Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Digital Drugs for Cyber Generation ?

Digital Drugs for Cyber Generation ?

Welcome to the Digital World !

Online games are here to stay. We have online games companies promoting computer/internet games as the “fun games” to attract teenagers to acquired ICT knowledge, some even goes as far as claiming online games’ ability to promote team building spirits and body neuron coordination skills.

My observation is simple, online games provide an adventure into a virtual world of fantasy to escape from reality and also gave the player to have a sense of achievement not attainable in real life. I have seen teenagers and even working adults indulging in the so called massively multiplayer role playing game (MMORPG), with eyes focusing intensely on the fast changing images on the display console, fingers tapping furiously at the keyboard, and body twitching spontaneously as in trance….

Opium, an addictive poison of the mind, was brought into China during the later part of Qing Dynasty, as we all know, opium was also part of causes for the downfall of Qing dynasty and colonization of China by foreigners. Online games available in the market now is quite different from computer games of the past. These games are addictive – it is a new form of digital drugs. Drugs that poisoned and controlled the mind! Drugs that causes addiction.

Surprisingly most of the addicted online games players are bright college students. But the sad fact is, most them are also having very low EQ – inability to speak fluently and interact with people. They can spends hours playing the games without realization of the surroundings and their physical limits. Was it a mean of self expressions and to release pressure ? I have a insecure feelings on how the excessive violence can be translated into real life scenario. What if the teenager decided to act out his fantasy ?

Online games by itself is harmless and entertaining. But for the teenager to control the time spend and selection of the contents is the problems. Most of the games contents are quite violent in nature. I have yet to come across a online game company that rate its game content ( as in rating of movies ) and limit the playing hours for the players.

My real life experiences is, teenagers with online games addictions usually do not admit they are addicted. These teenagers usually spend hours ( I mean most of the time you will see them in front of the computers, at home or in cyber cafe ) indulging in online games and displayed negative motional behaviors such as easily irritated, inability to mixed around ( maybe antisocial), inability to control time schedule and delinquency, dishonesty ( cheat codes, hackings, etc), sleep disorder, looked tired and lacked of interest in responsibilities.

As a parent, it is my sincere hope that greater awareness be generated by the regulatory agencies, internet game companies, and special interest group to educate the masses on positive and negative effects of online games in particular and “internet wellness” is general.

Obsession of having greater broadband penetrations resulting in online / internet games addictions is not the way to the way to catapult Malaysia into the new era of digital economy. There need to be a wellness program introduce and running in parallel to minimized the negative social implications. I would prefer a new generation of hardworking youth with social and human values, then a new generation of nerds hiding in remote corner launching and conducting warfares.

Monday, November 28, 2005

You are not born a Racist

All human beings and places on earth are creations of God,
So, it doesn’t really matter what races you belong to,
or which country you originated from ?

We are all creations of God.

Does it really matter whether you are black, white, yellow, red, or brown ?
Does it really matter if you are a Hindu, Taoist, Christian, or Muslim ?
Does it really matter if you have different political beliefs ?

In this beautiful earthly garden of God,

as creations of God,
we are all born equal.

Let us all not be blinded by prejudice,
emotional preferences, misinterpretations of God’s words,
political beliefs, and ill intents
Let us treat each other with respect and love.

If you believe in God,
You shall appreciate the diversities of races and places.
When you appreciate this intended diversities,
the earth shall be a wonderful world and a beautiful place.

Help your fellow human to nurture harmony in diversities.
When the world you live in is in harmony,
You shall prosper and you shall be at peace with yourself.

Deep down in you, you are a kind person.
God has a greater purpose for you,
God wants you to make this world a better place.

Put aside the misguided hatred and prejudice,
God still love you.
God wants you to repent.
Seek the guidance of God now,
Seek his forgiveness…..

Because you are not born a racist.

( Another mumbling from coffee intoxications. But honestly, I am still sad over the recent shameful events happening in Malaysia )

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Light In The Soul

If there is light in the soul,
There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world..

