Tuesday, December 31, 2013

PM's 2014 New Year Message

Full text of PM’s 2014 New Year Message

As 2013 draws to a close, it is time to reflect on the year that has passed – and the promise of the year to come.Twelve months ago, we were gearing up for a general election, the thirteenth in our nation’s history. 


We are humbled that Barisan Nasional received a new mandate. We have the better plan for Malaysia’s future, and we worked hard to convince the rakyat of our vision.The victory renewed the sense of responsibility I feel to all Malaysians – not just those who voted for us.In a hard-fought election, it is normal for tensions to rise; we feel that our nation’s very future is at stake. 

Our election was peaceful: with the eyes of the world upon us, we Malaysians showed we are wedded to democracy. But we also found ourselves divided, sometimes bitterly so, over the path our country should take.

This too is natural. Elections are about competing visions for a nation. People are free to choose which path to take, and to defend their choice. 

That is the very essence of democracy. Yet this time, emotions ran higher than usual. Where once there was disagreement, there was now division. On occasion, politicians, media – and sometimes even the public – went too far.

When I spoke of a ‘Chinese tsunami’ on election night, I simply meant that a wave of Chinese support had washed away from Barisan Nasional. It shows how polarised we can be that some people read so much more into my comment.

I believe Malaysia is strong enough to survive heated debate. With time, the divisions will heal, as we see our nation continue to grow and develop, and as we realise that those we disagree with are still our neighbours, our colleagues – and our friends. 

But I also believe that we should reaffirm our commitment to the peaceful coexistence that defines our nation.We must be active in the pursuit of unity. Our stability, and our progress, depend on it. That is why I have established the National Unity Consultative Council, which will report to the Cabinet with recommendations on what we can do to bring Malaysians closer together.

Our responsibility – and my priority – is to secure the continued peace, stability and progress on which Malaysia’s future rests. 

Rebuilding our national unity, and encouraging public debate based on respect, is a great part of that. As the new year unfolds, you will hear more from my government about how we will do so.

Speaking of the new year, I believe 2014 will be a year of great opportunity.As the second Visit Malaysia year gets underway, we will see a concerted push to bring new visitors to our beautiful country. New businesses will open, and new investments will be realised. Our economy, which has weathered the storm of the financial crisis, is predicted to grow by 5.5%.

Yet behind these headline figures, I know that some people are concerned about 2014: worried that as we seek to balance the national budget, household budgets will come under pressure.

I understand and sympathise with these concerns. Hard-working people will feel the impact of rising costs. And when the media is full of red numbers and price rises, it can seem as though 2014 will bring pain without gain.

For those of you who are worried about the cost of living, I want say a few words about the economy and how it will affect you.

Firstly, we would not sign off any subsidy cuts or rate rises that were not absolutely necessary.Subsidy programmes have benefited people for many years, but as our population grows and our nation develops, they are no longer sustainable and it is time to move on. We need to rationalise subsidies and target them to those in most need.

The government commitment to development expenditure has grown, and we have to manage our fiscal position to ensure the stability of our economy.

The recent financial crisis showed just how serious the consequences are to nations whose finances are not built on solid ground: if investors and agencies decide countries cannot pay their debts, the cost of borrowing money spirals out of control. 

Without access to credit, there will be huge implications for a country and its people. For example, more than half of young people in some European countries are unemployed.

Under BN’s stewardship, Malaysia has grown significantly – per capita income has increased by 49% during the last four years. We will take the difficult decisions needed to keep our borrowing costs low, and maintain investor confidence – which is crucial to keep Malaysia’s economy strong and growing.We must accept that we have to make changes to keep our finances under control. And we must balance the programme as much as possible, so that the burden is spread.

So my second point is this: we will do everything we can to ensure the impact on the rakyat is minimised. Based on public feedback, where necessary we will fine-tune government programmes so that the effect on household incomes is not too great. 

We will put in place mechanisms to cushion people from rises in the electricity tariff and toll fares. And PEMANDU is coming up with new ideas to ease the cost of living pressures.We will also try to ensure that rises are proportionate. For example, the rise in fuel and electricity prices will have an effect on people’s spending power. But, despite the increase, the government still subsidises petrol and electricity bills. 

As for the recent rises in property assessment rates in Kuala Lumpur, after listening to peoples’ concerns, the rates were reduced by 2%, and extra rebates were added for disabled property owners, retirees and owner-occupiers.

We will not impose rising costs without supporting those who need it most. 

