We’ve heard a lot about fiscal and monetary policy this year, and with Budget 2020 just round the corner, I spoke with Carmelo Ferlito, Senior Fellow, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) to help break all this down and maybe add more context for Budget 2020 and what it means for us.
Catch the conversation at these platforms or wherever you listen to podcasts.
GE14 was a big step forward; vital in reinstating belief in the rakyat that our votes mattered, that our voices could make a difference and in our abilities to make an impact.
However while the battle for GE14 is over, the Battle for Malaysia isn’t.
In fact it’ll never be.
Like everything else in life, It is and always will be an ongoing battle. And we just gotta Keep Moving Forward.
A constant and perpetual series of ups, downs, corrections and over-corrections, that hopefully form a desirable trend line — desirable being a subjective matter which we’ll get into another time. #KMF
Hey, did you hear about the Merdeka Day celebration incompetence?
Well my friend’s cousin’s uncle’s brother’s niece posted that the parade messed up and the flag was inverted?!
Say it ain’t so…
And I know it’s true because, aside all the people who shared that one post on Facebook, this other guy, who has like 10k followers on Twitter, also tweeted the same thing and like, errbody retweeted it.
I mean come on, it was Merdeka Day guys, couldn’t we have at least gotten this right?
That’s how it’s been done for only the last 58 years
(I’m assuming that we’ve had 58 Merdeka day celebrations with a flag bearing parade, so don’t take my word for it).
So, yea, erm,
Kinda shows how many people have either never watched or never paid attention to some of the 58 Merdeka day celebrations we’ve had.
It shows how quick people share something that conforms with or confirms their bias irrespective of the source, leading to the viralness of misinformation.
I don’t know which is worse-
wait, no I do: both are bad, but the latter is worse.
So today’s segment is:
“Hey, I’m going share this because it confirms my viewpoint and to hell with verifying It cause other people are saying it and /or sharing it too, so it must be right.”
Today’s example is just one of the few in what I’ve come to expect from the beautiful mediums that are Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the social media pantheon. Whether it’s due to jumping on the bandwagon in order to not feel left out, or attention seeking tendency or wanting validation through likes, shares, etc, or simply for #AdRevenue.
Social Media is probably the quickest way to spread information (irrespective of how true, accurate or plausible) and as news media outlets have learnt:
The more sensational,
The better the engagement,
I mean, who cares about verification right?
And well, Sensationalism sells.
In this world of views, clicks, tweets, retweets, shares, hashtags, pins, posts & blogs fighting for short (and growing shorter apparently) attention span of people in all the (growing) business of life today, some to get some of that almighty #AdRevenue…
I may have drifted off point for a bit there, I’ll talk about sensationalism another time, I’m sure you got the point in relevance to this topic.
So yea, back to #Misinformation.
Hey, maybe open a new tab and Google that thing you wanna share, retweet, paste on your car or whatever before you actually do. Just a little verification from all of us can go a long way to minimizing viralizing misinformation.
Now, this isn’t a bash on things going Viral or Viralism…
The ability to connect with more people is great and I love it,
I can’t count the number of times a viral video of post has cheered me up or given me a good laugh or taught me a thing or two but with a tool with the power for people to share information quicker and easier than ever before, it comes with great responsibility.
Yea, I paraphrased Uncle Ben.
Today’s featured photo was taken during one of my work sessions at #greyskymorning last week.
Good Afternoon guys,
I’m back at Coffea Coffee here in Bangsar, enjoying my Flat White as i write this.
I really enjoyed writing my last piece; Closer to Home: The Fight for Malaysia’s Soul. I will definitely follow up on it, but not today as today is Friday which means an addition to my Notes on Life series is due. My next addition to my Closer to Home series should be out next Wednesday 4pm.
Notes On Life is a series that revolves around my thoughts, readings and personal experiences on matters relating to Life Lessons, Personal Development & Self-Help.
Life isn’t always Smooth Sailing; we’ve got to Fight to Live.
