Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When Was The Last Time You Used The "Telephone"?

Here's an article in The Huffington Post about the "conventional" good ole telephone and a young woman's account on being a "phone person".

Surprising that there are still people who have not been weaned off the telephone.

Here's the article:
 In an era of texting and GChatting, I still love talking on the phone. This, I learned, makes me a rarity — especially for a 22-year-old. 

Recently, I got into a conversation with some other women here at BuzzFeed about talking on the phone. The consensus: no one does it, unless they're catching up with an old friend.
"If someone calls me out of the blue, I immediately think someone died or got dumped," was a common refrain.
That's how I learned that I'm an anomaly – a woman in her early twenties who still gabs on the phone like I'm in a 1980s teen movie. I indulge in marathon phone conversations like others do in chocolate binges. Long phone calls give me peace and solace and an escape, the way I imagine long runs do for runners.
My co-workers aren't alone in their anti-phone ways. Apparently hating on the phone is a big ol' cultural trend. Who knew?! I guess I've been oblivious for some time.
Pamela Paul wrote in a 2011 New York Times story: "It’s at the point where when the phone does ring — and it’s not my mom, dad, husband or baby sitter — my first thought is: 'What’s happened? What’s wrong?' My second thought is: 'Isn’t it weird to just call like that? Out of the blue? With no e-mailed warning?'"
And there's data to back it up: a recent study found that minutes spent on the phone have been on the decline in the United States and Europe for the past four years.
The whole idea that people don't talk on the phone these days was a surprise, because, well, I'm not spending all those hours on the phone with myself — I talk to a number of my closest friends, every few days at least, often for an hour or more. I talk on the phone so much that my Mom bought me a big old-fashioned receiver that I can plug into my iPhone so that I don't get brain cancer. Despite my passion for the phone, I don't have a landline. (Come on, I need to keep some of my typical millenial-ness intact.)

Continue reading HERE.

Shabby, Shabby, Shabby National Service Ops...

KUALA KANGSAR: THE Defence Ministry has yet to decide on the future of the Tangkas Kendiri National Service (NS) camp in Sauk.
This follows the sealing of the camp and freezing of assets of the owner after he failed to settle his debts.
This is the first such incident faced by the NS Training Department.
Its director-general, Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil, said the ministry was still deliberating on the matter and for now, all 248 trainees and 40 trainers would be divided into groups and moved to nine other NS camps around the country.
The camps are Nilam Ehsan in Bidor, Jiwa Murni in Gunung Semanggol, Teluk Rubiah in Lumut, Segari in Manjung, Sentosa Chenderiang in Tapah and Desa Rimba in Kuala Kangsar, all of which are located in Perak; the Rekreasi Belia Baling camp in Kedah; and Batu Jong in Kuala Krai and Cancun Park in Pasir Emas, both in Kelantan.
"This transfer will not affect the training programme in any way.
"I am confident the trainees will fit in well in their new camps and finish their NS programme successfully."
The trainees had completed the self-development module, while the remaining two modules -- nationhood and community service -- will be continued at their new camps.
Hadi said the department was not involved in the company which owned the camp and its debt.
"We were only renting the premises from the camp operator. We have also notified parents where their children will be based."
On May 14, the Taiping High Court issued an order to close the camp and all its assets to be frozen after the camp owner failed to settle his debts.
The camp operator, Tangkas Kendiri Sdn Bhd, had been given 14 days to settle a RM1.25 million debt to Concern Development Sdn Bhd.
Tangkas Kendiri had, in 2009, hired contractor Concern Development to build infrastructure for the camp on land leased from a private entity.
In its claim, Concern Development said it was owed RM1,248,911, inclusive of interest.
Meanwhile, the atmosphere at the Tangkas Kendiri camp was filled with sadness as trainees bid farewell to their campmates and trainers whom they had grown acquainted with over the past three weeks.
Tears were shed as the trainees hugged each another for the last time before boarding their respective buses.