From last week, 7.9 million recipients in households earning under RM4,000 per month were eligible apply for new BR1M payments. We are opening new 1Malaysia shops, to help with the cost of daily goods, and new 1Malaysia Kliniks to provide affordable healthcare. 

Altogether, next year the government will spend some 42 billion ringgit on subsidies – almost as much as we spend on development.While we rationalise subsidies, we are also cutting our own costs. We have announced eleven new measures to reduce public expenditure, including reducing electricity costs in all departments by 5%, tightening the rules on hiring consultants, and cutting toll and entertainment allowances for Ministers and civil servants. 

We are also reaffirming our commitment to tackling corruption, cutting government waste, and improving procurement; putting government tenders online to make them more transparent, and working to better realise the value of government assets.

As we prepare for the new year, it is also a good time to remember why we are making these changes. They may not be popular in the short term, so it would have been easier to keep the status quo. People will say that too many costs are rising, and populist policies will seem attractive. But the government has to take action now.

 I am determined to do the right thing for this country and the people. Because by acting responsibly now, we will strengthen Malaysia’s economy in the long term – and the benefits will be felt much more widely.By rationalising subsidies, we will strengthen our fiscal position, allowing us to focus our spending on development projects – including health and education – and move towards a balanced budget by 2020. 

By taking the steps needed to make Malaysia’s economy stronger, we are not only protecting our nation against financial crises, we are also opening up new jobs – and new opportunities. People will be more likely to invest in Malaysian companies, build Malaysian factories, and set up new businesses. This in turn will drive economic development, helping to improve people’s quality of life – and putting Malaysia in a much stronger position in the long run.

If we are to be responsible in government, it sometimes means taking difficult decisions which are unpopular. 

Leadership is about looking to the long-term: about doing what is right, not what is popular. 

In 2009, we began a journey of economic and government transformation. As 2014 begins, we must continue to build the foundations for Malaysia’s continued success: a stronger economy, and a more unified nation.
--------------------------------

Good speech. Very well written.

Whether he really meant it, I dont know.

Happy New Year ppl.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Random

I read the article in Malaysian Insiders recently about a family claiming that they are finding life hard to get by with a combined income of RM12000.

At first I thought I read wrongly, maybe it is RM1200.

But no! This is real. With real name and real breakdown of her expenses, and really 12K is nothing.

The sad thing about this piece is that it reminds me of a lot of people I met before, that  they are always the one struggling, suffering, and battling through life.

There is one person who told me Chinese are so rich, and he and his Malays are so poor.

He drives a Honda Civic.

There are alot of people that I met in my life that always feel that themselves are at such a disadvantage in life.

Sometime I heard of some people complaining that they could not get housing loan for their RM400k apartment (oh well, RM400k apartment in Penang is by no means luxury, but not even near the word Poor)

The thing is that we must always open our eyes to the real world.

There are so many people earning below RM1000, never own or even thought of owning a proper, property. They are staying in the rumah setinggan, build illegally, with one room housing the entire family. The government and the society labelled them as Squatters.

The government should really reflect their own failure. No one wants to be Squatters.

If your minimum pay is set in place, with proper, real, assistance to those who are entitled to it, for example people earning less than certain amount should be assisted to get a low cost flat, then you think those people still wanna squat?

The sad fact, is that our society is so deeply entrenched in corruption and commissions to get things done. I have seen one family owning a dozen low cost flats, renting them out.

Similarly, the space to sell things in the Market. The daily rent is RM0.50 as a token of generous government, but what happened in real life is that these spaces are rented out at RM50. The person that managed to get a unit from the Council is renting it out to the other people at that price, and just sitting around collecting fees like a boss. Some even break down the space given to her to 2 units and rent them out separately.

And these are real life experiences as a squatters and in market renting a space to sell biscuits.

All these things are well known in our society,

But in the name of reality sucks,

We continue accepting them. Endorsing them.

and they say the Opposition will save us all?

Can they?

The only way we can get out of this is to vote wisely every single elections.

When Politician's Ministership and Goverment posts does not offer job security;

hopefully Civil Service will gain power and really be the servants to the rakyat. Not to the politicians

And that applies to Police, MACC, Judges, etc etc too.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Entitlement

I was in Kuching International Airport last Saturday, when my flight bound for Sibu was cancelled due to technical problem.

It was an early 6am flight and upon embarking, the steward announced that there were some technical issues and we need to disembark.

Actually most of us, if you ask are happy to disembark any aircraft that were deemed unsafe. We are all thankful that you have the checks done properly.

We waited at the departure gate. There were a good mix of passengers, some are better dressed, with sophisticated gadgets, presumably frequent travellers. There were also some young people likely students going home for holiday. But my eyes were looking at a group of three, curious-happy-looking old men, with many big plastic bags and they looked like from the interiors.

