Friday, January 30, 2009
Najib Not In Favour Of Labu LCCT...
And from NST alert: Air Asia's Labu Airport is as good as off. The decision was conveyed to Air Air Asia executives when they met the Deputy Prime Minister today.
Read SD Watch and Apanama's Bye Bye Labu.
Iraq's Shoe-Throwing Monument
(source; Associated Press)
BAGHDAD – When an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at George W. Bush last month at a Baghdad press conference, the attack spawned a flood of Web quips, political satire and street rallies across the Arab world.
Now it's inspired a work of art.
A sofa-sized sculpture — a single copper-coated shoe on a stand carved to resemble flowing cloth — was formally unveiled to the public Thursday in the hometown of the late Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein.
Officials and visitors walked around the outdoor sculpture during the brief ceremony, pondering on its eccentricities — such as a tree poking up from the shoe's interior.
Its sculptor called it a fitting tribute to the shoe hurler, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, and his folk hero reputation in parts of the Muslim world and beyond.
The Baghdad-based artist, Laith al-Amari, said the work honors al-Zeidi and "is a source of pride for all Iraqis."
He added: "It's not a political work."
Defection To BN Is Not Wrong, Says Pas
Explaining, Mustafa said that party hopping from BN to the Pakatan Rakyat, especially Pas, is not wrong because getting out of something negative to something positive is a requirement in Islam.
Mustafa said that Pas will not tolerate any of its members joining BN, saying the basis of the party's struggles was not right.
"We don't agree with this (Pas representatives joining BN) because it is not good for them ... this (Pas) struggle is right but they want to run to the wrong side. There is something wrong here.
"It is right for the others to want to join Pas. This is not a double standard but a principle in terms of humanity," he said at a news conference in Kuala Terengganu yesterday.
Also present was State Pas treasurer, Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut, who is also Terengganu MP and Wakaf Mempelam assemblyman.
He was commenting on Bota assemblyman, Nasaruddin Hashim's move to quit Umno and cross over to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) on Sunday.
Musatafa said party hopping must be sincere and based on the struggle for common principles for the good of the people, but it is unethical to hop for money or position.
However, he conceded that someone contesting for a particular party in the general election should not cross over to another party unless the respresentative vacates the seat.
Speaking on the proposal to regulate an anti-party hopping law, amendments on the matter must be made in the Malaysian Constitution, which includes allowing representatives who vacated their seats to recontest in a shorter period of time, instead of five years as stated.
Muhyiddin Supports Anti-Hop Law
KOTA KINABALU: (Jan 30)
Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has expressed support to the proposal to introduce the Anti-Hop Law to ensure political stability in the country.
"It's needs to be looked into again. It is not that we fear more will leave the Barisan Nasional (BN) but what is important is the question of principle," he said.
Speaking to reporters after attending a Chinese New Year open house at the residence of his deputy and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Datuk VK Liew, Muhyiddin who is also Minister of International Trade and Industry, said there was a need to look at it seriously taking into consideration the current political scenario.
"Personally, I do agree to that a re-look be made at the earlier provisions of the Federal constitution.
"But, of course, it's entirely up to BN leaders to see the rationale in amending the constitution (to enable the enaction of the proposed Anti-Hop Law) and find out what the people think about it," he said.
He was asked to comment on Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan's remarks yesterday that the time was ripe to amend the Federal Constitution for the enaction of the proposed Anti-Hop Law.
CONTINUE READING THE BERNAMA STORY ....
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak is now chairman of the Perak Umno Liaison Body and Perak Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, succeeding Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali who has resigned from both positions.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Perak Umno Liaison Body and Deputy Chairman of Perak BN.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Najib and Ahmad Zahid would hold the positions until the Umno general assembly in March and a new appointment would be made after the general assembly.
"Who will be appointed (the Perak Umno Liaison chairman later) is yet to be known," he said at a press conference after chairing the Umno Supreme Council meeting that lasted more than four hours, in Kuala Lumpur last night.
THE FULL (BERNAMA) STORY HERE....
Umno Members Protest Tengku Rithauddeen's Proposal
In the memorandum, the members also protested against the proposal by the chairman of the Umno Diciplinary Board, Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail that the party's wings be dissolved to curb money politics.
The memorandum was handed to Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and members of the Supreme Council (MT) before they began their their MT meeting at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
A spokesman for the group, Zuraidi Abdul Rahim said the establishment of the MACC had resulted in more party members being detained on corruption charges and members of the commission frequently adopted harsh tactics when questioning suspects.
CONTINUE READING HERE...
....meanwhile, Wanita Umno does not agree with Tengku Rithauddeen's suggestion that the movement as well as the Umno Youth, Puteri and 'Biro Putera' be dissolved to curb the practice of money politics.
Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said the existence of the party wings should not be linked to the practice of money politics because some of those involved were not members of the Umno wings.
"Why should we burn the mosquito net when we are angry with the mosquito? (Why cut one's nose to spite one's face?). Only a handful of Umno members are involved in money politics, so why should the 'net' which is more than 50 years old and acts as a pillar of strength for Umno be burnt?" Rafidah told Bernama yesterday.
CONTINUE READING HERE....
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Nasaruddin's Defection Is An Act Of Weakness
Here's the NST report:
Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim’s defection was an act of weakness, the prime minister said.
He said quitting was not the solution to Nasarudin’s problems with the party. “If you were not given any posts, you should not sulk.”
Becoming a senior member and elected representative was “not easy as you are bound to face numerous problems pertaining to the party or in your capacity as a leader”.
“In times like this, you must remind yourself that sacrifices have to be made for the sake of Umno’s struggle,” Abdullah told reporters after launching the Village Action Plan at SMK Ayer Kuning, some 20km from here, today.
Nasarudin left Umno for the PKR on Sunday in a surprise move that has unsettled Perak Umno.
