Friday, September 07, 2018

Minimum Age to Marry in Selangor now 18

See, it only takes political will and moral courage to do the right thing.

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/09/06/passed-muslim-girls-in-sgor-can-only-wed-once-they-turn-18/



Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Sunday, September 02, 2018

BEWARE OF SCAMMER | Maybank 162674074485

BEWARE OF SCAMMER 
ON TINDER: barbie girl, 24 | Narnia Abdullah
ON INSTAGRAM: prettyybaby_
Real Name: Nur Shamsinar binti Sabri
Maybank Account No: 162674074485
Handphone: 017-268 7033
IC No: XXXXXX-14-5996
Address (Partial): 1D/24, Subang
https://m.facebook.com/Nur-Shamsinar-Sabri-Scammer-Alerts-878014782292116/



Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Open Letter | Health Minister

OPEN LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH

YB Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad
Minister of Health Malaysia
Ministry of Health
Block E1, E3 , E6 , E7 & E10, Parcel E
Federal Government Administration Centre
62590 PUTRAJAYA 
Malaysia
Phone No: 03-8883 2527
Email: drdzul@moh.gov.my 

Dental Surgeons (general dental practitioners) are exposed to a variety of dental specialities during their undergraduate training. As a matter of fact, dental students are taught to bend wires and apply simple orthodontic appliances. With new innovations, new dental materials and advances, many simple orthodontic procedures may be performed by general dental practitioners exposed to proper training. Similarly, with dental implants. While it would be professionally, ethically and legally wrong for General Dental Practitioners to claim to a Specialist when they are clearly not, there is nothing to stop them from treating simple cases within the limits of their training, competency and experience; and know when to refer cases to the various Specialists when patients require specialist treatment. This is such common sense that it hardly needs repeating.

As a healthcare consumer, I applaud the non-specialist professional dental organisations such as the Malaysian Orthodontics Practitioners Association,  the Malaysian Oral Implant Association (MOIA), the Islamic Dental Association of Malaysia (IDAM). While many of their members are Specialists in their own right, these professional organisations are open to General Dental Practitioners and even to dental students. It is a way for experienced and senior members of the dental profession to pass on their vast experience and knowledge to the next generation of dental surgeons. I see it as a form of national capacity building, in our nation-building efforts.

This is unlike a few of the specialist dental organisations whose members are exclusively from their speciality. They are not inclusive and appear to be protectionist cartels. If they continue with this aloof stance, it is little wonder why general dental practitioners are wont to refer complicated cases to them.

The dental profession in Malaysia is undergoing dynamic structural change. With the issuance of licences for the establishment of ten private dental schools in Malaysia about ten years ago, a few cohorts have graduated, finished their housemanship (read compulsory national service) and are entering private practice in increasingly larger numbers every year. Their syllabus is by nature, having kept up with recent developments and research, different from that of dental graduates of 15 or even 10 years ago. Even as undergraduates, they have been exposed to the latest techniques and procedures unheard of a decade earlier. This puts pressure on General Dental Practitioners to upgrade their professional development over and above their compulsory annual CPD points requirements. At the same time, they are faced with a dilemma - the financial opportunity cost of giving up three years of income to pursue a professional course of specialist studies leading to becoming a Specialist is high. At the same time, they face competition from the annual cohort of newly-minted General Dental Practitioners who have completed their housemanship and received their APC (Annual Practising Certificate). This young generation is not contented with merely doing scaling, polishing and extractions as their undergraduate studies have trained them to do far more than that. Furthermore, their two years of compulsory government service as housemen have given them the requisite practical experience to complement their undergraduate academic studies. They are ready to contribute to the nation’s dental health. We should do everything within our power to assist, not impede, their professional growth and contribution to the healthcare level of our society.

On the subject of housemanship, it deeply saddens me to hear of cases where fresh graduates (medical as well as dental, mind you) have to wait for up to two years to get a housemanship posting. Apparently, the Ministry of Health has the posts and vacancies but the Ministry of Finance has not approved the necessary budget to pay them. This is an allocation of financial resources issue and needs to be tackled at the highest political level to see any improvement in the current deplorable situation. Malaysian graduates (private students, not government scholars) of foreign universities appear to get the least priority, since they are so many local private dental and medical schools. I have personally met Malaysian medical and dental graduates from foreign universities working as sales promoters for health supplements manning booths in supermarkets and malls. While I applaud their personal initiative, I really, really lament this tragic waste of trained human resource. Their parents had not only actually saved our government money by funding their children overseas but by studying overseas, they had made available more places in local medical and dental schools for other students. Such a missed opportunity in terms of national capacity building and nation building!

