Friday, November 26, 2010

The Thing They Do With Robes and Funny Hats and A Piece of Paper.

Esok tengah hari,
legally sanctioned attire-nye adalah robe ala-ala Harry Poktek dengan hood nye sekali dan jugak topi bodoh yang bernama mortar board itu (nama yang sangat kelakar, i kept picturing people wearing mortar tube for a hat). Untuk diorang lah, bukan untuk aku. Aku nak pakai songkok. Symbolic protest for the ill representation of troll-kind in literature, games and popular culture. We are not as dumb as they make us to be, the proof? Aku habis sekolah undang-undang (ok, hampir habis sebab ada lagi setahun LLB).

Dah habis basic degree aku. Cicero my man, i really hate it when you are right. 

Oh well, time to iron me shirts then.

God, i hate ironing.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Apekejadahnya semua ini

Orignally created on 24th October 2010.
Just a week ago I read in the papers that a plan in the works for a skyscraper to be built within farting distance of Stadium Merdeka being a project endorsed by the current government. The name of the ‘scraper? Surprise surprise, Warisan Merdeka.

An acquaintance remarked that it’s another case of ‘mine is bigger than yours” syndrome, Zunar the controversial cartoonist seems to think that Warisan Merdeka is a symbol of the PM’s love to his wife, kinda like the Taj Mahal. Heck I’m sure its going to be more mahal than the Taj. As for me, I see it as another phallic symbol protruding the skies of the Kuala Lumpur and a great waste of tax payer’s money. The proposed development is nothing more than a continued policy of big buildings equals uber bigger prestige which is stupid if you ask me. How the heck could you blend in a skyscraper with two aging stadiums?

First of all the proposed site is right next to the aging yet historic landmark of the country, Stadium Merdeka where the Independence was first declared 53 years ago. The blasphemy of it! It’s like putting up a taller and grander building right next to Istana Mestika and thumbing your nose to the Sultan of Selangor, the nerve of it!  and What guarantee is there that the works on the ‘scraper will not jeopardize the structural integrity of the highly historic stadium? and I could not for the life of me understand the logic of building a 100 storey commercial and condominium portion in a historic area and naming it Warisan Merdeka, for what? I would not want my children and their children when asked what merdeka is to point to a scraper full of shops and condo. Wouldn’t that be ironic?  To associate a building full of shops and houses, the symbol of our fixation with money and consumerism with independence. Merdeka Abah kau!

Call me an ardent opposition to the project, call me an anti-development traditionalist, call me pessimistic of the government motives because I am all of the above. If the intention is to develop the area then the surely it has occurred to the demented heads behind the project that development equals increased traffic into the area? That there will be more cars coming and going into the area? Since our fair KL is notorious for its traffic jams is the road system there efficient enough for the increased traffic? Or is the public transportation good enough to handle the hypothetical torrents of public coming and going into the area. If it is indeed to be both a commercial and residential zone mashed into one then the number of cars that is coming and going will be ten if not threefold.

Then there is the problem of parking those aforementioned cars. Again, if the project is going to be both commercial and residential in nature then the amount of parking space would be humongous, I mean picture parking spaces the size of a huge cavern, okay I may be extrapolating here but you get what I mean. In this day and age, no sane man or woman would be going shopping to a glitzy new place by taking the public transport, that is so not cool. Further, since it’s a proposed combination of both commercial and residential area ala the Gardens then surely the residents would want the space to park their cars and the cars of their visitors, think again of the space needed to accommodate that alone. If it is to be basement parking then there’s a question of digging deeper foundation for the building, again the aging stadium next door comes into the picture, will the digging and piling works affect the grand old stadium and his equally old friend to the northeast?

When you say d-e-v-e-l-o-p-m-e-n-t of an area then it involves transforming the area into something new, the Warisan Najib..sorry. I mean Warisan Merdeka is just the start, one big beginning for smaller buildings that will mushroom over the area in the subsequent months if not years and WM will be the one big-ass building to rule over them all. In the light of this it is not possible that some fool in the near future with the rights over the Stadium Merdeka (currently the stadium is under the care of an unnamed Trust) would, in an ill-concieved corporate decision making decide that the old stadium is a sight for sore eyes and a new mall would look better in its place. It can happen you know, the government has a dubious record of preserving heritage sites, just look at the old Pudu Jail.

