Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! Let's Move On...

I'm getting old. If you ask me what I remember to be unforgettable or memorable events in the country this year, I'll probably hold my breath for way too long, and still find it hard to recollect more than five.

I do remember that they are all not so nice political stuff, and tragedies.

Around the world, I remember the rescued Chilean miners because it was a miraculous thing. And people the world over followed their lives in the pit, and the rescue that followed. That was a near tragedy that had a very happy ending. If the world had mega loudspeakers, we could hear the sighs of relief and joy when the were all safe above ground.

At least that's one wonderful event I remember.

And then, the globe-shattering Wikileaks.

On the home front, I just wanna say that our fabulous Tigers' stunning performance that led to victory in the AFF Suzuki Cup, was a superb end to the year.

And it's a public holiday. So enjoy. Stop bitching just because you hate the Barisan Nasional.

Let's move on.

May you have the resolve, stamina, willpower and conviction to not break the resolutions you have made.

Have a Very Happy 2011!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Salam Hari Natal!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Done shopping? Finalized your Christmas menu?

Already on your way to "balik kampung"? Safe journey, y'all!

Here's wishing a wonderful and blessed Christmas!


Typewriters And Transforming Malaysia...

Rocky AKA Ahirudin Attan wr0te about typewriters and government forms in his Thursday Rocky's Bru column in the Malay Mail

Here's an excerpt:

"This is Malaysia and we introduced the Multimedia Super Corridor to the world in the Nineties because we wanted the world to know that we are technology savvy. We told the world, that was fearful of the unknown Internet, the Malaysian government would never censor the Internet. Why? Because we are so ahead of others.

Today, we pay our bills on line, do our banking on the Internet, and check in and out using our mobile phones.

The Najib Administration has introduced entry points and high-income goals to keep with the times. The government pays companies like millions to make it convenient for Malaysians to execute transactions, settle bills, etc.

And suddenly you need a typewriter to fill up a form for bringing in a small item into the country?

How ironical can we be?"

I'll have to agree with Rocky.

I mean, what's our excuse? It's not so much filling up forms because some people may not have computers to fill up forms online or the fact that server/internet breakdown occurs ever so frequently, and so forth.
But, insisting that we have to have forms typewritten is ridiculous.

Something's not right here. The leaders saying one thing and the civil servants doing another.

Cross wavelengths, eh?

I think the government should look into this problem.

I know the problem because someone I know is faced with it.

You don't know that it's a problem because you're not faced with it, yet.

I'll tell ya...this is embarrassing.
Do you know where people are asked to get their forms typed out?

"Pergi cari itu petition writer bawah pokok di luar mahkamah-mahkamah..."

Can you imagine that?

I have fond memories of my good ole Olivetti and Remington. One was "robbed" from me by an armed robber/car hijacker (this is true) way back in 1982 and the other is somewhere in my storeroom at home.

Where it will remain.

So, people in government. Fix this, won't you!

Either, make typewriters widely available in government departments to make it convenient for clients (yes, we are the government's clients) to fill up the forms (tough, almost impossible and nearly crazy measure, this) OR just get rid of the requirement to have those forms typewritten. Duuh!
Be 21st century-lah!

And no, silly. I'm not being petty.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Talk

We are all so saddened by news reports that 27 people were killed when the double-decker bus they were in overturned and crashed into a rocky slope along the Simpang Pulai-Kampung Raja road, about 15km from Kuala Lumpur, yesterday (Monday).

It is the worst road accident in the country.

It is happening again.

How many times have we learnt that the driver of an ill-fated bus was slapped with X number of summons, that the bus was carrying more passengers than allowed, or that the bus was not road-worthy?

Right now, we do not have a clue what happened -- whether the driver who was among those killed, was speeding and lost control of the bus, or fell asleep and for that nano second of slumber crashed into the divider ...or whether the road was slippery, or the bus had a faulty brake.... We don't know.

What we do know is that a hell of a lot of people were killed in that single crash. That bus crash was not the first, and I'm sure is not the last.

I don't know about this particular bus driver. But I have seen express buses speeding on the highway.

But you know what I mean. A lot of Malaysian motorists and drivers are a very selfish and reckless lot.
They make illegal u-turns along highways, they beat traffic lights, they weave in and out of traffic in a very dangerous manner, they overtake other vehicles at nasty spots...

You know, you don't have to go out to the highway...just around your neighbourhood roads and you can see that bad attitude among our motorists.

And motorists will continue with that attitude because they know they can get away with it. Our traffic enforcement is not regular and consistent. I'm not going to make a sweeping statement that our traffic policemen are corrupt so that's why motorists dare go about their reckless ways. But the fact is that those reckless motorists do dare go about their reckless ways.

Our roads are generally good. I have been a motorist long enough to conclude that Malaysian drivers are impatient and if they can break any traffic rule, they will, without a care.

I laugh when I see cones lined up along the some roads to prevent motorists from making turns over double-lines where they shouldn't. You see, Malaysian drivers don't have respect for double lines, or any traffic sign that indicates "no".

I think our roads have the most number of speed-breakers and road humps in the entire world! Even in our neighbourhood roads. Can you imagine that and what it says of us?

I don't know what the L-drivers learn in driving schools. But I think L-drivers should learn more than traffic signs. They should learn about good driving and good atittude and respect for human lives.

You know...there was a time when buses were the transport of choice for long journeys. Not any more.

But the truth is, for so many people, buses are still the only mode of transport they can afford.

As for the road tragedy, the authorites willl just have to find out what happened, and work out ways to prevent more of such accidents from happening.

And there must be a will and a commitment to make sure that whatever measures taken, will be effective and long-term.

They Just Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To..

KUALA LUMPUR: Most young doctors are known to shy away from postings at hospitals outside the Klang Valley or capital cities, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican.

Noting this current trend of preferring to be based in big centres, he said the young doctors were known to appeal against postings outside the big cities.

With this kind of attitude, it was impossible to provide equitable medical service for the Malaysian population, he said.

"Young doctors must, therefore, be ready and capable of adapting to serve in areas needed by the public to create an equal distribution of healthcare.

"It is crucial for future generations of doctors to have greater understanding of the expectations of the rakyat, not only in the city but also nationwide so that the people could enjoy accessible and affordable healthcare to keep them in optimal health.

"Unfortunately, not many of our young doctors today are ready for this challenge due to the fast changing modern and technological society," he said in his keynote address at the inaugural Pre-Medical Student Conference 2010 organised by Kolej Mara Banting at the Prince Court Medical Centre here yesterday.

Dr Ismail's speech was delivered by the Health Ministry's disease control deputy director, Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar.

Quoting examples, the Health D-G said there was still an inequitable distribution of doctors between the rural and urban areas as well as the public and private sectors, where some clinics in Sabah and Sarawak were still manned by medical assistants.

The one-day conference, attended by 107 participants from Kolej Mara Banting and other institutes, was aimed at preparing medical students for the challenges of the medical world. -- Bernama.


So..why do you want to be a doctor, then?

Lonely No More....

Last Saturday (Dec 18) Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud married a (very much younger) Lebanese woman in a very private and closely guarded ceremony in Kuching.

The name of the CM's new wife is still not known. Sources say that she used to be a flight attendant and is 28 years old, although this (her age) has not been confirmed. Some reports just said that she is in "her 30s".

Lucky devil the CM is, I tell you.

Anyway, the akad nikah was held at the groom's official residence in Jalan Demak in Kuching and attended by family members, close relatives and friends.Their union was solemnised by state mufti Kipli Yassin at 9.30pm, followed by a short bersanding session.

The very private affair had about 200 guests.

The chief minister's press secretary, Amin Sahmat declined to disclose any details about the bride or the wedding except to say that an announcement would be made later, and that a wedding reception would be held next month.

Taib has been single since his wife, Laila died of cancer, in April last year.

They had been married since 1959 and have four children ( all older than the bride).

