Name: Andrew Loh Zhu An
Date of Birth: 2nd June 1987
Nationality: Malaysian


SMK Damansara Jaya 2004

Swarthmore College 2010

From the Andrew's Heritage Dictionary:

Andrew (AND-roo)

1. noun. common name.

2. adjective. smart, dumb, intelligent, retarded, clever, stupid, bright, dull, witty, tounge-tied, shrewd, stuttering, slow, quick-witted, moronic, autistic, lively, outspoken, eloquent, dense, daft, idiotic, foolish, thick, spirited, sharp, vigourous, rude, arrogant, pompous, bloated, ostentatious, boastful, inflated, direct, brave, cowardly, gullible, free, free-spirited, burdened, depressed, optimistic, pessimistic, defensive, creative, innovative, irritating, annoying, impossible, infuriating, shy, loud, displeasing, norm-challenging, harassive, irksome, troublesome, vexatious, worrisome, provocative, impatient, pleasant, diplomatic, unreserved, trouble-making, short, defiant, fickle, shallow, timid, audacious, brainless, indoctrinated, indoctrinatory, proud, exploitative, zesty, humourous, anal-retentive, rebellious, lame, innocuous, dangerous, explosive, spontaneous, adaptable, stubborn, pig-headed, nervous, offensive, pestering, useless, ironic, paradoxical.

Usage: You're so Andrew! [Interchange with any of the above definitions]

And yes, I did look at the thesaurus.



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Is it in bad taste to quote one's self?

"The greatest of debaters are not only the most eloquent -- they are the most bruised, the most resilient, the strongest of heart." -- Andrew Loh

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Monday, August 04, 2008
Malaysian Student Leaders Summit 2008

Updated with videos!! (Sept 7 2008)

Okay. So I term most conferences intellectual masturbation (Qu: egotistic masturbation) because despite the lofty objectives, do we really believe we will [develop a new generation of leaders? achieve national unity?] through a [two-day conference? three-month NS?] Right.


So my motive for going to MSLS II was to meet people lah. :) Social masturbation, not intellectual.

But I think I am challenged to reassess my thoughts after watching the debate between Tony Pua and Khairy Jamaluddin and Nik Nazmi -- the crowning glory of the summit. Because I had discounted being inspired by the speakers as an outcome of MSLS.

But that is for later. Firstly, I personally thought that despite having more boring speakers (both ways) this year, as a whole I thought MSLS II was better than last year because the trio debate more than made up for the general lack of oomph.

Speakers generally think that they should stay clear of sensitive issues in such circumstances -- they cannot be more mistaken. This is a student leaders summit. Notwithstanding the slippery slope of elitism, we crave controversy. We won't bash you up because you espouse controversial opinions; we bash you up because you are stupid, unsubstantiated, false, or baseless. We want to be challenged and entertained and inspired(!). We want you to engage our attention and intellect. Any less (i.e. repeating bland political rhetoric) and we go to sleep or talk amongst ourselves. Trust us.

Economics is the science of allocating scarce resources. Do we really want to spend our time listening to trite slogans that we've heard for years? Do the speakers really want to spend their time repeating meaningless statements? Right. If we wanted that we would've just read the newspapers. Don't condescend to us.

So before I do a comprehensive review of MSLS II, I want to say thankyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew to the organising committee for doing this, because it sucks to organise things. But MSLS is becoming an institution in its own right.

So Day 1 started off with Khaled Nordin, our Minister of Higher Education. There was no Q and A session on "Student Activism as an Element of Human Capital
Development" -- fucking hell, because I had so many questions to ask him. This speech was ridiculous, not least because he cannot speak English. Delivery was halting and awkward and it was apparent that the PA wrote the speech and our minister was reading it for the first time. I've never been a fan of mandating a language of delivery -- tak dapat cakap Bahasa Ingerris cakaplah Bahasa Melayu -- we are all bilingual if not tri- and multilingual. What matters is the substance. But Mustapa last year was so much better.

And I was (and am still) really, sincerely surprised that our journalists could pick up anything from the meaningless speech, let alone write full-length articles on it when I dozed off. Read Marina.


