Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Time to angkat sarong & lari ??

Uncle was just telling me to calm down

He (the old wise one) says if we are panicking, he can't imagine what reactions we can expect from those earning a low to moderate fixed income with duties, responsbilities, encumbrances etc.

He has a point. What is really there for us to worry about?

After all, we were once Dinky Yuppies ("double-income-no-kids"), the dream of marketers.

We were after all, once high flyers. We were also good savers, & planners for our future retirement.

Not many plan out their every possible expense item on an excel spreadsheet - but we did.

So we thought "YEAP. We are Prepared!"

BUT now I can no longer accept I am "comfortably well-off*".

* For us, the definition of comfortably well-off means no mortgage, no HP, no need to really scrimp on utility, food or fuel, recreation, entertainment, 2 nice cars, travel wherever, whenever, some money in the pocket to burn etc.

So where once we have prudently saved to be comfortable, I really am no longer "comfortable" - what with today's skyrocketing-to-the-heavens prices.

Heck! We don't need to buy a Soyuz. We ARE the Soyuz!!

Aunty's soh-paw doomsday prediction: High Inflation, & possibly & probably Recession in the next year.

And you know with our Government, SIGH SIGH SIGH!!!

I wonder if our wise Leaders realize who are the real victims in this whole 40% fuel jump fiasco.

I am no economist but I figure the real victims are
- Anyone with a Fixed income
- Anyone with a mortgage & vehicle payments
- Anyone with a single income
- Anyone with a young family
- Anyone with elderly dependants

Would that be like 95% of us?

You know what else I fear?
- Rising Crime rates (bad enough but will get worst),
- The old, sick & handicapped being abandoned
- More addictions including gambling & drugs,
- People no longer caring for, nor being able to afford to contribute to charities etc

So tell me now.

If I am sitting here thousands of kms away and feeling F**ked, what must those of you in Malaysia be feeling?

I think it may be time to angkat sarong & lari oh!

Malaysians to holiday in Malaysia!

Azalina, Minister of Tourism is advocating Malaysians to take holidays domestically.

Before y'all think I am gay-bashing, just know many of my good friends are also gay so...I sure ain't gay-bashing!

Yeah. Azalina is the 1st Minister who came out after the disastrous elections to say that from now on the tourism board will stop its spending on promotions for the 5 states taken by the Opposition.

Lina Sweetie - Please realize this
1. The average Malaysian will be highly likely to holiday "at home" seeing as how prices have skyrocketed & our disposable income has diminished by half.

2. Before you advocate us on what to do, can you speak to your own Pak first?

Your Pak should mandate ALL government servants & their families (I am referring only to those whose holidays are paid for by the Country) to do what you have asked the poor Rakyat to do.

Now IF the govt follows your proposal, I can see the following scenarios happening (knowing full well the mentality of our "servants"):-

1. Hotels will be asked for free rooms &/or upgrades plus other freebies - for the same price as a standard room

2. "Friends" will be asked to meet & greet so that entertainment, shopping & meals will be taken care of (wink wink!!)

3. 4-, if not 5-stars hotels will see an exponential boom in biz from locals as (God Forbid!) our servants should have to stay in any hotels below 4-stars!

4. The Rakyat living in touristic areas will experience first hand how our little (& big) Napoleons & Marie Antonettes will be us more reasons to examine our hearts when we next vote

5. Hotels will also be likely to engage the services of debt recovery companies

As for the Rakyat, you needn't have to worry.

Staying HOME for our holidays seems like the only viable option now.

After all we will be too busy planting vegies and rearing chickens (secretly) in our kitchen!

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Jeanne Jeanne quite the does your garden grow?

The papers these days are full of "advice" for traders not to increase prices (ya, RIGHT!) & tips for us plebs on how to make ends meet.

We are grateful for all the help we can get, but what is our government doing to show us as a real living everyday example, that they too are hurting, & that they too are sacrificing to make ends meet - much as the the Rakyat does?

Are our ministers growing their own vegetables themselves?
Are they "parking, walking, waiting & riding" ie using public transport, come rain come shine?
Are they economising by...say...taking economy on flights? not buying a Soyuz (or 2)?, not leasing private jets? not going to KLCC, London, NY or Paris for shopping?

Now we even have the wife of our PM (by all accounts a lovely person) trying to motivate us by taking us on a tour of the PM's edible garden.

Thanks Datin Seri. That's kind of you.

If you don't mind, can you share with us your tips on:
1. How you personally is able to grow this edible garden?

2. How big must the garden be, & what types of garden/plants do we need in order to yield enough to feed a family of 4 for a week?

& finally

3. Can you share with us how, as breadwinner, parent, spouse & even caretaker of elderly folks, you are able to find the time to do your own gardening?

You know ofcourse what a typical day for working parents are like. We start at 6am and end at 9pm. Weekends are yet another round of kids tuition, family activities & housework..with some "me" time.

I am not saying we shouldn't do something to help ourselves.
I am not saying we should all just be lazy buggers and lounge around waiting to die.

