Thursday, August 30, 2007

An interview with Lee Kuan Yew - 24 August 2007.

I've always enjoyed listening to speeches and reading the comments of Lee Kuan Yew. The words are sharp & direct and the viewpoints insightful & opinionated. Much like our very own Tun Mahathir 'Apa Nama' Mohd.

Here, he talks about what he knows best... reality. The reality of Singapore, the Asian behemoths China & India, ASEAN, nation building and the future.

Excerpts from an interview with Lee Kuan Yew
Published: August 29, 2007 on

The following are excerpts from an interview with Lee Kuan Yew, who served as prime minister of Singapore from 1959, when it gained partial independence from Britain, until he stepped down in 1990. He is currently minister mentor.

The interview took place at the Istana, where the Singapore president and prime minister work, on Aug. 24, 2007. Lee was questioned by Leonard M. Apcar, deputy managing editor of the International Herald Tribune, Wayne Arnold, a Singapore correspondent, and Seth Mydans, Southeast Asia bureau chief.
Here are some choicy bits which I particularly liked:

On Singapore and nation building...

Lee Kuan Yew: Because we thought by joining Malaysia, we'd go back to the old Singapore. We would have a hinterland, a common market, and can develop import substitution industries like other countries. Now, we're off on our own with not the most sympathetic of neighbors. How do we live?

To begin with we don't have the ingredients of a nation, the elementary factors, a homogenous population, common language, common culture and common destiny.

We are migrants from southern China, southern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, before it was divided, Ceylon and the archipelago. So, the problem was, can we keep these peoples together?

The basis of a nation just was not there. But the advantage we had was that we became independent late. In 1965, we had 20 years of examples of failed states. So, we knew what to avoid - racial conflict, linguistic strife, religious conflict. We saw Ceylon.

Thereafter, we knew that if we embarked on any of these romantic ideas, to revive a mythical past of greatness and culture, we'd be damned. So, there's no return to nativism. We have left our moorings. We're all stranded here to make a better or worse living than in our own original countries.

IHT: To what extent can you replicate the Singapore model in other countries? Does it work?

Lee Kuan Yew: Supposing we had oil and gas, do you think I could get the people to do this? No. If I had oil and gas I'd have a different people, with different motivations and expectations. It's because we don't have oil and gas and they know that we don't have, and they know that this progress comes from their efforts. So please do it and do it well.

We are ideology-free. What would make the place work, let's do it.
On China...

IHT: We've written a lot about the competition for jobs and foreign investments. When it comes to China, it's obviously a great opportunity. But what other pressures do you see emanating from China for the rest of Asia?

Lee Kuan Yew: The next 10, 15 years, China is more an opportunity than a challenge. In the next 15, 20, 30 years, the opportunities will be taken up by many other competitors in China. The challenge will come when they start exporting not just low-end products but intermediate products and even some high-end products and software. And they will begin to export their expertise, exporting their factories and plants.

IHT: What about politically? There's always this talk of China seeing itself as the Middle Kingdom still. Does China have long-term ambitions in Asia that cause concern to the rest of the region?

Lee Kuan Yew: Well, there are memories, not institutionalized but in folk memories at a popular level. For instance when the Sultan of Brunei went to Beijing, about 10 years ago. They took him to his great-great-grandfather's mausoleum in Nanjing where he had died, when bringing tribute to China.

It was a neat way of reminding the Bruneians and the rest of us - Brunei was then a big empire in West Borneo - that this was our place in the pecking order.

[sean-the-man's note: If the Sultan of Brunei had to travel to China to pay tribute, would the Emperor of China marry off his daughter to Malacca, to a similar or lesser Sultan?... Food for thought, no?]
On China & India, and the future of Asia:

Lee Kuan Yew: If you study the history of this region, you will see that two influences came from the north. One was India from the west; the other was China from the east. So you have the Ramayana Classics, the dances and music in Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia. You have Borobudur and Hindu-like temples in Bali. Then in the east you have Vietnam, and then the seaports of the region, pockets of Chinese traders.

So historically, two forces were at work, two higher civilizations India and China from the north flowed into this region.

Then European colonialism took over for 200 years.

Now, China and India have revived. I believe the outward thrust of their influence will follow a similar pattern.
On the environment...

Lee Kuan Yew: I think the problems will become more acute the other way, overpopulation, earth warming and displacement of millions, maybe billions of people, that is the greater danger.

