Tuesday, December 22, 2009

GST : Focus On Tax Evaders First

I was amused with the comments above from readers of both Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini for this article


written by maha, December 16, 2009
the implemintation of GST by the B.N govt clearly shows to what extend the govt of the day is interested in the welfare of in particular the middle and lower income group. So I beg rational voters to bring in pakatan in 13 GE &. we will see what pakatan CAN DO. Pakatan have proven in Kedah, penang,selangor,kelantan and to certain extend in perak.KEEP IT UP PAKATAN!

written by siong, December 16, 2009
GLCs making lost. BN now worried all the economics corridors they promised will bring development, hitting big rock and sink. So, go and collect money from poor rakyat to bail out GLCs linked with BN politicians. 1Malaysia rakyat diutamakan, I mean first to get robbed.

written by i_love_malaysia, December 16, 2009
When come to collecting money, the BN govt is super efficient!!! The govt should stop all the leakages and not just want to collect more and more and more!!! No wonder the Thais and Singaporeans drivers and smugglers are laughing all the way to the banks for our generousity out of govt stupidity!!!

written by lowxinpui, December 16, 2009
Bloody well make sure all the PR MPs are present when the votes are taken.

written by Ahmad Ismail, December 16, 2009
BN is short of money?

then how come can pay so high dividend to Amanah Saham Bumiputera?

GST will be a waterloo for BN inthe next election.

written by Apa Khabar, December 16, 2009
What GST to Najib may just turn out to be like Badawi's petrol price hike, with its repercussion on the next General Election.

No worries, mate!
From Similar Article in Malaysiakini

by kgan - 30 minutes ago
Some proponents of GST have touted the 4% rate as lower than the 10% Sales Tax which it will replace. But sales tax is levied at source on manufacturers and importers on nett prices so the GST rate must be multiplied by the markup from source to consumer. Furthermore, GST will affect a far wider range of goods and services than sales tax. Don't forget 4% is only the starting rate, it is set to go up as oil revenue decreases and BN needs ever more money to fund its corruption.

by Habib RAK - 41 minutes ago
Tony Pua from DAP had already articulated this matter very well. He has clearly pointed out that it is not timely to introduce GST as this juncture. What needs to be done first is to get rid of the all the wastages, overpricing, plundering, stealing from the national coffers. The savings from these areas will generate more revenue than from GST.

by M'sian - an hour ago
From next year onwards we can expect more opposition politician to change camps. Government will have more money to buy these people, while tax paid is wasted for white elephant like PKFZ, double rail project and this will be additional income for thief & team (PM & Team).

If this is the quality of their cyber troopers, don't expect much when Pakatan takes over the country, as these stupid cyber troopers will hardly object any wrong doing by Pakatan in future as these cyber troopers appears to be dumb enough to be taken in by anything that Pakatan does. There's hardly any intellectual debate on the GST issue in the comments section except for one Habib RAK. These rest are just some emotional outburst from hardcore Pakatan Rakyat supporters. Just look at the comment by Ahmad Ismail and you would realise how stupid can Pakatan Cyber troopers be.

i_live_Malaysia is also completely wrong, Malaysian government is pathetic is collecting taxes, hence the introduction of GST. While we do not know much of the impact of GST, we should hear more on what the experts have to say rather than
what politicians like Tony Pua has to say .

I agree completely with Tony of saving money elsewhere but there's never a wrong timing of GST implementation. Even if the economy has recovered, nobody likes taxes, hence it will be still opposed by those who like to oppose. Will Pakatan Rakyat implement GST when the economy recovers. They are likely to do so, when pressured by economist and foreign experts. See some expert views here, , here , and here

I suspect after the second reading of the bill in March, and if ever Najib decides to implement the policy, Pakatan Rakyat and NGO's aligned to them will take to the streets (as they did against PPSMI policy) The politicians who are strongly against certain government policies could well do something wiser that will be well accepted by Rakyat.

