Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Buah potong percuma at 2nd Link Fruit stall.

I have been wanting to write a post regarding the fruit stall at 2nd link R&R(northbound)for quite sometime now. I regard this stall as the most successful enterprise of the 2nd link causeway. Unlike the some of the efforts on PLUS that cost a lot but doesn't give much value in return, this stall really gives us the highway users lift when we need it most.

After a hard day of work, travel and traffic jams; there is nothing better to quench our thirst and sooth the our battered bodies.

Yesterday to everyone's surprise, the owner of this fruit stall had a free buah potong session. The stall supervisor told me that the owner had wanted this session to be a token of performing zakat for the coming fasting month and also to reward the loyal customers.

Tambak riders enjoying the free watermelons. Too bad the pineapple ran out before I reached.

Kaki Tambak

Friday, July 2, 2010

Watching TV on China Phone During Motorbike jam

Being stuck in motorbike jams for an hour or more is a daily thing for us. During the jams we do all sort of stuff to kill time.

The following video shows an uncle watching the Channel 8 evening mandarin news while pushing his bike:

Kaki Tambak

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Unusual Traffic Jam Again Today. What's the reason?

Today there was an unusual massive jam at Woodlands checkpoint. Unusual because, traffic has been very good the past week because of the school holidays.

At 6.30pm it was unusual for people getting of the bus from Kranji and start walking uphill to the checkpoints.

I reached the viaduct at 5.50pm and the que wasn't long. Usually it takes only 30mins to clear the checkpoints. But I only got into the causeway at 7pm. While being stuck, I was wondering what on earth was causing this jam.

Is it computer glitch at Woodlands side? Did another suspected terrorist escape from ISA detention? As I approach the causeway, the problem was not on the Singapore side. So maybe it was construction works at the Malaysian side.

But finally when I reached the causeway midpoint, there was a lorry that caught fire due to overheating. And this is a rather unusual jam, the first of its kind for me.

Fortunately the driver was unhurt. Well just another day on the causeway.

Kaki Tambak

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So tired .....

No time to blog for quite sometime. The travelling everyday really leaves you exhausted.

Here are some pictures to show how tired we tambak riders are.

Pillion taking a nap

Even a young fella also tired like hell.

One auntie taking a quick nap while her husband steers the bike.

The hardest part. Forcing urself to work every morning.

Kaki Tambak

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Sabahan on Death Row In Singapore (Part 2)

I am of the opinion that people in Malaysia and Singapore have been over reliant on mandatory death penalty to solve drug trafficking activities and drug abuses. We seriously need to relook at the whole drug picture again.

Abolishment of Mandatory Death Penalty For Drug Trafficking

And there are those who worry that if mandatory death sentence were to be abolished, so the prisons especially Singapore will be overcrowded. Singapore is like an insect with multi-tentacles. Each tentacles will feed on the inefficiency of corrupted neighbors and making Singapore hyper rich in the process.

So it is only fair that some of these reformed youthful drug mule from harsh neighboring  countries be given the life sentence instead of the gallows. Deserving is by no means easy. Cases need to be supported by prison personnels, counsellors, respectable religious leaders and NGOs like Vui Kong's cases.

As for resources, I believe the bureaucrats can come up with something. It's not like taking money out of Singapore or Malaysia. In Singapore case, its like spending less on upgrading of hawker centers and parks which do not need renovations. And hiring more people in prison and rehabilitation services. For Malaysia its simply less corruption and more money to fight rural poverty.

I betcha there are many more drug related death sentence in Singapore. You don't see oppositions and activists screaming like crazy on everyone of them. They are people with more limited resource than the government. And in Vui Kong case, it really touched a lot of us and definitely worth fighting for.

Drug Trade

From what I knew from my former drug pusher friend, in the 1960s drug was a big problem. There were lots of people peddling drugs. Then came mandatory death penalty which managed to reduce drastically the number of people who were willing to smuggle to drugs.

But as time when by, the drug lord became smarter and nowadays those who get the death penalty are only small flies. In spite of the death penalty, there is still plenty of supply out there. Only the price has gone up making the drug bosses richer. There is no problem getting social or hardcore drugs at any nightspots in Thailand, Malaysia or even Singapore.

