Monday, December 31, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Season of goodwill
MIND MATTER by RAJA ZARITH IDRIS (Sultanah of Johore)
If Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Isa (Jesus), a prophet respected and revered in Islam, is it so wrong to wish a blessed day for those who celebrate it?
DURING the days before Christmas last year, I wished my friends who were celebrating it "Merry Christmas" in much the same way they would wish me "Selamat Hari Raya" or "Happy Eid".
I find it rather sad that such a simple greeting – one which I grew up with and which I have never regarded as something that would compromise or de-value my own faith – is now regarded as something so religiously incorrect for us Malaysian Muslims.
When I was at boarding school in England , I had to go to church every Sunday because it was part of the rules. My father advised me to consider it as part of my "education" and he had no doubt that the experience would strengthen rather than weaken my own faith.
I was able to see the similarities and differences between Christianity and Islam. I learned more than the average Malaysian Muslim would about Christianity. I learnt that just as we Muslims categorise ourselves according to the four different schools of thoughts of the four Imams (Imam Malik, Imam Al Shafi, Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Ahmad Abn Hambal) and are either Sunnis or Shias, so Christians too are divided into different sects or churches.
Going to church did not make me less of a Muslim when I was a young girl, and neither does saying "Merry Christmas" make me less of a Muslim now. My faith has not been shaken just because I wished some friends a time of joy with their families. Neither will I suddenly suffer from amnesia and forget what my religion is.
What I do not wish to forget, however, is that there are good, kind people who are not of the same faith as me.
As Harun Yahya, the Turkish writer (he was selected last year as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by the Royal Isla mic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan ) noted: "Islam is a religion of peace, love and tolerance".
Today, however, some circles have been presenting a false image of Islam, as if there were conflict between Islam and the adherents of the two other monotheistic religions. Yet Islam's view of Jews and Christians, who are named `the People of the Book' in the Quran, is very friendly and tolerant.
"This attitude towards the People of the Book developed during the years of the birth of Islam. At that time, Muslims were a minority, struggling to protect their faith and suffering oppression and torture from the pagans of the city of Mecca . Due to this persecution, some Muslims decided to flee Mecca and shelter in a safe country with a just ruler. The Prophet Muhammad told them to take refuge with King Negus, the Christian king of Ethiopia . The Muslims who followed this advice found a very fair administration that embraced them with love and respect when they went to Ethiopia . King Negus refused the demands of the pagan messengers who asked him to surrender the Muslims to them, and announced that Muslims could live freely in his country.
"Such attitudes of Christian people that are based on the concepts of compassion, mercy, modesty and justice, constitute a fact that God has pointed out in the Quran."
I do not wish to be a self-centred Muslim who expects friends of other faiths to wish me Selamat Hari Raya or, for those who are not Malaysians and therefore do not know about Hari Raya, a Happy Eid and yet do not return their goodwill when it is Christmas, Chinese New Year, Deepavali or Vesak Day.
Every year, friends who are Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs or those without any faith come to our home to celebrate Hari Raya with us. They do so with sincerity and as a mark of respect for one of the most important days in the Muslim calendar. Why should we not reciprocate their kindness, show them the same mark of respect for their religion and wish them the same joy on their holy days of celebration?
An Islamic scholar and lecturer also reminded me that as Muslims we must remember the importance of both the five Pillars of Islam and in the six Pillars of Iman (Faith), which are:Belief in Allah;
Belief in the angels;
Belief in the revealed Books (which include the Bible, the Torah and the Holy Quran);
Belief in the Prophets (May Peace be Upon Them);
Belief in the Resurrection and the events of Kiamah, the Day of Judgement; and
Belief in the predestination (Qada' and Qadar) by Allah in all things.
The prophets include not just Muhammad (May Peace Be Upon Him) as the last prophet and as the Messenger of Islam, but also in the 24 earlier ones who are mentioned in both the Bible and the Quran. Four of them are Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Daud (David), and Isa (Jesus).
So, if Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Isa (Jesus), a prophet respected and revered in Islam, is it so wrong to wish a blessed day for those who celebrate it?
We are now in the second decade of the 21st century. Surely, we should, now more than ever, be far more enlightened at a time when information of any sort and of all kinds are so readily available to us.
What is most important is that we regard one another as fellow citizens and treat each other with respect, regardless of our race or religion.
The writer is Royal Fellow, School of Language Studies and Linguistics, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), and holds a BA (Honours) degree in Chinese Studies, University of Oxford .
[The writer is also the current Sultanah of Johor]
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Here is a summation of Chipmunk's comments in an orderly fashion:
The issue of the pre-operating licence by the AELB on Feb 2, 2012 ignores this fundamental requirement and places the environment and public health at serious risk.
This proposal would not be approved in Australia without this information. Why the difference in Malaysia? What have the four ministers to say about this matter?
In the context of the Lamp plant, the sources of rare earth element exposure would be from air emissions, fugitive dust and contaminated water discharges.
Over the projected 10 to 12 years of operation of the Lamp, the cumulative levels of rare earth elements (REE) can be expected to rise in the environment surrounding the plant as the REE migrates through fugitive stockpile emissions and stack emissions.
These transport methods will deposit REE on soil and into the sediments of surface water bodies. REE will also migrate through wastewater discharges and leakages from tailings ponds.
The Balok River sediment can be expected to act as a reservoir for REE due to deposition from treated waste water discharges.
The matter of long-term disposal of the radioactive waste from the Lamp must be resolved immediately. When the entire decay chain radioactivity of the waste is accounted for, specific radiation levels are as high as 61 Bq/g.
This clearly places the waste in the low level waste (LLW) category for radioactive waste requiring isolation for hundreds of years.
The environmental and human health risk assessment of this radiation exposure is clearly inadequate and the disposal methods very poor in an inappropriate environment.
Under these circumstances, it would appear that environmental radioactive contamination and human exposure is unavoidable. This proposal would not be approved in Australia and the Malaysian government should revoke the TOL on this basis.
Lamp, which is expected to produce 22,500 tonnes per annum of lanthanum oxide equivalent, can be expected to generate annual waste streams of:
191.25 tonnes of fluoride compounds;
292.50 tonnes of flue dust particulate;
between 216 million m3 and 270 million m3 of waste gas (containing NOx, CO, SO2 ,HF, dust concentrate and H2SO4);
1,687,500 m3 of acidic waste-water and
22,500 tonnes of radioactive waste residue (containing water).
Historically, China has been the main global producer of rare earths accounting for up to 90 percent of global production allowing pollution to occur as a result of rare earth mining and refining.
The result has been severe localised environmental contamination in areas where these activities take place.
In turn, residents of these areas have reported high rates or respiratory illness, skin diseases, cancer and birth deformities.
So tell me Mr Curtis, why isn't Australia taking back this waste?
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) had assured Malaysians that the condition for the issue of the TOL (Temporary Operating License) will be enforced. Here is what its Director General says:
5:39PM Sep 9, 2012: AELB: We will hold Lynas to its waste export pledge
Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan has clarified that the regulatory body will enforce Lynas' pledge to export all its waste in the form of commercial products overseas. The management and removal of residue is an integral part of the Temporary Operating Licence (TOL) conditions and agreements and is permanently documented in the licence document issued to Lynas on Sept 5, 2012. Issue of removal of residue being non-binding for Lynas, does not arise. It is legally binding and AELB will enforce it,"
But now compare it to what LAMP (Lynas Advanced Materials Plant)factory’s managing director, Mashal Ahmad said:
Marshal said Lamp needed to abide by international conventions which prohibit the export of toxic wastes to overseas countries, according to Guang Ming Daily’s Facebook page.
So again the dastardly UMNO/BN government had betrayed its citizens and have now left us holding a TOXIC baby which will not be exported out of the country and will be dumped somewhere in this country. These bastards deserves a thrashing in the coming General Election.
