Currently viewing the category: "In My Humble Opinion"

1. Malaysia ranks world 20th most deaths by road accidents. source: http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/malaysia-road-traffic-accidents . This is not something to be proud of.

2. In UK, when similar system is being implemented, there was 33% reduction in personal injury accidents at sites where cameras had been introduced, and a 40% reduction in accidents resulting in fatal or serious injuries.

In Sweden, the preliminary effect on fatal accidents is a reduction of 50% and on all injury accidents 25%

Source: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/knowledge/speed/speed_limits/speed_enforcement.htm

3. Why do people complain when there is a fixed camera when they too will get caught by mobile speed cameras on highways, and we never know when there are traps. The police have a say in laying speed traps when and where they think suitable. Knowing where the fixed cameras are is an advantage to all of us.

4. Does AES burden the rakyat or is it our attitude on the road that will burden us with summonses?

I am writing this not because I am a slow driver. I’d be the first to admit I do speed, and although most road fatalities also give better chance for organ donation (I’m an organ donation activist), I still think AES could best help in reduction of road fatalities and reduce death rates as well as enhancing road safety.

When issues get started, heated arguments began, I always take time to
1. See both supporters and opponents, what they say, do and how they react

2. Analyse both sides of the divide, regardless of parties

3. It will take me another week or weeks before I issue a statement or my opinions about things

What I agree with both Himpunan Hijau group and the opposition parties:
– I agree that we should take Bukit Merah as reference but it should be a learning curve instead of using it as a Stop Lynas point

– I agree on the possibilities of toxic wastes affecting people perhaps 30km radius of the plant

– I totally agree that if the plant is radioactive, measures must be taken to protect staffs and people around the plant

– I also agree with the many people supporting the movement, very rare we see movements of people and now even silent majority has taken things to street

But I also somewhat agree with the government and Lynas Corp on certain matters:
– that the plant is merely a plant with low radiation level, not like a radioactive plant as claimed by the opposition

– I agree that a Parliament Select Committee be established to look into the matter

– I agree that we have foreign direct investment and it will be very difficult to just stop the project and eventually lose interest from foreign countries to invest in Malaysia in the future. Now I know people also talked about government wants money and don’t care about the people anymore – but let’s just take things one by one

– I agree that the Department of Environment and AELB should be taking charge of all monitoring

Yet, both arguments – as many things are – both parties think they are right and has got no wrong. I disagree with that. Looking at both sides of the divide, I think both have their points but a question remains unanswered, ‘What’s Next?’ Too often we see war of words, courses of blaming game but not a practical solution to the real issue.

It is not the number of people attending Himpunan Hijau that matters, it is how to solve the problem.
It is not how safe the goverment thinks Lynas is, it is how to solve the main problem pertaining the continuance or stopping Lynas

In my humble opinion, humblest of a human in Malaysia (and not an expert in this field), let me list my demands for Lynas:
1. AELB published that RM50 million deposit was to be paid by Lynas, but I think RM50 million does not justify. Learning from Bukit Merah which made the government spent RM200 million to clean the plant, the minimum deposit should at least be RM100 million

2. If it is true like what Himpunan Hijau claimed that the toxic wastes could harm people of 30km radius, Lynas perhaps should have an option for relocation for residents staying within 30km radius

3. The worry on radioactivity, I believe all staffs and people in and near the plant should be informed of the highest and lowest mSv counts every month, with all areas within the plant be installed a monitoring of the radiation level so staffs will know what they are exposed to

4. Since the government has given 12 years tax break to Lynas, perhaps we the rakyat should demand Lynas to allocate a dividend for environmental projects and for the benefit of rakyat.

5. I also demand Lynas to be more open and transparent! I’d like to see Lynas opening its doors for public visits and make it an educational visit by having people to explain and show the public how the process of rare earth extraction is being done.

6. I’d demand DOE and AELB to do their job real well, just like how oil palm industry and oil and gas industry are being strictly monitored. Secondly I’d like AELB and DOE to open their inspection sessions to the public, the rakyat, people staying around the plant and maybe Himpunan Hijau activists, perhaps each session is open to a fixed number of observers. How DOE and AELB do their inspection, what inspection standards are being used and how to determine safety levels, all these must be open to the public, more importantly the people around the plant.

7. Welfare of people working in the plant MUST not be compromised. I suggest and demand free full body checkup for all staffs at Lynas yearly. All risks and risk exposure to any radioactivity must be thoroughly informed to the staffs and made understood and signed by both parties before he or she starts working. Just like how it is a requirement for me to thoroughly understand the risks to donate part of my liver to someone. I did it after fully understanding the risks, including 1% death risk during operation and 10% risk of death due to infections.

