YOU & YOUR VOTING RIGHTS

In a democratic country, general elections are the means for the citizens of a country to exercise their civic duty and rights to express their thoughts and opinions in determining who should be in charge of the country by casting their vote at the ballot box. You can’t tell the leaders personally how you feel? Let’s be honest, not everyone can dial the phone to speak to the leader(s) personally to express yourself, and not every leader got the time nor interests to listen to you. The good news is that you can still tell the leaders on how you feel by a simple means of casting your vote. If you like them, vote for them. If you don’t like them, vote the other party.

I have seen examples of some leaders telling the voters not to betray the government, and some came off as a little threatening. Let me reiterate that in a democratic country, no one, not even the ruler or the leader can tell you who you should vote or who you can’t vote. Your civic duty is towards your country, not to a certain political party. If, and I mean if, you feel a certain way about a political party in governing the country but fear to express yourself through the ballot box, that is betrayal to your country and your fellow people. If you are being punished for casting your valuable vote the other way, that is a serious violation of your human rights and your rights as a citizen to express your opinion.

In a democratic country, any political party should hold the equal rights to form the government providing that they win enough parliamentary seats through clean and fair election. In Malaysia, with a total of 222 parliamentary seats, that means winning 112 parliamentary seats is sufficient in forming a simple majority government. So your vote counts. Every vote counts. Every vote is extremely important in determining which political party has the rights, based on the people’s opinion, to form the government.

Of course, there are few groups of people that I come across everyday, and they are:

If you are eligible but did not register to vote

In Malaysia and many other countries, the eligible age to register as a voter is 21 because it is in view that the moment you turn 21, you are a full adult and your view and opinion counts. In this groups of people, some just can’t be bothered and some just wanted to enjoy life, party, finding extra income and etc.

If you are registered but did not vote

During the last general election, there were around 5 million registered voters who didn’t turn up to cast their vote. In a country with around 20 million voters, that amounts to around 25% of the voters who didn’t vote. This group of people might be saying something like “it has nothing to do with me,” or “I can’t be bothered,” or “my vote doesn’t amount to anything.” 25%! Your vote counts a lot and with your vote, with that extra 25% of the vote, one could overthrow the political party!

I’m not interested in politics and politics has nothing to do with me

I have known quite a few people with this kind of attitude towards politics and they are in view that politics is the playground for those elite group of people and they are not interested in partaking in politics.

I’m afraid to vote because they might know who I voted for

Some public servants who work for the government, like teachers, police force, and etc, might feel threatened on their job security if they vote freely. They feel that if the government finds out, they might lose their jobs and they  will be blacklisted for life from government sector. Well, the good news is, with so many voters, will it be that easy to find out who voted for whom? How long does it take to find you amongst the 20 million voters?

To these group of people, the only thing I can say is this; I can’t disagree more.

Did you know that the prosperity of the country is depending on the incoming government on how they govern the country with sound financial sense?

Did you know that the education your children receive is depending on the incoming government on their emphasis on strong educational foundation and a detailed plan in raising a group of smart generation?

Did you know that your quality of life depends on the incoming government on how they improve the facilities and to protect the people’s interests?

Did you know that the future of your children is depending on the incoming government on their emphasis on sound long-term economy plan and global competitiveness?

Did you know that your job security, partially, is depending on the incoming government on how they govern the country to encourage prosperity and making the economy flourish?

So if you belong to the group of people I mentioned earlier, here is what I got to say to you;

  • Don’t complaint if prices go up,
  • Don’t complaint if you find it very difficult to cope with your cost of living and you are feeling a drastic financial burden,
  • Don’t complaint if you find the education standard has dropped,
  • Don’t complaint if your children need to go outstation or overseas to earn a living because locally, there’s not much prospect,
  • Don’t complaint if you find that there’s no harmony in the society,
  • Don’t complaint if you find that the public safety is at risk,
  • Don’t complaint if you feel that there is much racial and social inequality.

The moment you don’t vote, or not vote according to your deepest and most honest opinion, you just gave up your voice and rights to express your opinion. You can shout and scream about your complaints, but the country gave you the best channel to express your complaints via the ballot box, but you don’t take up that golden opportunity, so you may now shut up and let those who casted their vote to continue expressing themselves.

If you are a registered voter, please come out and cast your vote. Let your voice be heard in the next general election.

If you are eligible to register as a voter, quickly do so so that your voice can be heard in the future.

