Rumour has it that if Johor is going to fall in the next General Election (GE14), together with Penang and Selangor, the finance of the government is going to take a big hit. You see, Selangor, Johor and Penang are the three most prosperous states in Malaysia. Barisan Nasional (BN) has lost the crown jewel in Selangor to the opposition alliance. If Johor, an UMNO stronghold, is felled too, the implication is such that Sabah and Sarawak may be swayed to join the opposition alliance as well. Then the opposition alliance may stand a chance to form a new government, for the first time in history. But is it doable in the first place?
Just had a look at the composition of the existing state assembly of Johor. There are 56 seats. BN current controls 38 seats. Pakatan Harapan (PH) controls 14 seats. Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) controls 4 seats. A simple majority requires 29 seats. So PH needs to wrestle 15 seats from the current incumbent, and that is assuming that they can hold their existing seats. That is a big ask if you were to ask me. We know Muhyiddin has some presence in Johor, and Mahathir is plotting to bring Najib down. And the well respected Johor Royal Family and Najib’s administration are not the best of friends. But will the Johoreans, particularly the Malays, be keen to vote for PH? And we haven’t even factored in the disruption brought on by PAS since they are not part of the line-up of the opposition alliance. This means that potentially there will be many three corner fights in GE14, and this will most likely benefit BN. So how is PH going to win over Johor in the next GE? It is just silly talks if I’m being honest..
I can’t tell what went wrong, perhaps she should have landed in a seated position. With a foam pit as a cushion I would have thought it shouldn’t be much of a problem even if one lands too awkwardly. But the woman broke the T12 vertebra as a result.
Then I googled to see if I can find more information about this news and found the following reported in The Guardian.
Another woman did a jump into the foam pit and fractured her T12 vertebra. Different kind of jump, but both into the foam pit and got injured. So looks like it can be hazardous too even when you jump into something that is supposed to provide you protection. I wonder if the park owners could have done more to minimise such injuries, or that equipment suppliers should move on to use other material as cushion or something. Because the foam pit does give people the false impression that it is safe to do any silly jumps into it. And there lies the main problem I believe.
For the past few weeks we have been relying on our mums’ cars to get around. We tried our best to work around the time at which they need to use the car. Our mums need to use the car for going to the wet market in the morning. And they need car to send their grand children to kindergarten or tuition centres. So often we have to plan our day to allow us to come home on time. Life is difficult without a car in Malaysia as public transport is hopeless here. And it is very hot here. Not only do we need a car. We would like to have a car with good air cond too, which one of mums’ does not have.
Also both cars do not have CD player. So we have not been able to play our daughter’s nursery rhyme CDs whilst driving our daughter around. Can’t really blame her for not feeling very keen to go out with us. And that she keeps reminding us every now and then, “no Malaysia, no Malaysia”.
So it is such a big difference it makes when we bought our own car, albeit just a small and second hand car. A 1.3 litre Myvi, made in Malaysia. We just feel like our “basic” need is satisfied. It has good air cond, a CD player, in good condition and a joy to drive. In fact we are more than satisfied. We are happy. We can do our own things without worrying about the time. And we can get more things done in a day. No need to move the car seat in and out from our mums’ cars everyday. This is in spite of a certain disapproval from some of our family members on why we have chosen to buy such a small car. It does feel like the car you drive in Malaysia will give out a certain signal about your social standing in the community. But whatever, I don’t give a rat’s ass about what other people think of me.
Like my friend asked, “When did a documentary last make you cry?”. I certainly could not remember when, if it ever did happen to me. The nature has been for too long far too underrated. To put it in figures, according to David Suzuki, it will cost the world approximately $35 trillion dollars a year to replace what nature does for us for free! Hence it is baffling when we talk about economy, growth, and whatnot, the wonders of nature are not included in the equation. It is as though humans are above everything else in nature, and that we have the rights to take it for granted. Makes me very sad. It really does not matter to me if human eventually extincts. The Earth will survive, so as other life forms, albeit simpler ones. We just don’t deserve to live if we do not change the way we think and live, so as to maintain the Earth at a condition suitable for human to live. Keep living irresponsibly, and keep coming up with theories to justify your existence above everything else.
It’s been very unlike Christmas this year in the UK. There isn’t much festive mood, no Christmas tunes heard in shopping malls, and considering that we are less than one month away from Christmas, this is not looking good. Perhaps people are finally feeling the wrath of the recession. However having said that, the house prices continue to rise again this month. Confusing.Winter this year has been very mild as well, except today, when it went down to -2 degree celcius in the early morning. Had to scrap ice off the windscreen of my company car. Hate driving in winter. Anyway looks like we are not going to get a white Christmas this year. In any case, we will not be spending Christmas in the UK. Why do I care…
The other day we bought some ready-meals and some groceries. In just one day our bin was filled with an entire plastic bag of rubbish, almost all from packaging, it’s unreal. Most of the time we cook from fresh produce, so it really hit home to see so much waste coming from our everyday consumption of food. My friend is right to point out that nowadays people are so involved in working like a slave to earn a “good” living that they haven’t realised that a lot of what they earn are use to pay for things and services we don’t really need. Let’s face it, apart of the basic human needs of food and shelter, the rest are one of those things that are just good to have, not really necessary. In order to appear attractive, clean and convenient, some companies have a separate department that focus on how to package and market their products. Everything is so value driven that it now gets to a point where it is ridiculous, because the world is becoming so efficient by the year that a lot of the so called “values” are created to merely keep people employed. People thus have to work harder and harder to pay for others to do simple things that they could have done themselves in the old days and luxury items that we hardly ever need! The world has certainly seen a lot of progress, technology wise, standard of living, with better healthcare etc. But our way of life, particularly the Western way of life, is in need of serious comtemplation.
