Friday, 23 March 2012

Stupid salesman & very stupid sales talk

This morning, at around 10 am, I received a call from an unknown number. The conversation was like this in Bahasa Malaysia.

Me: Hello

Salesman: Pagi, ini Miss Loo ke? (Good morning is this Miss Loo)

Me: Yes

Salesman: Saya XXX dari syarikat insuran XXX ingin menawarkan kepada Miss Loo Personal Accident Insurance kepada Miss Loo. Insuran ini coveragenya satu juta ringgit. Jika Miss Loo ada accident, patah kaki ke, patah tangan ke, semua ada cover. Kalau Miss Loo mati, duit 1 juta ini kami akan bagi kepada keluarga Miss Loo. (I am XX from XXX Insurance Company would like to offer you Personal Accident Insurance. The total amount insured is RM 1 million. When Miss Loo have accident, broken arms or legs, it is all under cover. If Miss Loo die, the money will go to Miss Loo’s family members)

Me: Lagi (what’s more)?

 Salesman: Kalau Miss Loo tak mati kami akan bayar itu bil perubatan untuk patah tangan ke, kaki ke dan macam macam lagi. Untuk biasa punya sakit, ini insuran tak cover. Untuk coverage ini Miss kena bayar setiap bulan …………………………(If Miss Loo don’t die, we will pay for your medical fees in case you have broken arms or legs dan many more. But for normal sickness, this insurance don’t cover. For this coverage, Miss have to pay every month……………)

 And I just hang up the phone.

 This is the second time I got this kind of phone call early in the morning. My brother has it once. I just can’t take it anymore. Early in the morning say things like you die, you have broken legs or arms. What kind of training that these people get from their insurance company? What a shame to their company! Even if you are desperate for sales, this kind of calls should not be made in the morning. Who like to listen to this in the morning even the insurance coverage is meant for good?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The state of our security

I saw something interesting while driving through BHP Mutiara Damansara so I made a drive into its compound to have a closer look. I took this picture at 12.40 am. I was late because I went out for dinner and movies with my god mother and a friend. A picture tells a thousand of words. The petrol station is not close. It is operating 24 hours. Obviously this shows that the state of our security is bad. If not why would they lock up like this?
Robbing of petrol station or its customers is something common. Almost every petrol station that operates 24 hours have one at least one experience of robbery in them. My parents run a petrol station in my hometown that is open for business 24 hours. For the 19 years that they run that station, we already experienced two robberies and many attempt robberies but of course we do not lock the main door the way this BHP station does.

Besides that, small theft is also very common. Let me list down things that people steal from the petrol station compound - light bulbs in the toilet, whole roll of toilet paper, toilet paper container, water hose, manhole cover, steel based stuffs, toilet pump, cover for tank measurement ruler, air pumping tubes, fire extinguisher, little sign boards bearing the word “sedang dibaiki (under maintenance)”, banners and many more with the popular one being the manhole cover and fire extinguisher. One fire extinguisher costs around RM 130 - RM150.

Everything inside the store is a target, from engine oils to chocolates and sweets. Don’t blame petrol station workers when they refused to lend fire extinguisher because there are too many lies that they do not know which is true. For a missing extinguisher, the workers have to fork out their own money to replace a new one.

Workers need to know how much is a fire extinguisher is worth to avoid the incident that happened at Jalan Tun Razak some years ago. A young man wanted to borrow a fire extinguisher from the nearby BHP Petrol Station workers to help a woman trapped in a burning car but the workers refused. He even offered to buy a fire extinguisher but was rejected. That incident is a very sad one. But if the workers were well informed, the poor woman won’t die.

Can our police do something? How to be a world class police if things are going on like this dear Tan Sri Ismail Omar?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Reduce our dependence on foreign labour

“It is just crazy,” cried fellow Malaysians when asked about the “one maid, one task and be paid RM 700 per month” ruling by Indonesian officials. The reactions and chain reactions were equally crazy and show how vulnerable and addictive we are to foreign labors.

We are too relying on foreign labors be it maids, store helpers, construction workers, factory workers, cooks, temple helpers and many more. Well, if Indonesia can have this ruling about maids today, I am sure they can have similar rulings on their other “expatriates” here in other industries. Not to discount that other country might do the same to us. Today it can be Indonesia; tomorrow it can be Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines or others.
With all these going on, shouldn’t we think of reducing our dependences on foreign labors? Forget about substitutes from other countries as suggested by some quarters. Forget about negotiating with Indonesia that does not respect prior agreements. As I said, today it may be them, tomorrow it may be others. Why waste our resources on this?

I also believe that Indonesia can do this to us is because they know how dependence we are on their people. So they can “tarik harga” a lot. What I know is only the Indonesian authority is into this because my maid that comes twice a week told me that many of her fellow workers can’t wait to be in Malaysia. They can’t be here due to problems created to them by their own government.

