Haha, it’s a Taiwanese leisure farm: Recalling the 2008 ‘katak’ escapade

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Flashback to my blog entry of 11 September 2008 (below), when we learned that the four dozen or so Barisan Nasional MPs who had been packed off to Taiwan on an “agricultural study tour” were actually on a tour that included stints at leisure farms. They had been despatched to Taiwan to prevent them from hopping over like kataks (frogs) to Anwar Ibrahim’s side in 2008.

Perhaps because of this desperate move, Anwar Ibrahim failed in his “916” bid to capture federal power. I am not condoning his enticing of MPs to defect, but you’ve got to admit it was hilarious the BN MPs were sent packing to Taiwan!

This time around, government leaders are just as jittery. Read P Ramakrishnan’s piece “Has Anwar the numbers – or is it a bluff?” in Aliran. My guess is Anwar might have around 130 MPs on his side this time in the 222-seat Parliament. It will also be interesting to see which side Mahathir’s Pejuang lands up in.

In the next couple of days, I will try to look at not just the ethics of it all, but also whether there will be any difference in the direction Malaysia will take if there is a change of government, the fate of the reform agenda and if things will really change for the people, especially the lower-income group.

The original blog post on 11 September 2008:

Haha, it’s a Taiwanese leisure farm

This morning I was wondering what our BN MPs were up to in their “agricultural study tour” of Taiwan, so I did some googling.

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The first clue was in theSun:

The entourage’s itinerary includes a tour of the Shangrila Leisure Farm in Yilan county, which coincidentally was hit by a magnitude 6.1 quake at 3.43pm (same time in Malaysia) on Tuesday.

The Malaysian delegation was welcomed by representatives from Taiwan’s foreign ministry as well as the manager of Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre in Taipei.

A-ha, a leisure farm reportedly among the stops; how interesting. So I looked up the Shangrila Leisure Farm (photo credit: taiwan-farming.org) in Yilan county and this is how it is described in two different websites:

Shangrila Leisure Farming

Situated on the foot of Da-yuan Mountain, Shangrila Leisure Farming is about 250 meters in altitude and within a temperate weather condition in four seasons…

(Photo credit: shineyou.sinotour.com)

Surrounded by hills and mountains, the farming offers a perfect site for you to overlook the valleys, rivers, plains, farms, islands, and ocean. The farming boasts an excellent site for visiting natural ecology, such as Taiwanese macaques, tree frogs, firebugs, butterfly and a variety of plants, inducing you with magnificent views and diverse creatures.

Shangrila Leisure Farming

Surrounded by mountains, the farm is divided into tourism orchard and forest recreation area where rhesus monkeys, tree frogs, etc can be seen. Many folk activities are offered, such as sky lantern, traditional top, etc along with DIY courses like T-shirt painting. Food and lodging are both provided.

Notice there are a lot of kataks (frogs) in that farm.

And to think I had this vision of our MPs sloshing through muddy paddy fields in their boots, picking up the finer points of agriculture.

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Anyway, here’s what they learnt, reported in the NST:

Earlier on Tuesday, the backbenchers stayed overnight up north in Yilan county, some 40km from Taipei, where they learned how the county incorporated agricultural practices into their development plans.

The MPs also had the opportunity to pick up pointers on how the county sells its agro-tourism through its Agriculture Leisure Programme.

Mind you, this is just one of the stops. No doubt, there will be other more “educational” stops along their tour. From the same NST report:

Yesterday, the group went to Kaohsiung, south of Taipei, to tour the local agriculture bio-tech facility.

The backbenchers were given an eye-opening tour of how technological advances have helped develop commercial applications for aquaculture and marine activities in the area.

The group also visited the Ting Tung University of Science and Technology, considered among the most advanced agriculture research and development centres in the world, before they were feted to a breaking of fast dinner by the magistrate of Ting Tung county.

You know what else is weird? This Ting Tung University is so advanced, if you google it, you won’t find it. Amazing.

Update: The World I Know has solved the mystery:

It’s National Pingtung University of Science and Technology not Ting Tung university, thanks!

Thanks for sorting out that puzzle. So it’s basically an agricultural university. You know, we had an agricultural university once – Universiti Pertanian Malaysia – before the administration  of Mr Heavy Industries (Mahathir) decided agriculture was, well, not his cup of tea. He wanted to see highways (tolled, of course) and steel mills and Protons all over the country. So his administration turned our agricultural university into Universiti Putra Malaysia and built Putrajaya! If we had kept UPM as it was, we could have just sent those BN MPs there for an intensive course instead.