Your vote counts. Every vote counts. Now go and tell your family and friends not to hide behind an imaginary safety net to come out and vote, and vote according to their hearts content. Let your voice be heard by those political elite, let them know how you actually feel.

Sincerity

I have noticed over the years that most people in Asia are not the sincere lot. I am not sure about you, but I am one person who say what I mean, so when I say it, I really do mean it (unless during heated arguments where our brain is fried as salted fish and there’s no filter at all).

Let me give you an example: Sometimes when having a conversation, someone might just casually say “Oh we should meet up more often!” or “Please do come by” or “Please bring your wife/husband along next time”. Now, for them, it might be the most convenient thing to say at that particular time, so they just say it without meaning it. How would I know? If the person really wanted to meet up more often, he/she will call to set up a time and date for meeting up. If someone really wanted me to drop by their new house, they will plan a date and invite me. If they really do want me to bring my wife next time, they would insist during the planning time for the next event.

How many of you not being invited by your wife’s (or husband’s) friends for the outing even though previously those friends mentioned, sometimes insisted, that your wife/husband should bring you along, but at the end, there’s no official invitation?

Recently I just told my friend that during school holiday, he should bring his sons to come to my place to enjoy the swimming pool. When I said it, I meant it, and I am expecting myself to call him during school holidays to make plans. I didn’t say those things just for fun nor was it the most convenient thing to say. In fact, I brought it up as a new topic during conversation after thinking about it because once I said it, it’s a commitment on my side so I thought about it before saying it.

I think we should all change this. We should start behaving with more sincerity in our core, start meaning what we say and follow up on it. I have started that long time ago and when I say “we should meet up more often”, I actually made the phone calls to follow up on our next meet up. When I say “you should bring your wife along”, I really do insist on asking my friend to bring his wife. When I say “Please do come by with your boys!”, I really prepare the whole place with food and drinks for the boys (because kids will forever be hungry at all time).

If more people can start acting with more sincerity, I believe this world will be a better place, and there will be less conflict and drop out in friendships. I think we will even achieve the impossible, like World Peace!!!!

So act up you people. Be more sincere.

Be like me!

Friends

I know it’s the beginning of a new year and I should be posting something more positive to bring up the momentum of the year, but here I am, lamenting about friends, and people in general. If you think reading this will spoil your year, you may stop now because what I’m going to do is to lay out the truth and facts about people and it might be ugly. 

In our lives, we have many so-called friends but how many of you can say for certain that you have friends, true friends? True friends for me is that someone who will go all the way to be there for you and no matter what time of the day, they will be there for you. 

Like me, I don’t mind going the distance, for physically and emotionally for a person whom I consider friend. I may drive 20km just to find that person to have a coffee or tea. Ok I don’t take tea, but that’s beside the point. The point is, I also noticed that this friend of mine has never been to my area to have coffee with me and it’s always me going to his area. 

And then another person has been on the phone with me quite frequent and I used to consider him a close friend and before we hang up, he always promised to plan for hang out the following week to meet up and catch up. Well, it has been almost 2 years now and I’m still waiting for the so-called catching up, even though that person knew catching up means involving someone very important to me in my life. 

And then the person that I was supposed to help in my “help-hole” post earlier, I used to consider him as a friend but recently I found out that he has abandoned me by not organizing any badminton game we used to play weekly but instead, he only organize private game with just that few, leaving me out in the cold. Maybe I am not up there in badminton skill but still, I was eagerly anticipating the weekly badminton game which has not happened for months. 

Over the years I had learned not to take a person’s word by surface value because most of the time people are just going to make empty promises. As for me, I’m one person who won’t make a promise unless I know I can keep it. But it’s disappointing to see someone whom I consider as friends will do something like that to me, as if I have to constantly make th effort  and initiatives to keep the friendship. 

And then I thought to myself, maybe it’s my problem. And then I came to realize that if its my problem, then so be it that these people do not see me as a friend and I’m perfectly fine with it. Most of the time these so-called friends will call me only when they needed some help and I’m still more than happy to help, but other than that, I know for a fact that I do not have friends. 

And you know what? I’m fine with that realization also that I do not really have a true friend outside of my family because it’s better that way than dealing with constant disappointment. 

New Year Eve ruined by Pavilion Mall

2015 is coming to an end and I had planned to end the year with a high note going into 2016 to signify a great start of the year. But then it was completely and utterly ruined by Pavilion Mall Kuala Lumpur.