This is something that all of us have learnt firsthand;
Life. Isn’t. Fair.
But what I’ve also learnt is that there’s a reason to that. It shows us whether we’re a Fighter or a Quitter.
Of all the attitudes that humans experience, I despise Victimhood.
Because I know what it’s like to Play Victim, to feel sorry for myself, to swim in self-pity…
to absolve myself from all blame for the challenges and difficulties of life.
I lived life as a Victim for sometime last year, if you could even call that living, It was really more like just existing and watching life go by.
I hated the person I was then, so much so that I couldn’t even stand to see myself in the mirror and see what I had become, but I realize now that I had to go through it.
Seems like such a long time ago but really it just a little over a year ago.
When times were really dark and I wanted to give up, when waking up was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, a time when my mind was so clouded that most thoughts didn’t make it out and I got confused and disoriented easily, a time when pain and fatigue was my reality, everyday.
A time, I’m ashamed to say, where there seemed to be no escape from mental and physical fatigue, the pain and the Fog, and I thought about just Giving Up…
I was feeling sorry for myself, I was being a Victim, and I hated myself for it.
But now I see that I needed to hit that low, to set a benchmark for the rest of my life. In that Fight to pick myself up and climb out of the deep dark hole I called home for a while I revealed to myself the strength in me. First it was small wins, which grew, and each win grew my Self-Belief and made me stronger, not physically, but mentally.
If I continued living in Victimhood, nothing would have changed…
“He did not know how long it took, but later he looked back on this time of crying in the corner of the dark cave and thought of it as when he learned the most important rule of survival, which was that feeling sorry for yourself didn’t work. It wasn’t just that it was wrong to do, or that it was considered incorrect. It was more than that–it didn’t work.” ― Gary Paulsen, Hatchet
It was difficult at first to get out of that habit of Victimhood because honestly, it was quite addictive, I wasn’t living in reality and didn’t deal with any of my problems and challenges… for as long as i stayed in that pit, life was… easy… in my mind I wasn’t accountable for anything, because everything was life’s fault…
“Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.” ― John Gardner
With the great support system, family, friends, doctors and a great book, “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz, I climbed out of that pit of negativity, picked myself up and got back to living.
Life is still hard to me health wise, but I deal with it.
And there are some days, when things get really hard, when I indulge in a little self-pity, just to take a break from reality and acknowledge, deal with and release certain feelings and emotions that are weighing me down.
See the really problem isn’t feeling sorry for us; the problem arises when we enter that zone… and get hooked. This is the problem because after sometime the negative emotions become our norm and we then become Victims.
The People that blame everyone, and anyone, for their problems.
The People who refuse to face Life.
The People who stand on the sidelines and watch as life flies by, because they’re too afraid of getting hurt again, or failing again…
“I let myself feel good and sorry for myself, but only for a second. Daddy always said that the most useless of all human emotions was self-pity.” ― Gabrielle Zevin, All These Things I’ve Done
Why tell you all of this?
To make you feel sorry or bad for me? Well I don’t so neither should you.
I just wanted to illustrate that no matter how bad life looks sometimes, there’s a lesson to be learnt and a benefit to be gained, and we have the strength within us to Fight, it’s really about how much you Believe in Yourself.
Yes life can get tiring, so take a break, refuel, but don’t forget to get back to living.
Remember, We are our own worst enemy.
I’m still fighting the good fight, the daily fight, the Fight to Live. And no matter how bad things have gotten over the last year, nothing compares to what I overcame at the beginning at 2012, and if I could beat that, I can take on whatever else life has to throw at me.
I just need to remember to pace myself.
One day at a time.
One Inch at a time.
Yes, I have long-term plans and goals but I take it a day at a time;
I’m a strong believer that Small Daily Improvements will Lead to Stunning Results,
I’m a strong believer in Making Today Better than Yesterday,
I’m a strong believer that there is a Time and Place for all things.
