Thursday, December 31, 2009


Let me wish my blog readers a wonderful and better new year, mindful that 2010 is the century's first decade.

Health, happiness and prosperity to us all through the blessed new year...Amin!

Ya Allah!

Today, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur ruled that the Catholic weekly magazine, Herald, can use the word "Allah" in its publications.

In this case, the Home Ministry and the government are respondents. Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam had filed for a judicial review on the usage of the word "Allah" in the church's publications.
On Jan 7, the Home Minister approved the Herald's publishing permit for the period Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2009, on condition that the word "Allah" was not used in it and the words "Restricted" must be printed on the weekly's front page whereby it could only be circulated to Christians and at churches only.

The Home Ministry has 30 days to appeal.

Here's the rest of the Bernama report

Justice Datuk Lau Bee Lan, in her oral decision, held that the Herald had the constitutional right to use the word in the magazine to propagate the Christian religion but not Islam.

She said that pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution, it was an offence for non-Muslims to use the word "Allah" to Muslims to propagate the religion.

But it was not an offence for non-Muslims to use the word to the non-Muslims for the purpose of religion, she added.

Pursuant to Articles 11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution, the Herald had the constitutional right to use the word in respect of instruction and education of the congregation in the Christian religion.

Article 10 allowed it to use the word in the exercise of its right to freedom of speech and expression, she said.

Lau said the decision by the Home Minister prohibiting Herald publications from using the word "Allah" in the magazine was illegal, null and void.

She said the minister had also failed to adduce evidence that the use of word would threaten national security and create misunderstanding and confusion among Muslims.

On Feb 16, Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam filed for a judicial review on the usage of the word "Allah" in the church's publications, naming the Home Ministry and the government as respondents.

He claimed that the word 'Allah' was not exclusive to the religion of Islam.
On Jan 7, the Home Minister approved the Herald's publishing permit for the period Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2009, on condition that the word "Allah" was not used in it and the words "Restricted" must be printed on the weekly's front page whereby it could only be circulated to Christians and at churches only.

The Home Minister had justified the ban on grounds of national security and to avoid misunderstanding and confusion among Muslims.

After the decision, senior federal counsel Datuk Kamaluddin Md Said, for the minister and the government, asked the court for clarification whether the decision would affect the Herald publications for the period Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2010.

He said this was because the application was for this year and not for next year's publications.

The church's counsel, Porres Royan, informed the court that the minister had given a fresh permit early this month for next year's publications.

"The decision speaks for itself. The minister has given the fresh permit for next year. I believe the minister would abide by the decision," he said.

Kamaluddin told the court that he had to take instructions from the minister whether today's decision would affect the fresh perm it for next year's publications as it involved a very serious matter.

He also said he needed to get instructions from the respondents on whether to appeal or to apply for a stay of execution of the decision.
Lau said the respondents had 30 days to file the application.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas....

I hate to spoil your Christmas by reminding you that a child killer is in our midst. There could be many. But I'm thinking of Nurin Jazlin's killer who is still at large and he could be the same person who raped and killed the 12 year-old girl whose body was found in a retention pond.

Don't mind me.

Go off now and have a good holiday.

Take care. And of your little ones!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Whose "Palace" Is This?

Nobody seems to know who belongs to this palatial home being built on a sprawling piece of land near Carcosa Seri Negara in Kuala Lumpur.
People don't play dumb for no good reason.
My bet is that a very super-duper rich businessman bought this piece of land from the government for this home to be built as a present to a very important someone who has contributed immensely to the progress and success of the nation.

But I am so bad at guessing.

MACC Can Question Witnesses Beyond Operating Hours

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission can now interrogate witnesses beyond their office hours, the Court of Appeal ruled today.

The Court of Appeal made this ruling after hearing an MACC appeal over a High Court landmark ruling that its interrogation sessions must be conducted during office hours, from 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Court of Appeal judges Hasan Lah, Ahmad Maarop and Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad heard submissions from senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh, for the MACC, and counsel Karpal Singh, for Kajang municipal councillor Tan Boon Wah.

The High Court ruling prevented the MACC from interrogating witnesses after office hours, contrary to its practice all this while.

Following the ruling, MACC investigation division director Shukri Abdull had on Nov 25 issued a directive to all MACC offices to confine the questioning of witnesses to the working hours of 8.30am to 5.30pm.

On Nov 19, High Court Judge Mohammad Ariff Md Yusof, in allowing a judicial review filed by Tan, ruled that Section 30(3)(a) of the MACC Act 2009 does not empower the MACC to investigate a witness "round-the-clock".

Tan, 39, is suing (then) MACC chief commissionerAhmad Said Hamdan, MACC assistant superintendent Mohammad Hassan Zulkifli and the MACC, claiming that his detention and questioning for 16 hours overnight by the MACC was unlawful, which resulted in him suffering losses and damage.

(source: Bernama)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nazri: No More Mahathir-bashing

According to the Star, Naz­ri Aziz will not speak anymore on Biro Tatanegara or argue about it with former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad with whom he has had a spat.

Nazri, who is Minister in the Prime Minis­ter’s Department was summoned by PM Najib Razak to his office in Putrajaya early yesterday for a meeting over the issue.

Here's the rest of the Star report by Joceline Tan.

"He declined to elaborate on what transpired between him and the Prime Minister but said he had given his word that he would not speak any more on NCB or argue about it with Dr Ma­­hathir.

“What I can say is that the Prime Minister is very concerned that some quarters may think that I am being used by the leadership to criticise Dr Mahathir. That is not true at all. What I said and did was on my own free will. You know me, I am my own man.

“I agreed to end this whole thing because I do not want to make things difficult for the Prime Minister, I don’t want to hurt his image,” he said,

Alluding to media reports of him as the “Last Samurai” or the last of the fearless politicians, he said there would be no hara kiri.

“Muslim Samurais do not commit harakiri,” he said.

Referring to Najib as the Shogun, he added: “My Shogun has spoken. As a Samurai, I have to do as he says.”

Najib, 57, and Nazri, 56, were contemporaries in the Umno Youth in the early 1990s.

Nazri’s war of words with Dr Mahathir over the NCB issue erupted earlier this week. Dr Mahathir defended the NCB system, saying it was useful in promoting values like discipline, honesty and rejecting corruption.

Nazri argued that the system should be revamped because it promoted racial sentiments and was out of tune with the changing political landscape.

However, Nazri came under severe criticism from Malay nationalists and pro-Mahathir quarters when he used the word “racist” on the statesman."

Tiger Falling In The Woods

"After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person" -- Tiger Woods.


Good for you, Tiger. Real tough decision.
Perhaps you'll return -- some day -- with a bang.

Anyway, it's amazing, and of course, so expected, that people are dissecting Tiger, cutting him up into pieces, just to find an explanation for what he did -- cheated on his wife (very much without her knowledge), many times over.
These people, including personality and behavioral experts, want to know why he acted the way he did beneath the veneer of wholesomeness and that all-American family-man image.

Bet you, Oprah will be discussing him, if she hasn't already.

Larry King had "experts" giving possible reasons for his infidelity. One expert said that Tiger behaved very much like someone with a troubled childhood. Or who was sexually abused. Oh yeah?

As the world now knows, this 33 year-old world top golfer (and the world’s first athlete to surpass $1 billion in career earnings) had been having rampant extramarital affairs with 9 women.
All this came out into the open after a car crash outside his Florida home. There were speculations arising from that accident because, among other things, his wife, Elin, was at the scene, with a golf club and the windscreen of his SUV was smashed.

And from then on, the proverbial pandora box was unlocked. Scandal after scandal were unleashed.
Quite a cheat sheet, if you ask me.