Then it came to Khoo Kay Peng and Ungku Aziz on "Malaysian National Unity: Organic or Manufactured?". I thought Ungku Aziz was a bit kooky. Kay Peng was very passionate -- is he related to Khoo Kay Khim? The debate was okay lah but I thought it verved a bit (read: a lot) off-topic. Many questions were left unanswered and many answers were unsolicited. Read Khoo Kay Peng's account.

Next was Zainah Anwar and Mazeni Alwi (Chairman, Muslim Professional Forum), "Reconciling Religion and Gender: The Malaysian Context". Zainah was amazing as usual but Mazeni's speech was all over the place. This guy begs to differ: (Emily and Su Ann and Wai Kin and Valerie and Emily yep it's that guy...)

"Semakin lama saya dengar si feminis tersebut memukau para anak muda yang entah faham ke tidak akan fardhu ain agamanya sendiri serta ratusan rakan-rakan yang bukan Islam yang semakin pening, bingkas saya bangun dan menegur si feminis dan pengajur. Jikalau hendak berbicara sebegitu rupa letak satu ulama' atas pentas baru adil. Bagi saya pengajur MSLS gagal memahami realiti ini dengan membiar semahu-mahunya si feminis tersebut 'memperkosa' pemahaman Islam dihadapan kami pada hari itu."

Again, you guys are smart enough to draw your own conclusions lah. But I do agree with him about inviting an ulama (ulama's actually plural in Arabic so in universal grammar this sentence is wrong) to MSLS. It would have been even more interesting to have invited an UMNO imam to debate a PAS imam and more importantly making them answer all our uncensored questions. Then I can ask them questions in Arabic to show off (and maybe suffer public embarassment myself when I realise that I've forgotten all my vocab). ;) Nik Aziz for MSLS III, perhaps?

Also remember to invite the TM Net boss for MSLS III because I have damn a lot of questions to ask him about Streamyx.

I also asked a question here because somewhere in their speeches they referred to the oft-argued incompatibility between Islam and women's rights and also because I just finished reading the biography of Muhammad by Karen Armstrong (which, incidentally, is banned in Malaysia! Hahahahha). Which went something like (yah this account is getting very Andrew-centric):
  • During Jahiliah, womens position = nothing.
  • Muhammad raised it radically, revolutionarily high -- whereby before the word of a woman was worth nothing, in Islam in the 7th century the word of two women was worth the word of one man.
  • This radical change in society was so successful that Christian scholars wrote tracts denigrating Islam for giving women so many rights.
  • Even Christian women took to the veil to persuade their husbands to treat them better.
  • Given that Islam at its conception and in the context of the 8th/9th/10th century was at the forefront of liberating women and improving gender equality, I think that it is wrong to say that Islam and gender equality as we understand it in the 21st century is contradictory.
  • I think we are concentrating too much on form and not enough on substance -- does it really matter that the witness of two women equals the witness of one man, or instead do the original objectives and motivations of Islam matter more?
Now we all know that we need some sort of group discussion thingy to have direct audience participation in the conference, etc. But to me it was the weakest portion of the summit, not least because many if not most people decided to skip it. Even so, the groups were too big for any meaningful discussion or personal sharing to take place, time too short for intellectual epiphanies or omg-i-just-changed-my-weltanschauung moments. I'd rather have them axed in favor of socializing sessions where we just get to meet people and talk and bitch -- after all one of the aims of the summit is to enhance networking amongst "future leaders," eh.


After lunch was Hishammuddin (love!) on "The National Education Blueprint: Addressing Racial Polarization and Sustainable Economic Development." I wrote about his poise and grace and shocking honesty about Pengetahuan Moral (which made national headlines!) and how he impressed me here.

Next was the corporate forum which was mmmmmmm boring. So Emily and Su Ann and I went back to talk to Valerie and Suga and people. Ya lah we very rude lah. But as in school, if the teacher is boring you talk to your friends lah.