Abdullah said he had not betrayed the party even when he was left with no position in it.
“I did not abandon Umno then as I truly value the party. His act is that of a weak person. It was a clear example of weakness,” he said.
On rumours that two PKR assemblymen in Perak might join the Barisan Nasional, Abdullah smiled but played down the prospect.
“Let them. Some might want to join PKR while others might want to leave the party,” he said.
When asked to comment on Perak BN and state Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali’s decision to relinquish both posts, he said it would be discussed during a supreme council meeting later today.
“I suppose he felt really hurt (by Nasarudin’s defection). He will brief the supreme council on his decision and the political scenario in Perak,” Abdullah said.
Tit-For-Tat In Perak
And then there were rumours of more defections.
Perak Umno swiftly quashed the rumours but two Perak Umno state assemblymen at the centre of the rumour yesterday said further defections cannot be discounted.
Lintang state assemblyman Ahamad Pakeh Adam and Pengkalan Baharu's Hamdi Abu Bakar said this was an option they ere considering if the situation in Umno did not change.
Based on their statements in th media, the two are disillusioned with Umno and its leaders.
Here are excerpts from the NST:
Both Ahamad and Hamdi, who were Sungai Siput and Beruas Umno division chiefs respectively, lost their posts at divisional elections last year.
"How can Tajol Rosli tell me not to contest the division chief's post? I am the only Barisan Nasional rep in the Sungai Siput constituency. Even Nasarudin was instructed not to contest the Parit division chief's post.
"Yes, I admit I met state PR leaders recently to discuss my deep frustration with Umno leaders' behaviour since the last general election.
"While I have not expressed my desire yet to join the PR, I may do so if things do not change for the better in Umno.
"People with money but who are not wakil rakyat have been elected as division chiefs because they were sanctioned to contest against incumbents who are elected reps," he alleged.
Ahamad said he was disappointed with the BN's policies when it was ruling the state and "impressed with the PR state government".
The full story HERE.
And here's the tat from BN.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Wanted Man Arrested At Kugan's Funeral
A wanted criminal was among six people arrested today at the funeral A Kugan who died in police custody.
They were arrested at the main entrance of the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in Petaling Jaya.
They were arrested between 12.15pm and 1.35pm for defying a police order to disperse from the UMMC from where the hearse carrying the body of A. Kugan, a suspect who had died in police custody left for a cemetery in Puchong, he said.
The five other men, aged between 39 and 52 years, were brought to the Brickfields police station to have their statements recorded and would be released on police bond soon, he added.
It is believed that one of the men is a coordinator with the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).
Kugan, 22, who was detained on Jan 15 at the Taipan police station on suspicion of being involved in the theft of luxury cars in Sungai Chua, Kajang, had died while being questioned.
Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar had said a post-mortem found that Kugan had died due to fluid in his lungs but Kugan’s family sought a second post-mortem, insisting that Kugan had died of injuries.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said later that Kugan’s death had been classified as murder.
A second post-mortem on Kugan has been done at the UMMC since.
About 300 had gathered inside the compound and outside of the UMMC, and about 100 policemen including from the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) were on hand to monitor the crowd while a helicopter hovered above.
The hearse carrying Kugan’s body stopped at the Taipan police station for prayers and the funeral procession proceeded to the Batu 14 Hindu cemetery for the burial. Kugan was buried at 5.45pm.
Earlier, at the UMMC mortuary, those present included Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy, Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and N. Surendran, the lawyer representing Kugan’s family.
Abolish Puteri Umno And Putera To Make Umno Less Corrupt?
Here's the NST story datelined Kuala Lumpur:
Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen said the move was necessary to rebuild Umno’s image and strengthen the party, which for over 50 years had been the pillar of the nation’s stability.
He said the scourge of money politics in the party could be checked if the party elections could be reduced by abolishing the wings, especially those recently established.
“I was thinking whether there was a need for Puteri Umno and Putera, as this means more money politics. Perhaps even having the Youth and Wanita wings should be weighed now. In England, there is no women’s wing in the Conservative Party nor the Labour Party.” Speaking at the Disciplinary Board’s news conference here today, he added that Puteri and Putera members who were still young, should focus on their studies rather than on politics.
“They don’t need political exposure that early. Many of them are still in their teens and twenties,” said the Umno veteran, who believed that the young wings were involved in money politics but so far, none of the members had lodged complaints.
“If they are preoccupied with politics, they won’t be able to focus on anything else,” he added.
Tengku Rithauddeen hoped that his suggestion would be considered and opined that the nomination quota system should also be abolished because of its ill effect of money politics.
Kugan's Funeral March
About 500 people marched behind a gold-coloured hearse carrying the body of Kugan Ananthan, who died in police custody last Tuesday.
The procession from Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in Petaling Jaya - where the second post-mortem was conducted on Sunday - left at 2.05pm.
The crowd marched to a Hindu cemetery some 20 kilometres away in Puchong and briefly walked pass the police station in Subang Jaya where Kugan died.
The long march, under the hot sun and later in heavy rain, took two hours and 30 minutes to reach the destination.
Earlier this morning, police closed all roads leading to UMMC ahead of the funeral procession.
The police have arrested five people - three for wearing a T-shirt of the banned movement Hindraf, and the other two for trying to breach a police barricade to enter the UMMC mortuary.
Among those arrested was Hindraf coordinator RS Thanendran.
Fogging Is Not Effective Against Aedes
He said fogging must be done at the right place at the right time; otherwise it would not bring the desired results in eliminating aedes, the primary vector for dengue and chikungunya.
"We assume where the aedes breeding grounds are when we carry out fogging but the mosquitoes may have already moved to other places. The pesticide is only effective within the radius of 200 metres," he told Bernama.