See the reports HERE, HERE

Well -- all I can say is -- Selamat Pengantin Baru!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Construction of RM36bil MRT To Begin Next July

This is what the Prime Minister announced today.

Najib Razak said the Cabinet yesterday (Friday) approved the implementation of a mass rapid transit system for Kuala Lumpur.

It is the largest infrastructure project in Malaysia and is one of the economic entry points identified in the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley National Key Economic Area under the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme.

Construction work to begin in July next year, is scheduled to be completed in about five or six years.

The MRT is expected to improve public transport in the Klang Valley and generate 130,000 jobs during its construction.

It is also expected to generate gross national income of between RM3bil and RM4bil per annum from 2011 to 2020 from direct construction and operations and another RM8bil and RM12bil as a result of its multiplier impact.

Marriage Really Does Settle Men Down seems.

According to a new (yet another) study, that is. But, of course. A new study.

That's why marriage is called "settling down". Ho hum!

So, this study finds that men with a wedding ring are likely to engage in fewer aggressive or illegal behaviors than single men, both "because nicer men are more likely to get married and because marriage settles men down."

Oh well... you read it all HERE.

You don't have to believe everything you read, though. I'm sure another new study will follow this one and the findings would probably be different.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Domestic Violence

A Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia team is carrying out a nationwide online survey on domestic violence.

Why don't you take part.

Here's the link.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We're Competent, Man. Very Competent!

Prime Minister Najib Razak gave an assurance to investors today that Malaysia is run by very competent politicians.

He said this when opening AUO Sunpower Corporation Sdn Bhd's manufacturing plant in Alor Gajah.

Take the US$600mil (RM1.88bil) investment, for example. That money is to set up the world's largest solar panel manufacturing plant.

A good example of "effective partnership" between the federal government, state government and foreign investors, Najib remarked.

The plant, which covers 108,000sq m, is a joint venture between US-based Sunpower Corporation and Taiwanese company AOU.

It will be able to produce more 1,400 megawatts of high-efficiency solar cells annually by 2013 and will employ 4,000 workers and engineers.

Of course, there are lots more examples.

So there, you Kiasu people!

Please Call Us KITA ...

...and it will be changed from an all-Muslim party to a multi-racial one soon.

Zaid Ibrahim, the newly-installed Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (AKIM), told this to reporters after its AGM at the Tropicana Golf and Country Club today .

Also, Zaid wants the name of the party changed to Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (KITA).

He has submitted an application to the Registrar of Society for the name change.

The newly-minted party president also said that he would announce the party's new idealogy and principles on Jan 19.

Zaid Ibrahim Is Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (AKIM) President...

Ooh, pandai nya Zaid. Join parti nyamuk di Kelantan, lepas tu terus jadi presiden!

He became AKIM president without so much as a flutter... at its annual general meeting at Tropicana Golf and Country Club (in Zaid's neighbourhood) today.

Ordinarily, the media would give the event a pass, you know, AKIM is not on people's radar.
But since everyone had got to know that Zaid had become a member and was going to be its president, it's something that you've gotta see.

Zaid easily took over from incumbent Zakaria Salleh who did not contest the seat.

How Zaid got Zakaria to move aside, well, I ain't telling. Your guess is as good as mine. And Zakaria is a very happy man.

But, I hear, there's a leadership problem there between Zakaria and Hanafi Mamat who still claims to have legitimate right over the party's presidency.

Now, it's Zaid's problem. But I hear Zaid's got it all under control. He thinks Hanafi has no case at all.

Still, I wish Zaid -- good luck!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Zaid Ibrahim Has Joined Akim...(Akim?)

Oh, it's a little-known party in Kelantan. It's full name is the Malaysian People’s Justice Front.

And with Zaid Ibrahim as a member, it will not be little-known no more. That's a promise.

Its president Zakaria Salleh said today Zaid - former Umno, former Parti Keadilan Rakyat member -- joined the party last month.

Zaid's resignation from PKR took effect on Nov 19.

How timely. Zaid may even want to be its president. Akim is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting on Wednesday to elect a new leadership.

Zakaria may even offer to move aside to give way to Zaid.

Wikileaks ....Why We should Just Chill....

How exciting and deliciously vicarious to read stuff about what was said by some diplomats about foreign leaders and sovereign heads. Among other things.

And what good ole USA was up to. Confirms what we all think about US leaders, and American diplomats. Just like them spy books and movies.

Yep. Shame on you, America, for all those lies about Iraq, Afghanistan the world. We knew you were lying. Wikileaks only confirmed it.

And now, it's for all to see -- how the US is handling freedom of information, freedom of the Press and all manner of freedom(s).

The US simply cannot. The world's biggest hypocrite.

(Look what they've done and doing to Julian Assange? )

Oh. Wikileaks. You game-changer. How you have re-defined diplomacy and the landscape of freedom.

And such tittle tattle. Such gossip, courtesy, Wikileaks. Those opinions. Anyway, everyone's entitled to their own opinion, flawed or otherwise.

And diplomats are supposed to be sending their two cents worth on important people and the political situation of the countries in which they are posted, to their bosses back home. That's part of the job, if not their main job.

Whatever the tittle-tattle is worth, it has caused much embarrassment to some people. That's as far as it gets.

The next time you're with an American diplomat, you know what to do. Feed him or her with your God-honest opinions. Or not...

More than 250,000 diplomatic and embassy cables obtained by Wikileaks, surely something must be said about Malaysia. Surely.

And by no other less then Kiasu Singapura. Were you surprised? Heavens, no!

Let the diplomats from both sides, work it all out. Can't wait to see how that is.

Then there was this.

The thing is -- what was said may not be the truth. They're people's opinions. They're not the gospel truth. Even if it's from Singapore's minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

So, you may feel ever so slighted and infuriated. Like this. Sure, you tell him, guys!

Don't get so defensive. Like this,

You can have a positive effect. Like this. But you don't have to believe them..

Anyway, no point in getting worked up.

Just chill, and relax.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Get These Bastards!

I'm imagining that I was there when this despicable crime was committed, and I picked up the nearest "weapon" (anything) and bash and bash and bash these bastards.

Damn these bastards!

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 26): Demi menyelamatkan maruah anak perempuannya berusia 12 tahun, seorang ibu terpaksa mengharungi detik hitam apabila diperkosa di depan gadis sunti itu oleh seorang daripada dua penjenayah yang memecah masuk rumah mereka di Kampung Melayu Subang, dekat sini.

Dalam kejadian kira-kira jam 4.30 pagi kelmarin, ibu muda itu yang diikat tangan sebelum itu diberi pilihan oleh penjenayah terbabit untuk menentukan siapa yang akan dirogol sama ada dia atau anak gadisnya.

Dalam keadaan terdesak, ibu berusia 34 tahun itu tiada pilihan melainkan membiarkan dirinya dirogol seorang daripada dua penyamun berusia lewat 20-an terbabit.

Menurut sumber polis, lebih menyayat hati ketika seorang daripada lelaki terbabit merogol mangsa, seorang lagi rakannya merakam perbuatan terkutuk itu menggunakan telefon bimbit.

“Sebelum itu, dua suspek terbabit yang memakai topeng memecah masuk rumah mangsa yang ketika itu tidur bersama anaknya dalam bilik utama manakala suaminya tiada di rumah kerana bekerja syif malam.

“Dua penjenayah terbabit mengikat dua beranak itu dan mengarahkan mereka mendiamkan diri sekiranya tidak mahu dicederakan,” katanya.

Sumber itu berkata, suspek menggeledah rumah berkenaan sebelum mengambil wang tunai dan barang kemas yang nilai keseluruhannya dianggarkan RM2,000.

“Sebaik selesai menggeledah rumah mangsa, seorang daripada suspek seolah-olah tidak puas hati dengan hasil rompakan mereka dan memberitahu mahu merogol seorang daripada dua beranak itu.

