Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!

Wow. Time flies. A cliche I will continue to use without apologizing.

So, how have the last 12 months been for you?

Well, some very famous and infamous people passed away in 2011. One person I had known personally --- Indonesian writer and journalist, Rosihan Anwar. Al-Fatihah.

By the way, those resolutions you made in December 2010 -- you fulfilled them? Do you even remember them?

Oh...don't go believing that the world will end in December 2012, although with all the natural disasters across the globe brought about by crazy climate change, it makes you wonder whether it's all hogwash....

Anyway -- be a good citizen and vote in the 2012 general election. In 2008, "your vote counts" could never have been so APT.

So, here's goodbye to 2011 and HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A&W Restaurant Will "Disappear" in 2012?

...along with nine other products/brands including Sony Picture and Saab.
This list was compiled by 24/7 Wall .

Each year, 24/7 Wall St. regularly compiles a list of brands that are going to disappear in the near-term.
It compiled a list last year -- predicting the demise of T-Mobile among others.

Here's 24/7 Wall St's take on A&W:

A&W All–American Food Restaurants. A&W Restaurants is owned by fast food holding company giant Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) which has had the firm for sale since January. There have been no buyers.
The chain was founded in 1919. The size of company grew rapidly, and immediately after WWII 450 franchises were opened.
The firm pioneered the “drive in” fast food format.
A&W began to sell canned versions of its sodas in 1971 – the part of the business that will survive as a container beverage business which is now owned by Dr. Pepper/Snapple.
The A&W Restaurant business is too small to be viable now.
It had 322 outlets in the U.S and 317 outside the U.S at the end of last year. All were operated by franchisees.
By contrast, Yum!’s flagship KFC had 5,055 stories in the U.S. and 11,798 overseas. Two massive global fast food chains are even larger. Subway has 35,000 locations worldwide, and McDonald’s has nearly as many.
A&W does not have the ability to market itself against these chains and at least a dozen other fast food operators like Burger King. And, A&W does not have the size to efficiently handle food purchase, logistics, and transportation cost compared to competitors many times as large.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cannot Be Sandiwara...

I'd really like to see where all this and this are going? One's been told to shut up and the other's been to told to quit.

Ain't looking good....

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Merry Christmas, Everyone......

Peace and God Bless...

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Sultan Of Selangor: On covert attempts to convert Muslims and Apostasy.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has ordered the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) to take strategic steps to root out a subtle attempt to proselytise Muslims. "I was informed that the proselytisation of Muslims, which occurred over the last few years, was done covertly and those involved were cunning in concealing evidence," he said when opening the RM5mil Kampung Gulang-Gulang Mosque in Tanjung Karang today (Friday).

The Star has the story HERE.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We're Worse Than Myanmar, Ambiga?

Come on, Ambiga. You actually believe that?
You are very mischievous and doing the very thing that you have blasted others for.

We have less freedom under the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 compared to Myanmar's new legislation that allow street protests?

Even if you put that side by side, surely that's misleading and an erroneous conclusion.

But what you want is to hold street protests? And when you're not allowed, it is shameful? But you're allowed to assemble peacefully . Maybe that's not enough?

You want to hold street protests anywhere and at anytime without having to meet any requirement?

You take exception that we are not allowed to gather at petrol stations?

In other words you want this government to accede to all your demands and when it cannot, it is a bad undemocratic government.

So, you cavalierly say it is so shameful and that Malaysia is worse than Myanmar?

I've taken part in protests and walks before. They - penguin walk and walk for freedom (the one Ambiga/Bar Council cancelled) in 2007 - were peaceful.
The penguin or yellow walk with the lawyers in Putrajaya was memorable. Motorists honked in support. Passersby waved at us.
The Bersih 0.1 was not that peaceful. I think with such a huge mass of people, you'd expect things to get a little bit out of hand. Also politicians hijacked the whole thing...
However, I knew we were a nuisance because traffic was disrupted, among other things.

The requirements under the Peaceful Assembly Bill are nothing to get excited about. Yes, indeed, we should not stop at this.
Let's push and press for freedom.

But let's not get confused. And let's not be mischievous.

Whose freedom are you fighting for when you insist on holding street protests and gathering at petrol stations?

I think we all can make ourselves heard without protesting in the streets. Peaceful assemblies work well and effectively too.

Don't think that wanting reforms and freedom is your exclusive right or that of a few. Others before you have fought the way you would never be able to do.
Others today are less combative than you and are probably more sincere than you, and without an agenda.

You may think we're worse than Myanmar but hell, we're a lot better than the US! In this first world country whose great democracy some people worship -- you can't even assemble peacefully. Of course, it is debatable whether or not the Occupy protesters are depriving others' their freedom to go to the park.

By the way, how was the walk to parliament yesterday? Any problems along the way?


Friday, November 18, 2011

Kedah May Implement Hudud, After Kelantan

Kedah Islamic Religious, Education and Cooperative Committee chairman Mohamed Taulan Mat Rasul said this in Alor Star yesterday.

Kedah will implement hudud law after Kelantan has done so, he said.

Mohamed Taulan remarked that although Kelantan had passed the law, it could not be implemented as the Federal Government had yet to give its approval.

“We want to see how Kelantan does it, then we will do it here,” he said in his winding-up speech for the 2012 Budget meeting at the State Assembly.

(source:The Star)

Bush and Blair On "War Crime Trial" In Malaysia

Tomorrow, Saturday (Nov 19),The Malaysian Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW) will hold a symbolic four-day war crimes trial against former US president George W Bush, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and some former US officials on charges in connection to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

It will be held in an open court at the headquarters of the Al- Bukhary Foundation in Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur and is open to the public.

The trial will be adjudicated by the Kuala Lumpur War Crime Tribunal (KLWCC). It will be conducted by seven senior judges headed by retired Federal Court judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman.

Bush and Blair will be tried in absentia as they and other defendants have yet to respond to the tribunal's notice.

The KLWCC is charging Bush and Blair with crimes against peace for invading Iraq in violation of the UN Charter and international law.

The KLWCC is also charging Bush and seven other former US officials, including former Vice-President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, with the crime of torture and war crimes for their treatment of prisoners throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The group alleges that the US leaders acted in violation of the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

KLFCW secretary-general Datuk Dr Yaacob Hussain Marican said the tribunal was being convened for the third time since 2007.

Yaacob said the tribunal of conscience was modelled on the one convened by philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1966 to try the perpetrators of the Vietnam War.

Yaacob said although the tribunal lacked enforcement powers, it would publish the verdict to get the world community to treat the accused as guilty persons.

"The charges are being brought against the accused by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, which comes under our foundation, following in-depth investigations into complaints received from war victims in 2009.

"The commission acts as a peoples' initiative to provide an avenue for victims to file their complaints and let them have their day in a court of law."

Professor Gurdial S. Nijar, a law professor and author of law publications, and Professor Francis Boyle, an American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law, will head the prosecution during the trial.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is an initiative of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who staunchly opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Survey: Penang Malays feel Marginalised

A survey by the Ilham Centre, an emerging think-tank with ties to PAS, shows that 80% of Malays in three constituencies – Kepala Batas, Tasik Gelugor and Bayan Lepas – believe they have been marginalised under the Pakatan Rakyat government. This is in contrast to 47% who think that Umno had not fulfilled their expectations.

The issue of PAS becoming a puppet of the DAP and PKR was listed as the top national issue for them. A total of 55% said they were concerned PAS was being used by its Pakatan partners.

The survey was carried out early last month in the parliamentary constituencies of Kepala Batas and Tasik Gelugor and the state seat of Bayan Lepas, all of which are currently held by Umno.

Former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop are the respective incumbents in Kepala Batas and Tasik Gelugor, which were won with big majorities. However, Barisan Nasional won Bayan Lepas by only 399 votes.

