Have We Gone To The Dogs?

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Adelina Lisao was found with a swollen head and face, with burn marks to her hands and legs. She was abused and neglected by her employer and family. She died because of multiple organ failures. She was 21

I am sitting here waiting with my camera to try shoot the planet Jupiter and Mars in an hour’s time.  Both should rise in the eastern sky at that time.  The waning moon is only eight percent illuminated.  In two days’ time, we shall usher in the Year of the Dog.

Talking about dogs, three days ago a maid named Adelina Lisao died at the Bukit Mertajam Hospital.  There was swelling on her head and face, as well as injuries on her arms and legs.

A little over two years ago, Adelina who was from Medan, spent Rp. 225,000 (RM65.00) to do her medical check-up and paid Rp. 4,000,000 (RM1,156.00) to come over to Malaysia to work.  Adelina must have come from the lower income group for her to want to leave her family in search of a better life.  28 million people like her live on average monthly earnings of Rp. 354,386 (RM103.00).  Getting an average of Rp. 2.1 million (RM610.00) per month is a far better choice.

The police had attempted to record a statement from her but she was so engulfed with fear that she never spoke after she was admitted.  For a month, she was abused by her employer and family, treated like a dog and was forced to sleep on the porch with a dog.  When she was found by her rescuers, she did not speak.  All she did was shook her head.  She had burn marks on her legs and they were filled with pus.

She finally found the courage to die a day after being admitted, due to multiple organ failures.  She was only 21.  Her employer, brother and 60-year old mother were arrested by the police and have been remanded for investigations under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

Nirmala Bonat – Scarred For Life

In 2008, former airline stewardess Yim Pek Ha was found guilty for three counts of causing grievous hurt to her maid Nirmala Bonat and sentenced to 12 years in jail.  Pek Ha was also ordered to pay damages of RM129,147.20 to Nirmala, who hails from Kupang.  Pek Ha and her husband appealed but the Appellate Court increased the cost of damages to RM349,496 instead.

Nirmala suffered burn scars on her body after five months of abuse.  When she broke a mug while cleaning it, Pek Ha beat her up with a clothes hanger and threw boiling water at her.  When clothes were not ironed properly, Pek Ha would take the iron from her and press it onto her back and breasts.

What have we become?

Health Is Not Wealth

We live in a world where we cannot do without a domestic helper.  We also live in a world where no Malaysian would ever want to lay bricks and do dirty, dangerous and demeaning jobs like we used to back in the 1970s and earlier.

We have 1.78 million legal foreign workers working in various sectors in Malaysia as of 2017, a reduction by about 400,000 from the previous year.  Indonesians have the highest number (728,870), followed by Nepalis (405,898), Bangladeshi (221,089), Myanmar (127,705), Indians (114,455), Pakistani (59,281), Filipinos (56,153), Vietnamese (29,039), Chinese (15,399) and Thais (12,603).  The bulk are in the construction, agricultural and manufacturing industries.

For 10 years between 2006 and 2015, 518 foreign construction workers were killed.  RM10.75 million was paid out to families of the dead as compensation.  But this compensation only applies to legally-registered workers.  Some four million illegal workers are at risk of not getting their body repatriated back to their home country, let alone get any form of compensation.

We often see foreign workers toiling the construction sites day and night.  Smaller construction companies often rely on illegal foreign workers because they cannot afford the levy.  Many of these companies are fourth of fifth level sub-contractors who do the work just to be able to survive. These companies provide their workers with sub-standard or damaged personal protection equipment, if at all.

Larger construction companies often move workers from one project site to another, depending on the demand of each phase of construction.  As a result, they stretch their workers pool razor thin and workers have to do double or even triple shifts.  In a high-potential near-miss incident I interviewed a worker about his rest time.  All he had was two hours of sleep at night, and about half an hour during lunch breaks.

The consequence of the above is the workers often suffer from lapses. Many lose limbs or die because of these lapses.  I have seen foreign workers die while resting because of heart failure.  Yet, employers put them to work for more than the 12 hours permitted by law, promising them more pay per hour for the work they do beyond the permissible hours.

In 2016, the executive director of the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan was quoted to say that employers should not be blamed for the deaths of workers who “insisted to work for overtime pay”.  He added that if their request to work overtime is not met, they would not come to work with the said employers.  He said this in response to the comment made by HE Dr Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat, the Ambassador of Nepal to Malaysia, that 70 percent of the 461 deaths of Nepali workers in Malaysia are due to a heart attack while they were asleep (Malay Mail Online, Tuesday, 14 June 2016).

I find the excuse by Shamsuddin a lame and typical excuse often given by employers of foreign workers looking for an escape clause.  The laws governing workers are there to be obeyed.  These laws, however, expect employers to self-regulate, and are open to abuse.  The other problem is enforcement of these laws are often very poor.

Deplorable Living Conditions

As a safety and health practitioner I used to visit work sites with my team to see the amenities made available to the workers.  I used to insist that contractors provide running treated water and ensure that adequate portable toilets are provided and their scheduled maintenance done as well as a roster done up for daily cleaning of the toilets.  Proper and safe designated rest areas for the workers to sit down and eat, as well as to lie down for power naps during break times had also to be made available.

I would like to specifically commend MRT Corp for providing the best living quarters for registered legal foreign workers. To enter and exit the Centralised Labour Quarters (CLQ) you need to have a valid card issued by the Construction Industry Development Board of Malaysia (CIDB) which is scanned at the autogate.  Inside the CLQ, apart from the essentials they also have a surau, kitchen for workers to cook their meals, cafeteria, sports facilities, assembly area, a sundry shop and a sick bay.  Each CLQ has 144 rooms and each room sleeps six.

But such living quarters cost millions to set up, and only accommodate the legal workers – way beyond what many smaller companies can afford.  If the illegal workers are lucky, they would be given a rented house to stay in, usually a 3-bedroom house with two or single bathrooms – and 20 of them would be housed there, if not more.  Other companies, either due to affordability or driven by profit, would just ask the workers to build their own ‘kongsi’.  These kongsis have very basic amenities.