Excuse for being a bit irrational here, not everything in this world and especially legal system is black and white. If it was, the drug bosses from Myanmar to Malaysia to Iran to Africa will not find it so easy to acquire friendly financial services in laundering their ill
gotten money.

But then again the law is the law. To not follow it may lead to chaos. To exercise arbitrary discretion may lead to abuse of such authority. It applies to everyone. Including illiterate kerbau(mule) from a fractured upbringing who cannot read "Death Penalty of Traffickers?" in English, Chinese or maybe even Malay.

Non-Absolutism of Legal System

As serious as mandatory death penalties are, they are still just a man made legal instrument deemed useful as punishments or deterrent against drug trade. It should not be regarded as absolute and not allow for some discretion. Any enacted law should evolve(maybe abolished too) according to its effectiveness and relevancy.

At a Anwar Ibrahim Club forum, Hishamuddin Rais actually raised a very pertinent point. He said, "the constitution and laws are product of the ruling parties. When there is a regime change, so will the laws. There is nothing ultra special position and taboo about it ". He was referring to the micro-evolution of legal structure within a greater evolution of a society itself.

Discretionary provisions existed for centuries throughout all legal systems be it Syariah, British and Americans. Its the joker card meant to help the principle fairness and justice prevails. As with any joker it is an often abused double-edged sword. But without such provisions, there will be no recuse when governments enact cruel draconian laws that must be followed strictly by the law.

Mass Citizen Activism To Compliment Legal System

The best approach to macro challenges would be through mass citizen activism. Only then will the government be pressured to properly exercise the authorities and discretion that we gave them in the first place. Any judge, statesmen or academics no matter how well trained can be fallible. No ideology can be flawlessly applied to every circumstance. Even if there were no referendum, at least the legislature and judiciary will be pressured to come with a good general solution to the problem. And maybe as in calculus a particular solution to specific circumstances.

All I can say is that it is commendable to be a law abiding citizen. But that is not an end to itself. Art harun did 2 great piece on the illusion of justice of our man-made legal system : Jusitce Is an Illusion and Three Kid and A Flute.

The Greeks came up with the great concept of democracy. Democracy should not be reduced to being a mere governance method of regular elections. It should also be utilized as an ideology against man-made absolutism.

And also, the most important thing that I'd learnt from my decades in a much maligned Malay and Islam dominated educational system was Ibn Khaldun's work on civilization. In his work, the spirit of 'Asabiyyah' social solidarity is the core of any society/civilization.

When Assabiyah weakens, the elites will takeover. Oppression tricks will surface to turn the rest into herds and apathy will kick in. The society then will find it difficult to overcome the challenges it faces and subsequently lead to further decline. If we lost the spirit Assabiyah - no amount of technologies, public policies, legal or management system can save us.

As a society we cannot turn a blind eye anymore and just let legal punishment takeover. To escape poverty many rural youths especially Sabahans and Sarawakians flocked to KL and JB in search for a living. Some of them become vagrants in the cities. Instead of ending up on the streets many of these rural youths are eventually exploited to become Ah Long Runners and in Vui Kong's case a drug mule.

Hell do not break loose when we do not follow strict formality. Its only when indifference and apathy dominates us that our world becomes hell.

Kaki Tambak

A Sabahan on Death Row In Singapore (Part 1)

Yong Vui Kong is a 22 year old Sabah youth, who was caught carrying 47g of heroin into Singapore. He was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death. He is currently currently awaiting the decision of the Court Of Appeal on his appeal against the death sentence.

A friend of mine was uncomfortable with the fact that Singaporean Opposition camp and activists going so far in stirring emotions with Vui Kong's case. He felt also that their pursuit of abolishing mandatory death penalty are impractical. Most of contents here are part of the messages we exchanged regarding to this issue.

I think nobody can argue Vui Kong did know that he was carrying an amount of drugs that could possibly lead to death sentence. By Singapore standards, Vui Kong had been a given a transparent and unbiased trial. Therefore we must accept the fact that he is going to be hanged like the many drug mules before him. We cannot let sentimentality obscure the devastation that drug abuse brings. To let drug traffickers or drug mules off with life jail sentence would be inviting chaos to a small island like Singapore. Why make such a big fuss?