If you don’t know, Pavilion is actually an upscale shopping mall boasting some big brand names in the world such as Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Ralph Lauren and etc., and for some reasons I was never that interested in Pavilion. Let me put it this way; if I were to waste my time in a shopping mall, Pavilion is definitely one of those in the last place I wanted to go.

I find Pavilion very snobby. In fact, it is the snobbiest shopping mall in Malaysia right now.

Let’s talk about design; they put up a metal bar right in front of the escalator to prevent people with baby stroller to use it. I guess rich people do not reproduce, or if you are not rich enough to hire some maids to break their back for carrying the baby, then you are not rich enough to reproduce.

I have seen many young couples struggled like a mad dogs in the Pavilion because they were using baby stroller, which in my opinion, is the safest and best way to ferry a baby. Hell, I bought quite a few things and the metal bar was blocking my way most of the time and it was such a hassle, maybe I should work harder to be rich so that I can hire a someone to carry my shopping bags for me so I don’t have to worry about it.

Of course, the management will argue that they have many elevators available for those with baby stroller and people confined in a wheelchair. I will get to the issue with the elevator shortly.

Other than the stupid metal bar in front of the escalator, some of the shops like Mont Blanc, Salvatore Ferragamo, and etc., have two stories. I guess if those with baby strollers or people confined in wheelchair want to buy something from the upstairs, or just to browse, they will need to get out from the shops, find the nearest elevator, wait for it, go up, find the shop again and viola! Shopping time!

Genius thinking, isn’t it?

Or maybe Pavilion thinks that rich people do not reproduce nor use a baby stroller since the rich obviously has many maids to break their back, and rich people will never be confined in a wheelchair.

And the problem with the elevator? The hallway to the elevator is so small that two wheelchairs will not be able to fit the hallway, and I personally find it very difficult to manoeuvre the hallway when a person in wheelchair was coming my back, so you can imagine how small and narrow that hallway is. (And for your information, I am not that overweight in the first place, and I am still pretty agile, I think.)

Most time than not, the small elevator is packed with people. So there goes your leisure shopping, parents.

And the toilet. My god, most of the toilet has two urinal stall, two toilet stall, two sinks and that’s about it (and of course dryer, and that’s only limited to the male restrooms since I do not have the privilege to walk into the female restroom without ended up in jail or something). Today while I needed to go, I had to wait because there isn’t enough urinal for me to take a good long piss, and that rich uncle using it might have some medical problems since he was taking such a long time to piss that few drops.

Or maybe I am simply not rich enough because maybe, just maybe, rich people do not need to take a piss.

Anyway, enough of the ranting and I shall explain why I am so pissed off tonight by Pavilion.

I went for a late dinner on the top floor (TGIF, if you needed to ask), and by the time I was done, it was almost 10:30pm. I left the restaurant to my car so leave for home. Then I saw some security guard directing the human traffic to the other end of the mall, so I asked him how to get to my space. He gave me a very vague instruction but I decided to follow. Then I saw the landmark (the shop, which I normally used to pinpoint where exactly I parked) and I could see my car right in front of me. But the security guards locked the sliding door access, so my car was so near yet so far.

Then another guard came and told me off, telling me just to go “there”.

I asked, “Where?”

“There,” she said.

I asked again, “Where exactly is there?”

“There,” she said again, this time impatiently.

I almost lost it and I was extremely close in shouting in her face, telling her to use some brain and at the very least, tell me where to exit, or was I supposed to walk all the way straight even if it’s a dead end? If there’s an exit near a shop, at least fucking tell me where to get off instead of just telling me “there”. I was extremely worked up by this point, and I stormed off because I knew if I stayed for one more second, I would’ve shouted in her face.

And then I saw another security guard, and this time this fellow told me that I was supposed to take the elevator to go down to Basement 3 (B3), take a walk to the other side of the parking area, and then take the staircase up to my floor.

I parked at Level 2. From B3 to Level 2, that’s 5 floors!

I lost it completely and I was about to shout at anyone and everyone around me because that was simply too much. The security has some really bad attitudes like treating customers like me some low class poor bastards who can’t afford to buy shit but going to Pavilion for free air-conditioning, despite the fact that I was holding quite a few shopping bags. Secondly, there were a lot of people dining at late hours, and when they close down all the access, then everyone will be forced to walk like a mutt just to get to their cars so that they can go home.

Seriously, that’s very unfriendly to the shoppers, the Pavilion customers. I go to your mall to buy things, so that the shops can earn enough to pay you rent, and those rents plus others will make you so damn rich, yet you treating those customers/shoppers like some cheap bastards?

