Wednesday, December 19, 2012

《Self-cultivation - 修身》- MOZI 470 BCE--c.391 BCE

Though there should be tactics in war, courage is fundamental. Though there should be ceremonies for mourning, grief is essential. Though a scholar should be learned, he must first of all exhibit good conduct. When the seeds are not well sown, there is no use in laboring for a good harvest. When the people near-by are not befriended there is no use of endeavoring to attract those at a distance. When one's relatives are not submissive, there is no use in endeavoring to establish contacts with the outside world. When one cannot accomplish a single task from beginning to end. there is no use of attempting many things. And when one is ignorant of a commonplace that is pointed out, there is no use of pursuing wide knowledge. Therefore, when the early kings administered the empire, they would investigate what was within reach and attract those at a distance. Investigation of a locality by the superior men means its orderly government. When they discovered misconduct or depravity, they corrected themselves. Thus all complaints disappeared and conduct became regulated (by itself). When the superior men do not listen to treacherous words or utter any threatening sound, or entertain any idea of injuring somebody, then even if there were underhanded persons they would lose support. Therefore the superior men are daily more energetic in performing their duty, but weaker in their desires, and more stately in their appearance. The way of the superior man makes the individual incorruptible in poverty and righteous when wealthy; it makes him love the living and mourn the dead. These four qualities of conduct cannot be hypocritically embodied in one's personality. There is nothing in his mind that goes beyond love; there is nothing in his behavior that goes beyond respectfulness, and there is nothing from his mouth that goes beyond gentility. When one pursues such a way until it pervades his four limbs and permeates his flesh and skin, and until he becomes white-haired and bald-headed without ceasing, one is truly a sage. His wisdom will not be far-reaching whose purpose is not firm. His action will not be effective whose promises are not kept. He who will not share his possessions with others is not worthy to be a friend. And he who does not stand firm on principles and has neither wide knowledge nor penetrating judgment, is not worthy to be a companion. Just as a weak trunk will have but small branches, so, mere bravery without cultivation will result in dissipation. And just as a dirty source will issue in an impure stream, so unfaithful conduct will unfavorably affect one's fame. For, fame does not spring up out of nothing, nor does praise grow by itself. Fame follows upon success and is not obtainable by hypocrisy. He will not be listened to who talks much but is slow in action, even though he is discerning. He will not accomplish anything, who is capable but likes to boast of his feats, even though he drudges. The wise discerns all in his mind but speaks simply, and he is capable but does not boast of his deeds. And, so. his name is exalted the world over. In speech, not quantity but ingenuity, not eloquence but insight, should be cultivated. If one is not wise and without insight, breeding only dissipation in one's personality, this is just the contrary of what should be cultivated. Any virtue that does not spring from the heart will not remain and any (result of) action that is not aimed at by one's self will not stay. There is no short cut to fame and there is no trick to praise. The superior man regards his body but as the vehicle for his character. None who places much importance on personal gains but lightly sacrifices his fame has ever become a gentleman in the world.

The absence of fear

Although fear is one of the crucial evolutionary mechanisms for individual survival,[citation needed] in certain situations psychologically normal humans can behave without feeling fear, with a total neglect of potentially lethal risk. A classical situation is when a child is attacked by a predatory animal (or an armed human), and a parent starts an all-out fight against the much stronger attacker, totally neglecting his or her personal safety. This mechanism is present among many species, most notably when a mother behaves fearlessly towards much stronger opposition in order to save her offspring. Ethnomusicologist Joseph Jordania uses the term aphobia for the temporary loss of fear, induced by the release of neurochemicals in the brain which leads to a specificaltered state of consciousness. Jordania calls this state the battle trance. According to him, aphobia supersedes the individual's instinctive fear for selfish survival and well-being, when more evolutionarily important subjects than that individual's own life are in danger. These can be the life of a child, family members, or members of a soldier's unit. Sometimes saving unknown humans or animals can also trigger the temporary loss of fear. Strong religious feelings can also induce aphobia (for example, when martyrs sacrifice themselves without the feeling of fear or pain).Jordania suggested that battle trance and associated loss of fear and pain (known as analgesia) were designed in the course of evolution by forces of natural selection as a survival mechanism, as individual hominids were too weak to stand against the formidable African ground predators after they descended from the relatively safe trees to the ground. The state of battle trance, which can be induced by rhythmic drumming, singing, dancing, body painting, and the use of certain substances, allowed them to lose their individuality, obtain collective identity, and to fight together as a unit without feeling fear and pain, neglecting their personal safety for the evolutionarily more important reason. Unlike the feel of pain, which can be fully absent in some human conditions, there is no such condition as congenital absence of fear (although psychopaths are known to have a much lessened feeling of fear).