If Lynas could not fulfill all my demands, I demand that Lynas leaves Malaysia for a better future.

[new] I disagree if we say, “go have Lynas somewhere else but not in Malaysia, but I want benefits of rare earth.” A little selfish I think, because is the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) mindset.

I stand corrected on the numbers and certain values I may have wrongly stated.

More reading:
1. http://mynewshub.my/eng/2012/02/the-truth-about-lynas/

2. What is Radiation? http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/radiation.html

3. What is the safe level of radiation? http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/health_effects.html#whatlimits

4. Japan Nuclear Emergency: How Much Radiation is Safe? http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/03/13/japan-nuclear-emergency-how-much-radiation-is-safe/

5. Rare earth extraction process control method based on ion characteristic color detection http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5553842&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5553842 (Paper presented by Hui Yang)

6.  Are Rare Earth Minerals Too Costly for Environment? http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/asia/july-dec09/china_12-14.html

7.  China’s Rare Earth Elements Industry: What Can the West Learn? http://www.iags.org/rareearth0310hurst.pdf

8. China’s environmental watchdog tightens control over rare earth projects http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-11/24/c_131267958.htm

9. HOW DANGEROUS IS RADIATION? http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter5.html

10. Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM V) Proceedings of an international symposium Seville, Spain, 19–22 March 2007 http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1326_web.pdf

[newly added for my reference]
11. [simplified understanding of rare earth and Lynas] http://www.thegreenmechanics.com/2012/03/of-rare-earth-and-lynas.html and Part II http://www.thegreenmechanics.com/2012/03/of-rare-earth-and-lynas-part-ii.html

Decide for yourself
Think about this. If Australians did not have to endure radioactive radiations from a supposedly Lynas plant back there, why would us Malaysians want to willingly subject our self to a highly risky endeavour?

Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone

I am more and more disappointed with the current political scenario in our country. More to be seen especially when the general election is drawing nearer.

Our country, and rakyat which I’m very much a part of, need good people, good doers and great workers to steer Malaysia to greater heights. People of the country who put country in their heart, not just the party.

We are no more a society of reason and thinkers. We have a partisan society and a puppetry country.

First it was during YAB Lim Guan Eng debates Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek. Looking at two camps of supporters, it didn’t matter who said what, as long as Guan Eng said something, opposition camp raved. As long as Soi Lek said something, MCA camp cheered.

And then we were entertained with tow-truck sister shouting her petty issues. Suddenly, she got all the spotlight shined on her. The issues raised during the debates gone with the wind. When issues are raised, I often ask ‘so, what’s next?’ And that question stayed lingering in my mind.

Then, Bersih 2.0, Himpunan Hijau were all so partisan – is either you agree or disagree and very often, according to you party’s stand.

I understand what it means by loyalty and support. As a true supporter and true loyalist, I should do what I think is right for the people and country, not blind loyalist of a party.

Bersih 2.0 is for clean and fair election. Now, months after the rally, what has both PR and BN do for fair and clean election? The current government now set up a Parliament Select Committee for this matter and coming with ideas and solid solutions.

Our country needs moderation, thinker and reasonable people.

And then we see the 325 issue. The main issue was lack of Chinese educators in Chinese vernacular schools. However the rally turned into a whether-the-deputy-minister-got-punched issue. The petty issue of getting punched or not overshadowed the real issue pertaining the future of our children in Chinese school.

We now have politicians who fight for self and party. When can we have politicians for the people?

Having said that, I still can see a few silent fighters who are solving issues and working hard without much publicity. I hope in the next election we the rakyat will need to choose wisely candidates who can reason, thinkers, problem solvers, doers (instead of talkers) and hardworkers to steer our country to great heights. We need to catch up with our neighbours which will be overpassing us soon.

 

When I meet a Malay friend, I speak in Malay and when I see a Chinese friend I speak Cantonese, sometimes Mandarin or some broken Hokkien, Hakka, and a phrase of Hainanese “boh bat kong” (I don’t know how to speak Hainanese!). Seeing an Indian friend, my tongue twists to Tamil with an immediate “yerperddi irrekerengge?” to ask “how are you?”

At times among Chinese friends, we speak Malay too! One such friend is Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. From the very beginning of knowing this idol of mine, we speak Malay more often than English or Chinese. Up to now, I still do not know what dialiect is Tan Sri Lee.