( A Chinese Proverb )

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black ?

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black ?

I read the Editorial comment by Johan Jaafar in New Straits Time’s POINT BLANK: Condoning torture in war against terror. Johan should look at how foreigners are being treated in this country first rather than adopting the double standard of commenting on human rights issues in other countries thousands of miles away. I sincerely doubt he has the facts to understand the issues correctly. The world will be a better place if we can learn how to keep our mouth shut when we do not have thorough understanding of the situation. Speculative comments based on emotional preferences create dangerous polarizations and biased profiling. So, the decent things to do now is to refrain from indirectly incite anti-Americans sentiments here in Malaysia.

I have read news reporting from major newspapers in Malaysia during the past few days regarding how foreign women are being humiliated and mentally torture by our own Malaysians. And yet we still felt that we have the moral rights to comment on other countries’ human rights records. Are we not ashamed of our own conducts ? My conclusion is, Malaysian has lost all decency and moral credibility to comment on other countries human rights issues. As far I am concerned, whatever Malaysians said and tried to champion in the international arena, are merely fartings in the wind. It is smelly !!!

With humiliated pride and sadness, the best thing for me to do now as a Malaysian, is to make a cup of Black Coffee, add more sugar to dilute the bitterness, smell its aroma, and emphatically watching the clouds move and feel the breeze of the bitter winds.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The meaning of life is ?

In life, most of us have gone through our fair shares of financial obstacles and setbacks, and sometimes, more “downs” than “ups”. As the saying goes, “money is the root to all evils”. But in practicality, we have to come to term with the reality that money is the best commodity in the world and financial wealth should be handled with financial discipline to take care of the possibility of future rainy days. But the process of accumulating and managing financial weath is a tiring process. We subject ourselves to a regimented routine, We take on stress and pressure, and we keep moving on in search of better life,…… At one point or another, we may question ourselves why we subject ourselves to this kind of “hardships”, given the fact that life is short., and we should enjoy life to the fullest.

However, taking the current as point of reference, looking back, all of us remembered the difficult years we may have encountered, and projecting forward, we definitely do not wish our children to relive them. It is not about what we should deserved and enjoy now. It is not about taking life too seriously. It is about delivering our future responsibilities to our family now, It is about the purpose of our life rather than personal fulfillment. We need to work harder to accumulate legitimate financial reserves to built better foundations towards better tomorrow for our children, This, to me is the basic instinct of civilized society. At the end of the day, we may not achieve our intention, but we are all answerable to God. The important thing is, prior to this final call, we have made our best efforts to take the financial well-beings of the family as the paramount priority. It is God’s intention for all human kinds to live in a wealthy world !!!

Delivering financial responsibilities to family is not a burden, it never was, and it never should. It is a real joy to see your family enjoy the fruits of your labour. This is what motivate me in life.

Hmmm….. another mumblings from coffee intoxications! Can I have another cup of hot black coffee as a complementary motivator ?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Never Question A Drunk

This is an Oldie...
A woman was shopping at her local supermarket where she selected: A Litre of 2% milk, A carton of eggs, A Litre of orange juice, A head of lettuce, A can of coffee, And one pack of bacon. As she was unloading her items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind her watched as she placed the items in front of the cashier. While the cashier was ringing up her purchases, the drunk calmly stated,"You must be single." The woman was a bit startled by this proclamation, but she was intriguedby the derelict's intuition, since she was indeed single. She looked at her six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about her selections that could have tipped off the drunk to her marital status. Curiosity getting the better of her, she said "Well, you know what, you're absolutely correct. But how on earth did you know that?"
The drunk replied, "'Cause you're ugly. "

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

In Memory of My father

I stared at the computer screen aimlessly, trying to figure out where and how I can get financing for my IT project. Accidentally I reloaded my late father picture on the screen. My father passed away in 1994. After more than 10 years and 3 notebooks later, I still have a copy of my father picture in my computer. Ah Pa, you try to tell me something ? Father, I know, Next month will be the 11th years anniversary of your passing away.