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Stock Market is Nothing More Than A Casino

During my college days we were asked to write a critical essay on 'The Stock Market is Nothing More Than A Casino.'

It's astounding that this has become a reality across the Globe where investments are little valued on the dividend or net asset value models anymore and the underlying business itself is often totally disregarded since it's only share prices that are dealt with on a 'virtual' basis!

Instead, due to excessive leveraging, especially by banks and hedge funds, shares prices are manipulated (ramped up) by 'hot' money flows and then dumped to leave the smaller players and genuine investors with huge losses.

More than that, USA Congressional hearings day before yesterday in the USA have revealed that mega Investment Houses and Merchant Banks (in particular Goldman Sachs) who act as underwriters for huge share offers, placements and right issues, have been allowed to SHORT SELL investment they themselves recommend to their clients to BUY, thus standing on its head the principle that the buck stops with the Underwriters! This conflict of interest has huge ramifications in the financial world where it is now clear that all the risk is born by unsuspecting investors, and the fact that Govt Will bailout the big banks and financial houses has been factored in!!

Govts and Central Banks everywhere must set clear rules limiting Banks, Merchant Banks, Financial Houses and Hedge Funds from over-leveraging. My personal view is that Equity:Debt ratios should not exceed 2:1. This would allow for an element of speculation, but not an excessive one for investments in share markets. Speculation in futures and currencies should be totally banned, except for genuine producers, buyers and sellers who taking actual physical delivery of goods and services.

Such controls might reduce the huge volume of speculative trade that has unhealthily driven the USA and European economies, but that is infinitely preferable to the boom and bust economic cycles we are now struggling with that threatens to bankrupt the whole world every time it occurs!

If USA will not lead the way for a total revamp and reform of financial trading due to selfish interests, perhaps Asia and Malaysia can take the first steps!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Majority of non-bumi M’sians cannot afford private universities’ fees

Written by Tan Keng Liang
Sunday, 13 December 2009 22:00

I refer to the statement by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the opportunities given to bumiputeras to enter public universities should not be disputed as a racist act that favours one race at the expense of the others. Our former prime minister was further reported to have stated that:-

1. The enrollment of bumiputeras in private institutions of higher learning (private universities) is low at only about 10% as the bumiputeras could not afford the fees;

2. If we conduct a census of the number of students in private universities, there are more non-bumiputera students in private universities. That’s why the government gives attention and more places to bumiputeras in public universities; and

3. The affirmative action policy of bringing bumiputeras into the mainstream of development in the country was not something extreme because although they made up about 60% of the population, the quota was only 30%.

With due respect to our former prime minister, I would like to state that:-
1. Majority of the non-bumiputeras Malaysian too cannot afford the fees of the private universities. A large number of non-bumiputera Malaysians have to take out loans to enter private universities and subsequently, they have to repay the large education loan (due to the higher education fees in private universities) upon graduation by instalments. This would be an extreme burden to the non-bumiputeras at a later part of their life. But what choice do these non-bumiputera Malaysians have if they persist in furthering their education?