When Chinese get together, is normal to ask if you are Hokkien, Hakka, Hainanese, Teo Chew, Foo Chow or Cantonese. Same goes to Indian and Malay friends.

It is in ME that I feel I am a Malaysian, the love for the country no matter what. It is the Malaysian in me that ticks on forms as “Lain-lain” and when asked to specify, I write “Bangsa Malaysia”.

It is ME that I feel my country is my world, my country is the best and her name is Malaysia. It is ME because I BE the change I want to see in my country. People are often posted this to ponder “Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country.” I took it seriously and when I put Malaysia in my heart, I do what I can to contribute to all the complaints I have in my mind.

My country is dirty? I clean my own home first.
My country has floods? I first play with flood waters, enjoy them and then help flood victims.
My country is developing lands on hill side? I first protest the action and try to see what else I can do.
My country has low number of organ donors? I first pledge organs myself and then organise more organ donation awareness campaigns.
My country has high road accident rates? I first drive carefully and ensure the safety of others on the road.
My country has high corruption rate? I first ensure I myself don’t bribe or take bribes.
My country’s inflation is high? Firstly I be frugal. Most often we see people overbuy things and eventually turn to waste.
My country’s average income is low? I first educate myself and learn more knowledge to make more money.
My country has bad apples in it? I first be good and BE the change I want to see…

Be the change you want to see in this world ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I read the news this afternoon

PAS wants to stop Valentine’s Day celebration
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/2/7/nation/10686706&sec=nation

Nasrudin said the movement was not out to punish those celebrating Valentine’s Day.

“We are also not trying to assume the role of moral police. We are not enforcers.

“But, we want to help save the youngsters from falling into the Valentine’s Day trap that promotes immoral activities,” he said.

I wrote to the papers expressing my humble opinion. Delinquents may not need a specific day to indulge in immoral activities but we Asians, who normally are shy to express love, may need a day to dig out the courage to say “I Love You” to spouses, parents, family members and friends. Therefore, why not on a Valentine’s Day? So, what is so wrong about celebrating a day to promote love? Why must there be war over such a matter of celebration and also connecting the day with Christianity?

Let’s get this a level higher, let us bring Valentine’s Day a day of loving one another – regardless of family members or enemies. I know it is difficult but I’d call for all to pledge your organs on Valentine’s Day. Let us all wear a green ribbon – which represents organ donation – during Valentine’s Day.

Many people see I have the confidence, can talk all way non-stop, engage crowds, joke and add laughters…

But in real fact, I’m shy. Yes, repeat ‘I’m shy’. My old time friend will definitely strongly oppose to this. Well, last time I knew the Hoong Ling who would start a conversation out of thin air. A stranger with me in the same LRT will be friends and exchange numbers by the time we reach destination. Someone waiting for a bus at the bus stop can be instant friends and we can come out for a drink anytime.

Let me lay out…

I think it first started after my operation. I have time for myself, love myself even more and notice my own behaviour. I know I developed fear to large crowds since then because fear of people will bump to me and hurt my 14-inch scar which was still healing at that time. Today I am still healing after laser treatment to remove the scar last week.

Therefore yesterday, I did not go to the OctTwtFest October Tweet Fest which I really wanted to.

In a first meet, you will see I’m very quiet if the whole table has all new friends. Say, in a table of 10 if I only have 2-3 acquaintances, I’ll be keeping quiet the whole meeting. Evident!

I was quiet the whole meeting during tweetup held by YB KhairyJ (I knew only 2 people there in a group of about 20), quiet during first lunch meet with a think tank team (I knew only 2 in a group of 10), quiet whole time for first days of Youth Lab (I knew no one there on the first day!).

Unless say, in a group of 10, I have 5 or more are friends already, I’d speak, joke, laugh and talk. When I’m asked to sit at a wedding table with all new people, I’d not speak a word the whole night too.

If a whole table of strangers, I won’t even turn up!

Dual personalities you may say. For a radio deejay who can open conversations and ask all sort of questions on air, for a professional emcee who can emcee so well in front of huge audience of strangers and for an inspirational speaker who can speak to all unknown people internationally, who would imagine a shy one who will keep quiet at dinners?

Well when passion flows, everything seems to catch the flow pretty easily. I emcee since school days in 1993 and find I can make an event more meaningful, add values to a lively function and that has always been my goal every time I emcee.

I’m shy with the media, yes! I am shy with the media and also rejected many interviews until I was being reminded that each time I talk or being interviewed, I’m not talking on behalf of ‘Hoong Ling’. I’m speaking on behalf of the social causes I champion. And the topic I speak, to many, carries inspiration and motivation. So there I went ahead, countering all the shyness, fears, phobia you call it, to spread awareness in organ donation, speak my heart on gender equality and braved my fears in meeting strangers.

