December 10, 2010

Prove it

I wrote this to the forum of The Daily Express. I don't think they will carry it so I'll put in my blog :D :

I refer to the issue of Sri Tanjung's Assemblyman, DAP Jimmy Wong's Sijil Anak Negeri(SAN) or Native Certificate. I have been following the issue closely since I myself is a 'Sino-Kadazan'.
My personal opinion of the matter, I think Datuk Hajiji's motivation to 'uncover' the truth about Mr Wong's SAN is politically motivated. What else it would be? Don't even bother to pretend because even ordinary citizen like me can see for what it truly is. What better way to discredit Mr Wong's moral authority. The gusto that Datuk Hajiji and associates displayed to uncover the truth is commendable. One can only hope that in the next few months, there will be reports about Datuk Hajiji submitting more findings on more genuine SAN in the hands of unqualified people. It is an open secret that there are many 'towkays' out there who do not have a drop of native blood in them but somehow are in the possession of SAN. These SAN no doubt issued prior to 1982. Why stop here, keep the ball rolling.

December 8, 2010

Bogus Natives with Genuine Native Certificate

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Herman Luping has written an interesting article in relation to the row between Sabah DAP Sri Tanjung Assemblyman, Jimmy Wong and the state's Local Government and Housing Ministry under Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor over the former's Sijil Anak Negeri (SAN) or Native Certificate. Read report here.

Dr Herman is a veteran Sabahan politician. He was among the few locals who were handpicked, if not earmarked by the British Colonial government in then North Borneo, to be trained and groomed to be Senior Civil Servants(Read about his reminiscent). He was also a former Deputy Chief Minister and State-Attorney General. Hence, in my humble opinion, he is most qualified to comment on the subject compare to the younger generation of Sabahan politicians.

December 7, 2010

Turtle Legends of Sabah

I was surfing the internet looking for stories/legends/history of Sabah and I stumbled upon this site called Sabah Folklore. One particular post in the site caught my attention, Turtle's Legends in Sabah. It tells the story of a turtle that helped an old woman and in return, the turtle got the old woman to tell her people not to eat turtle meat. The story ends with "To this day, many people in Sabah do not eat turtle meat". 

Interesting I thought because my late maternal Grand mother Mary Motto side of the family has a legend of their own with regard to turtle, specifically a specie called 'Labi Labi' in Malay. Labi Labi is a fresh water turtle belonging to the Trionychoidea family. Their story also ends with the turtle making someone promised not to eat turtle meat but their 'rules' were more extreme.

Depends on who I ask, the details of the story varies from one family member to the next but they all 'believe' that the 'curse' on the family is true. 
Once upon a time, in a place within Kuala Penyu or its fringes (my mom has a theory that it was in Klias), there was a wedding. All the kampung folks attended the ceremony. The newly weds' house was across a river (which is why my mom thinks it is in Klias because there is a river called Sungai Klias there and also she said most people who are affected by the 'curse' are in Klias). They had to use a boat to cross the river to reach the newly weds' house. Wading across the river probably would not be a good idea because Klias river is infested with crocodiles and going to a party soaking wet would not have been a good way to start your merry making. 
Unbeknown to the Kampung folks who crossed the river, they have left behind a little girl. So this poor girl was standing there on the opposite side of the riverbanks, probably feeling helpless and wondering why the adults in the boat could not hear her yelling at them. She probably said, "Woi! Cilaka! Kenapa kamurang kasih tinggal aku bah!". Ok, maybe she would not have said "Cilaka".

December 6, 2010

The Peter Tananak Clan

I attended the clan gathering of my Dusun side recently on 20 November 2010 at Kampung Kabunau, Kuala Penyu. It is an annual gathering started by the Kimsin branch of our clan. The annual gathering is a way for us to rekindle and strengthen relations among the descendants of my great Grandparents, Peter Tananak & Monica Sanandu. This year, the honor to host the gathering fell to the Emok branch of the family.

I had the pleasure of having interacted with my great grandpa. He outlived my father in fact. My dad passed away on 19 December 1977 at the age of 39 and my great grandpa passed away on 22 November 1981 at the age of 103.

Most of the interaction I had with my great grandpa occurred at my late grandpa James Sunam's home at Kampung Takuli, Beaufort. I think I was no more than 10 years old then. Those days there was no electricity at my grandpa James Sunam's home. At dusk, my grandpa James Sunam would 'crank up' the Hurricane Lamp and there was no TV at night. So you could have guessed by now that I was not very big on staying overnight at my granpa's home.

On hindsight, I think I know why my maternal auntie Margaret Sunam tricked me and my younger sister into tagging along with her to my grandpa's home on one particular day. She enticed us to follow her to my grandpa's home and promised that we would not be staying overnight. I think they had wanted us to meet our great grandpa and resorted to trickery to get us going.

I remember that night I was throwing tantrum because I wanted to go home. It was dark, no TV and I was miserable. The adults made excuses as to why they could not send us home that night. I remember my grandpa called me to his side and I complied. Sitting next to him was a familiar old face, I had seen him before. My grandpa told me that the old man was my 'Datuk'. Still sulking, I acknowledged half heartedly. I was young and did not know the significance of the moment. How could I? The concept that my grandpa has a father was not apparent to me. I thought my Datuk was just another old men, a friend to my grandpa.

I remember that my grandpa was very (I mean VERY) respectful to my Datuk, almost to the extend of reverence. That night, my grandpa tried to prod me into having a longer conversation with my Datuk. I remember it did not last very long because soon I lost interest; I did not have any interest to begin with on account that I was upset at being tricked into staying overnight. I might even had been rude to my Datuk but he just brushed aside my attitude with a sagely smile. There is this vivid scene etched in my head, of him staring at me affectionately. His face was all wrinkly but I remember his eyes were very alive and alert. So there we were, my grandpa trying to make me talk and the surrounding was aglow in yellow hue from the candle light. Datuk spoke to me in Hakka but I cannot remember what he said to me. Anyhow, my Hakka was not really good anyway.

The next time I would see Datuk again, was at his home at Kiambor. By that time, he was bed ridden and frail. When he passed away, I was not brought along to his funeral.

I always thought that my siblings and I are second generation Chinese on the Chinese side of the family. Am I confusing you? Sorry, I have trouble putting my train of thoughts in proper order. Let me explain, my father was a Chinese Hakka, he was borned in Sandakan. His parents came from China. Hence, my father and his siblings would be the first generation Chinese Sabahans. My father married my mother (of course, Captain obvious) whom is a Dusun. So my siblings and I are Sino-Kadazan (The National Registration Department would of course say there is no such thing but I beg to differ, check Article 161A (6)(B) of the Malaysian Constitution which says that a person who either has one parent or grandparent whom are a native of Sabah, shall be considered as a native him/herself).

Apparently, my mother was not her family's first trailblazers in marrying someone of different race! My Datuk himself was either a Sino-Kadazan or full fledged Chinese! Why I cannot for certain say what his actual race is because we do not have the details of his mother. None at all! But we know who his father was.

Thanks to gatherings like our annual clan gathering, the older generations of our family could share their knowledge of our clan history. This is what I gleaned so far:

November 21, 2010

The Malays are offshoots of Dusuns in Borneo?

I revisited my blog post about the Bununs & Dusuns today because apparently, most visitors that landed to my humble blog came because of this post(according to Blogger stats). Apparently, some folks had been reposting that post in Facebook and Twitter hehehe.. I am glad they were entertained by it, it was done for amusement. However, it has generated a kind of buzz that got people sharing their knowledge etc. That is a pleasant 'by product' I did not expect.

