Saturday, April 18, 2015

Visiting Anna.

After a lengthy loss of contact, yesterday Saturday 18th April, Ari, Wira, my wife and I managed to visit ailing Anna at her PD house, the endowment of Anak Din, her husband who died 11 years ago. Ikhwan had given Anna's mobile number, and several calls followed by  several wrong turns finally brought us to her corner lot 3-room terrace house at Jalan 3/7 Taman Intan Perdana, Telok Kemang. Anna and her new husband were waiting for us.

What brought us to visit was the news that she nearly lost a foot due to diabetic infection, but was saved by "maggot treatment." I've read and seen such cases some years ago on the internet, but not the rest of the group. They were naturally puzzled by the "ulat" thing. Anna confirmed it, and it was as I'd seen on the internet. Back home that night I showed the video to Idah on my p.c.

After her husband died from illness when based at Sungei Besi, Anna was diagnosed with severe diabetes. She's now on 2 insulin injections daily, has lost weight, and depends on her husband for their household chores. The right foot infection started innocently enough  with a sore and some hard scratchings, and before long it became a large infected open wound on which she claimed to have spent RM 7,000 for hospital visits and various treatments without improvement, and ending with the PD Hospital's two final options  - amputation or maggots treatment. The choice was simple, and it worked !

Even when Anak Din was in Kuala Lipis (that was how they knew Siti Norhaliza, and in fact she came to Sg. Besi for their daughter's wedding before Anak Din passed away) and Nenasi, Pekan, we visited. He was transferred to many places before his last posting to Sungei Besi. Ari said he went to all of them. Anak Din was Ari's nephew.

Now that Anna is in ill health, Husin, a widower and her new husband, is looking after her. He's 61, a year older, and isn't working anymore, but they're managing on Anna's pension, and they say it's enough for them, and yesterday it appeared so. The children from both past marriages are all married with children of their own, staying all over the place but mostly in Pahang, so visits are infrequent, but Anna said she understands and doesn't mind. Cik Ani called last night asking about our visit which she heard about, and I told her to visit Anna soon.

Anak Din died well before retirement age, but since my marriage into that extended family in 1971 until his untimely passing in 2004, I had acquired a liking for his jovial nature, among others. He got his good looks from his late mother, and was quite a ladies' man. In fact his "casanova" ways got him in trouble on at least the few instances that I know of. I mention this in a fond way.  He raised a good family, and they have remained, in spite of separation, close.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Najib vs Mahathir - the ongoing debate.

The ongoing debate isn't between Najib and Mahathir in person. It's between each other's "camp", and I use that word loosely because apparently the anti-UMNO group is also in Mahathir's corner, for their own obvious motives.

Let's start with Najib's recorded televised response, or answers, to the mounting Mahathir's questions, because those were what they were, questions for Najib. In the latest posting, Mahathir didn't accuse Najib of any crime, the least of it about  murdering Altantuya. Dollah Badawi came out of his elegent silence to say that Najib didn't kill the Mongolian. One would think that Dollah, if ever he publicly comes out to say something, would utter pearls of wisdom that compensate long silences, not giving light, unsolicited opinions on questions that are not asked, but that's Dollah, I suppose. Mahathir was asking a months old question about a very specific subject : 1MDB. 

In an examination, questions asked require answers. Marks are given for the answers: full marks for the fully correct answers, with the marks sliding down with the quality of the answers. No marks are given for answers where no questions are asked. And another thing, there is a time frame for giving the answers, not forever.

Unlike the many instances that the subject concerned was raised in public in front of attending press, a staged event without impromtu questions carries less weight. 

True, Najib touched on 1MDB, but he didn't answer the questions on the many related transactions, figures and personalities that have been bandied around at least from December last year. And then he spoke about BRIM, the Crooked Bridge, and his relgious oath about Altantuya. So on the quality of the answers, both to the questions asked by Mahathir, and those not asked by Mahathir, what marks should I give Najib ?  I'm not like Malik Daim and give "0". But I can hardly give much more than that.

If there's nothing to hide, why can't Najib follow Muhyiddin and KJ's advice and explain everything right now ?


Friday, April 10, 2015

An ACCA in the house.

Today, Friday 10th. April, three and a half years after completing his examinations, having now completed the 36-month working experience stipulation, I  received a written confirmation of Memi's accredition to the Glasgow ACCA. He's now a full member of The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants,  reference 1203184, and is entitled to add "ACCA" after his name. 

The booklet says Memi is now part of ACCA's community of 170,000 found in 180 countries. This membership increases his employability and earning potential, and adds international mobility to his career. Not long ago an architect acquintance talked to me about the demand for ACCA's in this country.

I called him, and sms'd the message to the Group whatsapp. Everybody got excited, including Memi. Since his birthday is coming at the end of the month in tandem with Ajim's and Wafa's,
I suggested Memi sponsor a joint celebration in a nice restaurant in PJ or KL.

Memi can enter the expense under "customer relationship".


Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Old Man and the Malays.

The kris is drawn.

Mahathir has made it clear. He wants Najib out.

On advising Najib through more diplomatic channels, he says he has been doing it "quietly" and through "intermediaries" for four years. That mode is now declared over.

Will Najib draw his own kris ?

Other Malays have drawn theirs. 

