Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Return of Ummi Hafilda

If you don't know it already, this lady has a blog. And what a blog!

On Dec 12, last year, she resurfaced in the news, calling on her brother, Azmin Ali, to repent.

‘Taubatlah Azmin’

Ummi Hafilda Ali yang pernah menggemparkan negara kerana mendedahkan salah laku Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pada 1997 merayu abangnya, Azmin yang kini Timbalan Presiden Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) pulang ke pangkal jalan dan bertaubat.

The rest of the report HERE

If you think that was all, you're mistaken. On Thursday, she was back with a vengeance.

PETALING JAYA (Jan 13): Ummi Hafilda Ali, a key witness in the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sodomy and abuse of power trials in 1999, is taking legal action totalling RM700mil against the Opposition Leader, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh and PAS.
The rest of the story HERE.

And Anwar's response:

KEMAMAN (Jan 15): Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has dismissed as a "mosquito issue" the challenge of Ummi Hafilda Ali, a key witness in the former deputy prime minister's 1998 sodomy trial, to debate on his alleged sexual misconduct.
"This is a mosquito issue," he told reporters at the "Pas replaces Umno" gathering in Kampung Geliga here.

I haven't heard the name , "Ummi Hafilda" mentioned in ages. And, you know, out of the blue, I was told that she has a blog with an address -

Srikandi? Ummi must believe herself to be something of a fighter.
In the epic, Mahabharata, it is the name of a warrior princess.

In Javanese mythology, Srikandi is the only girl fighting in the battlefield.

So now, Ummi Hafilda has made a return, a comeback.

The lady has stormed back.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sorry, Malaysians. They Prefer NUR Alert!

The Cabinet has approved a child abduction alert system to trace and inform on the disappearance of children aged 12 and below.

It will be called NUR (NationalUrgent Response) Alert. (Not NURIN Alert which is what it was originally called).

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein issued a joint statement on this today.

It said the initiative, to be chaired by the Royal Malaysia Police, would be implemented immediately, with the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry acting as the deputy chair.

Information will be spread through posters, websites, text messages and electronic message boards and its implementation will involve strategic collaboration between the government, private sector and non-governmental organisations.

As you all know, NUR Alert is basically NURIN (Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network) Alert, an initiative pushed by several bloggers immediately after the body of missing 8 year-old Nurin Jazlin Jazimin was found in a sports/gym bag in PJS1, Petaling Jaya, on Sept 17 2007, nearly a month after she disappeared near her home in Section1, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur on Aug 20.

I and so many others were hoping that the Cabinet would say yes to the name NURIN Alert just as AMBER (America's Missing:Broadcast Emergency Response) was named after Amber Hagerman who was abducted and found dead in Arlington, Texas in 1996.

Both Nurin's and Amber's killers were never caught.

So unbelievable that such a useful and proven system was not put into place much much earlier after it was proposed. Honestly, politics and politicians piss me off.

Nevertheless, I am very happy that the system is being put in place, to save our children.

After Nurin, there had been several cases of missing kids. Sharlinie or Nini, went missing at a playground near her home in Taman Medan, PJ, just months (Jan 9,2008) after Nurin's tragedy.

Elements of NURIN Alert were effected in Nini's case but only minimally. She was never found.

As for NUR Alert, it is to help in the search for kids below 12. There has been some disagreement over this with some groups saying that it should extended to those below 18 because statistics show that the majority of missing kids are those between ages 16 and 18.

In the US, the criteria used to activate AMBER Alert differ statewide. Here are the general requirement: 1. law enforcement must confirm that an abduction has taken place, 2. the child must be at risk of serious injury or death, 3. there must be sufficient descriptive information of child, captor or captor's vehicle and 4. the child must be 17 years or younger.

So let's hope it will not be another 3 years before we see this put into effect. Let's save the next child!

Remember -- Nurin's killer is still out there, though we hope he had died of H1N1 or some dreadful disease...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

It Should Be Nurin Alert!

...because she made it all happen.

