Tag Archives: Malaysia

Howard Lee accused unpatriotic


Howard Lee, an elected state assemblyman for Pasir Pinji Perak, is in a bit of a pickle lately. He is accused of being unpatriotic to Malaysia for having applied for U.K. citizenship, but which was unsuccessful, 15 years ago. The attack began by a blogger called Lee Sian See, but which was then picked up by The Star here:

DAP assemblyman denies acquiring foreign citizenship

Howard denied having acquired U.K. citizenship on his Facebook. But  what is damaging is when the correspondence between him and his local MP, Charles Clarke, at Norwich at the time and forum discussions in 2007 about his failed application to naturalise surfaced. It is damaging in the sense that he did try to become U.K. citizen when he was young, having just turned 18 or so, in 2002. And he was upset the application was rejected a year or so later because the U.K. Home Office claimed that they did not receive his passport. He appealed, because without a passport to show, his status to remain in the U.K. is thrown into question, let alone applying for citizenship! So he had to come back to Malaysia to get a new passport before he is allowed to enter the U.K. again. When he was in Malaysia, he went to the British High Comm to apply for a settlement visa, equivalent to Indefinite Leave to Remain, as a spouse of his British wife. Mind you this settlement visa is not U.K. citizenship. I believe he re-entered U.K. and reunited with his British wife after having been granted the settlement visa subsequently.

A few years later in 2010, he ran for local council election in Norwich, as a Liberal Democrat, but which he lost narrowly to a Labour candidate. He could run for local council election because Malaysia is one of Commonwealth countries. And as a commonwealth citizen Malaysian can vote in the U.K.’s general election too!

Another few years later, he came back to Malaysia and ran for a state seat in Pasir Pinji Perak with Democratic Action Party (DAP) in Malaysia’s 13th general election in 2013. That was the year I moved back to Malaysia and I voted for him. Nothing suggests to me that he’s not fit as a state assemblyman in Malaysia, having spent many years living in the U.K. In fact I think he’s more qualified than many, with track record running for public service in the U.K., with good command of Bahasa Malaysia, and above all else he seems to me a person with a good heart, from the work he has done so far.

So whoever playing this patriotism to the country issue is basically just trying to make a meal of out of it now that the 14th general election is looming. It is not as though he applied for U.K. citizenship after he was elected in Malaysia. So in no part was he lying to the voters nor when he swore an oath when he took office after he was elected. We the voters, and I am, living within his constituency, will decide who we think best represent us at the state level, on local issues in the coming election. Unless there is proof that he is also a U.K. citizen then he, by Malaysian law, cannot also be a Malaysian and hence cannot run for public office. Until then, the detractors can make all the noise they like, he will remain our representative. And I believe a fine and committed man like Howard Lee will be elected for another term, and continue to serve his fellow Malaysians. We shall see who has the last laugh LOL

Indoor soft play

Indoor soft play is a type of children play centre that we only recently found out about. There are loads of them in the UK, over a thousand of them, but somehow we are just unaware of their presence after living in the UK for over 15 years. My English friend has not been into one before, and probably has not even heard about it before! To be fair he has not got any kids yet.

In the UK these play centres are located away from busy areas like the high streets or city center. Rates at these locations are understandably higher. But they also don’t often have large and/or tall enough premises to house climbing frames which are normally found in every indoor soft play. So these play centres are often located at light industrial estates, in warehouses for example. This explains why we have not come across of them before. And the fact that we have few friends who have kids did not help too.

So in the UK many parents will make effort to bring children to these places like play ground and indoor soft play, where children can have a fun time (I think the parents enjoy having fun with their children too). In Malaysia, there are indoor play centres too (also known as play gyms in Malaysia). They are relatively small, when compared to those in the UK. But most importantly most if not all of them are located in shopping malls. How successful these play centres are I can’t tell. What I can say is families are charged more as a result of the premium location to get in in return for a poorer indoor soft play experience. Does not mean that there is not a business case for such model, as Malaysians like to visit shopping malls for whatever reasons and that means a one-stop location for the family to do everything. Parents are happy because they can shop and children also happy as they get to have fun in the soft play (of course provided the parents are happy to bring them in!). But from what I understand, these play centres seem purely for the children to play. There are often not a lot of space like seating area where the parents can sit down, relax and possibly catch up with friends if they go in a group. This is another interesting phenomenon in Malaysia. Often children are taken to wherever the parents want to go. And the places they go are often not children friendly. Children get bored quickly and make life difficult for the parents. Children friendly places on the other hand are not very parents or adults friendly. This is probably a big reason why parents are reluctant to bring their children into the play centres, as it is awkward for them to be there for long period of time.

I just hope that there will be more young family friendly places in Malaysia. Family should stay tight as a unit, whatever the circumstances. It is all too easy to leave children at home with their grannies and leave them to play on their own.

What would you do?