PAS is believed to be looking for a safe seat for its deputy president Mohamad Sabu in Penang where Mohd Salleh Man is its sole assemblyman in Permatang Pasir.

Race and other communal issues figured prominently as priorities among the Malays. For instance, in terms of national issues, 47% said race and ethnicity issues would affect the way they vote, followed by Malay supremacy and special rights (43%), development (36%) and Malay welfare and Islam (29%).

Only 16% named PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a national issue and 9% thought that the sodomy and sex video was an issue.

However, Anwar was not seen as a state or local leader whom they looked up to, although 30% said they respected Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and 13% recognised deputy Chief Minister Datuk Mansor Othman.

For more than 50% of those interviewed, local Umno figures in their vicinity were regarded as those whom they recognised and respected. Only 3% regarded state Opposition chief Datuk Azhar Ibrahim as their leader while less than 3% saw Penang Umno chief Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman as a local leader.

Of the local factors that would affect the way they vote, 55% of them said it was about the Malays being sidelined by the DAP leadership. This was followed by the Chief Minister’s personal image and the perception of DAP cronyism (52%), cost of living and opportunities (45%), Chinese dominance if Pakatan wins again (40%), the Penang economy and people’s welfare (29%), and inadequate infrastructure and ame-nities (25%).

The report noted that PAS did not enjoy a high profile in Penang and was not seen as a champion of Malay interests. Local PAS leaders like Mat Sabu and Parit Buntar MP Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa were not perceived as Penang leaders although the latter was from the state.

According to the report, Anwar’s influence in Penang was confined largely to Permatang Pauh where he is an MP. PKR’s multi-racial outlook also did not appeal to the Malays.

The Malays interviewed still looked to Umno for Malay leadership although they did not like the way the mamaks or Indian-Muslims dominate Umno politics in the state. About 53% said Umno looked after them well compared to 26% who said Pakatan had done the same.

(source: Joceline Tan of The Star)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

We're Not In A Mess, Says National Feedlot Corp

NFC executive chairman Dr Mohamed Salleh Ismail met with the press today:

Here's the NST report:

GEMAS: Insisting it has nothing to hide, National Feedlot Corp has come out to counter allegations levelled at the nation’s biggest cattle farming company.

Salleh revealed that the company bought two condominiums for RM6.9million each in Bangsar, a move he considered as a “good business decision” as it gave better investment returns than keeping NFC funds in fixed deposits.

He denied opposition allegations that the cattle-rearing venture in Gemas was a failure, saying that it would start showing profits from now on after a two-year start-up and some teething problems.

“I am a scientist and businessman. I started the Technology Park. I was there for 18 years. It is successful. When I put up my business plan for this feedlot, I knew I would make it successful. We are now expanding in the third year of our business.”

In an intense two-hour press conference at the sprawling farm, Salleh, who had previously headed Technology Park Malaysia, said NFC did not make money in the first year as they were starting from scratch, “fork to farm”.

He said his company had secured the project in a selective tender, where five other companies had also put in bids, and not because his wife was a minister.

His wife Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the minister of women, family and community development.

Salleh said the company’s presentation during the selection process was clear, simple and had noble plans of helping to transform cattle-rearing in rural areas into a business and to see a reduction in food imports.
“Our goals are clear.”

The media were also taken on a tour of its mini-abattoir to watch the slaughtering and packing process. Later, they were taken to the 607ha centre that holds about 1,500 head of cattle. The next batch of cattle will be arriving at the end of this month bringing the number in the feedlot to 4,000.

The centre also has offices, a lab, feed store and accommodation.

Salleh kept his composure throughoutthe two hours as he was grilled by reporters on the assortment of allegations made by the opposition and on the running of the project.

He explained that the company has a special loan account under the soft loan facility amounting to RM250 million, of which there was still a balance of RM69 million.

"We take the money when we need it. We have not started paying yet," he said to print and electronic media in a small meeting room at the NFC.

Under the agreement, he said the company will start paying for the private project with a two per cent government interest a year once they have used the entire loan and after the government builds a large abattoir at NFC. Now, the centre has a mini abattoir.

The company will pay RM7 million for 17 years to clear the debt taken from the government in 2009, he said.

He revealed that NFC owned not one but two luxury condominiums in Bangsar, One Merenung.

On the two units of luxury condo, he said it was a good investment made under the company's name and not under an individual.

"If we keep the money in FD (fixed deposit), we make 3.5 per cent a year. But rental is giving us RM12.9 per cent returns.

"We also have rebates from the developer. It is a business decision.

"Furthermore, if anyone asks why is it in Bangsar? Because property prices here do not drop.

"Even if we sell at the same price, we make money because the rental for each unit is RM17,000 a month," he said.

He was also asked on the 2012 Auditor-General's Report this year which had said the NFC was in a "mess".

He said if one were to look at the details at the A-G's report, NFC had met the target.

He explained that the centre had 8,016 cows as compared with the target of 8,000 cattle last year.

"The problems were the road leading to NFC which are not tarred. That road is under the government."

The report also highlighted on the poorly kept grass and the unkempt pond.

"There was nothing we could do because the A-G came to visit us just after the Gemas floods."

On the A-G's report which stated that the NFC only reached 41.1 per cent of its target for last year, he said there were two ways to look at it.

The first was the cattle, which were from Australia, took about four to six months before it could be slaughtered.

Furthermore, he said they were new in the business and did not have the market to sell their meat.

"We did not have proper certification from the Veterinary Department.

"That took six months. No one wanted to buy from us until we had approval for the meat sold from the department."

Last year, he said the sale of meat went up after receiving approval from the department.

He said even though it was a home-based meat production venture, but for a start they had to visit several countries, one of them being Australia to secure the cattle.

He said the feedlot was crucial for food security of the country.

At persent, the local consumption was 29 per cent while the remainder was imported.

The company, which started in 2009, was given a 30-year contract by the government with an extension of another 30 years.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat had also said the company's record showed a further RM2,640.93 of cattle was donated on Nov 30, 2009 to Yunus Rahmat, a Klawang assemblyman and a state executive councillor in Negri Sembilan.

However, Salleh said one cow was given to both for korban purposes.

"The donation was from us. It is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility. We sit in their area. It is a good gesture. We cannot give any less. So that is why we gave one cow."

He said former Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique had also taken on credit several thousand ringgit worth of cows two years ago.

"He has settled his debt," said Salleh.

He was also asked on the opposition's claim that Shahrizat had taken RM26, 400 from the NFC account for her personal use.

An Appeal from Wikipedia's Founder Jimmy Wales

You may have already read this everytime you click on Wikipedia.
Just in case you have not, here's Jimmy's appeal for us all:

Google might have close to a million servers. Yahoo has something like 13,000 staff. We have 679 servers and 95 staff.

Wikipedia is the #5 site on the web and serves 450 million different people every month – with billions of page views.

Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn't belong here. Not in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others.

When I founded Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different. We’ve worked hard over the years to keep it lean and tight. We fulfill our mission, and leave waste to others.

If everyone reading this donated $5, we would only have to fundraise for one day a year. But not everyone can or will donate. And that's fine. Each year just enough people decide to give.

This year, please consider making a donation of $5, €10, ¥1000 or whatever you can to protect and sustain Wikipedia.


Jimmy Wales
Wikipedia Founder

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Should Malaysians Abroad Vote?

No, says M Bakri Musa, a Malaysian abroad.

This is his point of view:

Malaysians Abroad Should Not Vote
M. Bakri Musa

Malaysians abroad are misguided and plain wrong in agitating for exercising their right to vote in Malaysian elections.

