Hope & Politics

Photo Credit: Yasmin Ahmad (yasminthestoryteller.blogspot.com)

At a time when politics appears to be filled with a lot of mud-slinging & political uncertainty. At a time when we are worried about foreign investments, our economy (the expected inflation rate of 5.5-6% scares me honestly) & governing uncertainties. We peer to our neighbors with the fear that riots & demonstrations become a norm (instead of it simply being BBC repeating the same footage repeatedly ;))

Yet there is hope. Not one grounded in falseness & being mere fleeting dreams. But a hope in the process of democracy in the country. Of one that the two (major) opposing political camps all have a role to play in the check-balance of power. That the constant bickering & mud-slinging are all part of the process towards the best possible result for the majority. Yes it will be messy at times. Yes the media (both official & unofficial) plays an increasingly important role in how the public perceives reality. Yet it’s all part of the process to make headway despite the political murkiness.

The Great Unifying Divide
We look at both sides of the great divide & see many examples of politicians who actually do walk the talk. Both youthful politicians getting their feet wet in political drama & the tempered experience of the few respected older gentlemen who have been around for a while (minus those who missed their exit queue we hope).

Reforms Not Reformation
We look at reforms not in the sense of ‘reformation’ as sudden change will definitely brings about uncertainty & chaos. But gradual change by having an unwavering goal/objectives yet making it happen in small purposeful steps:-
– Education focused towards the challenges of a global economy & retaining talent
– Unity echoing this year’s independence theme as we become more alike
– Safety as we safeguard freedom while clamping down extremism & violence
– Energy & food self-sustainability as we face the challenges of mother earth
– Wise investments, accountable spending & killing off corruption

Happy Independence Day
It’s more than just symbolism. It’s more than just flags (controversial this season). It’s more than raging against the system. It’s more that just controversies & conspiracies. It’s about who & what you are, and what it actually means to you being a Malaysian.

How do you identify yourself with your country?

Malaysia Malaysian

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it ws the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.” ~ A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

Photo Credit: A Tale of Two Cities by roseonthegrey

From Where We Came
A bit of background – I come from a post-independence background. My only experiences about the May13 riots from 1969 are from stories from my late grandmother who lived in Kampung Melayu which was actually one of the safest places to be in Penang at that time. I grew up accepting that privileges would be accorded as per the constitution to ensure that all the citizens would be able to grow together in term of education, finance, etc.

A lot of misunderstanding arises from a possibly innocuous term as New Economic Policy (NEP) (Off-topic: Did you know that the old NEP actually ended in 1990?). A policy definitely is needed as we need to ensure that all levels of society is able to function. Problems definitely arise when gaps between various groups are too big (e.g. ultra-rich VS below-poverty-line; most with Masters education VS primary school drop-outs). Thus where & what is going wrong?

Would believe that most have come to agree that it’s a matter of implementation. Policies & processes do not work if not enforced. Thus public enemy #1 would have to be corruption (Hong Kong’s ICAC comes to mind of most as well – not only for their glamor ๐Ÿ˜› but from their actual proven methodology ).

Next would be to focus on execution & implementation:-
– For those who spend too much time in the media – focus more on actual action & implementation. Not for the accolades, but for the role of shaping the world in things both big & small.
– For those who focus only on action – you need to communicate & inform on your accomplishments. How can we support & work together to achieve if we don’t know what we are trying to achieve? How do you know that you are doing the right thing if you don’t ask?
– For all who are our elected leaders – we need both the vision to plan & the action to implement. “Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.”

Some citizens are leaving Malaysia for perceived greener pastures (SG, UK, Aus, US, NZ, etc). We have our own advantages be it from natural resources to fertile land for agriculture to intelligent creative inspiring people. Thus we need to focus on our strengths & advantages given to us. Stop bickering & in-fighting among ourselves. If there is a necessity to ‘fight’, would it not be more worthwhile & important to fight on the world stage where we are competing against all the other 194 countries in the world?

– With the disclaimer being a necessity considering freedom of speech is there (but with the definition of freedom of speech not clearly defined)
– I am not-affiliated to any political party whatsoever. My interests remain fully in my fellow men, my country & myself – and this post is made with that intention of frank open honest discussion.
– Views are purely of my own & while all care has been made to ensure the correctness of information, it is by no means guaranteed. Also most of the information is spoken in general terms & may be subject to own interpretation.

