Tuesday, September 25, 2007

idiot watch, episode 103258

This picture appeared in The Star's thumbnail section on 8th September. The thumbnail section is actually a section where people send in 'weird' or 'interesting' photos along with a caption and the photo of the day wins a cool RM50. Below this picture was the actual caption sent by the person who took the picture.

Highway to nowhere
Is this an abandoned project or an attempt to create the world’s shortest elevated highway? The unfinished project is located at the border of Pahang and Terrengganu along the East West Highway.

So what do you think?

I think, from people's reaction to weird stuff, you can tell a lot about the person. Here, I can categorise people into 3 distinctive groups. But before you read on, go back and have a look at the picture and do me a favour and formulate your own opinion, will you?



If you are someone who looked at the picture and the caption and then agreed with it, you belong in this first group. You probably also mumbled out "What a waste of the rakyat's money!" or "Abandoned project! Which corrupt minister pocketed all the money?" or "Cracked highway!". However, you forgot to say, "I am a fucking idiot" because that is what you are.

Chances are, in this online blogosphere world thingy, most of you belong in this group. You read something and you are prejudiced by whatever you want to make out of it. I specifically told you to look at the picture and formulate your own opinion, but unfortunately, you are too big an idiot to do that, so instead you latched on to another idiot's opinion and believed it immediately. You do nothing but moan about everything when in fact you know nuts.

However, if you belong to the second group, you're not too bad. You would have looked at the picture and thought, "Heh, this is weird...but surely there's an explaination. Wait, let me go ask somebody" That's fine. At least you have a positive outlook in life compared to the miserably depressed pessimists from Group One. You acknowledge your lack of knowledge (or brainpower) and you keep an open mind and try to get the answer from someone more knowledgeable. You realise that there are somethings beyond your understanding but that doesn't mean those things are automatically wrong. So, read more and open up to more possibilities and you might just learn something new everyday.

And then of course, if you saw the thing and thought, "Hey! I know what that thing was made like that!" then welcome to the third group. Like me, *ahem* you look at the picture and realise - shit, that's not an abandoned project. That's not a result of poor budgeting or horrible planning. In fact, that 'highway to nowhere' is actually an example of awesome planning and foresight!

As the idiot who sent in the photo so cleverly pointed out, it is a flyover OVER a highway. In the future (5, maybe even 10 years time) when you decide to develop the surrounding area and you need to build a road or bridge over it, you cannot afford to shut the whole highway for a few months while you build something over it, can you? Hence, anybody with a farsighted vision would have built the bridge together with the highway, thus eliminating that problem in the future. So in essense, the 'highway to nowhere' is actually a result of someone actually having the brains to look 10 years into the future, but it gets slagged off by idiots who lack similar brainpower.

So which group do you belong to then? Seriously, the problem with a lot of Malaysians is that they are not trained to formulate their own opinions and tend to follow the herd without a critical thought process. It does nothing for the country because they tend to moan and groan about everything without thinking for a second that there probably is a reason behind peculiarities. Time to change, people! You aren't always right (unless you are me) so shut your gob and go ask around before you rip into something you don't understand.

Learnt something new today, didn't you?

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Of course there's the ever elusive fourth group that go 'meh? wtf?' and just couldn't care less what the hell that damn thing is.

my first thought was that it was built for motorcyclists who has to stop to put their raincoats on on a rainy day.. no one had the same thought?

haha. I did thought it was an abandoned project.. then I thought.. it could be changed to a cool arch or painted to portray some kinda of arch thingies those states loves to do..

But it is weird for them to build just that and leave it.. but I hail from JB where there's a lot of abandoned or failed projects around. That.. do not faze me.


I looked at the photo and the first thought what crossed my mind was:

"I should buy that structure and rent it out as advertising space."

Which group do I belong to? LOL

By the way, a structure like that can pull up to $300k (guesstimate) per side per year, depending on traffic volume on that particular highway.


Are you confirming the purpose of the structure based on your professional judgement or based on enquiring with others?

The reason I ask is because it could be an abandoned project - or not...


jeevs, please do not question vincent. he is right. you are wrong.

keng: Yes, I totally forgot the other group of idiots with no curiosity.