A few days before my father passed away, he has asked me to be strong for the family and to take care of the family. I was too dumb then to be aware of the eventuality. I just brush his request aside asked him not to worry and take a good rest. My father was admitted to the hospital a day later. I went to the hospital to visit him, he was in unconscious state with tubes plugging into the mouth, nose, and hand. I doubted that he knew my presence. I did not knew the gravity of his illness, and I never have the opportunity to say a final goodbye to him. Now, whenever, I think of my father, I felt nauseated and my heart aching with grief and regret for not giving him the best medical care. In the earthly garden of God, I was not able to take good care of my father. I pray that God will take good care of my father in the promised land.

As redemption, I have tried my very best to complied to my father’s instruction, not merely as an act of obedience, but also as an act of due respect and indebtness to him. I have promised my father I will be strong, and I have never shed a tear in front of my family no matter how much I am overcome with emotion and grief. I have promised my father I will take good care of the family, I have never disregard my responsibilities no matter how difficult the situation is.

After my father passed away, I suddenly realized an irreplaceable loss. An emotional vacuum has been created in my heart. This sense of loss is something that beyond the description of words. You feel the guilt for everything you have not done for your father. I wished my father have a father like mine. I shall try my very best to be a good father to my children.

The funny thing is, at the age of 45, I am still emotionally attached to my father. I still felt the lost. I still need a father. But God has decided that my father deserved better treatment than what I am capable of, he took away my father. For those of you who still have parents around, please take good care of them before God make the decision for you.

Global Malaysian, Tempurong Mentality ?

There was huge cries over the lower ranking of local universities by a British based THES. We have a group of people shouting their opinions on the inaccuracies of THES ranking, and championing why THES ranking is not valid and irrelevant in Malaysia. Some may even suggest to established our own ranking system. What for ? So that we can rank ourselves higher and have a false sense of achievement ?

Some people do have funny mentalities. If the same system ranks our local universities higher, I would not surprise, these people will be quick to shout “Malaysia Bolih” and indirectly claiming credits. They will praise and sing the credibility of THES statistics. But when our universities are ranked lower, we created all sort of excuse, making insensible and illogical remarks, trying to attack the credibility of THES’ statistic indirectly.

The bottom line is, THES is an accepted international standard. Our local universities are willing participants in this ranking exercise. If it rank them lower, the university administrators must have the courage to accept the FACT, seriously relook into the administrative policies and strategic directions, formulate new policies, and put up action plan to reposition the university back to an acceptable international standard.

Malaysian must be humble and honest to accept finality of the THES statistics - Statistics are Facts. The universities administrators and higher education policies formulators must take note of our current deficiencies and improve on our higher education’s facilities and environments to ensure young Malaysians can continue to pursue academic excellence in local universities.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Home Town Blues

I like this poem by Lee Bai, a famous poet from Tang Dynasty. It rekindles my sentimental recollections of my home town - Taiping.

( Mandarin Version )
Chuang Cheam Ming Yat Kuang,
Yee shi tee xang shuang,
Chee tou wang ming yat,
Dee tou shi ku xiang.

( English Translations )
The bright moonlight lits the bed's front,
I mistaken it as frost on the ground.
Raisng my head and looking at the bright moon,
Bowing my head, I think of my home town.

God's Gracious Gift

Twenty years has passed,
we were young then,
the bond of love has brought us together.
They said, marriage was made in heaven,
but you made it work on earth.
Together, through thicks and thins,
you help me to overcome life’s adversaries and challenges…

Is my love to you
still as solid as it was in the beginning ?
This much I have to say…..
You are always a special flower in a corner of my heart.
You have endured unconditional sacrifices
to be a good mother and a good wife.
I commit to you, I shall love you ‘till death do us part.

In bad times, you are my candle,
ever bright to help me see end of the tunnel’s lights.
In good times, you are the pillar of my strengths,
and the companion of my efforts.
we shall always overcome life’s uncertain rides.

