Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Statistical Analysis Of A Malaysian Electorial District

Listening to: Heikki - Former Hero (buy here)


The news is in... its a Barisan Nasional victory in the electoral constituancy of Ijok. Or
iJok, for you Appleheads out there. K. Parthiban won by a majority of 1,800 votes over Parti Keadilan Rakyat's contender Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. Thats a whole lot of fucking votes. I'll leave the bickering over whether or whether not electoral fraud had occured to the other bloggers and Mr. Raja Petra.

If one were to perform a study on the quality of public services & works, life, road conditions, and socioeconomic factors throughout time in any electorial constituancy in Malaysia, you might get the results below:

where C is the level just after the General Election.

A large spike can be seen just after the time whenever an elected representitive for the region has kicked the bucket. This sudden increase stops the moment the by-election is over and a new representative to replace the deceased guy has been elected. The quality of life in that area then gradually decays as time passes and election promises are unkept. This trend continues until the next Election.

So if you happen to live in that area and want to maintain a certain level of development in your area, technically you'll want as many by-elections as possible. And you'll also want them as close to one another as possible.

But thats also gonna mean a high death rate of elected politicians/representatives in your area.

Here's the solution to achieve this. No violence, just good ol' food, liquor, and tobacco.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Listening to: The Concretes - In Colour


As we Malaysians have heard, five-year old Muhammad “Yin” Nazrin who disappeared after wandering away in a Kuala Lumpur shopping complex, has been reunited with his family. Old news, as this happened weeks ago. While his parents were busy shopping, that little brat ran off and got lost in the huge crowd of shoppers that normally plague KL.

A Burmese couple found the kid and being unable to find his parents (duh!) among the streets of KL, took him back to their home in Sentul. It didn’t help that there’s a language barrier between them and a 5-year old kid who has the vocab of… well… er… a 5-year old with ADHD.

Now, unlike many Malaysians who have the convenience of media access or… can actually read, Mr. and Mrs. Abdul Rahman were illiterate and impoverished Burmese Rohingya refugees. Having fled the Burmese military regime, they fled to Malaysia and settled down in Sentul, the Harlem of Kuala Lumpur. No gunshots, just the slashing sounds of parangs and machetes.

Living in poverty with their five own children, their shack had no television, no radio, and of course… no Nintendo where Yin can hammer away on Mario Kart. So Mr. & Mrs. Abdul Rahman were totally unaware, or so they claimed… that the whole nation is out looking for that kid. Yin lived with the family in that slum for over a week. Oh yea, his head was also shaved bald.

The Burma-Shave treatment, I guess.

Only a week later, the couple saw a 'Missing' poster for Yin, one of many that had been plastered around the city. Realizing this, according to their story, they called the authorities.

Alls well, ends well... Yin was reunited with his family. And Mr. and Mrs. Abdul Rahman would get the thousands of ringgit in reward money for their deed, a hefty sum that'll greatly ease the burden of poverty and squalor they have to deal with daily. Unfortunately, that's only for Yin's family. For the Burmese couple, they would see none of the reward money that had been promised. Even worse, they were arrested by the cops on suspicion that they kidnapped the child. Their children were sent for DNA testing to see if they were actually theirs or collected from the street... like Yin. As for the slum community in Sentul where they lived, well... its gonna be demolished.

And the media went into another full feeding frenzy, this time speculating that the Burmese couple were part of a kidnapping ring that abducted children to be used as beggars. Amongst the many tabloids & newspapers ranting and raving about kidnapping gangs and those dodgy dark-skinned foreigners out to eat your young, local daily Utusan Melayu whipped up an editorial about begging syndicates that used children and somehow, that was related to Yin's case.

Eventually, the couple were freed after the cops were satisfied that no crime was committed. For their good deed in returning a missing child, Mr. and Mrs. Abdul Rahman had spent a few days in jail and were torn to shreds by a moral panic stirred up by the press. Little apology (if any at all), was offered for the trial-by-media they had to face.

I wonder if Michael Chong will now give them their two thousand ringgit?

The Burmese couple have been reunited with their children, but now they and their fellow Rohingya villagers might face homelessness by future demolition of their settlement.

Some reward for a good deed...

And in future, we should all remember the mantra...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Its Nearly Tax Day, Do You Know Where Your Form BE Is?

Listening to: The keypad on my calculator as I add up my tax rebates...


So here I am, taking time off to calculate my income taxes before April 30th. The table in the darkened dining room is cluttered with receipts, files, a calculator, and that tax form. The lamp overhead gives a harsh yellow, but warm and welcoming light. I was never a fluorescent person.

I should get a Jack Daniels & an unfiltered Lucky to add in the mood. And a fedora too...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"We Need New Roads"

Listening to: Nothing yet...


