A friend from imoney.my shared with me the following ‘Ultimate Tax Relief Guide for Malaysians’. Enjoy!
A friend from imoney.my shared with me the following ‘Ultimate Tax Relief Guide for Malaysians’. Enjoy!
There’s only so many things you can do today.
Yes, it’s a good idea to prioritize, but I feel it still leaves too much room for distractions.
What if you limit yourself to only ONE assignment today? I bet you can do it really well, today.
What’s that one thing that cannot wait?
If you can only stock your warehouse with only 3 products, what would they be? And by focusing all your efforts on only these 3 products, I am sure the results would be very different.
What if you only serves 5 dishes in your restaurant?
Sometimes, limitations is not such a bad thing.
(This is not a movie review.)
If you’ve been reading news reported on Facebook (when people get their news from Facebook, there’s a serious problem with the mainstream news), you would have read many stories about the crime incidents that has been taking place around your neighborhood. In fact, some of them even involved people you actually know. Just 2 months ago, my mum was robbed at gun point, and thankfully the robbers only took off with the car.
Then you hear about ‘community-messages’ on the radio advising you not to put your handbags on the passenger seat and all kinds of crime-preventing tactics, which I think is an insult to the law enforcement agency of this country- namely the PDRM. If we have to resort to all these tactics to protect ourselves, it makes you wonder just how safe this country has become. In other civilized societies, people don’t even have to lock their doors and they can rest assure that they will come back to their homes without anything missing. Yet, in Malaysia, we cannot even leave our mobile phones safely on restaurant tables or stroll on the street with our handbags without being the next target of snatch thieves.
There are just too many things we can blame when crime flourishes, but here are a few things that I feel that makes Malaysia a crime haven:
1) Like fund managers, criminals weight the risk between potential loot and the chances of getting caught. On average, snatching a bag from an unsuspecting lady on the sidewalk can potentially bring in more than a thousand ringgit worth of valuables; an iPhone, a few hundred ringgit cash and probably even an iPad.
The risk of getting caught is almost nil. So, criminals commit crime with confidence when they know they can get away with it easily. How can they get away so easily? That brings us to the next observation.
2) Who was supposed to uphold peace and justice for the average public? It seems the Police are also busy trying to put food on table, and catching snatch thieves does not seem to bring in any ‘reveneues’.
Bribe income from petty traffic offender continues to be the most profitable activities for them. If we actually include unreported bribes into the crime statistics, I think the numbers would shoot up the roof.
The police force are too busy to care about crimes.
3) The state of our economy also contributes to the rising crime rate. The gap between the haves and have-nots continue to widens due to uneven development and unemployment.
Rising cost of basic necessities also makes people desperate enough to commit crime just to survive.
Fresh graduates are facing lots of pressure right after they graduate- finding a job that actually pays them enough while struggling to pay off their PTPTN loan with whatever leftovers they have. Before they even get their first paycheque, their balance sheets are already showing a negative RM30,000 worth study loans. It still baffles me why parents are paying more than RM50,000 in their childrens’ tertiary education that cannot even promise a job.
Unfortunately, none of the issues I brought up here above could be easily remedied. In the case of a financial crisis, the policies setup by government (e.g. Securities Commission, Central Bank etc) would be responsible for the wrongdoings of financial institutions. In our context here, the ‘regulatory’ body for crime prevention has failed us. We no longer feel protected and safe while walking on the streets. Every housing areas and condominiums has to have their own security force, and yet, this does not prevent daily break-ins and car thefts within their premises.
Politicians are too busy ensuring their victory in the next election that they have no time at all to address the issues faced by the man on the street.
Another victim is being robbed, mugged or raped even as you read this.
We seriously need Batman now.
Just some analogies I observed while driving…
A traffic system with round-abouts is a huge no-no. It creates unnecessarily delay and congestion. I’ve read somewhere that round-abouts were designed to ‘slow-down’ traffic.
Likewise, when trying to arrive at a decision, having round-abouts are like indecisiveness. Resign to the fact that you cannot make the best decision, given the situation and urgency, but come to a decision anyhow. You can always make a u-turn later, which hopefully won’t be too costly. But take action and stop beating around the bush. Seize the moment!
Minimize the number of traffic lights. Roads with lots of traffic lights signifies laziness on the part of the designer. You need traffic lights, but use it very sparingly.
