Tuesday, July 31, 2007

National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students Urges Ban On Gwen Stefani Concert

Malaysia should pull the plug on the Kuala Lumpur leg of U.S. singer Gwen Stefani's upcoming Asian tour because of her indecent dressing and obscenity, a Muslim students' group said on Tuesday.

The 10,000-strong National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students said Stefani's August 21 concert, which is part of her 'Sweet Escape' tour, would clash with local Asian and Islamic values.


"Her video clips promoting the event are too obscene," Mohamad Hilmi Ramli, the group's president, told Reuters. "We want the organizers to cancel the concert, failing which we will ask the authorities to intervene."


Ethnic Malays, who are by definition Muslims, make up just over half of Malaysia's 26 million people. Ethnic Chinese and Indians, who are mostly Buddhists, Christians or Hindus, form sizeable minorities.

Hilmi also criticized Malaysian mobile phone firm Maxis Communications for promoting the concert.
"Maxis has been staging a series of foreign acts ... to make a profit and to expose our young generation to things such as moral decay," he said.

Maxis officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

***** Ban Evan Almighty. Ban Gwen Stefani. Ban Gobloks. Ban, ban, ban. Malaysia Boleh!!

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From Bernama: Malaysia Has Undergone Major Transformation Since Merdeka!

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Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt Jailed For 6 Years In Mumbai Blasts Case

An Indian court jailed Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt for six years on Tuesday for acquiring illegal weapons from gangsters involved in India's worst bombings that killed 257 people in 1993.

Dutt, 48, was cleared of conspiracy charges in the serial blasts in India's financial capital of Mumbai, but was found guilty of unauthorized possession of an automatic rifle and a pistol. "It was an eminently dangerous act," judge Pramod Kode said. "With the punishment of a minimum of five years and maximum of 10 years it can in no way be a minor offence or of a less grave nature."

Dutt's trial has transfixed India and fans of Bollywood, the world's largest film industry by ticket sales. He has millions of dollars riding on him in films under production. The actor is the most high-profile among 100 people, mostly Muslims, found guilty in the bombings trial, one of the world's longest-running court cases.

The 1993 Mumbai attacks were ordered by India's most wanted man, Dawood Ibrahim, a Muslim, to avenge the razing of a 16th-century mosque by Hindu zealots in 1992 and subsequent Hindu-Muslim riots in India, police say. Ibrahim and his top associates have not faced trial as they fled the country soon after the blasts, police say. Ibrahim is believed to be hiding in Pakistan, but the government in Islamabad denies this.

Dutt's lawyers had urged that the actor, who found fame playing gangsters and anti-heroes, be set free for his good behavior during his bail. But the court rejected the argument.

The actor was also asked to pay a fine of Rs25,000.
Rusi Mulla, convicted for aiding actor Sanjay Dutt to destroy an AK-56 rifle, got the benefit of Probation of Offenders Act. Mulla would be released on payment of bond of Rs 100,ooo and a surety of same amount.

Son of legendary film couple Sunil Dutt and Nargis, the heavy-set actor has been on bail since 1995 after more than a year in prison during initial investigations into the blasts. He is expected to appeal. (washingtonpost.com)

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Smoking One Joint Of Cannabis Has Same Effect As Five Cigarettes

Smoking a single joint of cannabis has the same impact on breathing capacity as up to five cigarettes, according to a New Zealand study published on Monday in a specialist British journal, Thorax.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand doctors recruited 339 volunteers, who were divided into four categories - those who smoked only cannabis, those who smoked only tobacco, those who smoked both, and those who smoked neither.

Cannabis-only smokers were defined as those who had smoked the equivalent of at least one joint a day for five years; tobacco-only smokers were those who had smoked the equivalent of a packet of cigarettes a day for at least a year.

All the participants were scanned by computed tomography (CT) to get a high-definition image of their lungs and were given tests to assess their airflow, the term for their respiratory efficiency.

The most serious damage was found in tobacco smokers - both tobacco-only and combined users - who were the only volunteers to have emphysema, a degenerative and crippling lung disease.

Cannabis smokers had lighter symptoms, such as wheeze, cough, chest tightness and phlegm, which tobacco smokers also had.

But the CT scan also revealed that, among cannabis smokers, fine damage had occurred to their lungs. This had happened in small fine airways that are important for bringing in oxygen and taking away waste gases. As a result, their lungs had to work harder.

The extent of the damage rose in proportion to the number of joints that had been smoked. In statistical terms, each joint that was smoked was the equivalent of smoking between two and a half and five cigarettes in one go for impairing lung efficiency.

The researchers, led by Richard Beasley, said the discovery of this hazard is "of major public health significance" given that cannabis is the most widely-used illegal drug worldwide. According to the 2006 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, an estimated 160 million people use cannabis.

Beasley suggests that the reason for cannabis's heavy toll on the lungs stems the fact that joints are usually smoked without a filter and are smoked down as far as possible, which means the smoke is hotter when it arrives in the lungs. In addition, cannabis users tend to inhale smoke more deeply and then hold their breath in order to get a bigger "high".

On Saturday, a study published in the British journal The Lancet said there was now clear evidence of a link between cannabis smoking and mental ill-health.
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Nutty Norza's Wacky Plan To Cyber Patrol Gobloksphere

The government was today urged to form a cyber police unit to maintain surveillance over the activities of bloggers.

The loony bin who came out with this daft idea is the Federal Territory Umno youth head, Datuk Paduka Norza Zakaria. This nutcase wants a multi-ministry battalion of askar siber comprising the Internal Security; Energy, Water and Communications; Science, Technology and Innovation as well as the Information Ministries.

"The government should take firm action against the 'irresponsible bloggers' according to existing law," bellowed this Umno warlord wannabe.

