Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tiny Political Punk Ahmad Darus Wants Mahathir Punished!

Ahmad Who?? Ahmad Darus, youth chief of the PM's political constituency. When it comes to batting above his league, this kampung cowboy Darus is in a class of his own.

This political dwarf loudly called for ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad to be stripped of all government-linked positions as punishment for scathing criticisms of his successor. The trouble with these insignificant hangers on is that with this type of nonsensical screams for revenge and retribution, there will actually be idiots, even highly placed idiots who will give credence to the call and publicize it, ultimately conferring wira status to the smalltime pipsqueak. From this humble scream, our kampung cowboy will go on to bigger vociferous shouts of Bangsa, Agama dan Negara, and down with the opposition, the pengkhianat and the non-Malay. And as everyone knows that such a time tested formula of stirring shit never fails. Fast forward a year or two and lo and behold we'll have another Zakaria Md Deros type of rogue only this time in Pulau Pinang.

Displaying a tyrannical streak, this tiny super lightweight demanded that "Mahathir must be sacked immediately from all positions linked to the government. Similar action must also be taken against all of his supporters!" If his wishes were khinzirs they would fly. This chap, who probably watched other butt-lickers kiss the Tun's right hand every time the then PM landed at Bayan Lepas, because he was too junior to be included in the line of apple polishers, now plans to accelerate his career by attempting to hina a former leader.

You can bet your last ringgit that if he succeeds in getting a few brownie points from the state and national leaders, there will be other such small punks who will emerge with more outlandish demands. Imagine if the likes of Ahmad Darus ever becomes a minister? God help us all!

Details of the temper tantrums of this tiny tot here.

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Umno Not Going To Discipline Mahathir Says Md Taib. Of Course. You Can't Even Discipline Zakaria.

Umno has not come to a stage where it will take disciplinary action against former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said this was because Dr Mahathir had “immunity.”

My dear Md Taib, Umno will never come to the stage where disciplinary action will be taken against any political hotshot. He's not the only one having Umno-style immunity. So do you, Zakaria and hundreds of other parasites who have sucked and bled our country dry. Muhammad Taib should know a thing or two about being immune to prosecution. If he were to have done in Singapore what he did here, the only place he would have given this piece of information would have been from prison. With his histrionic abilities and claim of extremely 'poor' command of English he even escaped from the Australian legal authorities after being caught red-handed there with several million dollars on his person. For such are the talents these Umno politicians have.

For the poor citizens of this country all they have is Hobson's Choice; a corrupted but still relatively stable BN government or an unknown quantity that is PAS which may yet 'Talibanise' the nation. We have few recourses left. The courts are one and the Council of Rulers is the other. With a semi-paralysed federal government, an inept Prime Minister, an alternative power centre controlled by Khairy Jamaluddin and the 'Level 4 boys' and hundreds of power and wealth-hungry Umno warlords on the loose and running riot without any sign of them being reined in or accounted for by the law, it looks as if the judges and the Malay rulers are our only hope for the future.

The Sultan of Selangor set the trend by flexing his royal muscles lately. It is hoped that those powerful leaders with a conscience will come forward and take the initiative to wrest back decency and respect for the law which these bunch of corrupt incompetents in Umno seem to have bartered away somewhere along their pursuit for unlimited wealth.

In the meanwhile please continue reading on the exploits and 'struggles' of this corrupted lot working diligently for Bangsa, Agama dan Negara! Another two Klang municipal councillors building mansions illegally.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Khir Toyo's Desperate Damage Control Bid.

You've got to hand it to this Indon migrant's son. He knows when the chips are down and how to simply bluff his way through all his deeds of omission and commission. At least that's what he thinks.

The puny dentist put up his press secretary to issue a statement, a barefaced lie of a statement, that the Selangor government had been sincere and on the ball regarding the whole sordid Zakaria affair. The bugger came out with a clarification over the 'assumption' that it had remained inactive in the case of a controversial mansion built in Klang until after its owner had met the sultan last Saturday on a palace order.

According to this 'penjelasan' the state government had asked Datuk Zakaria Md Deros, owner of the mansion built without approval from the Klang Municipal Council (MPK), to step down as an MPK councillor before the request was made public as well as before Zakaria's audience with Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. Zakaria had also been asked to inform the sultan during the audience of his impending resignation as an MPK councillor, it said.

The utterly false statement further lied that the matter was not made public at that time because the state government wanted to give Zakaria the opportunity to act in the interests of the people and the state and resolve the issue without embarrassing anyone. But when Zakaria failed to act as instructed, the state government had to come out with the announcement!! What kind of bullshitting is this? Does Toyo take us for fools? Maybe he does. After all some of our idiots actually went and actively participated in the Selangor 'developed state' celebrations.

Today's statement also said that the state government had decided that no more than two relatives will be allowed to hold posts as councillors of local councils at any one time. It said candidates for the posts of councillors would be screened to ensure that they did not owe the councils any arrears in assessment rates or any other payment whatsoever. The statement said all councillors have been given two months to settle any arrears in payments. But this was not the tune that Toyo was singing last week. Then he was cocksure about himself and did not expect the Sultan to directly intervene. This was reinforced by the PM's decision to leave it to Toyo to deal with Zakaria. He seemed so emboldened and openly became the apologist-in-chief for Zakaria.

Now Toyo in order to save his butt passes around the blame like free candy, implicating the police and the ACA when the statement said that the appointment of councillors in Selangor was made after the candidates had undergone tight screening by the police and Anti-Corruption Agency to ensure the appointed councillors were people of integrity and responsibility. Basically he has kept himself in the clear by saying, "maaf bradder tapi ACA dan polis yang approve Si Zakaria ini, bukan saya."

There are a few more blatant lies and falsehoods in the 'damage control statement' forced upon his press secretary by the despicable MB. You can read the entire litany of the bluffmaster's untruths here.

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Mother Of All Hazes To Hit Next Year?

Experts have warned that the regional annual haze could get much worse next year than the one experienced in 1997 due to a possible return of the strong El Niño phenomenon.

Instead of dissipating with rain towards the end of October, a prolonged El Niño could cause the haze to linger till February the following year, The Straits Times quoted professor of meteorology Xie Shang-Ping of the International Pacific Research Centre (IPRC) as saying. The warning came just days before officials from the haze-affected Asean countries are meeting in Indonesia for a regional workshop to tackle the problem which is caused mainly by burning of agricultural land as well as bush and forest fires in Indonesia's Sumatra and Kalimantan.

According to the report, IPRC researchers studying data for the past 35 years found that a combination of the El Niño phenomenon -- which refers to the warming of the Pacific -- and the cooling of the Indian ocean, could cause severe flooding in some parts of the world and drought in other areas, including Southeast Asia.

A combination of the Pacific and Indian ocean conditions occurred once in 10 years, Prof Xie said.

A super El Niño was last seen in 1997-98, the period the haze took crisis proportions that prompted Asean countries to sign the 2002 Asean agreement on transboundary haze pollution.
Indonesia and the Philippines are the only two countries which have yet to ratify the agreement but Indonesian President Susulo Bambang Yudhoyono recently indicated that the country would move a ratification process.

Experts predicted that a strong El Niño phenomenon would be catastrophic to the region. "If the El Niño extends to the next slash-and-burn season, we can definitely anticipate a haze matching that of 1997," said Assistant Professor Chang Chew Hung of the National Institute of Education.

Experts estimated the 1997 haze crisis to have caused the region losses of up to US$9 billion in disruption of economic activities and other costs.

In Singapore today, the pollutant standards index (PSI) which measures air quality, climbed steadily from 27 at 1am, which was in the "good" range, to the "moderate range" of 60 at 11am. Some experts attributed the ongoing haze, which was particularly bad this year, to the El Niño effect although much weaker compared to that of 1997.


Coach Chow Kwai Lam Claims Trial To Bribery Charge.

Former Malaysian national football coach Chow Kwai Lam will be tried in a Singapore court in January next year after he claimed trial to a match-fixing charge involving a match here in June last year.

Chow, 63, appeared briefly in chambers during a pre-trial conference at the Subordinate Court, accompanied by two of his counsel, Hamidul Haq and Intekhab Khan.

Hamidul told Bernama that his client was claiming trial and that the judge had set hearing for Jan 3 to 5.

Chow was charged on Aug 16 with corruptly offering a gratification of between S$200 and S$300 (RM460 and RM690) and a further unspecified amount of cash to Zulkifli Zainolabidin, who was a first choice goalkeeper with Paya Lebar-Punggol FC.

