Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Luckily, Kit Siang is not our PM

If Kit Siang is our PM now, we would probably not see this,

Please click on image to read more clearly

That's because


would be to save businesses, not lives.

excerpts;

The DAP stalwart said an economic rescue package to bail out the SMEs must be Muhyiddin’s topmost priority now.

He would have in the first place hesitated to impose the movement control order (MCO) which is bad for businesses.

His next door neighbour with five factories would probably complain that an MCO will cause him losses and Kit Siang would listen to him.

"Aiya...few died only what. Still can do business. Why need to shut down everything. Other countries like Canada also not doing MCO yet what."

I can imagine that kind of talks.

I'm not saying saving businesses is not important, but the priority is to save lives and for that this current government got it absolutely right.

Things would be much worse if the MCO was not promptly implemented that day.

That's why I did this posting which I previously never would have thought of doing,


Again, I have never been a Muhyiddin fan before this Covid-19 war.

That's in case some of you think I'm trying to be cute to the guy.

And I think I got it right when I said in the previous posts that the government is not abandoning anyone in this fight against Covid-19.

That include the businesses.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin announced this,

Special RM10 billion stimulus package for SMEs


But, I bet there will still be complaints of it not being enough.

Ya, that RM10 billion on top of the RM100 billion in loans and guarantees given in previous stimulus package will not be enough for some people.

That's why there are the likes of Kit Siang who think they can do better than this current government.

That despite them having screwed up the government when they were given the chance to prove themselves when voted to power in GE14.

Seriously, I think they should just shut up for now and instead of sounding like stupid start to help the current government in a positive way in this Covid-19 war.

Well, things seemed to look better now as we hang on under this MCO.

InsyaAllah, we will rebuild our country after the war is over.

Stay positive guys.

Cheers.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Some only complained, others tried to help

While some complained and demanded bailouts, others took the initiative to help in this Covid-19 war.

This is a good one;

AirAsia launches S.O.S campaign 

to help businesses

excerpts;

It said the campaign would enable merchants whose businesses have been hit hard by measures to contain Covid-19 to sign up at zero commission and zero listing fee to market their products on OURSHOP for the whole of April.
These shops would only be required to cover the banking transaction charges of two per cent for each sale made.
The products that qualify include groceries, daily essentials, food and beverage, beauty products and household items.


I hope AirAsia's effort could also do something about this call for help from me,

Please help our hawkers


For its efforts to help such as this one, I also hope the government could give the airline the loan it needed to survive the pandemic.

Bare in mind that it's not asking for bailout or "direct cash assistance" like others did.

As any other airline in the world at the moment, AirAsia which employs tens of thousands of people needs such an assistance, and for me, it totally deserves it.

Once this pandemic is over, I hope I could afford to take one of the AirAsia flights as a thank you gesture for its positive attitude during this hard time.

Most likely I want to go to Japan again and fulfill my promise to a friend to meet him in Tokyo.

InsyaAllah.

Suddenly, I remembered Japan because my beloved forwarded this to me earlier in the morning.



Ya, I actually imitated the Japanese when I was in their country - I bowed to cleaners, janitors, street sweepers and garbage collectors whenever I encountered them. I also bowed to cashiers, waiters, lift operators etc.

Being polite and around polite people has always been nice.

It may also explains why Japan is clean and has yet to be hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Well, I always learn something good when I visited that country.

But for now, traveling is just a dream.

Okay, time to do some work now.

Cheers and stay safe, okay.


(UPDATED at 14:57)

Just saw this;

AirAsia launches donation drive to support vulnerable communities

excerpts;

All donations will be channeled to social enterprises and charities such as Perak State Parks, SEED Foundation and Beyond Borders Malaysia that provide food and medical aid to Orang Asli families, homeless peoples and refugees.
Donors may make their contributions on AirAsia Foundation’s dedicated fund-raising page at https://airasiafoundation.com/relieffund; or at BigPay via the financial app’s P2P transfer option to AirAsia Foundation; or via Local Bank Transfer (available from April 6 onwards).

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Muhyiddin is my PM

I have to admit that Muhyiddin has never been my favourite politician.

Maybe it's because I felt that he's a bit "cold" as a person.

Nonetheless, I actually like his people that I know. I had good times with them, particularly when I was in Japan, South Korea and India.