What are we doing well? What could we do better? What is your vision for Malaysia 5 years from today (May 2013)?

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done”

Winds of Change

I am a firm believer that the government should be the representation the rakyat for the nations well-being. I am also one of those so called “silent majority” and “vote based on the candidate, not the party” – despite all the criticism on that.
Disclaimer: All views portray my POV at the time of writing & does not reflect any companies or individuals that I am affiliated-with in any manner
Note: Extra long post today being twice the length


In April 2007, I made a conscious decision to change the focus of my (old) blog from being more whimsical & random to a more focused are for discourse & discussion. This also reflected in my choice of blogging platform to WP as (a then) more simpler interface so I could focus more on what I wanted to do — write & talk with online people from various backgrounds. In Dec 2007, I lost my online anonymity as well be going public with setting up an online homebaked business. How else can people trust you if you are anonymous or just a page on the internet?

I would most certainly not classify my blog as a political one (and I carefully avoid any specific talk about work to be professional to both my company & customers). Yet today we are moving forward again with a conscious decision that the blog may occasionally contain matters of politics or thoughts as despite how we view politics as often dirty, politics actually at the heart of it is about our lives – both yours & mine. In short, my blog is going a bit more personal & direct as that’s how I feel blogs & communication in general needs to be.


Work Developing People
On a minor contradiction to what I wrote of above, I am going to touch a bit on work as well. I do owe readers ๐Ÿ˜‰ an explanation as well on my sporadic postings (will continue to be sporadic in the month of March due to work commitments). A major work transition is going on for myself & I find myself facing a challenging yet excitingly refreshing task (despite the ungodly hours put in to work) to plan, discuss, change & act to most importantly make the workplace better for all my employees, to exceed all my customers expectations & to expand the business.

Without going too much into specifics – candid honest communication, stabilization of teams, rewarding those who perform well, & growing/grooming up new leaders are my main general focus & commitments. Transitioning out of my previous department, I do hope that my report card from my staff shows that I have achieved better communication, stabilization & hopefully helped to develop passion and nurture growth in all the wonderful individuals in my team.

Penang, Malaysia and More
[Starting out writing this 3rd section, I realized almost immediately that 2 paragraphs wouldn’t do it justice. Continued in the next post. – Stev]

Thank You!
A big thank you to all who has been visiting, commenting (I love discussions! – that’s what this blog is for), and the zany inane people who flood my chat page

Penang, Malaysia & More

— An Analysis on StevBlogs.com

To long-time readers and RL-friends, many would know that I am from the island state of Penang. And the news is all abuzz with the DAP-PKR-PAS opposition alliance winning 5 states in Malaysia including Penang. This post is my personal take on the political front in Penang, Malaysia and related-thoughts in general.
Note: Continued from previous post including disclaimer


When You Point, 4 Fingers are Pointing Back at You*
The largest single factor is the BN’s inability to reach out & touch the rakyat’s heart over many different issues. If I were to view it from a business POV, BN’s largest single failure was they did too little too late to sell all the various improvements, developments & changes they brought upon. Secondly & related would be the seemingly non-action / no stern action brought up on various high-profile issues/cases (e.g. orang utan or half-blind MPs & religious/race-sensitive issues). Warning the public does not help things – TAKE ACTION & respond to all allegations (learn from how Obama was in the early days hammered by Hilary for not responding to make right ALL allegations)

* To be politically-correct, actually only 3 fingers are pointing at you while your thumb is pointing towards the ground


Another Point of View
Most important factor: Malaysians being truly Malaysians instead of being classified by race or religion. Citizens in in Malaysia speaking a common mother tongue Bahasa Malaysia*

The opposition won due to a large number of high-profile issues/cases brought up & knowing the hot buttons to press & appealing to both logic & emotions – that is effective strategizing & marketing. Overcoming the mainstream media difficulties (is Online Media the new mainstream media?** ๐Ÿ˜‰ Identifying and addressing Penang citizens concerns that may have obstructed them from fully supporting the opposition in the past. Also a general desire for change & alarm bells ringing seeing Penang fading & yellowing (from the many citizens who made a decision to stay, work & live in Penang) Oh and bringing a new meaning to ceramah (political events/speeches) being done in a new more intelligent & meaningful way (although my source is primary is YouTube ;))