2. As the number of places for non-bumiputera Malaysians in public universities is extremely limited, there are no other options for non-bumiputera Malaysians who wish to further their education in the country, except to enrol in local private universities. That’s the obvious and actual reason for the high rate of non-bumiputera Malaysians in private universities. On the contrary, it is cynical to state the existence of more non-bumiputera Malaysians in private universities would be a good reason for the government to give attention and more places to bumiputeras in public universities.

3. No doubt, Article 153 (8A) of the Federal Constitution permits the reservation of places for bumiputeras in public universities. However, I am doubtful of our former prime minister’s remarks that the bumiputera quota is only 30% for enrolment in public universities.

Tan Keng Liang
Kedah Gerakan Youth chief

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thaksin back in Cambodia as Thai "spy" to be freed

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra returned to Cambodia on Sunday, a month after a visit that sparked a diplomatic row when the Cambodian government refused Bangkok's request to extradite him.
Thailand's fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra (L) is embraced by a supporter as he greets red-shirted supporters at a hotel in Siem Reap November 12, 2009. (REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea/Files)

Thaksin came to Phnom Penh in November to take up a job as economic adviser to the Cambodian government, a move that fuelled fears of further political instability in Thailand since it gave him a base over the border for his campaign to unseat the Thai government.

The episode led to a Thai engineer working for Cambodian air traffic control being found guilty of spying for leaking Thaksin's flight details to the Thai embassy.

Siwarak Chutipongse, 31, was pardoned last week after a request to Cambodia's king from Thaksin and others, according to a Cambodian minister speaking at the time, and Thaksin went immediately to see Sirawak on his arrival on Sunday.

He travelled to the prison where Sirawak is being held, before his release on Monday, in a police-escorted convoy of 14 vehicles.

"I am very happy that Thaksin, who is economic adviser to the government, and Prime Minister Hun Sen, helped to release my client," Siwarak's lawyer, Khieu Sambo, told journalists outside the prison.

Thaksin was ousted by the military in 2006 and later sentenced to jail in absentia on conflict of interest charges.


Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said Siwarak would be officially freed on Monday at Hun Sen's residence.

He told Reuters that Thaksin had not had a direct role in Siwarak's release and that the billionaire former telecoms tycoon would hold economic seminars this week with Cambodian officials.

"He is going to be released because of humanitarian reasons and because his mother requested a royal pardon," Siphan said, adding this was a sign Cambodia's government wanted good relations with the Thai nation.

Last Tuesday a court had jailed Siwarak for seven years for breaching national security by passing on Thaksin's flight schedule to a Thai diplomat, who was subsequently expelled.

Siwarak's arrest last month prompted Cambodia to take temporary control of Thai-operated Cambodia Air Traffic Services (CATS) and suspend Thai expatriates at the company.

The two countries were already at odds over an ancient temple on a disputed stretch of their border, the scene of deadly clashes over the past 18 months.

Critics have dismissed Thaksin's visit and his involvement in the pardon as publicity stunts to rile the Thai government.

Hun Sen has openly given his backing to the pro-Thaksin Puea Thai party in Thailand and calls Thaksin his "eternal friend", who he says is the victim of a vendetta by powerful opponents.

The extradition issue and Cambodia's offer of a home and a job to Thaksin led to the recall and expulsion of diplomats and the freezing of bilateral agreements, including a pact to jointly develop untapped energy reserves in the Gulf of Thailand.

Despite the pardon, there has been no move by either side to restore diplomatic relations.

(Writing by Alan Raybould; Editing by Charles Dick)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Merger of Pemuda and Beliawanis in Gerakan

The merge of the Pemuda and Beliawanis is not a solution in achieving our struggles, it wont help in recruitment nor unity. We should look at the real problem that make us fail. I noticed that we were having too many 'fanatic" Chinese in the party that make public look down upon us, and our leaders dare not to stand tight on the party's struggle. Because afraid lost of support in the election, our leaders listen to the majority in the party, sacrifice the minority, which is majority in the nation( the Malays).

