Monday, December 29, 2008

Book Review on “The 48 Laws of Power”

The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene was published by Penguin Group in 2000. The book with 452 pages is for those who seek for motivating achievement, instill confidence, and change attitude in his organization to become a great leader. The author tries to discover the behavior of great leaders who have skillfully used the game of power to manipulate and conquer the worlds and also the example of leaders who were neglected the laws. It seems that he have done an intense research of the previous historical leaders.

Forty eight seems too much to read, of course some of the laws are not to pertain directly to reader’s life, but in time they are actually interrelated. Just for me, I interested in 12 of the laws for the time beings. For those in higher level, they might find that they needs to read more, understand and apply the whole laws to become a powerful person. The laws that I interested are;

1. Law 1 (Never Outshine the Master)
2. Law 2 (Never Put Too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How to Use Enemies)
3. Law 4 (Always say less than necessary)
4. Law 7 (Get others to do the works for you, But always take the credit)
5. Law 15 (Crush your enemy totally)
6. Law 16 (Use absence to increase respect and honour)
7. Law 20 (Do not commit to anyone)
8. Law 26 (Keep your hand cleans)
9. Law 39 (Stir up waters to catch fish)
10. Law 41 (Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes)
11. Law 45 (Preach the need for change, But never reform too much at once)
12. Law 46 (Never appear to perfect)

By reading on this book, observers will feel that the readers are trying to be a powerful person. So, be careful. Otherwise, you will be toppling by them. Actually, the readers of this book are not only motivating themselves about power but also can be used for defending themselves from the power abuser.

I am wondering either anyone in this world has never thinking or dreaming to have power. If you find one, be careful of him. He must be a hypocrite! From the primitive reign to the modern civilizations, war is continuously happened. Worldwide, countries are fighting each other to become the most powerful nation. Nationwide, to the smallest organization in villages, peoples are fighting through whatever way to be on the top. However, for those who just in the beginning of dreaming, power is a labyrinth, with endless seductive and deceptive in its own way. Thinking too much on power is a critical matter. At the end, power will benefit to those who really study and reflect, but will punished those who is on the opposite directions.

Most of us might already know the laws as describe in this book, but we don’t really used them, or don’t used them in the right way. Description by Robert Green make it sound so easy to have master the laws of power, but the power itself has to describe in general, specific, understand in deep and apply in ethically. Hence, the best powerful person is a person is a person who really or used to be manipulate, torture and suffering pain over the years by the game of power. Just a reminder for those are in power, used them ethically because imbalance power and persecution will lead people to be more powerful. The history has taught us a lot, the Goth can fight against the stronger empire of Rome.

The strength on this book are the preface, where Robert Greene highlight all the 48 Laws in a simple and solid explanation, in further explanation he includes the transgression and observance of the laws with evidences and example of great and loser leaders. For better understanding for the readers, he than includes the interpretation of both transgression and observance. He than conclude his point by giving the keys of power and reversal. Another special of the book is that, Robert Greene also gives the story behind a story and images related to his explanations. For most of the above, the readers will most attracts on how Robert Greene used the history for strengthening his point of views.

For this book, I really loved it, easy to understand even though some of the laws are totally out of my life vocabulary. However, I do believed that one day I might have to used the paradox laws. It just matter of time and maturity. I always try not to give full marks to others, believing that I could be better than them. However, Robert Greene and his book deserved the five stars rating on my judgment. At least now I understand some of the behavior of the leaders.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It’s Hard to Think, Understanding is Even Harder

Gold Arawana Sharing of his thinking and understanding on The Various Issues on 18 December, 2008....

Image: Flame on Flowing Water

It is almost 2 am when I wake up this morning. It is not normal; I wonder if my health is in good shape? Otherwise I have to take leave for medical check up which I never made before. Than I remember that it should be OK, I just take my bath and dinner when I watch a discovery channel about “Ecopolis”, and it was about 7 pm! Ohhh…I am too tired, I have forced my body to work hard this few days, just to clear my outstanding works before I take my long leave. I have postponed my leave for three days, which for sure will disappoint my sons. Anyway, sometime we have to sacrifice one thing to get other things better. So, when I resume my works sometimes in early 2009, the upcoming New Year hopefully will give me a better life, prosperity and realization of my dreams. Ha..ha, dream is too beautiful, and that is life. Life without dreams is death, and dreams without life are also death which means that I am just a zombie! That is correct, but life is too short for those who could not appreciate every moments of his life, too beautiful for those who know how to grab all the opportunities and excellence in planning his life. No wonder, all the great philosophers and motivators has creates a parable that the time is gold!

