Thursday, 25 September 2014

Proton launches new Iriz hatchback: RM42k - RM63k

‎Hello from Proton City! I am here with members of the media, covering the official launch of the hotly-anticipated Proton Iriz hatchback. 

Most of you have probably read about the specs and details on the many Malaysian motoring websites, but here's a recap of the headlines: Available with 1.3 and 1.6 engines, the Proton Iriz goes head-to-head with the ever-popular Perodua Myvi, while craftily undercutting other B-segment rivals such as the Honda Jazz, Ford Fiesta, and Kia Rio. Available with up to 6 (!) airbags, the 5-star ANCAP rated Iriz puts safety in the forefront, offering class-leading safety at a price point that's hard to beat. 

Across the board, the standard safety features are tremendous to say the least. Anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), traction control (TCS), and hill-hold assist (HHA) are the headliners, along with ISOFIX mounts for child seats, adjustable seatbelt height fixtures (a feature some more expensive competitors lack), and electronic brake assistance (which helps to increase braking force during emergency situations). 

Now for the properly interesting stuff. The top-of-the-range 1.6 Premium gets all the goodies, and the exterior reflects that. It gets a two-tone bodykit, daytime LED running lights, 15" alloy wheels with a design exclusive to the Premium, and a large rear spoiler to round things up. Inside, the Premium gets leather on the seats, doors, steering wheel and gear lever, as well as a touchscreen multimedia system featuring GPS, Bluetooth connectivity, and reversing camera.

Finally, a real contender to take on the Myvi. "A car built by Malaysians, for Malaysians," said Proton Chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed

The price and respective specifications are as follow:

Friday, 5 September 2014

"How... seditious."

Let's start with selfies. Yes, selfies. Photographs taken by insanely self-absorbed people who believe that the world genuinely wants to see their faces, and not much else. Often, these narcissists wi‎ll feature more recognisable things in their selfies to make themselves seem more interesting. Famous artwork, popular tourist attractions, celebrities... basically anything under the sun. 

Political figures have not been immune from this widespread disease. President Obama of the United States, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, and President Jokowi‎ of Indonesia are among many who have taken to photographing themselves and circulating these photos on social media platforms, in an attempt to seem relevant. To woo the hearts and minds of younger voters by making them believe that their politicians aren't as out of touch as some may seem.

And our politicians are no exception.

Malaysian MPs and ministers are becoming quite well-known for their selfies, some more than others. Periodically, social media sites are set ablaze with photographs of politicians doing... political things. They show to the world that yes, they do indeed work, for the sake of the people (and that it's important that the people are harassed with photographs of them doing this work, as if it isn't part of their job description). It seems clear now, more than ever, that our politicians are desperate to seem more relevant to the increasingly IT-savvy voters out and about, as we're seeing more and more of these selfies as the days go by.

Ah, relevance. 

One must wonder then, how a government so keen to remain in touch with its voters, can stand steadfast behind a law that can only be described as a floppy disk in an era of 1TB thumbdrives, or dial-up internet in a world of high-speed broadband. I am referring to the Sedition Act of course, in case you're particularly thick. Here's a law that's akin to gangster-style intimidation, in a country that "promotes healthy dialogue between the people and their representatives, for a more progressive Malaysia." Uh huh.

It's like an iPhone app that launches a catapult. Or a brass chastity belt on Pick a bloody era, damnit. 

Clearly, our Government is suffering from a serious case of Foot-In-Mouth Disease, which has caused a bout of Hypocriticitis to boot. These men and women with decades of experience in the political arena under their belt, are somehow clueless on how to treat this outbreak. Maybe I, of little age and equally little political experience, can shed some light on the situation:

Ammend the act. Let the Sedition Act apply only to the Monarchy, as it should. Rebrand it, if you must (did I hear "Harmony Act?"). In any case, the Sedition Act cannot be left as-is. Ministers, MPs, senators and the like are nothing more than servants to the people who elected them. And so they should be, as we are, open to criticism, however harsh or unconstructive. Because this is a democracy. And that's that.