Then came the Badawi fiasco aka public humiliation by William. I do have to say though that I felt bad for Badawi then, and I thought that he was very sporting for letting the floor ask questions (when there was no Q and A session in the orginal itinerary). And I am damn happy that it is Badawi at the helm and not Mahathir or Najib (whose negative popularity is probably similar to Hillary Clinton's).

Then Wai Kin and I went to the Bishop's for Yang Jerng's paaaartaaaay and I met Nat the Jailee and many others. And sang.






The next day I was so tired that I went back to bed after waking up early and skipped the first session of Day 2.

For race relations we had Ibrahim Suffian (Director, Merdeka Centre), Karim Raslan, and Dr. Denison Jayasooria (former Executive Director, Social Strategic Foundation). This session was OK lah but nothing particularly special or enligthening, other than Karim's beautiful-sexy British accent. 

Next was supposed to be Zaid Ibrahim but it was cancelled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There were rumours that Badawi told him not to come -- either because of the public embarrassment or because of fears of disclosure of important things-to-come. Purely speculative, of course.

Then we skipped the next talk because it was becoming reaaaaally draggy. This smart Su Ann had just woken up. But then I felt a pinge of regret after learning that Mr Yeo from the Bar Council was quite good.

And now the pinnacle of the summit. (people please laugh -- it's funny lah)

And so Tony vs Khairy vs Nik Nazmi was the awesomest shitz in the whole wide world yesterday. I won't delve into details since accounts about this abound. Tony writes really comprehensively, along with Nik, the Star, and the Malaysian Insider. All links stolen from Tony :)

There was a message going around saying that there wasn't going to be a free Q and A session and that we had to write our questions down -- but this was not to be. Fortunately. Censoring would go against the very principles of having a summit.

This was cool: Nik Nazmi was more concerned with "what Khairy calls leakages, I call corruption" and quoted American accounting firm Morgan Stanley's estimate that corruption had cost the country RM330 billion over the last two decades and the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business's (Pemudah) estimate of RM10 billion lost to corruption this year alone.

But the best write-up of the event must go to Shanon Shah. Must read.

"I think today I just witnessed an incredible snapshot of what a real Malaysian democracy would look like.

"It was amazing how civil and - Heaven forbid - fun the discussion was. And it was amazing how the crowd - consisting mostly of students - responded enthusiastically. With applause, laughter and even boos (again, done more in humour than to seriously humiliate the speakers onstage).

And Shanon is absolutely right -- it was intellectual, amazing, most importantly, fun. So enjoyable!!! I share his analysis and feelings, so you should read his entry.

Hahaha the American contingent was being loud and obnoxious as usual and many a time we found ourselves pounding the table in applause. I'm surprised my hand isn't sore from all that clapping.

And what was even more encouraging was that this was the exact same questioning environment for Hisham and Badawi. It wasn't straitlaced or controlled or shit -- rather open and receptive and positive and constructive. Even if some of them deflected some questions lah. ;)


In the end we (read: Su Ann) were going "Khairy for PM!" Hahahhahaha. Which really speaks to how impressive Khairy is as a public speaker/debater and how deeply we enjoyed the three YBs. So thank you very much, Tony, Khairy, and Nik, for making this an unforgettable experience. Shahril was also an excellent moderator -- he asked the right questions at the right times.

But I do have to write down some of the more enjoyable (paraphrased) jibes from the debate:

Tony: When we run out of oil, we will be in deep shit.

Khairy: (something along the lines of) You wouldn't say that in Parliament.

Tony: No, I'm sure Khairy would ask me to tarik balik

Khairy: Blablabla... pissed off! Blablabla.

(lolololol -- all the politicians trying to act cool by swearing!)


Khairy: On one hand Pakatan is arguing against this subsidy mentality, but which one of us is saying "hari ini membentuk kerajaan, esok turun harga minyak?!!!" (touche!)


Nik: NEP doesn't discriminate whether you're a Malay from Taman Tun or a Malay from Rembau (heeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!)