*I think this is a serious concern. How can this kind of arrangement even be allowed in the operations of National Service.
It has blown into a legal issue. This contracting and subcontracting way of doing things especially in our National Service programme should cease and desist. I know people will say there's nothing wrong in giving out contracts to run the camps....but wait a minute -- see, this is what happens. 

When I read about the closure of the camp because of a legal issue, I thought this is so crazy. Are they all serious about running a good credible programme? Are we so short of ideas on how to run the programme?

If this kind of thing is not checked and be allowed to go on, I dare say, we'll see a lot of problems cropping up.

Anak muda kita ada lah harapan bangsa dan negara!

I'm Sorry, Presana Narayanan....

..but I just cannot excuse you for all those things you "uttered" about Tamils. Because, the truth is, there is no excuse for those derogatory remarks you made in a public domain for all to see.

You are an Indian of Malayalee extraction/descent, as you have said.
 In Malaysia, the Indian community is made up of  Tamils, Malayalees, Sikhs and Telegus.
 I am aware that there have always been some kind of stereotyping or prejudices among them which have been in existence since time immemorial but are not so obvious in Malaysia. Perhaps these prejudices have dissipated over time. But if they do exist, I can say that this is so typical of or within any community or ethnic group. It is very human. A human weakness, if you may.
But these prejudices must never be allowed to rear their ugly head and get out of control.  At least I know that most Malaysians make it their business not to let that happen.

We thank God that we all have learnt to embrace each other's differences and celebrate diversity. Oh, I do hate to sound like an advertisement, but you know what I mean.  We are all anak Malaysia.

So, Presana. After all the hoopla and hullaballoo that you caused among the Tamil community following your insensitive remarks -- not to mention the backlash from the beauty and model search contests in which you were a finalist,   you are repentant.

 You have apologized.

Here's the thing, Presana. When I first heard of your "story" and the rantings in your FB status update, I thought you were either a very young girl or a very old lady.

 A young girl might not be exposed enough or an old lady might have been living a sheltered life with all those prejudices inside her. I thought, okay-lah, this Presana person probably doesn't know any better -- a kind of denial on my part that there are people like that. Also,  my own prejudice at work.

Rupa-rupa-nya, saudari berusia 31 tahun., sudah bekerja dan seorang jelitawan. Adoi! Sudah dewasa..

You have explained why you said what you said in tarring all Tamils with the same brush as those unsavoury characters you mentioned.

But I read your remarks. You sounded very clear-headed and very confident. Very sure. I also read your police report.

So, you know, you should have expected the equally rash responses. Some were vicious, of course. You unleashed all the anger in people. Not everyone can be nice at the receiving end. And those police reports against you. Ouch!

Enough anger in some to want to hurt you, right? That is terrible, right?

I'm not going to judge you (although, initially, I must have and I apologize for that) but I hope, dear Presana, that you have learnt a very very valuable lesson. You may still harbour those prejudices -- that's your right, really. You don't have to like Tamils. And they don't have to like you. But neither of you sure as hell can call those names on each other.

 People make mistakes. people are not perfect. We are but mere mortals and no one is infallible. But...it takes nothing not to vent that kind of anger.

Stay cool.

Peace, sister.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

On Being Uncouth and Rethinking Conscience

DISTORTED PERCEPTIONS: We have become a nation of Don Quixotes, spending too much time fighting imaginary enemies

By Johan Jaaffar

 I AM against any attempt to set up stalls in front of Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan's house. And I deplore anyone exercising with malicious intent there. I dread the day when such acts become a new form of harassment. However, I thank Kuala Lumpur City Hall and the police for standing firm not to allow them to cause disruption in the area. Ironically, they are the same people Ambiga defied that fateful Saturday when her cause was hijacked by politicians.

