Sunday, July 12, 2009

Whale Shark Butchered And Sold At Kota Kinabalu Fish Market

Hantu Laut

Openly displayed on the table at the Central Fish Market at Kota Kinabalu.Killed, either out of ignorance or typical don't care attitude.

I was shocked what befalls my eyes when I went to the fish market this morning.There right in front of me were parts of a baby whale shark for sale.The juvenile was probably just a few years old.When I asked the fish monger where she got the fish from she said she bought it from a fisherman.When I told her it is illegal to kill this type of fish she just gave me a blank look and shrugged her shoulder, meaning she doesn't know or doesn't care.

It's a terrible sight just to see this gentle giant being slaughtered.It has very little commercial value here.This specie is protected in many countries in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific where they are mainly concentrated.They are also protected in Sabah waters but little have been done to educate the fishing community not to kill the specie.

Whale shark is placed in Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).It is also on Appendix II of CMS (Convention on Migratory Species also known as the Bonn Convention).Listing on CITES require member nations to monitor the international trade in whale shark product and to ensure it does not threaten survival of the specie.

Our Fisheries Department has done nothing in term of monitoring and enforcement.The whole fishing industry here is topsy-turvy and mired in all kind of illegal activities.Typical civil servants who sit on their arses and take no pride in their jobs.Fish bombing, using cynide and preserving fish using formalin are rampant practices here, endangering the people's health and the health of the ocean.

Next time you go to the fish market beware of those fresh looking fish where even the flies don't dare to go near, it could be laced with formalin (formaldehyde).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Najib's Popularity Soars

Najib scores a pass with 65pc

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 – When he entered office in early April, he owned one of the lowest approval ratings of any incoming Malaysian Prime Minister.

One hundred days later and after a slew of measures to reform the economy, Malaysians appear to be warming up to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a latest survey by an independent polling house shows.

The poll by the Merdeka Centre shows that his approval rating is 65 per cent, a spike from the tepid 46 per cent in mid-May and 42 per cent just before he became the country’s sixth leader.

Twenty-two per cent are dissatisfied with his performance while 13 per cent were undecided.

The survey findings will present further evidence to the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) that the days of it contending with a weak and unsure leader in Putrajaya are over.

Ibrahim Suffian, head of the polling institute, said: “Quite clearly, a growing number of Malaysians like some of the policy initiatives of the PM and his inclusive message.

“Some have begun to trust his leadership and some are giving him the benefit of doubt. This has translated into a higher approval rating.”

Some 1,060 selected registered voters were surveyed between June 19 and July 1.

They were asked a range of questions to gauge the PM’s performance, sentiment on the country and economy and measures to liberalise the economy.

The margin of error is about +/- 3 per cent. The survey was jointly commissioned by Merdeka Centre and a research house.Read more....

Malaysia, Decades Behind Hong Kong

By Simon Templer

I was away to Hong Kong recently. This was not my 1st trip there but this little island of nothing never fail to amaze me. Hong Kong is actually pretty much like Singapore, but Malaysians have this 'thing' against Singapore. So anything said in comparison to Singapore will not be taken seriously.

Hong Kong used to be known as a country of rude people. If you had gone shopping there years ago, browsing and flipping through items have better led to a purchase. Or else you are gonna kena from the auntie manning the store. Waiters and waitresses were infamous for throwing dishes around the table. And talking very loudly too as well. But Hong Kong today has left behind their arrogance and poor manners. The people of Hong Kong have changed to survive.

Many attributed this character change to the 1997 crisis. Hong Kong was hit really badly then. They are a global financial hub and a financial crisis will undoubtedly hit them hard. Property prices came tumbling down. Tourism also took a hard hit. Businesses everywhere were failing and it woke the Hong Kong people up. A very drastic attitude change was required to revive the little island of dim sums. I don't know how the government pulled it off but in a very short time span, Hong Kong took a very sharp turn in the attitude of their people.

Today, walk into any retail outlet and you will be greeted with a big welcome - foon ying kong lam, chui pin thai ha la... That translates to 'Welcome. Please browse around.'. And all said with some spirit and a smile. All their sales people are trained to do that - regardless of if it is a designer boutique or plain street wear store. You may even get greeted a few times in a single store. And the service is excellent. The sales personnel go all out to make sure that you get your size. And they are more than happy to remind you that so and so items are on discount. And if you purchase so and so number of items, you get additional discounts. And when you walk out, you get thanked in abundance. And it doesn't matter if you had bought anything at all. As a consumer from Malaysia, this is indeed a very pleasant experience.

Here in KL, we get uptight sales personnel at designer boutiques who think that they are some god sent angel simply because they have on them an Armani uniform. Or when you walk into a more humanly affordable store, you get poor service, or sometimes no service, because you are a cheapo who should scramble through a pile of clothes to find that medium size t-shirt. Apparently we consumers in Malaysia owe these stores a living. Of course you stumble upon some nice helpful sales personnel but that's because your stars and planets have lined in the correct position on that lucky day.

How often have you waved your hands to attract the attention of the waiters to fill up your glass of water? I had in many occasions walked to the serving counter to serve myself. There is only so long that my right arm can hang in mid air. Not in Hong Kong. You will be surprised at how quick service is offered. There is a simple reason to that - the waiting staffs are attentive. They are on constant look out for what the customers require. And food is of good quality too. In Hong Kong where rental and wages are crazy high, it is not easy to do business. I think the restaurant owners in Hong Kong must have found the right formula to success - serving quality food. In a competitive environment, quality is critical to success. Yes, it is true that the prices of food is expensive but that's because our Malaysian Ringgit has low purchasing power. I have travelled quite a fair bit and I dare say that at parity purchasing power, Hong Kong offers excellent food quality at their prices. In Malaysia, we have to pay through our sorry arse to sample some not notch food at some fancy restaurants. And most often than not, even with your blood drained and after losing a couple of limbs, the food is still below acceptable level. You see, in Malaysia, we owe the business operators a living.Read more......