You are the special person in my life. You are my best friend.
I thank God for his gracious gift to me – you, as my wife.
I love you.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Daddy's Girl

You came to my heart 6 years ago as a teenage girl frightened of the new environment. I understand, relocating from the comforts in Ipoh to live in a new environment in Subang Jaya is a difficult thing for a teenage girl. I understand your fears, and I understand your anxieties. I tried to make you feel comfortable and to adjust to the new surroundings and to feel at home. I accepted you as my god-daughter.

You have shared with me your hopes and aspirations. I see in you a determined person wanting to achieve success. I am confident, you shall be a successful woman in your own right in times to come. Over the years, I watched you grow, you have bloomed from an insecured teenager to a confident young woman. God has been very kind to me, he has given me the opportunity to experience father – daughter relationship.

When you went through failed relationships, I seen in you your hidden teary eyes. I shared your pain in silence. When you are out there having late nights funs or gathering with friends, I have sleepless night worried about your safety. When your body language radiates joys, I am in happy moods. When you are sad, I felt restless….. But no matter what, you have enriched my life, you have brought joys and laughters to this house, your smiles are my brightest sunshines, and you are always my lovely daughter.

At times, you may think that I am grumpy, “outdated”, “old fashioned”, too authoritative, or makes life difficult for you. But I want you know, It is just my way of conditioning you to be strong, and teaching you to differentiate what is Right and Wrong. And most important of all, I want you to develop into an adult with confident, pride, self esteem, love, and compassion.

I like to share this poem ( I can not remember the author’s name) with you :
Today you become our daughter
Our family is now complete.
God blessed us with your angel eyes
And your dancing, busy feet!
Together forever, our lives intertwined
This we do solemnly vow.
What pride we feel, as our joy we share
You're our daughter now!

So, in your eyes, am I your “Daddy” or am I your “Kai Yeh”?

Friday, November 18, 2005

You are now taller than me.......

When you were born 19 years ago, I was so overtaken with emotions….. the sensation of becoming a father and the uncertainty of how I should handle the new responsibilities.

When I first look at you, you were so cute and lovable. I am so proud I am your father. I promised myself I shall never shortchanged you. I will protect you, I will defend you, and I will give you the best…….. I actually went around all the book shops hoping to get the best “user guide” in parenting ! But I guess I don’t really need one. You are always a good son.

I send you to the Kindergarten on your first day… I love watching you from a distant how you take instruction from the teacher, how you interact with your new found friends.. I was so amazed how brave you are in adapting to new environment….

When you are 17, you want to break free from the emotional attachment to your parents, you want to be independent, you want to be with your friends, you find it difficult to accept my house rules, and you want to constantly challenge my limits. I find it difficult to convince you that you are still too young to face the real world. Those are the difficult periods of father-son relationship. But somehow, along the way, we have modified each other expectations – and we get along fine!

When you first get your Driving License, I feel so proud to be a passenger in a car driven by you. Finally, I have a “Free Driver”.

When you first go to college, I felt a sense of relief – you have taken the first step into another new environment and adulthood. I begin to realized that you are now a young man capable of making rational decision, and I am getting old. I am counting the days of your graduation and my retirements !

During this college breaks, you start your first job working part time in a company in Petaling Jaya. With your formal attire, I suddenly realized, you are actually taller than me physically. With your first smile coming back from work, I also realized, emotionally and mentally you are even taller than me!

Ivan, you are my son. For better or for worse, and no matter what. I accept you for what you are. You are now a man of your own. But, I still want to remind you that you are an Asian. You must never forget our Asian’s roots and our Asian’s values. I am always very proud of you !!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Stupid is as stupid does ?

