Monday, May 31, 2010
The number is 16 though some say, it is 11. For now. But as I am writing this, things are not well near the Gaza coast where a flotilla of 6 ships carrying aid for the Palestinian territory of Gaza, are approaching.
These people - unarmed civilians -were killed when security forces boarded the boats today.
"At about 4:30 am, Israeli commandos dropped from helicopter onto deck of Turkish ship, immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians," a post on the group's Twitter page said.
Meanwhile, two Malaysians are onboard the ship attacked by Israeli commandoes.
Watch TV and read online for updates!
Sunday, May 30, 2010
May-Zhee was a guest speaker at a forum at the festival, held at the PWTC. Today was the last day of the festival which started on Friday.
Petite and pretty, she wrote her first book "Vanitee Bee" at 15 and her second - bestseller "Sweetheart From Hell" when she was 17.
"The first one's about stuff relating to teens. The second is, you know, a chick lit....," she told me, as we chatted in the waiting room. I had finished my session and she was about to start hers.
May-Zhee, eldest of three children (she has two younger brothers and her parents are business people) - is from Klang and was a student of Mont Kiara International School.
Blogger Syed Akbar who himself is an author of 3 books, remembered her as the other writer at a booksigning at MPH a few years ago.
"She was 16 when I met her," remarked Syed Akbar who was a speaker at an earlier forum there, with Rocky and me.
May-Zhee remembered Syed Akbar too.
With her was a young marketing/business consultant, Michael Teo who was moderating her session. They were among the many young people we met at the festival. Awesome people, these kids.
I felt like I was in a world run by young people. From those manning the counter, at the door, at the kiosks -- everywhere -- young people running the show. And so well too! Proud of 'em!
A festival by the young for the young. I definitely was one of the few oldies there, but, heck, I felt so young.
I told the young audience at the forum that I felt really so young and how amazing it was to meet so many exuberant, bright, energetic and dynamic young Malaysians.
So many events were organized from music and dance shows to conferences. And there were kiosks and booths promoting food, music and a wide range of products. There was even a Sudoku booth.
The place was packed by the time we had to go. So happening, I tell you!
This was the third such festival. Some 80,000 people came to the festival, more than the number (60,000) at the one in Putrajaya last year.
Amazing. Awesome. And I had an incredibly wonderful time.
Now I must go get May-Zhee's bestseller.
Read Rocky's take on Youth10.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
KOTA BHARU 28 Mei - Akhbar Utusan Malaysia dihalang daripada membuat liputan Kongres Nasional Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) yang diadakan di negeri ini selama tiga hari, bermula hari ini.
Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Induknya, Abdul Aziz Kadir berkata, wartawan dan jurufoto Utusan Malaysia tidak dibenarkan hadir sepanjang kongres berlangsung atas arahan dari Kuala Lumpur.
Kongres selama tiga hari itu dihadiri oleh 1,500 perwakilan dan kira-kira 1,000 pemerhati dari seluruh negara.
Walaupun sebelum ini, Abdul Aziz menyatakan pihaknya tiada masalah membenarkan Utusan Malaysia membuat liputan tetapi keputusan itu berubah malam tadi.
Selain Utusan Malaysia, petugas di Dewan Konvensyen Pusat Dagangan Kelantan (KTC), tempat berlangsungnya kongres itu juga menyatakan TV3 Kelantan turut tidak dibenarkan membuat liputan.
Wow...Definitely no tolerance for Utusan.
Friday, May 28, 2010
This is a very serious allegation. The MACC should investigate...
Out with it (proof). No need to wait for their (MPs') reaction...
But if it's not true and is a baseless allegation...
Over to you, Wee, Zul.....
But, nothing to worry about, really. It serves as a purification process.
Here's what Wee has to say.
Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Mohamed Hashim says "prove it" or he may sue!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
And this is to reduce the nation's deficit and debt, he said today.
We don't want a time bomb in our hands, Idris warned.
Read the story HERE.
And also THIS.
And also THIS.
They can -- if they can prove that their other homes were purchased well within their means.
In Selangor, civil servants who own low-cost housing units in the state will be called up for questioning.
Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said if they were found to be ineligible to own the units and there are elements of abuse, severe action will be taken against them.
"These irresponsible civil servants will also be made to surrender the units so that they can be resold to deserving people," he said in a statement in Shah Alam early today (Thursday).