They moan about increased prices all around resulting in higher cost of living. They could well go to the streets when traders increase prices. Why not take consumer's concern to the streets. They could well mobilise consumer association and their hardcore supporters to boycott certain unscrupulous traders, companies and monopolies. Why can't they do that? Why only take the streets only if they do not agree with BN. This is where Pakatan loses its credibility and aptly supported by idiotic comments by their hardcore supporters and cyber troopers, clogging comments section of all online news sites.

What we need to tackle seriously in the immediate terms is to ensure those who are actually taxable pay taxes and this will immediately increase the nation's coffers. And to appease those who swore to live by rule of law, we should charge those who deliberately evade tax.

It was estimated that only 7% Malaysians actually pay tax. That's rather pathetic as I believe many who are in the taxable range are not paying tax at all. Efforts must be made to ensure those who are supposed to pay tax do so. It is so unfair that only salaried people are tracked and forced to pay tax. There are many more out there, such as hawkers, retailers, self-employed individuals (including professional such as lawyers, Doctors, Accountants, Engineers who run their business under Enterprise license) who do not pay tax at all. They evade tax by simply cooking up their accounts, aided by chartered accountants every year. They do pay nominal amount which is usually not reflective of their income.

I am also disgusted that while I pay maximum tax, and many people, who speak loudly about abuse of power, corruption and human rights do not actually pay tax. This includes many of the so-called proponents of rule of law, those who question police's credibility, those who cry about PKFZ and other scandals without any sense of guilt that they are also cheating the authorities. I have, in the past, have been asked to submit documents for audit purposes by LHDN after filing via E-Filling. I asked around those who always under declare taxes, none of them have been asked to do the same. This is why I mentioned that LHDN is pathetic on collecting taxes.

Many people I know that participated in the Bersih and Hindraf rallies do not pay tax at all. Some of them live luxurious life with fast cars and have the cheek to proudly claim that they do not pay much tax. I always feel cheated when I see my pay slip with huge amount of deduction especially when knowing well that people who earn more under-declare their income and some do not pay tax at all.

LHDN will have to improve their monitoring system and ensure that those who are taxable declare their income accurately and pay the required taxes. LHDN should be as tough as their counterparts in the west. In US for example, Inland Revenue are more feared by the public than any other government agency. They work their way to ensure taxes are paid.

They do go to the ground and investigate, unlike LHDN who sits in the office and assess tax submissions just based on documents presented, never mind those duplicate / imitation documents such as DOs. Invoices, Bank Statements, salary slip, EPF statement, EA Forms are easily available for a fee. Have we ever heard someone being charged for tax evasion in Malaysia? LHDN appears no to realise the well known fact that Malaysian fraudsters are one of those in the World's best category.

If taxes are effectively collected, apart from improving the nation's coffers, it would reduce our dependence of oil money and corporate taxes.

As for GST, again how sure are we that traders and businessman don't cheat by increasing their prices. This is something that was raised by opponents of the policy. I think more pertinently, we have ask how sure are we that these traders do not cook up their sales figures and swindle whatever GST meant to be remitted to the authorities. If we do not have an efficient system to track all these possible abuses and without proper monitoring system, we ought not to have the GST in place.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Alkisah India di India dan India di Malaysia — Zaini Hassan

This is the controversial article, said to seditious and belittling Indians in general.

My comments are in bold Alkisah India di India dan India di Malaysia — Zaini Hassan

DEC 11 — Berada di kota raya tua India, Hyderabad selama seminggu minggu lalu amat memberi kesedaran kepada diri ini. Setiap inci persegi tanah di kota-kotanya dihuni oleh ratusan insan. Setiap kilometer persegi dihuni oleh ratusan ribu insan dan setiap bandar raya di negara keramat itu dihuni oleh jutaan manusia. Dan India ialah tanah bagi 1.2 bilion umat manusia. Angkanya bertambah setiap saat.

I have been to Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai (and the whole of Tamil Nadu). What makes it more relevant is that I have stayed in Hyderabad on job assignment for 5 months.

Berada di India bererti kita berada dalam satu realiti kemanusiaan yang sebenar. India ialah tanah bagi manusia ramai. Jurang hidupnya adalah antara langit dan bumi. Yang papa terlalu papa, yang kaya terlalu kaya. Yang kaya, tidak pandang ke bawah, yang bawah tetap di bawah.

