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 )