calculators again. The numbers have changed to PR 28, BN 28 and Independent 3.

Now who can form the new government? Is it PR or BN? All depends to whom the 3 independent members throw in their mysterious support.

People chose a candidate to represent them based on 2 major reasons. One is, which party they belong to because the party reflects their struggle and vision. The other is, who the person is, what type of a man is he. Based on these 2 major reasons, people decides their vote.

We can sum up the deciding factors into the 80/20 ratio, which in my opinion, 80% of your decision should be based on the political party the candidate belongs to and 20% for the candidate himself. Relenting on this ration, a candidate should never change his political party. If he decides to leave the party, he should resign from the position that he won using the party’s name.

Very rare you see candidates winning on their own caliber (it has happened in Malaysia where independent candidates have won). Only a few have achieved these kind of remarkable triumphs. But people should remember that their candidate could not achieve anything more after winning the election (correct me if I am wrong, my knowledge about successful independent candidates are limited).

Therefore, when the people cast their votes believing that they have voted for a guy of party A turns out to be jumping camp to party B. I like the candidate but I don’t like the party B. Now did I, as the citizen of this Malaysia, got a fair chance to vote my favourite candidate and favourite party member to rule the land I belong to?

It looks like, I just can vote but the outcome is all in somebody else hand. It makes every voter thing, whose decision is it really?