Khalid said the state executive council at its meeting today (Thursday) also decided to review cases of awarding of low-cost units in the state to as far back as 2004 to find out in more detail if such units had been offered for sale according to procedures.
He said that the state's Housing and Real Estate Board in future would closely monitor the awarding of low-cost housing units to stamp out any form of abuse and prevent a repeat of civil servants above the income bracket to qualify to purchase the units from getting them, as had been the case previously.
He added that the state government would be very firm in ensuring that low-cost housing units would only be sold to eligible buyers. - (source:Bernama)
The former Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister said the historic bilateral deal Malaysia inked with Singapore on Tuesday to jointly develop KTM's Tanjong Pagar rail station, will create a situation favouring KTM and Malaysians as a whole.
Click here to read the Bernama report.
Malaysia’s top 40 richest are worth US$51 billion, up from US$36 billion a year ago, and higher than the previous record of US$46 billion registered in 2008.
According to Forbes Asia in its Malaysia Rich List 2010 released today, their combined wealth has risen by 42 per cent, spurred by the country’s economic expansion.
The overall increase in wealth was also in line with the 32 per cent rise in the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index, and the Malaysian ringgit’s 11 per cent gain against the US dollar over the past 12 months, Forbes said.
Topping the rich list again is Tan Sri Robert Kuok who has held the pole position since 2006 when Forbes Asia began ranking the 40 richest Malaysians.
Forbes said the biggest gainer in dollar terms this year, the 86-year-old tycoon’s net worth increased to US$12 billion, a gain of US$3 billion over last year.
Top telecommunications tycoon Ananda Krishnan remains in second place with US$8.1 billion, an increase of US$1.1 billion from a year ago.Click here to read the rest of the article.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Celebrity lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, who is in Malaysia at the invitation of Tourism Malaysia has done her first blog posting on Malaysia in her blog, The Martha Blog . She has also uploaded some pictures as well.
Most people who have been following her tweet would have been alerted about her posting.
"My first blog from Malaysia - please have a look", she tweeted early this morning.
She said she's touring this "extraordinary country and experience the fascinating culture and the delicious cuisine" with her niece, Sophie Herbert and my good friend, Memrie Lewis.
"We've been very, very busy meeting outstanding and gracious people, exploring amazing sites in and around Kuala Lumpur, and also see the incredible wildlife in the rainforest of Borneo."
If you've been following her tweet, you'd know that she's been to so many places in the peninsular and Sabah. You can feel her excitement in those few words in her tweets. She also uploaded twitpics.
Picture above of Ms Stewart and the Yang diPermaisuri Agong -- is from her blog.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Did someone just accuse Malaysia of ceding the land to Singapore? You gotta be kidding me? Or have I missed something somewhere?
Wonders never cease.
When our former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stood his ground on outstanding issues with Singapore, his detractors and attackers, accused him of being arrogant, inflexible, unneighbourly, and not doing the country any good.
Now that it is time we all move on and move ahead, with this decision made between the leaders of the countries -- the government is being accused of kneeling before Singapore. Kow-towing to Singapore.
I say, don't simply accuse like that-lah. Give credit where and when credit is due.
But if you think the decision sucks, say why. Argue intelligently-lah.
Read Sharif Haron's article HERE.
At least he is asking the right questions.
But, come on-lah.
You can't lay this one on Umno. No, no, not the MCA. And not the opposition, either.
You have yourselves to be blamed.
At least, Mugilan has come clean on this.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Well, well, well...waddya know. Martha Stewart's in town.
Yesterday (Thursday May 20) , she had an engagement with thePrime Minister's wife, Rosmah Mansor.
The celebrity lifestyle guru said she'd be tweeting about her visit here.
Yep. She's been tweeting about it with twitpics too.
Her last tweet was her meeting with the Queen:
"I am signing the Queen's guest book in the summer palace while the Queen looks on" (with a twitpic).
A while before that, she tweeted:
"My niece, Sophie, singing at the formal tea party given in our honor by her Majesty the Queen of Malaysia" (with a twitpic).
Ms Stewart tweeted about the amazing view from her Ritz Carlton room, Malaysia's eating culture (and the customary Malaysian greeting of "have you eaten?", Melaka, Brickfields, "muddy river mouth", songket -- and this and that.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Right now, internal investigations are ongoing. The company has not determined whether there was an element of fraud involved although industry insiders have suggested that there must have been.
