H1N1 reveals some truth about an important civil servant

When I was a wee lad, teachers are feared and respected as paragon of virtues, morally impeccable and guidance to our minds & souls.

And the Headmaster ranks even higher than teachers.

Parents would try their best to enroll their kids to the best schools so that they can be taught and guided by the best teachers. Teachers play a vital part in the development of our children and in Mandarin, there is a proverb that states "Teachers Are The Engineers Of The Soul".

What if there is a case of "Harapkan Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi"? Would any right minded parents feel comfortable with this kind of Head leading the school of your children are attending?

“… principal of SMK Wangsa Maju, Section 2 in Setapak, is one such example. She has vehemently denied one of the classes has been closed and the pupils of that class were quarantined.
However, the MP for the area, Wee Chee Keong, said this was confirmed to him by the very same principal. …”

"The case is not confirmed. What you heard about the student's class being in quarantine is not true," said school principal, Hajjah Rokiah.
"We don't know about the girl's condition yet. So there is no need to quarantine the class."
Malay Mail spoke to three of them (note:students) and they said all the pupils in that particular class had been absent yesterday. And the class was quarantined.

The notable points are:

1) As a HM, we expect a higher level of integrity and professionalism than say, scoundrels, dodgers and liars;

2) It is one thing to tell a white lie to a close friend with limited consequences, it is a different ball game all together when you lie to the press, the public or a Member of Parliament;

3) Residents of Wangsa Maju are neither outraged or bothered by this gross misconduct by an official earning her pay from tax payers' money;

4) The relevant authorities within the education establishment have yet to respond to this. Perhaps they are more interested to decide whether to call it H1N1 or selsama babi so as to make our local newscasters on TV3 have an easier life (now we all know where Rais Yatim's priority lies in the time of national crises);

5) Why the HM is so fearful of the truth? To guard her face? To maintain her reputation? An irrational fear of being frank after decades of ISA, OSA or she is merely a product of a 50 years old administration that discourages free dissemination of relevant information?

6) In addition to local residents, Wangsa Maju has 1 university (UNITAR) and 2 colleges (TARC and Cosmopolitan College), plus those who have graduated and continue staying in Wangsa Maju. Students and graduates there travel all over Malaysia during weekends to get back home or hangout in city centre.

Imagine the risk of H1N1 spreading out like from these potential carriers. Wangsa Maju should be classified as a potential high risk infection transfer source and the Health Ministry should set up a monitoring centre here. The sooner the truth is out, the sooner residents are aware of the risk and the sooner relevant actions can be taken.

First Mesra Usia Emas payout in Wangsa Maju

Pakatan Rakyat's Selangor State Administration has devised this scheme whereby qualifying Selangor senior citizens can name a beneficiary to get a total payout of RM2,500 upon their passing away; with a RM1,000 initial payment and RM1,500 to follow suit in 60 days' time.

For more information, please visit here.
The scheme reaches the qualifying Selangor citizens residing in Wangsa Maju, despite it is under Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. This is made possible with the effort put in by YB Wee Choo Keong and his service centre staff as well as the staff at Rangkaian Mesra Usia Emas Sdn Bhd.
Bravo, chaps!
A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are 3.
Above: The occasion was graced by the presence of Saudara Syed Hamzah (PKR Wangsa Maju Youth Secretary), YB Wee Choo Keong and Saudara Hamdi (PKR Wangsa Maju Youth Chief)
Above: One of the first of the 10 recepients for the night. Perhaps the speech earlier made her sleepy? :-)
Below: A group photo showing the recipients pleased with the previously unavailable and unimaginable people-friendly scheme.
There are 2 schools of thoughts in Malaysia:
1) School A think it is worthwhile to hand out some money in differing forms after a death with a by-election necessary thereon; and
2) School B think it is worthwhile to have a proper scheme whereby when a family's qualifying elder has passed away, a beneficiary previously approved by the demised would get a pre-determined amount, by-election or general election not withstanding.

The Plastic Bag Day

Tesco has 18 stores in Shanghai and I happen to be in one of them. Being in this place reminds me of Penang- which has every Monday declared a 'no-plastic-bag day' from July 1st 2009 onwards. On Mondays, in Penang, shopppers get charged RM0.20 per plastic bag if they don't bring their own bags. But the similarity in terms of plastic bags end here because in China, every day is a plastic bag day.