Deejaying on DurianFM was a new experience and speaking to the mics only do not need much courage to kill fears and shyness. So far if you noticed, guests invited to my slot were all friends and I’d prefer whoever who wants to come on air to just tell me and I’d always welcome a partner in studio. If you were to ask me to invite a stranger, perhaps that will be new experience too.

But you were TV Presenter on Selamat Pagi Malaysia interviewing strangers all the time! Yes but in studio, we have 2 TV Presenters to one or two guests, balanced. And producers, cameramen are my friends too – covered!

But you are eloquent as panel speaker at talk shows. If the topic is passionate to my heart, I’d put the topic forefront and fears behind.

So some said I’m proud to meet up, some said I was arrogant not to call others to studio for interviews, some even accused I’m snobbish that I won’t seek others’ opinions other than my friends’.

Say all you want though, I’m only a Chew Hoong Ling, your greatest servant.

 

What do you mean by Bangsa Malaysia, many asked me. I said it resonates in the heart, I’m a Malaysian, period.

What differentiate you and the others, I was asked. People will distinguish you as a Chinese, many said. Yes, I’m of the Hainanese clan of Chinese race but that doesn’t make me any less Malaysian. Millions are questioning why government forms and many other forms still have the “race” or “ethnicity” field when they harp on 1Malaysia. Many wanted it to be removed. What’s the use of having such statistics of knowing how many Malays, Chinese and Indians (and other ethnics too) when we are all Malaysians, many also argued!
However, my question is – what have you been DOING as a bangsa Malaysia? Yes we can argue, we can talk and raise issues about unity. Small matter like having a ‘race’ field in forms, many chanted racism, and some made it so political.

For over 5 years now, I have always filled in forms, check the Lain-Lain field and when asked to specify, I put ‘Bangsa Malaysia’. I’ve always love unity and when someone speaks about the negatives of another race or religion, I walked away. Having heated arguments with my family members even my Dad, was a norm since there are always these general statements like ‘Melayu malas’ ‘India tipu’. And I’ll ask ‘what about Cina?’, has Cina been so good so perfect that all other races are bad?

To understand my Muslim brothers and sisters better, I also read the translation of Quran, understand the history of the religion, why certain issues are brought up and get to know each situation better. I also fast during Ramadhan 12 years ago (but stopped for some years in between due to discomfort in stomach). I celebrate Hari Raya like all others.

I’ve been to church weekly for six years during childhood time and learnt about my Christian brothers and sisters. Loving one another was the most important lesson I’ve learnt since young.
I hope to have friends who could teach me Hinduism too.

Learning languages is so easy in Malaysia. Everywhere around us are Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sabahans, Sarawakians. So I speak some Tamil, a word or two of Sabahan and bahasa Iban. I even used these as my signature opening when I emcee for any events.

I call all my brothers and sisters to forget about anti-this anti-that, argued about this and that. These issues are so mere small issues if we ourselves have unity at heart. No one can even move my heart, as long as I have unity at heart, I’m unraved by calls of pendatang, whether I’m Cina murtad, balik Tong San, the fight of who are the origins of Malaysia, whether or not this is a Muslim country… Etc. Etc…

I am renewing my Bangsa Malaysia spirit by pledging to tick Lain-Lain and specify: Bangsa Malaysia. And I love Malaysia, is in my heart.

I always love what my mentor Anas Zubedy said, ‘everything is neutral’ and Harv Eker said, ‘nothing has meaning until you put a label to it’.

Saya Bangsa Malaysia!

I was not at all interested in writing anything in regards of the burning of churches last night because I felt that it is really an act of skxawng, nothing more than too-free-after-makan acts to burn some fiery feelings or maybe why not, burn some buildings? And also, is nothing related to Buddhists like me so, why write?

I didn’t even want to put more energy into this issue as I always believe that where the energy goes – it expands. So why waste energy there, why focus on issues when we want to unite? I even posted on my facebook statusjust saw Lifebuoy soap advertisement on TV – interviewed a Malay, Chinese and an Indian on the effectiveness of soaps. WOW! Even TV ad uses multi lingual, multi ethnic concept. That’s how it should be! That’s the way, I like it!