Life now is much better than it was a year ago. My writing has gotten better, my studies are better, my moods are better and my health and energy levels are, on average, much better.
And to aptly conclude today’s Note, here’s Sinatra’s That’s Life.
Straight From the Heart,
Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan
That’s life, that’s what people say.
You’re riding high in April,
Shot down in May.
But I know I’m gonna change their tune,
When I’m right back on top in June.
That’s life, funny as it seems.
Some people get their kicks,
Steppin’ on dreams
But I just can’t let it get me down,
Cause this big old world keeps spinnin’ around.
I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate,
A poet, a pawn and a king.
I’ve been up and down and over and out
But I know one thing:
Each time I find myself flat on my face,
I pick myself up and get back in the race.
That’s life, I can’t deny it,
I thought of quitting,
But my heart just won’t buy it.
Cause if I didn’t think it was worth a try,
I’d have to roll myself up in a big ball and die.
I know it’s not a Friday but this one isn’t a Note on Life, it’s something much much Closer to Home.
This is Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan’s Thoughts on Change, Democracy & the 13th Malaysian General Elections.
Before I start, here’s a little intro into my political views.
I do not define and limit my fight for this country to a political party.
I believe in 2 things very strongly:
* “Power Corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely” – Lord Acton
* “People should not be afraid of their Governments, Governments should be
afraid of their people?” – V
which is based upon:
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. ” – Thomas Jefferson
So right now my support is for Paktan Rakyat, but that doesn’t mean it will always be
like that and it sure doesn’t mean that I am going to be blinded to their faults. I will support PR for as long as their struggle and long-term goal aligns with my fight for Malaysia. I will not define myself as a BN supporter, nor a PR Supporter. I’m just a Malaysian.
The 13th Malaysian General Elections
On the 5th of May 2013 I was one of about 10 million Malaysians that went out to the polls to vote. My first time and i was part of the biggest turnout in Malaysian history and also one of the biggest turn outs in modern history… 80%.
Many people wanted change. The urbanites, the younger generation, the first time voters.
However Barisan Nasional (BN) won.
There’s been a lot of noise of foul play and following that it has been concluded
that 5/5 was the date that Democracy Died in Malaysia because apparently our votes didn’t count.
I don’t want to dwell too much into fraud here. Yes, it does indeed look like fraud
was a foot. I’m not condoning it, but I also ask you if fraud is exclusive to Malaysia?
They way some people are talking it sounds like electoral fraud doesn’t happen anywhere else but Malaysia.
I would like to ask this question. What happened in the U.S. Elections of 2000, Bush vs Al Gore? There was foul play there as well, wasn’t it?
So when Malaysians say that GE13 was the dirtiest election ever in the world and democracy died here, I beg that these people think for a moment, before making such statements. Fraud happens in many elections worldwide and so does gerrymandering, so just because BN won, it doesn’t mean that this was the dirtiest elections ever.
And even after all that, Pakatan Rakyat:
still made progress,
still made inroads,
strengthened their hold on Penang,
strengthened their hold on Selangor,
took a further 7 Parliamentary seats from BN.
And Barisan Nasional:
has become even more unpopular,
lost more parliamentary seats,
lost more State Seats (collectively)
and didn’t come close to getting back their beloved 2/3 majority.
What does that tell you?
To me it shows that fraud is not enough to stop the WILL of the People, it’s just that
we didn’t have enough strength this time around to counter the trump cards that BN had up their sleeve. Sabah. Sarawak. Johor.
The Rural Vote.
The major support for Change was mostly urban, that’s NOT ENOUGH.
It is the rural areas that have the most influence. KL, Selangor and Penang do not accurately represent the rest of the country.
Jointly Sarawak, Sabah and Johor have 82 Parliamentary seats and BN won 68 as opposed to the total of 46 seats for Penang, Selangor and KL, in which PR won 36.
BNs stronghold has almost twice the number of seats than PRs stronghold.
What does this tell you?