* Of course the general person on the road communicate very well in many other languages including English, Mandarin, Tamil, Cantonese, Japanese (growing), Thai, etc… (Oh? Is there a typo somewhere in that line — hmm… I’m not very sure… ;))

** Congrats & examples of 2 blogs which are doing a tremendous job are JeffOoi & TeresaKok


My Home is in Pantai Jerejak*
I do personally regret though that the candidate in Pantai Jerejak, Wong Mun Hoe** failed to win his seat. A hardworking, honest, intelligent individual who I believe truly went into politics to sincerely improve everything for the rakyat. Still I am thankful (and I think many others are as well), for his improvements in the past including creating additional parking lots in the notoriously lunch-hour jammed Kampung Jawa, cleaning up the giant canal from stinking near the FTZ (roundabout – road leading to QB/coastal highway – Penang Free Trade Zone stretch), the sinking flats issue in Mahsuri area (behind the Malay Char Koay Teow Basah place), the park development in sungai nibong, and much more. Mr Wong, wishing you all the best in your next future undertakings.

* Although if you ask me anyday I would answer you Bayan Baru ๐Ÿ˜‰
** Click on the poster in his website to view his background & past accomplishments


My Personal Gripes
– An actual no BS explanation on the MotoGate scandal by Penang’s outgoing CM
– Waste of $ of flags & posters from all political parties (Not-environmentally friendly & a major waste of expenditure; Advertising needs to be done in a professional manner; Echoing the thought that if you are going to put up flags, you may as well put up more Malaysian flags since you are representing Malaysia!)
– Dirty ungentlemen hits (dirty politics/gossiping) below the belt (Fight fair, fight on policies, raise each other’s weaknesses by all means – but WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN OTHERS PERSONAL LIFE IF IT DOESN’T AFFECT US)
– While NOT ALL* have been actually done by the political parties, you need to STOP people from distributing surat layang & spread SMS rumors
– The plan to distribute Petronas profits for a 1.5k min wage to all (Idea has merits but a lot of areas to be clarified in detail to be communicated out to all)

* Even official party letters/booklets contained underhand demeaning of other candidates!


My Personal Accolades
– Kudos to all the politicians (both winners & losers) for taking things in stride in a gentlemenly manner (only AFTER the elections. heh! ;)) & proceeding in a calm professional manner
– To the opposition for hearing the people’s needs & pledging to make a change (Good luck and do know that each & every one of us is eagerly monitoring your progress ๐Ÿ˜‰
– To the PM for being a good leader with vision who continues to practice good government (although there’s definitely room for improvement – Suggest surround yourself with effective ‘doers’ who can translate vision into reality?)
– To recognizing the need of change in Penang to be a more vibrant, dynamic & effective state (To be direct, we need to rival & better Singapore, China, India, Dubai & Australia – and require international collaboration – No offense meant though ๐Ÿ˜‰
– And last but not least, EACH & EVERYONE who took the time & effort to vote or help to ensure our own peace & prosperity


My Hopes
– The Elections Commission has a lot of room for improvement
– Removal/improvement on ISA (guidelines, etc – Justice is there & while the ISA has its merits & is good in time of urgency, the public & international perception is of an act that can detain people at others whims & fancies)
– The NEP (a touchy subject which was put into place with good faith – Still nothing should be set in stone should it? It’s not a matter of questioning rights but documents, policies, strategies & processes all need revision & updating over time. No dialogue/discussion/changes = disasterous)
– Development (country, state & each locality); Tackling Corruption; Transparency; Press Freedom, Education, Environment & Security
– Better overall strategic planning, communication, acting in a timely manner, and follow up of various plan (+ having devil’s advocates to ensure the best possible planning)


Politics are About People
Politics are about people. Growth is about being fluid, dynamic & the difficult task of balancing the dreams of a long-term vision while managing the harsh realities of the daily grind on many issues. DAP(-PKR), the ball is now in your court. Our people’s expectations is for a timeline & timely continued communication on HOW & WHEN you are going to make good of the promises to the people in your manifesto.


Discussion is Welcome (but keep your head tightly screwed on)
What do you think of the recent election results? What are your expectations for the government (both BN & opposition) in the next 4 years?