I can the see the validity for students, diplomats and others on temporary assignment abroad demanding such rights, but then they already have them. For others, especially those who have acquired permanent resident status elsewhere, their clamor for retaining their right to vote in Malaysian elections is misplaced for at least three major reasons.

The first and most important is that since they do not live in Malaysia, they would not have to bear the burden of the consequences of their voting decision. Second, those Malaysians are essentially seeking representation without taxation; that is presumptuous. Third, since they had sought permanent residency status abroad, their focus should now be to prove to their new host country that they are deserving of such a status. Meaning, they should focus their attention, indeed loyalty, to their new adopted land.

My last reason is not major but merely financial. There are considerable added costs to have Malaysians abroad vote in Malaysian elections; I would rather have the government spend that money and resources in Malaysia.

Elections Have Consequences

For an action to be meaningful its consequence must affect the participants, otherwise the exercise is merely academic or worse, a game. It may be a fun game for those abroad to vote in Malaysian elections, but for the locals who have to live with the consequences, it would not be so. In short, Malaysians abroad participating in Malaysian elections are engaged in a fraudulent act besides muddying the waters for the “natives” who have to live with the results.

It is also the height of presumptuousness for those residing abroad to seek political representation but at the same time dispensing with paying their share of the costs, meaning, Malaysian taxes. Americans abroad have a right to vote not only because of the fact that they are citizens, but also because they are taxed on their worldwide income. An American may earn her entire income in Malaysia and in ringgit, nonetheless she still has to pay her share of income tax to Uncle Sam as if she had earned that income stateside. So I can see her demanding her right to vote and that the American embassy provides her the necessary facility so she can readily exercise that right.

Malaysians abroad in contrast do not pay any Malaysian income tax, unless they have Malaysian sources of income, and those Malaysians already retain their right to vote. If the rallying cry of those original New England “Tea Party” colonists back in the 17th Century was “No taxation without representation,” today we have Malaysians abroad who pay no Malaysian tax yet perversely are demanding their right for representation without taxation. Absurd if not arrogant!

The Election Commission’s retort to them should be, paraphrasing the famous words of John Hampden uttered at the height of the English Civil War, what a Malaysian abroad has no right to demand, their home government has a right to refuse.

Malaysians abroad on permanent residency visas should not seek or be given the right to vote in Malaysian elections because they have essentially decided that there is no hope for them in Malaysia. If they were to harbor any sliver of hope for change, then they would have stayed behind and agitated for change from there, where their efforts would have the potential of having the greatest impact.

Besides, having made the emotionally wrenching decision to emigrate, their main focus now should be to adjust to that decision and make the best of it. Thus they should endeavor to plant roots in their new adopted community, be an active and contributing member, and not be bothered with matters (especially political ones) they left behind.

If they should be clamoring for any voting rights, it should be for the right to vote in the affairs of their new community, if for no other practical reason than that those decisions will now directly impact them.

If after adjusting well in their new adopted community, these émigré Malaysians still retain a reservoir of goodwill and gratitude for their homeland and wish to contribute, then there are other more productive avenues to do so than to agitate for the right to vote in Malaysian elections.

Eradicating the “Temporary Abode” Mentality

There is something irritating when I see Malaysians holding green cards or otherwise having permanent resident status being more concerned with Malaysian affairs then they are with those of their adopted homeland. If as a non-native in a new land I feel that way, imagine what the real natives would feel. In America I see frequent backlashes against Mexican-Americans for example, who are more concerned with affairs south of the border than they are with matters American.

A green card (or any permanent resident status) is a privilege; literally millions in the world would give anything to secure one. Having secured one and then to treat it so cavalierly is being disrespectful to the grantor state. Worse, that is the height of ingratitude. In fact in some jurisdictions, any political involvement with affairs back in the “old country” would be grounds for rescinding that permanent resident status.

Permanent resident status is more than a long-term permit to work; it is a statement of your intent to be a permanent resident of that country, as the terminology of the document implies. In many countries permanent residents are granted nearly as full a privilege as citizens. Thus it behooves the holders of such visas to exercise their privileges in such a way as to demonstrate to the host country that they value and thus are deserving of such a status.

If I were a native Singaporean, for example, I would not be too happy to see the republic’s permanent resident visa holders more interested in Malaysian rather than the island’s elections. Indeed there is now a palpable backlash among the republic’s citizens to these new permanent residents who treat the affluent island merely as a place to earn a good income and nothing more.

Malaysians would not be too enthralled either if foreigners granted Malaysian permanent residency status were to preoccupy themselves with matters in their former native land while ignoring local affairs.

A common complaint among Malays is that too many non-Malays treat their Malaysian citizenship merely as a stepping stone for them or their children to emigrate to the West. Thus Malays see the lack of enthusiasm by non-Malays to learning our national language as a manifestation of this “temporary abode” mentality. So when these Malaysians emigrate and then agitate to have the right to vote in Malaysian elections, they are reverting to their old stereotypical “temporary abode” behavior, albeit not in Malaysia this time but in their new home country.

Just to be clear, I am directing my comments not to those Malaysians on temporary assignment abroad as students, civil servants and company employees. For students especially, I would encourage and give them every facility to vote. Doing so would be the best way to get them engaged in the affairs of their homeland. God knows, if they were back in Malaysia their political activities would be severely circumscribed. At least abroad they would be free to partake in full in the political affairs of Malaysia.

If the Malaysian government were to give in and pander to those abroad (parties in power tend to do that!) then I suggest that those voters be made to pay for the full costs of making the necessary accommodations. In my estimation, a fee of US$100.00 per voter would be appropriate, at least in America. That fee would of course be waived for those with proof of payment of their Malaysian income tax in the preceding year.

Impose that fee and then see how many abroad still remain “passionate” about Malaysian affairs to demand the right to vote in its elections. Now if those expatriate Malaysians were as passionate in seeking amendments to the Income Tax Act to making their global income subject to Malaysian taxes as they are in clamoring for their rights to vote in Malaysian elections, then I would salute them, but I would still not support it simply because of the costs it would impose on me.

The Malaysian Election Commission faces a host of monumental problems not least of which would be to clean up the electoral roll and streamline the postal voting process for those already in Malaysia, as with the police and military personnel. The clamor of Malaysians abroad seeking the right to vote is so far down the list that I can hardly see it. Further, I see little merit in representation without taxation.

Friday, November 04, 2011

We Got It Wrong, says The West Australian.

...over its report on Monday that the (Malaysian) Prime Minister's daughter went on a AUS$60k shopping spree at a shopping centre - David Jones - in Perth.

Good that the newspaper quickly published the correction.

But, c'mon, mate. No sorry? You published a false report.


Below is the newspaper report that appeared on Monday, Oct 31.
You know, while her dad was busy at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), she was with the Commonwealth leaders' spouses shopping like there's no tomorrow.

Oooh...nice juicy colour story.

But, it was not true.

And, oh, a little naughty on the part of the newspaper for mentioning that First Lady, just before mentioning Najib's daughter.

So, some people who've got a problem with Najib being the PM and Rosmah being the woman behind the power, or just (with) Rosmah because they are convinced she is the power, happily and so readily accused Rosmah of being that first lady who bought those darn pearls.

Tsk tsk..

Anyway, the daily, in its letters page, has acknowledged its error and that Najib's daughter was not in Perth at the time. This followed a letter sent to the them by Malaysia's Consul-General in Perth, Hamidah Ashari, to say that it was not true that Najib's daughter went on that shopping spree in Perth at that time.

She said her office was appalled upon reading the article.

"The consulate-general wishes to put on record that the daughter of the prime minister was not part of the prime minister's delegation attending CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) 2011 nor was she ever in Perth at that time.

"Therefore the allegation of her making the purchase is not true," Hamidah said in the letter.