In China since June 2008, the usage of plastic bags less than 0.0025mm thick is banned nationwide. Thicker bags are still being produced and available but shoppers are required to pay for them at about the yuan-equivalent of 5 US cents. Bags under 0.0025mm, considered ultra-thin, are a bane to China's environment. The plastic bag ban hasn't made Shanghai's air better or anything close to it, but then again China uses 37 million barrels of oil a year to produce plastic bags. In May 2009 survey, there has been a 66% decrease in plastic bag usage since the ban. To think about the monstrous resource savings that has been achieved is just incredible.

Back over to Malaysia, can you think of anything progressive that's being done for the environment except for Penang's plastic bag inititiative, because I can't come up with any examples.

H1N1 in Wangsa Maju

MP Wee Choo Keong's blog reports of a case of H1N1 in Wangsa Maju here. Thanks for the alert, EW.

Please refer the WHO's guidance documents on H1N1 here. If you read the WHO site carefully, it states here that entry and exit screening at airports, etc is not a entirely effective method of containing the disease. This is due to the nature of the disease which is airborne-spread. I agree with this, after being back from two airports last night. Thermal screening helps, but one or two infected fellows may escape being scanned especially when you have dozen of fellows barging into the immigration corridor.

Here's something to share on the effectiveness of airport thermal screening. A week before the H1N1 outbreak, at a foreign country, I walked through a thermal scan undetected despite having viral fever. My fever right at that particular moment had subsided but went back up again during my stay in that country.

Despite all this, the WHO is not recommending travel restrictions either- stating that such restrictions has little or no impact on the spread of such flu-like diseases. I personally stress the importance of not undermining the use of face-masks when one is an enclosed crowded area for a long duration of time and washing your hands on a more than regular basis especially after having shook hands. Also, companies is Malaysia which have presence in multinational environments have begun implementing measures to curb the spread of H1N1 and minimize losses. Such measures include health screening at company entrance for employees who are back from abroad, splitting operations and management into several teams for business continuity and so on.

At the point of posting this article, I still can't find any mainstream online news on this Wangsa Maju H1N1 case- I think news like this gets lost in the tons of political news that we get.

Update: The Malay Mail gets on ground zero with the report here.

Hazy, smog, poison air whatever you call it .....

This darn Indonesians never learn eh? Life for them not challenging enough, izzit? Every year burn and pollute the air, as if we other Aseans have forgotten about you.

7 a.m. this morning, cough! choke!

I also wonder about our Health Minister, the raising star of MCA. In Hong Kong, H1N1 flu was closely monitored, advice and public warnings issued and kindergartens were suspended for 2 weeks. Here, not even a "be careful, drink more water, wear mask etc" was whispered.

All I remember was some Chinese press reported that a head mater in a school in Melaka prohibited students from wearing mask due to fear of er...meningitis or something....because "wearing of mask will create the wrong impression." Er...mate, in Hong Kong and Japan, considerate people wear mask when they have ordinary cold or flu....too much of growing up in a controlled press environment for the headmaster then.

Suicide bombing at Pakistani hotel

I could not find this incident reported in The StarOnline yet hence have decided to pluck a news excerpt from Bloomberg and put it here. News reports say that it is a big, big bomb. Hope my friends over there are OK.

June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Militants drove a truck packed with explosives into a luxury hotel in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar where dozens of United Nations officials were gathered, killing one relief worker and several other people.

More than 40 others were also injured in the blast late yesterday at the five-star Pearl Continental Hotel, state-run media reported. Television images showed a shattered wreck of twisted steel and collapsed concrete slabs, as bloodied guests and workers staggered to waiting ambulances.

Full report here.

The Reuters' highly detailed report is here.

Awang Selamat, your fellow Malaysian is asking how are you doing?

Najib: Time for all races to embrace, and not just tolerate, each other

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on all Malaysians to shift from racial tolerance to acceptance because it can bring strength to the country.

He said the paradigm shift was necessary so that no race would feel they only need to be tolerant with others when they also need to accept other races to form a plural society in Malaysia.

“To be tolerant alone, some may not like it but if the attitude is changed to acceptance, the plural society concept will be seen not just unique but also brings strength to our country,” he said at the SPM 2008 Excellent Student Award ceremony here last night.