Dr Wan Yusoff said the use of trap lamps containing carbon dioxide had also been proven ineffective to control the aedes population.
He also said Malaysia could introduce attractants to trap mosquitoes but this method had yet to be proven effective in controlling the dengue outbreak.
Dr Wan Yusoff said checks should be carried out at potential mosquito breeding grounds like public toilets, construction sites, abandoned projects, parks and recreational areas, and clogged drains.
"Aedes could cling on to water containers like pales and flower pots even after they had dried up. They become active again when the containers are wet again.
"To remove them, we must scrub the pales and flower pots," he said, adding that, this explained how aegypti aedes from Africa was brought to Asia and albopictus aedes from Asia made its way to the United States. -- BERNAMA
Woman To Appear On South Korean Banknotes
The front of the new 50,000-won ($36) bill will show a portrait of Shin Saim-dang, a well known artist who died in 1551. It will also show artwork by Shin.
Shin was also the mother of a famous Confucian scholar and is popularly referred to as "wise mother."
Shin was one of the most respected female figures in Korea's Joseon Dynasty, which ruled from 1392 to 1910.
An official with the Bank of Korea said the choice of Shin was significant because it marks the first time a woman will be featured on the banknotes of South Korea, a traditionally male-dominated society.-- (agencies)
Tajol Rosli To Quit As Perak Umno Chief And BN Chairman
Tajol is taking responsibility for the defection of Bota assemblyman Nasaruddin Hashim to Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
There has been talk that two other Umno wakil rakyat - Lintang assemblyman Ahamad Pakeh Adam and Pengkalan Baharu assemblyman Hamdi Abu Bakar -- were going to take the same road as Nasaruddin but that, apparently, is not happening. They have taken a pledge of loyalty to Umno and have given an assurance that they ain't going nowhere.
Click here for the NST report.
And NST columnist Zainul Arifin's two cents worth HERE.
Also ex-journo Aziz Hassan's HERE.
Looks like really big trouble in Perak Umno.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Yoga Ban For Muslims In Indonesia : Only The Physical Exercise Allowed
About 700 clerics from the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI) agreed to ban the practice of yoga over fears that the use of Hindu prayers could "erode" Muslims' faith.
"The yoga practice that contains religious rituals of Hinduism including the recitation of mantras is "haram" (forbidden in Islam)," Ma'ruf Amin, a spokesman for the group, said.
"Muslims should not practise other religious rituals as it will erode and weaken their Islamic faith," he added.
The council said Muslims could do yoga as long as it is was only for physical exercise and did not include chanting, mantras or meditation.
The MUI has carved a key role for itself in Indonesia and its pronouncements on everything from Islamic banking to halal food can have a powerful influence. The fatwas are not legally binding but can influence government policy and it is considered sinful to ignore them.
Yoga, an ancient Indian aid to meditation dating back thousands of years, is a popular stress-buster in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
Indonesia, which is officially secular, has the world's largest Muslim population. Nearly 90 per cent of the country's 234 million people are followers of Islam. (source: wires)
Also read Rocky's Bru
Monday, January 26, 2009
Large-Scale Anti-Dengue Campaign Next Week
Better late than very late?
The Health Ministry will launch a big-scale dengue awareness campaign next week.
For the first 22 days of 2009 alone, 12 deaths had been recorded.
Also click HERE.
No More Defections To Pakatan : Najib
DPM Najib Abdul Razak doesn't think there'll be anymore BN reps switching camps.
These are all rumours, he said.
It's still a shock to the BN, Najib remarked.
KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has dismissed talks that there will be other Barisan Nasional (BN) representatives defecting to Pakatan Rakyat.
Earlier Najib and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor joined thousands of people at the Chinese New Year open house organised by the MCA at Wisma MCA here.
Describing Nasaruddin’s action as unexpected, Najib said, he hoped that Nasaruddin could think carefully his decision to join Parti Keadilan Rakyat, a Pakatan Rakyat component member.
The Umno deputy president said he was made to understand that Nasaruddin’s action was due to several factors. He did not elaborate.
“We heard about this two days ago but it is still a shock,” he said.
Najib said Umno and BN elected representatives should understand that the party had done a lot of good deeds to the people and the country.
“It is not right to abandon the party because of personal problems or dissatisfactions at a time when the party needs our support,” he said.
Najib, who is BN deputy chairman, said he would meet Perak BN chairman Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali today to discuss the issue.
With Nasaruddin’s defection, the Perak Pakatan Rakyat government now has 32 seats compared to BN’s 27.
In a statement posted on PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s website, Nasaruddin said, he made the decision after considering the interests of his constituents.
In the March 8 general election, Nasaruddin, who polled 6,556 votes, defeated PKR candidate Capt (Rtd) Usaili Alias with a 2,068-vote majority.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Kong Hee Fatt Choy!
Have a happy and prosperous new year and happy holiday, everyone...
More Indians In Police Force, Please....
Kuala Lumpur, Sun:
Human Resource Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said he would raise with the Cabinet the need to increase the number of Indians in the police force at all levels.
The government and the MIC would continue to step up their efforts in combating the increasing crime rate amongst Indian youths through educational, training and self-enhancement interventions, he said in a statement.
His statement comes amid a controversy surrounding the death of detainee A.
Kugan while in police custody at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya, Selangor, on Tuesday.
CONTINUE READING HERE.
Umno Wakil Rakyat Joins Keadilan
Bota state assemblyman Nasarudin Hashim leaves Umno and joins Keadilan.
I have to say this. I think Nasarudin is free to join any party he wants. But he was elected (last March) on a BN ticket which means the people voted for a BN candidate.
So, the proper thing for him to do. in my view, is to vacate his seat which he won with 6,556 votes against 4,488 won by PKR's Capt (Rtd) Usaili bin Alias.
Wrong Way In...
Actually I do.