“Selepas rayuannya tidak diendahkan dan tidak mahu anaknya menjadi mangsa penjenayah itu, si ibu terpaksa merelakan dirinya dirogol seorang daripada suspek dan ketika dia dirogol seorang lagi suspek merakamnya menggunakan telefon bimbit,” katanya.

Menurutnya, kedua-dua penjenayah melarikan diri dan mangsa membuat laporan di Balai Polis Kampung Baru Subang.

Sementara itu, Ketua Polis Daerah Petaling Jaya, Asisten Komisioner Arjunaidi Mohamed ketika dihubungi, mengesahkan menerima laporan kejadian itu dan kes disiasat mengikut Seksyen 395 serta Seksyen 376 Kanun Keseksaan.

(SOURCE: Harian Metro)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Preserving and Perpetuating the Lies in History

George A Bush has taken writing non-fiction to a whole new level. Now you can publish lies, and pass them off as the truth.

We now know that "Decision Points" unashamedly displays plagiarism. No apologies. No shame. Lifting paragraphs and paragraphs from other authors -- including his advisers.

Far worse than that -- the lies.

I agree with NST contributor/columnist Umapagan Ampikaipakan in his article "Memoirs to safeguard one version of history".
He wrote:

"For such similarities, such perfectly matching prose, seem more like something orchestrated. To protect one version of history. To ensure, by repetition, by reaffirmation, that it remains the only version of history".

Despicable, if you ask me!

Here's another take on the Bush's book of lies.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wanna Go Dutch?

Women, in the Netherlands, it seems, work less, have lesser titles and a big gender pay gap. And they love it.

Jessica Olien who writes for Slate magazine, has been in the country for some three months.

She has found that Dutch women take a lackadaisical approach to their careers.

"They work half days, meet their friends for coffee at 2 p.m., and pity their male colleagues who are stuck in the office all day," Olien writes.

Here's an excerpt:

"Though the Netherlands is consistently ranked in the top five countries for women, less than 10 percent of women here are employed full-time. And they like it this way.

Incentives to nudge women into full-time work have consistently failed. Less than 4 percent of women wish they had more working hours or increased responsibility in the workplace, and most refuse extended hours even when the opportunity for advancement arises.

Some women cite the high cost of child care as a major factor in their shorter hours, but 62 percent of women working part time in the Netherlands don't have young children in the house, and mothers rarely increase their working hours even when their children leave home."

Continue reading the article HERE

A Man Called Zaid

If there's a word to describe Zaid Ibrahim -- lawyer, former Umno member, former Cabinet Minister, now former Parti Keadilan Rakyat member --it must surely be "enigma". Because Zaid is something of an enigma.

He is something of an enigma because his actions are -- at least they seem to be -- baffling.

I know they are baffling to a lot of people. He's been called a trouble-maker, Umno's trojan horse, Umno's mole, arrogant, conceited, flip-flop, selfish, opportunistic, power-crazy, ungrateful, tak malu, tak sedar diri....The list, I suspect, is growing.

The media has been describing him as "maverick", for want of a more apt description.

Zaid, I reckon, will deny all of the above -- except perhaps, arrogant (somewhat) and maverick.

I am not privy to the nature of the relationship between Zaid and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim - if there was a relationship to speak of, in the first place.

But Zaid leaving PKR the way he did tells a lot about the depth of his disappointment and disillusionment in PKR. I don't think there is any (hidden) agenda on Zaid's part. I think he is simply sick of the party and deeply disappointed in Anwar and disgusted with (the antics) of PKR vice-president Azmin Ali.

All must have become so clear to him when he joined in the contest for the deputy presidency in the party's elections.

So, he must have thought, this is PKR. Same old story.

Zaid is a lousy politician. If he was good, he'd be apple-polishing the right leaders and stabbing the back of the right people. Trying to be popular. Playing to the gallery sort of thing.

Let's face it. This guy does not hold back, speaks his mind and he doesn't care if you hate him for it.

Anwar loyalists hate him. As for PKR loyalists, I think some have mixed feelings. I'm sure Zaid has his supporters in PKR. How many, I don't know. Enough to split the party? I don't think so.

Now he has (finally) quit the party, and his resignation takes effect Dec 16. Why Dec 16? His cheeky response -- because Anwar likes Sept 16 (the date in 2008 that Anwar had set to get some 30 government backbenchers to defect in order to topple the BN government)

As for Anwar. I'm sure he's relieved he's got Zaid, the trouble maker, out of his hair. If Zaid who said last week that Anwar and Azmin should leave the party because they were the source of the party's problems (amboi!) -- had chosen to remain (as he had, after all, indicated that he was in the party for the long haul), he'd be sacked, sooner or later.

If I were the party leadership, of course, I'd have him sacked. This guy could cause some serious damage to PKR. Can't have the likes of him disrupting the party.

So, now, this guy intends to contest in the next general election-- either independently or on the ticket of a party he hopes to form.

I'm sure those following the political goings-on can't wait to see what happens next -- what this man called Zaid who is something of an enigma, has up his sleeve.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What Made Prince William Choose Kate?

...her good looks, personality and hey, they've been going together for so long -- nine years of courting.

If you think so, as I do, you are right. Of course you are.

Now...the British tabloids, as we all know, can be very very vicious. With Will's engagement to Kate already public knowledge and their wedding set for next year, the tabloids are fanatically trying to outdo each other with sensational royal tittle tattle.

Whatever they come up with will surely be sinfully readable.

Take this by the Daily Mail with the headline: "Revealed: How Prince William is following his father's footsteps and actually marrying his nanny."

Can you beat that?

"What made Prince William choose Kate Middleton to be his bride above all the other well-bred beauties who’ve crossed his path?

Some say it’s her pretty girl-next-door looks, others her down-to-earth nature, or her unwavering discretion.

But there is another, rather more intriguing theory — one which might also explain why William’s father Charles chose Camilla Parker Bowles over the luminous beauty of Diana."

Continue reading the article HERE

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Najib Says No Need To Commemorate May 13

"We should regard it (May 13) as an event in the annals of history from which we can learn ... as a demarcation for us so that it will not recur," The Prime Minister said.

Najib was speaking to reporters after a video conference with members of the Malaysian community and students in six countries in conjunction with Aidiladha, at the prime minister's official residence Seri Perdana in Putra Jaya today.

He was asked to comment on a proposal in the 'Cuit' column of Utusan Malaysia for May 13 to be commemorated, just like Singapore's "Racial Harmony Day" which commemorates the racial riot of July 21 1964.

Columnist Zaini Hassan had made the suggestion after Penang Opposition Leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim was suspended on Nov 1 for six months for having allegedly made "May 13" threats in the state assembly sitting.

For the past week, Utusan Malaysia was whacked by people -- mostly Opposition members and supporters.

People did not take too kindly to his remarks which they said were seditious.
Among the contentious parts for them was Zaini saying that May 13 was a "blessing in disguise" because:
" jika tidak kerana nya, orang Melayu, Cina, India dan lain2 pribumi akan terus dijurangkan oleh golongan peniaga yang kaya-raya, golongan profesional yang dikuasai oleh sesuatu kaum sahaja. Dan golongan majoriti miskin itu hanya akan terus menjadi petani, buruh kasar, kerani, drebar dan peon."

In fact, several opposition MPs lodged a police report against the article.

But, there are as many people who support his idea to have May 13 be commemorated because they say it is a positive move and can further strengthen unity.

May 13, they believe, should not be forgotten as it has brought the nation together and changed the country.

Me? I remember May 13.

"Racial Slurs Are Stupid Not Seditious"...

...writes NST senior specialist writer Azmi Anshar in the NST today.

"If Malaysians were intrinsically racist, then the iconic Malaysian institutions revered and celebrated for its accommodation and inclusiveness would have crumbled in odious desperation. It's a good thing the menace went out of style with the rotary telephones, mini-buses and cassette/video tapes," Azmi writes.

The rest of his article HERE.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Selamat Hari Raya Qurban!

Have a blessed Aidil Adha!

If you're among the "balik kampung" crowd, have a safe journey!

