Rebuttal On Fuel Price Issue

•March 11, 2008 • 8 Comments

In the heat of campaigning before March 8, the opposition parties came up with three manifestos of their own, under different names but with common goals and promises. BN had one;Prosperity, Security, and Peace.

They were saying a coalition which does not have a common manifesto would lack understanding and unity, and that they would not have a prominent voice to lead since there are three leaders fighting for their own parties. Adding to that, through their common ‘tongue’ of mainstream media, they commented on promises outlined in the opposition’s manifestos as being unrealistic and unachievable to be promised to the rakyat, despite these promises were responded with loud and energetic cheers from those who were there to listen.

For a real fact it was, some decide to be skeptical in believing the promises. Popular ones would be mentioned without fail like reducing crime rates, corruptions, hardcore poverties, rising inflations, and the most jubilant one would obviously be the reduction in fuel price. Sensitive as it may be, skeptical human beings would think of how likely can it happen?

Khairy Jamaluddin took this opportunity to write out an article in the NST to specifically rebut on DSAI’s insistence to reduce fuel price once he comes in power. According to him, DSAI was easy to say that fuel price stayed at RM1.10 per litre when he was in office as the Finance Minister of Malaysia, for 8 years since 1991 to 1998. Since the crude oil price was as low as $20 per barrel back then, there was no reason to bring up the price.

Khairy further argued that the USD per barrel of crude oil has now risen up to more than $100 per barrel in the international market, making it impossible to reduce the fuel price locally since the country would be deemed bankrupt one day. His misinterpreted facts led to DSAI being accused of lying and manipulating the rakyat for the sake of gaining massive supports.

It is rather sad to witness that a lot of my friends actually fell for his trick, or maybe his stupidity. And really I do not feel like explaining why on earth should we not believe in what Khairy was trying to say. Disgusting as it may seem, you will realise that he makes us feel stupid and embarrassed for having an over-ambitious leader like him.

Petronas’ profit after tax had risen up from RM20 billion to a staggering RM40 billion from 1998 to 2007. Its 2007 profit of RM40 billion was the amount after deducting the amount of payment made to the government for RM56 billion (as tax, dividends, royalties, and export duties). This would mean a total profit of almost RM100 billion in 2007.

Is RM10 billion significant compared to RM100 billion? Mind you with only RM10 billion of its profit we can all be happy again and return to our normal lives.

Now tell me if I am wrong. The crude oil price had risen up to more than $100 per barrel. A whooping 500% increase in international market. A humble trader would understand that an oil exporter would not be affected adversely by the fluctuations in crude oil prices, as long as they do not go below its cost of exploration, which is certainly unlikely to happen.

Dear Khairy. How can exporting countries like Brunei, Nigeria, Iran, Qatar, and even us be affected badly by the mounting increase? If you mind not being stupid and arrogant, even a slight increase would do us benefit to Petronas’ revenue. BECAUSE WE ARE SELLING AND NOT BUYING THEM. What more if it is an increase as high as 500%?

It makes no wonder to accept that we are the second lowest country in the region in terms of local fuel price – of course after Brunei – and we should be grateful despite the recent hikes. And, bloody hell, why are we not comparing ourselves to Brunei? Please tell us more bullshit Khairy because you are becoming worse than a clown in a court.

I heard people saying we should not depend on Petronas to ease our daily expenses. If we hope for further subsidies to be given, we will end up hindering the company’s growth from being more competitive in the international markets. And we need budgets to fund explorations in other countries once our reserves are done for. Reducing fuel price would be ridiculous if Petronas is to grow further.

People. Please give a bit of your time and think. Petronas is financed by the government, where its money come from the tax payers. Individual tax, company tax, real property gains tax, road tax, and other sorts of taxes are channeled to the government with a mandate. The rakyat‘s mandate. Petronas belongs to the rakyat and the rakyat own Petronas. Petronas is not even listed in Bursa Saham because it is wholly owned by the rakyat. We, as the rakyat, have every right to have a say in what the company is supposed to do. And we are talking about the rakyat suffering from inflations and poverty, yet some are still thinking that a company owned by rakyat should grow at the expense and the sacrifice of rakyat. Tell me that you are not with Khairy in this.