Khairy: (referring to Tony from DAP and Nik from PKR) I guess since UMNO is having talks with PAS I'll represent both UMNO and PAS. (which elicits a spontaneous audience booing)

It was this humour and basic rowdiness that really made the debate great. Every good debater knows that when the bar for substance is equally high throughout the teams, what really makes for victory, what sets apart the creme de la creme is style. And that determines how memorable you are as a speaker as well. And Tony vs Khairy vs Nik was the epitome of styyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyle baybeee.

And I am inspired. Never realised that a measly student summit could feel so empowering. :)

** all pictures stolen from Carol

Added 9 August 2008:

Of soliloquy and dialogue

The performance of the various politicians who participated in the Malaysian Student Leaders' Summit over the weekend, while more varied in quality, were also entertaining. The education minister took a question on the uselessness of Pendidikan Moral with good humour and the prime minister's speech triggered some strong feedback.

I'd already sensed a schism in the student crowd, and this was confirmed when the young YBs � Nik Nazmi, Khairy Jamaluddin and Tony Pua � took to the stage. Riotous applause punctuated the proceedings as they tackled the minutiae of petrol subsidies and parried each other's jibes. If they keep it up, the Dewan Rakyat will one day be even more fun than the House of Commons....

Posted at 06:39 am by andrewlza
(5) dogs bit me  

Sunday, August 03, 2008
Moral Education Again!

So I made the headlines :)

Updated Sept 7 2008:
Videos: 1, 2, 3, 4
Full MSLS 2008 Account

Yesterday was the first day of the Second Malaysian Student Leaders Summit and I asked Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein a question. :)

I went:
  • I was a teacher for 2 months for Pengetahuan Moral (hoho then the audience starts to laugh)

  • I think this is a subject that everyone can agree is useless. (the audience then breaks into spontaneous applause -- this is where I start to think that heeeey they reeeaaaallllly liiiikeeee meeeeeeee -- even Hishammuddin smiles!)

  • When the Star was doing an op-ed about Moral a few months back, a Star reporter told me that they could find plenty of people willing to slam Pengetahuan Moral but they could not find one ex-student willing to defend it.

  • Given that it is useless, why is it still a subject? (hohoho more applause!)

  • Even if you argue that some people could become more morally-inclined through Moral, why should my morality be based on how well I can memorize 36 nilai-nilai murni and their definitions? (applause!!!!!)

  • [Because Hisham referred to reducing academic pressure by lessening the number of subjects in response to a prior question] If you really are serious about reducing the number of subjects for SPM, I highly suggest that Pengetahuan Moral is a very suitable candidate for reduction. (applause!!!)
Haha so given the mass support evidently Moral is something absolutely dear to our hearts yah.

So Hisham's response was basically yes we know hehehe. :)

He told us that the ministry had already identified Moral as a subject for reform and said something like Andrew come see me after the talk -- you're not going anywhere right? -- to contribute ideas about how to improve, etc. (Ministerial etiquette, you know, and you know that he doesn't really mean it)

But I was very impressed with Hisham's poise and grace -- how he answered all the questions, smiling, composed. Very politicianish, very elegant.

So I was about to follow him up after the Q and A session but Badawi came for his talk and Hisham had to stay for etiquette's sake and after that I had to rush to pee and Hisham had to rush to his other engagements.

But I do intend to email him along the line of yo, remember me?????? hehehehe.

And I could also email him my essay(s).

Yi Jian suggested a great idea -- instead of only emailing my opinions, I could (should) gain more legitimacy by opening it up to MSLS participants (and others) and emailing that as an MSLS proposal instead.

And risk wasting my time and energy for something the MOE can discard just like that. ;)

But hope springs eternal, eh?

This seems ominous -- if my stupid crowd-pleasing question can make national headlines -- perhaps the timing is just right to send our proposals in.

**** Pay attention to the difference in reporting between the English papers and the Chinese papers (some crude but relevant translations will be provided) -- one says WILL NOT KILL MORAL one says MAYBE.

I also have to give credit to the Chinese papers for being relatively faithful to my line of questioning. Unlike NST.

Moral education up for review


KUALA LUMPUR: The Moral Education subject taught to non-Muslims in schools is part of the curriculum reforms up for review by the Education Ministry.

Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the ministry was looking at the subject thoroughly.

