Archive for the ‘Op-ED’ Category

How Your Goverment Is Screwing You!

September 12, 2007

I’m assuming the reason anyone is reading this post might have some correlation to the title… *duh* so let me tell you, in my estimation, just how exactly is the government screwing each all of us Malaysians – and yes there are some real screw drivers involved!

First if you could recollect just some time ago when the Government increased the petrol prices, via reducing the subsidies, tell presented it to you as a cost saving move that will generate saving. Savings that will go back to us rakyat in various suggested methods!

Now fast forward to the present. All the so called ‘savings’ are more than just practically wiped out!

Yes the government passed the buck to us rakyat with empty promises – then conveniently sold us down the river with the various public funds wastages, bailouts and oh my personal favourite good old corruption!

First there was …

Case 1
We all know the biggest bailout case of the year, the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal will will be costing us RM4.6 billion!

and then there was…

Case2
The ballooned budget for the Youth and Sports Ministry, for the IKBN project,  from the original estimated price tag of RM399.67mil way, way  up to RM767.98mil in the end.

So the normal Malaysian public would normally not bother twice when the allocation increases. Heck some would probably say it’s for our own benefit….!

But what really eats at me is that the increase in expenditure was done in order to facilitate the following purchasing:

  1.  RM 224 for 4 set screwdrivers when the going market price is RM 40 – A price difference of more than 5 times!
  2. RM10,700 for a 10 title technical books series – must be one hell of damn good book series.
  3. RM8,254 for a 3.1 megapixel digital camera – wow does it come with x-ray vision features or something?

I’m no expert at economics, nor can I claim to have a good understanding of how it all fits together and how the above 2 cases will affect the economy and in turn us rakyat! But it’s obviously a no brainner for me – a simple Joe Public – to say that this is in no way at all good for the country.

And at the end of the day all the hard work of yours that gets contributed to the government coffers in term of taxation – all of it is NOT coming back to you. Zero, Zilch, Nadd, …, absolutely nothing!

Forget the promises of the government, they blew it big time and this is not the first time too (ala Britney Spears’s ‘Opps I did It Again’).

What is a undeniable fact is this – As usual it is we the rakyat who will be footing the bill!

O Google Maps, where art thou?

August 23, 2007

Raise your hand if you’re a fan of Google Maps!

The premier & ‘freely’ available mapping solution from Google has been around for some time now and is more that just a passing familiarity for netizens. Be it the casual surfer just wanting to do a simple lookup on the maps right up to the hardcore mapping fanatics – Google Maps (and Google Earth) have been a godsend.

Moreover so with the latest update release just days old whereby a new embeddable map feature now allows easy-as-pie integration of the maps into website & blogs for the common layman. Cool! Just imagining the possibilities of this feature is staggering.

Suffice to say, I can now start embedding custom maps for general driving directions in Petaling Jaya, for example, right here in The Chronicles. Then all I’ve to do is just refer my friends requiring directions to the local hotspots to my blog where they can view the embedded maps and get the info they need.

Or at least so goes my speculation. Why so glum?

The problem is that things take a major snag for us Google Maps fans in Malaysia when this feature proves useless since we have no maps at all for our country. All we have are the satellite imagery, which was was cool initially somewhere around a couple of years back, but sans the latest updates of images scans this is pretty much of no great help to us.

This has been a long standing issue with me and more so the case when I read on the new updates that were just released!

Wondering why we were left out, plus when we can we Malaysians can hope to see some updates on Google Maps for us I asked myself the big question …

Why are there no maps available for Malaysia in Google Maps ?

Thus I wrote the following message to the support guys at Google Maps in the hopes that I can get some answers.

I live in Malaysia and am a long time fan of Google and it’s many services.

First off,I have to say kudos on great job with work thus far done up for Malaysia, i.e. the satellite view on Google Maps.

However for a while now I have been desperately hoping for some updates on Google Maps for Malaysia – specifically some maps (streets and/or highways for starters) besides the satellite view currently available.

I see that our neighbors in Thailand and Singapore have already have maps implemented to complement the satellite views on Google Maps! So that leaves me wondering why Malaysia doesn’t have the same level of coverage as both our immediate neighbors do.