Anyway, like I said, I was revisiting that post and checking on comments made about it and I found this link that someone has shared in response to someone else's post about my post hehehe.. 

So I am sharing it here. It says some scientists are conducting research and suggested that the Malays in Peninsula Malaysia are in fact, Dusuns who migrated there. And Yunnan China is again mentioned. Click on 1Malaysia for the link. 

September 7, 2010

Never Quit

The past 2 years, especially, have been tough! From a cushy job and air-conditioned building, I went to doing practically manual labour, under the hot sun no less sometime or most of the time. Being away from my wife and son is not helping either.

I keep getting the same question from friends and relatives, "Why don't you go back? You had a nice job?". Often asked with either a tone of pity or incredulity. Most of the time, I just give polite replies. However, silently, their reactions only bolster my resolve. To me, their reaction is a challenge to my ability and like any other challenges I have come across through the years, I will prove them wrong!

You see, about 3 years ago, I packed and left my wife and son in a metropolitan city and came back to Sabah. I had a dream, I wanted to give them a better live. I promised them it wouldn't be long before I invite them to join me. 

Well, in short, I encountered minor setbacks or some might say major ones depending on whether you look at the glass as half empty or half full. My endeavour proved to be tougher than I thought. Lack of funds make my 'project' even tougher to start. That is the first lesson I learned! If you have enough money, you can move mountains and don't have to break a sweat. Unfortunately for me, I don't have enough funding.

So what did I do? Improvised! I make do with what I have, I worked around the problem. Slower start but I will eventually get to where I want. I get my hands dirty and learn how to handle tools like handsaw, hammer and swinging the machette. It is a 360 degree about turn for me. I went from pencil pushing and computer in air conditioned office to manual labour with the open air under scorching hot sun as my office. 

I would be lying if I say that there were no moments when I felt like giving up while toiling under the hot sun but I hardened myself and refused to indulge in self pity. I started something and I promised my wife and son, and I will finish it even if I have to crawl and claw my way there, so help me God! Having said this, you see?! The past few years were not a total loss. It is character building! 

If my business do take off! I will be ready for success because now I appreciate the virtue of discipline and being committed.

3 years ago, I wouldn't have this kind of determination in doing things. When things are rough and you can't see any light at the end of the tunnel, just fight on. Keep on moving, one step at a time. This is not the first time I am in a significant juncture in my live. It happened once when I was in my 20s, I survived it and folks at home would think that I had an above average kinda successful live. After all, I left with only RM300/- in my pocket for a metropolitan city and armed only with an O level. No skills at all! Never even touched a computer before but I adapted. I rose through rank and file, married a wife there and has a son, owned a property.       

Now I am at another cross road and another challenge, I will persevere and see where this road leads me to.

The following is my favourite poem, 

Don't Quit - by Unknown author

When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high;
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things go wrong that you mustn't quit.

September 3, 2010

What happened to living your advices?

When I was young, my elders lectured and emphasised the following:

1)      The importance of punctuality – Get to school on time, don’t make people wait for you (especially if they were adults),  the early bird gets the worm etc..
2)      The importance of finishing what you start – Don’t do things halfway, must be disciplined, if you always gives up half way, you’ll never be successful in live,
3)       Don’t daydream like Mat Jenin – Mat Jenin is a character who always have lofty dreams of making it rich but ends up screwing himself in the end because of his stupidity and complacency.  So I was discouraged from day dreaming and to put words into action. I don’t know how many times I was told not to be complacent that it became annoying because it came to a point when I think I was actually accused or was actually complacent. What was meant (the action) to be an encouragement and warning to me not to take the path of Mat Jenin actually became counter-productive because the way my elders were imparting their wisdom was wrong.
4)      Don’t waster your time doing nothing – Sitting around doing nothing is discouraged. I must always engaged myself in productive activities.

May 26, 2010

Scholar opened can of worms on East Malaysia's position in Malaysia

Have to thank Prof Dr Manjit Singh for sharing his academic views on the position of Sabah and Sarawak in the federation of Malaysia. Over the past few days, Sabahan politicians, both in government and opposition has come out and  responded to his comments. This 'discussion' over the local paper Daily Express these past few days has given me a deeper and better understanding of our history. I think most young Malaysians including those born in the 60's and 70's like me are not aware of this part of the history. Hence, I agree with the call of a Sabahan politician to include this facts in our schools' history books.        

Disappointing to note that our national medias are not covering these exchanges which should be and is a national issue. SAPP's President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, is perhaps right in his observation that Sabah and Sarawak issues are of little concern to the national medias. 

This is what I have 'gleaned' thus far (and I welcome to be corrected if I'm wrong) :

May 25, 2010

Quality time with family in dream

I chatted with my 6 year old son and wife via Yahoo! Messenger last night. My son initiated the chat, he called my home in Sabah and told me to go online and have a video conference.

He doesn't do that often(asked me to chat online), so I was pleasantly surprised. Boy, he has grown to a handsome young man and he is quite assertive these days. He said, "I love you but I don't like Sabah! You come back to Singapore or stay in Sabah?!". How to convince a young boy that sacrifices needed to be made.

We ended the chat early as it was a school night. The chat did nothing to satisfy my pang to be with my family, if anything, it only made me miss my son more.

I went to sleep and I dreamt the most beautiful dream I ever had. I can only say it was a gift from God, it is so just what I needed last night. In my dream, I enter my bedroom and there waiting for me were my wife and son! :D. I was surprise and I thought to myself(in my dream of course), "This could not be happening. They're here!". My wife was preparing the bed but there was only one single bed, so my wife put a mattress on the floor for herself. Then she asked my son whether he wanted to sleep with daddy like last time and he said yes and promptly climbed up into my bed. All this while, I was just standing there and looking at them with astonishment. The first thing that came to mind was I wanted to hug my son, I haven't hugged him for, as far as I'm concerned, too long a time. I got into bed and told my son to give me a hug and he did. It was so real and vivid! You know how they say a human touch can heal the soul, we're human, we're sociable, touching is a way of communicating what words cannot say. I swear I could feel him! Oh! I held him tightly.

Needless to say, this morning, I woke up feeling chirpy. Now I know the true extend of all those mushy mushy poems and songs about meeting someone in their dreams or dreams that quenches the yearning of the heart. Thank you God. You were smiling at me last night. This beauty I give thanks and credit to you.

May 23, 2010

Recurring Dream

I keep having this recurring dream, as far as I can remember, the same 'plot'. Different car and different people but always the same story.

In it, I'm driving, I put the gear to reverse, so I reverse the car, then the speed would get out of control. I would step on the brake repeatedly but it would not stop. Then I would shift the gear to first gear and hit the pedal to the floor but the car would still be reversing. As the car is reversing out of control, I would hit things and I try my best to avoid them. Then I either wake up or I move on to another dream!

It's not a scary dream but it's annoying. The sense of helplessness is annoying.

Last night I had the dream again, only this time, I'm driving my brand new Proton Saga. So today, to 'take revenge', I bought my car's registration number :P. One straight and one backward since the dream is always about me reversing out of control.