TJ: And you would be sadly mistaken because at the moment that highway is drastically under utilised.

jeevs: Based on the fact that I am a bloody genius and hence, my judgment is always right. And also based on the fact that I am a bloody awesome engineer and would have done the same thing myself.


Anon: I'm so amazed by Vince getting it right all thr time, i wanna subscribe to his school of thought too...just getting some lessons.

Vince:But that differs from the main point, is it or is it not abandoned?

With all due respect to you genius and awesomeness, how do you substantiate your position and more importantly, what makes nothing otherwise?


You need a little more faith in the Boy Genius, lah.

Okay that place is literally my kampung. As you can (partially) see from the picture, there is NOTHING on either side. Nothing to link the bridge to. It's nothing but swamps.

You read the news about East Coast development plan, right? This is part of it. That highway will one day be as busy as the North South highway. It used to take people 5 hours to drive from KL to Kuantan.

Today it takes 3 hours. The portion you see there is the link between Kuantan and Kuala Terengganu. One day when the whole area is developed that flyover will link both sides of the highway. So like I said, you can't close a busy highway just to build an overhead flyover right?

Till then, wait for it la. And also you need to trust engineers when they tell you they know what they are doing.


and IF the highway doesn't materialise for some reason say related to terengganu falling back into the hands of PAS, then what happens to the little flyover? how much would you estimate was the cost of putting up that portion of the flyover? and how much do you think the goverment paid the contractor to do it? is it really worth the risk of wasting the peoples' money just to avoid mild inconvenience in a few years time? even the north south highway has been closed, 1 lane at a time of course, to put up flyovers.

perhaps this is just another way for unscrupulous engineers who try to make themselves out to be bloody awesome engineers to make some extra money.


Mild inconvenience, huh?

Like the 'mild inconvenience' hanging over the federal highway causing that extra traffic jam near the clock tower??

This is the typical Malaysian behaviour. When things are not done properly or planned correct, people bitch about it. But when it is done properly, people still find excuses to bitch (usually political excuses).

This isn't a politics, you fucking moron. This is simply engineers and town planners doing their freaking job right.


if the government is 100% sure that the flyover will be necessary, then by all means, go ahead. but as you said, both sides of the highway are swamp land, and as such, it is unlikely that they are 100% sure. anything less than 100% certainty will be an unjustified risk to take with taxpayers' money.

YOU fucking moron, i know this isn't "a politics". my question was, what happens if terengganu falls back into PAS's hands? i think the likelihood of that flyover being needed in those circumstances decrease substantially. and then what happens? we let tigerjoe put up a signboard there?

also, you failed to respond to my question on the estimated cost of putting up something like that? do you not know mr. bloody awesome engineer?


How the fuck would I know how much it costs? And how the fuck should I know if anything is 100% sure? Since when is any project undertaken by anybody, anywhere in the world 100% sure??!

Swamps? So what? You can build on swamps too, you know. 15 years ago Sunway was an abandoned mining pond that nobody wanted. See what it is today?

And who cares if it falls in to PAS hands? Terengganu has been, and is still going to be Malaysia's cash cow from all that oil and gas. If you want investors to come in, obviously the roads have to be up first.

All I am saying is when people have the vision to plan ahead, and when you have the intellectual power of an amoeba, you should just shut the fuck up and let people do their job.


i didn't ask you how much it costs, i asked for a rough estimate.

further, i stated that if the GOVERNMENT is 100% sure, then they should go ahead. i didn't ask you whether YOU know it is 100% sure, i merely stated that the government cannot be 100% sure. we are talking about calculated risks my dear genius engineer. a dumb engineer who mistakenly believes he is a genius will take uncalculated risks for the purposes of showing off his foresight.

probabilities and calculated risks are what i am talking about. perhaps engineers aren't trained to think of other circumstances, and instead have one-track minds. or maybe it's just you. i have a sneaky feeling it's the latter.

also, your sunway example is totally irrelevant. sunway is 20 minutes from kl, and terengganu is 6 hours away. the fact that sane people are moving further and further away from places like terengganu etc and moving to kl suggests that more land is needed here, and less there. this also serves to prove the drop in the likelihood of the bridge to nowhere ever being utilised.

and what about our depleting petroleum in terengganu? what happens when it runs dry? are you going to recommend the refinery be turned into a petroleum museum, and as such the roads will still be heavily utilised (as many people are exteremly interested in petrol)?

and what investors are going in to terengganu? doesn't petronas own all the rights to the petrol here? (THIS i am unsure of)


In 10 years time, you cant estimate how much the vehicles would weigh, you cant estimate if structures would still be using the same materials, you cant estimate how the technology would differ. Most important of all, it wouldn't even be the same engineer/constructor building it in ten years time.

