Friday, 19 April 2013

To my ever wonderful god sister, Linda Lee: Happy Birthday

First cake for the year. Early celebration with god parents.
On this special day, I wish you all the very best, all the joy you can ever have and may you be blessed abundantly today, tomorrow and the days to come! May you have a fantastic birthday and many more to come.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A slap in the face for Chinese in Malaysia

It is a slap in the face to all Chinese in Malaysia when Mohamad Sabu or Mat Sabu the deputy president of PAS said that Chinese will never be a dominant political force in Malaysia. He also added that it would be impossible for the Chinese to wield greater influence in Parliament and that MCA and DAP would only be eliminating each other. It is another stupid and ridiculous statement from PAS leaders.

Yes, the numbers of Chinese majority seats are not as much as Malay majority seats but there are more than 60% of seats with Malay majority throughout Malaysia where Chinese votes will decide who will be the winner. With this, how can he say that Chinese will never be a dominant political force in Malaysia? The Chinese in Malaysia has always been and will continue be the dominant political force in Malaysia.

Besides that, Chinese majority seats and greater influence of Chinese in Parliament has no correlation. IT IS THE DUTY OF THE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE TO FIGHT FOR THE CAUSE OF THE PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF RACE. Period.

Has he forgotten that it was the Chinese votes that help Pakatan Rakyat to form the government in Perak? Without the votes from the Chinese for the DAP, will his comrade, Datuk Nizar get to become the Menteri Besar of Perak? In Selangor, without the Chinese support for DAP and also to PR candidates in Malay majority states, will PR gets to form the government? Neither side can form a government without the support from the Chinese.

So, Mat Sabu, think twice before you make such a racist statement. Malaysia has no place for racist politicians.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Why your participation in the coming general election is very important

Finally, parliament has been dissolved after much brouhaha and anti-climax moments. Now the next thing to wait for is the voting date which is scheduled to be announced by the Election Commissions tomorrow. Thanks to social media, Facebook in particular, political awareness among the people, especially the younger ones has increased. Many of my friends who were previously apolitical are now starting to discuss about politics, sharing links, clicked “Like” on political related pages on Facebook, forwarding emails and many more. Many have also expressed their intention to travel back to their hometown to vote.
Good news too to airline companies as many Sarawakians and Sabahans living in peninsular are going back to vote and Malaysians living in abroad are coming back to vote. Perhaps they should increase their flight frequencies on the few days before and after polling date. I asked a friend from Miri why for the past elections you couldn’t be bothered to go back but this time? The reply from him is “Ini Kali lah”.  I replied: “Good. Many should emulate you but only this time??"
However, I still find many who could not be bothered about politics citing many excuses and the very common reason given is “I don’t like politics, don’t get me involved.” Well, whether we like it or not, politics actually touches every aspect of our daily life but many people do not realize this. Even trivial matters like tree trimming around your neighborhood are related to politics because it is the job of councilors who mostly hailed from political parties or who are politically related to ensure the local council does their jobs. An untrimmed tree can be linked to blockages of street lights that can link to accidents and also crimes.
Of course the big issues related to politics are the country’s future that will directly affect your pocket, career prospects, business directions, lifestyle, safety, healthcare, parents and children(s).
Here are 6 salient points why your participation in the coming GE is very important:

1)      You determine the course of your future. Not others do it for you.

2)      You will decide what kind of representative you want for your area that can serve you when you are in need and raise issues affecting you and someone dear to you. Don’t just choose based on political parties. There are good candidates from both sides of the divide.

3)       You will need to show your incumbent underperforming, joker or embarassing elected representative from your area seeking another term of vote from you the "EXIT" door.

4)       You will help to reject politicians that play the racial card. There is no place in Malaysia for this kind of politicians.

5)      You will decide whether you want a strong mandate for only one party in parliament and state assembly to implement its policies or a check and balance system.

6)      Finally, you will decide if you want to give Ah Jib Kor a chance or really want Ubah?
Having said that, I would like to encourage you to attend political ceramah near your neighborhood to listen to what the candidates from both sides offering themselves in your area have to say. If you still don’t feel comfortable attending a ceramah, at least check them out on Facebook and YouTube. Google them. Get to know them and what have they done so far. Don't just listen to what others say.
Find some time to read their manifesto for your area. Check out if it is just rhetoric or an achievable one. Compare their personal appeal to you if you find that going through BN’s or PR’s manifestos are too long.
In this 21st century, those candidates who can’t even manage their Facebook account properly and don’t even know how to put their personal appeal to you properly; chances are they can’t even do things for you properly. Speak up when they are elected? Don’t even dream of it.

Remember Plato’s quote, you don’t want to be governed by your inferiors. Governed by inferiors is just one, how about other penalties?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

水浒传主题曲《好汉歌》Theme song from "All men are brothers"

When I listen to this song, I can’t help but to think of my schoolmate since primary school, Chew Hoong Ling who will be contesting in the coming general election. This song is inspiring and its lyric is very meaningful. Therefore I would like to dedicate this song to her. All the best to you, my dear friend.