Gold? Than you are wrong! Time is priceless. For olden years, it might be correct. There are no other things which is more valuable than gold! For now onwards, maybe the parable have to change to fuel. Why? 2008 is the year of fuel crisis. Globally, economists talks about the fuel price. Worldwide, the leaders are non-stop quarrellings on the fuel crisis. Nationwide, the leaders and politicians busy on the volatile of fuel price and later the bouncing of good’s price. Most important is that, it almost creates similar hurricane to the country’s economy crisis in 1997. Fortunately, it was not as bad as on the eleven years back. Malaysia has experience on it, which I personally assume that our leaders have more experience and ready with whatsoever bullets to avert it. However, what has happened we have to accept it, even though somebody by right has to be responsible for it! It was all about making a good decision.

Decision? Wahh… I think that I should not think that far. Thinking of so many things give me headache, spurs my hateful to the peoples and my surroundings. Everybody seems to take advantage to each other; the poor become poorer, the rich become richer, the weak become the follower and the strong become the leader, there are no limits! To be on that level, everybody is fighting to grab the power and prosperity. As an observer, not siding either the left or right hand side, this creates a natural scenario. God has creates the good things and there appeared the bad one. God has creates everything in couples which means left and rights have to be balance. Only than we should understand that this world is about love and sharing. The world is not just for a one person, he will not survive. Or otherwise, a lot will be disappointed and confront each other.

Disappoint? Yes of course, If you try to understand to too many things. Thinking of too much inconsequential matters is wasteful. However, not to think and try to understand the important issues related to us is stupid! The best word maybe is selfish. Selfish or “Kia Su” in Chinese (I cannot remember of which dialect of Chinese) is sometimes good. So, for those who interested to understand on this word should read the “Dare to Fail”, wrote by a good Malaysian author. I just read it once, but I cannot remember the author name, maybe it was Billi P.S. Lim… To not remember others name is a bad habit anyway... Ha ha. At least if you know your chances earlier, than you will not too much disappoint. Learn from squirrels, who always build their den at the highest canopy so that if he falls, he will fall to the second higher canopy and not directly to the ground. Wahh.. I start to become a philosopher now… Ha ha

At least I am smiling for a moment. Opppss… not yet man! I have to continue my sleeping or otherwise I cannot feed my car tomorrow. For last two or three days, or maybe for the whole week, there was a long queue of vehicles at Shell’s Pump Station. For this rural area, there were only three petrol stations, Shell, Petronas and Esso. Esso already closed for a few years, and Petronas temporary closed for unknown reasons. So, Shell is the only Petrol Station that served thousands of vehicles for the whole town. Monopoly is always not a good practice, right? So, I better stop quarrelling on fuel again. I have so many things to think about, so I better write on other things.

Yaaa…Christmas songs tuned continuously on my headset. Christmas is among the major celebration in Sarawak after Gawai, Hari Raya and Chinese New Year. But how many of the Christian really understand on the meaning of Christmas. In fact, most peoples choose to travel on public holiday because that is the only leisure time they have. On my opinion, the modern celebration like the Valentine Day and Father/Mather Day will become major celebration. For me, as a Christian is a hard thing to understand. I supposed to pray for every Sunday. As in Old Testament of my red Bible, which is my best book collection so far, Sunday is the rest day for God. After six days busy creating worlds and its creatures, He rest on the seventh day. That’s why Christian should rest on Sunday and served God. That is my understanding. It’s not too much right? It’s only less than two hours in Church compare to eight to ten hours at office. But for me, most of my Sunday is spend for sleeping, I am hopeless. Remembering and praying to God only on hard time and dreaming well on my pillow on easy time. I have to change!

Change? Its sound like “Together We Change”, the magic sentence that used by Barrack Obama, a new-born historian for his victory to become the next US President. To be a US President is always not an easy task, anyway. The world are putting their eyes and ears to them, either bad or good things. I am not an American, so I cannot understand on the “Change” that he want to make. However, I believe that he will be success as a great leader like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela who really fights for the peace and freedom. For our country, there are still a lot of changes we need, rooms for better improvement are still open! Haiya…talk too much is wasting. My level is just on “tin kosong”. Frequent changes in our policies are opaque. I am not trying to understand others point of view on this. Frequent changes on the education, national language and sports are terrible. In education the usage of Bahasa Malaysia (Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Melayu?) as our national language is change for a few times. For my opinion, in order to become a develop country, we have to be firm to our vision. Bahasa Malaysia is important to unite our Multi-cultural country. In sport, the quota for the import players is also change frequently. “This year you can take for four.” The Mr Minister Said. “Next year you cannot even single.” The Mr. Minister said again. “EPL and European or even the Japanese League are far better than us, so the players. And it is far away to compare to the Malaysian League” A fan said. A historian than said, “In 1970’s, Malaysia can beat Korean, Japan, and other countries in South East Asia. But now our world ranking is far below them.” So, what I see is confusion! The leader is confuse, what to say the public and ordinary people who no nothing about sport like me? Too much try and error policy is not a good practice, boss. I try to tell one of my superior.

