Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lost The Battle, Win The War

After 14 years of hurt, Malaysian national football finally have achieved one of the silverwares (although it does not look silver!) which have eluded us since we were beaten by Thailand in the1996. final . Last night we won the ASEAN Football Federation Cup or better known as Suzuki Cup after a quite thrilling game in Jakarta. Although we lost 2-1 in that game, we actually won 4-2 on aggregate. We did not even get the match to be stopped because of that naughty laser ray early in the first half. Once Safee Sali scored, I know that we already have the trophy in one hand, as the Indonesians would now have to score five to win. Possible, but highly unlikely.

Congratulations to all who make the dream possible, although I have to single out  the goalkeeper, Khairul Fahmi as my choice of the Man Of The Match. Let this victory be our second (the first was the gold medal at the last SEA Games) stepping stone to achieve the position we once had. Just do not get carried away with all the adulations, rewards and congratulations. Winning the Asian Cup next might probably be asking too much but getting a good run (to me that means the semi-final stage) in whatever competition they take part would be fine, just try to build on last night's win first.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Moon Landings? Impossible!!

There is a thread in Cari Forum discussing whether Man, specifically from United States had landed on the moon in July 1969. Even though 40 years have passed the debate rages on with roughly 6% to 25% of respondents did not believe the achievement. The proponents of the moon landing hoax cites numerous 'errors' and 'evidences' that the Apollo programme took place on Earth - from lack of stars in the photos to more complex issues such as penetrating the Van Allen Belt and the composition of the moon rocks brought back by the astronauts. Funnily enough, only  a few of the proponents are, so to speak, rocket scientists. The rest consists of a publicist (even though he worked for the company which manufactured the rocket engines), journalists and radio hosts.

I have engaged quite furiously in the debates, taking the general view that the moon landings did happen from 1969 to 1972. Lots have been written both for and against the issue and I would not repeat them here. However, at your Average Joe level, I can safely say that the allegations that the moon landings were faked are busted. My stand was based on these factors:

1. The Soviets will raise pure hell when they realize that they have been beaten in the Space Race through devious means. Coupled with failure of their own moon programme, they would viciously condemn the United States' fake landings. Remember, this the Cold War period. One of the conspiracy theorists alleged that the Soviets lacked deep space tracking capability until 1972, when the Apollo program was abruptly cancelled. However the Soviets had already have such facility in 1959! Further tracking stations were set up in 1962, 7 years before Apollo 11.

2. Conspiracy can only work if the ring is small, to avoid leaks. It was estimated that 400,000 people were involved in the Apollo programme. A typical conspiracy theorist would say that these people would be paid money to silence them. But, just how unlikely a chance that at least one of them would develop conscience and spill the beans? Furthermore, the United States government can't even stop the Watergate scandal (which took place in just one office block) from breaking out in the open. What chance do they have to stop somebody from exposing a complex conspiracy?

3. The lack of stars in the photos. For crying out loud man, the photos are all taken in daylight, with the cameras all in 'daylight' setting. Have you ever seen stars during the day? Even at dusk and dawn, only the brightest of the stars can be seen. I have mentioned this simple fact but the idiot who supported the landing hoax said something about Earth's atmosphere blocking the lights which is complete rubbish as the atmosphere is also present at night!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Return Of The Tigers

After being in the doldrums for years, the Malaysian national football team has come back with a convincing 3-0 win over Indonesia in the first leg of the ASEAN Football federation Cup (Suzuki Cup) Final. Congratulations! Now let's pray that the players keep their head and are not overawed by the hostile (I can be sure of that) reception at Jakarta.

However last night's game was marred by the laser-pointer incident against the Indonesian goalkeeper. Yes it's a disgrace to our supporters but does not contribute to the 3-0 drubbing, as alleged by their supporters. Their coach blamed the lapse of concentration by their defence which allowed the goals, which makes sense, as the goals came long after the incident. However, visits to Indonesian forums show that their suopporters still blame the lasers and that they vow to avenge the incident in Jakarta. Suit themselves it was they who originally shone the laser against the Malaysian goalkeeper during the Group Stage match! 

What makes it even more ridiculous was that an Indonesian forumner put up an alleged photo of the laser-pointer incident last night. I have no idea that Malaysian supporters would come out to support their team in jubah and keffiyeh! That photo was actually of a similar incident during the Argentina vs Nigeria game in last summer's World Cup!

One of the Garuda's wings have been let's make sure it couldn't fly!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

CSI Effect?

Recently I managed to watch a re-run of a local chat show 'Fenomena Seni' which discusses issues in the local entertainment industry. The theme for that particular episode was Gangsterism in Movies and you guess it, it's about that age-old issue whether life imitates art, in this case violence and acts of gangterisme. However, I took particular notice when one of the guests, Ahmad Ibrahim, popularly known as Mat London said that certain television programmes DO contribute towards the real world's crime rate. He particularly said that the popular Crime Scene Investigation series 'teaches' criminals on how to conceal or destroy evidence and urges the Government to ban the series in Malaysia!

Okay, I may be biased here since I am a fan of the series (and its spin-offs; CSI:NY and CSI: Miami). To a certain extent I do agree with him and that studies in United States showed that between 2000 (the year CSI debuted) and 2005, successful resolution of rape cases had declined from 46.9% to 41.3%. This was alleged to be the result of the so-called CSI Effect where the shows explain in detail how do they manage to uncover the forensic evidence, which in turn can be used as a 'guideline' by the criminals to hide or destroy evidence. This sentiment was also voiced much earlier by a senior police official (I can't remember who was it; it's either the IGP or the head of CID)

Perhaps that is true, especially when we take into account the Morib murders where the bodies of the victims were cremated in order to destroy the evidence...but then the mastermind is a lawyer who knows that the first rule before slapping a murder accusation is the victim's body....
Anyway, even though the show is seen to be showing ways to avoid indictment, to me it's always about 'Crime Doesn't Pay'. No matter how the perpetrators try to hide the evidence of their crime, the CSI team always (Ok, sometimes they can't...just like real life) get their cases solved. Furthermore in real life, most crimes committed are actually impulse crimes - crimes that were commited in the heat of the moment, rather than thoroughly planned in advance. Furthermore, an investigator in the United States stated that the most of the killings that she investigated are committed by "mostly stupid people"!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Maneater Horror at Karak!

Ever heard of this story?

Late one night around early 80s, a couple was traveling on the Karak Highway. Just after the tunnel (heading east) the husband wanted to urinate and/or answering the call of nature and stopped at the roadside. As there were few vehicles at that time of night, the husband asked his wife to stay in the car, lock the doors and not to open them unless he rapped on the window in a particular style. After some time, the wife heard something heavy slamming onto the car' roof. She did not take notice about it, after all, her husband asked not to get out of the car. Not long afterward, she noticed the the rotating lights of a police patrol car behind hers. She heard the policeman asked her (through the loudspeaker) to come out of the car and move towards them. They also ordered her not to look behind. This she did, however, at the last moment she turned around....and saw the bloody, mangled and headless body of her husband on the car roof.....

Horrific isn't it? There are additional details to the story such as the policemen saw what had 'eaten' the unfortunate victim (described as a huge Bat-like creature) and that they managed to fire a couple of shots at the creature. The creature was also variously described as a pontianak, langsuir, a Big Foot-like creature or even a leopard or a tiger. The question is, was it the truth?

I have heard the story ever since I was a kid and somehow this tory is still around. However I have begun to suspect that it is just another urban legend. The reason? First there is no consistency in the story itself. It was variously said to have taken place at the Karak Highway, the old Bentong road, the Genting road and even the Gua Musang-Kuala Lipis road. The other reason is that...the wife or the policemen were never tracked down. Even the policemen characters in this story was sometimes substituted with soldiers or even TNB workers! There is also a major inconsistency in that, in some versions, the policemen loosed a few shots at the creature...with the woman seemingly did not hear the gunshots! However there are people who believed the story and gave their opinion on what the creature actually were. The story was believable enough then since Karak highway went through thick jungles with little or no traffic at night. However the story even got 'updated' as recently as 2005!