Then, about 10 minutes later, I saw some of the better dressed passengers went to the counter and went off with a green slip of paper.

I went near to ask what was that. Turned out that they were asking for Breakfast Vouchers.

I then went to the counter to ask if I could get one as well. The man over the counter smiled and gave me one. I asked if they are giving this to everyone in the flight that has been postponed, they node and said that these are given on request.

I felt that this should not be the way, should it?

Everyone flying in that flight paid for their tickets and it is only right that they are treated the same.

The fact is that  we are living in this world whereby the only way that you will get your entitlement, is that you must know of your entitlement. However, these entitlement are not widely advertised.

Saddening isn't it?

Back to the story, I went  to the three old men and they only speak of Iban language. However, my very limited Iban has not failed me, and  I am able to communicate to them that they can get the free breakfast coupon for "Makai"

That flight to Sibu at 6am were canceled and all passengers were made to fly the next day. However I noted some of the well dressed people are no longer there. I hope the airlines are not granting them a seat in the subsequent flight due to their persistence and that they were early in request.

Because I knew for sure the three Iban elders would not press for one.

Malaysia Airlines, or the subsidiary Mas Wings, should realise that it is not all about cutting the cost to the mininum. The East Malaysia, particularly some parts of Sarawak are only accessible by air, and there is no other good alternatives and you play an integral community service.

And above all, treat all that flying with you, equally.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Last

Read back my posts. 

Some are so funny. (self praised sorry)

Whatablog is indeed one and only that produces posts that still able to make people laff whenever I read back.




I like the first one so much so that I save a link in my browser.

So funny.


Great lyrics. Totally nail the broken.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shooting Star

At some point of one's life

One forgets.

The purpose of life.

Some might be blessed with health and wealth.

Not not everyone found their purpose in life.

Be grateful if you manage to find one.

For that is a blessing, that if not found,

no hard work can get one,

to work hard for.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Politicians

I read the comments and opinions regarding the recent price hikes and subsidies cuts in our country.

And many, especially the oppositions have slammed the ruling politicians for these decisions.

Janji tidak ditepati, they say.

I felt a conscience in me to voice out what I think about this quagmire.

All of us, including the many learned members of the parliament, some who have doctorate in Economics, understand that our current framework of economy is not optimal nor sustainable.

It is not easy to be in the hot seat to make non populist decisions, and this is proven by the absolute silence from the ruling governments.

It is easy to make comments when you are not required to make that non populist decisions, and this is proven by the excitement and showers of comments coming from the oppositions.

However, as the rakyat, as the people affected and will affect the next round of politician selections, we should reflect on the practicality and accuracy of such moves in length before jumping guns.

No government is perfect, and some believe that ours are evidently too far from that.

Cutting down the subsidies might add on to the already heavy financial burden of the lower income earning group but if this is what logically should be done, so be it.

There must be equal if not more consideration to be given on how to help the lower income groups as well.

Cash handouts might not be the best answers. But ten of ten people who said that would still take the cash handouts to them.

Human nature.

Seriously, I still feel that accelerated development in underdeveloped groups of our rakyat is the elusive piece of jigsaw to get this all moving. We must assist those ppl who need assistance, not to keep assisting those who already assisted.

Our politicians might knew that all along. But political will is different level of game play all together.

Politicians must reflect on their own actions.

Ultimately, all of us, especially the politicians, will leave a mark in the history.

And if your name is not well treated in history, what is the point of you become a politician?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Regrets

Regrets

The saddest word in the dictionary 

and in life.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mid December

Oh no its almost half way through to December 2013.

3 years plus already since I am back from UK and started working.

Much had changed.

Perspective to life and others changed already.

Nowadays, I do listen to peoples' problem better, and with more proper responses.

Outlook on life and issues changes with age I guess.

Be normal, be normal, be normal.

Feeling is indeed a very expensive commodity,

Dont ever try to transact those.

Ever.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A&E

Suddenly I thought of my 4 months in A&E department at the very end of my housemanship.

My work in CTC is mainly involving somewhat like an Anaest work.

I kind of like ICU settings, the work, the scope and etc. Kind of like it.

I am thinking what would I be, what would my world be today; had I opted for Anaest last time?

What are the advantages of A&E for 4 months?

I looked at my colleagues who went Anaest, actually I felt it is undeniable that Anaest's HO job seemed easier.

And to justify and defend the pride of us in A&E, last time I used to say that they wouldnt be able to see Green Zone, if they do locum.