Below is the Letters page of The West Australian. The correction is at the bottom right under the heading "Corrections & Clarifications".

I remember reading the report (when in Perth for the CHOGM) and was wondering who it was that The West Australian reporter thought (or was convinced) was Najib's daughter because we all knew that she was not in the city.
Najib, (everyone knew), was accompanied by Rosmah, besides the Malaysian delegation among whom were two Cabinet ministers -- (foreign) Anifah Aman and (International trade and industry) Mustapa Mohamed.

How did the newspaper get it wrong? Did they really see someone resembling Najib's daughter and assume it was Najib's daughter or did someone feed them that wrong info?

Whatever it was, the newspaper did not check their facts.

Anyway, Najib who is in Mecca to perform the haj, was asked a question in twitter on Wednesday. It was from @LawRyan34.

The tweet was: "@NajibRazak according to news, your lovely wife purchased a neckless worth a whopping 150k. Your daughter spend bout 60k."

He replied on the same day:"@LawRyan34 ....Don't believe n spread lies. My daughter was not even in Australia n my wife did not buy any jewellery."

Naah...he didn't threaten to sue anyone.
He didn't even bark or create a damn fuss or made a political issue out of it.

Some people must be really disappointed that the report was not true.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

COW's Sex Book Banned....

A day late...but never mind..

I posted about the explicit sex guide book by the Club of Obedient Wives (COW) recently so I thought I should post this follow-up : that the Home Ministry has banned the book and anyone in possession of it can be fined RM5,000.

Home Ministry official Abdul Aziz Md Nor was quoted by the Star newspaper as saying that the book was banned because its content infringed censorship laws and because it was linked to the banned Al-Arqam group. that the book is banned, don't go trying to get one..

My opinion -- so misleading in most parts as the writer tries to weave sex and Islam, that the arguments got to be so ridiculous and hilarious.

Joondalup and Kuantan : Top Liveable Cities in the World

Joondalup and Nansha (Guangzhou in China) got gold and Kuantan got the silver in the International Awards for Liveable Cities.

The first time a Malaysian city ever got an award since LivCom Awards - endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme - was launched in 1997.

Syabas, Kuantan!

Anyway, I was in Perth, Western Australia for the CHOGM assignment last week. I stayed in a regular hotel in the city - about a five-minute walk to the Perth Convention and Exhibition centre where the summit was held and the venue of the media centre.

A few close friends of mine arrived a few days later, also for the summit. They were not in the media delegation so they were staying elsewhere -- far from the madding crowd.

And where were they staying, these friends of mine?

"Ooh...some place called Jundelup or something," one replied.

As it turned out the place was called Joondalup. The name sounds strange to a non-Australian but certainly not to Aussies -- aboriginal words and names are all part of their psyche and culture.
To me, it was musical...Aussie aboriginal names are not unfamiliar to me.

Joondalup is an aboriginal word , (according to wikipedia to possibly mean "place of whiteness or glistening".

For a bit of time, that word tickled us. They kept mispronouncing it, or pretending to.

I asked them how the place was.

"Oh...somewhere far...isolated. There's nothing here," was the very early description, on their arrival there.

A day later, they found the place to be "not so bad for a faraway place".

Later on, the place probably grew on them because they kind of liked it.

"We found some really nice restaurants...."

I decided to check out the place. A 30-minute train ride from Perth.

Although I arrived there about 8pm, I was impressed by the little that I saw. From the train stop, I walked into a nice shopping centre which was not too large. I past several restaurants, a supermarket and so on. Outside towards my destination, I walked along a row of shops, and I thought "this is a nice small town".

It was well-designed.

Well, it is not "just a small town" -- it is a city. And a very nice one too.

While I was there, I read in the papers that Joondalup was listed the most liveable city in the 150,001 to 400,000 population category, at the LivCom Awards held this year in Songpa, South Korea.

Read it here, here

Some small town!

The awards recognize communities with the best lifestyle for its’ residents.

Kuantan, as I have mentioned, got third billing after Joondalup and Nansha.

The news report read:

WA cities have been voted among the most liveable places in the world, winning five medals at the United Nations-backed Livcom Awards.

In the competition's largest ever pool, Joondalup was named the most liveable city with a population of 150,000-400,000.

It beat second-place Nansha, in Guangzhou province, China and Kuantan, Malaysia."

Not bad. Not bad!

Way to go!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

PERTH - and why they all stayed and stayed....

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last week , ended Sunday.

The flags and banners are still up everywhere in and around the city. Everyone knows about CHOGM.
Foreign journalists and delegates were going around the city with their tags on them.

Security was tight but not as, say, in the US, where the President would be staying or be going to. They're paranoid, these Americans. Can't quite blame them. But so over and over cautious and, yep, paranoid.

And their (American) security guys and gals, very FBI-like (maybe they are FBI), look fierce and unfriendly.
They look at you like you're going to, er, blow up their buildings or, know do some mischief to their president.

Over here, well, at least in Perth, don't know about the other Oz cities -- the policemen and women, those uniformed security guys -- they are nice when keeping the peace during CHOGM. They are friendly. And they talk nice to you.

Actually, come to think of it -- most people in Perth are nice. never met a not-nice person in Perth.

I tell you, if you have no commitment in Malaysia, or you have nolove for your tanah tumpah darah and you have great skills and talents (don't know whether this is a requirement), you'd want to come here and stay.

In my short stay here, I've met so many Malaysians -- of all races, and surprisingly a lot of Malays who are permanent residents here or who are Oz citizens.

Unlike most Malaysians I've met in the US, the UK and some European countries, (so many of) the Malays (I'll touch on them because I spoke to many of them) here, have been living in Western Australia for decades..

"I've lived here for 40 years," said one.

"30 tahun dah", said another.

They've got families here.

"It's a good place to live", they seemed to echo.

Also there are quite a number of Malaysian eating places including Malay restaurants. There's Insan's Cafe run by a guy from Shah Alam, Makan-Makan Cafe (run by a guy from Terengganu) that's hugely popular with Malaysian and foreign students because it closes at 11pm, and several others.

A new one, Makan-Makan Bistro just opened about a week ago. It is run by the Makan-Makan Cafe guy and his partners, one of whom is a lady from Shah Alam.

Back to the the Malays here -- The Malays who've been here the longest, originated from Singapore and Malacca who were working in the phosphate mines in Christmas Island.

They came to Perth -- some after the Japanese occupation of Christmas Island, or following some dispute with their employers -- and were given an option -- to return to Malaya or to come and reside in Australia. That was decades ago.

Some were working as divers and after they retired, they stayed on.

So I was told.

Then there are former students of Australian institutes of higher learning who continued staying here, found good jobs, married Australians, had families etc. But many Malaysians married Malaysians they met here as well.
And, of course, the immigrants (from Malaysia) who came to this part of Australia looking for greener pasture and found it.

I was told that there are some 20,000 Malaysians in Western Australia, out of whom around 10,000 are Malays.

And I believe that this is the biggest number of Malays, and Malaysians (diaspora) in one single place, living off Malaysian soil and shores.

I do not wonder at all why they like or love this western Australian city.

I've always liked Australia the first time I visited the cities. Then, when I went to Canada, I liked it, a little bit more than Australia. So, if I were compelled to make a choice of residing abroad, it would be either a Canadian or Australian city.
The downside about Canada, is that it is so far away....

I've lived in the US, visited several major European cities including the UK several times. But, never felt like I'd want to stay longer than I should. Maybe London because of familiarity and people I know.
Or Boston (where I went to study) maybe. Or New York -- love the energy, the vibrance...
Not even Paris or Rome (great places to visit).

Certainly not in the way I'd speak of Canada or Australia.

