Friday: You expect to pay more for valet services at shopping malls and hotels, of course, because it’s convenient, it’s cool (maybe), and you’re lazy. But the sudden increase in valet rates at some of my favourite establishments around the Klang Valley is rather shocking. Nowhere is it more blatant than the valet at Tropical Gardens Mall in Damansara, as far as I’m concerned. Before the pandemic, it was RM10 for a couple of hours to park your car with the valet. Effective last month, this doubled to RM20! Salaries remain the same, though. You pay RM14 an hour to leave your car at the valet in Bangsar Village effective Aug 1, which is RM2 more than before. It’s a sure sign that not only are things back to normal, some people are back to no good. And some people are as lazy as ever.
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Monday, July 11, 2022
Bangsar, 11 July: It was probably one of the most bizzarre party elections ever. In a keen fight to pick a divisional chief for Pandan at PKR elections on June 24, Daing Muhammad Reduan emerged the clear winner over six other candidates, including favourites Hans Isaac and Altimet. Daing was later disqualified (read here). In the re-election on June 29, 51-year old Hans, a former actor, beat rapper Altimet by two votes. Such a razor-thin margin shoud trigger an automatic recount but in this case the recount was only done a few days later when Altimet asked for it. On July 9, more than ten days after the re-election, Altimet was declared the new winner (read here).
You can try to explain the process or the principles behind the Ampang elections. Most people, however, have made up their minds about one thing: that this still has no idea how to conduct a free and fair election. At the next general elections, nobody from PKR should be taken seriously if they were to complain of rigging, lack of transparency or vote-buying.
In any case, congrats Altimet. That is, if the election committee does not order another re-electiona week or two from now. Nine votes, after all, is still razor-thin by any standard.
Thursday, June 30, 2022
The Kita Budak Ampang story (watch the You Tube) has a happy ending for Hans Isaac, after all, at least for now. After two years of walking and talkng the grounds of Ampang in the hope of convincing the PKR members there that he is their best candidate for branch chairman, the celebrity businessman made the cut yesteday by beating Altimet, another big name in the entertainment business, in a tight re-election (read PKR disqualifies Ampang chief Daing Muhammad, fresh polls June 29).Party insiders believe this hard-earned victory opens up a lot of possibilities for Hans: he could even be fielded as a PKR candidate at the next general elections.. If party big boss Anwar Ibrahim also believes that Hans has what it takes, that is. And if you ask me, it’s hard not to believe in Hans if you know what he’s had to go through to take on the bigwigs in Ampang and within his party. Especially how he’s set out, tirelessly and almost single-handedly, to help and motivate the Ampang constituents during the pandemic.It has only been two years since Hans set his sights to becone a politician in Anwar’s party and look at how far he’s come. Imagine what this 50-year old newbie can do in the years to come to help mend our broken politics - and dreams.
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
The Hadiah Kajai is deemed as one of the highest awards that the long-suffering Malaysian journalist can expect to win locally. Last weekend at the Malam Wartawan Malaysia, however, there was no wiinner. According to the Malaysian Press Institute, which organised the MWM where dozens of “lesser” awards were given out, its esteemed panel of judges unanimously felt that nobody had met the criteria set for Kajai. In other words, no Malaysian journalist was good enough.
Not good enough for the MPI (or its panel of judges, MPI would insist), that is. Many of my colleages and I would beg to differ, We are of the opinion that the best article submitted to the MPI for the awards, no matter how weak or pathetic the standards of the competition was, ought to be awarded the Kajai. “The best of the worst”, if you like. Becaues telling all those editors, sub-editors, writers and reporters that none of them and none of their articles met the MPI’s standards is a great insult. Unkind.
MPI’s standards (oh, sorry, the judges’ standards) must be so damn high.
Congrats to all the winners of those lesser awards. May our journalism standards improve for next year’s Malam Wartawan Malaysia and the years to come so that we can have a Kajai winner every year.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
After all these years, some bloggers are still considered by the authorities as a nuisance. The blogger behind the popular site called Another Brick in the Wall must have been one big pain in the ass (either to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission or the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia. If you click on the site’s link (ABITW is still on my blogroll, for now) you won’t be able to open the blog because it has been blocked. Yes, blocked by the MCMC or the Ministry.
We were more amused then irritated by the move by the authorities to make the blog “disappear”. Because it is such an primitive way of dealing with the digital media. It makes the Ismail Sabri admin look stupid. They ought to be thrown back to the Stone Age.
To read stuff written by this so-called enemy of the state, simply click HERE. He now goes by the name Thick as a Wall.
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
When I tested positive for the coronavirus last Thursday, I even got a pat on the back. “Welcome to the club!” Such is life, we have come to embrace the once-feared Covid-19 and accepted it as part of life, a nuisance that refuses to go away. Two years after Malaysia’s initial lockdown, we know exactly how we are supposed to deal with it. Having been fully vaccinated (am due for my second booster anytime now), I suffered only mild symptoms during my quarantine and am lucky to recover without spreading the virus to loved ones. Lest we forget, the virus is still killing people out there. If there’s anything Covid-19 has taught me from March 2020 till now, it’s of 1. How pathetically little the governmennt knew about how to deal with the virus then (and how still little it knows about everything else now) 2. People don’t change: we are back to our pre-Covid bad habits.