According to the charge, the gratification was an inducement to intentionally allow the opposing team to score two or three goals in the S-League match between Paya Lebar-Punggol FC and Home United FC on June 16, 2005.

The charge was framed under Section 6(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. If convicted, Chow could face a maximum of five years in prison, be fined up to S$100,000 (RM230,000), or both.

Chow has maintained he is innocent and vowed to clear his name in court.

-- By Jackson Sawatan (BERNAMA)

IGP Should Improve Police PR.

IN today's NST: An aviation consultant claimed yesterday that police were dragging their feet in investigations against a company that had allegedly "interviewed" flight attendants on behalf of Cathay Pacific.

Inter-Excel Advisory director Hilary Miranda said he and several others lodged separate police reports on Oct 12, 14 and 18 but claimed that no action had been taken. "I tried to prevent a crime by raising the alarm but police did not bother to do anything. Even on the day of the interview, I called the authorities numerous times but nothing was done," he said.

He claimed the police, the newspaper that ran the advertisement and the hotel where the interviews were held should be held accountable.

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong agreed with Miranda, saying he had been told by police not to hold a Press conference as it could jeopardise investigations. He claimed the police only began investigations when the media took up the issue.

Selangor police chief Deputy Commissioner Datuk Ismail Omar confirmed that two men had been arrested last Friday but declined to elaborate. Investigations are under way to determine if more are involved.

**** For all the laudable efforts by the IGP to bolster the reputation of the police in the public eye, these sort of reports negate all the hard work that Musa Hassan puts in. If investigations indeed are ongoing then it is essential that the police inform the complainants to avoid the impression that the cops are sleeping over the matter and doing absolutely nothing or worse they are preventing or being prevented from investigations.

The police simply cannot take the easy way out and give the same old lame excuse, "no comments as investigations may be jeopardised." It's not as if the aggrieved party is going to advertise to the whole world all the details of these investigations. It is merely for them to know that their complaints are being looked into and some action on the matter is forthcoming. This is in fact the least the cops should do.

Perhaps the IGP should consider sending some of his men for 'hands-on' professional public relations attachments with reputed organisations. I'm sure they won't mind imparting their knowledge and experience for free if need be. The police cannot go on like the bad old days when they ruled the roost and everybody else cowered in fear at the sight of the policeman in uniform.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Zainuddin Maidin - Amusing Doctor Of Spin.

Lord Zam, Darth Vader of the Information Darkside went into spin mode today. But unlike a washing machine he spun left, right and centre.

First he gave some crap about wanting everyone to stop making criticisms and disclosures that are shameful to the Malays. He expanded the 'criticism and disclosure' category to include the strained relations between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He then narrowed down the adverse effect of the said criticisms by cautioning that if they were allowed to go on, they would indirectly expose the 'weaknesses' of the Malays.

He gave this 'exposing the weaknesses' spin an Umno-style keris wielding type diabolical twist by furtively roping in Umno's favourite bogeyman by conspiratorially observing that "the non-Malay media were observing closely and were waiting for more disclosures including who received this and that (project)". Further twisting his keris he added that the people must be rational and not have any prejudice as to portray the Malays as a disgraceful lot.

Turning to his pet hate, press freedom, after a perfunctory praise of Pak Lah when he said that the media was more free and more liberal during Abdullah's administration compared to that of Dr Mahathir's, he again gave another berjuanging Umno-style spin by claiming that "the Malays are not comfortable with the current press freedom on several matters." To buttress that idiotic argument he once again referred to the perennial bogeyman by pronouncing on high that "lately, (the media) touched on the special privileges of the Malays and religion." In effect by a roundabout route Lord Zam still came back to the same premise - "Bangsa, Agama dan Negara, and beware those evil non-Malay bastards in the media."

But a smart survivor he indeed is, as he quickly covered his rear by also stating that he was "not preventing the mass media from reporting matters that were of public interest, but the leaders should stop making criticisms that were shameful."( Whatever that meant! )


A Palang On Salang's Report Card.

Bernama headline today: Criticism On Pak Lah No Impact On M'sia's Image Abroad - Salang.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's persistent criticism of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's leadership has no impact on Malaysia's image overseas, says Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Joseph Salang. This can mean one of two things. Either the former PM's tirades don't matter to the outside world or the image of the country is already so bad that this 'skeletons in the closet' exhibition by the Tun is not going to make a difference!

He said neither did it have any bearing on Malaysia's ties with other countries. Salang said leaders of countries whom he had met so far are not worried over the misunderstanding between the two leaders. "To them the spat between the two are personal matters," he told reporters after attending a dinner to raise funds to renovate and extend the St John's Anglican Church here last night.

Salang said: "This is the Foreign Ministry's view. As far as the leaders are concerned Abdullah's position as prime minister is not threatened since he has been duly elected and won the last general election with overwhelming majority." In fact, many foreign leaders praised Malaysia for its political stability, he said.

Also, foreign investors did not feel insecure over the latest development in the country, he said. "Nevertheless, the sooner the spat can be resolved between the two leaders, the better it is for the country in a lot of ways. "It is among Malaysians that the criticisms are evoking all kinds of thoughts and reactions.

**** Even a political pipsqueak like Salang wants his two pesos worth of opinion on the subject! Who is he to say what foreign leaders think about the spat? He's only a deputy minister at Wisma Putra and even our Foreign Minister doesn't have that kind of access to Heads of Government to give an accurate assessment of their take on this Malaysian-style public washing of dirty pakaian dalam.

Foreign ministry part-timers which politicians are and who come and go like the jerebu should not take it upon themselves to pronounce on happenings not within their competence and purview. Persons who don't know the difference between an Ambassador and a High Commissioner should be cautious and measured when giving opinions.

The full Bernama report here.

‘Remarks by ex-PM don’t affect me’ - Khairy. What An Idiot!

At a Hari Raya open house hosted by the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar in Seremban, our moron-in-chief, first son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin once again opened his gob and put his two feet in. He is reported to have pompously said that he was not affected by the statements made by the former prime minister.

Will someone tell this idiot that he is the main cause for the current political turmoil and if only he had married an old bag and lived happily ever after in some rustic English village, the nation would not be in this state of uncertainty. However he had to come back home and get hitched to the PM's daughter and now be responsible for the impasse we are in.

Apparently he is totally unconcerned about the verbal lashings his father-in-law is getting on a daily basis from the Tun. So much for a good family member - "I'm unaffected therefore semuanya OK." A really ungrateful character he is turning out to be.

And to give it a 'work-as-usual' spin, he says that "they (Umno Youth) are concentrating more on the real struggles, which are the implementation of the Ninth Malaysia Plan and preparing for the next general election.” (Again I'm wondering what these jokers are 'struggling' for or 'struggling' against? Kick KJ back to whichever part of Indonesia or India he traces his heritage to and the 'struggle' becomes superflous and unnecessary.)

He also said that he believed that Umno Youth was more likely to concentrate on matters like the Malay agenda and implementation of the Ninth Malaysia Plan. That was the nth time that KJ had referred exuberantly to the 9MP. I wonder what's in it for him and how much, in billions? And of course no KJ poppycock speech is complete without mention of the M-word and the magic term, Malay Agenda, that has everyone drooling with expectation; the get-something-for-doing-nothing philosophy that is slowly crippling the average rezeki searching Bumi. And that's exactly what people like KJ and his ilk prefer; an incapacitated, subservient population of voters ready to do his bidding for the crumbs he throws to them on a regular basis.

The full Star report here.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Is This A 'Face Saving' Move For Zakaria By Bernama?

Funny how changing one word in a headline makes such a difference, especially when it comes to saving face and coming out smelling a little better than before!

At 2.55 pm Bernama came out with the story of the Sultan's demand that palace builder Zakaria Md Deros resign as Councillor with this headline: Selangor Sultan Orders Zakaria To Resign As MPK Councillor.

But surprise surprise, by 4.28 pm someone had a change of heart perhaps at Bernama and the headline was watered down to this: Selangor Sultan Advises Zakaria To Resign As Councillor.