While flipping through some photographs, I recalled an unpleasant incident during a gathering many months ago. A young lady declared that “Vegetable seller” has “no class” and is a disgrace. I am not very sure whether the comment is directed at me, because my father is a vegetable seller. Frankly I don’t feel angry but felt very sad. I felt sad because suddenly I realized her questionable upbringings. I sincerely do not wish to question her upbringings. As far as I am concerned, I was brought up by a vegetable seller and vegetable selling is a noble profession. As an educated man, I accept that every professions are honorable professions. There must be mutual respects for each other profession. Only a person with low self esteem resorts to attack other people’s profession in the hope of masking his or her inferiority complex.

It is despicable and ill mannered for anybody to degrade another person purely on a person’s parent personality or profession. I do not go around degrading a person because his or her father is a gay, a heterosexual, a potatoes farmer, or a fish monger ! As a vegetable seller, my father don’t go around seeking donations or sponsorship to finance my education. He beams with pride that he gave good educations to all his children with the monies he earned from vegetable selling. I am a cultured man because I appreciate the fact that I am a vegetable seller’s son. To gain respect, I don’t need to act like a wealthy man, I don’t need branded label tagged on my clothes, and certainly I don’t need to parade myself like a monkey with branded clothes, shoes, bag, and accessories. After all, what is there to prove ?

“Class” is not defined by the clothes you wear or how good you are at pretending to be or imitating successful people. “Class” radiates from a person thoughts, words, deeds, and actions. Empty vessel always makes the loudest and most noise, but the bottom line is, we all know it is not music !! Stupid is as stupid does…….

Now, leave me alone in my little corner to sip my cup of aromatic hot black coffee… Hhhmmmm, a vegetable seller’s son also know how drink coffee ? Do I need to parade myself in San Francisco Coffee’s or Starbuck’s outlet drinking American’s coffee to show others I have class ? All I want is my simple black coffee from Taiping ! Life is as simple as that. Don't make it complicated for me !

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hypocrisies Blown Away ?

Hypocrisies Blown Away by Dato' Dzulkifli Abd Razak, NST – 23 Oct. 2005
"..... In short, take away the hype and niceties and what is left are "holier-than-thou" attitudes based on double standards. In fact, among us are those who are behaving like George Orwell’s pigs (especially Napoleon and Squealer) in the satirical Animal Farm of 1945. This can also explain their pig-headed attitude based on the commandment "some are more equal than others" which are cleverly disguised as values of democracy, freedom and equality. Could this be yet another version of Orwell’s allegorical imagination, except that this time the politicians- cum-actors are from the "free" world? ..."
He criticised the american about inequality and double standards. The question is, are we any better than the American ? We shouldn't critisize other countries becasuse of our preferences. What happened ( or did not happened ) in America is none of our business !

Chinese Poem ?

English Version :
Wind blows at willow tree
Big twigs swirl, small twigs swirl
Twigs swirl, twigs swirl
Sitting under the willow tree
Watching big twigs swirl, small twigs swirl
Twigs swirl, twigs swirl..

Cantonese Version
Fong chooy chung see
Tai chi bai, sai chi bai
Chi bai, chi bai
Chor hai chung see
Thye tai chi bai, sai chi bai
Chi bai, chi bai

Malay version
Angin kencang tiup ke arah pokok keseronokan
Batang besar goncang, batang kecil pun goncang
Batang goncang, bantang goncang
Duduk bawah pokok keseronokan
Tengok batang besar goncang, batang kecil goncang
Batang goncang, batang goncang….

As I Look Back.......

As a young boy living in a small village in Taiping, I have seen the hardships faced by my parents – the needs to make enough money to feed a family of 12. As I grow older into my teenage years, I realized how tough life is for my father, having to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning, and have to worked past 12 o’clock midnight everyday, 7 days a weeks without any rest day. He never pampered himself with any luxury, but he make sure his children live in a comfortable environment. My mother, who has never had a single day of formal education, was a very determined lady. It still amazed me until today how my mother single handedly defended us and hold the family together against all odds. Life was tough then, but it conditioned us to be more determined to be a better man.

As a youngster. I felt the frustrations and angers to realize how “educated” people shortchanged my father into parting away his hard earned money. I am not a revengeful person, but my early childhood’s experiences has caused me to hold contempt of those group of people.