Around 2.15pm today, in front of Jasima Enterprise in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, one of your employees, driving one of your cars WPG 9545, simply went into the one-way street.
Maybe it is a Sunday, ya? So can simply break the traffic rule, ya?
If you drive your own car, you do what you want. But, TV3 car....presumably your employer's?
Here's the thing. No matter what day, you're not supposed to break the law. No matter if it is a traffic law. Even if you think it is a miserably minor regulation.
There are other drivers on the road, you know.
It could be my son you hit-lah.
We all have broken a traffic law or two....park along yellow lines or in no-parking areas. Sometimes we pay the price. Most times we get away with it.
I know a lot of us have breached a speed limit and beaten the red light. And have got away with it. Your time hasn't come yet, man.
I remember swearing at a police patrol car for beating the red light. (Of course, the policemen couldn't hear me).
Anyway, I did signal to this sweet young lady driving the TV3 car (sans passengers) that it was a one-way street.
Actually, there was no extenuating circumstances -- lazy day, many parking bays elsewhere - for her to enter this one-way street other than to get to a parking bay right in front of Jasima.
I say TV3. Cannot-lah like this. You report about people breaking the law and simple traffic rule like this, your girl cannot abide by.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
May This Never Happen Again..
But that is not what I'm bothered about, although the fact that their reputation and image continues to slide worries me. I mean, if we cannot trust our police....
NOW...Kugan's case has already been classified as murder. I think it goes without saying that it is a serious matter.
But how seriously the police will handle this case from now, remains to be seen.
So far, the 11 constables and lance corporals have been removed from from the Subang Taipan police station. Kugan died in their custody.
According to Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar, the policemen are now on desk duties and are also helping to speed up the investigation.
The investigations are expected to be completed within three days.
I have yet to view the video and photos of Kugan in the morgue. I'm not sure I want to. I know they are awful.
Anyway, let's see the outcome of the police investigations.
The whole country is waiting, and watching. So, don't screw up.
MIC Sacks Muthu...
Former MIC vice-president Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan's plan to challenge Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for the party presidency was dashed after he was summarily expelled from the party today.
"He (Samy Vellu) has taken such undemocratic dictatorial preemptive measures as he fears enduring the same fate of his last parliamentary election in Sungai Siput,” he said when contacted.
"I am saddened by such great injustice to the party and the Indian community but I believe no right thinking person will accept him (Samy Vellu) as the president of MIC although he claims to be a popular leader in the community,"
CONTINUE READING HERE.
And According To Demi Negara.....
In his latest posting, "The KT By-Election: A quasi-national plebiscite on Pak Lah or Najib or just a local Oghang Teganung affair?", he says:
This was just a local by-election that was inflated as a national happening by a clueless UMNO/BN and a delusional PR. In fact, this was not a BN vs. PR battle. This was not a Najib vs. Anwar beauty pageant. Of course it was never an irrelevant MCA vs an inconsequential DAP war either. Most importantly, KT was not a quasi referendum on Najib, as the increasingly bizarre Pakatan zealots would like the world to believe.
The KT by-election was nothing more than a pertarungan between an Oghang Teganung vs. another Oghang Teganung to win the hearts and minds, the hati sanubari, of the Ghakyak Kualaa Teganung. The issues were localised, grassroots, parochial, endemic, indeed, far removed from Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.
Let this be a lesson to UMNO/BN. By-elections are won and lost on LOCAL issues, LOCAL personalities, LOCAL grievances, LOCAL sentiments.
Grandiose corridors and stupendous initiatives mean nothing if your candidate is not acceptable to the constituents.
I'm just taking excerpts from his posting. Read it all HERE.
Pakatan Rakyat Supports Pak Lah To Continue As PM..
The story HERE.
This is interesting. Pakatan Rakyat bersatu dengan Barisan Nasional.
So. Are Hadi's views representative of Guan Eng's and saudara Anwar's.
Now what I'd really like to know is their stand on this.
And maybe, Pak Lah's too.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Using The Word "Allah"..
The Herald (the Catholic weekly) has already been ordered not to use the word in its Malay edition as part of conditions for it to be allowed to continue publishing in English, Chinese and Tamil.
The order came last month from the government.
Home Minister Syed Hamid issued a warning on Wednesday. He said the Herald should, until the court makes its ruling, abide by the order to not use the word "Allah".
PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry may take legal action against the Catholic weekly, Herald, over its continued use of the word "Allah" in this week's issue.
"We should abide by the law and the government's decision. The decision to ban the use of the word 'Allah' in its publication does not come from the ministry but from the cabinet.
"If anything happens, then don't put the blame on us. I will refer this matter to our legal unit."
The weekly's editor, Father Lawrence Andrew, was quoted by AFP as saying on Tuesday that he intended to continue doing so until the court rules on the issue next month.
The government last month ordered a ban on the Herald's Malay edition until the court makes its decision, as part of conditions for it to be allowed to continue publishing in English, Chinese and Tamil.
Andrew had also said Munshi Abdullah, the father of modern Malay literature, translated the Bible into Malay in 1852 and he also translated the word "God" as "Allah".
"So, there is strong historical proof of what has been used for centuries.
Click here to continue.
I didn't realize that Bahasa Malaysia has been used so extensively in churches or in their newsletters in the country for a long time.
Now I know.
The case is pending a ruling so I shan't make any comments on it.
But I'm just wondering why the Herald is defying a government order to continue using the word "Allah"?
I don't usually agree with the government's ban on issues, but on this one, I'd have to say that the ruling is acceptable.
Obama Gives One-year Deadline To Close Gitmo
But it's good to know that he kept his word on closing the evil Guantanamo Bay. He did not waste anytime issuing the order.
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama took the reins of US foreign policy on Thursday with orders to close the Guantanamo prison, crack down on harsh interrogation methods and eliminate secret CIA detention centers that drew ire from US friends and foes alike.