When you build big-ass projects like this the question that will be asked is who will benefit from the project and will it really like my dear mother told me create more jobs for the locals and inject economic growth?  First off let us consider the building aspect of the proposed project. Since it’s a big- ass project, logic dictates that there’s bound to be outside experts toiling on the project as architects, joint and welding experts, soil surveyor and stuff. Despite having growing number of big names in the building field we remain skeptical of local talents. I don’t blame em. It’s the PM’s pride and glory. Surely he would want only the best to work on his pet project. That’s money going out of the country when what you want as in for the current economic state is for the money to roll inside the country. As for the labourers, despite our continuous deportation of them, large number of Indonesian labourers will do all the heavy lifiting. They’re good at it and they’re cheap. Who could ask for more? Don’t even ask what about our boys, menial labour is below them, they have chronic allergy to sun exposure and the only remedy for that is to bathe themselves in artificially generated cool mist thus limiting their work choice.

That was in the building stages, when its finished and launched with all the tepung tawar-ings ,ribbon cuttings and fireworks streaming the night sky then came the issue of populating the empty spaces. Who would fill up the empty shop/office lots. For one you’re not going to find the likes of a makcik selling kerepek in the building, obviously its going to be those who can afford to pay the rent or buy the lots outright and its not going to be small time businesses or average joes and janes like you and me. Its always going to be to the big corporations, to the big brand names with their boutiques, its going to be like another KLCC or Pavilion. A place full of world class goods that none of us living from salary to salary could ever afford. Who’s the target market then? The rich and the moneyed of course, that and the tourists, especially those from Middle East.

What about job opportunities then? Be assured that there will be jobs aplenty, if you can beat the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis and Nepalese and Tibetians and Myanmarese, Vietnamese and the ..Africans? (I really don’t know, theres way too much immigrants in the city today that you can never keep track of them) it. Odd jobs, cashiers at the fast food joints which will surely pepper the building, if they’re really good and with the proper level of education there might even be better jobs awaiting them in the management department of the finished building. That’s a big if.

What about the residential levels then? Buying a house in KL will cost you and arm and leg (and a toe) nowadays, now it goes without saying that a house at the newfangled place would probably cost you your soul. The point of having a house in a high-rise is almost exclusively for the view that one gets from the living amongst the clouds, what manner of people who would inhabit such houses then? Of course its going to the extremely moneyed which I dare say would not be locals like you and me who would be struggling to get a decent house at a decent rate. Foreigners di utamakan, rakyat tak berumah. That’s just great.

The main thing here is that I do not see the need for another skyscraper. Chiefly, from whose pockets would the money come from, the taxpayers. Secondly, if the government has the time and money (taxpayer’s money) to waste on this project surely it does not present a problem to them to do the same in order to preserve Stadium Merdeka and all other heritage sites in this country because the same destructive patterns is repeating itself everywhere I see. In the name of capitalistic gods and goddesses of money and greed, the old historic sites are either turned into a joke or left forgotten to rot and ruin and in its place, brand new shopping complexes touted as a sure –fire way of getting tourists to come here. The fallacy with this line of thought is that, what the tourists are looking for are what constitutes as our identity, what made us us. Its our heritage, the relics of our past. That’s what they came here for, they wouldn’t bat an eyelid over the shopping complexes, they have a lot of those back home. The Italian authorities wouldn’t have spent euros battling tides and coming up with ways to stop Venice from slowly sinking, the London authorities wouldn’t have let Tower of London stand in the middle of London, preserved like a cherry if not solely for their historical significance (and not to mention the money it makes). These foreigners/westerners knew the value of history, and if we ourselves have no regard for our own past then I pity us, I pity the next generation for history forgotten is as good as lost and needless to say, a forgotten history has the nasty habit of repeating itself. I could never forgive myself if ever my children or my children’s children ever to confuse the sacred word of ‘merdeka’ with a skyscraper built in blasphemy to the memory of it. That reason alone is enough to oppose the building of Warisan Merdeka.

What if.