Traffic lights are like hesitations and mental blocks. Also, it acts like excuses. Let’s face it, you cannot please everyone on the road. Something had to give, some sacrifice must be made for the greater good. It’s about the forest, not the trees.
You might not have the budget to build a 5-lane expressway now, but provision for future lanes in the future. It’s about thinking long term. Traffic will only keep increasing.
When making decision, make sure that you also take into account future complications. Take into account existing facts and figures, and plan for the best. Having the option to build more lanes is like having more possibilities and alternatives on the drawing board, giving you the extra flexibilities in your strategy.
U-turns are good for check and balances, and should be placed with utmost care. Too much of U-turns would result in congestion and allows too much room for errors. Place them like you would place milestones in projects where you can evaluate progress and reduce risks of going at the wrong direction for far too long.
It’s good to have GPS to ensure you stay on the right path and get to your destination with the least amount of hassle. But it can also hinder creativity and spontaneity to react to traffic conditions and exploration of uncharted routes (Waze can help to a certain extent). Use the satellites as guides, but trust your instincts.
Besides, what’s the fun driving without some ‘control’?
Speed is key, but survival is even more crucial. Go as fast as you can manage, while maintaining the ability to stop without crashing yourself and others. Going fast while disregarding the safety of yourself and others is like making tonnes of revenue without any concerns on the profit margins.
No doubt it’s a lot of action, but you might just end up back at square one. And if you have a bad crash, there’s no ‘undo’ button on this one.
It was only last July 2011 that the Bersih organiser summoned Malaysians who wants a fair deal to Dataran Merdeka. And barely nine months after that, they organized another one on April 28. Man… being a Malaysian citizen can be quite a task, eh?
That being said, it never crossed my mind NOT to attend. Bersih 1.0 made BN lost a few states. Bersih 2.0 showed us the true color of PDRM and the extreme measures the government will take to defend the status quo. So, I’m very curious what Bersih 3.0 can achieve.
In fact, I was contemplating whether to write about my 428 experience, since it’s going to be just another account of #BERSIHSTORIES. After reading Marcus’s account, I thought it’s a good idea to write it down so that at least I can still remember what happened 50 years later. I really hope that 50 years later, I don’t have to attend Bersih 55.0. Besides, I’d written my account for both Bersih 1.0 and Bersih 2.0. So, to continue the tradition, here goes the 3rd sequel.
Let’s start with a picture.
Basically, those are the most basic thing you need to attend a standard Bersih rally. By the time I finished ‘packing’, there were already many videos on Youtube showing Bersih participants already having a good time near Dataran Merdeka.
The next day, I woke up at around 9am, and started driving to the gathering point- Bangsar Village.
Traffic was really smooth, and there was absolutely no signs of police roadblocks. I met up with Chyo, Jeevan, and friends. We traveled into Brickfields without any difficulties at all, and when we arrived there, we are instantly greeted with a carnival-like crowd.
We joined the crowd and started marching towards Pasar Seni at around 1120hrs. As we almost reach the Old KL KTM Station, a group of policmen, at least about 50 of them started to form a line in the middle of the road, effectively closing up our only entrance into Pasar Seni. It took a while to ‘negotiate’, but we finally managed to get through the policemen-barricade and successfully get into Pasar Seni. The policemen really didn’t give much of a resistance, which is very odd if compared to the previous rally. This is too good to be true.
Anyway, we joined up with Pasar Seni crowd and took a rest while waiting for the major event to start at 2pm. Again, it was a stark contrast if compared to Bersih 2.0- in the previous rally, no one would even dare to show up on the street with their yellow shirt until it’s about time to march into Dataran Merdeka.
To past the time, I decided to check out what’s going on in Petaling Street.
The Petaling Street crowd started to gather in size and began marching their way out to the main street into Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock.
I proceeded to make my way towards Masjid Jamek via Jalan Tun Perak. And along the way, I could see that every pavement and roads is filled with people not unlike a live concert. There’s also a lot of young faces.
However, I also see some young parents carrying infants and kids around the age of 6-7 years old. I seriously worry for them, and if possible, I would suggest not to bring them to such a huge rally where the attitude of the authority is one of hostility. The PDRM is known to be merciless when it comes to dealing with weapon-less citizens as evident in the past 2 Bersih rallies, and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.