As a conclusion, thinking too much on the surroundings can easily give you a regret feelings and disappointments. However, the way of thinking among us is totally different. Some can easily, think and forget. For most people, to think and understand is always the toughest part. The only way of expressing the thinking and feelings is spitting it out in modesty and honestly. Giving opinions are not means that you are against somebody; they might take it for improvements. Nobody is perfect, I might be wrong or I might be correct. So now, I can enjoy my next part of sleeping…

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bau - "Gold" Town Of Sarawak

Gold mining activities in Bau olden age. This conomy has turn bau from a small bidayuh kampung to a popular Gold Town.

It was a pleasure to drive from Kuching City to Bau, a small town approximately 30 km from the capital city of Sarawak. The road is in good condition, where in some portion I can drive more than 100 km/h, it is not recommended anyway because road in Sarawak has plenty of surprises on its left and right. Hitting a dog, will cost the driver about RM 50.00, a chicken cost about RM 30.00, and what say if hitting a human being, its priceless. The lesson is, drive carefully and mind your own safety.

Bidayuh kampongs are scattered on the roadside, which in Bau, Bidayuh Jagoi/Singai is the dominate tribes. Other races, Chinese, Iban and Malay are also available, living in harmonist for their better way of developing town.

I am a Bidayuh, of course. But I don’t understand on the Bau Bidayuh, even a word! That is the amazing about Bidayuh. We are in the same race, but divided into several tribes which speak in their own languages. So, if you meet with Bidayuh, do not surprise if they speak in Malay, English or even Iban among them. That is normal!

However, most of the town folks understand the Bidayuh Bau’s language and some of them can fluently speak on it. It was few hundred years ago, when the colonials bring the Chinese miners to Bau for the gold. Most of our Chinese friends live in the town, where the former gold mines are now abandoned, leaving the mines in blue lake. Nowadays, they are the success traders at Bau town.

For Malay, Bidayuh and other races, most of them are settled at the town skirt, developing their land into commercial agriculture. Some of them of course still work in traditional activities. Through the modernization of the town, the Bidayuh youngsters even transform themselves with good educations and work in private and government agencies.

Gold mining in its olden age were the activity that turn this “smelly” town to a develop town. “Bau” actually means “smell” in Malay Language. However, the locals pronounce it as Ba’uk, which me myself cannot describe the origin of this unique name.

However, the gold mining now is just a history. Some says that Bau' gold are not worth to mine because of its inferior quality. And some says that the gold is too deep inside the earth which is not worthy to mine it. Whatever it is, the gold mine has give Bau the title as a "Gold Town".

This town is surrounded by beautiful mountains; some are covered by clouds on rainy days which create a panoramic view. On the foot of the mountains laid the paddy field and traditional farms belongs to the local. This activities being their routines for centuries.

The Attractions

There are plenty of attractions in Bau, which must be visited by the tourist,

(i) The Town Landmark

This landmark of Bau is significant to the gold mining process in olden days. The structure is consisting of two parts. It is located at the town centre. The history of gold processing is also available here.

(ii) Serikin, the home of handicrafts

This small kampong will turn to a busy market on Saturday and Sunday. The scenario occurred when our neighbor friends form Indonesia brought in their handicrafts at the borders. In normal days, the kampong is just a sleepy kampong. However, handicrafts are also available at the local shops on the roadside. For those who like the handicrafts and antiques, Serikin is the right place to visit. Make sure that you come early, or you will buy nothing.

(iii) Baruk, a traditional Bidayuh architecture

The Bau Civic Centre is a unique building which incorporated the cultural heritage of all the three major races in the district of Bau. The round-shape Bidayuh headhouse known as the "Baruk" on the right hand side of the picture houses a mini museum, the main hall is in Bidyuh Longhouse style, the front of the hall is decorated with an Islamic Arch, representing the Malay and Muslim community, while a pair of lions at the entrance and another pair at the Amphitheatre represents the Chinese community.

(iv) Tasik Biru

I am not sure on how it gets his name; perhaps it was named Tasik Biru (Blue Lake) as the water in the lake appeared greenish bluish due to reflection from the green plants around and the blue sky. The facilities constructed included a canteen, toilets, pontoon gangway, viewing platform, footpaths, railing by the lakeside,a car park and landscaping. Signboards have been put up at the lake side by the Government, warning the public against swimming, fishing, bathing or drinking the water from the lake as the water contains high content of arsenic. Hence, every time I visit Tasik Biru, I always keep myself away from the water. Anyway, I believed that Government has their own planning to solve this problems and developing the lake with better facilities.