Not very right I feel, actually I think whoever also can see Greenzone.

But I think the most important advantage of A&E placement is that it really brings out the real character.

If a doctor is the type who have bad tempered, impatient, he or she would not be able to hide it in A&E.

The jobload, patient's number, ridiculity of the type of presentation and the timing of consultation you see patients in Greenzone will bring out the real personality.

I feel la.

If one didnt raise his/her voice in the Greenzone of A&E SGH, he or she is a good person.

TO be honest actually, I scolded patient.

Cannot tahan.

I remembered one episode of me losing my temper.. 

There was this son of a very healthy looking auntie who complains of pain everywhere, whose son just thrown to me her medical card and asked me to see myself her medical record.

I lost it at that time.

Of course, there was also thisone time I was very polite and nice to an auntie, and it turned out to be my friends grandma.

The good words from the grandma via my friend, still makes me smile when I am down.

That is why I doctored. still.

Kami sedia membantu.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

PAU

It has been awhile since I last expressed my opinion on serious issues.

I followed the recently concluded Annual, Perhimpunan Agung Umno with sadness, as per last year, and last last year, and last last last year.

After all, it is still the same same thing every year.

The future looks bleak for the a Malaysia nation that I dreamed of, a country in which everyone who holds the IC, is treated equally..

The UMNO leadership who are the policy makers and administrators of this/?my country is still talking about Malays' Unity, after so many years.

1Malay they say.

The saddest thing perhaps, to me, is there is someone among the leadership who can think of the concept of creating more Malay Millionaires.

Why?

Why you want Millionaires?

Why not you want 10 Malay families with RM100000?

Why must you want 1 Malay having RM1000000?

Is that how you measure the height, the success, the achievement of your race? the Towering Malays? the number of Malay Millionaires?

Is that better than creating a Kampung whereby there is no Millionaires but every family has household earnings of more than RM10k/month?

Is having 10 Malay Millionaires, with all their children in UK universities under Mara and Petronas scholarship and at the same time there are 100 Malay families who are earning way below the poverty line

better than

having 100 Malay families above poverty line and comfortable life, with good education and opportunities for their children?

The saddest thing in my life, whenever I heard that I will always feel abit down,

is when someone said

You Chinese Have So Much Money.

Your foot.

Unless you think all chinese shit gold.

One Chinese family has 2 motorbikes, rented room to stay for four people up until the eldest son worked after Form 3 before they are able to rent a low cost flat from a Malay.

Demand the Government to create more Malay Millionaire.

What retard.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Odd

Singapore also have riot.

Man Utd also can drop so many points at home.

One old auntie was found dead in a stuck lift after 3 days in a fully occupied flat.

Things happen.

Never, say never.

Sometimes, it is also wise to avoid saying Maybe.

Out of ten things I plan to do in life, eight of those are planned on the spot and just following the flow.

The other two, involving a bit of planning, and it turns out to be not the best plan.

Be receptive to things that happened, and hold less grudge onto things that happened not according to plan.

For things happened for a reason.



A special song to me. If I had catch what it means earlier.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

News

Just randomly reading news online. 

Mandela passed away at 95 years old.

Flooding in East Coast worsened, with quite a huge and increasing number of people evacuated.

An opinion from an economist that the next cycle of economic downturn and financial collapse is coming soon.

England's chance in World Cup seemed slimmer now.

and

I still havent get my transfer letter.


Oh. Penang. Mari Mari Mari.
 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Perception


It is not always that what we see is what is true.

This picture have a special place in my head because I remembered being so overwhelmed when I realised what I have been seeing is just the shadow, not the real camels.

Perception ; the way we perceive things.

Mindblowing isnt it?

Good night people.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Albert and WanJean

I will always remember last weekend.

I went back to Penang, (after much scoldings from my fellow friends) to attend one of my closest friends' wedding.

People grow and people change, our mindset, understanding, feelings and likings, changes with time.

But apparently, all of us, after all these years, (10 years), nothing has changed.

I delivered a very spontaneous speech as my friends' Bestman during his reception dinner night.

But I think I performed well under my own liking for a best man speech

.

Here you go, a speech that I sat here, and gave some thoughts to,

for newlywed Albert and Jean.

The one I gave on stage the other day is just a standup comedian type of speech to keep your guest entertained.

----------

Thank you Albert, Thank you Jean for remembering me and honouring and giving a value to our friendship;

and by that I am proud, because you value our friendship, above the other 570 guests we have today to celebrate your union; and by that I mean I am more friend to you than Swee Heng, or Joon Kee, or Kuhan, or James Kho, or Chee Boo, all the other nominated Heng Tais of yours.

and I expect laughter from the floor, if you guys don't mind.