Referring to the Malaysia Today website, Norza said according to section 121 (B) and Section 123 of the Penal Code, Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948, Section 263 and 266 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, being a publisher, Raja Petra Kamarudin was responsible for providing clear warning to every person who gives comments that they were responsible for their comments.

He said Umno Youth wanted stern action to be taken against Raja Petra including under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for failing to carry out his responsibilities.
Norza also asked the mainstream media not to publish unconfirmed information from websites.

***** The trouble with inept, so-called 'youth leaders' like Norza is that if someone disagrees with them or if they are unhappy with that someone, at the drop of a songkok they want the ISA to be brought out! Bloody lazy and immature bunch of cowards all of them. Trying to take the easy way out.

If you truly are upset about what the gobloks write, then counter their attacks on an equal platform. Don't go running like crybabies to the government every time your 'feelings' are hurt. Unfortunately there are lot of these intolerant whining wimps in the ruling party and God bless our country if some of them should actually make it to Cabinet. There are already enough specimens there right now causing damage that should last for the next hundred years. Say 'No' to Norza.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Fish Oil More Beneficial For Health Than Vegetable Oil

Scientists have provided new evidence that using more fish oil than vegetable oil in the diet decreases the formation of chemicals called prostanoids, which, when produced in excess, increase inflammation in various tissues and organs.

The results, by William L. Smith, Professor and Chair of Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues, may help in designing new anti-inflammatory drugs with fewer side effects than the ones currently available.

"Prostanoids help control blood pressure, fight allergies, and modulate inflammation, but too much of them especially those made from vegetable oils, can also lead to increased pain, swelling, and redness in various tissues," Smith says. "Our study shows that prostanoids made from fish oil are less effective at causing pain and swelling than those made from vegetable oil and that adding fish oil to the diet decreases the amount of prostanoids made from vegetable oil."

The new study, to be published in the August 3 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was selected as a "Paper of the Week" by the journal's editors, meaning that it belongs to the top one percent of papers reviewed in significance and overall importance.

Read the full report HERE.
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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Classic Example of A Political Paranoiac

PARANOIA
Definition: Paranoia is an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions. Paranoid individuals constantly suspect the motives of those around them, and believe that certain individuals, or people in general, are "out to get them."

par·a·noi·ac (păr'ə-noi'ăk', -noi'ĭk)
n. A paranoid.
adj. Of, relating to, or resembling paranoia.
(Courtesy Answers.com)

Example of a Paranoiac's thinking: (Taken from a report in Bernama on a politician's speech where in the first seven sentences there are seven misleading 'facts' which perhaps reveals underlying paranoia.)

Sentences:
(1) The people must wise up to "goblok" (political bloggers) because some of them were willing to become tools of others to destroy the nation!

(2) He said these bloggers belonged to groups with limited knowledge and had evil intentions!

(3) They support foreign elements bent on destroying our beloved country!

(4)They (bloggers) were not Asian in thinking but were trying to ape the West because that was where they got the education and thought anything western was the best for everyone!

(5) Since the beginning (independence) until now, we have had such dangerous people who have no qualms about becoming the tools of foreign nations to damage our country, including the economy and national unity!

(6) They also tried to influence the mainstream media to publish their writings, which border on rumours and slander so that they can split the people!

(7) Their writers were only trying to seek glory!

***** Sure sounds like a living, breathing paranoiac. But who is he? Any guesses before you click for the details HERE?
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Related Post: Jubilant Zam Wants Porno Sites Banned Next. Blog Restriction Can't Be Far Behind.

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Muhamad s/o Muhamad Should Lodge Report Against Tanjung Malim Umno Division

The Tanjung Malim Umno division has called for the revival of English-medium schools.

The resolution, one of four passed at its delegates’ conference yesterday, said this would enable students to prepare themselves in the globalised world.

The delegates felt that reviving English-medium schools was crucial particularly for rural students.

Apart from the Malay language, all subjects in school should be taught in English because of the increasing use of the language in courses like medicine, engineering and ICT. (TheStar)

***** By now Muhamad A/L Muhamad's patriotic blood should be at boiling point. How dare these upstarts at Tanjung Malim even think of replacing Bahasa Melayu/Malaysia with a bahasa asing? That too with English, the language of the colonial bastards who in the first place were responsible for making the "Malays become a people with low self-esteem and lacking in confidence, and with most living in poverty" to quote our esteemed Deputy Prime Minister.

English indeed! The language of those who colonized us for 400 years. So traumatized were our people by these English marauders that we had to introduce the NEP
as a means of correcting the discrimination endured by the Malays including those who were not even born during that period, never experienced colonial rule, never even seen a 'colonialist', have studied and worked in that colonial homeland and have taken 'colonial' spouses.

This call by the
Tanjung Malim Umno division should be condemned by all right thinking patriots like Muhamad (2x). It implies that our Bahasa Melayu is not in the same league as major world languages. That is a nonsensical and more seriously an anti-national view. It is regrettable that some pengkhianat managed to get this resolution passed. I wonder if he is a blogger too.

If the Japanese, French, Koreans and the Russians can be taught in their own language why can't we? And there are great advantages not knowing English. We can smuggle millions in foreign currency in and out of Australia and get away scot free if caught. Now that must count for something!

So it is humbly requested that Muhamad (2x) should make another trip to Dang Wangi as soon as possible and lodge a report against the ingrates in Tg Malim who have insulted the national language. While there he should also ask the cops to check if somehow Raja Petra had a hand in getting this resolution passed. Also he should this time ensure that he takes a copy of TheStar with him as proof. He cannot always expect journalists from the Chinese press to be around to help him find the evidence.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

NEP Introduced Not To Discriminate Non-Malays, But To Uplift Malays After 400 Years Of Colonisation, Says Najib!