IHT: What about the risks to Singapore, what are the risks to Singapore in those scenarios?

Lee Kuan Yew: Oh! We are already in consultations with Delft in Holland to learn how we can build dikes!

IHT: Is that right?

Lee Kuan Yew: Oh, yes! Let's start thinking about it now.

IHT: Are you serious?

Lee Kuan Yew: We are. We are in consultations with them.

It scares me because many world leaders have not woken up to the peril that their populations are in.

This melting ice cap. I expected great consternation! What would happen to this earth? But, no. Has it triggered off emergency meetings to do something about this?

Earth warming, the glaciers melting away? Never mind the Swiss Alps and skiing resorts having to manufacture snow. When the glaciers in the Himalayas and Tibet melt away, the Ganges, the Yangtze, the Irrawaddy, the Mekong, may dry up, except for rainy seasons. What will happen to the hundreds of millions? Where do they go? Where can they go? This will be a very serious problem.

IHT: Why don't you think the world isn't focusing on this?

Lee Kuan Yew: Because it's not an election issue. You know maybe 50 years, a 100 years, most of us would be dead. Leave it to the next president.

IHT: That's human nature isn't it? But it doesn't seem to be the way Singapore operates.
I wouldn't call the man a savant or an oracle, but he has a nasty habit of being right and rubbing your nose in it.

Malaysian politicians would do well to recognise some of the imminent issues and dangers that he brings up. They should be concentrating on building the damn dykes now (against external threats), instead of spending all their time dicking around with internal fetishes the country can ill-afford - like ketuanan Melayu, Islamic states and the NEP.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The State of the Nation: M'sia according to S'pore media

What the Singaporeans are reading about us.

Oh well... at least the govt is consistent. It seems content to merely fight the 'psychological war' against crime, corruption & racial/religious tensions ie. warning the media, the opposition and bloggers not to publicise these issues and telling everyone "it's not so bad, don't listen to them."

Not talking about it doesn't mean it's not tearing the nation apart, you know.

First he screws up Perak, now he's screwing up Parliament

According to Malaysiakini, Dewan Rakyat speaker and former Perak Menteri Besar, Ramli Ngah Talib, rejected the motion to debate the RM4.6 billion bailout of Port Klang Free Zone. Predictably, the motion was put forward by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang.

“The government is looking into the matter and as such there is no need to debate it in Parliament,” said Ramli in disallowing the debate.
What the hell kind of excuse is that?

This is the Parliament we're talking about. Surely you don't mean that Parliament 'need not' debate anything as long as the govt is looking into it? Does this mean the govt is free from Parliamentary scrutiny as long as it's 'looking into' the matter? Perhaps it's the govt's 'looking into' that needs to be scrutinised, eh?

As Speaker of the House, Ramli Ngah should be ensuring that any matter of national interest and public concern gets a fair airing in the Parliament. Why is he acting as a first line suppressor of critical debate, rather than a moderator of a fair and effective parliament? [Okay, okay... I guess I know why. He's an UMNO gorilla after all. Hmmm, maybe that explains why he can't finesse a better excuse... you know, what with all that chest thumping, walking on their knuckles etc].

First he screws up Perak, now he's screwing up Parliament. Going on to bigger and better things, I see.

Proton Persona - Boleh Edition

Apparently, this is a photo of the new Proton Persona (or Gen2 sedan) that was taken during the launch in Kuching.

Nothing much wrong with it, is there?... except that there are 2 FUEL GAUGES! One in the speedo, and the other in the tacho.

I mean... much has been said about the quality control (or the lack thereof) in Proton... but this bad?

Is the "Proton QC Lulus" sticker even worth the scrap of plastic it's printed on? German TUV approved or Malaysian TIU?

Source: Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin

Other reading on Proton: search?q=Proton

Other cars to buy: Reviews - Cars Gadgets Whatever

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Unverified!... 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (JDM) brochure

These are supposed to be pages (some pages are missing) from the JDM brochure of the upcoming Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (2008 Lancer review here). They are said to have been leaked out to the net. Have not verified the authenticity although it looks genuine enough. For the source, refer to the watermark on the top left of each page.

"276"hp @ 6500rpm and 422NM @ 3500rpm. It tops the performance of not only the IX, but also the tuned FQ300. With peak power unchanged at 6500rpm like its predecessors, it seems that my prediction of a higher power band due to the square 4B11 engine has not panned out. But let's wait to see the definite specs when it's finally launched.