I urge, in the strongest possible terms, for the Ministry of Health to get the necessary budget from the Treasury to right this tragic and deplorable waste of a missed opportunity, for the sake of our beloved country and the healthcare of its people. Human capital is our biggest resource; it is a criminal waste to squander it.

https://youtu.be/uEfPY3-OzEQ

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

GREEN POLITICS | Our Collective Future

Azlan Adnan
Founder of the Green Party of Malaysia
http://www.facebook.com/AzlanGreenParty
will speak on "Our Collective Future" at The Teak Pavilion, 38 Jalan Perak, Gergetown, 10150 Penang at 11am on Sunday, Feb 19, 2012. Its somewhere in the heritage heart of old Penang. http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Teak-Pavilion-Penang/342033635822517?sk=info
For directions, call 04-226 3551

OUR COLLECTIVE FUTURE 
Our Collective Future is an initiative by the Green Party of Malaysia to prepare for our future by engaging our entire prospective membership in the creation of an expanded vision of who we are individually and collectively from the perspective of our current strengths and who we wish to become as a members of the human race and co-inhabitors of this planet together with other plant and animal species. Your participation is essential.

Our Collective Future will comprise of four phases: Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny

Discovery-1: Foundation for our Future: An informal inquiry into how we feel we are now. It is the foundation of the discovery process meant to capture many positive aspects of our collective skill set and establish a baseline of information about our knowledge of the state of the environment to assist in our journey forward. This is not intended to be a voting/representation mechanism, but information gathering and sharing. At this stage we will seek, vet and accept volunteers willing to serve as pro tem committee members who will eventually become founding members when we register the Party.

• Discovery-2: We’ll then invite our pro tem committee members and prospective members to further explore and find our core skill sets and strengths. We need as broad an attendance as possible for this experience. The output of this session will identify the critical success factors that will form the basis for our future growth. Having identified the critical success factors that we need, we will then assess whether we individually need to gain core skill sets such as public speaking, Citizenship Empowerment School, knowledge on environmentalism, social justice, leadership, fund-raising skills, and etc.

• Dream and Design: Later, we will host a nationwide endeavour leading to a shared positive vision of our collective future and a plan for taking action. We will design our action plan to bring our vision to reality. Having done so, and not until then, we will register and launch the Party. 

• Destiny: We will implement our action plan until our vision of a Green Collective Future becomes a reality.

+++ ### +++

There is a Native American saying that goes: 

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

This pretty much sums up the concept of sustainable development, which is defined by the Brundtland Commission as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time, a necessary precondition for human well-being. 

In his 2-hour talk and discussion, Azlan will give concrete, pragmatic and practical examples on how we can modify, adapt or otherwise change our lifestyle in order to ensure our collective future. By "our future," he is not referring to the future of any particular race or ethnic group, or even Malaysians in general; not even merely the collective future of merely the human race, but the future of all living things on the planet. For the human species to survive, we need also preserve all species ~ from both the plant and animal kingdoms ~ with which we have biotic associations. Adopting LOHAS ~ Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability ~ is one way forward.

SPEAKER'S BIODATA
Azlan Adnan, 53, is an entrepreneur and activist. Professionally, he wears many hats as he is the Managing Partner of a business development and marketing consultancy specializing in the health sector, as well as the owner of a number of small businesses, namely, property investment and development, international business management consulting and general insurance.

Azlan began his career in 1983, as a journalist with the Malay Mail and New Straits Times but soon moved onto marketing communications, which exposed him to advertising, public relations and media relations.

In 1994, Azlan pursued postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom, graduating the following year from the University of Westminster, London with an MA in International Business and Management with distinctions in Marketing Management, The International Economy and Operations & Information Management. 

He then accepted a position as a Research Officer with the Malaysian Timber Council’s London Office where he helped develop strategies to counter the boycott of tropical timber that was prevailing in Europe at that time. He made a presentation to the European Parliament to put forward Malaysia’s case for Sustainable Forest Management. He had also concurrently enrolled as a doctoral candidate in Business Strategy and Environmental Management at the School of Management, Royal Holloway University of London where, as he a Teaching & Research Associate, he also taught Management Communications and Environmental Management courses to undergraduates. His research focused on “Business Strategy and The Rise of Environmentalism: A Case Study of the International Timber Trade.” Unfortunately, the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 forced him to abandon his doctoral research and return to Malaysia.

However, his interest in environmental issues continued to be a driving force in his life, even as he strove to re-establish his career. Today, his activism has expanded to embrace political, social justice as well as environmental issues, for example, corruption, education, sustainability, green architecture and green technology and entomophagy, among others. He plans to make these issues his platform with the long-term view to establishing a Green Party.

Azlan is a divorced father of two children – a son aged 21 who’s studying for an Airline Transport Pilot's Licence (ATPL) in Malacca and a 19-year-old daughter who’s studying dentistry at Universiti Teknologi MARA.



Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

ENVIRONMENTALISM | The Earth as an Energy System

The Earth as an Energy System
First published on December 16, 2015

The planet Earth is one of about ten planets orbiting the Sun. The Sun is a nuclear fusion reactor - its immense gravity crushes hydrogen atoms together, fusing them to become helium atoms and releasing tremendous amounts of energy whilst doing so.

When you look at the planet Earth as a whole, it is forgivable to define the system boundary as the planet and its atmosphere. This is a common mistake. The Earth is constantly bombarded by energy from the Sun, it is continuously receiving energy from the Sun. We think of it as mostly visible light energy but the truth is, the Earth receives the full spectrum of light energy from the Sun, including infrared, far infrared and at the other end of the spectrum, ultra-violet light.