Found this on RPK’s website and couldn’t help but to share it here as I find it quite hilarious. But I guess you’ll have to be a Malaysian to appreciate the joke 🙂

I was stuck in a traffic jam on the PLUS Highway last week. Nothing moved for half an hour when suddenly a man knocked on my window. So I rolled down my window and asked, “What’s going on?””Terrorists down the road have kidnapped a few UMNO politicians. They’re asking for a ransom or they’re going to douse them with petrol and set them on fire. We are going from car to car, taking up a collection.”I then asked, “How much is everyone giving on average?””Most people are giving about a gallon.”

Understanding the surge in business

Have been overwhelmed with queries lately. Businesses in terms of revenue that we can secure this month can potentially exceed what we managed to achieve last year! Future is looking a bit better for our travel business once again. Just when we thought everything will remain quiet for the foreseeable future, and W has gone home on holiday, big clients started coming in. W is sorely missed and I have been working almost non-stop for the past one week. Through the process I have also discovered new things, which is really good.Think the sudden surge in queries could be to down to a number of factors:1) the holiday season is coming,2) troubles in Thailand are sending tourists to alternative destinations like Malaysia,3) our website ranks much higher recently on certain key search terms which might have helped,4) people feel more “secure” now that the UK economy is more stable, despite the fact that Pounds have taken some beatings, which I find difficult to believe.But anyway am glad that the business is doing better, and that clients are happy with our services. What’s more, a client took time to tell me what a wonderful country Malaysia is. We Malaysians must be doing something right to merit such praises. Let’s not sell our country short.

Liquid ban is flawed at KLIA too!

Reading the blog post by Bruce about liquid ban flaws at Schiphol, Amsterdam, reminds me of the same style of security system being used at Kualu Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Malaysia too! Basically KLIA also allows passengers with printed boarding pass to go to the duty-free shopping area, which is located at the satellite building, without having to go through any security checks, yet.KLIA LayoutThe passengers will only be checked when they want to enter the waiting lounge of their respective gate. Because the airport allows passengers to buy duty-free goods there, the security personnels will have to allow passengers to bring lots of liquids up the plane as well. There lies the flaw, where passengers can potentially exchange the liquids inside the bottles of liquids they bought at the airport with those they brought in from outside the airport. I could not remember whether bottles of liquids bought at KLIA are sealed. But it does not matter. Passengers can still get pass this by doing what the reporter did as described in the above blog post.I remember asking questions some time ago about not having central security checks before allowing passengers to enter an airport. It makes sense to distribute security checks to gates as passengers then do not have to queue together with passengers of other planes, thus potentially shortening queueing time. But it does bring questions to my mind about whether this is a good way to secure an airport. To me terrorists can bomb the airport relatively easily even though they may not be able to bring liquid explosives up the plane. But now it seems that the terrorists may be able to bring large amount of liquid explosives up the plane as well!

Recent thoughts on Malaysians

It’s been another very long silence for me, having not written a blog for many months, a year almost. Luckily C is keeping this blog site alive by writing every now and then. A lot had happened since. Firstly, I am now in Zurich, Switzerland and have been here for the past three months. I took up a job here hoping that this could be a nice change for C and me. Well, within a month of moving here, I just did not feel right at all. This place is too manicured, everything is overly organised, to the extent that it makes me feel claustrophobic. Not to mention that the city is absolutely boring and the supermarkets lack varieties.All these merely make me want to go home more each day. I love Malaysia, for what she is and whatever her flaws are, this is my home, yesterday, today and tomorrow. England was something that was more or less imposed on me, and yet I try to make the most out of it, I like her history, culture and I probably know more about England than I do about Malaysia at this point in time. Simply because you are surrounded by the news, the tv programmes and there is just too much information forced on you. If you are not brain dead, you will surely learn something, the society is generally more intellectual and the competitive side of me prevents me from being ignorant.The same cannot be said about living in Malaysia though. Information is suppressed, one could easily forget about politics or any intellectual arguments whatsoever. We are a nation that is obsessed with food and possibly a cup of ‘kopi’ with friends at the ‘mamak stall’ talking about nothing significant, it all revolves around food. In fact, that is the culture we breed and the products of such a culture is that even when abroad, many Malaysians do not have high awareness about social problems, politics and generally things that happen in their societies. When asked what they miss about Malaysia – food, family and friends. Take that away and there is nothing that stops a Malaysian from going abroad, and in fact, that is what has been happening. I can’t say on behalf of other races, but being Chinese by ethnic origin, some of my Malaysian friends abroad are driven by money and career prospects abroad. They go where their careers take them to. There is no allegiance to any country and Malaysia as a home can be substituted. Patriotism is not something that rings any bell to Malaysians, or perhaps Malaysian Chinese. They can’t wait to prove that they have done much better without the burden of being a Malaysian, they take pride in being not very Malaysian. They are different, they are the creme-de-la-creme that have made it on their own, they are successful. Or is it really? Is that how one defines success?It is extremely disappointing to know such Malaysians. There is no patriotism, there is no sense of wanting to contribute to the country. There was almost an element of hatred and distaste of their nationalities and the shame that the government has brought upon them. To such Malaysians, I can only express my distaste against them. I do not disagree that they may have some causes to be angry about the current state of Malaysia. However, I believe Malaysia can do without a few snobbish pseudo-Malaysians, in fact, I can’t wait for them to become non-Malaysians. They have no rights to claim to be a citizen to this beautiful country. One that does not appreciate the beauty of Malaysia does not deserve any claims to be linked to Malaysia. The country needs someone that cares, someone who cares enough about her to make a difference and tries to make a difference rather than being an aloof by-stander pointing fingers at others. My dream would be to see a united Malaysian community, all fighting for a better Malaysia, not for religious purposes, not for racial benefits, nor for any selfish reasons, but for every child of Malaysia for a better future for all. On that day, I will stand proudly on ‘tanah Malaysia’, the day when Malaysia is truly independent, from corruption and from domination by the elitists.

