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From time to time, governments do say th

From time to time, governments do say that facilities are only as good as they are cared for.

A generation of young Malaysians will struggle to remember the days of people lining up at public telephone booths till midnight to use them. Many claimed the phones were never enough, the government claimed that vandalism and petty thefts put paid to real efforts to build telecommunication.

It is similar to toilets, except today most people have mobile phones, whereas there is little chance of letting people have personal portable toilets.

So, are locals ruining the facilities? There might be truth in it. I won’t belabour the political reality argument, that perhaps the constant re-emphasises that the rakyat live a life well thanks to the blessings of those in power does perversely enforce a belief that public goods do not belong to the public. They belong to those who govern the public and therefore our Joe Public does not have to assume responsibility for the facilities.

My weekly column in The Malay Mail Online

#Toilets #EqualAccess #Women

Bob Dylan said that every generation had

Bob Dylan said that every generation had to reject the one before it in order to finds its own voice.

Active students in university campuses do not mean support for Anwar, it sure does not mean support for me. Students are their own masters, in that regard and it is important that they are.

There are enough opposition leaders who assume the sympathy students have to their cause as proof they are strong supporters. They’ll be sorely disappointed.

The young are apprehensive about those who speak of permanency and a singularity of views.

New is often defined by being different, and a set of ideas which are predicated on what has always been to continue to be without interference would appear to be the enemy of youth. At least to a young thinker.

My open advice to all groups is to engage the young, not seek ways to cage them. They are not seeking your permission to have a voice, they are informing you that if you have a problem with them having a voice then there will be a problem.

My weekly column in @themmailonline

It’s all fun and games till someone gets

It’s all fun and games till someone gets hurt, is a line ringing awfully true in Malaysia today.

The various politicians I worked with have been wont to say main (play) Facebook. Suggesting actions online are less real and perhaps are more play, at least to their minds. I found this mirthful, but now not so, because they are not alone in assuming cyberspace is not real space.

Freudian slip or not, there is a certain levity assumed about text that’s transmitted electronically. It is so easy to fill a comment and press enter, that the ease of it, the perfunctory nature of it blindsides commentators on the actual effects of their actions.

You are no less menacing sending it as such, than if you were to take a bus, walk a block, trot pass the gate and slip it under the victim’s door.

More so when these deadly pronouncements are remarked with no logical punctuation, they embolden others to join in. Just like the other noble Romans striking Julius Caesar once Casca sheaths his dagger first.

My weekly column in The Malay Mail Online @themmailonline

A thriving multicultural society has a h

A thriving multicultural society has a high chill quotient — those who laugh off unintended cultural infractions and welcome the odd, by reflecting on their own oddities. The ones driving the agenda presently appear to be on a dangerous cocktail of crack and horse steroids, they are perpetually angry, insecure and growing man-boobs.

In a thriving multicultural society, individuals realise that all mankind is irrevocably different from them, a fact which is equally present in highly homogenous societies but masked by anti-pluralistic forces under the guise of fostering cohesion built on abandoning individualistic traits.

My weekly column in the Malay Mail Online

PKR has never won a parliamentary seat i

PKR has never won a parliamentary seat in Borneo, until last year. Darell Leiking is only an appointed vice-president, but considering the performance gap over there for the party, the highest official from there in the party hierarchy has the opportunity to become a game-changer.

To begin, the party needs to know what is possible in Borneo for GE14. Acknowledging that Barisan Nasional (BN) has too many seats in Sabah and Sarawak does not on its own become an argument that Pakatan Rakyat can win more seats. There is a reason why they win there.If Darell can map out the electoral reality then he can chart a campaign which is founded on grassroots strength rather than righteous objection to the corruption and poverty.

He is the first to win a ticket to Parliament there; the challenge is to replicate that success elsewhere.

My weekly column in The Malay Mail Online.

October is here

tennessee-treeOCT 10 — I met a friend last week.

It was really good, since we have not met up for over 10 years. At the end of lunch, I realised this was the first time we ever sat down and talked that long.

Life is like that sometimes. What was not is not a better now, but a different now with no reference to the was all the years back.

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“Malaysia is one of the major education

“Malaysia is one of the major education destinations in the world, something like 12th, but this is driven by droves arriving seeking economic opportunities in Malaysia via student passes and marketing initiatives to capture sales in unchartered states — marketing firms being paid handsomely, degrees guaranteed upfront and shifting operations to the next country which has not learnt from returning graduates how much fun there is to be had living and studying in Malaysia.

And just like in every other sector, local business owners — in this case universities — hire foreign workers to replace locals on the basis of competitive pay. Your Bangladeshi business math lecturer earns far more than his countryman manning petrol stations but far less than his Malaysian competitor is willing to go for. ”

My weekly column in The Malay Mail Online


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