Read the whole article Wastes won't be exported out of Malaysia, says Lynas courtesy of Malaysiakini below:
Wastes won't be exported out of Malaysia, says Lynas
11:32PM Dec 7, 2012
No residues from the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) would be exported out from Malaysia, says the factory’s managing director, Mashal Ahmad.
Marshal said Lamp needed to abide by international conventions which prohibit the export of toxic wastes to overseas countries, according to Guang Ming Daily’s Facebook page.
The wastes have been a point of contention because they was allegedly contain radioactive materials, which leads to the fear of radioactive poisoning.
Meanwhile, Mashal claimed that Lamp had spent a few million ringgit to counter anti-Lynas allegations, according to a Sinchew Daily report.
He said Lamp had experienced a difficult time in the past two years “because of the anti-Lynas movement’s baseless allegations.”
“They (the anti-Lynas movement) just want to poison the public mindset,” he was quoted as saying.
Furthermore, he claimed that Lamp had to unnecessary spend RM2 million to purchase two radioactive detection monitoring systems - installed at Lamp and at the Kuantan police station - to rebut the allegation.
Meanwhile, Bernama reports that the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) has stationed its officers at the Lynas plant on a full-time basis to regulate and supervise continuously each stage of the trial processing of lanthanide concentrates.
AELB, in a statement in Kuala Lumpur today, said that it needed to ensure that all national laws and safety standards, as well as the international good practice for such operations were being adhered to.
“Continuous regulatory and supervision should also be carried out on the importing activity for lanthanide concentrates to Malaysia,” the statement said.
The statement said Lynas (M) Sdn Bhd had started its trial processing of lanthanide concentrates in stages and in limited quantities in line with the requirements stated in the temporary operating licence (TOL).
“Under Section 22 of the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1994 (Act 304), if the company committed a breach of any of the conditions of the licence or committed an offence under this Act, the AELB may cancel or suspend the TOL issued to the company.
“The company’s operation will also be stopped immediately pending further actions under the same Act,” the statement said.
AELB had issued the TOL to Lynas (M) Sdn Bhd on Sept 3, 2012 after the board was satisfied that Lynas had fulfilled all technical aspects, as well as all regulatory requirements.
Comparison of radiation levels
Bernama also reports that during a briefing, Lynas radiology safety adviser Prof Dr Ismail Bahari also demonstrated to the residents the comparison of radiation levels between the raw materials to be turned into rare earth metal and other raw materials such as monazide and iron ore.
Apart from discovering that the radiation level of the raw materials for rare earth metal was much lower that other raw materials, the residents also had the opportunity to hold and smell the rare earth materials which were deemed dangerous by the opposition.
A resident, Mokhtar Mamat, 63, said he was able to understand the plant’s operation better and would share the information with other residents so that they would get a clearer picture on the issue.
Sariah Awang Ngah, 45, from Kampung Sungai Karang Darat, on the other hand, said she used to have doubts about the safety aspects of the plant.
“Today, I know for sure what rare earth is all about. I used to listen to others, but during the demonstration today, I know exactly what Lynas will be doing at the plant,” she said, according to Bernama.
Lynas chose to operate in Malaysia because of its cheaper production costs compared to Australia while China had tightened export of the product. Lynas, too, had obtained licences to build the factory in the two countries.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
To put the past behind us, we must stop the politics of race and religion.
To put the past behind us, we must end corruption.
To put the past behind us, we must abolish the suppression, oppression, repression of our basic human rights and freedoms.
To put the past behind us, we must demand good governance and performance from our ministers.
To attain peace Malaysians must stand united and reject those who wish to divide us by preaching racial and religious hatred. If we want to benefit from equal opportunities and realize our human potential we must stop extremists from continually degrading others as inferiors so as to uplift ourselves. Why should Allah not be allowed to be used in the Bible when it is used in the Middle East?
We can only achieve harmony together. Despite our differences and diversity, Malaysians can make our common aspirations of freedom, justice, democracy and truth come true if we remember key values.
That it is not who we are that is important, but what we are that is important; not the colour of our skin that is important but the content of our character; and not our past ancestry that is important but how we connect with the present and with each other to face the future.
We can only be prosperous together. The time has come to focus on the economy, in employment, education and business opportunities as the conditions for prosperity. We must build human talent and be performance-based.
For those who say that PR do not know how to govern, the 4 PR states of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have proven our ability by beating the other 10 BN states by attracting RM25 billion in investments comprising 53% of Malaysia's total investments of RM47.2 billion in 2010. For the first time in history, Penang is now the new champion of investments in Malaysia, coming out top in 2010 with RM 12.2 billion.
To put the past behind us, we must end corruption. Barisan Nasional cannot reform to end corruption. Remember, if we do not end corruption, Malaysia dies. If we end corruption, BN dies. The choice is clear.
To put the past behind us, we must abolish the suppression, oppression, repression of our basic human rights and freedom. How can we have a clean government when we do not have clean elections?
We do not want our children to live in fear of oppressive laws as we have lived. A Pakatan Rakyat government will abolish the UUCA, the Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act and restore local government elections.
When can we find justice for Teoh Beng Hock, Ahmad Sarbani and A Kugan? When will we have Freedom of Information & Freedom of Speech? When can we have justice that is not only done, but is seen to be done.
To put the past behind us, we demand good governance and performance from our ministers. Malaysia can be an international and intelligent country. We must have digital intelligence with broadband connectivity. We must also have integrity intelligence, so ensure that only honest people are the decision-makers. We must have institutional intelligence under the rule of law. We demand good governance and performance from our ministers.
Has the Transport Ministry done its duty to run our airports and seaports well? Look at the Penang International Airport whose completion has been delayed more than 3 times. And the Penang Port is to be reduced to be a feeder port and privatized to a 3rd party at the expense of Penangites. Why is there no consultation with the people of Penang to restore the port to its former glory? Instead of looking after airports and ports, the Transport Ministry is more interested in vehicle registration numbers and wants to increase the maximum traffic fines to RM2,000.
Director-General of Tourism is wrongly charged of corruption but the Tourism Minister finds nothing wrong with spending RM1.8 million in doing up her Facebook page, when we all know that it can be done for free.
The Health Ministry wants to privatise healthcare when it should be a public good given as an affordable right to all Malaysians. Why allow the wastage of public funds and affect the quality and affordability of drugs when drugs are bought through a middleman at higher prices when it could be bought cheaper direct from the manufacturers, some of which are operating in Malaysia.
The Housing and Local Government Ministry opposes local government elections in Penang, denying our fundamental democratic right to elect our councillors and our mayors.
We believe that Malaysians deserve better. For the last 50 years, the wealth of the nation has been robbed. Let us protect the future of our children by ensuring we have a people-centric government that protects you instead of harming you, that rewards you instead of stealing from you, that respects you instead of abusing your rights. Let us clean up Malaysia to save our children's future.
We must put the past behind us where profits matters more than our health. Lynas concerns all of us because if Lynas is allowed to operate, Barisan Nasional will proceed with building two nuclear reactors. If we continue to put health above profits, what is the use of having all the money in the world if you cannot enjoy it healthily?
The next elections shall be fought on the economy. We refuse to allow BN to use race as the issue in the next elections. We need to increase the incomes of our poor or else they will fall victims to the Ah Longs. For example, Bank Negara's Annual Report 2010 revealed that Malaysia's household debt at the end of 2010 was RM581 billion or 76 per cent of GDP, thus giving us the dubious honour of having the second-highest level of household debt in Asia.
In addition, the Malaysian household debt service ratio stood at 47.8 per cent in 2010, meaning that nearly half of the average family's income goes to repaying debts. As a rule, banks would not lend money to those whose total servicing of loans exceeded one third of their income. In other words, we are spiralling into an indebted nation.