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Now, the BN MPs are also supposed to be visiting three factories in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung. Nice to see them so busy.

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kittykat46
kittykat46
12 Sep 2008 10.36am

Most of our BN Backbenchers (even Front Benchers, for that matter) are not exactly bright sparks.
So a bit of light educational touring, together with a rural vacation is probably the most that they can absorb….kakakakaka..

Well, as they say, they are not using taxpayer funds….believe it..or not…

Enola
Enola
14 Oct 2020 12.58pm

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 14 — The Penang government is coming up with a new policy to govern the conversion of stratified residential premises into homestays and short-term accommodations, state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo (DAP – Datuk Keramat) told the state legislative assembly today.

Ray
Ray
12 Oct 2020 9.55pm

Still talking about ferries!

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2020/10/12/50-years-on-why-are-we-still-talking-about-poor-ferry-service-laments-dap-rep/

That costly to maintain a ferry?

Penang state blames federal; then not willing to manage the fleet citing cost.

Speedboats were once brought up but to date no new.

Teally clueless our YBs. Time for 3rd force Gerak Independents???

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/10/12/gerak-independent-wants-malaysians-to-retake-political-power-from-parties/1911785

simon li
simon li
19 Sep 2008 5.34pm

Don’t forget MCA and Gerakan. MIC is on its deathbed so we can just let it rot.

After March 8, these s**** scrambled for cover. After Permatang Pauh and the ISA arrests, they began a new act.

To all MCA and Gerakan…. your time has been up long ago – for all the years that you have participated in oppression… You don’t even have the guts to stay loyal to your masters in UMNO

simon li
simon li
18 Sep 2008 3.20pm

Anwar’s credibility has gone up by leaps and bounds. He has done and IS DOING his utmost to do it the right way. Steady must be the hand that steers the ship. One of the last questions asked at his just concluded pc was: “When is Pakatan going to say ‘enough is enough’?” Intentionally or otherwise, questions such as this one betray either unthinking anxiety or mal-intention. It is to be expected that neither Badawi nor BN will just fold up. They will either resort to extreme actions or, better still to avoid digging their own graves, try to erode… Read more »

vogmedia2008
vogmedia2008
12 Sep 2008 10.48pm

To the wives of those BN MPs now in Taiwan: your husbands are all having a “jolly good time” here. Ha ha.

LKY
LKY
12 Sep 2008 11.48am

Headline: PKR sent the Frog Busters to Taiwan.

Ossielu
Ossielu
12 Sep 2008 11.39am

This is what I found on the Taiwan web site. This farm is for holidays and romantic getway. What are they talking about learning advance agriculture technique? Maybe of the “other kind”. About Shangrila Leisure Farming Yi Lan Taiwan (3 Star) The Shangrila Leisure Farm has European style romantic vacation villa located in the forest, all buildings made by whole log, have beauty of hill extremely, can also participate in a series of creative activities while spending holidays here : such as rubing the stuffed dumplings with the hands, the match of playing whirligig, putting the light on day and… Read more »

stev ong
stev ong
12 Sep 2008 9.16am

majority of ppl in bolehland are say NIAMAH!…cos we can’t wait for reformation to come this month, SEPT 2008.

Down with Barisan N…! They are so bluddy corrupt for the past umpteens years…ENUF IS ENUF!!!
Up with Pakatan Rakyat!…LET THERE BE TOTAL TRANSPARENCY, ONCE AND FOR ALL.

stev ong
stev ong
12 Sep 2008 9.12am

when he going gets ‘froggy’ , the frogs will jump!
since they are not actual frogs…PKR are going there to help teach them the art of ‘frogging’….lol

jerry
jerry
12 Sep 2008 6.49am

I think the BN MP*s have a good chance of learning the *karma sutra* … all accepted as the art of love making;no restrictions;so perhaps Malaysians will outlaw the *sodomy * in the Malaysian Constitution;LOL

Kah Seng
12 Sep 2008 3.10am

Frog! Jump or not?

We should ask the soul of the fabled frog which slowly boiled to its death! Because the water boiled slowly, it didn’t jump and it died and made yummy frog soup.

Moral: Slowly deteriorating country is like slowly boiling water. Don’t stay put until it’s too late. Frogs in that position should jump.

