Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Another tirade against another Menteri Besar for "not helping"

Anita Yusof stakes claim as
"first Muslim woman to ride solo around the world on a motorbike" 

The Mole also wrote a piece based on the rider's Facebook entry after completing her 60,000km, 342-day solo ride. Read Biker Anita successfully circumnavigates the world.

Both portals, however, decided to downplay Anita's rants about the lack of help she got from the various authorities. In Azizulhasni Awang's thanks-for-not-helping fashion, the lecturer in Perak used her Facebook entry to lash out at, among others, a Menteri Besar for "giving me false hopes". 

I'm happy for and proud of Anita for having achieved what most bikers could only daydream about. But I'm also feeling a little awkward here. Because I was the one who linked her up with the MOE (Ministry of Education) back then over her wish to be accorded a cuti bergaji (paid leave) status. And I also took her to meet the Menteri Besar (of a State she'd rather not mention) at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur. The MB had seemed genuinely interested in what Anita was setting out to accomplish ...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Breakfast with Abang Din

TTDI, 15 Aug: I was at a restaurant in Taman Tun Dr Ismail this morning, flipping through the various whatsapp group chats while trying to enjoy the authentic Johor lontong the restaurant is famous for. Trending this morning was talk that Muhyiddin Yassin, president of the new Pribumi Bersatu opposition party, might not be defending his Pagoh seat but will instead go to Muar, which has more Chinese than Javanese constituents, where the axed DPM should ensure his survival and, at the same time, send to oblivion the incumbent Razali Ibrahim, a deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department. 
But not out of choice, according to one whatsapp theory. 
Talk is that Abang Din's support in Pagoh is waning fast, that he's virtually on his own, and if the general election is held next year he may lose! I've no way of confirming or challenging such talk, of course, but I've always thought he was hugely popular in Pagoh, just as popular as PM Najib Razak should be in Pekan, Pahang, perhaps. Would people close to him just walk away and distance themselves from him because he had decided to form a new party and ditch Umno?  Obviously they would. Especially if these people revere Umno as a "parti keramat". And people of Pagoh, the constituent that Muhyiddin has served since 1978, revere Umno. 

After a while, I realised that Muhyiddin was in the house, having breakfast (perhaps the same authentic lontong I had just finished) with his wife and a mutual friend (and wife). I walked up to the Tan Sri and gave my salams.  "Waalaikumsalam. Hey Rocky, sorry  ... didn't realise it was you in this outfit". I looked down at my lycra and told him that I was planning to ride my bicycle before work but had forgotten to bring the riding shoes. 
Some time ago, the reporter in me would have just asked him about the talk on Pagoh and Muar even though it would have been very rude to do so. Well, age has taught me to be more polite, especially with nice people. We exchanged khabar berita and I let him and his small party continue with their breakfast and chat. Apart from our mutual friend and wife, there was nobody else around Muhyiddin: no bodyguards, no officers, no uniformed patrol ... all those things and people I had associated with him as the DPM. 
Discreetly, I told the cashier I would like to pay for the Tan Sri's breakfast if I could. "Sudah dibayar Pak, ramai yang mahu bayarkan dia tadi ...". Well, I expected it. And that, at the very least, was nice to know. Abang Din doesn't have to limit his choice to Muar ...

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Passport glitch: Just who is responsible?

Yesterday's tweet on today's woes

Puchong, 10 Aug 2016: Yesterday I wrote on Twitter about a friend's predicament trying to renew his daughter's passport. He had gone to the Immigration Department at Jalan Duta on Monday subuh-subuh lagi (the call for Subuh prayer is around 5.50am). The line was already 500-people long and by 9 am my friend and his daughter were told there were no more passport to issue. Daily quota. Shortage problem. Sabotage. Come back again tomorrow, have a nice day!

One fellow sufferer suggested that my friend get to Jalan Duta even earlier!

So my friend and his girl made sure they woke up before the muezzin did yesterday so that they would get in front of the Immigration door well before Subuh. There were beaten by hundreds of people! "It's crazy. People started queuing at 3am. Some have been queuing for 3-4 consecutive days!"

Today, Daphne Iking the celebrity joined the growing list of sufferers. 

For those who have witnessed the Immigration Department transform from one of the worst departments during the 1990s to one that was super efficient (until very recently), the new passport "glitch" is unreasonable, unacceptable.

Dear Home Minister, surely some more heads must roll!?

p.s. On the bright side, those of you lining up for your passports tomorrow may have a chance to bump into Daphne! All the best.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Anonther Reminder for Anons (Happy birthday, Singapura!)

Dear Readers,
~ Still many of you leaving comments as ANONYMOUS.      
~ I have stopped publishing comments by Anons for a while now. If you wish to have your views published in my Comment Box, please use a nickname, at least, even though I would encourage you to use your real identity. 
~ There are several serial commenters (people who leave up to a dozen comments because they have nothing better to do or they really love writing) out there. I have dealt with many in the past and usually what I do is to publish the most relevant of their comments without editing them. 
~ Some of the nicknames come in only to abuse me. Sometimes I publish their comments because I understand their need for attention. Perhaps I would be helping them let off some steam and that way they won't beat up their kids or abuse their wives or they would get over that bitter divorce or they don't commit suicide. 
~ Sometimes I don't give a damn. I hope you my dear Readers understand.

Thank you. 
Happy National Day to my Singaporean readers.