Infrared light is of a longer wavelength, lower frequency while ultraviolet light is of a shorter wavelength and of a higher frequency than visible light (300-800 nm wavelengths). The constant is its speed, which is 299,792,458 m/s.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It just changes its nature, from one form to another. From light to heat, from kinetic to potential and vice versa. When mass is converted to energy as in 

E = mC^2

a tremendous amount of energy is released. This energy is not created out of nothing, it is released from the potential energy locked up in the atoms of matter.

So, we have the planet Earth orbiting around the Sun and it is constantly, continuously, relentlessly, receiving energy from the Sun.

The ultraviolet light is very energetic and problematic for life on Earth. It causes skin cancers, glare, headaches, fades colour and degrades various materials.

Luckily, the Earth is shielded by an ozone layer, that reflects the ultraviolet light back into space. When the ozone layer is thin or non-existent, due to chemicals such as CFCs, it lets in ultraviolet light, causing problems on planet Earth. Ultraviolet light of a particular frequency can penetrate our skin and cause damage to the DNA in our cells.

Life on Earth, by definition, exists in its biosphere - consisting a thin crust of its surface and the lower layers of its atmosphere.

Plants grow, animals roam, fish swim and birds fly in the biosphere. The Earth is about four billion years old, the Universe about 12 billion years old.

You'd think that if the Earth has been bombarded by energy from the Sun for four billion years, it'd be burned to a crisp by now. Well, in its earlier history, it was. Over time, the atmosphere was created, the ozone layer was created and they have shielded the Earth from the some of the harshest energy from the Sun, while sustaining and nourishing life in the biosphere.

The really important point we need to remember is that the Earth is not in a steady state, not even in a state of dynamic equilibrium. This is because the Sun is relentlessly adding energy to the planet as a whole.

What happens to this energy? This "excess" energy that is preventing the planet to be in equlibrium? It is converted to other forms of energy and stored. From light to kinetic to potential. Plants do this for us by photosynthesis. Plants take light energy and convert it to chemical energy. Some of it used up by the plant in living processes and much is stored in wood, in its leaves, in its tubers. Basically, atoms of mostly hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon, together with trace amounts of about 20 other elements (eg magnesium, sulphur, boron, copper, iron and etc) are converted to wood, tubers, fruits and leaves using energy from the Sun.

This process of photosynthesis occurs wherever there is sunlight and plants, not just in your house plants but also in forests, including, but not limited to, the large tracts of rainforests in the Amazon, Borneo, South-east Asia and also in temperate forests.

Every time we cut a tree, we are preventing energy from the Sun from being stored as potential energy. We are allowing light to heat up the Earth and dissipate through a process called entropy. As energy is not destroyed, it just warms up the whole Earth. This is just one aspect of global warming.

Another aspect is what is referred to as the Greenhouse Effect. Just as ozone rises to the higher reaches of the the atmosphere to form the ozone layer, greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and others) rise up and act as an insulation layer or mirror. Some of the Sun's energy is reflected off the Earth's surface and goes off into space. The greenhouses gases act as a blanket of insulation or a mirror preventing the reflected energy from the Earth's surface from going into outer space. It does this by reflecting the energy back to the Earth's surface, warming it and the atmosphere up even more.

So what is the solution to global warming?

Cut down less trees. Grow more trees. Make sure the size of forests is increasing, not decreasing.

Cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Use forms of energy that does not release greenhouse gases. Phase out the internal combustion engine. Use more electricity instead.

Generate electricity by using processes that do not generate greenhouses gases.

Reduce the human population from the current 7.25 billion to 1 billion. The human species is not the only lifeform on planet Earth. In fact, the human species has only been around for about 200,000 years. Fifty years ago, there were less than three billion of them around.

Their rapid population growth had lead to habitat destruction, resource depletion, species extinction, pollution, and other ills. Rainforests are cut down to build cities, houses, offices, factories, and also to create farmland to produce food (wheat, soy, oil palm, cattle), clothes (cotton) and housing to house, feed and clothe these humans. These humans also want "stuff," so factories are built to give them jobs, create the stuff they need and these factories in turn need raw materials (iron ore, bauxite, and etc) which result in resource depletion, habitat destruction, species extinction and pollution. If these factories run on fossil fuels, they emit greenhouse gases, smoke, dust and what we generally call air pollution. Waste in water, such as heavy metals, pollutes it.

So we really need new ways of doing things. Business as usual will not save us. Education will. Trying out new ways of doing things may. We have to be benign in our activities. Reverse the trend. Be different. Its really okay. We are all different anyway.

Yet in another way, in a very real sense, we are all the same, all members of the one human species, all members of the same race, the human race.

Everything we do today and for the rest of our lives will leave its mark, have an impact, have consequences.

Question is, what do you want that impact to be? What enduring legacy to you want to leave behind?



Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Haji Mohamed Taib bin Haji Abdul Samad (1858-1925)

FAMILY HISTORY | My Paternal Great Grandfather | Haji Mohamed Taib bin Haji Abdul Samad (1858-1925)

My paternal great grandfather was a Minangkabau prince who fell in love with a Dutch girl. Being Minangkabau, his family was in a matriarchal and matrilineal society where property is inherited on the female side. His family forbade him to marry her as they didn’t want the family property to go “out.” On his bride’s side, the Dutch colonials did not permit local men to marry Dutch girls, only Dutch men were allowed to marry local women. The fact that he was a prince couldn’t change the Dutch stand on marriage. Since both families were against the marriage, the young (he was only 18) couple eloped. He was disinherited and lost his princely title. They arrived in KL penniless with only the clothes on their backs in 1876 - “sehelai sepinggang” - as the Malays would say.