According to the New Economic Model documents, the bottom 40% of Malaysian households are living with a monthly average income of RM1,500 (and three-quarters of them are bumiputera) while 60% of the households (of four persons averagely) live with a less than RM3,000 income, which is near subsistence if one lives in the cities.
These are families living in fear. We will help them live with dignity and not in fear, by increasing their incomes and cutting down their costs, with a minimum wage, getting rid of monopolies, expanding internet connectivity and encouraging creativity, innovation and productivity.
South Korea is a very good example of a nation that chose democracy, performance and freedom of opportunity to become a developed country. With a population of 48 million, its GDP per capita of USD20,000 is more than double Malaysia's. But in 1970, South Korea's per capita GDP was only USD260 compared to Malaysia's USD380. We used to regularly beat South Korea at football. And now our children are fans of K-pop culture and their football team are regulars at the World Cup.
Only when we free ourselves of fear of change, can we be free to prosper. BN cannot change. They need to be changed, for BN wants to rule by fear.
Thomas Jefferson has said "When the governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny". The choice is yours, my friends. I urge you - Let us change so we can have liberty and live with dignity.
*Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary General & MP for Bagan
(The above was from an email forward. Don't remember reading it in my regular online news portals so appending a message below. In your case, for the sake of the nation, hope you will let your close ones and friends about this post)
Please remember, by 7th level this email will reach 1 million people and that is only when each of us forward it to 10 people Please do it for the sake of our future. This is a good deed that all Malaysians MUST do.It is our duty to save our nation.
You are going to save 28 million people. Please do so.
degree in physics from Qxford and obtained a PhD in theoretical physics from the
After a stint with a US investment bank, she now opts to be a writer.
An open letter to my Malay friends
Selina Siak Chin Yoke
3:47PM Aug 31, 2012
August 31 is Malaysia’s Independence (Merdeka) Day. On this day 55 years ago, the Union Jack was lowered for the last time and a new country was born.
Malaysia. She was to be a powerful narrative for multiculturalism. A place where many races – Malay, Chinese, Indian, Eurasian, Orang Asli (native indigenous people) – would live together, work together as one, to move the country beyond the shadow of colonisation.
Malaysia remains a powerful idea. It’s one I believe in. But it has gone badly wrong. That’s why today, I’m writing this open letter to my Malay family and friends.
I believe Malaysia is fast reaching a crossroad; where it goes next will be determined by you, my dear Malay friends. And where Malaysia goes is important to the world – because it remains one of the more tolerant Muslim countries.
First though, I want to say a big thank you. On this Merdeka day, I want to thank you, my Malay family and friends and all fellow Malaysians of Malay descent, for your historic generosity.
Your ancestors welcomed mine when they arrived. You have shared the land with us, and this in turn gave us opportunities we wouldn’t have had in mainland China.
You provided us safe refuge from the turmoil of China. When I learnt what happened there in the past century, I am so grateful my ancestors left. And that they found shelter in the beautiful land now called Malaysia.
My Malay friends, your own ancestors came from other places. They knew what it was like to be strangers in a new country. They treated my ancestors with that gracious hospitality which I myself have experienced countless times. All this I acknowledge, and thank you for.
But now I need to move on to something else: why I left Malaysia, and why I won’t be returning any time soon.
You may already know that two out of 10 Malaysian graduates live outside Malaysia. This is an astonishing fact for a middle-income country like Malaysia. It was revealed in a detailed study on Malaysia’s brain drain, carried out by the World Bank.
My Malay family and friends, do you not care about this exodus of talent? This isn’t just an abstract number: in our family, half those of my generation live abroad. We are the graduates this World Bank report identifies. We compete happily in the world economy and have no need to return.
Perhaps, my Malay friends, you think the brain drain irrelevant, since most of the people who have left are of Chinese and Indian descent? Certainly, this is what many Malays think, as Nurul Izzah Anwar, daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, has alluded to.
“For me,” she says, “one Malaysian regardless of race, who has left the country…is a loss to us. They should be here celebrating, to improve the economy. I detest many people trying to singularly find out whether they are Malays, Chinese or Indians.”
My sentiments entirely. This fixation on race, race, race, in Malaysia is strangling the country. Yes, 88 per cent of the one million Malaysians estimated to be living abroad are of Chinese and Indian descent. So what? My Malay friends, I ask you: does our race matter more than the fact that we have taken our talents elsewhere?
Yet, should I expect anything else? How could any Malaysian not be fixated on race, when you, my Malay family and friends, are accorded ‘special’ rights solely because of your race and religion?
Imagine if the United States had given ‘special’ privileges to the Pilgrim fathers and mothers and their descendants. Special rights to land, schools, gold mines and everything else – all because they sailed first; yes, just imagine! This is exactly what your special rights equate to. If the US had adopted such a policy, do you think it would have turned into a magnet for talent and skills?
Tell anyone about a Malaysian university reserved for people with ‘special’ privileges based on race, and you will see the reaction. What? People stare in disbelief. You must be kidding!
I’m not. And there have been demonstrations against opening the institute up to other Malaysians. Yet, Malaysians are so used to these oddities that we don’t bat an eyelid. We no longer notice the strange ideas plaguing our country.
Your ‘special’ rights, my Malay family and friends, alienate me. They make me feel unwelcome, unwanted and second-class. They are why I left.
They are also why I won’t be back. Rights are a zero-sum game: for you to have more rights, others must necessarily have fewer. TalentCorp (the agency set up to attract Malaysians back) completely misses the point.
And when I see the culture of entitlement your ‘special’ privileges have led to, and the increasingly racist rhetoric this culture generates, I fear for Malaysia. Outrageous remarks are now commonplace, as former US ambassador John R. Malott outlined in his Feb 8, 2011, op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
Malaysia has once again been called Tanah Melayu (Malay Land). Malay Land was given airtime by none other than Mahathir Mohamed, former prime minister and rabble-rouser extraordinaire, who is himself from a family with Indian immigrants. Malay Land is more than just a name. His is a supremacist concept: a land for Malays, where Malays will be Lords, everyone else their subjects.
Some people say Mahathir no longer matters, but actually he does. I feel less welcome now in Malaysia than at any time in the past. The attitudes of Malay Land are creeping in, and Malay Land is completely the opposite of Malaysia. Malay Land excludes, while Malaysia embraces and includes – a country for all races.
My Malay family and friends, which is it you want: Malay Land, or Malaysia? You cannot have both; you must choose.
On this Merdeka Day, I urge you to think about that choice. Because you, my dear Malay friends, are the only people who can truly change the direction Malaysia takes. Know that we, your fellow-Malaysians who have voted with our feet, are rooting for Malaysia.
We are no traitors as 68 per cent of the Malaysians abroad who were surveyed by the World Bank expressed a strong sense of patriotism or attachment to Malaysia. I am among this 68 per cent. I may have been away for 33 years, but Malaysia continues to be in my dreams.
I left with regret, and I stay away with sadness. I hope Malaysia will prevail.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Here is a great article by a 22 year old Malaysian who explained why he has great respect and support Anwar Ibrahim. John Lee has traced how Dato Onn Ja’afar’s political career ended when he tried to make UMNO admits non-Malays as members and how the new multi-racial party he founded floundered in failure. And after Dato Onn, only Mahathir had briefly succeeded with his Bangsa Malaysia but it was only NATO (No Action Talk Only),
John Lee has described how Anwar has almost single-handedly created a multi-racial movement and thus I too support Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister when Pakatan Rakyat wins Federal Power.
And why not Hadi Awang as Prime Minister. PAS may believe in multi-racialism but then for them there is discrimination based on religion and non-Muslims has a lower status than Muslims.