This guy had another life. And what a life. One that Elin who is the mother of his 2 young children, was not aware of...until, well.. 9 women later.

Actually, there is nothing unusual or abnormal about Tiger's transgressions. What's "outstanding" is the fact that he, a mega sports star, managed to keep his affairs pretty well under wraps, and for a pretty long time.
And we're talking about many affairs. Like a serial transgressor.
A very dissatisfied man, or someone who just wants to have loads of fun and sex simply because he can?

Anyway, as they can't hide (what you're doing) forever. Sooner or later... all mega-rich men inevitably cheat on their partners?
You know, I do not know of any mega-rich man who is able to stay faithful to his partner for a long time. I suppose they are faithful to one, at a time.
But, hey...what do I know..

Can they sustain fidelity to one woman? Do they invariably succumb to temptations? And there's plenty of that around.

These men can look as ugly as hell, but when you've got the money, honey, you've got the babes.

And an athlete like Tiger? Any athlete, for that matter. them babes come to him like bees to honey.
What more when you are super-rich. Right?

Remember all the reports in the tabloids about basketball, football and soccer players cavorting with women in wild parties, and bedding them. Some names come to mind.

So. what is so difficult to understand why Tiger did what he did.

He did what any man in his position would do. And that's not an exaggeration.

Anyway, I wish him well!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

PKFZ -- More Arrests To Follow

The PKFZ fiasco is far from over. The investigations are still going on" -- Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail told reporters in Putrajaya today.

Gani said more people, including a Kuala Dimensi engineer, are expected to be charged in court on Monday over the Port Klang Free Trade Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

Earlier today three people - Datin Paduka OC Phang, Bernard Tan Seng Swee and Stephen Abok - were charged at the Klang Sessions Court with three counts of criminal breach of trust amounting to RM254 million over the Port Klang Free Zone scandal.

Read the full report HERE.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Ex-Top Cop's RM47m Estate.

A former deputy IGP who died in September left RM47m in property and savings.

His son and brother are fighting over his estate in the court.

Tan Sri Jaafar Abdul (who was 77 when he died on Sept 1 at the Gleneagles Hospital after massive upper gastronomical bleeding) left RM37.3m in savings and RM9.7m in property.

The NST has the story on page one today.

Here's an excerpt:

"Jeffri Jaafar, son of Tan Sri Jaafar Abdul, obtained an interim order against Ahmad Bedul in the Syariah Court in Muar on Nov 4 to freeze all moveable properties of his father until a decision by the court".

Jeffri, 39, wants Ahmad's bank accounts frozen and an order that financial insitutions, inclduing Lembaga Urusan Tabung Haji, permodalan Nasional Bhd Bursa Malaysia and enforcement agencies, adhere to the syariah court order.

He also wants Islamic religious enforcement agencies, the police , the court and other relevant departments to help him enforce the order.

The court will be hearing the case on Monday (Dec 7).

I've been made to understand that Ahmad, 70, is the late Jaafar's only surviving brother. Jaafar's own wife, a Brunei Chinese died earlier (in 1987). Jeffri is the couple's only child.

I've also been told that a chunk of the estate is family inheritance (harta pesaka) as the late Jaafar's mother was from the Muar landed gentry and his father from Brunei.
After retirement he went into corporate life. He also led a frugal life and was a shrewd and conservative investor.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Fatine (who was born Mohammed Fazdil Bin Min Bahari) is a transsexual and is happily married to 30 year-old Ian Young. They are in the UK.

They met in KL. Ian, from Derby, England, knew from the start that Fatine, 36, was a transsexual.

Anyway to cut a story short, Fatine faces deportation due to an irregularity in her Visa application.

Ian has appealed yet again for Fatine to be able to stay in the UK. But the couple is not expecting any good news and it is highly likely that Fatine will have to return to Malaysia.
The UK immigration office has told Fatine that her visitor's pass has expired and she has to retrun home to re-apply. That was that!

Fatine is so distressed and fears for her life if she returns home because she has been receiving threatening e-mails and messages since the story of her marriage with Ian which was originally reported in The Sun (of the UK) was highlighted in a Malay tabloid, Kosmo.

It did not help that Immigration Department director-general Abdul Rahman Othman had to say that Fatine may face action when she returns home if it was found that she violated laws here.

Actually what Abdul Rahman said amounts to nothing. Of course no action will be taken against her if she had not broken any law in this country.

But, being what she is and fully aware of the prejudices that she may face from people here, even a nothing statement from such a powerful man, was enough to spook her.

I don't know what lies in store for Fatine when she comes home.
Will things be okay with her? Why shouldn't they be?
Will people even be bothered with her?

There are so many Fatines in the country.
In fact, there are among them we call friends.

I thought that most people have already accepted them as they are.

Read the Sun (UK) report HERE

The Star reports HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Selangor's SPIES

SPIES or the Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Social programme. The Selangor Government's "equivalent" of the Biro tatanegara programme.

Menteri BesarAbdul Khalid Ibrahim said the state would be training its officers to be more effective through SPIES.

What a name. SPIES.

Know more about SPIES HERE.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

CIJ On Barring Media From Covering Press Conferences

This is the Centre for Independent Journalism's (CIJ) response to the action by a Selangor Pakatan Rakyat officer in asking a reporter to leave a Press conference.

Yesterday, the CIJ issued a statement, urging political parties not to restrict media from covering public functions.

Continue reading the Bernama report:

"Its executive director V. Gayathry said the association disagreed with the decision by the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat to bar an Utusan Malaysia reporter from covering its press conference.

“CIJ believes that media professionals, regardless of the owners’ political affiliations, should be allowed to cover all public functions organised by the state,” she said in a statement here.

On Wednesday, Utusan Malaysia reporter Abdul Yazid Alias claimed that he was asked to leave a press conference organised by the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat Elected Representa-tives Officers Association (Selproa) secretary Ng Yap Hwa.

Gayathry said CIJ would also like to stress that while media should be allowed full access to cover public events and issues of public interest, they (media) should, on their part, give fair coverage.

“The continued hostility between Pakatan Rakyat and certain Barisan Nasional-linked or controlled newspapers about alleged unfair and inaccurate representations have resulted in the media being denied access from Pakatan Rakyat events.

“As the primary constituent of the two are public, the hostility affects the public’s right to know,” she said.

Gayathry said CIJ reiterated that any restrictions on media organisations to cover public events was unacceptable.

“On the other hand, public interests can only be served if the media is allowed to do its job in accordance to the principles of fairness and objectivity.

“CIJ aspires for a society that is democratic, just and free, where all people will enjoy free media and the freedom to express, seek and impart information,” added Gayathry. "

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Salam Aidil Adha...

Selamat menyambut Hari Raya Haji!

If you are leaving town to "balik kampung" or anywhere else -- have a safe journey!

What Become Of (Our) Athlete Greats Of Old...

...they just wither and disappear...... and are forgotten?

Santokh Singh collapsed at his home on Nov 16 after suffering convulsions.

He is now recovering in hospital.

Santokh Singh was everyone's football hero. Along with Mokhtar Dahari, Soh Chin Aun and R. Arumugam.

And those were the days of Malaysian diversity in sports. Well, in football. Yep -- Chinese boys wanted to be Mokhtar Dahari, Malay boys wanted to play like get my drift?

So, yeah. Until the news of him falling sick, he had remained a distant memory. I had never wondered even about what had become of Santokh Singh. Simply because "you don't hear of him..."

Those glory days of Malaysian sports (football!) in the 70s and 80s are memorable.

Okay. Here's a confession. In the 80s, I would take a lot of trouble to watch Selangor (football team) play in Merdeka Stadium.

