You are currently browsing the HTNet archives for November, 2005.

Sickening Squattergate Issue

Yeah, yeah… By now, every Malaysian and their cats/dogs/guinea pigs would have heard about Malaysia’s Squattergate issue. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such tremendous activity on one issue in the Malaysian blogosphere.

Everyone has opinions on this issue, and many bloggers make their opinions heard. What I find funny is that at the same time of posting whatever criticisms they had for the Malaysian government, many moan and groan that human rights in Malaysia is non-existant, racism is rife, and tons of other bullshit.

While China and Chinese tourists are seen as the “victims” in this particular issue, and rightfully so might I add, please don’t forget that at least in Malaysia, we’re guaranteed uncensored internet access. I doubt we can say the same for the poor citizens of China.

Just be thankful that you can write, even however irresponsibly, one-sided, shallow or plain stupid things on your blog, and it won’t “suddenly” get clamped down, like they often do in China (suprise, suprise!).

Just reflect on this for a while, if something similar were to happen to a Malaysian in China, do you think it will get as wide an exposure as this “Squattergate” issue is getting? Would it even get out at all? Are you sure it hasn’t happened?

And sections in the Chinese media call this issue worse than Abu Ghraib. Well, sure, our cops cocked up big time in this issue, but hey, at least we didn’t kill, let alone torture thousands of Tibetans.

Talk about the black hole calling the kettle black.

Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Out Now

Mozilla Firefox 1.5 was released not so long ago. Read the release notes here. You can find a list of mirrors to download it over here.

Create GUI Windows Apps with PHP

On Linux, I know that I can use PHP-GTK if I need to. However, it’s just way too troublesome to set up on Win32. Now, thanks to this post by John Wiseman, I may have a new toy to play with at work.

Say hello to WinBinder:

WinBinder is a new open source extension for PHP, the script programming language. It allows PHP programmers to easily build native Windows applications.

Check out the examples here as well. In about an hour’s time, I should be testing this thingy at the office… provided of course, that there are no cock-ups by the vendor I need to deal with today (which is highly unlikely, they’re pathetic).

New HTNet Theme: Tuned

After what seems like an eternity, I’ve finally completed developing and testing this theme (for now). It’s meant to be light and easy on the eyes and in code as well. Presenting, Tuned by HTNet.

One of the reason developed this theme partly to prove that it is possible to create an AdSense-optimised theme without drowning the visitor in ads. I believe that I’ve achieved this quite well. Tuned might also be the only WordPress theme available at present that makes use of the footer area as an effective AdSense display area.

I don’t know if I’ll make this theme public… maybe it depends on the demand, but for now, I don’t have any plans to do so.

Malaysian Cops’ Image Being Tarnished

For the past few days, one of the popular news items to appear in Malaysia’s English and Chinese dailies was the allegedly poor treatment being dished out by some policemen towards Chinese nationals, particularly the women.

It seems that our cops has been getting really bad press recently, and guess what… probably deservingly too. I’m sure many Malaysians have had bad experiences when dealing with the police. Mind you, I’m not necessarily talking about “sinister” things like bribery and corruption… I’ll just let others do that… I’m talking about other suposedly routine stuff dealt by all police forces all over the world. You know, routine things like lodging reports, etc.

The PM recently lambasted government bodies for their inefficient bureaucratic ways despite the millions of ringgits spent on office automation and IT.

I believe that a huge part of the problem is not due to hardware nor software, but peopleware. To be more specific, the human nature of being resistant to changes. I’m sure those in the IT line are very familiar with this issue.

Before this post goes way off-topic, let me bring it back on track. The problem with the Malaysian police force as I see it is lack of investment in peopleware. A large majority of people joining the public sector is for all the wrong reasons; having a “stable” job for life where layoffs are almost unheard off, where appraisals are virtually meaningless, where lots of perks are available (pensions, discounts on housing and transport purchases, tax reliefs, etc.), to name a few.

It is very rare to see someone joining the public sector (especially the uniformed forces) to make a difference… changing the nation positively. Most in the public sector just want an easy life, or feel “in power” doing even the most mundane of tasks. There’s just way to many examples of this happening in the Malaysian public sector.

Permits take ages to get approved or rejected. Nobody bothers about customer service. Lackadaisical approach to getting things done. And these are undisputed facts. Just look at the many issues highlighted in the news with regards to dealing with government bodies. Coupled with the fact that enforcement of rules and regulations are poor, to say the least, in Malaysia.

Now with all the negative press that the Malaysian cops are getting, it’s no coincidence that this issue is getting prime time attention from everyone including the people on the street to the Prime Minister himself.

Things definitely to change… and quick.