Read the article in full by John Lee below:
Hey Guys, I have not read such an interesting article for a long long time. Amazingly, it was written by a "22 years old". After reading it, it makes every "sane" person not to choose UMNO/BN as the next government. Bravo!!!
PLEASE HELP CIRCULATE THIS!!! IT'S TIME "RACE POLITICS" END IN OUR COUNTRY!!!
Great article by John Lee M K. You will never believe that this is a 22-year-old.
It ignores a simple reality: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has already made history by being the first Malay politician to ever actually win more political support through an explicitly non-racial platform. It is practically impossible to underestimate how Anwar bucked the trend; he has completely turned our understanding of politics in this country on its head.
History has already made it crystal-clear; Malay politicians who try to unite the country by appealing to a common sense of Malaysian-ness inevitably wind up heading into political oblivion. Dato Onn Ja'afar's political career went up in flames the moment he founded the first multiracial political party in the country, in spite of it having every conceivable advantage - it was literally the incumbent party of the time because of Onn's towering status in Malayan politics. And it, of course, foundered completely.
Since then nobody has even tried to unite the Malays as Malaysians. Unite the Malays as Malays, of course; Syed Jaafar Albar famously proclaimed in the 1960s that he was a Malay first and a Malaysian second. Syed Hussein Alatas made an admirable attempt to change Malaysian politics through Gerakan, and we all know how that turned out. Literally every Malay leader who has tried to be Malaysian first ever since has risked being branded as a sell-out, a puppet of the non-Malays and a stooge of Lee Kuan Yew.
The one exception was Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who experienced some brief success with his Bangsa Malaysia idea. This only makes sense, considering Dr Mahathir's iron-fisted handling of anyone who dared to oppose him; it is thus a pity that he never took this policy beyond mere words.
The moment Dr Mahathir handed over the reins to his successor, Malay politicians were up in arms criticising Bangsa Malaysia as a 'nebulous' and untenable concept for daring to acknowledge that the non-Malays have a place in this country too.
So here we are today: 51 years after independence, the easiest way to tar a Malay politician next to calling him a Jew-lover is to accuse him of saying this country belongs to the Chinese and Indians too. That is simply how Malaysian politics works; to win the support of the Malays, you need to denounce the non-Malays as foreign squatters, who are only here as a matter of privilege rather than right, a privilege revocable at any time.
And what a coincidence it is - that is exactly how the Malaysian government works too. If you're not an Indonesian who can be counted as a Malay, your application for permanent residency or citizenship can never hope to see the light of day. If you're not a Malay, you can expect to hear your fair share of racist remarks in a public national school - and not from students, mind you, but teachers. As a student you can expect a syllabus which teaches you about the meaning of ketuanan Melayu rather than bangsa Malaysia. As an employee you can expect a civil service where you're not welcome unless they need you to fulfil their minuscule quota of non-Malay recruits. As an entrepreneur you can expect a government - and many government-linked companies - which will not give you any business unless you are a Malay. Half a century after independence, and that's what 40% of this country has to look forward to.
And since this is how the government works, up-and-coming politicians and political activists realise this is how politics works too. That is why even though you will never hear the typical Malaysian voicing such sentiments, political activists will readily denounce the non-Malays as foreign squatters here at the behest of a social contract which gives them the privilege, not right, to stay and live here.
Since this is how politics and government have worked since time immemorial, we owe Anwar an incredible debt for nearly single-handedly
turning all this - everything - completely on its head. For the past half century, to be a good Malay leader, you have either had to publicly proclaim your support for ketuanan Melayu - and not the mild ketuanan as in strong leadership, but ketuanan as in 'blood will run in the streets if our demands are not met' - or you have had to simply avoid commenting on the issue and just hope you can be all things to all people. Anwar ran on a platform, not of vague meaningless nice-sounding platitudes, but a platform explicitly against everything ketuanan Melayu stands for.
This is a man, mind you, who celebrated the end of his ban on active politics by damning ketuanan Melayu and consigning it to the dust heap of history. This is a man who has publicly and repeatedly proclaimed that his commitment is to the sovereignty of the people - ketuanan rakyat - rather than the dominance of the Malays.
This is a man who has never wavered from his stand that the philosophy of government assistance based on racial origin, rather than economic
status, is fundamentally and morally wrong. This is a man who has repeatedly, wherever he goes, whoever he speaks to, driven home the
same point, again and again: 'Anak Melayu, anak saya. Anak Cina, anak saya. Anak India, anak saya.'
And this is a man who has had everything in the traditional playbook of Malaysian politics thrown at him. He's been labelled a heretic, a sodomite, a liar, a hypocrite, a traitor willing to sell the Malays and Malaysians out at a moment's notice. The ruling coalition has done everything in their power to make it known far and wide that this is a man committed to non-racialism; committed to a Malaysia where everyone belongs.
Regardless of whether you think he deserves it, or if he was just lucky, credit is due to Anwar: where so many brave Malay leaders have fallen and failed, he has won an incredible victory. Onn Ja'afar was vilified simply for opening up his political party to Malayans of all creeds and colours; Anwar has gone above and beyond, explicitly declaring that this is a country for all Malaysians, whoever they might be. And he has won a resounding victory.
It would be one thing if he scraped through with a majority of less than 5,000 votes in the recent by-election, but the fact is, it was not even close - not with a landslide majority of 15,000, larger even than the majority his wife won before he explicitly condemned ketuanan Melayu. Anwar has succeeded where everyone else has failed; he has carved out a broad base of political support, not on a platform of rights or privileges for one community, but a platform of justice and equality of opportunity for all communities.
Criticise Anwar all you like for his inconsistent and wishy-washy stands on other issues. Criticise his coalition for its internal dissension and strange hypocrisy all you want. You can even say you have no intention of trusting a man who might just stab you in the back the moment he gains power.
The fact of the matter is, you do not have a choice between Anwar and your ideal, committed, consistent, sincere Malaysian leader. Your choice, in the here and now, is between Anwar and a regime built on racism, built on stoking the flames of mistrust and hatred. This regime of hatred has delivered its promise of ketuanan Melayu; why should we expect things to be any worse under a regime promising ketuanan rakyat? At the worst, it's the same old shit under a different government; at best, we might finally have a government and a political system which works for all Malaysians rather than whoever yells the loudest and threatens the most blood.
As far as taking power is concerned, this is still a long shot. Anwar may yet turn out to be a flop on delivering if he ever gets the chance to govern. But the simple and stark reality is, as far as we who live in the present are concerned, he is our best and only chance to put a stop to this insanity.
Anwar is not the perfect vessel for uniting the country, but there is a reason he scares the powers that be: he is the first real chance we have ever had to unite the country against the demons of racialism and parochialism. And for now, he is our only chance. He is the only one who can cross ethnic barriers to proclaim a commitment to a Malaysia where Malaysians, not Malays, are sovereign, and actually win more support than before.
I am no huge fan of Anwar, but I recognise what he has done, and how far he has come. I support him, not because I like him as a person, but because I believe in the cause he champions, and because I believe that if there is any person in this country who can make that dream a reality, it is Anwar Ibrahim.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
So would Malaysia still be held back from progress by racial pride and insist on the Malay language as medium of instruction in the schools, colleges and universities. If so, I am afraid we will be left even further behind other countries which are all switching to this global language?
Source: Italian university switches to English
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
I have to tip my hat off in respect of whoever was the teacher who set the leaked Moral Studies paper for the upcoming SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia. For if your moral compass is set right plus with wise guidence, you would know exactly the right (moral) answers. It shows the authorities in very bad light and I just hope (and pray) the teacher who set it do not get into trouble with the authorities.
