Number one worry now!!

A former CID chief called the recent spades of shootings as a new phenomenon. Indeed it is a new worrisome phenomenon.

There are so many recent cases of shooting to kill.

 Two days ago, My Watch chief was shot but he managed to drive away from his assailants but is reported to be still in critical condition, Then the next day, we have news that a former Arab Malaysian banker was shot dead in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Then there was a report in the Star that two men opened fire at a group of people in a restaurant in Ipoh, killing one and injuring two.

Just a few weeks back, we have the deputy DG of custom being shot dead while on the way t work in Putrajaya.

I thought these things happened only in the Philippines. Malaysia is supposed to have a very strict gun control law. How these killers have access to firearms reflects the perennial problem of having many laws but little enforcement.

Police believe that many of these killings are by hired killers. There are also reports that it only takes a few thousand dollars to hire these killers.

This is on top of the recent spades of robbery cases in eateries and convenient stores in many parts of the city. And many cases of snatch thefts.

What has this country become? Criminals are acting as if there are no law enforcement at all.

Crime is now the number one worry of the rakyat.

We need an efficient and clean police force urgently.. Maybe in this situation where crime is becoming so rampant, we may need to engage some foreign experts to help solve some of these cases, retrain our police  and help tackle the rising problem of serious crime being committed.

This may be one instance that we may need to source for outside expertise in order to retrain and remodel our police force, and let the force regain the trust of the people.

The root cause of all these? I blame it on corruption. Corruption is like a cancer, and it has caused the rots in our institution, and without the real resolve to tackle it, we will see these institution decaying and rotting further, like the tissues in a terminally ill cancer patient.

Something is seriously wrong!

In Malaysia, we don’t have the 4 seasons. However, certain happenings in Malaysia are as predictable as the 4 seasons in temperate countries.

Yearly we have the Auditor General’s report outlining the abuses and wastage in government spending. Yearly, there is  a big ‘hoohaa’  after the release of the AG annual report ,  with calls for reform from  NGOs and civil society and promises from the authority to tackle the problems. Two or three weeks after the release, everybody is deemed to have done their duty and everything is forgotten till the next round.

Then we have the perennial Haze problems, and the usual predictable responses from politicians across both divides asking something to be done to solve the problem permanently.  Yearly, the Indonesian authority blames the Malaysian companies. The Malaysian companies will then issue a denial, and after a few days, wind changes direction, sky becomes clear again, and everyone forgets about the issue.

Around this time of the year, another perennial problem will surface, and it does surface this week.

Many of the straight  A’s students are denied places to study the courses of their choice and these poor students have nowhere to turn to, except to the media and the politicians.

Every year, the politicians will play the role of firemen, and individual cases sometimes do get a reprieve, and after an appeal, some of these students may  get the places they wish.

What is needed is a more systematic way of tackling this problem. Why there is no comprehensive policy to solve the problem really buffers me.

To deny these creme dela creme places to study will cost the country dearly in the long run. Logic will tell us that if the best is not given the chance to develop their potentials, how are we going to face the increasingly  competitive world?

Looking at many of the advanced countries, they not only allow their best to develop their full potentials, they are also trying to do the shortcut by attracting the best brains from other countries to emigrate to their countries, so as to tap on the brains of these potentially world beaters. That is the only way to allow the country to be world class.

I suspect some  little napoleons are at play in this yearly fiasco of refusing the best their choice of study. These little napoleons use the excuse that these students did not do well in their interviews or are poor in English.

We all know that interviews are very subjective. These ‘subjectiveness’ can sometimes be manipulated into reasons to reject a student from pursuing his or her dream. But if most of the best (more than 50 straight As students) are deemed to have failed in the interviews or in their English proficiency,  then what about those who are not so good but are still given places to study in the  preferred courses in the universities? Logic will tell us that if the best don’t have good command of English, then how can the second best be better than the best?

We can understand if one or two do not perform well in the interview or stutter in their English, but if most of the cream fail to get entry because they are said to  perform poorly  in interviews, and then there must be something wrong with the methodology of the interviews or the people conducting the interviews. As simple as that!

The law of average will tell you that if the average Best is not as good as the average Second Best, then there is something wrong with the system or the people manning the system.

I strongly suggest that all future interviews be recorded. With the technology now, this can easily be done. If there is any dispute, or if there is any need to audit the interview, then the authority can go through these recordings and see for themselves whether a student fails because of poor performances at interviews, or whether he or she fails because of the subjectiveness  prejudices of the people conducting the interviews.

We can no longer afford to allow some little napoleons to deny our best a chance to develop their potentials.

Our future competitiveness is at stake.

The nation’s future is at stake.

(An edited version is published in my column in TheMalaymailonline.com )

We are the sitting ducks

One restaurant in middle class Damansara Kim area has resorted to an extreme measure.

The staff actually closes the main door during peak evening hours, and there are armed guards patrolling outside. The staff only opens the door when there are customers going in or out.

This is not paranoia. I was told that the restaurant was actually robbed many times  before.They are left with no choice but to adopt this extreme measure.

similarly, many eateries around KL and Pj have suffered similar fate and many now employ guards for security reasons.

A convenient store chain has been repeatedly robbed too.  They are now thinking of employing Gurkhas to provide security.

All these will add cost to doing business, and from the business angle, this cost will definitely be passed on to customers. Goods are going to be more costly at these places which provide security, and this will add on to the ever-rising cost of living in the Klang Valley.

Crime is now the number one worry among city dwellers.  No matter how reassuring the crime statistics may say, people’s perception is that the crime situation is out of hand.

The rich has their own bodyguards. The well connected has been given license to carry arms, but to the ordinary people, the middle and lower classes, we are like sitting ducks.

Little Myanmar

Namewee has a video which talked about Banglasia. It is a satirical look at the foreign worker situation in the country. I am sure most of the readers have seen the video, but for those who have not, here is the link:

Malaysia is full of Bangladesh foreign workers. But in Pudu, it is fast becoming a little Myanmar. There are so many Myanmar people everywhere you go. Many have wives and children. Some hold UNHCR cards, but i suspect there are also many illegals among them.

If you go to Pudu market, which was dominated by Chinese Malaysian Traders before, you will notice that there are many stalls run by Myanmar people. Many are their own bosses. There are also Myanmar people selling wan-tan mee and operating other food stalls.

In Jalan Silang, there ae shops run by foreign workers, and the signboards are full of foreign words, it is hard to miss that they are foreign worker-owned businesses.

while it is not easy for a local to get permits to operate a shop, how did all these foreigners get their licenses and permits? or are they running the businesses illegally?

If foreign workers are not supposed to own and run businesses on their own, why aren’t there any enforcement to nap these people?

Is it so difficult to determine whether a foreigner running the business is legitimate?

Or is it because of some other factors?