Personally, I like the black 'Top of Evo' on page 25.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" talks about Malaysia & "You-Know-Who"

This is probably not an article you would get to see in the Malaysian mainstream media.

Not when the article features "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" talking about Malaysia's relationship with the city-state founded by "You-Know-Who."

And especially too when the conclusion on the article lays the blame solely at the feet of the party also known as "They-Who-Should-Get-Their-Asses-Kicked" for repeatedly inciting hatred and anti-Chinese sentiments against Singapore, as a convenient smokescreen to divert attention away from the country's burgeoining problems with corruption, misgovernance, racism and religious chauvanism.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The one about Ong Ka Ting, Alibaba, UMNO, PKFZ and the NEP.

In response to Ong Ka Ting's call for true JVs between bumis and non-bumis (ie. those that share both risks and rewards, as opposed to the current AliBaba ones where Ali gets his reward and Baba bears the risks), here's what some Malay politicians (read UMNO) had to say.

Jangan tunduk - Tuntutan tender terbuka MCA bercanggah dengan DEB
Oleh AZMAN IBRAHIM - Utusan Malaysia (reproduced by Malaysia-Today)

Ahli- ahli politik Melayu hari ini menggesa kerajaan tidak tunduk kepada tuntutan MCA supaya tender projek-projek kerajaan dibuat secara terbuka kerana permintaan itu bertentangan dengan semangat Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB).

"bukan bumiputera tidak boleh mempersoalkan hak dan kelebihan yang diperoleh oleh mana-mana syarikat bumiputera selama ini."

"Apa salahnya syarikat bumiputera dapat tender daripada kerajaan?"
Essentially, they are saying NO WAY, the status quo should be maintained ie. all govt contracts go to bumi companies. (Btw, here's the latest circular from the Malaysian Treasury directing government agencies to appoint only bumiputera consultant firms registered with the Finance Ministry for development projects under RM30 million -ref Malaysiakini).

Point 1: Apa salahnya? [What's the problem?]

WHAT'S the problem? Well... where do I start?... Generally, spoon-feeding does not encourage learning and growth. Give the man a fish, teach the man to fish... blah, blah, blah (see: Paying The Price for Freebies).

Specifically, many of the current bumi companies enjoying govt contracts are a bunch of crooks and it is costing us (the tax payer) good money, a helluva lot of it in fact, to keep this bad policy in place.
Govt's hand forced in bailout
R. Nadeswaran and Terence Fernandez - Sun2Surf

PORT KLANG (Aug 20, 2007): The government has to bail out the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) because the Transport Ministry had given undertakings it was not authorised to do so. The ministry issued "letters of support" which were used by the turnkey contractor - Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) - to raise bonds and get an AAA rating from the Malaysia Rating Corporation Bhd.

The four letters were issued between 2003 and 2006 for the issuance of bonds for the RM4.6 billion cost of the project. Ministry sources argue that they merely "supported" the applications but bankers contacted by theSun said that in effect, they were letters of guarantee which only the Treasury can issue.

This is because the letters from the ministry committed the government to ensure that at all times, the Port Klang Authority (PKA) will fulfil all its financial obligations to KDSB.

"So, the government was left with little choice but to salvage the situation," said an industry source.
Read more about the PKFZ bailout here: PKFZ bailout: The CRONYNOMIC / EKORNOMIC rationale
Ahli Parlimen Johor Bahru, Datuk Shahrir Samad berkata, walaupun syarikat-syarikat bumiputera diberi kelebihan mendapatkan tender-tender kerajaan, namun syarikat-syarikat bukan bumiputera tidak terkecuali memperoleh faedah daripada sistem tender itu.

Beliau berkata, kontraktor bumiputera tetap memerlukan kerjasama syarikat-syarikat bukan bumiputera, khususnya syarikat-syarikat milik ahli perniagaan Cina, bagi mendapatkan bahan-bahan binaan dan peralatan-peralatan teknikal.

“Inilah yang dikatakan perkongsian dan ia harus diterima oleh semua rakyat sebagai sesuatu yang positif.

“Apa yang kita amalkan selama ini mewujudkan rangkaian nilai yang dapat membantu meningkatkan ekonomi negara dan dirasai oleh semua peringkat masyarakat,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia ketika dihubungi di sini.
Point 2: SUBCONTRACTING. It's not only building materials and technical equipment that the bumi companies are outsourcing to the Chinese ones. In many cases, it's also labour and management services.