Very true, the rich are extremely rich in India while there are still beggars and those who live on USD $1 a day. An average rich person in India is definitely richer than millionaires in Malaysia.

Kasta, darjat atau keturunan masih diamalkan secara tebal di seluruh India. Ia semacam satu agama. Kasta atas tidak boleh bersatu kasta rendah.

Another fact despite all the rhetoric spewed by heroes in Tamil Movies and Indian leaders in general saying all are equal. Caste, Status and Race are very much important in the society.

Jalan rayanya haru-biru. Suasananya hiruk-pikuk. Bas, lori, kereta, basikal, teksi roda tiga, kereta lembu, kuda bersimpang siur. Bunyi hon adalah wajib. Pegang sahaja stereng, bunyi hon dulu. Di belakang bas dan lori tertulis “tolong hon”. Tiada siapa marah jika dia dihon. Hon ialah nyawa.

Very much a true reflection on happenings on any road in India. Horns are really a necessity in India. You have signs such as ‘Horn Please’ at the back of a lorry.

Semasa dalam perjalanan menghadiri makan malam perpisahan di Istana Chowmohalla (dibina pada 1780 oleh Nawab Nizam Ali Khan, Asaf Jah II), pemandu bas yang membawa kami tiba-tiba turun lari meninggalkan bas yang dibawanya. Hilang dalam lautan manusia dan kenderaan. Kami terpinga-pinga. Dua lelaki preman masing-masing memegang submesingan jenis sterling yang mengawal keselamatan kami dalam bas berkata “jangan bimbang”. Pemandu tadi sebenarnya turun untuk meleraikan kenderaan-kenderaan yang sudah berpintal di atas jalan raya. Dia bertindak menjadi polis trafik. Sambil dia menyelesaikan kekusutan itu, saya melihat di seberang sana seorang penumpang turun dari teksi roda tiga yang dinaikinya menolak kenderaan itu yang mati di atas jalan raya. Tiada rasa marah pun di muka penumpang itu yang menolong menolak teksinya yang rosak. Tiada siapa peduli apa yang berlaku di sekeliling mereka. Polis trafik pun menjalankan apa yang terdaya, tanpa memperlihatkan sedikit pun kekerutan di dahinya. Trafik lalu lintas tetap berjalan lancar, walaupun dalam suasana kekecohan.

The real difference is that apparently there are no road bullies in India, people are extremely patient despite the chaotic situation in the roads. It is perhaps that everyone realises that they are equally guilty of breaking the rules all the time.

Sebelah malam, di tepi-tepi jalan insan-insan tidur merata-rata. Ada yang telah nyenyak membungkus tubuh dengan kain selimut daripada kedinginan kota itu. Yang belum tidur, duduk mencangkung sambil memandang ke satu tujuan yang tidak diketahui.

You can see them at five foot way, open parks and even in roundabouts.

Hampir dua jam bergelut kami tiba di istana bereka bentuk masjid itu. Di sepanjang dinding tembok istana tertulis tulisan dalam bahasa Inggeris “Ini tempat suci jangan kencing”. Kencing berdiri sambil si anunya memancut ke dinding adalah pemandangan umum yang biasa. Mungkin kerana terlalu ramai manusia, tandas bukan lagi pilihan. Awas, setiap pagi berhati-hati berjalan di kaki-kaki lima kerana terlalu banyak jerangkap samar dari isi perut manusia berlonggok di sana-sini. Suasana serupa juga juga khabarnya boleh dilihat di bandar raya lain termasuk di Mumbai.

This is a norm in India, Clean toilets are hard to find, one has to get into some hotels or some up market restaurants in India to find some decent toilets. Urinating in public is a norm, something that is decreasing by the day, but still prevalent in most towns and cities.

