Tuesday, July 15, 2008

who won?

Big debate. Historic, some may say.

Who won? Is it not clear already? Your perception of who won really depends on your political affiliation, doesn't it? The blogs on Petaling Street have gone on the offensive, critisizing Ahmad Shabery's personal attacks and his foaming mouth. However, those blokes on Bernama TV have been tearing into Anwar Ibrahim saying his proposals have been very vague and not as detailed as he promised. Even I can't call myself a fair judge on this simply because I cannot accept the notion of a reduction in subsidy.

However, some very relevant thoughts and facts, with a forward apology if I misquote any one of them:

1) Saying you won't engage somebody in a personal attack and then calling him Tokoh Semangat 46 at the end of your sentence is like saying, "I won't resort to personal attacks, you moron"

2) It is easy to say that you are going to reduce reserve capacity from 40% to 20%. Good on you, mate. HOW?!? The curse of the IPPs already exist and their contracts would run for another 7 or 8 years. Are you going to force them to renegotiate their contracts? What message does this send to foreign investors or future investors? That you can sign a contract today and it will be worthless tomorrow with a new government in place?

On that same point, when Ahmad Shabery pointed out that the curse of the IPPs was during Anwar's tenure as Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar then pushed the blame to Mahathir saying that nobody agreed with it, which was why the then Ani Arope resigned as TNB's head honcho. If Anwar did not agree with it back then, then similarly he should have resigned along with Ani Arope!

3) I know this point was brought up, but I have to mention it here again because that was the first thing that popped into my mind when Anwar said that he proposes a 50 sen reduction. Didn't he say BEFORE the elections that if he won, he would reduce the price of petrol from RM1.92? Why is it that 4 months later, he now proposes RM2.20 - a good 40 sen or 50 sen more than his original proposal? Is that not a consession that the earlier subsidy proposal does not hold water?

4) Anwar Ibrahim claimed that he never asked us to compare our petrol prices with Venezuela. Well, he didn't but his wife did. The day the government announced the petrol hike, his wife, the Opposition leader called a press conference telling us that the price of petrol in Venezuela was 16 sen per litre. They even issued out a table (if you have been on the Internet, I am sure you have seen it) comparing our petrol price with places like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

5) What the are you going on and on about how your BN/UMNO thingamajig is the reason behind Petronas' success? Was Ahmad Shabery confused over the debate topic? Attacking Anwar Ibrahim was relevant (sort of) because he meant to say, look you won't be able to reduce the fuel price tomorrow if you took over today since you could do all that in the past. Fine. But what does that have to do with BN/UMNO? Nothing. Stick to the topic mate.

At the end of the day, the debate only works if either party managed to convince a disbeliever. I don't think either of them suceeded in doing so.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

random blog stuff

Last week, I received a mail from a representative of a local newspaper saying that they wanted to feature my blog. That article would feature me, and me alone. Two years ago, I would have jumped at the opportunity.

These days, however, I wonder why people still want to read this dosh. Yes, once upon a time I used to be femes and shit. I used to get an average 400 hits a day! I don't know what the going average is these days, but back then it was semi-huge. These days, blogs aren't really my thing anymore. Back then most people blogged because it was cool to be famous, even if it was just being famous on the Internet. These days, blogs have evolved into one of two things - you are either using it as a money making tool or a platform to spew your political agenda, or worse, both.

These days, thanks to Nuffnang and Adverlets, a typical blog looks like this:

*picture stolen from Karcy

This blog started off as a ranting tool, hence the less than savoury name. As it got more popular, it became more provocative, sometimes on purpose, sometimes because that was what I genuienely felt. These days, it is more pretentious in its purpose. I somehow feel the need to write the wrongs out there. I sometimes feel the need to correct misperceptions of certain issues.

I have been thinking a lot about how the last few posts I wrote about the fuel hike would have been more effective if I had a bigger audience, and hence would be able to influence more people, but then I realised that I still prefer my semi-anonymous identity. I like that nobody from work knows about this (I HOPE!) and intend to keep it that way.

Which is why I told that newspaper reporter that I would pass on the offer to do a feature article on this blog....

Oh, and some n00b on someblog somewhere was talking about blogger meets. HAHA! Never been for one, never intend to. I think I am still the atas blogger from before, because somethings will never change.


Friday, July 04, 2008

don corleone

The first proper novel I bought was Mario Puzo's The Godfather. I was in Form 5 and this chick told me that it was her favourite book. And when you are 16, it is compulsory to like the same books and movies that your crush (or girlfriend, or whatever) likes.

But she was right, because till today, it remains my all time favourite book. I have lost count the number of times I have re-read it and re-watched the movie trilogy. I have always maintained that anybody who has not read the book or at least watched the movie ought to be shot.

Anyway, in the book, when the ailing mafia Godfather Vito Corleone hands over command to his youngest son Michael, there is much surprise and dissension among the caporegimes (captains).

He does things that make no sense to his family and the capos . He allows the rival gangs to encroach on his territory and then orders his people not to fight back. When he interrogated a guy he was about to have killed to confirm his guilt, his gang took it as a sign of weakness, since they are the mafia and there should be no questions asked. His men address him by his first name, Michael - indication that they have no respect for his leadership.

His perceived weakness and incompetence led to an outright betrayal by one of his capos who plotted to have him assassinated. But out of the blue, in one swift move, he launched an operation to take out all his enemies and conspirators. In one day, he crippled the operations of all the rival gangs and managed to gain control of organised crime in New York. By sitting quietly and acting like an idiot, he allowed his enemies to be complacent and he managed to weed out the traitor in his family.

This is where I come to the final scene of The Godfather movie, where his men realise that he is a genius after all, and they line up to pledge allegience. He stands there like a Greek God presiding over his worshipers lining up to pay homage. The most senior capo bows, kisses his hand and calls him Don Corleone - the ultimate sign of respect.

The ultimate question over the last few days is...

Is our head honcho a genius like Michael Corleone who sits quietly and allows his enemies to take each other out, or is he really a lame duck?

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