If you've ever studied any economics, that about sums up all you need for any sort of economic activity.

So, in essence, what are the bumi companies doing? Apart from securing the govt contract, farming it out and keeping a large percentage of the contract's value?

NOTHING! Absolutely nothing.

Why the heck do you think 'over-priced and over-funded' govt buildings, bridges, computer labs that leak, fall apart, crack and breakdown etc... keep getting built in Malaysia? Over and over again, day in day out?... Because a large art of the price / funding goes towards purchasing large amounts of absolutely NOTHING!

What the subcontractors are left with... are margins so thin that it's virtually impossible to buy the quality of materials and workmanship that the original price / funding was supposed to pay for.

And you call that "perkongsian" [partnership] or "rangkaian nilai" [value chain] something that "harus diterima oleh semua rakyat sebagai sesuatu yang positif" [needs to be accepted by all Malaysians as something positive]?

POSITIVE? All those buildings leaking, falling apart, bridges cracking, billion ringgit bailouts... POSITIVE?

Helloooo! Earth calling planet NEP. Earth calling planet NEP. If there are any intelligent lifeforms, please respond!

And before anyone starts getting pissy-faced, and accuses me of being anti-Malay or anti-social contract while wringing their panties in a tight little knot, let me finish.

Point 3: Who is the NEP benefitting? Is it you, me, the man on the street, the average bumi breadwinner, the impoverished?

Remember the bumi company named Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB), from the PKFZ report above?

Here's an excellent expose available at Malaysians Unplugged Uncensored. It gives us a real example of who truly benefits from the NEP. I've read it and I totally understand why UMNO politicians fight tooth and nail to retain the NEP in its current form. What I DON'T understand is WHY the average bumi salaryman trying to earn a decent, halal living - does the same??? Read: Lesson 101: How to Justify Racial Discrimination.
The UMNO and UMNO Youth Connection

Kuala Dimensi's current chairman is UMNO treasurer Datuk Azim Zabidi. The company acquired the land for the project in the 1990s for RM96 million, or roughly RM3 per sq ft. Kuala Dimensi bought the land from Pulau Lumut Development Cooperative Bhd (PLDCB).

Present PLDCB chairperson Abdul Rahman Palil is a Selangor executive councillor and Sementa state assembly person. He is the Kapar UMNO division head. When the Port Klang Authority (PKA) proposed to buy the land from Kuala Dimensi, PKA was advised to forcibly purchase the land under the country's Land Acquisition Act, which meant that the property would have been valued at around RM10 per sq ft.

But PKA IGNORED the advice from the government's Chief Legal Adviser and proceeded to buy the land from Kuala Dimensi in 2002 on a commercial basis, for RM1 billion, or roughly RM25 per sq ft.

The legal firm, Rashid Asari & Co, drafted the March 2004 land development agreement between PKA and Kuala Dimensi. The lawyer engaged to draft the agreement works for 'the other side,' ie the lawyer also works for Kuala Dimensi.

Abdul Rashid Asari who heads the legal firm also happens to be the vice-chief of the Kapar Umno division. PKA appointed Rashid Asari & Co, the firm that was, and remains today, on Kuala Dimensi's legal panel. Among Rashid's fellow Excos in the Kapar UMNO division is its permanent chairman Onn Ismail.

PKA also decided to award the now cash-flushed Kuala Dimensi SOLE rights to develop the free-trade zone.

Wijaya Baru Global Bhd (WBGB) was the the property developer and investment firm behind the sale and development of PKFZ. Faizal Abdullah is the the deputy-Chief Executive officer of Wijaya Baru Global Bhd (WBGB). He is also Onn Ismail's son in law and the Kapar UMNO division's Youth Chief.

Read here for more on UMNO and UMNO Youth's Connection in this scandalous affair.
If you still think the NEP as it stands now, is a good idea... then you and me... we've got ourselves a problem.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lucky and Flo deserve Datukships more than most of our Datuk Seris

Seems like canine piracy fighters, Lucky and Flo, have been given medals of 'outstanding merit' by Malaysia's Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. They have literally sniffed out over 2 million illegal discs and in the process became the first dogs to attract a bounty on their heads.

Refer to Malaysiakini for the story. And if you're cheap and don't want to pay for news (which should be free), check out the story on ChannelnewsAsia.