Sampainya di istana itu, kami dibawa masuk ke dalamnya. Satu suasana antara langit dengan bumi. Kawasan istana lama itu diwarnai dengan lampu-lampu berwarni yang menyenangkan perasaan. Bagaikan berada dalam kisah Hikayat 1001. Tarian-tarian Bollywood dari era 50-an hingga kini dipersembahkan kepada kami. Selesai persembahan kami dijamu dengan juadah Hyderabad tersohor di dunia, nasi beriyani.

Hotels in Hyderabad are much more costlier than those in Malaysia. Even a 1 or 2 star hotel can cost up to the minimum charged by a 5 star hotel in Malaysia as generally there are shortage of hotel rooms throughout India.

Kami makan beriyani kambing dan ayam, tanpa mempedulikan apa-apa lagi. Ia terlalu sedap tanpa boleh ditandingi oleh mana-mana restoran Malaysia, waima Hameediah di Campbell Street, Pulau Pinang mahupun Mahbob di Bangsar. This is the only food I would recommend in Hyderabad. Di luar tembok sana, suasananya adalah terlalu kontras. India yang penuh warna-warni. India yang penuh dengan drama. Di dada-dada akhbarnya konflik di mana-mana. Di Parlimennya pun haru-biru seperti di atas jalan rayanya juga. Televisyen memaparkan bagaimana seorang speaker dewannya tidak diendahkan oleh ahli-ahli Parlimen yang memboikot sesi soal-jawab. Akhbar Deccan Chronicle dalam karikatur muka satunya (macam Senyum Kambing) keesokan harinya mencuit: Mengapa mereka tidak mahu buat sesi soal-jawab dalam kantin saja, kan di situ tempatnya ahli Parlimen selalu melepak?

Parliament and State assemblies in India as more chaotic than Malaysia. As in the case of non-existence of road bullies in India, parliament and state assemblies are noisy but rarely end up in violence. Walk outs, hurling abuses, caste sentiments, race rhetoric are a norm. Not much different from Malaysia.

India tetap India. Orang India ialah masyarakat yang begitu unik. Jika kita sering tengok wayang Tamil atau Hindi, itulah budaya mereka. Kecoh, kecoh dan kecoh.

There’s nothing wrong with this comment. Indian Malaysians are equally kecoh. One need not go far, just look at the prayers, religious events, processions, weddings and other ceremonies. It’s always noisy and chaotic. Thaipusam is a very good example. Only the more educated and civilised Indian Malaysians are trying to change by doing things in a more orderly manner. Those who object to this particular comment are those in denial and they are the ones who are unlikely to change or become more civilised.

Namun, kita di Malaysia pun ada orang India. Kecohnya pun lebih kurang sama. Mereka ini rata-ratanya terdiri daripada ahli-ahli profesional, peguam dan kini menjadi ahli politik. Di Malaysia hanya orang India yang pandai-pandai sahaja yang sering buat bising. Mereka menguasai Majlis Peguam dan kini mereka sudah ramai di Parlimen, bukan mewakili MIC, tapi mewakili DAP dan PKR.

I quite agree, Indian Politicians so far are seen to be more noise than substance, be it Samy Vellu or those from the opposition.

Kerana mereka lantang dan suka buat haru-biru, suara mereka sering kedengaran. Salah seorangnya ialah N. Kulasegaran yang kini memegang jawatan Naib Pengerusi DAP Perak. Beliau lantang mempersoalkan hak-hak orang Melayu. Katanya, beliau tidak faham mengapa setelah bertahun lamanya masih ada kelompok manusia percaya kepada warna kulit atau penampilan yang lebih tinggi daripada satu kaum lain. Kita tidak pasti apakah beliau ikhlas dengan kenyataannya itu. Dia tahukah apa yang dia cakap? Tapi yang pasti kenyataannya itu cukup sensitif dan akan membuat kumpulan lain marah. Tapi seperti biasa orang Melayu marahnya tidak lama. Tak apalah. Orang Melayu tidak seperti orang India, walaupun ada juga Melayu yang darah keturunan Keling (DKK), tapi darah Melayu yang lembut banyak menguasai mereka.