The order to close the controversial prison, a symbol of detainee abuse and detention without charge under the Republican administration of George W. Bush, fulfilled a promise Obama made during his campaign and signaled the urgency he felt about improving the US image abroad.
We...will uphold our fundamental values as vigilantly as we protect our security. I can say without equivocation that the United States will not torture." Obama said during an afternoon visit to the State Department.
In the first of three executive orders Obama set a one-year deadline for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and kicked off a review process to deal with relocating, releasing or prosecuting the remaining detainees.
The order halts the military commissions set up to try prisoners and requires that conditions at the facility until its closure be humane.
Deciding to close the facility is the first step in a complicated process to determine the fate of its 250 inmates, many of whom have been held for years without trial.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Hail, The (New) Chief...
"....Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort--even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. ......"
Click HERE for the full text of his speech.
For The Children Of Gaza...
The pain of children in war-torn countries is unimaginable.
For nearly three weeks, the children of Gaza had known nothing but bombings and, deaths.
Perhaps we can help in our own little way to ease their pain.
Marina Mahathir has come up with a support and healing project for these children.
Today, she launches "To My Friend in Gaza" (Untuk Kawan Ku di Gaza).
Here's a message in her blog RantingsByMM:
Dear folks, Since December 27, 2008 when the Israelis started bombing Gaza, children and women have suffered the most. Over 800,000 children have been exposed to extraordinary levels of violence and insecurity, some 1,600 have been injured and more than 300 children have died.
Gazan children who have survived are experiencing unimaginable trauma every day, cowering from fear and suffering from stress-related health problems such as asthma.
Even though there is now a truce, the ordeal of the children is not over. Many are still fearful, in pain and have an uncertain future because they have lost their parents and siblings.
In trying to think what I, as a mother, could do, I came up with this idea and have teamed up with UNICEF Malaysia and +wondermilk to launch To My Friend in Gaza (Untuk Kawan Ku di Gaza) today.
The basic idea is to get Malaysian children to write letters/cards/postcards or make drawings for the children of Gaza to show their support, provide encouragement and let them know that they have friends here who are thinking of them and praying for their safety.
Click here to continue.
Do join Marina to make it happen for the children of Gaza...
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
It is alarming. Dengue cases doubled this year, compared to the same period last year.
According to the Health Ministry, from Jan 4 to Saturday, there were 3,211 cases with eight deaths compared to 1,514 cases and four deaths in the same period last year.
Another worrying matter is that of the number Chikungunya cases which is fasting rising.
The fight against the dreaded Dengue and Chikungunya is not the Health Ministry's or the respective State health department's alone.
Please read Doctor's 2008's Weblog on this. Very useful.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Learning To Read The Quran
It's nothing personal. I liked my dear ustaz. He was so gentle and so patient with us all.
It's a kid thing, you know.
If I had the chance, I'd "ponteng" (skip classes). But those opportunities were rare. Hardly presented themselves. Few and far between. It was not easy to "ponteng" when the ustaz gave home lessons and they were after-school hours.
Mak, of course, was never amused. She'd untiringly tell my sisters and I about the goodness, benefit of reading the Quran and reciting the holy verses.
She said it would keep "syaitan" away. And so forth.
Besides, how terrible we would be to our ustaz who had come all the way by bus to do God's work....
Really, it's not that I didn't like to "mengaji". I suppose, as with kids, anything that creeps into their play-time or TV-time is bothersome.
Needless to say, I "khatam" when I was 12 years old, just before I started Form One, together with my late sister, Kak Eda.
That was not the end of it. Mak made us all continue reading the Quran (with her), and "khatam" many times over until we went to college or abroad.
"Reading the Quran is life-long," she used to tell us.
She said we had to learn the "tajwid".
But over the years of doing "mengaji", I learnt to see the beauty of the Quran, because I read the translation as well.
For a lot of Muslims, I believe it is a natural progression after learning to read the Quran. You just have to know what you've been reading and reciting.
I remember, after my eldest was born, I joined Kak Ton and Abang Ani for "tafsiran" classes at the International Islamic University conducted by Prof Dr Kamal. Unfortunately, because of my busy work schedule, I had to quit.
I remember when I enrolled in college, I made my own poster depicting the Al-Fatihah. I wrote in Arabic script with the English translation and had it put it up on the inside of the door (of my room).
It read (as most of us know):
"In the name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful
Praise be to Allah, Lord of Creation,
The Compassionate, The Merciful,
King of the Last Judgement
To Thee alone we worship; To Thee alone we ask for help,
Lead us to the straight path, The path of those whom Thou favour;
Not the (path) of those who have incurred Thine wrath,
Nor of those who have gone astray
It's nothing unusual. As most Muslim parents, I make sure that my children begin "mengaji" at an early age. Our ustaz comes over Thursday evenings.
I'm pretty old-fashioned in this. I feel it's important that they learn to read the Quran properly. Khatam and continue "mengaji"until whenever.
I'd like them to be able to read/recite the Yassin because the Yassin is the heart of the Quran.
But, of course, having the benefit of exposure and experience, I approach the issue a little differently from my own mother.
You know, kids these days.
But on the other hand, it's good to know that kids today have sources of learning readily accessible.
Without having to tell them, they're already looking up the translations of the Quran.
And that makes learning to read the Quran more fulfilling.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Another Vote For Pakatan In Parliament..
And one more vote for Hudud.
Pas' candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut, won the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat in what was dubbed a very close fight.
Actually, it wasn't that close.
Abdul Wahid obtained 32,883 votes against Umno's Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, who got 30,252 votes.
The Independent candidate, Azhazudin Mamat, received 193. There were 665 spoilt votes.
