I normally get an average of 10 calls a day. But over the past 48 hours, my mobile phone did not ring at all. And that's because there was no power in my hands. The Celcom network just went bust.
Apparently, this is the first time in Malaysian history that a service provider went bust for more than a day.
According to Celcom, the high traffic volume which increased by five-fold during the festive period.
"As a result, some of our major network nodes experienced a sudden overloading, causing a loss of signal between the nodes. It is really unfortunate that these nodes, in Kepong, Selangor, and Perda in Seberang Prai, were both affected at the same time," said Celcom (Malaysia) Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly.
But I have this question for Shazally: Did you not anticipate heavy call volumes during Hari Raya Aidil Fitri?
Perhaps it slipped Shazally's mind that more than half of the Malaysian population are Muslims and they celebrate Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. Normally, they call or sms their beloved ones to greet them.
Tidak begitu menceriakan! Itulah komen saya tentang duit RM50 kita yang dikeluarkan Bank Negara baru-baru ini.
Warnanya begitu pudar dan rekabentuknya tidak begitu menarik. Saya harap ia tidak mencerminkan ekonomi negara kita pada masa ini.
Ini cuma pendapat saya. Lain orang, lain pendapatnya. Mungkin ada yang tidak bersetuju dengan saya. Cuma saya berharap Bank Negara akan menggunakan warna yang lebih ceria dan meriah kalau ianya berhajat untuk menukar rekabentuk denominasi lain.
Mungkin juga Bank Negara boleh mendapatkan idea-idea dari pelajar-pelajar muda Art & Design yang begitu ramai sekali di institusi-institusi pengajian tinggi di negara ini. Kita perlukan idea-idea baru. Mungkin juga kita perlu rekabentuk yang lain daripada lain.
I have this message for the MIC: please name the delegate who called for the picture of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad be garlanded with slippers and expel him from the party. His action is far more serious than what Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek did to deserve a sacking from MCA.
I am surprised that until today, three days after the MIC's 63rd AGM where the delegate uttered those derogatory words, he has not been named. This gives the impression that the party is protecting the culprit.
As we know, slippers and brooms are not acceptable in any our cultures. By suggesting that a garland of slippers be placed on the portrait of Dr Mahathir, the delegate has inferred that the former Prime Minister is the lowliest of all Godly creations.
On the contrary, Dr Mahathir is a Statesman who turned Malaysia into a force to be reckoned with. His contributions to country and the developing world is enormous.
I urge MIC to act immediately to show its seriousness in resolving the issue and give the delegate the boot (or slippers).
I am not paying RM800 a month for an Indonesian maid. Period.
I have had far too many bad experiences with Indonesian maids and I am not about to waste RM800 a month, just to have them run away again. Worse, agents these days demand RM7,000 in fees for a maid.
Indonesia is dependent on Malaysia to feed 1.7 million of its workers here, both legal and illegal. It should stop making demands. My Malaysian friends who live in Jakarta and elsewhere in Indonesia pay their maids only between RM50-RM100 a month. Their Indonesian drivers are paid between RM70 and RM100 a month.
So why is the Indonesian government making such demands for their citizens employed as maids here? If they are university graduates, it is a different matter all together. Most of the Indonesians who come to Malaysia to work as maids are illiterate. They can take care of the children, but not "nanny" them. It is a different matter with the Filipinas.
An average Malaysian cannot afford RM800 a month. Imposing such a high minimum wage, will lead to other problems.
More and more people will begin to employ illegals as maids because they will not demand a minimum wage. Even if they do, it's not going to be as high as RM800.
There will be other problems as well. Tekongs will bend over backwards to bring in more illegals because with the new ruling, the demand for illegal maids will increase many folds. There will be an influx of illegal Indonesians entering Malaysia.
As illegals, they will have no where to turn to if they don't get paid, mistreated or even abused. They will not lodge reports for fear of getting arrested for entering the country illegally. Unscruplous employers will take advantage of them and treat them as slaves.
If we look at the bigger picture, imposing too high of a minimum wage will eventually lead to a diplomatic problem between Indonesia and Malaysia.
I think it is about time that we should seriously reconsider employing Indonesians in all sectors. We can always source workers from other countries which do not make ridiculous demands.
My name is Mohd Ashraf Abdullah. I was born and raised in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. I am a journalist at heart. I served the New Straits Times as a journalist for 17 years, beginning as a cadet reporter in 1988. I was trained to be a political writer. I served the NST in various capacities including as Staff Correspondent of the Kuantan Bureau and London Correspondent. I resigned as News Editor in 2004 to join Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as Deputy General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. Two years later I was made General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. When Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad were merged with Sime Darby Berhad in November 2007, I chose not to accept the offer of employment by the merged entity. I was a scholar of the British Government and possess a Masters Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I am also a Jefferson's Fellow of the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.