How should we judge a government?

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

Why we should be against censorship: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan


Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist?

MyCen News

Thursday, March 28, 2013

While PM Najib dithers over GE date


Parliament will automatically dissolve on April 28, 2013 and GE will have to be held by June 28, 2013.

When push comes to shove...


Meanwhile, Negri Sembilan has the honour to be the first state to have its DUN automatically dissolved on March 27, with a caretaker government in charge.

Selangor was supposed to take the lead in deciding when to dissolve its state assembly, but PM's delay has made it rather pointless in terms of strategy and costly to have election date different from GE's.

I believe Najib will save some pride by deciding on a date instead of leaving it to automatic dissolution of Parliament. But then again, he might have other reasons to consider and rather leave it to the end!

At a glance, dates (by midnight) of automatic dissolution of state assemblies, based on swearing-in dates:

Negri Sembilan : March 27, 2013
Pahang                April 6
Johor                   April 20
Selangor               April 21
Perak                   March 16? (no mention of date in The Star's article) *
Malacca               April 25
Perlis                    April 27
Kelantan              April 27
Sabah                  April 28
Penang                May 1
Kedah                 May 5
Terengganu          May 5
Sarawak             June 19, 2016!

Source:
GE13: Why states have different swearing-in dates
By FARIK ZOLKEPLI
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/3/28/nation/12899462&sec=nation

I am confused about Perak as to when should be the automatic dissolution date...
According to Lim Kit Siang in his post dated March 16, 2008, date of swearing-in was March 17, 2008.

According to  Wikipedia: After a defection to Pakatan and later redefection to BN (Nasarudin Hashim ), followed by three defections to become BN friendly (ex-DAP's Hee Yit Foong, ex-PKR's Jamaluddin Mohd. Radzi and Osman Jailu), a new state government was sworned in on February 6, 2009.

For more details of the complicated court case...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Perak_constitutional_crisis

Update on April 1:

* I am not sure whether it was my mistake or that The Star had included a chart after I had read their article without it, which led me to look for Perak's date of swearing-in from Lim Kit Siang's blog.

Link

If internet is your forte, beware of attacks

In fact, if it is your only main medium of communication, it can be crippling.


Just watched TV3's Nightline, with the usual BN propaganda hogging the news. Not only that, there is now a 'I Choose Malaysia' advertisement (no prize for knowing who is the sponsor), which plays on viewers' mind to vote BN: a tick for Malaysia in Barisan blue!

I have also read a headline in Harakah in which MCA claimed 10 minutes on RTM is 'more than enough' for each political party, as offered by our Information Minister! Of course, with the unlimited airtime already enjoyed by BN, there is no more propaganda to add is there? In fact the overloaded onslaught of BN spin is having a negative impact now.

Pakatan Rakyat, being in the opposition at federal level, has to rely much on the internet to disseminate information. This is most evident in Facebook and in Twitter. But the danger in having to rely too much on one medium is rather risky in view of the forthcoming General Election. Any concerted cyber attacks on popular online news portals like Malaysiakini, or social networking sites like Facebook, will have a drastic effect on Pakatan.

Not sure if it was sheer coincidence, but I was about to complain about my basic Maxis Home Wifi service which was slowed down considerably (after my monthly quota for peak hours was used up) when I was using the available quota during off-peak hours. Just imagine: 30 minutes to download a 11 MB of video clip! Were we affected by the following international cyber war?:

Huge attack slows internet worldwide

The largest known distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack in the history of the internet is currently slowing down the Net worldwide.

The slowdown is because of a fight between a company attempting to stop the spread of spam emails, and a Dutch company that hosts the spammer's servers.

It was causing widespread congestion Wednesday evening to critical infrastructure around the world.

The squabble between Spamhaus, a spam-fighting group based in London and Geneva, and hosting service CyberBunker is causing a global slowdown of internet speeds and leading to frustration for those unable to access websites as quickly as normal or stream TV shows online, analysts said.

Up to five separate international police forces are investigating the incident.

It is the sheer scale of the attack which will be most worrying for those charged with protecting the underlying structure of the internet.

The attack is larger than anything ever seen before with the attackers flooding Spamhaus servers with up to 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data.

Darren Anstee from Arbor Networks Solutions said attacks of 100Gbps are the largest recorded before now, and if it this attack is 300Gbps, it is "substantially larger" than anything ever seen before.