I have known Dr Albert Lim Zi Shen, for over 15 years.

Yes, One Five - if we have children together, now they are doing PMR already.

and I expect laughter as well.

So I googled using my Samsung S2 about an hour ago after being informed regarding my role tonight, to address half a thousand people, discussing about our past and you and your wife's future.

No I didnt, because signal is not that good.

I guess Bestman's Speech should be on how good are you, and how lucky is Jean isn't it?

Ok, that would be simple.

We kind of do a lot of things in school together, and off school together too.

By that I mean tuition, of course - we are Penang Free School, what do you expect. We go to school to learn society's value and true academic learnings are all in tuition centre.

Lets see, in school - Albert is always the Class Monitor, every blardy year. Teachers always pick him as our Monitor.

So then I concluded that man and woman above age of 30 will trust him more than the other 30 odd boys.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the same applying to his In-Laws.

You look at Albert, and his specs - so can be trusted look!

I would put my daughter in his care if he wants!.

and in all seriousness, let me assure you that is actually very accurate decision, my respectable parents of Wan Jean. He is a man of responsibility. Dont you worry.

His other points?

He is an intelligent man, top scorer in School, and then went to UK to read medicine, and now holding a follow-through program in Paeds training. How brilliant more you want!

So Mr and Mrs Lim, well done! Your parenting skill is of highest level.

Anything else good about him?

Man is very simple organism; and there are a lot of them -

But it is exceddingly rare you can find a man who does not smoke, does not gamble, does not drink much, does not talk as much as me,

be successful from his own effort rising from his humble background,

can talk with the angmohs in accent and then talk to us in hokkien,

can keep my mum so happy and always ask me to follow him follow him follow him

and that I give you - Albert Lim.

Ladies and Gentleman,

I would not take too long of your time for this speech. We are all hungry I know.

To Albert my friend, and Wan Jean; I wish you with all my sincerity,

Have a bless marriage.

Let me just say that people are born individuals.

and for two individuals without blood relationship to be bonded together,

the chemistry needs to be always kept in checked.

Love is the chemistry I meant.

Time will test the strength of that chemistry.

Place will test the strength of that chemistry.

Outside people will test the strength of that chemistry.

You yourself will test the strength of that chemistry.

And if unfortunately the frustration sets in,

I hope you would remember;

that people will always say things that they want you to listen.

Everyone will

Wan Jean will say things that Albert wants to listen.

and Albert will say things that Wan Jean wants to listen.

But it is ourselves, that deep inside us, deep inside you two, that need to do a thorough search, to find that reason, to find that chemistry;

to listen, and to say things that both of you want to say, that both of you want to listen, in all honesty, and sincerity.

Very deep isn;t it; This comes from the Ang Choon Seong - Buaya King of Penang Free School;

How peculiar

I just want to finish this rambling, but saying that,

Marriage is a blessing. Really.

Here you are willing to put yourself in the commitment to be together, with someone else, forever.

and forever,

ladies and gentleman,

is what we wish them.

together,.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Far and Sure, For Golf And Country - by Zaid Ibrahim

Just finished the book by Zaid Ibrahim the famous resigned-Minister:

Far and Sure; For Golf and Country

This book is a good read. It is written on the theme of the game of Zaid's loving - Golf.

Chapters and chapters he unfold the stories about his travel to various golf courses around the world and our own country.

Golf is probably one of the least sports I knew, and of course this read is a good reminder on my uni days when I spent a few hours with my friend Ebby and Wafi in Edinburgh, trying to pick up a little on this mysterious sports.
Yes, Like what Zaid mentioned, there are many local council-run golf courses across the small towns and cities in UK. This is one of them that I went twice.

Anyways, what I like about this book is how he tells his stories - his travels, his reasons why he likes this sports so much (well, it is quite repetitive, but hey, you only need one reason to love something)

And to my liking he sticks in some of his political opinions in between chapters.

Once a politician, always a politician. He has some good views and opinions which are very enlightening and heartening. I do share most of his sentiments and I am a bit let down by his retirement from active politics (for now well)


He did at one point made a bold statement of defining what he constitutes a halal meat; you have to read it to find it okay! no spoon feeding!

Another point to note that perhaps writing down what you think regularly is important. Zaid's book is mostly based on his travel, what he was thinking at that time or what he felt at that time.

20 years down the line, if he is still around kicking, he would read back the book and surely it brings back good and sweet memories.

I think I should write more regularly too.