Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Malaysia Today

I received this in my mailbox today:



Dear all I am sending a few of the following articles from MT, because many of us including myself are unable to access MT.


********************************************************************************************************

How does corruption affect us? Let me count the ways (UPDATED WITH CHINESE TRANSLATION)
Posted by admin
Tuesday, 29 September 2009 18:10



But PAS does not declare war on corruption. PAS declares war on beer and sexy women. PAS does not understand that corruption and poverty is the real enemy. Poverty enslaves us. Corruption makes us even poorer.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin


Most Malaysians don’t think twice about the level of corruption in this country. Some even welcome it. How many times have you illegally parked your car or dashed through a red light and paid the policeman a bribe of RM50 or RM100 to save paying a RM300 fine if you are issued a summons?

And that is cheap, mind you. In the police lockup, we have to pay the policemen RM100 for a three-minute local phone call and RM10 for a stick of cigarette. So that comes to RM200 per packet. I paid RM200 for one night’s ‘protection’. For RM200 I was placed in a ‘special’ lockup where a detainee awaiting trial for murder took me under his wing so that the others could not get at me. He even threw in a cigarette as part of the ‘package’.

And it costs RM250,000 for a drug dealer to escape the gallows.

My wife, who in 2001 was detained overnight in the women’s section of the police lockup, the same night I was arrested, spoke to one Indonesian woman who was on her second drug dealing arrest. The first time she and her husband were arrested they had to pay RM500,000 for both of them to get released. They were trying to arrange another RM500,000 to get out of this second arrest. So that came to RM1 million for two arrests. Imagine how much they must be making dealing in drugs. More importantly, imagine how much the police are making each time they get arrested.

I spoke to many of my Chinese businessmen friends and they admitted that it is easier to do business when corruption is involved. This saves time since you can bypass the normal requirements and get your applications approved much faster by just bribing the government officers. Sometimes, when you are not ‘eligible’, you can become eligible by paying bribes. So bribes actually help when faced with certain obstacles -- and there are definitely many 'obstacles' when dealing with governments in third world countries like Malaysia.

When corruption does not affect you directly you are not too concerned about it. It is like crime. As long as the robbers do not break into your home to rob you and rape your wife or daughter then who bothers too much about the high level of crime? It is when it is you that is hit that you become outraged about the high crime rate and the low level of police enforcement and lack of effort to combat crime.

Is it not those who suffer or suffered from cancer, or have lost a loved one to cancer, who gets involved in anti-cancer movements or associations? How many of us who never had to face cancer would want to donate generously to the anti-cancer effort? We never bother about something that does not affect us. And the same goes for other things as well, such as corruption and whatnot.

But corruption does affect us, contrary to what many may be thinking. Sometimes it affects us directly. Most times, indirectly.

An average of ten people die each day on Malaysian roads. Many more are seriously injured or maimed, sometimes resulting in them no longer being able to work and earn a living. The main reason for this is that Malaysians do not know how to drive.

Now, let there not be any confusion over this statement. Malaysians may have a valid driving licence. But Malaysians do not know how to drive. Do you know that in some European countries you can exchange your Singapore driving licence for a driving licence of your host country? But they will not accept a Malaysian driving licence. Malaysian driving licences tak laku (have no value).

I know someone, now deceased, who had a driving licence but could not even reverse her car out of the driveway. How in heaven’s name did she pass her driving test and get a licence if she can’t even reverse her car? And for sure she can’t drive.

Well, she told me. The driving school has two schemes. One is the ‘guaranteed to pass your driving test’ scheme -- which means you will pass your driving test and get a driving licence even if you can’t drive. The other scheme involves you taking the driving test and passing it all on your own.

The trouble with this legitimate scheme, though, is that even if you know how to drive they will still fail you as ‘punishment’ for refusing to participate in the ‘guaranteed to pass’ scheme. So it is better to pay, even if you can drive, and especially if you can’t, to be assured off a driving licence.

So, about ten people a day die on Malaysian roads because most of them have a driving licence but do not know how to drive. And those who die could be you, a family member, an office colleague, or a close friend. In short, that person who died in the traffic accident could be someone you know or someone close to you.

Therefore, corruption does affect you when you lose someone because of corruption -- or if it is you who dies. If this person were forced to learn how to drive properly before being given a licence then maybe he or she would still be alive today. I have personally lost scores of friends and relatives due to traffic accidents over the last 50 years or so. Sometimes it is their fault. The sad part is when the accident is someone else’s fault and you are a victim of reckless or inconsiderate drivers who have absolutely no road sense whatsoever.

I have also lost people dear to me due to poor medical facilities. There are not enough hospital beds in the intensive care unit or not enough dialysis machines or whatever, which results in poor medical facilities. And these people had to die because of this.

It is not that Malaysia does not have enough money to improve its medical facilities. It is that Malaysia spends the money for the wrong reasons -- and spends too much on top of that because there are kickbacks and commissions involved in every project and procurement. So medical facilities take a back seat and many of us have lost friends, colleagues and relatives because they were denied prompt or proper medical treatment.