Still, I somehow never really warmed up to Muhyiddin despite meeting him many times over many years including at his home base in Pagoh.

I was not even exactly cheering when he took over as PM after the Pakatan government's collapse that day.

That despite him being the crucial person who got rid off DAP and the gang from Putrajaya.

Then the Covid-19 crisis started.

That's when I began to look at Muhyiddin differently.

Ya, it was just the past few weeks that I really think the guy actually can do the job.

As far as I'm concerned he is doing well under the circumstances.

His team was also not doing badly except for some minor fumbles.

There were criticisms, of course, but that's normal for any government.

Muhyiddin himself seemed to be going all out and the way he carries himself, I believe he does instill confidence that we can beat this Covid-19 enemy.

For me, he's doing and saying the right things, so far.

Not bad at all.

Bear in mind that the guy is 74 and a cancer survivor.

And today he did something which touched my heart.

Despite his tight schedule and pressure of fighting the Covid-19, he still took the time to post this,


Regular readers of this blog should know that I have a weak spot for those with autism and their caregivers.

I'm glad that Muhyiddin as the PM cares about them even during this time of emergency.

Personally, that's the sort of things that count for me.

Back then, I was also grateful to Najib as PM because he and his wife took the initiative to set up Permata Kurnia early intervention center for children with autism.

Well, I hope we all Malaysians could unite behind the current government in this fight against Covid-19.

Forget about politics for now, as we need to save our country first.

I also hope that Muhyiddin will continue to provide good leadership for us all, at least until the fight is over.

Cheers and stay safe everyone.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Kit Siang's topmost priority if he's PM during Covid-19 war

According to this story,
the government’s move to provide RM100 billion in credit and guarantees for SMEs was not enough.

SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang was quoted as saying that what is needed isn't more loans but direct cash assistance.

I think this is something like asking for BR1M (or whatever they called it nowadays) for the SMEs.

Hmmm....RM100 billion in credit and guarantees are not really enough help.

Okay, whatever. I'm okay with the government helping everyone, provided it has the money for it.

After all, government's money is people's money.

At least, the SMEs are asking for help by not bashing the government for helping the B40 group like some people as I highlighted in this post,

No need for hate-mongering during this Covid-19 war

Well, maybe the SME owners are also desperate to feed their families like the B40 people.

But then again, DAP supremo Kit Siang was also quoted in the report as saying this,

excerpts;


“As I know a lot of SME is facing the same problem. My next door neighbor has 60 workers, five rented factories and some installment paying machinery,” read one of the quotes.
“He needs RM300k every month. At 42, his 15 years of hard work is going to be wiped off if lockdown continues.”
The DAP stalwart said an economic rescue package to bail out the SMEs must be Muhyiddin’s topmost priority now.

So, Kit Siang is saying that Muhyiddin's topmost priority as PM now is to rescue SMEs owned by people like his next door neighbour, a 42-year-old businessman who after 15 years now has 60 workers, five rented factories and some installment paying machinery.

I do wonder exactly how dire is the guy's situation. Does he still have food for his family at home now or does he have any savings to tide things up till the end of this pandemic?

Really? Can't use his savings to save his SME?

Those 60 workers, are they locals or foreigners?

Sigh.

I don't know about you, but no matter how it's put, I still think the guy is above the level of the hawker whose story I highlighted in this posting,

Please help our hawkers, don't hate Taiwan

And that hawker was not even really asking the government for "direct cash assistance" and instead just asking for his community to continue buying food from him and the other hawkers so that they could survive the pandemic.

Well, Kit Siang thinks helping his SME owning neighbour and people like that is government's topmost priority now. That puts helping the hawkers definitely not his topmost priority then. 

For me, the government's topmost priority now should be to stop the spread of this Covid-19 pandemic. The rest are important too but can come later. 

If the government can stop Covid-19, then I'm sure it can also help the SMEs, hawkers, Makcik Kiah and the rest of us.  

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

A plea from the food delivery industry


Got another request, and this time it's from my father.

He got this from his friend and asked me to help publish it.

For the record, I don't agree with all the points made in the write-up, particularly on how food delivery services are helping hawkers (at least not all of them), but I'm still publishing it because my father asked me to do so. Hopefully my mother won't kill me for it, as she's very pro-hawkers (as explained in my last posting).