My take (in the NST today) on the child abduction alert system - to be called NUR (Nationwide Urgent Response) Alert -- to be formalized by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

I can only guess why the ministry is not going to call it by its original name NURIN (Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network) Alert but I won't speculate.

So, as I have said, it should be called NURIN Alert. After all, if Nurin had not been brutalized and died, this plan to put an early alert system in place wouldn't happen. And, did I say that we all couldn't save her?

Oh -- you do remember Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, don't you? The 8 year-old who was abducted from somewhere near her home in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur on the night of Aug 20, 2007.

Someone dragged her into a van.

She was never to be seen again until Sept 17, about a month later at a location far from that pasar malam -- in PJS1, Petaling Jaya.

She was dead, her body crumpled, brutalized, she was thin, her hair shaven, and a cucumber was stuck in her....(never mind). The child suffered unimaginable pain and horror.

And her body was found in a gym bag.

In death, she was so unrecognizable. Her father, Jazimin Abdul Jalil could not even recognize her, he could not identify her. Perhaps it was just too much for him.

I can never forget that image of Nurin after her body was found -- her thin face, shorn head -- a pale shadow of her when she was alive.

The nation was shocked and outraged.

Immediately after her death, there was a move to begin pushing for something akin to AMBER Alert which is highly successful in the US in saving and rescuing abducted kids. The initiative was for NURIN Alert.

Also read THIS.

Such a system would have helped Jazimin in notifying the police, enforcement agencies and the media about Nurin's disappearance. The community would also be the eyes for these agencies.

When Jazimin first reported her disappearance to the police, he did not get much help. It was about 2 days after her disappearance that his plea was taken seriously.

To cut a story short, the initiative was supported by so many people including Shahrizat Jalil who was then the Women, Family and Community development Minister.'s now going to be NUR Alert.

It should be NURIN Alert.

Ask any Malaysian, they'd remember Nurin. She united us all in our anger and our shock.

We failed to save her. But we know she did not die in vain. So, let's do it right. Leave politics and political branding out of all this.

Do it for our children. Do it to save the next child!

And oh, did I forget to remind us all that Nurin's her killer was never caught.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A Long Walk To School...

This is a touching story of six children in Kampung Bongkud, a remote village in Sabah, who have to walk nearly two hours to their school in Menggatal near Kota Kinabalu.
And another two hours to get home.

These six year-olds have to do it for the rest of the year, and the next....

They have no choice really because their village of only 10 houses, is so remote and the terrain so rough that you either reach it by foot, or four-wheel-drive vehicles and motorcycles during the dry season.

At the start of the new school term yesterday, these kids began their day gathering at the edge of their village before 6am to begin their long walk to SK Tombongan -- about 8km down a steep dirt track in the jungle and crossing rivers along the way.

Their school is about 35km from Kota Kinabalu.

Many before them went through the same thing.

Read the NST story HERE, and HERE.

A touching story, indeed. But it shouldn't end there. I remember similar stories that were highlighted in the media over the last 20 years about kids in remote villages having to take that journey everyday to school. They traverse winding paths through hills, jungles, cross rivers and streams....

Can you imagine that? Can you imagine your children -- no, YOU, having to go to work like that???

I know kids are a hardy lot. But, come on! These kids wake up at dawn and take a 2-hour walk through all that. And after school, they make that long trek home.

It exposes them to danger!

Surely, there is another way?

This is the 21st century. And we are supposed to have elected people to care for the welfare of these children....

I'm thinking of a hostel or something like that for these kids.

You see, right now, they don't have a choice. But surely we can give them some...

And on the subject of schools, I was reading a posting -A Message For The Ministry Of Education - by my blogging bro, Syed Akbar Ali (OutSyed The Box).

Actually, he reproduced a comment by one of his readers about how schools are making parents pay for all sorts of unnecessary things.

I'm not sure if all schools do that but I know the school my kids went to, did that.

You stop to wonder what all the payment was for. Then you reassure yourself that perhaps it's a standard practice by all schools. And besides, you can afford to pay, so you don't make a fuss.

But we should make a fuss. The high fees for God-knows-what are unacceptable and smack of daylight robbery.

It inflates the cost of giving your kids an education in PUBLIC schools.