Maybe it was a genuine mistake the first time around and the Sultan didn't actually order the resignation but merely adviced it. How such a mistake can be made beats me especially since the word "ordered" is mentioned again in the first report as in - "Asked on Zakaria's reaction to the Sultan's order to resign as councillor, Mohd Munir said: "It's up to Zakaria to consider and he may discuss with the Menteri Besar." This key sentence and a few others are conveniently omitted in the second report, such as this one - Asked on the people's complaints about Zakaria's behaviours, Mohd Munir said the Sultan had received numerous complaints about him but an official complaint was forwarded to the Ruler recently.

Also in a related report by Bernama at 3.46 pm, Zakaria Must Quit As Councillor, Says Dr Khir, this sentence was there - Earlier, the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, ordered Zakaria to resign from the councillor's post to put an end to the controversies surrounding him, including the appointments of his family members as councillors in the same council.

What is all this? Damage control on behalf of Zakaria? And which wise guy thought it up or ordered/adviced it? Can we expect more changes to this news by tomorrow? For example - Sultan hints at resignation. Zakaria may consider.

And later - Statesman Zakaria makes supreme sacrifice for party and nation. PM lauds noble gesture.

Or maybe - "Emulate Zakaria's graciousness, Semuanya OK" says a grateful Khir Toyo.

The possibilities dear readers, are endless!!!

Sultan Orders Zakaria Md Deros To Relinquish Councillorship.

It had to happen. On one side Selangor Menteri Besar Md Khir Toyo was acting like a yoyo, pretending to be a loyal servant of the Sultan by publicly expressing shock at Zakaria's insubordination and then openly apologising for him by saying he's unwell, architect to blame for his non-payment blah, blah blah.

On the other the coward Zakaria did not have the testes to face up to the Sultan and ran away to his kampung in Malacca to celebrate Hari Raya while all the time pleading frail health! The culture of accountability is so glaringly missing from these pemimpin, that it is a wonder they've been allowed to rule the roost for so long.

And the end result? A very, very unhappy Ruler. Therefore it wasn't a surprise when I received this terse message just now: The Sultan of Selangor has ordered Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros to relinquish his post as Klang Municipal councillor. The implications of this unilateral decision by the Sultan is more than just the removal of the palace builder. It is in essence a severe indictment of Khir Toyo and his ambivalence in the whole matter. Only when the Ruler is satisfied that no justice can be expected from the executives of his state or he suspects their own culpability will he take such a decision on his own accord. Are Toyo's days numbered? I expect so. For a start Zakaria should resign as a state assemblyman too. Let the electorate there decide on their next elected rep.

It is my fervent hope and prayer that His Royal Highness doesn't stop with this, as it merely takes away a small part of the malignancy running riot inside that ailing body which is the state of Selangor. In order for the state to have a chance of survival the Sultan has to go all the way and remove that large cancerous portion inside which is represented by the Menteri Besar and most of his corrupt colleagues and hangers on. The nation would indeed be ever grateful to His Royal Highness for that.

Updated Bernama report here: Selangor Sultan Orders Zakaria To Resign As MPK Councillor.
Update: Khir Toyo does a Pontius Pilate and washes his hands of Zakaria!

Mahathir's Statements - Asking For Trouble.

There is only so much patience that one can exercise and a limit to the deference to seniority and contributions to society and nation. And Dr Mahathir seems hell bent on pushing this government to the maximum tolerance level it has so far remarkably maintained.

But the point is slowly and surely being reached where the shouts of "enough is enough" is becoming heard. One such exasperated group is the Umno Youth which said yesterday that it was sick and tired by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s continued tirade against the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Umno Youth chief and Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the wing’s support for Abdullah, who is also Umno president, could not be questioned. He was responding to the continuing attacks by Dr Mahathir on Abdullah’s leadership.

I can imagine the PM's frustration when he throws up his hands and says "go ahead and criticise me." What can the PM do in such a situation where the accuser unreasonably says that no one dares to criticise him, other than to patiently reiterate that consensus decision is his way?

Who benefits from Dr Mahathir's tirades? For one, the opposition who must be watching the goings on with undisguised glee. The very same opposition that the Tun battered and bloodied many times during his tenure. Then there are those who are not wellwishers of this country and would love to witness its downfall or at least see it being pushed down a notch or ten. These are the so-called lovers of democracy and its principles who now openly cheer a tyrant just because it suits their own strategy and 'vibes' with their own prejudices and dislikes, and not that they believe in what Dr Mahathir is raving and ranting about.

All I can say is that if Dr Mahathir keeps this up he is going to lose whatever respect that he still enjoys. There is a limit even to the legendary kesopanan Melayu.

Read here: A zinger from Zam.

Friday, October 27, 2006

This Is Mahathir Style Obfuscation.

Why did Dr Mahathir criticise the Prime Minister? According to the Tun, "because no one else is able to!" Rubbish with a capital R. This is the typical Mahathir-style of making up his own questions and answering them to give it the spin he wants.

The mainstream media including radio and television are not allowed to admonish the prime minister,'' he says. Did the good doctor tolerate even a little criticism during his tenure? Zilch. In fact he totally shut out every avenue of information that the Opposition had resorted to. Ask Lim Kit Siang or Tok Guru. The Tun above anyone else in government played the May 13 1969 card at every turn and ruled in the true fashion of the demagogue using the mainstream media to frighten one section of the citizenry into silence while unabashedly appealing to the prejudices and fears of the other.

Pre-paid telephones are now required to be registered so that anyone who transmits SMS will be known by the government and action can be taken." Or so he would like us to believe. He knows very well that this country counts among its citizens some vile rumour-mongering scum who have been misusing the SMS to spread all sorts of communal and 'religious' falsehoods. To say that this rule has been introduced to prevent criticism against the PM is absurd and laughable. It is specifically to guard against morons who send messages saying that Indonesians are buying every parang in town and an attack is imminent or some religious zealot who had a dream that his religion is under siege and calls for 'holy war' via SMS and such equally crazed messages from mentally deranged individuals.

"The Internet and the websites will be electronically bugged and action taken against anyone who criticises the prime minister." Again he is blindly throwing darts at the government. Anyone who reads Malaysian blogs knows that his statement is a blatant untruth designed to frighten and perhaps garner support from netizens.

I myself have been blocked using all sorts of means to stop me from criticising the prime minister." There is no way for us to verify that, but on balance I believe him. He's got a point there.

A climate of fear has enveloped this country. No one dares to comment, criticise or oppose anything that is done by the prime minister." That statement is more appropriate in describing the Tun's tenure than that of Pak Lah.

The questions and issues I raised have not been answered." True. And the government should answer them.

Attempts are made to disparage me so badly that I am made out to be of unsound mind. Repeatedly, allegations were made that the administration during my time was worse.Their media make out that my criticisms of the prime minister are despicable and reprehensible." Whoever questions the former PM's sanity should in my opinion have his head examined.

"But the current prime minister cannot at all be commented upon, criticised or advised. He is almost a saint who is free from any human weaknesses or wrongs." This again is just his own conjectures and conclusions that have no proper basis.

Basically I find his spin of events as he sees it as jaundiced and imprecise. He's merely trying to score points with the people, especially those upset or disappointed with this government's performance. I'm no admirer of Pak Lah and have criticised him in this blog, calling him wishy-washy but I simply cannot accept the description of him by Dr Mahathir, painting him as a dictator and tyrant.

Finally I must state here emphatically that Dr Mahathir has every right as a citizen to voice his objections and displeasure towards the government. The same rights that we have, to question and rebut his claims and to dismiss those we feel are untenable and/or self-serving.

Indonesian Magazine Tempo Slams Indon Govt Over Haze Problem.

Accusing the Indonesian government of not being serious in tackling the perennial haze menace, the maverick popular local weekly news magazine, Tempo, said that if a contest were to be held to find the country producing the most smoke in the world, Indonesia would always come out on top as champion. Every year there are forest fires and apparently no proper solution has been found to prevent them from recurring," it said in an article headlined "Smoking Out the Neighbours".

An Oct 4-11 poll published in its latest edition showed that 85.07 per cent out of 335 respondents believed that the government had not been serious in dealing with the ongoing haze problem. Only 11.64 per cent thought that it was serious while 3.28 per cent were unsure.

"Forest fires occur every year and the frequency and quality increase each year, always getting worse. The central and regional governments are seemingly getting used to it," Tempo quoted one of its readers, Suseno M.S, as saying.

The magazine added that almost all of the respondents agreed with Suseno who felt that the government was indeed not serious in handling the problem, despite duly noting that the haze had been infuriating all its neighbours.