Stay vigilant, stay safe and thank you for the well-wishes
Tuesday, June 07, 2022
OR STALL THE PROCESS FURTHER ….
KL, 7 June: A few names are being bandied about to replace Izzaddin Idris, who stepped down end last month - suddenly or otherwise, depending on who you talk to - as the president and group CEO of Axiata Group in the midst of a mind-boggling opposition against a government-initiated scheme to roll out 5G. Mind boggling because Axiata, which owns Celcom and Tune Talk, is effectively linked to the Malaysian government itself.
One of the contenders to replace the seasoned Izzadin, I was told, is Shazalli Ramli, a name all too familiar with the industry. Shazalli is credited for making Celcom a trendy regional telco powerhouse. He also made that famous comeback to the government-linked corporate world late in 2020 - expectedly or otherwise, again depending on who you’d want to believe - after the fall of the vindictive Pakatan Harapan government. Shazalli is currently chief of Boustead, which has just announced a seven-fold increase in first quarter profits the other day.
Mohd Idham Nawawi, the current CEO of Celcom, is also being considered for the post, if you believe the gossips. Idham cut his teeth in Axiata and would be seen as a natural replacement. He was made Celcom chief in 2018, before Izzaddin came into the picture.
Industry observers generally think either man will augur well for the Government’s plans to roll out 5G through its single wholesale network enabler DNB, an MOF company. The nation has lagged far behind its own original plans on 5G due to unexpected (or no) opposition to the government’s 5G plans by its own telco GLCs.
For the recored, Ralph Marshall, the man who helms DNB, had played a big role in the rollout of Maxis, the traditional rivals of Celcom. And Izzaddin’s departure last month, some said, had something to do with the opposition by the telcos against DNB. Wallahualam.
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Bangsar, 17 May: Good to hear that the Kuala Lumpur CID will now investigate a skirmish involving a security guard and journalists from The Vibes. Whether or not there was a criminal element in the incident should be decided after a thorough investigation has been carried out. It is only fair to both parties. Read The Vibes journalist's assault reclassified, investigated under Penal Code: CID Chief.
The investigation into the case, I hope, will focus on the security company that hires the guard involved in the "assault/harassment" of the journalist. if you'd seen the clip on the incident, the said security guard was behaving extremely emotional. That is not how you expect a security guard to behave under tense circumstances. Begs the question if he was properly trained by the security company that hired him.
Security guards, like the police, are armed. While in PDRM we trust, the same can't be said private security firms who might cut corners for profits.
Read also Wong Chun Wai's Fashion Police Foibles
Thursday, May 12, 2022
KL, 12 May: By now, it's fair to assume that nobody knows exactly when - or if ever - our proposed 5G network will be completed. It could take two or 22 years. If the government is not careful, it will not take off ever! Read Telcos stall on deal with DNB.
I'm not being dramatic. Consider the facts: we made Langkawi the testbed for out 5G rollout at the end of 2019, before Covid-19 took over our lives. Since then, very little progress has been made. The government set up Digital Nasional Bhd to oversee the roll-out. Good. But opposition from a handful of telco companies, who wanted control of DNB or an alternative to DNB, stalls everything. To appease the telcos, the government bent backwards and even offered them a combined 70 per cent ownership of DNB, which effectively give them the control they had asked for.
But as of today, they are still not pleased. Only TM and Yes have subscribed to DNB's single wholesale network but the two won't be enough.
Did the government allow those telcos to hold the entire nation to ransom? It does look that way, although the telcos would have you believe that they are justified for still being unhappy. Well, I can tell the telcos and PM Ismail Sabri this, too: We - the people - are pissed off. We have put up with so much rubbish for too long and these people continue to take us for granted. We want cheap and efficient 5G, and we want it now!
The government has nobody to blame but itself if this whole saga continues and we, the nation, gets left behind as a result. Ismail Sabri should take inspiration from history. Imagine if governments of yesteryear gave in to opposition to all those developmental projects it had planned, from the North-South Expressway and a new international airport in Sepang to building an administrative capital in Putrajaya and the bridge for Penang. Malaysia would still be backward now if that had been the case.
Other countries are already talking about 6G and even 7G but we're getting all excited about the prospects of Tesla investing in Malaysia!
Friday: You expect to pay more for valet services at shopping malls and hotels, of course, because it’s convenient, it’s cool (maybe), and ...
Ask us (the long-suffering consumers) what we want Bangsar, Dec 9: It’s always good to review a decision, especially one involving something...
Updated 1234pm Nov 05 // Read also EdisiSiasat and Latifah Koyak: Moneypulasi WHEN TOMMY THOMAS was the Attorney-General, new and smelling l...