(v) Hawkers Centre

This building is the one stop centre for shopping of jungle products, as well as fruits and vegetables with reasonable price.

(vi) Rock Garden

Bau Town's rock garden is located around the 'natural rock formations' opposite the Bau Civic Centre.

(vii) Other attraction

There are other places which have unique attractions, and will give a memorable trip to the visitors;
(i) Fairy Caves and Wind Caves
(ii) Paku Hot Spring

Bringing Back the Title

With the great developments of Kuching City, developments are merging to the nearer town such as Samarahan, Serian and Bau. Shop houses and residential parks develop along the main roads, which sooner will connect the towns with Kuching City. For Bau, gold mining is no more, but the quarry mining is actively process as the continuation history of Bau as “mining town”. For those who thinking of buying cheaper gold accessories, Bau is not the right place. Gold accessories are even more expensive compare to Kuching City. Anyway, for the Developers and Investors, the name of “Gold” Town for Bau is still relevant. The great developments will bring back this town to his former glory.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bruit Island - The Venice Of Sarawak

Gold Arawana, on his memorable trip to Bruit Island, Sarawak

Scenic view of a canal at Bruit Island.
Kuching to Mukah
It takes me about one hour by twin otter flight from Kuching to Mukah, where this smallest plane belongs to Malaysian Airlines Systems (MAS) connecting most of the rural area in Sarawak. It can accommodated 19 passengers, and fly as low as 7,000 ft above the sea level will give an impressive aerial views of natural beauties. The web of rivers, big and small and the settlements along the river reflects the connectivity of between rivers and life. In some area, even the passengers can witness the live rapist to the Sarawak’s wealthy, the jungles. Almost everybody see it, but most are closing their eye on this consider non-crime activity. Or in other word, it is consider legal, only in Sarawak!

At Mukah, is a small airport which was built maybe thirty or twenty years ago, originally was a grass turfing airport, but now upgraded to sealed runway where bigger aicraft even can land on it. This airport is located just feet away from the seashore, giving a beautiful scene of muddy beach.

Mukah to Daro

It was a pleasure to drive from Mukah to Daro, a small town popular for it “Terubok”, where I will take a speedboat to the isolated island of Bruit. Mukah and Daro is well connected by roads which take about two hours drive (to my standard of driving, I am driving as slow as a snail anyway). Crossing Batang Igan by a ferry is the most bored part in the trip; I have to wait for almost half an hour! Arrived at Daro, I found a never-eaten terubok replica at the wharf. Of course, before my journey to the Bruit Island, I have to feed my empty stomach with special terubok steam. It was the unforgotten dish in my life! Anybody who visit Daro, please try one!
(Terubuk photo is taken by Mr Toh Chee Leong (Http:// )
Daro to Bruit Island

It takes me another one hour by speedboat to Bruit Island by speedboat. On the left and right are mangroves trees, the paradise of thousand species of fauna!

The local fishermen are on their small boats, bringing home their today’s food, and tomorrow they have come again as it become routines. The bigger fishermen’s ships and barge carrying almost everything; logs, construction materials, cars and foods are the frequent users of the rivers. Of course express boats, the main transport for this area are passing every hour. This no doubt, that river plays the main roles in this very inaccessible area. However, the first time visitors will gain great experience on this!

Arrived at Bruit are not much different views from Daro town. The fisherman’s village is laid along the narrow man-made canals, the only transportation mode that connecting the northern part of scattered settlements. There is a road, but vehicles are not running on it except the motorcyclist to their nearest farms. Paddy farmers and fishing are the only activity that spurs the locals’ economy. On most of their routine activities, canals and rivers are their very best friend.

The used of boats are common, wooden bridges are almost every fifty meters and some are less creates an impressive view along the canals. This scenario is really a copy of Venice in Italy, but Venice is actually a modern city and too far to be equal to the Bruit Island.
Bruit Island anyway has his own attractive, “salai lomek”and “sesar”, the popular productions of the island are almost everywhere, runs by every family. These two dry foods are prepared in traditional ways and totally hand made! Of course, this two items are the must buy souvenirs for the visitors. The only doubtful to me is the price; the villagers have to sell their products to the middle man who could sell it up to two or three folds at nearest major towns.

The villagers actually have no choice; there is no other cheaper transportation mode to trade their product!

For those visit this island for the first time, “Prawn Mee” is the must try breakfast. This is normally a curry Maggi Mee cooked with fresh water prawn.

The villagers are friendly, talkative on their hopes to get more development to their kampongs. Where the rivers and canals are their most valuable assets, sharing by all the villagers for almost all activities, I can imagine that maybe the island will one day become the Venice of Sarawak. Of course it will take not as short as 100 years, by the assistant of developments of their land into commercial agriculture on oil palms and paddy, this will no absurd.