So, here it is;

By A voice in the food delivery services 

The business of food deliveries in the age of the coronavirus has been devastating for the industry.

The adverse economic impact stemming from the Movement Control Order has diminished the income of restauranteurs, petty traders and gig workers in various industries and outfits. 

Let’s face it: food is crucial during the MCO. Disruptions to the food supply chain has been catastrophic. 

The supply chain – restaurants, supermarkets, food delivery and grocery services – can keep the economy going, but in a limited capacity. 

We strongly feel that there is no clear case or evidence of contamination through food delivery: in fact, contracting the virus from grocery shopping is riskier. 

Delivery risks, if any, would be from contact with the delivery rider. 

However, food establishments now offer contactless deliveries and best practices in food handling. Food packaging can be discarded, disinfected and disposed like grocery bags or other products we buy. 

Contrary to public opinion, food deliverers lose revenue during Covid-19, attributable to restricted F&B opening hours, limited riders, and outlet and road closures. 

Many F&B establishments struggle to adapt to the takeaway/delivery only method while deliverers operate at reduced capacity. 

Food deliverers support local businesses and hence, the economy. They provide revenue for F&B outlets, hawkers, petty traders and riders in the gig economy, many from the B40 segment. 

Food deliverers are the few employers during the MCO that still stimulates the economy by providing employment, helping small traders, hawkers and businesses in F&B to stay alive. 

The government needs to ensure the security of companies within the essential services so that these businesses can continue to support the economy. 

These businesses provide employment for many B40s in the following chain: 
• Food delivery delivers food (Income for gig worker riders) 
• Restaurants and hawkers sell food from buying ingredients and fresh produce from farmers and fishermen 
• Restaurants employ mostly from the B40 group The government should also allow food deliverers to continue services beyond 8pm. While we support the government’s efforts to contain the virus, we must consider the consequences of limited operating hours: 
• The 8am-8pm time slot triggers panic buying in supermarkets and eateries, forcing more people in crowded spaces and higher risks of infections 
• Food deliverers have restricted workers: frontliners working beyond 8pm will also have problems ordering food, leading to reduced income for gig workers, riders and restaurant staff in food delivery services. 
• If the MCO’s intent is to limit movement, then adhere to the no dine-ins and adopt no takeaways for eateries, therefore only food delivery is allowed after 8pm. This is China’s approach where F&B outlets were allowed to operate until 12a. 
• Petty traders are impacted by the limited hours, so a need to support these businesses to survive. While we appreciate the government’s efforts to provide the stimulus aid, the cash injection is unsustainable. 

We need to support the local hawker/neighbourhood stalls. Here, we humbly propose the following solutions: 
• Set time slots for takeaways and pickup services between 8am and 8pm in MCO Phase 2; 
• Allow F&B outlets to operate until 11pm to cater for the late-night crowd and workers. Allow food delivery services but NO takeaways and pickup; 
• The much better food delivery option promotes social distancing where customers can opt for contactless delivery while restaurants and café adopt the WHO safety and hygiene guidelines; and, 
• Food/grocery delivery could decrease people movement, ensuring that the food industry, at least, remains drivers for employment and the economy. 

In conclusion, the big question is, are food deliveries safe? 
We referenced two experts: 
• Prof Sally Bloomfield, honorary professor of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
“…by having home delivery, all risks are eliminated. By comparison, coronavirus does not ‘breed’ outside the body so by the time it is delivered, any chance of infectivity is already lower because the virus starts to lose its infectivity as soon as it leaves the infected person…” “This means that the risk of home delivery is “very small” compared with visiting supermarkets.” 
• Dr James Gill, honorary clinical lecturer of Warwick Medical School 
“…People could look to use food delivery services as a way to reduce their need to visit supermarkets. (Delivery) highlights the importance of the imposed lock down, as social isolation and the restriction of movement is the strongest defence that the general public has against possible COVID-19 infections. “Should people be concerned about coronavirus exposure from groceries delivered directly to their homes? The fight against this pandemic is driven by data that is rapidly evolving and updated. In all likelihood, the risk of exposure from food delivery is less than risks of exposure to supermarket and queues at checkouts. “Food deliveries, whether from friends/relatives or supermarket courier will carry a lower risk of exposure. Most people have bleach and cloth to wipe over home deliveries, effectively eliminating risk.” 

