Monday, September 19, 2005

Malaysian the the UN summit

The Malaysian PM made a speech at the UN summit.

We must also maintain a distinction between acts of terrorism and the right of peoples fighting for self-determination. It is equally unjustifiable to associate terrorism with any particular race or religion. Terrorists must be singled out only by their acts of terror and nothing else.

In other words, we cannot equate Islam with terror. I have always maintained that not all Muslims are terrorists. In fact not even most Muslims are terrorists. Yet the question still remains why is it that most terrorists are Muslims? Badawi, Islamic scholar that he is, does not provide us an answer and I am still in the dark.

In World War Two, Japan invaded our nation. Guess what? We shot anyone who was Japanese. Were most of the Japanese aggresors? Nope. Did most of the aggresors happen to be Japanese? Unfortunately yes. So what did we do? We shot and disabled as many Japanese as we damm well could get away with. Islam today faces that same problem but we only have folks saying 'we must not associate terrorism...'

Still no solutions.


Note that this is not to advocate shooting, maiming or disabling anyone yet we see that a solution lies somewhere in the group where the problem is. Similarly as we do not look for a cure to breast cancer by examining men we have to look for a cure to terrorism by looking at its biggest constituency.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The lesson of the tea shoppe

An Indian blogger posts about the tea shop.

Here in Malaysia we have tea shops too. People hang out there and a cup of coffee costs about 10 times less than at starbucks. Some of them are air conditioned wonders too in which case the coffee may be twice as expensive, but even then it's cheap.

These are market driven wonders and if every advocate of affirmative action wanted to truly 'uplift' the fate of a people they would get them to open something like a tea shop.

Tea shops can be as humble (one counter with a stove) or opulent (fountains and plaster mouldings - check out Restaurant Kayu at ss2) as the owner can afford. It doesn't require government subsidies at all. Find a spot somewhere and set up. Work hard, keep the costs low, work even harder and with a little bit of luck you get rich.

Best part for me is that my tax dollars won't be used subsidizing anyone's learning curve.

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Indonesia Sucks Part 3

Indonesia has done it again. Three women are going to jail for three years just because they actually cared enough to organise a fun weekend for children.

Games, food and prizes just like kids everywhere in the world get when they are kids. That's a jailable offence. Oh, but wait one minute, guess what? In countries where kids get these things you will realise that Jihadism tends to not get much play since the kids are actually busy playing and developing.

It's only in horrible parts of the world where children grow up with old sticks to beat each other with that Jihad tends to take hold. After all, what fun is an old stick. You can only re-enact 'Uncle Achmed beheads the kafeer son of a pig and ape' so many times before it gets old and you wish you had Grand Theft Auto or Halo to play.

It's in horrible parts of the world where the family goat looks like the mullah who in turn looks like Uncle Achmed from Esfahan that Jihad takes hold. No one is sure what Mum looks like since she hides under that burqa all day.

I betya there's a correlation between happy meals and the likelihood with which people will advocate blowing themselves up. In addition to the big mac index we should have a happy meal index. We correlate the number of happy meals sold in a country against the percentage of seats held by Muslim parties. We can then sub-divide the country.

Besides the happy meal index we could also try the Hot Wheels or Matchbox or Nintendo or Playstation (you get the trend) index.

It's a shame that people who are too busy preaching hate to take care of their own children and provide them entertainment get all pissed off when someone else gives a shit enough to do it for them.

How did Arafat die

In a more closely guarded secret than who did Kennedy (John F that is) we are still unclear on how Yasser died. Note that I would say Arafat but given the number of Arafat's dropping like flies these days, it would be confusing. However here's an article that has something to add.

Dr. Ashraf al-Kurdi, Arafat's personal physician who played no part in the late PA chairman's medical care during the final weeks of his life, said that he knows that the French doctors found the AIDS virus in Arafat's blood. Al-Kurdi refuses to divulge the source of this information, but claims that the virus was put into Arafat's blood in an effort to blur the traces of poisoning, which was the cause of death.

So the doctor who was Arafat's personal doctor said

1) He had AIDS in his blood

2) It was a Jewish plot

The second statement is the normal pap they spout anyway so we can probably ignore it. The Israelis generally take out rats with helicopter gunships and rockets. Poison is more a womans tool.

So all we really do know from this doctor is that, somehow, Yasser had got a serious case of AIDS. So as with the entire Middle East process, for all those keeping score at home, we now need to ask 'who screwed who?'

Thursday, September 1, 2005

The curse of natural resources

Imagine a country with tin, lots and lots of tin. Imagine it has tons of arable land where it grows cash crops such as oil palm and rubber. Then imagine it pumps out so much crude oil (light and sweet too) from its waters and lands that it pumps more than it uses. Add to that forests chock full of good quality hard wood. Then imagine it also has gold, bauxite, titanium and other strategic resources. Then why does the country have people living below the poverty line?

Now imagine this country randomly took 10% of its population and set them adrift on an island (48 kilometres wide at its longest point). This island has no resources at all.

This is the Malaysian conundrum for me. How come we have so much in the way of natural resources yet we are not ten times or a hundred times richer than Singapore?

Was reading this post which offers a great summary of a book. I read the authors other book (the lexus and the olive tree) which was worth reading.

Friedman’s theory is that government and the oligarchy which owns it will always find some way to take care of themselves. If there are easily exploitable natural resources, there is no need for the rulers to involve their subjects in the project. Not needing help from their subjects, the rulers don’t have to give them anything in return. So they don’t. No share in the loot. No democracy. No effective government. Nothing.

Will probably go to MPH this weekend to look for the book.