In the 12th general election last year, Datuk Razali Ismail who died on Nov 28, defeated Mohamad Sabu of PAS and an Independent candidate, Maimun Yusuf, with a 628-vote majority.
Here's the thing. The media (officially) hooted that it was 50:50 even in the last hours of counting the votes.
But, on the ground, it was clear that Pas was winning. Merdeka Central had indicated that crucial votes from the Chinese in the constituency were going to Pas.
As early as last week, reporters were saying that it was a foregone conclusion. Pas was going to win.
From the start, the buzz was that Wan Farid was the WRONG choice because he was not appealing to the KT voters.
As polling day drew nearer, this was beginning to get truer and truer.
To make matters worse, grassroots Umno in KT is so divisive and not u n i t e d. Alamak. Decide-lah. You want to win or not!
Besides, Umno formulas are not a one-size-fits-all. Surely we know that. And this being a by-election.
Reflect on earlier reports -- the feedback was that Wan Farid is arrogant and so forth and so on. Even our statesman Tun Dr M said so.
A little too late to make rectifications, so BN leaders pooh-poohed this.
No point in crying over spilt milk. Nasi dah jadi bubur. Again, the writing was on the wall.
As you can see, the margin in the Pas victory is wider.
Everyone's take on this victory would be apt: that of DAP's veteran LKS, veteran Umno leader Ku Li, journo-blogger Rocky, my old buddy Jai, my friend Voice, my friend and neighbour Wee and political analyst/blogger Sakmongkol.
The point is, the Opposition has one added vote in the Dewan Rakyat. Bravo!
I can hear my friends in Pas/Pakatan Rakyat thanking Umno, saying, oh..gloating..: Tebeng ah, buak gi.
I think it means, do that again (or more often)...something to that effect.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Good One, Datuk Zainun..
Judges Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and Datuk Low Hop Bing, in dismissing an appeal by 22 Internal Security Act detainees, held that their inability to cast their votes was not caused by the act or omission of the commission.
Datuk Zainun Ali, who dissented, held the commission had violated the constitutional right of the detainees by denying them the right to vote in the 11th general election on March 21, 2004.
She also held that the commission's failure to respond to the detainees' letters seeking facilities to vote was unreasonable.
They were walk-in voters registered in different constituencies throughout the country and not postal voters.
Unable to cast their votes, they filed an action in the High Court seeking, among others, a declaration that their fundamental right to vote was breached and they were not accorded equal protection under the Federal Constitution.
In naming the commission as respondent, the detainees, represented by Edmond Bon, also asked for punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages.
Low in his judgment said the Constitution and election laws empowered the commission to conduct elections but it was in no position to allow the detainees to leave their detention centres.
Zulkefli said the detainees were barred from voting at any polling station except the one in their constituency.
Zainun said it was the duty of the commission to make available voting facilities and it was for the detainees to exercise their voting rights as enshrined under the Constitution.
"The issue raised by the detainees is not their physical inability but the unavailability of such facility to do so."
Zainun said she was unable to accept the commission's argument that it was busy preparing for the election to reply to the detainees' letters.
"In my view, this bureaucratic arrogance is passe."
Kuala Terengganu By-Election Results Tonight
Three people are vying for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat. They are Barisan Nasional's Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, Pas' Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut and an Independent candidate Azharudin Mamat @ Adam.
The seat was left vacant following the death of Deputy Education Minister Datuk Razali Ismail on Nov 28.
According to Bernama, all 36 polling centres were closed at 5pm today.
By 4pm, the voter turnout was 76 per cent.
The constituency has 80,229 voters, including 1,302 postal voters.
The ballot papers are being counted at the 143 voting channels and would later taken to the State Stadium here for tallying.
In the 12th general election in March last year, the turnout was 82.45 per cent or 66,231 out of 80,325 voters.
So, who do you think will win?
Friday, January 16, 2009
Israel will bombard every inch of Gaza because the Zionist regime is convinced that Palestinian "terrorists" are everywhere.
So what if they bomb hospitals?Are they not shelter for "terrorists" and Hamas militants?
So what if they bomb relief aid?
Oh...give them a break.
Who can stop them? They're on a killing spree. They've got a carte blanche from big brother to do that.
So you see.
They will bloody Gaza, if they haven't already.
Goodbye, Mr Bush....
Have a good retirement, Mr Bush. I know you can sleep well.
Over to you, Obama baby. And Good Luck!
Just remember to keep your promise to close the Guantanamo detention centre.
Here's the story on George Bush's televised final address.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Let's Read The Quran...
We need your participation!
ame: Let’s Read The Quran
On January 1st 2009, four friends Syed, Walski, Marina and Anas got together at Coffee-Bean Bangsar Village and decided to launch a campaign to encourage people to read and understand the Quran better.
This campaign is not only for Muslims, but also for our brothers and sisters who are Christians, Buddhists Hindus, Sikhs and those who believes in a God-Head but not so gung-ho about being in any brand of religion, too – come join us and share your ideas! You can join this campaign even if you are an atheist!
The goal of this campaign is to encourage people to read the Quran in the language they understand most and find in it areas of common values in our day to day living.
What is the Campaign all about?
Read the Quran in the language that you are familiar with.
When will the campaign start and end?
January 15th to February 14th (Happy Valentine’s Day!)
Participating blogs in the blogospheres.
So more people know what the Quran says and what the Quran does not say and to match it to what is really said in our daily lives.
Everyone who wants to – the more the merrier! If you have a Blog, Facebook, etc carry the logo/icon.
- To join the campaign, place the accompanying logo/icon at your blog.
- Write or share short articles based on the Quranic text.
- Share what you find in the Quran with family and friends.
- Ask questions about the Quranic message
- Read the Quran – eg click here http://www.islamicity.com/
Peace and Thanks,
Syed Akbar Ali
- 3540 Jalan Sudin http://www.nursamad.