There is a Chinese belief saying that where the people’s burden is reduced and brought down, productivity of the country will increase. Any daydreamer would have figure this out. All it needs are only a bit of a thought over the issue and a logical thinking piece of mind.

Get this son-of-a-bitch-in-law outta here.

The Polling Night

•March 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I was there with my father and the rest of my siblings being part of the most honorable convoy in my lifetime. A night of a memoir, news of unofficial announcements came pouring in one after another at a bungalow in Bangsar. Some were responded with disappointments, but most of the earlier feeds did create jubilant moments among the family and the team. Some were shouting, some were jumping, and they all hugged each other to every good news from every phone calls received.

And the most delightful moment of the night was Shahrizat’s announcement to concede her defeat to her young and charismatic opposition candidate – Nurul Izzah Anwar. The new voice of Lembah Pantai. The new hope of Malaysia’s political arena.

A convoy of 5 cars headed to a community hall in Bangsar. We were there for the official announcement of Izzah’s success to be made. Soon as we arrived, the convoy was broken by the flooding crowd outside the hall. Me and my father and the rest of the siblings were not allowed to get further inside. The same goes to Izzah’s immediate family. We were forced to stand outside together with the crowd who already had been there much earlier.

Obviously the police force were there whose presence were purportedly to prevent from riot. Three FRU trucks arrived later on. As if there was going to have a repeat of the illegal rallies.

We dismissed anyway not because of any violence were caused. No tear gas, no water cannons, no whatsoever. We moved to another place for a bbq in Damansara. Astro Awani was famously viewed that night though it was a bit irritating to note that Suhaimi Sulaiman and his crew were trying hard to sound as neutral as possible. Just like 1968, everybody was afraid to show a little bit of support to the opposition parties. Anything could happen to threaten your job security.

We have got a phone call later on from Brother Azra; assistant to Nurul Izzah. Nurul Izzah and the team were still in the hall and they had been there for 3 hours just to wait for the official announcement by the EC representative. We were told 3000 votes (of maybe 14 ballot boxes I presume) were not identified their status yet. Pending, and it caused a very considerable delay.

What were these people trying to do? Hadn’t they have enough of it? The mighty sound of Bangsarians was very clear that they wanted a change in their leadership. Nurul Izzah was powerful and outstanding in her speech and it was her best speech ever before the clock ticks at 12. To say Nurul Izzah’s influence was insignificant to translate into the ballot box was bullshit. The message was loud and clear, even louder than the entertainers hired by the BN to excite the Bangsar voters. They were booed instead. And Nurul Izzah did not need CEOs to convince the rakyat.

Well, it turned out that Nurul Izzah won the parliamentary seat anyway and the whole nation knows about it now. What a big figure she is. She is only 27. But despite the victory, the attempted manipulation was apparently there and I believed some people had reacted to these actions, and they ignored the unrecognised votes. What a waste of time.

Look through the newspapers and you will see the difference of votes between them – Nurul Izzah won for exactly 3000 majority, tallying with the uncounted votes. And this, was only at one place.

Neutrality Is Not An Option

•March 5, 2008 • 6 Comments

The atmosphere in Malaysia is yet to reach the peak of its political climate, but the intensity of mind games have grown stronger than we had ever experienced in the past.

Everybody would have witnessed that despite poster-battles and flag-wars flooding the streets, the election spirit has elevated incredibly high to the extent of abuse of mainstream medias, mainly deemed as the ruling government’s last hope and machinery to not lose people’s trust in their governance.