Disease if rampant.  The most common that I have come across is cutaneous larva migrans.  These poor souls would be scratching violently in an almost impossible task to get rid of the itch.  I won’t go into the diseases that are worse.

Both the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) as well as CIDB need to play a more active role in ensuring that the laws are being followed strictly.  This idea of self-regulation by employers is nothing but a farce.

What Is Wrong With Us?

These workers, legal or illegal, deserve protection from us.  They are human beings, just like us, and deserve to be treated as how we would treat our own family members. Sadly, we never look at them as fellow human beings just because we pay their wages and they work for us.

In short, we have lost our humanity, we have lost our soul. Nirmala Bonat will wake up on this Chinese New Year morning looking at her horrible scars.  Adelina Lisao will never wake up again – ever.  Sadly, we have gone to the dogs.

Gong xi fa cai.

Bila Lembu Bersuara

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Setelah didapati bersalah melanggar undang-undang, khususnya Akta Bank dan Institusi-Institusi Kewangan, 1989 (BAFIA), Rafizi terus mencari simpati dan sokongan di media sosial dengan membuat satu bebenang mengenai isu NFC di Twitter.  Beberapa soalan telah diajukan oleh Rafizi untuk menerangkan kenapa beliau melanggar undang-undang tersebut.  Saya akan kongsikan di sini apa yag telah dituliskan serta pendapat saya mengenai setiap persoalan yang diajukan Rafizi.

Rafizi telah memulakan dengan mengfalsafahkan perbuatannya dengan mengajukan dua soalan:

  1. “Apakah tanggungjawab saya apabila mendapat tahu mengenai skandal NFC?”
  2. Apakah wajar melanggar undang-undang demi menyelamatkan wang rakyat?”

Beliau menjawab soalan pertama dengan mengatakan bahawa sekiranya beliau tidak berbuat apa-apa mengenai perkara tersebut, beliau pecah amanah sebagai seorang wakil rakyat dan pemimpin politik, serta amanah yang Allah kurniakan untuk memahami isu-isu tersebut.

Larangan Hasutan dan Pecah Rahsia serta Patuh Kepada Undang-Undang menurut Islam

Beliau mengutarakan bahawa undang-undang seperti BAFIA, Akta Rahsia Rasmi, Akta Hasutan adalah undang-undang yang telah digubal dengan niat buruk untuk melindungi pesalah yang berkuasa.

Undang-undang, di mana sahaja kita berada, sama ada di sebuah negara Islam, mahupun negara yang ditadbir oleh bukan Islam, adalah wajib dipatuhi, selagi ianya tidak menyuruh kepada melanggar hukum Allah SWT.

Surah An-Nisaa’ ayat 59 menyebut:

Wahai orang-orang yang beriman, ta’atilah Allah dan ta’atilah Rasul (Nya), dan ulil amri di antara kamu.

Ulil Amri di sini bermaksud ibubapa jika anda masih anak yang masih bergantung kepada ibubapa; suami kepada isteri seperti mana yang diwahyukan melalui surah An-Nisaa’ ayat 34; Majikan jika anda bekerja untuknya maka wajib mematuhi peraturan dan arahan bekerja; pemimpin yang dipilih, hakim-hakim mahkamah, polis dan lain-lain pihak berkuasa sekiranya anda adalah rakyat.

Sebuah hadith Sahih Muttafaqun Alayhi Bukhari dan Muslim (Bukhari 2796/Muslim 1839 menyebut:

Menjadi kewajipan seorang muslim mendengar dan taat dalam melakukan perintah yang disukai atau pun tidak disukai, kecuali bila diperintahkan melakukan maksiat. Bila dia diperintah melakukan maksiat, maka tidak ada kewajiban untuk mendengar serta taat.

Akta BAFIA diwujudkan untuk memelihara rahsia-rahsia peribadi, bukan untuk melindungi orang yang salah.  Sekiranya tiada akta seperti ini diwujudkan, maka kandungan akaun anda boleh didedahkan kepada sesiapa sahaja.  Bukan Malaysia sahaja yang mempunyai undang-undang seperti ini, bahkan Agensi Kewangan Saudi Arabia dan lain-lain negara di dunia juga ada mempunyai undang-undang yang sedemikian.

Akta Hasutan adalah undang-undang untuk mencegah dari perbuatan atau pertuturan yang menghasut orang ramai untuk memberontak atau bangun melawan pihak berkuasa, kerajaan mahupun Raja.  Perbuatan menghasut ini sekali lagi bertentangan dengan dalil-dalil di atas.  Iblis telah memberontak semasa diperintah oleh Allah SWT untuk sujud terhadap Adam a.s. dan mengeluarkan kata-kata berbaur hasutan yang mempersoalkan keperluannya sebagai malaikat Allah untuk sujud kepada kejadian Allah yang diperbuat dari tanah.  Akibatnya Iblis telah diusir keluar dari syurga.

Akta Rahsia Rasmi pula diadakan untuk menentukan rahsia-rahsia  kerajaan Yang DiPertuan Agong tidak disebarkan sewenang-wenangnya.  Bayangkan walaupun adanya Akta ini, masih ada yang tidak memegang sumpah dan ikrar yang dibuat semasa diambil bekerja.  Memelihara rahsia itu adalah satu perintah Allah SWT.  Surah At-Tahrim Ayat 3 mafhumnya:

Dan ingatlah ketika Nabi membicarakan secara rahasia kepada salah seorang isterinya (Hafsah) suatu peristiwa. Maka tatkala (Hafsah) menceritakan peristiwa itu (kepada Aisyah) dan Allah memberitahukan hal itu (pembicaraan Hafsah dan Aisyah) kepada Muhammad lalu Muhammad memberitahukan sebagian (yang diberitakan Allah kepadanya) dan menyembunyikan sebagian yang lain (kepada Hafsah). Maka tatkala (Muhammad) memberitahukan pembicaraan (antara Hafsah dan Aisyah) lalu (Hafsah) bertanya: “Siapakah yang telah memberitahukan hal ini kepadamu?” Nabi menjawab: “Telah diberitahukan kepadaku oleh Allah yang Maha Mengetahui lagi Maha Mengenal

Akibat tidak memelihara rahsia tersebut, Hafsah binti Umar r.a dan Aishah binti Abu Bakar r.a tidak didatangi Rasulullah SAW selama sebulan lamanya.  Itu adalah hukuman bagi kedua-dua isteri Rasulullah SAW itu (Sahih Bukhari 5191).

