Friday, August 15, 2008

Rant: The Blind Leading the Blind

You know what pisses me off?

Blind people.

No, not blind people, blind people, but people handling the blind people. Geddit?

I mean, there are centers for the blind and the disabled all over the country (maybe, but I have seen a few) and you know what they teach?

Well, a blind friend told me that they teach massage techniques, playing instruments and weaving baskets.

What the fuck?

So the average blind man in Malaysia has clearly three options:

1. Be a masseuse.
2. Play music and beg on the streets.
3. Weave bloody fucking baskets.

Baskets. BASKETS! Bloody fucking baskets! How many baskets does one need?

Who came up with this shit, anyway? Malaysia's FIRST blind person? Goddamn.

Me: Hey, Eric, where you goin' man?

Eric: I'm blind, foo! Imma weave me some baskets.

Me: Is it good business, this basket thing?

Eric: Fuck should I know. I'm blind, motherfucker! I'm blind!

Fortunately, my friend Eric is actually employed as a telephone receptionist at an insurance company. He was recently (and by recently I meant 4 years ago, as I don't really hang out with blind people. What do I look like, Mother Fucking Theresa?) promoted to full receptionist.

He remembers like, 200 numbers or something like that. When you got so little, you really look at it.

I propose that the Malaysian Government make it a motherfucking LAW that 10% of telephone operators for major companies that make billion-kajillions of dollars a year to be staffed by blind people.

And start retraining them to do this shit rather than weave baskets or play an electronic rendition of bullshit on the streets.

It would take them off the streets and get them proper jobs.

I mean, those annoying telemarketers, they should ALL be blind. I fucking hate telemarketers.

Language is also another bullshit this country has to deal with.

Some Chinese and Indian Malaysians are making so much noise aboot the Sekolah Kebangsaan thing.

Why? Because, not just the matter of preserving one's ethnic heritage. It is also aboot money. Chinese or Tamil-speaking people will buy and read Chinese and Tamil-language newspapers.

They can also find jobs as language teachers. It is an economic cycle that benefits Malaysians, so why destroy it?

And the Government is so gung-ho aboot English as a medium for science and technology.

Meanwhile, in the papers, you can normally see job advertisements requiring Mandarin as a requirement. For some, it's because they do business in China, Hong Kong or Singapore. As for others, I'm not sure why. Maybe it would put the rest of the staff at ease?

Who gives a shit?

The recent drive by the Government to make Tamil and Mandarin as elective subjects is cool, but the next step would be to make it compulsory for you to pass the language subjects - Bahasa Malaysia, English, Tamil or Mandarin - in order you to graduate.

Perhaps also make it compulsory for ALL civil servants, Ministers or whoever the fuck to be AT LEAST bilingual.

I mean, for God's sake, we're in fucking multi-cultural Malaysia. How can you be in this country if you at least do not understand a smattering of Bahasa Malaysia and a few words from the others.

Anta valakerreng, kerekke.

This way, everyone wins.

The Chinese and Tamil newspapers gets a more varied readership, the people are more educated, the 'heritage' of these languages are preserved, and Malaysians of ALL ethnicity can apply for jobs previously reserved for a certain race of people.

And, we can open up the Chinese and Indian markets.

The only drawback would be the loss of translators and subtitlers as their services will no longer be needed. But they can always apply for UN work, which pays RM20,000 a month, TAX-FREE.

Talking about China and India, one prominent filmmaker made a documentary recently (and by recently, I meant 2-3 years ago) about the growing Indian economy. In India.

She was more interested in India because, unlike China, there is no starvation in India. For a nation of over 1 billion people, with no proper sanitation in a lot of areas and low income for a majority of the population, no person in India will die of starvation. Unlike China, which on the flip side has the fastest growing economy on the planet.

One of the reasons for this is their good schemes backed by the Government.

My father have often told me, in his pragmatic way, that Communism is not evil.

"It is the BEST form of governance for managing large nations," he said.

This was in the 1980s. When Mikhail Gorbachev - the guy with Russia's map on his forehead - was still in power in the SOviet Union.

My father's reasoning come from his belief that if there are too many people and too much land to cover, elections would be a fucking nightmare.

How can you accomodate the voices of EVERYONE, even if you have enough money, when the amount of time is still the same.

Now, we know better. Or do we?

Anyway, back to India. There are two programmes in Inda which I think might work here:

1. A giant-assed cooperative
2. Focus on the women and women's economy

India has THE LARGEST cooperative in the world. It is a cooperative to collect milk and sell them.

The rationale behind this is simple - most Indian families, in India, no matter how poor, would have a cow or two that would produce milk. Every single day.

