Saturday, January 19, 2019

How World Speech Day Came to KL

Photo taken on April 22, 2018 @ Royale Chulan Damansara, KL

Two Toastmasters from KL were given an insight into World Speech Day in April 2018 from fellow Toastmasters from Singapore. They were in Malaysia to attend our D51 25th Annual Conference.

And both Cyril Jonas and I agree that this day was one to celebrate. 

We are both DTMs and we know the value of our voices and the voice of others. 

Having a day to celebrate the power of the voice and speech, was something we should embolden and empower fellow KLites so that all of us can contribute to make a difference.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Temiar Lawsuit Against Kelantan

The Temiars. Image via Mkini

I hadn’t expected this – but what a pleasant surprise! 

The federal government has filed a civil suit against the Kelantan state government to seek the legal recognition of the native land rights of the Temiar orang asli in Pos Simpor in Gua Musang. 

Attorney General Tommy Thomas (left) said for the first time since Merdeka, the federal government is instituting legal proceedings on behalf of the orang asli in recognition of its constitutional and legal duty to protect and promote the well-being and advancement of the orang asli. 

“Having researched the law, this Chambers has filed a civil suit in the High Court at Kota Baru for the federal government of Malaysia”, he said in a statement today. 

“The defendants are the state government of Kelantan, the Kelantan state director of Lands and Mines, the Kelantan state director of the Forestry Department, and five private entities, seeking, inter alia, the legal recognition of the Temiar orang asli’s native land rights in Pos Simpor, and injunctions to restrain private parties from encroaching upon and destroying the native land for commercial profits”, he added. 

Thomas said the beneficiaries of this suit were the orang asli and the litigation would be cost-free to them. 

“Although the Kelantan state government has jurisdiction over matters relating to land, forestry and mining, it is also bound by a paramount and non-delegable duty to protect and preserve the welfare of the Temiar orang asli”, he said. 

I am proud of our A-G – way to go, Tommy Thomas!

World Speech Day: The Story

From zero to 100 countries in just 3 years, from an idea to live public speaking events across the globe. 

World Speech Day was launched by Simon Gibson (left) at the Athens Democracy Forum in 2015. 

The intention came about as a result of Gibson’s work in establishing a free database for contemporary and historic speeches. And the realization that speeches can make a difference in the world – they play a profound role in bringing communities together and shaping change. 

The idea was born: a day to celebrate speeches and speech making around the world and reach out to #unexpectedvoices everywhere. 

And now, World Speech Day is coming to Kuala Lumpur!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

No Fuss About the Piggy

It’s good to know that Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad has come out to say that nobody in the Government has any plans to bar the image of the pig in public places during the upcoming Lunar New Year celebration – despite past controversies on the use of animals considered unclean by the Malay-Muslim community. 

The Chinese zodiac assigns an animal to each year in a 12-year cycle. And this year, it is the turn of the pig. Oink, oink, oink!!!

British Prime Minister Theresa May (left) saw off a bid to evict her government from power by 325 to 306 votes – the day after her plan for leaving the EU was rejected. 

MPs voted entirely along party lines, resulting in a majority of 19 in support of May's government. 

Those who were against the no-confidence motion were the 314 Tory parliamentarians, 10 MPs from Democratic Unionist Party and one independent MP. 

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn who initiated it all had the backing of his Labour Party (251), Scottish National Party (35), Liberal Democrats (11), Plaid Cymru (4), Green Party (1) and four independent MPs. 

Giving her reaction to the outcome, May told MPs she would "continue to work to deliver on the solemn promise to the people of this country to deliver on the result of the referendum and leave the European Union". She’s still one stubborn woman.

The Sign of the Cross Terrifies Some Malaysians

Image credit: World of Buzz, Malaysia, January 12, 2019

Stupidity again reared its ugly head when a series of lights in a residential apartment block in Jelutong, Penang were captured in photos and they went viral and, in the process, caused some disquieting consternation among some quarters. 

Only in Malaysia, I must add. In other countries, nobody would give a damn and certainly, wouldn't even pay attention to it – but here, it quickly mutated into an ugly monster of an issue. 

These blinkered people saw a cross. Some idiots had claimed that it was the largest cross sign in the world. 

I had erred too. I thought I saw a pig, given that this Lunar New Year, we are celebrating the Year of the Pig. I guess, we see what we want to see. 

The Penang mufti (left) couldn’t take the glare from the said lights and he was disconcertingly disturbed. 

He also demanded an investigation to ascertain if it was done intentionally or if it was a mere coincidence. 

