Monday, July 16, 2018

14th. Parliament, at last.

Monday 16th. July, 2018.

At last, more than two months after the dust settled over the last GE, the 14th. Parliament finally opens.

Almost straight away the UMNO MP's started to try and behave the way the opposition is, in their minds, supposed to behave - they staged a walk-out.

Mahathir just smirked and said, "they're learning". 

Just as quickly, everybody, including poor Najib, trooped back, for the swearing ceremony. No allowance would be paid unless the MP's have sworn in. Mahathir might just postpone forever the next swearing in. "Cash is king" after all.

The UMNO "experts" picked on "procedure" when contesting the appointment of the Speaker. They were just out-voted 131 to 90 (Sri Kandi had died recently).

I can't wait to see Najib locking horns with Mahathir in person at last. Najib had been calling the old man all kind of things imaginable, including some quite unimaginable. Let's see if Najib is as quick on his feet as the Old Fox. Najib had said "who in the world wants to make this 93-year-old man Prime Minister!" Who indeed.

Rosmah, meanwhile, has been busy cooking up that cock-and-bull about the non-existent Dubai jeweler sending a couple of billions worth of diamonds and stuff by post, for personal viewing before purchase. This fantastic couple must be living in their own drug-driven fantasy to think that any idiot would believe this story. Anyway, the goods are about to be confiscated by the Customs for non-declaration! Swallow that, kak Mah!

By the way, the new Speaker is an old Budak Boy of RMC, my alma mater. He's even from my old Company - "B".


Friday, May 25, 2018

My take of GE14.

Sat 26 May 2018.

17 days have passed since the UMNO-led government was toppled in no less than a bloodless political revolution in Malaysia. I'd been itching to write again about it after the first quick posting on it, but the huge amount of news in all the media exploding on a daily basis kept me from the keyboard. This quiet Saturday morning I'll try to put down several more thoughts to share here.

You have to be a student of Malaysian history to even begin to fully appreciate the truly momentous general elections this time around. 

Since the first one in 1959, this is the 14th. General Election for the relatively young country, and looking at the world political map, it's young indeed. For 59 years, Malaya and then Malaysia had known no other government, other than the UMNO-led coalition, first known as "Perikatan"(the knot), and from 1969 as "Barisan Nasional" (the National Front). The shift this time was nothing less than a tsunami, a huge tidal wave, an authentic revolution, so huge that you have to be a Malaysian to really comprehend it.

The first mistake that UMNO made this time around was to be arrogant. So arrogant that it could concoct any story and knew it can get away with murder. (Najib did). So arrogant that it could disregard public opinion and actually believe in their own self-appraisal. So arrogant that the supposedly well-bred, well-educated Najib cursed Mahathir in his speeches, thinking that he'd get away with that, too. The low-class act when he had removed the Police escort previously accorded to the ex-PM, removed all the government-paid staff given to him, and cut him out of State functions, when protocol says  Mahathir should be invited as a former PM.  So arrogant that the principle of separation of power was chucked aside, and set the Income Tax and the Police on Mahathir, and even had Tun Hasmah called in for questioning for a 5-minute speech she made at a women-empowerment event, disbanded the Public Accounts Committee in the midst of its deliberations, and simply removed or tranferred  an endless list government officials, starting  with the AG,  as if he was a feudal lord.  But his bitter target was Mahathir. Najib treated him like dirt, never mind that he claims to be "a gentleman" and Mahathir was his boss and mentor, who picked him to succeed the vacous Dollah Badawi. In UMNO Najib removed Muhyiddin, the second most powerful Party man  who was put there through party elections, and not a whimper came from the party ranks. The same treatment was doled out to Mukhriz.  All for sounding out on 1MDB (now the UMNO Youth leader is saying the 1MDB issue should have been addressed - after UMNO lost the elections!).The newly approved Parti Pribumi Malaysia Bersatu, right on the same day the Parliament was dissolved, was  suddenly suspended by the RoS on his instruction, and effectively ( or so Najib thought ) cut out of the GE. So arrogant, now that UMNO members have all been shut-up, that Najib boasted he'd steamroll the opposition, and as later events showed, didn't even bother to hide all the money , jewelery, and Birkin bags, and didn't even prepare an escape plan just in case he lost. Well obviously he hadn't read Sun Tzu's "The Art of War". (Mahathir had). Why should Najib worry? For 13 straight times in more than a half-century, UMNO had led the BN coalition to victory in Parliament. Only at state level had BN lost, and only in Kelantan, Selangor and Penang, or 3 out of 13 states, so what-me-worry ? His own Intelligence and the Western Press all said he'd win this time, too, 1MDB nowithstanding. But he forgets, the same Press also said Clinton would win the US Presidency !