At the age of 17 or probably 18, I realized that, life is never fair. You have to make something out of nothing. No body owed you a living….. You have to stand up on your own and work very hard to achieve what you want. At that age, I have the funny feeling that God is a sadist. He love to tortured you into frustrations and despairs to make you submit to him……

Life back then during the late sixties and seventies was not a bed of roses……

But on the optimistic side, those early childhood’s environment has toughened all of us. It made us a survivor – A survivor in the street of 21st century.

To my beloved father and mother, I shall never forget your sacrifices and unselfish love. I promise you I shall take good care of my family. Rest in peace. May God with his amazing grace bless your souls. Namo Amithaba…

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Taiping Oh Taiping

Taiping is a place I called home until the age of 18. It used to be a tin mining town. As a young boy, I still remember cycling to the edge of the village ( Pokok Assam ) to observe the “Iron Ship” mining tin. Or occasionally, sneaking to the river bank behind my house to observe middleage ladies using “dulang” to harvest tin ores. I also remember the famous “white bridge (pek keo)” and “hunchback bridge (keow ku keo)” in the small village I lived.
The word “Tai Peng” brings nostalgic memories of those younger years of jogging at the lake garden, charkoayteow at the market, camping at Kem Maju, hiking at Maxwell Hills, etc. Those were days.....
Taiping is also a place where I learn street negotiation skills. I still vividly remember, as a young boy of probably 11 years old, I used to get up at 5 o'clock in morning, cycle about 10KM to the town centre to help my father sell vegetables at the wet market - I meet all sort of aunties and uncles trying to out negotiate me to knock down 5 cents from a kati ( about half Kg) of vegetables. I also learn how to maximize profit margin for my father.

As a teenage boy, my mother, who has not attended a single year of schooling, and with her limited analogies, always advised me to “Ai xian Kopisun une yeong ( As tough as the Maxwell hill ”, “Ai xian Taipeng Ooh une xubuan (as gracious as the Taiping Lake Garden)”, and “Sim Ai xian Sebatang Hai Une Quote ( my heart must be as generous as the horizon of the Sebatang sea)”. All her advises are related to the various facets of Taiping! My mother has passed away more than 10 years ago, but whenever I think of Taiping, I always think of my mother’s advises. In fact, whenever I am faced with obstacles and difficulties, the word “Taiping” and my mother advises always gave me the motivational inspirations to overcome whatever adversaries.

I have lived in KL for the past 20 years and I have traveled to many parts of the world. But deep down within me, my root is always in Taiping. There is no place like Taiping. Taiping is always my home. I am always a Taiping-Lang.

Taiping is about an hour drive from Ipoh and Penang, and about 3 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. It is one of the oldest town in Malaysia with splendid historical beauties, rich zoological habitats, a melting pot of cultures, and many places of interests.

Taiping derived her name from the treaty of two warring triad societies trying to control the thriving tin mining business. In Hokkien dialect, it is pronounced as “Tai Peng”, which means everlasting or eternal peace. Taiping also holds the record as one of the wettest place in the world with an average annual rainfalls of 400 inches !!

If you have not been to Taiping, you must made an efforts to visit this historical city in Malaysia. The followings are some of the places of interest you should visit to have sense of the rich and proud traditions of Taiping.

(1) Bukit Larut ( Formerly known as Maxwell Hills, named after the British Asst Resident in Perak, William Edward Maxwell), located approximately 10KM from the town centre, stands majestically at approximately 1200 metre above sea level, it is one of the oldest hill resort in Malaysia. The hills is spectacularly evergreen and have wide varieties of colourful floral and fauna. It gives you the most scenic view of the entire Taiping town and the west coast of Peninsular.

(2) Taiping Lake Garden, located at the foothill of Bukit Larut, is one of the oldest parks in Malaysia. It is carved from disused mining ponds with beautiful landscape and prominent “rain trees” along the roads. The Taiping Lake Garden is one of the most tranquil and peaceful place in the world for relaxations.