I guess what I really want to inquire is what is required for there to be maps done up for Malaysia?

~
Jasraj

PS: I’m not from Mainland China, and I only selected it as it was the nearest country to Malaysia in the list.

It’s my hope that I can get to the bottom of this issue and maybe once and for all answer why Malaysia has no maps available on Google Maps.

UPDATE:

If you’re wondering which countries and also the extent of Google Map’s function & features available for those countries refer to this Wikipedia article.

How to Nurture Your Passion For Reading

June 29, 2007

As far back as I can remember I have been reading. I love reading. I carry a book with my everywhere I go. I can even read more or less anywhere – my friends will back me up on this as they were equally stupefied that I took out my book and started reading whilst we were on a boat ride back from Pulau Redang (Redang Island) to the mainland. Yes I survived and actually had a nice time reading along with the sway of the boat – if you wanted to know.

Getting back to the issue at hand …

14 Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit written by Leo Babauta of Zenhabits fame is the article that can start you off on the right path to nurturing a healthy passion for reading. Going through the 14 steps, I find that most of these steps make strong sense and can truly guide you. In fact a number of those steps from the original list of 14 steps that I already find to be deeply ingrained in myself, possible due to the many years of reading, are :

  1. Always carry a book
  2. Make a list
  3. Reduce Television & Internet
  4. Go to a used bookstore
  5. Make it pleasurable
  6. Blog it
  7. Have a reading hour or reading day

To me Always Carrying Around a Book is the most pivotal step in the list. Imaging all those small minutes wasted doing nothing whilst commuting, when with a book on hand you could easily pass your time productively. Additionally Having a Reading Hour/Day is equally important as you will need to commit to your reading in order to cultivate it. Going to a Used/Rental Bookstore is one way where you can significantly reduce your reading expenditures – renting a book or purchasing a used one will allow you to have a wider selection of books that you can aim to read and at the same time take the strain of the wallet.

For myself, I have noticed that over the years as my reading became more ingrained in my daily activities, the less time I spend watching the TV. And can you just imagine that my parents used to complain that I was a TV addict when I was much younger. And the blogging portion also naturally came about where I sometimes blog on the books that I have read. These are just some of the very tangible benefits that I have enjoyed thanks to my passion for reading. Benefits that could easily be your too for that matter. Take my word for it.

Incidentally in case you’re left wondering -FYI my biggest passion is for book in the Fantasy genre, though I do read some other every once in a while.

The Morning Crew’s Folly

June 28, 2007

I am a consummate fan of the Hitz.fm Morning Crew Rudy & JJ. I’ve been listening to them for years now. Through thick and thin I’ve tune in everyday – my digital alarm clock is set to kick start the radio which is tuned to 92.9 fm so I wake up daily to the dynamic duo of Rudy & JJ. Except for a short jaunt where I reverted to Mix.fm when the only topic of conversation on Hitz.fm for that time period was football, football, … and only football, sigh! Nobody can disagree when I say that The Morning Crew are great. Heck they are the epitome of hilariousness. Nuff said!

However today I believe that their latest antics does not sit well with me. The gimmick of the day for today was their offer to do the dirty work for anyone who wants to break off from a relationship but haven’t the nerve to do it. Yes, The Morning Crew offers an out to all those people with relationship troubles! In similar fashion to the great 50% off on all police summons we had last year, dumb as that is, now we have the ‘Easy-Way-Out’ option for all those gutless people who wants someone else to do the dirty work for them.

The thing of it is, and this is my opinion, relationships are difficult enough as they are. What could be a very beautiful thing at one moment, can come crashing down in a blink of an eye. Break-ups are part and parcel of the relationship cycle. You learn to deal with the intense emotions in your own way and come to a realization that things were not meant to be. Still there are many people out there who are in relationships that do not appeal to them anymore and yet they cannot work up the nerve to make an end of things.

It is based on this premise that The Morning Crew today embarked on with their ‘Rip The Bandage‘ gimmick. I only manage to hear the first call they made to a guy whose girlfriend has met someone new and wanted to break things off. Things turned sour when they broke the bad news to the guy on how his girlfriend wanted to end things as she has someone else – all of it on air!

