Sunday, 30 September 2007

You can't be at home without it.

Oh man, I'm lovin this internet thing more and more everyday. I just don't know what I'm gonna do without it. Like last week when I had modem trouble and was cut off for a few days, I was like crazy man. I just couldn't do things right waiting for the people to fix the modem up.

Blogging is just one of the things that occupy my time. Heck, I just finished watching, DVD quality, Diehard 4. Last night while waiting for the United game I watched the Bourne Ultimatum, again DVD quality.

I am a fan of 70s and 80s music and I have hundreds of them now, all downloaded, through Limewire and ARES. Yes, I also get to watch that Lingam fella made an arse of himself while our TV tries to blur his face on the tv screen. What a joke.

How many people could say they have already finished House season 3 when it is only about episode 3 on AXN. Well, I finished it a few months ago and a few days ago I had already enjoyed House season 4, episode 1. Don't tell me you've seen season 4 episode 2 already coz it has not been screened yet, even in the US.

Well, I got the results of the EPL about 3 minutes early by going to live score meaning I would already know if a goal has been scored while the others are still sitting on the edges of their seats.

I do also spend a hell of a lot of time playing games. No, strategy games for me though. Maybe I'm kind a slow but strategy games bore me. I play kiddy games, like puzzle games and old arcade games. Why? Life is hard enough as it is, I don't need to add to it.

Without this thingy then I wouldn't know of people like, Tokasid, Bakaq, Mat Salo Kerp, Zorro, Sheih, Monty, Nuraina, Raden Galoh, Zabs, AlHusseyn, Zewt, Rocky, Big Dog, PiBani, frankie, Cakapaje, Bergen and list is endless man.

Without it I wouldn't be in touch with my old friends, Chung and Jamal. What would I be doing if it had not been invented? I don't know, sleep maybe?

Friday, 28 September 2007

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Parents Beware!

Now I got it. Am I slow or am I slow? You see I have been wondering why the IGP made that statement about parents being answerable to what ever that befall their children, not that I disagree. Yes, to a certain extend parents are indeed responsible. What baffles me was that in the midst of the tears flowing from millions of Malaysians out for blood, the IGP dropped the bombshell.

So I took a break, hid myself in the Himalayas and in a very dark and chilly cave, I got the answer. It came to me as clear as the Saharan sky. Why didn't I think of it earlier. Boy, am I dumb. It was right there in front of my eyes and I couldn't see it. It could have lodged itself on my blind side.

Anyway the answer I got make sense, especially in light of the latest development, not related to the gruesome killing. You see, 1st they will blame parents for whatever mishaps that befall their children. Ok, I can buy that. Then they blame parents for whatever wrong that their children commit. I can buy that too, coz parents are surely responsible in bringing up their children. Then they will quote that famous saying by someone whose name I can't remember. He said, a long long time ago, 'A child is father of the man'.

Okay, yes, I can swallow that. Indeed what goes on in childhood helped developed the child into the man he is now. So far so good, but, yes, there is a but here, in fact in Malaysia, there are always buts, anyway, as I was saying, but there is a catch here. Since childhood raised a man, and since parents are responsible for raising their children, then parents are responsible for what their children have become. Do you follow me up till here? Since parents are responsible, then they should be held responsible for the deeds of their children no matter what age their children are when committing the deeds. Follow?

Now the connection with the latest development that I mentioned earlier. Remember the police officer charged with corruption? Yes, the one mentioned in the papers and tv so near the next general election. Well, who is to blame? It is just plain unfair that the bloke had to answer for his parents fault. He was badly brought up so it should be his parents who should be tried for bad parenting. Pity the poor bugger. Oh, look at the look on his wrongly blamed face. Couldn't you see the confusion written all over his face. It was like he was asking "what did I do wrong? I was never told soliciting for money in exchange for favours is wrong"?

Well, what next? Ha, ha, now come the juicy part. Many ministers, police officers and government officers' parents beware. The government is, it seems, coming down hard on corruption, and you are responsible for what your children have done. Just a question here, are Samy Velu's parents still alive?

Just imagine these headlines becoming a reality in the not too distant future.

MINISTER CAUGHT FOR KHALWAT
Parents being questioned.

MINISTER CAUGHT FOR USING PLASTIC PARTS FOR HELI AND SUB
Police looking for mother.

SENIOR POLICE OFFICER CAUGHT FOR OPERATING A VICE DEN
Uncle sought for questioning.

SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICER DETAINED FOR SMUGGLING
All former teachers questioned.

MP SUSPECTED OF CLOSING AN EYE
Constituents remanded.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Got tagged.