The stock market took another tumble despite the latest bank rescue plan announced by the UK government, and a coordinated 0.5% interest rate cut across the world, involving Americas, UK and European Union. Never have I seen these countries working together at the same time. Just goes on to tell you the scale of the financial problem we are now facing. Property bubble, subprime problem, inflation, bank liquidity problem, now leading to increasing unemployment. The economy is definitely heading for the worse. Has it turned the corner? Apparently not yet, as goverments are still coming up with rescue packages to try and help various sectors – property, bank, insurer, manufacturing etc.Few days ago I thought the banking sector might have already reached the bottom. We started moving into the stock market, acquiring bank shares. That was before the US finally approved the $700 billion rescue plan to buy up toxic debts. Yet that did little to stabilise the market. Today’s announcement from the UK to part-nationalise banks I feel is welcoming, as it should help strengthen the banks, bring some sanity back to how bank should be remunerated, and get the bank to operate more sensibly. Unfortunately, investors are still uncertain and the stock market continue to slide.To be honest, I still feel the banking shares are unbelievably low. If people have cash to spare, it is at this kind of turmoil that you start investing in the stock market, to maximise the return on the meagre sum of money we have got. Often people will question about the timing. Yes, we don’t know how low the market can go, and people always want to catch the absolute bottom. But can we always get the “best” deal?
This is a lovely account of Fernando Torres which reveals a lot about him as a person. Such a short interview, but it has more substance than countless biographies, of footballers, “celebrities” etc, that have been released into the market recently. Shame on some of these people, who are already very rich yet still want to cash in for more.Some of the stuff he told the journalist, like “(mum) taking me to and from training: every day..did it at eight in the morning and again at six in the evening, just to make her son happy”, “Life’s about the little things..sometimes ten minutes with my dogs can mean as much to me as playing in a big game of football”, “places where the people are exploited, where they have next to nothing..are always those who are willing to give the most”, “in these places, devoid of material things and the envy that we obsess about in our world, I’ve found the people are so generous and prepared to share everything”, really do sound like they are coming from a person who is not afraid to open up his heart and share his thoughts isn’t it? What a breath of fresh air, considering that there are so many egoistical footballers or personalities around nowadays. Life will be so much more pleasant if there are more people like Torres, and that wealth can be distributed more evenly around the world…
A bloody big bug hit on my glasses while I was cycling home this afternoon. A sudden knee jerk reaction caused me to try and flick the bug away. But I touched my glasses as well and so the whole lot got flung away onto the cycle path. My heart sunk immediately. The power of my glasses is around +5.0. Without my glasses I’m almost blind. And that proved to be the case. It seemed to take me forever to find back my glasses, although I saw where the glasses had landed roughly. After searching for perhaps only 1 minute I think I already started to panic. In fact I had even thought about calling W for help, despite her being miles away at home.I found the glasses eventually, after 3 minutes? But one side of the glasses was broken, with a big crack in the middle. For a while I was relief to know that I could still wear it and cycle home. But what was initially a relief slowly turned into anger. I started cursing my luck while I was cycling home, and I couldn’t stop thinking, had I not this, had I not that, then I wouldn’t have ended up with a pair of broken glasses. Shit happens, big deal, get over it. But isn’t that also normal human reaction? I think the question is how quickly we can get over something. Like other things taught in Buddhism, I guess it takes skills. The more skillful we are the better we can react to circumstances?
A picture tells a thousand words doesn’t it? Blogger for Malaysia Today, Raja Petra, was charged under Malaysian’s Sedition Act 1948 for the piece he wrote on Altantuya’s murder. For those who don’t know, Altantuya is a Mongolian lady who was murdered and with her body destroyed by C4 explosives. Rumour has it that Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Najib was involved in the murder, but eluded justice through his political power.It is upsetting to see righteous person like Raja Petra being charged and sent to jail for upholding his belief in justice, something which is clearly lacking in Malaysia, for someone he doesn’t really know. He’s a true boddhisattva in my view, in Buddhist’s term. And a true Muslim who is doing his duties for the community, one of which is to oppose all forms of evil, as explained in his article “What is Islam“. Educated people, people with wisdom, don’t really buy into ritual practices that are quite often needless and which are passed on from generations ago. Submission to a greater figure/being like God or Buddha makes sense to me, to keep us humble, to maintain our well being etc. But if one becomes a follower of a religion, by way of practising just the ritual, to hedge against a difficult after life or what have you, then one is really missing the point.Anyway, Raja Petra knows he’s walking a fine line, and is prepared to accept the consequences. Hope we will see reform in Malaysia’s justice system in a not-too-distant future.