Let's say, for simplicity's sake, that each family is 4 people. Each family has a cow. Each cow produces 2 litres of milk everyday - one litre for self-consumption, and the other litre to be sold.

Now, if India has a population of exactly 1 billion, that would mean 250 million families. 250 million cows. Producing 500 million litres of milk. EVERY DAY. No, not EVERYDAY, Every Day. The phrase, not the brand.

After consumption, that's 250 million litres of milk, 7.5 billion litres of milk every month. That's a whole lotta cheese, broseph! To be taken advantage of by unscrupulous middle-men.

Not any more! This giant-assed cooperative now handles the collection and distribution fo excess milk, eliminating the middle men altogether. ALl profits go back to members of the cooprative - Indian citizens.

It's a beautiful idea. If only there were no corruption. In India.

ANyway, the second one on the list is women's economy.

In a drive to improve the financial status of Indian women one Government-backed agency went to villages and set up loan centres. For women to get loans and start businesses.

At first, not many came forward. The policy-makers were curious, so they interviewed the women.

Why don't you go for the loans we set up for you?

The answer? The loans being offered are too big.

These poor Indian women only wanted to borrow small amounts like 20 dollars and pay the week after.


Because the businesses they do, the trade these Indian women are involved with, are small. Small capital (very small), small returns, but VERY FAST turnover.

So the Government agency changed their loan structures and began giving out smaller loans, for smaller lengths of time. It has been working ever since.

Now, the reason we should focus on women's economy, is simply because women, like it or not, be you chauvinist or Femi-Nazi, are the ones most directly responsible for family building.

All the leaders and scientists and artists and thinkers of the future are now sucking on the nipples of their mothers.

Men have nipples too, but only prostitutes suck them.

If these kids can get a better environment growing up, have access to better education, better food, there will be an increase to quality of life in a few generations' time. Because they will make it so.

In Malaysia, if you go to the Pasar Besars and whathaveyou, a LOT of the traders are women. Doing small businesses like selling keropok, cancer-causing cordial drinks, farm produce, songkoks, cloth, Pork rice dumplings, pirated DVDs, etc.

Helping them out - as I have seen and read of what and how SOME ministries are doing and NOT doing - would be beneficial to all.

There was this thing I read - one Government agency spent millions for cronies to come up with vans and motorcycles for women to do their food business. They got these vans equipped with cooking appliances and motorcycles that can carry hundreds of packets of Nasi Lemak and banana fritters. Nur Catering or something like that.

I read it, and I was ready to buy some nasi lemak. Cholesterol levels be damned.

So I waited. That week, it was probably too early. The month after, maybe in some areas only?

Now, today, several YEARS later, what the fuck happened to that project? Have the ministry lost heart? Was the project poorly-conceived? Poorly-maintained? What?

I think an area they should focus on would be the Kelantan makciks. Those are expert traders, taught for generations on how to turn profit. How to take the simple, humble cucumber or kangkong and long beans, and turn them to gold bracelets and gold teeth - perfect for a snatch-thief or a snatch-dentist to rob. Which is another economic circle/cycle to observe.

Vegetable to gold. Take that, alchemy!

These are the nation's poor. These are the nation's uneducated - most of them anyway. I do meet a PhD holder who sells baju raya, imported from China, every Ramadan. They can't or won't get a 'normal' job.

ANd they breed like rabbits.

If we don't do something to improve THEIR quality of life, Malaysia is doomed, because these are the people who are raising future Malaysia. These are the people who will give birth to idiots your UK-educated sons and daughters will be yelling at in the future. These are the mothers of people who will drive the lorries that take your children's product, which they painfully marketed by sucking on the white men's asses, to Port Klang.

These are the people who will breed the next generation of the face of the Malaysian sevice industry. AT least on the pamphlets, you can always employ eurasians. When the whiteys come here for real, they will be served cocktails by a Minah or an Abu.

These are the people who will raise your children, when you're too busy screwing your gardener or your secretary. They will cook your meals, your grandchildren's meals. For the luckier ones, they are the ones who will be teaching your children and grandchildren their ABCs and HTTPs and Snoop D-O-Double Gs.

Cause when the Indonesians go back to their country - because of the recent agrarian boom or because of too many atrocities against them here - these are the people you will turn to. From fixing your cars to your toilet bowl.

Everything and everyone is connected.

In order for a nation, any nation, to grow, you must have a solid foundation. That foundation, even though I REALLY, REALLY HATE to say it, is family.

And the foundation of the family are the women. The mothers and the sisters.

Look at my family. If it weren't for my mother and my sisters, I think my brother, my father and myself would just go our own separate ways.

Cause we don't care, foo! We're too cool for school. And for most men, sadly, that IS their credo.