There is a piece by Andrew Loh of The Online Citizen that really moved me. It can be read here "Story Of A Boy". After reading the piece, I realized something must be done not only to saved Vui Kong. But to free the people minds from the fixation that legal punisments are supreme, unevolvable and detached from our humanity. Vui Kong's lawyer M Ravi summed it up best that death sentencing should not be automated and robotic.

I was truly touched by Choon Hiong, Khalis and active SG citizens who supported Vui Kong and his family. It is their efforts that pressured the court to gentlemanly allow for his final appeal to be heard. He would have been executed by now if not for them. 2 weeks ago, The Court of Appeal has reserved for the judgement, until they can thoroughly study the case again. This is a great victory for Singaporeans because the small voice(opposition and activists) have been taken into consideration. Singapore is not a so sterile place after all.

I do not want to question Choon Hiong, Khalis, SDP and TheOnlineCitizen motives in going all out to support Vui Kong.Yes they are anti- PAP, it is their right to do so. Yes they try to get emotional. And they probably hate me because I am one of those Singdollar digger from JB. But because of them I knew of Vui Kong plight and it made more human than before.

To tell you the truth, I feel that I am not fit to question them. I am a Malaysian who was in a situation where I could have offered some support to Vui Kong and family. But I did absolutely nothing other than being busy earning my Singdollar. When Choon Hiong and friends organized a photo taking session to support Vui Kong, all I could do was to send my thank you. Because I need to feed a family. I fear for my work permit renewal and will not take a remote risk of taking pictures with some SDP fellas.

As a Malaysian I am glad that there Singaporeans in spite of their anti-foreigner stance, can put aside their prejudices and fight for a troubled youth from a terrible country like ours.

In Part 2, I will try to explore more on drug trafficking and its mandatory death sentence.

Kaki Tambak

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Polis Bantuan?

Notice anything unusual in the photo below.

Let me enlarge it a little.

I knew there are some Polis Bantuan or auxiliary police at the new JB checkpoint. But Polis Bantuan Tenaga Nasional Berhad was really an eye opener.This discovery did raised some questions for me.

I hope someone out there can help to clarify on it.
1)Under which Act and what criterias are GLCs or private companies given the authority to engage Polis Bantuan?
2) What are the conditions affecting the total no of Polis Bantuan that they can employ?
3) Are these Polis Bantuan employed directly by the end customer? Or does the end customer needs to get them from some PDRM approved security companies?
4)Do these Polis Bantuan have two ICs? Meaning a normal civilian Mykad and another police IC? Do they vote postally?

This Polis Bantuan group can be vulnerable to abuse. Their services are most probably contract which means it can be very easily terminated. Unlike normal PDRM police officers who has more job security and their dismissal requires standard review procedure.

What really worries me is that NGOs and opposition are not highlighting the possible adverse effect of Polis Bantuan on the electoral rolls. If I can see the potential abuse, you can bet that those power crazy and money hungry Barisan people will be on it.

The last thing this country needs are Polis Bantuan Telekom, Polis Bantuan Tabung Haji, Polis Bantuan Astro or even Polis Bantuan Peminjam Wang Berlesen.

Kaki tambak

Saturday, February 13, 2010

CNY Exodus at the Causeway

Its that time of the year, when hundreds of thousands of Malaysians scramble to balik kampung for their Chinese New Year Celebration. Here are some videos taken yesterday at the causeway when the traffic jam was not so bad.

Scrambling home using every possible means(bus, cars, motorcycles, bicycles and walking).

Uphill walk for pedestrian. Really jiak lat under the hot sun especially for those with luggage.

Crossing the road at some risk for the final climb up to Bukit Chagar checkpoint.

During weekends or holiday eves, it is very normal for Malaysians to walk all the way from Woodlands to the new JB checkpoint up on Bukit Chagar. Its a really painstaking 45 minutes walk. But they don't really have a choice. Because during these times, traffic jam on the Singapore side blocks most of the buses from passing through and ferrying people across the causeway. Thereby leaving many people stuck at the Woodlands Checkpoint waiting desperately for a bus. The ques are so long that there are no room for standing and people are forced to walk across.

Here is the route people need to walk from Woodlands to JB(Checkpint or City Square.

So this is what people down here have to go through for Chinese New Year.