What was frightening was that the smoke not only disrupted flight schedules at airports but also increased the number of those who suffered from respiratory infections and stopped school activities, it said.

Tempo said that this year's fires were the worst since 1997, occurring in Pontianak, Banjarmasin, Jambi and the southern part of Sumatra.

The government seemed at a loss as to how to solve the matter, it noted, quoting Vice-President Jusuf Kalla as saying: "We hope the rainy season will come soon. Governors and regents have been called and reprimanded, prayers have been said, what else then."

Culprits of the forest fires have been arrested by the security forces but the result was still a big fat zero, it added.

**** Kudos to Tempo. They have said it better than all these so-called leaders of ASEAN who prefer to pussyfoot, rather than irk that giant of an irresponsible neighbour, Indonesia.

We, Not Western Nations Or Their Reporters, Kill Our Tourism Industry.

A foreign couple, traumatised when religious officials stormed into their home in the wee hours of the morning, will get to meet the tourism minister. Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said he was waiting for reports on the incident from the Kedah Menteri Besar and the State Religious Department before meeting Randal K. Barnhart, 62, and his wife Carole Joanne, 61, from the United States. "I have communicated with Barnhart through emails and plan to meet him soon," he said.

Two weeks ago, the retired couple living in a condominium in Langkawi had some unexpected visitors at 2am. They were awakened by a pounding on their door by six men from the State Religious Department demanding to inspect their home. Fearing for their safety, Barnhart had refused to disclose any information or allow them in but the men dressed in blue uniforms were threatening and aggressive. The men had asked to see his "woman" and then demanded to see their marriage certificate and passports. They noted the couple’s particulars before leaving.

The experience has Barnhart reviewing his plans to make Malaysia his second home. Barnhart wants a letter of apology from the State Religious Department and a letter that they will not be bothered again and compensation of RM4,315. (NST)

**** It's news like this that puts a severe damper on the efforts of the tourism ministry to pull in a greater share of the world market to Malaysia. When the average tourist reads about this incident can you blame them if they feel that the country has been 'Arabised' and 'Talibanised?' As it is, Muslim countries have a bad reputation as unsafe places and news like this only serves to reinforce this unreasonable view. There is no point then appealing to tourists and crying "Don't Be Influenced By Negative Reports About Malaysia."

The government simply cannot pander to the likes and dislikes of religious purists on one side and at the same time placate money bearing foreigners on the other. Either choose one or exercise moderation and punish the extremists. That will do more good for tourism than carrying out silly stunts.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Battle Of The Browsers. Does Firefox 2.0 Have The Edge Over Internet Explorer 7?

The top two browsing programs of net users got a big update this month as Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) and Mozilla unleashed Firefox 2.0. Here we take a quick spin through some of the features to be seen in the new versions. Both browsers offer ease of surfing

Microsoft's IE7 program is the beefier of the two browsers with the download package weighing in at 14.8 megabytes (MB). By contrast Firefox is a svelte 5.4MB. However, neither should tax a broadband connection.

Differences start to show up once the software is downloaded. Once it is done installing, IE7 demands a re-start before you can use it. Firefox installs without that need. It's a minor difference and a minor inconvenience for those that choose Internet Explorer.

Both take about the same amount of time to install and get started-up but once they are running more subtle differences start to become apparent.

At first glance Firefox 2.0 looks more familiar as its main page layout hardly differs from earlier versions.

But IE7 does look changed because, for a start, the grey menu bar is hidden. It can be resurrected by hitting the "alt" key but you might be surprised by how much you need to call on it when you can't find it.

Hidden information:

With IE7, Microsoft has brought tabs to its browser but both deal with them in slightly different ways.

With IE7 a blank tab is always available but with Firefox the new tab only appears, and takes up some screen space, when you open one up.

IE7 has a neat feature that lets you see thumbnails of all of the tabs you have open at any one time, letting you leap to the one you need with a click. However, it seems to take a moment longer than Firefox 2.0 to close tabs when you are done with them.

Opening up quite a few webpages in each browser shows up another quirk. Firefox 2.0 seems to do a better job of using the text that webpages use to describe themselves.

Often in IE7, the only information you get about a webpage you have open but hidden on the bottom taskbar is "http://" - the rest of the title is obscured. Again, a minor difference and a minor niggle.

Searching a webpage is still more elegant in Firefox 2.0 than IE7.

Calling up the search function in Firefox prompts the appearance of a text box tied to the bottom of the page and typing your search term in that takes you to the first appearance of that word or phrase on the page - provided it is there, of course.

In IE searching calls up a floating box in which you have to type your text and then click or hit a key to find the term or phrase.

Feeding frenzy:
One of the very useful inclusions in Firefox 2.0 is a live spell checker that watches over your metaphorical shoulder as you type text into any field on any webpage. It is possible to add a similar function to IE7 but only via an add-on.

It will be interesting to see how many people download and install it.

When it comes to RSS - the system that feeds updates of webpages to those interested - Firefox 2.0 does a slightly better job of making it easy to subscribe to new feeds.

With only a click it was possible to add a feed to popular blog-following sites such as Bloglines. With IE7 another add-on is needed to do the same.

Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 also benefit from thousands of plug-ins, or add-ons - that can be installed to add more functionality to the browser.

These range from RSS readers to Instant Messaging clients, Voice over IP programs, and mini iTunes controls - all accessed from inside the web browser page.

Finally, both IE7 and Firefox 2.0 have introduced systems that warn users when they are about to visit a site that is known to be used by phishing gangs. These pages are made to look like that of a bank to trick people into handing over confidential information.

Firefox handles this by updating a locally held list of known phishing sites every time you use the browser.

Microsoft's IE7 checks in via the web to make sure a site is safe to visit. In the short tests run by the BBC news website, IE7 occasionally took longer to load a page as it carried out a check to see if it was a phishing site.

Despite these minor differences, Firefox 2.0 and IE7 are now broadly comparable - something that could not be said of IE6 and Firefox. But it will be up to users to choose which one best meets their needs.

Mark Ward (BBC News)

ING Launches New Cash Plus Fund.

Check this scheme out and see if it fits your needs. This report is strictly for your information and I have no direct or indirect interests in ING.

ING Funds Bhd Thursday introduced ING Cash Plus, a fund aimed at providing investors with a regular stream of income through investments in short to medium term fixed income instruments with high levels of liquidity. The fund offered safety of capital, liquidity and a potential yield that is higher than money market and fixed deposit rates, ING Funds said in a statement.

"The fund is designed to offer higher returns compared to similar low-risk/liquid products while giving investors a convenient one-stop cash management facility to manage their cash flows, with daily interest credited to their portfolio," said ING Funds' chief executive officer Steve Ong.

ING Funds employs an active investment management process that seeks to generate potentially higher returns, while ensuring proper risk management of the fund, he said. "Through this active management process, the fund aims to give potentially higher returns compared to money markets and fixed deposit rates," he added.

Another unique feature of the fund is that it is highly liquid, ING Funds said. "When the need for cash arises, investors can easily withdraw their funds and settlement is done at T+1 (transaction plus one day) with no exit or penalty fees," it said.

Ong said the fund sought to distribute a monthly income stream. "You have a choice to receive the income in cash or reinvest in your funds. More importantly, you are not subject to capital gains and income taxes when you receive your income distribution or withdraw funds. So for corporate clients, the fund is a great tax-efficient and higher yielding short-term cash management alternative," he said.

ING Cash Plus has an approved fund size of 500 million units. The entry price is RM1 per unit with entry fee charges at one percent and there is an annual management fee of one percent.

The initial investment amount is RM10,000.

Mufti's Sexist Comments Create Storm.

By Neville D' Cruz

A senior Muslim cleric is facing a storm of criticism and has been urged to leave Australia after saying immodestly dressed women provoke sexual attacks, the Australian Associated Press reports.

Australian Mufti Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali has enraged Muslim women and the wider community by comparing women to meat left out in the street that only has itself to blame if eaten by animals.

Islamic community leaders quickly moved to distance themselves from the comments, reported in "The Australian" newspaper but which were made during a Ramadan sermon to 500 worshippers in Sydney last month.

"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it...whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat," the sheik told the congregation. "The uncovered meat is the problem. "If she was in her room at her home, in her hijab (Islamic headdress), no problem would have occurred," he said.

Sheik Alhilali also spoke of women who "sway suggestively" and wear immodest dress, appearing to suggest rapists are not entirely to blame.