In a local forum, one of the forumners told of the event that had gave birth to the urban legend. Even though it still has to be treated with a grain of salt, this was the most believable 'actual' story.....In the 1970s, one of the forumner's uncle was serving as a police constable in Perak. One night he received a call about a fatal road accident in a remote road. By the time he arrived, there were already spectators surrounding the scene (it's all the same, whether the 1970s or 2010!). So he set up a parameter, cordoning off the immediate area. He and his colleagues tried to persuade the victim's wife to come out of the car but she refused - telling the policemen that her husband had ordered her to stay in the car until he himself do so. From what the police can gather, the husband was a victim of a hit-and-run accident while trying to cross the road. Since it was a hit-and-run, there was actually no clear evidence (to laymen) and furthermore, no other witnesses (since the wife was presumably asleep). Of course the wife was asked not to turn back since the condition of her husband's body was too gruesome to look at. And since she did so, well, who's not hysterical when one saw one's loved one in that condition?

However the following morning, when he was having his breakfast at the local coffee shop, the police constable overheard the locals talked about that incident, This time however the tale included how a witness 'saw' a mysterious creature grabbed the dead body and banged it against the car's roof in order to entice its another 'victim' to come out.....while others talked about jembalangs, langsuirs and pontianaks! And so the story acquire life of its own until now.....

So that's a typical hit-and-run road accident was turned into a mysterious, even mystical cause of death!

Monday, December 13, 2010

'Potong Queue'

Petang tadi aku bawak mak aku pergi bandar, nak selesaikan bil-bil dengan nak beli barang-barang. Macam aku pernah cerita (agaknya) dalam entry sebelum-sebelum ni, bandar Batu Pahat ni dah sesak. Jadi kat simpang Jalan Bakau Condong tu mak suruh aku ikut lane kiri untuk ke hadapan barisan kenderaan yang nak ke Jalan Zabedah - kira aku potong barisan/queue la....

Sementara menunggu lampu hijau mak aku kata, "kita potong queue ni kira salah kan?" Aku kata "Ye la kot". Mak aku sambung lagi, "Kereta-kereta lain tu mesti berbulu je tengok kita potong queue"....Aku sengih aje. Lepas tu mak cakap lagi "Agaknya satu tempat aje masa queue orang tak mau potong...kalau diberi peluang pun mesti takde siapa yang nak". Aku tanya balik, "kat mana tu Mama?" Mak jawab sambil ketawa "kat PADANG MAHSYAR!"


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Malaysia...Another Freemason Conspiracy?

Actually this is news to me. Apparently in 1937 the name 'Malaysia' was coined by a Harvard scholar guess it, Masonic ties. It was all part of their grand plan to rule the world and the nation that will be known as Malaysia then, plays a significant role. Also in 1943, that year's copy of Ripley's Believe It Or Not also includes the term 'Malaysia'. So apparently the late Tunku Abdul Rahman was not actually the first person who coined the term 'Malaysia' when he proposed the union between Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, Sarawak and North Borneo in the early 1960s.

Ohhh scary isn't it? Our country is really part of the evil Masons' plan and that all our leaders, even those from the Opposition are Masonic puppets! Now...I actually agree with the idea that Tunku was not the first person to coin the name Malaysia. But just that! Why? My reasoning is simply this: the word 'Malaysia' is just another name for the Malay Archipelago. For hundreds of years has the region encompassing Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei has been known as such. Language experts could probably help me here but I guess the word 'sia' is used to identify large groupings of islands that share the same cultural and ethnical background. Check the Pacific islands of Micronesia, Polynesia and Micronesia...or for that matter, Indonesia! Even though rarely used, the word 'Malaysia' used pre-1963 merely means just that....Malay islands....and not some slinky, Michiavellian Masonic plot!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

"Ballad Of The Construction Workers"

In 1981, when composers M. Nasir, A. Ali and S. Sahlan (as music act Kembara) released their debut album, one song (apart from the usual 'killer songs') catches the attention of one particular 9-year old kid, perhaps because of the harmonious vocals and the ballad theme. The song was entitled Senandung Buruh Kasar (Ballad Of The Construction Workers) and it goes like this:

Lihatlah bangunan yang tinggi mengawan
Menghiasi kotaraya
Menjadi kemegahan dari zaman ke zaman
Kejayaan negara

Pandanglah aku yang bermandi keringat
Di bawah terik mentari
Bekerja dengan menghempas tulang
Mencari nafkah sehari

Aku hanyalah seorang buruh kasar
Di tengah kota besar turut merasa bangga
Kerna telah berjasa

Kerna tanpa kami tak mungkin terlaksana
Sebuah kota yang menjadi
Impian sezaman

Cukup hidup sederhana
Sedang bekerja, haaaa.....
Bisa bernyanyi ketawa dan bersenda

The song basically reminds us, the public, that we should remember 'them' (the construction workers) whenever we look at the skyscrapers around us. And we are reminded that without them, there won't be much development in the cities. They are also content with their simple life.

The song fade away from my memory with the coming of rock and heavy metal but was refreshed when it got airplay since a few months ago. However, I remarked to my wife that should Kembara hold a reunion concert, they might possibly have to sing that song in Indonesian, Bangladeshi, Burmese or Vietnamese accent, just to keep up with the times!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Magnetic Bracelets : It Really Works!!

I am very skeptical of the magnetic bracelets which was touted as an almost 'cure-all' solution to our health problems. However, after reading these peoples' testimonies, I think I want to give it a try! Let's see what did they say

Testimony No.1
"Dear (name withheld)
Previously I suffered from terrible pain as a result of being incarcerated in prison camps and being treated as a non-human. But after wearing your bracelet, I can levitate myself and other objects up to the size of a ship, erect force fields, generate EMPs and can even manipulate non-metallic objects!

I wish I found about your product sooner...."

Mr. Max Eisenhardt @ Erik Landsherr

Testimony No.2
"Dear (name withheld)
I was having problems working at the collective farm - I suffered from back pain and constant sprained wrists. Since wearing your magnetic bracelet, the pains has disappeared. I also gained greater strength and sometimes not even needing food, water or oxygen!"

Piotr Nikolayevich Rasputin

Testimony No.3
"Dear (name withheld)
I have been using your bracelet for a couple of years now after I have suffered a severe bone-related problems. Now my injuries take the barest of time to recover and my stamina is wayyy greater than my colleagues. Thank you very much!!"

James Howlett@Logan

Testimony No.4
"Dear (Name withheld)
I was one of the earliest buyers of your bracelets and I won't ever use anything else! Your bracelets not only help me have better strength and agility but they have also literally saved my life!!!"

Diana Prince

Yes, I am taking the mick. And in case you're wondering who those people are, they are respectively Magneto, Colossus, Wolverine and Wonder Woman!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fact Or Myth : Adults Only!

Ok, first of, log off. Adults, carry on! Even though the title mentioned adults only, what I'm writing here is the stuff you can find in men's and women's magazines..not to mention the weekly article in Metro Ahad by Dr Ismail Thamby.

Now, some people (OK, men) are obsessed with their libido and performance in bed. While true ED (erectile dysfunction) is a concern, many others are concerned with whether their, uh, male reproductive organ is 'strong' enough. I recently came across an online article about whether your male reproductive organ is 'strong' and 'healthy'. The article stated that a strong male reproductive organ is one which has an upward angle when erect; when peeing, the urine has strong flow and that the urine is frothy (the frothier the better). Furthermore, another sign that the male reproductive organ is 'weak' is that the person frequently urinates, especially at night. So gentlemen, if your male reprodcutive organ has an upward angle when erect, your urine gushes out and frothy and that if you did not pee frequently then you are sexually 'strong' and 'healthy'. Or was it? That's what happened when old wives' tales gets in the way of scientific facts.