If the money had not been wasted and had instead been spent for the right purposes -- medical and education being the two most important -- then Malaysia would be a much better place. As it is, our medical and educational facilities are below the so-called first world infrastructure that we are so proud of.

We have the best weapons. We have fantastic bridges, buildings and roads. Heck, we even have submarines now. But we are extremely lacking when it comes to medical and educational facilities. And health and education are far more important than all those white elephants and monuments that swallow billions but bring no income to the country, as would most white elephants and monuments.

Cars cost a lot in Malaysia. That, again, is due to corruption. If the government allowed a free-for-all in the car industry then cars would cost much cheaper than they do now. But they can’t allow a free-for-all. They can’t because cronies of those who walk in the corridors of power are making a lot of money from the car import permits and whatnot. So Malaysians have to pay double what they should actually be paying for their cars. But their salaries are not double what they should be.

So you end up a slave of your car instead of the car being your slave. You work for your car when your car should instead be working for you. And because of the sorry state of public transport you have no choice but to own a car. You just can’t get around without a car like you can in so many other countries.

After paying for your car what do you have left at the end of the day? Most times, because of your car, you can’t afford a decent home. Malaysians are actually very poor. The cost of living is so high while the salaries are very low. And corruption keeps Malaysians poor.

So perish the thought if you thought corruption does not affect you. It does, in more ways than you realise. And only naïve people would believe that corruption does not personally affect them or is actually beneficial to business. Malaysians are paying a heavy price for corruption. And the worse thing is we do not even realise we are paying.

Malaysians pay billions in all forms of taxes. But a lot of this money does not come back to us. It gets flushed down the toilet. Billions are lost -- RM30 billion by some estimates. And this is our money. Imagine if we had to pay only RM0.30 for a litre of petrol or RM1.80 for a packet of cigarette or RM50,000 for a Honda Civic. Would you not have more money left in your pocket? Nowadays, your money is finished by the tenth day of the month and you have to wait another 20 days for your next paycheque.

Don’t even start talking about saving money for a rainy day. This is just not possible. Corruption has taken away all your money whereas considering how rich this country is we should not even be asked to pay taxes or, even if we are, it could be a very minimum level that hardly hurts us.

For decades, the opposition has been fighting for the government to set a fair minimum wage appropriate to the cost of living. But the government does not agree to the RM900 per month minimum wage proposal.

In fact, even RM900 is still too low. Countries like the UK have announced that the minimum wage will now be adjusted to about RM35 per hour. That is what some Malaysians earn in a day. Yet the price of cigarettes in the UK is almost the same as in Malaysia. And so goes for many other things as well -- while cars are half the price or less compared to Malaysia.

No, Malaysians are poor. You earn so much less and have to pay so much more. Then corruption takes away what little you have left. And Malaysians still believe that corruption does not affect them directly.

And that is why I am of the opinion that PAS is not focused. They should be addressing the core issues. And the core issue here is corruption and how it affects us. Banning beer or sexy singers from appearing on stage does not offer Malaysians a better life. Even if beer and sexy singers are banned Malaysians will still remain poor. And we will remain poor because our money is being plundered and our low salaries and high taxes do not allow us a decent life.

Prophet Muhammad declared war on riba’ (usury). Riba’ basically means making money from no effort of your own. And, according to Sheikh Imran Hossein, there are 80 levels of riba’, corruption being one of them (since corruption involves making money in a dishonest manner and from no effort of your own).

But PAS does not declare war on corruption. PAS declares war on beer and sexy women. PAS does not understand that corruption and poverty is the real enemy. Poverty enslaves us. Corruption makes us even poorer.

PAS should take up the Prophet’s real fight, the fight against corruption and poverty. And poverty is the breeding ground of corruption. When you are broke one week after receiving your salary you need to resort to corruption to survive.

Translated into Chinese at: http://ccliew.blogspot.com/2009/09/blog-post_29.html



******************************************************************************************************

The attacks on Malaysia Today (UDPATED WITH CHINESE TRANSLATION)
Posted by admin
Monday, 28 September 2009 16:21



The MCMC has in the past failed to silence Malaysia Today officially through blocking it in August 2008. Now, with even more revelations of various scandals of the government exposed through this site, we can't help but suspect that there is a more significant force, a hidden hand at play aimed at bringing down Malaysia Today.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin


First of all, I have received tons of happy birthday messages via SMS, Facebook, e-mails and postings on this site. Initially, I tried to reply to all these messages one by one but as the messages flooded in I found it impossible to reply to each and every message individually. Therefore, I would like to say thank you and at the same time apologise to all those I was not able to personally reply to.

Now, you may have noticed that of late Malaysia Today has been ‘off the air’ almost every day, sometimes for a stretch of many hours. This has been going on for more than a week. The man leading our technical team thought that maybe we should inform our readers about what is happening so that you can be kept abreast of the developments. Rest assured we are doing everything we can to solve this problem.