So yeah, most probably I won’t be going to Pavilion any time soon. And I don’t care if Pavilion management will see this or not because I am taking my hard-earned money to somewhere else to spend lavishly.

Oh by the way, Happy New  Year!

Help-hole

Sometimes I find it very frustrating dealing with people, and I don’t mean those assholes which I am all prepared for but someone I labeled as help-hole.

If you know what is askhole, then you will be able to guess what is a help-hole. And if you don’t know what is askhole, let me have the liberty in explaining it to you…

A person who constantly asks for your advice, yet always does the opposite of what you told them.

Now, a help-hole is someone who will constantly ask for your help and then when you are helping them, they do not respond, or sometimes they don’t show up at all.

Let me give you the following scenarios which I had had the unfortunate opportunity to experience myself.

One day, a friend was asking me to help him to go to a mechanic together to pressure the mechanic to do up his car as soon as possible. Also an added advantage I have is that I can speak the mechanic’s language (meaning Cantonese, while my friend can’t speak a word of it but fluent in English and Malay). So we were making plans on the time and location to meet up, and I had to shift a few of my appointments to accommodate him into my schedule so that I can go to the mechanic together.

When the time came, I called him after my appointment. No answer. 

I waited for few minutes, and called again. No answer.

From 1pm until 6pm, I called many times but no answer. That was last week and until today, he still didn’t reply my text or my phone call.

I don’t know, but if I needed help, I would be there early just to make sure I won’t be late when my friend or someone who’s giving me a helping hand wanted to give me a hand. I won’t make that person wait for me and instead, I would rather be the one waiting as an expression of appreciation.

And then, there’s another scenario.

I had a client who needed my help in doing work for them, and I agreed despite the tedious nature of the help he was asking. Basically he wanted me to create the content of his website and also the whole sitemap, which can be really time consuming. After started off the project, I was told again and again to wait for his response, which I did, and when he finally got the time, he placed an intern to direct me on what to change and how to change it.

First of all, I am a professional and I do what I do best in earning a living, and yet he asked an intern to be above me, telling me what to do. I refused, and my client gave me a stern warning. I did a simplified table on the client’s pricing and the intern was giving me a flow chart of the pricing, which I couldn’t understand. So that took a bit of time to resolve and finally, after making a test group comprised of their clients, they all agreed that they way I made the pricing structure is way more easier to understand, and they finally agreed to go ahead with my plan.

After that, it was constant waiting and they just rejected my ideas and demos, saying that it is not up to their standard. After that, they became busy and didn’t respond so I just waited since they told me I need their approval to go ahead with my ideas.

Finally, after a few months, this client called and told me he will find someone else to do the project because he “needed someone who can take the project off his hands since he’s so busy and create the content without his constant involvement.”

I was like, WTF?

I was doing fine and I was doing a damn good job before he decided to butt in to take control, and because of his constant involvement, the project was delay again and again until it has been more than a year in dragging, and now I get the blame that I couldn’t deliver because I needed his involvement.

That’s what I get in agreeing to help out a client. I ended up getting insulted for my professionalism.

Anyway, that doesn’t matter anymore because now I have learned my lessons. I won’t be giving people a hand that easily in the future. If you wanted my help, make damn sure you need it because if I were to go out to help you out and you don’t respond, that will be the only fucking chance you have and I won’t respond next time even if you ask me nicely.

So adios, all the help-holes.

Inactivity

I haven’t been able to update this blog as much as I wished because of time constrain, lack of topic and there are more pressing issues in life than worrying about updating my blog. So here I am, taking a backseat in my own blog.

Ever since I lost the old content of my original blog, I have been thinking on how to start all over again. The design, the direction of the content and etc. I can’t even decide on the design and the feel of the blog, let alone the content. I had previously written something about politics but I had removed them because I don’t want to be labeled as political blogger and there’s not much to write about politics anyway because that would be writing about my opinion and not something informative nor constructive.

I will let the blog sit for a while before I decide what I am going to do.

How TNB has been ripping you off

Tenaga Nasional Berhad, or better known as TNB for the Malaysian folks, is the sole electricity power supplier in Malaysia and they monopolize the whole market by supplying electricity to all households, business premises and etc. But TNB has been ripping off their customers without them knowing for a long time.

Today I am going to tell you how they do it.

(null)As you know (if you don’t, you will know especially after reading this), your electricity charges fall into different tariff block. The basic structure of TNB tariff is that the more electricity you used, the more you pay and there’s a tariff block depending on your usage. Please refer to the table below and also the picture of TNB bill for illustration. (Note: The image is for illustration purpose only and it is taken from TNB website. It is not an actual bill and definitely not mine.)