Islamic Friendship Council of Australia president Keysar Trad said the sheik's comments had been misrepresented although he admitted his analogies could have been better.

"From what I understand, he was talking about the context of encouraging people to abstinence before getting married. His references to exposed meat was a very poor example that was meant to be a reference to both men and women, he wasn't talking about Islamic dress, he wasn't talking about rape," he said.

But a former member of the Australian Government's Muslim Advisory Board, Iktimal Hage-Ali, said she had listened to a recording of Sheik Alhilali's speech and believed he should be stripped of his position. "I was just flabbergasted," she told ABC radio.

Waleed Aly, from the Islamic Council of Victoria, predicted a backlash against Muslims, saying: "I am expecting a deluge of hate mail. I am expecting people to get abused in the street and get abused at work."

Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward believes the comments are an incitement to crime. "Young Muslim men who now rape women can cite this in court, can quote this man...their leader in court," she told the TV Nine Network.

She wants him to go but did not make clear whether she wanted him to leave the country or step down as a leader of the Islamic community. "It's time we stopped just saying he should apologise. It is time the Islamic community did more than say they are horrified. I think it is time he left," Goward said.

Victorian Liberal backbencher Sophie Mirabella wants the sheik to consider moving back to the Middle East. "I have a message for Sheik Alhilali: This is Australia, not Iran, and violence and degradation of women are not acceptable," she said.

More senior members of government are also scathing. "Certainly I think if a religious leader in the Catholic Church or the Anglican Church or in Judaism is to make these sort of statements, they would be getting a very severe rap over the knuckles, at the very least," Health Minister Tony Abbott told the Nine Network. Treasurer Peter Costello urged other Muslims to pull the sheik into line." I hope moderate Muslim leaders will speak out today and condemn these comments," he told the TV Seven Network. Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said the sheik's comments were offensive and must be corrected by the Islamic community.

New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma said the sheik did not have a good track record on making statements about women. Iemma said Sheik Alhilali had made such comments before. "He doesn't has a clean record as far as these sort of statements are concerned and what's in the paper this morning is offensive and outrageous and ought to be condemned. "To me in some way suggest you can justify sexual attacks on women on the basis of how they might walk or dress is outrageous," Iemma told reporters.


The views expressed above sound a lot like those of our Tok Guru Dato' Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, Menteri Besar of Kelantan. And just as one was feeling nice reading Mahaguru58's post on The Reality of the Status of Women in Islam and those in Christianity and Judaism.

HRH Sultan Of Selangor Should Ask For MB Khir Toyo's Removal.

In the NST today: An annoyed Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has ordered palace staff to compile information from the public on errant local councilors and elected representatives, including Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros, for him to stop the hanky-panky of these officials.

***** What wonderful news this! It really made my day to know that at least the Sovereign cares for his state, when obviously the Selangor state government and the federal government couldn't care two hoots where the state is heading and what muddied and slimy corruption it is wallowing in. People like Zakaria Mat Deros are merely representative of the deeper muck and venality which rules the mind of the state government. And presiding over all this corruption is the Menteri Besar Md. Khir Toyo. It is through him that every major right or wrong decision taken on behalf of the state must pass and only with his active connivance can large-scale abuse of power take place. To not accept this fact is not to understand the reality of the political situation in the states which form the federation.

It is therefore incumbent upon His Royal Highness to obtain from trusted palace officials the unexpurgated truth and details about the activities of his MB from the time he took office and see for himself what this man has done to Selangor. There have been crooked MBs before Toyo but they have had the common sense to at least show their benevolent side to the public now and then. But this short statured pemimpin couldn't be the least bit bothered with the common man's burden and in fact has been sued several times by desperate citizens and groups and a couple of court cases are still pending.

Over the past few months I've more than had my say about Toyo and it is now up to the public to come out with instances of injustice, corruption and abuse of power by the state authorities and convey their true feelings to the palace aides as commanded by His Royal Highness. If the accusations against the MB is found to be true then the Sultan must demand that the BN remove him from office. It's not as if this politician is irreplaceable.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Zam Hits Out At Dr Mahathir.

In unusually strong language Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin took Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to task, saying that the former PM made a political miscalculation when he revealed the substance of his meeting last Sunday with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said that at a time when the leaders, the Malays and Muslims were hoping for a settlement (of the differences of opinion between the two leaders) before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the former prime minister had revealed matters of a sensitive nature discussed at the meeting, adding that for the Malays it was a sad Aidilfitri this year because they failed to see the settlement that they had been hoping for between the former prime minister and his successor.

Referring pointedly to 'political miscalculations' by the Tun, Zam said "as far as I can remember, this is the second time that Dr Mahathir has made a political miscalculation. The first time was when he brought Anwar (former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) into Umno to strengthen the party but the move only caused damage to Umno."

It is unclear why he brought in Anwar's name at this point in time or his strategy in openly calling the former DPM's entry into Umno a miscalculation. Why he took it upon himself to castigate Mahathir and also place himself firmly in Anwar's firing line is anyone's guess. Suffice to say that Zam doesn't ordinarily open his mouth without reason or having thought things through. What's in it for him? Any educated guesses?

The full Bernama report here.

Immigration Department Gets Over 14,000 Applications For 1,366 Posts! I Wonder Why?

The Immigration Department has the daunting task starting next month of interviewing over 14,000 candidates to fill 1,366 vacancies in the department.

Immigration Director-General Datuk Wahid Mohamed Don said Wednesday the vacancies were for various levels and the department hoped to fill them by early next year.

Besides boosting personnel, the Home Ministry had also approved the construction of new quarters for the department's staff, including those in Johor Baharu, he told reporters after visiting the staff at the Johor Causeway here today. He urged the staff in Tanjung Puteri to be patient because they would be moving to more comfortable premises when Gerbang Perdana was ready next year.

He also announced opportunities for non-graduate immigration officers with excellent and long service to be promoted to the graduate scale of KP41 to 54.

The Public Service Department would issues a circular on the promotion scheme soon, he said.

**** Its nice to know that the Jabatan Imigresen is sooo very popular among our potential pegawai2 kerajaan. What is it that the young fellas applying for these posts find so attractive about the department? The challenges of safeguarding the nation from the entry of undesirables from a dozen and a half impoverished countries? The satisfaction of contributing to the well-being of the economy by being a sentinel (along with their brother pegawai in Jab. Kastam etc) against the smuggling of humans and contraband across our borders? The sacrifices which they consider their duty to King and country and the long hours of hard work they are willing to put in to ensure that our citizens are actually citizens and not orang asing wolves in warganegara's clothing? How laudable indeed!

I'm sure that all of them have purely altruistic motives. I'm positive that it has nothing to do with perks, 'fringe benefits' or any 'inappropriate advantages' that may well be dangled in front of them during the course of their duties. I have as much confidence in the incoming pegawai2 as I have in the present group already 'serving' to the best of their ability. Jabatan Imigresen Boleh!

Film On George W. Bush 'Assassination' - CNN Steers Clear.

Major U.S. news outlets CNN and National Public Radio will not air paid ads or sponsor announcements for a controversial film depicting the assassination of President George W. Bush, citing the film's content, network spokeswomen said on Tuesday. The film, "Death of a President," caused a stir at the Toronto Film Festival in September where it debuted, and two major U.S. cinema chains have declined to screen the film when it debuts in the United States on Friday.

"CNN has decided not to take the ad because of the extreme nature of the film's subject matter," the cable television network said in a statement. A spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the statement. The network has reported about the film in recent months.

As a non-profit organisation, NPR does not accept ads but accepts money from foundations and corporations in return for brief on-the-air messages of acknowledgment. NPR said it will not run sponsor announcements concerning the movie to avoid any notion that it was reporting about the film because it took the sponsorships, an NPR spokeswoman said. "The movie is fairly likely to generate significant controversy and we'll cover it as a news story," said spokeswoman Andi Sporkin. "To take a sponsorship spot would raise questions and cause confusion" among listeners.

"Death of a President" is told like a documentary that tracks the political drama behind an investigation into Bush's murder in October 2007. The film, which was directed by Britain's Gabriel Range, uses digital technology to depict Bush being gunned down, and its detractors have criticized the display of murdering a sitting president.

Its distributors at Newmarket Films say the film ultimately tries to send audiences an anti-violence message and Newmarket noted many major newspapers such as The New York Times and Washington Post have run ads. ''Death of a President' is the opposite of a call for violence," Newmarket co-founder Chris Ball said in a statement. "It's a powerfully cautionary tale about the pernicious effects of violence."

