“I am your father, Adam.”

Hey there! This is me writing the first post for this blog in 2014, close to 3 months late. My last post was in last year July 30th, so it has been almost 8 months since I have written anything for this blog. What an achievement, not. Let’s see, what has changed since then? Well…

“I am your father, Adam.” Yes, I finally can use that line from now on, when necessary. Meet Adam Encharang Bong Wei Keat. He was born on 24th August 2013. He is going to be 7-month old next week. Damn, time flies.

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I only get to see him every 2 months or so since I started working here in Kalimantan Tengah. I feel bad when I think about it. Hopefully this will not go like this for long. Dread to think that I will miss out all the good times with him.

I think I can now pass as a local when speaking on the phone but still too good looking in real life to be an Indonesian bwahahaha!. I kid. I kid. Life is pretty mundane here. Morning 7am to 12am, 2pm to 4pm go to work. Stay in office or go to site, walk around, pick up some calls. Don’t really screw people here to get things done, so being tactful when asking for anything is a must. And you wait. And wait. And repeat. And wait. ¬†Then after work go for a short run or pretend to do anything that can be considered as exercise. After dinner, movie time. Or reading some books. Or wasting time on Twitter, which I am very good at. Repeat from Monday to Saturday. Sunday if lazy stay in the room, watch movies, read books, on Twitter again. Or else go to Banjarmasin city, 3.5 hours away. Waste time at the only hypermall in town then back to the estate usually already 9-10pm local time. Repeat.

Work not really that much different from what I did in my previous workplace. I enjoy the work and the challenges. Sometimes a little frustrated when things not moving as fast as I want it to be. Was used to get things moving faster back home. Then again, I pretty much had the full authority running things back then. Here, there are more ladders to climb. There are still many more things to do, I think I will stay put for the time being. The perks are good.

Eh, why am I talking about work. I should talk about anything but work. I have good news, for myself. I am so much lighter now since I started running in November 2012, and pretty much maintain the current weight at 72-74kg for quite a while now. I was weighed 88kg when I started. I was running consistently every week when I was in Miri and Kuching and was so happy I could make it a habit. More so that I “suddenly’ got to know few friends who are into running as well. Every Saturday 5am we went for a long run. Lost the tempo a little after coming to Indonesia mostly due to boredom running alone. I am no Forrest Gump, man. And the Runkeeper also not working well here. Not sure why the GPS is not working, so I cannot track my run. I thought it was my phone, but I have changed few phones since I came here and still the problem persists. So I just do my 3km or so run every alternate evening. Longer on the weekend when I feel fat. I hope I can keep this habit for long.

I also wish to get back my writing habit. Nowadays writing in spurts on Twitter or Facebook status, making me lazy and dumb when it comes to writing. Things on Twitter also getting dull, people picking fights over the silliest thing. Politics is no longer ‘fresh’, especially when you understand that some things will not change, or it will take time to change. We are still not getting our basics right. Bickering for the sake of it, both the opposition and the establishment. I am especially disappointed with the opposition for sticking to the same old tune just like what its counterpart doing, so it is a never ending and long, boring tango. Well, disappointed with the opposition doesn’t make me a fan of the establishment either. I myself noticed that I have toned down my political craps, straying away from those serious discussions and sticking to hahaha stupid jibes and snarky sarcastic remarks for both sides of the divide. Same old faces, same old ways of doing thing it is just insane expecting different result out of it. Or, maybe I am just getting old. Pffft.

Till next post.

p/s: I hope they find the MH370 soon.

pp/s: Just how many of you still reading this blog?

Social media and shits.

1. As an active social media user, what do you think about the level of maturity among Malaysians and their usage of the social media?

I think we are still far from achieving maturity that we want, which is everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and we can talk about anything without feeling offended or taking it personal. Social media is still considered fairly a new thing for Malaysians, especially in the sense of using it to get their ideas, opinions however relevant or irrelevant out there.

It is a no different picture if we look at general Malaysians, those who don’t use social media. General Malaysians, when it comes to “sensitive” topics tend to behave immaturely, and we have plenty of examples of that. Social media is just a new communication tool, an extension of old media.

Another point is, it seems to many that Malaysians are immature on social media because of the raw, unfiltered, personal contents. We don’t “see” immature Malaysians on traditional media like TV, radio or paper because those contents have been filtered, edited and packaged to be suitable for general population. But, go to any coffee shop, listen to the conversations at mamak places, you’ll get similar picture that there are as many immature Malaysians on social media as outside of social media. It’s just that the focus is more on social media.