Some of my earlier post on Bukit Chagar CIQ can be found :
Crooked Bridge
Bukit Chagar CIQ
New Route Explained

Kaki Tambak

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Breaking News!! Lawsuit filed against Queen

Paprikjaya, 25 Jan - The current Allah controversy in Bolehsia has taken a new turn. The attorney- general Adoi Gona Pantat had filed criminal charges against 'Queen' the 1970s rock band for using the word 'Bismillah' in their song Bohemian Rhapsody.

In speaking to reporters outside the High Court, Gona Pantat said the case was established based on the report of Ketat state MP Zul Kick Me Puting police report earlier in the morning. 'Bismillah' is considered another term for 'Allah' which only can be used by Muslims in Bolehsia. As the song is hugely popular in Bolehsia, the authorities fear that Bolehsia Muslims could be confused by the lyrics and lead them to a life of hedonistic British Hippies.

The Bar Counter of Jln Chow Kit has issued a statement expressing reservations of these charges. In it they said that that Queen's lead vocalist Freddie Mercury was born a Muslim by the name of Farrokh Bulsara, thereby giving him legal rights to sing the word 'Bismillah'. However Gona Pantat rebuke the Bar, by insisting the current restriction of using Allah applies to beer-drinking, ganja-smoking and anal penetrating Kafirs too.

Meanwhile Bik 'Killer Queen' Mama wasted no time in launching a utterly, irrelevant and unsolicited publicity attempt. She pointed that the song was the primary cause that led a group of students to protest her visit to Universiti Bolehya. She stressed further that if students keep idolizing Queen, they will lose their way and become college dropout. She was obviously ignorant of the fact that Queen's lead guitarist Brian May has a PhD in astrophysics and is currently the chancelor of a Liverpool John Moore University.

Not to be outdone, the Inspector General of Police Muntah 'Under Pressure' Laksa, has vowed he will mobilized all police personnel to clamp down on live performance of Bohemian Rhapsody by all non muslim artists. Especially mini skirt Filipino and Chinese night club singers.

Regarding the case Chief Justice Tan Sri Maki 'Good old fashion lover boy' Nonomi, had expressed regret that Justice Ovaltine Pooh could not preside over the case as he was part of 'Another Bites The Dust' performance. However he stressed that he will do a lompat kijang of the case straight to the Federal Court to dispense swift injustice.

Not to be outdone, the information minister 'Bicycle Race' kowtim warned members of public not to watch videos of Bohemian Rhapsody on youtube, facebook or twitter. Such videos will erode the culture of Bolehsia and may lead to luar tabii sexual activities.

Caution : The videos are suitable for Muslim of weak Qalb.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pregnant Kaki Tambaks

My wife is pregnant now. So I know first hand how pregnancy inflicts physical torture on most women. Firstly,the constant gastric attacks on the esophagus which leads to constant vomiting. Then there are the headaches. Not a moment goes by without lethargies kicking in. Their energy are are so low that they always feel depressed. Then the vomiting stops (some women never stop vomiting until they give births), they start to have cramps, backaches and their bodies become bloated (Hyponatremia).

So it is tough being pregnant. It is even tougher for a pregnant kaki tambak. The fortunate ones are those who vomit inside their private cars on the causeway. The less fortunate ones will have to take the busses. And the most unfortunate ones are those like the picture below.

A pregnant kaki tambak with a very huge tummy. The jam was around 1 hour that evening.

Another very tired looking pregnant kaki tambak, taking shade from the strong evening sun while his husband was pushing their motorbike.

Being pregnant and on a motorbike for 3 hours per day will make your body aching all over. Furthermore breathing in exhaust fumes will increase the risk of miscarriages. Not to mention the slightest of accidental impact could cause serious injuries.

No husband would like to let their wife suffer like this. So why are there still so many pregnant Malaysians trotting the causeway everyday? The reason is just that many Malaysians could barely afford the basic things in their daily lives.

Is there something wrong with Malaysia? I will leave that for you to decide.

Kaki Tambak

Monday, January 11, 2010

The King Kong In Us

I actually intended to write something about my friend Raymond Lee, a talented musician and a former kaki tambak.

But when I got home from work, I came across the news of Tan Chun Kee who was robbed and stabbed to death in KL. The news made me numb.

