Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Water Supply to Return to Normal

The Malaysian Insider pic, April 30, 2014

More than seven million consumers in Selangor and KL can heave a humongous sigh of relief as water supply will be back to normal from tomorrow. That was when Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim announced today that the water rationing exercise is being lifted. 

Today, a 5-person team of Sunway University Toastmasters went to Kelana Square to conduct a demo meeting for the management and staff of Harvey Norman, an Australian-based retail chain dealing in electronics, computers, furniture and bedding. We didn't manage to get external Toastmasters to support us and so we had to rely entirely on ourselves. Still, it went well. I even had the opportunity to deliver my CC #2 speech titled “Don’t Grow Up”. Dr Nagiah was my evaluator.

Hopefully, we will see a new Toastmasters club being chartered soon. Special thanks to Sharif Ahmed, Hisham Mohamed and Mirosha Somasundram for their precious assistance!

Give PAS a Chance to Explain

DAP and PKR are adamant about not supporting PAS on the matter of hudud. Some quarters in the two parties have even lambasted PAS sternly. 

But I don’t think PAS partners have been fair to the Islamic party. The latter have always wanted to implement hudud in the country. PAS have made it very clear right from the beginning. So, if the party decide to introduce two private members bills in order to push for the implementation of hudud – so be it. 

After all, that is in keeping with PAS’ aspiration. I don’t see anything wrong with that. It is the party’s democratic right to present their case in Parliament. At the very least, DAP and PKR should respect that. PAS have already said they understand their allies' opposition and more so, they are not expecting DAP and PKR to lend support to hudud. They are being very realistic.

Already, PAS information chief and Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar (left) had reiterated that PAS would not force their hudud agenda on the rakyat nor implement it in a surreptitious and stealthy manner. 

Mahfuz explained: "PAS realizes this is a major move which needs legitimate democratic approval and at the same time, opens avenues for national debates involving all parties in Malaysia." 

And he also assured the public: "If the democratic process is not in favor of PAS, we will abide and are prepared to accept whatever decision”. 

In case Malaysians forget, it was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom, who challenged PAS in Parliament to bring forward the bills. 

Why don’t the MCA eunuchs scold UMNO? MCA are always barking up the wrong tree. 

Yesterday, I was at Monash University Sunway campus to attend their Toastmasters meeting. I was an evaluator for Akshay Adithiya who presented his CC graduation speech. The meeting started punctually but it was rambling at the start and that caused us to be behind by twenty minutes. Otherwise, it was a really good meeting! I would give it a score of a 4.5 over 10.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

HSBC Can't Stand the Heat

In November of last year, global banking conglomerate HSBC and one of Sarawak’s oldest banks resolved to close down its commercial banking business in the state. The bank gave an unconvincing explanation for the shutdown – there was not enough business to carry on in Sarawak!
This is in spite of all the billions of investment in the Sarawak Corridor for Renewable Energy (SCORE) pumped in by Taib Mahmud’s lavish public borrowing – when he was still the Chief Minister.
A public outcry ensued and there were howls of protests by bank employees and the Sarawak Bank Employees Union. Still, these displays of unhappiness did not amount to anything. Did you think the bank even care about the livelihoods of these locals? And the payouts were pitiful. According to the Borneo Post, it was 1.4 times the monthly salary, irrespective of the number of years the staff worked for the bank. [The first batch of employees will leave by end-April 2014 and the second and final batch by end of September 2014].
Then online investigative portal Sarawak Report disclosed on April 25, 2014 of HSBC’s latest decision not to do business with Taib and his clan.
The truth is that HSBC has been facing uncomfortable exposure over its embarrassing associations with the dirty potentates of East Malaysia and needed to take action.
A major Global Witness report into the bank last year revealed how HSBC bankrolled many crony deals by Taib, which have destroyed the environment and violated native rights.
[Sarawak Report also exposed HSBC’s connections to the money laundering of illegal millions by Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman].
Given the above, it seems that the bank is seeking to do ‘damage control’ and clean up its business in this part of the world. Hence, the contentious decisions.
But don’t be fooled by HSBC. It can’t stand the heat, so it got out of the kitchen. This is just a temporary lull. After all, it is well-known as a tainted entity, corrupted by corporate avarice.
A bevy of happy students and their lecturer! This was a selfie my DMK1013 Tute 4 class took on Monday:

Ahmad Zahid's Lie

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (left) is a gifted liar. Yesterday, this shameless person proudly promoted a falsehood when he claimed that Malaysia is fair to all races. He said this in response to US President Barack Obama's advice on Sunday to the country's leadership – Obama had said that Malaysia needed to ensure equal opportunities for the non-Muslim communities here if it wanted to prosper.
It's really funny how this idiot crawled out of the fissure in the wall only when Obama left Malaysia. Why didn't Ahmad Zahid have the gumption to say it in Obama's face when he was here in KL?
This disinformation was articulated with a straight face. Maybe I am giving him too much credit. Actually, he may not even understand at all what Obama meant. Perhaps his knowledge of English is so poor – Ahmad Zahid could only do what he knows best, i.e. carelessly shooting off his mouth. Can somebody, please, help him to translate Obama’s counsel into Malay?
I suspect it is not that he doesn’t understand but that he is actually stupid. If ever I need a brain transplant, I'd choose his because I'd want a brain that has never been used.
Ahmad Zahid is a dolt. A dunce. A dullard.
Yesterday, I was at the Speakers’ Dream Toastmasters meeting in Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam in KL’s Bukit Kiara where I was the General Evaluator. The speeches were decent and the evaluations sublime. The meeting however, started twenty-five minutes late and that was displeasing. I would give this meeting a 3.5 over 10 score.


Monday, April 28, 2014

11th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards

The BOH Cameronian Arts Awards night is a celebration of the best of Malaysian performing arts talents! These photos captured the fun moments yesterday:

A host of Malaysian celebrities were there too: Sofia Jane, Ramli Ibrahim, January Low, Hans Isaac, Fatimah Abu Bakar, Melissa Saila, Dasha Logan and others.

In my last post, there are also photos of the said event – at this link
With a first EPL title in 24 years close enough to touch Liverpool were undone by old nemesis Jose Mourinho whose Chelsea side inflicted a potentially mortal blow with a 2-0 win at Anfield on Sunday.
Chelsea’s victory might have come too late for Mourinho’s side to win the Premier League title, but it flung the door wide open for Manchester City who took full advantage with a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace.

In the Scottish Premiership, Celtic steamrolled over Inverness CT 6-0; the goals coming from Anthony Stokes (34, 45, 53), Leigh Griffiths (68), Ambrose Emuobo (78) and Teemu Pukki (78).