A hectic holiday to Malaysia

Have been back to Malaysia for three days now. Strangely this time I’m not feeling quite as hot as what I used to want to believe. Although it is still very hot, about 34 degree Celcius! I think I’m trying to condition myself to learn how to adapt back to the hot and humid weather, knowing that at some point in the future I will eventually move back to Malaysia. And surprisingly I’ve not been suffering from jet-lagged as well! Considering that the time difference between Malaysia and the UK is 7 hours!It’s always good to be surrounded by family members (haven’t really met up with my local friends yet even after 3 days! :)). And new family members too, as my brothers and sister all have children/babies now. But I must admit that I’m not very good in coping with all these family affairs. I still feel that it is very time consuming. And our family is not that big either, with no relatives living in our home town! Thank god.Since we are only going to be in Malaysia for 2 weeks, we make sure that most of our time is spent with our family. It’s always good to catch up with friends too. But unfortunately we have to prioritise. And we have a wedding to attend in Singapore as well! Goodness. What a hectic trip. Hardly feel like we are coming back for holiday!Tomorrow we are going to Langkawi, via Penang. Only for two nights. When people talk about Langkawi, surely it’s about seaside, relaxation, holiday etc. But we are going there for business as well. So it’s probably not quite as enjoyable as one would like to think. Nevertheless I think it should still be quite interesting, considering that we are such young looking couple, meeting up with hoteliers and tour operators who must be thinking what on earth are these two kids doing here! :)That’s the downside of trying to get a lot of things done within a short amount time. But I’ll try to enjoy it the best I can. Afterall there’s no reason why we should not get the most out of any circumstances.

Malaysian food in Reading

Roti canai making

We have Malaysian food back in Reading once again, yay! There used to be a Malaysia Cafe located at the exact same place, but has closed shop some months ago. I guess the demand for Malaysian food is not great in Reading, taking into account its less than prime location too. In terms of orders from events/functions or lunch time catering, I have a feeling that the Brits would probably rather stick to sandwiches. So tough business if I’m being honest. But I sincerely hope this ex hotel chef, who is from my home state Perak in Malaysia, can thrive in the business, as that means that we can continue to enjoy his beautiful Malaysian food. Have a look at the photo, that is fresh roti canai, the real deal 😉

Running out of folders

Business seems to be coming in thick and fast, well by our standard anyway, that we are running out of folders to send to our clients! My brother has made a shipment from Malaysia just over 3 months ago, and incredibly it is still yet to arrive! That’s the problem with Malaysian postal service, you never know what you’re gonna get! They ares supposed to have a parcel tracking service, but I can only trace the parcel up till KLIA shipping office or something. And there is no more update since. Our clients who have just travelled to Malaysia for honeymoon told me that she has sent me a postcard about 2 weeks ago from KL. But again it is yet to arrive. Luckily we have emails, and here’s a snippet of her generous comments:”Absolutely FANTASTIC. Your partners in Malaysia looked after us like royalty – it was the most relaxing but exhilarating holiday we have ever experienced. I cannot praise you enough for your itinerary, organisation and attention to detail. I will give you some detailed feedback in the next few days but just to let you know immediately that I will recommend you to everyone that wants to go to Malaysia. Everyone is just so polite and wanted us to have a great time in their country – we were overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness. It certainly is not a honeymoon we will ever forget.”Always good to hear that clients had a fantastic time in Malaysia. Hope more and more people will travel to Malaysia and Borneo.

The infamous Internal Security Act (ISA) in action, once again

Initially it was Raja Petra, a blogger, who got detained by the draconian ISA this evening. Now a journalist and a politician are also detained. What kind of madness is this! Is the current administration trying to intimidate the opposition coalition, and to scare MPs from the ruling coalition from trying to cross-over to the opposition coalition! What a dire attempt to try and stay in power. What is even more ridiculous is in fact they have sent 49 MPs to Taiwan, on a study tour, in an attempt to stop the opposition from potentially seizing control of the government through the cross-over, as repeatedly taunted by the opposition leader Anwar for some months now to happen on the 16th September. Looking at all the sagas that are unfolding in Malaysia, I cannot help but to hope that the opposition coalition can really take control of the country from the 16th September onwards. There is no guarantee that the opposition will do better, but I really cannot see how they can do much worse than the current administration! Come on you people who are on the study tours in Taiwan!