The roads and ferry to connect the island to the mainland is now ready at the southern portion, the whole island is expected to be well connected by roads. The important and popularity of its canals and rivers will be a history!

A primary school in Bruit Island, produce the future leader and developer of Bruit Island....

Other information about Bruit Island

Bruit Island is also accesible by express boat from Sarikei Town which take about three hours, and from Sibu Town which will take about four hours trip. Most of the tribe in in this island are Melanau, but they speak in different language from Melanau in Mukah and Dalat.
There is also an Iban longhouse on the southern of the island. The island being gazette as National Park mainly on birds sanctury, where thousands of species of birds will be temporary assembled before continue their never-end travels.

Paddy, another core product of Bruit Island...

Traditional processing of "Salai Lomek"


There are moments when you miss someone so much that you would only fulfill your dreams by holding that person tight in your arms.........

"Happy Birthday to My Beloved Son -
Q'Eemeralld Naong Jozia"

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life. (John 3:16)

And there are no other value words to say than.... WE LOVE YOU!

Papa, Mama, Brother;

7th December, 2008.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Gold Arawana Talked on Civil Service

I read an article by a Borneo Post journalist, Tired Eye, which published in the newspaper on Sunday. It was an impressive comment, good and must be read by the civil service officers. In fact, I think all the agencies should publish it on their notice boards or distribute it to their subordinates. Other articles also publish in the newspapers for the next two or three days, some of them even in front page. So, please...Do not blame them, they are discovering the truth and it was totally constructive comments in conjuctions of Civil Service Day. And now this is my comment…

I wrote this just after I read some of the articles, I read it for a few times, and try to be as honest as I can. But of course, some of my honest idea I restricted myself to write it so that it will not become too descriptive and would hurt feelings of others. I asked few friends either I am wrong if I publish it, but most of them comments that it is general and most of the facts are well-known by public. So, it has containing no political issue or sensitive issue that could hurt others’ feeling. So, I just publish it…

Being working in both private and government sector, I realize that there is a very big gap. From the salary to the environment, and even the way I was thinking. I should start typing on my keyboard my working experience in private sector. I am working with a small, a political company which was mostly dependant on the projects given by the government. During that time, a lot of direct negotiation projects and my company is one which being lucky to get one of them. It was my one or two weeks after I successfully completed my study in civil engineering, I feel lucky actually. In fact I already start to promote myself since in University, sending my resume here and there to get a job. I was offer a small basic salary, but plus the incentives, travelling, overtime etc can give me almost triple of my basic salary. The most which attractive me is that we were encourage becoming a contractor to our own company, where in some projects our sub-contractor fail to do the rectification works as instructed by our clients. It was of course, two or three folds cheaper than looking for new contractor to do it. And I do.

However, with the almost completed projects, and Malaysian’s politics change its scenario, the company is half dead. This means that working with a political company is not secure! I always believed that the civil service is a “goyang kaki” job, nothing to do better than waiting for the payslips on every month. Whenever I meet our clients, they make complaints on this and that, I start to suspect on the left sided and almost ask them; “Sir, What do you want actually?” Eventually, they are much...much older and experience than me, and I am not brave enough to say so. So I start to curse them, of course on their back. He he

With the completion of the projects, we do nothing in office. Yes of course planning and lobbying for a new project. But it was not worthy; I have no more travelling, no more site income, and no more contracts for me. I slightly become poorer! I start to look for a new job, apply here and there but they offer me job which is not fair to my salary! At last I read a newspaper on the advertisement of vacancies on the civil service. Think and think and think, I finally apply for a carrier that I was always looked down before. I called for the interview, it is not as easy as I think; one day interview in two or three Section which I cannot remember. And I was surrounded by the senior officer which asking me a lots of questions. Even some of them, I cannot answer not because I don’t know the answer, I was too nervous! I was happy; I was among those who success in the interview while some of my closed friends is not lucky. And I tender my resignation letter with one month notice. Of course there was a farewell party and souvenirs from my colleagues.

I start my new day at my new office (actually temporary attachment) with a lot of question marks. I was forcing to dress on smart dressing that I used only in the meeting before, given a thick General Orders that I not finish reading yet until now, Treasury Instruction which I should strictly follow, procedures on this and that which I strictly have to follow, meeting with humble bosses and friendly colleagues, and of course I was introduce to the words INTEGRITY.