In the book Gray's Anatomy For Students, the writers pointed out that while 75% of test subjects DO have erection of 90 degrees or more (that is, from straight forward to straight up), they did not mention that that is a sign of greater 'strength' - it was merely angles. As for the 'frothy' urine, the frothier it is does not mean you're sexually 'stronger' but it may be a symptom of proteinuria (excess of protein in urine) which in turn caused by a more serious and potentially lethal problem - kidney damage.

As for 'frequent urination especially at night' is not really a sign of sexual 'weakness'; indirectly it is. Frequent urination is a sign of diabetis and that diabetis can lead to erectile dysfunction! So gentlemen remember that the overall health of your body is waayyy more important than that one particular part of your anatomy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pra dan Pasca 18 November 2010 (Hehehe)

Pra 18 November 2010

Mula-mulanya si newbie dalam industri filem ni kata dia nak buat filem yang berpaksikan kehidupan masa kini dan akibatnya selepas kematian si pendosa. Dia beranggapan filemnya amat hebat yang mampu mengangkat martabat filem negara serta kegemilangan filem Melayu yang hilang sejak Studio Jalan Ampas ditutup. Juga sebab kehebatan filem dia maka dia berani sasarkan kutipan box-office yang mulanya RM12 juta, kemudiannya RM20 juta, lepas tu RM40 juta dan akhirnya ditambah 'atau lebih'. Filemnya pula dikatakan membuat penonton takut tanpa hantu, menangis tanpa kata-kata dan akibat menonton filemnya pula penonton akan meraung-meraung, pengsan dan mungkin terpaksa dipapah keluar panggung! Katanya lagi ramai yang dah demam-demam, menggigil-gigil sebab tunggu filem ni ditayangkan...punya la hebat ayat-ayat promosi...tapi ye la kan, dia sendiri jual ubat!

Juga katanya pawagam semua dah bersetuju nak tayang filem 2 Alam sahaja dan semua filem-filem Barat lain dihentikan tayangan bagi memberi laluan... Jadi dicanangkan lagi '85 pawagam, 700 skrin akan menyangkan dua alam!' Juga katanya ini cacat sejarah sejarah sebab 85 panggung akan tayangkan! (Padahal mmg syarat wajib tayang FINAS, semua panggung berdaftar wajib tayang....masa sebelum 2 Alam mungkin ada 70 panggung aje....kang tahun-tahun depan naik pulak 100 panggung bila-bila shopping complex baru siap....)

Langit Tak Selalu Cerah (Pratonton 21 Oktober 2010)
Filem ini akhirnya ditayangkan kepada peserta dan media yang berada di Festival Filem Malaysia ke-23. Kahabarnya pas masuk untuk filem 2 Alam ni habis lebih awal daripada filem-filem lain. Si Penerbit pun dengan seronoknya tulis 'Ini bukti kehebatan filem 2 Alam!' dan juga berkat kehebatan promo dia.....tapi bila khalayak yang hadir keluar....rata-rata memberi komen negatif. Komen utama ialah terlalu banyak adegan ranjang dan seks dan menyimpang dari tujuan asal filem untuk 'berdakwah'; lain-lain ulasan menyebut yang filem tersebut hanya setaraf telefilem (malah ada yang kata telefilem berkonsep serupa lebih baik dari filem ini!), juga ada yang kata filem ni bukan mengembalikan martabat filem Melayu tapi makin memusnahkan! Ditambah pula dengan jalan cerita yang tak teratur. Tapi Si Penerbit tetap tak mau mengalah malah mengatakan yang wartawan hiburan 'tiada mentaliti perjuangan' , 'dangkal fikiran' dan dengan nada agak bongkak berkata 'mereka tidak penting'. Dalam facebooknya, seorang penyokong (atau mungkin juga alternate account Si penerbit!) mengatakan filem 2 Alam umpama jet yang bergerak laju...dan komen pedas wartawan tak mampu nak 'tahan' jet tersebut....dan lupa jet boleh kena tembak peluru berpandu atau meriam anti-pesawat!

Pasca 18 November 2011
Hari ditunggu dah tiba! Si Penerbit membuat pelancaran tayangan dengan gaya DDR iaitu promosi/sesi bertemu peminat dibuat penerbit sendiri...tiada Aaron Aziz, tiada Suhailah Salam, tiada Faizal Hussein dan lain-lain....tak pernah dibuat mana-mana penerbit filem dalam dunia yang mempromosi filem oleh...penerbit berseorangan tanpa bintang filemnya! Dalam advertorialnya Si Penerbit berkata orang berpusu-pusu (kat Jitra aje la kot) nak menonton filemnya..tapi dalam gambar berlampir pun boleh nampak 'tak ramai'! Malah ada gambar menunjukkan kanak-kanak turut berbaris untuk membeli tiket......HARRY POTTER! Ye la filem 2 Alam tu kan 18PL, mana bebudak boleh tengok? Dan Sebut pasal Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1, filem tersebut mula ditayang pada 17 November, sehari sebelum 2 Alam! Dan melihat kepada listing panggung, semua filem, hatta Megamind masih ditayangkan..jadi mana dakwaan yang pemilik panggung beri laluan penuh pada 2 Alam? Dan itu juga bermakna cuma 85 skrin, bukan 700 yang menayangkan 2 Alam.....

Secara peribadi aku check booking di pawagam-pawagam GSC sekitar Malaysia. Sehingga online booking ditutup, aku tengok dalam 4 hingga 20 kerusi sahaja yang telah ditempah bagi setiap tayangan 2 Alam...mana dia orang yang berpusu-pusu tu? Malah ikut akhbar ada tayangan yang terpaksa dipindahkan ke bilik tayangan yang lebih kecil sebab kurangnya sambutan. Pada Jumaat berikutnya, keluar dalam advertorial beliau yang kutipan hari pertama 2 Alam ialah RM2 juta...tapi mengikut sumber yang lebih dipercayai, kutipan hari pertama cuma RM80,000. Ikut pemerhati, kalau 2 Alam nak capai RM40 juta, kutipan hari pertama mesti sekurang-kurangnya RM10 juta dan kutipan minggu pertama sebanyak RM25 juta. Dan hari ni FINAS keluarkan kenyataan yang 2 Alam cuma mampu pungut RM230,000......

Aku rasa masalah dengan filem ni iala, selain dari filem tu sendiri, ialah konsep promosi Si Penerbit yang terlalu banyak membuat dakwaan tahap merepek, self-promotion (dari poster sampai ke opening credits ada muka dia!) dan membesar diri. Walaupun berjaya raih publisiti tapi gagal diterjemah kepada kutipan tiket. Aku rasa kalau Si Penerbit bersikap rendah diri dan buat macamana newbie selalu buat, aku rasa tak teruk kritikan dia dapat baik dari media ataupun orang ramai. Takpe la Dr, jadikan iktibar......tapi tengok advertorial dia...masih macam sebelum 18 November...agaknya Si Penerbit kot yang berada di 2 Alam...alam nyata dengan Alam Khayalan!

Sebut pasal iktibar, aku rasa baik dia batalkan hasrat dia nak ambik Pamela Anderson berlakon filem berikutnya. Sebelum ni dia berhasrat nak ambik Pam sebab katanya Pam ni nama besar dalam industri filem dan populariti beliau akan jadi aset kepada filem dia.....masalahnya besar mana nama dia? Semua filem dia berlakon flop dan filem dia paling terkenal pun uh.....dilakonkan dengan laki dia masa tu...ehem. Populariti? Masa Baywatch dengan VIP ditayangkan ye la.....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Northern Floods - The Rumour Mill

The recent floods which devastated the northern states earlier this month was the worst in living memory (of the people in the northern area that is). The Malaysian Meteorological Department stated that 270mm of rain were dumped in the area in 3 days as compared to the average of 114mm for the whole month! A tropical depression (sort of an embryo for cyclonic tropical storms) was responsible for the recent deluge. And as the annual rainy season has not really started yet, there may be another wave of floods coming at the end of this year.

