Sunday, January 31, 2016

Animal Welfare Act 2015 --- When Will It Be Enforced?

IN JOHOR BARU,  M. Lakshmi (not her real name) gets a shiver down her spine every time she hears the dogs living next door yelping in the wee hours or late at night.

  "The man living next door is a psychopath," said the 33-year-old Lakshmi.

  "Sometimes I see him hitting the dogs with a big wooden stick.  My mother once had an argument with him when she saw him hitting the dogs. He was very rude and threatened my mother."

  She does not want to report the matter as she fears for the safety of her elderly mother, who is home alone during the day.

    She said the neighbour, who was believed to be staying alone, picked up the strays in the neighbourhood.

  "My neighbour goes to work early in the morning, and doesn't come back till late at night.

  "Sometimes the dogs howl when he goes to work, possibly because they are starving. I believe they are not fed regularly," said Lakshmi, adding it was distressing to see such acts of cruelty.

   Johor Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) vice-chairman Sheila Grewal said cases like this were aplenty, where people saw an act of cruelty and they posted it on Facebook or told their friends.

   "When we try to intervene and ask them to report the case to the authorities such as the Veterinary Services Department, or to come forward as a witness, they will decline out of fear for their safety.

  "I can understand their predicament but even if the Animal Welfare Act is enforced, it would not do any good if no one comes forward as a witness to animal cruelty.  The perpetrator will not be prosecuted," Grewal said, referring to the Animal Welfare Act 2015, gazetted on Dec 29.

   Global Pets Sdn Bhd, a company providing medical services, grooming and boarding for pets revealed another worrying trend among certain pet owners.

  Its managing director, Dr Tan Check Nam, said the company's chain of pet care centres in Johor recorded 10 to 15 cases per year of owners abandoning their pets when the animals were old or sick.

    "It happens when they send a pet for grooming or boarding.  They will provide a false contact number and address which we come to know about only when we try to contact them to come and collect their pets."

  He said the cost of caring for pets was high as the price of dog food has increased since last year.

  "A 15kg pack of dog food that used to cost slightly more than RM200, now costs more than RM300."

  He said the company helped pet owners to reduce cost by offering a wider variet of dog food, including those supplied from Thailand and Australia.

  "We also have kibbles (dry pet food) priced at RM57 for a 15kg pack.  Although the price has increased, we are selling it at the old price because the pet food is reserved for animal shelters," he added.

  While he lauded the act, he said more needed to be done to address the problem of strays.

  He was glad the Johor Baru Central Municipal Council (MBJBT) was  working with non-governmental organisations to catch stray dogs and cats.

  "It is a win-win situation as the volunteers who are animal lovers, will go about catching the dogs in a humane way.

   "This was done after members of the public complained that dog catchers engaged by the local council had mistreated the stray animals," he said.

   Noraini Karim, who has four cats, believes that the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

  "When you adopt a pet, it becomes a part of the family.  You do not abandon them in good or bad times, like some pet owners do," she said.

  Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Selangor patron Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the government should look into enforcing the act.

  "Animal welfare NGOs put in so much effort and time to get it drafted and tabled in Parliament."

  Offenders face a minimum fine of RM20,000 and possible jail time.  This is 100 times heavier than the penalty under the Animal Act 1953.

  "The stray population is a big problem.  With the economic slowdown, I am worried there will be more cases of abuse.

  "More animal shelters may close due to financial constraints and more pet owners will dump their pets," Lee said.

  Noah's Ark Natural Animal Sanctuary (Nanas) founder and chairman Raymund Wee, who won the Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Awards (IMSHA) for running the animal shelter, said the community must tackle the problems of strays.

  "The stray population is a problem that is contributed by the community and, therefore, it is the community which needs to solve it.

  "We need to work with the local authorities on this," said Wee, who has more than 1,000 abandoned dogs and cats at his shelter since it started operations 15 years ago.

(source: Sunday Times)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Serious Comedy

Watched this movie just now.  Need to watch it again.  Found it very intriguing.  It was touted as a comedy, but it's a very serious comedy.

Now I understand why some people that I've met shudder at the mere mention of mutual funds.  Things like "Lehman Brothers", "Bear Stearns" and "Dana Johor" have left behind indelible imprints on their minds.

Any kind of investment involves some risks but if you don't do anything, like if you were to keep the money in the bank, inflation will creep in for the kill.  If you keep it at home, robbers may break in and help themselves to it.

So, maybe you may want to spread some --- not all --- just some investments across asset classes.  Not all in one place.  Because no one can predict the future.  Not even a financial whiz.  A fund manager may know a lot more than you and I, but he can't foresee the future either and how the market will turn out.

Currently, the KLSE is doing surprisingly well with foreign funds flooding the market, following the recalibration of Budget 2016.  I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or the re-adjustment has really given the market a boost.

Frankly, I am still undecided whether to go for the  8%  or  11% cut from the employee's contribution to EPF.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Resipi Kampong

Resipi Kampong, an eatery offering buffet dining, has just opened its doors for business at Today's Mall in Ulu Tiram, Johor.

It began operations on January 8.

Lunch and dinner are available daily from 11am to 10pm. There is a break from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

Adults can enjoy lunch for RM17.90 and dinner for RM25.90. Children can dine at RM12.90 (lunch 
and dinner). Diners can also buy a book with 10 vouchers priced at RM150 which is valid for one 

Nasi ayam, mee rebus, lempeng jala and lempeng biasa were among the buffet spread when I was there on January 15.  The menu changes daily, I was told.

Rojak Jawa and Meehoon Tauju were offered to diners on a push cart.

Chef Rasman Sheer Fohamad, 50, (2nd from right) and chef Suhaidi Sudijo, 36, with staff of Resipi Kampong and Grand Esteem Sdn Bhd which manages the Superstar Cinema, KTV, amusement centre and indoor water park at Today's Mall.

Chef Rasman, from Pagoh, Muar, works as a chef in a 5-star hotel in Singapore. He said he had wanted to join the police force when he was younger but his applications submitted numerous times were rejected.  He then decided to join the hotel in 1988 as a dishwasher.

He helps out at Resipi Kampong and plans to include dishes like "ketam dalam pasir", "nasi Iran" and "nasi lemuni" to the menu in the future.

Grand Esteem assistant manager (marketing and leasing) Mohd Dali Abu Bakar seen here with my friend, Mary Victoria Dass.

It was a pleasant lunch experience. Nice setting, delightful food spread and captivating wall mural painted by a local artist from Tiram.

Growing Fun

By Gladys Tay Guest Blogger Last August, I decided to work on a project on my bucket list, which is to have an edible garden of my ...