Then, ....sports and all took a decline for reasons we all know but have not cared to address.

That aside, what of our great sportsmen and sportswomen who have retired?
For sure, thay have simply faded away.

What have we made of their contributions?

Do we have an active fund to help these former athletes, especially when they fall ill?

Here's the NST report.

Utusan Malaysia Reporter Chased Out Of Press Conference...

Wow. Talk about low tolerance threshold.

Yesterday, in Shah Alam, officers of Selangor’s Pakatan Rakyat Officers Association (Selproa) chased out Yazid Alias from a press conference at the state secretariat building.

Selproa secretary Ng Yap Hwa chased him out, claiming that the daily was a “federal government agent.”

It seems Selproa president Abdul Razak Ismail later told Ng to allow Yazid in but Ng said: “We can’t allow government propaganda machines into the press conference.”

Yazid, who is attached to the Shah Alam bureau.

You can read the Star report on this incident HERE.

Now, didn't Ng just do something really stupid? It shows that he (or is he representing the PKR) cannot accept any newspaper that publish reports he/PKR does not like.
Call Utusan Malaysia whatever you like, that's your prerogative. Stop Utusan Malaysia representatives from attending your press conferences -- sure, that's also your prerogrative.

But chasing its reporter from your press conference? Doesn't it show you up as being so intolerant of newspapers that don't support you? Doesn't it show your arrogance as well?

We can debate until the cows come home or kingdom come about your issues with Utusan Malaysia, but that's another matter.
Because Utusan Malaysia can also accuse you of many things.

You chased out a reporter and "accused" him of being a federal government agent. That shows you up.

And you are the State Government.

The thing is that Yazid did receive an invite to cover the Selproa press conference but...

Ng. Tsk tsk tsk. Tak sporting-lah.

Monday, November 23, 2009


It seems cyberstalkers are on the rise in Malaysia. And I imagine elsewhere in the world.

According to the NST, (quoting Cyber-Security Malaysia, an agency under the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry), the number of cases in the first 10 months of the year had more than doubled to 151 from 72 last year.

Cyber-Security Malaysia says stalkers, among other things, harass netizens by sending rude messages or posting personal pictures without the consent of the owner (not necessarily nude ones), or abusing their email, blogs and social networking accounts.

The report is HERE.

Aah...we've all had our fair share of cyberstalkers. Some are harmless, really. Some are crazed and some are just plain nasty!

Occupational hazard, they say.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lingerie With GPS Device...

Here's a NY daily news online article:

"We've always thought that the gift of lingerie was more about the gift giver than actually something for us (who's really reaping the benefits of that sexy little bra? Not really you), but this latest innovation is taking the selfish-present idea to a whole new level.

Brazilian company LindeLucy Lingerie has just put out a collection of underwear called “Find Me If You Can.” Each of the pieces—ranging from bras to teddies to garter belts—is equipped with a built-in, pager-sized GPS system that allows those with the password to track your whereabouts online.

Though it seems terrible and uncomfortable and just plain scary to us, designer Lucia Iorio argues that her lingerie is playful and empowering, not the ideal tool for obsessive boyfriends who want to hunt you down, keep you under their control, and perhaps Star 80 you if you try to run away.

She explains: "This collection is a wink to women and a challenge to men because, even if she gives him the password to her GPS, she can always turn it off. She can be found only if she wants to [be]."


Well, if this sounds like fun for you, the pieces can be found on LindeLucy's website and retail for $800 to $1,100."


Kinda scary, isn't?
Maybe not for some people. But how about boxers or men's underwear with GPS? All's fair ....

Unreasonable Hours

On Thursday, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that the MACC can only interrogate witnesses during office hours between 8.30am an 5.30pm.

With this ruling, the mACC can no longer interrogate witnesses overnight or beyond office hours.


In the NST editorial today, it argued this:

"The ruling, unfortunately, ignores the fact that in combating corruption, strong laws are as vital as the wide powers at their disposal because these represent a proportionate response to a dark, stealthy, insidious crime.

This is tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We are dealing with a different type of situation where one size does not fit all.

Office hours become unreasonable hours when getting accurate, timely, relevant information of the kind that is integral to the detection, investigation, prosecution and conviction of those charged with corruption.

What is most disappointing is that the fixation on one point of law misses the bigger problem of the "third degree", that is to say, the lengthy, continuous unrelenting periods of interrogation, and the types of pressure tactics and other excesses that could go on, not just for hours but days and weeks on end, that we should guard against.

This is why it is vital to review the code of practice and standard operating procedures for investigations to ensure avoidance of arbitrariness, respect for human rights, the observance of due process, and the defence of the rule of law.

Our standards in this respect must be exacting. We cannot accept any notion that everything is permissible for the graft-busters in the interest of bringing the crooked to justice."


Friday, November 20, 2009

Longing For Those Carefree Days...

Or something like that...

Just the other day, the security guard company (guarding our neighbourhood), emailed me to remind me to keep my front gate closed and my front door locked at all times.

The company rep related a recent incident in our neighbourhood where the house owner got home, leaving his gate ajar and front door unlocked, and went straight upstairs. Not a moment too soon, someone came into the house and took off with several items on the ground floor. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

How I have heaved a sigh (of helplessness) one too many times.

What scary times we are living in.

When I first moved into my neighbourhood in 1986, I could leave my gate ajar, anytime of the day. There were hardly any cases of snatch-theft or burglary.

My kids could play in the driveway with the gate wide open.

When Adel was learning to ride the bicycle, I took him around the neighbourhood.

When Adel and later, Shaira, were big enough to play in the playground nearby, I'd walk with them to get there.

And I'd not think twice about walking to the nearby shops.

Then, steadily, cases of petty crimes occured. Still, I was confident that they were isolated cases,

But when a neighbour's house was broken into in broad daylight one not-so-fine afternoon, it got me spooked. Only because I had my children at home (with the maid) while I was away at work.

In those days, few houses had automatic/electronic gates installed. You'd usually see bungalows or those huge detached houses with these gates. A kind of status symbol, although, yeah, I'd install the gate if I lived in a huge bungalow.

I used to (and still do) work late hours. When I got home, I'd go out of the car and open the gate, drive into the garage and walk to the gate to close and lock it.

For a very long time, I never thought much of it.

The too-close-for-comfort incident got me worried. So I had an automatic gate installed. For safety. And it was clearly the damn right thing to do.

Today, almost every house -- and I'm talking link houses here -- has got an automatic gate installed. It is really a necessity.

Today, we are all one frightened lot.

Our neighbourhoods are fair game to any would-be criminal.

It's very easy to point fingers at the police for not stepping up their patrolling of residential areas.

Have they given this low priority? Or they are under-staffed?

Whatever the reason, I'm seeing neighbourhoods becoming gated residential areas. For better or worse, I don't know.

The point is, these security guards cannot "close" the roads because I believe it is illegal to do so on public roads.

Several entry/exit points in our neighbourhood have got those things you put up by security guards. They are not "closed". Just manned.

Perhaps the guards are already familiar with the residents' cars that they allow vehicles to pass through.
So, really, from a security point of view, this is as good as not having those points "guarded". Anyone can actually enter the area.
Yeah, what's the point then, of having these guards?

I suppose, it's better than not having any kind of security at all. Besides, I suppose, it makes the residents feel s a f e r.

But, how sad it is that our neighbourhoods have gone that way. Guarded at almost every point.

"What to do...not safe these days.." said a friendly neighbour. So resigned to the state of things.

Oh..for those wonderful carefree days where we can leave our gates unlocked, take that walk to the neighbourhood shops with nary a care or fear of the unknown, play in the park/playground without worry of crazed abductors...