Obviously to do this they will have to convince us with faulty promises so we could leave them some space to not rock their luxury boat, at least for the next 4 years. Many of us may have forgotten the government’s flop in fulfilling the 8th Malaysia Plan (8MP) goals where most plans, as usual, remained plans and just plans. No implementation, no progress, no completion. In fact few plans, which were actually initiated, were about to materialise when the 9th Malaysia Plan was launched in 2006. And the worse case scenario is that 9MP is a continuum to that of 8MP. I call that ‘re-branding’.

The issue of voters registration process has been another story that still a lot of people would not have bothered to listen to. While there are some people out there assumed responsibilities to act as ‘watchdogs’ for the electoral process and the Election Commission (EC) as a whole, we still fail to recognise another serious flaw in the system which leads to the infamous ‘phantom voters’ issue – the National Registration Department (NRD). The NRD plays the most crucial part in updating the list of voters, and specifically, to prompt removal of deceased voters from the electoral registration system. Such lack of integration between EC and NRD would clearly suggest that the government had failed to act on maintaining a free and fair electoral process, which could easily be done by revamping the management figureheads in both independent organisations.

The two scenarios mentioned above are examples of truths we can never hear of as long as we close our eyes and shut our hearts from getting ourselves interested to keep up with current issues.

I was born in 1986. I am 22 years of age and I am so bloody grateful to be given a chance to decide on who should run my future. A chance to demand for a better change. A chance to express a judgement which will affect the very life of my future generations. A chance to stand on my ground and exercise my utmost responsibility to ensure that my beloved soil will not turn into a surviving deserted battleground. A chance to prove my stance rather than just ‘borak-borak kosong’ at ‘mamak stalls’ grousing over corruptions, crime rates, price hikes, and Khairy Jamaluddin.

A sole vote represents a sole voice. A sole voice represents one’s outcry for the best governance in the country. And when these voices are united, and where one outcry is stronger than the other, democracy prevails and shall decide for the best to rule. I would be so bloody proud to be even a small part in the outcry. Whether my outcry is fulfilled or not is less important to me as long as the final outcome is justified by a reliable democracy process. I will then tell myself, “Okay, I’ve done my part. Now lets get on with whatever happens in the next 4 years. Case closed.”

No regrets. No upsets. No more uproars.

I am prepared. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Whatever the outcome is I am ready to face the consequences and never will I regret if they say I have voted for the wrong side. But to witness the emerging ignorance among the youths around my age is rather disappointing. Heartbreakingly disappointing.

Very few whom I know well are actually aware of political surroundings and the mind games they are playing, but fewer whom I know well are registered to be decisive and vote out their stance. Instead, as many of you could have figured out already, most youths favour to belong to a state of mind which is strongly triggered by ignorance and escapism – neutrality.

I have been told that the common reason behind neutrality is that most of those who belong to this state of mind recognise the misgivings of conduct stirring in the current leadership of BN, but yet feel the country is not ready for a fresh and inexperienced leadership under opposition’s commands.

Think, and think back again. And ask yourself this, “What I decide now will affect the state of my country for generations in future, including my sons and grandsons and the rest of them. What would be the most satisfying and convincing solution to this dilemma? ” Sit back and relax until the cats have nine tails, then you may get a clue of an answer.

Another reason of being neutral that I have noticed is that the youths usually do not enjoy having chats and talks about topics they are not familiar with, or one which they may not be able to proudly brag about. Hence the preference to ‘escape’ from such topic, and rather talk about something else that they feel more well-versed in, while ‘ignoring’ the heated up surroundings going on around them.

Its rather sad to accept that the brilliance and precious energy of the younger generations are drained down wasted instead of being channeled to benefit the future leadership of the country. Being neutral is as bad as not being grateful to live our life since we actually decide not to take part in creating an effective leadership system, and this would undoubtedly lead to a sin.

Even worse, being neutral is no better than voting for the wrong side since we could have care less to worry about other people. In other words, overly selfish.