There were a number of rumours circling around then (even until today) about the floods. iIwon't gave my edition of the political aftermath of the flood per se; plenty of others have written about that, but rather concerning the flood itself. The most popular were:

1. The northern states got lucky. The Thai authorities did not release excess water from their dams - waters that could spell more trouble for Kedah and Perlis. Also flood waters from Thailand would go downstream towards Malaysia.
- This was also, inter alia, the 'reason' on why the state got flooded in 2005. However looking at topographical maps of southern Thailand, the water catrchment area and the river valleys there do not head towards Malaysia. That was also the reason why Kedah and Perlis were not flooded even though Hat Yai was inundated in 2003.

2. The construction of the double railway track was reponsible for the recent floods - the works prevented water from freely flowing towards the sea.
- While such construction project may probably be the cause of localised flash floods, the same cannot be said for a major flooding. The Met Department has stated that flood was caused by twice the mount of the average November rainfall in just three days. Such amount water causes the rivers to burst their banks, flooding the surrounding area. And if the railway project is the cause of the flood then why the western side of the railway track (downstream) were also flooded?

While the average Joes might believe such unfounded stories, especially the second one, if I recall correctly, the political leaders of Kedah also put the blame on the construction project, for what reason, I have no idea. And comically the Chief Minister of Penang also blamed the double trackway project even though Penang was not affected whatsoever...probably just to show his solidarity with his under-fire comrade to the north!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

'Untold History' My Ass!! (Part IV - Final)

Welcome back readers. This final installment of the series is concerned with our esteemed historian's allegations that there existed an infantry regiment, the 19th under the command of 'Captain John Davvy'. (Bear in mind however that his original posting has been deleted or lost and what is written here are the disjointed quotes and remarks from elsewhere in the original thread) This regiment which was part of the Royal Navy(!) was manned exclusively by pardoned ex-pirates (Malays of course). However, some time later they mutinied and along with Captain Davvy they wreak havoc, in Liverpool, of all places. As a result of this mutiny, the British no longer trusts the Malays to become soldiers of the British Empire until 1933. He also added that the 19th Regiment has been 'cursed' because of this mutiny and have been forced to travel from port to port without making land. And the connection between this story and The Pirates of The Carribean? Why, the Flying Dutchman, its crew and Davy Jones of course!

Now as I stated before, our esteemed historian doesn't know f**k all about the nautical lore behind the name 'Davy Jones' or what the term 'Davy Jones' Locker' means. He also chose to ignore the legend of De Vliegende Nederlander - what the producers of that movie did was simply modifying and adapting the legends in order to incoporate them into the movies. And as for the 'cursed regiment'...since when the Royal Navy have infantrymen? That would be the Royal Marines, even though they are part of the Naval Service. And if the Brits refused to set up malay military formations because of the mutiny, then how come they raised divisions of the Indian army even though they were involved in the Indian Mutiny 1857 and Singapore Mutiny in 1915?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

'Untold History' My Ass! (Part III)

Welcome to the third installment of the said title. What do our esteemed historian bring us today? Well another story about Malay pirates of course! He alleged that there were instances of Malay female pirates a la Anne Bonny and Mary Read or as he put it , 'Siti' Elizabeth Swann! His 'evidence'? A newspaper cutting from 1838 which I re-type here as the original is blurry and barely legible.

"The Morning Chronicle (London, England)
Friday, June 22, 1838

Another tragedy is supposed to have taken place on board a French ship, Alexander, which arrived a few days since at Newport under very suspicious circumstances. The Alexander is from Samarang, in Asia, and was originally bound home to France but the Captain (Marland) states that he changed her course for Boston, which not being able to find, he made Newport. He farther reported that the regular captain and seven of the crew had been washed overboard in the Indian Ocean. Two handsome MALAY WOMEN (emphasis added - Alpha) were on board, one of them being pro tempore the wife of Marland; and there was also a large amount in gold, diamond, [illegible]. Marland wished to sell the ship and cargo at Newport, but as he could give no satisfactory reason for changing his course from France to Boston nor show any authority...."

With this one newspaper article he claimed that there were Malay woman pirates early in the 19th century. He also arrogantly stated that these Malay pirates have been to America long before the ancestors of the rest of the forumners know the word 'America' . I presume that the Boston mentioned above is Boston, Massachusetts and the Newport is Newport, Rhode Island. Anyway, it cannot be inferred that the crew were pirates; in any case Marland was the acting Captain. My conclusion is that there may be a mutiny on board the Alexander with the conspirators throwing the captain and the seven crewmen overboard and the conspirators changed course to the United States where they would dispose of of the ship and cargo.

What about the two Malay women then? Well, one swallow doesn't make summer. Besides, one of them was actually a pro tempore (temporary) wife of Marland (whatever it means!) and the two of them might probably be passengers on the Alexander, rather than the conspirators. Our esteemed historian gave a coclusion, based on this truncated newspaper cutting, that Malay women were also involved in piracy a la Elizabeth Swann! Is mutiny piracy?

Again certain forumners said that this is the proof that the Malays have travelled far, even to the United States in early 19th century! Oi! there were better proof than this one to show that the Malays have travelled beyond The Cape.....Furthermore, although it was not explicitly mentioned, I fear that the two women were not mere passengers but slaves. Is that something to be proud of?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

'Untold History' My Ass!! (Part II)

This took place earlier than the 'Johore Battery' issue. Our esteemed historian alleged that the movie Pirates Of The Caribbean : The Curse Of The Black Pearl was based on actual events that took place in South East Asia, specifically Malaya and Singapore. He alleged that 200 years ago (makes that in the late 18th century or early 19th century) there happened to be a ship named 'Black Pearl of Peihoo' belonging to the Emperor of China which was taken over by a Malay pirate named Raja Ismail. The Chinese intended to retake the ship with the help of a 'buccaneer' named Jack Wayne. This was written in a book entitled "The Black Pearl of Peihoo : A Tale OF The Malay Seas". Now he said that this alleged event together with other 'actual' events that took place a long time ago were combined and adapted into the screenplay of the said movie with the location changed to the Caribbean and that the Malayan pirates' involvement were written off. Again the other forumners gave comments such as 'marvellous!' 'interesting!' 'Your threads show how shallow is my knowledge...congrats!'

Now I don't deny that there were Malays who became pirates - some are actually commerce raiders and others were 'true' need to be ashamed of that fact. Now, this idiot alleged that events that had transpired in the book are 'facts' which was the manipulated into a screenplay. However, I found that the book "The Black Pearl of Peihoo : A Tale of The Malay Seas" is just that... a TALE! It was an adventure NOVEL written by one Stanley Portal Hyatt and was published in 1914. I pointed this out to him and he defended himself by saying that yes, it was fiction but the fact that there were Malay pirates...which inspired the book. Rather unskilful parrying by him really.

He DID say that the movie was based on a true story...and that true story is that novel. Since when novels became factual documents? Whilst many novelists base their writings on real events, it is not the same as facts. For example the plot of the novel The Hunt For Red October was inspired by the mutiny aboard the Krivak-class frigate Storozhevoy in 1975. However there was no 26-missile, 32,000 tons displacement with alternate propulsion system SSBN named Krasny Oktyabr in the real world! It was all product of Tom Clancy's mind. The idiot also tried to make connections between the name of the main protagonists (Jack Wayne and Jack Sparrow) probably not knowing Jack shit (pun intended) about 'Jack' being an archetypal English hero name. He also tried to rope in (from another thread) someone named 'Captain John Davvy' and tried to link the name to Davy Jones...also in most probability not knowing what 'Davy Jones' and 'Davy Jones' Locker' ACTUALLY means. Also he said that the pirates were so effective that the Chinese have to get help from buccaneers (buccaneers? buccaneers were Caribbean pirates!) such as the said Jack Wayne. The fact is that during the 19th century piracy in South East Asia, specifically the Straits of Malacca ,was countered by the East India Company and the colonial government of Singapore / Straits Settlement...there is no need to get help from a private person...unless in a novel of course!