If we were to calculate the costs of hiring one maid at home, it is almost the same as hiring a domestic helper. Perhaps the Ministry of Human Resources can help to train Malaysians who are interested to be a domestic helper and then help them to find a job. Or maid employment agencies should think of marketing domestic helper instead of foreign ones.

Moreover, this can help to reduce the outflow of our currencies to other others. Do not under estimate the total amount that our foreign labors sent back to their respective countries. Besides that, it can also help to reduce unemployment and also help to increase household income in Malaysia.

However, to make this work, we have to take away the mentality that Malays can’t hire Chinese because they ate pork or Chinese can’t hire Malays because they think that Malays are lazy. Or other races do not want to hire Indians because they are well known to take days off. We have to take all these racial tags away. Who knows this can be the best way to foster a stronger ties between different races in Malaysia.

If I have a choice of Malaysians doing my household chores, I would sure hire one instead of a foreign one.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Malaysia’s famous and infamous sons in laws

Last week, Chinese dailies reported that Andy Lau was interested in holding Permanent Resident (PR) status in Malaysia to bring up his baby girl in Malaysia to avoid paparazzi in Hong Kong. Andy is married to former Malaysian beauty queen Carol Chu. Both of them have been together for many years but the relationship on surfaced not long ago when Carol’s father passed away.
You are most welcome Andy. You are the famous son in law of Malaysia that we are all very proud of. Your songs and movies touch the hearts of millions around the world, including me. I grew up listening to your songs and watching your movies. Your song “我是世界第一等 (I am the best in the world)” in my native Hokkien is always an inspiring song.
Before you, Malaysia does have another famous son in law but he is famous for doing all the wrong thing when his father in law was the Prime Minister of Malaysia and he is still doing wrong things off and on now. He is not like you because you cheer people with your talent in the entertainment arena while he only made people upset and that’s why he is so infamous now.
He had wanted to be Prime Minister before the age of forty and he controls the gate of his father in law’s office and residence. Andy, I hope you are not like him to control any gate because that caused his and his father in law’s downfall from grace. He made his father in law the worst Prime Minister in Malaysia’s history.  Just in case you are not too familiar with Malaysia’s politics, I tell you that his name is Khairy Jamalluddin. Mention his name to Malaysians, many will tell you how disgusted they are with him and Khairygate.
If I would compare the both of you, I think you will be a better Prime Minister than this so called Oxford graduate. Besides that, you are handsome while he looks like a gangster in town. Hmm…maybe you can recruit him as supporting actor if you plan to make a movie about gangsters. He fits perfectly well.
I trust you will take good care of Carol and your baby and I wish you all happiness forever.

Monday, 12 March 2012

In Defense of Jessie Ooi 黄糩璊

Enough is enough! Either you agree or disagree with me; enough is enough about Jessie Ooi. What she said and asked during the February 18 debate between my party president and DAP Secretary General was not wrong but the wrong part is how she asked the question. I disagree with her on that but at any heated moment; I don’t blame her for her outburst. No female Pakatan Rakyat leaders had the outburst that is worse than her? Ask Theresa Kok.

I just don’t understand why for such a small thing, she got flaks almost daily from all corners. This is a small matter compared to Hew Kuan Yaw telling MCA President “pok kai ham ka chan”. Her outburst is so small compared to the outburst of Pakatan Rakyat leaders when they hammer BN.
It is even smaller compared how Namewee 黃明志 with all his F words when he hammer the government and BN about things that he disagree. Search on YouTube for Namewee and I can hardly find his records that are without using vulgar words. Let me ask again, has Jessie Ooi used vulgar words?
The past is past. So, please stop all attacks on her on YouTube (which are very insulting) and any other forms. Please stop giving her names such as Miss Tow Truck. She doesn’t deserve all these.

P/S: Although we are comrades, I have never met face to face with Jessie Ooi but we spoke over the phone twice. I know very little of her. I come out in defense of her because as a female, as a person involved in politics and as her comrade; I knew how bad it is and I just felt she doesn’t deserve all these. I knew because I have been through the attacks but it only made me stronger.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Good holiday in Malaysia

Early last month, I have a group of friends from Melbourne in Kuala Lumpur for a 4 days visit en route to Vietnam. They are of Vietnamese origin but grew up in Melbourne. After spending about 6 weeks in Vietnam, they are back to Melbourne. It is their first visit to this country.

My friend, Hong, gave me a ring yesterday telling me that they have a great time in Vietnam and Malaysia and they just miss everything here; the people, the shopping, the sceneries and most of all, the food. It is great to hear that they are coming back again for a visit next year and this time they are going to spend at least two weeks in Malaysia.
They are very happy with the their driver in Malaysia recommended by my driver, Encik Nik who gave his extra service and offered to bring them to more places than originally planned. It was also great of him to introduce them for a ride on the monorail to see Kuala Lumpur – something that I never think I will suggest to my visiting friends. (Have that in my mind, will do that in future) It turns out to be a good way to see the skyline of KL.

