Saturday, April 28, 2012

Better sit still today

It is a very bizarre feeling in KL today. A bit like back in the days when the people in the "DDR" protested every Monday. A NGO has staged the third instalment of a rally to protest for clean and fair elections in the running up to the coming election. They are already gathering for a 2pm sit-down protest and letting balloons in "Angry Birds" shape fly.

Police hs responded by closing some 58 roads around the "Independance Square" and are out in full force. Last time (July 9th 2011) the protests where the most peaceful thing I have seen since my school graduation until the police decided to break up the protestors with teargas and watercannons. Apparently, they even fired tear gas into hospitals (Police denies this though).

Normally, this would be something I would want to be part of, get there, get involved. Soak up the atmosphere and talk to people. However, as I am not allowed to participate in any political activities as a holder of a work permit, I will be sitting still and watch the events unfold on Facebook, Youtube and in the news.

Personally, I think Malaysia is at a crossroads and today will be a very important day for this nation.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Carted off in Jakarta


Been to Jakarta last week. My second time. I must say, besides the horrendous traffic conditions, actually a nice place. The budget terminal is rather nice and clean. A great welcome. You can walk in the middle of a street in downtown and people will just skirt around you. No honking, no near-misses. At the end of the week, everyone in the street would holler "Salamat Pagi!" when I lumbered down the street to grab my breakfast.

People are very friendly and helpful. Ok, they may not hold masters in English, but one gets by. Here we see the "phone shop people" loading some credit onto my phone. What joy. Although I did not have a chance to ride one, I thought the grasshopper looking thingies were fun vehicles. 3-wheeled tuk-tuks. Berentengtengs.... Lots of noise and 2-stroke smoke. But apparently very cheap and given the size likely to go through the thickest traffic.

To top things, there were demonstrations. The government planned a 60% price hike for petrol. That did not sit well with the people and they took to the streets. Result: an empty exhibition hall were I was supposed to launch a new brand.

Maybe it is time to go back to Jakarta and have another look, make it a family trip.