“Old” people can’t serve?

You know, growing up in a Malay household tends to educate you on a lot of things – you learn to respect your elders with the whole “ooo, menjawab” chide that follows every now and then. 

You will also have parents who insist you respect elders regardless of what they say about you. 

In fact, I do believe this is a very Asian thing not limited to the Malays. 

Thus, I guess Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s own daughter probably didn’t get this memo that the rest of those with Umno supporting parents did. 

In her latest and perhaps a very awkwardly worded comment for a Comms Manager, she decided to comment on the less than favourable service of our national airline’s cabin crew. 

I’ve flown MAS before, I’ve flown JAL, AirAsia, Qatar and even British Airways. The latter just recently to London and back. 

Now the thing I will say personally is that I board these flights with no expectations of service in mind because even if my own partner had to put up with my shenanigans on the most ‘mengada’ of days for 14 hours, he would be driven insane and ask for a breakup. 

Times that over a full flight of 200 to 300 people that you have to deal with in close proximity, and you have a feat worthy of driving anyone insane. 

Especially when you leave the plane with not a single hair out of place and a smile frozen on your face. 

This is professionalism. 

Thus, when Nurulhidayah – a chief in Corporate Communications in a national housing GLC – goes on a rather public rant and calls out a cabin crew for being “old”, then someone has lost perspective. 

True, we Malaysians do speak out and rant to the point of profanity and it may not be a reflection of our forefathers and even our jobs. 

But at the same time, we do not have parents in public office. 

Thus, what the heck was she thinking?

How can you complain that they are taking it personally when your comment is something beyond natural control?

If old age is an issue with you, and you mention it in a so-called “professional comment”, guess what?

It isn’t professional any longer. In fact, it reeks of ageism. And considering all of our upbringing as Asians, it is an arrogance worthy of Kanye West. 

Who knows, maybe if she ever becomes a leader she’ll tweet Facebook asking for a donation too. 

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So who is ultimately responsible?

The DAP today came out with documents refuting allegations of wrongdoing with the Taman Manggis land issue, citing  documents noting the decision by  the former Gerakan led state government had in fact stopped the empty plot from being developed. 

Thus now, the onus goes back to the Penang Barisan Nasional coalition to answer why this land for public housing was undone thus leading up to the sale of the plot to KLIDC. 

It is an extremely tangled web right now. 

Why was the land for cheap affordable housing undone?

If the Barisan Nasional coalition had any clue to this being the case and failed to inform their Strategic Communications Director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, then somebody’s about to experience one hell of a private lecture which one can only hope will be laced with profanity. 

But more than this, the issue still stands in which affordable housing needs to be redefined by all – from federal and state level politicians to the developers involved and the people who buy these properties. 

With a median salary not even breaching RM2,000, how can a home be considered affordable at RM400,000 as a ceiling price if it means paying a bank RM1,000 plus a month to service a loan?

At the same time, Malaysians need to have a serious think as to what a home consists of and whether or not fiscal responsibility dictates reproductive responsibility as well. 

We are no longer a society in the 1940s or even 1960s where we can have dozens children and still afford a balanced life and offer the next generation all the opportunities they are entitled to. 

And there are facets of society who still do not understand this. 

Just yesterday, Sinar Harian placed an article of a former religious teacher with nine children begging for donations for his eldest child who is in Egypt completing his/her studies in medicine. 

A few months back, The Malaysian Insider also carried yet another piece on how a family with a baker’s dozen of kids was struggling to cope in Kuala Lumpur even while earning tens of thousands of ringgit and living in an affordable housing project. 

If we truly want to have a proper discussion about housing, we must first talk about responsibilities.

Sure, the government has a responsibility based on Maslow’s pyramid of needs. In such a way, the federal government and all states have kept their end of the bargain. 

But when it comes to affordability, there is a proper need to look back at the figures and statistics involved – median wages, family sizes, cost of living even – before determining the size, design and even location of affordable housing. 

These factors are all seriously lacking in all government initiatives on both state and federal levels. 

Congratulations to the DAP led state government for putting it back to the BN. But now, can both state and federal government get back together to discuss the main issue that triggered this uproar?

It is the fact that housing is a problem that needs political intervention on both sides to make it work. At the same time, there is a need to educate families to consider costs and realities. 

Enough of the politics. 

Half time: Education and the DLP

The Malaysian Parliament is currently in session. Those interesting in watching these proceedings live can do so here.

First off, a shout out to Kasthuri Patto for asking the Education Minister to answer regarding the Pos Tohoi Orang Asli school tragedy. I will personally admit that I had forgotten that it is now 7 months after and no actions nor any word has been said regarding this.

Now, regarding the Dual Language Programme (DLP) launched by the ministry of education, which allows parents to volunteer their kids into learning subjects in English.

Continue reading “Half time: Education and the DLP”

Did Penang allow land to be sold to an offshore company?

In Malaysian parliament currently, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan and his Barisan Nasional (BN) counterparts from Penang dropped even more bombs on the current Taman Manggis land controversy.

All this comes after the ejection of the state’s chief minister and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng from the hall, followed by the exit of all MPs from the DAP and also the MP of Sepang.

Continue reading “Did Penang allow land to be sold to an offshore company?”

Someone’s turned on by the news…

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 5.49.40 PM
Image from The Star

In perhaps the most awkward comparison to news, Malaysia’s minister for Communication and Multimedia today defended the blocking of The Malaysian Insider.

According to Tan Sri Salleh Keruak, this was because the content of the news portal was undesirable content similar to that of online porn.

Now this is a revelation, because I personally never imagined ministers and MPs looking at TMI and getting aroused, let alone to the point that Salleh Keruak sees it as undesirable. Perhaps it deflated his ego.

And on top of all this, Salleh piled this on:

“If we wait as Sepang MP (Hanipa Maidin) said, for them to be charged before acting, there will be a lot of websites with pornographic content that we need to act on,”

Well, truth be told, people can still access porn online. It is one of the reasons people wish for access to the internet, placing second only to social media.

In fact, have a read to just how prevalent pornography is in the world here.

But in all honesty, right now I’m just wondering one thing; who the heck jerks off to newspapers?

Dealing with corruption

Dealing with corruption

 

Currently, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has been in the papers regarding how a senior civil servant has been found to have embezzled RM100 million in the past six years.

At the same time, the Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng has also been revealed to have bought his house at a 60 percent lower valuation by an individual who owns shares in setting up a dental hospital in the state.

While Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak continues to fend off allegations of corrupt practices with “donations” and also the running of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), a question needs to be answered – are Malaysians going to be corrupt by demanding biased treatment based on their political leanings?

Continue reading “Dealing with corruption”