When they first arrived, his first job was landing a contract as a street-lighter (no, not street-fighter, but street-lighter!); at maghrib he would go round KL adding carbide to water and lighting the acetylene gas produced by the reaction in these “lampu carbide” streetlight lamps.

Later, because he spoke English (as a prince he was educated) he got a job as a chief clerk in the Land Office. People went there to change ownership (name) on land titles. When Malays inherited land that couldn’t be further sub-divided among the children of the deceased, the procedure was for the property to be sold and the proceeds divided among the children of the deceased. For a quick sale, properties were often sold below market value.

Haji Mohamed Taib took to buying some of these for himself and later sell them at market value, for a neat profit. This wheeling and dealing in real estate was so successful that one of his six sons, my grandfather Haji Abdullah, used to buy and sell land every day of the week, according to an old partner at Skrine & Co who one day was looking at the old files and records from decades before. He was so rich that he earned the gelaran Orang Kaya Haji Abdullah. He was the first Malay non-royalty to own a car in British Malaya, an Armstrong. For recreation, he used to go hunt tigers in Pahang and his hunting party would consist of an entourage of 20 elephants. They would set off to Pahang along the Old Gombak Road.

Haji Abdullah sat on the Sanitary Board of Kuala Lumpur, the precursor to today’s DBKL, together with the likes of Thamboosamy, Treacher, Yap Kwan Seng and others.

Orang Kaya Haji Abdullah had ten wives of all races - four at any one time. My paternal grandmother was Bugis and she lived in a two-storey brick mansion at 49 Old Klang Road, opposite the Petaling Police Station, which was demolished and became Furniture World in the mid-1990s which was itself subsequently acquired and demolished to make way for the expansion of Jalan Puchong. Another of his wives had lived in an identical mansion on the opposite side of the Old Klang Road, near the Petaling Railway Station. That mansion was demolished in the mid-1960s and the site used for a BP (now BHP) petrol station. Haji Abdullah would divorce wives that didn’t bear him children - infertility being valid grounds for divorce in those days - and re-marry. He used to own large tracts of land in KL, most of Chow Kit, Kampung Baru, the whole of Bencoolen Street (later Java Street, then Malay Street and now Jalan Melayu), and in the area around Rodger Street and the Central Market. At one time he used to live at 39 Malay Street, which was the site of the Bank of Nova Scotia in the 1960s, then Safety House and now Alpha Arcade.

As a young boy in the 1960s, I used to accompany my dad to collect rent from three properties on Malay Street, the last stop being Ceylon Bakery where I would invariably get a treat of cream cornet and teh tarik.

True great grandfather and grandfather stories!

Reference:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Taib_bin_Haji_Abdul_Samad

FESTIVAL | Hungry Ghosts

As members of a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious society, we Malaysians should not look down (pandang hina) on the cultural or religious practices of others, but try to understand them.

I have no idea what is the significance of these offerings. I have so many questions. Can somebody who knows, please enlighten us...

Some responses received so far:

1) According to the Chinese Calendar,  on the 14 of the 7th lunar month, ghosts are released from hell to wander the earth. I was told that they wander on the side off the main walking path of humans.

Some Chinese  (not all) will offer foods and planted joss sticks to appease the wandering ghosts and those that could not go to heaven or hell.

2) To be in  harmony with the unseen especially business man to conduct their business any where peacefully and with any interruption.

3) any food can be offered for prayers, if it is communal prayers - offerings will be a bigger scale with many table loads of food which can be bags of rice, oil, roast pigs etc

4) anything goes but some items are add-on practices propagated by commercialism like selling paper replicas of packed musang kings 😂😂

5) when there are prayers by the roadside other than during the Chinese 7th lunar month, they are conducted as instructed by mediums or priests to ward off some bad happenings or appease some wandering spirits.

typically the food used for such prayers are not consumed & left as it is for the strays to finish it off or left as litter on the streets.

6) Is there a specified period it should be left there? Is it the onus of the people who put it there to remove the offerings? Or can anyone clean it up? Will they get offended/upset if MBPJ cleans it up? I need to understand the sensitivities involved.

I have spoken to an Indon roadsweeper before and he said “takot” to touch, let alone clean up.

If left too long, they represent a public health hazard due to pests and vermin (flies, rats, cats and dogs).

6A) I answer your question No6  food offering after it bad already the meat it safe to throw away even we pray outside our house after a night we throw away and sweep to clean up the place so it fine don't worry!

7) I agree about the public health hazard & unsightly rubbish left behind. 
this is a failure of this ritual where the cleaning up is not spelt out & the people who offer the prayers dont clean up after themselves.
I will enquire with some friends who have more in-depth knowledge & let you know.

8 ) It is a cultural practice to comfort the believers' as well as the worshipped s' being.