Hence the idea would be different and that piece of extra bridge would cause problems for the future engineer's plans. You cant just combine structures like lego. Excavation on the swamp in the future might weaken the soil and cause the bridge to collapse.

So what's the point of wasting so much money when there's so much uncertainty?


okay 2nd anonymous is just talking crap.

-1st anonymous-


Look, moron. I made it a point to try to educate idiots, but that doesn't mean I don't give up. Some people (like you) are too fucking stupid for me to help.

So here, listen up!

Every fucking thing is uncertain. If you are only going to build things when you are 100% certain then don't bother building things at all. Why build a house now? Hey, it might be cheaper in 10 years time you know!

This is where you urbanites are so full of yourself it's not even funny. This country doesn't orbit around KL you know. There is need for development elsewhere moron. And before you can have development, you need roads to attract investors. You mentioned that Terengganu is 6 hours away. It isn't you moron. You can get to Kemaman from KL in under 4 hours. Thank God morons like you aren't in the government. So you propose to just develop KL and ignore the rest of the country?! And if you are going to do everything in the fear that petroleum is going to dry up tomorrow, again, let's not build anything shall we? Let's close all the oil companies and go back to the stoneage.

Seriously dude. Go back to school and learn some stuff, aite? Stop talking about shit which you are clueless about. Take a drive to the East Coast. The petroleum industry doesn't just revolve around Petronas you know. There are loads of oil and gas companies in Malaysia and a good number of them are foreign. Perhaps you are also unaware of petrochemical plants?

Aiyah, my fingers are tired. Go and educate yourself with Google or something.


okay dumb shit, here comes the distinction, if i choose to build a house with MY money, i can spend whatever the fuck amount i want to, because it is MINE, and i can take whatever the fuck risk i want, because it is MINE. i view the government as a trustee of our taxpayers money, and as such, they are under a duty to act responsibly. hence the level of certainty. dumb shit.

and yes, roads do attract investors, you are right. look at putrajaya. now that was a really good investment. another piece of evidence that vincent has MCA aspirations. build build build.

i do not propose to develop kl and not the rest of the country, but we should develop it at a pace that matches the potential of that particular place, mr MCA. you cant be putting up skyscrapers in kelantan and justifying it by saying that "we have to develop the rest of the country". at the end of the day, it has to be justified.

4 hours, 6 hours, doesn't it all depend on traffic and speed? MORON.

petrowhatical plants? what the hell is that? please teach me, moron.


I always find it amusing that people never fail to say, "Government is using our taxpayer's money" or "Rakyat's money" but then complain when the money for the "rakyat" is then used to build up underdeveloped areas. Sure, Putrajaya is under-utilised now. But do you have a crystal ball? What's going to happen in 10-15 years time?

Seriously man, why do you say 'rakyat' when you actually mean 'ME' ??

I give up. People like you are impossible to educate when your only objective in an argument is your own political agenda.


how about doing something for the people in underdeveloped areas whereby the people in power will not be in a position to benefit from it? how about doing something a with a little more immediate effect? how about lifting them out of poverty and then only worrying about the distant future? how about making sure they have enough to eat today, instead of worrying about 10 years time?

once they are no longer living in poverty, then we shall move on planning for the future.

i have no political agenda but it seems that you have one.

i don't even vote because i feel that 99% of our politicians are not worth voting for. to me voting is choosing the candidate who you believe in, but in malaysia, voting is choosing the lesser of the 2 evils.


Doesn't eradication of poverty come with development of the area?

How do you plan to eradicate poverty? By giving the kampung folk RM1000 a month?!?