Steve Linford, chief executive for Spamhaus, told the BBC the scale of the attack was unprecedented.

"We've been under this cyber-attack for well over a week. The attack not only knocked Spamhaus' website and mail systems offline, such was the volume of traffic that it affected a much wider pool of internet users."

He added that if a similar attack was aimed at critical government infrastructure, then it would be instantly knocked offline.

"If you aimed this at Downing Street they would be down instantly."

Source:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/tech/computer/342651/huge-attack-slows-internet-worldwide

Link

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A bit on Penang's proposed third link tunnel project


The proposed third link in Penang must have surprised many people, not only because it is a mega project of BN's proportions and that it is proposed by DAP Chief Minister, YAB Lim Guan Eng, who is known to have criticised BN for such projects before, but also because it is just months before the 13th general election.
Some people thought success must have gone into Lim Guan Eng's head, to have such grandiose ideas. Political opponents have been trying to find faults, like why decisions were allegedly made in Taiwan; that the winning companies were Rm2 companies; that there must have been bribes in the awarding process; and so on.
For those who know, they could empathise with LGE for having to contend with a federal government out to sabotage his state plans at every turn, so that the present leaders will be discredited and hopefully, they will lose the state in the coming GE. We do not need to have privileged information to assume that LGE would have done a much better job had he been given a freer hand in administration.
Before I read Penang chief minister's open letter to CAP , I was among those with little or no knowledge about the details of the proposed tunnel project. To most people, to have an under-seabed tunnel project (and especially one proposed by a DAP Chief Minister) is unthinkable, given the objections when Penang bridge was first mooted. If it is so simple, why didn't our Causeway between Johor Bahru and Singapore be replaced by a tunnel instead of a crooked bridge?
I am glad I read the full letter in Malaysiakini because I find it very informative for someone ignorant like myself, and the rationale and reasons for the proposed project, excellent in countering Consumers Association of Penang's criticisms.
At a glance, the following is what I have gleaned from the open letter:
Traffic decongestion projects of three highways and one under-seabed tunnel:
a 4.2km Pesiaran Gurney-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass;
a 4.6km Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway-Bandar Baru Air Itam bypass;
a four-lane 12km road linking Tanjung Bungah with Teluk Bahang; and
a 7km undersea tunnel from Gurney Drive to Bagan Ajam in Butterworth.
The 30 year toll concession period was given only for the tunnel and not for the other three highway projects which will be toll free.
... by not charging toll, ... the federal government will have legal grounds to stop the tunnel project by claiming that we are deliberately sabotaging the toll collection for the second bridge.
That is the reason why the state government has fixed the toll rate for the tunnel at the same rate as the second bridge.
The state government cannot build a bridge across the mainland because federal government approval is required.
However, no such approval is necessary for an under seabed tunnel.
... there is a question of equity as it is only fair that the residents of Seberang Perai Utara are not denied a third link, when residents in Seberang Perai Tengah and Seberang Perai Selatan were given the two bridges.
For the full open letter:

Racism works both ways


A bunch of rich whites were on a huge cruise boat about to sink, so they started looking at each other to find someone who could pray for them, but none of them were suitable.

So finally they see the BLACK cleaner and ask him to pray for them.
 
He prays:  

Lord when I wanted to cross the bridge at the station, it said: “Whites only”    

When I wanted to sit on the chair, it said: “Whites only”

When I wanted to go to the toilet it said: “Whites only"

When I tried to enter the front door of the post office it said: “Whites only”  

So Lord, as this boat goes down, remember: “Whites only”

Amen!


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What my parents taught me


My Parents taught me LOGIC.
"Because I said so, that's why."
My Parents taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."
My Parents taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"
 My Parents taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper"
My Parents taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
My Parents taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"
My Parents taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
My Parents taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
My Parents taught me MORE LOGIC .
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
My Parents taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
My Parents taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
My Parents taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."
My Parents taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."
My Parents taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"
My Parents taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."
My Parents taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"
My Parents taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"


Link

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is AG's powers so limited?

Our Attorney General is perceived to be 'Almost God' in terms of his wide powers in prosecution under the law. He can literally decide who should go to jail and who should not, and in some cases, who should die if charged under the law which carries the death penalty. Yet, in a statement which surprised many in terms of limitation of powers, but not surprising in terms of his bias towards BN leaders, he is passing the buck to the Bar Council!


