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!