I commend the police for acting professionally to maintain peace in front of her house -- as much as they were trying to contain unruly demonstrators at the Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur.
City Hall, too, would like to see disgruntled traders reciprocated for their loss of income, but it did not. The officers acted wisely to avoid any untoward incident.
Ambiga must learn a thing or two from this. The law is not meant to be broken by anyone, especially by a lawyer and former president of the Bar Council. The petty traders also can't say that just because they are ignorant they can break the law. It is, therefore, not their fault to question Ambiga's double standards on the issue.

The damage has been done. And the country will be further divided. Which is sad. Ambiga probably meant well, but it didn't turn out that way. She was merely a pawn in a complex game of misguided justice, conspiracy and deceit. She was in fact used, her agenda hijacked. That irked many among her supporters, the thousands who would like to see real reforms in the electoral process.

The Election Commission is not perfect and the Bersih demands have been a wake-up call for them, too. They are doing a lot of soul-searching themselves. They have to buck up, or else they will lose their credibility. But to be fair to them, many of the allegations are mere hearsay and conjecture. Just because names like Kangkung, Harimau, Machine Gun, Atas Jalan, Batu Tiga or Burung came out on the electoral roll, that does not mean those names are phantom voters. As one newspaper has pointed out, there are in fact bizarre names of real people.

Sadly, we have lost our adab (courtesy) in our pursuit of some things. We have little respect for others. We have lost the willingness to listen to others or to hear the other side of the story. We have made up our minds. There are those who demanded to be heard but were rude in articulating their positions. We have surrendered all notions of hormat (respect), maruah (dignity) and harga diri (self-esteem) when we deal with those who do not agree with us. We snub others just because they represent different views. It is eventually about Us and Them.

And sadly, too, we have become a nation of Don Quixotes -- we are simply spending too much time fighting imaginary enemies. Not only that, like Quixote, our perceptions are distorting us. We can't differentiate lies from the truth and falsehood from reality.

I found the Sinar-Astro Awani debate between Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and PKR strategic director Mohd Rafizi Ramli interesting -- two young minds arguing their case without fear or favour and with conviction. There is no need to declare the winner, for both are.
Of course, a debate is not judged by the jeering, shouting and clapping of partisan supporters. What is important is that such debates must be encouraged.

The Malays have had a tradition of intellectual discourse since the days of old, continuing into the early 19th century with reformists from Al Azhar University. The Kaum Tua-Kaum Muda debate redefined the intellectual tradition and history of the Malays. They tolerate dissent and differences, with humility, style and finesse.

Sadly, we have become a nation of selfish and self-centred people. We use whatever platforms we have to lambast others. We are allowing the Internet to be a lawless realm. We forget we have laws, ethics and code of morality. We forget adab matters even on the Net. And the possibility of us being sued for libel or worse. Remember, if it is online, you better toe the line, someone advises. Who cares these days?

We have every right to disagree with anyone. This is a democratic country. But there are civilised ways to do it. Putting up stalls in front of people's houses is not right.
On the other hand, Ambiga should know better the next time she's contemplating another Bersih rally. She will offend many people, including the petty traders. She has to question her conscience first.

(from The New Straits Times)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

MP Says Petty Traders Are A Nuisance

I am sure they are. A terrible nuisance especially when you live in Bukit Damansara. That's not a busy neighbourhood. So, you can just imagine hordes of people outside your gate -- and their main aim is to be a nuisance.

They say they have a good legitimate reason to be doing what they're doing outside (Bersih chairman) S Ambiga's residence.

They've called themselves the KL Petty Traders Action Council  whose members' livelihood on April 28 was affected by the Bersih rally.

Making a statement there. Like you kacau kita, kita kacau you. So, deal with it.

But Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng says they must be hauled up for contravening Section 427 of the Penal Code.
Under Section 427, anybody who commits mischief and causes damage amounting to RM25 or more shall be imprisoned for a term up to two years or fined, or both, according to Lim.

The Deputy IGP (Khalid Abu Bakar) had reiterated that police action would not be taken against the traders because the protest was not an offence as it was in public space

Lim was quoted in the Malay Mail: "This is not a Local Government Act but a criminal act. The Deputy IGP must be sent back to Pulapol to re-learn all these Acts. Their (traders) action did not disturb Ambiga alone but all her neighbours as well."