The government's introduction of the New Economic Policy (NEP) was not to discriminate the non-Malays but to uplift the Malays who lagged behind after 400 years of colonisation, said Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"While they were under colonial rule, the Malays became a people with low self-esteem and lacked confidence, and with most living in poverty.

"Then the government introduced the NEP with the aim of uplifting the Malays to be able to compete with the other races who were doing better economically.

"So, if there's anyone who says that the NEP has discriminated the non- Malays, then we can say that we are correcting the discrimination endured by the Malays during 400 years of colonisation," he said when opening the Jerai Umno divisional delegates' meeting here today.

Najib who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said without the NEP, the Malays might still be "destitutes in their own land" today.

He said the Chinese and Indians were generally not against the NEP but were rather unhappy with its implementation.

"Therefore, we had to improve the NEP's implementation because if it becomes acceptable to all, it would create a peaceful and just society," he added and criticised the leader of an opposition party who now condemned the NEP but was championing it when he was in Umno and holding a post in government.

Najib also wanted the Malays to reject the struggles of PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat which he said could not bring progress and success to the Malays.

He said PAS' struggle was irrelevant to the Malays as it had failed to prove that it could enhance the greatness of Islam, while its 17 years of ruling Kelantan had not brought development to the east coast state.

"There's no party other than UMNO which could ensure the progress and achievements of the Malays, as well as uphold the sanctity of Islam and bring about a civilisation pillared by Islam in this country," he added. (Bernama)

***** Well! To be honest, I simply don't know what to say after that claim. However one must wonder I suppose if the above reasons mean that the NEP would be around for the next 400 years more!

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Najib Reminds Umno Members To Stay Away From Money Politics

Umno leaders have been reminded not to sell their souls for money.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Umno had remained a political institution for the Malays for the past 61 years because the leaders of the golden era had stayed away from money politics.

The party's deputy president called on Umno’s 1.3 million members nationwide to keep this party tradition alive and to be “rich with the fighter’s soul and spirit” instead.

“The party’s 'struggles' will come to nothing if there are members who only rely on getting paid for attending Umno functions," Najib said, citing the Malay proverb "Belah buluh dengan kapak, kalau hulur baru nampak".

"If this happens, Umno will only be led by scoundrels who will destroy the party,” he said when opening the delegates meeting for the Merbok Umno division at SM Sungai Layar here on Saturday.

Najib added, "Although this is not a year for the general election, Umno members must stay focused on Umno as a political institution and organisation which forms the backbone of Malay unity.

Later Najib presented 10 Umno branches in the Merbok division, which had registered the highest number of new members, with RM1,000 per branch on behalf of Merbok MP Datuk Zainuddin Maidin.

***** Good advice indeed from the DPM and it is hoped that the members would reflect on it and act accordingly. However several questions come to mind on reading the above. Firstly Najib said that
the leaders of the golden era had stayed away from money politics. No one can deny this and the leaders of that period were giants who were greatly concerned for the nascent nation and eschewed personal gain or profit. I'm just curious to know that after the 'golden era' who actually started and who actively encouraged this evil called money politics to grow in Umno? And if it is still being employed as a crucial element in political horse-trading and vote-buying by the higher echelon, who should be blamed?

Similarly, in response to Najib's lament that delegates expect to be paid to attend
Umno functions, who started this practice of paying for participation? And how long after the 'golden era' did this take root? I wonder what the going rate is now!

Perhaps it's an understatement on the part of the DPM to say that "i
f this (paid to do things) happens, Umno will only be led by scoundrels. Errrm, does this mean that right now there are no .........?

On his advice that members must remain focussed and they form the backbone of Malay unity, the question arises if this
'focus' on Malay unity had in any way contributed to inter-ethnic tensions and disunity at the national level?

Finally a doubt. When does the responsibility of ruling party leaders to their constituents end and does it interfere with their functions in government? In other words when do they stop acting like party bosses and effectively performing their duties as national leaders?

It is said that only some schizophrenics have the ability to 'successfully' assume multiple roles with ease.

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Some Countries Imposing Excessive Restrictions On Internet Use Says OSCE Report

Kazakhstan and Georgia are among countries imposing excessive restrictions on how people use the Internet, a new report says, warning that regulations are having a chilling effect on freedom of expression.

"Governing the Internet," issued this week by the 56-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), called the online policing "a bitter reminder of the ease with which some regimes — democracies and dictatorships alike — seek to suppress speech that they disapprove of, dislike, or simply fear."

"Speaking out has never been easier than on the Web. Yet at the same time we are witnessing the spread of Internet censorship," the report says.

Miklos Haraszti, who heads the OSCE's media freedom office, said about two dozen countries practice censorship, and others have adopted needlessly restrictive legislation and government policy.

Among those are Malaysia, whose de facto law minister, Nazri Abdul Aziz, said this week his government was drafting new laws for bloggers and would not hesitate to prosecute those deemed to have insulted Islam.

Haraszti cited separate research by the OpenNet Initiative, a trans-Atlantic group that tracks Internet filtering and surveillance, which also points to questionable online restrictions in Belarus, China, Hong Kong, Sudan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan and elsewhere.

The report says Kazakhstan's efforts to rein in Internet journalism in the name of national security is reminiscent of Soviet-era "spy mania," and it says Georgian law contains numerous provisions curbing freedom of expression online.

Web sites, blogs and personal pages all are subject to criminal as well as civil prosecution in Kazakhstan, and the country's information minister, Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, has vowed to purge Kazakh sites of "dirt" and "lies."

"Those who think it is impossible to control the Internet can continue living in a world of illusions," Yertysbayev told the Vremya newspaper in a recent interview.

In the most publicized instance of a government crackdown, Kazakh authorities took control of .kz Internet domains in 2005, and then revoked a domain it considered offensive that was operated by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, creator of the movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."