It brought me back to 2006 when I too lost my dear friend in the same manner. She was killed 3 days before she could turn 18. She was cremated on what was supposed to be her 18th birthday. That was the darkest hours of my life.

It was with great sadness that I have to read the news of Chun Kee, the latest victim. What evils and hatred that drove these perpetrator to kill their innocent defenseless victim? Where is justice? When will the killing stops? How can I not hate this murderers? These questions are a burden that I carry everyday.

So it was weird, that later tonight my 2 year old daughter forced me and my wife to watch the DVD King Kong by Peter Jackson. During the movie, I could sensed my daughter being touched by King Kong. I could see the sadness in her eyes when King Kong was pounded by bullets after bullets and falling imminently to his death. At the end of movie she immediately gave her mother a hug.

And it struck me that all humans or beasts are born with a love and affinity for life. My daughter has it. King Kong did not lost his. But it seems that many of us has lost it somewhere in the midst of our complex man made society. Until we humans rediscover it, we cannot find a way out from the violence and hatred clouding all over us.

Weird as it seems, that a fictional Hollywood beast can possibly shed some light on our lives. But only if we want it to.

Kaki Tambak

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Calling All Malaysians down South!!! Voter Registration At Sutera Mall on Every Sunday of Jan 2009

The following article is a citizen journalism report by Anak Bangsa Malaysia Selatan:

Johor Bahru, Jan 3 - A voter registration campaign was launched at Sutera Mall, Johor Bahru today. In this campaign a voter registration kiosk will be setup at Sutera Mall(next to Information Counter) from 11am to 10pm for every Sunday of January 2009. The kiosk are meant for new voters registration only. For existing voters who wish to change their voting address, they need to change their address at the National Registration Department (Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara) first and then register the same changes at the Malaysian Election Commision (Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya or SPR) offices or the nearest Post offices.

The kiosk is managed by Mr Tan Yen Ming, Assistant Registrar appointed by SPR. SPR's Assistant Registrars are apointed from civil servants or nominated by political parties to assist them in the registration of new voters. In Mr Tan's case he was nominated by PKR. All voter registration operations by these Assistant Registrars are operated under SPR banner. No political parties or organizations logo or indirect campaigning are allowed to be featured in such operations.

This campaign aims to help eligible Malaysians who are unable to personally visit SPR offices or Post Offices during office hours for registration. Additionally Malaysians working or staying in Singapore can also take advantage of the voter registration kiosk at Sutera Mall. To register as a voter all need to do is you fill in an SPR form and need produce your Mykad for verification purpose.

Afterwards, the Assistants Registrar will submit these completed forms to SPR for processing. Since they are submitting hundreds or thousands of forms at one go, there are possibility that some registrations form will not be successful the first time due to the heavy load of paperwork at SPR. Mr Tan assured that he will follow up and ensure all his submitted registrations to the SPR are successful. In the event of SPR rejecting some registration, he will seek the reasons from SPR and informed the voter applicants accordingly.

Mr Tan assisted by volunteers at the voter registration kiosk at Sutera Mall

Mr Tan verifying and completing the registrations forms.

As of 8pm today close to 400 new voters has been registered at the kiosk. They people behind this campaign is appealing to all unregistered eligible voters in JB and Singapore, to secure their right to vote and exercise their right to vote in the coming election. - Anak Bangsa Malaysia Selatan

So guys please kick the butt of those millions of Malaysians around you who still have not bother to registered. Concerned fellow Malaysians are sacrificing their Subdays to help you get registered. Please do your part for Malaysia.

PS : Most of the volunteers there are not PKR members. They are there to help Mr Tan only.

Kaki Tambak

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lets make the new year great!

I am going to be a bit odd here and not wishing the conventional 'Happy New Year'.

Instead I challenge every Malaysian to make this year great. In order to have happy new year, we have to first work hard towards it.

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to spoil the party. Celebrate all you like but a happy and smashing year won't fall merrily onto our lap. Only after when we achieved something significantly greater, then we can be able to call 2010 a happy new year.

The shit in our country can only be cleaned up when there is enough of us getting out of our comfy seats and start fighting. Mine is not so comfy, so I am already all geared up for a fight.

Here is a video for those of everyone's contemplation. Its from SABMtv.

Kaki Tambak