FCUKWIT
FCUKWIT
12 Sep 2008 2.50am

Bung Mokhtar from Kinabatangan … to Leisure Farm????!!! A “study tour”????? on Agriculture…or canopy walking??? Or are they discussing the economics of politics??? PKR joining them?? For breakfast or Karaoke? or KTV?? Is that how our gomen works? Now Dr M wants in??? He missed the flight to Taiwan!!! Should’ve called earlier…they could pay for his tickets too… Pak Muhiddyin invites Dr M to come back for tea?? Or for a talk on how to prevent AGING and PARKINSON’S DISEASE..and RAIS(notice it rhymes with RICE of Condoleeza) says he’s the happiest man alive.. And now the Home ministry UNBLOCKS MALAYSIA… Read more »

miwaki
miwaki
12 Sep 2008 12.40am

I hope they make a point to visit Meng Chee,he must have new songs waiting for them.I don’t understand what is Bung Moktar doing in Taiwan ? Can he survive in a developed country ?…

new era
new era
11 Sep 2008 11.39pm

No bloggers in the entourage of kataks. Well BN MPs are net illiterate anyway. No IT savvy kataks……?????

Malaysian
Malaysian
11 Sep 2008 11.09pm

Those BN MPs must write a full details report and publish in newspaper or parliment website (if any). Because (if) they are spending our tax payer money, all Malaysian tax payer deserves full right to know to truth of their trip to Taiwan.

If the trip is confidential, then, will Taiwan give confidential things to Malaysia BN MPs because of short visit ? Please use your brain to thing !

I believe the Opposition shall propose all government officer including Ministers oversea trip shall make public report to all tax payer.

This is called TRANSPARENCY government !

tun tan
tun tan
11 Sep 2008 11.00pm

silly,B… thinks he is smart, actually the BBC (could be) just using him like in the elections, take the money and vote the opposition.
ssssssssssso stupid, taiwan is known for its…

…most of the BBC are men,wil they wear flowers in the hair.

DON”T trust BN, never did,never will, BN is going down the drains,MCA GREKAN will cross over but SAMY (appears to be) suffereing from dementia and thus does not know what is happening.

vckc72
vckc72
11 Sep 2008 10.54pm

If it is the case how our MPs study the way Taiwan develop their agriculture sector. I am pretty sure , what they “learned’ during their study trip there could easily be found through internet. What is the use of their respective departments? I just hire a clerk to search for such information for my business proposal. Going for a bank loan it get approved! Hey government you have “no brain” at all. Such study tour meant only for university students. Imagine how shallow our MPs are! You are policy makers, law makers, what the hack you go there for…wasting… Read more »

furious malaysian
furious malaysian
11 Sep 2008 10.38pm

can anyone who studies or works in Taipei to “check out” what those MPs up to? i tot Agriculture Minister alone is more than enough to do the study… what the Fxxxx government is wating out tax payers money.

Can they just go fly kite & leave us all Malaysians live in peace?

Embarassing only. it’s already so obvious WE dont want them to rule the country… such a thick face

SFL
SFL
11 Sep 2008 9.52pm

The hastily organised trip by BBC for the brainless BN MPS has become a world joke outside Malaysia. And our government can still put up a brave front and denying the circus of stupidity that they have created. Morons

104East
104East
11 Sep 2008 9.38pm

Why Taiwan?
1) Isn’t China ia very sensisitive about foreign state official visits to this island? Will China make an issue out of it that umno can capitsalise on?
2) None of the universities are recognised in Malaysia. Why learn from a state where their graduates are threated like no body?
Hipocrites.

Mah Lay Sia
Mah Lay Sia
11 Sep 2008 8.55pm

guys, have a wonderful holiday. if you are back, you could have more of such fun later on in some other country.

LKY
LKY
11 Sep 2008 5.52pm

Study Guide For BN MP Agriculture Study Tour In Taiwan Topic 1 : Golf Tree Many of you YBs play golf. I can see many of you comng to Taiwan with your golf sets. Do you know, golf balls come from golf tree. The golf ball is from the fruit of the tree. The golf ball fruit is white in colour and it has a white dimpled surface. The fruit is very hard and not edible. The fruit is used in the game called golf. The name is taken from the tree. The golf game was was first played in… Read more »

ErnieJean
ErnieJean
11 Sep 2008 5.27pm

What’s the use of them learning anything (that is if they actually absorbed anything in the first place) when there’s absolutely no intention or will to incorporate what has been learnt?

How many “Rombongan Sambil Belajar” have the BN MPs taken over the past few decades? Are we anywhere near as advanced as the countries that they visited?

Ling
Ling
11 Sep 2008 5.25pm

This trip can be turned into a comedy show. Can someone out there do it?