Read the expose by Mariam Moktar Moral Studies paper stolen! courtesy of Malaysiakini and I think you will know what I mean:
Moral Studies paper stolen!
- Mariam Mokhtar
- 12:34PM Oct 1, 2012
After the furore concerning the leaked question on Bersih 3.0 in the mock SPM test papers, a more serious problem has emerged; the Moral Studies paper for the upcoming examination has been stolen.
Originally, the trial papers had prompted concerns that young minds were being indoctrinated - a charge denied by deputy ministers Puad Zarkashi and Wee Ka Siong.
Puad (right)said: “As long as it does not affect the racial or religious sensitivities or malign any individual, I feel (the question) is not a problem... It’s up to the rakyat to decide.”
Wee also disagreed that education was being politicised and refuted calls for an investigation: “I cannot act based on any Tom, Dick or Harry’s allegations….”
With weeks to go before the examination, all police leave has been cancelled and an investigation into the theft ordered. A spokesperson said the probe would include everyone who had access to the test paper before publication, the printers and the people who set the questions.
Like many other parents and children who want an advantage in the forthcoming exams, this correspondent managed to secure a copy of the Moral Studies paper, for RM100, in the backstreets of Kepong.
The Moral Studies core syllabus is divided into seven fields; self-development, family, environment, patriotism, human rights, democracy, peace and harmony. They are designed to test one’s understanding of moral values (nilai), definitions and reasoning.
To make this test fair for everyone, I have included some of the harder questions.
1. How would you show patriotism?
(a) Fly the Malaysian flag and report your neighbour who doesn’t.
(b) Buy only ‘Made in Malaysia’ goods.
(c) Be a responsible citizen and speak out if you disagree with the laws of the country.
2. You would like to help your community and take advantage of the government projects available but lack knowledge and experience. Would you:
(a) Seek your uncle (the one with Year Five education but who drives a Ferrari) who is the division head of the local Umno?
(b) Seek employment in a firm which offers the necessary training or bribe them to accept you?
(c) Enrol in vocational school and sign up for an apprenticeship to get the required skills?
3. You hear about the calls for democracy and are curious. Would you:
(a) Scrutinise both mainstream and alternative papers, and talk to a variety of people?
(b) Join the butt dance led by the army veterans because you like dancing and as the Poco-poco is banned, you might as well do the state-sanctioned butt dance?
(c) Ignore all the printed media but focus on TV3, RTM and Astro because you never liked reading?
4. Your moral studies teacher asks a rhetorical question. “If you are a cabinet minister, how would you deal with the misappropriation of public funds by your family?” What is your response?
(a) Send your children to New York to lie low, and close down all downstream activities.
(b) Feign ignorance about your spouse’s dealings, and warn your leader that you, too, have detrimental information on him and other party members.
(c) You would never allow such things to happen in the first place - rights come with responsibilities and accountability.
5. Your national newspaper has called for the alternative media to apologise to Malaysians for being a ‘tool for foreigners’. Would you:
(a) Write to the editor of the national paper and ask for his views on the allegations that the authorities are ‘allowing foreigners into the country in exchange for votes’?
(b) Contact one of the right-wing extremist groups and volunteer to wazz on photos of the alternative editors, during one of their protests?
(c) Disagree because you believe we need maids, petrol pump attendants and market stall traders?
6. A fishing village has organised a demonstration because of concerns that a new chemical plant will pollute the environment and affect the livelihood of the villagers and fishermen. Would you:
(a) Say ‘I’ve seen the water and it looks good and clear. What is the fuss?’, then hope and pray that no interfering Malaysiakini journalist asks you to drink the water?
(b) Contact the local thugs to throw bags of acid on the organiser’s cars to scare the demonstrators?
(c) Join the protesters in a march of solidarity?
7. A VVIP is on your flight from London to KLIA. You have been asked to vacate your first class seat for his extended entourage. Would you:
(a) Ask for a datukship in exchange for that inconvenience?
(b) Willingly do so to show your allegiance to King and country?
(c) Don your eyemask and ear plugs, feign sleep, and put a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on your bed?
8. What is the correct procedure for the police to respond to peaceful demonstrators?
(a) Use the element of surprise and wait for Muslims in the crowd to observe the call to prayer; when they are praying on the streets, roll in the trucks and detain the rioters.
(b) Provided there is no violence, marchers should be allowed to exercise their democratic right.
(c) Use a combination of razor wire, tear gas and chemically laced water.
9. How should the judiciary deal with child rapists?
(a) Find some reason to convince the judge that the child forced him to impregnate her and also inspire the judge of his bright future.
(b) Child rape is statutory rape and there are laws to deal with this, if only judges could be bothered to learn the law.
(c) A Muslim can marry his victim and escape imprisonment. If he is not a Muslim, he can convert, then marry his victim and be received with open arms and also be showered with the benefits of being a bumiputera. The rapist can always divorce his child bride so she can resume her schooling or look after the child, whichever suits her.
10. The PM is suffering a drop in his popularity. Would you:
(a) Start a Facebook page with ‘I love the PM’ and write to food and beverage companies to put the PM's face on their cans of drink?
(b) Tell the PM that he deserves to know what the rakyat feel about him - ‘Serves him right’?
(c) Join the call by the Minister of Misinformation to support the PM’s endeavours in cyberspace - send newspapers doctored photos of people swarming around the PM?
11. If you are elected chief minister of a state, how would you show how much you care for the people?
(a) When your child marries, invite as many people as possible to the wedding. This will save on buying presents, and gets you into the record books.
(b) Attract foreign investment by doing whatever is morally right, environmentally safe, economically viable and of use to the local inhabitants.
(c) Woo big corporations which have problems setting up their businesses elsewhere in the world. Just sign on the dotted line, and ensure that they pay their gratuities to the key people. The rakyat should be thankful for the development and jobs provided. Some scientist is bound to have discovered how to neutralise any toxic or radioactive products.
12. You are asked to be in charge of a think tank to boost the image of the ruling party. Would you:
(a) Organise raids to disrupt any of the opposition’s talks and gatherings, and distribute sex videos, because Malaysians love porn?
(b) Give film companies fiscal incentives and tax breaks to produce films which will plant the seeds of fear in the rakyat?
(c) Gather a team of experts to advise you of the situation on the ground, then systematically tackle each problem with sound reliable policies?
13. You are asked what criterion you would use to call an election.
(a) Consult numerology experts and the tea leaves in your daily cuppa.
(b) Individuals and companies are adversely affected by the uncertainty surrounding the election date, so you will make sure that a firm date is set for future elections.
(c) Ask someone in Sarawak to recommend a reliable shaman. You are a firm believer in alternative methods. Best of all, you like to keep the rakyat in the dark.
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak', this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.
1. were there early sources
2. multiple sources
3. independent sources
but ended up with the conclusion "yes".
David Wood's website is Answering Muslims.
Below I embed the video which if I manage to find the time to watch again, I probably will:
From there, I was alerted to another debate, this time between 2 Christian, Robert Spencer who concluded Muhammad did not exist and another Christian who believed Muhammad historically existed (I think it is Robert Spencer, and hopefully I got the above video and this video embedded below right:
If you are a seeker of truth, I would encourage you to pay attention to the 2 videos above or perhaps also the webiste Aramiac Broadcasting Network which claimed to be seeking after truth which if I can manage to squeeze in the time, I will return to read and/or watch more videos.
And for balance, here is Adnan Rashid's Muslim Debate Initiative which Robert Spencer put as a lesser formidable debater than David Wood which if I have all the time in the world would like to find out more too (but doubt I can spare the time).
Monday, September 24, 2012
Well, for one, when Syabas first mentioned about wanting to ration water a few months back, were/are there any news of any area actually subjected to water rationing after the SSG rubbished it as being delibrately manufactured? The answer is no.