Nevertheless, there is just so much we can do. Money, of course, is one issue that we have to address, as what would be required does cost us quite a sum. Money aside, though, if they choose to continue the attacks, even money can’t solve the problem. We just have to pick ourselves up and start all over again whenever we are hit and bear the disruptions to the site with a stiff upper lip.

Anyway, let our technical team explain what is the problem we have been facing.

What happened to Malaysia Today

By Malaysia Today’s technical team

With so much confusion and speculation making its rounds about what is happening to Malaysia Today over more than a week, we are compelled to offer our explanation so that the record can be set straight. Only limited technical details will be mentioned to allow you to appreciate the scale of challenge the site is facing.

You may now be aware that the site has been up and down since Friday, 17 September 2009. This was due to malicious activities by those behind the effort to cripple Malaysia Today. This is just one of the many rounds of cyber-attacks that we at Malaysia Today have had to face for more than a year now.

Coincidentally, this latest round of attacks started immediately after RPK’s explosive expose two weeks ago on Tuesday regarding the Malaysian Cabinet's knowledge and 'approval' of the PKFZ scandal long before it became public knowledge. Suspicious activities against the site happened as early as Wednesday, but the first damage was done in the afternoon of Thursday, which brought the site down.

The site was quickly recovered and by 6.00pm we were up and running again although with some loss of data. The attack revolved around the long-time problem faced by the site - a rather old version of Joomla content management system and the use of third-party components.

Lack of resources (financial, manpower, etc.) has always been a challenge faced by Malaysia Today, which affected the maintenance and operations of the site. During the recovery process, we locked down the site to reduce the danger of further compromises.

The next wave of attacks came the following day on Friday. This time it was in a wave of DDoS traffic crippling one of our nodes at Singapore. The Singapore node operates with about 30Mbps of bandwidth, a luxury by Malaysian standards but far short if we need to match any serious DDoS attacks. The node was basically choked with illegitimate traffic. Typical of DDoS network attacks, the origin of the attacks is difficult to pinpoint and sometimes pointless as the attack agents/zombies are likely compromised systems themselves.

We then activated our resources at our US node to recover the site. The process required optimisation of the site to cope with demand. (The demand on the site seemed much higher, possibly due to the interest on the PKFZ expose.) Hence the intermittent site outage, due to either overloading or optimisation process.

Being a service provider of a larger scale and sophistication, the US node has a higher capability of sustaining the attacks. Still, the attacks persisted on a daily basis and we tried deflecting them as far as we could. The DDoS traffic we suffered ranged from 227Mbps to 835Mbps, a mammoth scale for anyone familiar with maintaining Internet sites. The attacker does not appear interested in defacing the website, typical of self-styled college hackers. He/she just deleted articles published on Malaysia Today, literally one by one, with the single-minded aim of erasing all the explosive stuff on the site.

Further complicating the trace of attacks is the use of free proxy servers, on random basis, by the attackers. This is an irony, as we have been advising our users to use such proxy servers to overcome any potential content filtering by the government.

All the malicious activities and behaviours bear the hallmark of professional, for-hire hackers. These are certainly no amateurs, judging from the persistence and frequency of the attacks, with the main objective of making the content of Malaysia Today inaccessible to the public.

We believe that there is NO explicit blocking of the site by the various Malaysian ISPs. The inconsistent and intermittent accessibility of the site in the past many days are the result of the situation described above, although we must caution that it is almost impossible to detect any clandestine censorship.

The MCMC has in the past failed to silence Malaysia Today officially through blocking it in August 2008. Now, with even more revelations of various scandals of the government exposed through this site, we can't help but suspect that there is a more significant force, a hidden hand at play aimed at bringing down Malaysia Today.

READ CHINESE TRANSLATION HERE



*******************************************************************************************************

UMNO is the cancer of Malaysia
Posted by admin
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 11:12
By Richard Wee
Amazing?! For the 2nd time in a row, UMNO chooses a candidate tainted with corruption. They chose Rohaizat Othman at the recent by-election at Permatang Pasir. Rohaizat was disbarred as a lawyer for misusing clients’ funds.
Now for the Bagan Pinang by-election, they choose Tan Sri Isa Mohd Samad who was suspended by UMNO’s very own disciplinary board for money politics (read: corruption).
And the most amazing thing is that UMNO’s members from that branch wanted only Isa and even threatened to boycott the by-election if UMNO chose another candidate. The fact the Bagan Pinang’s UMNO branch demanded for Isa’s selection only reflects the kind of people who are members there.
But Najib must be so desperate to win a by-election, that he bowed to pressure and chose a tainted man like Isa. This selection of Isa is the consequence of many years of handouts in which UMNO gives out contracts to their members. And Isa is popular not because he is a quality intelligent leader, but a leader who knows how to manipulate the system to pass contracts to the relevant people.
All the noise from Najib that he wants transparency and accountability in his government is mere empty words and promises. By right, UMNO should discipline their members at Bagan Pinang for even threatening to boycott the election, but instead he chose the easy path for short-term gain.
READ MORE HERE: http://loyarburok.com/


*******************************************************************************************************

0 comments:

Post a Comment

 
zur Seite