Muslim Nations Seek Blasphemy Ban

Here's an Associated Press (AP) special report, datelined GENEVA.

Four years after cartoons of the prophet Muhammad set off violent protests across the Muslim world, Islamic nations are mounting a campaign for an international treaty to protect religious symbols and beliefs from mockery - essentially a ban on blasphemy that would put them on a collision course with free speech laws in the West.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that Algeria and Pakistan have taken the lead in lobbying to eventually bring the proposal to a vote in the U.N. General Assembly.

If ratified in countries that enshrine freedom of expression as a fundamental right, such a treaty would require them to limit free speech if it risks seriously offending religious believers. The process, though, will take years and no showdown is imminent.

The proposal faces stiff resistance from Western countries, including the United States, which in the past has brushed aside other U.N. treaties, such as one on the protection of migrant workers.


Tee Keat's Aide Resigns...

According to a Bernama report today, Simon Lim, a top aide to MCA president and Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat, has resigned.

Lim, Tee Keat's political secretary, resigned after the MCA Central Committee (CC) meeting on Wednesday.

He told Bernama that he personally tendered his resignation letter, dated Nov 18, to his boss with a copy to the prime minister.

His resignation takes effect Dec 1.

Lim who is also the MCA special task force bureau head, cited personal reasons for his decision. He says he wants to return to his law practice -- Simon & Co -- in which he was a senior partner.

He told Bernama that he had planned to do so after the MCA extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Oct 10. But, obviously he must have thought twice about doing it, and remained as Tee Keat's aide.

"Now I think it is the best time to do that," he said.

Lim did not want to say whether his resignation had anything to do with talk that he disagreed with Tee Keat's decision to revamp the MCA presidential council.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Najib Will Meet Warring MCA Factions

UPDATE - Friday Nov 20 2009

NST online: MCA president Ong Tee Keat has met with Prime Minister Najib Razak regarding developments in the party. The meeting took place yesterday (Thursday) morning.

Ong, speaking to the NST, refused to reveal what was discussed with Najib.

“Like any other day when I meet the prime minister who is also the BN chief, I take the opportunity to keep him updated on partisan developments.

“This morning is no exception and we managed to have a short discussion on party matters,” he said, while thanking Najib for his advice and concern.

He said the meeting was privy to only both of them and not meant for public consumption.

Original posting.

Looks like the Prime Minister has got little choice but to intervene. Gotta help save the MCA before it's too late.
Najib feels that the crisis in the BN's second largest component party is worsening.

(I did a posting on this HERE)

He would try to meet them before Nov 28.

Neither, MCA president Ong Tee Keat, Dr Chua Soi Lek, nor Liow Tiong Lai seems to be able to find a solution.

In their own way, they tried -- Ong and Dr Chua on one side with the Great Unity Plan, and Liow, the other, with all sorts of manouvres too.
But, whatever they did, was further splitting the party.

It is red alert in the MCA.

Here's from the NST online report

The Prime Minister said that the failure of MCA leaders to find a solution to the impasse could result in the party unable to win the trust and confidence of the Chinese community and the people as a whole.

"I will find time to talk to them and will see if there is a common ground; we will take it from there," he said after opening the 2009 International Paralympic Committee General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur today.

To a question, Najib who is BN chairman, said he would meet the factions probably separately and would try to do so before Nov 28.

Groups aligned to vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai are set to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on that date to push for a fresh party election.

Najib said there were many groups expressing disappointment over the turn of events in the MCA.

"Certainly if we want to find a formula for unity, our action should reflect that desire. It seems that what is happening in the MCA so far, no longer inspires confidence among those outside the party, including among BN component members," he said.

The prime minister also said that the crisis in the MCA would affect the BN, especially the effort to restore the coalition's image in the eyes of the people.

"Yes, it is going to hamper our effort to revive the position of BN in the eyes of the people. The people now see Umno as being very stable and has gone through the process of reforming itself and presenting a new image to the rakyat.

"We hope that other parties will come together and reflect the desire to put together a new image for the BN," he said.

In a latest twist to the crisis, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat yesterday removed nine leaders aligned to Liow from the Presidential Council, including Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong and Wanita chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

Meanwhile, check out Ong at NST Live which he held this afternoon.

Meanwhile, newly-appointed MCA presidential council member - lawyer-blogger and former Pahang wakil rakyat Ti Lian Ker said that the reshuffle was "administrative in nature".

He remarked:

"Words uttered to the effect of “chop, slash and burn” are a distortion of reality.
The dramatics of breaking down in public is a political drama. I can testify in public that the personalities who cried in public were happily laughing away during the CC meeting. It therefore, catches me by surprise that MCA leaders wept tears in front of the cameras yesterday.

Ti posted about this development in his blog "Thinking Aloud" .

In reference to the PM's plan to meet the MCA leaders, he said:

"I hope that there will not be a political godfather culture within the party where rebellious quarters undermine the party agenda purely because they have the comfort of the ears of their political godfather outside the party.

The perception of external intervention into internal party matters which is only administrative of nature will further damage the party’s dignity or independence. When other BN component parties have internal bickering, we don’t see their leaders crying to component parties to interfere."


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bad Ad!

If you're around Jalan PJS 6/4, Bandar Sunway, you may notice posters (of an advertisement) for the enhancement of the male reproductive organ.

Residents in the area are already upset by this "obscene" posters pasted on trees near a playgorund.

According to Berita Harian, a survey among the residents found that the ad is in bad taste as it had pictures of a large banana and the sentence “I love banana”.

If they had their way, they'd want to take the posters down.

Tun Dr M For Senior Minister?

There has been a suggestion that former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad be made a senior minister.

Here's the Bernama report in the Star.

Dr Mahathir was PM for 22 years until his retirement in October 2003. He is honorary president of the Perdana Leadership Foundation and is a blogger.

Meanwhile, the Tun has something to say about politicians who hold religious ceramah HERE.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Mother's Anguish -- Elis' Blog

A few days ago, I posted about Elis Syuhaila Mokhtar -- the 34 year-old whose little boy was taken by her ex-husband to Belgium.

Elis started a blog today. I would too, I'm sure.

I discovered this when I found her comment in my posting about her.

Her blog is simply named : "Bring Back Ferris To Malaysia".

"....tell me, how do i live without him?" -- Elis asks. You feel her anguish. Her pain.

This is her posting:

"I've been in the newspapers for last 8 months...i have one thick file of them, included police reports. After 2 years, i've been struggling for my son's custody, Alhamdulillah... finally, yesterday, i have granted by the Syariah High Court for Ferris' full custody.
But Ferris wasn’t there. All I got only just a piece of paper which I hope will be the authorization to get Ferris back to me.

He just 5 years old and he is Malaysian born. He had been taken away by his Dutch father since March 03, 2009. I haven’t seen Ferris ever since, until today. No news, NOTHING! I don’t know where he is and how he is.
I AM MISSING HIM for every fraction seconds. I’m desperately needs HELP me to bring Ferris Mokhtar back to Malaysia, and to me.

“We have police, immigration, Wisma Putra and Interpol to protect Ferris not to be taken away by his father if he intends to take Ferris away from Malaysia..” that was what Judge has promised me on Feb 03, 2009, the day i have to let Frank has Ferris for a week.

I have obeyed the Malaysian Law. I trust my country for my son's life.
Now, Ferris is gone. No one cares about it. And I want to claim the promises. Please help me!"

Do read her blog...

Friday, November 13, 2009

PM Should Intervene In MCA..

Some people will disagree with me, I know. But let's face it. MCA is doomed if things are allowed to take their own course.
Things are not getting any better in the MCA. Let's at least admit (to) that.

