Saturday, March 31, 2012

3 Minutes

Election Commission chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said yesterday that “it only takes three minutes to register yourself as a voter” (New Straits Times, March 31, 2012, p 08). He advised that those who are eligible to register as voters to do so immediately and not leave it to the last minute.

He said those who register as voters by today would be able to cast their votes in the next general election if it is held by June. For those who register after tomorrow (April 01), their names would not be gazetted in time for the next general election if it takes place in or before June. I sincerely hope Malaysians have taken heed of this advice. My only gripe is why did he highlight this only yesterday?

This morning, I was at Level 6, D’Villa Residence along Jalan Ampang to attend the MIMKL Toastmasters meeting. It was a good meeting and I took on a double role – as Grammarian as well as Evaluator for Dr Rohana Ngah who delivered her speech from a manual in the Advanced Communication Series, i.e. Speeches for Management. We also had a diverse group of visiting Toastmasters who dropped in. Obviously, this only added to the merriment. They were Dr Arulnathan from D’Utama Advanced Toastmasters Club, Ivy Fung from Kota Kinabalu’s Api-Api Toastmasters Club, Sonja Chan from Diversity USA Toastmasters Club in Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA and Minnie Li from China Advanced Toastmasters Club in Shanghai, China. Oh yes, I was voted Best Evaluator. A deserving 8 out of a 10 score.

And last Thursday, I was in Kelana Jaya for the Joint MAS Mawar-MAS Cempaka Toastmasters meeting. We were fortunate to have Gerald Quinten and Foong Weng Tuck to liven up the meeting. Plus four Indrahanians. The meeting scored a six out of a ten. I took some photos – these are shown below:

Birds of a Feather

I am going to blog about Gani Patail again. The Attorney-General is really knee-deep in shit. Another allegation made against him pertains to his relationship with Ho Hup’s former managing director, Vincent Lye. Gani used his prosecutorial powers to help his corporate friend (i.e. Lye) to overthrow his adversary, Low Tuck Choy. The latter was charged in court for a very minor technical offence in order to tilt the balance in Lye’s favour. Unfortunately for Lye, the minority shareholders ganged up on him and booted him out during an EGM.

Photo of Gani Patail with Vincent Lye at the Ho Hup Bhd office.
Image credit:

After that, Ho Hup’s auditors discovered that Gani’s assistance to Lye went beyond just friendship. Vincent Lye had also bribed Gani Patail. Lye was caught out because he was a cheapskate – he used Ho Hup’s funds to pay for the RM18,000 renovation job for Gani’s second wife's bungalow in Seremban.

Alleged copies of the invoices and cheques were used to back the claim. Gani has since denied the allegation and said he does not own properties in Seremban. Mere denial doesn’t amount to anything – MACC should still investigate.

Looking at the current scenario in Malaysia, I can bet that Gani is safe. Nobody will dare touch him, not even MACC. Gani will continue to serve and like all crooks in high places, he will retire a very rich man. This is a sad state of affairs, isn’t it?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lucky Londoners

A harem of scantily-clad women who were stripped down to their undies strolled down London’s Oxford Street on Thursday morning and risked causing a serious traffic pile-up. The stunt was to promote the opening of the new Ann Summers store on nearby Wardour Street and the flesh-flashing models came in all shapes and sizes to cheerfully flaunt their bodies in lingerie that tell prospective customers that there’s something for everyone! This caper risked causing a traffic pile-up on the busy road as they cheerfully flaunted their bodies in a variety of lingerie. An attention-grabbing caper that is bound to perk up Londoners!

This afternoon, some members of the SUBS faculty had lunch at Sunway Pyramid’s Simply Penang – a belated celebration for Ann-Marie’s birthday. At least, unlike the previous day, the food was decidedly more enjoyable!

Pointing Fingers

The fingers are pointing at former police chief Musa Hasan and attorney general Abdul Gani Patail who are alleged to be colluding with criminals in what has come to be known as the 'Copgate' scandal. This is a threat to national security, says PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar. And the accusing voices have become more strident.

The latest to get into the fray is Robert Phang, the philanthropist turned social activist. He said the reports made by former CCID director Ramli Yusuff against Musa and Gani “that have now come into the public domain” must be investigated by the police without fear or favor.

For those in the dark, former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department head Ramli Yusuf had claimed that in 2007, Gani had 'fixed' him for taking action against an underworld leader, Goh Cheng Poh (or nicknamed 'Tengku Goh'). This followed an earlier exposure by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin who published statutory declarations from police whistleblowers who pointed to the involvement of Musa with underground criminals. Ramli had said the CCID's action based on the complaints was interrupted by Gani who used the then Anti-Corruption Agency to take over the case. Armed with ACA's documents, whistleblowers in the police force whose information led to Goh's arrest were hunted down.

Last week, a proposed tribunal which Ramli had agreed to testify in had been shot down by Prime Minister Najib Razak, and many speculated that Gani himself had advised the former to arrive at such a decision.