Raden tagged me and like the good sport that I am, I am obliging. Am I good or am I good? Well here goes nothing.
5 THINGS IN MY HANDBAG:

I don't have a handbag and neither a pouch. What if it is standard for men to carry handbags, then I think I would have in it the following
1. A lighter, so that I don't have to put in my trouser pockets anymore.
2. 2 packets of Winston. I get very jittery when my supply declines to about 10 sticks.
3. Handphone. Beats having a separate pouch coz my N80 is quite bulky.
4. A pendrive, I always carry one.
5. My car-key. My pockets keep springing holes.

5 Things in my purse
1. My don't-leave-home-without-it cards.
2. An old beat-up mini notebook. In it are info such as, my EPF no. Income Tax no. Service no and dates and almost everything related to my job. We have to fill too many forms so this notebook has been a great help.
3. My Bankcards
4. MyCard
5. Driving licence.

5 FAVOURITE THINGS IN MY FAVOURITE ROOM (My Living Room)

1. My 10 year old 30 inch Samsung TV
2. My ashtray
3. My PC
4. My home theatre system.
5. My 17 year old manau rotan settee.

5 THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO DO (I have more)

1. Perform the Haj
2. Convince people especially old folks that they are being had by the gov.
3. Shit on dirty politicians faces.
4. Go to Old Trafford and watch a game
5. See my grandchildren, if I am fated to have any, married.
6. Be with my wife forever and ever.
7. Take my grandchildren to school.
8. Apply for the job of Agong. The perks are simply fantastic.
9. Meet Hugh Laurie, I love HOUSE.
10. Have enough to take optional retirement.

5 THINGS I’M CURRENTLY DOING

1. Counting the damages when I take my children plus the small ones raya shopping.
2. Cursing Pak Lah for not giving us a bonus. May he grow balls on his nose.
3. Waiting for the long break starting mid november. I do that every year, right from January.
4. Waiting for the Man Utd game against Sporting Lisbon while typing this entry.
5. Contemplating of applying for the post of Sultan of Penang, just in case my application for the post of Agong got lost in the mail.

Well, thats not too hard is it? About 15 minutes, and they say tagging is hell. Since many say they don't like to be tagged and also because almost all of the bloggers that I know who would oblige me have already been tagged, I hereby decreed that as far as I am concern this tagging line ends here.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

The Right Hand Gives, The Left Hand Takes.

The government has just given civil servants a substantial increase in salary which in a way helps government servants to deal with the rising cost of living. Before even getting the first payment, prices of essentials have risen. Now that 2 months have already passed more and more essential items are being indiscriminately sold at higher prices rendering impotent, the government's ability to control prices. This is not to say that they were able to do so in the past.

One thing that is interesting here but has not been highlighted by the local press for obvious reasons, is the struggle of the banking sector workers, to be more precise, the struggle of the clerical workers. Their last CA has lapsed quite a while already and they are negotiating a new CA. Their CAs in the past has all the while included a 2 months bonus payment a year. This time around, NUBE, their union is asking for a 30 percent increase in salary. After a long battle the Bank Employers haver agreed to the request of the clerical workers but with a catch. The clause on the 2 months bonus payment will be dropped meaning no guaranteed 2 months bonus for them.

Two extra months in a year makes 1/6 of their annual income or 16 to 17 percent of their annual income. So they will scream and shout to the world that they are giving a 30% increase but keep quiet about the fact that they are taking back 16 to 17 percent. The real gain would actually be 13 to 14 percent not 30. NUBE of course refused and that is why if you go to a bank counter you will see the tellers and all clerical workers spotting protest badges.

From information gathered, it is the refusal of a certain brother of a certain very highly minister who is the culprit responsible for this trickery. These people are already bloody filthy rich. Banks are not actually making loses, in fact, their profits are sinfully high. Why is it that they still want to make life for their workers difficult? How much is an extra 2 months bonus compared to the hundreds of millions or billions of ringgit of profit that they are making?

Why is it that no local daily is giving prominence to this state of affair in the banking industry? Is it because they are afraid to piss off the brother of a certain highly placed minister? Is the brother of that minister more important than the thousands of bank clerks in this country?

Since we are on the subject of pay increase and bonus, lets have a look at the public sector again. Some idiotic ministers were saying that government servants had already got a hefty increase which if added up could amount to 2 to 4 months salary. While not denying that fact, I would also like them to make some corrections. A government servant who got a 15 percent increase actually only got about 8 percent. Why? Last year, and years before, that same government servant got 1 month bonus but this year he/she gets no bonus. 1 month's salary adds up to about 7 to 8 percent of annual salary.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Can You Beat Death?

Are you afraid of death? Fear not because you can beat death, but there is a catch though: You have to die first.



Death Be Not Proud

Poem lyrics of Death Be Not Proud by John Donne.

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Free Education, No Fees?