Anggapan Rafizi bahawa orang yang menggunakan logik bahawa jika anda langgar undang-undang maka anda harus dihukum adalah orang-orang yang otaknya terletak dilutut juga menunjukkan betapa beliau sendiri tidak percaya kepada perintah dan ketentuan Allah SWT.  Dalil-dalil di atas telah menunjukkan beberapa contoh yang dipetik dari Al-Quran dan Hadith Rasulullah SAW mengenai hukuman yang dikenakan setelah perintah dilanggar.

Begitu juga tanggapan bahawa Mahatma Gandhi itu penjenayah – manakan sama perjuangan Gandhi dengan perjuangan Rafizi.  Gandhi memperjuangkan kebebasan tanah airnya dari penjajahan British.  Rafizi hanya memperjuangkan popularitinya.

Ingat – sebelum 2013, Rafizi tidak mempunyai apa-apa jawatan dalam exco PKR.  Isu NFC telah memberinya nama dan populariti yang telah membolehkannya bertanding di kerusi Parlimen kawasan Pandan dan menang.

Wang NFC Itu Dana?

Wang yang NFCorp gunakan itu adalah wang yang dipinjam daripada kerajaan melalui Kementerian Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani, yang ketika itu di bawah Menterinya iaitu Muhyiddin Yassin.

Rafizi bukan orang pertama yang mencanangkan kisah NFC ini.  Maka dia bukanlah pemberi maklumat sepertimana yang digembar-gemburkan.  Kisah NFC ini mula muncul dalam laporan audit Jabatan Audit Negara pada tahun 2010.  Di dalam laporan tersebut, tiada langsung perkataan-perkataan seperti “kucar-kacir” mahupun “penyelewengan” sepertimana yang digunakan oleh pihak pembangkang dan Rafizi sendiri.

Yang dilaporkan oleh Jabatan Audit Negara ialah terdapat kelemahan-kelemahan dalam projek tersebut yang ditemui oleh jabatan tersebut.  NFCorp telah menternak sebanyak 4,000 ekor lembu tetapi ini hanyalah merupakan 40 peratus dari jumlah yang telah disyaratkan.  Maka, sebanyak 8,000 ekor lagi lembu telah dibawa masuk.

Masalah yang timbul adalah apabila Kementerian Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani tidak memenuhi syarat perjanjian mereka untuk menyediakan tempt-tempat penyembelihan berkualiti untuk eksport, serta jalan-jalan untuk ke tapak projek NFC tersebut.  Ini telah menyebabkan kelewatan pada pihak NFC untuk menjalankan projek tersebut.  Malah, kelewatan yang disebabkan oleh Kementerian Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani inilah yang menjadi perkara kritikal dalam laporan Jabatan Audit Negara tersebut dan bukan terhadap syarikat NFCorp.

Rafizi hanya menggunakan penyata akaun-akaun yang diperolehi dengan cara yang melanggar Akta BAFIA dan menghebahkan mengenai akaun-akaun tersebut dalam satu sidang akhbar yang diadakannya pada 12 Mac 2012.  Beliau mengaitkan akaun-akaun tersebut dengan “penyelewengan” oleh NFC dan memfitnah beberapa orang dan syarikat.

Akibatnya, Rafizi telah disaman oleh NFCorp dan akibatnya didapati bersalah oleh mahkamah atas tuduhan memfitnah, dan diarahkan membayar RM300,000 kepada mereka-mereka yang telah difitnahnya.  Bagaimana Rafizi membayar saman fitnahnya? Dia telah melakukan kutipan derma (crowdfunding) dengan meminta para penyokongnya membayar samannya.  Beliau tidak perlu keluarkan barang satu sen pun. Kesalahan fitnahnya ditanggung oleh orang lain.

Jikalau apa yang diwar-warkan oleh Rafizi itu benar, sudah tentu dia tidak akan didapati bersalah.

Dana Telah Dilesapkan?

Rafizi juga berkata kerahsiaan bank bukan untuk melesapkan dana awam.  Rafizi suka menggembar-gemburkan cerita.  NFC membayar balik RM5 juta setahun termasuk faedah kepada kerajaan.  Sehingga 2013, NFC telah membayar sebanyak RM34.98 juta.

Pembayaran ini terpaksa dihentikan kerana akaun mereka telah dibekukan kerajaan semasa disiasat.  Siasatan oleh SPRM dan PDRM tidak menemui sebarang kesalahan yang dilakukan oleh NFC/NFCorp.  Walau bagaimanapun, Pengerusi NFCorp telah dituduh melakukan jenayah pecah amanah dengan membuat pembelian hartanah untuk syarikat tersebut tanpa persetujuan lembaga pengarah.  Oleh sebab bukti pihak pendakwaan tidak mencukupi, beliau telah diberi pelepasan dan pembebasan oleh mahkamah.

Jelas bahawa NFC ada membuat pembayaran balik pinjaman kepada kerajaan.  Jika benar Rafizi pentingkan hak rakyat, kenapa beliau berdiam diri dalam isu pembayaran RM305 juta yang telah dibayar untuk laporan kajian kesesuaian projek terowong bawah laut Pulau Pinang tetapi sehingga kini masih belum nampak walau sehelai pun laporan tersebut walaupun telah 22 bulan berlalu?

Kenapa Rafizi Tidak Diberi Perlindungan Sebagai Pemberi Maklumat?

Rafizi menulis: “Kalau bising dalam media sahaja tidak cukup untuk sedarkan rakyat kerana bukan semua membaca laporan media. Kena masuk kampung ceramah. Kena buat video.  sebab itu tidak ada cara lain: inilah caranya.”