I dont understand why the need for the writer to use derogatory term here, though I am not offended. The point is if compared to India, where certain race and castes are suppressed, there’s nothing much to lose here with Malays having Malay rights & privileges. I am sure Kulasegaran must be aware of the discrimination towards certain caste and within certain races in India. He must be in denial. Even in Malaysia, certain Indian race and caste are strongly against mixed marriages within Indians and you will never see Indian Malaysian leaders denounce this because some of them are guilty of the same.

Jika di India, mungkin kita akan sentiasa dikawal oleh pengawal bermesingan. Kulasegaran perlu mengambil cuti. Pergilah melawat ke India, dan hayatilah erti kehidupan di sana, hayatilah erti kasta dan darjat, miskin dan kaya, seperti yang saya alami minggu lalu. Seburuk-buruk Malaysia, inilah tanah tumpah darah kita. — Utusan Malaysia

Agreed, Indian Malaysian Politicians should visit and study the situation in India. I am just most of them must have been there. It’s just that they are living in denial. I must repeat that most of the problems associated with Indians in Malaysia is of their own doing. These politicians continue to deny the existing problems within the community and pin the blame on the government and the rich. For example, Job opportunities are plenty, but Indian politicians blame the government for falure to tackle urban poor and problem of Indian youth turning to gangsterism. How long are they going to hide behind their own weaknesses are beyond me.

I yearned to come back to Malaysia just after a month of staying in Hyderabad. I really struggled to stay there for 5 months. Never in my mind had the thought of living there forever. No way, Malaysia is heaven on earth and despite all the issues and problems, this is certainly not a country where the citizens should ungrateful of.

Generally, the article presented true account of situation in India, Hyderabad in particular and the similarities found among Malaysian Indians, which I quite agree. . The only issue would be perhaps the use of derogatory term on Indians.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We Are All Racist!!

It’s quite funny to see Malaysians accusing each other of being racist. This, is from the Ministers right up to the working class ( the cow head group).

I think we Malaysians are in denial. We are all racist. I will outline below why I say so..

All Malaysian political parties are somewhat race based; this includes those who claim to be multi racial. Multi-racial political parties while claiming to be all equal, conduct their ceramah targeting particular race at various spots usually frequented by a particular race.

For example, DAP, MCA and Gerakan have their ceramah at Chinese restaurants, complete with dinner and drinks. UMNO and PAS like to have their campaigns near mosques and open areas within usually a Malay majority area while MIC and Hindraf like to do this in Indian Majority areas and even temples.

The only time these political parties do otherwise is when they campaign for candidate from another party, only then they share the same stage. This is quite evident during by-elections where campaigns are more focused one various ethnic groups apart from the customary door to door campaigning.

Why is that certain political party leaders give their speech in Mandarin and Tamil, aren’t we supposed to be communicating in Bahasa Malaysia or English. The whole objective cannot be other than delivering messages targeted at certain race.

We have various school streams based on mainly race and not really actual mother tongue. We have so called vernacular school champions, whose statement and overall outlook are racist in nature, supported vehemently by MCA, MIC, and not surprisingly self appointed multi-racialist, Gerakan, PKR, DAP and various other mosquito parties.

Why PKR and DAP supports vernacular schools, even to the extend of marching the streets in pressuring government to reverse the Maths/Science in English policy, is beyond me. They were also the first to denounce single stream school idea put forward by a racist party, UMNO (Mukhriz brought it up first in the parliament).

Of course, everyone, including UMNO, MIC, MCA and multi-racial parties often rely on the clauses in the federal constitution which guarantees vernacular education as well as special privileges for the Malays. While Multi-racial parties wants Malay rights to be abolished and the government to treat everyone equally, they are unwilling to accept the idea of having children study in the single school system, even though Mandarin and Tamil will still be taught.

When Vision School idea, a compromise of sorts to maintain Chinese and Tamil schools in it’s current form while sharing a common venue/building, the same racist vernacular school champions objected and not to our surprise again, their objection were supported by so-called multi-racial parties such as DAP. Why, because DAP’s support is mainly derived from one race, hence race is a main factor in DAP’s political strategy. Why is that there are hardly any Malays in DAP, the answer is the same, the actual focus is on RACE, RACE and RACE.

