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GOING NUTS: Can we all get along?

As published in Malay Mail today



Going Nuts
By Graig Nunis

MERDEKAis just over a month away and Malaysia Day a further 16 days down the road. To most Malaysians Aug 31 is the bigger celebration and it was only since 2010 that Malaysia Day became a public holiday — even though this is when we truly became the nation we are today following the inclusion of Sabah and Sarawak.
Shouldn’t we be celebrating this on a grander scale?
So it is not hard to sympathise with the organisers of the Sarawak Freedom and Independent Walk on July 22 who are pressing for the state to make that date a public holiday to celebrate the day Sarawak was granted independence by the British colonial rulers in 1963.
However, as usually is the case when it involves east Malaysians, many have jumped on the bandwagon and there were reports some wanted to misuse the event to talk about Sarawak seceding from Malaysia.
And as usual, the police, led by IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, have acted quickly to haul up organise…

BEING FRANK: When things go wrong, they apologise

As published in Malay Mail today



BEING FRANK
By Frankie D'Cruz

AS a light rail transit (LRT) commuter, you kind of hang your head when your regular mode of public transport becomes a safety issue. 

You despair knowing five brake failures since February, two last week, had occurred and that the operator, Prasarana Malaysia Berhad, has been having problems getting the train and brake manufacturers to deal with the problem.

Still, that’s your only way around and the potential danger sinks in when you board the four-car trains. Imagine being told you will likely suffer a heart attack, yet not how big or how serious it will be.

The brake failure problem had been highlighted since February by Prasarana to the train and brake manufacturers with no effect. 

It has been simply put down to a design issue by Canadian train company Bombardier and the German braking system manufacturer Knorr-Bremse AG. 

No manufacturer would want a tragedy on their hand, but complacency by the two foreign firms seems…

BEING FRANK: Enraging people fast and furious

As published in Malay Mail today.




BEING FRANK
By Frankie D'Cruz

IT's annoying isn’t it when the authorities don’t tell you what’s going on in your city?
There are ugly, self-defeating, barricades on key streets in the Golden Triangle ahead of a street car race early August — and we will all get lost in the city soon.

Weep all you want, now that Kuala Lumpur has been transformed into a dreary, unfashionable and undesirable capital city. The spirit of city life has vanished since the set up for the KL Grand Prix began two weeks ago.

No one is saying what sort of research went into holding the event in the heart of KL. What we know is City Hall chose not to hear views from the public, business community and public transport operators.

Few knew about the grand prix until four days ago when people vented their frustration to Malay Mail over the disruption to traffic and inconvenience caused to pedestrians.

Yesterday, City Hall urban transportation department deputy director, Steven Ta…

HARESH SAYS: Let lemang, nature put a smile on our faces

As published in Malay Mail today

HARESH SAYS By Haresh Deol
SWEAT trickled from his forehead and he used a Good Morning towel to quickly wipe it off. He was monitoring the row of bamboo filled with glutinous rice as I waited eagerly by the roadside. Despite having visited several friends earlier in the day, the quest was to find more fresh lemang on the first day of Aidilfitri — and it was not easy.  Instead, I was greeted by rows of makeshift durian stalls. If not for the ridiculously hot weather, I would have surrendered to eating durian for lunch, dinner and even supper. After a 30-minute drive, I found a lemang stall at Bukit Indah, Ampang. It was worth the effort. The price ranged between RM14 and RM18 each — more expensive than last year. How was business, I asked as he monitored the lemang burning on the hot charcoal fire. “It can be better,” he replied. “With the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and economy, people are thinking twice about spending. “Do you hear any firecr…

Are we all not from God, so why fight?

As published in Malay Mail today
THE Abrahimic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — teach that we are all descendents of Adam. All major religions teach that we originate from the Creator, a Supreme Being. While the message of oneness of human beings is what religions teach, politics, prejudice and calculative evil people with vested interests manipulate the diversity of culture and ethnicity to cause division and suspicion.  These evil people are like vultures who want to feed on the carcass of innocent lives that may arise in a bloody conflict fuelled by racism. Let there be no doubt at all. Racism is evil and anti-God. It is anti-God because it denies the greatness of God’s creativity of diverse ethnicity, languages, culture and colours (Quran 49:13). The purpose of the diversity of ethnicity, explains the Quran, is to learn from each another and to recognise it as yet another sign of God (Quran 30:22).  Hence, it is completely a lie and disgraceful when anyone attempts t…

HARESH SAYS: Malaysia must do more in anti-smuggling fight for Tier 2

As published in Malay Mail today


HARESH SAYS By Haresh Deol
THE shocking revelation of mass graves hidden in the thick jungle bordering Malaysia and Thailand earlier this year seems to mean nothing. Bodies of human trafficking victims, believed to be from Myanmar who tried to enter Malaysia by land hoping to for a brighter future, were uncovered.  They were finally given a proper burial in recent weeks as the nation ponders the extent of the human trafficking syndicates whose tentacles appear to cross many borders. Our politicians and enforcement agencies, typically, gave assurances of changes in policies. They promised stricter scrutiny in border patrol. Heads will roll, they promised. Non-governmental organisations and observers are tired of singing the same tune. They continue to declare war against human traffickers and uphold the protection of human rights. But for several arrests in Thailand, Bangladesh and Malaysia, it has been mere words. What came as a shocker to…

GOING NUTS: Going round in circles

As published in Malay Mail today
Going Nuts By Graig Nunis
I HATE driving.
My sense of direction is akin to Ed Miliband’s political career and I usually end up far from where I want to be.
Using Waze, Google Maps and other Global Positioning System (GPS) devices are of no help. So much so, friends have taken to calling me GPS …Guna Pun Sesat or Graig Pasti Sesat. As such, I usually leave an hour earlier than most would, to factor in the time wasted by going round in circles.
Colleagues have wondered how I made my way to and from assignments during my reporting days — answer: public transport or tumpang photographers and reporters from other media outlets.
Unlike the now infamous Zahra, I am not too proud to take the bus or train, or a combination of both.
Why drive when you can get someone to bring you where you want to be without the hassle of traffic jams and finding a decent (read: cheap) parking spot in Kuala Lumpur? If given the choice, I would not drive at all.
It doesn’t help t…

What does asking PM to resign mean?