By the way, the movie was inspired by a RIDE with the same name in Disneyland rather than some obscure novel. Americans are more familiar with the Carribean pirates@buccaneers as they once operated close to home waters and that more movies and books were written about them rather than their contemporaries in the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. Hence the setting of the movie in the Carribean.

Monday, November 08, 2010

'Untold History' My Ass!!!

Remember the guy who alleged that there was a U-Boat base on the east coast of Johor prior to the outbreak of the Pacific War? He’s back, now he has an ‘untold history’ about the fortress guns of Singapore, specifically one of the 15-inch gun batteries known as Johore Battery.

Now some background first. Johor Battery was one of two 15-inch batteries guarding Singapore at the outbreak of World War 2. It was located in the Changi area (the other was located in Buona Vista on the west side of the island). Two of the three guns there were donated (a princely £400,000) by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim. Apparently he didn’t want the guns to fire into his territory, hence they could only traverse through 270°; the third gun is fixed to fire only towards the sea. The guns were practically useless during the siege of Singapore as they are only supplied with armour-piercing rounds – totally unpractical against enemy troop concentrations.

Back to our wannabe historian. This are what he alleged

"The guns have a length of 500 METERS"

I find it totally ridiculous that the gun (barrel) length is longer than the KL Tower is tall. The Kaiser Wilhelm Geschutz (Paris Gun of World War 1) has a barrel of 28 meters long and the late Saddam Huseein’s Project Babylon (the Iraqi Supergun) has a barrel length of 46 meters. Even the humongous 31-inch calibre schwere Gustav and Dora of World War 2 had barrels of 32.48 meters! He rather smugly claimed that it was what his resources mentioned..and that his resource was not Wikipedia. He gave the link to his source…a blog. Ok fine, since the blog writer was at the gun site and wrote down the facts written on the plaque there. I found out that the gun (barrel) length is only 16.5 meters and that the guns are actually 500 meters APART. For someone who claims that his ‘port’ (a Malaysian slang word for 'hanging out place') is Leyden University and California University…this is not even a kindergarten–level mistake! What’s worse he did not admit to this error!

"All Three guns can only fire in a 270° arc because of the request by the Sultan who didn’t want the guns to have the ability to ‘threaten’ the state of Johor."

I can’t remember from where, but I did find out about this matter! However only ONE of the guns is on a fixed to fire towards the sea (fixed here means that the gun only had a fire arc of 180°). On the other hand, through further Googling, the other two guns, even though have restricted fire arc, CAN be trained on most of the northern shore of Selat Tebrau including Johor Bahru (see map below). So where did that story about the Sultan’s request came from? Only the Buona Vista battery have a 90° dead zone to the north because of the orientation of its mounting. The myth about the guns cannot fire overland persists even though documents have shown that the guns did have limited traverse and can be made to fully (or at least have greater) traverse if the buffers were removed. What caused the guns to be useless during the war was that they were only issued with AP rounds – totally ineffective against ground targets. The secondary 9.2” batteries were each issued with only 30 rounds each.

"That one fixed gun, that is the one presented by the Sultan is the Johore Battery. And that gun cannot be aimed at Johor…the plaque at the site says so!"

My initial reaction was ‘find out what ‘battery’ means, idiot’. Apart from not knowing what ‘battery’ means, he also sounds like he got confused by the single replica gun today…thinking that that single gun was the entire battery in 1941-42. Plus I have seen the picture of the said plaque – it didn’t mention anything about the Sultan’s request! (Unless there is another plaque there) Furthermore the idiot…sorry gentleman, contradicts himself – first saying that the two trainable guns were given by the Sultan..then he said that the fixed gun is the one!

Blatant mistakes is one thing. Not admitting it is another. He rather proudly claims that what he wrote is a result of meticulous research. Well if someone made a ‘meticulous research’ he will not make mistakes like a 500 meter long gun barrel! But what makes me extremely annoyed, no, make that angry with him is that when I mentioned that one of sources of the Battle of Singapore was my granduncle who was one of the 100,000 British and Commonwealth troops defending the island. During the war he was a lieutenant in the Second Battalion of the Malay Regiment who became a POW when the British surrendered. I remember his stories on how shocking the impact of the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse to the military and civilians alike; on how itchy his men to get into action as they were placed to defend the Changi area where General Percival (erroneously) believed the main Japanese thrust would come from; or how he witnessed a flight of Hawker Hurricane fighters taking off in the morning only to return with half of their number later ; or about the relatively useless Brewster Buffalo; or how he became a POW and was sent to the Death Railway.

Now this idiot, really, simply dimisses my granduncle’s story as ramblings of a senile 70 plus year old man. Actually I’m not sure if a senile man can say that he positively saw Hurricanes and can identify Buffaloes! To the the idiot however, history means it’s written down and presented as a working paper in seminars. Oral history is totally unacceptable and irrelevant. This idiot also forgets that before something could be written, they were usually presented orally at first. I concur that eyewitness accounts are not gospel. They can be used however to give personal recollections of the events and also to corroborate other evidences and facts. I wonder if this idiot is an actual historian, he would totally dismiss personal accounts of men like Saburo Sakai, Adolf Galland, Robin Olds, Minoru Genda, Otto Carius, Alex Vraciu, Ernest Barkmann, Vassiliy Zaitzev and many other veterans of World War 2. Perhaps even the late Leftenan Adnan Saidi, should he survived the war.

My assessment of this idiot is that he is full of shit and ego. Most of the people responding to his thread gave encouraging and soothing words such as ‘good work’, ‘oh I don’t know about this, thanks for telling us’, ‘come on give us more hidden history’ and the like. But his ego is extremely bruised when someone contradicts him, even with facts. That’s when start calling names and accused others of being idiotic, unknowledgeable, ’kampung’, bullshitting (‘pot’, ‘kettle’,’black’ comes to mind again!). At best, he simply retreated into his shell, never to give response. That or he gave irrelevant and irreverent answers!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

E-Mail Paling SAMPAH Aku Pernah Baca!!!

Aku terbaca e-mail berantai ni kat forum.....



Sebutlah Uffin bukan Upin sebab Upin dalam bahasa Aramaic bermaksud "Aku benci Rasul." Sebutlah Ariffin bukan Ipin sebab Ipin dalam bahasa Syriac bermaksud " Aku suka Israel."

Ini diburukkan lagi oleh penggunaan huruf "U" pada baju Upin dan "I" pada baju Ipin. "U" bermaksud "USA" "I" bermaksud "Israel"

Terbuktilah bahawa Upin & Ipin juga merupakan agenda tersembunyi Yahudi dalam melemahkan akidah umat Islam. Mereka menggunakan Upin & Ipin sebagai jarum halus terbaru setelah mereka gagal dalam misi Pokemon, Doraemon, Digimon dan Mamula Moon.




Macam tajuk aku kata, ini email tahap longkang busuk kat pasar yang dah setahun tak cuci (mungkin lagi teruk dari tu). Berani pulak tu letak 'ini semua Qadha dan Qadar Allah'. Rata-rata kita tahun Upin dan Ipin adalah rekaan Les Copaque Production yang diterajui Haji Baharudin dan Hajah Ainon...orang Islam. Macamana penulis sampah ni boleh kata ni agenda Yahudi? Dah la tu mana ada kartun lain yang suruh orang solat, puasa, mendoakan ibu bapa dan lain-lain perkara yang disuruh dalam Islam? Logik ke kalau kartun tu agenda Yahudi tapi tunjuk ajaran Islam?!