-What if there was never any affirmative action taken by the government right after the 13th May riots?
-What if the Malayan Emergency never ended and that the Communists received full support of the countryside of the North?
-What if the planned canal at Segenting Kra was a reality and the Russians and the Brits are at each other's throat and Malaya their chessboard.
-What if the Malaccan Sultanate never fell and its a thriving small kingdom amidst the colossal Malayan Federation in the Peninsular.
-What would have happened if UMNO was never formed and CPM is a legitimate political party?
-What if Indonesia was never formed, instead its a mess of rivaling regional entities.
-What if the Barisan Sosialis won the Singaporean Election of 1963?
-What would have happened if Brooke never even landed in Sarawak?
-What could have happened if the Oppositions won a landslide victory during the 8th of March 2008 elections?
-What if i was in UM doing Anthropological Studies instead of reading Law in UiTM?
-What if UiTM never existed?
-What if the Konfrontasi was partially successful leaving Malaysia a rump state?
-What if J.K Rowling never wrote the Harry Potter series?
-What if the Russian Revolution never took place and Marx remains a labour activist in London?
-What would have happened if the Bay of Pigs invasion was successful and USSR intervened?
-What would have happened if Penang secedes from the Malaysian Federation?
-What would happen if a military coup topples the Najib Government and declares martial law?
-What would have happen if there is a chronic shortage of sugar in the country?
-What  would have happened if Tun Dr Mahathir remains a doctor and never entered politics?
-What if the US, not Britain is the colonizer of Malayan Peninsular during the 19th century?
-What if the Vietminh never won at Dien Bien Phu and the French Indochina survives till this day?
- What would have happened if Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu remains as the protectorates of Siam (Thailand)?
-Would the world be different if Anwar Ibrahim is a communist?
-What would have happened if there was no oil reserves discovered in this country?
-What would have happened if Sabah and Sarawak voted not to join the Malayan Federation in forming Malaysia?
-What if Malaysia is a loose confederation of Malay States?
-What would happened if Great Britain gave recognition to the Confederate States of America?
-What would have happened if the State of Kelantan won its case against the Government of Malaysia?
-What if i opted to join Kesatria instead of Suksis?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is it Fair?

Upon the insistence of the Missus i went to buy tickets for the much awaited Harry Potter Movie, the last installment of the series (which was further divided into two parts, no doubt because of the length). Aware that one could easily procure seats for a movies through the internet i utilized the godsend online booking system but alas, to my discovery there existed a discrimination in terms of seating. While gsc does not even let you pick and choose your seats TGV only allows you to choose seats 4 tiers down from the good spots. The diagram clearly divided all the 8 tiers into 2 types, up above were the reserved seats while 4 tiers down, its for the untermensch, those who chose to buy their tickets online rather than line up at the cinema.
What nonsense is this?

Granted, that ticket-selling business is not something that is specifically statutory regulated meaning to say it operated on the whims of the cinema operators themselves but aren't the moviegoers consumers too? with their own rights and protection? Specifically, the online ticket buyers/bookers, why are we being discriminated against? Not only we only given limited choice of seats, we have to pay additional Rm 1 for it.

I guess i could stomach the fact if the Rm 1 acts as a collateral that is payable to the operators should the reservation be cancelled but its not. Lets say that two tickets to a movie which is Rm 6 totals up to RM 12, since you made a reservation or booking or chop dulu or whatever you want to call it, automatically additional Rm 1 is charged to you which is payable upon the collection of the tickets at the ticket counter. Its not collateral its bloosucking pure and simple. Just because we opted not to line up we had to shell out extra RM 1 and are denied the choiciest seats in the cinema hall, again i ask this,

what nonsense is this?

Shouldn't it be the other way around? since we had to pay extra, should we the online reservationist (if there is such a word) be given the prerogative of choosing the seats including the best seats available? One might say that i am blowing things out of proportion over Rm 1 but hear me out, when i did the online booking almost all the seats marked out for online reservation are already taken. For an online booking the number of seats that can be booked are limited to 6 so since the configuration of seats for online booking are 12 seats per row and theres 4 rows, that makes the profit the operator makes from online booking on per hall/showtime basis around Rm 8 if all the bookings/reservations are for real and believe me since its Harry Potter we're talking about, people are jostling for any seats they can get their hands on,all seats will be taken. Consider the showtimes for Harry Potter, last time i checked it plays around 5 times a day (since i reckon TGV will have to use their big halls for HP)so taking into account what i said earlier, its going to be a mad jostling for seats, the operators can make Rm 40 on online reservation fees daily while a blockbuster movie runs (Enthiran does not fall into this category, its a superblockbuster).

Do you see my logic here?