But you know what? I don't think any amount of gardening or parking & riding will help me save enough to pay for escalating food bills, elderly parent's medical bills, the mortgage or the kids' future.

So Thanks for the Effort Jeanne. Next time a Minister walks the talk, call me!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The new Poor Middle Class of Malaysia

I received this email and I wanted to share it with you. Most of all I want Abdullah Badawi to read it. It touched me and reminds me to stop bitching.

Dearest Aunty
Are you that poor ? Why are you complaining about the cost of living? I think I am the "poor" one here.

Let me tell you about my poverty.

My take home income is RM2,500/mth, my wife is RM 1,400. Our combined take home is RM3,900.

1 year ago when we could make this income, we were both so happy and contented. Isn't this a good income for a household with 2 adults, 1 granny, & 2 kids?

The following are our monthly costs and you tell me where else I can save.

Mortgage (single storey terrace Cheras) = RM1,000
Car HP (Kelissa) = RM900
sub-total: RM1,900

Why do we have a car? I must send my wife to work, and kids to school because we worked out the costs and found it "cheaper" if I took everyone. Also the bus service where we live is far away, and not frequent.

Did we need to buy a house? We also worked out that paying a little more (than renting), will let us own a property in the end.

After mortgage & HP, our balance is RM2,000

Electricity, water, phone = RM 100 (no air cond)
2 Kids SchoolBus Home & to Tuition = RM 150
Grocery & Marketing = RM 600
Astro for Granny = Rm 80
sub-total:RM 930

Balance:RM 1,070
My & my wife's lunch: RM5/day/person x 20days/mth= RM 200
Petrol: RM 150 to RM200
sub-total: RM 350

Balance:RM 720

Rm 720 is our "savings" provided
- Granny & kids do not fall sick,
- car does not break down,
- no relatives' weddings or funerals,
- no hari raya or new school year starting,
- no eating out

The same savings must pay for our income tax, pintu cukai, kids tertiary education, our own retirement & any other emergencies.

I really do not know how others with less income than we can survive in Kuala Lumpur if we think we are finding it tough.

Aunty. I really don't know how much more of our belts we can tighten because I am getting more and more stressed everyday.

Increasingly I find myself
- snapping at my family when anyone leaves a light on for 5 minutes longer or if a tap is not turned off tight.

- wanting to kill someone when there is a traffic jam because my petrol is burning away.

- not daring to take the family to the mall for jalan jalan in case they see something I can not or do not want to buy

- fighting with granny or my wife that they are not shopping around to buy cheaper rice, toilet paper etc.

- praying the house & car have no problems

So, since when did the quality of my life deteriorate to this level that I worry about everything this much?

(end of email)

The car(e)less Malaysian

There is no way you can tell me our Government thinks through its "strategies" or even coordinate their announcements of bad news to the People.

Last week announcement: compulsory belting up for rear passengers. Good safety move !

But with mostly 2 seat belts in the back for most small cars & the majority of the "middle" class with more than 4 in the family; who ends up paying more?

Now the price of fuel has increased 40% (!!!!) to RM2.70/litre?

Everyone (except those with a money printing machine and we know of many, don't we?) are worried about all these escalating costs.

And don't no toothless consumer associations (I am referring to the Consumer Assoc of Penang!) "warn" traders not to increase prices.

Have you (& the Ruling Lords of Malaysia) ever sat in on 1 class in Econ 101? Or did you spend all your time on Accounting Cook Book 120?

How and who is paying these poor traders for the 40% increaes in fuel ie costs of delivery and transportation?

Why is Petronas NOT revealing their accounts? Do the Oil in Malaysia belong ONLY to a secret association where no accounting to the public is required?

According to WHO website, the gross national income per capita (using PPP international comparison) year 2006 for:
Singapore = US$ 31,710
Malaysia = US$ 11,300 (RM36,743/year or RM3,061/mth)
Thailand = US$ 9,140

I don't know who is earning RM3,000/mth because I am only basing this on ALL the "normal" working class people I know.

Sure as hell their entire monthly household income isn't RM3,000.

And if I am not wrong, a foreign university educated person I know who is lecturing, with 3 years work experience, is being paid about RM2,300/mth. So let me ask again "Who the hell is not impacted by this 40% increase in fuel in Malaysia?"
Interestingly enough according to the same source the life expectancy of
Singapore Males = 78, Females =83
Malaysia Males = 69, Females =74
Thailand Males = 69, Females =75

Notice we are very close to Thailand in this respect

So why do I give life expectancy rates?
This only serves to remind me that despite our +20% higher gross national PCI than Thailand, it would appear that the Thais live just as long as we do, and on 1/5 less income than us.

To a goblok Aunty like me, this seems to imply although the Thais may have less to spend, they seem to have either better access to, or just better health care. And/or they also seem to have an equally good quality of life (as we do) with 1/5 less money.

So does this make it a good case for "Thailand my 2rd Home" or "Malaysia my Home" for you?

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

100days report card on Opposition? What is this Nonsense?