It tells me that over the next 5 years PR has serious work to do in the rural areas.
Those are the areas that will bring the real Tsunami. The urban votes alone won’t get PR into Putrajaya.
For those who are saying that change didn’t happen? Are you defining change by a change in government? If you are, I’m so sorry but you’ve got the plot wrong.
Forget BN, Forget PR, Forget Najib, Forget Anwar.
We aren’t fighting for a political party; we’re fighting for Malaysia’s soul.
Malaysia’s soul is US.
Friends, Malaysians, Countrymen.
Change should not be defined by the changing of government but off the Change in the mindset of the People.
So don’t say Change hasn’t happened – it has.
It started in 2008 and has continued growing. Many of us are more actively involved in politics. More of us have become Political Citizens and the numbers will only continue growing.
And this leads me to:
I’ve seen many posting on Facebook & Twitter that democracy has died,
and this annoys me,
Democracy died a long time ago, it was dead before GE12, when most people didn’t care about elections, or voting or politics, and assumed that BN would just go on ruling Malaysia.
Then 2008 happened and for the first time in decades we saw BN lose their 2/3 majority. We saw PR take two juggernaut states away from BN. We saw that our votes could make a difference. We saw change that day. We saw the rebirth of Democracy in Malaysia. We saw the beginning of the Fight for Malaysia’s soul.
I respect every individual’s political stance and opinion but if you come and tell me that Democracy is dead now, then we have a problem.
It shows that you’re just following the trend of the hour, a mere follower.
Yes, on Sunday we saw democracy get hurt and abused but it’s still alive and ready to continue the fight through fighters like Karpal and Kit Siang.
Look at how long have they been fighting? How many loses have they suffered?
Have they given up? Did they sit around and feel sorry for themselves when a setback hit them? So why do I hear so many people whining?
I’ve learnt firsthand that feeling sorry for myself never got anything done.
So lets stop the noise, stop the complaining, stop the whining and go out and help out with the cause you believe in. Because Democracy can never die as long as there are people who still BELIEVE.
So to conclude,
Get over it.
This isn’t a battle, this is a War for Malaysia’s Soul,
Not for BN. Not for PR.
What’s important is that we DON’T GIVE UP because one battle was lost,
What’s most important is that PR stay strong, united and grow.
What’s most important is that we, the People, Keep Moving Forward.
Democracy cannot die as long as there are people who believe in it.
As for me,
I will not be mourning.
I’m going to celebrate the progress and the inroads that PR has made,
Friends. Malaysians. Countrymen. Tomorrow we vote..
Who you vote for or whether you vote or not is you choice, either action is your right. Just remember this. Whoever it is you vote for, make sure that you are true with your vote. If you vote for change remember that with change comes resistance and if you vote for stability, remember that absolute power corrupts absolutely and no improvement or greatness was ever achieved by colouring within the lines.
Tomorrow is big day for Malaysians and Malaysia.
People in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s 60s 70s etc will be heading to the polls for their first time.
Tomorrow we are all equal.
Tomorrow we fight for what we think is right.
Whatever happens tomorrow, be vigilante, vote and be safe. If a storm comes we will brace it for every storm eventually comes to an end.
But whatever it is, don’t so anything stupid. Stay out of hot spots, don’t antagonise and keep calm.
I’m not a BN supporter. I’m not a PR Supporter.
I am Support the Rakyat. I am Pro-Rakyat.
Sidenote: don’t sit around and complain if you can vote and aren’t going to vote.
I’m having my Latte as I’m surrounded by movement, lots of movement. Around me sit others who are taking a break from the crowd in the mall, taking a break from the rush of movement. Today’s immense mess is probably due to the fact that it’s a long weekend and that school holidays have just started, and in line with Malaysian style, people have rushed to the malls. I’ve never been a big fan of malls, sure I like to spend a day there once in a while (monthly etc) but I can’t see myself making it a weekly occurrence, or maybe not weekly whole day affairs.