- Anas Zubedy: http://letusaddvalue.
- ARTiculations: http://art-harun.blogspot.
- Being Human in the World: http://www.peru.name/
- Cowboy Malaysia: http://cowboymalaysia.
- Disquiet: http://malikimtiaz.blogspot.
- Jebat Must Die: http://jebatmustdie.
- Lunch at the Lake Club: http://lunchatthelakeclub.
- MACVAYSIA: http://macvaysia.
- myAsylum: http://asylum60.
- O.B.E. http://shar101.wordpress.
- OutSyed The Box: http://
- Poetic Justice: http://nizambashir.
- Rantings by MM: http://rantingsbymm.
- Rapera: http://jahaberdeen.
- Renovatio: http://
- Rocky's Bru: http://rockybru.com.my/
- Write Away: http://elviza.
- Writing By Amir: http://amirmu.blogspot.com/
Passing Of Two TV Icons -- Ricardo Montalban And Patrick McGoohan
Mexican-born Ricardo Montalban died yesterday. He was 88.
Montalban was Mr. Roarke, who presided over a tropical island resort to "where visitors fulfilled their lifelong dreams", usually with lessons unexpectedly learnt.
Remember his welcoming remarks to arriving guests --"I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island."
McGoohan was prisoner Number Six trying to escape from the small enclave known only as The Village. His attempts made futile by a mysterious authority named Number One.
"Fantasy Island" was hugely popular when it aired from 1978 to 1984.
"The Prisoner" was a hit in the 60s. It was described as "surreal and cerebral". A "sci-fi tinged" spy series.
Their deaths, a day apart, have indeed evoked memories of two old television series about fantasy and dreams.
The Labi In Labu....
I'm not at all convinced that the terminal will benefit anyone else other than a few self-serving fat cats.
Don't we already have an LCCT? Can't we expand KLIA to include an LCCT? Major airports in the world have terminals for specific airlines, you know.
Pssst....I smell a rat.
I'm no businessman or an economist but I don't think it is a complex issue.
Can't "keLABUkan mata saya" on this, to borrow a line from Rocky's Bru.
For a stimulating read, go to his posting on the proposed labulabi airport.
More Than 1,000 Palestinians Dead As War Rages in Gaza
This is the death toll as the Israeli attacks on Gaza enter its 20th day.
Some 5,000 Palestinians have been injured.
According to aid agencies and Palestinians medics, 40 per cent of the dead are civilians, and a third of them children.
Ten Aman Malaysia Doctors For Gaza
The team will be
Bernama, quoting Aman Malaysia coordinator Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, said the report will be submitted to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, Cuba supports Malaysia's motion condemning Israel's atrocities on Palestinians, which was tabled at a special parliamentary session on Monday.
"The action by Israel is a crime. The resolutions adopted by Malaysian MPs condemning Israel shows Ma-laysians are against the Israeli invasion," he said after being interviewed on the Voices From the South programme on the Traxx FM radio station here yesterday.
He said as the chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, Cuba had issued strong statements against Israel's invasion of Gaza.
"Israel acts with impunity because it is supported by the United States, which will use its veto power to prevent the United Nations from acting against Israel," he was quoted in the New Straits Times.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Al-Fatihah - Samani Mohd Amin
Uncle Samani suffered a heart attack and died at 6.55pm at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang.
He was 78 and leaves behind his wife and four children.
My heart sank. Innalillahi Wainnalillahi Rajiuun.
I was just on the phone with Uncle Samani on Monday to ask him whether he was up to taking part in a seminar "Pemikiran A Samad Ismail" scheduled to be held next month.
Uncle Samani had worked with Bapak since the early days of Berita Harian in the late 50s.
Perhaps, that worked against him when the government decided to arrest Bapak under the Internal Security Act in 1976. Uncle Samani who was then Berita Harian news editor was also taken in, accused of being Bapak's henchman in the alleged communist plot to topple the government.
I wrote about Uncle Samani in one of my "Tuesdays With Bapak" postings HERE.
When I called Uncle Samani on Monday, his wife, Kak Azizah, picked up the phone. Uncle Samani who lived in Klang with his family, was busy attending to his "dusun".
When we spoke, he told me he was keen but it was a case of the spirit being willing, but the body not being up to it.
He asked me for details of the event. He said if he was not able to participate, he would like to attend it anyway.
He sounded tired. He suggested that I also call another former Berita Harian journalist, Pak Cik Asni, to take part in the seminar. He was sure Pak CikAsni would be more than keen to be part of the event.
"You remember Asni..Dia kerja sama-sama di Berita Harian," Uncle Samani said and gave me Pak Cik Asni's number.
I promised that I'd call Pak Cik Asni.
I know Uncle Samani was never the same after he was released from ISA detention.
My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Kak Azizah, Marx Aidied, Mus Chairil, Mas Dati and Mas Elati.
Rock For Gaza....
The event, scheduled early next month, is co-organized by Yayasan Salam.
I was in Chawan (Bangsar) when Malaysia's rock legend met up with journo-bloggers Datuk Ahmad Talib of Yayasan Salam and Ahirudin Attan to discuss the initiative. Blogger Zakhir was also there.
Read Rocky's Bru, Pahit Manis and Zakhir's Zoo.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Our Condemnation Of Israel...
Israel continues undeterred in its persecution and systematic extermination of the Palestinians -- as it has been doing for the past 60 years in the land the Zionist regime has been occupying.
The global voices reverberate. They are hard and strong. But Israel continues to disregard humanity and persists relentless in its atrocities.
Israel fears no one. Israel is the world's biggest terrorist and with wanton support and blessings of the US, it continues to inflict crimes against humanity in the Gaza and the Occupied Territories.
Our Malaysian voice maybe pipsqueak, inconsequential and cannot therefore possibly make a difference. Right?