However, Pah Nur‘s blog changed my mind. She asked all brothers and sisters irregardless of religion to stay united in this issue. A few friends asked of my opinion, then when I was at zubedy’s office today, Anas asked 3 times “Are you writing on the burning of the church?” (tiga kali wooo…) so Ok la… tulis sikit la…

As Buddhists, we do not even fire back when someone destroy a Buddha’s statue or a temple because we know that the teachings of Buddha lies in our hearts and we practise them in daily lives. A Buddha statue or a temple is a place of worship and an image to let us know who our teacher is. NOT acting in the name of revenge is WISDOM, the essence of Buddha’s teachings. While we believe in “protecting” the Buddha, the Dhamma (Buddha’s teachings) and the Sangha (monks and nuns), we also know that “Takkan agama Buddha lenyap di dunia” (as in Takkan Melayu lenyap di dunia, la!) so why so kan cheong? Somehow, I heard someone said that Buddha himself predicted that there will be no Buddhism in the future also, so why so kan cheong?

I believe the Christians are wise enough to be calm and stay loving to their “enemies” – essence of Christianity! How beautiful can religions be and how situations can really test our actions and real practise!

Well, this does not mean that I am blaming those who burnt the churches are not wise. In fact, whether is for good or for bad, wise or unwise, somehow it could be related to this incident that many did not turn up to protest after Friday’s prayer today. Thanks to them who puts the fire, no?

I find it amusing that warnings after warnings were issued when there was sign of Hindraf demonstrating at the streets. But when people want to protest because of the “Allah” name, our Prime Minister Najib said he can’t stop the protest.

Well, sebab setitik nila rosak susu sebelanga, sebab satu perkataan bakarlah beberapa gereja. It just show how unwise these people could react to one single word. I would say that the acts of just a tiny “drop” of people has made Islam, a beautiful religion of great Peace, a bad name, at least in Malaysia for now. We have also seen what the “drop” did during 911.

Wiser Malaysians can see that such an act is NOT the teachings of Islam, much far away from the practise of any religion. I don’t think I will reproduce what other Muslim bloggers have on what the Quran says in this matter. There are many here:
Pah Nur’s opinion
Anas’ quoting the Quran
Art Harun’s
Walski’s

And I always like Marina’s la… She focuses on what is to be done NOW, not the pointing of fingers, brooding the past which can’t be changed. Marina’s suggestions… I like the suggestion on getting Muslims to clean the churches, cool idea!

A few of my friends really condemn Islam and accused the beautiful religion for the burning of churches. For these friends, I advise having more friends of different ethnics and religions so that you understand your friends better. Even better, understand their religions and culture.

Yesterday when Anas’ presented a talk – he suggested non-Malays to read the Quran, buy a peribahasa book to read and… err.. aiyo need to “repair” my memory. All those I did but funny thing was… he said non-Chinese should read Tao Te Ching and… errr.. (repair memory)… which I never even touched that before!!! Am I the OCBC?

As my blog title suggests – it was only that “drop” of followers that spoil the name of Islam. And my sharing of other blogs here proved that there are so many Muslims actually condeming the act of burning the churches as well. Let us not be the skxawng to point fingers and simply conclude that Islam is *****…

May all be well and happy always!

skxawng – moron in Navi’s language
kan cheong – nervous (in Cantonese)

I am intrigued by comments on the recent ruling by the High Court to allow the use of the word “Allah” by Herald. These are a few articles supporting it while there are some skxawng** mourning for the “loss”.
Asri: “Manusia memang patut panggil Tuhan dengan panggilan Allah”

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/bahasa/48321-asri-manusia-memang-patut-panggil-tuhan-dengan-panggilan-allah

Allah, the Bible, Christians and Muslims by Anas Zubedy
By far, I like this blog the most:
Confident people do not get confused by Marina Mahathir

As some could have guessed, yes the appeal is coming, too. And let’s continue seeing the drama.
Whatever it is, it does not matter for me as I am a Buddhist and we believe in the teachings of Buddha (not Buddha). If all of us could just FOLLOW the teachings of our own religions, could there be no arguments on God and the names to call God?
Ain’t all religions teach us to be good? And how could “be good” – such a simple term to follow – could be so difficult to do? I once asked many many many questions about the “technicalities” in Buddhism – such as why there are monks who are not vegetarian, how do we justify karma when we can’t see it, can anyone prove reincarnation, why this, why that… till a point that a monk finally advised me – Buddha taught us the noble truths, middle way and the basic 5 precepts. If any Buddhist can just follow these simple ways, he is a true Buddhist whether he knows the answers to those questions or not.
All religions teach us to be good. Are we all good yet?
**skxawng (to understand the Na’Vi language, click here – too obsessed watching Avatar!)