There was a point somewhere in time when the signs were positive for a 'recovery" but they so quickly dissipated.

Now, you have a third force. How can that greater unity plan be put in place when there is a third force now? Obviously, "they" do not want the Ong-Dr Chua leadership.

I see a deepening crisis if this goes on.

The Prime Minister who is chairman of Barisan Nasional has got to intervene. But not without some kind of plan or formula to resolve the problem.

Najib Razak last month has told the MCA's very embattled president Ong Tee Keat to work out the problem. The MCA should get their act together. That the solution should not just be legally and politically acceptable but also morally acceptable.
Then the greater unity plan was "unveiled" in which Ong Tee Keat and his rival, Dr Chua Soi Lek came together for the greater good of the party.

I've lost faith in any "assurance" by both Ong and Dr Chua to bring unity to the MCA.

It's a whole load of crap, if you ask me. Because, meanwhile, Dr Chua went on to seek legitimacy from the Registrar of Societies on his position as deputy president. That was not necessary, nor wise. Because, then Liow who was appointed as deputy president by the party's central committee, would be put in an awkward position.

Dr Chua was reinstated. And Liow? He was going to challenge the ROS decision.

See, where this is all going?

Things have gone out of control. Really spiralled out of control.

It looks like nothing coming from Ong or Dr Chua is going to work. It will be resisted.

MCA is in dire straits, in need of desperate measures.

So, let's look at the situation squarely. Clinically. Without fear or favour.
What (in this case, who) is the root and cause of the problem? If my guess is right -- Ong and Dr Chua. Both were booted out by the controversial EGM which was called to "vote" on their fate. Ong got the no-confidence vote and Dr Chua got the "sack" vote.

So, the outcome was that both should go.
The delegates had spoken.
So, logically, shouldn't they go?

Ong, against the EGM's outcome, decided to hold on to the presidency even though he had given his word that he would if voted so. He, of course, later explained why he decided to remain. Something very vague and unclear.

Dr Chua has no moral standing to remain as deputy president. Not my opinion. The delegates'. No need to go into details.

So, Ong and Dr Chua have got to go. Because they are the source of this rot.

And the rot has got to be stopped.

Let a new team lead the party.

As I have said. The PM should intervene.

Third Force has already registered their wish for that. READ THIS.

There is a need for a strong formidable plan/strategy to arrest the problem, resolve the crisis so that the party can begin the process of reform.

Leave things as they are, and MCA is doomed.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Bridge Too Far?

Not at all, according to Malacca Chief Minister Ali Rustam.

They are going to build that RM44 billion 37km (37 km!) bridge linking Malacca’s Telok Gong in Alor Gajah to Sumatra’s Pulau Rupat, Dumai and Pekan Baru.

At the risk of sounding vision-less, I will have to say that this is one super mega project that we can do without. Ok. So I am vision-less.

Ali believes that we need the bridge. Read THIS.

He said the project would be a private initiative between China’s Axim Bank and local consortium Malacca Straits Development.

The bank has agreed to finance up to 85% of the construction of the US$13bil (RM44.2bil) bridge with the local company having to bear the remaining 15% of the cost.

Ali said the bridge would not only spur economic growth between the two countries but also strengthen relations.

He added that the use of modern technology has made construction of large bridges common around the world despite challenges posed by natural threats.


My esteemed estimation is that by the time construction begins (God forbid!), the cost will balloon and inflate to five times the original cost! That usually happens, doesn't it?

Right now, I'm just dizzy trying to visualise 37 kilometres of the bridge across the sea....

Really getting sea sick!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bringing Back Ferris....

I'm glad that something is being done to help Elis Syuhaila Mokhtar bring back her five-year-old son, Ferris who was "abducted" by her ex-husband, to Belgium.

Forty-year-old Frank Theodorus Van De Ven @ Fridaus, with whom she shared custody of Ferris after their divorce, took the child away on the pretext of taking him for a holiday in Penang nine months ago.
That was the last time Elis saw her son.

Elis, 34, immediately sought recourse in the Syariah High Court to gain full custody of Ferris. Yesterday, the court awarded her custody.

She has got custody but, really, what's the use when the child is in another country.

What can she do?

I felt for Elis. I can only imagine her pain. She must have been utterly bereft. So helpless at what seems to be such hopelessness.

Thankfully, our Foreign Ministry has been on the case. The ministry and the Belgian Government have tracked down Ferris and will work to bring him back.

Wisma Putra, according to the NST, is now in the midst of discussing his return with the Belgian authorities.

Foreign Ministry consular division under-secretary Ayauf Bachi said five Malaysian missions, including those from Thailand and Netherlands, started searching for Van De Ven following Ferris' disappearance.

Ferris is Malaysian. He was taken abroad without his passport which is with Elis.

The Belgian authorities finally notified the Malaysian mission in Brussels of Frank's whereabouts in September.

The Belgian Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Aid Ministry had served a summon and a warrant of arrest issued by the Selangor Syariah Judiciary Department to Frank on Oct 16.

I'm not sure how this will turn out. I hope for a happy ending. But, well, we know, in these sort of situations, there is never a happy ending, because someone will be hurt.

Here's the NST report.

Also, go here to Elis' blog "Bring Back Ferris To Malaysia".

Photo of Elis and Ferris -- courtesy NST.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Awang Goneng In New Sunday Times

I'm happy to report that Awang Goneng AKA Wan Hulaimi is writing for the New Sunday Times.

This Sunday's will be his third contribution.

Wan Hulaimi -- writer, blogger -- lives in London with his wife, Zaharah Othman AKA Kak Teh and their four children.

Zaharah also writes for the NST.

Wan Hulaimi was a journalist with the NST, and was its London Correspondent nearly 30 years ago, during the time Zaharah and I started our career with the newspaper.

They have been living in London in all that time and raised their brood -- Hafiz, Rehana, Norhana and Taufiq.

Check out Hulaimi's columns : on History Resides Forever Between Pages Of Old Books and on The Travels Of Uncle Salim

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Johor Bahru's Ninja Squad...

Johor Bahru's Ninja Squad, formed about three months ago, is said to have been very effective in curbing crimes like wayward robberies and snatch thefts, in the city.

The 16-man squad "patrol" JB's crime hotspots on their Kawasaki KLX250.

They got the name "Ninja" squad from members of the public, perhaps because they wear full-faced helmets as they go on their rounds.

Read the Star report HERE.

Well, we sure could do with a Ninja Squad in KL and PJ.

And perhaps, also give the Mat Rempits a real scare.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bathe Together, Use Sensuous Fragrances And Wear Sexy Pyjamas... spice up your sex life with your spouse. In Terengganu, that is.

I mean...really!?