9) every religion & culture have their own beliefs & practices, to each their own unless it is totally against good universal values

10) This offering make for the hungry ghost this month is  like a festival for ghost is a Chinese traditional belief and also a Taoist believe normally we burn money  and food offering I am glad that you ask and willing to know !

11) The reason I am asking is not so much that I interested in seeing video or real life burning of paper but to understand the religious and/our cultural sensitivities involved in the cleaning up.

Does the religion/tradition require that the person responsible for putting the offerings remove them?

How long should the offerings be left out? You mentioned earlier if meat goes bad, can already clean up.

Would anyone get offended if I get MBPJ to clean up the offerings? Are there rituals (prayers, and etc.) that have to be contacted during/before in the cleaning up?

Would people get upset if an Indon or Bangla cleans it up without any ritual? We need to respect other people’s practices but to do that, we need to understand what they are.

Anyway, I have already sent to Mr Danny Chan (MBPJ Councillor in charge of Kg Sg Kayu Ara) photos and location. I leave it in his good hands.

11A) As far as I know there is no ritual after the paper have finish burning after the jockstick burn finish like for me I leave it one night after that I clean up sweep the floor and throw away the food it does not need the person burn the items to clean it up coming to your last questions  Will people be upset yes if the jockstick not yet burn finish but if burn finish  nobody will be offended when MBPJ clean up anyway Chinese graveyard it clean everyday after people put food and burn the paper without any ritual !  The person after praying won't be bothered about it anymore and after the jockstick burn finish can clean up as I say earlier so there is nothing to worry you won't offend any spirit or the person praying anyway if the food don't clear up the stray dog and cats [And rats, cockroaches and other vectors] will eat it up also.

Thanks for being so concern that it will hurt our feelings
Thanks for respecting our culture and religion but It won't offend anyone after the meat rotten already and the jockstick have finish burning after a night it should finish burning it take about 1 hour to burn finish one jockstick by the way thank you again for respecting our Chinese /Taoist culture I was so touch when you say you scared upset the people who do the prayers !

No problem I am so happy that you willing to ask and worry MBPJ throw away hurt our feelings! Thank you again for being so concern about our feelings Goodnight !



Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

PETITION | DEPORT ZAKIR NAIK

MALAYSIANS don't need EXTREMIST ZAKIR NAIK

MALAYSIA was born as a multiracial and harmonious country 60 years ago.
Until race and religion started seeping in and creating disharmony. Zakir Naik is a person whose known to spread hate speech with regard to other faiths.

He has been banned from many countries including Muslim countries and is a FUGITIVE from his own, India. Wanted for creating racial riots, unlawful conversions and money laundering.

MALAYSIANS and MALAYSIA doesn't need him as we are now healing from major events. We want to restore the multiracial harmony we started off with and have no need for divisive trouble-makers.

Sign the petition here:
https://www.change.org/p/home-minister-yb-muhyiddin-yassin-malaysians-don-t-need-extremist-zakir-naik



Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

SINGAPORE | HOME OWNERSHIP RATE

SINGAPORE | HOME OWNERSHIP RATE

I went on a study tour to Singapore with a busload of architecture students from Malaysia and Korea. Among the places we got briefings were the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Housing Development Board and Zero Energy Building.

One fact that really impressed me was that Singapore already has the second highest home ownership rate at 90.7%. Second only to Romania at 96.4%.

By contrast, all land in Hong Kong (except for an old church) is owned by the state and leased out to developers on 50-year tenures. As developers need to bid for these development lots, the prices shoot sky high due to limited supply. I visited an apartment occupied by a Japanese expat family in Hong Kong - really tiny. Also visited the Walled City - really crazy place!

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/home-ownership-hdb-helps-singaporeans-build-assets-pm-lee-10648722

MEMOIR | Confessions of a Tax Avoider

MEMOIRS (Autobiographical) Confessions of a Tax Avoider

After they called me for “interview” at LHDN a few times, Income Tax finally tutop my income tax file. Apparently, psychiatric patients are treated with positive discrimination, as some sort of OKU. I told them I’m unemployable as employers discriminate against psychiatric patients once they find out. Have to keep silent about it when applying for a job, besides work is stressful and can trigger an episode, if its a major episode may need to be hospitalised for months, then get the sack. So I prefer not to work, certainly not a 9-to-5 in the rat race. Anyway, both LHDN officers who interviewed me, a mak cik and a younger man later, were very sympathetic. In fact, it was the mak cik who brought up that they should just close my file, apparently there’s some sort of provision. Oddly, they didn’t ask me for a medical report but they can see my employment record is very patchy from the income tax contributions. Oh, yes, I had to give them 2 years’ worth of all my bank account statements. That was a whole stack a few inches thick, pity them if they really went through the whole lot. Most were shuffling money from one account to another before going to the one used for paying expenses. Had to explain that all the RM30 transfers were bill payments, as I pay all my bills in quanta of RM30 to maximise my Maybank TreatPoints, not all bill payments were mine, though, many times my mom would ask me to pay her bills online for her as my mom “tak reti guna online banking” “online online ni dia tak pandai main.” She’s 85, mata pun dah rabun pernah buat operation cataract ke glaucoma, saya pun tak ingat.