For someone who is good at taking quick actions against opposition leaders and anti-government NGO leaders, and appealing when judgments were in favour of them, his claim of 'no power' in connection with Bala's SD2 is circumspect. With many instances of selective prosecution or inaction to suit the ruling coalition, the AG's credibility must be at an all time low.


Two opposition MPs, both lawyers (one from DAP and the other from PKR), have condemned his reluctance to act in the cause of justice.

According to reports from Malaysia Chronicle...

AG's claim he is powerless to probe Bala's SD2 is "NONSENSE" - Gobind


"As Attorney General, he has a discretion under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution to 'institute, conduct or discontinue' any proceedings for an offence. Implicit in this is his responsibility to be alert to new facts and circumstances which would impact upon any ongoing prosecution and appeal.

Is he saying that where new evidence comes up during or even after a prosecution or appeal showing that others may be responsible for the crime or that important witnesses have been kept away, he is under no obligation to make further inquiries to be certain of his facts?

Is our Attorney-General so powerless so much so that he has to remain quiet, shut his ears and eyes and fold his arms and do absolutely nothing in such circumstances?

With respect, to me that would be a failure on part of the Attorney- General to ensure that justice is done.

The Attorney General not only has the power to direct further investigations in such circumstances, but is duty bound to do so where the need arises in all criminal prosecutions especially where the offences carry the death penalty."

GOBIND SINGH DEO
MP Puchong

Source:
http://malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=74601:ags-claim-he-is-powerless-to-probe-balas-sd2-is-nonsense-gobind&Itemid=2

No power to probe Bala's SD2? Sivarasa debunks AG's claim as "classic intellectual DISHONESTY"

"As a lawyer supposedly well versed in the Penal Code, he should know we are talking here about the involvement of Najib, Cecil Abraham and others including Najib's brother Nazim Razak in the commission of the criminal offence of fabricating false evidence - sections 192 to 203 of the Penal Code spell out the details. Najib as an alleged principal is liable to 7 years jail. The others are also principals and also aiders and abettors of the offence.

The AG should not avoid the central issue here of criminal conduct which is entirely within his jurisdiction and make silly comparisons with what the Bar Council will do.

He should know that all the Bar Council can do in terms of Cecil Abraham's conduct is to lodge a complaint with the Discipline Board which then conducts an investigation. The Bar Council has no other power..."

More:
http://malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=74591:no-power-to-probe-balas-sd2?-sivarasa-debunks-ags-claim-as-classic-intellectual-dishonesty&Itemid=2

Update:

The Malaysian Insider: A-G has no power, desire, guts or clearance? — Ravinder Singh
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/a-g-has-no-power-desire-guts-or-clearance-ravinder-singh/




Link

Mahadev Shankar: A flaw to put ministers above the law


According to a Malaysiakini report dated Feb 23 by Hazlan Zakaria:

'One of the greatest flaws in the Malaysian system of governance, says a retired appellate court judge, is placing ministers above the law and beyond the review of the judiciary.

"The pernicious words, ‘the decision of the minister shall not be queried in any court of law'  started off with the Internal Security Act and have made their way everywhere," lamented former Court of Appeals judge Mahadev Shankar.

"How can 222 MPs sit down and pass a law that makes the minister above the law they themselves make in Parliament?" Mahadev asked.

He said this at a forum on the constitution and governance at the activist group Loyarburok's resource centre in Kuala Lumpur today.

The forum, modelled on the "fish bowl" dialogue session, which is the rage in discussions overseas, was in conjunction with the launch of the book, The constitution of Malaysia: A contextual analysis, written by Professor Andrew Harding.

Mahadev also criticised the Official Secrets Act as a stopgap that would not serve to hide anything, as giving someone carte blanche to do things in secret would lead to excesses that would soon grow too big to be hidden.

He pointed out that transparency in the drafting of laws has become more opaque in recent times, relating how parliamentary blue papers or draft laws would be distributed to all concerned parties during his time in public service for effective feedback and discussion.

"Now, somebody had the bright spark to only give (the Bill) to MPs and on the day before it is tabled."