Seksyen 6 Akta Perlindungan Pemberi Maklumat, 2010 terang-terang menyebut bahawa sesiapapun boleh membuat pendedahan mengenai kelakuan tidak wajar (salahlaku) KEPADA MANA-MANA AGENSI PENGUATKUASAAN YANG DIFIKIRKANNYA MUNASABAH  DENGAN SYARAT BAHAWA PENDEDAHAN SEDEMIKIAN TIDAK DILARANG SECARA KHUSUS OLEH MANA-MANA UNDANG-UNDANG BERTULIS.

Seksyen 97(1) Akta Perbankan dan Institusi-Institusi Kewangan 1989 pula menyebut:

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Rafizi telah menerima penyata akaun-akaun tersebut daripada seorang pegawai bank yang tidak diberi kebenaran oleh empunya akaun-akaun tersebut.

Rafizi kemudiannya mendedahkan penyata akaun-akaun tersebut kepada pihak media dalam sidang akhbarnya. Media bukanlah agensi penguatkuasaan yang ditakrifkan dalam Akta Perlindungan Pemberi Maklumat, 2010.

Dengan ini terang lagi bersuluh bahawa Rafizi telah melanggar undang-undang dan tidak layak diberi perlindungan sebagaimana diperuntukkan oleh Akta Perlindungan Pemberi Maklumat, 2010.

Akhir Kata

Rafizi tidak pernah hormat kepada agama Islam mahupun undang-undang.  Beliau adalah merupakan seorang penghasut dan pemfitnah bersiri.  Di antara siri hasutan dan fitnah beliau termasuk:

  • 12 Januari 2013, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yang ketika itu Menteri Pertahanan telah mengemukakan saman malu ke atas Rafizi kerana menerbit artikel fitnah dalam blog beliau. Rafizi telah menurunkan artikel tersebut dan memohon maaf kepada Zahid.
  • 22 Nov 2014, Perdana Menteri dan isteri fail saman malu dan Rafizi balas dengan mengatakan fitnah beliau itu ‘hanya gurauan’ kerana memfitnah subsidi minyak masuk ke dalam akaun Perdana Menteri dan isteri untuk membeli cincin baru. Fitnah beliau tersebut terus dipercayai sehingga ke hari ini dan telah memberi kerosakan teruk kepada imej Datin Seri Rosmah.
  • Januari 2016, Rafizi didenda RM1,800 oleh mahkamah kerana mencetus ketegangan agama Islam-Kristian dengan memfitnah mengatakan ahli UMNO telah membaling bom petrol ke gereja.
  • Rafizi juga telah menabur fitnah kononnya Tabung Haji sudah kehabisan wang sebab dana Tabung Haji telah dirompak. Akhirnya, kerana percayakan fitnah tersebut, 3,954 pendeposit menutup akaun tabung haji manakala 3,105 telah membatalkan pendaftaran untuk menunaikan ibadah haji.
  • Rafizi juga menabur fitnah dengan mendakwa kos projek MRT sebanyak RM21billion bagi laluan sepanjang 21km sedangkan ianya untuk laluan sepanjang 51km.
  • Pada bulan Oktober 2016, Rafizi diarah membayar RM300,000 oleh mahkamah kerana memfitnah NFC mengenai pembelian hartanah.
  • Pada bulan November 2016, Rafizi didenda RM1,950 oleh mahkamah kerana himpunan haram “Blackout 505”.
  • Pada bulan November 2016 juga Rafizi dihukum penjara 18 bulan oleh mahkamah kerana melakukan kesalahan di bawah Akta Rahsia Rasmi.
  • Pada penghujung bulan November 2016, Rafizi telah diminta bertaubat oleh Abdul Hadi Awang kerana memfitnah PAS menerima dana 1MDB.

Inilah Rafizi yang masih diagung-agungkan oleh mereka yang tenggelam dalam kebencian yang tidak berasas. Kalau ada pun asas yang didakwa mereka, asas tersebut hanyalah berlandaskan pembohongan dan penipuan semata-mata tanpa usul periksa.

Rafizi menulis: “Hakim saya ialah Allah. Hanya hukumanNya yang saya benar-benar peduli, bukan hakim-hakim lain.”

Begitulah Rafizi cuba menunjukkan betapa alimnya beliau.  Perintah Allah dilanggarnya, undang-undang diketepikannya.  Kini, beliau cuba memperdayakan ramai dengan imej alim.  Tak ubah seperti para perogol yang memakai songkok atau kopiah apabila dihadapkan ke mahkamah.

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Biarlah Rafizi mengelembukan diri sendiri.  Jangan terikut dilembukan olehnya.  Ingat firman Allah SWT dalam surah Al-Buruuj ayat 10:

“Sesungguhnya orang-orang yang mendatangkan fitnah kepada orang-orang mukmin lelaki dan perempuan, kemudian mereka tidak bertaubat, maka bagi mereka azab Jahannam dan bagi mereka azab (neraka) yang sangat pedih.”

Fitnah dan Pakatan berpisah tiada.

Many Malaysians Are Still Monkeys

Back in the 1970s and at least until the 1980s people in Europe thought that Malaysians live on trees.  That statement still holds true for the many whom have yet to evolve from their Homo habilis stage.

Four months ago some made fun of the Indians in India for vandalising the Tejas Express, a new and modern high-speed train that plies between Mumbai and Goa.

Screenshot of a web portal condemning Indians for vandalising the Tejas Express

Malaysians may have a literacy rate of 94.6 percent according to UNESCO but all that means is that only 29.5 million out of 31.19 million Malaysians can read. It does not mean that the 29.5 million are better educated than the 1.69 million who cannot read well.  Being able to read does not equate to being educated. It just means that smarter Malaysians have an IQ of a genius gorilla – points below the average human IQ, while the average Malaysian have the IQ of the smartest chimpanzee which is 40.

Take for example motorists who flout the law by driving at speeds in excess of the legal limit, or those who continue to use the emergency lanes after being given numerous warnings, or those who think that Malaysia is just one big rubbish dump.

The rubbish that was driving this car treated Malaysian like one big garbage dump

I am sure you have seen the Facebook posting by Datuk Najmuddin Abdullah,  MRT Corp Strategic Comunications and Stakeholder Relations Director on the number of vandalised properties just five days into full MRT SBK line operations.  I cannot believe how monkeys who call themselves Malaysians are still able to live in this modern world without having ever to evolve into proper human beings.

