Pulau Indah

I Love Malaysia, Photography

Second shoot of the day. Pulau Indah.

The location of the shoot is as follows. Its pretty far, about 70 kilometers from KL. Initially I wanted to go hunt for Pokemon – but too bad the place itself barely had any pokemon. The pokestop is also off limits. Was looking for Pokegym 🙁

It’s not so straightforward to get here. After driving behind large container yards, I reach thru a dirt. Not knowing where it heading I continue to push on. Driving alone in a these situation is pretty scary (and exciting)

Behrang Stesen

I Love Malaysia, Photography

This morning I did a quick visit to Slim River. Again in search of Kilang Roti Mokhtar. I did find the location and saw the factory, but as this is a Raya Weekend – the factory is closed. So much of driving up at 6am in order to get there by 7am. As I was going back, I was just making detour as and when needed. Found this small little town called Behrang Stesen. Located somewhere not far from Slim River.

I was expecting an old train station, but what appeared was a town that is called Behrang Stesen! Confusing. Spent some time over there. Town is quite quaint and extremely laid back. Here are some collection of my photos.

 

 

Here are is 360 degree view of the photo.

 

Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Zika Virus – Are we ready

I Love Malaysia

Zika virus is a virus that has been classified as a “Pandemic in Progress” by World Health Organization. It is a global public health emergency. Scary to the fact that Zika is now spread all over the world. I am not sure whether we are prepared for this.

History

Based on the chart from BBC – Zika virus started in Uganda and then later expanded to the different continents and latest to Brazil, and now it goes worldwide. Singapore are now on full alert with 242 cases as of 4th September 2016.

What is Zika

This is a good infographics from WHO. Click here. To me this is the interesting fact:

Zika is carried by the same mosquito that causes dengue! We in Malaysia already struggle to curb dengue and now Zika, it is going to be interesting yet scary journey for us. Dengue outbreak is something that can be curb by human. We need to take preventive steps to stop mosquito breeding. Post outbreak measures are useless. We need to start now!

This video is a good introduction to Zika

 

 

What should I do now?

Go and check to see you are breeding Aedes!

Foreign Workers

I Love Malaysia, Photography

It’s amusing to see the fact that the workers that we see all over the place are foreign workers. To me it’s not bad, but it does show either two things:

  1. We have progressed to a point that labor work can be outsourced to foreign worker
  2. We just just being lazy ass and let the foreign worker do the work. 

To be honest, I seriously think that it is the latter. I do see a lot of people complaint about not having jobs but when we see the work that’s out there, it does seem like the labor work is done by foreigners. 

The more serious case was the crane incident in Raja Chulan where a crane hook fell down on a kelisa, and killed instantly a 24-year old lady. Apparently the crane operator is a foreigner, and to my knowledge this would be impossible as only locals can be certified. Let’s see what happen next.

As I said earlier, I do not think the infusion of foreign labor into the workforce is a bad thing. But if it’s done with the wrong intent – this might be detrimental to the future of this country. 

Yes – we are built on a society of immigrants. Back then – the Malay, India, Arabs, Chinese etc came to this land in view of trade and exploration. And as we grew, different people worked on different things like plantation and mining. And now things would have been different – so would bringing immigrants be different. I don’t know. 

Anyway – I do have a few friends who are foreign workers. One thing I have to give it them, they are definitely hardworking and focus on having a better life for themselves and the family. I remember one Bangladeshi guy told me – “I invest my life in Malaysia for my children and their children”. Which is true, if they can lift their family out of poverty – their children will reap the benefit and seek a better life thru better education etc. 

Enough of ranting. Time to work!!!

Proton Not Sustainable

I Love Malaysia

Interesting article that I read from paultan.org. The article shows a statement by our minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad.

Here is my point of view:

  1. Proton had opportunity to grow back then, but it was plagued with the disease that causing them to continuously to rely on government for assistance.
  2. Proton is now owned by DRB Hicom, as such they should be managed like any other corporation. Asking for assistance from government is not something that they should do.
  3. Malaysians themselves are part of the problem – when Proton came out with the infamous Accordana – we complained and made fun of them.
  4. If Proton wants to survive in the market place, they should push for better R&D and leverage partnerships with bigger players. If they can’t do this – please shut it down.
  5. There are 30,000 employees at stake over here. But what’s more important, 30,000 employees or the rest of Malaysians. If they are skillful as what it has been portrayed, moving to another automotive company should not be a problem.
  6. We need to remove the whole protection economy for Proton so that we can attract manufacturers to come here and build their factories here.