The party is over. The PM has tabled the budget and the rest is just a formality as it usually is in the Malaysian Parliament. As usual, the bill will get through and we the commoners will only get to hear what they want us to hear about the debate.

Yeah, I am not too happy about the non-announcement of bonus payment for civil-servants since Hari Raya is just around the corner but I am still hopeful. Hey that is what us poor people do you know, we hope.

As a teacher, what struck me most about the recent budget is the abolishing of school fees and the extention of the SPBT (Skim Pinjaman Buku Teks) to all irrespective of how much the parents make. Let me tell you why I am eager to hear about this and let me also state my reservations. Lets not party too soon because we will end up crying.

The only thing that will take off fully as promised would be the SPBT for all. Yes, parents would save quite a substantial amount especially if they have more than one school going children. For the real poor, this announcement means nothing of course because they have been getting free book loans all this while. I don't know if the students will still have to fill the book loan forms or they will just be asked if they want books or not. Publishers are of course smiling to the bank and officers in the procurement unit are smiling with them. Schools would definitely have to have a bigger store to keep these books.

I hope they will keep their promise and not end up like the promise they made about the increase allocation of teachers for schools which remained a promise and a sick joke that they played on us.

What is most interesting is the 'no fees' announcement. This I have to see. There is more that meet the eyes here. If parents were to closely scrutinise their children's resit they will see that the school fees is divided into many parts. Payment is made for

Seni
Sukan
Cetakkan
Perpustakaan
MSSM
Takaful
Majalah

Some schools have more divisions here. I can see the government covering the first 4 parts. That in itself would create problems because schools decide what quantum of the fees go to which division depending on their needs. Some school may charge RM6 for cetakan and some schools charge RM16. If the government is going to cover then I am sure they are not going to call schools up and ask how much they charge for this and how much for that.

They will pay a standard amount depending on the grade of the school. Grade A schools get better allocations compared to grade B schools for reasons only known to them. As far as I know, the number of students per class and the quality of teachers and students in these schools are the same accept for the enrolment and the location.

I wonder if the government will also cover the MSSM fees? The MSSM actually charges students to run their activities. A cut of it is then given to the respective state MSSs. Then there is the standard RM4.00 per head for the insurance scheme TAKAFUL. I wonder if the government will cover this also or will require the parents to pay. If the parents have to pay for this, then fees will have to be collected when school commences every new academic year.

What about the magazine fee then? It varies from school to school depending on the thickness and number of coloured pages. Some schools subsidised this through advertisements but not all schools have the required contacts. Schools in the rural areas are definitely at a disadvantage. Premier schools usually charge very high for magazines sometimes making up more than 30 % of the fees collected each year.

Some schools do not have magazines and thus collect no such fee. Some are already going electronic where students would be given a CD at the end of the year. This is of course a cheaper alternative and you can splash as much colour as you want.

Would the government then cover these magazine fees or parents have to dig into their pockets for this. In my school, the magazine fees, TAKAFUL and MSSM fees make up more then 50 % of the fees students pay. Without MSSM it still comes to nearly 50 % of the fees. If parents have to bear the magazine fees and TAKAFUL fees then it would mean there will be fees but reduced by about 50%, so the term 'no fees' is inaccurate.

Some schools will try to be clever and decide to raise the magazine fees for more glamour just because students do not have to pay the other fees.

And for the main course ladies and gentlemen, the PIBG fees. The amount collected in PIBG fees varies greatly from as low as RM5 to as high as RM50. Oh, yes, it is not uncommon to hear of schools charging as high as RM50 for the PIBG fees. Actually schools are not allowed to charge a fee for PIBG, they can collect donations or 'sumbangan ilkhlas' but schools decide to retain the term IKHLAS but changed its meaning to WAJIB.

Why so much, some might ask. Schools are burdened with many expenses that the government do not cover or cover only partially. Schools are expected to come out with various activities which require money and the allocation given is just too small to cover all these so they go to their respective PIBGs for fund. Not all PIBGs have high-powered individuals who could sponsorthese activities or get donations, so, they charge a fee under 'sumbangan ikhlas' I don't blame them. School's PIBGs spend sometimes in excess of 20K a year to finance their activities. Parents who attend the PIBG AGM know this but many don't because the have never attended a single AGM.

The question is will the government also give an allocation to all PIBGs? If not then fees would surely be collected. Then there are schools that charge up to RM100 for computer clubs where pupils get to use the computers for only a few times a year. This is on top of the computers the school already have in their labs. This is not bullshit, many schools do this. Some of them incorporate this fees into the PIBG fees and some collect separately.

Will the government cover this also? Will resit books really be burnt this coming academic year or there will be less entry only. This has got to be fully explained to the people so that they don't feel cheated, otherwise, please don't call it Free Education. The moment you decide to charge for something then it is no longer FREE.