Oh. dear. A state crisis. Anyway, here's a news report about why some marriages in Terengganu have turned, er , bad and boring ... yawn..... And, yes - the State government has found it important enough to help married couples find that oomph in their sex life and that elusive sweet bliss in their marriage. (source: the Star)

KUALA TERENGGANU: Body odour, humdrum sex and boring pyjamas have been blamed for the high divorce rate in Terengganu and the state government is coming up with innovative ways to improve sexual relations, especially among newly-weds.
Top on its list is to invite cosmetic firms to introduce exotic and sensuous fragrances that can arouse sexual desire.
And husbands and wives are being encouraged to bathe together.
State Religious and Information Committee deputy chairman Muhammad Ramli Nuh believes that these moves can curb the divorce rates among young couples.
He told The Star yesterday that at least three in every 10 marriages in the state end in divorce, adding that separation was now the prevalent trend among couples aged between 25 and 30 years.
Muhammad Ramli said couples who had been married for less than five years and were on the verge of separation had told counsellors that routine sex and body odour were the main reasons for them to want to break up.
He said he was bewildered that some of these couples said their spouses’ old-fashioned pyjamas – sarong and t-shirt – and bad smell during intimate moments made their sex life monotonous or turned them off completely.
“I know of one case where a separation was triggered just because the spouse smelled of fish crackers,” he said.
As such, he said the state government – through state Family Development Board – was asking cosmetic firms to introduce special perfumes for the couples so they could “sustain their relationships, hopefully for eternity.”
Muhammad Ramli said married couples should bathe together to make their relationship more exciting.
“I met this elderly couple in Kelantan, they bathe together although they are grandparents; they enjoy a blissful marriage, this is when I mooted the idea where this method could be introduced as part of the pre-marital courses conducted in the state,” he said.
Muhammad Ramli said the state government was also sourcing for consultants to provide grooming workshops.
“This workshop is not only meant for the wives but also to provide men with tips on how to be attractive to their spouse at all times,” he said.
He said these consultants could also suggest the right lingerie to be worn.
Muhammad Ramli added that the state government had engaged marriage consultants to mediate between feuding couples.


I hear you out there. You could've told them the same thing on how to...

So, go offer your consultancy services....

Malaysia Is Among the World's Best- Value Destinations

This is according to the travel guide firm, Lonely Planet.

The British-based company, in its Best In Travel 2010 guide, said Malaysia “is a clever choice for travellers on the lookout for a bargain”.

Thanks to the economic crisis, Iceland and London were also among the top 10 destinations, which included Thailand, South Africa, India, Mexico, Bulgaria, Kenya and Las Vegas,

The annual snapshot book captures “the world’s hottest travel trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the year ahead”, Lonely Planet said yesterday.

The economic collapse in Iceland meant the island was no longer punitively expensive, said the guide, putting the beleaguered country at the top of its best-value list.

Thailand, at number two, remained “perennially good value”, said the book.

Meanwhile, London’s days as a costly destination were now over, Lonely Planet said, thanks to the exchange rate which made it “much more affordable for visitors from abroad”.

The top 10 countries overall for travellers were El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Portugal, Suriname and the United States.

The top 10 cities were Abu Dhabi, Charleston (South Carolina), Cork (Ireland), Cuenca (Ecuador), Istanbul, Kyoto (Japan), Lecce (Italy), Sarajevo, Singapore and Vancouver (Canada).

Bali (Indonesia), Goa (India), Koh Kong (Cambodia), Southern Africa and southwest Western Australia featured among the top 10 regions. — AFP

Wayang MCA...

It is doubtful that the MCA leadership can resolve the crisis anytime soon. The greater unity plan remains so elusive. It seems to be one thing after another.

That said, there is some hope, a glimmer, and only if there is a strong partnership (at least, seeming) between party president and his re-instated deputy Dr Chua Soi Lek, to right things.

Everyone is asking -- what now? Given that Liow Tiong Lai is already in the seat -- has been since Oct 15, voted by the party's central committee.

So, how can things get better when Liow who is not at all amused by this development, is challenging the ROS' decision in declaring that Dr Chua remains deputy president.
The crisis, as they say, deepens.

Yet, at the same time, Ong is acting to get things off the ground to effect the greater unity plan. Yesterday, he sacked four appointed central committee members, replacing them with four others including Dr Chua's son, Tee Yong.

Now, that (Tee Yong's appointment) says something. Smacks of goodwill.

The four whom Ong had sacked were among the 16 CC members who signed a requisition to call for an EGM to decide if the party should hold a fresh election.
Can't blame him, can we? You trust people and they stab you in the back.

I suppose Ong has got to be an SOB to get things done. No mercy!

So, back to everyone's question -- How much longer will this wayang go on?

(Do read the Star reports here here and here, and the NST here and here )

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bridge Tragedy: 22 Children Feared Perished

This is really so sad. I feel so sad.

And angry...

How could this have happened?

My prayers for them all.....

UPDATE - Thursday Oct 29 2009

The bodies of the 2 missing girls have been found.
M. Devatharshini’s body was found by a search and rescue team from Rela at about 11.30pm on Wednesday (Oct 28) , the body of V. Divyashree, 12, was recovered at about 9.25am the following day (Oct 29) by a team from the army.

My heartfelt condolences to the families of the three children who perished in the tragedy.


19 alive, one died and 2 missing.

Please God...let them be ok.


Twenty two pupils, aged between 10 and 12, were believed to have drowned after they were swept away by strong currents when they fell into the Kampar river in Perak (Monday) last night. As of 5am this morning, none of them have been found.

They were among 298 other pupils who were part of a four-day motivational programme comprising 60 schools from the Kinta Selatan district.

The children were in the midst of crossing a 30m hanging bridge, to get across Sungai Kampar, when the bridge suddenly collapsed.

Thirty of the pupils were crossing the bridge when it gave way and 22 of them plunged into the river, while the rest managed to escape to safety.

Continue reading here...

MCA Farce

My very dear friend, Kee Thuan Chye -- whom I have known since God-knows-when -- texted me this morning, reminding me to read his commentary in The Sun today about the crisis in the MCA.

I think I should reproduce it here -- without his permission. Thanks, TC....and hope you don't mind.

No cheers for Farce of the Year
Kee Thuan Chye

SURE, "politics is the art of the possible" – especially if it involves politicians who can change their tune overnight. That’s why it has been possible for Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek to suddenly become friends again after a year of fierce animosity between them.

The art of the possible also works with politicians who can forget about scruples and put on a show. Nothing exhibits this more clearly than the outwardly awkward reconciliation between these enemies last Thursday. For added value, the would-be usurper of the presidency, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, was also dragged into the act, a seemingly reluctant performer at that. So too was Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, who had until now kept a dignified low profile.

It was a show that could easily have given the Goons of that famous British TV comedy a run for their asininity. I laughed so much, I had to call it the Most Laughable Farce of the Year, and nominate Ong, Chua and the supporting players for Best Comic Ensemble.

Who in their right mind would give much credence to this quick-glue patch-up that is aimed at reunifying the MCA? From reports, Ong had to leave the press conference room for 10 minutes to bring Liow and Kong in. Scriptwriters would have their imagination fired up by what transpired in those 10 minutes. They would be wondering, too, about what might be simmering behind those counterfeit smiles flashed for the media cameras. The tears of a clown? The resentment of facing a checkmate?

Scriptwriters would also be wondering if there was an unseen hand behind this sudden volte-face on the part of Ong and Chua since both have said that the prime minister gave them his blessing to get back together. Was this an example of deus ex machina, a la Aristotle? Who is the deus ("god" in Latin)? Are these four men in actuality wayang kulit characters putting on a show at the command of their puppet-master?

Sorry, I got carried away with the dramatic possibilities. I actually meant to ask: Where is the concern for integrity in this latest episode of the MCA saga? At what level is the moral quotient of these men who purport to lead the MCA? How is the MCA going to be credible in the eyes of the Chinese community – let’s not even consider the wider Malaysian public – when what its leaders have done must force us to suspend our disbelief?

Besides, how workable is this hasty marriage of inconvenience between Ong and Chua likely to be?


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Trouble In Paradise...

I meant -- Crisis in Pas.

Pas mursyidul am Nik Aziz Nik Mat has suggested that a special/extraordinary general meeting be held to "have a new mandate" for the party leadership.

The Tok Guru is basically unhappy with party president Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa as well Dr Hasan Ali and Mustafa Ali, for cavorting with Umno -- that very sinful party.

He wrote in his blog on the need for a such a meeting just like Umno and MCA had to resolve issues that needed to be decided, once and for all.