Lim said, their act could be considered as public nuisance with the possibility of perpetrators being fined up to RM400 under Section 290 of the Penal Code.

(waaah...well said, YB. People shouldn't break the law!!!!),

On Monday, the traders  had marked out night market stall lots on the road in front of Ambiga's house in yellow paint.

According to the Malay Mail, this was part of the two-day protest, beginning today, where the traders are setting up 60 stalls to serve an expected crowd of 10,000 from 3.30pm to 8pm.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall has denied issuing them permits for the stalls.

Ambiga had said Malaysians must reject this dangerous trend which intrudes personal space.

"To be fair, the police and City Hall have been here since the night the yellow lines were removed. I'm very grateful to them for providing this level of protection," she said after meeting members from Pakatan Rakyat yesterday.

 I'd really like to see how this whole thing ends...

Government Sues Bersih

Okay. This caught me by surprise although it was not totally unexpected,.

Yesterday Bersih chairman  Ambiga and nine of bersih's steering committee members  were slapped with a suit by the government for damage to public property during the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally.

The suit was filed by a senior federal counsel from the Attorney-General’s Chambers at the High Court on May 15.

The other defendants named in the suit were Maria Chin Abdullah, Zaid Kamarudin, Haris Fathillah Mohamed, K. Arumugam, S. Arul Prakkash, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon and Andrew Khoo.

 The government, in an unprecedented move, is seeking a declaration that the defendants were in violation of the Peaceful
Assembly Act 2012. It is also seeking RM122,000 in damages for losses suffered during the rally.
And the circus begins....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

AS you all know, some people, including traders of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman , upset over their loss of income from the Bersih 3.0 rally held a symbolic protest outside Bersih co-chairman Ambiga's house by giving away free burgers.
According to the Star, last Thursday, some 10 members of the Malaysia Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance (Ikhlas) set up a burger stall outside her Bukit Damansara home around lunch time.

Well, it seems comical but a friend, who runs a business in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, didn't think it was. He said Bersih 3.0  affected his business. And he was happy these people decided to show their protest outside Ambiga's house. Like - hah, padan muka, rasa ni.

(Oh reminds me of remarks a couple of Bersih activists said on twitter-- if those traders want to complain about loss of earnings, why don't they declare their earnings...maybe the Inland Revenue would like to know, and the rest of Malaysians too.  And I'm saying - excuse me, what kind of reaction is that? You don't support us -- go to hell with you! Is that it? Shame!)

But, ok ok -- as for the Ambiga burger stall protest -  I get the picture. This is a free country. And that area outside Ambiga's house is a public road.

Still. Poor, Ambiga, I thought. Kecoh-lah these people. Can't you people leave her in peace?

Ambiga told the traders to file their claim for the losses suffered in court instead of holding protests outside her house.

This is a troubling new phenomenon and a violation of my privacy. Bersih is not about me,” said the former Bar Council chairman.

Ambiga later lodged a police report at the Travers police station.

Anyway, everything's back to normal at her place now. The traders have left. City Hall officers and policemen are keeping watch at her home.


Tunku Aziz Should Remain Out Of Partisan Politics..

Frankly, when Tunku Abdul Aziz joined the DAP, I was disappointed. Not in a personal way because I don't know the man. I know of him, of course - him having been on board of Transparency International et al.
I thought, a man like him shouldn't be in any political party. In my eyes, he lost credibility. But that was just my very humble opinion.

When he joined DAP, he sang praises of the party. The only party he could trust and one that was good for the country ... or something to that effect. He was made DAP vice-chairman (and later a senator).  And why not? DAP described him as a "towering Malaysian".

Of course, it was a coup for the DAP. Like -  who says we are a chauvinistic Chinese party. Look at us -- a Malay as respectable as Tunku Aziz wants to join us. So, hurray for the DAP. Looks good on their resume.