(3) The Burmese Pool, located at the foothill of Bukit Larut, is one of the best and unpolluted river streams in Malaysia. It is an idea place for swimming in natural environment and picnics.

(4) Taiping Town Rest House, built in 1870, is a historical building and probably one of the most well kept colonial architectural landmarks in Malaysia. The majestic rest house is situated on a high ground overlooking the scenic Taiping Lake Garden.

(5) The Oldest State Museum in Malaysia - Taiping Museum

(6) Taiping Railway Station – Built in 1885, the station is one of the most significant historical railway station in Malaysia.

(7) Commonwealth War Cemetery, this is a well kept “city in the heaven” and the resting place for the fallen heroes and defenders of Taiping town.

(8) King Edward VII Secondary School, is the first English school in Perak, and one of the oldest school in Malaysia.

(9) Taiping Zoo, is one of the oldest and best managed zoo in Malaysia

To Continues…….

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Unemployed graduates - What is the real problems ?

It has been widely reported that thousand of graduates are unable to secure employments. Two of the main speculated reasons given are :

Mismatch of Skills - Universities are not producing talents that meet industry requirements.
Attitude problems of Graduate – Graduate are too choosy, lazy, etc.

While it is true that these 2 reasons are the most probable causes of graduates dilemmas. However, we also need to seriously look into other contributive aspects of this problem.

As a IT professional involving in business development. My perspective of ICT industry in Malaysia is, we are dealing with an increasingly hostile business environment. My gut feeling is, our economy is no longer able to sustain the pool of fresh graduates from the degree mills. The government may make noble attempts to retrain these graduates, but it is going to be a waste of economic resources. No amount of retraining is going to make significant impact in term of reducing the unemployment statistics if there are not enough job vacancies being created.

What is seriously needed to be done by the government is to relook into its macro economic policies. Business environment needed to be more friendly and condusive. More business opportunities need to be created and implementation policies need to be relook to create a more vibrant economy.

My observation is, on one hand the government want to promote the ICT industry in Malaysia by setting up government linked companies. These GLC are supposed to be the “payung” to help small ICT companies to grow. But at the implementation level, this GLC are set-up with unfair advantages to compete with small local ICT companies resulting in a “not level playing ground”. I am not sure of the role of GLC in other industries. But I strongly believe, to tackle the unemployment issues, more resources need to be focus on creating vibrant economic activities to sustain business activities. And, along the way, some of the problematic GLC need to be removed to ensure level playing ground for all businesses to grow and to encourage more new busineses to be set-up.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Corporatising the Local Councils ?

It was reported in the New Straits Time on 7th Nov 2005 that a survey conducted by University Malaya claimed that “many people” want local councils to be corporatised. My comments are simple – Who commissioned this survey ? Who are the people in University Malaya conducted this survey ? and, Who are “the people” being surveyed, and “How Many” of these people surveyed want the councils to be corporatized ?

The survey also claimed that majority of the people surveyed want a corporate body be formed to oversee the operations of the local councils. The question is, why create redundant resources to oversee the local councils when they are currently being supervised by the Housing and Local Government Ministry ? What makes us think that the new corporate body can do a better job than the Housing & Local Government Ministry ?

It was also reported that “60 per cent of the councilors only had Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia qualifications while the president was a graduate….”. it amazed me that how these “lowly qualified” people managed to get appointed as the decision making councilors in the local councils. Why “professionally and academically” qualified people are not being appointed to run the local councils ?

My layman opinion is, I believed most of the councilors are political appointees. In another words, there are not accountable to the local residents for the job performances. So it doesn’t really matter what kind of models or corporate structures the local councils adopt. The end results will always be the same, or perhaps we may see some slight improvements.

Why spend unnecessary monies conducting unnecessary surveys ? The best solution to improve the local council’s performance is to conduct local elections to elect councilors by the local residents. And, the “election commission” should only allow “professionally and academically” qualified people to stand for elections.