Leadership role: Hishammuddin speaking at the summit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"Whether we are going to change it or not is not up to me. It depends on the experts who advise me," he told reporters at the Second Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit here yesterday.

He said the Prime Minister had also stressed on the importance of values.

"We are not going to get rid of the subject. That's the problem we are facing as we cannot take everything in a piecemeal manner," he said, adding that the issue was to look at changes in a holistic manner.

Hishammuddin was asked to elaborate on the subject after a participant had asked during the question-and-answer session at the summit on why there was a need for the subject in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).

Moral Education is presently taught to non-Muslims in both primary and secondary schools, and is an examination subject in the SPM.

Many students have often complained about having to memorise differing values taught for the examination.

A teacher described the marking system as "weird" as students who answered questions in a different manner (from what was in the marking system) would lose marks.

Other questions asked included whether the ministry "manipulated" examination results in an election year and the policy of the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English.

On the examination results, Hishammuddin said: "It is true there are many who score straight As in examinations now but we do not manipulate results."

On the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English, he said a decision on the policy would be announced after the results of the UPSR were released at the end of the year.

Earlier, in his speech Hishammuddin spoke on the need to transform the education system.

"This is why during the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010 period we have to lay down the foundation, look at changes we are going to make rationally and get the stakeholders on board," he said.

新洲日报 (Sin Chew Jit Poh)


Minister of Education: (Based on professional opinions,) Moral might get the axe!!!!!

&f/O#p Z5x#o-V(w:~,{0b提供最新精彩的时事及新闻动态,介绍您的朋友一起来玩吧!((吉隆坡)教育部長拿督斯里希山慕丁指出,教育部將諮詢專業的意見,以探討是否要廢除中小學的道德教育科。

Hisham said that the MOE will base the decision on getting rid of Moral on expert analysis.5N4Z&Z0K2l ?;N3?爆米花,爆米花论坛,新闻站,贴图区,灌水区,BatuPahat,美食介绍,新闻爆料,柔佛州,中文论坛,免费论坛,烹饪食谱,动


Moral is under scrutiny!

/O3y)G!C:Y提供最新精彩的时事及新闻动态,介绍您的朋友一起来玩吧!他在第2屆馬來西亞學生領袖峰會上,回答一名美國留學生的問題時如是指出。這名學生認為把36項道德價值背得滾瓜爛熟,並不代表一個學生就有道德,基本上道德教育可以是"沒有用"的科目,因此,若教育部要廢除任何科目,道德教育應該可以受到考慮。爆米花论坛   WWW.ERICSOO.COM 呈献9b:^3G8t P&u7_$m6i

He was responding to a question from a US-based student at MSLS II. Then my spiel about the 36 nilai-nilai. Here comes the surprise -- they actually quote me saying Moral is "useless"!! Then the part about scrapping it.

光华日报 (Kwong Wah Jit Poh)

教长:英教数理政策 小六评审出炉后才决定

二零零八年八月二日 晚上十一时五十四分


Hisham said the MOE will decide whether Moral and other subjects continue as part of the national syllabus after obtaining professional opinions.

他是针对"第二届年度大马籍学生领导峰会"一名道德教育的老师  在会上提出,学生的道德教育水平不应单靠把36个道德价值背地滚瓜烂熟坐考,就能评出一个人的道德造诣的谈话,在大会结束后接受媒体访问时发表谈话。

This is in response to a MORAL TEACHER'S question, spiel. (OMG HAHAHAHHAHAHA now everyone will question why SMKDJ ever hired me like what this Wai Kin did lah hohoho)


东方新闻 (Oriental News)

教長:諮詢專家 SPM或廢除道德教育
MoE: (something experts) SPM might scrap Pendidikan Moral




Also the Chinese news articles were posted frighteningly quickly on this forum and two blogs. One says that this is the first time our minister isn't saying stupid things (第一次觉得咱们教育部长说的话并不愚蠢).

Remember the clampdown on letters to the editor a few weeks after the Star published their op-ed about Moral because too many people were writing in arguing the same old thing?