If you ask me, I think Lucky and Flo have been short-changed by the govt. I reckon they should at least be conferred datukships. They have done more for crime-fighting in their short tenure than the entire police force, customs and internal ministry combined. And with the huge number of Datuks and other titles freely given to the civil service each year, I can't help but feel that the contributions of the 2 labradors have been sold-short by just 2 lousy medals.

For a Sean-the-man insight into the estimated 10,000 titles and 1,000 datukships which are awarded yearly to "deserving" Malaysians, go here: Sir Datuk Seri

"MCA not UMNO's bitch!"... in Mandarin only, please.

Heard at the MCA Youth AGM:

MCA is NOT UMNO's bitch!... well, that's not exactly what they said, but here's what MCA Youth Chief Liow Tiong Lai actually said (ref Malaysiakini):

“We in MCA and MCA Youth won’t be easily bullied by others, ren bu fan wo, wo bu fan ren; ren ruo fan wo, wo bi fan ren,” he quoted the Chinese saying (“人不犯我,我不犯人;人若犯我,我必犯人”, a rehash of what retired MCA leader Lee Kim Sai said in the 1980s when he was the MCA Youth Chief), which loosely translates to how one who is offended would retaliate.

“In the ‘BN family’, we are brothers, there is no master and slave, there is no question of who is being scared of who or whom should kowtow to whom,” Liow added to a thunderous applause from the 887 delegates present.

Liow suggested the authorities should do away with labels like ‘Muslims and non-Muslims’, ‘bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras’ among Malaysians to eradicate racism and advocate the spirit of ‘rakyat Malaysia’.
Them's fighting words, Mr Liow. If only you had spoken it in a language that Khairy (who actually attended MCA Youth's AGM) and other UMNO leaders could understand. What Liow should have added are these additional paragraphs...

"We regret that due to political expediency, we can only say this in Mandarin, which 99.99% of Malays do not understand and guarantees that these statements will not find their way into the BM newspapers ie. Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia etc. In fact, even the English newspapers will not print these statements.

These statements are for ethnic Chinese feel-good consumption only, contains no real substance nor political resolve, and is constituted from 100% added sugar, chemical preservatives and reheated speeches.

Best consumed during MCA AGMs, and to be served sparingly in small doses."

And that, folks, is what Malaysian Chinese should really be taking away from MCA Youth AGM's mono-lingual, syok-sendiri monologue that day.

Other posts about MCA:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Jobless UMNO Youth leader tells everyone else to get a job

Does anyone else (besides me) find it ironic that a man who has never had a single proper job in his entire life would have so much 'good advice' for jobless graduates?

Let's me put it this way. It's pretty hard to take advice about how to lead a common-sense / down-to-earth life from a man whose greatest accomplishment is being married to the PM's only daughter.

Rather than advice that they shouldn't be picky about jobs, I think jobless graduates would appreciate tips on - (i) how to convince people to lend them millions of ringgit to buy shares in a financial firm despite being jobless, (ii) how to convince youth wings of political parties to nominate and elect them to national leadership positions despite having no political nor leadership experience and skills, and (iii) how to find money to holiday in the US, buy 2 iPhones and pay the access & roaming charges for 2 US Cingular Wireless mobile lines without needing a job to earn money in the first place.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dear IIUM, wearing a 'tudung' is against my religion.

Have a look at Lim Kit Siang's blog regarding the issue of dress codes for IIUM's (International Islamic University Malaysia) convocation ceremony. Essentially, a very disgruntled parent wrote in complaining that non-Muslim female undergraduates were formally required to wear head scarfs (ubiquitously known as 'tudung') to the university's graduation convocation.

This is a screenshot of IIUM's webpage regarding the dresscode.

In particular, read notes (i) & (iii):

i. Covering of 'Aurah' (including head and neck) applies to Muslim as well as Non-Muslim females. Avoid wearing skirts with slits.

iii. 'Tudung' / headcover will be provided by the University.
If you read some of the pro-IIUM comments to this post on Lim Kit Siang's blog, you'd find that it basically centers around the argument that the university is entitled to to enforce dress codes, notwithstanding the fact that it is actually based entirely on religious attire.

OK, so the contention is that universities have the right to enforce dress codes on their students.

Fine, then how about the female Muslim students in France who refused to remove their head coverings in accordance with French educational dress code?

Wasn't it their argument that the dress code should not apply to them since it conflicts with their religious convictions? Didn't many Malaysian Muslim organisations, including IIUM faculty and students, support that argument?

So, what if we were to apply this argument to the IIUM convocation situation?