'Upin' dan 'Ipin' adalah nama khas..pergi mana pun orang tetap panggil Upin dan Ipin. Dan bahasa Hebrew pulak bukan macam tulisan Cina - satu karekter boleh membawa pelbagai makna. Tulisan dan bahasa Hebrew adalah berasaskan abjad (dan sebenarnya hampir sama dengan Arab! Malah banyak perkataan yang hampir sama...). Kenapa pulak cuma empat huruf boleh jadi "Saya benci Rasul" atau "Saya Suka Israel"? Akronim? Kalau akronim, penulis tak tulis pulak apa perkataan panjangnya....Dan bertambah BANGANG bila penulis memberi maksud 'U' dan 'I' pada baju Upin dan Ipin.....

Dan pasal kartun-kartun Jepun tu....aku tak tau la macamana dia orang boleh kaitkan kartun JEPUN dengan Yahudi...juga dengan lagu Mamula Moon yang kini jadi lagu Negaraku.....

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

When The Clouds Burst

It has been raining intermittently from Friday night until Sunday and turned heavy that night. It didn't stop until the wee hours of Tuesday. The result? Flood! This week's flood was the worst in Kedah since the 2005 disaster. Personally this is the second time I was directly affected - in 2005 I was trapped at a resort in Kuala Nerang and this year the waters nearly flooded my home.

The rivers started to burst their banks on Monday morning and by afternoon all routes out of UUM were severed with the sole exception of the Bukit Tangga (northwest of UUM) exit. I was in UUM as the convocation ceremony was going on and my wife kept me updated with the situation at home. I decided to make it for home as soon as the working hours end as the situaiton is getting worse. I also decided to buy some dry provisions, just in case. Using the Bukit Tangga (a FELDA plantation) route means a rather long way to get to Changlun but the traffic was light on the highway until about 2 kilometers from the town centre where traffic slowed to a crawl. By this time the the highway in front of the Changlun police station was inundated by water and was only accesible to heavy vehicles and 4WDs. The rest of the traffic were diverted to Kodiang road before they can re-enter the highway. I grumbled to myself as the traffic jam would mean loss of time and hence the possibility of me being prevented from reaching home by rising waters. Anyway, I made to the local departmental store, buy the necessary foodstuff and went on another circuitous route to get home as the direct route was completely blocked. Arriving home I found that the road outside my house was already under 5 inches of water, more or less. Assessing the situation, I parked my car on the higher section of the neighbourhood whilst my neighbours on either side of my house had already fled to their kampungs.

The rain continued throughout the night and I basically did not sleep and kept an hourly checking on the flood waters outside. By 11pm the water has reached the gates and by 2am it has reached my porch. I asked my wife whether we should bug out (to a friend's house nearby, situated on a higher ground) but she said to ride it out, at least until the water reached the front door (which means the water on the flooded road would be roughly thigh-high). But then around 2.30, the rain suddenly stopped and continued to be so until around 3.30am when it drizzled intermittently back. However that break was enough to allow the water to recede even though it rained quite heavily from 4am to 6am.

With the coming of daylight and receding waters, I decided to take a look around the housing estate and the surrounding neighbourhood. The main road was under 2 1/2 feet of water and the adjacent houses are flooded to knee-high. I guess pictures convey a better description of the situation yesterday....anyway the flood waters receded completely by this morning and everything went back to normal...for me. My sympathies to the neighbours who had suffered flood damage to their homes.....

Mind that the water is receding when the photos were taken! (except for the first two)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

View From The Left Side Of The Speaker's Chair Part II

When the Government tabled its Budget for 2011 recently, the Opposition, particularly DAP also produced their version of the 2011 Budget. As usual, they promised the sun, moon and the stars and generally strove to show how efficient the public funds are to be used.

I don't give much of a damn to their overall Budget. But as Dzirhan Mahadzir pointed out, their defence allocation for 2011 was something either to be cried or laughed upon. For 2011, the Government allocated RM3.1 billion for defence - the DAP, who I believe views the defence spending as a major source of hanky-panky or that we can defend our country with harsh words proceeded to allocate RM310 MILLION. Now, I don't believe that the esteemed Mr Lim Guan Eng is on the same league with Dr Evil, who thought that a billion is more than a trillion.

Now, what can RM310 million get? According to Dzirhan, if allocated equally, each of the Service branches will get RM96 million. Translated into purchases, that may amount to:
1. Army - 30 AFVs
2. Navy - 1 Patrol Vessel (lightly armed)
3. Air Force - 1 Aermacchi M.346 training aircraft

And that's just for new purchases. And what could 30 AFVs (not MBTs I think), 1 lighty armed (probably with just one 76mm OTO Melara gun or more probably Bofors 40mm and nothing else?) and just one training aircraft do to effectively defend our country? OK, to accomodate such budget, we may not buy anything next year...fine! However, in Part I, it was stated that roughly 65% of the annual budget is allocated for day-to-day operating costs. That means, for 2011, the Armed Forces need RM2.015 billion just to pay its members; to fill fuel for its tanks, AIFVs, APCs, trucks, fighter jets, transport planes, trainers, ships; pay utility bills; maintenance costs; ammo stocks; training and other operational costs. Basically DAP said, directly or by inference, government spending is clouded by 'overpricing', 'inefficiency' and 'graft' which resulted in high costs, especially in the defence sector. Even if that is the truth, and that their public funds management is more 'effective' and 'clean', I don't think RM310 million is enough just to let the Armed Forces do their peacetime job, not to mention warfighting should the need arise.

Now, should that 'shadow' budget is the real budget, it might as well to let our Armed Forces use part of that RM310 million to buy large welcoming mats and banners with the inscription 'WELCOME INVADERS : THIS IS THE BEST WE COULD DO TO WELCOME YOU!" In World War 2, the Luftwaffe, Heer, Kriegsmarine and the Waffen-SS were effectively shackled during the last months of the war because of acute fuel shortage due to the bombing of oil producing and transportation facilities. Should a DAP-led country go to war, TUDM, TLDM and TD will unable to resist because there is practically no fuel and ammo, all because the government thinks that 10% of the average defence budget is sufficient. It also shows how idiotic those people order to garner support, they simply slash the defence budget by 90% , making themselves look good, without thinking the consequences should it ever be implemented.

Dizrhan said that whilst the current (and the past) government screwed up the defence of the country pretty bad, with this shadow Budget, the Opposition actually tried to worsen (rather than better) the record!

Monday, October 25, 2010

View From The Left Side Of The Speaker's Chair

What I'm going to write here is not entirely mine. The original article was written by Mr Dzirhan Mahadzir, a noted local defence correspondence who have written articles, inter alia, in Janes' Defence Review. His article is condensed, paraphrased and, where appropriate, given my own views here.

Basically, what he wrote about is on a well-known alternative media website whose views are decidedly to the left of the Dewan Rakyat Spekaer's chair (you know what I mean!) who despite their claim of being more 'transparent', was not entirely so. So, here's what the MPs and that website (OK, its Malaysiakini) said, and Mr Mahadzir's view on that matter to which I agree.

MK: Total defence spending since 1987 is RM180 billion - the government squandered it on purchasing military equipments (membazir!!!). Despite that, the ATM do not have the ability to fight a war.
DM: Roughly 65% of that sum is actually for OPERATING costs (maintenance, salaries, fuel, other day-to day operating costs) and they forgot the increasing fuel prices too! Whilst the total sum is quite high, it only amounts to roughly RM2.7 billion per year..peanuts really. And as for the military not being able to fight, well as Dzirhan said, if the yardstick is the ability to invade and occupy China, then we fail. But he is (and I am) confident that the ATM is able to fight off invaders when required.