Earlier this month, the U.S. No. 1 cinema chain Regal Entertainment Group and a smaller competitor, Cinemark USA, said they would not screen the movie. About 100 local and art-house venues around the country will screen the film at its debut.


Failed Coal Mining Venture In Indonesia. TNB Looks For Exit Door.

The country's utility giant, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), may just dispose of its problematic unit, TNB Coal International Ltd, should the opportunity arise.

TNB's chief executive, Datuk Che Khalib Mohd Noh, said the Indonesian coal mining operation was relatively small compared to the company's overall business. "If the best opportunity arises and we think that it is the best solution, we will dispose of the (mining) company," he told Bernama in an interview here.

TNB holds 92.5 percent of TNB Coal, which has coal mining rights in Kalimantan. The rest of the firm is held by the coal mine concession owner, Robert Priantono Bonosusatya.

"If selling is the best option, (we will) sell, eventhough we have to make losses because the amount of losses are (considered) small," said Che Khalib.

**** Brave talk indeed for the chief executive of TNB, the idiots who took the decision to sink our good money into a foolish venture. The initial information regarding this misadventure came in early September and the estimates then were that TNB's losses stood at RM300 million. For more details into this episode click here.

As if such losses are not enough the latest news is that the TNB is poised for Aggressive Overseas Expansion. We wish them all the best.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Is This Yet Another Khir Toyo Sandiwara?

Errant councillors will be sacked, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo warned Tuesday. "I wish to remind all municipal councillors that (they will not be spared the rod) if they broke the laws. I am giving them two months to clear their names, failing which they will be sacked," he told reporters.

Embattled Klang Umno division chief and Klang municipal councillor, Datuk Zakaria Md Deros, was reported to have built a luxury mansion at Kampung Idaman, Pandamaran near here without approval from the Klang Municipal Council (MPK).

Civil works on the mansion were halted recently. Dr Mohamad Khir has also instructed MPK to impose the maximum fine on Zakaria for the offence.

Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had also summoned Zakaria over the matter. Zakaria was supposed to have had an audience with the ruler, Monday but was postponed after he was reportedly taken ill and warded at a local hospital. A palace source said the ruler would still like to meet Zakaria after he has been discharged from the hospital.

Meanwhile, Dr Mohamad Khir also said councillors who failed to pay their assessment rates and compounds would also be dropped. "We have requested the municipal councils to send us dossiers on all the councillors after Hari Raya Aidilfitri. We want to check. We don't want them to abuse their power and break the laws and regulations," he said.

Dr Mohamad Khir also promised to limit the number of councillors from the same family to two following the recent controversy over the appointment of three local councillors from the same family. "I will tell the Umno management committee and state government that we do not want more than two councillors from the same family in the future," he said.

**** I can't say what you feel about Toyo, but I still don't believe him! Please refer to his earlier sandiwara2 below.

-- Another Khir Toyo Sandiwara?

-- The Sandiwara Continues.

-- Dentist Khir Toyo - Now Personal Physician, Apologist And Spokesman For Zainal Of Istana Fame.

Johor Sultan Tells Dr Mahathir To Act Like A Pensioner!

The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar al-Marhum Sultan Ismail, was Tuesday reported to have publicly said that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should start acting like a pensioner and stop criticising the government.

The sultan was said to have made the remarks to about a hundred people at the Sultan Abdul Bakar Mosque here after performing the Aidilfitri prayers.

"If one has already been pensioned, just behave like a pensioner, what is the use of making more noise?," said a source who repeated the quote to Bernama.

During Umno's 60th anniversary celebrations at Istana Johor in May this year, the sultan had even tried to patch things up between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Dr Mahathir by asking them to be photographed together in a group picture with him and other Umno leaders.

***** Very rarely does such a statement come from a member of the Royalty. It probably shows the extent to which the current spat between the two protagonists has affected even those so high up the hierarchy.

It will not be so easy for Dr Mahathir to simply rebut or have a clever retort for the Sultan's remarks, as injudicious as they may seem. In fact it would be best that in future the Royals remain above the fray and leave political jousting and verbal fisticuffs to the commoner, lest it invite some irreverent response from the hoi polloi.

(It would be greatly appreciated that commenters on this subject refrain from any remarks that may be construed as showing disrespect to Royalty.)
An interesting read: National University Of Singapore Bows To Political Reality

Africans In Malaysia - An Increasing Menace.

AFRICANS are no longer just customers at brothels in Kuala Lumpur's Bukit Bintang area – now many of them are the ones running the business, Harian Metro reported.

The daily said many Africans have been running some of the brothels since the middle of the year. It is understood that they could earn up to RM1,000 a day as pimps compared to their previous job of selling watches and leather products.

A survey by the Metro team found that the awang hitam (black guys) gang loitered around the area and sat in front of brothels. They offered prostitutes in their premises only to foreigners, as it is easier to make a bigger profit, the paper said. The Africans are also rich enough to spend thousands of ringgit every month on rented cars to chauffeur prostitutes from their homes to the brothels.

Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Kamal Pasha was quoted as saying that many of them continue to live a life of crime as they had no proper occupation. He said the crime rate involving Africans was lower this year than last year as there had been more operations conducted by the police at their usual haunts.

**** I remember a diplomat from an African country who a couple of years ago reminded the Malaysian media not to generalise and refer as 'African' to whoever is charged for a crime hailing from that continent but specify the nationality. Fair enough. But how many of us can differentiate say a Nigerian from a Kenyan? Therefore I have no choice but to refer here to those from sub-Saharan Africa as 'Africans.'

They are increasingly becoming a menace especially in KL and Selangor. I know that most of us don't harbour racist feelings against these people and like all nationalities are welcome to come here and spend their vacation or get an education in our institutes of higher learning. But what they apparently are doing is nothing but abusing our hospitality and taking advantage of our openness. There is no reason why so many of them should be involved in crime if their real purpose here is to get an education.

Confidence tricksters among them are a dime a dozen and now it looks like they've 'diversified' and branched into prostitution. What next? The numbers racket? Bank robbery? Hired assassin? Weapons smuggling? The possibilities are endless and these people have no lack of genius.

Not that our own people are saints. Our monkeys have recently been caught in Taiwan, smuggle drugs into Australia, work illegally in Japan and do menial jobs on the sly (while on tourist visas) in Chinese restaurants in the US and Canada. But they are not part of any official programme bringing our slime into those countries. I wonder how many of these nationals of African countries are here as part of the South-South Cooperation schemes that were signed when Dr Mahathir was PM?

If they are here as semi-permanent residents for reasons other than as students or bona fide businessmen, then it is time our government took a firm decision and pack them home before they cause more trouble and misery here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mahathir Says Malaysia Is Now A ‘Police State.' Is This Really True?

Tun Dr Mahathir has complained that the Prime Minister has turned the country into a police state, something human rights groups often associated with Mahathir!

"I pointed out to him that firstly this country has become a police state because any time anybody who invited me to give a talk would be called up by the police to withdraw the invitation," Mahathir said.

"I told him I will continue to make criticism. I will go on in my usual way but I do hope that this habit of asking the police to frighten people should stop and my civic right should be restored and I have a right to speak to UMNO and any audience I like," he added.

**** I have only one question to pose. Does anyone really, and I mean really think that our government is turning Malaysia into a police state? This is the most ironical of statements to come from Dr Mahathir. If at all any Malaysian leader can be accused of strengthening and misusing the state apparatus to the detriment of the public's right to free speech and association, it is the great Tun himself!

If at all, the present leadership has in many ways relaxed the repressive rules put in place and exercised often by the Mahathir regime. The fact that we can openly criticise the PM in our blogs and no action has been taken, shows that he at least tolerates some amount of free speech as long as seditious issues are kept at arm's length.

What Dr Mahathir is perhaps experiencing now is what he dished out to the entire nation for twenty-two years. Therefore to turn around now and accuse Pak Lah of presiding over a police state is laughable.

Any opinion of the readers on this topic is greatly welcomed.

To all Muslim readers of this blog I wish Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri 1427 Hijrah.

What Have They Done To The Tunku's Umno?

Reading the papers and the news on the net daily and seeing what is happening to Umno these days is indeed heartbreaking. The Malay party has its origins in a noble attempt to oppose the Malayan Union which was promoted by the British and which finally resulted in the formation of Umno on May 11 1946 headed by Datuk Onn Jaafar. It later turned into a de facto political party under the leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman.

