Thursday, February 11, 2010

A congested junction nobody seems to bother

This is the most dreaded place many people have to go through when leaving USM for home every working day. The problem is getting worse by the day and it seems like nobody bothers to do anything about it.

I am referring to the Sg. Dua junction, especially if you commute to work by car. More so if your direction back home is to turn right towards Hamna, Pekaka and Tesco Extra.

Many accidents have occurred here, of which I am a witness to. It was also reported that student's lives were also taken here.

And many a time traffic slows down to almost a standstill, especially when drivers selfishness overrides their sense of tolerance and reasoning.

As we can understand this road/junction is outside the campus vicinity, meaning out of the university's jurisdiction.

So, as far as USM is concern, it is not the university's responsibility, whatever happens here. You want to hantam somebody's car/motorbike or somebody hantams you, for all it matters, the security personnel can only help you to call the ambulance if the situation requires so. The rest you nego between yourselves.

The pics below were taken yesterday around 6.30pm, when most USM staff already left the place. And yet traffic flow was as bad as it was between 5.15 to 6.00pm.

The crux of the matter I believe is not how heavy the traffic is at any given time. It is the system that guides it.

You don't need a Ph.D in city planning or transport management to tell the authorities that proper planning is the key to smooth flow of traffic no matter how heavy the traffic is.

Erect another traffic light for oncoming traffic from Batu Uban, near the bus stop to control the congestion.

Why is it so difficult?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rakan Trafik@USM

I am not trying to undermine BK Online's effort of replicating its hard-copy news onto a website. But if the term 'with all intent and purpose' is anything to go by, then I believe BK Online should not have just a reproduction of what it has on its newspaper, but also news that is really news -- as in newsworthy and new.

Take this news on today's Kosmo! for example, which is a good promo and PR exercise, not just for USM but also for the school.

Click on pic to have a bigger view.

Berita Kampus Online and AUKU

The web version of Berita Kampus has been on-line. Basically, it is just a reproduction of the hard-copy version onto a website.

The news are the same, only the amount (of news) are less as only selected news were replicated on the website.

There was no official launching, no news being circulated, not even on the hard-copy version of Berita Kampus (as far as my eyes can rover/scan through the pages).

Well, not even through word-of-mouth, until I knew it from an official meeting called about 3 weeks ago.

You can view the pages here.

So, unofficially the BK Online version has been on the web for the past 3 weeks. I assume it is so, because if you consider the first issue of BK this semester which was distributed on 18 January 2010, then the unofficial launching date of the web also runs concurrently with this 7th issue of Berita Kampus.

It is too early to give a complete analysis of whether this web version of BK has gathered a steady traffic of readers or otherwise. But my intention here is to try give it as much publicity so as the website could gather more hits, and this include notifying other denizens outside the campus community.

The strength of the website I supposed is the statistics counter analysis, where it can trace and analyse how many hits each and every page were being accessed (not read, as you wouldn't know if the person reads through the whole article).

The thing is it could trace and record on its counter which page you have browsed or which choice of articles in either language (BM or English) were read (bahasa pembaca dan laman dilihat).

Another exciting feature is the search and vote window, which (for the former) supposedly let us do a search on the website, making browsing much easier if you want to look for something -- news, article or report that is archived on the website.

The vote is naturally what it is meant for, but after voting for my choice of:
AUKU patut dimansuhkan? I found out that I was the only one voting ever since this option was out there on the page.

So, my Sangat setuju gathered 100% vote as I am the only one who voted. Quite strange for a site which was viewed a number of 632 times for the past 3 weeks?

Nobody here likes to

Anyway, if you are interested with the polemics of AUKU, there is an article in Kosmo! today on an interview on the matter with a UM student leader, Khairul Anwar Abu Kassim.

Click on the pic to see a bigger version of the news article.

My wish on the BK Online is of course a comment box, where readers can give feedback on anything, including every article that is posted, either about the contents or choice of news/pics being uploaded.

This I think is the biggest letdown so far.

I'll come back in another three weeks or so to give another analysis.

Monday, February 8, 2010


When immaturity reigns, territorial demarcation starts

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Allowance for mistakes - a misnomer or absurdity?

This statement by the former USM vice-chancellor and former Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamed baffles me so much I have to sit down and spare some time to pen this.

The problem is that it is either a misnomer or is what he really meant, which is rare and absurd.

Here, take a look at his statement:

“Mistakes will happen. In order for USM to excel, allowance for mistakes must be made. Furthermore, this was a technical glitch — a small mistake to me,” he said before delivering a keynote address at the Management in Construction Researchers Association (MiCRA) conference in USM here yesterday.”

The Star Online version has the full report, here.

Yes it was on the big screen at the vice-chancellor’s yearly speech today.

Actually, this was one of the two quotes that gave me an eye-opener in the VC’s speech, so I jotted them down. The other one was “…to challenge the status quo” by Sidek Hassan. But I’ll save delving into this for another time.

In the English language context, when you use the idiom “make allowance(s)” it means you give allowance (like giving way or a chance/opportunity) for someone or something.

So, I asked my better half, seated next to me, “the correct word should be ‘amends’ to be made and not ‘mistakes’. How can you give allowance for people to make mistakes?"

As usual, no response from her.

Furthermore, if you give allowance for people to make mistakes, they would take things for granted and crave for more ‘mistakes’ to be done. Yeah, they will keep on making mistakes til your patience runs out and finally give them the 'grounding' rules and "so, no more allowances for you..."

Is that what you mean by allowance for mistakes must be made.

The internet’s describe 'make allowance' as:
1. to allow time, space, food, etc., for someone or something. For e.g., “When planning the party, please make allowances for John and his family. I'm making allowance for ten extra guests.”
2. to make excuses or explanations for someone or something; to take into consideration the negative effects of someone or something. You're very late even when we make allowance for the weather. We have to make allowance for the age of the house when we judge its condition.

The site here.

But, on the other hand, -- yes -- you can give or make such allowances (of any kind including mistakes) for kids and toddlers.

But normally you don’t give or make allowances for adults to make mistakes, more so if it involves certain aspects of your job, and you are supposed to be a pro at it. This is what I learn here in USM, at least in the current post and at the current place I am working now -- or somebody will go into a trance!

I tried to search using to find if there were other statements of the same breadth, but no can do. There’s no particular site on the internet which had a phrase or statement written as “…allowance for mistakes must be made” or “…to be done.”

So, in Bolehland, we are the first.

Congratulations for us to be the first to coin such a rare new phrase/statement.