Baron Cohen since has relocated his satirical Web site.

The OSCE report warns that Kazakhstan's approach to the Internet has produced a hostile atmosphere where "any dissident individual, organization or an entire country could be named an 'enemy of the nation.'"

On Thursday, in a speech at OSCE headquarters in Vienna, Yertysbayev insisted his country was committed to democracy and the creation of what he called an "e-government" that would expand Internet access and make "our information sphere more open and our media more free."

Georgia, the report says, has laws on the books that contain "contradictory and ill-defined" provisions "which on certain occasions might give leverage for illegitimate limitation of freedom of expression on the Internet."

"It is important to support the view of the World Press Freedom Committee that 'governance' must not be allowed to become a code word for government regulation of Internet content," it says. (International Herald Tribune)

***** Look at the countries named - Kazakhstan,
Belarus, China, Sudan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, among others - some of the most intolerant and despotic scum in the world. We're in good company?
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Friday, July 27, 2007

Lies Will Not Affect Umno's Chances In General Election, Says Home Minister Radzi. But The Truth Will

Lies and distorted facts levelled by certain bloggers in their blog sites will not in any way affect Umno's chances of winning seats in the next general election, party secretary-general Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said Friday.

"No, I don't think so. Umno is strong and getting stronger," Radzi said when asked if these allegations would hurt the chances of the party, which is the largest political party in the country and the backbone of the ruling Barisan Nasional, in the general election.

Radzi, who is Home Minister, said bloggers had been given "a lot of freedom" under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi but this did not give them the right to abuse the freedom granted.

"They should not ridicule religion, or the King...their allegations have no basis at all. It would be good if they could come up with ideas and suggestions for the betterment of the government," he said.

***** Firstly Umno is a political party and not synonymous with Islam (although they very much act the role) and they definitely are not representative of the monarchy. What Radzi and the other whingers are doing is to manipulate the issue at hand by pulling out one stray comment on His Majesty the King and magnifying it to a ridiculously unbelievable level. For safe measure they've thrown in the 'insulting Islam' accusation as well, hoping that it would galvanize a large section of the Malay-Muslim electorate to rally behind these 'warriors' who have been 'struggling' for bangsa, agama dan negara; a tempatan version of the classic 'divide and rule' policy of yore.

The so-called 'lies' they are referring to are the numerous revelations by the internet media and blogs on the abuse, corruption and financial wheeling-dealing by some of those in authority. This is what these buggers can't stand; that the normally docile Malaysian after decades of being muzzled by the government, now dares to criticize and condemn. They cannot tolerate the idea of being held accountable or have their misdeeds publicized, openly discussed and commented on by the average Joe on the street. They would love to remain above the law if they could.

Gagging the citizens and using out-of-date draconian legislation to somehow totally hush the 'adventurers' among the bloggers reflects not only their truculent mentality, it also clearly shows how desperate they are. With elections not too far off there is an added urgency to severely restrain the internet media and curb any 'inconvenient' news or discussion.

Admittedly not everything that is posted on the internet is true but that doesn't mean that they are outright lies either. Instead of sweeping things under the carpet as our authorities have been used to doing for so long and completely smothering allegations, especially on official corruption and other wrongdoings, the government should thank bloggers for raising these issues. In fact the authorities should go one step further and investigate the claims rather than reflexly go into denial mode and lash out at the messenger. But that could be asking for the sky.

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Latest Semuanya OK News:
1) Former ACA Chief Free Of Criminal Misconduct, Abuse Of Power, Says AG.
2) AG Orders Corruption Investigation Against IGP Closed.

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Trust Arab States With Nuclear Power Says French President Sarkozy

After agreeing to nuclear cooperation with Libya, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the West should trust Arab states to develop such technology for peaceful purposes or risk a war of civilisations.

France agreed on Wednesday to help Libya develop a nuclear reactor to supply drinking water from desalinated sea water. The reactor might be supplied by French atomic energy firm Areva.

Sarkozy told reporters in Libya that to consider the Arab world “is not sensible enough to use civilian nuclear power” would, in the long run, risk a “war of civilisations”.

“Nuclear power is the energy of the future,” he said. “If we don’t give the energy of the future to the countries of the southern Mediterranean, how will they develop themselves? And if they don’t develop, how will we fight terrorism and fanaticism?” Many Middle Eastern countries, including some worried about Iran’s nuclear programme, are interested in developing atomic energy resources.

Claude Gueant, Sarkozy’s chief of staff, noted the nuclear cooperation deal means “a country that respects international rules can obtain civilian nuclear energy”.

Sarkozy, due to travel to Senegal on Thursday, denied any link between the nuclear deal and the release this week of six foreign medics who spent eight years in Libyan jails and were convicted of infecting hundreds of children with HIV. He helped clinch the deal between Tripoli and the European Union to free the medics, removing a major obstacle hampering reconciliation between Libya and the West. ”The only link one can make, is that if the nurses had not been released, I would not have come,” he said.

Areva, the world’s biggest maker of nuclear reactors, deals with the full nuclear cycle from mining to waste. Libya said in February it would join Areva in exploring and mining uranium.

Saudi Arabia along with Gulf Cooperation Council partners Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates announced a joint project for peaceful nuclear energy, mainly for water desalination, in December last year. Egypt, which suspended an earlier nuclear energy programme after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, is looking to revive it to meet energy needs and conserve gas and oil reserves.

Libya and France also signed accords for a military-industrial partnership and cooperation in scientific research and higher education on Wednesday. “I am trying to reassure a part of the Arab world,” said Sarkozy. “There is Libya, but all the other Arab states are looking at the way Libya will be treated following the release of the nurses.”