If we're paying extra to watch a blockbuster shouldn't we be given the option of getting the best seats available?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Berminat dan semakin berminat dengan filem-filem Ostalgie.Tak dapat aku bayangkan kalau Malaysia itu di bahagi dua (the Peninsular at least) dan East Coast itu berfahaman komunis. Tak dapat untuk ku bayangkan pakcik-pakcik di kedai kopi berbual tentang Maxim Gorky sambil makan nasik sama budu.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Politics won't feed you, bribes will. Politics won't help you when you're sick and dying, friends will. Politics cares for you, its your best friend, your lover, your most generous benefactor but once the polls are over, you are just another annoying voter. Politics will build roads, houses, mosques, tall buildings that you gawk in awe but you can never ask 'im out for lunch or for late nite mamak session. Politic sucks out all your feelings and will have none for you. It will make you cry but it will never cry with you, when it laughs its laughing at you, not with you. Politics is a demanding bitch, it demands loyalty from you and gives you none, it wants time from you and furnishes you none. It takes all and demands all, so why bother?


Politics/Idea(s) is a bitch. It won't feed you or your children, nor will it extend a hand to you when you are down and out. It demands your wholehearted devotion like a lover would and yet, once it becomes a reality it will forget you for it has neither emphathy nor sympathy your feelings. Yes, ideas are bullet-proof but the same character that made it so also made it brutal, cruel and uncaring.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wajib Tuu...

Nothing political about History decision: Muhyiddin


KUALA LUMPUR: The decision to make History a must-pass subject to obtain the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) certificate was not politically motivated, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the public should not misinterpret the decision as being political.
"Why are we afraid of our own history? What is history is history, and we cannot concoct something that is not history.
"The intention is making History an attractive subject and teaching students how to interpret history in the context of their lives, such as awareness and patriotism.
"I don't think any party should feel suspicious or worried because history is based on historical facts," he told newsmen after opening the Second World Chinese Economic Forum on behalf of the Prime Minister here Tuesday.
Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said the public should not be influenced by parties that claimed the move was a "deception".
"Don't be prejudiced. We must have a positive mindset as it is something which is done for the good of our children. A committee has been set-up to receive feedback from groups or associations that want to give their input," he said, adding that historians of all races would be invited to give reviews.

A good move i must say, so long as we remember what Orwell had to say in Nineteen Eighty Four and neither should we forget the old adage that history is written by those who won.

 News taken from here

Monday, November 1, 2010

Off the Record

Its a curious state of existence not having any identification nor a dime to my name. Firstly, i could not leave the house without having the nagging feeling that  i am liable to be arrested for no reason by the police and be locked up for not having any means of proving my nationality. That and also the fear that should anything happen to me (read: should i die of any circumstances) my body would simply marked as another John Doe, to be left in the morgue until someone claims for me or until they extract a tooth from me for comparison with available dental records (they do have that kind of thing kan? I speak in ignorance of the accepted procedures in this fair nation of ours)
Secondly, I'm dead broke. Like i said before, not a dime (cent if you prefer it) to my name, its all in the bank, which by the very nature of my current predicament, beyond my reach. Having said that, it goes without saying that to be out and about in a city requires money and i'm not comfortable with the idea asking for money from my folks. Never been the asking type.

As i remembered it, a day before i left the firm i cleaned out my wallet of all the unnecessary things, old scrip, receipt which the writings have all faded. No nook and cranny left unchecked, i went through every single contents of the wallet,  receipt of my first statute i bought as a law student, movie ticket stubs, picture of me and the missuss. It was a beautiful thing the wallet, a birthday present it was. Was, because i never knew it was the last time i would see and touch it.

Lost it was, that's the infuriating thing. When it comes to my wallet i've always made sure that its either in my pocket, its usual place or somewhere else safe. I remembered putting in into my back pocket of my jeans the morning before we left for my sister's graduation. I only noticed its disappearance right before i came out of the car at Seremban RnR, I came to the conclusion then that it must have been left the living room where i had laid down while waiting for my mum to get ready, i came to that conclusion because i didn't left the car from the moment i stepped into the car until we stopped at Seremban where i noticed that my wallet is not with me, right before i stepped out of the car. But when we came home that evening the wallet was nowhere to be seen and a furious search of the car yields the same result. So did another thorough check of both the house and the car the next day.

Today, i had all the ATM cards blocked save for Bank Islam whose definition of Customer Service does not include answering the phone call of a customer in distress and a police report made (the most laconic piece of literature i've read so far) at the local police station.

As for tomorrow, an appointment with the National Registration Department awaits at Maju Junction, the Road Transport Department (at the 2nd Floor) and later with the three banks for the replacement cards and wee bit later, the long due payment for my convocation bill (hurrah!). It ought to feel odd, not having anything in my back pocket.

One consolation, the only consolation that i have from this is that i'm glad that my pay for last month was not in the wallet, else i'd be cursing to no end for that kind of bad luck.

And so children, the moral of the story is, to never ever put all your eggs in one basket.