Isn't it reasonable that wearing a piece of decidedly Muslim religious attire (especially for the expressly stated purpose of conforming with Muslim religious norms), would be in deep conflict with the religious convictions of Christian, Buddhist, Hindu (dan lain-lain) students?

After all, Muslims are NOT the only people who believe that there can only be ONE god (ie. theirs), and any subservience / allegiance / acknowledgement of ANOTHER god is a great and terrible sin.

Therefore I put it to you that Non-Muslim IIUM students should be allowed to ignore IIUM's convocation dress code - for the same reasons that female Muslim students in France ignored the French educational dress code. To comply would be against their religion(s)!

And I would expect all Muslims individuals and organisations who supported those female Muslim students in France, to similarly support the female Non-Muslim students in IIUM. Otherwise, can you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Nazri versus Zam over Mamula Moon

Zam says that Namewee's apology must be accepted. Nazri says sorry not enough! - (Refer to Bernama and Malaysiakini respectively).

Both are equally ranked cabinet ministers... so who the hell is calling the shots? Is it possible to tell the arse from the elbow? Or are we simply looking at 2 arseholes?

In any case, Malaysia's National Anthem Act might not have a case against Namewee.

In fact, Malaysia might possibly be vulnerable to legal action for 50 years of intellectual property infringement against a band called Felix Mendelssohn and the Hawaiian Serenaders. Even if a lawsuit is not forthcoming, extreme embarassment certainly is. Especially since the govt has made such a big deal of Negaraku's "sacred-ness" when reacting to Namewee's Negarakuku.

You see, it's mighty possible that Negaraku is actually a rip-off of a 1940s song called 'Mamula Moon' sung by the above mentioned singer and his band.

Do a google search for Mamula Moon or go here: CmorButt's Den of Boredom for some background. He's got a downloadable version of the song there too that you can use as your mobilephone ringtone (WMA format and you have to register to download though. Bummer).

But don't scared, a Namewee supporter has put it on youtube, along with the argument that Namewee trivialised Mamula Moon, not Negaraku:

If this is true and Negaraku is indeed a cetak rompak of a Hawaiian hula..., then who the fark is going to give me back my 12 years of Monday morning school assemblies? Will we be Mamula Moon-ing or Negaraku-ing during the Merdeka Day march-past 2 weeks from now (on 31st August)? How will Malaysians ever sing Negaraku with a straight face again?

Damn those lazy-boned founding fathers of our country - who couldn't be bothered to get their hands on an original song - not even for something as vital and important as a national anthem.

Read also:
- Negarakuku in deep doo-doo (included youtube with English subtitles)
- Namewee shouldn't apologise for his rap until UMNO apologises for their racist shit

Gwen Stefani: From the top of her bosom to her knees

According to Maxis Hotlink's website, Gwen Stefani's KL concert is still on.
Below is what she wore at her recent concert, of the same tour, in Singapore.
Succumbing to religious extremist pressure groups, Maxis had earlier made a statement that Gwen Stefani's Malaysian concert would feature NO revealing costumes and abide with local guidelines on concerts (ref Reuters).

Malaysia's official guide for performers says women must be covered from the top of the bosom to the knees, the Star said.

Jumping, shouting and the throwing of objects are barred, while performers may not hug, kiss or wear clothes with obscene or drug-related pictures or slogans, it added.
So I guess Gwen's not bringing her normal wardrobe to KL (samples below). It's a pity cos she really makes being a 'flattie' sexy as hell!

I'd be really interested how she's going to make the whole 'covered from top of bosom to the knees' thing work.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Singapore F1 GP: Confirmation of Night Race by year end

We'll know by December this year if the Singapore F1 GP will be a night race or not, when the FIA makes known its feasibility study.

Read other posts in this blog on Singapore F1 GP, under the label of:

F1 and the 2008 Singapore GP

PKFZ bailout: The CRONYNOMIC / EKORNOMIC rationale

You must have read by now the intense scrutiny in the blogs about the impending financial bailout of PKFZ (Port Klang Free Zone).

