Monday, September 29, 2014

Is Proton Iriz Worth it?

A game-changer(?) but the Proton showrooms are empty

The day the Iriz was launched I was jogging past our local Proton showroom and was surprised to see that it was empty except for a green Iriz and about 6 salesmen milling around beside the car. Dismissing it as merely coincidental (it was dinner time, and yes, it was a weekday) I did not give much thought about it.

However, after reading so much about this model being a game-changer and reading it all over the papers and on the radio I could not help wondering whether it really was a coincident that the showroom was empty. And so when I jogged past the showroom again two days later (a Saturday, and yes, dinner time again), again the showroom was empty except for a 4-year old peering inside the car and no sign of the 6 salesmen.

I could not help thinking about the crowd I saw in front of the Perodua showroom when they launched the Myvi (the first and the "lagi best" model). It made me start to think what is keeping the crowds away from Proton.

Is it the price? At RM42k for the lowest series model it is not cheap for a "compact" car. The Japanese can buy a sporty sedan from RM30k plus in their own country. So does the Aussies. Why is it that with all the subsidies for Proton we still have to pay so much for our own LOCAL car?

Some may argue the price reflects the tons of features offered in the Iriz. But do we really buy a car for its features? I believe car buyers go more for the look rather than the features and in this regard I don't think Proton has a winner here, it may be a game-changer to them but it is not much of a looker (ditto the Suprima). Proton has much to learn (maybe it should look at the Koreans now).

A very black and plastic look inside

Some may also argue that certain sections of the community are "unpatriotic" and do not support their local cars. I can't see why I should support something that has impoverished millions of car buyers in Malaysia by increasing the taxes for foreign cars to "force" us to buy a Proton. We are not much different from a communist country in this respect.

Another interesting fact to note was Proton's "use" of Dr M to sell the car. Is that a joke? Do you really want to remind the buyers that by buying the Iriz you will also be forking out a portion of your salary each month to pay Dr M's salary?? Jesus!

Actually, my second car years ago was a brand new Proton and it had a problem even before it left the showroom. One of the tail lights refused to turn on even after an hour of investigation by the salesmen. I was then asked to bring my car to the service center the next day. When I brought it to the center a few days later, I remembered the "technician" spent a few hours looking for the problem and eventually found the culprit which was a small piece of metal lodged between some terminals.

That incident did not really put me off Proton as I loved the car (then) but what I disliked was the hours of waiting every time you need to bring the car for service. Now if Proton can change THAT, THAT could be the game-changer!

Paul Tan: A game-changer which attracts no one 

Read the review and pictures credit to 

Borneo Post: Weak sales figures from Proton despite Iriz's launch

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dyana Sofya: A New Hope For The Malays?

Why is a political novice like her getting so much attention by the powers-that-be?

The entry of Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud onto the political scene has been met by an unprecedented and sustained attack by some of the biggest guns in Umno: an Umno Supreme Council member, the head of Wanita Umno and none other than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself.

Is it because she represents everything that Umno does not want the Malays to be? – Capable, Confident and Unshackled?

Unshackled from the unhealthy culture of dependency that Umno has created and reinforced through a constant stream of propaganda and paranoia – all with the cynical aim of perpetuating Umno’s hegemony.

The unshackling of the Malay psyche spells the beginning of the end for the gravy train called Umno because it means that Umno can no longer take for granted that Malays will vote for them. This is why they are so desperate to kill off Dyana Sofya’s political career before it has even begun.

Dyana Sofya is an even bigger threat than more established and prominent Malay opposition figures for the simple reason that her motives cannot be so easily brought into question. Going by Umno’s narrative, Nurul Izzah Anwar is part of a political dynasty, Ariff Sabri is a disgruntled Umno man and Zairil Khir Johari is not a “real” Malay.

Yet it is not as easy to cast aspersions on an entrant like Dyana Sofya, particularly when in their own estimation, she stands more to lose than to gain. She is a middle class Malay who grew up in Malaysia and graduated from UiTM (surprise,surprise!) with a law degree. And to top it off - her mother is an Umno member!

This is something Umno’s leaders simply cannot fathom or accept because they remain stuck in their feudal mindset. And it panics them. It scares the shit out of them that - there may be more Dyana Sofyas out there!

Malays whose conscience cannot be bought and who will not be cowed. Malays who choose to live by the ideals of truth, equality and justice and who wish to build a better Malaysia hand in hand with their fellow countrymen.

It is time we showed Umno that they are right to be scared!

Above Article from Malaysia Today - Arise, the confident, capable and unshackled Malay!