Why Newspapers (in the US) Are Not Doing Too Good

Rick Edmonds cites 7 reasons newspapers are not rebounding financially. He's talking, of course about the American experience. But yeah, the newspaper business in this country can relate to that too.
Here are Edmonds' 7:
1. Advertising revenues are still falling.
2. Online and other digital growth doesn't take up the slack.
3. Newsprint prices are rising again.
4. Other cost reductions are cycling through.
5. Circulation revenues have gone flat.
6. The "death spiral" cycle continues.
7. Debt continues to be problematic.

The article HERE.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Update: Zaid Is Not Quitting ...yet


From Zaid's blog :
"I refer to today's headline by The Star newspaper. It is true that I will be quitting the party but I have yet to submit my formal resignation from the party. All will be clarified via a press release this Friday 19th November, 2010."

Earlier posting:

NST online:

Zaid Ibrahim has not quit Parti Keadilan Rakyat but said he will announce on leaving “very soon”.

In a short SMS to the New Straits Times today, Zaid said he was currently out of town but was planning to leave the party.

A source close to Zaid also confirmed this, saying that Zaid “is contemplating to quit.”

Continue reading HERE.

"Contemplating", "announcing very soon" yadayada...No difference. The point is, he is quitting. He ain't staying....

Zaid Quits PKR

...and will most probably form his own party...

He told the Star that he has had enough of the party and its "sick leaders". He wants to disassociate himself from the liars and cheats...

Read it HERE

Zaid must really be so p-ssed off with that's going on. Just last week he said he was in it for the long haul. Looks like he's thrown in the towel (with PKR).

It does take a lot of stamina to be doing what politicians do...

I'm just waiting to know when Zaid is going to form his party.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Lady Tells Her People Not To Lose Heart

Afte years of house arrest, Nobel laureate and Burma's main Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was freed late yesterday.

Today she meets her supporters....

The latest HERE, and HERE

Keep up with the latest about this loved daughter of Burma - a democracy icon, an inspiration not only to her people but millions across the globe -- on the news websites and TV..

Many are hopeful that with her release, changes will be effected in the country, and more political prisoners will be freed....

What Zaid Thinks...

KUALA LUMPUR: Someone from the ranks of Pas should be the leader of Pakatan Rakyat, said Datuk Zaid Ibrahim whose exit from Parti Keadilan Rakyat looks inevitable.

He named in an interview Kelantan exco member Datuk Husam Musa and four Pas parliamentarians -- Dr Hatta Ramli (Kuala Krai), Dr Mujahid Yusuf Rawa (Parit Buntar), Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (Kuala Selangor) and Khalid Samad (Shah Alam) as prospective leaders.

Speaking of Pas and its personalities in general terms, Zaid said they would have to be more assertive, demonstrate greater confidence and step out of the shadows of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Continue reading the NST exclusive here..

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hail PKR! A Party That Has A High Tolerance For Dissent!

I must say I'm impressed with Parti Keadilan Rakyat for not buckling under any pressure to sack (its) enfant terrible Zaid Ibrahim who has called on party leader Anwar Ibrahim to leave the party and take along with him vice-president Azmin Ali. That is on top of all that he has said about Anwar, Azmin and PKR as well as his claims of fraud in the ongoing elections.

There have been rumbles by Anwar's supporters here and there and a whack by Anwar's former bff, and apparently a statement by the Federal Territories PKR leadership council (of which Zaid formerly led) expressing support for Anwar and Dr Wan Azizah Ismail -- but calling for even a push for disciplinary action against Zaid -- well there has been zilch.

Isn't that something? My kind of party....very very tolerant of dissent.

In fact, that's the way it should be. The less said by party leaders the better. Jangan keruhkan keadaan.

But, really -- Zaid has crossed the line. And he knows it. And he doesn't care. I'm sure he is also surprised why he has not been punished....

Or as far as PKR is concerned, Zaid (who has started a roadshow) has been given enough rope....

Choice Countries Of The Young And Educated

Looks like - surprise surprise -- Malaysia is not the choice of young educated people. Well, not yet.

The country is not attractive enough for the young and educated. They're opting for Japan, Singapore and other developed countries, a study showed.

Also, young people who have a lot to offer, are fed up with what's going on in their countries and prefer the cooler cooler climes -- try migrating to in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

The sample size of youngsters in these countries, according to the study had dropped below 500.

Here's an AFP story:

If young people could move anywhere, they'd choose Japan, Singapore and other developed countries.

That would be good news for the two Asian countries, which have the fastest-aging populations and lowest fertility rates in the world, the Gallup polling agency, which conducted the study, said.

But most developed Asian countries would lose a significant portion of their most educated people in a brain-drain, said the study, which calculated countries' net migration indexes.

Gallup calculated indexes for the overall population, youth population and brain gain or drain by subtracting the number of people who said they would like to move out of a country from those who said they wanted to move in.

The indexes were based on polls conducted by Gallup of 350,000 adults in 148 countries.

Japan's population of educated people would decline by 13 percent if everyone who wanted to leave did; South Korea's and Hong Kong's brain drains would cut their population of educated people by nearly 30 percent, and Taiwan would lose a third of its brainy folk, the study found.

Just like last year, Singapore would buck the trend and see its overall population triple if everyone who wanted to move there were allowed to.

It would also see its population of educated people quadruple and the number of young people increase six-fold, the Gallup poll found.

But in the overall migration scheme of things, developed countries in Asia came out at the bottom of the scale in the index, with a net population gain of just one percent and a brain-drain of 16 percent.

Australia, New Zealand and Oceania came out tops. Their populations would more than double, their youth populations would nearly quadruple and the number of brainy people would increase by 186 percent.

The United States and Canada, both countries that many immigrants would like to settle in, would also see net population, brain and youth gains if everyone who wanted to move to the two North American countries could.

But an estimated 4 million Latino adults in the United States, or one in seven of the US Hispanic population, would leave the country permanently if they had the opportunity, Gallup said.

A slim majority said they would move to a Latin American country, and nearly a third said they would relocate to Mexico.

Meanwhile, as many as 35 million young people in Latin America said they wanted to emigrate. The preferred destination for young Latinos aged 15-29 is the United States.

Three European countries that are not members of the European Union -- Iceland, Norway and Switzerland -- would see their overall populations and the number of highly educated people more than double if would-be migrants could move anywhere they wanted.

The three countries could use an influx of young people, according to the study, which could not come up with a youth-migration score for them because the sample size of youngsters had dropped below 500.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Rising Crime In Taman Tun Dr Ismail

Residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail can't wait for a police headquarters to be set up in the area by the end of the year. The police HQ will be known as IPD Kiara Mas.

Read it HERE.

Meanwhile, many residents are pretty distressed. So worried over their safety and the security of their homes because of a (recent) spate of crimes in the area.

I need to point out that residents have (collectively) employed security guards who are stationed in designated areas in TTDI. You'd think that prospective perpetrators are deterred. Apparently, not.

On Tuesday (Nov 2), a resident reported to the police about seeing a grey van along Jalan Athinahapan in the morning.
She said that she rushed home from running an errand upon being alerted by her neighbour about a suspicious-looking grey van "lurking" in front of her house.
She believed that it was the same van that she had earlier seen. Her neighbour, who was viewing the CCTV, was a little suspicious of the vehicle and its occupants, and called her.
When she arrived near her house, the van made a quick "exit".

She trailed the van until Medan Athinahapan 2. What she noticed was the van going around the neighbourhood -- as though the driver was "looking" for the perfect target.
She reported the matter to the police.
The police have advised residents to quickly call them in cases like this.