Can't wait for the lottery result to come out this evening hahaha

May 22, 2010

NGO disagrees with historian's view

Front page news, Daily Express today:
Larry Ralon
KOTA KINABALU: The Society of Hope Kota Kinabalu disagreed with Prof. Dr Ranjit of Universiti Utara Malaysia that the Federation of Malaysia is no longer a partnership between three equal partners, i.e. Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya.
Its President, Christina Liew said it is very clearly stated in the Malaysia Agreement in 1963 that the three are partners in forming the federation government of Malaysia.
"He (Dr Ranjit) cannot deny history and the terms stated, unless repealed...the Malaysia Agreement is still relevant and valid. Otherwise I will discus with all the other State NGO leaders on this issue and we may even hold a public forum for their views." she said.
She was referring to the Daily Express front page report on Friday where Dr Ranjit was quoted as saying Sabah and Sarawak cannot really claim that the Federation of Malaysia is a parthership of three equal members. 
My remark : In the same page of the paper, Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili(The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, a Kadazandusun politician) was quoted saying that Sabah and Sarawak became just like any other State under the Federation of Malaysia after the first 10-year review of the Federal Constitution sometime in the mid-1970s. He, however, disagreed with the Prof that Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaysia, maintaining that it is a historical fact that Sabah and Sarawak plus Singapore formed Malaysia together with Malaya.
He had said that while some of the Sabah and Sarawak demands such as request for greater autonomy and a review of petroleum royalty may be justified, both states really cannot claim that the Federation is a partnership of three equal members. 
He said this position might have been valid when the Malaysia Agreement was signed, but that both states accepted the new Constitution of Malaysia where the Federal structure applied to all states in an equal manner except for the special state rights of Sabah and Sarawak, which were recognised and guaranteed.
My remark : Note he said 'new Constitution of Malaysia'. Is he referring to what Dr Max said about the review of the Constitution in mid-1970s? 
Dr Ranjit said this in his presentation titled "Sabah Politics/Policy and Federal-State Relations 1963-1995" at a Public Policy Seminar held at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa here.
Liew said: "In response to what he said, we would like to point out that by adopting the West Malaysia power-sharing model, Sabah Umno now holds 32 seats, the balance 28 shared among the BN component parties. 
"None of the BN components has more than five state seats. It is a lopsided power sharing formula. That is the reason for SAPP  to pull out of the BN."
She said Sabah remains the poorest state even though we are rich in natural resources.
"There is hardly any infrastructure in the interior until after the 2008 tsunami, then some sort of promised allocation to develop the interior areas as fixed deposits for the Federal government."
"The hardcore poverty people consist of mainly the local natives. They have fared worst since independence. They do not enjoy the benefits of the NEP. There is no sign of improving their conditions." 
My remark: I think Dr Ranjit attributed the failure of NEP to benefit the local natives due to Federal government's 'ignorance' of, among others, the ethnic composition and religious beliefs of natives in East Malaysia. Read here. Well, at least the NGO and Dr Ranjit both agreed that the delivery system of the NEP was flawed where East Malaysia is concerned.

She said the special rights of Sabah guaranteed in the Malaysia Constitution (20) had been reduced or repealed to only two remaining.
"We are at least 20-30 years behind in development . There are no roads, no water, and power supply in the interior villages. These villages continue to depend on rainwater or river (untreated) as their only source of drinking water; the way it was before independence. They lack housing, medical facilities, doctors, schools, teachers, and basic amenities in all the villages." she said.

May 21, 2010

'Know Federal system' advice ; Situation unlike when Agreement was signed

The following article is on the front page of Daily Express today.
Larry Ralon
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah and Sarawak cannot really claim that the Federation of Malaysia is a partnership of three equal members, a leading academician asserted , Thursday.
He called for a change in the mindset of Sabahans in that they must understand the workings of a Federal structure.
"While some of their demands such as request for greater autonomy and a review of petroleum royalty may be justified, Sabah and Sarawak rally cannot claim that the Federation is a partnership of three equal members," Prof. Dr Ranjit Singh of Universiti Utara Malaysia's College of Law, Government and International Studies.
While this position might have had its validity when the Malaysia Agreement was signed, he said both states accepted the new Constitution of Malaysia where the Federal structure applied to all states in the country in an equal manner except for the special state rights of Sabah and Sarawak, which were in fact recognized and guaranteed.
However, he pointed out that some perceptions and orientations of both the Federal Government and Sabahans and Sarawakians pertaining to nation-building and national integration must change.
As far as the Federal Government is concerned it ought to realise that the strategies and policies for development in West Malaysia may not totally applicable to the East Malaysian states.
My remark : Finally! Someone is echoing the sentiment of people like me. Federal Government and opposition leaders will do well to take note of this. 
"These states are basically different in terms of geographical features, population distribution, ethnic composition, social organisation, religious beliefs, economic systems, political structures and historical experiences."
Dr Ranjit said this in his presentation titled "Sabah Politics/Policy and Federal-State Relations 1963-1995" at a Public Policy Seminar themed "Effective Policy, People Prosper" organised by the Cabinet and Policy Unit of the Chief Minister's Department, at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Thursday.
Dr Ranjit said one stark reality which either not well comprehend in West Malaysia, or more often ignored, or even psychologically rejected, is that the majority of bumiputeras in both these East Malaysian states are non-Malays - and hence non-Muslims.
My remark : Yes, majority but of course there are KadazanDusun Muslims also.
"This has often created problems relating to the extension of the special rights of the Malays and the benefits of the New Economic Policy (NEP) to the non-Malay Muslim natives on the one hand and question of political power and political leadership, on the other," he said. He said the non Malay Muslim natives of both Sarawak and Sabah have often alleged that they have been victimised, that they have not enjoyed the fruits of the NEP which have instead been diverted to the minority Malay Muslim communities of the two states.
My remark : Ah? Hello? I thought the NEP was suppose to benefit Bumiputeras overall in Malaysia, including Natives of Sabah and Sarawak, which are essentially Bumiputeras(sons of soil), regardless of religion? In West Malaysia, it is simple for you folks. A bumiputera in West Malaysia is Malay. A Malay is a Muslim and a Muslim is a Malay. If you are a Muslim or a Malay then you are a Bumiputera. 

In East Malaysia, you cannot use that simple formula. Malays are a minority here. You said it yourself that majority of bumiputeras in both these East Malaysian states are non-Malays - and hence non-Muslims. Even a leading academician got this wrong, the article on you were quite promising in the beginning but it seems your understanding is limited too. In Sabah, there are Non-Muslim Bumiputeras (or Natives like you insist on calling us as though only West Malaysians have the right to call themselves sons of soil) as there are Muslim Bumiputeras. Read the Constitution of Malaysia. 

And, are you saying that the NEP was only meant to uplift the economic status of Muslim Bumiputeras? This is indeed a revelation. Is this one of the reasons why Sabah has the highest hardcore poor ever since our Nationhood? If so, don't just talk about Non-Malay Muslims natives lamenting about not benefiting from the NEP, Non-Malay Non-Muslim natives were also screwed. What happened to the Special Position of the Natives in Sabah as enshrined in the Constitution?  
Similarly, he said the political history in the two states from 1963 to 1990 had shown that the non-Malay Muslim natives aspire for political leadership and domination in the respective states based on the belief that the majority population should hold the reins of power in a democracy.
He said the Federal view and position, however, has been either in favour of shared power (based on the West Malaysian model) or tacit support for Malay Muslim political leadership.

May 20, 2010

Extremism is a sneaky bastard..

