I suppose the story of a chcken thief who couldn’t recognise a chicken in court as the one he was alleged to have stolen was meant to provide some comic relief in the The Star. You are meant to chuckle or laugh when you read it. But read the report more carefully and you will see that the accused had to support his family on RM25 a day. That’s about RM750/month, putting the household on the threshold of the official poverty line. Nothing to laugh about there. And he gets three months jail for stealing a chicken. Now we shouldn’t condone even petty theft. But we all know how difficult it is for any household to survive on less than RM1,500/month or even more, let alone RM750. How about poverty in a land of plenty? Do we condone that? My question now: what is the penalty for those who are [Read more]
Someone doesn’t like the Jerit cyclists Photo by the Jerit crew (More pictures here) The Jerit cyclists continue to be hit by one obstacle after another. In a pre-dawn incident today, unknown arsonist(s) torched eight of the Jerit bikes in Penanti on mainland Penang, where the cycling team were spending the night. Three of the cycles were badly damaged. The four dozen cyclists were not to be deterred and continued their journey south.
The glass facade of George Town’s premier business hotel, Traders Hotel (formerly Shangri-la Hotel), where Jerit cyclists were to hand over their memo to Guan Eng at 1.30pm Pakatan leaders were inside attending a conference to outline their “New economic vision for Penang and Malaysia”. US multinational electronics corporation, Agilent Technologies, and the Shangri La hotels chain were the sponsors of the event, to which participants had to pay RM250/person to attend. Ironically, the session scheduled just before lunchtime was “Getting the politics right to enable sustainable economic growth that is socially just.” But nobody cared to ask the workers and representatives of marginalised communities outside what they thought of this vision. Instead, the front door of the hotel was locked while hotel management and security looked concerned. Not that the Jerit cyclists were desperate to get in. All they wanted to do was hand over their memo and leave. [Read more]
1428: More than 50 cyclists and Jerit activists have been stranded in a bus for more than two hours along with a lorry carrying their cycles in the Skudai, Senai area as traffic has come to a stand still. A 20-minute journey has become a two-hour journey as there are police blocks everywhere, reports Kohila from Jerit. Police have blocked many areas in their attempt to get rid of the Jerit southern team, she adds. Armed police were spotted near the Senai road and also near the toll. Only the Jerit bus, lorry and accompanying cars were stopped. Police have also been filming and snapping pictures almost non-stop. 1202: All the activists have been released by noon and the ICs of the cyclists have been returned. But police don’t want any Jerit supporters cycling in Skudai, so the team will be moving to Kulai after lunch. 0937: Reports of a [Read more]
You will be pleased to hear that the Jerit bicycles, yes bicycles, have been released. I guess they were innocent after all, poor bikes – and it’s all systems go for tomorrow. So with that, the cyclists are expected to hand in a memorandum to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng tomorrow at around 12.30pm in Komtar. Sungai Siput MP Jeyakumar Devaraj spent most of this afternoon negotiating with senior police officers in Penang. “I told them, come on-lah, there are so many criminals around for you to deal with; just let our cyclists do their thing and they won’t cause any problem,” he said over the phone.
The Jerit cycling team have again be stopped, this time at a police road-block in Penang. They were them that they would not be allowed to do any cycling in Penang and could be arrested if they did. A lorry carrying the bicycles has been brought to the Teluk Kumbar police station.
Jerit campaign cyclist Ruben s/o Loganathan was freed on police bail at 7.50pm yesterday. The Jerit cycling team from the north are now on the way to Penang. Tomorrow, they are due to hand over a memorandum to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at 12.30pm in the Komtar foyer in front of Maybank.
Just received word that one of the 45 Jerit cyclists on the way from Alor Star to KL via Penang has been arrested in the small village of Merbau Pulas near Kulim this evening. According to Sungai Siput MP Jeyakumar Devaraj, Ruben was detained for distributing leaflets which did not indicate the Jerit office address. Leaflets are supposed to bear the publisher’s name and address. The Jerit leaflets only displayed the Jerit website address, the Jerit email, and the Jerit office phone number. But the Jerit website shows the Jerit office address.
Political economist Andrew Aeria has sent in this comment, which I think reveals how out of touch Najib is with the hard reality facing low-income families in the country: First, petrol price increase. He said: Change your lifestyle. Then, crime: Change your perception. Now, laundry drying: Change your habit by buying a dryer or dry your laundry downstairs. This guy has no inkling of the life of ordinary people. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he has never known privation or hunger. So, when he talks, his ideas and suggestions are all in tune with his privileged world-view of his own creature comforts. Does he think everyone living in a high-rise can afford a laundry dryer?
Blog reader Sam Gopal has this to say: Anil, You have been advocating strongly for a STRONG and WORLD CLASS public transport system. At this very time you are asking the Government to lower petrol prices. Lowering petrol prices will only make the public go back to using their cars even more. I think the push is for the Government to maintain a levy of petrol and then use this MONEY effectively to IMPROVE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION system. Lets not jump into the bandwagon and simply oppose for the sake of opposing. On the other hand LGE is making ludicrous demands of giving RM6,000 per family using PETRONAS money. Seriously, why can’t he talk about using this money to improve public infrastructure? The very thing China is doing, pumping in USD600 BILLION plus to improve infrastructure, and not handing out money to its citizens just like that, where ther is NO [Read more]