Some may say what is all this fuss about some loose change. It may be loose change to them but tell that to the petani's, nelayans and penorehs. Oh, you can exclude the penternak khinzirs, politicians and connected businessmen, this is indeed loose change to them.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Lesson We Missed

The human race is supposed to be the only living being on this earth that could shape the direction the earth is heading. We could create and we could destroy. We have the faculty to decide what is right and what is wrong and yet sometimes we seem confused.

Can we learn from animals then? Maybe the answers to our woes lie with the animals. Maybe we should be more serious about learning from animals. We should not restrict our education to some monkey movements to create martial arts move.

Most probably some have seen this video and maybe some haven't but what I can say is that we can surely learn something from it. I got this from metacafe which is taken from National Geographic.
video

Monday, 3 September 2007

Public Caning In Schools

I saw on tv a moment ago about how a government backbencher questioned the Deputy Minister of Education about the possibility of bringing back Public Caning in schools and the 'learned' Deputy Minister answered about having to consider various acts and conventions pertaining to minors. So clever, but wait a minute.

Reports about gangsterism, hooliganism and vandalism and utter shameful behaviour of our students have been hotly debated for many-many years now. Much have been said and many so-called studies have been made so don't tell me, it had not crossed the minds of anyone in the ministry to look into the acts and conventions mentioned by the Deputy Minister?

Why still give stupid answers like we have to seriously consider this and that to a question that is not new. If it is a new phenomenon I could buy it but this damn thing have been debated for far too long. Please me Deputy Minister, tell us something new.

Now back to the question asked by the MP. Should Public Caning be brought back to Malaysian schools? I was surprised, no, not disappointed, just surprised, by NUTP's reaction to this suggestion. They don't seem to be in favour of this call. Come to thing of it, I could understand them because this would invite hostile reactions from many parents who incidentally couldn't make out an angel from a devil.

Speaking as a teacher who has gone through the public caning days and comparing it to what we have now, I don't thing its a good thing to go back in time. Yes, public caning were a deterrent back then and that is because most parents could accept the fact that their children need disciplining. Things have changed much since then. Parents nowadays don't take too kindly to their children being punished in schools.

Anyway, I am not against caning, but I have my reservations with public canings. If the MP had called for teachers to be given greater powers to cane students, I would agree. I know not many parents would agree with me, but then again they are not teachers. We don't use the cane just because we like to cane. Its not like we get up one morning and eagerly dress up to school just to
go whack a few arses. Who wants to do that? We are not crazy people you know. We don't go beat up some karate referees for no reason you know.

One weakness in the system that contributes to the worsening of the students discipline is the appointments of headmasters/headmistresses and principals. A person is appointed the head of a school based on seniority and contact and merit plays no part in promotions whatsoever.

A person may be senior but lacks the quality needed. A person with contacts is worse. He or she only knows how to suck up, not lead. Go to schools with poor discipline record and the glaring thing that one sees is the quality, or the lack of it ,of the head.

Sweeping matters under the carpet is a very common thing because a head who admits to having a lot of problems is deemed to have admitted that he/she is unable to lead and thus would missed the next promotion boat.

Schools are reluctant to suspend and sack hardcore cases. Besides, weak heads being a reason, the inability of officers in the JPN to comprehend school's predicaments is also a reason. We sack someone today and the brat gets admission into another school not so far away and 99 percent of them are back to their pre-sacking ways in a month. Just pay a visit to any school and enquire how many students they presently have who were sacked from other schools and you would be surprised. To top this sometime these students got sent back to the school they were initially sacked from. Now that is not very helpful isn't it?

Back to caning, I am all for a more liberal use of the cane by a panel of teachers, not just any teacher. Why, do you ask? You would be surprise at how effective it could be. Look, we have tried all we could to get the students to respect us but it just doesn't work and anyway we have other work to do you know like teaching? Its not easy to try to act all noble and teach at the same time. Which comes first then?

Well, what is my last line here? Public caning 'NO' caning YES.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Merdeka Quiz

Q. Why did all the dignitaries on the VIP stage dive for cover and peed in their pants during the recent Merdeka Parade?

A. Instead of fighter jets, they used NURIs for the fly-by.

Q. Why was Pak Lah angry with Samy Velu?

A. Because he shouted MAIdeKA.

Q. Who was the minister holding the umbrella?

A. The one standing in front of Keng Yaik.

Q. At what time did Pak Lah arrive for the parade?

A. Half Past Six.

Q. Why was Najib late?

A. He couldn't find a parking space for a submarine.

Q. Why wasn't the MP for Jasin present?

A. He had an eye operation.

Q. Why did the rep for Mongolia leave before the gun salute?

A. He had seeforbia.





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