I've a feeling the grievances will pour in again lah. :)

Posted at 11:47 am by andrewlza
(3) dogs bit me  

Saturday, August 02, 2008
Students give Pak Lah tough time

Students give Pak Lah tough time

Andrew Ong
August 2, 2008

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was put on the defensive when he was asked a wide range of thorny questions by students during a forum today.

Students queried the prime minister after he had delivered his keynote address at the Malaysian Student Leaders Summit at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, with questions including:

In achieving 2020, are we on schedule?

I wish to join the civil service, but the civil service doesn't seem to be colour blind. What will be done to redeem the image of the civil service?

Will there be more public debates between the cabinet members and the opposition on government policies?

What is the role of the government in holistic development?

You have called yourself colour blind, but what is your view on our quota system? It is still more racial rather than community- based. Secondly, what is your views on protecting minorities rather than majorities?

I want to know how do you feel about promises that you have not kept. I don't want to know what you're going to do, but I want to know how you feel, towards us, the people you are responsible for. (Pinkpau got balls hahaha!)

Vision 2020

Many of the questions were met with loud applause from the floor and often drew smiles from Abdullah along with Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein who was seated next to him.

On Vision 2020 - a plan for Malaysia to achieve developed nation status - Abdullah said that Malaysia would meet the target provided that an annual growth rate of six percent is achieved.

"(But) we have problems now, due to increase in the price of oil and inflation," said Abdullah, adding that the government has allocated large amounts of money to meet the target.

"We are determined to fight and we must not give up", he added.

One student urged Abdullah to take action against "irresponsible politicians" for making irresponsible comments, to which the prime minister replied that he would "correct" such errant politicians.

He said that he would continue to remind politicians to exercise restraint and moderation.

Unkept promises

On the civil service, Abdullah said that the government was progressively making changes to make the civil service reflective of the composition of society.

He agreed that there was not enough non-Malays in certain sectors of the civil service but the government had created other mechanisms to allow non-Malay participation.

"For example, we have the Anti-Inflation Council. We make sure that the members come from the private sector and also members who are non-Malays," said Abdullah, adding that the government wants the council to be multi-racial.

He said that more of such institutions would be established to ensure that government policies are not being designed by one racial group.

student leaders summit 020808 participantsOn unkept promises, Abdullah said that the Barisan Nasional 2004 election manifesto was not designed with a five-year time frame, but a plan towards Vision 2020.

"It doesn't matter whether I will be around or not," he said, adding that the government has already established a plan to implement the election promises.

He cites reforming the Anti-Corruption Agency and the judiciary as among examples of promises which are in the midst of being fulfilled.

Abdullah said that it takes time to change the attitude of the people in order for the government to fulfil its agenda to encouraging transparency, accountability and openness.

"I'm not saying this as an excuse social changes do take time as opposed to physical and structural changes," he added.

Speech topic

However, Abdullah's response to the question of the government's role in holistic development drew the loudest reaction from the floor.

The student said the topic was something which Abdullah did not address in his speech, drawing loud applause from the floor.

Following this, Abdullah sought a clarification from the student who posed the question, apparently oblivious that the topic for his keynote address listed in the event's itinerary was Holistic Development and the role of the Government.

"Holistic apa? Where did I say so in my speech? Are you looking at it? Oh, you are (referring) to the title of my speech!" exclaimed Abdullah, leading to laughter, applause and then loud murmurs from the 500-odd participants.

He did not touch on the intended topic during his keynote address but instead delivered a 40-minute off-the-cuff address to the students on a wide range of topics.

The prime minister cut short the session and did not attend the scheduled press conference after the event as he has to catch a 5pm flight to Sarawak.

Compare that with the Star:

Sunday August 3, 2008

Students 'grill' the PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite his hectic schedule, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took time off to address a large group of college and university students at a hotel here.

The Prime Minister made full use of the weekend opportunity as he stressed on the importance of maintaining national unity.

I grew up in a 100% Malay environment but when I went to school, I made a lot of friends of all races.

I used to go to my Chinese friend's house and his mother would ask me, 'Abdullah, lu ciak liao?' which means 'have you eaten?' Abdullah said, recalling his younger days.