My philosophy in live is simple, it's a 10 letter word but it covers a wide range of areas of my live. I applied it in my academic pursue, in my learning new skills, in my interaction with people, in problem solving, in my relationships, in the upbringing of my son and many more but I think I covered the fundamental areas already.

What is it? UNDERSTAND. Ok, maybe it should be UNDERSTANDING but that would be more than 10 letters.

It's a mental tool that we all have but most of us do not use it. Like the saying, "easier to hate than to understand". Ever since I was young, I always questioned, questioned, questioned and I always did the opposite of what people tell me to do (even in adulthood, some friends remarked that I have this habit of going against the flow) and I don't accept facts at face value. Once, in my early teen, my mom got my late maternal Grandfather to have a talk with me because she said I don't listen to her. My Grandfather admonished me for being 'naughty' and warned me if I still persisted, Karma would come back and bite me.

May 19, 2010

Bung gets a month's jail

The Star Online reported that Kinabatangan Member of Parliament, Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, gets a month's jail for getting into a polygamous marriage without the consent of the Syariah court. Read news here.

In history around the world where the government of the day practice repressive policy, we have Nelson Mandela, Jose Rizal, Benigno Aquino Jr, Xaxana Gusmao, Aung San Suu Kyi etc who belonged to a club where they have experienced having their liberty taken away because of their political beliefs or because of their struggle. Some of them survive this ordeal but some unfortunately, were made martyrs and some are still going through this ordeal. I consider these people powerhouse politicians, people who sacrifice themselves for their beliefs, for their country and people.

In Malaysia too, we have politicians who belongs to this club. Some even became ministers later. We have Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 1974 and 1998(who was a Deputy Prime Minister), Lim Kit Siang in 1987, Karpal Singh in 1987, Ibrahim Ali in 1987, Fahmi Ibrahim in 1987, Jeffrey Kitingan in 1990 (Sabahan), Maximus Ongkili (Sabahan & presently a Federal Minister) and many others. Source : Wikipedia.

Now I am not saying that these people who was put under ISA was necessarily 'good or bad'. However, they believed enough in their cause that they risked being incarcerated. That at least deserve some respect and credit.

To be jailed seems to be a required baptism of fire for our politicians. Now Datuk Bung has joined the club albeit it being only a one month jail term and in most likelihood he will be given a stay of execution.    

Another feather to his political cap?

P.s/- You do know that this is tongue in cheek, don't you?

May 18, 2010

Tale of Thalassaemia, Poverty and a few Good Samaritans

First (I know many people have said this but I don’t think you can have enough of thank yous for a kind deed), I would like to congratulate and thank Mr Željko Bošnjak, the Croation Ambassador to Malaysia whom had successfully rallied his friends, family and associates to fork out funds to build little Rohead Nik Dominic’s family home.

Also kudos to Children’s Wish Society of Malaysia (CWS) work (they also took part in raising funds and co-ordinate the building of Rohead’s home, which was not their earlier scope of involvement with Rohead), if it weren’t for them fulfilling an ill little boy’s wish for a Sony PSP, Rohead’s plight would not have caught the kind ambassador’s attention. Not only Rohead gets a new Sony PSP, his family gets a new home.

See the before and after :)

May 7, 2010

The late Anthonia Sunam – What happened…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Many friends and relatives have been asking the circumstances surrounding my late aunt’s sudden passing. Amongst the questions were whether she had been sick and whether she died of cancer.

My aunt had been asthmatic since she was a young girl. It was a condition that she had learned to cope with and lived with throughout her life. Because of her condition, she was not a physically active person. She regularly consulted with her physician and took medicines to manage the condition and she always had an inhaler with her.

Despite her condition, she did not let it became an excuse for her not to live her life to the fullest. She lived in Illinois for three years when she was in her 30’s (that was in the 80’s). She was pursuing her degree in The University of Illinois. Despite her condition, the winter in Illinois was not a problem to her, I recalled she had a picture taken of her out in the open and the surrounding was white with snow.

May 5, 2010

The late Anthonia Sunam

BORN : 13 JUNE 1947 DEPARTED : 1 MAY 2010
I am blogging this because my aunt Maggie and mom have been inundated with queries from friends and relatives concerning my late Aunty Toni. Their concerns are very much appreciated but I think both my mom and aunty Maggie are worn out from the events of the past few days. Hence, this is my way of alleviating their burden and also help to give some ‘closure’ to my late Aunty Toni’s friends and our relatives.

5 May 2010

We buried her today at Kampung Takuli burial communal burial ground in Beaufort. She is laid to rest side by side with her parents and brother;she is in good company.

Our convoy, departed from Fook Lu Siew Funeral Parlour(FLS) at Mile 2 1/2 Tuaran Road, Kota Kinabalu for Beaufort at 8am with a police escort up to Putatan. I had to mention the police escort because we appreciate the kind service, not exclusive to us I am sure but still, very much appreciated. FLS provided the transportation.

Aunty Toni’s remain reached St Valentine’s Church in Beaufort at about 10am as planned. Datuk Bishop Cornelius Piong, a relative(my late aunty’s family rank is aunty to him) within our Tanana Clan, had set aside some time from his busy schedule to say mass. I am sure he volunteered because of clan solidarity(we are tight knit) and love for my late aunt but still, on behalf of the Sunam branch of the Tanana Clan, we are thankful for his kind gesture.

After the mass, our convoy left the church compound for Kampung Takuli where the Sunam family has sunk root, call it their home and are accepted by the Kampung folks as one of their own. My late maternal Grandfather, James Sunam, was the de facto Catholic leader in the Kampung.

When we reached the burial ground, I was amazed to see that there were already at least 30 vehicles lined up on both sides of the road shoulders ahead of our convoy waiting for our arrival. 

These were friends and relatives from Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Penyu, Beaufort, Sipitang, other parts of the state and of course, the good folks of Kampung Takuli, who came to honour the memory of my late aunty.   

The good Bishop again presided over the burial ceremony. It was a hot afternoon but a good weather to say good bye to our dear Toni (aunty to me :) ) and inter her back to earth. I was touched that the good Kampung folks helped dug her grave, free of charge mind you and they did it without complaining;a communal activity.

After the burial, we had lunch under the hot sun because some Kampung folks said that it was taboo for us to hold the luncheon at our ‘ancestral’ home which is less than 5 minutes walk away. It was not what we had instructed and caused discomfort amongst the elderlies of our guests but we did not want to belittle or hurt the feelings of our kind Kampung folks.Hence, we obliged to the ‘adat’/taboo.

I also want to add that the luncheon fare was prepared by our Kampung folks albeit expenses reimbursed by our family. Still, we appreciate their contribution.

Worth Mentioning

In Sabah, lives 1Malaysia. Although I was not surprised but still the gesture touched me.
Our Muslim relatives came to pay their respect, that’s normal but to see them observing mass and being inside the four walls of the church and silently observing the mass as it proceeded, it touched me.

The fact that they were relatives of ours still do not diminish my awe. They comforted my aunty Maggie and my mom. They gave the customary both side hug and kiss for both of my mom and aunty Maggie and I was surprised that the latter knew how to respond :). Both sides were in their environment like fish to water.

5 May 2010 – 9:11pm

We just finished praying rosary for my late Aunty Toni. Church members from around our Kampung i.e. Kampung Jimpangah, came to accompany our family to observe the customary seven day vigil. Tonight is considered the 5th night, on the 7th night, according to Dusun belief, my late Aunty Toni will come home and visit us.