Can you say Ouch!

Nobody wants to experience something like that let alone have it done on air for the whole of the country to hear, akin to washing your dirty laundry in public view. So unsurprisingly the poor guy responded in what I can assume to be derogatory swear words due to the constant bleeps that censored them out.

In all this I do not put them blame on The Morning Crew squarely – sorry guys. I understand you are just provided the usual venue for interaction with their listeners, as is your norm. What I despise utterly is the fact that such baseless person’s as the girlfriend of the guy mentioned above, who choose to forgo their own responsibility to their partner in order to have the easy way out. To me this speak volumes to the character of this girl, and none of it good!

This Ad Speaks Volume

June 21, 2007

Almost daily we are inundated with crappy sub par advertisement on the telly. No doubt that these ads more or less leaves you wondering what in god’s name were they thinking in the first place when those jackasses came up with that idea! Is it just me or is it a fact that most ads are getting lamer and lamer?

And then there the times, not that often and more so the pity, when you actually come across a decent if not good advertisement and you go Wow! These is exactly what I experience when I stumbled across this little American Express advertistment. This nifty little ad broke the mold, in my humble opinion, when the people at American Express or whomever they hired for this purpose decided to feature well know movie director Wes Craven in the ad promoting their credit card. Ingenious and at the same time a fresh breath of air. Take a look and judge it for yourself. As for me I’m satisfied that I got a Wow experience.

Who Says Church Isn’t Fun

June 21, 2007

Take a gander at this here hilarious church signs:

Church & Google

Doesn’t this just humbles the mighty Google

Church & Oh God

Crap! Double Crap!!

Church & Forgiveness

I like the concept. Very Reverse Psychology-isque.

Church & Hell

Should I be thankful or scared? I can’t decide.

Church & Knees

Can’t argue with that. Ladies, take note. Nuff Said!

Church & Wireless

Ahh… Religion defined in geek speak!

Chuckles … head on over to this here website to take a look at the rest of it.

MAS 50-Hour Open House Celebration

June 20, 2007

MAS Logo Visit Malaysia Year 2007

Malaysian airlines (MAS) is having a promotion right now.

Termed as “50-Hour Open House Celebration“, this promotion will only run from 9am 20th of June till 11am on the 22nd of June. The flight period is from 3rd of Spetember up till the 30th of September.

Ticket prices come in a combination of RM1 or RM10 for one-way domestic flight. Flights to neighboring countries can cost as much as RM209 for return tickets.

For those not inclined to book online, any inquiries for information can channeled to MAS Call Center via the following number, 1300 88 1300(within Malaysia) or +603 7843 3000(outside Malaysia).

Near Case of Snatch Theft

June 20, 2007

7 years.

Thats how long I’ve been a resident of this metropolitan city Kuala Lumpur. And in all that time I have never been a victim of any crime be it snatch theft or mugging. However today proved to be the day that my 7 year long track record would be dashed to pieces.

Yes, today I nearly became a victim in a snatch theft case. This accident took place as I was walking back from my local pasar malam (night market) not 2 block away from my home in SS4C, Kelana Jaya. The assailant that attempted to accost me was an Indian man driving a motorcycle. He was attired in a grayish looking shirt and was wearing a white helmet. He was made of slight built and roughly looked to be in his early 30’s. The number plate of his motorcycle – as far as I could make it out was BM 35…..

His modus operandi was that he wanted to ask me directions on how to get to SS2. He stopped his motorcycle for this purpose and if I wasn’t suspicious to begin with, I would have approached him to give the necessary directions. I thank god that I noticed that this character seem to be shifty and a suspicious nature, thus I did not get close to him. This proved to be his undoing as he pulled out his weapon – looked like a kitchen knife to me – and indicated that he wanted me to hand over my handphone by mentioning “kasi, kasi,…” (give, give…) and pointed to the handphone in my hand. I quickly stepped behind a parked vehicle not 2 feet away and started to shout that I was going to call the police. The thief then hesitated, as he apparently did not want to get down from his motorcycle and come for me, before deciding that I wasn’t worth the trouble. He then quickly drove off!