The telephone number of Balai Polis Taman Tun Dr Ismail is 77286222. You have to try to remember the plate number, type of car, the colour of the car, the number of people in the car and a description (if you can) of them

Check out the list from the residents' association:

28 Oct - BMW car smashed at Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi 2
28 Oct - attempted robbery at Jalan Datuk Sulaiman 4 (6.40am)
28 Oct - very suspicious Men in Black Toyota Camry at Jalan Datuk Sulaiman 1 (3pm)
28 Oct - House break in at Lorong Rahim Kajai 4 - breakin (1pm)
27 Oct - Teacher attacked at TTDI Community Hall (3pm)
27 Oct - Snatch theft at Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi
27 Oct - Boy's iPhone snatched at Jalan Athinahapan 1
19 Oct - House break in at Jalan Leong Yew Koh - (early morning)
17 Oct - Attempted house break in at Jalan Leong Yew Koh (around 2pm)
14 Oct - Car stolen at Jalan Leong Yew Koh
7 Oct - House Break in - Jalan Athinahapan 2 (afternoon)

Don't you think the number (of incidents) and the frequency are alarming?
These are just in October. There were house break-ins last year and early this year as well.

As a long-time resident of TTDI (since 1985), I am so concerned. My own house was broken into sometime in 1998 while I was away on holiday with my family.
My very alert neighbour spotted someone lurking around the front of my house and then trying to get into the front yard through the rubbish bin compartment. He quickly called the police who came fast enough to catch the culprit, along with some things from my house.
(My house was undergoing minor renovation. Perhaps, the workmen forgot to bolt the metal door of the compartment from the front yard side)

Over the years, there have been similar cases in the area. Police have been swift in their response. Residents, on their part have been vigilant and taken extra precautions and measures by installing security features such as home alarm systems, and, as I have mentioned, (since two years ago) hired the services of security guards on a collective basis.

But the recent cases of break-ins, burglary and snatch thefts have been too frequent. Therefore alarming. And they occur in the desolateness of the morning, or afternoon when most of the house owners/occupants are out. Parents at work and kids at school.
Apparently, the criminals check out the houses first before doing a hit to make sure no one's at home. They ring the doorbells long enough to know if anyone is at home. If there is a maid, they pretend to make inquiries about house tenancy and other "innocent" matters before leaving.

Residents, over the years, have learnt to deal with these sort of things. What choice do they have?

Which neighbourhood, really, is safe? It doesn't matter whether you live in upscale neighbourhoods like Bukit Tunku or your average taman such-and-such. Criminals rob people, places, either randomly or through thorough assessment of their targets.

That said, it does not mean that residents are resigned to all this. Or that they have accepted the rising cases of house break-ins and snatch thefts, daylight robberies as as part and parcel of life.
Yes, we have learnt to live with it because it is beyond us to keep away thieves and robbers, despite having installed home security features, employed security guards, erected security fences and so forth.

What we hope for is more POLICE PRESENCE because we feel that a very visible police presence will deter thieves and robbers.
This is perhaps lacking or absent in TTDI, although I have seen a police mobile unit on Sundays near the park -- Taman Lembah Kiara.
That's just it. The police mobile unit should also be seen in different areas on different days, in those quite hours of the afternoon....

Ask any resident in TTDI and he or she will readily tell you that regular patrolling (police patrol cars) is sorely needed.

So, let's hope the police will do just that!

(I hear that the crime rate -- used to be notoriously high - in SS2, Petaling Jaya, has dipped because the police have been patrolling regularly....)


Warm Deepavali greetings and wishes to my Hindu friends.

Happy holiday to the rest of you. Have a good weekend.

As usual, here's my reminder: take care, drive safely on the road....

Thursday, November 04, 2010

BN's Double Victory -- Galas and Batu Sapi

Something for the BN to really shout about.

A quick look:

Batu Sapi -- so expected. Linda Tsen was on her way to victory from the word "go".

Galas -- Tengku Razaleigh (Ku Li) was -- whether you want to admit it or not - decidedly THE factor in helping BN's victory. Also the Chinese factor. And that's also because of Ku Li. He crafted the campaign style and tactics (no big loud campaigns, no sudden projects seen, low-key affair, talk to the people).

A landslide win for BN's Linda Tsen in Batu Sapi. She got 6,359 votes over her nearest rival, PKR's Ansari Andullah.

Her margin was even bigger than her late husband Edmund Chong's in 2008 (3,708-vote majority).
Tsen obtained 9,773 votes while Ansari got 3,414. The other contender in the three-cornered fight was SAPP president Yong Teck Lee who obtained 2,031 votes . So much for earlier "victory" projections.
Voter turnout was 61 per cent.
In Galas, Abdul Aziz Yusoff helped BN recapture the PAS state seat with a majority of 1,190 votes.
He garnered 5,324 votes against his PAS rival Dr Zulkefli Mohamad who got 4,134
Voter turnout was 83 per cent

The results also indicate that the Chinese voters have returned to the BN since the 2008 general elections.

Only this for now...I'll give an analysis later.

But everyone's asking -- a general election soon?

She's A Muslim Now. Deal With It

Here's a story of an English woman who converted to Islam. No big deal, right? seems that Lauren Booth has been getting crap from her friends and other people since her conversion.

With all that we have in our borderless world today, you'd think that people will be a little more informed, educated and, well accepting.

Prejudice, bigotry and phobia transcend literacy and education. You can be the most educated person, but if you have prejudices, you will not be able to see, you will continue to be blind.

So, here's Lauren -- journalist, columnist, activist and now a Muslim - talking about what's it been like for her.

"It is five years since my first visit to Palestine. And when I arrived in the region, to work alongside charities in Gaza and the West Bank, I took with me the swagger of condescension that all white middle-class women (secretly or outwardly) hold towards poor Muslim women, women I presumed would be little more than black-robed blobs, silent in my peripheral vision. As a western woman with all my freedoms, I expected to deal professionally with men alone. After all, that's what the Muslim world is all about, right?

This week's screams of faux horror from fellow columnists on hearing of my conversion to Islam prove that this remains the stereotypical view regarding half a billion women currently practising Islam."

Continue reading HERE.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Universal Service Provision -- Money Well Spent?

Here's the thing -- the other day, Information, Communication and Culture Deputy Minister Joseph Salang Gandum seemed not to know much about the Universal Service Provision (USP), an issue raised by Wangsa Maju MP Wee Chee Keong .

The Malay Mail had the story on Oct 25.

In fact, Joseph said the fund had not yet been spent.

Which is interesting because yesterday (Thursday Oct 28), Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commision (MCMC) chairman Khalid Ramli was asked on the size of the USP fund and how much was left.

Listen to this: Khalid said the cumulative fund for the USP from 2006 was RM4 billion, based on an annual contribution of about RM800 million.

He added that most of the funds had been used for the construction of telecommunication towers and community communication centres, as well as for operational expenses.

According to Khalid, as of yesterday, there was about RM400 million left in the USP fund.

(The NST report HERE)

Now you do the math.

Money well spent?

Privacy Pirates

The Malay Mail published a report on privacy pirates: people (companies) who sell personal data of individuals -- from ordinary folk to celebrities, businessmen and ministers.

It's big business. They sell the data for prices in the range of RM1,200 to RM5,000.

According to the MM, "the high-end databases were mainly obtained from property developers while the credit card database is from financial institutions and market research agencies.

"As for telco records, we source it daily from various telecommunications providers and middle-men."

Now, let me tell you the source of the supply of data and information.

From stores, shops, eateries, petrol stations etc etc... you know all the forms that you fill up to be a card member of this and that to get discounts -- departmental store, petrol, favourite coffee shop, favourite restaurant DISCOUNT CARDS.

How freely and blithely we fill up these forms, furnishing them with our addresses, phone numbers and INCOME level.

Now -- that is where all those data originate.

But I'm sure you know that.

Very pricey info.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Can Puteri Umno Be A Trendsetter?

Is Puteri Umno in danger of growing old before its time?

Really sad that this question has to be asked. Puteri Umno was formed out of necessity, whose time had come when Umno needed more young women.
Yes, even then, the Umno leadership was pushing for reform, reinvention, rejuvenation and revitalisation of the party to be relevant to not just the Malays but Malaysians.