The second reason was the huge turnout. In all countries in the world where some semblence of the democratic electrol process is practiced, low runout is bad for the opposition, large turnout good. In the first 12 GE's, the highest turnout was 76% in 2008, the lowest 68.1% in 1986. The last GE in 2013 saw a significant jump - to 80% !. Still, UMNO-BN kept Parliament and 10 out of 13 states, so no worry there. UMNO thought the opposition couldn't get any higher. But the final figure for GE 14 was an 82.32% turnout. Not many so called democracies, East or West, get even 60% nowadays. And while the final analysis hasn't been done, this turnout was achieved even with many voting centres locking out thousands of  voters because of the 5-o'clock deadline, and the working day voting date decided by Najib as an obvious attempt at hindering voting and thus favouring BN. Obviously the turnout theory is believed by, and not lost to UMNO. Najib saw the high turnout in 2013,  and how UMNO-BN only secured 59.9 % of Parliament, and lost the popular votes, but won because of the constituencies,or first-past-the- post system.

The third reason is the social media. News, true or not, is now instantaneous. And people communicate easily with the said 20 million smart phones now in use in this country of 30 million.

The fourth reason is the increase of lower age group among voters. Younger people are more inclined to change than older ones. At my polling station in KP I saw this, where the long "line 6" went right on to the road, and me in the short "line 1" only stood for about 1 hour (that's quick ).  

The fifth reason is the scandal-wrecked UMNO-BN government, worsened by the incredibly stupid reasons given in their response to the public criticisms.  1MDB, Felda, Felcra, MARA, Tabung Haji, Mindef contracts, Proton, the state of the economy and the now proven poor management of national finances  all piled up on the desk of the government of the day. And of course the mother-of-all calamity was GST. In fact GST alone would probably have brought UMNO-BN down to their knees.

These socio-economic issues have always featured in all democratic electoral processes world-wide. Here it's complicated by racial undertones because of the 3 dominant racial make up of the population. In 1969 there were racial riots, and people remember. But the approach to these has always been "stop-gap". The underlying sentiments are deep, and demand better and more substantive remedial measures. But UMNO and the other members of BN are racial parties individually, harbouring  racial preferences deeply opposed to the others in many areas. But the dominant position of UMNO has always meant that UMNO compromised for BN's  moderation, but the others compromised more. The opposition in 2008 and 2013, with Anwar out and about, Lim Kit Siang and his "Rocket" as fierce  as ever, and spoiler PAS in the same company, performed their best to date at the polls. But while they cooperated as a united opposition, they flew their own flags. On the ballot paper they were separate. This confused the voters. The 30-seat, or 20-seat positions these 3 parties secured, even with Anwar and Lim at their loudest, seemed destined to be a permanent feature in Parliament, for years to come. 

This was where Mahathir came in, and if Anwar and Lim Kit Siang disbelieve this, they do so at their own peril. Mahathir had at one stage given up trying to put together a united opposition because of the deep differences between PKR, DAP, Amanah, and PAS. With GE13 and immediately after, PAS was still friendly with DAP. The 21 seats PAS won in Parliament was their best performance ever, and they couldn't have done it  without DAP. When Muhyiddin, Mukriz and Afdal were sacked, and Mahathir resigned from UMNO to put up Bersatu, Mahathir was pushing Bersatu to take the lead in this fledgling coalition. PAS was making unfriendly sounds, and was finally dropped out. UMNO had helped PAS leave (money surely changed hands) but, overestimating its national strength, PAS kept their own symbol, and even boldly contested 157 Parliamentry seats. Had PAS used a common symbol with BN, they would have won Kedah and Perak ouright, and probably increased their Parliamentry seats. In the end they lost 3 seats, which doesn't look much, except they actually won only 18 out of the 157 they contested. That's an 11% success rate.

The political cunning of Mahathir saw him convincing erstwhile hard-core enemies PKR and DAP, and the much weaker Amanah, to adopt a single symbol for GE14. Unfortunately, Najib made sure Bersatu would not enter this GE on its own, by getting the RoS to deregister Bersatu (court case pending) on the very date that Parliament was dissolved, even though  RoS had months ago approved its registration. In fact Najib resorted to all the dirty tricks in the book in attacking Mahathir whom he had singled out. So Mahathir chose PKR's logo, because DAP agreed to it, knowing the Malays, now Mahathir's main target at wresting power from UMNO nation-wide, would never vote for the Rocket, leaving only the urban centres for DAP, and would increase DAP's seats from around 30 in Parliament. With Malay votes, DAP candidates could get more seats, as eventually proven from GE14's results.

