A friend, a fellow concerned Petaling Jaya resident and community activist, sent me these pictures with the following comment below the picture, which I have highlighted in blue:-
Mordacity, I thought you were my middle name.
Alas, in the midst of my relationship with MBPJ spanning over a decade of volunteerism and contribution, I must have had lost it to the local council.
Many a time have I exposed just why the mantras from the workshops in which I poured out my heart and soul, mantras like Safe City, Barrier-free City, OKU (disabled) Friendly City and the like, are nothing more than the rhetorics of local government politicking.
As long as the city is to depend on un-genious instead of engineers to design solutions for public amenities and facilities, I might as well remain a keyboard warrior instead of being a planning partner, lest I be branded a partner in crime.
This not-cheap walkway at the junction of Jalan SS2/75 and Jalan SS2/24 is definitely a designed construction. An insult to intelligence, this must have been the thief of my mordacity, this zenith of sarcasm which mocks the concepts of safe city, barrier-free city, OKU-friendly.
Well, my friend has been banging his head against a brick wall all along.
The sidewalk in Section SS2 Petaling Jaya in the pictures above are similar to those in other sections of Petaling Jaya, and it looks like the idiots who designed them, did not consider the danger those depressed metal grates above the drain below poses to pedestrians, especially at night and the inconvenience and danger they pose, especially to wheelchair-bound residents of Petaling Jaya who use these sidewalks.
Either that, or this is the result of bureaucracy, where repositioning the grates level with the sidewalk was not part of the contract assigned to the contractor commissioned to construct the sidewalk, so instead the contractor just built the sidewalk around the metal grates.
More significantly though, are the idiot officials at the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) who approved the design which the contractor merely implemented accordingly.
Back around 1997, Malaysia was supposed to have become a "knowledge-based", "information-rich", "developed" and "high-income" nation by the year 2020 (now postponed to 2030 but it looks like we still are very much third-world in mentality despite somewhat having first-world infrastructure, as out 5th Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi notably said, whilst a no doubt higher quantum of income today has barely kept up with inflation or has even fallen behind.
As for my friend's comemnt:- "mantras like Safe City, Barrier-free City, OKU (disabled) Friendly City and the like, are nothing more than the rhetorics of local government politicking."
My friend encountered the same kind of meaningless gobbledegook at the conferences and seminars he attended, as I had at computing, Internet, information and communications technology (ICT) conferences and seminars in my career writing about these industries in my career as a writer since September 1994.
Admittedly, not all of these conferences and seminars were like that, especially not the hard technology and seriously industry-oriented ones. Rather, it was the eCommerce, eEducation, distance-education, eHealth, tele-healthcare and techno-futurist related ones which tended to be full of this kind of techno-Utopian matras and gobbledegook, much of which has not materialised 20 years later.
For instance, if all those grandiose claims which I heard at eEducation and distance-learning conferences and seminars back in the late 1990s had come true today, there would be a PC with broadband Internet connection on every desk in Malaysia's schools.
Gone will be the days of "chalk and talk" teaching where, where in "industrial-age", factory-style", all students in a class learn exactly the same things at the same time and at the same pace from teacher whether or not the topic interests interests them or whether or not they can keep up with the pace of learning of the whole class.
Instead, these new-fangled, "information-age" eLearning tools and methods would enable students to learn subjects they are interested in at their own pace, whilst teachers would be reduced to mere facilitators guiding students in their online research for relevant information for their projects.
University and college lecture theatres would be like cinemas with a large screen in front and high-speed video-conferencing facilities in each lecture hall would enable students to remotely attend lectures and learn from top academics around the world, whilst their domestic lecturers and professors would also be reduced to mere facilitators guiding them.
I've visited my old secondary school every year since 2010 and the classrooms have hardly changed in 50 years, apart from those solid wooden desks with a lift up top where we could store our books, pens, rulers and other stuff, and those old solid wooden chairs all having replaced by more current classroom furniture, including whiteboards having replaced blackboards and marker pens having replaced chalk, and in some cases an overhead projector in some classrooms but there was not one PC on any desk, not even the teacher's desk.
Also, when I visited my old science lab earlier this year, the lab benches and equipment within looked exactly the same as they were 50 years ago, except for an overhead projector fixed to the ceiling above.
Meanwhile, the school's "resource centre" (a new-fangled name for the school library) had a few notebook and desktop PCs with Internet access and our tuck shop is now known by the new-fangled term "food court".
I also learned that many of the PCs in my school's ICT lab are broken down, unrepaired and since there are not enough for all the computer science students, some have to use their own notebook PCs to learn.
That, my friends, is the reality in our schools over 20 years after all the bullshit I was about eEducation and distance education peddled by speakers, academics eLearning systems providers at ICT conferences and seminars which I had to cover in line with my work.
I remember the dirty looks I got from some within the audience when I questioned the reality of such claims made at an eEducation conference and seminar I attended in the palatial conference hall of the 5-star or 6-star Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel way back in 1998.
Well, it looks like I was right, as more recently, school teachers and professors of computer science in Malaysia, as well as research studies in the advanced countries, all say that there is no convincing evidence that eEducation and distance learning have proven to be superior to traditional classroom based learning.
I wonder what our "New Malaysia" federal government will do about all this, apart from allowing school children to wear black shoes instead of the traditional white canvas shoes to school and talking about introducing courses in artificial intelligence, robotics and so forth in schools when I wonder whether our cash-strapped government has the funds to pay for all the equipment required, when they have not been able to afford to put a PC on every desk in school classrooms and keep them maintained in working order, not to mention the need to replace them with newer and more powerful PCs every few years. Also, whether there are enough teachers available to teach such subjects in school.
Do we have enough teachers trained to teach this, not to mention the government having the funds to pay for the equipment ??? - CLICK BELOW:-
However, if the track record of our "New Selangor" state government and the local authorities which come under them since 2008 is anything to go by, I'm pretty sure it will all be loud farting through the mouths of our most esteemed federal government leaders, just as our esteemed Selangor state government leaders have been farting through their mouths, since 2008.
Yours most truly