We must start changing from the youth. Youth head must play a very important role on the party's struggle. He must be brave and really fight for the people regardless of race or religion. He don't have to follow listen to those not with the party or any Chinese fanatic. The Chinese who fight only for the Chinese and not ready to be Bangsa Malaysia should stay in MCA but not Gerakan. This is the cancer within the party that will make the wrong person stay and the right person leave.

I notice that some members joined the party not because they have the same ideology with the party but for their personal agenda by using Gerakan as their jumping stone or as their platform. These people recruit those who having the same dream with them but not same dream with the party struggle.

People will not loyal to the party nor the leaders, people on loyal to the struggle. If the leaders of the party out of track, bringing the party and the members far away from the party struggles, the members with good mentality will definitely leave and only the party's loyalist or leader's loyalist will stay. These people who stayed have no awareness in the spirit of Bangsa Malaysia.

We want the govt to be fair to all of us regardless of race but we still thinking like a racist, this mean we are selfish. We only want to take but not willing to give.

The merger of Pemuda and Beliawanis really wont make any different if we never change our culture. We don't need the quantity but we want quality people to support our struggle, eventually will add value to our party's struggle.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Inilah PERPADUAN yang sebenar.

Bukan sahaja kaum cina yang tak sanggup mengorbankan budaya, semua kaum pun tidak sanggup korban apa-apa untuk sesiapapun. Jangan kata negara lain yang bersekolah satu aliran, malah negara yang hanya ada satu kaum pun boleh berpecah ranah. Melayu dgn Melayu pun boleh berpecah, Cina dgn Cina, India dgn India, malah bukan setakat pecah tetapi yg hancur pun ada.

Saya rasa keadaan kita di Malaysia selama ini sebenarnya sudah baik sekali, jadi kita tidak perlu bising untuk kesamarataan kerana kita semua masing-masing tidak pernah ada keadilan di dalam diri. Setiap manusia nampaknya hanya pentingkan diri masing-masing. Hak orang lain kita nak, tapi hak kita tak sanggup korban, jadi lebih baik kita senyap sahaja. Jangan sampai orang nampak perut sangat.

Seperti yang selalu saya katakan, perpaduan seperti yang diimpi-impikan tidak akan berlaku walau apa pendekatan sekalipun. Perpaduan hanya akan berlaku apabila semua manusia dapat cari makan, apabila perut kenyang manusia secara automatik akan manjadi malas bising, atau lebih senang didengari adalah manusia yang mudah cari rezeki akan bersyukur.

Kita tidak pernah dengar rungutan rakyat Singapura malasah perpaduan sedangkan rakyat mereka terdiri drpd lebih banyak kaum lagi berbanding negara kita. Mana taknya, Bangla, Nepal, Burma dan lain-lain termasuk Malaysia, ramai rakyatnya sudah mendapat status penduduk tetap dan tidak kurang juga yang telah mendapat status kerakyatan sepenuhnya. Tidak ada masalah perpecahan walaupun tidak kedengaran tentang perpaduan.

Untuk apakah perpaduan? Ianya hanya satu angan-angan indah dan sesuatu yang tidak ada apa-apa, usaha yang sia-sia. Sedangkan sekeluarga yang sama kaum, sama agama, sama latar belakang pun boleh berpecah belah. Apakah puncanya? Jawapannya adalah masalah kewangan dan terlalu pentingkan kebendaan. Bagaimana untuk menyelesaikan masalah kewangan rakyat adalah dengan usaha pentadbiran ke arah pembangunan modal insan melalui pendidikan manakala jawapan kepada masalah rakyat yang mengutamakan kebendaan pula dgn meningkatkan kesedaran moral dan juga agama, sebab ramai yang sanggup menggadai harta agar diri berharga, sedangkan kita tidak perlu mencari penghormatan dgn menggunakan wang, penghormatan adalah datang daripada kemuliaan.

Inilah Perpaduan sebenar.