There must be others like me who begs to differ.

WHY is it we make the Opposition account for what they have done for us in their 100days in office when:

1. We did not ask the Ruling Party to account for what they have done in the past xx years? We have only started (or dared to??) no longer than maybe a few years back?

Yes. The opposition in Parliament has tried to asked - but to the derision of UMNO hecklers and gangsters in Parliament. Who blocked them with names calling, ISA detention & sedition threats & other hooligan tactics.

Actually the lowest of the low, the poorest ajar of UMNO were at Parliament to jaga the goal post which is why there was so much "kurang ajar" behaviour.

Parliament was so poorly attended (VVIPS have better things to do what!) that the Opposition may as well have talked to the wall then!

2. Have we not read that when many of these poor Opposition members took office, they found their offices emptied of ALL files, papers and even furniture?

MPs had to look for locations to set up office while the ruling parties had their infrastructure set up for years; ok nobody were really manning those offices but the place was there.

3. Worst still - their "staff'" did not cooperate because they were "paid for" by the absentee ruling lords!

It's like "Uncle went on vacation, & you as the nephew-in-law can not ask us to do anything. I wait for Uncle to return because he is surely coming back, he is the one with the power and he is the one paying me!"

It's like a hostile takeover for companies!

4. The Opposition had little if not NO experience in running the place. Yes. Their intentions were good but they did not have the experience to run the biz. And they are blocked at every turn!

5. No money. Now how the hell can you run something when Uncle did not give you the cheque book & took away even the rubber stamp?

So, Please lah People.
Give the People we voted in some time. We know UMNO is making it shit Tough for them to function. At least give them 6 months. After all haven't we given UMNO, MCA, MIC YEARS ???

And if they were accountable, responsible & professional, we wouldn't be in this shit hole in the first place!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

I need an ANGEL from you!

Dear Kind Family, Friends & Bloggers
Let me repeat - I subscribe to NO particular religious beliefs. But I have a HUGE favor to ask. I will try to explain.

Last Wednesday on my 2rd visit to the University Hospital Oncology (cancer) Public ward for Kids here in Antananarivo I brought along some little treats to cheer up these poorest of poor kids.

They have the triple whammy in life. GREAT Suffering, poverty and death. To them, the fact that they are lying in a bed in a hospital is already the "greatest luxury".

And btw the beds are dirty, smelly and the mattress is barely serviceable. No. There are NO toilets in their rooms. They must walk into a long corridor to go to a dirty smelly toilet..sick or not!

I brought Marshmallows as they are soft and gooey so they are easy to swallow (some can't swallow or eat due to tumors or they are too sick to eat).

It is their 1st exposure to these type of "western" treats. I had hoped that these kids would love them, as had I in my youth.

A 13 yr old girl (who looked 100yrs old) got my special attention. I knew she would be the first to go, as she had already lost interest in anything around her when I first visited 2 weeks ago.

However last week, she was more perky - as finally - her parents could afford the drips and the colostomy bag. The color of her urine was already orange red. So I knew.

To try to cheer her up, I put a little piece of marshmallow into my mouth to simulate "yum yum" and put a piece on her tongue. She looked at me and said "good" in french.

There and then she & I took 1 whole piece of marshmallow each. YUM YUM.

Today when we visited she was no longer there.
Yes she has finally left her suffering on earth this morning.

Which brings me to the point of ANGELS.

I think if we put the most fabulous angel doll hanging over their bed, the kids would sorta "feel" there is someone watching over them. On top of that they can look at the angel when they are too listless to do anything else.

If Death is such a big fear and unknown to adults, can you imagine what it must be for Kids?

So will you buy me an Angel or give me the one from your Christmas Tree?

Your angel will mean alot to these kids who has known no comforts in life and is now suffering. I promise to bring it back with me to Madagascar in July.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Measuring out for a Tiara DS Ros?

People have little birds telling 'em stuff. Aunty no need for birds, Aunty got CHICKENS! Chicken bones specifically. When I ptui my bones after chewing 'em, I see how they lay, and viola! I can foretell the Future!

So last nite with the chicken feet soup at dinner, I was happily chewing and masticating and PTUI! What do you know! I see a Tiara, I see a Rose. So who can that be?

Ya. I put 2+2 together (chicken feets that is) and I KNOW SURE SURE that it is a tiara for the Datin Seri.

You see. My opinion is
- No matter what Anwar says..PKR can not get the cross over of 30 delegates

- No matter how much Najib says to Badawi "I love you deep deep", he is only biding his time (and should not be long if he plays the usual donggu role)

- No matter how much we seriously dislike Najib, there seems to be NO other viable candidates in UMNO

So Ros Babe. Start measuring your head for the Tiara.
It should not be too long now before you will have a chance to represent Malaysia as our 1st Lady.

MOVE ASIDE IMELDA!!! We will show you who can do the double drag queen act better!!

My better half asked me to write
"It ain't over till the Fat Lady sings".

I sure as hell dunno what that is all about!