This was how  PH, led by Mahathir , had won 8 out of 13 states, and 122 out of the 222 seats in Parliament. This is no washout for UMNO-BN, or PAS, but a great beginning for new politics for Malaysia.

And all these, for Mahathir, at 93. 

As I said, at GE14 the old man simply outsmarted and outclassed Najib. Najib, in fact, is the main cause of the downfall of the 60-year old BN. Either he doesn't know it, or is in self-denial, but he's paying a heavy price for his own disorientation. And now, that may include incarceration, with all the goings-on in the news. Bakri Musa wrote in 2014: "Najib is busy spinning himself just to remain standing, and he confuses fast circular motion as rapid advancement".

Tun Razak must be turning in his grave.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Lessons & resolutions.

Fri 11 May 2018.

I'd stopped watching the local tv in the last 2 years because of the sickening biased presentation, imposed doubtlessly by the now deposed Najib. It appeared that nothing was too petty that could be hurled at Mahathir, and we can go forever describing Najib's foolish and futile attempts at this one singularly concerted effort. Right to the point of a much-delayed and belaboured concession of defeat, Najib still managed to dirty his departure by chucking the word "fitnah" about his convening the security meeting with the police, and threw the wrench into the due oath-taking arrangement for the new Prime Minister by saying the King has to decide who to appoint as PM because no single party has a clear majority. The Palace must have been influenced by him because what was earlier announced as a mid-morning 10 o'clock ceremony finally took place at almost 10 o'clock in the night, almost 12 hours later. To-day I saw the statement from the Palace denying that it had purposedly caused the delay. I saw Mahathir's hand shaking when flipping the oath notes. Yours would, too, if you have to wait that long in the cold room, for a ceremony lasting a whole 5 minutes! Datuk Sulaiman whatsapped me a lengthy note on the King's duty as provided by the law. I replied, and he didn't respond to that, that Najib owed it to Mahathir to speedily transfer the power he had lost in a decent, gentlemanly manner, and not leave the country in a legal vacuum for two whole days. He's always saying that he's a gentleman, a warrior. But his behaviour looked like a sore loser who had just been outsmarted by an old man almost twice his age, someone he called senile. He was the one looking senile and cowardly. And the delay in the announcing of the results stretched almost up to the next day. At 10 p.m. my daughter received news that Pakatan had already secured 120 Parliamentry seats, more than enough to form the new Federal government. And the final tally at 4.30 a.m. Friday morning was 121. So Najib must have known at 10 p.m. that he had lost, and must have called the IGP who came and asked what can be done to BN in the GE. The IGP must have said the margin of wins in the different states were too big to hide by any cheating techniques !

What Mahathir must do immediately is demand the reimposition of the Government Institution completely Constitutionally. The Police, the Courts and the AG, and the Parliament and the State Assemblies  must all enforce separately the Law. The EC should be taken to task immediately for the messy administration of the polls. We should be proud that a fair and peaceful General Elections have been completed. But confusing instructions, lack of common sense, and the inability of thinking on their feet made the supervisors useless in overcoming the large crowds jamming the insufficient lines. Closing at 5 p.m. could, and in many polling stations, should have been extended where  large number of voters have turned up to carry out their political responsibility. and another hour could have been easily given. If the local station was unsure about what to do, the bosses somewhere in their office tower could surely have been contacted by phone.

Let's see the rest of the General Elections.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The people's voice.

Thurs 10 May 2018.

The 14th General Elections are over, but the self-appointed pundits and know-alls are just beginning their "I-told-you-so's".

Everybody, from Najib and his cohorts to the "Washington Post" and similiar other Western press, had dismissed the old man's seemingly misguided and futile attempt at unseating this guy they referred to as "the Malaysian political blue blood". Najib was the Chief Minister of Pahang at 23.  When the old man finally made his mark, he was a ripe old  55. Najib was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, or something to that effect in the fables of the aristocrat. The old man finally used a tin spoon when he started school at 6, or something like that. There is a  complete  contrast.