Usage Tariff Rate
For the first 200 kWh (1 – 200 kWh) per month 21.80 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (201 – 300 kWh) per month 33.40 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (301 – 400 kWh) per month 51.60 sen/kWh
For the next 100kWh (401 – 500 kWh) per month 51.60 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (501 – 600 kWh) per month 51.60 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (601 – 700 kWh) per month 54.60 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (701 – 800 kWh) per month 54.60 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (801 – 900 kWh) per month 54.60 sen/kWh
For the next kWh (901 kWh onwards) per month 57.10 sen/kWh

(Source from TNB website)

From the tariff block table and the bill, it all look proper and nothing could go wrong so how did TNB rip off their customers?

From the image above, look no further than item number 5. Yes, the magic number 5.

Do you notice that in item 5, it is the actual reading period? Yes, the billing cycle is not actual 30 days but it is more than that. From the image that is officially from TNB, it is stated that the billing cycle is 35 days. When I look at my bill, it is minimum of 32 days and sometimes 36 days.

So what does that mean?

The more days they wait to bill you, the more you are using. So according to the tariff table and the charges for different tariff block, you’ll be paying more because the more you use, the more you’ll be charged per KWh (unit).

Let me show you a very simple calculation and by no means this is accurate but more for illustration purpose only.

Let’s just say I used 714 kWh for 35 days just like the image from TNB. For simple and easy calculation, I’m using an average of 20.4 kWh per day (714 kWh divided by 35 days and of course the usage varies day to day). So if the billing cycle is actual 30 days, I will be using 30 days x20.4 kWh = 612kWh!

So how much is my charges? Let’s use the TNB image again for our calculation.
First 200kWh: 226 x 0.218 = 49.27
Subsequent 100kWh: 113 x 0.334 = 37.74
Subsequent 300kWh: 273 x 0.516 = 140.87
Your monthly bill is: RM 227.88

But because it’s 35 days billing cycle, your total electricity charges become RM281.59 (as shown in the picture), that’s RM53.71 extra!

When TNB deploys such simple trick, you’ll be paying more for electric bill when in fact it should be lower and cheaper. So let’s just say you’re paying RM10 more per month, and with the number of households being affected by this, this amount to millions of ringgit per month extra for TNB!

If you don’t believe me, dig out your TNB bills and see if your billing cycle is more than 30 days.

An Open Letter to BMW

Dear BMW,

First of all, congratulations on launching the new 5 Years Unlimited Mileage Warranty and 100,000 kilometers Free Service campaign. With your new campaign I am sure customers will be flocking to the showroom to purchase brand new BMW and you’ll gain new customers in no time.

But I would like to also congratulate you for punishing your current supporters because I am selling off my BMW even though it’s less than 1 year old because with your new campaign, my BMW is now considered junk car due to poor resell value and who would want to buy second car that has short warranty and no longer enjoy free service? And by resell value I’m not talking about the price but the fact that no one will want to buy it anymore.

So thank you, BMW, for punishing me for supporting you during your slow time in the market when Mercedes-Benz has been picking up strong market momentum and eating into your market share.

Also, thank you, BMW, for punishing me for introducing my friends to purchase BMW and now, for the same car, they are enjoying all the perks while I look like an idiot for buying your car earlier. Now I am the laughing stock among my friends who had just placed an order.

But you know what? You don’t have to worry about your loyal customers even though we are upset about the unfair treatment because you’ll be gaining new customers. I’m sure your new customers will be enough to cover the numbers of loyal customers you’ve just lost.

You can reply me with all the marketing lingo and business strategies on how you can pull in more customers and better profit but let me be honest with you here before you waste your time; I don’t give a shit about all that because right now I am seriously considering trading in my BMW and get the Mercedes and will never ever going to buy another BMW in my life anymore unless I get to enjoy the new warranty and free service.

So congratulations and thank you.

Regards,
Me, soon to be ex-BMW supporter

Starting again

Recently the blog was migrating to a new web hosting service and I screwed up my backups of the blog so everything was gone. Instead of fretting over it, I decided to start fresh.

So here you are.

Same shit, different day. Version 2.0.

This time around there will be some major difference to the format and I have decided to include photography as part of it since I have invested in a Nikon DSLR so I want to “show off” some of the pieces I had captured.

So enjoy SSDD 2.0!