Will update you more later.

April 26, 2010

Justice Done! – Bank Loses Case in NT land abuse by Non-Native #SSSM

International Bank Malaysia Bhd loses its bid to retain its right as chargee of a Native Title (NT) land which was fraudulently transferred to a Non-Native.

The bank is poorer by RM100,000/-, a drop in the bucket for them and hey, they could just write it off as losses and get a tax discount. But more importantly, this landmark case send a clear warnings to bank institutions in Sabah. I bet managements of Banks now are telling their legal and loan departments to review their guidelines and policies. They might even be looking into their existing loans involving NT lands.
And I bet and I hope, Non-Natives who are in possession of NT Lands via fraud are having sleepless nights right now. 

Owning a land is perfectly fine, it is your god given right but owning them via fraud, now that is where it is not okay.

April 18, 2010

Sabahans Demand & Deserve a Direct Reply on IMM13 #SSSM

DAP Kota Kinabalu, Dr Hiew King Cheu, had asked the government on 13 April 2010 in the Dewan Rakyat for the reason the MyKad is being given to the 96,000 refugees from the neighbouring countries(A) who are staying in Sabah and holding IMM13 certificates.

In reply, this is verbatim from the Daily Express dated 17 April 2010:
The Immigration Department has issued IMM13 documents to refugees from the Philippines in Sabah, allowing them to stay in the country based on humanitarian grounds.
The Home Affairs Minister said the IMM13(B) is a special permanent pass issued to allow the foreign refugees to enter and stay in Malaysia on a yearly period.
Responding to a question by DAP Kota Kinabalu MP, Dr Hiew King Cheu, the Ministry said the Government would issue the MyKad(C) to eligible applicants who are qualified under the National Registration Act 1959 (Article 78) and the Constitution.
I tried to get the Hansard from parliament to see and verify the actual question by Dr Hiew and actual reply from Datuk Hisamuddin Tun Hussein. However, they were not in the Hansard. Hence, I have to rely on The Daily Express’ report.

April 12, 2010

Street Urchins on the streets of Kota Kinabalu

The following is a letter written by a reader published in The Daily Express on 11 April 2010 (copied verbatim),
Examples abound in Sabah
I AM a British international musician, not resident in Sabah, but have worked throughout Borneo since 1980, and have helped a generation of teachers achieve their aims. I write to you from Hong Kong where I am about to commence work.
Having read your recent reports concerning the plight of homeless Sabahans both in Semenanjung and Sabah, may I respectfully suggest some focus by your paper on some individual cases within Sabah.
Take the case of Ardy, he is a cardboard box kid trying to scratch a living in KK. Ardy is one of the many casualties of life of parents who split and subsequently abandoned him. He doesn’t really who he is; only that he was “asli” from Kota Belud.
Is he one of those who “hisap gum” (sniff glue)? Almost certainly, since I vaguely remember him for some 10 years ago in Sinsuran with his Kumpulan (group) of little friends. Some days he is very sad, and rather dirty. Other days when people talk to him and show a little care and understanding, his eyes brighten.

April 5, 2010

Why is our state named Sabah? #SSSM

Few weeks ago, I pondered on the meaning of Sabah. I googled it and found out that the word Sabah in African and Arabic means Sunrise and Morning respectively.

I was still not satisfied and twit my question in Twitter, hoping that someone in Twitter knows the answer. Nada!

Today while researching online for an article I was going to blog about, I stumbled on a Wiki entry.
In 1959, Tun Datu Haji Mustapha Bin Datu Harun met Sultan Tunku Laxamana Awang Ishak Ismail Jalil in a place called Kampung Takuli, Beaufort, Sabah. He was to convey a message of freeing the Borneo from British Colonial. Tun Mustapha asked Sultan Tunku Laxamana Awang Ishak his view regarding the new name of Borneo. The Sultan Tunku Laxamana Awang Ishak told Tun Mustapha to use Sabah as the name of the state. That is his ancestor Awang Alak Betatar mentioned the word Mongoi da sasabah every times he wants to go to the sea. The meaning is let’s go fishing to the sea whereas the island was surrounded by the sea and had a lot fish.
Kampung Takuli by the way, is where my late grandfather decided to settle down. The next time there is a gathering in the kampung, I will make sure to ask the old folks just who the heck was this Sultan Tunku Laxamana. 

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Dusun Tatana - Origin

I am curious to find out more about my heritage. If you have facts that contradict with my version, please, pray tell. I would love to hear from you.

Tatana is one of the Sub-group of the tribe, Dusun. Dusun in Kuala Penyu, Sabah, refer themselves as Dusun Tatana.

(Note: These days Dusun has been ‘bundled’ together with the Kadazans. We are called KadazanDusun now. Politically correct)

According to oral history passed down to my mother (whose memory is not as sharp as it was before, I’m just writing what she told me), the word Tatana means ‘earth people’ or in Malay, ‘orang tanah’.

In the old days, the Dusuns in Kuala Penyu were constantly harassed by a neighbouring tribe called the Bisaya. Quite common those days. Old folks say that a village was considered a country back then, hence, if it was a fight between 2 villages, it was actually considered as a fight between  2 countries. And head hunting was still being practiced back then. Hence, the raids could be a head hunting party.

As a defence, the Dusun in Kuala Penyu started building underground hideouts. When the raiding party came, the Dusuns would hide in these underground hideouts. That is how Dusun Tatana came to be known as Tatana.  

It is also claimed that due to the constant harassment by the Bisaya, some Dusun migrated in land, as far as Tambunan. Not sure whether Tambunan already had its Dusun community then or whether the present day Dusun Tambunan are the progeny of these Dusun Tatana that migrated there.

This is the problem with oral history. It changes each time it’s retold.

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Interference and Political wrangling in the early years of Sabah and Malaysia

I stumbled upon this old book tucked away in a book shelves at my late grandfather’s home. My late uncle’s initial was scribbled on it. $12/- was also handwritten in the same page. The book was all dusty, the cover was not interesting at all (I confess, I usually pick up a book only when I fancy its cover) but I decided to read it.

The book’s title is “The Politics of Federalism – Syed Kechik in East Malaysia”. It is a biography of Syed Kechik by one Bruce Ross-Larson, published in December 1976. Printed in Singapore by Times Printers Sdn Bhd.

I think most Malaysians and even young Sabahans do not know who Syed Kechik is, nor did I. However, he apparently yielded tremendous influence in the politics and policies of the Sabah state government, to a point that there was a stage when West Malaysian leaders became wary of him.

Syed Kechik was a West Malaysia Malay, a lawyer by profession. In late 1965, Kuala Lumpur’s top leadership instructed him to go to Sabah to do what he could for the cause of federalism. What was suppose to be a short stint became an indefinite stay for Syed Kechik. He became heavily intertwined with the politics of Sabah and her politicians. He was not a politician and he was always in the background. Perhaps you could say that he was the one actually running the state.

Syed Kechik was both a shrewd player of the game called Politic and businessman. He became one of the most powerful and richest men in Sabah in his time.

April 1, 2010

Legend of Mt Kinabalu – Mixture of Myth & Truth

The following story was taken from Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association’s website.