It matters not. We continue to make noise.
I remember how loud our little voice was when we condemned apartheid in South Africa and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.
TODAY, I am deeply proud that we are one -- our government and us, Malaysians -- in our condemnation of Israel's atrocities and in urging the UN General Assembly to immediately set up an International Crimes Tribunal to investigate and prosecute Israelis guilty of war crimes.
We brought this to Parliament.
Bless y'all, Malaysians!
Thank you, Anak Si Hamid for reminding us of the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002:
“The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”
Friday, January 09, 2009
Let's Leave Out The Kids...
Ministry plans huge protest by schoolkids.
Bumiputera undergraduates with excellent results can apply for scholarships to study in top universities overseas under Mara's Excellent Students' Scheme.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
The Mid-East Conflict: The Same Old S**t..
However, that doesn't mean we're blind to the realities such as the apathy of the Arab nations.
We weep for the children of Palestine. We do. Because we see very little hope in finding lasting peace in the Middle-East.
If only some things do not remain unchanged.
And, yeah..if only Malaysia was bigger and more powerful than the United States....
Read Adrian Hamilton's take on the path to Mid-East Peace:
There are four iron laws of the Middle East: that the Palestinians will always end up at the bottom of the heap and that they will always be let down by their Arab bretheren; that Israel will act unilaterally whenever it sees it in its interest to do so and that the international community will do nothing to stop them, only intervening once the battle is drawn and they can help bring a messy end to the bloody proceedings.
Click here to continue.
Israel Forces Delay Help For Wounded Palestinians
The international Red Cross accuses Israeli forces today (Thursday) of failing to assist wounded Palestinians and of "unacceptable" delays in letting rescue workers reach a Gaza home where four small children were found alive next to their mothers' bodies.
Rescuers had been refused permission by the Israeli army to reach the site in the Zaytun neighborhood of Gaza City for days, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.
The neutral aid group's head of delegation for the region described the incident as "shocking."
"The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded," Pierre Wettach said in a statement. "Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded."
Rescuers eventually received permission to go to the site Wednesday, four days after it was hit by Israeli shells.
They found 15 dead and 18 wounded in three houses, including the children who were too weak to stand.
The ICRC said requests to be allowed to reach other destroyed houses in this neighborhood, reportedly containing more wounded, were refused by the Israeli army.
"The ICRC believes that in this instance the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded," the Geneva-based group said in a statement.
"It considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable."
A spokeswoman for the Israeli mission in Geneva said she was unable to comment on the incident at this time.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
IJN Deal Off..
Sime Darby Bhd has dropped its plans to acquire a 51% stake in the National Heart Institute (IJN). In an announcement to Bursa Malaysia on Tuesday, the company said the decision was based on public sentiment and feedback it received after the government deferred its plan to allow Sime Darby to start talks with the Ministry of Finance on the IJN stake.
I Weep For You, Sons And Daughters of Palestine
More and more civilians are being killed and dying as Israel intensifies its savaged attacks on Gaza. We're here in peaceful Malaysia. We have no idea what is going on until we read about it in the media. Until we see pictures and images.
Israel is the world's biggest terrorist. And the United States is Israel's accessory in atrocities against the Palestinians.
The pictures you see are just two of the many that depict the brutality taking place in Gaza. This is not the first time this happening. This is not the first time babies and children are killed in the conflict.
Bully for Malaysia! Pak Lah has called for as called on the United Nations to convene a special meeting to oppose the latest Israel atrocities against Palestine.
And Dr Mahathir has urged citizens of the globe, including the Muslim states, to boycott American products and the use of the US currency because the US is the main driving force behind Israel's atrocities against the Palestinians.
Dr Mahathir said the power to cripple Washington lied solely in the people's hands and not their governments who were "scared stiff" of Uncle Sam.
Meanwhile, I'll say one thing, Kudos to the New Straits Times for its frontpaged play of the Gaza.
Bull's eye, NST, You nailed it!
For more on the atrocities, go HERE and HERE!
For Muslims....the fast of Asyura falls tomorrow.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Let's Save IJN!
I can't see any RIGHT reason for the proposed Sime Darby take-over of IJN. Do you?
Rocky's Bru has been pursuing relentlessly the take-over issue.. Read the bru's latest HERE. Rocky tells us the proposal is one of the Abdullah's administration midnight regulations.
It sure looks like it!
So, I think we should do whatever we can to SAVE IJN. Oh you bad bad Sime Darby!
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Don't Forget To Buckle Up!
Police will issue summonses to violators.
Currently only the driver and front-seat passenger have to wear seat belts.Whatever your cynicism (or misgiving, if any) about the new ruling (believe me, there are so many cynics), just put that aside and buckle up. And don't even think of bribing the policemen who stop you, okay!
No? Okay, so you're not one of them but I do know of people who, having broken the law, have no qualms about offering bribes or attempting to offer bribes to policemen who have caught them.....
Of course, of course, I hear you -- policemen shouldn't even think of accepting bribes.
In case, you didn't know, corruption is a social ill and a huge problem in this country. So YOU do what you can to eliminate, rather (for now) minimize, the problem. No giver, no taker and vice-versa.
You and I know that when a new traffic ruling is enforced, there will be many hardworking policemen in several locations to make sure you abide (by it) and stay safe.
So...buckle up because it can save lives. Do it for safety and don't break the law.
According to Road Safety Department director-general Suret Singh, research showed that, every year, the lives of 200 backseat passengers are saved because they buckle-up.
"Half of the accident victims were saved from severe and minor injuries by wearing rear seat belts,” he was quoted in the Star recently.
We'll just have to take his word for it, won't we?
Meanwhile....just buckle-up and stay safe!
And if you don't and get caught, you'll just have to pay the fine, won't you?