I will share you some of the photos that have been shared with me a few days ago:

Damaged toilet for the disabled at one of the MRT stations
Scratched seats – do these people have iron butt or something?
Rubbish thrown onto the roof of the Bukit Bintang MRT station
A disused spotlight and a broom – just how did they get there?

And do you remember this wall from a previous posting of mine?

The Rukunegara (National Principles) wall on the concourse level of the Merdeka station
Chipping from the damaged Rukunegara wall

Even the Rukunegara wall at the Merdeka MRT Station was not spared damage. According to RapidKL staff, parents allowed their children to practice wall-climbing there.  If I were there I would smack the children and throw their useless parents onto the electrified tracks.  At least it would help minimise the carbon footprint!

And believe it or not, as hard as concrete may be, nothing is Malaysian-proof. Even the hardest of concrete can be chipped by ordinary Malaysians.

A concrete bench is chipped

Netizens and news portals screamed for blood while BigDog seemed to at a loss for words to describe the horrors inflicted by these monkeys.

And up until last weekend, MRT Corp has had to fork out a sum in the region of RM10,000 to repair SOME of the damages. Not all could be repaired.  This is money that could have been put to better use elsewhere to help provide better services to the riders.

And just when you think people have learnt and slide somewhat out of their simian form, this morning I received a WhatsApp message containing damages done to toilets at the MRT Maluri station.

A door handle of one of the toilet booths’ door that has come off at the MRT Maluri station
What did they shit? Rocks?
Damaged pipe at one of the sinks at the MRT Maluri station

Perhaps, it is time for Prasarana to increase its auxilliary police patrols at stations and pay attention to the CCTVs.  Nab these monkeys and charge them in court for committing mischief.  If the damage done costs more than RM25, then the offender is liable to be punished by a jail term that may extend to five years or with fine or with both.

If it is RM25 or less, then the offender is still liable to a jail term of not less than one year but may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.

Never give face to monkeys because they will usually get worse if they do not get the harshest form of punishments.  If this is not done, we shall continue to have them live amongst us and claim themselves to be “educated” Malaysians while their behaviour reflect that they still live on trees.

A monkey Malaysian – picture courtesy of TV Smith

But trust me on this: there will be a group of lawyers who oppose the government who will defend the action of these monkeys.  That is why they think they are always right and it is their right to behave like scums.

The MRT Park And Ride Issue

The MRT Park & Ride has come under criticisms over its parking rates

I received a message via WhatsApp about a person who experienced a shocker at one of the MRT Multi-Storey Park and Ride.  The following is the message:

Park n Ride service at MRT station – users beware !!! 😡😡😡

Last night, July 19th, I parked my car at the park and ride MRT station at Phileo Damansara, n took MRT ride to Pavilion to watch a movie. Came back, I paid MR21.00 for parking for about 5 hrs !!!
It was supposed to be MR4.30 per entry. 
Checked with parking staff, was told I was among many drivers who kena “hangtam”. 
To qualify for MR4.30 per entry, one MUST use TnGo card at car park entrance, MRT ride going, MRT ride returning & car park exit. If you did not use TnGo card for any of the 4 points above, you pay the per hour rate !!!
Felt cheated, as there was no such notice at car park or MRT ticketing counter.

As usual, I would seek clarification from the source, which I am now sharing with you:

MEDIA RELEASE

SAME TOUCH ‘N GO CARDS NEEDED FOR PARKING AND TRAIN TO GET SPECIAL RATES
Kuala Lumpur, 21 July 2017: Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) wishes to address several issues which have arisen following the opening of Park and Ride facilities in conjunction with the commencement of full service of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line.
MRT Corp has received several complains from users of the various Park and Ride facilities along the SBK Line of them not being charged the RM4.30 per entry rate and having to pay more despite using the MRT service.
MRT Corp Director of Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Relations Dato’ Najmuddin Abdullah said in order for users to enjoy the RM4.30 per entry rate, the user has to follow several steps.
Firstly, he said users must use the same Touch ‘n Go cards which they had used to enter the Park and Ride, to get on the train by tapping it at the MRT station fare gates.
“The same card used to enter the Park and Ride has also got to be used at the fare gates of the station before boarding the MRT train because this is the only way that we can differentiate who has parked and ridden on the train, and who has not,” he said.
Najmuddin said those who fail to use the same Touch ‘n Go card would unfortunately be charged the full standard hourly parking rates despite taking the train by using a different card or by buying a token.
“Cases of those who used the Park and Ride who were charged the standard hourly rate was mainly due to this,” he said.
In addition to having the use the same card at the Park and Ride and to ride the train, Najmuddin said there were also several other steps which needed to be followed.
He said on the return journey, users must also ensure that the same Touch ‘n Go card is used to exit the station, and then exit the Park and Ride.
“Please take note that tapping in during the first journey, and tapping out during the return journey, has to take place at the same station, which is the MRT station that is attached to the Park and Ride.
“We have had instances where a user took the train at a station attached to a Park and Ride, and then returned to the park and ride by bus. This will result in the standard hourly rate being charged,” he explained.
In addition to this, on the return leg, there is a time limit of two (2) hours between a user tapping out of the fare gates at the MRT station and to exit the Park and Ride.
Users should also be aware that if they use the same Touch ‘n Go card for the Park and Ride to tap in at the fare gates at a station, and then exit the fare gates at the same station without getting out at another station, they will also be charged the standard hourly rate.
“What this means is that if a person enters a station, takes the train everywhere but does not get out at any station, then returns to the station where he or she began the journey and tap out there, he or she will not get the special rate,” he explained.
Dato Najmuddin said MRT Corp will add more signage at the Park and Ride to explain what was needed to be done so that users could enjoy the RM4.30 per entry charge for those who used the MRT service.
“In view of the situation, we urge those who have used the Park and Ride and complied with the steps mentioned above except for the step about using the same card to ride on the train to seek refunds from MRT Corp,” he said.
Please email to mrtparkingfeedback@mymrt.com.my or call the MRT Corp Parking Operations Unit at 03 – 2081 5328 or 03 – 2081 5330.
Najmuddin said this only applied to the Park and Ride at Sungai Buloh, Phileo Damansara, Maluri, Taman Midah, Taman Suntex, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Bukit Dukung and Sungai Jernih.
For the other parking facilities along the SBK Line such as at Kwasa Damansara, Kwasa Sentral, Bandar Utama, Pusat Bandar Damansara, and Kajang; Najmuddin said they were owned and controlled by external parties
“Users can contact their operators of these car parks directly for any issues to be addressed,” he said.
The parking rates for the Park and Ride facilities are attached.
-ends/-

I hope the above explanation is satisfactory.