Monday, 30 March 2020

Please help our hawkers, don't hate Taiwan

This one is quite long and I don't even know who wrote it, but my mother asked me this morning to share it in this blog with the hope that more people will read it as do the minister in charge or people with authority.

I don't think this blog is that influential but I need to try as I can't let my mother down, okay.

So, here it is;

It is Day 11 of the Malaysian Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and I have a tale to tell.  A tale unfortunately not borne out of fiction, but firmly rooted in a sobering reality. 

This morning I experienced first hand, a distinct sector of society which has slipped under the radar.  Or at least which has brought me to my knees in re-evaluating my role as a citizen in my community.

And that sector is our local neighbourhood coffee shop hawker and gerai makan. 

11am: As the head of the household, I made my way out for a grocery run (as is what is allowed within MCO rules). While driving, I passed one of my favourite local hawker coffee shops and unexpectedly saw that 3 hawker stalls were open. 

It was ages since I had a good greasy chicken rice meal so I proceeded to order from the chicken rice seller, 3 packets of chicken rice. While going about his usual way of preparation, he started lamenting that his daily sales now is only around RM140 but he has to open shop from 7am-11pm. 

To put it in a nutshell, he has to work 16 hours to just sell Chicken Rice and survive between rm100-180 a day. 

He continued that if business went on for 2 more weeks like this, he would go out of business. 

His next response shocked me. He begged me to come back and buy from him for dinner...in which he then gave me extra meat in my packets, in the hopes that would seal the deal and I would come back that night. 

It was at that moment I realized that yes, all sectors are hit badly because of this MCO (which is unavoidable and IMHO, a necessary long term manoeuvre) but the really small coffeeshop hawkers and gerais are at the most vulnerable. 

I began a conversation with him and a few things which he pointed out, emphasized his hardship. 
1. He couldn’t go and register himself on an ecommerce site or platform due to him being illiterate and having near zero technological knowledge. 
2. He said he considered house delivery but delivery fees were at a minimum of RM5 so he couldn’t afford it and no customer would be willing to pay a jump of 200% for chicken rice. 
3. He heard from people about the recent Economic stimulus and although he qualifies for some of the incentives, many hawkers like him, are not willing to contact the IRB due to various reasons because of a checkered past (perhaps certain troubled run-ins with the law) and warranted/unwarranted fear towards the government. 
4. Why did he have to remain open instead of staying home and waiting for this MCO to end? His response was akin to a traditional malay saying “kais pagi makan pagi, kais petang, makan petang” 

I tried to persuade him to let me assist him financially or at least help him with some of the technology woes he had, but he kept deflecting and saying that my patronage of his business is good enough for him. 

When he said that, I felt a wave of emotion sweep over me. One not just of guilt, but of shame because of my ignorance. You see, my family and I have been very comfortable for the past 11 days, utilizing convenient delivery services such as Grab Food and FoodPanda everyday since MCO day 1.

We even enjoyed the occasional bout of home cooking and it was laughter around the house, while at the exact same time, there was an Uncle sitting in his chicken rice stall waiting 16 hours for a mere 10 customers per day. 

8pm: I came back that night, bought half a chicken and slipped him an extra big note into his money tray without him noticing to try and appease my guilt but I think that is why I am compelled to write this. 

For those of us who fall within the same scenario, where we are comfortable within our four walls , indulging in the diverse offerings of Grabfood/Foodpanda or even have been cooking at home the whole time during the MCO and trying out new bold recipes, perhaps it is time to play our roles as citizens of our local communities, where we can show some love to our local hawkers who are stuck with no choice, by helping them through this time of crisis by making it a point to “Tarpao” and “Bungkus” from them, besides also saying a prayer for them, because once this MCO ends, it would be a sad day for our community when we have to start having conversations as to whatever happened to our favourite chicken rice hawker stall down the street.