What is the reason for Selangor state government, helmed by a multi-racial party back track on their decision to appoint a Chinese as the head of PKNS. Why is that their representative line up for EXCO and councilors are various local council in all states (including those helmed by multiracial parties ) is based on racial quota, not on basis of experience and competency.

Why do ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ leader Lim Guan Eng, who want equality, and champions ‘Competency, Accountability and Transparency appoint a Malay and Indian Deputy Chief Minister, who have no administrative experience, if not for the reason none other than the candidates RACE!

Why is that DAP is very much focused on the PKFZ scandal and not say MIED or Maika or even the roof collapse of the stadium in Terengganu, if not for the fact that the scandal is linked to MCA, their arch-enemies in vying for Chinese votes.

It’s also normal for all these politicians to take advantage of certain incidents to become champions of certain race. Good example is Kugan and Teoh Beng Hock’s death, though Malaysians as a whole deplored such tragic events, certain politicians found it fit to use it to their advantage and in the process, become hero of the particular race.

In Kugan’s death, Indian politicians from both opposition and BN came to the fore but when innocent and not so innocent Indians are dying on almost daily basis due to violence perpetrated by fellow Indians, these Indian Champions are no where to be seen. I am not exaggerating here, almost one Indian is killed everyday by usually fellow Indians, due to fights, gang fights, crime gone wrong etc. Those who read Tamil newspapers will agree. In fact, I had a relative who became a victim, whose case is never resolved until today.

The same applies when known criminals are shot dead by police, more than usual, only politicians of certain race comes forward to slam the police but when policemen are killed or injured while on duty, the same racial heroes are nowhere to be seen. You must have realized that similar scenarios prevailed in Teoh Beng Hock’s case.

Actually I need not go far to illustrate this point, just go and have a look at the vernacular newspapers. They are full of reports on certain race only. A non-record breaking Sea Games gold medal win by an Indian were glorified by all 3 Tamil newspaper while a double gold medal win by A Sarawakian were left in a small column of the back page in two of the 3 newspapers. Another just highlighted it in the summary.

I pity most of our Malay friends who can’t read these vernacular newspapers. Even for Chinese or rather Mandarin newspapers, one need not know the language; you can know what’s going on, where the focus is, what the main issues etc are by looking at the generous amount of pictures in the pages. You will never go wrong if you conclude that the main issues are about Chinese and key personalities are none other than MCA, leaders as well as Chinese leaders from the so-called multi-racial parties.

In Tamil newspapers, you can also easily detect the media conduct of Indian politicians from so-called multi-racial parties. People like Manikavasagam, Sivanesan, Gobalakrishnan and even Dr Ramasamy (DCM, Penang) . They pander to Tamil media, appearing almost daily basis on stories exclusively focused on Indians. The war between politicians in the Tamil newspapers, who are generally more independent than English or Malay mainstream papers are quite ferocious and these politicians from so-called multi-racial parties use the papers to slam MIC and BN leaders. It is so obvious that the only reason they do this is of course to slam BN but on the other hand, to be seen as a hero to their own race. They hardly invite Tamil Media to cover events involving other races.

On a personal basis, it is common for Malaysians to criticise and make racially insensitive comments about another race when their own kind get together. We would be lying if we deny this. We deplore the habits of certain race and the only opportune time to talk about it is when the same race get together. We make all kinds of accusation against another race when we can easily find similar deficiencies or weaknesses within our own race.

It was apparent in the case of Indians, where all the blame for their misfortunes are leveled against the government and Malays in general when the actual fact, most of the problems faced by the community is their own doing but none of the racial heroes have come forward to criticise their own community for their failures.

I had similar feeling when reading ‘The Chinese Dilemma’ where the community, despite being quite well of in general, was portrayed is being in denial of their own weaknesses. Most of the facts presented were quite true, says a Chinese friend of mine.

In summary, we are all racist and politicians should accept this fact and stop accusing each other of being racist. No country in the world is without racist or people with such tendencies. We just have to minimise such rhetoric’s and focus on bridging the divide.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Johoreans Still With BN

It has been a long time since my last post.