Canada (well, at least, in Ontario) and Australia are nice places to live, to raise your kids. Great public transport, education, many good things. The people are nice. Well, the ones I've met and come across with, anyway. And there are many.

Now, PERTH -- it is a really good, decent city. You get the feeling that the local government and authorities are doing so much for the people.

Public transport (bus) in the city is free. No traffic jam in the city. most shops and businesses are closed by 5 or 6pm. You'd get used to that. Only visiting Malaysians complain about this.
Anyway, going home when you should means that you know how to work and live your life.
Man, the Aussies (in Perth) sure do.
(I bet they live longer than us here in KL)

You can see them working out in the mornings and evenings -- running or cycling around or in their great public parks.

People are not rude. Motorists are not rude.

They don't look stressed. They look happy. Always smiling. Always polite....

Haven't met a rude Australian, though I'm sure there are some not nice things (and people). Just haven't come across any..

Oh..maybe that news report about a certain daughter of a certain PM who was said to have spent $60,000 shopping?
And she wasn't even in Perth. The newspaper got that wrong. Hate to think that they didn't check their facts first.....

Anyway....I know why these Malaysians (and others) decided to stay on in this lovely city.

But one thing is a bummer -- rising property prices....

(By the way...Sheila Majid was performing here for two nights -  one was for a Malaysian businessmen's dinner...)

(And also -- the Al-Aqram outfit -- Club of Obedient Wives (Cow)? They got a restaurant here -- "Love and Care" right in the centre of the city...I'll ask them to change the name to "Love, Care and Share".)

Perth is getting more and more prosperous. I wonder whether the city will one day pay the price of "progress", if it hasn't already.

Or it will be wise in dealing with "progress".

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Deepavali!

Wishing my Hindu friends a happy Deepavali!

And happy holidays!

Monday, October 24, 2011

CHOGM 2011 Perth

Well here I am in Perth, Western Australia to cover the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
This is the third time I've been assigned to cover the event.
The first was when KL hosted CHOGM in 1989. At the end of the meeeting, the Langkawi Declaration on Environment was issued.
The Kuala Lumpur Statement - "Southern Africa:The Way Ahead" maintained pressure on the Pretoria regime and endorsed the programme to bring peace and democracy to South Africa outlined in 1986.
And as we all know, in 1990, South Africa's beloved son, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and later was to become the country's first black President.
It was memorable for me as I covered press conferences by the late Benazir Bhutto (then Pakistan Prime Minister) and Margaret Thatcher (then British PM).
Also met with many anti-Apartheid activists from South Africa.
And yes, Dr Mahathir was our PM then.

My second time was in 1999 in Durban, South Africa. Just a couple of days before the meeting, I received a call from my boss that Dr Mahathir would not be attending CHOGM because he was going to announce the general election.
I was to have met up with (then Business Times journalist) Fauziah Ismail who was then in Johannesburg and was to come to Durban to cover the meeting but our plan was cancelled as both of us were called back home to get prepared for the elections.

So, I've decided to post a report on CHOGM in Perth.

PERTH (Monday Oct 24): The 2011 *Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) begins Friday but celebrations in this western australian city began yesterday evening with the colourful and exuberant "Commonwealth Festival".

The Supreme Court Gardens was filled with crowds of people as they watched performances and listened to music in the cool spring evening.
The event will go on for the whole week.

CHOGM banners and flags of the **53 commonwealth member nations are flying high in this city of lights, as Australia plays host to CHOGM this year.
The theme, "Building National Resilience, Building Global Resilience".
This is the third time Australia is hosting the event. The first two were in Melbourne (1981) and in Coolum (2002).

This makes Australia the first nation to host CHOGM three times.

Perth, known as the city of lights, is already on security lockdown with police and military deployed in and around the Perth Convention and exhibition Centre where the main events will be held as well as the Pan Pacific Hotel where the leaders -- mostly presidents and prime ministers -- will be staying.

Some leaders have already arrived.

Helicopters are seen hovering over the city. Even the water police are actively patrolling the waters.

Reportedly costing AUS$37 million,this is the highest ever spent for security in Australia.

Policemen are not only from the state but the rest of the country and from overseas, according to TV reports.

"Every bag searched and every person scanned around the security areas," said a broadcast journalist.

Queen Elizabeth who is Head of the Commonwealth, arrives here on Wednesday. She is already in the country for a six-day visit.

On Thursday, foreign ministers of the Commonwealth will hold their customary meeting known as the pre-CHOGM foreign ministers meeting.

*Every two years, Commonwealth leaders ,eet to discuss global and Commonwealth issues and to agree on collectiev policies and initiatives. this summits provide a unique forum for consultation at the highest level of government. They are organized by the host nation in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat.
**(There are 54 members, but Fiji was suspended in 2009 pending the restoration of a democratically elected government)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Surely Good News For Many Malaysian Families

I still think we should put into place a support system for families who need domestic help, particularly, working mothers, for the long-term.

We cannot go on with this freeze, no more freeze, freeze.....on maid recruitment.

Handbook On Islamic Sex....

I thought it was a normal-sized book. But "Seks Islam" published by the Club of Obedient Wives (COW) is a booklet, 115 pages. Eleven chapters.

Here's how it looks like:

You see who's on the cover?
Anyway on the back cover is written:

"Selaku pemimpin roh, kebolehan yang Allah izinkan kepada mereka ialah boleh serentak dengan semua isteri-isteri melakukan hubungan jenis. Manakala kalau isteripun orang roh, lagilah hebat. Ke mana-mana terbang untuk atau sambil melakukan hubungan sulti itu dalam keadaan lebih nikmat dan lebih ringan dibanding dengan perlakuan yang menggunakan fizikal. Untuk itulah Abuya sedang proses isteri-isterinya ke arah roh."


This handbook is sold only to COW members and those already married.
"Hanya untuk ahli dan mereka yang sudah kahwin".

Odd. Cow members are all married, right?

Anyway, they still have to fork out RM50 for a copy.

These people...they're a cult. Practising an Islam I'm not familiar with.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I Want To Join A Sex Club, I mean ..CULT

The Club Of Obedient Wives (COW) should be renamed The Cult Of Obedient Wives. But even the name is a misnomer.

They are really a bunch of women who have got sex on their mind. Well, mainly sex.
I wish, though, that they don't use Islam to explain why they do what they do. Also I wish they'd just take off their "jubah" and veil and just come clean.

So, COW, no pretenses - about yourselves, your views on marriage and everything else on the planet.

Just say that - hey: the panacea to everything bad in this universe is, sex. Good sex. And we'll tell you how.
Also, please be a slave to your husband. Especially in bed. That way. they'll never leave you for another woman.

But, hey...most, if not all, of the marriages COW members are in, are polygamous. So how's that as a guide to a blissful and long-lasting marriage? Share and share alike?

So, excuse me if I think that these women are actually sex pots in jubah and veil. With equally sexed-up spouses. the way, COW has just published a book: Seks Islam, Perangi Yahudi untuk Kembalikan Seks Islam kepada Dunia ("Islamic Sex, Fighting Against Jews To Return Islamic Sex").
I have no idea what it means except that it must be about Islamic sex and that we must fight the Jews so we can return to Islamic sex.

What a struggle!

I haven't read it. But according to those who have, the 115-paged book is all about -- surprise, surprise, sex.
There is a part that encourages a polygamous man to have an orgy with his wives.

Oh dear, oh far behind have these cows made us go?
Yes, therapists will tell you that intimacy, physical contact etc is important in a marriage...but must not be a sex slave to your husband...

Women are screwed if COW appeals to many of our sisters...

COW claims to have 800 members in Malaysia and branches in Singapore, Indonesia and Jordan.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

PKNS! Mana Boleh Macam Ini!

So, what is your excuse, PKNS, for approving a mega project on this padang?