For those who already have been buying from your local hawkers, I applaud you 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 For the rest of us, perhaps we could practice these steps: 
1. As a family, pick out your regular hawker stall around your neighbourhood. 
2. Get your head of the household to swing by and check whether they are open during one of his/her grocery runs. 
3. If they are open, drop by and buy some breakfast, lunch, dinner. 
4. Give them a little bit of encouragement by having some small talk or conversation with them to brighten up their day. 
 #supportyourlocalhawker #supportyourlocalgerai *

I did not upload a picture or information of the real chicken rice hawker stall or the owner’s face due to his request, in which he only asked me to share his plight and the plight of other hawkers like him to let the world know the seriousness of this situation on ground. 

Your single action today, albeit how small your takeaway order might be, will be able to alter the course of destiny for each of these hawkers who in this period of distress, need us to show our solidarity as Rakyat Malaysia and practice the evergreen and holy virtue of "Loving Your Neighbour".

Why my mother wanted me to share this particular story?

It's because my grandmother used to be a fried kuey teow hawker and my mother as a small kid, used to help out at the stall.

My grandmother used to run a fried kuey teow stall like this

She used to tell me that my grandmother's stall collected about RM100 per day and maybe about RM200 during weekends, half of which had to go to fix costs like cooking materials, rental payment, gas and electricity bills, etc.

She said she was a happy child though, and most delighted when it's time when my grandmother counted their meagre earnings at the end of each day.

My mother went to study at a Chinese school after winning a scholarship and later worked at a restaurant in Singapore for two years before offered another scholarship from Taiwan to further her studies in that country.

In those days, only Taiwan offered scholarship for our Chinese school graduates. The communist government in Beijing only did so in recent years.

That actually explains my affection for Taiwan and why I always defended Malaysia's Chinese education system and schools which offered better education for children of poor Chinese families such as my mother's.

As for Taiwan, it helped a girl from a poor hawker family in Malaysia to further her education, and that girl is my mother. So, I'm grateful to Taiwan because of that.

Okay, I know, some people made a lot of noise over a misleading statement by a Taiwanese lawmaker about the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia several days ago.

But, come on guys, the man had since apologised and in the first place, he didn't even represent Taiwan as a whole.

Please don't hate Taiwan just because of one man's mistake. After all, this Covid-19 pandemic was not even started in Taiwan.

Well, this post is indeed quite long. Hopefully you all have the patience to read it till the end.

I better stop here, okay.

Let's do our best to help each other, especially those in more need than us during this Covid-19 war.

Take care, stay safe, cheers.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Heroes of Covid-19 war

In war, we need heroes.

I actually remember this from the movie

Search Results

The film is a fictionalized story of sniper Vasily Zaytsev, a Hero of the Soviet Union during the Battle of Stalingrad in Second World War.

Yesterday, my beloved sent me this,

#InDGweTrust

My beloved is now a fan of Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

I like the guy too, and so do many others, I think.

We can tell that he has been going all out in this Covid-19 war and he seemed to know what he is doing and doing it quite well.

He's quite a bit of a hero now.

But, in this article,

Kisah anak flat Loke Yew memerangi Covid-19


Dr Noor Hisham was quoted as saying this when asked about his personal self,

excerpts;

“Let us all work to solve Covid-19 first. This is the priority. Its not about me, its about Covid,” katanya dengan penuh rendah diri.

Still, I think it's okay for us to be inspired by the good doctor.

This is an interesting bit about him written by his former schoolmate at KL Methodist High School as published in that article;

Please click on image to read

Quite inspiring.

I'm sure we have many other heroes out there fighting on the frontline against the invisible Covid-19 enemy.

In fact, for me, all our frontliners are heroes in their own right, risking their lives for us and this country.

We must do our best to assist them in whatever we could.

At the very least we could give them moral support from our MCO confinement.

Or by not complaining too much about our difficulties which may irritate them.

Well, you all know lah, some people keep on bitching about the government not doing this and that, not helping them enough, etc.

Why can't these people just shut up and bear the burden like everyone else?

Again, this is a war, okay. We are all suffering and it's not all just about those selfish dumb-ass whiners.

Personally, I'm suffering here too and will suffer more if I really lose my job because of this Covid-19 pandemic.

But I see that as a cost of war, and I will try to bear with it without complaining too much and being a burden to others.

Hey, at least I'm still alive and well for now....my beloved too.

I'm praying to Allah to lessen my hardship and that of the rest of this country.

Well, that's the least that I could do.

And to cheer myself up in this MCO confinement, I watch YouTube videos such as this;




Okay guys, cheers and stay safe.