Screenshots: Kong Choy must explain. Kong Choy must explain?
Rocky's Bru: Bailing out disaster zone
Aisehman: Intelligence-free zone
Malaysians Unplugged: Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) Scandal: Stinks All the Way Up to Government and UMNO Politicians
Malaysiakini: PKFZ: Cops blamed for RM3 bil waste of funds

Business Times confirms it as follows:

THE Government will step in to rescue troubled companies only if it is in the long-term national interest to do so, a top Government official [2nd Finance Minister lah, since the 1st Finance Minister doesn't know squat about finance] said, amid growing speculation a RM4.6 billion lifeline may have been thrown to the Port Klang authority's free trade zone project.
They go on to highlight Nor Mohd's rationale for the bailout:
"We don't see the Government going out and bailing out failed entrepreneurs. That's not our policy ... has never been our policy. But sometimes we put money in to create confidence for the overall economy, and we will do that."

“Every country does it,”
And he's right, you know. Every country does do it.

I'm not saying that bailouts are the right way to manage a national economy, but nations have and are doing it... even the self-appointed protector and guardian of free economy, the USA.

But instead of shutting up when he's ahead... Nor Mohd tries to run with it... and comes up with this gem of a quote, as a rationale for bailouts:
"We didn't bail out the major shareholders, we just created value for the minority shareholders, really. So in that sense, it's not a bailout of the majority shareholders ... it's a 'bail-in' of the general public and the minority."
Ummm... okay... errr... forgive me if I seem to be struggling with his logic here. Obviously they didn't teach me cronynomics (crony-economics) in university.

How do you choose which shareholders to bailout? For example, in this case where the bailout is a soft loan, how do the proceeds and benefits of the loan accrue to the minority shareholders but not the major shareholders?

If the loan is used to stave off PKFZ's creditors, has the finance ministry checked to make sure that the directors and major shareholders of PKFZ do NOT hold any significant interests in those creditors? If they do, you are just paying them off..., leaving the minority shareholders (and taxpayers) stuck with the white elephant!

If the loan is used as working capital or funding for long term assets, it will benefit the company as a whole, including (...especially) the major shareholders. And if the turnaround succeeds, and the PKFZ becomes profitable... are the major shareholders going to forego the dividends of that subsequent profit, in favour of the minority shareholders?

'BAIL-IN' pulak...

Mr Minister, I'd like to see the finance degree hanging on the wall of your office. I suspect there might be a slight typo on it... "DEGREE in EKORNOMICS" perhaps?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Namewee shouldn't apologise for his rap until UMNO apologises for their racist shit

I just read on Malaysiakini that namewee has apologised.

I won't comment on whether the lyrics about discrimination and inept govt is uncalled for, whether the use of the Negaraku as the basis of his rap was disrespectful or whether his lyrics about Malays and Islam was seditious.

Like I said earlier (Negarakuku in deep doo-doo), you need to make up your own mind about what's seditious and what's not.

But I do believe wholeheartedly that ANYBODY who demonised namewee, but did not similarly speak out against the blatantly seditious UMNO speeches (Why isn't UMNO subject to same laws as bloggers?) during the 2006 General Assembly... should just shut the hell up and crawl back into whatever swamp they came from. These people have no right to speak, be outraged or offended - as they gave it all up by keeping quiet (some even stated their support) when UMNO spouted their filth on live TV.

Damn, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. It's okay to talk about stabbing one community and bathing in their blood, but it's NOT okay to rap about widely-held, existing stereotypes about another community?!

So, I reckon namewee should retract his apology to those who are 'offended' until UMNO apologises to those they have offended.

Or until those who were 'offended' by namewee's shit, apologise first for NOT being offended earlier about UMNO's GA2006 shit.

Alternatively, namewee might want to invoke the mighty logic of my hero, KJ the Deputy UMNO Youth leader... that you are NEVER WRONG if you are FIGHTING for your RACE!

Namewee's 'apology' on his blog:

Hello, Semua Orang Melayu sila tengok sini

Islamic state, secular state or just a state of ambiguity?

An interesting article by Singapore Today newspaper's commentator in KL, Oon Yeoh - about Malaysia's religious turmoil.

I like this observation:

And while it's true that non-Muslims have freedom of religion and can lead very secular lifestyles, there's always the danger of the slippery slope.

That is probably why Bernard Dompok risked angering his UMNO colleagues by saying at a public forum: "I will not agree that we are an Islamic state." He understands full well that today's non-Muslim public will not accept ANY AMBIGUITY on this matter.

Tun M's radical solution for brain drain - sidestep the damn drain

Here's Tun M's solution for the brain drain:

... countries like Malaysia spends vast sums of taxpayers money on producing a million mediocre graduates and just a handful of brilliant ones. Too often, these would be the ones to receives handsome offers of jobs in developed countries, taking their expensive skills away from home for good.