Original Article from Malaysian Insider - Arise, the Malay that Umno fears

Marina Mahathir - She Can Think, She Can Write and She Can Articulate (not like our other politicians)

Friday, May 02, 2014

How Malaysia Airlines lost MH370

CNN's Richard Quest dissects Malaysia's preliminary report:-

Controllers told the airliner to check in with their counterparts in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. "Good night, Malaysian Three Seven Zero," someone in the cockpit answered.

That check-in never happened, but something else did. The plane dropped off radar, and the clock ticked.

"Control of the aircraft had left Malaysia to Vietnam. Even so, for 17 minutes, neither Kuala Lumpur nor Ho Chi Minh noticed nor acted," Quest said.

Then at 1:38 a.m., Ho Chi Minh contacted Kuala Lumpur to let the controllers know that it had not heard a word from the plane. "Verbal contact was not established," the transcript said.

The two control centers began a conversation about communications attempts with Flight 370 and previous radar blips along its path.

Then two messages came from Malaysia Airlines which is BEWILDERING:

At 2:03 a.m. came the first seemingly reassuring message from the airline. The plane was in Cambodian airspace,the airline told Kuala Lumpur air traffic control.
The Malaysians passed the message on to Vietnamese controllers. They then tried to confirm Malaysia Airlines' news with Cambodian air traffic controllers.

The airline later confirmed its reassuring message. It had been able to "exchange signals with the flight," which was in Cambodian airspace, the transcript read.
But an hour after Flight 370 signed off, Vietnamese air controllers poked holes in Malaysia Airlines' message. The flight had not been scheduled to fly over Cambodia, and officials there had no information on the plane -- nor contact with it.

Malaysian air traffic controllers kept in communication with the airline, which gave them yet another seemingly reassuring message at 2:35 a.m.

The airliner was "in normal condition based on signal download," which placed it off the coast of Vietnam.

At 5:20 a.m., a Malaysian official pronounced, based on what was then known, "MH370 never left Malaysian airspace."

Where was the military?

The Malaysian Prime Minister has said the military tracked the plane as it headed back across Malaysia.

According to the report, a playback of a recording from military primary radar revealed that an aircraft that may have been Flight 370 had made a westerly turn, crossing Peninsular Malaysia. The search area was then extended to the Strait of Malacca.

But it's unclear WHEN that happened. The report makes no mention of the military's role the night of the disappearance.

CNN: MH370 lost due to incompetence

CNN: Why did Malaysia Airlines say the plane was in Cambodia?

Watch the video: Richard Quest on Malaysia's anaemic and "disgraceful" report

Malaysia Chronicle: Is the search conducted at the wrong area "on purpose"?

William Pesek: Malaysian government intent on ensuring nothing changes as a result of this tragedy

Thursday, April 03, 2014

MH370: A PR Disaster for Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- It may mean little to investigators that the last words air traffic controllers heard from the lost jetliner were "Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero," rather than "All right, good night." But to Malaysian officials whose credibility has been questioned almost from the beginning, it means a great deal.

Malaysian officials said more than two weeks ago that "All right, good night," were the last words, and that the co-pilot uttered them. They changed the account late Monday and said they are still investigating who it was that spoke.

The discrepancy added to the confusion and frustration families of the missing already felt more than three weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, and as of Tuesday officials had not explained how they got it wrong.

"This sort of mistake hits at the heart of trust in their communications. If Malaysia is changing what the pilot said, people start thinking, 'What are they going to change next?" said Hamish McLean, an expert in risk and crisis communication at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.

"Information in a crisis is absolutely critical. When we are dealing with such a small amount of information its needs to be handled very carefully," he said.

Authorities have been forced on the defensive by the criticism, the most forceful of which has come from a group of Chinese relatives who accuse them of lying about - or even involvement in - the plane's disappearance. In part responding to domestic political criticism, defense minister Hishammuddin Hussein has taken to retweeting supportive comments on Twitter. He has twice in recent days proclaimed that "history would judge us well" over the handling of the crisis.

"There are some things that I can tell you and some things that I can't," Malaysia's civil aviation chief said cryptically in the early days of the search.

"That was a terrible, terrible response," said Lyall Mercer, the principal of Australian-based Mercer PR, a public relations company. "It says to the families that 'we know things that we are not going to share' and that 'something else is more important than you'."

The piece of information that families most want to hear - whether their relatives are alive or dead - has remained impossible to say with finality, creating a dilemma for the government.

On March 24, it tried to address that. Malaysia Airlines officials met families in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing and sent a text message to others saying "we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived."

Sarah Bacj, a 48-year-old American expatriate teacher whose boyfriend, Philip Wood, was on the flight, said the decision by Malaysia Airlines to inject some certainty into the fate of the passengers was a mistake. Until then, she said she thought the Malaysian government had acted responsibly, but the text message "totally violated my trust."