But just as the old man was politically resurrected by Najib's father 43 years ago at a secretly arranged meeting in Morib (by Harun Idris), so was Najib's rise to political power overseen by the old man, in gratitude, not only for the Morib's rendezvous, but also for the support of the Youth Wing of UMNO under its then leader, Najib, in the battle for UMNO top-dog with Ku Li in 1987, that ended with UMNO being declared an illegal association by Justice Harun Hashim. 

These are facts that cannot be changed, just as the Petronas Twin Towers, Putra Jaya, KLIA and the PLUS Highway cannot be denied, no matter how much TV3 and Said Keruak tried to. But in the heat of the battle in the last four years, Najib showed little gratitude, and much less  respect for the old man, even going to the extent of  denigrating his ancestry (false), scorning his old age(true), and even lowering himself to the level of a common brat (very true) by using the insulting Malay curse "your father's head" - "kepala bapak kau"! Why, Najib even initiated the RCI on Bank Negara's foreign exchange forays scores of years ago, blithely forgetting the concept (or maybe ignorant of it) of cabinet collective responsibility, just to pour dirt on the old man, conveniently forgetting the fresh 1 MDB sewage right on his doorstep. 

The internet and the electronic gadgets have been the God-given discoveries that had helped the rise of the people's voice. The good education of the children has also made sure that the remotest kampong-folks have second opinions on whatever is dished out by popular propaganda. The blatant lies that insult our intelligence, spewed by Najib's spokesmen, have been identified by just that - lies. The incessant insults on the old man, right to the very end, by instructing stupidly obedient government servants to cut out the pictures of the old man from the campaign posters, angered people who now see the fear Najib has of him, and became the icing on the cake of their disgust with his antics. And they spoke. And did they speak. With one voice they said this old man, perhaps the oldest Prime Minister candidate in the world, deserves better.

The no.1 resolution of Pakatan Harapan is to catch the no.1 of 1 MDB. They got him now.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

GE 14 - the other side.

Sunday, May 6,2018.

I wanted to see the action on the other side today.

In the morning it was Khairy at Mubarak NS' 16th. AGM at Kelana Resort. In the afternoon it was Isa at Sainy's house in PD. These are two UMNO stalwarts.

Khairy's stopover was brief, his speech briefer. The only strong campaigning point he made was that Mahathir is not fighting for principle, but for power. He claimed that he got his way when Dollah (Khairy's f.i.l., by the way) was elbowed out of office on his behest. Najib, on the other end,  has refused to follow suit. But everyday old UMNO leaders are popping up in the opposition camp.

There were maybe 30 people present in the ballroom, including a few of the hotel's waiters and waitresses. Khairy maybe was not inspired to be more fiery. But his accusation was as weak as his short speech. The lady MC tried to project a more energized Khairy, even calling hin by his little-used "Brigadier-General".

Mahathir left office on his own volition, after 22 years in office. He started questioning Najib on specific issues, chief of which is the 1MDB fiasco, when people started coming to him from 2014, complaining about Najib and his antics. Mahathir didn't even allow his children to be active in politics whilst he was the PM.

Mubarak NS committee members have been plying the whatsapp and congratulating each other about attending a few of the BN's campaign rounds. They sound as if their well-dressed presence at these functions would bring solid votes for the BN candidates. They're just deceiving themselves, "syok sendiri".

At 4 p.m. I went to pick up Ismail and Kak Ton to go to Sainy's house in PD, where Isa was expected to come.

We were early, but didn't have too long a wait before Isa and entourage arrived.

There were slightly more people here. As Yusof Misai said this morning, in the campaign rounds, women are many, men are few. There were about 50 women of all ages. Then there were, maybe, 20 men. But they were all clearly UMNO people. They wouldn't waste their votes on anything or anyone else. There's no additional vote for UMNO.

Isa is a slicker speaker than Khairy. He's been at it longer. He was facing a friendly crowd. There was no need for him to expound any ornate political theories, to impress anyone. But he, too, spoke about Mahathir. Obviously Mahathir is who the UMNO camp is really haunted by. When the cry about rising prices is proffered, Isa said prices always go up, with Mahathir or Najib as PM. If KLIA and Putrajaya were built now, they would cost tons more. What Isa said is befuddling is how Mahathir and Anwar and Lim Kit Siang can get together when for decades they had been tearing at each other. But his take that Wan Azizah has joined Mahathir because of the promise of making Anwar the PM eventually, should Pakatan win, is to me unpalatable.