Click HERE for the Bernama report.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, on the issue of Musa's resignation said Sime Darby should determine the cause of its RM964 million losses first before the issue of responsibility.
"We need to investigate the cause of the losses first. We can't do anything about the question of responsibility, at this point of time," he added.
Najib was speaking to reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony of Utusan Malaysia's new headquarters building in Kuala Lumpur earlier today.
Read my previous posting on Sime Darby HERE.
Here's why Najib's mighty pleased:
Malaysia has taken the 10th spot on the Switzerland-based IMD's World Competitive Yearbook for 2010, a result that will make it more attractive to foreign investors
Malaysia has broken into the top 10 list of the world's most competitive countries, a result that will make it more attractive to foreign investors and proof that the government's transformation efforts are bearing fruit. - Business Times.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The report HERE.
So, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has decided to not approve applications to hold big-scale concerts at the premises.
The “12 Hours Live with Chivalry” concert held last Saturday was the club’s last.
Frankly, I don't see what the fuss is all about and if you ask me, I think DBKL is hasty in making the decision.
In the first place, the club is not within the Bukit Damansara area and residential homes are across the other side...in fact out of sight.
If anyone should be complaining, it should be the Sri Hartamas residents who would need to use the road in front of the club. But they're not the ones making a din.
Besides, the concerts were usually on weekends.
I use the club road almost everyday to get home (I live in Taman Tun Dr Ismail). Sure, whenever there was a concert, the road(s) would be jammed and congested. But, we could still go through.
Sure, there'd be littering -- post-pasar malam rubbish is worse.
What you need is regulating the traffic and the parking during major events at the club.
At the recent international golf tournament at the KLGCC , the area was so jammed, but there were people directing motorists and it was ok.
The trouble with -- I hate to say it -- SOME Malaysian authorities is that they always opt for a convenient way out. If there's a problem, you ban this, ban that. You stop this, yous top that yadayada. Easy, what. No need to think.
But you need to think. Just a little. Plan a little.
People are selfish, you know. Always never in their backyard. In this case, it's not even in the yards -- front or back.
And I honestly think that Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club is really a good venue for concerts -- big or small.
I hope everyone had their cake and ate it!
Never did like the longest, tallest and biggest this and that unless it is for a very very good and worthwhile cause (benefits the people it's intended for) and is not a waste of anything -- time, money, manpower and the object itself.
You know what I'm saying?
But this English College. Good school.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Here in Malaysia, the government will be giving annual cash incentives of between RM900 and RM7,500 to principals,headmasters and teachers of high performance schools from next year.
The incentives are for those pushing their schools to achieve the composite score target of 92 per cent for secondary schools and 82 per cent for primary schools.
The score is calculated based on a school’s grade point average and the national education quality standard.Principals and headmasters who achieve the target will get RM7,500.
DPM Muhyiddin Yassin who is also Education Minister said teachers of schools ranked in the top five per cent of the performance assessment would get RM1,800 while the other 95 per cent would get RM900.
Read more HERE.
In the US, certain quarters are saying that this is not such a good idea. An economist with the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) said:
"Policymakers should probably think twice before they transfer to education the pay system that has helped generate the global financial crisis."In Teachers, Performance Pay, and Accountability: What Education Should Learn from Other Sectors, researchers Scott J. Adams, John S. Heywood and Richard Rothstein examine the evidence that underlies these assumptions, concluding that the use of merit pay systems has negative consequences that often block the larger goal of improving the quality of services.
I'm quoting the Huffington Post.
"Daniel Pink, author of the best selling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, has an great presentation on YouTube discussing what motivates skilled labor people to do excellent work and surprisingly, it isn't money.
The three reasons that people are motivated to do excellent work according to Pink are
- they are aligned with the purpose of the job
- they are given some autonomy on the job
- they are supported in gaining mastery of the job
Pink says, that "When the profit motive become unmoored from the purpose motive bad things happen -- like poor quality, shoddy work." We don't want teachers who are focused primarily on money and not on our kids.
Studies show that teachers are already purpose driven and while merit pay may temporarily improve performance over all it has no positive impact. Teachers need to be given more respect, more autonomy, better overall pay, supplies, and more classroom support to master their teaching skills. Merit pay doesn't work for the workplace and is a terrible idea for schools."