As published in Malay Mail today By Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos
FIRST of all, we should be fully aware that political stability is of utmost importance for the general well-being of the citizens.

No country in the world which is politically unstable is able to develop economically or plan for the future general well being of its citizens. Political instability will not only frighten away investors but may also cause capital flight from the country by its own corporate players.

Prolonged political instability will have immense negative practical impact on the ordinary citizen in terms of rising unemployment, increased cost of living, lowering of the quality and standard of living and so on. These in turn will certainly cause other social problems such as increase in crime rate, increase in corruption and wastage of national resources.

In short, when the politicians fight, we suffer. We have been having political instability for far too long.

The second factor which responsible ordin…

Come on, FAM!

The article below appeared on the backpage of Sunday Mail. The words in red are strictly my views.
By Vijhay Vick
PETALING JAYA, July 12 — Perception matters and the FA of Malaysia (FAM) failed miserably at the executive committee (exco) meeting at Wisma FAM yesterday.
Perception is known as persepsi in Bahasa Malaysia. Menurut Pusat Rujukan Persuratan Melayu Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Malaysia, persepsi bermaksud bayangan, gambaran atau tanggapan.
This comes despite president Tengku Abdullah Shah pledging to the exco, via a letter read by general-secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin, he would step down if Malaysia fail to qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup.
Really? 
This is what The Star's K. Rajan wrote in his article today: "He has pulled off a similar stunt before. Tengku Abdullah had resigned as FAM deputy president in 2007 after the national team crashed out from the group stage of the 2007 Asian Cup – without a single win. Three years later, in 2010, he was back in FAM as deputy presid…

HARESH SAYS: Do the right thing, Azmin

As published in Malay Mail today.


Haresh Says
By Haresh Deol

I ENJOY my daily walks with my Golden Retriever. It’s the best time of the day where I get to unwind and enjoy the cool midnight breeze.

Occasionally my neighbour Mr Wong will join me. The retiree has plenty of exciting tales to share.
Our conversations mostly revolve around politics and the nation’s economy. But lately, it has been about the hunger to build highways in Selangor.

“Many say highways are good as it will ease traffic but it is a temporary measure. The population in the area will eventually increase and so would the number of vehicles on the road. And then what ... we build another highway on the highway?” questioned Wong.

I share his sentiments, as highlighted in my previous column ‘Highways no more than cosmetic effect’ on Oct 15 last year. I had then said we must study our transportation system thoroughly and this includes providing quality public transportation service that connects every part of town…

GOING NUTS: There must be fair play

As published in Malay Mail today
Going Nuts By Graig Nunis
FREEDOM of speech and freedom of expression are two wonderful gifts we should cherish, nurture and encourage.
The freedom to say what we want, however, does not give one the right to break the law and this applies across the board.
One must also be able to receive as well as one gives.
No one, and this applies to politicians, royalty and other high and mighty types, should beat down the masses or deny them the right of answer.
If a prince wants to speak out against the prime minister for something he perceives to be wrong, so be it. What harm is there? As long as it is not libellous, he should be allowed to say his piece. After all, other royal houses in Malaysia have thrown their support behind the ruling party on many occasions.
There should not be double standards or rules on who they can or cannot support. 
Similarly, if a minister wants to defend his boss, he should be allowed to do so without fear of being investigated b…

Bookies tried to fix Malaysia-Palestine match, reveal sources

Bookies had attempted to fix a world cup qualifying match in Kuala Lumpur, sources have revealed, as the FA of Malaysia (FAM) will continue to keep a close eye on the matter.

Insiders revealed a foreigner "had hooked up" with a local match fixer to manipulate the Malaysia-Palestine match in favour of the host team at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on June 16. Malaysia, however, were hammered 6-0 by the middle east outfit.

"Our information has revealed there were at least two people involved. They had tried to manipulate the match but we believed they failed to do and there were no irregular betting patterns for the match," an insider said.

An Asian Footabll Confederation (AFC) source confirmed the regional body was well aware of the allegation but said the case had since been classified as NFA (no further action).

FAM integrity department head Osman Bakar said he was notified about the matter by AFC and had cautioned the coaches and players prior the match.

&…

HARESH SAYS: Red card for football governance

As published in Malay Mail today


Haresh Says By Haresh Deol
THE inability to juggle transparency, accountability and professionalism is evident. Governing bodies of football are struggling to score in this department.
And they seem to cloud the stakeholders —  fans and media — with technical jargon and hide behind their uptight attitude. The neatly knotted ties and tailor-made jackets may project an organised look but football administrators seem clueless in tackling the issues surrounding the world’s most popular sport.
Fifa is battling a host of woes on its turf. The decision to play on artificial turf continues to draw controversy at the ongoing Women’s World Cup in Canada. 
“I have plenty of blisters on my toes,” United States forward Alex Morgan was quoted as saying last week, summing up the continuous fight by female footballers who dropped a legal suit they initiated last October against the world body and Canadian Soccer Association, alleging gender discriminatio…