MRT – Towards A Better Life

Walking 21 kilometers on the viaduct from Taman Pertama in Cheras to the Kajang station to ensure workers worked safely was part of my life in the MRT project
According to the logic of empty-headed Syed Saddiq, “Criticisms levied against you show that the other party is afraid of what you are doing right.”

The Mass Rapid Transit, a project that is to be a total game-changer, came under a lot of criticism from the Opposition.  Despite the negative campaign to discourage the masses from enjoying the benefits of the Najib Razak administration’s project, Phase One opened in December 2016 with trains plying from Sungai Buloh to Semantan. Within 27 days of opening,  student Miss Ng Zhi Wei became its one-millionth rider.

Ng Zhi Wei became the one-millionth passenger on the MRT on 11 January 2017, 27 days after opening (cource: MRT Malaysia)
Come Monday, 17 July 2017, Prime Minister Najib Razak will officiate the opening of Phase Two of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (SBK Line) that will allow riders to continue the journey all the way to Kajang instead of just ending the journey at Semantan.  At 4pm, the gates will be opened for that.

The opening signals the end of the construction, testing and commissioning phase of the project that had lasted six years.  The project was announced in June 2010 and approved by the government in December of the same year, while construction began in July 2011.  Up until June 2017, the total accumulated manpower for the project was 435,774 persons while the number of manhours poured into the project up until June 2017 stood at more than 103.5 million.  I was one of them.

To learn the examples of how the MRT project can benefit the people including the removal of 160,000 vehicles off the roads in the Klang Valley, you can read that up in a previous article of mine.  Web portal The Mole carries a further clarification by MRT Malaysia on the issue.  In today’s artice, I just want to take you on a virtual ride on board the MRT from Semantan to Kajang to experience what’s in store for you after 4pm on Monday.

The first underground station on the Kajang-bound train is the Muzium Negara station that connects you to the Muzium Negara (of course), hotels St Regis, Hilton Sentral and Le Meridien, as well as the nearby office buildings.

The Muzium Negara will see an increase in the number of visitors
Muslim riders to and from the Muzium Negara station also have access to the prayer room at the Hilton Sentral. There is an exit connected to the link to the KL Sentral.

The exit leading to the prayer room at the Hilton Sentral
The Muzium Negara station also connects riders from the LRT Kelana Jaya line, the ERL (KLIA/KLIA2), the KL Monorail, as well as the KTM Komuter to the destinations offered by the MRT SBK line.

Back inside the station, the columns are adorned with pictures of things in the past.  Each MRT station showcases what its name stands for.

A photo of a locomotive which you can see in real life at the Muzium Negara
Next stop is the Pasar Seni station where riders are connected to the Klang Bus Station, Petaling Street (Chinatown), Pasar Seni (Central Market), Pudu Sentral, Dayabumi, Masjid Negara, the old KL Railway Station and the Majestic Hotel which are all within walking distance.

The MRT Pasar Seni station is connected to the LRT Pasar Seni station
When you walk towards Chinatown, or if you are on your way down to the MRT trains, you will not miss this view of the park outside the station.

View of the park outside the MRT station
On the concourse level of the Pasar Seni station, take a moment to view the maps of the developments through time in the vicinity of the Gombak river which cuts through the city near Pasar Seni.  Being a fan of the history of Kuala Lumpur, I spent some time looking at the maps.

Mid 19th century development
Early 20th century
Mid 20th century (mind the step-ladder and pail of tools. Final touches were being put here)
Early 21st century
Next station is where I think many will flock to just to see this wall:

The Rukunegara (National Principles) wall on the concourse level of the Merdeka station
Aptly named as it is located in the vicinity of Stadium Merdeka where the Independence celebration took place on 31 August 1957, this station also connects riders to the Stadium Negara, Victoria Institution, Malaysian Basketball Association (MABA) stadium, and the southern end of Chinatown.

Najib Razak was here on the 12 July 2017 where he spend a few moments at the Jalur Gemilang (National Flag) wall that depicts the Tunku during the moment he shouted “Merdeka!” on that historical morning.

The two visionaries
The Rukunegara was formulated and instituted by royal proclamation on 31 August 1970 in reaction to the racial clashes that killed many the year before.  It is being recited in schools during assembly, but I am not too sure if it is still being done, or if anything is done to explain to the pupils what each principle stands for.  As evident nowadays, we have begun to see that our society has lost its cohesiveness, blatant disregard for the rule of law, growing disbelief in God, and no loyalty to King and Country except if money can be made from the country.

We Her Peoples uphold the pledge of the five principles of the Rukunegara
Next stop will be the favourite of the ladies because of this:

See where you exit
The Bukit Bintang MRT station’s entrance/exit is right in front of Lot 10 and connects riders to the KL Monorail and the Bukit Bintang shopping heaven.  Urban photography enthusiasts too would love this station because of the view it offers.

Bukit Bintang/Sultan Ismail junction and the KL Monorail
The station itself is bathed in vibrant colours, giving you a taste of what can be found on the street level.

MRT Bukit Bintang station
Next station is the Tun Razak Exchange where the Islamic Financial hub will be once completed.  This station also connects riders to the Indonesian embassy, Wisma Technip, JCorp, RHB headquarters, Pasar Rakyat and Zouk.

TRX station and its Islamic motif
There are two other underground stations namely the Cochrane station which is nestled within the Jalans Cochrane, Shelly and Peel rectangle, and is just across from the Cheras IKEA, and also the Maluri station which is next to AEON Maluri and the LRT Ampang line.