Here's an excerpt from OutSyed The Box:

My son is in f5 and we have to pay up $262.50 for barang wajib. What is barang wajib? Its t shirts, cadar, lencana, sticker, track bottom etc. But these are items that we have already bought last year. If there is wear n tear, we can replace some. We shouldnt be replacing cadar atau lencana. But what the school did is to change the color of these items and force parents to buy.
Keperluan buku is $68.50 but most books from f4 are still not used. But parents have to pay. Bayaran sumbangan PIBG is $492 and one of the item is motivasi ($50). If motivation is not part of a teacher's job and has to be paid extra by parents, I think M'sian edu is doomed.
Why we parents are not happy? One, some of the parents have many schooling kids. If f5 one have to spend nearly $1600 on the first day of school, imagine you have 5 kids and some in colleges where they need $500/600 pmth for food and books. Perbelanjaan biasa mcm mana?

Also read his More Education Issues HERE

Monday, January 03, 2011

Selangor-Federal Government on Collision Course

Now, Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim wants an emergency state assembly sitting to be called to amend the constitution to return the power of appointing the state secretary to the Sultan and the Mentri Besar.
At the same time, he announced that the new state secretary Khusrin Munawi will not be allowed to attend state-related meetings deemed confidential, including weekly executive council meetings.
Khusrin told a Press conference today that he is not a Barisan Nasional tool and has no personal agenda.
"I am just a civil servant carrying out my duties."

Now, why would you want to amend the constitution? The law is there and you want to change it because you are unhappy and tidak puas hati that it's not on your side?

I suppose it is your right.

Sure looks like it's the beginning of a very long prickly affair. Clearly political. But, of course. What isn't, huh?
Let's hope both sides can find a swift amicable solution/settlement.

Because if this drags on and on, I don't have to tell you that it's the people who will suffer.

I vote in Selangor.

Good luck!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Selangor-Federal Government On Collision Course

Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim is so pissed with the Federal government. And in this case, its chief secretary Mohd Sidek Hassan for announcing Mohd Khusrin Nawawi as the new Selangor state secretary.

Khalid and his guys have already got a candidate. They don't want Khusrin.

He has accused Sidek of violating the constitution, of being irresponsible, unprofessional and wilfully ignoring Selangor's selection process in choosing the best candidate to fill the state secretary's post.

As far as the federal government is concerned, the appointment falls within their jurisdiction. Besides, the Sultan of Selangor has endorsed it.

So what? - says the Selangor government.

A deadlock.

No solution means there's a strong possibility of this controversy going to the courts.

Here's part of Khalid's statement:

"Perlu dinyatakan di sini, tindakan Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan itu bukan sahaja melanggar Perlembagaan, tidak bertanggungjawab serta tidak profesional malah boleh dianggap bermotifkan politik; sebagai salah satu usaha untuk mencabar kredibiliti Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Selangor.

Lebih merunsingkan saya, tindakan Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan tersebut telah menghantar mesej yang tidak sihat iaitu kemampuan dan pengalaman bukan keutamaan dalam mempromosikan kenaikan pangkat pegawai kerajaan. Mesej ini sangat bahaya apatah lagi sememangnya perkhidmatan kerajaan acap kali dikritik sebagai tidak efisyen."

Read the Selangor MB's statement HERE.

Stripping In Singapura...

Oh Singapura..
Hanya menanti masa,
Kehangatan menubuk dan merusuk
Terlalu lama belenggu
Bisu, pekak dan buta
Akhir nya
Ku telanjang
Oh Singapura...

You can't do so many things in Singapore. Really. Too many, just too many regulations to tell you how to live your life.
Life is so regimented.
There's just so much and so long you can take.

I'm just trying to, er, analyse why people are doing the craziest thing in Singapore.

Stripping, taking walks in the buff....oh...just being naked.

I didn't make this up.

"The recent surge of nudity, streaking and promiscuity, signs of a more liberal generation, has everyone scratching their heads in this once prudish city."

Imagine that? Read the rest HERE

Smouldering in Singapore...

Who said Singapore has no soul?