This subject is, of course, debatable. And this is based on the situation and conditions in the US. Having said that, the premise is the same. Teachers and students strive for the same things, no matter where we are.
Pageant officials have not verified whether Ms Fakih (who is of Lebanese descent) is the first Arab American, Muslim or immigrant to have won the title.
The pageant started in 1952 as a local bathing suit competition in Long Beach, Calif.
The report on Rima's crowning HERE.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
The AP report HERE
It offers what a narrator on each segment calls "your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue." -- that's the White House.
Read about it HERE.
And then, you can check it out!
The recession had not dented the purses of the world's top models. they're still earning mega- bucks.
The global economy maybe gloomy but these top models are seeing blue skies all the way -- to the bank.
Not surprising. They're the world's top earning people. If you've been watching the E channel (channel 712 on Astro), you'll know.
Just read about them HERE.
(Picture: World's highest-paid model -- Brazilian Gisele Bundchen.)
These projects are in Qatar and the Bakun hydro-electric dam.
On Thursday (May 13), Musa told a media conference that, as a result, the group would take a hit of almost RM1billion in its second half earnings from the losses.
Last night Musa met with some bloggers at the Sime Darby convention centre, and spoke candidly about the issue, explaining about the Bakun project and how the group landed with the Qatar projects; how everything that shouldn't happened, happened. And so on.
(In the news : Sime Darby's group chief executive officer Ahmad Zubir Murshid has been asked to go on paid leave until his contract ends in November.)
Responding further, he said he was not going to "chop" people's heads because "people want me to".
"I want to have basis. I am of the view that we cannot let things rot. We have to cure it. I assure you. We will be leaner and better after this."
He reiterated , that long-term structural problems that have been identified will be rectified.
There will be changes.
Musa said as the group CEO, Zubir had taken responsibility for what happened.
When a blogger, pressed further on the role and responsibility of Sime Darby's board of directors, focusing on him as chairman, a smiling and good-natured Musa responded: " You want me to resign?"
He said he was prepared to resign. But it (any demand for him to do so) has to come from the shareholders, and of course - as Sime Darby is a GLC - the Prime Minister.
Asked whether the group had found a candidate to succeed Zubir, Musa said the group would need time to look for a suitable candidate.
He quipped that if he had his way, he'd prefer a foreigner, but the decision was not his alone.
Read the earlier reports on the losses HERE and HERE.
With Musa at the meeting with bloggers were acting group CEO (executive vice-president of the plantation division) Azhar Abdul Hamid and group CFO, Tong Poh Keow who offered details and further explanations to points raised.
The last time Musa met with bloggers was more than a year ago. Zubir was with him.
Friday, May 14, 2010
At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today, (Friday May 14) , Wee claimed that the Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) and the recent statement made by Kuala Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB), which is wholly owned by Menteri Besar Incorporated, is a political ploy by the little napoleons within the party to intimidate Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam.
Wee said he is disappointed that none of the top PKR leaders has come out to intervene in this matter.
"YB Manikavasagam, MP for Kapar, had been calling for an investigation into the sand mining scandal involving the officials in Kuala Semesta Sdn Bhd, which is wholly owned by Menteri Besar Incorporated, and Pakatan Rakyat high ranking elected representatives in Selangor but it fell on deaf ears for some time.
"In fact, this scandal had been and continue to be an open secret amongst the PR MPs and State Assemblymen for some time, too. The sand mining activities had been taking place in the Dengkil area," Wee wrote on his blog (http://weechookeong.wordpress.com).
As for me -- I listen to the radio when I'm in my car, when I'm jogging and when I'm in my bedroom (the radio is on all the time), especially when I'm tucking in at night, ready to go to sleep.
Viva la radio! (online, internet, cyberspace etc -- notwithstanding)
Ok. So I'm old school.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin opened the workshop at about 3pm. He asked the participants to "help identify the NKEAs that are critical in driving" the government's reform initiatives.
He said together with the PM and him, the Cabinet will discuss and incorporate their "valuable feedback for national consensus".
Immediately after the opening, Idris Jala -- otherwise known as Menteri KPI - explained the concept of NKEA to the participants and opened the floor (to answer a few questions).
The workshop ends at 7pm.