One other favourite station would be the Stadium Kajang station, which is the penultimate stop for the Kajang-bound train.  This station is within walking distance to three of my favourite satay joints namely Gerai Sidek Hj Rono (Stall No.2 at the Medan Sate in front of the Kajang Metro Plaza, Satay Emas at the Medan Sate next to the station, and of course the most commercialised of them all Satay haji Samuri next to the Kajang stadium.

Satay Emas offers 19 types of satay! Truly a satay heaven!
My only complaint is that both Medan Sate are in bad condition.  The Majlis Perbandaran Kajang should do something about it now that riders from the northern Klang Valley and potentially all the way from Tanjung Malim and Gemas have raill access to these places.

And imagine now the number of businesses, old and new, that would benefit from the MRT SBK line. Not forgetting how much riders can save commuting to work starting on the 18 July 2017 than to drive, as posted by this person below:


It has been proven that the Najib Razak administration is doing all it can to not let the global economic slowdown or the rising costs of living affect the rakyat and improve businesses as well as job opportunities that have been out of reach of many. Already office buildings have sprout like mushrooms along the MRT SBK line.

And when you leave Kajang taking the Sungai Buloh bound train, don’t forget to enjoy the view. JOM NAIK MRT!

The view from the Taman Midah station on the Sungai Buloh-bound train

Festering With Hatred

The special Jalur Gemilang MRT train – photo courtesy of Dato Najmuddin Abdullah

In three days time the Sungai Buloh to Kajang (SBK) line of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) will come into operation.  Works Package Contractors that have won the contract to construct the respective packages on the Sungai Buloh – Serdang – Putrajaya (SSP) of the MRT will commence their works there in full swing.  The Project Delivery Partner as well as the Supervising Consultants (PDP/SC) will complete the handover of construction-related documents to MRT Corp. All that will be left of the PDP/SC are those overseeing the warranty period.

A project envisioned to help millions of the Klang Valley’s urban and suburban commuters get from one point to another easier will now bear fruit. Every day, tens of thousands of workers from as far as Senawang, Tanjung Malim and Pelabuhan Klang, can take the KTM Komuter and work or find work in places like Kota Damansara, Mutiara Damansara, TTDI, Pusat Bandar Damansara, and Cheras without having to switch to buses or taxi, or drive all the way to their destination.

The MRT anticipates a drop of 160,000 cars enterng Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas daily.  The only thing that would prove to fail the statement would be our own attitude towards public transport.

This article may come at a point when things related to a recent hoo-haa have begun to die down.  Nevertheless, I had to do some checking before writing this post.

The first hoo-haa is related to the claim of having 160,000 lesser cars entering Kuala Lumpur etc.  Many ridicule the statement and ask if MRT Corp has 160,000 parking bays or more.  I sometimes wonder if there is anything at all inside the cavity in between their ears.

While the MRT has several Multi-Storey Park and Ride (MSPR) complexes, the idea of having the MRT is for commuters to leave their vehicles at home, not to worry about the “escalating cost of fuel and living,” get on board the feeder buses to the nearest MRT station to get to work.

Previously, someone living in Tanjung Malim working in Kota Damansara’s Sunway Giza for example, would have to take the KTM Komuter and alight at Sungai Buloh, then take either a bus or a taxi to get to office while spending time in traffic.  Now, all he or she has to do is to alight the KTM Komuter at Sungai Buloh and get on one of the MRT trains and alight at the Surian station and take a MRT feeder bus if the last mile is a bit far for walking. Commuters now have access to jobs at places they previously would not consider because it may involve relocating the family.

The next hoo-haa involves the recent visit by Najib Razak and family, and a few selected social media influencers.  There was a claim that passengers were pushed back by Prasarana officials from the front of the coach to the rear.  I find this amusing to say the least.  To understand why I laughed at this claim, you must understand the current phase of the MRT service.

Justified? I don’t think so. This is the baseless hatred towards anything Najib Razak talking

Phase one of the MRT SBK line commences at the Sungai Buloh station, passes Kampung Selamat in Sungai Buloh, Kwasa Damansara, Kwasa Sentral, Kota Damansara, Surian (Sunway Giza), Mutiara Damansara (IKEA), Bandar Utama (One Utama), TTDI (near GLO and KPJ Damansara), Phileo (Section 16/Eastin Hotel), Pusar Bandar Damansara, and terminates at Semantan (until Sunday 16 July 2017).

The Prime Minister and his entourage boarded the train at the Pusat Bandar Damansara station AFTER office hours.  At one station before that (Phileo), Prasarana had cleared the front portion of the train.

You must understand several more things – each train has the capacity to transport 1,200 commuters, three times the number each LRT train can carry. Each train has four coaches.  Every day after office, more commuters take the Sungai Buloh-bound train than the one going to Semantan.  I asked staff from Prasarana and MRT Corp, as well as the Special Branch officers who were there that day, all of them put the number of commuters headed towards Semantan station that day at “ten or less.”  I would concur as I have taken this route at this very time.

An MRT train. Note how it has four coaches and each coach has four doors

The “push back” which obviously was for security reasons, involved getting those on board to clear the area in the vicinity of the first door only.  One official who entered through the third door said, “There were about ten people or less who were seated near the second door. They got off at the last station.”

So, it was not like hundreds of people were pushed back to the fourth coach, but just ten people or less in a train with the capacity to carry 1,200.  How far back do you think did they have to go?

Inside an MRT train – how far do you think ten people need to go when pushed back?

It is a case of making a mountain out of a molehill with the intention to make those alike incensed because here is some wimp who was “inconvenienced” at having to move to the rear of the train, those who hate anything that the government does unless it is a government that has Lim Kit Siang or Lim Guan Eng manning the puppet string.

An example of a “Hate anything Najib” zombie

“Passengers were asked to move to the back of the train.” Pathetic bitch.

And this was all caused by Malaysiakini’s (as usual) absence of journalistic ethics, reporting only half-truths, inciting people to hate anything not controlled by the DAP.  Of course, they have the KPI set by the NED to meet to guarantee operating funds.