By then, my was heart pumping full-time and the implication of what just happened hit me – I was nearly attacked by a snatch thief not 5 houses down from my own house!

I quickly made it back to my house, whereby I related my incident to my house mates. Then I called the local Kelana Jaya Police Station (FYI the number is 03-78062222) to make a report on the incident. I related any relevant information that I could think off to the police officer on the phone, whereby he told me that they would send a patrol unit to patrol the housing area. My only worry at that time was that this scumbag might make another attempt on some other innocent victim who also was going to or from the pasar malam! Tomorrow I will make a visit to the station to make a formal police report.

I am very much thankful to my fellow residents in SS4C who via the emails sent to community members have previously alerts the residents that there have been recent cases of snatch theft committed by 2 Indian guys on a motorcycle using the similar method as have mentioned above. This was the very thing that made me suspicious enough to not approach the thief in the first place.

In retrospect, my mistake in all this was not only that I was alone but I had also made myself a target due to the fact that I was chatting on the phone whilst walking back from the pasar malam. Just this simple fact embolden this thief to make an attempt on even though he was by himself. Let this be a lesson to anyone who read this blog … don’t fall for this kind of trick where they ask for direction in order to lull the victim before making their move.

A New Paris Hilton? I think Not!

June 12, 2007

Before I proceed any further I want to make a couple of things very very clear.

  • I DETEST Paris Hilton!
  • I DESPISE Paris Hilton!
  • Paris Hilton is a dangerous icon that could have a detrimental effect on teenagers nowadays.
  • Simple Life is a prime example of the malignant cancer rotting away at the core of ‘Reality TV’.

To me the epitome of all things wrong with celebrities today can be summarized into 2 words – Paris Hilton!

Whew…. I’m glad to get that off my chest! Continuing on…

They should have thrown away the jail cell key and let her rot in there. 45 days is too short! But sadly she was alloted preferential treatment and after 3 days in jail, her sentence was reduced to house arrest. Yet the new story being mentioned is that Paris has decided to change into a new leaf -it that is at all possible, a leopard trying to change its spots and all that.

The article quote Paris saying,

I used to act dumb. It was an act. I am 26 years old, and that act is no longer cute. It is not who I am, nor do I want to be that person for the young girls who looked up to me.

My response to that (read: Yeah right! Are you certain? You just realized that now huh. Sure I believe you…Not!)

And then she goes on to say,

“I feel as if I’m a different person,” said Hilton, known for her party-going lifestyle. “I’ve dropped my appeal. I don’t want to cause any more problems.”

Again my response to that (read: You’re joking right? What appeal? We’ll see)

Moreover she also state,

Hilton, who said other inmates had been friendly, added that her skin was very dry because she was not allowed any moisturizer.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said, “I’m not that superficial girl. I haven’t looked in the mirror since I got here.”

and I can’t help but respond to that (read: You’re in jail and yet you’re worrying about moisturizer – What the hell girl! Not Superficial -ROTFLOL! I wouldn’t want to see what you see when you look into the mirror either!)

So the issue at hand is whether or not Paris can actually change her superficial self into a better person? Can she stop “acting dumb”?

My bet is she’ll fail, and fail spectacularly too if you ask me.

Now before you go on and rail at me for not believing that people can change and second chances and all that, stop. I happen to believe in second chances, I just don’t believe that people like Paris Hilton actually deserve a do over. Some things you know just cannot be. While the dumb act that she’s been portraying all this time might have started out as an act – I believe you must fit the role very well indeed if you can play the part as magnificently as Paris Hilton does.

Dumb is as dumb does I say!

Don’t agree with my opinion. Got something to say. Use the comments box, i.e. thats what hey are there for.

SMART No More

June 11, 2007

They say a picture paints a thousands words.

Well consider the following picture as my 1000 word contribution lambasting the people in charge (what can I say… I’m in a foul mood)

Kl Flash Flood June 2007

Some one liners that come to mind:

  1. Not so SMART anymore are we <dramatic pause>… huh?
  2. Whose SMARTy pants idea was it to waste all that money?
  3. Ain’t too SMART are we dear?

(image contributed by The Star)