Anyway, I am sure from all this, the way I dress (wear multi-colored shirt with bright floral patterns, but koyak sikit, wear clogs not shoes - they don’t allow selipar Jepun in gomen depts) and present myself (always carry IKEA blue bag with me), I must have convinced them I was at least eccentric if not got a screw or two loose, most definitely a psychiatric case.

I explained why I had four Maybank accounts:

1) Collection Account - for all money coming in. Nominally has only RM1 in the account. So that I can see if tenant already banked in sewa or not. Once in, money is transferred to Account 4, for all outgoings, transfers, payments, expenses.
Accounts 3) and 4) are joint accounts with each of my children - I keep money I hutang them there. Or money they lend me. Transfer to Account 4 for emergencies when need money to pay for something but Account 4 already kosong. 

“Itu cerita Maybank. Dekat CIMB pulak saya ada 7 account,” I’d continue. 

By this time, you can see their eyes already glazed over and whatever you tell them goes in one ear and comes out the other. I think they must have already decided “ini confrm orang gila” and switched off listening to cakapan orang gila but as they are polite, so just listen to humour me and not to provoke me, in case it triggers an episode.

3 savings accounts
ASB loan account
FD for credit cards
2 credit cards

Account 1 is collection account; for receiving rent from tenants who don’t use Maybank, also to receive money transferred from my Maybank account, mostly used to pay off credit cards and ASB loan.

Account 2 & Account 3 are where I keep money for next year’s mandatory big ticket items for my properties like assessment, quit rent, maintenance fees etc. I explained I pay these items in advance, one year at a go because I can’t handle the stress of paying monthly. Because if I’m hospitalised or depressed, an episode may last months, so I may miss a few payments, which will again stress me out. Saya cukop pantang kalau orang call mintak bayar hutang,stress betul.

I have to maintain an FD account for credit card, pasal tak kerja... akaun EPF pun dah tutop, withdraw habis. Then I go into a full blown rant about how the Najib regime misuses EPF money for all sorts of nonsense. 

Did I see them nod in agreement? This encouraged me to launch into an another tirade. 

Sebenarnya, kalau boleh, satu sen pun saya tak mahu bayar cukai pendapatan, I confessed. Their ears perked up. 

That’s why I invest in non-taxable vehicles like ASB and other unit trust funds. (There is no income tax on such investment income). They seem quite sympathetic when I talk about how it upsets me that tax money is used to buy fighter jets that can’t fly, submarines that can’t dive and don’t get me started on 1MDB... By this time, I’ve already won them over but they keep quiet for fear of losing their jobs should they say anything. Are there hidden microphones in the bilik temubual, I wonder?

By this time they very bored, blurred and just wanna go home and call it a day. So, they’ll abruptly call the interview to an end...

Heard nothing from them since that last interview. No more borangs to fill, no more letters calling for interview, no phone calls.

Peace at last...

P.S.
Lest I had given the wrong impression, these pegawais at LHDN are no pushovers, they google you, know all your websites, all your YouTube and Facebook accounts - they know a lot more about you than you may think...



Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

MEMOIR | Confessions of a Sperm Donor

MEMOIR (Autobiographical)
Confessions of a Sperm Donor

Donating sperm is not as glamorous or macho as most would think. 

Its actually quite a long drawn-out process.

First Visit
You provide a fresh specimen (harvested at the fertility clinic) in a wide-mouthed jar. You are ushered into a private room with a choice selection of “top shelf magazines” to help you hasten ejaculation. They will check this sample under a microscope to see if your spermatozoa are viable, i.e. of normal shape, high sperm count and of sufficient motility (moves vigorously and not lame).

Then, you must refrain from releasing for at least three days before they call you in for...

Visit #2
If you have low sperm count, odd-shaped spermatozoa or they have low motility, you won’t get to this stage. At the second visit, you provide another fresh sample. This time they’ll freeze it in liquid nitrogen for two weeks before reviving your sperm by thawing them out. And then, they check to see if the revived spermatozoa remain viable. So, a few weeks will pass before you know if your sperms can survive the cryogenics and remain viable or not. If they pass muster, you’ll get another call for your...

Visit #3
Not many would-be donors survive to this stage. I don’t know what the statistics are but I was given the impression its a very select few. The staff at the fertility clinic start treating you like a VIP patient, even though they’ll be the ones who’ll be paying you.

After giving your fresh specimen, they have to check whether you have any VD or STD. They do this by doing a urethral swab. Sounds innocuous enough, but I tell you, its one of the most painful, cringe-worthy experiences in my life. No joke. The ‘swab” is about the size of a satay stick with a cotton bud on one end. Its done in a flash, the male nurse basically pokes it into your meatus and takes it out. A swift jab, in and out but ever so painful. I suppose the nerves in the urethral wall are very raw and sensitive.

They don’t do the swab before you give your specimen, for obvious reasons.

The swab is then cultured in agar in a petri dish. Only when its negative will your sperm be used for in vitro fertilisation. When I remarked to the nurse about the excruciating pain, he buat derk and replied nonchalantly, “umph, yes, there is a little discomfort.”