Relations between France and Libya deteriorated after an attack on a French airliner in 1989. France convicted six Libyans in absentia but Tripoli has denied responsibility.

The West lifted sanctions on Libya after it abandoned its weapons of mass destruction programmes and world powers are jostling for position in the hope of grabbing lucrative infrastructure contracts from the oil-rich country. (The News International)
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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Experience Of The Surgeon Determines Outcome Of Prostate Cancer Surgery

According to a new study published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer patients treated by highly experienced surgeons are much more likely to be cancer-free five years after surgery than patients treated by surgeons with less experience.

The difference in outcome among patients who were treated by surgeons with varying degrees of experience is clinically relevant and likely reflects a true relationship between surgical technique and cancer control, said the study's lead author Andrew Vickers, PhD, Associate Attending Research Methodologist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

Many studies have examined the relationship between surgical experience and patient outcomes. However, it is often unclear whether the findings are related to differences in surgical technique or result from differences in clinical variables or tumor characteristics. In the current study, the researchers adjusted for cancer severity, so that differences among surgeons likely reflect differences in the techniques they use rather than just differences in the patients they see.

Investigators analyzed the cancer outcomes of 7,765 prostate cancer patients who were treated with radical prostatectomy surgical removal of the prostate by one of 72 surgeons at four major US academic medical centers over a 16-year period. Sophisticated statistical models were used to evaluate the link between the total number of prostatectomies performed by the surgeon prior to each patient's operation and biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer (defined as a rising PSA level of more than 0.4 ng/mL).

The results showed that the risk of recurrence five years after surgery was 17.9 percent for patients treated by surgeons who had performed 10 operations and 10.7 percent for patients treated by surgeons who had performed 250 operations. This means that patients treated by inexperienced surgeons were nearly 70 percent more likely to have a recurrence of their prostate cancer than those who were treated by surgeons with greater experience. According to the analysis, one out of every 14 patients treated by an inexperienced surgeon will have a recurrence.

The results were described in terms of a learning curve, which showed a dramatic improvement in cancer control with increasing surgical experience up to 250 prior operations; however, there was no large change in recurrence rates with additional surgical experience.

The learning curve is steep and did not start to plateau until a surgeon had completed 250 prior operations, said the study's senior author, Peter Scardino, MD, Chairman, Department of Surgery, MSKCC. 'surgeons with little experience get significantly poorer results than those who have more.

Our results provide support for what other studies have implied that good technique is learned and increased volume leads to improved outcomes, said Dr. Vickers.However, our focus on cancer outcome, the size of the difference in outcome associated with increasing surgical experience, and the large number of cases required before the learning curve starts to plateau, suggests that more serious attention should be paid to the issue of surgical quality.

The researchers note that the surgical technique of experienced surgeons may differ from that of surgeons with less experience. They conclude that further research is needed to determine how surgical technique might differ between these groups and to identify the critical aspects of radical prostatectomy that are associated with improved cancer control.

Although the successful practice of surgery presumes a lifetime of learning, the large number of cases required before the learning curve plateaus suggests the need to expand opportunities for training in surgical technique for surgeons in the early years after residency training, said Dr. Scardino. (News-Medical.Net)
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***** Firstly those of you over 50 years of age make sure you get a 'prostate check' at least once a year. More importantly remember that at least in this kind of operation the experience of the surgeon is extremely crucial. It's not that the younger surgeons are less good, but experience is something that cannot be bought with money or attained by executive order or legislation. You either have it or you don't.

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Rais Yatim Withdraws From Commonwealth Sec-Gen Race. I Wonder Why

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim today announced that he is withdrawing from the contest for the Commonwealth secretary-general's post. He said this was due to his duties and commitments as the chairman of the Main Committee of the Merdeka Celebrations, which limited him from going abroad to lobby for it.

"The responsibilities for this year's Merdeka celebrations being the 50th year of independence are far too heavy and as such does not give me the opportunity to make personal visits abroad to do any lobbying... it is one of the problems I am facing and as such it is not fair for me to say that I want to contest but am unable to campaign like the other candidates," he told Bernama.

"My responsibilities (for the Merdeka celebrations) are far more important and furthermore it is already too late (to campaign)... so it's better that I withdraw," he said. Malaysia had nominated Rais to be a candidate for the post last month. Rais said he had informed Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that he was withdrawing from the race and also Wisma Putra (Foreign Ministry). He added that Wisma Putra had acknowledged that it understood his predicament.

The election for the post will be held at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala, Uganda, in November.
Two other candidates in the fray are India's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Kamalesh Sharma and Malta's Foreign Minister, Michael Frendo. The election is being held as the term of office of the current secretary-general, Don McKinnon of New Zealand, ends on March 31, 2008.

***** Flimsy excuse this. Either Rais was forced to stand for the post by the leadership, did not foresee that he would have to be lobbying during the preparation period of the Merdeka celebrations or an honest assessment gave him a rat's ass of a chance of being elected. The latter seems more plausible.

Of late the nation's stock in the international arena has plunged. From an all-time high during the Mahathir years when such a spectacle would have been inconceivable, we have now resorted to sheepishly withdrawing from contests which only a decade ago would have been considered a shoo-in for our candidate. Now we can daresay that even if the candidate from India withdraws and tiny Malta were to be sole challenger, we would still lose.

Who is to take the blame for this debacle? The internet media which has exposed the 'excesses' of the government or those who have committed and are continuing to indulge in such excesses? The blogs for speaking out against injustice or the authorities who have given ample cause for these allegations? How many, apart from Bangladesh and a few genuine Islamic states, would vote for us when we are seen as inching down the Taliban path? Would squeaky clean Singapore say 'aye' to a country perceived as being increasingly corrupt and unfriendly? Would any white member of the Commonwealth vote for a candidate whose country is intolerant of free speech and attempts to muzzle comment and criticism by using outdated and suppressive laws against its own citizens?