As mentioned by the Borneo Post journalist, he did not point any about the integrity is Corruption! His point is bucking to wake up the public services which are now some if not many think that they are sleeping. Tired Eye, you are correct, integrity is not just talking on corruptions, in my opinion its more towards strengthening the believed and empowering the service as an example to the private sector. For the next two days, there a lot more articles bucking on civil service. Most of them are on the newspaper’s front page. Of course, in real facts what being publish by the journalist is correct. We heard about DERISIONS on public sectors like Samseng Berlesen for PDRM, Jabatan Perosak Jalan for JPJ, Jangan Kerja Rajin for JKR, Kalau Ada Sapu, Tak Ada Minta for KASTAM and lots more. This must be referring to one or two in hundreds of the officers I believed as in a famous Malay parable; “Kerana Nila Setitik, Rosak Susu Sebelanga”.

For now, Civil Service are even challenging, we heard about threatening to enforcement officers, hit and run to police traffic and etc, etc. And on the country’s developments, civil services play major roles on it. Becoming consultants, advisors, banker, planner, etc…etc this sees the big responsibilities on their shoulder. It is normal anyway, if something goes wrong, we must have somebody to point guilty which reflect the pyramid shape, the bottom part have to receive more, of course! Civil services are now no more ‘goyang kaki’ job. When the government officers "speak", not meaning that they have "other" intention! Please...I have make it wrong once, and do not follow my mistake thinking...

Furthermore, Malaysia has too many agencies where in some areas they are on the same scope of responsibilities and overlapping to each other. In road projects for example, JKR, District Office, Councils, DID, Land & Survey, Resident Office all knows how to build roads. For building projects, almost all the departments know how to construct or maintain even if they have no technical backgrounds. On environment, there are also few departments looking after the same scope. So when come to complaints, the public blurred which department is doing what! Or in most cases, departments will pass the complaints to each other like playing football. The most unlucky department (or the goalkeeper), will have to take it where the complaints already half a year without action. So, rebrand each of the department maybe a good idea.

Public Relation Officer (PRO), in some utilities company (actually they are government link company) has proved their well managing the public complaints which should be expand to some departments which are directly deal with the public. I totally agreed on Tan Sri Dr. George Chan, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak and Datu Wilson Baya Dandot, the State Secretary of Sarawak on their constructive suggestions that civil servants should be innovative and creative. Maybe I have to add another one, PROACTIVE!
I do not agree that the civil servants are working for the politicians. Totally not! Politicians and Public Service of course sharing the same main job; to serve the peoples. Now I had to stop because I am not a politician, so I am not the best to write it. For further description, I have to dotted my sentences.

For the civil servants, we are so lucky of course. Thousands of Malaysian is hoping that they can seat at the chair that is currently belong to us. So, be thankful! Don’t feel hurt by the various comments by the public and take it as constructive comments for better improvements. Once, I was thinking that salary in civil service is too low compare to the responsibilities that we have to carry. At some posts, it is not too much to say that they are overloaded! Of course there were salary increment last year (Thanks YAB PM), which see the salary for the same post and experience in private sector is sometime lower compare to civil service. This is after plus minus on the hidden cost!

There is pro and contra on this, but the real challenge is how to empowering the integrity among the civil servants. But the integrity itself is immeasurable that needs continuous application. I am not a Mr. Perfect, not an expert, not the father of justice, not a senior officer in government, or even not a journalist. That’s mean I am nobody who JUST CAN TALK ABOUT IT WHILE HAVING A CUP OF COFFEE. But I believed that you will know better a group, only if you become the member of the group. When something goes wrong, go back to the basic.

Now is almost 12 midnight, I better finished up my coffee, shut down my computer and go to sleep to continue serve the peoples for tomorrow. To all Gold Arawana's friends in civil service, it is still not too late for me to greet “HAPPY CIVIL SERVICE DAY” and wish you all the best.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I was on traveling and visit a beach at Matu, Sarawak. The sunset is amazing, but the beach itself is not that attractive where waste logs and debris are everywhere. This is not shocking as the beach on this area is collecting waste from a few rivers in the central region of Sarawak. Furthermore, the beach is surrounded by swamp areas where it creates a dirty look on the sand. This site is being gazette by the local government for a Melanau traditional celebration called Pesta Kaul. So at least once a year, the beach is tidy up by the locals before the celebration. I can imagine that it will look more attractive. Unfortunately, it was only lasting for not more than seven days in three hundred and sixty five days.

While enjoying the sunset, my eyes caught an attractive occurrence which was actually normal for the animals’ desire. A group of cows are enjoying their evening dish on green grass when one of them is trying to climb on the other one (I predict that the male is on the above, the one trying to climb). Luckily I am able to snap photo on the scenario. Looking back at the photo reminds me to hot news on the self-made pornographies and porn videos involving the locals and even the under-age student. I try differentiating the difference; I mean the human and animals behavior on this. Yes it is, the animals have the brain but they are not able to use it for thinking, meanwhile human have given brilliant brain which they supposed to use it for brilliant thinking. Unfortunately, they were not, or they overused it! The rest…it was equally the same. After all, they are mammals anyway, just like the human beings.