"I fell off the cliff," Bacj said. "The way the text message came, I expected proof. That they had found the bodies, or that they had found confirmed wreckage, or something ... but they didn't actually tell us anything at all. The only thing they did was make a judgment statement about evidence - unconfirmed evidence, mind you."

The final words from the cockpit, and who said them, are of interest not only because there are few other clues to the disappearance, but because the communication occurred just a minute before the plane's transponders were shut off. The words were in English, as aviation communications are around the world.

The above article was extracted from CBS News

International Business Times: Blessing in Disguise Tweet lands Hishammuddin in hot water

CNN: Malaysia's preliminary report on MH370 (55 days later)

CNN: Richard Quest analyzes the report (4 hours gap where no one took any action)

Bloomberg: Malaysia gets a D, South Korea an A-

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The world now sees the real Malaysia

People say that a person's true qualities will be shown when tragedy happens...

SEPANG, Malaysia — Malaysia’s governing elite has clung to power without interruption since independence from Britain almost six decades ago through a combination of tight control of information, intimidation of the opposition and, until recently, robust economic growth.

But worldwide bafflement at the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has challenged the country’s paternalistic political culture and exposed its coddled leaders to the withering judgments of critics from around the world.

The world is finally feeling the frustration that we’ve been experiencing for years,” said Lee Ee May, a management consultant and a former aide to a Malaysian opposition politician.

Ms. Lee said she was embarrassed when the country’s defense minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, the scion of a powerful political family, rejected a reporter’s assertion on Wednesday that the search for the airplane had been disordered.

“It’s only confusion if you want it to be seen to be confusion,” Mr. Hishammuddin said at a news conference that unfolded before an international audience.

"Are you confused?"

"Take it from me..."

NYT: Malaysian leaders face rare criticisms from outside

Bernama: Malaysia fails credibility test

USA Today: A pathetic and incompetent leader

Reuters: An even more pathetic air defence system

Boston: Missing flight reveals a third world mentality

Malay Mail: Worried about red faces caused delay in search

NYT: A routine flight until routine and flight vanishes

USA Today: Malaysia's bumbling government

Kee Thuan Chye: How much longer can Malaysian government hide?

Al Jazeera: This is not a normal government

CBS: Malaysian government has serious credibility issues

WA Today: Never ending mistakes, backdowns and corrections

Bangkok Post: Malaysia's response to missing jet is shameful

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our Immigration Officers can't tell Asians from Caucasians

Our politicians are now making a fool of themselves on the international stage (they must have tired of only performing to a local audience) and have chosen a very inappropriate time to do so.

The fate of the missing MH370 flight hangs in the balance as our Transport Minister (Acting) and DG of Aviation make fools of themselves on Live TV.

First of all it was revealed that two passengers who had false passports on the flight had Caucasian names. How they could get on the flight was dismissed as a common occurrence happening all over the world by the transport minister. Then it was revealed that they actually looked Asian but could still fool our immigration officers (Immigration later explained that its all SOP - standard stuff everyone knows la....).

The next day it became "clear" that they actually looked more like Mario Balotelli as revealed by our DG who couldn't even pronounce Balotelli correctly and had to be corrected by the reporters!

"Was it Bartoli or Balotelli on the plane?"

And finally, on the next day... tadaa!! Surprise, surprise they look just like Iranians!

Kee Thuan Chye: What's Going On??

National Post: Malaysian DG makes "strange" comparisons to Balotelli 

Channel4: This must be the weirdest press conference ever!

Telegraph: All Malaysians are liars!

SMH: More confusion and misinformation

Malay Mail: Malaysia's weak leadership exposed

Malaysian Insider: Seven errors in the search for MH370 and counting

Sakmongkol AK47:  RM13bn to 16bn spent on our defence system each year but none of it seen being used to help search for MH370

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Najib calls on Malaysians to "just eat kangkung"

Never has there been a leader so bold in this country where he finally sees the courage to speak up after being condemned for his lavish spendings. If the price of everything has gone up, why not just eat "kangkung" (water spinach) which is cheap and available all over the country (especially near the longkangs).  If you can't afford to travel by private jets why not just take the bus? If you can't have lavish wedding ceremonies why not just celebrate at home? If you can't have your nasi briani why not just have "nasi kangkang"? And if you don't like UMNO why not just leave the country?

Great advice from a sage? No, it's just our PM Najib.

Malaysia's Kangkunggate

Najib calls on Malaysians to eat more kangkung so that he can continue to be PM

Malaysia's learned scholars rush to award Najib his PhD in Economics

Flash mob feeds Najib a free kangkung meal
Malaysians in love with Najib declares Jan 13 World Kangkung Day

BBC: Najib is fast becoming Malaysia's laughing stalk

Jakarta Post: Najib blames the people for price hikes