2. Do u think Malaysians get easily riled up over things on social media and react irrationally?

I think it has to do with the advantage (or disadvantage) of social media. Contents on social media change fluidly at a fast speed – real time. Immediately if you post anything controversial somebody will pick it up and share it or give his or her 2 cents. People react fast to anything and the ease of sharing the content to the world makes it appears that people are “easily riled up.”

And of course, you can be an anonymous, behind your pc or smartphone saying things without thinking of the consequences. Things happening too fast people may have no time or consider taking a pause to rethink what they going to share on social media. Anyone and everyone on social media can now have his or her say over anything and everything they read/watch on social and it amplifies the actual reactions that they have.

3. What are the personal cases that you have come across or know about involving Malaysians and posting irrational things? (Getting fired for bashing employers online, threats, etc)

Personal cases, no. I have ranted about my work but I did it carefully. There are many ways to send  messages, say your opinions without being too imposing and controversial.

But people may interpret it wrongly and make it personal so nothing you can do when that happens. Can’t please everyone. Can’t do shit if you start to worry about everything. *shrugs

Well, we have seen police reports being made, charges been applied to social media users over things they have shared. In the context of Malaysia, personally I think it is overblown and has became too political. A lot of things slowly become too sensitive to talk about. Is it irrational to talk about wastages or abuse of public money by say….. the royal families or certain influential politicians?

4. Why do you think Malaysians are so bold when it comes to posting their opinions online?

It is a freedom they long crave for. We don’t get that in traditional media – public tv, radio, newspapers. To me they are not bold. They are just saying what they want to say, but couldn’t do it before because no tool or channel for them to do so. Or it was too expensive and many red tapes for them to do that.

And on social media, they’re not being censored, filtered or edited by overzealous editors. Now, they have a medium to do so. So you get it as it is, real time.

Of course, I think it is also true that in the old days many outspoken Malaysians didn’t have the venue to express themselves, if they did they may end up in jail. Now they can, and we suddenly see “more” bold Malaysians online.

5. Any other comments?

Open up and encourage more discussions on social media. It is easy, cheap, fast and it has wide reach. Leaders of the communities and the country should take the lead in showing how it can be done. Lead by example. As more discussions going on, irrational things become more understood and Malaysians learn to know each other better.

This interview was supposedly for an article in a local newspaper in relation to some increasingly mean and meaningless things said on social media somewhere but I didn’t see it published yet. So I think it is okay for me to share it with my blog readers hehehehe..

A, B, C..

2nd trip back in Kalimantan. 1st trip in March was to survey the place and “sell” myself to my prospective employer. So I officially joined them on 12th June, last 2 weeks and hitting the ground running from the 1st day.

I was in KL until last Sunday. 2 busy weeks in KL. A lot of walking. (And eating hehehe). Met some old and new friends.

Then I flew down to Palangkaraya via Jakarta to do my work permit and visa. They called it “ITAS – Izin Tinggal Terbatas” here. Tried to get it done on Monday, couldn’t done it one day. I had to go to site for a site meeting on Tuesday, so got to leave for the site 250km away. That is about 4.5 hours journey. If fast.. 2.5-3 hours heh.

imageChairing the meeting in Bahasa Indonesia bit awkwqrd for me, end up using mixture of English and Bahasa Indonesia. Then got to write the minutes in Bahasa Indonesia. Thank Spaghetti Monster for Google Translate! Notulensi rapat bisa saya siapkan!

Today am back to Palangkaraya to collect my passport, ITAS, “buku rekod orang asing” and then report to POLDA (police station) to submit all my finger prints. Erk erk.

Oh yeah, am still getting used to the language. I can understand it, except when they talk too fast. But still need to remember the way they pronounce things here. A is Aaaa (like how you pronounce A in Abort), not Eyyy (A in Addict).. B is B in Bay sound (not the B in Bee).. Like… “Ade” (a colleague’s name) is pronounced “Aaaadey” not “Ey-der”. C is “Say”, not “See”. Lucky yours truly quite used to speak the Bahasa Melayu, Iban and bit of Sabahan hihihihihi.

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I think I will write more for this blog… as a way to record my another (mis)adventure… in the “jungle” :P I use the word “jungle” to desribe any place remote and far from….. hipsters population lah.

Ciao!

Najib’s cabinet. You loike?