MalaysiaKini is very into nation-disintergration

I mentioned above that I had to seek clarification on the physical situation of the event in order to understand, and make you understand the circumstances.  Unlike some portal that writes before the brain could start functioning, then corrects its article only after thousands express their rage on social media.

How Financially-Strapped Malaysians Celebrate Ramadhan

It has been a while that I have actually driven late at night in Kuala Lumpur, a city that city-dwellers claim to have become more and more unaffordable to live in.  So, I took a drive last night just to see how it looks like mid-Ramadhan.  I shun driving through KL towards the end of Ramadhan because there would be a mad rush for season end bargains.  The middle of Ramadhan should be alright for a drive.

I was wrong.  I used to be able to park my car in front of the embassy of Nepal on Jalan Ampang (behind St John’s primary school) and walk across the Klang river for a plate of roti canai on previous years’ Ramadhan night.  However last night, the jam started just after the intersection between Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang as cars tried to get to the Masjid India and Capital Square areas.  Parked cars lined the sides of Jalan Ampang from across Sunway Tower all the way to Jalan Melaka!

A friend who works at a very famous textile mall in the Masjid India area confided that sales this Ramadhan has so far exceeded the total sales for Ramadhan 2016.  And it has only been 15 days since the beginning of Ramadhan with another two weeks to go.

I have not gone to see the sales of Naelofar scarves.  If hundreds of dUCk scarves costing RM800 each could all disappear from the shelf within five minutes, I expect a mad scramble for the Naelofar ones which have gone on sale one week before Ramadhan even started!

What about the Ramadhan buffets?

Ramadhan buffets are generally dearer compared to last year.  I have had the chance to sample some by both invitations and personal visits.  I have not seen one that is not full, be it at one that costs RM65 per head or the one that charges RM218 per head.  And most are not corporate invites as they throng these venues in shorts and t-shirts, and often than not I see long tables of families, not co-workers, enjoying their Ramadhan buffet.  Even university students swamped the RM65 ones, something unthinkable back in the mid-1980s.

At one venue the hotel car park was full that I had to park next to the waste bins near the hotel’s goods delivery area!  I was lucky to have gotten that spot as I see scores of people having to walk from afar after parking their car by the roadside.

So, how oppressed are the Malaysians financially?  Is it true that it used to be better two Prime Ministers ago?

Consumer spending in Malaysia over 10 years (Trading Economics/Department of Statistics Malaysia)

If you look at the graph above on consuer spending in Malaysia over the last ten years, despite claims that RM1 could get you many things back then compared to now, consumer spending in Malaysia has been on the upward trend.  If you look at your social media accounts, even university students can afford to go on a holiday in Bali and Lombok now when the farthest they would go back in the 1990s was a weekend in Port Dickson.  Students in the 1990s could hardly afford a flight to Kota Kinabalu.

Consumer spending increased to RM152 billion in the first quarter of this year from RM150 billion in the last quarter of 2016 and averaged RM101.7 billion from 2005 until the first quarter of 2017.  The lowest consumer spending by Malaysian was in the second quarter of 2005 when it was RM56.8 billion and peaked at RM153.5 billion in the second quarter of 2016 – exactly the period when whining Malaysians complained without facts that the country is on the brink of financial doom.

As a matter of fact according to the Department of Statistics of Malaysia, the median and mean monthly salary and wages paid to employees in 2016 have increased by 6.2 and 6.3 percent respectively compared to 2015.

This is also helped by the fact that sales tax has gone down from the 10 percent sales tax (and 6 percent service tax) that were not fully remitted to the government due to the suspected underdeclaring of sales and profits, to just 6 percent Goods and Services Tax.

Sales Tax in Malaysia (Trading Economics/Malaysian Inland Revenue Department)

Corporate Tax, despite claims that the government has been charging corporations more, has been brought down to just 24 percent in 2016 from 30 percent back in 1997.

Corporate Tax in Malaysia from 1997 to 2016 (Trading Economics/Malaysian Inland Revenue Department)

Even the April 2017 numbers for Year-to-Date car sales figures in Malaysia had increased compared to the corresponding period in 2016.

And the government continues to make life more affordable in especially Kuala Lumpur, the city many big spenders complain is getting expensive to live in.  The Light Rapid Transit system that was originally built especially for the 1998 Commonwealth Games, has now been extended in service to connect Puchong and Putra Heights, while by 17 July 2017 the Mass Rapid Transit Line 1 will connect Sungai Buloh to Kajang directly meeting the KTM Komuter in Sungai Buloh and Kajang, while meeting directly with the LRT at Pasar Seni, and is within walking distance with the KL Monorail at Bukit Bintang.

The LRT will further extend from Bandar Utama to Johan Setia, south of Port Klang, and will be passing Tropicana, Glenmarie, Shah Alam stadium, UiTM, Bukit Raja, Sri Andalas and Bukit Tinggi.  The construction of LRT extension (known as LRT 3) has already commenced.

The MRT Line 2, which has also begun its site clearing phase will be from Sungai Buloh to Putrajaya, passing through Sri Damansara, Kepong, Jinjang, Sentul, Titiwangsa where it will meet with the KL Monorail and LRT Ampang/Seri Petaling lines before going through Kampung Baru, Ampang Park, KLCC East, TRX, Bandar Malaysia, Kuchai, Bandar Tasik Selatan where it meets with the LRT, ERL and KTM Komuter, Serdang, Seri Kembangan, and Cyberjaya.

Meanwhile KTM Komuter will have a service linking its station at Subang Jaya with the Subang Skypark Terminal.

These are all ways initiated by the government to make connectivity better and cost of living lesser for the people of the Klang Valley.  At least, no false promises such as abolishing tolls have been made, such as the one made by the DAP-led state government in 2007 which have not only gone unfulfilled, but also reneged on by introducing not only tolls for Pulau Pinang voters to shoulder, but also having to foot higher parking charges statewide.

Statement by the Pulau Pinang state government promising a tolled highway

So, stop complaining saying things are unbearably expensive because figures show more people can afford to splurge, and stop telling lies in this holy month of Ramadhan, for those who claim to be Muslims or decent, refined and educated human beings.