You sense his quiet desperation at the goings-on, and the shenanigans of Hadi and his circle of supporters in holding clandestine meetings with Umno sinners.

Hadi and gang are pro-Umno, to put it plainly. While Husam Musa is part of the Erdogan group who are pro-Anwar Ibrahim.

The Tok Guru was not amused, to put it mildly, when he got wind of the sinister "unity" talks between the Hadi team, and Umno leaders.

The Tok Guru considers them - Hadi and gang -- problematic leaders and thorns in the Pas' flesh, who will lead the party astray.

Some people say the Tok Guru himself is faced with opposition within Kelantan Pas, who want him to retire after 19 years as Kelantan menteri besar.

Nik Aziz said, in his blog, that there is a strong need for a change of the major players in the Pas leadership.

This can be a preparation for the next general election, he remarked.

" We must take steps similar to Umno and MCA to settle their internal problems. Our issue is with two or three problematic leaders."

Here's an excerpt from his posting:

"Tidak boleh jadi ni, kita duk “ghok-ghak” (kacau) begini. Orang boleh terima atau tak boleh terima, bawa ke Muktamar Khaslah; senang cerita.

Biar tentu sah, nak ikut yang mana. Kita nak kekal yang mana dan buang yang mana.

Dengan Muktamar Khas yang boleh menjelaskan dan memutuskan banyak perkara ini, puak-puak atas pagar yang membuat swing votes dan mempengaruhi keputusan pilihanraya juga akan berpuas hati samada nak swing atau tak nak swing lagi kerana mereka sudah dijelaskan oleh keputusan Muktamar Khas berkenaan.

Mereka jelas. Biarlah kita ambil mandat baru sekali lagi. Mesyuarat biar ringkas;ambil sehari penuh atau dua hari penuh misalnya tetapi prosesnya mesti ringkas, dan keputusannya adil, telus, tepat, terus dan jelas. Undi perlulah sulit dan dilakukan di atas kertas .

Untuk kali ini, saya dengan kuat merasakan bahawa perlu ada perubahan dalam pemain-pemain penting yang menduduki kerusi kepimpinan PAS diperingkat pusat. Kalau nak kata ini persiapan ke arah PRU ke 13 pun, kata gi lah. Dan memang betul begitulah.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The 2010 Budget Speech

A lot of good and great things in the budget.

If you missed any part of it....the PM's speech will be carried in full in all the newspapers (mainstream) and also online.

Like I said... (of course, you are welcome to disagree), a lot of good and great things, especially allocations for the urban poor.

Well....just don't screw up. We know how, in the past (and possibly present time) corrupt government officers screwed up allocations for low-cost housing, -- big time! Not on!

So...don't screw up!

Of Non-performing, Corrupt Civil Servants..

The Auditor-General's report, I can tell you, never fails to reveal all the misuse and abuse of public funds, the inefficiency and ineptness of administration and management, in the various government agencies and departments.

Year in, year out -- it is the same thing. It is unbelievable that the same things are being revealed, exposed, year in, year out.

Almost 30 years ago, as a rookie (reporter) at the NST, I was given an assignment -- which was to work on the AG's report.

I read with shock, all the misuses, abuses...yada yada yada..

You'd think that over the years, the report will give us pleasant surprises.

Well, nope. Same old same old. Like it's copy-pasting with variations and adjustments.

Of course, the AG report highlights all the wrong in government service and administration. So, it should not be misconstrued that all is not well in government management and administration.
There has been vast improvement in public service, that's without a doubt.

Still, reports of a serious lack of accountability, transparency and responsibility in the management of funds in our country's public and government-linked agencies, are shocking.
It is unacceptable that in this day and age, these negative elements in public service still exist.
Haven't we move on, move ahead?
No.. I don't mean to bigger misuse and abuse!

Will it be better, next year? (I dare ask)

The 21st century, and we're still having the same old problems in these agencies.

Say what? performance first?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

MCA Crisis -- Come Together...

MCA president Ong Tee Keat had met with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to brief him on the party crisis.

I have no details of their meeting but I imagine Najib must have asked Ong to get his and the MCA's act together and resolve the crisis, OR ELSE.

Unity, a unified MCA -- seem to be the buzzwords in Ong's and (former deputy president) Dr Chua Soi Lek's plan to resolve all issues confronting the party's leadership.

Ong called for a press conference at Wisma MCA in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and his former deputy Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek have agreed to work together as a team to unite the party.

At a press conference, Dr Chua said he would work with Ong without any pre-conditions.

This "coming together" is in urgent response to members' fed-upness with the leaders. How many more EGMs just to resolve this?

Members have sent strong signals that they want the crisis resolved or...
They want some assurance from the party leadership of real effort to resolve the crisis that is not doing any good to the party, or the Chinese community.

So, this (Ong-Chua coming together) is going to be the real deal....

Ong said at the press conference:

“I will reach out to all leaders and strive to form an all-inclusive MCA that will include all factions and personalities who can contribute as a team.

“With a unified MCA, the leaders can now re-focus their attention on strengthening the party to regain the confidence and trust of the Chinese community and Malaysians in general,” he said.

To be updated...

Meanwhile read this.

and Ti Lian Ker's Come 2gether MCA Leaders!


MCA has a lot of work to do to convince its members and the Chinese community that, yes...this is the real deal, that both Ong, Dr Chua and the party's top leaders are serious about putting aside their differences to chart that road for a unified MCA.

It maybe the real deal, but to whom and for whom?

It goes without saying that members want the crisis to be resolved. The EGM was to have resolved that. That, I'm sure has not escaped anyone's attention.

A lot of work is one thing...but for sure, members want to see sincerity and genuine-ness in this effort.
There has been too much acrimony, bitterness that has caused further divisiveness in an already weakened party. Continuing without any attempt/effort to resolve the crisis, thus to save the party, is at the party's own peril.

Unless, everyone has a short memory, then it will be an easy path ahead. But, look at the delegates who have voted not to have both Ong and Dr Chua in the party. They are going to scrutinize every move the party leaders make.

Some issues are still unresolved -- Dr Chua's application to the ROS for reinstatement as deputy president. Will he now withdraw his application?

So, yes. This coming together, this greater unity plan, this bury the hatchet, this forgive and forget -- is encouraging.

You can tell your members that you're not greedy, not power-hungry, that it's all for the sake of party and the community.

But you know they're not blind, nor are they deaf. They are just waiting to see if this is for real.

So, good luck, I say!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Want A Kindle...

Doesn't everyone else?

It must be one of the most revolutionary inventions of the 21st century. It is something we imagined that the world would, one day, have and Voila! it's been around since 2007 (in the US). This month, a new version of Kindle is made available in Asia.

Super cool, or what!

Someone wrote about it. So, do read this by W Scott Thompson.

I cannot assume everyone knows what Kindle is.

It's an electronic device developed by subsidiary Lab126 for reading e-books and other digital media.

Here's the info from Wiki.

And on Amazaon.Com.

That said, I suppose I have to keep up with the times. Reading books using an electronic device needs getting used to, I'm sure.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Working The Old Brain...

Going by the hours I put in working on my computer/laptop, including surfing the internet for information and suchlike, I'd say my brain is in tip-top functioning condition.

Here's why -- and it's not my own biased opinion.

LOS ANGELES: Web surfing boosts the brain function of middle-aged and seniors with little Internet experience, say scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), according to China's Xinhua news agency.

"We found that, for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function," said study author Dr. Gary Small, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.

Dr Small and his team selected 24 volunteers between the ages of 55 and 78. Half of the participants had Internet experience, while the other half had very little experience.

Continue reading here....

Monday, October 19, 2009

No Beyonce Show This Sunday...