MK : The MINDEF has unlimited purhasing ability. Just snap their fingers and they get their money.
DM : As everybody actually knows (and many choose to forget), government purchasing procedure is one of the most leceh in the world. In many cases, major spending would require the consent of the PM and the Cabinet. Even then it would require the final approval from the Treasury/Finance Minister. Despite citing spending from 1987, Malaysiakini tend to only concentrate on the time period from 2000- today (when the position of the Finance Minister was held by the PM) and conveniently ignored the period before that (when the Finance Minister was a certain someone whose first name is 'Anwar')

MK: KD TAR's inability to dive is proof of bad purchase. Plus we can save costs buy buying PRC-made missiles. Cheap and easy matter what?
DM: MK failed to diffrentiate between purhasing matters and operational matters. As stated before the problem faced by KD TAR is normal among submarine users, not proof that we bought a pig boat. As for the installation of Chinese made missiles, I believe it will get more expensive, rather than cheaper...not to mention the bugs!

MK : The Public Accounts Committee merely rubberstamps the government; Pakatan states that there is a need for a bipartisan committee to investigate matters (such as the Eurocopter deal)
DM: PAC IS a bipartisan committee (a case of someone who knows but choose to forget?). Besides, what would make them see things they did not see in PAC if a new committee is formed? Somehow this reminds me of Star Wars Episode I ("I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee!")

MK : The government buys overpriced equipment and that the government did not follow the usual government purhasing norms (buy cheapest!)
DM : Cheapest does not mean the best, or fulfilling the rquirements of the user - cheapest option is not always the RIGHT option. As my brother has pointed out, even buying tyres for your vehicle depends on a number of factors! Defence deals vary based on the logistics, equipment attached, tech transfer, logistics, support and other ancillary options. You simply can't find the average cost by dividing the total cost with the number of items purchased and use good ole Google to compare the price. In spite of those factors, the Opposition did exactly that when questioning the purchase of the Eurocopter EC725 Cougar. They simply questioned why the Barzilian government buys them at a cheaper price without checking the specifications and the ancillary options taken by both governments.

Dizrhan's assesment was that rather than giving a honest appraisal on defence issues, Malaysiakini merely continues to give their biased, anti-government views...which I concur!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Perdana Menteri (Scorpene) Class SSK

Perdana Menteri (Scorpene) - class SSK
Displacement : 1,565 tons (surfaced) / 1,700 tons (submerged)
Length : 61.7m
Beam : 6.2m
Draft : 2.19m
Crew : 32
Propulsion : Diesel-Electric, Batteries
Endurance : 40 days
Max. Operating Depth : >300 meters
Speed : 12 knots surfaced /20 knots submerged

Armament : 6 x 553mm torpedo tubes for Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes and SM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles

In June 2002, as part of its modernisation programme, the Royal Malaysian Navy ordered two Scorpene class submarines developed jointly by DCNS of France and Navantia of Spain. Based on the nuclear-powered Rubis class of the French Navy, the Scorpene class was designed to be an extremely quite vessel - the forms of the hull, sail and appendages were designed to deliver a minimum of hydrodynamic noise. The various items of equipments were mounted on elastic supports which rests on uncoupled blocks and suspended platforms in order to reduce generated noise further.

The Scorpene is powered by two 1,250kW diesel engines and also a 2,900kW capacity batteries. However The RMN's Scorpenes were not equipped with AIPS (Air-Independent Propulsion System) which allows a greater submerged endurance and reduced vulnerability. However the AIPS module can be inserted at a later, if required (perhaps during SLEP?)

For their 'teeth', the Scorpenes are equipped with six 533mm torpedo tubes with weapons capacity of 18 torpedoes and/or missiles. The RMN chose Whitehead Black Shark wire-guided torpedoes from Italy and sub-launched SM39 Exocet anti ship missiles from MBDA. Alternatively, 30 mines can be deployed.

Although not much was written about it, it can be safely assumed that the Scorpenes are equipped with passive sonar, active sonar, flank-array, high-resolution sonar for mine and obstacle avoidance and towed array sonar.

During construction, the RMN conducted a competition for naming the submarines. A large number of entries were received and eventually the name chosen were KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (hull #1) and KD Tun Razak (Hull #2) after the first two Prime Ministers of Malaysia.

KD Tunku Abdul Rahman was lauched at DCNS Cherbourg, France in October 2007 and handed over to the RMN in January 2009. On July 11 2009 she started her journey home, making port visits at Jeddah, Djibouti and Cochin and finally arrived at Port Kelang on September 3 2009. KD Tun Razak was launched at Navantia, Cartagena, Spain in October 2008. She left Spain on April 30th 2010 and arrived in Lumut on July 3, 2010. Both boats are now based at Teluk Sepaggar Naval Base in Sabah.

Now, some controversies have been linked with the purchase the Perdana Menteris but I will only discuss the technical issues here. A newspaper report stated that KD Tunku Abdul Rahman was unable to submerge on her way to Sabah. Since then news acquired a life of its own with more juicy stories such as it has been laid off for months and that the 'dolphins' would soon lose their ratings for being landed so long. Yeah, I know it's all because of the initial, politically-motivated controversy plus the (I'm sorry to say) general IGNORANCE (perhaps even STUPIDITY) of certain people in our society.

As it turns out, it is just a minor defect. In fact, such initial defects is the norm with military equipments whatever their nationality. In fact such idiots totally forget that even we purchase new vehicles, we are faced with such minor defects be it a Proton or a Merc. As for inability to submerge, the Chief of the Navy rightly points out that KD TAR spends 31 out of 43 days submerged during her voyage from France to Malaysia. What I understood was that some widget need to be replaced or adjusted to suit the tropical waters, that's it!

As for being out of service for three months, the Admiral mentioned that it was actually the maintenance period for the submarine. Scheduled maintenance of ships are not like motor vehicle maintenace which at most took only a whole day! That is also the reason why there should be at least an x number of ships bought by a navy in order to make sure that a certain number are in service whilst a number of orders are down for maintenance, whether for short or long term.

As for the 'dolphins' losing their ratings, it can be rebutted that, in the first place, the submarine IS operational. Furthermore, even if the sub is not, they can still maintain their proficiency using the simulators available. I'm not sure whether RMN uses the 'Gold' and 'Blue' crew system as practiced by the US Navy which allows maximum submarine operating time. (The Gold and Blue crews are at sea every 90 days in turns, unless the boat is down for would they lose their ratings when they are land bound for 90 days?)

Finally the boats are considered strategic assets and should not be discussed openly. Openness has it limits. Sure, if the Oppsoition wants to question the transparecy of the purchase, go ahead, but do not blindly hantam and give erroneous facts just to increase your popularity. The RSN did have problem with their Archer (Västergötland) class SSK. Again it was a minor one and most importantly not blown out of all proportions!

And finally just to show their complete ignorance, some commentators can' t even differentiate between the Scorpene and the ex-Dutch Navy Zwaardvis class SSK, which were berthed, in a sorry state admittedly, at Lumut. The Zwaardvis were originally offered to the RMN but rejected outright. Oh, they can't even differentiate between KD TAR and TR, just 'kapalselam Malaysia'. Furthermore, many readers' comments at certain blogs makes me rates them somewhere between 'idiot' and 'moron'!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

10-10-10 Tragedy : The Blame Game

By now everybody in Malaysia has heard about the accident at KM223 North South Highway on the 10th of October 2010 - not everything that happened that day was rosy. And usual, people start to point fingers at various authorities. Whether justified or not, I'm not going to say anything about but rather I'd like to criticise us, the public.

Why? OK here's why:
1. The cause of the accident
Eyewitness accounts vary and seriously, eyewitness accounts are not very reliable. But the cause of the accidents probably have something to do with
- speeding. Some eyewitness said that the bus was driven very fast.
- road hogging. Eyewitness said that the bus swerved after trying to avoid a slow-moving, road hogging mini-car
- the bus driver was sleepy. It was alleged that he drank cups of coffee beforehand.
Until the authorities came up with the official report, all those reasons are merely speculative. Anyway, it all points out to human error. Just how many of us drove very fast, hog the roads or driving without adequate rest? It does not matter whether we are driving a public transportation or riding a motorcycle, we all have responsibility for ensuring the safety of ourselves and the other road users.