When the LDP was first built years ago, it was wonderful. I could get to Kelana Jaya from Taman Tun Dr Ismail or Section 16, in PJ, in 10 minutes. It was a breeze.

Then surely and steadily, projects -- residential and commercial -- began to be built along and around the LDP. Before long, the LDP became congested...worse and worse, until today.

And you approved a mega project on the padang!??

How would all this "enhance the living standards of the residents"?

The NST report:

PETALING JAYA: The 30-year-old Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) field in Kelana Jaya is likely to make way for a mega mixed- development project.

The project comprises five 35-storey apartment blocks and two 15-storey business complexes.

The move has irked the 10,000 residents of SS7 near the 7.55ha field.

The development was "discovered" when five residents in the area received a feedback notice on the project from the Petaling Jaya City Council dated Sept 23. The notice stated that the residents had 21 days to provide feedback on the project.

SS7 neighbourhood action committee chairman Datuk Zul Mukhshar Md Shaari said the construction would lead to pollution of the area.

It would also worsen the traffic congestion on the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP) as well as SS7's inner roads.

"According to the circular, 2,891 units will be built. Imagine the huge number of cars then."

Zul said it would be a great loss to the sporting arena if the project took off.

The PKNS field and the sports complex have a legacy spanning three decades, besides being one of the venues for the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

"We would like to appeal to the state government to look into this issue as it is built on state land and to consider the effects on the residents," Zul said.

He said residents had put up with numerous projects in their area in the past.

"We had suffered and there should be a stop to this. This area is getting saturated."

He urged the city council to listen to the residents as the land was designated for sports or recreational use.

Zul also said the district land office had classified the PKNS field as a "clubhouse/recreational" zone. He said by law, it could not be sold or change hands without the permission of relevant authorities.

"We are not against development but we urge authorities to build more sustainable projects which protect the greenery and improve the overall living standards."

Committee member Datuk Bahador Shah Md Isa said Kelana Jaya residents were already facing many high-rise developments in the area.

"PKNS should be building public amenities that would benefit residents. They should not just clear greenery for the sake of raking in profits."

SS7 resident Maria Samad was disappointed that the city council only sent out circulars and feedback forms to a few houses.

"Only five received the letters. Most are left in the dark," she said.

Kelana Jaya member of parliament Loh Gwo Burne said the residents claims were legitimate and the developers would have to explain the development in detail.

He said the residents' views were important and the developers should also upgrade the residential inner roads to prevent bad traffic flow.

Loh said he was informed that the council would call for a meeting with all the stakeholders of the project by the end of the month.

A PKNS spokesman said the whole area would be redeveloped to enhance the living standards of its residents.

He said the project would include sports facilities as well as a dedicated ramp connecting the area with the LDP to disperse the anticipated increase in traffic.

"The SS7 residents' privacy will be guaranteed. Cars will not pass through the area as they will use the ramp from LDP," the official said.

Waiting For Hudud.....

Hudud Or No Hudud --
I'm not worried about Hudud ever being implemented in the country. I'm no constitutional lawyer but I've been reading articles by lawyers, including constitutional experts who have said that it cannot be implemented because to do so would run against the Federal Constitution which stands supreme.

Besides the fact that no one qualified to talk about the Shariah has offered an explanation of what Hudud is and how it is going to be implemented and enforced.

There are so many questions that are unanswered. Simple questions.

All we've seen are examples of the enforcement of the Shariah in some African countries. Afghanistan and Pakistan, showing such barbarism, cruelty and inhumanity (beheading, stoning and execution by a shooting) that if those are a reflection of what Malaysia is going to be with Hudud, then it will be one time, Malaysians of all races and beliefs will come together and national protests and rallies will be made lawful.

Is there a Malaysian version of Hudud? What about the Kelantan version?

Anyway, I will not go into details on this because the opinions of legal experts are all over print publications and the internet.

And even if the opposition grouping wins big in federal seats, I'm pretty sure the Pan Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS or Parti Se Islam Malaysia) will not get a two-thirds majority for Hudud.

I mean, I've read enough to also know that even Muslims (and there are many) are against the implementation of Hudud laws.

So far, the enforcement of (enactments of) Shariah in the country has been selective, petty and unpleasant and smacked of arrogance on part of officers . Thus, even if at the end of it I am convinced that Hudud is good for the country, I will still not be convinced that it will be enforced fairly. Simply put, I don't have faith in our religious authorities to implement it.

This talk of Hudud resurfaced last month, following a pronouncement by Pan Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS or Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) spiritual guide Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat who is the Kelantan Menteri Besar, that the party and its partners in the opposition grouping should resume talks on Hudud.

Nik Aziz sent shock waves among the opposition grouping, especially the DAP because Pas' struggle to set up an Islamic state and implement Hudud was supposed to have been "irrevocably laid to rest" (to quote DAP chairman Karpal Singh) with the welfare state resolution held by the Pas muktamar this year. Besides, the opposition partnership is based on common political framework. And Pas' Islamic state and hudud agenda is not in it.

Karpal, to say the least, was taken aback, and described Nik Aziz's pronoucement as an "outburst". Of course, the Bukit Gelugor MP was not the only one.

The chorus of attacks from DAP was loud and clear.

Meanwhile, Nik Aziz attempted to reassure his friends. In his Facebook, he said: I guaranty if hudud punishment is being implemented in Kelantan, it would not take effect upon the non-Muslims because this punishment only governs Muslims.

The issue became so contentious between PAS and DAP with PAS tellling DAP that they could leave the opposition grouping if they objected to it, and DAP threatening that they might just do that. All this really is not good for Pakatan Rakyat, especially with the general election just around the corner.

Another surprise from Nik Aziz when he expressed his wish to see Hudud implemented throughout the country. Not just in Kelantan but at the federal level.

An emergency meeting was called. The Pakatan leaders deliberated for four hours but ended without coming to a consensus on the matter.

DAP remained firm. PKR, on the other hand, played it safe. De facto leader Anwar Ibrahim skirted the issue and did not commit PKR's stand. But I've been made to understand that PKR leaders are not happy with this development.

In fact, just recently DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng announced that PAS and DAP "agree to disagree" on Hudud. Nicely said. But that surely means that the issue is not resolved.

Some people have dismissed all this as just a "sandiwara" by Nik Aziz who needs to reinforce his relevance and convince his supporters that Pas Islamic agenda remains. That PAS is trying to distract the people from the problems in PKR.

So far, it's still a stalemate. Nobody's giving in.
It remains to be seen whether any kind of agreement can be made on this. Or a compromise. Or whatever.

Sandiwara or not, we all agree that it is playing badly.

As for me -- I'm not the least worried about Hudud coming our way. The way things are playing out, it needs more than threats and sandiwara to endear Hudud to Malaysians.

Besides, don't you think you should get your act together?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The World To Steve Jobs -- Thank You For Everything!

What would the world have been without Steve Jobs -- this amazingly visionary human being? He left us all yesterday (Wednesday -US time).
We all say to him -- thank you, thank you...for everything. And may you rest in peace.
You rock 'em there, Steve.

Just remembering what he said about death in his 2005 Standford University c0mmencement address: "No one wants to die. Even those who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there....."

What They Say:

Bill Gates

"I'm truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs' death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely. "

Jerry Yang, Yahoo! founder

"Steve was my hero growing up. He not only gave me a lot of personal advice and encouragement, he showed all of us how innovation can change lives. I will miss him dearly, as will the world."

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO

"Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen

"My condolences to Steve Jobs family and friends. We've lost a unique tech pioneer and auteur who knew how to make amazingly great products."

Condolences On Twitter

Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post CEO

"@ariannahuff: My thoughts go out to Steve Jobs' family and friends. Thank you for changing our world."