And now there is this breaking news by Malaysiakini - Staged water shortage filmed in secret in PJ.
Do surf over there and read their report yourself and make up your own mind about the truth of a water crisis in Selangor.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Mukhriz Mahathir has come out with guns blazing trying to blast at Rafizi’s plan to reduce car prices by putting up the AP (Approved Permit) required to import a car into Malaysia, up for auction. Mukhriz is scratching his head on how auctioning APs can lower prices.
Rafizi’s explanation is simple as explained in the article below, Answering Mukhriz Mahathir: Car prices 101:
Answering Mukhriz Mahathir: Car prices 101
- Rafizi Ramli
- 11:23AM Sep 15, 2012
COMMENT I am glad that Mukhriz Mahathir has finally decided to respond to our campaign #turunkanhargakereta, especially when he is primarily tasked with the national automotive policies.
He is also expected to win the next Umno Youth head contest easily, so his views on issues affecting the younger population are a glimpse of what life under another 5-year term of BN rule will be like.
Among the many daily economic woes experienced by the younger population, exorbitantly high car prices easily occupy the top three concerns of this group.
Mukhriz (right) asked me a simple question: how can auctioning approval permits (permits to import cars) lower car prices?
The question was so simple that initially I was not sure whether he really did not understand the mechanics of the policies we had proposed, or part of his brilliant strategy to catch us.
Eventually as he kept repeating the same question at press conferences and in his tweets, I began to realise that he truly could not understand ( in commercial or in economic terms) how auctioning AP in a transparent process can lower car prices.
Let me attempt to explain the mechanics to the deputy minister in charge of automotive policies in the country.
Nitty gritty of car prices
To understand what needs to be done in order to trim car prices, we need to know the main cost components that make up the final selling price for customers.
For cars manufactured by national automotive companies or assembled here, there are two components: the cost of the car itself (which already includes the profit margin for the manufacturer) and the taxes/duties levied by the government.
As it is, the taxes/duties constitute at least 50 percent of the final car price - meaning if you buy a car with a retail price of RM50,000, the government takes RM25,000 in taxes/duties.
The same cost structure is also applicable to imported cars , with the addition of 2 more cost components. Each imported car attracts additional 30 percent import duty and a much higher hidden cost due to the AP that you need to obtain to import.
Previously, the AP was given to only selected companies/individuals with close connections to the ruling elite.
As the pressure mounted in the last few years, the BN government began to charge a flat rate of RM10,000 for each AP.
But the cost of AP translates into a much more expensive portion of the cost component that makes up the final retail price.
To understand how much an AP pushes up the retail price, Tony Pua shared his experience in importing a Nissan Juke using his AP entitlement as a member of parliament.
To cut the story short, he paid about RM100,000 to import the car. RM45,000 for the actual cost of the car plus the shipping cost. The balance RM55,000 comprised excise duty at 85 percent, sales tax at 10 percent and import tax at 30 percent.
Pua (right) was lucky to pay only RM100,000 for the car because if he were to buy from a local car dealer, he would have had to shell out RM160,000.
Trapped in intricate web
The difference of RM60,000 between buying from an importer and importing on your own (because you have an AP) is the actual impact of the opaque AP system, responsible for pushing car prices to exorbitantly high levels.
Nevertheless, the real culprit behind skyrocketing car prices that enslave many a Malaysian in perpetual indebtedness are the taxes imposed on cars.
Furthermore, only 10 percent of the cars sold each year are brought in with APs; 90 percent of the rest (the bulk of the population) are not affected by any changes to the AP system.
Therefore, the only way to correct the distortion and economic misery inflicted on the rakyat is to phase out the high excise duty on cars and bring back car prices to comparable parity with other economies around the world.
Since excise duty is levied on all cars, the phasing out of excise duty will affect both locally manufactured/assembled cars and imported cars.
To understand this better, we should go back to Pua's Nissan Juke. If he imports the car when excise and import duties have been completely phased out, he will need to pay only RM50,000 for the cost of the car, shipping and a 10 percent sales tax.
Magic wand for cheaper cars
He can then estimate how much he wants to bid for the AP to bring the car in. Since Nissan Juke is a small car and comes with better fuel efficiency, the proposed reserve price for the AP of such classes of car start at RM10,000 only (as opposed to if you are bringing in a Lamborghini with high fuel consumption, whose reserve price may start at RM30,000).
Pua then can kick in a bid, factoring in the total price that he is willing to pay. He may aim to pay a maximum of RM90,000 for the car, so he will bid RM40,000 for the AP since the total cost of the car is only RM50,000 without the exorbitant duties phased out by PR.
This is the part which Mukhriz clearly does not understand and as a result of that, frighteningly demonstrates his incompetence before the whole country.
While government will boost its revenue from higher AP payment it receives due to the open bidding system, the same revenue is then used to fund the policy to phase out excise and import duties that currently form the biggest bulk of the cost component of a car's retail price.
When excise and import duties are removed, this automatically lowers prices by at least 50 percent even when the AP price is decided through bidding, because under the current corrupt system the AP already fetches between RM40,000 to RM60,000 each in price similar to the prices expected under open bidding system).
The difference is the money currently goes to the private pockets of closely linked cronies.
This deprives the public of the necessary fund to phase out excise and import duties.
In short, the elimination of excise and import duties on cars across the board will automatically take away the most expensive cost component of a car's retail price.
I hope this explanation is simple enough for Mukhriz to digest because it is of highest imperative that he understands this basic knowledge in the car industry before he decides other complicated matters.
Rafizi Ramli is the Strategic Director of PKR. He used to audit car companies.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Ever since police arrested 2 teenagers (or more?) for stepping on and showing bare buttocks to Najib’s and Rosmah’s photos, people have been asking about similar acts particularly against opposition leaders.
Police has said that they will be impartial and will persecute others as well if police reports are made (if I am not wrong, some police reports have already been made but no action taken.
So now Malaysiakini has kindly dug up its archives and uncovered similar incidents against:
- Lim Guan Eng
- Ambiga Sreenevasan
- Nik Abdul Aziz and Abdul Hadi Awang
- Lim Kit Siang
- Khalid Samad
- Perak’s 3 frogs
- Koh Tsu Koon
- Najib Abdul Razak
- Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin
Below the full article, courtesy of Malaysiakini:
11:17AM Sep 7, 2012
For the first time ever, the authorities are on the hunt for individuals accused of showing disrespect for public figures by means of stepping on their photograph or in one case, baring a bottom at their photograph.
Currently, the police have identified 11 individuals accused of performing such acts during the eve of Merdeka Day at Dataran Merdeka.
Thus far, a handful of people have surrendered themselves to the police and in one case, a teenager was even put in handcuffs for her alleged crime.
However, it has been pointed out that the 11 are subjects of selective persecution, exacerbated by the haste in investigations and the uncanny ability of the police to identify them with such uncanny accuracy.
The police, however, have denied taking sides and vowed to probe similar instances involving Pakatan Rakyat leaders, provided police reports are lodged.
Since, it has been established that showing disrespect for public figures is a crime under the Sedition Act 1948, below is a list fromMalaysiakini archives to show that the application of this law is not always consistent.
Lim Guan Eng
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng often boast about many firsts under his administration, but he could add "facing the most number of demonstrations in the shortest period of time as chief minister" under his belt as well.
The numerous protests have been varied in nature its objectives appear uniform: It is not just to make a point, but to insult as well.
Not only has his posters been burnt and stepped on several occasions, he has also been given cake shaped in the form offaeces and a had a mock funeral staged in front of his house.
The perpetrators of such acts are widely known as some of them had been quoted by the media. Some of their leaders have also led numerous protests. None of them have been prosecuted thus far.