These were performances that I don't rate high in this GE campaigning. You're not reaching out to potential voters who are searching for real answers, especially the large numbers of fence-sitters who more than likely would make the difference this time around. But as we lingered over coffee & cakes, Isa noted quietly that it's tougher this time. Idah even ( I believe she was pulling Isa's leg) bluntly said BN would lose PD. Isa did not contest that.

Appearances could be misleading, for sure. Voters are a strange lot. Look at Trump. Both sides are claiming victory, but only one will win. 14 elections produce a lot of tricks of the trade. There are 3 days left. We'll know soon enough.


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Kg.Kerinchi - a Pakatan Harapan campaign.

Friday 4.5.18

Conen said Mahathir would come to a Pakatan Harapan campaign at Kg. Kerinchi, KL, the night of our return from Saigon. Our Saigon trip was planned a month earlier. We didn't know (nobody did) Najib would dissolve Parliament and the EC would fix nomination day on 28th. April, so we kept our trip's schedule (why wouldn't we?), and I missed attending Fahmi's nomination. I only informed Conen once we landed at KLIA. It was only hours after our return flight,  but Idah insisted we give our moral support to our nephew, who's taking over the PKR Lembah Pantai Parliamentary seat. So here in Kg. Kerinchi we were at about half-past eight that Thursday evening. I know Kg. Kerinchi because it's just off the Federal Highway opposite the U.M.'s main gate, but didn't know the location of the gathering. It wasn't a problem in the end, because we saw the crowd, and cofirmed with a young lady wearing a P.H.'s badge, and walked the 50 m. to the flats, where a large crowd had already gathered. Plastic chairs were provided on the open ground, I think it must be a playing ground, because the flats surrounded the open space. The three of us (Kak Long tagged along - we stopped at her house in Bangi) took the empty chairs on the first row, and some party staff immediately came and gave the Pakatan flags, badges, phamplets and bottled drinking water to us. I gladly accepted the water bottle, drank it up, and quickly asked for, and got the second bottle. We didn't have to wait long for Mahathir.

I've attended many political campaigns before. I know the atmosphere. But let me tell you, this was different.

I didn't tell Conen until I came back from golf, Friday, my first game after 6 days. I played with my 23-year-old golfing "kaki" and 2 of her children who happen to be golf-teaching pros ( RM 150 per hour ). The 23 years I'm referring to is not her age, if you're puzzled. It's how long we've played together, from 1996, a year after I moved to Seremban. So I told Conen: here's my take of the Kg. Kerinchi campaign. The atmosphere was electric, and I say this without exaggeration. All 3 races were there in their numbers, greeting each other like old pals, waving the Pakatan Harapan's flags etc, wrapping the flags around their bodies instead of just holding them in their plastic bags as if to give embrace to the party logo. Several people now and again shouted "refomasi", "ini kali lah" and other unidentifiable slogans, and each time the crowd roared in unison. And shortly, when Mahathir came, the roar of "hidup Tun, hidup Tun" clearly was genuine. I had goose bumps, and let me tell you, I'm a cynical guy, but I had goose bumps. The crowd itself was not bigger than maybe 10 or 15,000 (big enough by any standard), but the atmosphere was incredible !

It's my take also that the power of the Mahathir draw is real. I think people realize that he's the one guy capable of giving the moral leadership to this anti-Najib movement, because that's what it is.

It's my take that there's depth in the support of the people - all races were there, and remarkably, they were youthful. The amazing thing was we were talking to each other, and not just looking at the centre stage. The young Indian guy sitting next to me was gushing about attending Nurul Izza's campaign in this very place in 2013, how he was strongly MIC then, and now he has decided to switch camp. He was surprised when I told him we were from Seremban. The two Chinese ladies sitting behind us offered us their Pakatan flags when I asked where they got theirs. And people who pushed past us, as the crowd thickened, did so in a smiling friendly way.

Mahathir didn't speak long, and I think that's the right way. He spoke plainly, clearly, and didn't use any euphemism when attacking Najib. That's also the best way in this campaign, I think. He didn't try to cover too many things. He couldn't anyway, because he had to go to Putrajaya, and later reports described the big crowd there, too. And not covering too many things is also the right way.

Having just come back from Saigon, and driving here from Seremban, I know the toll on the human body when doing these things. Yet here's a 93-year old man, who has no need to pick quarrels with a Prime Minister, who is going to many places all at the same time, to lead the fight to remove his own prodigy from power just because he believes he's bad for the country. Many wouldn't bother.