However, Mahadev said he was pleased to see more youths attending events such as this forum and wanting to know about the constitution and governance, as well as taking part in move to change Malaysia for the better.

His parting words: "Be hopeful, be brave and act within the law, if at all possible."


Link

Monday, March 25, 2013

Listen... to Diam, Diam, Daim in a rare interview with NST reporters

It is amazing how we can remember certain things which happened many years ago, yet unable to recall after passing through a door what we had intended to do just moments earlier.

I remember Ku Li as Minister of Finance for having introduced a new road tax policy which effectively made a company owning a Mercedes 300D having to pay Rm36,000 in road tax for the car which costed Rm65,000 when new!

As for Daim, I remember him for having introduced an amnesty for tax evaders, which effectively enabled those who had millions in overseas accounts to bring into Malaysia with no questions asked! But many wondered about questions in your later years' tax returns, which effectively stopped some from doing so. Many people wondered if it was also a chance for Daim to bring his own money back from overseas legally. Oh, how we wish we know someone who handled his tax returns or in charge of his returns at IRD or LHDN.

I also remember Daim as one person who was wearing different hats for a certain period: as Finance Minister, as Umno Treasurer, as crony of PM Dr Mahathir, and as businessman with different nominees fronting him. I can imagine government officials who had to deal with matters in which he seemed to have an interest, to be cowed by his positions and wondered under which hat he was wearing then. We all know about civil servants being more likely to follow orders from above.

'Daim, who had precipitated a near-crash of the stock market in 1994 with his "sell" advice and later named "chief conspirator" by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has since sparked a media frenzy for a new reason.
It is political punditry, having correctly predicted the outcome of the March 2008 general election; so the NST prodded him for new predictions. We probed his political allegiance and provoked him even as the sessions shifted focus from one hot topic to another.
By the time we were done, newer perspectives and insights had been gleaned from the political events of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the future of Umno, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Anwar, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Lee Kuan Yew, to the rise of China and the Arab Spring (which he jokingly referred to as "the Arab Fall").
The resultant Qs and As will run in two parts. This instalment deals mostly with the immediate political questions.
"If you ask me, between the two, Najib or Anwar, I would choose Najib." ...'

More:

Don't waste time on Anwar, says Daim

But as Ariff Sabri commented in his post:

'Now even Tun Daim is fearful about UMNO’s impending loss. He has been critical of Najib, UMNO and BN but only to the extent that he was sure UMNO and BN will not lose. So in theory, he like the others felt free to criticise UMNO. But once theory will become reality, even Tun Daim is circumspect...'


It is difficult not to believe Daim is just one of a few perceived to be involved in capital flight from Malaysia years ago, which effectively sabotaged NEP, and gave the impression that the Malays are still behind in equity holdings... more a case of a few beneficiaries at the expense of many who were entitled.

Link

Absent-minded? Try blaming the door...

and you could be right!

Just like Anwar being the perennial fall guy for Umno, some psychologists think our forgetfulness could have something to do with the door we passed through!



'Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was?

Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.

Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what's known as an event boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale. So it's not aging, it's the damn door!'

Thank goodness for scientific studies like this.

Coming back to Anwar, the latest blame comes from CM of Sarawak who thinks it was through Anwar's international networking that Global Witness came out with the videos on corruption in his state!

Link

Sunday, March 24, 2013

PEMANDU peddles, based on manipulated data?


We all know PEMANDU (Performance Management and Delivery Unit) is led by Minister without Portfolio, Idris Jala (of MAS's 'quick turnaround by selling assests' fame) in PM's Department.

REFSA (Research for Social Advancement) is a not-for-profit research institute. The following report (in 2 parts) in Loyarburok, is prepared by its Executive Director, Teh Chi-Chang, CFA,  and Dr. Ong Kian Ming BSc (LSE), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Duke), a Visiting Contributor.

Reason for the details in qualifications? I am sure to give the report credibility since they are refuting government released figures. I have to admit my personal bias towards any report critical of BN because of its huge propaganda machinery in the mainstream media. But the main problem in trying to correct misconceptions is dissemination of information because most people have very short attention spans. Whatever misleading reports in the msm were lapped up by the general public, and much later, when there were reversals of court judgments and even compensations ordered to be paid, the misled public are general unaware that the original lies had been exposed and discredited.