And for good measure, he even wanted the lights rearranged so that they don’t look like a cross! 

Thereafter, he went on to advise the public “to be mindful of their actions to protect the harmony of Malaysia’s multiracial society” and warned that “the Federal Constitution forbids any form of effort to promote or preach other religions to Muslims”. 

This of course, only proves that even stupid people have an equal opportunity to land themselves a good job in this country. 

UMNO got into the act too and supreme council member Reezal Merican had insisted the state government summon the developer of the building to explain the eye-popping matter – to this UMNO person, “…it is an eyesore and can cause restlessness”. 

Of course, this was not the first time the image of a cross had sent certain Malay-Muslims into a provocation of perturbing paroxysm – but like I said, only in Malaysia. 

Anyway, it turned out that the property developer of Grace Residences had since clarified that the lights formed part of a Chinese character that was being tested out. 

Idiots will always be idiots! I sincerely believe only in Malaysia can we find the highest concentration of idiots than anywhere else in the world!

Yesterday, I was at the Gamuda Toastmasters meeting – where I was both a speaker and an evaluator. 

I presented an Advanced speech from the Special Occasion Speeches manual “Presenting an Award” and another Toastmaster did a speech from the same manual – but it was an “Accepting an Award” speech. Therefore, “Talking Heads Toastmasters Club TOY 2018” was a shared speech: 

(TOY means Toastmaster of the Year).

And so, I evaluated Lee Chin Yee, the speaker and she evaluated me in turn! 

It was nice to be back at the PJ Trade Centre, Jalan PJU 8/8A, Damansara Perdana in PJ, Selangor and even if it was a small meeting – I still enjoyed it nonetheless. Thanks to EcoWorld’s Chin Yee who actually made this arrangement for me:

And I was voted Best Speaker and Best Evaluator.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Theresa May's Political Humiliation

British Prime Minister Theresa May (left) was badly humiliated when her Brexit deal was massively spurned by her fellow parliamentarians. A 230-vote rejection represented the largest defeat for a sitting government in history. 

May had spent more than two years hammering out a deal with the European Union – her plan was aimed at bringing about an orderly departure from the EU on March 29, and setting up a 21-month transition period to negotiate a free trade deal. 

But MPs voted by 432 votes to 202 to throw out the deal. 

The country is still on course to leave on March 29 but the defeat throws the manner of that departure – and the timing of it – into further doubt. 

As if this was not enough of a big blow to May, it was almost immediately accompanied by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tabling a vote of no confidence in the government – and which could trigger a general election. 

The confidence vote is expected on Wednesday – but most political pundits expect May to survive this. 

Still, politics can be unpredictable – so, watch this space. 

Today, another UMNO baddie bites the dust – he is Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and this pertains to the transgressions he had wrought on Tabung Haji. 

Here’s my Rogues’ Gallery update:

A Fast Food Feast @ The White House

Donald Trump (left) plastered a big smile onto his face as he put out an "all American" fast food feast for his guests. 

On Monday, he had received the visiting Clemson Tigers team, the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champions. (The US President traditionally meets champion teams for a dinner at the White House). 

He explained the partial government shutdown had forced him to order in. And since he is a fast food lover, he arranged for pizzas, burgers and fries. 

He had told everybody he paid for their meal himself – although he chose not to disclose the tab. 

"I think they'd like it better than anything we could give", boasted Trump. "We have pizzas, we have 300 hamburgers, many, many French fries, all of our favorite foods”. 

Silver trays were piled with wrapped burgers from Wendy's. Boxed burgers from McDonald's, including Big Macs were there too, fighting for attention. White House cups bearing the presidential seal were overfull with fries. Pizzas posed tastefully in their own boxes; nearby, silver bowls holding the condiments sat quietly. And stacks of white plates waited patiently at one corner.

Image credit: The White House 

Image credit: AP/Susan Walsh

Image credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

Note: The 'shutdown' involves White House residence staff who are among 800,000 federal employees affected as Trump and Congress wrangle over funding for a wall on the southern border with Mexico. 

I went to Seksyen 13 in Shah Alam, Selangor last evening – where I presented another CC speech. This time, it was a CC #4 How to Say It titled “Hocus Pocus”.

I may have been voted Best Speaker but to my evaluator, Zarina Abu Bakar  it was a wink-wink, nudge-nudge speech. It can certainly be better! (I hear you, Zarina!)

Anyway, I had completed my last speech for CC Round #53. And therefore, I have earned my Toastmasters award No. 105.

I’ve already started on my CC #54 and CC #55 as well as simultaneously working on my ACS award #6. No rest for this Toastmaster!