For those of us who care for this land of ours, we should feel ashamed if Mahathir's fight is a lonely fight, and we have more reasons to fight the corruption and abuse of authority because we have longer to live, at least on paper. It's criminal if we don't fight this abuse of power, this balatant  disregard for rule of law. We have no choice but to fight. We may not win. But we must fight while we can.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Sai Gon

Fri 4th. May 2018.

Our tourist guide, Nam, said Sai gon means "little town". Here the word is spelt in 2 parts, sai and gon, not the usual one word practice.

We left KLIA 2 on Sunday 29th. April, and returned Thursday afternoon, 3rd. May. There was Kak Long and her brood, no daddy (somebody has to look after the family's hotel back in Bangi), and there were us, yours truly and the missus. This was our second trip together, after Bandung, this time minus Bal. She had to be with her kak long, giving birth to her second offspring in Kuching. Of course we made sure we sent her as many photos and videos of Saigon as possible, just to make her sore ! She was, too !

The many pictures of Saigon, or the politically "correct" name Ho Chi Minh City, I'd seen before do not do justice to the town. Yes, the teeming motorcycles were there, in real life even more than imagined.  But otherwise Saigon seems like any modern town we see anywhere else. There are large well-appointed shops and nicely-designed buildings, both old and new. Old because of the early French occupation, and new with the post-Vietnam war period rebulding.

A big surprise was that in all the shops we went into, everybody spoke fairly good Malay, complete with the gen Y idioms like "murah gila"!  And they not only accepted Malaysian ringgit, they preferred it to their own Vietnamese dong. Our own tourist guide cracked jokes in Malay !

I enjoyed the drives out of town to the country side, to the River Mekong and one of the islands, and took walks away from the group to see as much of the local sights as time allowed. The ladies, of course, enjoyed the shopping more. Saigon is apparently great shopping for Malaysians. This explains the expertise in Malay and accepting the ringgit. In fact in many of the outlets our guide took us to, they were literally jammed with Malaysian women, with the men, like me, resigned to patiently wait outside. And the shopkeepers seemed to know this, because they put a lot of those little chairs outside. As I said, mostly I walked around the block, just looking around and watching the people.

Kak Long secured a nice apartment for our stay, right on the 24th floor of the 25-storey building, the "Icon 56". The place looked new, and the 3-room apartment was comfortable, with a well-equipped kitchen, a furnished combined sitting & dining room, and 2 well-supplied bathrooms. The wi-fi gadget made our mobile phones communicable, and the tv sets in each room carried many English-speaking channels beside the Vietnamese ones. This home-away-from-home made our stay that much more pleasant. Good for you, Kak Long. Or maybe it was Wani. Anyway, I made full use of the kitchen. I'd brought along some coffee, powdered goat's milk, and mee-maggi. I bought eggs and bread and jam from the store on the ground floor. Presto ! my breakfast for 4 days was accounted for, because, unlike in Bandung, this meal wasn't included in the tour arrangement, whereas lunch and dinner were.

Road traffic was something else.

Motorcycles rule Saigon streets. The place swarms with these two-wheelers, coming in many types and sizes, carrying people and everything else imagineable right up to breaking point. The honking is constant, from the motorcycles trying to clear the way, to the motorcars, vans, trucks and buses to warn the motorcycles weaving in thick droves around them. This is unlike Bandung, where there's hardly any honking at all. But like Bandung, I didn't see a single accident and any sign of bad tempers. How they manage not to crash into each other confounds me. You have to see it to believe it. The roads are wide enough, and round-abouts and pavements are clearly marked, and there's even a sprinkling of operational traffic lights, not many but they exist, and they change colours appropriately red-orange-green. But nobody follows them. And yet nobody crash. Amazing.

We went to the War Museum. This should be a must stop for all. It's a Vietnam War Museum, the 17-year war fought with the Americans. By comparison, WWII and the Korean War were each for 3 years. The hundreds of photos on display are truly moving, so moving I saw a young white guy quietly crying, standing in front of a picture. The atrocities committed by young American draftees are legend, and here we see plenty of them in horrific photos, with gruesome pictures of women and children killed by American teenaged soldiers in the name of fighting for democracy! The many white visitors I saw spoke American accented English and other European tongues, with familiar French and Russian sounds. Maybe some relatives, or someone they know fought in Vietnam. I wonder what went through their minds.

We took the 10.25 a.m. flight, this time to KLIA 1. We landed on schedule at 1.25 local, with the 1-hour difference in time. Dekna was late, although she herself said in her whatsapp I'd reminded her about 15 times.

That night I'd plan to attend the "Pakatan Harapan's" campaign at Kampong Kerinchi.