The Hon. Secretary of Veteran UMNO Malaysia had quickly posted his anti-Mahathir comments, calling him "hysterical", on the internet, with or without the Chairman's consent, I don't know. Certainly I don't support his comments. Other bloggers have quickly thrown their weights behind  Najib. This afternoon before the start of the Taman Dato' Shahbandar Branch Annual General Meeting, Kudus the Ketua Cawangan made some nasty comments about Mahathir to me. I retorted what Mahathir has said contains nothing new to the public. I said I agree to the points raised. I said the audience is not just the 3.5 UMNO members, it's also the rest of the 29 million Malaysians. I said Najib is free to answer the questions raised by Mahathir. Kudus was also free to answer back my defence of Mahathir.  He didn't. 

The old man is concerned with the political fate of the Malays. That was what he said, and I buy that. In his estimation Najib is not doing a good job of it. He says Najib has "too many scandals" right now to remain an effective leader. The public outcry about 1MDB, the Altantuya case, and the purchase of the aircraft in particular demands answers. The government's, and by the same token Najib's, answer hasn't been forthright. Mahathir thinks this spells trouble for UMNO in GE 14. That spells trouble for the Malays.

Mahathir wasn't a spring chicken when he became PM on 16th. July 1981. He was 56. But the 21 years 11 months and 6 days he was PM is the longest ever of the 6 PM's. 

Mahathir went through 9 General Elections - GE 2 to GE 10. He won his first election as MP for Kota Star Selatan, Kedah, but lost his second try on 10th. May 1969 because the Chinese voters deserted him for his strident pro-Malay stance. When the Kuala Lumpur race riots broke out three days after DAP made big gains in Selangor (and some other states like Penang), copies of Mahathir's open letter criticising  the Tunku  were widely circulated in KL and the surrounding areas. It earned Mahathir a wide and lasting following, especially from the young Malays. It also earned him the wrath of the Tunku and got him sacked from UMNO. 

He was an "outsider" from 1969 to 1974.

In 1972 Razak, through Harun Idris, brought Mahathir back into UMNO. He was 48. Three months later he was voted into the party's Supreme Council with the highest votes, but lost the VP contest to Sardon, Hussein Onn and Ghaffar Baba. He was made a Senator.

In GE 4 on 24th. August 1974 Mahathir won the Kubang Pasu Parliamentry seat unopposed and made the Education Minister, considered a senior portfolio and a stepping stone to premiership.

At age 50 in 1975 Mahathir was elected UMNO's VP together with Tengku Razaleigh and Ghaffar Baba. 

On 14th. January 1976 Razak died in London. Hussein became PM, and after a 10-day deliberation, appointed Mahathir DPM. Ghaffar, who was once Acting PM when Razak went abroad for an extended period, resigned.

In 1978 Mahathir was elected Deputy President of UMNO.

In January 1981 Mahathir was made Acting PM when Hussein went to London for heart surgery. In July the same year Hussein resigned as PM because of ill health. Mahathir became PM 12 years after he was sacked from the party.

You can list all that he had done as PM for  22 years, both the monumental and the mundane.  Admittedly they're not all good. Nothing is ever "all good". Remember the Memali case in Kedah, the deregisteration of UMNO in 1987, and the financial crisis that pitted Malaysia against IMF and the World Bank, and the Anwar saga ?  But the Malay agenda had followed "the Malay Dilemma". The old man and the Malays are in the same boat. He can't be dismissed just like that. He deserves being listened to. He has earned that.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Careless Malaysians ?

I put a question mark because I'm not sure I can make it vividly clear while quoting the recent tragic news about the loss of a very young life because of the escalator accident, and not be callously disrespectful to his family. I feel the pain because I have a family of my own, and I don't want any harm to come to them, just as the boy's family surely didn't want him to be hurt.

This isn't the first accident on an escalator in this country. I rack my brains to figure out how anyone could fall off an escalator. The warning signs, the basic safety features, the slow speed of the moving steps - all appear to make the contraption safe, short of stopping it entirely. It takes some effort to slide out of the protective handrails and fall.

Cleaners on  buildings, too, take extra effort to court danger. They climb on high ledges, stand tip toes on window sills, wear no safety wires and hook no nettings. 

When we park our cars the only consideration is to put them  as close as possible to the shops we intend to go to without actually parking our cars inside the the shops. Other considerations like not blocking the road and passage, and inconveniencing other parkers, are, well, apparently never considered. 

Road workers, even on the PLUS highway, nonchalantly do whatever they're supposed to do, without warning cones and safety reflective  jackets, and blissfully ignore the 120 k.p.h. vehicles that can crush them to a bloody mess in an instant hurtle inches from them.

Of course all of us chat, wassapp and everything else that we all do on our moblie devices (they're no longer called 'phones, you know that! ) while driving, and that includes on motorcycles. 

Not long ago, some of the Club's workers were cutting down a large tree just after the 18th. hole. (Why the Club wanted to cut it escapes me. It seems the Club is in the business of slowly removing all the trees they never even planted, and end up as a treeless golf club. That'll be an achievement for a golf club anywhere in the world.) Another staff, one of  the tractor drivers, came by on his bike, to go for a break. Seeing his friends just about to bring the tree down, he took the chainsaw from Man's hands and proceeded to finish the final cut on the tree trunk. He didn't take note of the branches, although he must have made his plans to jump away from the falling trunk. Tragically one of the branches whipped his neck as the tree came down, and took his life right there.

I can go on and on and make my case. It's happening all the time. Life and limb are surely as valuable here as in other countries. Maybe Malaysians are more careless ?