One of many KadazanDusun legends compiled by Joanna K-Kissey, Director of State Archives. Please take note that I copied it verbatim.
One of popular legends of Mount Kinabalu is about the dragon who lived at the top of Mount Kinabalu, who was said to have a ‘Butiza’, a lunimous jewel a bezoar stone, which he used as his lamp and plaything.
On moonlight night the people of Ranau and Tamparuli places would look up at Kinabalu and they saw the bright gem being tossed up and caught again and again on the dragon’s forked tongue.
The story about this dragon luminous jewel, spred beyond the seas, even as far as China. The Emperor who heard about it was determined to get possessions of the jewel. He send away of his best warriors to get it but all in vain. Till, he finally decided tosend his two sons, Wong Wang Kong, the elders, and Wong Song Ping, the younger brother. The brothers sent in their own junk equipped with men.
When they finally reached Borneo and came to Kinabalu Mountain, they found out that it was such a difficult task. The elder brother was disappointed with their futile attempt but the younger brother was working on his strategy to take the jewel.

The Dusun(Sabah,Malaysia) and Bunun(Taiwan) connection?

Years ago, I heard talks about how KadazanDusun’s culture and rituals are quite similar to that of a tribe in Taiwan. It suggested a possible common ancestry. I thought nothing more of it but today, perhaps I got too much free time on hand, I revisited that theory. Surfed the net, read articles, read forums.

From herein, I will refer KadazanDusun as Dusun because the former is long and I’m too lazy to type long names. In anycase, KadazanDusun is a recent coinage, a marriage of the tribe name of Kadazan and Dusun by our leaders for unification purposes. I’m not here to discuss kadazanDusun, if you want to know more about the background of the name, I suggest you visit Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association’s website.

The following is an excerpt from
The Kadazan language is an amalgation of various influences, mainly coming from other indigenous tribes in North Borneo and the adoption of various Malay words. According to legend, the Kadazan language has its roots in the migration of a band of seafaring Chinese from Southern China. Anecdotes describe a provincial Chinese tribe whose language differs greatly with the common Chinese dialects but bears striking similarities to the Kadazan language; a tribe whom purportedly bear a physical resemblance to Kadazans as well. However, no research or concrete evidence has risen to support these claims although it is supported by authoritative figures in the Kadazan community.

March 30, 2010

Carnal Intercourse against the order of nature

Act 574 of the Penal Code

377a. Any person who has sexual connection with another person by the introduction of the penis into the anus or mouth of the other person is said to commit carnal intercourse against the order of nature.
Explanation – Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual connection necessary to the offense described in this section.
Punishment for committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature

377b. Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be liable to whipping.

Committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature without consent, etc.

377c. Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature on another person without the consent, or against the will, of the other person, or by putting the other person in fear of death to the person or any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty years, and shall also be liable to whipping.

The subject of sodomy and oral sex came up in Twitter yesterday, triggered by talks about the recent win of Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek in his bid for his party’s presidency.

There were twits comparing his situation to that of Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the Opposition pact in Malaysia. The former had his sexcapade recorded without his knowledge and distributed to the public which led to his resignation as Health Minister on 2 January 2008. In the clip, it was reported that Dr Chua was given fellatio by his female companion. Dr Chua denied that he was involved in the production of the sex clip but he admitted that the man in the clip was him.

If you are not familiar with Dr Chua, he is a member of Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a political party in Malaysia which is a component of the political coalition that currently forms the government, known as National Front or Barisan Nasional in Malay.

Dr Chua was not charged in court for the fellatio he got and he has on 28 March 2010 made a stunning political comeback by winning MCA’s presidency election.

On the other side, we have Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim(DSAI), who is currently being tried for sodomy. A charge that DSAI vehemently denied having committed and the prosecutor has yet to produce conclusive evidence against him. Coincidently, DSAI is the leader of the Opposition pact in Malaysia.

Therefore, the chagrin of DSAI’s supporters and also Non-Partisans alike are understandable.

Anyway, the purpose for my blogging is not to discuss on Dr Chua and DSAI. The twit conversations on the matter roused my curiosity on the particular law that deal with this crime. So I started asking around and googled the act.

End result, I found section 377a/b/c of Act 574 from the Attorney General’s website.

Initially, I thought that our law did not cover Oral Sex, only Sodomy. Section 377a clarified that for me. It is defined in no uncertain terms,
…introduction of the penis into the anus or mouth…
In this juncture, I came upon an interesting oddity. We all know that Oral Sex came in the form of Fellatio and Cunnilingus. However, Section 377a has limited the crime to Fellatio only. Gender discrimination? :) One would think that the meaning of carnal intercourse against the order of nature would include Cunnilingus or maybe perhaps inserting one’s tongue into a vagina is very natural?

377a also limit the prosecution of person who participate in this sex act to the recipient of the fellatio i.e. the man who has his penis pampered,
Any person who has sexual connection with another person by the introduction of the penis into the anus or mouth of the other person..
If it had read as “Any person who has sexual connection with another person by the introduction of the penis into the anus or mouth”, that would have implicated both parties.

377c seems to address the punishment of the one giving the fellatio,
Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature on another person without the consent, or against the will, of the other person, or by putting the other person in fear of death to the person or any other person
However, this is only in the case of the recipient of the fellatio partaking in the sex act involuntarily.
Therefore, it is okay to give fellatio on someone provided it is voluntarily but if you are receiving it, you are in deep shit and women can continue having their oral sex provided it is done on them and not them giving oral sex to a man, otherwise, the man will be in deep shit.

March 29, 2010

West Malaysians begging in Sabah?

In the 4th page of The Daily Express today :

Concern over disabled from peninsula coming to Sabah's interior to beg 
Uhim Wong
KENINGAU: Sabah parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has expressed concern over disabled people from the peninsula coming to Sabah to beg.
Council of Elders' deputy chairman, Robert Linggi, questioned the motive of these disabled in wanting to come all the way from the peninsula to Sabah's interior just to beg.
He was commenting on two disabled people from Johor Baru singing songs and begging for sympathy from th public.
Ho Chen, 22, who met an accident several years ago that caused his legs to be amputated and his mute and blind friend, Lee, 26, said they came to Keningau on their own expenses.
"I just don't understand why they have to come all the way from West Malaysia to Sabah to beg when Sabah is already the poorest State," said Linggi.
He suspected that irresponsible people were making use of these West Malaysian disabled for their own ends.
I recognized the two in the picture, I saw them maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago in Beaufort. Ho Chen was sitting on a trolley while Lee pushed him. They were wearing bright red T-Shirts and caps. I thought they were one of the local disabled students. I thought the local school for the disabled was having a fundraising and thought nothing more of it, I was just driving by.

When I read that they came all the way from Johor Baru to beg in Sabah, my thoughts were exactly as what Linggi remarked, "I just don't understand why they have to come all the way from West Malaysia to Sabah to beg when Sabah is already the poorest State!".

I find the situation rather amusing. They obviously did not do their homework. Sabah is the last place you want to be begging for money and not especially if you have to use your own expenses to travel from Johor.

Then I was concern that they may be used by syndicate, I wonder whether there are many more of them in Sabah now. If there are many more disabled West Malaysians who flew in especially to beg, than something fishy is going on. However, if it's only Ho Chen and Lee, then I got a not so menacing theory on why they are here;Sightseeing! :), yes sightseeing. They probably just want to see(at least for Ho Chen) how Sabah is and decided to come over. Begging their way to cover their expenses.

