Monday, October 06, 2008

Trams for Penang

Yea, yea yea.... I know this is old but i guess I would like to keep the discussion going on why we need trams, so here are my reasons:

1. Because I said so!
2. It does not and will not be a source of pollution (unless the passengers are the pollutants)
3. It is way more cheaper than a Light Rail Transit (LRT)
4. Ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto Subway system
5. Trams used to be Penang's heritage way before I was born.
6. There are still usable tram lines in Penang that can be salvaged and cost can be saved there too.
7. Penang drivers can save us the embarrassment of people calling us lousy drivers and just hop on a tram
8. Lesser congestion...lesser future heart, tension, high bp and mental patients on the road due to the jam
9. It is cool
10. Most advanced cities/towns in the world are using Trams.

The first time I saw a Tram was in the city of Manchester England. There were very little cars on the road and the trams were the preferred mode of transport. This is due to the fact that fuel is expensive there and the public transport system is quite reliable. Forget about the tube (subway) system in London because it is usually not that reliable because of unexpected strikes by the workers and repair works (because it is old) and not because of it being late...I don't know how to elaborate that point because I have no freakin' clue on why our public transportation system is not on time. So again....Trams would reduce the amount of cars on the road because trams need the whole road to move :D

The other time I saw trams was when i was in the town of Bydgoszcz (pronounced Bid-gosh) in Poland. There i saw how cars and Trams moved around in the town. It is almost similar to how trains cross roads here except there are no gates but there are traffic lights to indicate when a tram is about to pass. Cars can also drive over the tracks or even behind a tram (imagine it to be a bus on rail tracks. Except the tracks are not ON the road but embedded IN the road, so your car tires/suspensions are safe should you drive over one)

So there you have it, the beauty of Trams. The pictures above are from my personal collection. Should you want to use it, please let me know. Jangan cetak :)

Check out Anil Netto's Blog For More Info

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Anti-ISA Candle Light Vigil

This is a long awaited post indeed as I had to wait for the right mood to post this because I did not want to be stumped for words. So here goes. I will relate my share of the story on that blessed day.

The vigil was scheduled to begin at 8:00PM on Saturday the 27th of September. But being the people (Murali, Sriganesh and I) we are we only started driving to the Bukit Jalil LRT stadium at 7:30PM and reached there at about 7:50PM. By the time we parked and got onto the LRT it was already 8 and reached Dataran at about 8:20PM to find the field cordoned off by rolls of "police line, do not cross" tape around the who vicinity of the field.

Before we got off the LRT we saw patrol cars and a lot of people gathered near 7-11 opposite Puduraya. Therefore when we saw no people in dataran we figured that the crowd could have moved there since the field was cordoned off. Just to be sure Murali flipped out his "more canggih than my" phone and checked MalaysiaKini. It had been reported that the crowd had marched to the "Court Malai (Hill)" Vinayagar Temple to perform prayers and have a small gathering.

As we walked back from Dataran to the temple, droves of people were heading in the opposite direction i.e. towards dataran. We asked one guy and he mentioned that it was over and they were heading home. Sad but not that sad because I managed to bump into Haris Ibrahim who is one of my favourites in the field of blogging. It was an honour to meet him. We had a small chat and asked him if there was anything there near the temple. He said it was almost done but it was worth having a look and bid us to "keep the fire burning" and we followed the crowd. We kept the fire burning indeed as there were still people at the 7-11 holding candles.

There were many Hindraf supporters with their shirts reading "keep walking" and a silhouette of Mahatma Gandhi. There were also people with yellow shirts that read quotes such as Daulat Tuanku and Justice for Altantuya with a picture of Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) on it. They were still holding their half melted candles and standing there with the crowd from Hindraf.

We decided to light our candles too. Yes, we brought our own. As we were lighting it, along came YB Ronnie Liu and YB Chong Eng (DAP BM). They shook hands with the crowd and mingled with them like how friends would. I was impressed how the two MPs were very down to earth. Even we spoke to YB Ronnie Liu and YB Chong Eng. We managed to take pictures too. I had a lengthy conversation with YB Chong Eng as she is from my home state of Penang.

After conversing with the MPs we stood around for awhile and sang happy birthday to RPK with the crowd, chanted a few slogans such as "Hapuskan ISA" and "Free Raja Petra". After that the Police walked over to YB Ronnie Liu and advised him to advice us to disperse. The Police were indeed very co-operative and stood there without bothering the participants and were making sure that nothing got out of hand. They even shook hands with the "opposition MPs" and showed them utmost respect. KUDOS to the police.

YB Ronnie then advised us to disperse and to adjourn to the stalls at Petaling Street. He was willing to treat the small crowd that were gathered there.

Through the whole account and the crowd we saw, we estimated about no more than 500 people. When we read other news reports, they mentioned 2000. To our disbelief we saw the pictures by the press and clips on youtube, I would indeed have to agree that the crowd was equal to or more than 2000.

I would also like to comment here about the t-shirt i wore for the vigil. I was wearing a Bone Thugs n Harmony t-shirt. The first reason why i wore it was because when they had a gathering at the Masjid Jamek LRT station a few days before the vigil, to explain about the anti-ISA campaign, they advised supporters to spot a red and black dress code. I assumed that it would be the same for the vigil and the only red and black shirt i had was the Bone Thugs N Harmony t-shirt (I did not have a black pants but i had a red shirt....but that would defeat the purpose) The second reason I was wearing the shirt was because Bone Thugs N Harmony (BTNH) is my favourite rap group and they have presented a number of songs with positive messages (albeit their songs about drugs and street life, gangsterism, etc.) I really care a damn about what BTNH have said about the usage of drugs and all as I have a mind of my own and I am mature enough to distinguish the good vs. the bad. The third reason why BTNH came to mind was because they have this song called change the world. I have included the video for this song below and i hope you enjoy it. I have included an excerpt of the lyrics sung by Krayzie Bone in this song which roughly depicts the current status of our beloved country's political situation:

"Sometimes I sit and think about if I could change the world
Get in the mind of the little boys and girls
Show 'em that it is a better way
Satan got you trippin' don't listen to what the devil say
'Cause he can deceive ya
Play with your brain and mislead ya
But it won't be long
'Til the angels come
There's no where to hide but he'll run
Babylon the great has fallen
God is callin'
We all in y'all in
Souljahs go marchin' in bombin' 'em
But this time we ain't talkin'
We are tryin' to hit the target we launchin'
Police brutality got to cease
But I see the NYPD don't want peace
And the LAPD don't weant peace
So we'll never be free
So come on

We only got 'til the end of time (we got to the end of time)
To change the world (we shall overcome) change the world the world [x2]
It's a crazy mixed up world
It's the end of the world
It's a crazy mixed up world
'Cause it's the end of the world [x2]

Here's a video of the song (Krayzie's verse is at 3mins:55sec ) as well as other photos from the vigil...ENJOY :)
Till then it's your Boy VixStaRR (the Accidental Blogger)

Murali and Sri-G (Murali is obviously ecstatic to be there! :) )

Murali and I

The Crowd

More of the Crowd

Sri-G and YB Ronnie Liu