 

The full statement here:

1. The decision made by the government to go into heavy industries, including the automotive sector, in the mid-1980s was a bold and courageous one. However, the government cannot continuously protect these industries.

2. Other countries such as Japan and South Korea have protected their automotive industry, but these measures were short- and medium term in nature and were eventually abolished.

3. Proton, which is our national car project, needs to graduate from this protection.

4. Since I became the MITI minister in 2009, I have been briefed by the senior management of Proton of the issues and challenges faced by the company on a regular basis. I have met with both the previous and current management teams and shareholders of the company.

5. In 2009, the company presented to me its restructuring plan which aimed to improve the quality of its cars, to boost exports and to make Malaysia a hub for the automotive industry in the region.

6. In 2012, following the takeover of Proton by DRB Hicom, the new owners came to see me and they presented another restructuring plan to make Proton more competitive. They also highlighted a number of ambitious plans to boost exports.

7. The National Automotive Policy in 2009 clearly stated the need for Proton to team up with strategic foreign partners. In this extremely competitive line of business, there is a need to set aside high capital resources for Research & Development (R&D). Scale is also crucial. Proton currently has neither of them.

8. The problems faced by Proton are very challenging. The company’s share of the domestic automotive market hit a peak of 74% in 1993, but currently hovers at 15%.

9. Since its establishment in 1983, the government has provided grants, various forms of assistance as well as taxes forgone to Proton to the tune of about RM13.9 billion in total. There has been intense discussion between MITI and the senior management of Proton on the future of this company in the past six months. Proton’s management has also made a number of presentations to the Economic Council chaired by the Prime Minister.

10. Our observations on the current state of Proton are as follows:

i. The company is a relatively small player in the global context and thus not able to compete with other foreign companies unless it can substantially increase its exports.

ii. Proton is suffering a problem of underutilisation – about 35% of the available capacity in each of its two production plants is being utilised. The decision to have two plants is probably one of the mistakes made in the past by Proton.

iii. About three years ago, Proton almost struck a deal with a renowned foreign player but at the last minute decided not to proceed with the proposal. Had this collaboration been realised, we may have seen an improved performance by Proton in the subsequent years.

11. Malaysia currently has two national car projects, namely Proton and Perodua. The latter turns out to be a more sustainable model. Perodua Manufacturing, which is 49% owned by Malaysian shareholders including PNB, has a joint-venture with Daihatsu and Toyota, and is a profitable company.

12. Last year, a number of Proton vendors came to see me on a few occasions and shared their problems. Following that, MITI injected RM100 million to provide soft loans to alleviate their burden. Even then, it has come to my attention that some of the vendors may face serious challenges if Proton continues to operate at the current level of production and sales. A few of them might be out of business in the next three to four months.

13. In view of the very serious nature of the problem, the government believes that the current business model adopted by Proton is not sustainable. The government has been seriously deliberating Proton’s request for assistance for grants and soft loans. It is a major request and the government needs to be thorough with its evaluation as a lot of public money is involved. We need to be particularly prudent in allocation of resources at this time when our national revenues have been seriously impacted by falling oil and commodity prices.

14. Having said that, I would like to assure Proton employees, vendors and the Proton ecosystem that their interests will be taken into consideration before we make any decision on its request for assistance.

15. If the Government decides to assist Proton, this would be made subject to several conditions including:

i. Proton needs to immediately identify a strategic foreign partner.

ii. The company must be professionally managed.

iii. There must not be any interference in its business.

iv. Some tough but necessary measures must be put in place for the long-term sustainability of Proton.

16. I have been informed that there were instances when Proton appeared to be unprofessional in its decision-making process. In order for the government to consider providing financial assistance to Proton, it is important that a competent leadership team be appointed in the company.

17. We note the decision made by Tun Mahathir to relinquish his position as the chairman of Proton. While we recognise the contributions made by Tun Mahathir throughout his chairmanship of Proton, we must not turn a blind eye to challenges faced by Proton and its inability to establish a solid financial footing.

18. In this regard, we hope that the new chairman and senior management of Proton will help towards enhancing the true potential of Proton and pave the way towards a better future for the company.

19. The government remains committed to ensure the continuous growth and development of the domestic automotive industry which would include the transformation of Proton and its ecosystem.

Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed

1 April 2016

Back then – I was helping a friend to get Proton started on electric car initiative. I guess it was way too early for its time. At that time the whole Tesla was still pretty new, but if it were to take off, I am quite sure that it will transform Proton into a completely different beast altogether. Yes – it may be using the same chassis, but given the availability and ownership of Lotus, they could have been on the same stage as Tesla. But its all gone, the window of opportunity is no longer there.

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