Steve Levitan, co-creator/executive producer of ABC's "Modern Family"

"@SteveLevitan: I'm so sorry to hear about the death of Steve Jobs. He was truly one of my heroes. He leaves one hell of a legacy. #iSad"

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

"@Schwarzenegger: Steve lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us. #ThankYouSteve"

Former California first lady Maria Shriver

"@mariashriver: I'm going to turn off my Apple computer, iPhone and iPad tonight at 8pm and honor Steve with a moment of digital silence. Will you join me?"

"@mariashriver: I'm so happy that I knew him and was so blessed by his friendship. He impacted all of our lives and changed the world."

"@mariashriver: My heart weeps for all who worked with Steve and who loved him, especially my friend Laurene and their children."

Jon Huntsman, Republican presidential candidate

"@JonHuntsman: Sad to hear about the passing of Steve Jobs, a true inspiration and a great American innovator."

Ryan Seacrest, "American Idol" host/radio talk show personality/producer

"@RyanSeacrest: 'Have the courage to follow ur heart & intuition. They already know what u truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.' - Steve Jobs"

Nancy Grace, TV host, "Dancing With the Stars" contestant

"@NancyGraceHLN: About to go to air & discovered news about Steve Jobs - My heart goes out to his family tonight. #RIP Steve Jobs"

Lebron James, Miami Heat forward

"@KingJames: R.I.P Steve Jobs. Someone who definitely left his mark on this world! Innovations that will live and last forever!!"

Neil Patrick Harris, Actor on "How I Met Your Mother"

"@ActuallyNPH: Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. Your genius will live on for generations to come..."

Zach Braff, Actor

"@zachbraff: RIP Steve Jobs. A legend. A visionary innovator."

Nick Lachey, singer, host of "The Sing-Off"

"@NickSLachey: Best wishes to the family of #stevejobs. What an amazing man and amazing life! Certainly, his legacy will be with us all forever. #RIP."

Steve Jobs - R.I.P !

"Steve Jobs Was An Arab-American"

Steve Jobs who was born to a 23 year-old unwed German-American, was adopted when he was a baby.

According to Shirin Sadeghi of THIS online journal, his father was Abdul Fattah Jandali, a young Syrian Muslim immigrant in Wisconsin.
His biological mother was Joanne Schieble. In those days (the year was1955) "there was no chance he'd be able to grow up with his biological parents."

Here's the article:

SAN FRANCISCO -- Abdul Fattah Jandali, a young Syrian Muslim immigrant in Wisconsin, never met his son Steve Jobs. When a baby was born to the 23-year-old Jandali -- now known as John -- and his 23-year-old German-American girlfriend, Joanne Schieble, in 1955, there was no chance he'd be able to grow up with his biological parents.

Joanne, who belonged to a white, conservative Christian family could not convince her parents to marry an Arab, a Muslim, according to Jandali, who called her father "a tyrant" in a New York Post interview in August 2011. In fact, according to Jandali, she secreted off from Wisconsin to liberal San Francisco to sort out the birth and adoption without letting either him or her parents know.

And so it was that a nameless Arab American baby was adopted by an Armenian American family. Clara Hagopian and her husband Paul Jobs had been married around seven years and had not been able to conceive. The little bundle that would be Steve, was very much wanted in the Jobs household.

Steve Paul Jobs, as they named him, grew up without ever knowing his biological father. It seems he had no interest in knowing him later in life, either. When, in August 2011, the London tabloid The Sun, contacted Jandali, he publicly reached out to Steve saying, "“I live in hope that before it is too late he will reach out to me. Even to have just one coffee with him just once would make me a very happy man.”

But Steve never replied. Less than two months later, he has passed away.

Read the rest of his story HERE.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

You APOLOGIZE to the New Straits Times!

Yes you, Wong Kim Fei!

Let me refresh your memory.

You said on Tuesday that the New Straits Times lied when reporting local online news portal, The Mole, had contacted your boss (Lim Guan Eng) on his disparaging remarks about Johor.
You know the remarks for which he had to apologize to the Johor Sultan and Johoreans.

By the way, Wong is Guan Eng's press secretary (II)

How did the NST lie, Wong? We said what The Mole said.
If The Mole had lied, then it was the Mole that lied.
But you see, The Mole didn't lie. They did try to contact your boss through his political secretary Zairil Khir Johari but was told that "YB would not like to comment".

Read THIS.

Why putar-belit2?

Jangan senang-senang tuduh orang menipu!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

If I Were The Johor MB....

... I'd get very very p*ssed with remarks about Johor made by Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng in Singapore recently.

Really p*ssed.

At least, it is believed that Guan Eng uttered those offensive remarks about Johor.

Bernama sent out a report on this.

In response, Guan Eng demanded an apology from Bernama, or he will sue the news agency. This seems to suggest that Bernama sent out a false report.

As it turned out, the only false thing (in the report) was the place where he was said to have uttered the remarks.

Bernama had quoted Guan Eng, as saying in an interview with an Australian radio station, that Johor was not a safe state where the chances of being kidnapped were high.

Well, maybe Guan Eng never gave that interview. But, according to new kid on the blog -BigCat - who did some digging, the chief minister did make remarks about Johor when addressing the Foreign Correspondents Association of Singapore at a luncheon in the republic.
(It is a fact that Guan Eng was at the luncheon and he did speak at the function).

BigCat, it seems, got the whole story. In his posting, "This Is Another Crook", the blogger quoted Guan Eng.

""Iskandar is seen as a very strong competitor ... but if you look in terms of safety and using the Crime Index, Penang was Number 1 in terms of cutting crimes, so you don't have to worry about your safety when you come to Penang.
In Johor, if you are a Singaporean, you are likely to get kidnapped ... you ask any Singaporean they would know but you don't have that problem when you come to Penang.
I am sure investors want to deal with an honest government and not to deal with crooks.
Lynas the rare earth factory in Pahang ... they don't see this huge premium facility benefiting the people as they pose a serious threat to their health and of course safety


Yesterday, TV3 during its prime time news Buletin Utama, played an audio recording of someone who sounded unmistakably like Guan Eng, purportedly at that venue and event.

Okay, if it was Guan Eng who uttered those words, then I can only say that he must feel that as the DAP secretary-general, attacking Johor, Pahang etc, is fair game. Never mind if he is a MALAYSIAN chief minister.

You have the chance to whack your enemies, you whack kow-kow!
That's the way the cookie crumbles.

The NST carried a report as well. But did not try to contact him as the MOLE did.
Guan Eng, you see, has been boycotting the NST over a commentary the NST's Penang correspondent, Sharanjit Singh, wrote in the "100 days in office" series.
Guan Eng took offence to Sharanjit's remarks that the DAP in Penang was playing favourites with certain companies. This was written not without basis.
Following that, he has banned the newspaper from covering official or private functions (in which he is guest), and I believe has given instructions to private companies and so on, to not invite the NST , if they want him to grace their event.

I say that is not the way a leader should act. Frankly, I was utterly surprised by his action.
I expected him to be bigger than this. I thought he was, er....different...champion of free press etc....

But, oh well, to each his own. This is a free country.....

And Guan Eng (it it was him in that audio recording and if BigCat's posting is true), it seems, has taken the liberty to call some people "crooks"...

So, as I said...if I were the Johor MB....

"Undi-Lah" Okay, What!

Well-known and popular personalities took part in the now controversial "Undilah" video.

If people had not known about Pete Teo's video, many do now because of the unnecessary fuss caused by the Malaysian Communications and Multi-media Commission's directive that broadcasters not carry the clip.

The video - a very catchy public service announcement - was launched on Sept 16, Malaysia Day.