Due to the sheer shock factor and frequency of such acts against Guan Eng, he deserves to be placed first in this list.
The former Bar Council president turned electoral reforms activist had quickly amassed a legion of new fans for her work with the Bersih coalition, but it attracted enemies as well.
Detractors came right up to her doorsteps flipping burgers andexercising their posteriors in protest against the Bersih 3.0 rally on July 9.
One group led by Jamal Md Yunus, a prominent restaurant operator and luxury car dealer, even painted yellow boxes on the road in front of her home for flea market stalls.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall could have taken action against the group for vandalism but no known action has been taken, other than to paint over the yellow lines.
Prior to this, Malay rights pressure group Perkasa had held a rally in Kuala Lumpur to protest plans to hold Bersih 3.0 where posters depicting Ambiga were set alight.
In April, Jaringan Melayu Malaysia held a noisy anti-homosexualitydemonstration at Universiti Putra Malaysia which saw posters depicting Ambiga being burnt and stepped on.
Nik Abdul Aziz and Abdul Hadi Awang
PAS' top two are lesser chosen as targets by vandals but a series of photographs that have stuck to the minds of their supporters is one depicting several youths urinating on a banner.
The banner was believed to be strung up somewhere in Shah Alam, prominently featuring Abdul Hadi and Nik Aziz's mugshots. The streams of urine were clearly visible in the photograph.
One of the perpetrator was clad in a BN t-shirt.
Lim Kit Siang
Like his counterparts in PAS, Lim also had to suffer the same indignity of people urinating on his photograph.
The incident happened in April 2009, outside the Shah Alam courthouse where 12 individuals were being tried for their inflammatory demonstration involving a cow head.
Khalid Samad, the Shah Alam MP, strangely became the target of protestors who were against the court ruling allowing a Christian publication to use the term "Allah".
He was accused of conspiring against Muslims and one banner accused him of "sodomising" the Islamic faith.
For good measure, protestors also made sure that posters with his photograph were stepped on. All this took place within the compound of the Selangor state mosque.
Perak's independent trio
Pakatan Rakyat is not totally clean either, as revealed during the Perak DAP convention in November 2009.
A giant banner depicting three former Pakatan state assemblyperson who paved the way for the BN takeover of the state in February that year, was used as a door mat for the convention.
Kit Siang was among those photographed standing on the banner while his son Guan Eng had gingerly leapt over it.
Perak DAP chief Ngeh Khoo Ham later conceded that not all party members condoned the act, but stopped short of condemning it.
Koh Tsu Koon
In September 2008, a minor tiff between then Penang BN chief Koh Tsu Koon and Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Ahmad Ismail escalated to the point where it almost tore apart Gerakan and Umno's long ties.
Eventually, the only thing that was torn up was a large framed photograph of Koh adorning Penang Umno headquarters wall at that time.
After Ahmad's fiery press conference, one of his men smashed the photo frame before tearing up koh's photograph of while letting loose a loud roar which overwhelmed the staccato sounds of camera shutter clicks.
Najib Abdul Razak
Compared to the above, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak seemed to have got off pretty easy.
In December last year, a flag bearing his image was lowered during a protest by some 500 youths demanding academic freedom.
The perpetrator was Adam Adli, a student leader, who was later quizzed by the police. He has been suspended by his university for three semesters, but no criminal action has been taken.
In April this year, the same group of students held another demonstration.
A framed photograph of Najib and Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin with a funeral wreath was paraded by the protestors, before being dumped into a rubbish bin.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
Janji ditepati = promises kept. This is Najib’s and the BN’s so called Merdeka Theme.
Let us see how many promises that Najib made.
OK maybe just one would do. The rest you can search yourself.
Najib promised the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock that no stones would be left uncovered in the investigation over Beng Hock’s death while in the custody of MACC (Malaysia Anti-corruption Commission). Was this kept?
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Please take very careful attention: All aerosol are highly imflammable. Some even place their aerosols under the gas stove or near gas tank. Please don’t:
This is shocking accident happened on 13th May 2011 in Pune. This may be a good, useful lesson in safety for all of us.
A housewife died due to burns sustained in the kitchen. Her husband too was hospitalized for injuries due to burns while trying to rescue his wife. How it happened?:- The gas stove was on and cooking under process. The lady observed some cockroaches near the sink and grabbed a can of insect killer and sprayed it near the gas stove, which was on. There was an explosion and in no time the poor woman was covered in flames, sustaining 65% burns. Her husband rushed in, tried to douse the flames and his clothes too caught fire. The husband is still in hospital, in the burns ward, still unaware that his wife was declared dead on arrival.
Let us understand:- All insect killer sprays such as "Hit", "Motrin" etc. have highly volatile and inflammable solvents. The atomized nano spray particles spread extremely rapidly and one spark is enough to ignite this explosive mixture with oxygen present in air. Did the poor lady realize the hazard involved? Apparently not!
this was swiped form Zorro Unmasked which was posted in support of the Malaysia Internet Blackout day. Will ask him if he wants it taken down:
What is Section 114A?
Section 114A is the second of two amendments made to Malaysia’s Evidence Act 1950.
Law Minister Nazri Aziz tabled the second amendment, formally known as Evidence (Amendment) (No2) Act 2012, in Dewan Rakyat on 18 April. James Dawos Mamit supported the motion, and Section 114A was passed after the second and third reading. On 9 May, Dewan Negara passed the amendment.
The amendment was gazetted on 31 July 2012. This means the law is now operational.
What is the purpose of Section 114A?
Section 114A deals with allegedly illicit or harmful content on the Internet. In short, the amendment enables law enforcement officials to swiftly hold someone accountable for publishing seditious, defamatory, or libelous content online.
How does Section 114A affect you?
Titled “Presumption of Fact in Publication”, Section 114A holds the following people accountable for publishing content online:
(1) those who own, administrate, or edit websites open to public contributors, such as online forums or blogs;
(2) those who provide webhosting services or Internet access; and
(3) those own the computer or mobile device used to publish content online.
In other words, if allegedly defamatory content is traced back to your username, electronic device, and/or WiFi network, Section 114A presumes you are guilty of publishing illicit content on the Internet.
But what if you were the victim of identity theft and a hacker wrongfully used your Twitter or Facebook account to post defamatory content?
Under Section 114A, you are still considered guilty until proven innocent.
What is wrong with Section 114A?
Section 114A is problematic for a number of reasons:
i) It disproportionately burdens average Internet users who are wrongfully accused of publishing seditious or defamatory content.
ii) It makes Internet intermediaries–parties that provide online community forums, blogging and hosting services–liable for content that is published through their services.
iii) It allows hackers and cyber criminals to be free by making the person whose account/computer is hacked liable for any content/data which might have changed.
iv) It is a bad law passed in haste and does not take into account public interest and participation.
HOW WILL IT AFFECT YOU:
Sunday, August 12, 2012
This email forward apparently had been verified by AT&T VERIFIES IT'S TRUE:
But please do your own checkingL
809 Area Code
We actually received a call last week from the 809 area code. The woman said 'Hey, this is Karen. Sorry I missed you- get back to us quickly. I have something important to tell you.' Then she repeated a phone number beginning with 809. We did not respond. Then this week, we received the following
Do Not DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284, AND 876
Be sure you read this and pass it on.
They get you to call by telling you that it is information about a family member who has been ill or to tell you someone has been arrested, died, or to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc..
In each case, you are told to call the 809 number right away. Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return these calls.
If you call from the U.S. , you will apparently be charged
Or, you'll get a long recorded message. The point is, they will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges.
WHY IT WORKS:
The 809 area code is located in the Dominican Republic .
The charges afterward can become a real nightmare. That's because you did actually make the call. If you complain, both your local phone company and your long distance carrier will not want to get involved and will most likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign company. You'll end up dealing with a foreign company that argues they have done nothing wrong.