Anyway, looks like Christmas has colonized Diwali here in Malaysia. I’m having my latte at Starbucks and the Christmas theme is very much in my face. I am reminded of this FB post I read a day or two back; how Starbucks has set up for Christmas without even waiting for Diwali to end. The best part, it’s not just Starbucks, it’s CBTL as well and I’m sure a few more of these international coffee franchises. I understand the need to set up for christmas, it is the most profitable and commercial of all the festivals celebrated here, I think, but couldn’t you guys wait a little while longer before cashing in? Couldn’t Starbucks, more domestically than internationally, have just waited a little while longer? I’m not asking for a Diwali themed drink, just asking you guys, my favorite coffee franchise/place/spot to just respect Diwali enough to not completely ignore it’s existence and plaster christmas all over it. I expected better sense, didn’t think that they were this ignorant, especially with Starbucks pushing into India I would have expected them to be more aware of indian culture in general.I don’t need you to celebrate it with us, but I would like Diwali not to be cast aside like it doesn’t matter, this doesn’t happen with Ramadan or CNY. I know Christmas is an important commercial season, but I’m sure all of you guys based here, not just Starbucks, could have waited a little while longer before bringing out the candy canes and christmas trees.
I love Starbucks, but I’m now dissatisfied and disappointed. I don’t know whether this is a recurring thing because I only became a regular Starbucks customer this year, but I really hope you guys, and others, don’t repeat it. Don’t disregard our celebration by choosing to layer christmas over it, find away to make this a win-win, (maybe a hybrid Christmas-Diwali theme until Diwali is over?) because honestly, as a Malaysian of Indian ethnicity, I felt unwanted when I entered Starbucks today, didn’t feel at home like I used to before, didn’t feel as comfortable, and all that is a big part of why I come to Starbucks. I’m sure ill get over this sooner or later, and I’m sure others will too, but don’t take this dissatisfaction and disappointment lightly because one day it could bite you in the ass, not just Starbucks, but too all you others who have chosen to overlap Diwali with Christmas.
On another note, I wish everyone who celebrates this festival of lights a Happy Deepavali/Diwali!
The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.
I think that teaching and education has reached a sad state. We no longer teach, we dump facts. We no longer educate, we expect memorisation. We are no longer taught to think as individuals but to think in a certain way. We are no longer educated, we are brainwashed. We no longer learn to think, we no longer think to learn.
Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.
Anthony J. D’Angelo
The most important thing that should come come abut after 12 years of formal schooling is the ability to think. Thinking is very much underrated in school now. You are no longer encourage to be creative, and to think outside the box but instead to be a square, follow the line and remember that there is only one way or a certain way to answer a question.
I thank my mum for forcing me into Cosmotots, the place that taught me the way of thought and thinking. They did this through literature, they showed me that a book wasn’t just a story, that you didn’t have to take something at face value. That anything can be deconstructed and analysed, the something ins always not what it seems. Thank you mother and thank you Sir.
The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.
Robert M. Hutchins
If we cannot think, if we cannot form out own points and opinion then are we not just robots and clones? Programmed to think a certain way, taught a certain way, taught the same thing.
Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
I apologise if I insulted anyone, that was never my intention, I am not saying that all teachers are doing this, I have met many teachers that have actually taught me, teachers who knew what education was supposed to do, but unfortunately there aren’t enough of them. We need to take a page out of the education playbook of the West. The teachers I had when I was at ICPU (International Canadian Pre-Universirty which is the Ontario High School certification) we’re amazing, they encouraged us to think and developed our minds, I have never had so much fun in English or learned so much in an English class, thanks Mr. G.
Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.
John W. Gardner
Education is the key to personal growth,
Yes knowledge is power, but only if you know how it use it.
Good evening readers, I hope that today has been a good labour day so far for all of you.
A couple weeks back, i read a story on The Edge, the story on “Rail Poltiics”, a story about the lucrative train projects up for grabs, the end of the ‘Highway Gold Rush’ and the people involved.