Understatement of my lifetime. I still felt the pain for days after. And I still cringe and shudder when I think of it.

The rules are that a person cannot impregnate more than 100 women. I guess, it is so that if you do have some undesirable trait, you wouldn’t spread it to too many offspring.

The touching part is, you get to write an anonymous letter to your unborn child. Of course, you can’t identify yourself in any obvious way, but it was good to explain my motivation and to reassure the child that his/her parents want him/her so much, that they were prepared to go to every length to conceive you. I described my positive personality attributes and IQ, some physical attributes (colour of eyes, hair, skin; height, lobed ears, right handed, and etc.) so that if the child inherits any of these attributes, he or she will know they got it from me. London is not only a multi-ethnic society but also a world-class centre of excellence for fertility treatment. Patients from all over the world go to London for treatment and try to get pregnant. Of course, the clinic requires a donor whose physical attributes closely matches the parents. Having Arabic, Bugis, Chinese, Dutch, Minangkabau and Pathan ancestry, I have a pan-Asian look and can pass off as an Asian from anywhere from Burma, Indochina, Philippines, China, Indonesia, not just Malaysia. Polynesia and South America, even...

‘Your parents must love you very much for them to go through the whole procedure,’ I wrote. I remember I was very emotional and teary-eyed by the time I finished the letter.

Subsequent visits were very much like the third. You need to be a bit of a masochist to endure the urethral swab, but at least the money was good (£40 per visit, from the third visit onwards). You don’t need to write the letter again, I think they store it electronically and a copy will be made available to the parents or child upon request.

So, if the recipient mothers got pregnant and delivered successfully, I have biological offspring between the ages of about 20 to 23 that I don’t know about...

If you’re reading this and suspect you’re my offspring - I’ve embedded hidden clues in my letter to you - you can get in touch, if you like. I’m not insisting that you do but I would be really delighted if you did. No, you don’t owe me anything, it would just be very nice to see that enduring the urethral swabs was worth it. That I helped create a human life, now all grown up and mature, ready to procreate. Someone so desired by their parents that no expenses or pain were spared to create you. I feel so happy to be part of that process. There is nothing so blissful than a child so desired, so loved. So wanted.



Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

No 10% SST on Feminine Personal Care Products Please

If you think that 10% SST should not apply to feminine personal care products, or that they should be provided free of charge to students in schools, colleges and universities, why not lobby for it?

You can use my letter as a template. You don’t have to be a lady to lobby for this.

See what Scotland is doing to lead the world in this area in my previous post and in the links posted in the comments.

====

YB Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan
Pejabat Timbalan Menteri
KEMENTERIAN PEMBANGUNAN WANITA,KELUARGA DAN MASYARAKAT
55 Persiaran Perdana Presint 4
62100 PUTRAJAYA
Malaysia
hannahyeoh@kpwkm.gov.my
hannah@hannahyeoh.com

Telefon: 03-8323 1002
Fax:  03-8323 2000

Dear YB Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan

I wonder if the 10% SST will apply to feminine personal care products from Sept 1, 2018.

https://qz.com/1370042/scotlands-free-tampons-for-students-are-the-mark-of-an-evolved-civilization/

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/aug/24/scotland-to-offer-free-sanitary-products-to-all-students-in-world-first

Thank you

Azlan Adnan
Founder
Green Party of Malaysia



Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Monday, August 27, 2018

Soda Tax | An Excellent Idea

YB Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad
Minister of Health Malaysia
Ministry of Health
Block E1, E3 , E6 , E7 & E10, Parcel E
Federal Government Administration Centre
62590 PUTRAJAYA
Malaysia
Phone No: 03-8883 2527
Email: drdzul@moh.gov.my

Here are my thoughts and suggestions on:

SODA TAX | An Excellent Idea

I was in Latvia two years ago - sweetened cordials like Ribena, Sunquick and etc are not sold in supermarkets, or anywhere else for that matter - totally banned. Fruit juices sold in tetrapacks are either unsweetened or the government regulates the amount of permitted sugar content.

A soda tax would be an excellent way to control consumer behaviour. But its not just about calories, ADHD, obesity, diabetes and caries. Its also about weaning the public away from their sweet tooth (sugar addiction), which also means controlling the amount of artificial sweeteners in food and drinks so that the public gets used to tasting less sweetness.

Hence, there is also a psychological dimension to sugar that needs to be articulated and addressed.

Another concern is sweetened condensed milk, a mainstay of warungs and mamaks who use condensed milk as their shelf life is longer than unsweetened evaporated milk or creamer - without refrigeration. Due to our hot tropical climate, fresh milk and evaporated milk will spoil quickly without refrigeration. However, the sugar in sweetened condensed milk and creamers act as a preservative and affords a longer shelf life.

This needs to be addressed in a wholistic manner, unless we are satisfied with half-baked public policies.

Step 1
Ban the sale of sweetened cordials as in Latvia.

Step 1a
Simultaneous with ban, educate the public on the dangers of sugar. This is the carrot. Announce that in one year’s time the government will limit the quantity of sugar allowed in packaged and bottled drinks and beverages including powdered drink mixes such as Milo, Ovaltine and Horlicks. Drinks that do not comply with this limit will be subject to the Soda Tax, and announce what the tax quantum is. This is the stick.