Puteri Umno's founding leader Azalina Othman Said is, well, a hard act to follow.

She had so much passion, leading the nascent movement to become quite a force.
Her successor Noraini Ahmad inherited a strong movement but failed to take it further. She so paled in comparison, which, I must admit, is really not a fair comparison.

But then, it really does not get any better. Puteri Umno, under its current leader Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, does not shine at all.

Really. Any party, movement, body or organization is a reflection of its leadership.

Right now, Puteri Umno is dull and insipid. In a pause mode.

In the initial period, the movement had to fight off allegations that it was trying to upstage the Wanita with talk that Azalina and the then Wanita chief Rafidah Aziz were not on good terms.

In fact, Puteri Umno was accused of being "biadap" or "kurang ajar", showing little respect to the more senior and experienced Wanita.

Petty, you say. But pettiness, in politics, can find its way to centre stage. It gets column inches in the newspapers and airtime on radio and TV. And in cyberspace?

Rafidah, predictably, denied any bad blood between Azalina and Wanita and convincingly expressed her support for the younger leader and Puteri. Azalina denied that Puteri was trying to upstage Wanita and firmly stated that this new kid on the block had all the respect for Wanita.

All that is history.

Besides, Puteri members have graduated to become Wanita members. And the cycle continues.

Today, it is being asked whether Puteri Umno is doing what its raison d'etre dictates.

No doubt that in its nascent years, it did a good job of attracting young women to be members and played active roles in the general elections and by-elections.
These pretty girls in pink were no pushovers.

So, today, can Puteri Umno be what Rosnah wants it to be -- to be a trendsetter not a trend follower to gain due respect for its struggle which represents the younger generation?

Well, Rosnah -- you have to show the way. You have to be a trendsetter because you are what your wing or movement is.

But you know, the issue really shouldn't even arise.

Puteri Umno should already be leading the way for young Malaysians in helping to improve society.....

Just to update: Today is the end of the three-day Umno general assembly which was held at the Putera World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

Friday, October 15, 2010


ok there'll be the naysayers...but heck -- no rise in toll rates at PLUS highways for the next five years. That's good news.

But that Warisan Malaysia including a 100-storey tower for KL? Hmmm... to rival Petronas Twin Towers? Or simply because we can.

But wait...didn't they complain and criticize the KL Tower and PTT projects those days?

Anway, at this moment, the PM is delivering his Budget speech.

Here's NST pre-Budget report.

Will update later


Here's the PM's Budget speech.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Police Report Against Rocky's Bru and Two Others

I'm thinking -- apasal lah Rais Yatim (Menteri Penerangan, Kommunikasi dan Kebudayaan) buat laporan polis terhadap Rocky's Bru, Bigdogdotcom dan Taikors and Taikuns (TnT) mengenai posting RM1billion grant kepada 9 syarikat untuk mempertingkatkan broadband access seluruh negara.

Rais told the Malay mail on Monday that all the allegations about his son being one of the beneficiaries of the grant are not true and he was going to lodge a police report against the blogs.

You know, I read Rocky's Bru, BigDog's and TnT. mention of his son. Rocky's posting " Who Gets Santa Rais' RM1billion Handout?" made no mention of his son but of a "rumour" about "a minister's son" being part of the companies, and then made a link to BigDog's posting "2.6GHz Spectrum: Transparency Is the Way To Go" which did not accuse Rais' son of being a beneficiary of the grant. In fact, BigDog talked about a rumour that a close family member of Rais had lobbied for a share of the grant.

Rumour sahaja, tau. BigDog said he did not believe the rumour to be true because Rais is a respected Cabinet member.

So, BigDog's contention is that when you have this big a grant, you should be tranparent so that you leave no room for such rumours and speculations.

Why...I agree. Absolutely.

TnT made no mention at all of Rais' son, except to borrow Rocky's heading on "Santa Rais" and linked to BigDog's posting.

TnT responded to Rais' police report:
"Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Datuk Seri Rais Yatim
had made a statement that TnT was making allegations of our teaser posting. Readers would note that our teaser remains, well a teaser. Our sourced story carried made no allegations of the Minister, and points rather to Wimax launches and POSSIBILITY of added licenses.
We welcome any investigations for transparency, and can be reached at our official email:
TnT shall publish all articles it receives upon verification, and GUARANTEES the anonymity of our source."

So... overreacting to the blog postings and ending up making a frivolous police report.

We complain about the police not doing their job. Well, I think we ought to blame ourselves for taking away the police from doing their job. Honestly!

Anyway...Rocky, as we are speaking now, is at the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), giving his statement.

So, "Wassup, Minister", Rocky asks in his latest posting .

Chill and chill out-lah.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NURIN ALERT! Have You Seen Little Xin Ru?

On June 4 this year, 2 year-old Nisha Chandramohan went missing in Mentakab, Pahang after a mentally-ill aunt took her out for a walk. She was never found.

Last Tuesday (Sept 21) in Raub, Pahang, 2 year-old Lee Xin Ru, went missing. We hope and pray that she will be found soon -- safe....

If you have any information on her, please contact Inspector Haroza Pandi at 019-8793776 or the Raub district police headquarters: 09-355 2222.

(Image taken from a full-page ad by RHB on page 11 of today's NST)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kamu Ngerti, Ngga? Bukan Malaysia Yang Merogol...

This Bendera (Benteng Demokrasi Rakyat) is no civil society movement in Indonesia. No siree. Its members are vicious and rabid people.

They're also blinkered. Could they also be so dense? That they are angry with all of Malaysia because of the cases of abuse of their nationals by Malaysian employers.

The Malay proverb "kerana nila setitik rosak susu sebelanga" seems to be holding true here. More so in the eyes of Bendera.

I don't remember Malaysians protesting in front of the Indonesian Embassy everytime Indonesians (in Malaysia) were arrested in murder or robbery cases. Because we don't tar every Indonesian with the same brush.

I don't hate the next Indonesian maid when one runs off from her employer to be with her construction worker boyfriend, leaving her young charges to fend for themselves for hours.

Yet, I am horrified, saddened and angry everytime I hear or read about abuses of foreign workers. It tears at my very being. I feel for them and their families.

When Bendera made headlines some weeks ago for going a little too far (usually they threaten to kill Malaysians) -- staging a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta during which they stomped on and smeared excrement on the Malaysian flag and hurled faeces at the embassy -- over the maritime incident, I dismissed them as just a small group of misguided nationalists. A little loony, perhaps.

They don't represent Indonesia, I was so sure. And I still hold to that.

I didn't get them and still don't because we, Malaysians, don't think that way.

Following the media publicity on the latest Indonesian maid abuse in Georgetown, some 500 Bendera members on motorbikes yesterday protested in front of the Malaysian embassy and demanded that the ambassador leaves the republic in two days OR ELSE (or they'll drive him out)!

I'm not sure now whether these fanatics will NOT harm Malaysians in Jakarta.

I know that it's been threats so far. But you can never be sure now because they just don't seem to get it -- that it's not Malaysia that's abusing, raping and killing Indonesian workers. Just some really bad Malaysians. ..

And these bad Malaysians get the severest punishment under the law.

We don't condone any form of abuse of workers....

Just like it's not all of Indonesia but a few bad apples committing crimes in Malaysia...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

When The Cops Came A-Calling...,

You know, in all my more than 30 years of driving in Malaysia, I was only given speed tickets three times (some time in the 80s and 90s). Two other tickets on my car via saman ekor only last year, and I was not driving the vehicle on those dates.

That, I believe, is quite normal for Malaysian drivers. But I never had the police tail me for poor or bad driving.

But as they say, there's always a first time. The first time, not back home, but, here in Kitchener, Ontario (Canada) where I have been the last week or so (visiting my son).

So, I was driving this rented car (Toyota Yaris) back from Toronto to our motel --- Comfort Inn -- in Kitchener.