What I realised is that we have a lot of highways… The NPE, Kerinchi link, Guthrie, Penchala Link, NKVE, North-South Highway etc etc etc. our government spent a lot of money laying down roads for us and a lot of people made money laying down roads for us, and that’s all fine and dandy, the NPE is brilliant, I love the Kerinchi, so no complaints here. But public transport was neglected.
What’s happening now is that we’re moving on to a new “Gold Rush”, mass public transport, trains. Projects estimated to be worth about RM70 billion. Malaysians, we’re going to see a public transport boom in the next decade or so, and yes it’s pretty late, but better late than never.
“More than RM70 billion worth of rail-related projects have been slated for the next decade, including the prized RM50 billion Klang Valley mass rapid transport project.” – The Edge
But then, I thought about this, why didn’t we spend all that “Highway & Road” money on public transport and now work on highways… I mean that would have been more beneficial for all of us right? But then if we already had a public transport boom and had trains running everywhere, then we really wouldn’t need that money highways would we? Not to mention that we needed people to keep buying cars to prop up Proton but I digress, the point is we would have spent less only if the government had started with the Public Transport Boom instead of the Highway & Road Boom, it’s not like we didn’t have the tech then, we made the LRT back in ’97. But I guess if the government had spent less money overall, then the parties involved wouldn’t have made as much money and wouldn’t be able to further make more money now is this new Gold Rush.
But it’s fine, better late than never, the money was pumped into our economy and we at least have some pretty good highways, and we can mow look forward to the betterment of our public transport system. Over the next decade plus we are going to see a lot of money (billions) being poured into infrastructure, I just hope that the regular players aren’t the only ones making money form this.
“This makes rail-related construction the second fastest growing sector after oil and gas.” – The Edge (follow @Lopeztheedge on twitter)
We’re moving out of The Highway Gold Rush and into the Rail Gold Rush.
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and for those who were disappointed I apologize for the long wait.
So a few days back I finally registered myself as a voter… after much procrastination. While I was sitting a the post office, waiting for my number to be called up, waiting to be given my Right as a citizen, my mind went off on a tangent, this one was on change, politics and who I would vote for.
First off i would like to say that i’m neither a supporter of BN or PKR, but i am a supporter of progress for this nation and the only way that will happen is that if there is strong competition between political parties to win the right to lead this nation.
In essence, a government works for it’s citizens… the citizens pay taxes that in turn the government uses to finance itself. A politician is nothing more than a servant to the People, such as a CEO is a servant to his/her shareholders. Unfortunately, the mindset has somehow changed and it has come to a point where the dynamics between the government and the People has… altered. The People have become active, less interested and less aware. This has lead to the abuse of power by politicians because they have begun taken their position for granted. In a word, Complacency had set it. Not just with elected official but with the People as well. Fortunately over the past few years the People have started waking up, waking up to their Rights. Waking up to the fact that Politicians should be afraid of them and not the other way around, that they are not as helpless as they thought that they were. The problem is that not enough people are waking up. I am constantly disappointed by the number of people, especially around my age, that couldn’t care about voting, some because they don’t think they can make a difference, some because they think that it’s just so easy to gain citizenship elsewhere and others who just don’t’ give a damn. These mindsets need to change, you can make a difference, this is your country and why don’t you give a damn. Malaysia is still a young country and we have a long way to go, but let us not forget that we have also come along way since 1957. Just as how the most booming industries are the ones with major competitors, Politics needs major competitors to obtain the best results, not for the politicians themselves but for us… the people because the people who benefit the most from competition, is Us.
So from now on, if anyone asks, I’m voting for the better choice, for change, for progress. I will not be confined to just being a supported of BN or PKR, i will not join this mindset of having to be either a “Republican” or a “Democrat“. I will vote for what is best for my future, our future, the future of this nation.
The only constant in life is change. It’s normal. It’s inevitable. It’s necessary for the progress. It’s necessary for the survival of the human race.