I agree with Phang. “The integrity of AG Abdul Gani Patail impacts on the whole system of justice in this country”.

Gani is becoming bold. Najib is in denial. And Malaysia is swimming towards troubled waters.

On Wednesday, there was the Joint Area G3-G4 International Speech & Table Topics Contests at the Women’s Institute of Management in KL’s Taman Tun Dr Ismail. I can say it was a resounding success because the room was bursting with people. All eighty of them. I also know they enjoyed the speeches immensely because I enjoyed them! I was impressed by the incredible speeches. As Area Governor for G3, I am proud of the contestants who come from Monash, HELP, Money & You and MidValley Toastmasters Clubs. Everyone was awesome, whether speakers, role players or members of the audience! Now on to the Division G International Speech & Table Topics Contests on April 14, 2012.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Najib Must Answer for NFC

When PKR opened Shahrizat’s cupboard to reveal the skeletons, it soon became evident that all the allegations were really true. And I am sure if they dig deeper into the dark hidden recesses of that same cupboard, more skeletons will show up. Perhaps that is why the prime minister had announced the proposal to invite bids to carry on the national cattle farming project (i.e. NFC).

One is not wrong to assume that this is a tacit acknowledgment that the project has indeed failed miserably. And as PKR’s Rafizi Ramli had said, it is also to cover up Najib’s own mistake for awarding the contract to an undeserving party.

I will have to agree with Rafizi that the prime minister is the one who is directly responsible for this scandalous NFC scorcher, of his involvement in the matter because he had allowed a RM250 million federal project to be granted to NFCorp, a company which had zilch experience and was owned by Shahrizat Jalil’s husband and family. “This reflects the carelessness on the prime minister’s part which led to a possibility of misappropriation (of the loan) as well as criminal breach of trust”, Rafizi had claimed.

So when Noh Omar, the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister repeated Najib’s desire for somebody else to take over the NFC project (The Star, March 28, 2012, p 18) – my nose twitched and I smell a rat! NFCorp is already under investigation – so it is only fair that this is completed and charges are filed against these criminals before Najib starts to tinker with NFC again! Unless, as Rafizi hinted, Najib wants to ensure the NFC cowdung does not continue to suffocate us and make us want to puke our vomit. This explains why Najib is eager to have the bovine stench of scandal be concealed and permanently closeted so that Najib can still smell like a rose for GE13!

Here’s photos of some SUBS people at Fig & Olive at Sunway Pyramid celebrating our colleague and friend’s birthday – Adrian Mitra Nathai, who’s from Trinidad & Tobago, by the way. The company was great, the service was slow and the food was awful. Still, we all managed a smile or two.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Angry Birds Conquer Space

"Angry Birds Space" has become a blockbuster in the mobile game world over the weekend with its 10 million downloads in just three days, according to a tweet from the game's maker Finland's Rovio on Monday. It was released on Thursday on Apple iOS, Google Android, PC and Mac simultaneously.

It is the first full-fledged sequel to the original "Angry Birds," which is considered to be one of the most popular games on the entire planet at the moment. The first game, and all its assorted variants, has managed to accumulate 500 million downloads in three years.

Wow! I must be one of the “few” who is still not impressed with the game.

Last evening, I was in Petaling Jaya to attend the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters meeting where I delivered my tenth speech (I have completed the two Advanced manuals, i.e. Speaking to Inform and Public Relations). It took me 207 days to complete the ten speeches and I received my second ACB pin. I even prepared the setting for The Radio Talk Show speech which I did this evening and with the participation of two fellow members, Jean and Kimberly, who acted as radio show hosts for I managed to pull it off quite well and was voted the Best Speaker. My evaluator was LeAnn Tang and she too won The Best Evaluator award.

This meeting staggered awkwardly at the start but thankfully, it picked itself up when the project speeches commenced. I am giving this meeting a 6 out of a 10.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Thank You Note

It’s always heart-warming to receive ‘Thank you’ notes from students because it shows that they do appreciate our efforts and energies that we put in for them! Yesterday, I received an email from Gorata Onamile (above) who wrote: “I would like to pass my sincere regards to you. I am very thankful of your great support and help you gave me through the entire internship. Thanks again for motivation, care and guidance.”

Last evening I was at Monash University to attend the Toastmasters meeting there. The attendance was good and yay, the meeting started on time. I already knew I could look forward to a great meeting. I was not disappointed because the Table Topics speeches were wonderful, the project speeches were impressive and the evaluations were fantastic! Mun Yee and Stefanie Yau practised their contest speeches and I gave my feedback that was honest and I hoped, helpful. Indeed, I have enjoyed the meeting and I am awarding it a score of an 8 out of a 10.

I RME (‘Rolled my eyes’, for those who didn’t know!) when I saw this news item (p 16) in The Star last night. Chua Soi Lek had asked: “Ask yourself this – have lives been better in states with greater DAP representation since 2008?” I nodded my head and wondered if idiotic imbecility drove him to ask this question in the first place. Chua had just prompted Malaysian Chinese to give DAP the vote when GE13 comes.