March 12, 2010

Poverty splits mum and child

Poverty splits mum and child

It saddens me the poverty that Maureen Lee and her son have to endure. As a parent, I can feel her pain. To be separated from her son, to have to resort to sending her son to a boy's home for his own good.

She claimed that she saw well off people living in the Kuching Municipal Council flats that were meant for poor people? She said she was shocked to see people driving big cars living in these flats! I'm shocked too!

Perhaps the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission should look into this.

March 8, 2010

Plundering away the wealth of our children

Yeah! For profit!!! Squander everything while you can, fuck the environment. Fuck endangered species! I only care about my pocket.
This article is on the front page of the Daily Express today. Location – Mukah, Sarawak. These people are on a rush to be rich, apparently. Poor Sabah & Sarawak, not only foreign fishermen are plundering you, your own sons are doing the same to you.

March 6, 2010

Thank you for apologizing brother

I blogged about Al-Islam's reporters desecrating the Host which is considered to be the most sacrilegious act by Catholics.

Link as follow :

Today, I think I can say that all Malaysians of different races, religions including Muslims, collectively sigh with relief when Utusan Karya Sdn Bhd , the owner of Al Islam magazine, apologize to all Christians, specifically to Catholics.

In Utusan Karya Sdn Bhd site, they issued a statement saying that it was not their intention to offend Christians. They were conducting an investigation on a tip they received and they categorically deny that it was their intention to insult the Christians. They also said that the two reporters involved also asked for forgiveness for their ignorant. While carrying out their duty, they had without intention offended the Christians. It said that Al Islam hope similar incident will not happen again.

It also said that the apology will be printed in Al Islam April 2010 edition.

Khairy Jamaluddin, the MP for Rembau and UMNO Youth Chief twitted the following in response to this development:

@Khairykj Al Islam: If charged, positions harden, escalate. W/ apology - sincerity, forgiveness & reconciliation. Wisdom all around. 
Why I do a follow up blog on this?

I thought that it was not necessary for me to blog it as I am busy with my Twitter, moreover, media are already carrying the story. However, just in the off chance that I have a Western reader dropping by on my blog, I felt it is my responsibility to indicate in this blog that this matter is now resolved.

We have our closure and our fellow Malaysians, our brother of different faith, have apologized.

The following is Utusan Karya Sdn Bhd's statement of apology on their websie. Unfortunately, it is in Bahasa Malaysia. Well, you can use google language to translate it :)

Majalah Al Islam memohon maaf berhubung penyiaran artikel `Tinjauan Al Islam dalam Gereja: Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Melayu Murtad’, keluaran Mei 2009,  kerana artikel itu tanpa disengajakan telah menyinggung perasaan para penganut agama Kristian, khususnya Katolik.
Adalah dimaklumkan, tinjauan itu dilakukan bertujuan mencari kesahihan dakwaan orang awam berhubung isu tersebut. Al Islam juga sama sekali tidak berniat untuk menghina agama Kristian, apatah lagi mengganggu atau menceroboh rumah ibadat mereka.
Dua wartawan yang terlibat turut memohon maaf kerana tidak menyedari apa yang mereka lakukan semasa melaksanakan tugasan tersebut telah menyinggung perasaan para penganut agama berkenaan. Al Islam berharap perkara seumpama ini tidak akan berulang lagi. – Pengarang Al Islam

* Permohonan maaf ini juga akan disiarkan dalam Al Islam keluran April 2010 yang akan berada di pasaran pertengahan bulan ini.   

March 2, 2010

Spirit of Tambunan, where art thou!

For the uninitiated, Tambunan is a district in the interior region of Sabah.

In a 2000 consensus, its population was estimated at 27,852. The population is mostly Dusun (now known as KadazanDusun), with Chinese, Malays and other ethnic groups being the minority. The Dusuns in Tambunan are predominantly Christians but there are some Muslims among them.

Tambunan's most famous son is Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan whom is the current Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah helming the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.

Famous Standoff

February 26, 2010

Khairy defends AG in Al Islam row

"Khairy told the Malaysian Insider that it would be inappropriate to speculate on the reason behind the decision by the AG's chambers to take no further action.
He, however, argued that the decision may have been reached to "balance out" the racial and religious tension caused by the "Allah" row in a bid to prevent further unease"
This is for the benefit of those who don't know what's the big deal about what had transpired.

Two Al-Islam journalists went undercover to investigate a church. They participated in the Catholic Mass and actually received the Holy Communion i.e. they accepted the Host which represents the body of Christ. The Host is just a piece of wafer but once consecrated, it becomes a Holy item. Following me so far? If you have been clicking on the links I provided, you probably have read a lot but if you still don't understand after reading all that material, it's okay. You can't expect to grasp the theology in one sitting.

February 25, 2010

Fried with plastic | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia.

Fried with plastic | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia.

For those Banana Fritters lovers out there, especially in Sabah, think twice before you chow down on that banana fritter.

Apparently, some innovative food vendor figured out that by frying fritters with plastic, the fritter will stay crunchy longer. Hence, prolonging the shelf live of their 'inventory' and maximizing their return on investment. No less at the expense of their unknowing customer's health.

I haven't heard about this innovation until it is reported in the paper. Well, I've been out of the country for more than 10 years after all. Still catching up but according to my mom, they've heard rumours about this but was never proven. It's like one of those urban myth. Well, now it's proven thanks to these very alert customers.

Now the next question people is asking, is this practice unique to Sabah or is this a widespread practice. Could this practice originated from West Malaysia and traveled back to Sabah or vice versa. If this practice is done nationwide, then my fellow banana fritters eater in West Malaysia, start asking questions.

Sabah MTUC: Govt should have acted earlier | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia.

Sabah MTUC: Govt should have acted earlier | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia.

My simplistic observation on the matter(I like to keep it simple, I'm a simple guy), as I have mentioned in my earlier post, underpaid and exploited, that is why these youths ventured out of Sabah for greener pasture elsewhere. And the employers here would just shrug it off and say "Good luck. I'll hire a filipino, a Timor, a Bugis who would work longer hours without verbalizing their complains because they have no choice. Why should I share my profit with you, I need to pay for my houses in KL, HK, Singapore and my fleet of Ninja Kings need to be serviced and then there are my mistresses too".

Friends of Charlie Nash ♥ com

Friends of Charlie Nash ♥ com

The story of a brave woman named Charla Nash. May God bless her and continue to walk with her,

The argument goes back even further

The argument goes back even further

"Respondent" wrote a very compelling piece on this Oil issue. It filled in a lot of gaps. I sincerely would like to see the "Defendant" make a counter-argument in the same informational manner too instead of just brushing aside this argument with loud rhetorics and start beating their chests yelling war cries whenever anyone wants to have an honest debate.

The Nut Graph | Khairy Jamaluddin (Rembau)

The Nut Graph | Khairy Jamaluddin (Rembau)

If this is what #Khairykj stands for, then I am relieved. I don't mind supporting Malay politicians like him.

February 24, 2010

When Lee Kuan Yew Meets Rosmah | My Sinchew

When Lee Kuan Yew Meets Rosmah | My Sinchew

Hehehe.. Singapore's Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew whether you like his method or what he stands for or not, is one of the best minds in politics and nation builders. He is an elder statesman whose views are often seek by world leaders, past and present.

If he visited PM's wife, you bet he saw something which most of us are not seeing(or are seeing). The author of the article (in the above link) remarked that it was irregular for a foreign leader to meet the wife of a PM who does not hold any office.