A State Assemblyman in some electoral district in Malaysia had all of a sudden been receiving gifts from his constituents. Now these goodies weren't coming from his business buddies or rich Datuks, but from ordinary working class to middle class citizens like you and me. They would present cartons of unfiltered Camel ciggarettes, cigars, durian fruits, beer, XO Brandy, Martell, chocolates, and even packets of tasty 'nasi lemak' to the Yang Berhormat when they got the chance to meet him.

Heck, even Ah Seng who runs the 'bak-kut-teh' shop down the road had pledged meals on the house to the politician. Free meals of succulent pork in tasty herbal soup, plus all that cholestrol...

Puzzled, the state assemblyman wondered why all of a sudden the common folk were so good to him. He thought of any deed he just did that would have earned such gratefulness from the 'rakyat'. But, he couldn't recall anything he had done for that place after 2004.

Then came Muthu, with a 12-pack of Guinness Stout... all for the YB. The politician questioned him on his kindness. Muthu replied:

"Sir, I know you're surprised that we're so good to you recently. Especially since crime is high, the whole town council is corrupt, the drains flood because your business partners dump their construction waste everywhere, the roads need repair, the rubbish collection service and everything else has gone bad to worse, and nothing has been done despite all the letters we've written to you. So... um... so...

We figured we need a by-election".

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Useful Invention

Listening to: Nothing yet...


Scientists should develop a lie-detector that can be strapped to a person's face. Whenever the person lies when he or she speaks, the device will extend a rubber prosthetic nose. We could compel all the politicians in the world to wear it, especially in Parliament/Congress. That way everyone can tell if someone is lying or not.

I'll call it the VBS3000. Visual Bullshit Detector. The VBS3000-P ('P' for politician) will be an improved version with three times more extension length.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Weekend Gig Report: HSDD, Telebury, Love Me Butch, Bittersweet

Listening to: Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat


4th floor, 60 Weld Quay is where we meetup every two weeks for movies. It also happens to be the offices for an NGO or two that deals with social issues in Penang.

One floor below is the apartment/studio/crash-pad of Cheong from Huse Di-Dai (HSDD). Plans are in the works to upgrade the DIY-recording studio with acoustic padding and better equipment, or so I've been told.

Last Sunday, several well-known local bands played at the gig there. Although it was planned to start at 2, the show only took off at around five o'clock... as the folks from Bittersweet were STILL on their way from KayheL. And lets not forget the one hour delay for soundcheck... conventional indie wisdom in Malaysia dictates that the show will actually start half to one hour later than stated...

Opening for the show was Cheong's screamo band HSDD. Then came Telebury...

Love Me Butch was next...

and finally post-punk band Bittersweet... who's gigs have been recently advertized in Junk mag.

And everyone had a great time... despite the delay...

Love Me Butch and their pals...

...and some of the folks from Bittersweet with their posse.

Note to self: Cellphone cam blows balls. Remember to bring camera next time.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I'm Gonna Lie Down By The Poolside...

Listening to: Black Tambourine - Complete Recordings (mp3 available)


Gig this afternoon's been pushed to Sunday, so I'm gonna chill today by the apartment pool with a cold Tiger and a book I should have finished reading months ago.

Evening's the worst time to do that... too many crazy kids splashing about. So I better go now...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Whoa, Deja Vu!

Listening to: Nothing


So I was at X Inc.'s cafeteria this evening. My workpals were supposed to meet me for teatime but they went somewhere else. Ah well... all the egg tarts for me then.

Looking out through the glass wall/window, there was a black cat passing by. We have a number of strays living around X Inc.'s compound, but I've never seen this cat before.

Then came another black cat just like it.

I looked around expecting Agent Smith to burst through the doors... and thennnn... nope, just one of the techs from Failure Analysis on teabreak.

And then, comes yet another black cat... following the other two...

(image from Bob Paz's sign shop)

Three black cats in a row, all the same size. Either a glitch in the matrix or siblings from the same litter.

You decide...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

News For Today

Breaking News: 81% of Malaysians Cannot Name Current Prime Minister, According to Tun Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR: In a press conference held today at The Renaissance in downtown Kuala Lumpur, former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad revealed new facts he described as “shocking and disturbing”.

“I’ve had my men question a sample of over 3,000 Malaysians on the street to evaluate the rakyats’ understanding of current events”, mentioned Tun Dr. Mahathir.

One of the questions in the survey was about who the present prime minister of Malaysia is. According to him, most answers to that particular question were “blatantly incorrect”.

“Can you believe that around 67% mentioned some person called Badawi?” he said. “I don’t know who this man is but he can’t be doing any good. Who does he think he is, influencing two-thirds of the population to think he’s PM?”

He also added that 8% of the respondents believed that Tun Daim Zainuddin was currently the Prime Minister, with the other six percent giving various answers such as Tun Abdul Razak, Elvis, Sudirman, Lim Kit Siang, and “a coconut” (sic).

On an optimistic note, he added that the remaining 19% of respondents gave “Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohammad” as the answer.

“Although it should be ‘Tun’, we should at least give them some credit for that”.