It’s wedding season and I returned to Kluang, Johor (not JB for those who think Johor is JB, do read this to know the difference ) twice over two weeks and I also had the opportunity to attend other weddings in KL.

The usual conversation of normal Malaysians like us in a wedding revolves not around serious stuff like gay rights, human rights or global warming (it was rainy throughout my stay there). Apart from commenting about bride, groom, their family, how we have aged as well as the ever escalating rate of wedding ang pows (or Moiyee in Tamil), we also spoke about politics.

In the Kluang weddings, there were pockets of people from Kuantan, Singapore as well as people from all parts of Johor.

Based on my conversation with them on politics, I can summarise that people have grown tired of petty politics played out by both BN and Pakatan Rakyat. While BN bashing has become a fashion, as it is here in Johor, it has certainly become increasingly boring. One thing is quite clear; people have less confidence in Pakatan Rakyat now than before.

When enquired further, it appears that people are tired of both Pakatan national leaders as well as their local representatives. They further amplified that these local leaders are those who canvassed for votes in the last elections and had since, many of their candidates have won.

The real problem on the ground appears to be the local leaders as they have appeared to have promised the sun and moon during the elections. And more glaringly, majority of the Pakatan local leaders are BN rejects and I was told, those who actually failed or sidelined by their former BN party. I was also informed that promises have remained just that, promises. This sync with incidents that we hear and read daily, promises that were never delivered across the country by Pakatan and BN.

BN has a clear advantage as there were not much expectation any way that they will deliver but for Pakatan, promises were made much expectation (especially with the usual heroic stage rhetoric with chants of ‘Makkal Sakhti’ ) , especially in the states governed by them. As in Johor, a BN stronghold, Pakatan gained several seats in the last elections and even with the few seats the state Pakatan appears to be in sleeping mode and not to mention, squabbles in the State DAP and alleged involvement of secret society.

The same sentiments were shared by others in the wedding from other states. People have started to have more confidence in the economy. Malays, I hear do not have much fear over the liberalization of several key sectors (not that they understand much in the 1st place).

In Johor, jobs are plenty, factories are near to their usual capacity and Iskandar is beginning to take shape. More importantly for the JB folks, there is an alternative route to the much dreaded Pasir Gudang highway (for those who have not used this road, I suggest you should check and firm up your brakes before even thinking of using this road).

As for temple and cow heads, I hear that there are no such issues in Johor. Even the Royalty gave the land to the new Crystal Temple in JB and aptly promoted as a tourist destination by the state government. People are equally excited and confused over the Iskandar project as it is being trumpeted frequently by the media and national leaders but there’s little to show at the moment. I was informed that there few evidences of jobs being created for the project.

As for the Indians, people I know appears to be singing a different tune now as compared to pre and post general elections when there were strong anti-BN and pro Hindraf (pro Pakatan) sentiments. People here are disgusted with Hindraf leaders and other Pakatan Indian leaders. Indians are also slowly losing their trust on Anwar. One asked me where is he?, while another asked if Anwar is planning to return to UMNO, speculation further to the alleged meeting with Najib.

People are also beginning to get tired with the antics of Indian leaders, especially when they try to defend criminals and criminal acts. A local said that the 5 Indians who were killed in a shoot out with police, deserves to die. For those who are not aware, this shoot to kill policy are often played out in many Tamil movies and known as ‘encounter’ and it is a normal happening in India where court and trials take ages to even start and police choose this alternative unofficial method to rid society of known and proven hardcore criminals.

As for support for Najib, many are cautiously optimistic that Najib will deliver, with many commenting on his fast paced, business like moves and less political rhetoric in the recent past. Despite the usual distrusts, people are impressed with his pace and measures that has been taken thus far, though many think it can be better, especially on cost of living.

In summary, though I may have only met few people in Johor and they may not represent the majority, it appears that Johoreans still trust BN though they are much more cautious than before. If Pakatan Rakyat do not put their house and people in order, it would be quite difficult to take over this BN strong hold.