It would be only fair, ..., for the countries taking them to pay a compensatory fee to their homelands, in recmpense for all the money spent on educating these prodigies.
Point 1: This is be true of govt scholars who spend taxpayer money to study overseas but decide to stay on overseas after they graduate. To me, these leeches are worse than than those who use public money for their studies, only to renege on paying their loans. At least the latter pay tax by working in the country.

Can someone explain why we don't impose a bond on govt scholars, like Singapore does on theirs?

Point 2: Tun M might have forgotten about those who studied abroad using their own money. Many, if not the vast majority, do not return since disillusionment with the country's racist policies is what drove them overseas in the first place. If I am not mistaken, they outnumber govt scholars by far, and they are the real brain drain for our country.

I'm concerned that a statesman like Tun M considers this a non-issue. Or is he not concerned as long as it's the non-Malays who are leaving? As Tunku Abdul Rahman used to refer to this phenomenon - 'trouble drain'.

Selamat Hari Merdeka. To those who feel they are not Malaysian enough, those who feel they are more Malaysian than others and those of us who are simply Malaysian [fullstop]

Lancer 2.0GT (Malaysia) - First Looks

Visited the local Mitsubishi dealer over the weekend, and took some photos of the just-launched Lancer 2.0GT.

Here's the price list.

It is indeed RM 116K on the road with insurance. Comes with Nappa leather seats, 18" alloy wheels, Yokohama A010 tyres, 6-CD player, full bodykit & spoiler, dual airbags and 3 years free maintenance warranty.

Like I said, I like that nose. And I'd paint the entire central part (grill, bumper and lip) black like the upcoming Evo X. There are even lines on the bumper telling you which parts to paint.

Nice sporty silhouette. Side skirts are not too overstated with holes and rice boy shit.

I'd rather not have the old-fashioned silver finish on the grill. Nothing a little black paint won't take care of. See the downward lines from the lower edges of the grill? The Evo X has that part in black.

The butt of an Alfa 156. None too original, but not a deal breaker for me. I'm feeling so-so about the spoiler.

Note the 2.0GT badge on the lower right side of the boot lid. The boot lid feels super, super solid. The doors however still shut with the typical Japanese characteristic of having to slam it to close properly.

Front twin pot calipers and rotor. The rotor is huge, trust me... but the 18" wheel is even bigger. Previous Evos used to come with 17" wheels standard. These wheels will probably fit the Evo X's four pots and super-supreme pan pizza brake rotors.

Rear single pot calipers and rotor looking diminutive in those 18" wheels despite breaching 300mm diameter.

I would have preferred 17" wheels, instead of 18". Lighter and cheaper tyres. 18" tyres are RM400 ppc for the 'not very performance' models. Be prepared to pay ~RM800 ppc for good, grippy tyres.

Engine bay looks exactly the same as the US spec Lancer GTS. Comes standard with the strut bar.

Engine bay again. Note the regular, old design wiper stalks instead of the bigger, flatter ones that supposedly resist lifting during high speeds.

Back facing exhaust manifold. Notice the ample space to tuck in a turbine, wastegate and a proper extractor.

Nice, sporty deep sunken dials. 234km on the odometer. 24 miles to get onto the ship in Japan, off the ship at Port Klang and 210km to Ipoh.

Typical plasticky Lancer dash. Forgettable.

Leather bound gear knob without sequential shift gates (that's what the paddles are for). I noticed the beautiful stitching on the leather bits.

Chunky, beefy steering wheel. Like a Momo, beautiful to the touch.

I like the magnesium paddle shifters too.

Closer look at the paddle shifters.

View from the back seat. My pals remarked that the back is not as spacious as the new Civic, mainly because the rear wheel wells still intrude significantly into the cabin.

And if you look at the big overhangs in front and behind the wheelbase, you'd conclude that the Lancer is not as efficient as the Civic in turning its bulk into cabin space.

Very comfy and reasonably huggy leather seats. NOT to be used without airconditioning, or I'll guarantee that you'll soak your underwear.

Boot space is so-so only. I'd judge it to be the same as the Wira. The opening is lower and larger though, so you'll have an easier time putting bulky stuff in.

Regular halogen bulbs. No HID for the 2.0GT.

Other posts about the new 2008 Lancer:

Lancer 2.0GT (ie. GTS) launched in Malaysia

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer - Specifications-only Review and Launch Videos