He also took questions from the floor at the session. The following is an excerpt of the Q&A session.

Question: Since it is our generation which will become the country's future leaders, are we in your opinion on schedule to achieve Vision 2020?

Abdullah answered: If our growth can be maintained at 6%, then we are on schedule. But now we may not achieve 6% because of the increase in fuel prices. We have allocated lots of money to achieve this but now the prices of building materials have also gone up steeply and this has also affected our development budget. There is inflation and the rakyat is certainly not happy. Such is the situation at the moment. But we have to continue to fight.

Q: There are some irresponsible politicians out there making irresponsible statements. What is your view on this?

A: We hear from both sides of the political divide about irresponsible politicians from the Government and the Opposition, too. But we have to comment through replies in Parliament and via our manifesto. ... We must keep on reminding everyone that if they want Malaysia to be a country that is peaceful, there must be restraint. We have to be moderate and we hope that there will be people who will listen and remind others that this is what we want to do.

Q: To be honest, the civil service does not seem to be very colour blind. Do you have any plans to review the civil service?

A: I know you're not happy with the situation that seems to have more Malays. We're now progressively making a lot of changes to be more representative in the nation's civil service. We're also aware that there may not be enough non-Malays at certain levels.

But today, we have created a mechanism, for instance, the anti-inflation council. We ensure that we have members from the private sector, who are non-Malays from high executive positions, to participate in the council. We want the council to be multi-racial.

Q: How do you feel about the promises that you have made to us but haven't kept?

A: My intention is to implement what I promised. When I introduced my manifesto in 2004, that manifesto outlined many things. It's not only for the first five years but meant to go on right up to Vision 2020. We've started (working) on it, and we're determined to achieve the objectives, the law and mechanisms that need to be introduced, this has to be done. I'm aware that the reform of the judiciary and the ACA has not been done.

That was one of the promises I made. For the commission of the ACA, that has been decided upon. The subject will be debated in the next Parliament session and I hope that it will get the okay from Parliament. At the same time, the introduction of the Judicial Commission has been announced and it was one of the things we wished to do.

The reform of the police force has already started but we still have one or two more things that we need to look into, so we'll continue with that. The reform of the financial and education sectors has already started. There are challenges we have to face. I've chosen a very important agenda, which is transparency and accountability.

It is not easy because you have to change people's attitudes, you have to inculcate new values and make social changes because it is important for the future of Malaysia.

Posted at 03:22 pm by andrewlza
Bite me.  

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back! From a 50 day tanning session.

I have to get a thong.

Posted at 12:35 pm by andrewlza
(1) dogs bit me  

Friday, July 18, 2008

I just crossed out an item on my things-to-do-before-I-die list.

I busked in Dubrovnik for an hour and made 185 kuna = 130 RM = 40 USD.


Updates to come.


Posted at 04:12 am by andrewlza
(4) dogs bit me  

Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Istanbul Pigeons

There were many pigeons in Istanbul.

Posted at 04:30 pm by andrewlza
Bite me.  

Monday, July 07, 2008

I stuff my ears with tissue paper every time I go clubbing.

(Being deaf by 30 is not fun)

Posted at 04:40 pm by andrewlza
Bite me.  

Friday, July 04, 2008
Istanbul Day 5

They say that you must go on a Bosphorus tour every time you visit Istanbul.

They don't lie.

Some rococo palace (Dolmabahce?) that I didn't visit.

I think this is Besiktas.

Rumeli Hisari.

It was built in 2 months? by Mehmet II al-Fatih (the Conqueror) before taking Constantinople (Old City) on the European side of Istanbul.

Some suspension bridge spanning the Bosphorus that was the longest in the world at some point.

The strait-side mansions of the rich.

I got off at Anadolu Hisari.

So Turkey is divided into the European side (Trachea) and the Asian side (Anatolia or Anadolu in Turkish).

Here I had real squid for the first time in my life.

Calamari is not meant to be chewy.

Fresh calamari is as easy to chew as tofu and is orgasmic. oh em gee.