Participants were a diverse group -- from big names in the government and the corporate sector -- Ramon Navaratnam, Munir Majid and Azman Mokhtar -- to SME businessmen. Tricia Yeoh of the Selangor MB's office was also there - (Hi Tricia!).
Read Rocky's Bru on this.
A new Britain?
Going forward for Britain?
Or, same old same old. New face only.
Over to you, David old chap!
Old? A Tory he is but Britain's youngest PM since God-knows-when.
Maybe he has the stamina to fix Britain.
Monday, May 10, 2010
According to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, the number of fatal accidents involving unlicensed teenage drivers is rising.
Department director-general Suret Singh said of the 6,500 fatal road accidents involving cars and motorcycles in 2008, 41 per cent were unlicensed drivers between the ages of 15 and 25.
Last year, 16- and 17-year-olds made up 67 per cent of unlicensed drivers who died in car crashes.
He said his department was working with other government agencies to enforce laws on motorists.
Many of us, parents, at some point, have to deal with this problem with our teenaged kids.
Heck. Some of us, were probably that naughty teenager, once upon a time.
I suppose we can relate our teenage exploits with relish and laughter. We never got caught. And if we did get caught, nothing untoward came of it. All part of growing up, we tell ourselves.
Of course, some of us, remember our mischief with a chill down our spine. A tinge of regret, even. We were just so lucky nothing untoward happened.
What we did was wrong, we all agree.
There is really no difference between yesterday's teenagers and today's. Just as testerone-charged. Just as reckless. That devil-may-care attitude.
It's just that those days, in the 60s, or 70s, were a lot different. The roads were less harsh, less cruel. Drivers were not so crazed and manic. And no mat rempits, to speak of.
I have so many friends who have to deal with their teenaged kids (no lesen) sneaking out for the drive to the mamak shop to meet their "member", usually late at night or in the wee hours of the morning because the roads are traffic-free.
It is not the norm for parents to allow their underaged kids to drive.
The key/operative words here are "sneak out".
How hidden are your car keys? Under your pillow?
I mean, it is a universal problem. In Malaysia, the US, the UK, Australia. A parent's nightmare.
How do we deal with it?
I have no answer. But we have to deal with it and try our best to prevent that kind of situation where your underaged kid gets your car keys and sneak out, driving your car.
No parent wants that because ... oh...for obvious reasons. You know what they are.
So..take care of your (teenaged) kids.
I know. It's easier said than done.
Here's what she said in a posting on her blog:
"To those who alerted me on Pantai Tower’s defacement, –Rocky Bru & Noraina Samad, thank you!! We’re on it, down with Vandalism!
Keep on the look out, guys
Izzah – out-"
So this morning (Monday, May 10), on my way to work, I checked it out. Yep. YB Izzah must've got it fixed.
See for yourself.
Picture taken 8:45am. All the management had to do was paint over the dash over the letter I. And they needed a wakil rakyat to tell them that.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
I am not in the habit of posting, er, obscenities, those sort of things.
But I am a little bothered by this (see picture).
Unless, of course, things have changed and a certain P-word is acceptable in normal lingo -- as in you wouldn't mind if I pepper my conversation with this word...
I'm not sure how long Pantai Towers have been changed to Pant.t Towers. I was driving along Lorong Bukit Pantai yesterday (Friday May 7), happened to slow down because the car in front of mine was slowing down, looked to the right and, gasp....saw it. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me -- or the morning sun, or...
Perhaps I am so old-fashioned, so conservative. So far behind time.
Heck...I maybe the only one to be somewhat shocked by the word blazing at the entrance of this apartment building.
This P-word is probably now so acceptable that it has been an accepted name of these residential units.
I remember these apartment units as Pantai Towers, located next to the Pantai Nursing Hostel on Lorong Bukit Pantai (off Jalan Bukit Pantai of THE Pantai Hills in KL).
They were pretty upscale those days. Still are, I imagine, because they are located around PANTAI (no name change yet) Hills and Bangsar.
Pantai Towers have been around for some 30 years, I believe.
Given that it's been renamed to Pant.t Towers, I guess these are no longer residential units. If they are, then the residents (and management) are absolutely fine with the new name.
So, do tell your mailman about this change of name!
Sign of the times...
If people are okay with it....then, I'd best mind my own business.