The almost half a century of uninterrupted rule by Umno (post-1969 National Operations Council was still Umno by another name) has changed the party beyond recognition from the initial 'good guy' it was. Over the years it has become radicalized by attempting and seeking extreme change of the social order, pseudo-Islamised, quasi-criminalised and pervasively corrupted.

After the Tunku was eased out, the first phase of the radicalization of the party started in tandem with the aggressive implementation of the New Economic Policy, a virulently pro-Malay "heads I win, tails you lose" programme. While the intentions of the policy were by and large good, especially for the Malays, the abomination it has turned into was probably unforeseen and regrettable. Many of the targets were reasonably met for the better part of a decade when greed and selfishness got involved and became intertwined and synonymous with Malay economic ambition. The Mahathir era merely fast-forwarded the evolution of corruption, deceit and the "every man for himself" new creed of Umno.

The development plans so painstakingly put in place by the Tun Razak administration slowly started to unravel as the focus of progress switched from the Malays in general to the favoured ones and later the elites, the Umnoputras. It also proved correct a sociological theory that you cannot super-speed cultural and economic evolution without paying a price. (Those who should be riding bicycles should progress to riding motorcycles before moving on to automobiles especially fast cars, lest they can't control it and crash with disastrous results, is probably a fairly accurate corollary.) The NEP threw up a lot of nouveaux riches who instead of ploughing back their wealth and experience for the 'common good' of their own kind, plotted a new course for themselves and their ilk thus leading to the dichotomy of Malay society today.

The arrival of Dr Mahathir to the Prime Minister's office marked a turning point in the country's fortunes, social dynamics and the metamorphosis of Umno into a monstrosity. Despite the high sounding 'Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah' and 'Kepimpinan Melalui Teladan' slogans, the country descended a few notches into the well of corruption and improbity giving short shrift to all that was legally, ethically, and morally correct. The irony is that all this was done in the name of 'Bangsa, Agama dan Negara!' The country rapidly industrialised and became wealthier; but at what cost?

The Judiciary was pounded into submission and has yet to recover from the hammering it got in the mid-eighties. With the legal avenue blocked, Umno went full steam ahead in enriching itself and a few of its members, the chosen ones, the Umnoputras. That process of unjust enrichment continues unimpeded to this day.

The act of that greedy idiot in building a palace in Klang and the thousands of similar accusations of impropriety and corruption against Umno elites and underlings is merely the external manifestation of a very serious debilitating illness deep inside the very being of Umno. A disease that has gone unchecked and untreated for decades. In the process the pathological and deleterious effects of the malady has transformed the entity called Umno from a benign and caring one of the fifties, to an avaricious but seriously ill parasite, still feeding off the life-blood of this nation.

What, oh what have they done to the Umno which the Tunku so loved?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dentist Khir Toyo - Now Personal Physician, Apologist And Spokesman For Zainal Of Istana Fame.

Oh what a friend Khir Toyo is. "A friend in need is a friend indeed" is Toyo's calling card. He cares sooo much for his bosom buddy Klang Umno division head Datuk Zainal @ Zakaria Deros and indeed worries a lot about his health as well.

"He is not well. Let him rest first," said Khir Toyo of Zakaria Deros, the owner of a four-storey manson built without approval in Kampung Idaman, Pandamaran. Apparently Toyo spoke to him over the phone and made a diagnosis that our man Zak is unwell. If I'm up to my neck full of deep shit I'm sure my health too will start to deteriorate mate. Or is it the ploy we sometimes see on TV when a politician is caught with his pants down, he suddenly develops chest pains and gets admittted to the plushest private hospital?

Toyo said Zak, who is also a Klang municipal councillor, had explained why he was keeping mum to queries from the media about the controversy surrounding the construction of the mansion. "He explained that it was not his intention to avoid paying the fees for the plans but that a change of architect without his knowledge had caused the problem. Poor Zak, he turned his head for a short while and the damned architect disappeared!

Spokesman Toyo further added "he had already paid the assessment but as for the plan fees, another architect had to be appointed before the plans could be submitted to the council for a decision." Toyo also said that Zakaria settled arrears in assessment of over RM45,000 for three premises including a residential unit yesterday.

So he settled some arrears yesterday. If this issue never came up would he have taken out five sen? Also how did a former office boy amass so much wealth? But all that is inconsequential to Toyo. As far as he is concerned Zak has paid the fines and that's that. No more tindakan bradder! In fact he arrogantly said as much - "Action has been taken. The law says the offence is punishable with a maximum fine and what he has paid is the maximum amount. I cannot go above the law. The law states clearly that anyone who builds without plans will be fined 10 times the (planning) fees."

After all that verbal gymnastics, Khir Toyo had the gumption to say that as he was responsible for upholding the law, he hoped people would understand that he had acted accordingly!!

All hail Khir Toyo, Zak's good friend, personal doctor, apologist, spokesman and saviour. Friendships don't get any better than this. I just hope that HRH The Sultan of Selangor is watching all this. Apparently the federal government couldn't care less.

Federal Traffic Police Chief SAC Nooryah Md Anvar, An Exemplary Police Officer.

Federal Traffic Police Chief SAC II Nooryah Md Anvar has brought some order to the disorderly traffic situation in the wild man-beast infested Malaysian roads. What her male predecessors could not or would not do, this charming lady in uniform has done and is continuing to do in an ongoing strike on the careless, the suicidal and the criminally impatient road user.

Her very much hands-on tackling of the many problems besetting Malaysian road transport and the belligerent riding and driving population is slowly paying off. Already there are cries from those who expected discounts on their existing fines which apparently she had a big say in vetoing. And yesterday Puan Nooryah showed what stern stuff she is made of when she herself personally booked two cars in two separate incidents in Rawang. None of the 'technically right' 'morally wrong' nonsense from this officer. That bullshit is for politicians like Toyo.

At a time when the new IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan is showing he means business especially with the recent 'lateral' transfer of some deadwood and corrupt officers as well as the promotion of deserving ones, he needs all the assistance he can get from efficient subordinates like SAC II Nooryah.

But alas it is not going to be an easy task as the force has for too long been immersed in a culture of inefficiency and incompetency. The lackadaisical and laissez-faire attitude toward their duties especially at the level of the rank and file will take much hard work to overcome.

And as if to prove the point, convicts yet again escaped from a police lock-up yesterday. The NST report is as follows-:

Police are looking for two convicts believed to have escaped from the Dungun Police Station early yesterday morning. During a routine police inspection at 6.25 am, police noticed that three inmates, who shared the same cell, were missing, and the grills were cut open.

The trio, aged 40, 22, and 20, were serving time for charges of breaking and entering, a drug addict and assault respectively. The youngest inmate was re-arrested at noon, not far from the police station by policemen patrolling the area.

State Police Chief SAC I Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said police have set up road blocks and increased patrolling in Dungun. He advised the public to keep a look-out for the duo, who were clad in their orange jumpsuits, and inform police at 09-848 2222 and 09-6246 222.

So it's still a long way before we can see a significant improvement in our men in blue. But leading the fight for effective management of law and order is our lady in blue SAC II Nooryah Md Anvar.

Navy Conducts Contest To Name Malaysian Submarines. Do Terms And Conditions Apply?

Name the submarine and get a prize. This is what the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) is offering in a contest for Malaysians to name the country's first two submarines, which are due to be delivered in 2009.

The contest, with a total cash prize of RM5,000, is divided into two parts with the first part involved naming the first submarine and the main prize is RM2,500. The second part is to name the second submarine with RM2,500 as the top prize.

Defence Ministry's navy headquarters public relations officer Lieutenant Masliza Maaris said five consolation prizes in the form of TLDM souvenirs worth RM100 each would also be given out for each part of the contest. "TLDM is giving the honour to the public as the Scorpene submarines will be the country's first submarines and TLDM's strategic assets," she said.

Masliza said contestants must provide background information as well as the rationale for their suggested names for the submarines. "For example, TLDN has named its battleships after national heroes, national and state figures, and so on," she said.

Entry forms for the contest can be downloaded at the http://www.navy.mod.gov.my website and the closing date for entries is Dec 30. The competition is open to all Malaysians and contestants can send as many entries as they want. Joint entries are also allowed.