"Give me a fish, I eat for a day. Teach me to fish, I eat for a lifetime."

Surely anybody with the slightest bit of cow sense knows that in order to develop people, you need to start new industries in that area to create jobs for the people. And how do you create jobs if not for developing the area? You are an idiot if you think poverty can be eradicated in 1 or 2 years - or even 5 years. These things are a process, and the steps taken are correct.

Perhaps you should go back to school and study Social Science 101. But before you do that, perhaps you would like to read the post before this.

Btw, you fit under the category of 'moronic opposition'.


but as you, aid, the road will probably NOT be of any use in the near future.

what could be done is to develop areas that have potential NOW, and not in a few years. things have to be done now, vincent. you cannot behave like a government servant and keep putting things off.

you are right. there is a process. one must learn to crawl before he can run. on the same token, we should be focussing on the smaller and simpler things first or else we risk having many white elephants all over the country. only once the economy is up to a certain standard can we start thinking of bigger projects.

and by the way, the words "moron", "idiot" and "cow sense" do nothing to enhance your argument.


Now see, you're talking out of your butt again.

Of course things have to be done NOW. We should be a developed country NOW. And eradicate poverty NOW. Just blink your eyes and these things are done.

But that's not how things work, MORON. Things like this don't happen instantly. It takes planning, over a long period of time. Hence, my whole point all over again. Road first. Investors come in, then you have industries, then you can build more roads.

There comes a time when I just give up educating fools, and when people don't want to learn, the only thing I can do is wave my hand and go "Bah!"

So here I go.



yes, build roads NOW, but the roads will only be used in 5 to 10 years time, so the investors will only come in 5 to 10 years time. so for the next 5 to 10 years we tell the poor folk to sit and be patient because the INVESTORS ARE COMING????

i agreed with you that it does not happen instantly, and i agreed with you that we have to take it 1 step at a time. all i said is that your 1st step is not suitable taking into account the current infrastructure and economic status in that particular area.

when i say things have to be done NOW, i did not say that tomorrow there must not be any more poor people in the country, i am saying that we must start taking the CORRECT steps towards eradicating it NOW. we cannot take steps that only start to move into action in 5 years time. we need to take steps that start the gears moving NOW, so that we can see results sooner. somehow you fail to understand simple concepts, and yet you can brag about being a genius. if you understood my argument but disagreed, i would still respect you. but unfortunately, you are just too full of propaganda.


anonymous .. can you tell what is CORRECT steps towards eradicating it(poverty) NOW?


Why the fuck are you repeating everything you said over and over again? Are you in-built with a broken tape recorder? I've answered your dumb opinions, you've agreed with them, and then you go back and repeat it from the start again. What the hell is wrong with you?!?

Okay look.

Earning the respect of a fucking moron isn't exactly top of my priorities.

However, educating your type (idiots, I mean) is quite high up my priority list. Not the top though, so there comes a time when I just give up and let the recalcitrant ones fester in their own filth of stupidity.


i am repeating myself, because the answers you are giving to my arguments are irrelevant and/or off point. logically, this leads me to believe that you have failed to fully understand and appreciate the argument, which once again leads me to believe that you are of lesser intelligence than you claim.

i agreed with certain points you made, but not the conclusions you drew from them. once again, your failure to understand something slightly deeper than a puddle puzzles me.

john doe, if i knew that, i would be travelling around spreading the word man, but i don't. however, i can tell you what is NOT correct, as in some cases it is painfully obvious that only certain bloggers (and unidentifiable commentators) will somehow miss it.


Uh, yeah. Okay. Repeat everything I just said - only in a longer version. Way to go man.

this vincent damn talk cock man. cannot win say cannot win lah. where got repeat? stupid fuck. dare to say moron when you yourself are the moron.

Win? You won a prize or something?

Vince, obviously u met someone of higher intelligence, u've lost in this argument/debate fair and square (or should i say totally), so just shut your hole up and move on

here's the score:
anonymous 1, vince 0

*Obviously you have problem understanding a piece from someone smarter than you, and u're starting to act like a 4-year-old with a mentality, "i don't care, u lose, u lose... (and starts being ignorant)"



I conceded an argument to a moron! THE SHAME!


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