But first, let me tell you what a breeze it has been, driving around here. I was honked only twice, and that's because I had gone into the wrong lane. And the honk was not an angry honk. A friendly honk.
No vulgar signs, nor verbal abuse. No rabid manic drivers who cut into your lane. No ala-Malaysian driver.

They give way to you when you're making turns at traffic lights (without the left or right turn lights) and they stop for pedestrians.

So different from the way Malaysian drivers honk at pedestrians and step on the gas when they see a car turning in front of them.

A pleasant driving experience here in Kitchener.

And no rempits! Just dirt-bike riders and heavy bikers who are great company on the road.

Back to my drive back from Toronto. You see, here it is the left-hand drive. So, excuse me if I kept veering to the right side of the lane. Adel (my son) kept reminding me to keep further left and if I kept veering from right to left, motorists would think I was drunk. Or something like that. Haha, I thought. Surely not.

It didn't help that it was some two-hour drive and it was already dark by the time we got to Kitchener. Driving in an unfamiliar territory at night always makes me nervous. Perhaps that showed in the way I was driving.

I drove into our motel grounds and parked right outside our room. Not a second too soon, two police patrol cars, flashing lights and all, came by -- one from each side.

Shaira (my daughter) saw them first and almost shrieked : "Mummy...that's a police car. Maybe he's here because of your driving."

Shaira had reckoned that I was a little sleepy and was a little zig-zagging. I had begged to differ. Yes, I felt a little tired after an afternoon in Toronto, but was not dozing off at the wheel.

"No-lah....can't be!", I replied.

The officer got out and walked towards me. Perhaps, Shaira's right, I thought.

She was.

He asked me if I had just got out of the highway. I said yes and asked what the problem was. He said there was a complaint about my driving. I asked what was it about my driving. He couldn't say but asked if I had been drinking.

"Oh no, no, of course not,", I said, trying hard not to smile because I was remembering what Adel had said. Someone actually thought I was drunk.

Anyway, I did suggest (to the officer) that it could be that I was veering from right to left and I explained why.

He asked what brought me to Canada and I told him yadayadayada.

The young officer had a long look at my international driver's licence,and my Malaysian driver's licence. But, he never asked for my passport, for some reason.

"Am I in trouble, officer?", I asked.

He shook his head and smiled, and handed back my driving documents.

"Just be careful. Take care, now. Have a good holiday," he said.

I thanked him and said that I appreciated the fact that he responded swiftly to the complaint.

Here, people take pride in safe driving and safety on the road. They take it seriously by living it, so to speak.

I didn't tell the police officer, of course, that nothing of that sort could ever happen back home. Even if someone complained about someone's driving, I doubt there would be any police response. And in Malaysia, nobody calls the police about bad driving unless an accident happens.

And what is bad driving in Malaysia?

Something we are all so used to, it's frightening.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 Remembered. Nine Years On...

It feels like only yesterday the twin towers of New York came crashing down. For many of us, that fateful day that forever changed the world, remains crystal clear in our minds. Etched in our memory.

And for so many of us, we remember what we were doing that day.
So, what were you doing that morning -- September 1 2001 -- when American Airlines flight 77 struck the first building?

I remember it minute by minute. I was with the NST London correspondent, Tony Emmanuel, in the living room of the NSTP Bayswater apartment where he was staying. Ahirudin Attan (then Business Times editor) and I (then NST's deputy chief news editor) were assigned to cover the visit by our then PM Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Russia and we were stopping over in London on our way to Moscow.

Tony and I were watching the morning news when suddenly there seemed to be some kind of panic over the news and quick visuals of the twin towers and this approaching aircraft and then an explosion...the rest, was, of course, history..

Tony and I were stunned. Loss for words. Cold sweat.

Needless to say, Dr Mahathir cancelled his Russian visit. (He made the visit a year later)

When we arrived in London a few days earlier, processes at the immigration and customs were normal, just as they had been for so long.

The day we left London for home, everything changed drastically. Security checks were stepped up by a thousand times.

And the world was never the same again.....

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Maaf Zahir Batin.

Please take care on the road. Safe journey to those who are on their "balik kampung" journey.

Bigotry Resides Everywhere..

You'd better believe it.

We lament at the state of our country because racism is alive and kicking, manifested in all manner of life and living. I think this is so exaggerated.

But yes...racism is alive. And it will never die because that is the way we are and will be.

Bigotry resides everywhere. Not in exclusive or peculiar to Malaysia.

That said...I believe there a great many of us who believe in this journey to achieve equality, justice, freedom and a better life for the people of our country.

I am encouraged by the fact that I know so many people who are colour blind and who have accepted and embraced the diversity of our people and our country without any iota of resentment or negativity. Without any reservation like it is part of our lives and part of what Malaysia is all about.

For sure, there are pretenders among us. But for as long as we continue to fight to end bigotry, racism and what-have-you, we are okay.

So...we shall continue the good fight!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Building On Faith -- According to Imam Feisal Rauf

I am not the only Malaysian Imam Feisal of New York has met. He has many Malaysian friends and acquaintances -- big and small - as he has deep connection with Malaysia, having lived here, I believe, in the 80s, when his father was with the International Islamic University in Petaling Jaya.

I was introduced to him in 2007 by his good friend, Datin Halimah Said, at a Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia conference in Bangi.

A modern Muslim intellectual. Imam Feisal also joined Marina Mahathir, bloggers and friends at the inter-faith prayer gathering at the Blog House in Bukit Damansara, for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was recovering in hospital from a heart surgery in 2007.

When the controversy over the building of a mosque in Ground Zero exploded, I must confess I thought to myself :"Why-lah nak ada problem. Just don't build the mosque there. Surely there are other places you can build one. You know this is going to create a problem".

Call me less than brave or bold. I won't apologize for that. Perhaps I didn't quite know the real situation or what the whole project was about. Even so, the picture that I got was from initial reports on the controversy,

Sometimes, I suppose, you have to believe in your commitment and commit to your belief. Unflagging. Unremitting. Never say die.

Imam Feisal, who is the person behind this project, said nary a word, until just recently. he wrote in the New York Times about the project and what it means.
Excerpts from his article:

"Our broader mission — to strengthen relations between the Western and Muslim worlds and to help counter radical ideology — lies not in skirting the margins of issues that have polarized relations within the Muslim world and between non-Muslims and Muslims. It lies in confronting them as a joint multifaith, multinational effort."


"I am very sensitive to the feelings of the families of victims of 9/11, as are my fellow leaders of many faiths. We will accordingly seek the support of those families, and the support of our vibrant neighborhood, as we consider the ultimate plans for the community center. Our objective has always been to make this a center for unification and healing."

Read the rest HERE.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Things Indonesians Love About Malaysia ...

Indonesians angry at Malaysia maybe baying for our blood but they'd want to save their adored Siti Nurhaliza, our singing sensation.

She is one thing they love about Malaysia and wish that they could claim her as their very own.

And then there are Upin & Ipin -- five year-old twins in the computer-animated series that's been a hit in Indonesia since its debut in the republic last year.

Read about it in the Jakarta Globe HERE.

I've got hooked on the series, created by Les Copaque Production. They make you laugh. And, there is a moral to every story told in Upin & Ipin without being preachy.

As for our strained relations with Indonesia -- I'm very sure it will blow over. How quickly, though remains to be seen.

The Satire Is Lost On The MCMC, the AG...

(Irwan and Rocky after bail was posted at the PJ courts.)

So they've taken blogger Irwan Abdul Rahman AKA Hassan Skodeng to court. Apa sudah jadi?

And Irwan thought that the MCMC would chill out after meeting with him. So the truth would set him free.

Fat hopes, dear Irwan. These people have no sense of humour. Or, they simply can't understand your humour, your satire. Relax-lah.

It's lost on them. It's our education system, I tell you. Educated people don't understand satire?

So pity them.

They're not amused and have taken him to court. Serious. And stupid.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is charging Irwan over his satirical posting: "TNB To Sue WWF Over Earth Hour".
Absolutely nothing wrong with the posting, if you understand satire, or simply have a sense of humour.