In short does Malaysia have the requisite qualifications at this point in time to be an acknowledged leader of the Commonwealth of Nations? You decide.

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Update: No Replacement Candidate For Commonwealth Sec-Gen Post - Syed Hamid.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

If Nazri Becomes Prime Minister. A Doomsday Scenario Glimpse

Of all the specimens in the current Malaysian Cabinet none has the propensity to so firmly put both feet in his mouth than the infamous Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

His latest diatribe against Malaysian bloggers is merely a continuation of a long list of ludicrous 'achievements' in a political career marked by one controversial rant after another. To be fair, no one has been spared his sledgehammer fulmination, including Dr Mahathir himself when he was the PM. As the then Umno Youth Chief, Nazri made some particularly strong comments which he later was forced to retract when he was condemned for being biadap by the same old farts who now cheer him on in Parliament. But Nazri apparently didn't learn his lesson from that episode and went on to continue ranting and raving at the drop of a one sen coin. Among the many 'highlights' is his notorious "bloody racist" remark in Parliament.

Just imagine if this chap were to become Prime Minister. What would happen to our beloved country? The most obvious repercussion will be of course the total obliteration of that irritating nuisance called 'free speech' which is mainly responsible for inciting racial hatred, seditious questioning of the NEP, raising doubts on the country being an Islamic state, making unfounded accusations that many politicians are totally corrupt and casting doubt on the sincerity of the government which in reality is 'struggling' for the equitable treatment and progress of 100% of the population. This 'free speech' irritant is also indirectly responsible for the low morale of the civil service which in turns makes them inefficient and for the high price of fuel, utility tariffs and a whole range of consumer products.

A major inconvenience that must go in a Nazri administration-ruled Malaysia are the disloyal anarchists who form the opposition here. For too long have they been allowed to speak untruth after untruth and spread vile rumours about the public and personal lives of our pemimpin, even to the extent of maliciously accusing them of making hundreds of millions in kickbacks, amassing wealth and property here and abroad, assiduously encouraging cronyism, ruthlessly playing off one section of the population against the other for their own ends and a hundred other blatant lies. Remove the powers of the opposition by depriving them of any parliamentary and state seat. Better still pass legislation reserving all seats for the ruling party until the government is convinced that the opposition can behave responsibly and if that means changing the constitution or temporarily ignoring certain provisions, so be it.

Perhaps serious thought should also be given to rooting out mavericks and adventurists in the Judiciary who are seen as giving the government and by extension the country a bad name. Those judges who out of sheer ignorance of the law or an unhealthy obsession with so-called impartial verdicts could be prematurely retired or forced to face a 'refurbished' Tribunal which will function as speedily and efficiently as a one-stop centre.

There are obviously many other welcome changes and reforms that Nazri may undertake as PM. The above is merely a glimpse.

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Another Potential PM speaks out: Website Operators, Journalists Not Above The Law.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

NEP Not Doing Anybody Any Harm, Says Dr Mahathir. Setuju?

From a Bernama report today:
The affirmative action plan to help Bumiputras under New Economic Policy has not deterred Malaysia from emerging as the world's fastest growing developing nation, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said Tuesday.

"In any case, the policy to help Bumiputras is not doing anybody any harm," he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the international conference on "Gold Dinar Economy 2007."

"Other developing countries without an affirmative policy cannot do as well as Malaysia, so why are we people questioning the policy," he said in response to calls to review the policy.

"We have reconsidered the policy, made amendments, reduced the affirmative action but in certain areas we still need affirmation action. In any case it is not doing anybody any harm," he said.

***** So the grand old man of Malaysian politics has spoken and I hope your unease and regrets have been dispelled. Don't worry folks, rest easy, contrary to your mistaken beliefs absolutely no harm has been done by the active implementation of the Never Ending Policy. Don't let your overactive imagination fool you. Only 100% good has come from '
an affirmative policy' like ours which is overflowing in human kindness, compassion and fair treatment of all.

If you've misheard or imagined seeing people who have suffered or still enduring terrible hardship because of this very humane and charitable policy, remember it is either paranoia getting the better of you or your mind has been poisoned by anti-national elements in the opposition parties who are giving these efforts of selfless benevolence in the form of the Never Ending Policy a bad name. You as an individual and loyal citizen should be sorry that you could think that such a policy could do even a teeny weeny bit of harm.

Whenever false, unfounded ideas and thoughts force their way into your weak mind and when you start doubting the merciful nature of the Never Ending Policy, stay resolute and always think back to the calm reassurance so graciously given by our now retired international statesman Tun Dr Mahathir and take solace in the fact that the NEP has not and will never do anybody any harm. And if you still feel a little unconvinced, scream "Malaysia Boleh" three times. That usually does the trick.

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'No Race Card' Code Of Ethics For Politicians, Good Move. But Will Those Who Use It Most, Comply?

Politicians will not be allowed to use the race card under a Code of Ethics being drawn up by a Select Committee. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said the code would cover all leaders of political parties, MPs and state assemblymen, and party leaders.

“Politicians should air their views with responsibility, with the intention of solving problems rather than to fan racial sentiments and anger.

“They should adopt good political practices for the good of national racial unity. The intention of the Code is to ensure that politicians promote national unity, rather than to restrict them from giving their views or to impede their effectiveness,” he said.

***** Great idea I say! If only it is practical. I'm not overly surprised that the man talking about it is Ongkili. How much clout he has to push this through is doubtful. For one, the greatest abusers of the race card are sitting pretty all over the country and would show no inclination to limit themselves in this strict manner. To be bound by a code which will definitely hamper the use of one of their main weapons, shameless and opportunistic use of the race card and miscellaneous shit-stirring, could be politically unwise and unacceptable.