2. Public spectacle
Road accidents in Malaysia are public spectacles - the more terrible the accident, the 'merrier' it will be. I have seen photos of a massive traffic jam in the aftermath of the accident..on the northbound lane of the highway - the accident took place on the southbound lane. Whilst the southbound traffic naturally comes to a halt because the wreckage blocking all of the lanes, it should not happen on the clear northbound lanes. There are even drivers who parked their car on the roadside! Whilst apparently there is quite a large of people on the scene, most of them prefer just to lounge around or taking photos of the victims (to be uploaded on internet forums or their FB pages, I guess) rather than helping the injured. And since traffic has halted on both sides of the highway, we came to....

3. Blocking of emergency lanes
'Emergency lane' - it's an res ipsa loquitor. Yet when seeing the massive traffic jam, some selfish drivers started to use the lane - only to find their way blocked with nowhere to go. And since all the lanes are now effectively blocked the emergency vehicles were thwarted from arriving at the scene within a reasonable time. From what I read, the jam stretched back 4 kilometers from the scene with drivers trapped for roughly three hours.

Some argued, with hostile tones on why the helicopters of the authorities were not used for casualty evacuation. From what I know, those choppers were not configured for casualty evacuation. Even if the were equipped with such equipment, it probably might not be suitable to use because there is the possibility of the huge downdraft (especially from the big Mi-17 used by the Fire Department) causing havoc with the vehicles on the highway.

Also, one of the victims' brother argued that the emergency services arrived late at the scene. I guess that's because of the massive jams on both sides of the highway. He also argued that medical attention were not given to his brother who eventually died. I guess the rescue teams applied the triage system here where certain seriously injured persons who are unlikely to survive received a lower priority treatment (or perhaps not at all) than the ones who are likely to survive.

Anyway, condolences to the family of all the victims.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Warning! Crooks Have Gone Hi-Tech! (Really?)

Recently I received an e-mail from a colleague which alleged that a crime ring is handing freebies at petrol stations around the country. These freebies were alleged to contain tracking devices which allows the criminals to track and find the victims home so that they can rob them later on.

To support the allegations (and naturally to provide caution), my colleague also attached a scan of a company circular, specifically from Petronas to warn their commercial division about this, uh, threat (click for larger view).

Although personally I have never seen these criminals in action, apparently Petronas viewed this matter seriously, although the circular didn't mention whether the criminals operated at Petronas or other brands' petrol stations. Scary, eh?

However, while browsing through one of my favourite websites, (, I stumble upon an entry entitled 'Crime Ring'. Apparently there are syndicates in Africa, specifically South Africa and Kenya, consisting of Ghanaians and Nigerians (who else?) who operated in the same modus operandi. There are also similar stories (but without naming the nationalities of the perpetrators) in Pakistan and North America. Well as the Mythbusters like to say, this story is BUSTED!

The real story is that Caltex in South Africa started to distribute flashing keyrings as part of their promotional campaign for their diesel. However hoaxers started to post e-mails stating that these keyrings were actually a clever device created by criminals in order to track their victims. Naturally Caltex was infuriated that its promotional campaign has become a victim of hoax/urban legend. The South African police have also confirmed that the e-mail is a hoax.

Now, the hoax has surfaced in Malaysia. Whilst an average Joe (since we're in Malaysia, maybe it should be 'an average Mamat') can be easily duped by such stories, it is almost unthinkable that a giant corporation also fell victim to an urban legend. OK, I understand that they are very concerned about Petronas's reputation but shouldn't they conduct an investigation first? The letterhead looks authentic enough. Perhaps my sister-in-law could help to verify whether the circular is genuine? Because, you know, someone could easily use faked letterheads in order to give authenticity to their story.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I found this entry in my brother's blog and I took up his 'challenge'. However, as I categorize my music files, I use my 'Rockers and Ballads' file for the answers...

1. If someone says, "Is this okay?"
Crazy - Aerosmith
(That would probably my response if someone asked me to do a 'high priority' job with a bloody short deadline)

2. How would you describe yourself?
Keeper of The Seven Keys - Helloween
(OK let me see...oh I only have FIVE keys!)

3. What do you like in a girl/guy?
Santa Fe - Jon Bon Jovi
(What does a city in New Mexico has anything to do with a girl?!)

4. How do you feel today?
18 And Life - Skid Row
(Sometimes I feel like my job is a sentence, alright?)

5. What is your life's purpose?
Wind Of Change - Scorpions
(Life faces constant changes whether at work or private life)

6. What is your motto?
Hangar 18
- Megadeth
(Allegedly a UFO and remains of aliens were stored in Hangar 18 at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, US. Hmmm perhaps something to do with my ability to keep secrets)

7. What do your friends think of you?
Master Of Puppets - Metallica
(Oh, I like positive control, have my friends dance to my tune [yeah, right])

8. What do you think of your parents?
Patience - Guns N' Roses
(Only parents would have the patience to raise kids, give them proper education and upbringing)

9. What do you think about very often?
November Rain - Guns N' Roses
(Actually rainy season is my favourite time of the year)

10. What is 2+2?
Blackout - Scorpions
(Uh, is Charlie Eppes around to figure this out?)

11. What do you think of your best friends?
Aces High - Iron Maiden
(Top guys [and girls] all around, they are)

12. What do you think of the person you like?
Never Say Goodbye - Bon Jovi
(You obviously don't want someone you like to go away, do you?)

13. What is your life?
I'll Be There For You - Bon Jovi
(I believe I'm a very reliable person)

14. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Dream Warriors - Dokken
(Uh, I used to dream of becoming a soldier....or someone who have super powers hahaha!)

15. What do you think of when you see the person you like?
To Be With You - Mr Big
(What else?)

16. What will you dance to at your wedding day?
Creeping Death - Metallica
(Can headbanging considered a dance?)

17. What will they play at your funeral?
Allright - Supergrass
(I hope to live my life to the fullest, spiritually and physically)

18. What is your hobby/interest?
Walk This Way
- Aerosmith
(...this way to model shops!)

19. What is your biggest fear?
Love Bites - Def Leppard
(Do I really have to give a reason?)

20. What is your biggest secret?
Symphony Of Destruction - Megadeth
(I love blowing things up! Or see things being blown up!)

21. What do you think of your friends?
Animal - Def Leppard
(Don't worry, they are domesticated)

22. What will you post this as?
One - Metallica
(How appropriate, this is my favourite Metallica song)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

When Reality and Fantasy Collides

Recently, in CARI Forum, an online friend asked some matters relating to the military. One of his questions was whether the Bundeswehr (German Army) has fielded a super-strong, bullet-, shrapnel- and explosive-proof suit called a Juggernaut Suit. Costing millions of dollars (or was it Deutschmark, or Euro?), the suit is issued on limited basis to members of the Bundeswehr (probably in Afghanistan?)

One helpful soul asked whether what he meant actually was the IDZ (Infanterist der Zukunft / Infantry of the Future) program actually testeed in Afghanistan. He said he wasn't sure but his friends told him the things I mentioned in the first paragraph above.

So, I checked out the Internet. What I found made me chuckled to myself. The Juggernaut suit DO the computer game Call Of Duty : Modern Warfare! Which makes me wonder whether that poor guy is a victim of his friends' pranks or that his friends actually believe that whatever exists in the game (whch to my best knowledge do utilize existing weapons; with a smattering of fantasy weapons of course - like the Suit itself) have their real-life counterparts. If it is the latter, a heavy pat on the back is due to be given to the game creators - for making their game so good that people think its REAL. That, or the players are to be given a ROFL treatment for believing in fantasies!