Wake up call to Gerakan – Stop dreaming about winning Teluk Intan

The iconic leaning clock tower of Teluk Intan.
I almost want to fall off my rocking chair when I read in today’s The Edge Financial Daily interview with Gerakan’s Perak chairman, Chang Ko Youn when he said that the party ground assessment believes it can win all three parliamentary seats it will be contesting in the coming election. The three are Taiping, Beruas and Teluk Intan.
Well, I won’t comment about Taiping and Beruas but coming from Teluk Intan, I would like to tell Chang and former Teluk Intan MP from Gerakan, Mah Siew Keong to wake up and stop dreaming about wresting Teluk Intan parliamentary seat back from DAP. Your party's ground assessment is not giving you the true sentiment of the people of Teluk Intan.
Also, please stop having the denial syndrome that the people of Perak had forgotten about how BN wrested the state government from Pakatan Rakyat. It is still very fresh in Perakians mind and the people of Teluk Intan.
The people of Teluk Intan are not fools. They know the true colours of Mah Siew Keong. He disappeared from Teluk Intan after he lost in 2008 and only appeared when the speculations of elections began to crop up at the end of 2011. That is when he started again his “service” to the people of Teluk Intan with long list of bribes including free dinners.  

From the respond of the people of Teluk Intan, he knew that bribes no longer works so his people went around town begging people to vote for him by saying “ yes, we know Mah Siew Keong will not win again but please don’t let him “die” (lose) until very ugly ”, so please give your vote to him.” I heard this myself when I was back during Chinese New Year. It was a joke of the town when someone countered back “ it is okay to die in whatever way because the embalmer from the funeral house will definitely make the corpse looks good “.  Gerakan leaders used to like to say the DAP always deploy this sympathy vote tactics but now they are the one using it.
When this sympathy vote tactics does not work, thugs were dispatched to disrupt DAP’s ceramah at Teluk Intan’s iconic leaning clock tower. It only made the people of Teluk Intan hate BN even more. Some people claimed that Mah Siew Keong dispatched the thugs while some claimed it was dispatched by PPP’s potential candidate for the Pasir Bedamar state seat whom the people of Teluk Intan call “tua pau Chuan” or “big cannon Chuan”. Regardless of who sent the thugs, the damage had been done.
Chang Ko Youn can continue dreaming if he choose to but Mah Siew Keong is no longer in winnable candidate in Teluk Intan is a reality. From 1995 since he first became a state assemblyman for Pasir Bedamar until now, the people of Teluk Intan already know him too well. It is better for Chang to concentrate on other seats that has more potential for Gerakan to win. Forget about Teluk Intan.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Is this how McDelivery “deliver”?

A few weeks back, I was working from home when I decided to have McDonald’s for lunch but I was lazy to drive out so I decided to call for McDelivery services. I dialed 1300-13-1300 and the receptionist asked for my address and contact number plus my order for the day.

After a while, she called back and said that “Ma’am, we are sorry that our delivery service does not cover Mutiara Damansara.”

Me: What? McDelivery does not deliver to Mutiara Damansara?

Receptionist: Yes, Mutiara Damansara is not in our coverage area.

Me: But there are three McDonalds in Mutiara Damansara and they are all less than 1km away and you are telling me there is no delivery service?

Receptionist: Since it is so near, you can drive there.

I was speechless for a while before saying thank you and hang up the phone. I was not so surprised with them not covering Mutiara Damansara but was really dumb folded with the reply from the receptionist.

P/S: McDonald's now offer delivery within Mutiara Damansara. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