Nowadays, there is a lot if not hundreds or thousands of porn websites where I actually sometimes accidentally crossing on it. He he, its okay for adults anyway and it is normal. But for the under-age, happened in the classroom at a rural school and still in school uniform was really terrible. This case was published in a local newspaper sometimes in October this year. I try to find the video and judge it by my own eyes but luckily I was failed.

It was not the first case actually; even there are thousands on the internets. They are either school students, university students, in the public park, inside the car, in hotels and so many locations with sometimes showing their advance and modern skills. Government has blocked most of them, but the now advance handphones is the new way to do this 'good return' business.

If it was under-age, why should not take action on that? It was considered as a rape case what? Even the school was reported has take action on the “junior porn star” by kicking them out from the school, which was totally wrong punishment! When the relevant agency comes to investigate, they even cannot find their footprints! This reflects the ineffectiveness of the way they settled the case. Why should investigate where prove and evidence is already cleared. Just bring them to the jail and punish them immediately! If they are not punished, than many more will be following later. Or worst come to worst, don’t ask them to used their school uniform or censored the school batch or censored the face, or etc, etc for next shooting... at least.

My conclusion is that, sex is normal which everybody like it either male or female. For those who dislike it, or not even have no desire to try it, they are considered as abnormal. Some or maybe majority will be agreeing on this. Porno industries are now become normal although it is not officially declared normal. But the animals’ attitude, which adapted to the human attitude on this matter, is abnormal. I always believed on the nature is the best teacher, but for sex… do it on personal business, behind the closed door…By the way, I don’t think the 'amateur porn star' gain any benefit from that. The CD pirates, the salesman is the one most benefit. Opps…and also the viewer of course. On Gold Arawana opinion, the amateur also should get it as what the professional star get…If not, they are entitle to claim it from the 'generous' cameraman. Full stop.

So dude, next time be careful. Cameras now are so cheap where we can find it everywhere.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When I Have Nothing Else To Think.....

Gold Arawana on Overloaded Vehicles

A logging truck at a main road. I wonder this truck purposedly build for carrying logs?

Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ), Sarawak has launched the Ops Tutup recently. The campaign that I think should be done earlier and continuously is actually target on the overloaded vehicles and technical modification of high light (I am not very sure on it). I am not interested on second one since it is in my opinion has less contributed on the road accident. Maybe yes of course, but much lesser than the first one contributions. Moreover, any accident happened to the vehicles is at the driver’s own risk

As well known by other state in Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak are rich with the timber industries. It was no doubt that timber industry has contributed lots on Sarawak economy. The State Government of Sarawak even has created a leading agency on this rich industry, Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC), which has been proved to be success as a leading agency. The timber industries as well has born few if not a lots of Sarawakian millionaire. No doubt that this industry is really mega contributor to the developments of Sarawak.

However, timber industry also born a lot of timber thief, which damaged both the natural beauties and the public utilities. The illegal logging has become common till the public almost impossible to differentiate the legal and illegal. To say illegal, they are clearing the forest for plantation, which also will contribute to the state economy. As my earlier article on Malacca – The Malaysian World Heritage (Part 1), that is no point to let our people in purity but lives in poverty! So, actually the Government intention to develop the state land or empty land to commercial agriculture has no doubt will contribute to the state economy. And of course, the Sarawakian will enjoy the benefit from the development on surroundings. There is no point to built road to nowhere, except there is dividend and income from the built infrastructure. Plantation will as well help the scattered settlements in Sarawak at least connecting them by roads. In fact, in West Malaysia, the Plantation has grown for centuries. So for me to use the word "illegal" is not fair, and even I am not the right person to say that it is illegal!

I was driving in one major road in Sarawak when I saw a long queue up of overloaded logging trucks (I judge it from my naked eye). It was ten or more, which carried logs even can overturn the trucks itself on dangerous corner! So I start to predict there must be road block by an enforcement agency in front. I fastens my seat belt and reducing my speed which actually not only save my RM 300.00 on compound but also my life. Driving about one or two kilometers a head, yes, there is road block. No wonder that the logging trucks are waiting for the cblock learance! And there is a pick-up waiting about few hundred meters from the road block location which I suspect the contact lens for the logging trucks. And of course, after the road block end, they managed to bring the wealthy to their pocket. They can be patient on waiting.

It’s actually not a big impact to the public if they are following the rules and laws. There is some accident where drivers hit a parking logging truck on the road shoulder which was without any emergency provision. That’s mean that they even not aware on the safety of other drivers, and their hunting for wealthy has course others life.