Well, just saying what I 'see' from what I read.

Peter Hartcher On Anwar Ibrahim

Peter Hartcher On Anwar Ibrahim

It's no news to us but at least they care enough to write about it,albeit for the right or wrong reasons.

US woman sentenced to prison for gang-rape lie

US woman sentenced to prison for gang-rape lie

Shishh... 4 years wasted because of a lie.

Girl dies while trying to save brother from burning shophouse

Girl dies while trying to save brother from burning shophouse

Two young lives tragically taken away. May their souls rest in peace.

February 23, 2010

'M’sia must have legislation on minimum wage'

'M’sia must have legislation on minimum wage'
I welcome Mr Mustafa Maarof's [the Executive Secretary of Malaysian Airlines Systems Employee's Union (MASEU) ] statement that Malaysia must have legislation on minimum wage. I am surprised to hear that countries like Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have statutory on minimum wage. Assuming that what Mr Mustafa has cited as example is exhaustive, it means we are one of four ASEAN countries that have not adopted minimum wage. For your information, the ASEAN members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Good that Mr Mustafa cited these examples because the authority used the same examples to mitigate the impending implementation of the Goods and Services Tax(GST). I must clarify here that I am not against nor supporting GST's implementation in Malaysia at this juncture. As of now, both opposing camps are just making academic arguments. We just have to wait and see what the actual outcome once GST has been implemented. It did well in Singapore. However, one cannot assume the same success in Malaysia because it is all about implementation. A good idea can turn bad if not implemented well and if it turns bad, the lower income rakyat will suffer.
In any case, since the authority reasoned that we needed to implement GST because most ASEAN countries already adopted this system among other reasons, then it will stand to reason that Malaysia should adopt having a legislation on minimum wage because most ASEAN countries already have them! Shouldn't they be consistent?
"In the absence of a statute on minimum wage in Malaysia, employers often insist that wages must be left to be determined by market forces, which in several cases, falls below the poverty line of income," he said(Mustafa)
On Sunday, Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said the government had rejected a demand from Indonesia that its maids be paid a minimum monthly salary of RM800. "We will allow the market to decide on the salary. If we allow one country to set terms, we will also have to entertain the others," he added. – Bernama
For the ministry to brush us aside by quoting an economic textbook principle that implementing minimum wage will drive away investment is shallow, lazy and disrespectful to the intelligence of Malaysians. Why I say lazy and disrespectful? Because they do not even bother to give us a well thought and intelligent reply. Yes, we know that cheap labour attracts foreign investment; stingy companies that want to profit from cheap labour, GENERALLY. However, is this the only business model that the authority can think of? Cheap labour forever? Come on, be innovative. Where are you copying your model from? Bangladesh? You can mitigate the implementation of Minimum Wage by implementing other incentives to attract foreign investment into the country.
Actually, I think most Multi-National Company(MNC) especially the Western and European ones will not and do not object to Minimum Wage. Some of them follow the not so new concept of Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) and are very pro-employee's welfare. I think the most vocal resistance come from within. The business cartel, the towkays(here I use the term to address all business owners regardless of race).
In Sabah especially, I am incensed to see how these towkays can get away from exploiting their employees. Let me cite examples closer to home i.e. Beaufort Sabah,
A local hardware store here in Beaufort Sabah:
1) Operates 7 days a week albeit a half day on Sundays.
2) No paid annual leave is given to its employees. They are only paid a measly RM30.00 if they do not take leave during a month.
3) Get their pay deducted twice if they are absent for more than a day.
4) No medical benefits.
5) Lorry drivers have to pay their own fines if they are caught transporting goods more than the permitted load when it was their supervisors who pressure them to break the law.
6) Sales clerks' pay between RM300 to RM500/-. No commission.
From the examples above, you see our problem is not only on wage related matter, worker's rights are flouted with impunity. Could this be one of the reasons why our young Sabahans ventured out of Sabah and ended up being homeless and jobless in West Malaysia. I used to wonder why these youngsters prefer to work in KL etc instead of staying put when there are jobs available here in Sabah, jobs which most often or not, being filled up by foreigners like Filipinos and Indonesians. I used to think that perhaps their motivation to go 'abroad' is to have fun! Now I change my mind. Perhaps because of this conditions in Sabah that they left. Promises of better pay and better working conditions promised by unscrupulous agents led them there. The foreigners be it legal or illegal do not mind being exploited, they have no choice. The towkays know that there is no one they (the foreigners) can complain to and so they continue on with their reign without any harassment from government agencies who think that these towkays will be equitable to their employees and that these towkays will play by the book and follow the market.
If you read this and agree with me, please help spread the word. Lend your voice to Malaysia Trade Union Congress (MTUC)to fight for workers' right. I think you can agree with me that in this platform, we can all stand united as Malaysians regardless of race or religion :). This affects everyone whether you are Chinese, Malay or Indian.
It seems that MTUC is having a hard time with the Human Resource Ministry, click here to see their memo.

February 22, 2010

Ex-landlady the latest to step forward to help keropok seller

Ex-landlady the latest to step forward to help keropok seller

Here is a man who is rightly deserving of assistance but refuses to accept it because he wants to be INDEPENDENT!

I can safely assume that he has nothing of significant monetary value to his name, to top it off, he is physically disabled as a result of fever when he was young, according to Paul who had come forward and claiming to be Ah Fook's (the man's name) childhood friend.

Ah Fook cherishes his independent and refused to go to a welfare home.

He makes all of us look like invalid and I am glad that many have come forward to make life a bit better for him. It is not reported whether he accepted their monetary hand out willingly. I imagine he would probably insist that they part with his keropok in exchange for him accepting their cash.

This is the kind of spirit that we Malaysians especially Bumiputras, should emulate. Ah Fook is the BOLEH spirit personified. He doesn't whine about his predicament, he doesn't blame others for his plight, he doesn't beg for a living, he doesn't insist that we help him, he wants to make it on his own with whatever resources he has; his will to survive and whatever limb movement that is left and available in his body to make a living. He walks 2 hours everyday to his 'stall'.

                   Ah Fook, selling keropok at Sea Park, Petaling Jaya

I like to think that amongst those good samaritans who came forward to help Ah Fook included Malay, Indians etc. We are Malaysians! More than that, we are human beings. It doesn't matter what the colour of our skin are, we share a common trait, the ability to be compassionate. Few years back, I read in the news about a Malay kid falling from the window of his house. This happened in West Malaysia. I don't remember the exact details but it left a positive impact on me and reinforced my belief in humanity. The first person who came to help the boy was a Chinese man. When the situation calls for it, we will rise to the occasion. We will rise above all the trivial details like the colour of your skin, who you believe, your political allegiance. In this case, the man was not motivated to help the boy because of his race or religion. He didn't see a MALAY BOY. He see A BOY who was injured and needed help. As adult, his natural instinct to protect the young ones kicked in and he rushed forward to help.

You see in times of need or great emergency, we would not be thinking about all these little details. It would be about survival. We hear about people at their best during life and death situation or during natural disaster. People who sacrifice themselves for the well being of others even when they are of different nationality. The Tsunami incident during boxing day offers a lot of these fine examples.

However, it is unfortunate than when things settle down and when things return to normal, we all go back to our lives and forget all about these sacrifices. We hate and hate and hate because it is much easier to hate and blame others than to love and examine ourselves. We should draw inspiration from the sacrifices and act of kindness of these fine human beings to be better humans.
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