Some three years later (which was just last month), Tunku Aziz got into trouble with the DAP leadeship because of his views on the planned Bersih 3.0 sit-in at Dataran Merdeka. He objected to it, saying that it was  against the law, He warned that it could lead to incidences of violence.

"I support any movement to ensure free and fair elections but when it comes to breaking law, I draw the line.
"Lonely as it may be to be the lone dissenter, I value my conscience more than anything."

Tunku Aziz expected what was coming -- reaction or some say, backlash, from the DAP leadership. He knew his breaking ranks and outspokenness would cost him. But he was prepared for all that, including not getting re-appointed as senator.

And the barbed wire came his way, He was no longer the towering Malay or Malaysian. He was a traitor. An old man. He should have known better than to make an opposing stand on Bersih. Not a team player, this man.

On Monday, the 78 year-old  said he was quitting the party.

He wasn't going to keep quiet, of course.

Some people feel like telling Tunku Aziz: We told you so.

And some people also feel like telling the DAP: We told you so.

Me -- I'd like to tell Tunku Aziz not to join any political party, after this. But I'm sure he's been told that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another faceBook Story...

Apparently, a poll showed that "everybody loves Facebook but nobody trusts it".

Read it here.

FaceBook, FaceBook...

So now we know. And no surprises, The world lives and breathes Facebook. Can't leave home without it, I'll tell you that.

Here's yet another story on Facebook.
(source: CNET)
For years, mobile operators around the world have been living large off the high traffic of SMS traffic. But the salad days are coming to an abrupt end because of a change in user behavior that ought to leave Mark Zuckerberg quite pleased.
Many operators are increasingly losing SMS customers to Facebook, according to a research note put out Friday by telecommunications consulting firm Strand Consult.

This is a simple zero-sum game in which smartphone users are spending more time hanging out on Facebook and thus left with less time to shoot texts to each other.

 Of the more than 800 million people around the world using Facebook, Stand Consult says that over 425 million of them access the social network on their mobile phones. Measuring by minutes of use, the report says that Facebook "probably transports more mobile traffic, number of messages and time spent online than the world's largest operator."

 People who believe that Google is currently the biggest threat to mobile operators may not realize exactly how much time mobile customers are using on Facebook and how Facebook is currently changing the way over 800 million people communicate on a daily basis. The biggest difference between Facebook and Google is that Facebook is a communication tool that people use to keep in touch with their family and friends every day.
In many ways one can compare Facebook's development in the mobile industry to how the Internet affected the media industry. Market players like Google, Skype, Twitter and MSN are only marginally important to the mobile industry compared to Facebook.
The question is whether operators can do anything to limit the damage that Facebook is making on their cash flow? Is there any way that mobile operators can retain their SMS revenue even though customers are using Facebook to communicate?

Continue reading HERE.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Friday, May 04, 2012

Foreign Kidnap Gang Busted...

How crazy is this? Desperate? Or plain evil? Robbing and kidnapping your own people who come here for a better life. You're supposed to look out for each other.

But..please. Don't look at a Bangladeshi with suspicious eyes...

Here's the news report:

Published: Friday May 4, 2012 MYT 8:08:00 PM

SHAH ALAM: Police have smashed a foreign workers kidnapping gang with the arrest of 10 Bangladeshi men and an Indonesia woman on Thursday.
Selangor police chief Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said police also freed two Bangladeshis and two Myanmar nationals, aged 18 to 40, who were found locked up in a shophouse in Jalan Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur at 11.30pm Thursday.
"The raid also led to the arrest of five Bangladeshi men and an Indonesian woman aged between 23 and 39," he told a press conference here.
Police seized a Maybank account book, a hockey stick, a chain, eight Bangladesh passports and nine mobile phones.
Earlier, police arrested four Bangladeshi men, aged 30 to 43, in Mentari Court, Subang Jaya after receiving a report from a 50-year-old Bangladeshi man working in Japan.
The factory worker received a phone call on March 29 from a kidnapper known as Shiraz asking for ransom of RM15,000 for the release of his nephew here.