Even I cannot guarantee my own safety once the PDRM is unleashed and allowed to go on their rampage. Of course, I would like to believe that the PDRM are well-intentioned, but really, looking at the 5-years historical data, I wouldn’t push my luck.
Even foreign tourists took part in the march. Some of them could be seen wearing Bersih bandanas and T-shirts. And a lot of them was waving at the ‘parade’ from atop of the hotels rooftops.
After lingering in Masjid Jamek for about an hour, I decided to check out Leboh Pasar Besar entrance into Dataran Merdeka, which was of course guarded heavily by the police.
There were a huge crowd already at the bridge intersection. This area is clearly outside the Dataran Merdeka Court Order’s perimeter, but it was nevertheless barricaded.
It was about this time when I got an SMS from my wife telling me that Jalan TAR’s crowd had been bombarded with tear gas and water cannon.
As the time was almost up (we’re supposed to disperse by 1600hrs), I decided to check out the front line before making my way home.
And here was a picture taken with the help of a Bersih participant. This would be the last picture I took for the day…
Right after I snapped this photo, the bell was struck twice, and the riot police, cladded in red helmets with shields in their hand moved backwards. I then joked to the dude who took the picture for me and said, “Normally when they do that, they are about to fire tear gas.”
And right after I finished my joke, I saw the water cannon truck moving out from its stationary position and started coming towards us. We were still sitting like… yes… like sitting ducks! I quickly got up and shouted, “Lari! Lari!” And before I could run more than 10 metres, we were shot with water cannon from the back.
And all this happened very suddenly without any warnings from the police. We retreated to the river bank towards Pasar Seni, as water cannon truck and police began marching towards the crowd. All of us was shocked and angry at the sudden attack from the police. And before we can rationalize any answers, the police fired tear gas cannisters into the crowd, which made the crowd even more furious.
The tear gas forced everyone to run towards Pasar Seni via the narrow corridors, and unfortunately, I picked one of the uphill ramp that would eventually end up with a small staircase exit which is joined by 2 other ramps. There were at least 200 to 300 people stuck in the exit trying to down the staircase, but the wind was blowing the tear gas towards the crowd and before we know it, we are suffocating with tears and coughing our lungs out. Some even puked on the spot. There were kids who are stuck with me, crying their eyes out. If the police had fire another round, I was quite sure many of us would have passed out.
In the midst of the panic, I managed to retrieve the pack of salt from my pocket and started distributing them to the people around me. A middle-aged uncle who was having a hard time breathing asked me for water and I gave him my half-empty Spritzer. Miraculously, after about one minute battling the tear gas, we managed to finally escape through the staircase and out towards Pasar Seni.
Along the way, I could see Petaling Street’s crowd being chased down with tear gas. As I look at the time, it was already nearing 1600hrs, and there’s no reason to still linger in the city with a police force that has just run amok. The effect of tear gas can still be felt all the way to Pasar Seni. I decided to run back towards Brickfields and call it a day.
That’s how my 3rd Bersih rally ended, again with tear gas and water cannon. And you would have also watched all the brutality and violent attacks the police force had inflicted on the peaceful, unarmed civilians. In fact, this is nothing new. The police had never acted with the civilians’ safety in mind. The way they had shot the tear gas into the crowd, it could have easily led to fatal stampedes. I am sure they knew there were senior citizens, OKUs and children in the crowd.
I’m pretty sure after the terrorizing acts by the police in the last few moments of the rally, many Bersih participants would finally understand why this country is in need of a change. Despite all the odds against us, if we could just send the message to all our friends and families about the importance of having a free and fair election, we might just be able to change the fate of this country and her citizens.
I am not looking forward to Bersih 4.0. Really, who in their right mind wants to risk getting beaten by the police (read: gangsters in uniform), tear gassed into coma and sprayed with chemical water? But if we Malaysians don’t rise up and stand against the tyrant of the day, who would?
So what did Bersih 3.0 achieved? I believe it showed us that more and more Malaysians are going to take the future of this country into their own hands. More youngsters are on the road, and that once again, Malaysians of different ethnics and background and stand up for a single cause and move forward together.
I truly hope that the large number of turn outs on April 28 will translate into votes in favor of a better government.
See you at the polling station!