Sunday, April 15, 2012

FB is For Bragging?

Actually I am really hoping that I have not been bragging  - or seems to be bragging, over the past few weeks at the popular social network. 

It was not my intention.


I have always thought, ever since I joined the social network at some friends' behest slightly more than a year ago,  that FB stands for "For Bragging". For that's the major things I can see that FB is good for, beyond hooking up with some old friends which you might not be able to hook up sans the FB.

I can certainly vouch for the effectiveness of connecting old friends on FB.

Although for some, it might be old flames.

And for many others, new flames.

Sorry, I digress.

Those are minor and moot points, to be honest.

As I have mentioned earlier, Facebook - first and foremost - is designed for bragging.

If you were heading to London or Paris, yes, please, do not forget to upload pictures of you near London Bridge or Buckingham Palace or Eiffel Tower. Yes, every single minute of you activities, and at least over a hundred pictures daily. 

Just to make sure that your friends would have seen you, and knew that you can afford to take expensive holidays.

Oh and please don't forget to TAG them, especially when they are not even in the picture. That way you can be assured that they would see your pictures.

Many times over as their friends would also be seeing it.

I have been guilty of this exact crime, of course, even if I did not tag anyone who weren't there.

If somehow they failed to see it during the initial posting, then after a few days, you should 'like' your own pictures ( or add commentary), and they will be the in the news feed again for all and sundry to see.

I have always wondered about this practice though. Why must you physically like your own pictures? If you did not like them in the first place I am sure one would not post them online or for that matter anywhere else. So I guess that action would be redundant.

The same goes with You Tube posting.

If you are not planning to go overseas, that's ok too. Just dig your photo album of your vacation from a decade ago. POst them online and let everybody thinks that those were a recent trip.

And please, can you buy a better camera if you wish to upload pictures? Or at least, please be considerate when uploading. Blurred pictures, similar (redundant) pictures, too dark a picture - they have no place on the internet. Pictures are a lifetime memory, so one should spend a bit to ensure that they would last.

Another good ways to brag is to advertise your children's achievements. This I have been guilty of many times over.

To be honest, at times I am just plain tired to listen (or read, rather) to parents bragging about their children's 5As in UPSR, 9As in PMR or 10As in SPM. More importantly some of us would tell the world how his son or daughter obtained MARA/JPA scholarship to study medicine in some obscure university locally.

Phuyo, study medic at a non-descript local college? Under scholarship, some more! Unless it for doing medicine at Stanford or Monash, I would understand it, but at College ABC?

Yes, I can understand if you want to advertise their strings of A's, but to tell the world that, after all these years of subsidy, one would still need help to educate one's children.

Seriously, if the parents had one time received MARA or JPA scholarships to study especially overseas in the 80s, you do not deserve another scholarship for your children. Instead, one should be sponsoring one's children and pay for their uni education!

Under FAMA!

To be honest, they should be sponsoring another student for his/her tertiary education - as a payback.

Let scholarship be for families who could not pay for their children - provided their children have meet the requirement of course. I am sure those people still wanting and wishing scholarships for the children have maximised their ASB account, and are driving strings of expensive, if not exotic, cars.

Seriously leave the scholarship to the poor and needy and nothing at all to the middle class.

They don't need it, and they don't deserve it.

Having said that, I have always believe that education should be free. Education should not be a business that the government should be making profit from. Educating the rakyats should be the responsibility of the government of the day. In the 70s and 80s, it was just that. The government then realized that the rakyats are the assets, and nothing was spared to give them education to the highest level.


In fact, most of us were paid to study.

That was the government then. After all, educated people are assets of the country.

Along the way in the late 80s and into the 90s, with the advocacy of privatization, someone realised that they can make money from education and private colleges mushroomed to cater for this need. PTPTN was born to ensure that funding for these private colleges would continue.

So the gravy trains continue for someone to make their millions, making education a commodity at the rakyat's expense!