We need to give a year’s grace period for manufacturers to reformulate their recipes.

Step 2 (a year later)
Implement the Soda Tax and announce that it will be doubled in a year’s time for drinks that do exceed the mandated amount of sugar. This is the big stick.

Step 2a
Simultaneous to Step 2 launch another public awareness campaign on the healthier options, giving consumers a choice - lead a healthier lifestyle or pay more.

Note
This is important not to tax sugar itself, as this will affect almost all processed food and lead to inflation. The tax will be only on food that exceed the designated amount of sugar. A panel of scientific medical, dental and other experts should be consulted to decide on the amount, or to save the trouble of re-inventing the whole, follow standards set by world class best practices.

Sincerely

Azlan Adnan
Founder
Green Party of Malaysia

References:
https://goo.gl/vq4JPt

P.S.
YB, you may recall we shared the stage together six and a half years ago at this event:
https://youtu.be/RcLZoCFIN3A

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

On The One That I Seek

The reason I wrote this is to provide and gain clarity on whom I am looking for. “If I don’t know who I are looking for, how will I know if I have found her?”

You should only message me after you've read this entire profile. Nothing is more of a turn-off than someone asking me a question that is already answered multiple times throughout my profile.

Single, available and seeking
This is my "cari bini" profile. if your interest in me is strictly work-related, you've come to the wrong place. If I had made an "add friend" request to you, chances are its because you caught my eye and may meet many of the following criteria...

Who I'd Like to Meet...
If a lady friend I find physically attractive (Body Mass Index less than 24, intelligent (IQ more than <20 5="" also="" beauty="" intelligent="" isn="" t="" top="" world-class="">130), articulate and someone I can trust and talk to, I'm not interested. The young ladies I'm seeking need to possess, above all, sincerity and candour, and be neither pretentious nor ostentatious. Empathy and compassion would be appreciated, too. You should be very open about yourself and your feelings as the foundation of intimacy is truth. I find people who are reticent about self-disclosure to be complete time-wasters.

I've been asked of define what I mean by "young." Let's put it this way, if you're too old to be my daughter, you probably wouldn't have caught my eye...

You must be "free hair" and have at least a charming smile if not also excellent dentition. A median diastema or dentures would be deal-breakers.

We need to be able to communicate in English without the use of translation services as I believe communication based on mutual respect and honesty is key to any relationship, be it a platonic friendship. It'd be great if you can sing as well.

If you can meet at least 80% of the above criteria, I'd love to hear from you.

Actually, I'm looking for a lovely girl to settle down with.

About Me:
Intelligence is sexy to this gentleman of mixed race (Arabic, Bugis, Chinese, Dutch, Minangkabau and Pathan) who believes chivalry is not dead. I'm big on mutuality and reciprocity in a relationship. I have a highly-developed aesthetic sense and am strongly drawn to ladies of taste, wit and charm who are young at heart, if not also in age.

I'm open-minded, sensitive, caring, torridly passionate and always willing to learn new fields of knowledge as I have high cognitive needs. I believe knowledge is meant to be shared and passed around. I have a sense of humour, drive for life and live life to the fullest. I'm a pretty good cook, too!

Since I could be irritable and sharp-tongued at times, I require a partner with a sense of humour who is not too thin-skinned. I’m bright, curious and restless, and enjoy the company of intelligent well-educated people who are equally high-spirited and enterprising.

I have a quality people trust and I’m often sought after as a confidant or an advisor. I have high moral and ethical standards and it is imperative that anyone I’m close to is a person of the highest integrity. 

I have a generous nature both emotionally and materially and people are usually pleased to provide me with the love and creature-comforts I both require and cheerfully give.

My friends say I'm a good listener--someone with empathy and understanding. This stems from my philosophy of friendship. I am someone who is willing to invest my time in our nascent friendship, to take the time to really get to know you and discover your inner beauty.

References Available.

FAVOURITE QUOTES
If you don't marry for love, makes sure she's rich; at least you'll suffer in luxury.

You may have history with him but you have CHEMISTRY with me, baby.

Any hawt babe that could make my heart skip a beat, put butterflies in my tummy, make my hands go clammy and send me right into hyper mode every time we meet, she's definitely for keeps...

(",)::~~~

On Friendship

The Thousandth Man
by Rudyard Kipling

One man in a thousand, Solomon says.
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it's worth while seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you, 
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend 
With the whole round world agin you.

'Tis neither promise nor prayer nor show 
Will settle the finding for 'ee. 
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of 'em go
By your looks, or your acts, or your glory.

But if he finds you and you find him, 
The rest of the world don't matter; 
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim 
With you in any water.

You can use his purse with no more talk 
Than he uses yours for his spendings, 
And laugh and meet in your daily walk 
As though there had been no lendings.

Nine hundred and ninety-nine of 'em call 
For silver and gold in their dealings; 
But the Thousandth Man he's worth 'em all
Because you can show him your feelings.

His wrong's your wrong, and his right's your right,
In season or out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men's sight
With that for your only reason!

Nine hundred and ninety-nine can't bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot - and after!