Some people said that it had "underlying messages and supported the opposition". Maybe so. I suppose if you scrutinize the clip, you can assume a lot of things.

Personally, I see a lot of fun in getting that message across. maybe I'm thick-skinned, a little blind for not seeing the subtleties in the provocative political messages.

I'm not sure whether people would rush to register to vote (for the opposition) after seeing the video.

Anyway, here is The NST report.

MPUR: Politicians and local artistes described Pete Teo's Undilah video as one great way to stress the importance of voting.

The video, launched on Malaysia Day on Sept 16, however, was withdrawn by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission because its public service announcement (PKA) has yet to get the approval from the Film Censorship Board for broadcast on television.

Those interviewed by the New Straits Times agreed that the four minutes and 42 seconds video, featuring politicians and celebrities, carried a clear-cut message for the people to register as voters.

The video shows politicians from different political parties and celebrities encouraging the people to exercise their rights as voters, said Puteri chief Datuk Rosnah Shirlin.

MCA Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong said the MCMC owed the public an explanation for withdrawing the video.

"It was said the organiser did not go through the regulator. If that is the case, MCMC should have advised the organiser right from the start."

He said the withdrawal prompted more people to watch it via YouTube. "Now, people think there is an agenda and MCMC's action may be wrongly interpreted."

Singer Reshmonu said the video was a great way to highlight the importance of voting, disagreeing with the statement by Kota Belud member of parliament Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan that the video had underlying messages and supported the opposition.

"It is pro-government because it tries to educate the many unregistered citizens about their rights and roles to elect the government of the day."

Actor Afdlin Shauki said the video aimed to educate Malaysians to register as voters. "If we love the country, we must act fast for the future of our children and peace of the country."

Undilah producer Pete Teo said he and his team approached both Barisan Nasional and the opposition leaders before filming the video.

"It is not intended to favour anyone over the other. It is simply to spread the message of democracy and so that the people will exercise their rights as voters."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Syariah Charge: Teen Mum Who Had Baby Out Of Wedlock

In the name of kindness and humanity, don't charge her!

I know this is falling on deaf ears. You're going to charge her anyway, in the name of Syariah and Islam.

So, why don't you get the boy who fathered the child. Charge him too!

Religious authorities in Tumpat, Kelantan are charging an 18-year-old student for having a child out of wedlock last month at her religious school.

Kelantan Syariah prosecution chief Che Hashim Derahman said (reported in the New Straits Times) that the student is expected to be charged next month under Section 16 of the Syariah Criminal Code 1985 of the Kelantan Syariah Enactment.

Read the NST report HERE.

This girl made a mistake. How did she get to make that mistake?

I think society has failed her. Along with the school, the community. And I can go on.

She needs counselling by professionals to get on with her life.
She does not need to be punished this way.

She is the first to be charged under the Syariah for the "offence".

But you know, she is not the first teenager to have committed the "offence". Will she be the last?

Undi Lah! Damn Cool!

What the fish is the fuss about "UndiLah" - Pete Teo's public service announcement video? Not the "good" fussing about it but, oh you know, the "ban".

I missed the launching on Sept 16 (Malaysia Day) for very obvious reasons (kerja-lah).
I like the video!
I'm biased. My friends are in it.

But seriously, it's good. Nothing contentious. Not anti-national.

Not anti-Barisan Nasional -- unless "you" find it not suitable for general viewing because Nurul Izzah, Tony Pua, Nik Nazmi, Khalid Samad (ooh.. check him out with Daphne Iking) and oh..Namawee are in it.
(Namawee, I want to see to rap his knuckles for insulting our Negaraku, Islam, Muslim women, in the name of art or artistic freedom - oh please. Never mind if he has apologised.)

Puteri Umno chief Rosnah Abd Rashid Shirlin and MCA's Wee Ka Siong are also having a good time rapping away.
So sporting.

And man, you have Afdlin Shauki, Yasmin Yusoff, Sharifah Amani, a very pregnant Daphne Iking and yesss...Tony Fernandes.

(To name a few...)

Unless, find Tengku Razaleigh's appearance odious.
Takkan, kot...

(I think he was so cool...)

Or that the part that Ku Li said that our country "ada banyak masaalah".

It can't be that the song sung started out not in Bahasa Malaysia...
Takkan, kot...

Look...the video is for everyone...EVERYONE-lah.

Artistically-speaking...I don't know. Looks good to me those few minutes of it.
Politically? Who cares.

So, I was stumped that there was some "controversy" over the airing of the video which is on Youtube.

Actually, the video, in the first place, was not meant for TV broadcast. Frankly, it doesn't need to be.

So, the issue of it being banned shouldn't even arise.

But, as we know, someone in power through the very powerful Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) issued a directive to not allow it to be aired by TV stations.

No need to issue the directive.

But here's the statement to explain why they did what they did -- issued by Bernama:

Pete Teo who, as everyone else, was surprised by this whole thing, tweeted:

"MCMC: ban ws cos didn't get LPF approval. But we hvnt contact tv stations yet let alone apply 2 LPF. So hw did LPF 'not approve'?"

and then:

"We don't know if LPF wld not approve the present version - cos er... we hvnt applied yet. That's Y mcmc story is nonsense. :)"

Sometimes, you wonder why people keep on tripping and tripping and giving a bad name to the government they serve.

If you haven't watch THE VIDEO, what are you waiting for?

Anyway, my only regret -- Pete doesn't know that's why I wasn't in the video...:-))

Thursday, September 22, 2011

World Carfree Day : Are We Ready For It?

First off....World Carfree Day is not to be mistaken for World Carefree Day (none yet) or World free Car Day (none yet either...).

A little bit from its website:

"Every September 22, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighbourhood blocks to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society.

But we do not want just one day of celebration and then a return to "normal" life. When people get out of their cars, they should stay out of their cars. It is up to us, it is up to our cities, and our governments to help create permanent change to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and other people who do not drive cars.

Let World Carfree Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars…365 days a year."

So today, we're supposed to do that. You know, get by with our lives, our routine sans those smoke-spewing vehicles we call automobiles.

We can either stay at home (lucky you if you could!), cycle or take public transport. However, in order to do that on this day, we need some months of planning to actually make it work for ourselves and everyone else.
In fact, we're supposed to also organize activities in our neighbourhoods.

Are neighbourhood residents' associations aware of this Day?

I bet they are not.

Are our transport and traffic systems ready for this? Well, not where I'm staying and working. No.

The reality is, this Day ain't working.

In fact today, especially today, the roads were congested. Could the heavy rain in the morning be the cause?

It seems Malaysians in this part of the country are just not bothered. They need their cars. They do. And I don't blame them.

Take me: cycling to work or to the nearest LRT station is out of the question. Apart from the distance, I'd get killed on the very busy LDP, celebrating World Carfree Day. No thank you.
(I have two kids who need me, you know).

Without the bicycle, I'd have to depend on RapidKL to get to the LRT station or to get a connecting bus to Bangsar.

I'd need walk to the bus stop which is a five-minute walk (near the school) or a 15 minute-walk (at another location) just after Subuh because the entire journey takes two hours, what with the rain and traffic.

(Note: In my neighbourhood, we have security guards manning entrances at certain roads. Despite this, there have been reported burglary and robbery cases committed early in the morning.)

So. How?

In other countries, people have been celebrating it on a wide scale. They started small - in neighbourhoods or sections of the towns or cities - and grew from there as people realize the benefit of going about their lives without automobiles.

It's all towards having a greener world.

So we - the people, the government, everyone-lah -- should do our groundwork if we want to take it seriously and celebrate it.

Certainly, we will all benefit from this.

I'm all for the cause. But with present circumstances, it just ain't happening.

I'm not alone, mind you.

Read THIS in the Malay Mail.

What about you? Are you ready?