True story of sham marriages in New Zealand

Sham marriage or fake marriage is not something new in First World countries where it offers a ticket for those wanting to escape the circumstances in their country of origin but unable to obtain a permanent residency status for themselves in desired country. Proficiency in English is usually the biggest barrier.
Back in the late 90s and early years of the 21 century, there was a substantial influx of ethnic Chinese migrants from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong into New Zealand after a fundamental change in New Zealand’s immigration policy. It was very easy to gain a PR status for as long as you have certain skills or can prove that there is a certain source of money destined for investment in NZ for a lock-up period of two years. I also knew of many who borrowed the money needed back in their home country and return it after they’ve been granted a PR and also those who produced fake universities certificates.
I came to know Jack and his wife Daisy (not their real name) who hails from China while I was doing grocery shopping at an Asian grocery in Dominion Road. He also had a part time job as a mover and he was not shy to approach me to recommend jobs to him after he knew who I was. As time passed, we became friends and we met frequently for mahjong at another friend’s place. One day, out of nowhere, I enquired how long they have been married and how they met. Initially Jack was reluctant to tell the story but Daisy was frank.
She told me how she came to know an agent back in China whose main job was to introduce single male or female in NZ, arrange a “marriage of convenience” between them and bingo! The agent would then help her to obtain a NZ PR and she can divorce him after 3 years when she is qualified to apply for citizenship. (After April 2005, NZ PR can only apply for citizenship after staying in NZ for 5 years.) The fee she had to pay then was NZ$ 20,000.00. She had always wanted to leave China but gave up gaining the PR status via the legal way after failing the IELTS tests many times.
She flew to Auckland and was introduced to Jack for the first time. Jack was a divorcee and his ex-wife moved back to China. As Jack was living alone, he offered Daisy a room in his two bedroom house. After living together for a few months, fate had it that they felt in love for each other and became real husband and wife.  
I do know how many fake marriages turn out to be real love between the two like theirs but I do know of a lot of sham marriages turned out to be tragedy of rape, constant abuse, extortion and many more.
I also came across an odd couple that frequented my office many times, each time they will ask about divorce procedures in New Zealand only to call me back later saying they are not going to divorce. But then, after a while, they will come back again and the whole cycle will repeat itself. After their second visit, I started to suspect something and on their third visit, I ask directly if they belong to the category of shame marriage which they denied vehemently. Then I told them that they’d better tell the truth or I’ll report it.
That’s when the husband said he was told that the woman is a single by the agent in China, they got married and he had obtained his citizenship. By then she had wanted divorce but he was reluctant as he had fallen in love with her and treated her like a wife all these years. I did not enquire if they ever had sex. Then he found out that the reason she wanted a divorce badly was because she is married in China but she said it is her lover. She defended her right to have a lover. Suddenly, as if knowing that what she did was against the law, she hurriedly grabs the man’s hand and left my office.
I was torn in between reporting about the case and keeping for silence for a while to observe what happened next. Two months later, out of the blue, I received a phone call from the woman saying she is divorcing the husband in China and marrying this “husband” in Auckland. She then invited me to their wedding dinner which I didn’t attend.
There is another story of sham marriage that I would like to share.
One early spring night, I was having Sichuan hotpot with a group of friends when a lady called me on my mobile. Over the phone she claimed that she had been raped by her husband and she asked for my help. It was my practice by then to go to the house of those who called for help to understand the situation before deciding the best way to help them.  
After spending half an hour to calm the lady, she finally confessed that she came to NZ under the sham marriage ring, which I had suspected while driving to her house. Her “husband”, a local man, would visit her occasionally to demand money so that he would not divorce her before she obtains her citizenship. Her PR will automatically become void if they were divorced. However, that day, after taking some cash from her, he raped her.
There is nothing much I can do. She can report the rape, he will face the law but she will definitely be charged and deported. I explained the consequences to her and she decided to maintain her trauma in silence. I really wanted to report the case to the police but if she refused to, what can I do, I am not the victim? Besides, it is hard to identify sham marriages. I have not heard from her since that night. Sometimes, I wonder, how is she doing now? I can only say “种瓜得瓜, 种豆得豆, you sow what you seed”.

Monday, 1 April 2013

My first involvement in a general election

One of the many posters used in the 2002 election by the New Zealand Labour Party. This one is particularly memorable as it highlights the Labour Party's key achievements and New Zealand's prevous Prime Ministers from the Labour Party. I lost forever another one that I helped to design with the slogan "我不作,谁来作?"

Looking back at this poster that occupied a corner of my study, it was 11 years ago when it was used as an election material for the New Zealand Labour Party. It was mid-winter down under when Helen Clark announced the dissolution of parliament and election was held on 27 July 2002.

I was then in Auckland helping out Helen Clark’s team and the Labour Party to secure a landslide victory in parliament, or more importantly, the bulk of Chinese votes in the Auckland region. It was my first time getting involved in an election campaign and what I learned and did back then still lingers on in my mind. Of all, the most unforgettable experience was organizing a fund raising dinner for the Prime Minister and a few of her caretaker cabinet ministers with the Chinese community in Auckland.

The dinner was a huge success and Pansy Wong (黃徐毓芳) from the National Party, who was contesting in the Auckland Central seat against Judith Tizard, a close friend of Helen Clark lost with more than 5000 votes. Her husband Sammy Wong was a fellow Malaysian. Wong’s tagline back then was “Standing up for Auckland” and I remember she launched her campaign by doing a sky jump from Sky City Tower in downtown Auckland.

She was then the only Chinese Member of Parliament and a strong force to be reckoned with. She later went on to become the first Chinese Cabinet Minister in 2008 but resigned two years later after she was found misusing her Parliamentary travel perks to China.

The political landscape of New Zealand has changed so much since then and there are now a few Chinese MPs in the parliament but 2002 was the watershed year that pushed the Chinese into participating in New Zealand politics. The rest is history.