So before Ongkili embarks on this 'noble' course he should get clearance from 'those' who matter. These are the biggest race baiters and the people who should decide whether the plan is going to work and more importantly if they would strictly comply once it's enforced. Going by past experience I personally feel it's better for him to forget about the whole thing. These chaps are definitely going to continue harping on race for their own selfish political ends and no damn 'Code of Ethics' will make a difference. Besides, the general elections are around the corner. This is the time that armchair warriors normally emerge from the woodwork like so many worms; racist worms in this case.
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Monday, July 23, 2007

Umno's Police Report Against Malaysia Today. The Start Of Blogger Crackdown?

Umno has lodged a police report against Malaysia Today for carrying a series of comments and remarks that it deemed as insulting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, degrading Islam and as inciting hatred and violence in Malaysia's multi-racial society.

Party information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib lodged the report at 12.57pm at Tun H.S. Lee police station here Monday.

He said the comments and remarks, consisting of criminal elements and inciting religious and racial sentiments which could affect the country’s security, were carried by the blog on July 11.

The report was lodged under Section 121 (B) and Section 123 of the Penal Code, Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 263 and Section 266 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

"I think they are very irresponsible," he told reporters at the police station. (TheStar)

***** First Nat Tan, now Raja Petra? We'll just have to wait and see. But you can be sure that the cops would drop everything, give this police report top priority and 'investigate'. Arrest won't be too far away. A shame really.

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Oh Dear, The Loonies Are at It Again; Universiti Utara Malaysia Denies Baju Kurung Ruling

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) has denied imposing a new ruling forcing all female students, including non-Malays, to wear the baju kurung. UUM deputy vice-chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni) Assoc Prof Dr Ahmad Faiz Hamid said that the university allowed them to wear skirts and slacks. “However, they must abide by our dress code which does not allow the wearing of revealing clothes,” he said, adding that male students are required to wear neckties.

He also said that the dress code was applicable to all students including foreigners. Dr Ahmad Faiz was responding to reports in Chinese dailies that female students were required to wear baju kurung based on posters released by the university. He said that the poster would be changed to avoid misunderstanding.

“The university does not make any ruling that discriminates any race. The rulings that we make are in the best interest of students, regardless of race or religion,” he said. (TheStar)

***** I'm surprised that our testicle-challenged daily TheStar actually published this report. Aren't they afraid that the 'Educate-shun' Minister Hishamuddin might come out hollering, "don't test my patience. It's in the kontrak sosial. Don't try to hina the national dress of our wanita." (Ooops sorry, can't use the word 'wanita', it's Sanskrit. Change that to perempuan.)

As long as there are inferiority complex ridden nitwits among the decision makers at our varsities you can expect this kind of senseless irritants sans substance from time to time. It is the work of self-assuming 'patriots' working in 'bangsa, agama dan negara' mode. The best thing to do is to ignore these people and let them wallow like buffaloes in their own tiny space which they have apparently mistaken for the real world. Don't be angry, just feel sorry for them.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

JPJ Going 'All Out' Against Errant Cabbies. About Bloody Time, Don't You Think?

The Road Transport Department (JPJ) is going all out against errant taxi drivers. Its Federal Enforcement director Salim Parlan announced an operation that kicks off Monday to prevent tourists from being victimised by irresponsible taxi drivers.

He said the department had received complaints that some taxi drivers had overcharged or even refused to take tourists to certain destinations. "We do not want such actions to tarnish the nation's image, what with a huge number of tourists coming to the country during Visit Malaysia Year. We are also warning all taxi drivers to abide by the rules and regulations," he said.

Salim told a press conference here that the operation would focus on major cities in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor. "We will also monitor the situations in shopping centres and other areas in the four states," said Salim. (Source - TheStar update)

***** Why am I not jumping for joy? Can we expect this new found determination by JPJ to be a persevering and lasting one? Going by past history the answer is a big NO. However the reason given by the JPJ pegawai is that tourists are being victimised. Therefore there is probably a chance that they may actually take action against these cabbies.

If it were just Malaysian sods who had been ripped off by these con drivers as has been occurring all these decades
and not tourists, forget about it. The damn cabbie would pull a political string and some ADUN or MP will come out of the woodwork supporting their cause and the whole operasi wil be shelved. I have yet to see even one effective sweep against errant taxi drivers in a long, long time.

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U.S. Study: Race Bias In Medical Treatment

The color of your skin may affect the care you receive at the doctor's office as a new study has found evidence of racial bias in medical care. Researchers found unintentional racism, feelings physicians are unaware of, which can affect how doctors diagnose and treat patients.

The study, by the Disparities Solutions Center, affiliated with Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, is the first to deal with unconscious racial bias and how it can lead to inferior care for African-American patients. It was published in the online edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The doctors in the study were told two men, one white and one African-American, were each 50 years old and complained of chest pain. Each showed other symptoms of a heart attack.

The result was most of the doctors were more likely to prescribe a potentially life-saving, clot-busting treatment for the white patients than for the African-American patient. "Physicians, like others in the U.S., in this country, demonstrated unconscious biases based on race," said Massachusetts General Hospital chief researcher Alexander Green.

According to the study, those biases affected the treatment the doctors would have given the two patients. The patients were not actually real people, but rather computer-generated images seen by the doctors only on a monitor.

This isn't the first study to find that whites get better medical care than blacks. National Medical Association president Dr. Albert Morris said it has been demonstrated multiple times in the past that whites receive better care and get care sooner than their African-American counterparts. This study differs from previous ones because it is the first to demonstrate the reason for the difference really is racial bias.