(Irwan has taken it off when he was told that TNB was not amused and MCMC had been called in but you can read it HERE)

Irwan was in the Petaling Jaya magistrate's court on Thursday where he was charged under Section 233 (1)(a) of Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for improper use of network facilities or network service by making, creating, soliciting and initiating transmission of any content that is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with malicious intent.

Irwan, who is the executive editor for entertainment, lifestyle and the new media with the Malay Mail pleaded not guilty and was allowed a bail sum of RM4000 with one surety by Sessions judge Hayatul Akmal.

Blogger Rocky Bru AKA Ahirudin Attan, who is group editorial advisor of the Malay Mail, Bernama TV and Malaysian Reserve, posted bail.

Irwan is represented by blogger Jahabardeen Mohd Yunoos. MCMC was represented by its deputy public prosecutor Badius Zaman Ahmad.

Read the details of the charge HERE.

Several bloggers (including me) were there to give him moral support -- Rocky, Zakhir Mohamad (BigDog), Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz (Kickdefella), Shamsul Yunos (My Anger, It May Be Yours Too) and Zainol Abideen (Mahaguru 58) .

Others were there in spirit, I was told.

Back to Irwan's case -- I say drop the damn charges-lah. The REAL crooks and criminals are running free and you're taking this 36 year-old married father of two (or three, I'm not sure) young children to court.

Whose time are you wasting? Tak ada kerja lain, kah?
God, are you people for real?

I'm glad that Irwan's counsel Jahabardeen is going to send a representation to the AG, presumably, I believe to make a case against going to trial.

But you have to read Art Harun's "Holy Mother.." HERE. You will be wondering whether they have the right people doing whatever job they are supposed to be doing at the MCMC.

Also read Rocky's Bru HERE

And Pasquale's Barking Magpie, as well as Kickdefella's makan pisang...

The Jakarta Globe -- "Malaysian Government Fails To See Funny Side Of Blogger's Joke"- carried the story.

I'm hoping this case won't go to trial.

There's still time for good sense to prevail.

Don't make a monkey of yourself!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Salam Ramadhan!

Ramadhan Mubarak.
Selamat menunaikan ibadah puasa!

It is a time of personal sacrifices, discipline and a lot of love. Remember though, that moderation is key in whatever we do.

Have a blessed and glorious Ramadhan, friends.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Remember Adibah Amin - Sri Delima

Kak Adib as we remember her.

When admirers came a-calling the other day.

I grew up as a teenager, enjoying Sri Delima's "As I Was Passing" - a regular and enduring column in the New Straits Times.

I always looked forward to reading Adibah Amin's anecdotes of life in Malaysia, as she saw it.

I loved her elegant and charming style as she captured and celebrated Malaysian life.

We all wanted to write like Adibah Amin.

I was privileged to have known her personally and professionally. I am thankful for that.

We've known that Kak Adib had not been well these past few years and has been cared for by her brother.

On Monday, she received some visitors and a little contribution.

Adibah Amin is, undoubtedly, a precious Malaysian icon. A living legend, in her own right.

Kak Adib, I pray for your well-being and recovery.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Al Fatihah: DALILAH TAMRIN, a fighter, a survivor!

My dear friend, Dalilah Tamrin -- Raden Galoh of "One Breast Bouncing" - a hell of a gal, a fighter. A cancer survivor.
She had so much positivity. I knew there were times she felt so down and that sense of hopelessness must have been so overwhelming...but she never let it get to her.

She kept up the good fight for as long as she could because she wanted to live for as long as she could (under the circumstances) for her loved ones, and the love of her family -- hubby Saiful and sons, Adam and Idris.
But Allah SWT knows best.

Dalilah passed away this morning at the KL Hospital. She was 42.

Yesterday, Elviza texted me to say that Dalilah was really bad. Her husband, Saiful had said that she was "nazak".
Elviza and I decided to meet at Kak Ton's (in Kelana Jaya), from where Elviza would drive us to Dalilah's home in Banting.
Elviza was going to drive us this time. The last time (last year) we went together to visit Dalilah, I drove us there, and on the way back, missed an exit and ended up....on the road to Ipoh....
That became something of a story to tell friends..

This would be my second "visit" to see Dalilah (who was already going downhill), in the last month. About three weeks ago, Shaira (my daughter) and I visited her before she (and Saiful) left for Umrah.
Alhamdulillah, Dalilah managed to perform the Umrah but Saiful told us that she did not get her wish -- to leave this earth in the holy land.

Yesterday, it turned out that she had to be taken to the KL Hospital because she was in terrible pain.

So, we headed for the hospital and waited for the ambulance that would bring her there.

We met Saiful, Adam and Idris outside the emergency ward.

I think the ambulance arrived about 1.30pm.

As they wheeled her out of the vehicle, we went to her. First, Elviza, then I and Kak Ton, stood by her side, to rub her forehead, her hand, her face, and kissed her.

Her eyes were open, but she could not see us, nor recognize us.

Farewell, dear soul.

You are in better place now, my dear. Al-Fatihah!

*Her remains will be taken to her mother's house in Banting. The funeral is this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Talk

50 Is The New 30

Do you believe that 50 is really the new 30? Like pink is the new black? Or is all this self-deluding?
Or the creation of beauty companies trying to cash in on the vanity, or insecurity of older women, and men.

It sure sounded good when I first heard it. I was hopeful that the line came from medical experts after studying the health of people in that age group, and concluding that these days people (read:women) in their 50s are healthier, comparable to those in their 30s.

But, as it turned out, it did not come from medical experts. Nonetheless, it came from health experts. That's good enough.

Anyway, I think there's some truth in that catchphrase. After all, it is a fact that more and more people are adopting and embracing healthier lifestyles.

In my aerobics class, there are "aunties" who look 10 years younger than they really are. And it's not just the exterior. They look fit but more importantly, they feel good.

But here's one person who thinks that all this 50 isn't the new 30 in his book. Although, not a believer, he is positive about our aging process.

But please don't be in denial, he cautions. If you're 50, you have to accept that you are.

"Research clearly indicates that our attitude matters for our physical and emotional health and well being. But denial can be destructive if we don't attend to the natural limitations of our bodies and mind as we age," said pychologist Dr Thomas Plante.

"50 is 50 but there are lots of things that we can do for our body, mind, and spirit as we age to increase the odds that our aging process isn't so bad and perhaps is even pretty darn good," he said.

Read more HERE.

Be that as it may, it's heartening to remember that "50 is the new 30" did not emerge from nowhere.

I believe strongly that you're as old or as young as you want to be!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spy, Spy

(Sketch of the 10 Russian Spies in court)

I'm sure most of you did not miss the reports of Russian spies in the good US of A.
The FBI got 'em!
I know some people out there are going to make a movie on this. (Yet) another spy thriller.
Brings us back to the Cold War. Some things don't change, I tell ya!
I mean, spies still need to work, eh?

I was fed on a pretty good diet of spy books when I was young. We still have all those books in their original cover back at Bapak's place.
Let's start with Ian Fleming's James Bond books. Classic, man!
Then there were Graham Greene and John Le Carre and much later, Robert Ludlum and Frederick Forsythe.

Until today, I enjoy a good spy thriller -- book or movie!

Here's the real spy story:

WASHINGTON – With the conclusion of the biggest spy swap since the Cold War, the U.S. has defused a thorny diplomatic problem quickly and cleanly — and avoided damaging recent efforts to improve relations with Russia. And Moscow has escaped further embarrassment over a group of spies that over the years apparently had little if any success in ferreting out any useful secrets.

The 10 sleeper agents, who blended into American communities before being arrested two weeks ago, were back on Russian soil Saturday, a day after they were exchanged on the tarmac of the Vienna airport for four prisoners the Russians had accused of spying for the West.

Two of the prisoners were flown to England and the other two landed aboard a chartered jetliner at Dulles International Airport outside Washington late Friday.

Click HERE for the rest of the article.