**** Those are the details that can be revealed. But what about the fine print? Are there some microscopic 'exclusions' which we can't see or not supposed to notice or even if we do, are not supposed to voice out, as Najib would prefer? For example if given a choice between a national pioneer and founder like Yap Ah Loy and a current state figure like Khir Toyo, which would the RMN find acceptable? A Chinese who has centuries-old connections here or the son of a Johhny-come-lately Indon immigrant?(BTW does the RMN really have the power to decide or some Umno politician decides for them?)

What if I were to nominate the late Tan Sri Manickavasagan, the then Minister of Transport who risked his life and went into the US Embassy in KL to successfully negotiate with the terrorists after it was hijacked by the Japanese Red Army, while the Home Minister conveniently hid in the background? Will he be acceptable as a Malaysian hero or will his name be considered either too long or not sufficiently 'appropriate?' Will his nomination be considered less acceptable when compared with say the Klang palace builder Datuk Zainal @ Zakaria Deros?

I've always harboured great doubts regarding the naming of public buildings, monuments and properties. It is inevitably hijacked by the narrow-minded and the jaundice-eyed. Why even the police dogs of the seventies were not spared! While even the house pet then was named 'Tiger' or 'Killer' our ferocious canine cops were named after Malaysian fruits! 'Duku' and 'Langsat' were the more well known ones then. Which rambutan-brain thought of that idea I still don't know.

My personal nomination at this point in time would be among others, Datuk Dr. Jemilah Mahmood of Mercy Malaysia.

In any case we still have time. After all the submarines arrive here only in 2009. There will be a general election before that. The victors of that election will really decide the final naming. I wonder what names PAS will think up if it should win?In the meanwhile you can give free rein to your imagination and genius by suggesting a couple of interesting names here.

What 'Excellent' News For The Festive Season!! MPs Using English In Parliament To be Fined.

Malaysia mulls fines on English use in legislature - Taipei Times.

The Malaysian government's top ethnic Malay language institute said yesterday it may impose fines on lawmakers and officials who use English in Parliament and other formal events without prior approval.

"If there is a need to use words or phrases in English, members of Parliament will have to seek permission to do so," said Noresah Baharom, the language department director at the government's Institute of Language and Literature said in an open letter in the New Straits Times newspaper.

"This is a show of respect for Malay as the national and official language of Malaysia ... DBP will be given a mandate to ensure that `code-switching' and mixing of Malay with other languages does not occur in formal situations," she said in the English language paper, referring to her institute's Malay acronym.

A fine of 1,000 ringgit (US$273) could be imposed on offenders, Noresah said in the letter, but did not specify how the department intends to enforce the regulation.

Most Malaysians speak the national language, Malay, also known as Bahasa Malaysia, but English is widely spoken, even in Parliament. A mishmash of both languages -- known as "Manglish" -- is also commonly used in the former British colony.

Critics have said Malaysia's decision in the 1980s to change most of its school text books from English to Malay has hurt its global competitiveness, and caused English language standards among students to plunge.

Malays form about 60 percent of the population, with ethnic Chinese comprising around 25 percent and Indians making up about 10 percent. Noresah said language mixing would no longer be permitted at "formal meetings." (Taipei Times)

**** Fantastic news indeed eh? The much vaunted privilege of immunity that parliamentarians claim for themselves has literally been thrown out of the Dewan Parlimen by this arrogant woman from the Dewan Bahasa. Who is she may I ask to speak of imposing fines on the use of any language in the hallowed halls of Parliament? When and by whom was she given the authority to arrogate the powers vested in the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and the President of the Dewan Negara?

Can someone with an unwarped mind, who can think rationally and is knowledgeable about the workings of the Dewan, like YB Zaid Ibrahim or YB Lim Kit Siang enlighten us on whether what that all-knowing woman said constitutes contempt of Parliament or an attempt to usurp the powers of the legislature? Or perhaps Minister Nazri who always seems to have the last word on matters parliamentary would like to take this sassy broad to task?

Threatening the ordinary citizens with sending the language police or monetary punishment for not showing respect to the national language is one thing but to try the same trick with parliament is to push things too far.

Can someone please tell me how and when this myopic, bird-brained idea of some flawed mind is going to end?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Petronas Advertisements And The Way We Were.

Every year without fail, prior to the main festivals in Malaysia, Petronas comes out with first class adverts on some aspect of Malaysian life in the past, the theme inevitably being on the racial unity we once truly enjoyed.

The depictions shown are by and large accurate and sometimes funny. However every time I watch one of those ads I can't help feeling sad that we have along the way taken a wrong turn and have ended up now not even remotely representative of those wonderful scenes so well captured on film.

Those who went to school in the sixties will tell you that things were better then. There was a measure of 'oneness' among at least the pupils. There were not many divisive features or issues then except our God-given physical differences. Religion was then completely in the background of the school environment and no one even bothered about what religion one belonged to. It was as if even at that tender age one understood that religious discourse and practice was personal and rightfully belonged at home and not at school where it was confined to the moral/religious studies classes.

Teachers then were generally competent and fair in their treatment of pupils of all races and also judicious in what they said and did. Of course there were among the teachers, racists and chauvinists even then who preached about the 'superiority' of the Chinese and their immense contribution to the nation, in total exclusion and disregard of the rest of the multi-ethnic population of pupils. More often than not their sermons were ignored for the blather it was.

More importantly in the days depicted by the Petronas advertisements, the Malays were actually Malays and not Arabs in Malay bodies, did not have the type of fanatical approach to their religion as well as to non-believers and were excellent examples of the saying, "live and let live."

But sadly somewhere along the way, many Malays lost their 'Malayness' while some of the Chinese couldn't purge themselves of the chauvinistic feelings they had been brought up with and poorer Indians became more marginalised and criminalised.

The end result? Petronas advertisements on a regular basis for us to watch and wonder of what we were like then and what the present could have been while humming to the tune of "The Way We Were." What does the future hold? If we keep going in the direction we are heading now, then not very good news I'm afraid.

In the meanwhile on behalf of all non-Hindus I wish all the Hindu readers of this blog, A Very Happy Deepavalli.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Is Port Klang Assemblyman Datuk Zainal @ Zakaria Mat Deros Above The Law?

Reading about this son of a gun's misdeeds and utter disregard for rules, regulations, procedures and the law of the land should make even the calmest person hopping mad. By now I'm sure everyone must have heard about his palace built without planning permission and that he had not been paying the annual assessment for his existing house for 12 years.

The Selangor MB Khir Toyo, descendant of a humble Indon migrant, could not be really bothered that his kawan karib, Zainal @ Zakaria owned an illegal palace or had a harem of Arab virgins inside. As far as he was concerned there were no rules prohibiting law-breakers from becoming councillors and the political system allows undesirables to creep in because of the positions they hold in the party. As for defaulting on assessment he absolved himself and totally blamed the council!

As if this is not enough The Sun reports about a satay stall here belonging to our super-enterprising assemblyman Zainal @ Zakaria which is also illegal!

The stall on Jalan Banting, which has evolved into a full-blown restaurant complete with indoor-outdoor dining facilities, has yet to receive a licence from the Klang Municipal Council.

Council president Abd Bakir Zin revealed this to theSun recently, and independent checks also found this to be true. "I told him, we will give you the licence if you obtain the TOL (temporary occupational licence) from the district office but until now he has yet to do it," said Abd Bakir. "Since he has yet to obtain the TOL, this means the stall is illegal," he added.

When contacted, planning committee member Datuk Teh Kim Poo said no building plans were submitted. "As far as I can remember, we did not receive any plans, neither did we approve any satay stall," said the Pandamaran assemblyman.

On Aug 18, MPK demolished an illegal extension of a smaller eatery located just 50m away.

The illegal extension to the food stall belonging to Abdul Salim Mohamad Nor was demolished just two days after he received a eviction notice. However, unlike Zakaria, Abd Salim has a licence to operate his business.

Abd Bakir, meanwhile, said that notices have been issued and Zakaria has been advised accordingly. "We will take action," he said.

What do you have to say now? So much of nonsense has been going on, innocent people have been affected, the poor have been deprived of TOL land and yet the authorities seem helpless and unable to do anything! Even our Royalty, the Sultans now don't have this level of immunity. Is this conman therefore above the law? Any answers?

Update: Datuk Zainal @ Zakaria Mat Deros and his son Zainuri were picked up by federal ACA officers from their home Thursday night and were taken to a hotel here where questioning took place up till this morning. That report HERE.

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