Notes from the e-fringe 003



You remember the story. Kids in some rural part of Malaysia were getting high sniffing cow dung. That's right. They place tin cans over the fresh dung, pierce a hole and take large whiff and wallah.. you're high.

But little did you realize that such local excretions would make us the butt of jokes worldwide. It seems shit - satirical or otherwise - is our only means to global fame.

The story complete with odd "Taipei" dateline was sent to humor columnist Dave Barry of the Miami Herald who saw fit to warn parents of this disturbing new trend.

See link here:

Is your kid's new best friend named 'Bessie'? Be very afraid.

The piece quotes "Perak state assemblyman Mat Isa Ismail" (Note: if you are still in election mode that's Haji Mat Isa Ismail; Calon BN. N11. Changkat Jering. Kemenangan dengan majoriti 1,994 undi") who graphically describes the methodology.

No doubt Haji Mat Isa sees efforts to stamp out this putrescent pubescent habit - soiling our name worldwide, notwithstanding - as top priority in his new term of office.

Perhaps, he should compare notes with fellow lawmaker in neighbouring Kedah and resident expert in the excretion department Datuk Shahnon Ahmad (Calon PAS, P13 - Sik. Kemenangan dengan majoriti tipis sebanyak 478 undi).

I found the same article elsewhere on the Net - this time the San Jose Mercury News - who chose to put "Malaysia" in its headline, presumably so more Americans could relate to it:

Malaysian trend smells trouble for your kids

Cute play on words. San Jose editors chose to remove the line "…..and let's write letters to President Clinton urging him, next time he has a scandal and needs an international crisis, to shoot missiles at Malaysia…." (instead of under the table?) in the last para.

A politically correct sub-editor? Or perhaps he thought he'd done enough public relations in the headline?


Call them the Bosses Group or Pahlawan or whatever - a group of people out to change government via bossing people on the Net or screaming warrior-like in discussion groups? You might remember them. They're the ones who came up with the "brilliant" idea of having more tourists come our way by trying to spam 50 million Net users worldwide. Boy, that should endear us forever.

So, in their fancy offices, over cups of imported coffee, they decide to have a cyber election on the Net. It's mock they say. Not the real thing. But read closer. There's a survey in there, pushing a little agenda of their own. Halve parliament they say, triple their incomes. Hmmm. And that's how you solve corruption?

The survey fails - or rather, fails to attract the kind of votes the Bosses want. So they scratch the idea. "It's very polarized. This is NOT a place to put in anyone's candidate" was their excuse. "We find some of the nominations are merely an expression of people's allegiances and not really putting the country's interest above their emotions," she says.

Huh? If elections aren't about allegiances, or being "polarized" in one's views then what are they about?

"Tian Chua (who one cybervoter nominated) has no qualifications to become a Minister of Economy (a cabinet post of their own creation) just as Chua Jui Meng, a lawyer has no business being Health Minister," she says. Hmmm. I know a number of people who'll agree with you on the second example. But then who are we to judge? I am just a pseudo-tech journalist. So I can't make that call. But what about you Pat Lu and Foong Wai Fong, who are you to make that call either.

If you aren't gonna be happy about the outcome, why hold an elections in the first place? Ask Mahathir. If he knew he was gonna lose Terengganu - should he have called it off halfway? Or should he have diverted some online mock voters for the offline real one?

See article:

Malaysian cyber election nixed


My friend at Reuters sent me this:

"red lorry yellow lorry" -- my company now asks all prospective employees to say this loudly and quickly 10 times. If they can say it without mistakes, they would be employed.

You try it.

Yours, Julian

POSTED: DEC 01,1999

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