Continue reading here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

And Way Yonder In New York....

OWS bums are a big joke

Hard workers enjoy good laugh as May Day skirmishes fizzle

Occupy Wall Street’s call for May Day mayhem largely fizzled yesterday — but at least provided a good laugh for hardworking people gazing from their office windows at the demonstrators’ antics as cops took a few dozen into custody.
“How can anyone take them seriously? They look like homeless people,” quipped Financial District bartender Kimberly Leo.
“I saw one woman complaining about not having a job, but she had a shirt with the word “nympho” on it,” Leo, 26, said. “These people need a change of wardrobe and a shower.”
The daylong demonstrations featured several thousand protesters doing little more than snarling traffic in sporadic gatherings around the city.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The US-Sponsored "Protest" Movement In Malaysia

From Centre for Global Research On Globalization.

By Nile Bowie

Protests rocked the streets of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, April 28, as an estimated 25,000 people took to the streets in support of Bersih [1], an organization fighting to reform the nation’s electoral system.

The organization refers to itself as ‘The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections’, comprised of 84 Malaysian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that form a ‘coalition of like minded civil society organizations unaffiliated to any political party
’ [2]. The recent rally follows two previous mass demonstrations in November 2007 and July 2011, as organizers renew their demands for the Malaysian Election Commission to resign before the 13th General Elections scheduled for June 2012 [3]. Although the coalition claims to be devoid of political affiliation, the movement is fully endorsed by Malaysia’s main opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim and the Pakatan Rakyat political coalition he oversees.

Following documented cases of United States-based organizations funding pro-opposition civil society groups associated with civil unrest in Russia [4] and the Middle East [5], Chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan acknowledged that the Bersih coalition received financial support from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Open Society Institute (OSI) [6]. An article published in the New York Times entitled "U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings" reveals organizations such as the National Democratic Institute receive funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a recipient of funds directly from the US Congress [7]. The Bersih Coalition has also received support from the US-based Freedom House [8], an NGO that receives direct funding from the US State Department [9]. While concern over electoral corruption and the various legitimate grievances of Bersih supporters may be entirely justified, the coalition’s association with opposition Political parties and groups financed by the United States government suggests subversion.

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammed has warned that the ruling Barisan Nasional party is targeted for regime change due to its stance on Israel and criticism of US policy, while condemning Anwar Ibrahim for his close ties to Paul Wolfowitz and other adherents of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) [10]. Furthermore, Mahathir has accused the United States of using currency manipulation and US-funded NGOs to orchestrate the kind of destabilization needed to install a compliant proxy government [11]. Dr. William Robinson explains the subversive methods of conducting regime change through “democracy promotion” in his book, ‘Promoting Polyarhcy,’ “In Latin America, in Eastern Europe with the Velvet Revolutions, in Africa, in the Middle East, really all over the world, the U.S. set up these different mechanisms now for penetrating these civil societies in the political systems of countries that are going to be intervened and to assure the outcome is going to be pleasing to Washington's foreign policy objectives” [12].

Eva Golinger, a researcher who has been investigating the democracy promotion efforts of the United States offers, “Millions and millions of U.S. tax payer dollars go every year into funding for political organizations and campaigns in different countries in the world that promote US agenda. Most U.S. citizens are unaware of the fact that that is how their money is being spent, to meddle, and to influence and to interfere in other nation’s affairs” [13]. While the demands of the Bersih coalition appear to be coherent and apolitical, the convergence of its leadership with the opposition political establishment provides Anwar Ibrahim and Malaysia's opposition front Pakatan Rakyat with the means to mobilize demonstrators under the benign common cause of “clean and fair elections.” The initial Bersih demonstration in 2007 has become widely credited for Pakatan Rakyat’s record gains in the 2008 Malaysian elections, where the opposition coalition usurped power in five states and won 82 parliamentary seats [14].