R&B mega artiste Beyonce Knowles’ concert this Sunday ain't happening, folks.

It has now been postponed to a later date. No details yet.

According to a Press release issued by the concert promoter Marctensia Entertainment, a new date for the concert will be announced at a later. Don't know when later, though.

The official press statement by Beyonce’s artiste management company, Music World, will be released later THIS WEEK.

The decision for a postponement, it seems, was made solely by the artiste “and has nothing to do with other external reasons,” (the Press release states).

Those who wish to have their refunds can do so at the Ticket Axcess head office in Petaling Jaya from Oct 26 to Nov 14.

For more details, please contact Axcess (03-7711 5000) or visit


Hmmm...looks like Ms Knowles finally understood what the dress code is about.

Celebrate Malaysia Day!

September 16 will be a public holiday from next year.

That's Malaysia Day.

This was announced by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Read Azmi Anshar's commentary -- "A New Love Story That Has Taken 46 Years to Bloom" in the NST.

What I'd like to know now is whether our brethren in Sabah and Sarawak will now lift those little visit/work restrictions for their saudara-saudara from Semenanjung.

Kalau tidak, mana boleh ......

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Deepavali!

To my Hindu friends and everyone else -- have a glorious Deepavali

Friday, October 16, 2009

Privatising NSTP

MEDIA Prima, Malaysia’s leading media group, plans to privatise The New Straits Times Press through a share swap to create one of the largest media groups in the country.
Media Prima will also raise RM150 million through a bond issue to finance working capital and investments, the company said in a statement today.
The 1-for-1 share exchange comes with one free new warrant for every five offer shares accepted.
Media Prima currently owns 43 per cent of NSTP, Malaysia’s oldest and largest newspaper publisher.
The merged companies are expected to generate over RM1 billion in annual revenue, with net profit exceeding RM140 million. - Reuters

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A "New" Umno -- No Easy Journey Ahead

After this, Umno begins its radical transformation to be more transparent, inclusive and democratic.

Great new beginning. A rough journey. Too many warlords.

No looking back.

With the amendments of the party constitution in place, even the president's position is anyone's for the taking. Okay. Not just anyone, but almost anyone who fulfils a minimum requirement.

The new reformed Umno will be dynamic. Relevant.

No longer arrogant, obsolete, tired.

Now. the hard part.

Convincing the rakyat.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Umno General Assembly -- And Beyond

If all goes well at the Umno general assembly this week, according to the leadership's grand plan -- then it will be a new Umno that emerges.

For sure, the party under Datuk Seri Najib Razak will represent a new era for Umno as it goes through a process of dynamic transformation and reform.

Not just talk. But the real deal.

The Umno general assembly which kicks off with the joint opening of the Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri general meetings this evening, is the second to be held this year.

Last year's assembly was held in March this year because of the postponement of the party elections due to the holding of the 12th general election in march 2008.

Also, during this assembly, a special assembly will be held to debate amendments to the party constitution. If endorsed by the delegates, Umno elections will be more democratic, open and transparent.

The special assembly will decide whether or not to accept the proposal to do away with the quota system in the election of candidates for top party posts.

Thsi will provide a wider spectrum in the choice and selection of candidates -- even for the presidency. But, some conditions are put in place regarding eligibility.

Besides, it is expected to reduce the "warlord-ism" that is so widespread in the party and the reason many Malays are loath to join Umno.

Umno leaders and members are probably on a high -- from the Barisan Nasional's victory in Bagan Pinang over the weekend. Feeling high-er still, must surely be its candidate Isa Samad who can now put the controversy surrounding his candidacy behind him now.

He can now tell his critics to go fly kite.

Whether or not he is a "new inspiration to Umno's struggles", as Najib put is, is something else.

This evening, deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin delivered his keynote address at the joint opening of the Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri assemblies.

He spoke on the importance of being united in thinking, action, intention and objective -- in Umno, for the much-needed and much-desired transformation and reform of the party.

He has given these movements a KPI to boost their membership, in preparation for the next general election.

The top Umno leadership so desire transformation and reform. Change and rejuvenation. The grassroots in the party must want it too.

More than a year have passed since the last general election. Whether or not the tide is changing in favour of Umno, at least, remains to be seen. There are positive signs. But Najib and Muhyiddin cannot go it "alone" on this difficult journey to win back support, massively lost in March 8 last year.

Umno members must give their support too. Umno must change and reform and it must be seen to do so.

If Umno members and grassroots leaders remain apathetic, contented and detached that they abdicate their duty to help strenthen the party, they will only lose one thing -- the next general election.

Monday, October 12, 2009

And the Guy Won -- BIG

Isa Samad helped the Barisan Nasional retain the Bagan Pinang state seat. By a bigger majority, this time.

He defeated PAS’ Zulkefly Mohamad Omar with a majority of 5,435 votes. Isa got 8,013 votes against his opponent's 2,578.

In last year's general election, former BN assemblyman Azman Mohammad Noor obtained a 2,333-vote majority.

Azman's death last month necessitated the by-election.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Everybody Deserves A Second Chance...

We all believe in second chances.

The Prime Minister Najib Razak -- in a nutshell -- feels the same way about former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Isa Abdul Samad. The guy deserves a second chance because he has paid his dues.

More importantly, the people of Bagan Pinang want him and accept him. He can serve the constituency effectively. He is popular and he can retain the state constituency for the Barisan Nasional.

I hear the rumblings already. That while Isa can help win the by-election, Umno's choice of him as Bagan Pinang candidate will be counterproductive in the run-up to PRU13.

You win the battle but you lose the war.

That's true too. But then again.....

Anyway, do we all really believe in second chances?

Do you?

Paris In Autumn - Hari Raya Open House

Actress Michelle Yeoh and her fiance, Jean Todd.

Engineering students from Normandy : Quah Li Shern, 21,
Tee Yilie, 22 and Wong Kok Choong, 22

Look who's here? Constance Haslam.

Students "mobbed" Mukhriz Mahathir.

Mukhriz arriving at Pavillon Davphine with his wife, Norzieta.

Malaysian students from across France came to Pavillon
Davphine in Paris to listen to what the Prime Minister had to say.

Arlida Abdullah, 23 (engineering), Sharifah Norazihan Syed Yasin, 22
(Telecom Network) and Nurul Nadhirah Abdullah, 23 (electrical engineering).

Aaah...bored Malaysian journalists...

Malaysia's prospective French language teachers : Pamela
Lanyau, 20, Atiqa Saleh, 20, Shakila Zaki, 21 and Ain Izzaty
Alias, 20,

I am always fascinated by people who are fluent in foreign languages. To be able to speak languages other than your own, is quite amazing.

Whenever I meet Malaysian students overseas, in countries where English is not the native language, I feel a sense of pride.

These students are usually majoring in engineering, biotechnology and some science fields.

On Sunday (Oct 4), I attended a gathering of Malaysian students at Pavillon Davphine in Paris. They came from across France -- Nice, Bordeaux, Normandy to name a few -- to meet Prime Minister Najib Razak.

As I entered the premises, I could hear the students chatting away -- in Malay, English and French.

I had a chat with some of them. These kids are smart. It's no picnic learning hard stuff in French.

After a session with the Prime Minister, a 1Malaysia Hari Raya open house was held. The organisers prepared food for some 1,000 people.

And, oh, actress Michelle Yeoh and her fiance Jean Todd, were at the open house. They came to give support to the PM's 1Malaysia.
Of course, she got "mobbed". But she's a good sport. So was Monsieur Todd.

I also met an old friend -- Constance Haslam, formerly of RTM. She's been living in Paris with her husband, for some 9 years.