I think many have made the millions since then.

At the expense of our children.

Pity all of us.


I have been guilty of many of the above sins, so if you think that I am writing about you, you are wrong. :))

Please do not get me wrong. I think FaceBook is a wonderful idea. It is one of the best ways to keep in touch with friends and relatives without having to personally call or visit them. They will be in the news feed or one can just lurk around to know their status.

I do not think in the end that it would stop us to do the physical visits.

And this is a general article, and not meant for anyone in particular. I have enjoyed many of my friends' trip overseas. The pictures are beautifully taken and it is certainly worth my time to look at them,

But far too many are taken by the instamatic camera and I though these poorly taken pictures normally would ruin such a great or happy occasion.

I have enjoyed many informative news feed, the occasional reminders, the occasional musics and personal updates from many friends.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Who Moved the Kalimantan Border?

It was a hectic week last week.

I had thought that I was close to securing a deal in Indonesia, only to be told that another project is about to secured back at home. Here I was somewhere else thinking that it was going to a gold mine that I was practically neglecting the home turf and letting it go on auto-pilot, and yet that is our bread and butter.

Aah well, that's life I guess.

Taken without permission from
Having my breakfast at a small warong kopi (WarKop) in central Jakarta with a simple coffee and 'telur setengah matang" someone tried to have  small chat with me by asking where I am from. Typically too I would try to stretch the truth a bit by saying that I am from Riau and hence my weird Malay (with a touch of Indonesian) accent.

But this time around, I was not interested in the merry go round way of small talk, and hence I told him that I am from KL.

He reciprocated by telling me that he is from Balikpapan. Balikpapan is a town I know very well - I told him, as I have been to Balikpapan many times, and at one time I even stayed there for two straight weeks doing training for Pertamina refinery staff.

We went on to talk about politics and he confided with me that if he has his way, Kalimantan would be an independent nation!

Large area of Kalimantan are undeveloped, and ignored by Java-centric government, and even though he was Javanese himself (in fact, he was in full Javanese-batik attire), he considers himself as having embraced Kalimantan as his home (since the 70s).

"You know, Pak, about the problem that Indonesia had with Malaysia over the Kalimantan border?" he asked me, looking straight into my eyes while sipping his coffee.

Now we are in touchy ground, and I was not prepared to have a debate with Indonesians in their home territory. Alone! This was not going to be a friendly conversation over teh Sosro anymore. I was getting worried about the 'buluh runcing."

My life flashed before my eyes in that spilt seconds in between his sentences.

"It was not Malaysia who moved the border!"

Oh really? I waited with bated breath; this was getting interesting.

"It was done by Indonesians living near the border themselves," he said, convinced that he was going to get my interest.

I  stared at him, looking bewildered and confused. Why should Indonesians moved the border in such a way that is detrimental to Indonesia? It does not make sense to me. If I were them, I would move it in such a way that more land would be annexed into Indonesia, and not the other way.

But then again, in the age of satellite imaging and GPS, it does not make sense to do it at all. One would be caught - red-handed.

"They did it so that they can become Malaysians!"

Only then it dawned upon me; I gave him a hearty laugh. It sound so funny to me then, if it wasn't a serious affair. From media reports when this issue surfaced, I had thought that they were ready to go to war over this.

Indonesians in Kalimantan, especially near the border are a neglected lot, one might certainly be better off being the citizens of another nation. I don't blame them for thinking that way; those near the Mexico-USA border, I am sure, are interested in learning from their Indonesian peers.

In one sense, even if one is not neglected, I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

(Then again, closer to home, it is a wonder that Kelantan has not declared independence years ago!)

I certainly have no idea if this was the truth. It sounds so plausible to be honest. Had he lied to me, then I would be lying here too, so take this with a pinch of salts. 

But coming from a chat at a Warong Kopi in the middle of Jakarta, and what's more from an Indonesian himself with no vested interest to please or impress me, why should I doubt him?