Please forward this entire message to your friends, family and colleagues to help them become aware of this scam.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Something for the Selangor folks, especially the voters, to read, before they get taken in by the damned BN Government.
Koon Yew Yin I have read in theStar newspaper and is not only a philanthropist, but have tried to encourage other
Subject: SOMETHING'S FISHY
Many of you maybe wondering what's all the fuss over the purported "Selangor Water Crisis". Is there actually a crisis or was BN trying to create a crisis?
Below is an article by the well-known philanthropist, Koon Yew Yin who hails from Perak. Koon Yew Yin graduated from Technical College, KL in the early 50's & he was the co-founder of established construction firms, Mudajaya, IJM & Gamuda.
So, it has something to do with transferring raw water from Sungai Semantan in Bentong, Pahang to Selangor via a 45km long tunnel thru the Main Range. This water transfer i.e. Pahang selling raw water to Selangor, was agreed during Mahathir's time & the tunnel is now purportedly 50% completed.
Apparently, the modus operandi of our corrupt political leaders is to create gigantic projects, dish them out to cronies who in turn, will give huge kickbacks, preferrably into oversea bank accounts of our political leaders.
In the 80's, we used to crack jokes about politicians promising to build bridges where there are no river. Now, they really build those "bridges" i.e. projects which we don't need.
SOMETHING'S FISHY: Why is BN in such a hurry to give out contracts
Written by Koon Yew Yin
A few days ago, as reported in The Star, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin after chairing the Cabinet meeting declared that he wanted the Selangor Langat 2, costing Rm 8.65 billion, to be fully implemented without further delay.
Realising that the Federal Government has no power to force the Selangor Government to start construction of the Langat 2 treatment plant and other ancillary works which are sited in Selangor, he has instructed the Attorney General to look at the Federal Constitution and other legal documents to find a way out of this dilemma.
Most Malaysians will wonder why the BN Government is in such a great hurry to act on this project especially since it will take several years to implement and will have no immediate impact on the so called water crisis in Selangor.
No water crisis in Selangor
In fact, there is no water crisis but the BN Government just wants to create some fear and to justify a highly questionable public investment decision. As reported in a prominent business daily recently, although 50% of the 45 km tunnel has been completed to carry water from Sungai Semantan in Pahang, the Langat2 treatment plant has not started construction. If the treatment plant is not completed, the water from Pahang has nowhere to go and the partially completed tunnel and other completed construction will remain a white elephant.
Bad Intentions behind Langat 2?
Suspicions of bad intentions in this massive and extraordinary public infrastructure arise for several reasons. One reason is that Selangor is an opposition ruled state and we know that the Barisan desperately wants to show how badly the state is run by Pakatan. Hence, the decision to rush the project is to score political points especially since the elections are fast approaching.
However, a more important reason is that the Langat 2 project will be one of the largest water projects in the country. There will be billions of ringgit of contracts to give out. We all know the bad track record of the BN government with respect to super expensive projects in the name of privatization. Basically, what will happen is that a large part of the Langat 2 project will be outsourced to politically connected business and rentier individuals and groups. ‘Piratization’ will take place but this will be spun off in the mainstream media as an Economic Transformation Programme privatization project to resolve the water problems of the state which have been caused by Pakatan mismanagement.
Origin of the Langat 2 project
Also, let us not forget the origins of the Langat 2 project. This was a project initiated by the former state government under Menteri Besar Toyo who believed that the solution to Selangor’s water problem was to transfer water from Sungei Semantan in Pahang. To accomplish this transfer, a new dam - Kelau Dam – also has to be constructed to accumulate water to be pumped to the Langat 2 treatment plant. It is a fact that few members of the public if asked their opinion of the previous state government’s record on clean and frugal governance will have anything good to say about Toyo and his state exco members.
Alternative Approaches to Selangor’s Water Needs
The present Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid has clearly stated that Selangor is not in urgent need for more water and that there are cheaper schemes to secure additional water.
After careful consideration of the two conflicting approaches to resolving Selangor’s water problem – that of the BN and the present Selangor state government – I and water engineer colleagues who I have consulted strongly believe that there is a superior and cheaper way to supply additional water to Selangor than transferring water from Pahang through the proposed Langat 2 scheme.
One of the alternative proposals is to take water from Sungei Bernam, the river that forms the state boundary between Selangor and Perak. If readers look at Google map, they will notice that the upper reach of Sungei Bernam is in Selangor. This area is a possible area where a dam can be constructed to accumulate water to increase water supply. At the lower end of Sungei Bernam is Sungei Besar where a suitable water treatment plant can be constructed to pipe water to nearby Kuala Selangor and Klang.
Another alternative source of water is the mouth of Sungei Perak, at Teluk Intan which is very much closer to the main demand areas in Selangor than the Langat project. Since the level of these coastal regions is about the same it would be much cheaper to take additional water from Sungei Perak than from Sungei Semantan in Pahang through a highly expensive tunnel that has to be cut in the mountainous Main Range. Sungei Perak at the point of its mouth is several hundred meters wide and there is ample water to meet Selangor’s need for the long term future.
All these alternatives need to be explored by the Selangor as well as the Federal Government before a final decision is made on a project to definitively and economically resolve the state’s water needs. Common sense and rationality must prevail and not the crony ridden business as usual decision making which has earned Malaysia a reputation as a paradise for mismanagement and high level corruption.
Consumers must bear in mind that the BN Government will make you pay a higher water rate if the Langat 2 project is fully completed. You can stop it!
Koon Yew Yin is a prominent citizen, corporate captain and a well-known philanthropist
Friday, August 10, 2012
Not sure where this email forward source is but is something every Malaysian should read and know about Chua Jr. (Chua Tee Yong) who as Deputy Agriculture Minister should be more concerned about NFC scandal rather than harping stupidly over this so called (unreal) Talam issue:
Subject: FW: Chua Jr under fire over NFC 'neglect"
Chua Jr under fire over NFC 'neglect'
2:25PM Aug 6, 2012
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Chua Tee Yong has been asked how many times he has visited the National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFC) cattle-breeding project, which is in an “ugly state” today.Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua (left) raised this when pointing out Chua’s tenacity in highlighting the Selangor government’s debt recovery exercise involving Talam Corporation Bhd. “Did (Chua) even visit the NFC a single time to perhaps count the number of cows being bred in the farm, instead of making multiple fishing trips to the scenic Bestari Jaya lakes?” he snapped in a statement. “Has Chua delivered his ministerial responsibilities by finding out why a RM250 million soft loan was extended to NFC ... in 2008, two years before (the) project implementation agreement was even signed between his ministry and NFC?” “Has Chua ever taken the trouble to find out why NFC has not paid a single sen back to the government (although the) ... first repayment instalment (has been due) since January 2012? “Can he provide an assurance to all Malaysians that every sen of the RM250 million will be collected back, whether in the form of cash or assets, just as the Selangor government has managed to successfully collect back the RM392 million Talam debts? “If not, then perhaps Chua could give Malaysians a reason why he is fit to be a deputy minister other than to be the errand boy for the Selangor Umno warlord and its minister Noh Omar.”Pua said that Chua (right) - in his crusade against the Selangor government's RM393 milliondebt recovery exercise - had made the serious and inaccurate allegation that it is bailing out Talam to the tune of RM1 billion. “Instead of a bailout, it has been proven that the Selangor government was able to collect back the full amount of RM392 million in the form of cash and assets. “The RM392 million was a debt legacy from the BN administration since the 1990s which was never properly accounted for or collected. “In fact, Talam shareholders must be ruing the day Pakatan Rakyat took over Selangor because they had to pay up their debts within two years