My observations, comments and aspirations about Najib’s cabinet.
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1) Najib is again also the Finance Minister, taking a cue from Mahathir and Pak Lah. This is a very good strategy so that the PM can control the finance and be more accountable for the country’s financial matters. And nobody else more qualified to take up the post but the great Prime Ministers himself. With 8 ministers under his department, an additional of 3 more ministers compared to previous cabinet, Najib definitely will do wonders. Especially that he has not named the responsibilities of those ministers, meaning they probably will do everything under the sun, as the boss says. The department with the most number of ministers, surely going to be the most efficient one. 8 ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department, you no loike?

2) Hishammuddin Hussein is back and now as a Defence Minister and acting Transport Minister. Based on his great track record in his previous portfolios as Education Minister under Pak Lah and then as Home Minister under his cousin, we should expect only the best from him. His spot on analysis on ‘crime surge is just a perception’ and his unwavering focus on the approach of ‘managing public perception about crime instead of fighting crime’ was one of the most brilliant idea a Home Minister could come up with. After all, if public perception about crime can be managed, we should not worry about the crime itself.

He was right when he dismissed the Sulu invaders in Lahad Datu as bunch of old men having a picnic, because they left after they got bored and starved after running out of food supplies. Hishammuddin acting as Transport Minister is a genius idea, we looking forward to borrow some Hummers when we need it to solve the public transportation issue, while waiting for MCA to make up their mind about accepting any cabinet position or not.

3) Zahid Hamidi is now the Home Minister, exchanging his portfolio with Hishammuddin Hussein. His expertise at purchasing things at higher price than market price will be very useful when it comes to tackling crime, because with that logic he will also spend more efforts than necessary to get the job done. He was arrested under ISA before so he can appreciate the usefulness of ISA under its ‘new skin’ called Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012 and put it to good use when needed.

4) Muhyiddin Yassin is continuing as Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister. He will bring our education system to another level, no doubt. His accurate grading of Kedah’s state government performance before GE13 helped BN to win back the state, so he has good grasps of how important a good grading system is for our education system. Hopefully we will not be still talking about using English or Malay as medium for teaching Science and Mathematic. He has the great Idris Jusoh to help him with the portfolio. Idris Jusoh’s experience dealing with collapsed buildings will be put to good use to ensure our schools will not have similar problem in the future.

5) Ismail Sabri as the Agriculture and Agro-base Industry Minister and Douglas Uggah as the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister will be doing things that are uniquely different so that is why we need two ministries. This also applies to Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (Palanivel) and Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water (Maximus Ongkili).

6) Malaysians must be grateful for having Shabery Cheek as the Communications and Multimedia (previously Information, Culture & Heritage) Minister. His experience when he was with Information Ministry will be put to good use and not leaving Malaysians foaming at the mouth like what his predecessor Rais Yatim did. Oh yeah, Shabery also cheekily remarked that some “high paying Malay executives” were being ungrateful for not voting BN in GE13. I hope he will take this opportunity to make use of his ministry to knock some senses into these ungrateful “high paying Malay executives”.

7) Sarawak & Sabah now have a combined number of 13 ministers in the cabinet, thanks to its stellar performance in the GE13 that Najib has to reward them handsomely. Sarawak now has 8 cabinet ministers and some holding important portfolios covering women, family and community development, human resources, public works and rural development which the state will benefit greatly. Sarawak will be in the good hands of Rohani Karim (Women, Family and Community Development Minister), Richard Riot (Human Resources Minister), Fadillah Yusof (Minister of Works), Alexander Nanta Linggi (Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development). Let’s start on the construction of the 2,300km Pan Borneo Highway immediately!

8) The appointment of Paul Low, the president of Transparency International-Malaysia as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department is a sign that Najib is serious about combating corruptions and promoting transparency in the government. Now he can continue his unfinished work of convincing the government to fight and end corruption as it is more effective and proven to work when you… reform from within.

9) Great news to hear Abdul Rahman Dahlan being appointed as the Minister of “Urban Well-being”, Housing and Local Development. “Tanpa berbelit-belit dan membuang masa”, his ministry should start immediately on the construction of 1,000,000 affordable housing for Malaysians because it has to be completed in a short 5 years period. The Malaysian urbanites are counting on you to look for their well-being, so all the best brah!

10) Waythamoorty also appointed as a Deputy Minister, and this is in line with the Nambikei’s spirit by Najib. Nambikei! Nambike! Nambikei berjaya!

I cannot continue anymore… LOL.

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