After the doctors in the study evaluated the two simulated patients, they were then given a so-called implicit association test. The test is designed to reveal a person's unconscious views of blacks and whites. "If you scored high on the bias against African-Americans portion of the test, then you were actually less likely to provide clot-busting treatment for a heart attack for black patients," Green said.

The stronger a doctor's hidden anti-black feelings, the less likely he or she would be to give the black patient the clot-busting agent. The drugs were considered one of the most effective treatments for the symptoms these doctors were presented with. Green said administering the clot-busters can mean the difference between life and death.

The hope that doctors who hear about this report will learn to stop, think and consciously suspend their racial prejudices the next time they have to make a critical decision about a patient. Black doctors also showed bias against the black patients, though less than white doctors. (Source - ABC News)

***** It would be naive to believe that we don't have this type of discrimination in our hospitals. But I think that it is not so widespread. I could be wrong, but I feel that those who are 'overlooked' by the doctors here, apart from racial considerations would be the very poor and the less educated and to a certain extent even the non-English educated. I have no way to confirm this. As I said, I could be wrong.

However such a finding speaks volumes of the futility of strict selection methods employed in the U.S. There is no point in being highly intelligent and passing the necessary exams to graduate and qualify as a medical professional, if you're not blessed with that humane quality, compassion. That said we should laud our doctors, the majority of whom, I'm sure are dedicated and I hope, 'colour blind' when treating patients from different ethnic groups.


A timely reminder: Malaysians Should Not Lose Caring Spirit.
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"We Understand About Social Contract, But WE, Not MIC Must Get Seat," Says Tapah Umno Division

To the Tapah Umno Division at least, it seems that the so-called social contract must be strictly observed by only one side while the other should be given sympathy and understanding. Thus the demand for taking back the Tapah Parliamentary seat from MIC. Otherwise they will continue to 'lag behind in economic development'. Obviously they haven't heard of the proverb "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander". The full report in Bernama titled 'Umno Stakes Claim For Tapah Seat' follows.

The Tapah Umno Division today staked a claim for the Tapah parliamentary seat, now held by the MIC, in the next general election.
Its chief, Datuk Samsudin Abu Hassan, said at the divisional delegates meeting that 69 of the 84 branches of the division had resolved that the seat be allotted to Umno and the MIC be given another seat.

"There is no ill-intention in our request and it is not that we do not understand the social contract but this is the desire of the Malays of Tapah who lag behind in economic development," he said.

Samsudin, who is the State Assemblyman for Ayer Kuning -- a seat in the Tapah parliamentary constituency, said the Tapah seat was allotted to the MIC in the 1982 general election on the assumption that it would be temporary. The Tapah seat is now held by MIC Vice-President Datuk S. Veerasingam.

***** To be fair, the Perak MB firmly stood his ground and reaffirmed the concept of power sharing and the social contract.

Let us also not forget that in the last GE, the chinamen made helluva noise when Taiping was given to PPP. No angels, this lot.The trouble with race-based politics is that everybody, racist or not, has his own agenda but unlike in other countries these pricks always give an us versus them racial slant on each and every issue. And the tragedy is that there are enough fools to believe it!
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pre-Election Sandiwara Has Started. Strident Call For Umno To Be "Steadfast In Defending Malay Rights"

Yessir! It had to start some time right? I mean there were all these rumours floating around, about when the elections will be called. In the absence of official confirmation, the antics of our second rung Umno leaders usually gives an indication about the timing. It looks like these middling actors have all rehearsed their lines, brushed up on their thespianic skills and are raring to go on stage to spout the same crap as they have done year after year after year. And you can be sure that there would be plenty of applause from the floor. After all that's why they have been paid, to go and attend these meetings conducted in feudal-style pomp with accompanying fiery rhetoric. Below is a Bernama report on the hot air released by a few of these specimens today. Read, laugh, shake your heads in disbelief and feel sorry for the clowns who actually trust these sandiwara experts!
Umno Vice- President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today the party leadership should not waver in its struggle to defend Malay rights.

"Umno will feel humiliated if it can't preserve the rights or is unable to develop the economy of the Malays, including through government aid and subsidies," he said. Muhyiddin was opening the Kubang Pasu Umno delegates' conference here.

In SHAH ALAM, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said Umno's efforts to bridge the gap between the nobility and the common man had created the Malay middle class and that Shah Alam was a symbol of the success of this group of people.

Opening the Shah Alam Umno delegates conference, he also said that Umno had to be strengthened in view of this growing middle class, with many relocating from the rural areas to the cities.

In KOTA KINABALU, Umno Information Chief Senator Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib opened the Sepanggar Umno Youth delegates meeting and called on party members to remain united and avert disputes.

He said Umno had remained in power because it did not waver from its objectives to champion the rights of the people and uphold national sovereignty.

In PENANG, Umno Youth Deputy Chief Khairy Jamaluddin said it would not be impossible for the Barisan Nasional (BN) to recapture opposition-held seats in Penang in the next general election.

Acknowledging that there were several opposition strongholds in the state, he said it was all the more necessary for the BN to work hard to win these seats.

"The whole of Penang will surely be the focus of the opposition parties (in the next general election) and we will ensure that they have no place in this state," he said when opening the Bayan Baru Umno Youth delegates meeting.

In PAPAR (Sabah), Puteri Umno vice-head Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin called on women to be more aggressively involved in all fields to make more meaningful contributions to the economy and national development. She said the role of women was not negligible because they were in all sectors and 55 per cent of the electorate comprised women.

There was no longer any discrimination against women in the country, she said when addressing the Papar Puteri Umno delegates meeting.
***** This is just the beginning. The real fireworks starts when the big boys enter the fray closer to election time. Then the crazies get to spit their ounce of venom. Semuanya OK!
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Khir Toyo's five sen worth of advice: NEP Still Relevant For Malaysians.

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