Nice show dear Prime Minister. I got a 2 word answer to that:

I wonder if this writer is a person or a group of persons writing under a name that suggest anything but a "selamat" environment. We never know the real name(s) nor the writer(s) has the gut to have his/her photo published except being portrayed daily as a pompous, self- righteuos looking cartoon character.

The latest beautiful addition to nation building effort from this character apparently received feedback from a host of writers in print media as well as cyberspace, and why not given what he has written below....

Melayu dikhianati?
“....pelbagai pihak bukan Melayu yang bersikap terlalu rasis selepas Pilihan Raya Umum ke-12..”
If you look at non-racial base political parties like DAP, Parti Sosialis Malaysia, Gerakan, PPP, most of the members are non-Malays. Although we are seeing changes, Malays usually sign up with race-base parties (UMNO) or political parties with a religious platform, which by Malaysian norm, usually ties in with race identification (PAS). KeAdilan would appear to be a genuine non-race base political party with huge presence of Malay leadership and membership.

This fellow goes harping on about citizenship and all that but he failed to point out that all races have a role in making Malaysia as developed (or half-developed) that is today and he also failed to complete his analysis by considering the amount of taxes contributed by all Malaysians and frankly by Mahathir’s own admission, the race that AW has most bones to pick, pays the most.

Parting with sour grapes, this writer exhibited emotional, immature, discriminatory, irrational and anti-unity stance by ranting off:

Di manakah anda boleh mendapat layanan politik yang baik untuk kaum pendatang? Di manakah dalam sejarah dunia? Saya bertanya kepada anda. Ini adalah fakta. Siapakah anda untuk menjaga keselamatan kami?

My answer is America has a President whose ancestors been brought over from Africa as slaves, Chief Judge in the US is an Hispanic woman, the Environment Minister in Australia is a woman from Sabah, Peru had a president of Japanese descend, Malaysia now have a cordial relationship with Japanese who invaded and colonialised this country 6 decades ago .... so what makes you think you are so special?

And after ranting off in his office which is located in multiracial metropolis of Kuala Lumpur I presumed, he may have a teh tarik in a Indian Muslim stall, hopped into his car serviced by Chinese mechanics perhaps, drove home on the roads and street lights paid by taxes collected from all Malaysians. He might even watch Astro provided by a company owned by an Indian, find comfort in his property built by Chinese subcontractors and dozed off on his bed that must have touched various Malaysians en-route in its supply chain to his bedroom.

Good night and grow up, whoever you are.

How to make yourself sound (read) silly and shallow

While Najib wax lyrics about 1 Malaysia and succeeded in improving his approval index mainly with Indians and visited China with his family (I have no information on who paid for the entourage), we have a beauty of a blog post from this gentleman who hails from my home state.


The gentleman claims that as Chinese (Lim Guan Eng) come into power, they will not share power with Malays. Before I finished reading half the article, I already surmised the following points:

1) in Malaysia, Chinese constitute only a quarter of the population and not all Chinese bother to vote and many of them are apolitical like the famed frog in the slowly cooked water but in a democracy, in order for any leaders to be in power, he has to please all sides;

2) the writer over looked the fact that LGE appointed a Malay while there is a Chinese, whose name I cannot recall, joining the boycott however; and

3) whenever there is a complaint by a Malay against a Chinese, it is too simplistic to say that it is a racial issue while the underlying and actual issues are neglected.

So if a Malay customer complains to the property developer of his condominium that the Chinese subcontractor built a faulty tap is a racial issue and not a quality issue?

Here's a quote from Khoo Kay Peng's blog

"I was told that the chief minister wanted to depoliticize the local councils by appointing civil servants who have the experience and expertise to helm the councils. Tan's appointment is supposed to usher in a new era of better local council services to taxpayers like myself."

In addition, he coined the term "YB BABI" and clearly this indicate he is crude, emotional, disrespectful to people and animals as well as unable to articulate logical arguments in a convincing and respectable manner hence turned into a ranting child throwing toys out of his tram.

His call sign read as follows:

"One of the most talkative species of birds I have ever known! One of my favourite friends that I am sharing this globe with!"

- there is a Chinese proverb that states the more you speak, the more wrongs you are likely to get

At least I agree with him on 1 count as, despite my lack of French, I get the message as he proudly proclaims himself:
Update on 7th June:
Someone revealed the true identity of the magpie ... read on as I feel that I need not comment further....