Thursday, September 28, 2017

Connecting to Indonesia - bridges

After seeing the OBOR of China, in fact, the rise of Asean or South East Asia is imminent. Roads and Rails should connect the region tightly so that people and goods can move freely. Lives will improve with trade and Urbanisation of the region. Yes, we need to look for another model of urbanization. We should prepare for the rise of this part of the world. Expertise in urban planning and architecture is very important.

Links

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Changing World view - 辉煌中国


After world war II (WWII), many countries went into civil wars due to the way territories were divided among them, creating friction and wars, as the instrument of divide and rule manifest their destiny. Alleviation of poverty as promoted by the rich nations had not done much for the poorer countries. They remain poor and war-torn, underprivileged, in dire straits for better lives.

Friday, September 15, 2017

A new consciousness

Many countries are looking up to China for their own progress and wellbeing. Sometimes ago, people think progress and a simple happier family unit is not easily attainable in their countries. Many countries that have wars or civil wars believe that a country's progress comes about through ideological, religious and political transformation. Now, that thinking has been proven wrong. Peace is the prerequisite for a stable society where people can concentrate on their countries' development and progress. People want a simple life, a roof over their head, jobs, family, and a peaceful society.
China realized the same, after their experiment of industrialization 大跃进, then the cultural revolution 文化大革命, through close door policy and self-help initiative. Finally, these methods were futile and brought China suffering and deterioration. Through it they realized that nothing is more important than having the family unit together, peace and fulfilling the simple necessity of life. Deng Xiao Ping’s Black and White Cat, 黑猫白猫只要会捉老鼠的猫 dictum gave the people a way forward. 

The foreign Policy of China - 大国外交

I met Alex and Zhang on the trip to Tengzhou. We were discussing the progress that China is making in the world and we were very impressed by the recent reports on the progress of OBOR. He recommended that I should check out the series done recently, 大国外交. I watched it and gain more understanding of the role China intends to play and their confidence that they prefer their own way of connecting and harmonizing with many other countries. 
Here are the links to the series.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Kuala Lumpur

Arrival: 8th April 2017, 1720 hours

Gemas is about 150km from Kuala Lumpur (KL), it took about 3 hours to reach KL Sentral. We thought of having a Peranakan meal at the Sentral Mall but decided otherwise, we took the Uber to the Chinatown Boutique Hotel, 34 Jalan Hang Lekir. The concierge at the Sentral Station, an Indian national was helpful, he called the Uber for us. Where we stayed, the street was bustling with food and many paraphernalia. The lights look exciting and mesmerizing. The entrance to the hotel was obscured and it snaked through alley ways and street vendors. We felt watched, but so what? Nothing to be alarmed with some attention. I did spew a few Cantonese catch phrases with the young receptionist. A way to strike up a good rapport. Be friendly and smile often. It is already part of my habit. However, I get angry and rude too if the receptionist is unreasonable. It cuts both ways.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Gemas

Arrived: 7 April2017, 2009hours
We filled up our thermos flask with hot tea, bought some biscuit, took some selfies at the City Square Mall with the train station in the background before boarding the train en route to Gemas. 

The way the rail lines were organized, I suspected that Gemas was designated to be the rail transport hub of the future rail network of West Malaysia. It is at Gemas that the rail line splits into two lines, one in the east and another to the west. West Malaysia is divided in the middle by a mountain range that joins the ranges of Thailand in the north and continues to Singapore island in the south. The east rail line terminates in Tumpat and the west line terminates in Padang Besar. We decided to explore the small town, document some street scene and hoped to see that it would change due to the changes in the speed of rail network. Perhaps as the exchange point between the east and west line, it should have some impact on the economy of the town. The other reason being that the faster trains, the ETS electric trains which can reach a speed of 150km/h, only start at Gemas. It is claimed that this is the fastest meter-gauge train. We learned that the track width does have an implication on the maximum speed of the train. Most of the tracks in China are Standard gauge and some dual track, the fastest train can reach a speed of 400km/h or more. 
I had not visited Gemas before and it would be a good start to get acquainted with the small quiet town. We departed at about 3pm in the afternoon and when we alighted from the train, it was already dark and we were very hungry. We traveled about 200km and took almost 5 hours. The train was slow. It needed some real upgrading, however, the seats were comfortable and the carriage reasonably clean. We spotted a Pizza Hut and was happy to have a simple meal of chicken burger. We did some browsing, walked less than a few hundred meters, found a small hotel, Hotel Tropicana along Jalan Lintang mend by a young India lady and settled our lodging for the night. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Johor

Arrived: 6th April 2017, 1500hours

We took some time to complete packing our bags and also last minute banking to ensure our bank cards from different banks were working fine. We had also purchased the insurance for the countries we were visiting for a year. It was more economical that way as I would presume that I would be traveling frequently this whole year. We had a backup bank card in case one did not work, we had a special place to keep some money for an emergency. We also exchange some Thai Baht and American dollars, as we know that American dollars were sought after in many developing countries, such as Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It would come in handy when we ran out of the countries currency. It was a good storage medium and exchanging medium. We always keep smaller change in different pockets so that we would not lose our wallet during payment or snap away by a thief. We would keep our important document in front of our body.
We always need alternatives and backed up plan, other than having a mobile we had a small tablet that could be used as a mobile and we also brought along a computer each with us.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Singapore and China in the eyes of LKY

From this video we got a clue that LKY had left for us. He had foreseen that China will rise and become powerful. He mentioned that China's rise is good for Singapore. The only question is: How can we find a way to benefit from the rise of China? Yes, China has planned beyond their boundary and with their financial resources and global standing, they had convinced many developing countries to open their countries allowing better connections, trades, and efficient transportation of goods and services. In so doing, it will diminish the goe-location of Singapore as a transportation hub. We have to re-orientate our mindset, to become another form of center, perhaps a cultural and innovative