The Turkish military again. Ubiquitous.

Turkish coffee is rich and thick and strong. And I was fleeced because the fucking idiot charged me 3 lira for it and I was too stupid to complain.

These kids (who were selling drinks and snacks) were so cute! After I took their picture and showed it to them they were like tesukkur (thank you) hahaha. And it was I who was supposed to thank them.

The hisari (fortress) of Anadolu Hisari. Was a pirate? based that controlled the Bosphorus for some time?



Farneeeeee guy.

1 lira... pleeeeeeeasssssssseeeeeee....... water!!!! 1 lira!!!!! pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeee..............



On the waterfront.

So the fisherboys were diving from their boat.

I motioned for this kid to dive from the boat for me to take a picture and he dived from the second level of the boat to make a bigger impression. Hehehehehe.

Some other rococo palace that I also didn't visit.

Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Blue (Sultanahmet) Mosque.


Suleimaniye Mosque

Galata Tower overlooking Galata Bridge which spans the Golden Horn.

The evil eye was all over Istanbul.

I'm starting to buy all my stuff from kids because 1) they're cute and 2) I think they could use the money more than the adults.

This kid sold me 1kg of huge, sweet, amazing cherries for 2.50 lira -- one of the best best bestest buys in my life. Given that cherries are like RM 7 per 100 grams in Malaysia.

And after the Bosphorus tour I took a walk into Central Istanbul.

The Aqueduct of Valens

Not very well preserved, I must say; many historical monuments in Istanbul are but walls in playgrounds against which to kick footballs.

Pistachios! Again, fresh, better-tasting pistachios than anything I've had.

A packet of this was only 2 lira (because it was in a non-touristy area) and was amazing. Should've gotten more.

So I went to Kumkapi again to find those cute kids and their 25 kurus stuffed midyes but thez weren't there anymore and I was super duper sad! :(

But the following pictures were worth the train ticket back.




Posted at 04:43 pm by andrewlza
(3) dogs bit me  

Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Istanbul Day 4

So other than the colour purple, Turkey has also fully and willingly embraced the mullet.

This one lagi cun, got both mullet and purple.

Today was a sleep-in day.

Nurusulaimaniye Mosque

Suleiman the Magnificent is buried here.

Suleiman is also known as Kanuni, which means the Just in Arabic and Turkish. He was a lawgiver, and is also portrayed somewhere in the US Congress.

This, interestingly, in a chamber next to Suleiman was another one for Roxana, his Hurrem Sultan aka favourite wife.

Then came the disappointment. The Suleimaniye Mosque was closed for renovation.


A small part of it is still used for prayers, however.

This kid was running around at first and then put on the most innocent look ever and raised his index finger to his lips. Shhhhhh.

Beyazit Mosque

Many, many kids were in these costumes when I was there.

So apparently they dress their kids up and party before sunnet = circumcision.


Spices again.

Galata Bridge, where everyone fishes.

There was even a Turkish football commercial with these fisherfolk dancing ole ole ole.

You can see the Suleimaniye Mosque with its minarets under renovation.

On Istiklal Street.

These guys were amazing! I especially liked the multistringed instrument in the middle.

Istiklal Street is home to many embassies and consulates. It also houses St. Anthony's Church.


Pope John Paul II visited.

Istiklal means independence, so this structure commemorates the Turkish War of Independence.


You have to pay to use most bathrooms in Turkey. Which suck. 1 lira = RM 2.6.

Which means you keep a look out for Burger Kings and McDs.

And that's St. Anthony's Church in the background.

Kofte, which is amazingly delicious.


The drink next to the yumminess is made from pepper and is very, very spicy.

I forget what it's called, but it starts with an 's' if I remember correctly.

Oh oh oh and today I bought three beautiful woolen vests for 15 lira each from a nice old man!!!!!

And the next day I did the same.

Posted at 06:21 pm by andrewlza
(4) dogs bit me  

Saturday, June 28, 2008
Bosnia 1

Also visit the Swarthmore Bosnia Project blog

Posted at 05:41 pm by andrewlza
(2) dogs bit me  

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