They love all the food outlets that Nik and I brought them to. As they requested for outdoor dining, I brought them to Wong Ah Wah Restaurant at Jalan Alor famous for its roast chicken wings and seafood. They also love the durian. We end up having real good Musang King at Gohtong Jaya. However, I think Genting Highlands has become too crowded for a nice holiday.

Travelling with them also gave me an opportunity to see Kuala Lumpur from a tourist’s point of view instead of the daily traffic jam to the city center and scheduling appointments around the traffic rush hour that I knew. All in all, I would say KL is a good place for a few days visit and Tourism Ministry has done a good job.

The parting word from Hong was: “I wish we would have spent more days in Malaysia.” Well, you guys are always welcome. There are plenty more nice places to visit in Malaysia. Bring along Rachel next round. Looking forward to catch up with you guys again when I am in Melbourne this June/July.

You guys made me so proud of Malaysia. Thank you.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Are you happy with your boss?

Since my return from Melbourne early this year, I have been meeting with more friends than usual for lunches and dinners to get their sentiments on current issues. Most of them are ex colleagues while some are university mates, bankers and even journalists. Only a few are self-employed or rich housewife. As usual with salary earners, around the first quarter of the year, the topic of conversation will always be about your last Christmas, bonus or job changing.
I noticed my friends are very hostile about their bosses this time around and the word “cut” just kept repeating. Commission cut, salary cut, bonus cut, headcount cut, budget cut and many more cuts. One company even worse, budget cut for pantry usage. What? Yes, the excuses used are almost the same; unstable world economy even though the company is making money.
None of them have good feelings about their boss, their boss’s boss and the whole management of their company. My working friends are not working for SMEs or unknown companies. They are with MNCs. Most of them felt that their boss is selfish and not fighting for them while they are working like cow day and night. One friend even said “at least cows get a rest at night but we still have to rush out things”. Majority felt that their boss should just get off and they think they can be better bosses.
Hmm…I can just count my blessings but I am also worried. Discontent among the working class can lead to revolutions. We have plenty of examples to see.  History will always repeat itself. Communism is making its way again after people are sick of capitalism? Carl Marx is back in fashion? Who knows?
Ps: I am happy with my boss at work. It is true, because the boss is myself.  LOL !!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Anti Lynas Fracas in Penang: Perkasa behind it?

I don’t think I need to elaborate further what happened in Penang last Sunday during the anti Lynas demonstration. Photos, blogs and comments are aplenty in the cyberspace.
However, what seemed interesting to me is reading today’s The Star reporting that Penang Malay Congress Secretary criticized Penang Wira Perkasa for bringing the peaceful gathering into disrepute. He added that Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali should look into the matter and take disciplinary action against those involved.
So, Perkasa is the culprit? If not, the Penang Malay Congress won’t simply accuse them and I am sure they have plenty of proof before making such statement. If the Penang Malay Congress is wrong, I challenge Perkasa to sue them.
What happened in Penang is really ugly. It heralded a new trend to gangsters associated with political party in Malaysia and uses their fists to solve problems rather than the civil way. Matter can be worse if racial sentiment is being politicalized in this incident where Malays clashes with Chinese (majority of those at the gathering are Chinese while the one that started the fight are Malays).
The racial fault line between the Chinese and Malay in this country is threatened. We do not want to see another May 13. With Perkasa around to stir the sentiments, I think May 13 can happen again. Every conversation about anti Lynas in Penang among my friends and I turn out to be them asking me or one another why the Malays beat the Chinese, no longer about the danger of Lynas plant.
Datuk Ibrahim Ali should be questioned by police and if indeed there is enough proof, he should be charged in court. We have enough of Perkasa – the spoiler of racial harmony in this country. Why not goverment ban Perkasa and punish the culprits?

Friday, 2 March 2012

Reduce toll rate for the whole Malaysia, not only Cheras-Kajang Expressway

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s announcement to reduce the toll charges for Cheras-Kajang Highway is welcoming news for all. This will help to reduce the burden of the people, especially the poor and those in the middle income range. This show the PM is well aware of the people's burden and their wish. But I don't understand why only Cheras-Kajang? What about others?
However, the Prime Minister should not just announce the reduction for one Highway but he should make it fair for all. The toll charges should be reduced nationwide. If it is too costly for the government to reduce the charges by 50% nationwide, at least those around Klang Valley should be reduced by 50% and the North South Highway should be reduced certain percent.
Pakatan Rakyat called for toll abolishment nationwide but that is impossible, or if they really push their way, Malaysia will be the next Greece. I am the practical type, so, dear Prime Minister; you should do what is doable.
Again, why only Cheras-Kajang? PM said that Barisan Nasional Hulu Langat Division parliamentary constituency coordinator brought up the matter, so the rate was reduced. I am here to ask, what have other BN Division parliamentary constituency coordinator around the country or especially in Klang Valley done? Don’t they know toll charges are always the burden to the working class in Klang Valley?
So, dear Prime Minister, please act now to reduce the toll rate for the whole Malaysia or at least for Klang Valley.