On the public utilities, we are not surprised on the polluted rivers and its surroundings course by the logging. But we are surprised on the invasion to the water catchment, which is our must daily need. I have no detail comments on this since I do believe that effort being taken by the responsible agencies. I do believed that they have try their very best to tackle this issue.

Other public utility that severely assaulted by the logging activities is public roads. This is even more in the rural area where the enforcements are almost impossible to frequently check on it. Government has pouring billion of RM to construct the roads and another million of RM for maintenance just for the logging company comfortable used. I even wondering either they pay their road tax? The most pity is that the public on their small cars have to suffer on the bad condition of roads. Please bear in mind that most of the car owners have to spend one third of their income to pay their car installments.

Road safety is the most important issue that affects the life of the road users. With now standard Sarawak roads, it is almost impossible to overtake the slow moving overloaded trucks. In some portion, where the slope is extreme, the road users even take in pawn their own life by following the trucks from behind. It is not unusual, as there was an accident involving falling logs onto the innocent vehicles. How much price the wealthy they gains compare to the life of human beings they take. Headache to think of how they think!

As on the Ops Tutup, thumps up to the Government, on my opinion it is a great effort to tackle these problems. Everybody is eyeing on this, and hope that we will ride on comfortable and safer roads soon. Why I have to care, because I am a driver too…

And for the natural beauties, hope that our future children will together enjoy the beauties that we enjoy today. Otherwise like the dinosaurs, we just recognized them in the museums and history books. To talk is easy, to instruct is even easy, and implementation is always not that easy.
And when I have nothing else to think, I am dreaming, hoping and waiting for the change…..

A log pond at a riverbank. I cannot imagine the value of the logs....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kayaking – The Best Way to Explore Mukah Beauties

Batang Mukah, holding the most secrets of Mukah, a second younger Division in Mukah.

Mukah Division located in the central coastal of Sarawak, Malaysia was declared as a new division in 2002. Mukah, famous and well known by the Sarawakians for their long term fourth Chief Minister of Sarawak is the state assemblyman for Mukah. With its well planning town, Mukah is transforming significantly from a fisherman village to a future Smart City of Sarawak.

Even on its great development, with roads and other infrastructure is well connected almost all the kampongs, river is still maintain its popularity as an alternative for transport. In fact, sago logs, one of the main products from Mukah are mostly still transport by river. Batang Mukah is the main river that originally connected Mukah to the other parts of Sarawak. Most of the settlements are along this river and no doubt keeps most of the secrets of Mukah. Mukah town itself is growing on the estuary of this river.

Jerunei, a Melanau ancient graveyard

Kayaking from a smaller river, Sg Misan to Sg Tellian and end at the Mukah Old Town, which take approximately 2 hours will give a lot of experience and natural views. This may look like a long time, but the surroundings are so impressive, that the kayakers won't notice the long ride. Sg Misan, once was the major source for treated water supply before the relevant authorities change its source to bigger river to accommodate the demands. Along this river are the sago farms which laid almost both sides of the rivers up to another river called Sg Tellian. The natural views and sounds as well as the panoramic view of Melanau traditional kampongs will provide a complete visit to Mukah. Along the river, the kayakers will meet the sago farmers transporting their sago at a traditional ways.

A tourist at Lamin Dana, a Melanau cultural resort

Sg Tellian was one of the oldest settlements in Mukah. Along this river are traditional Melanau kampongs and sago factory. Some kampongs are still using their traditional tools to process sago. Jerunei (Melanau ancient graveyard) and famous Lamin Dana (A mini museum and Melanau traditional resort) is located along this river. The kayakers even can stop at the locations to see closer on the uniqueness and buy souvenirs or traditional crafts from the kampongs along the rivers. Some of the Jerunei believed to be more than 100 years old.

The journey will end at the main river, Batang Mukah where the Mukah Old Town is located. Along this river are the fisherman’s boats, the major economic activity that rejuvenating the development of Mukah.

"Kuda", a traditional tools to transport sago logs

The kayaking itself will give the conclusion about Mukah. From its traditional sago farming and inland fishing to the modern selling and buying businesses in town, where the rivers still play important roles on all the activities.

The photos attached are telling a better story on the river kayaking. The photos were contributed and taken by Hipani Alwi ( ), during our exploration through the rivers.

1. The participants kayaking through the floating sago bundles
2. Sg Tellian at Kampung Tellian
3. Mukah Old Town

1. Sago logs at Sg Misan
2. A sago farmer at Sg Misan
3. A young Sago tree

1. Villagers on their daily activity
2. Natural beauties at Kampung Tellian
3. Natural beauties along Sg Misan

Natural Beauties Along the exploration

Mukah is connected by daily flight from Kuching, and well connected by roads (some are under upgrading) from Sibu and Bintulu, another two major towns in Sarawak, Malaysia......