“But that should not cloud the fact that four-fifths of the rakyat are wrong!”

The idea among the majority that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is the incumbent Malaysian Prime Minister had apparently caused Mahathir some inconvenience. In February, his motorcade was stopped from entering the gates of the Prime Minister’s official residence.

“I told the guard that I live here. Can you believe he actually had the audacity to say that I’m no longer the PM?! I ordered his supervisor to discipline him and all he said was ‘Tun, Badawi kini PM’”

Dr. Mahathir is planning a meeting with Badawi to “clear the air” regarding this issue.

Lim Keng Yaik To Step Down, This Time For Sure

PUTRAJAYA: Current Gerakan party president Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik has once again confirmed that he will retire from his post after serving at that position since 1980. He mentioned that his decision was totally final and he really really meant it”.

“Time again, again, again and again in the past couple of years, I have said that I will step down. Now this time you will see it. Confirmed, I swear”.

Speaking to reporters at Putrajaya, Keng Yaik reiterated his decision to retire. Although potentially no longer Gerakan’s president, he will still retain his appointment as Energy, Water and Communications Minister.

“Perhaps I had a couple of false starts when I said I would be stepping down years back. Not this time. My detractors say I’m taking my time but Gerakan wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t ready too. Now this time I will step down and I will mean it this time when I say I will step down”.

Chief Minister of Penang, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon is expected to succeed Keng Yaik as president of the Gerakan Party, whenever that may be.

Jesus Claims Responsibility For Disrupting Blogger’s Internet

PEARLY GATES: At a press conference held at the entrance to heaven today, Jesus Christ claimed to reporters present that he was the individual responsible for the temporary glitch in blogger Mohd. Niesham Juferi’s internet service, which left him without a connection to the world for a couple of weeks.

“It was simple, man. I jus went to the server, and severed… heh heh… pun intended… his internet by unplugging the network cable. That’s it!”

Jesus added that He and his followers then set back and observed as Mohd. Juferi, also known as Menj on Malaysia's online community, attempted to restore his connection by purchasing new hardware, cables, and finally, attempting to contact his subscriber's customer service.

Jesus at a press conference with reporters showing the
network cable he easily disconnected

“Of course, then after some weeks I took pity on him, walked to the server room, and put the plug back in. Even TMNet couldn't figure out the problem all this while! Anyway, their service reps are always playing Solitare when answering customers, so whaddaya expect?”.

Despite the critical articles about him and his followers usually posted on the webblog, Jesus praised the website for bringing humor and occasionally, “followers to Christ”.

The irony, he added, was the website was saturated with commercials, including advertisements for Christianity right next to an article condemning Christians.

“Man, I had a couple o’ atheists go there to ahem… ‘seek the truth about the deception of Christianity’ or some junk like that. They clicked on the GoogleAd ‘Christ Is Your Savior’ there, and next thing you know, they’re gonna be baptized next Sunday! Praise be to me!”

When contacted, Mohd. Juferi expressed anger at the claims made by Jesus and swore to further persist in efforts to criticize Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and the faith of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He added that the broken internet connection had also affected his source of income.

“I knew it was him all along! Oh, how could a naked guy swinging RefinanceYourHomeLoan from a cross defeat me like that?! Nonetheless, I will continue to GetAGreenCardNOW expose nonIslamic religions, especially Christianity for the fraud they are! I will have my revenge! Buy eggs online!” speaking to reporters at his Penang Island residence.

"Do you know through you can get mortgages at favourable terms?"

Mr. Juferi then went on an explanation about the advantages of purchasing flowers through the internet, in response to a reporter's question about his plan to prevent future disruptions to his internet service.

Kevin Federline's Album Reappraised By Critics

NEW YORK: In a reevaluation expected to rock the music world, many music critics worldwide have reversed their negative reviews towards Kevin Federline's debut album, "Playing With Fire". The singer and former spouse of Britney Spears has been plagued by overwhelming criticism tossed towards his musical career, with album sales flopping, premature dumping of excess CDs into discount bins, and low turnout at his concerts. But this recent development might change his fortunes for the better.

Most critics were unable to clearly explain the reason their turnaround. But many came to the consensus that Federline's album, although may sound banal on the first listening, can become appreciative if taken from a serious intellectual and musical viewpoint.

"I have changed my view on this", mentions famed critic Robert Christgau. "Clearly Mr. Federline displays his emcee prowess and one can emphatize with his storytelling about growing up on the streets of Fresno, California."

"Four stars out of five", he added.

Kevin Federline raps to a sold-out crowd
at Old Trafford Stadium in England

Included were also famed music magazine, Rolling Stone, who bumped Federline's album to Number 5 on their "Top 50 Albums Of 2006" list. Former No.5 position, Ghostface Killah's album "Fishscale", was knocked out of the list as a result. Pitchfork Media has also commended the album, giving it a rare 10.0 rating and praising the album's standout song "Popozao" for its "intrinsic ability to tear and indoubitably move the soul".