Monday, April 24, 2006

From Malu to Marah (Embarrassment to Anger)

Dr M is mad. I mean angry-mad, not crazy-mad. His successor, Abdullah Badawi has scrapped yet another of his grandiose, multi-bilion ringgit, mega projects; the Half Bridge, aka Crooked Bridge, aka Scenic Bridge.

In fact, he should be happy. His disciple did him a favour actually. If they had gone ahead to build the ‘Half Bridge’; it would have made Malaysia a laughing stock; and for generations to come, stand as a monument of the foolishness of a man who ‘shit half-way then look for toilet paper’.

Externally, this project has generated a great deal of ill-will with its neighbour Singapore; quite apart from the many hours of negotiations that could have been put to more productive use. So it was wise of Badawi to apply the Gordian Knot solution to this issue and get it out of the way once and for all.

Maybe the real reason for Dr M's anger is found in the Chinese idiom, 老羞成怒, which means; embarrassment turns to anger.

Remember the time when Malaysia ran into financial difficulties during the 1990s currency crisis? He blamed everyone else: Soros, IMF, even his deputy Anwar. He decided to eat the humble pie, coming to Singapore hat in hand. When Singapore said no - embarrassment turned to anger. From then on, he takes every opportunity to ‘tekan’ us. Many Singaporeans can recall the famous 'there are many ways to skin a cat' remark.

He sacks his deputy, and reluctantly picks his second choice to succeed him. Surprise, surprise. His second choice far outperforms him at the polls and even wins back the state he lost to PAS. Further malu to marah.

Now, one by one, his successor dismantles his pet mega projects; the final insult being to ‘surrender’ to his 眼中钉 (thorn in the flesh), Singapore. Lagi malu, lagi marah.

I think the good doctor should heed the advice of the management consultant who came up with this SUMO formula: Shut Up and Move On.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Malaysian Information Miinister Not Very Well-Informed

The Malaysian Information Minister, Datuk Zainuddin Maidin said recently that Singapore media liked to purposely paint a bad picture of the crime situation in Johor Bahru; in particular, with regard to car thefts (Straits Times 10 April 2006).

Last year, around October, I befriended some Malaysians at a training course. I asked them whether or not it was true that theft of cars was a serious problem in Malaysia as reported by the Singapore newspapers. These newspapers probably over-dramatized the situation, I remarked.

"No, it's true!", one of them said. He went on to narrate a few stories of his own to illustrate how bad the situation was. According to him, the most popular car was the Toyota Unser. But apparently, even the low-end Perodua was not spared.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Miracles Do Happen

Good news everyone. Miracles do happen.

With one swish (or more) of his magic wand called time, a scientist can turn a fish into a four-legged land mammal. A couple more swishes, the mammal becomes a monkey and then a man.

This is called evolution. Your see it in the news every day. Channel News Asia has many exciting programmes about it. They even teach it in schools.

The following is an article from the Straits Times, dated Friday April 7. 2006.

SCIENTISTS have discovered fossils of a fish that lived 375 million years ago, a large scaly creature not seen before that they say is a long-sought “missing link” in the evolution of some fishes from living in water to walking on four limbs on land. ………

The team said the fossils are the most compelling examples yet of an animal at the cusp of the fish-tetrapod (four-legged land animals) transition. The fish has been named Tiktaalik roseae, as suggested by elders of Canada’s Nunavut Territory. Tiktaalik means “large shallow-water fish”. "

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Such Humanity – I’m Touched

TODAY (Tuesday, April 4, 2006, Page 1)

A Crutch for the ill and dying

Tan Hui Leng

“IN a humane gesture aimed at making the final days of terminally-ill CPF members easier, they will be allowed to withdraw their savings before the age of 55. Others with serious illnesses …..”

Such humanity, I am touched. Now I have 6 full months to enjoy the fruits of my past 30 years of toil.

Dear Ms Tan,

Did you check your dictionary or not?

Must I remind you that it is MY money you are talking about. The CPF Board is merely a custodian paid with the taxpayer’s money to look after the money for me.

How can you say that they are “showing human kindness, thoughtfulness, and sympathy for the suffering and misfortune of others etc.” (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)?

In my dictionary, it is not ‘humane’ to return money to its rightful owner. Neither is it ‘humane’ to return it earlier than stipulated by the law. In fact, it is an indictment of the inhumanity of the law in the first place.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Same Old Dung Again

In the army they taught us this song.

Here we go again;
Same old shit again.

Last year, around this time, I was driven to start this blog when I read about the attempts by the Japanese government to whitewash history by glorifying her wartime past and glossing over the atrocities committed by the Japanese military in the last war.

In spite of the uproar it created in neighbouring countries, they continue to do it. Yesterday, I saw this in the Straits Times.

Here are a couple for quotes from the Straits Times article.

“One publisher who said that more than 200,000 Chinese were likely to have been slaughtered was told to add that the figure was only one of several theories.”

“Publishers were also told not to make it sound like it was the Japanese military that forced women to become sex slaves for its front-line troops.”