Every now and then, I find myself travelling away from my base in Penang which means to say that I'm away from the Internet unless I bring my Macbook along. I don't usually take the laptop along because most times, carrying it on trips is a hassle indeed. The laptop's backpack is too bulky.
I was away on Sunday and came back late yesterday evening. I was too tired even to switch on the Macbook after I returned and only got to go into the Internet to catch up on all developments over the past two days.
I've already stated my position very clearly on the two concrete arches at the Penang Botanic Garden. For the good of the Garden, the arches must go. The environs must be brought back to its original state, not marred with man-made imports like monster arches. The Garden must have attractions that blend into its surroundings and say to say, arches like these contribute little to preserving its original objectives. It has to be a quiet and cool green lung, not an open tourist attraction without places to shelter from searing heat. And that's what building the concrete arches under the Ninth Malaysia Plan has helped to destroy: the pristine nature and greenery of the Botanic Garden.
UPDATE: I am distressed by the absurdity of the manipulation. Within half an hour or so of me writing this blog at about 8.30am, the survey has registered 4388 votes for "Yes". Within half an hour, that's an increase of 246 votes. And 16 minutes later at 9.22am, the number of "Yes" votes jumped by another 153 to 4541. That's totally unacceptable by any measure. It can only suggest that the manipulation process now seems automated and is going out of hand. The Ministry of Tourism cannot ignore this. Unless they accept that their survey has been compromised, there will be accusations that the manipulations are coming from within in order to preserve their foolhardy project. They must either come out with a more fool-proof survey or take alternative means to gauge the proper feelings of the stakeholders of this Garden expansion project.
UPDATE 2: As at 5.40pm today, I notice that the survey has been brought down. It no longer appears on the Ministry of Tourism's home page. No thanks to all those people who sabotaged the effort to engage the opinions of stakeholders in this Penang Botanic Garden arch project.