REFSA says: A big fat 'F' for Fail: The ETP has failed to meet its targets

'We are dismayed to find perception manipulation and deception still surrounds the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The mainstream media today is full of praise and claims of excellent performance and transformation. This is exactly the opposite of the true picture. Today, REFSA draws attention to 3 points:

1. Real national income growth...
2. PEMANDU still cannot get its basic math and data right...
3. Based on Department of Statistics data, nominal GNI per capita grew an average of just 7.4% per year from 2009 to 2012, which is less than the 8.2% per year average growth rate registered from 2001 to 2010. PEMANDU and the ETP came into force in 2010. In short, the ETP and PEMANDU have failed to increase our GNI per capita above its long term growth trajectory...'

More:
http://refsa.org/comment/a-big-fat-f-for-fail-the-etp-has-failed-to-meet-its-targets/

[REFSA Says] A big fat ‘F’ for Fail (Part 2): The ETP has failed ordinary Malaysians

'The perception manipulation and deception surrounding the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) masks much more than the mediocre economic growth and dodgy math that we spotlighted yesterday. Today, we draw attention to 3 points:

1. The ETP experienced a spectacular reversal in investments in 2012 in its second full year. Committed investments slumped 82% from RM179.2b in 2011 to RM32.1b in 2012;
2. Not only did investments shrink, they were also of lower quality. Each ringgit of committed investments in 2012 is expected to generate less national income and create jobs that pay lower than the investments committed in 2011;
3. The sharp contradiction between the fact that over 20 million Malaysians – nearly 70%, of our population – are poor enough to qualify for the BR1M welfare handouts even while PEMANDU trumpets we are on-track to high-income status...'

More:
http://www.loyarburok.com/2013/03/24/refsa-says-big-fat-%E2%80%98f%E2%80%99-fail-part-2-etp-failed-ordinary-malaysians/

Conclusion:

'ETP Failed: To Transform Malaysia

The ETP Annual Reports and publicity focusing on investments, projects and US$ income proves our view that the ETP is only there to help the ‘big boys’ who can lobby PEMANDU to fast track their projects, as opposed to measures that help ordinary Malaysians sustainably improve their livelihoods [9].

If PEMANDU and the ETP were truly about transforming our nation for the better, there must be far more emphasis on improving education, skills and the social and business environment. They must also have the political will to combat grand corruption rather than just clear red tape and increase competition by dismantling monopolies which are controlled by political cronies. Finally they must be honest and transparent about their achievements rather than resort to manipulating statistics in order to deceive the public. Only then can we take real steps towards a future where all Malaysians can have the dignity of decent jobs, housing and security.'

Link

Santa Najib, there is a group you have overlooked...

undischarged bankrupts or 'Negative Assets Just 1 Bolehland' (my much contrived one for NAJ1B).

Though it is easy enough getting the list for distribution purposes, there are those odd ones who are still enjoying a high life, like the recent write-up on Tan Sri Dato Paduka Ting Pek Khiing.

Seriously, it is no joke being in dire straits. I should know because I live next to a loan shark masquerading as a licensed money lender. Those borrowers are not bankrupts but still able to service their high-rate monthly interest, with principal sums intact.

Martin Jalleh has the stats on causes of bankruptcy in a pie chart...


Link

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Season for speculation...


 on some DAP MPs and ADUNs in Perak: who will be standing for election and where?

At a glance, based on FMT article, Two more Perak DAP big guns heading south, by Humayun Kabir:

Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang (Gelang Patah)
Pasir Pinji assemblyman Thomas Su Keong Siong (Ipoh Timor?)
New: Howard Lee Chuan How (Pasir Pinji?)
Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran (Segamat?)
Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan (Kluang or Kulai?)
Tronoh state assemblyman V Sivakumar (Batu Gajah?)
New: Paul Leong  (Tronoh?)
Tan Chen Choon (Bentayan?)
Beruas MP & Setiawan assemblyman, Ngeh Koo Ham (?)
Taiping MP and Pantai Remis assemblyman, Nga Kor Ming (?)
Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran (what next?)
New: Terence Naidu (Teluk Intan?)
New: Leong Chock Keng (Malim Nawar?)
Tay Hock Kee  (Teh Hock Ke?) ( Jelapang?)
Kepayang assemblyman, Loke Chee Yan (retiring?)
New: Cheong Chee Khing (Kepayang?)
Bercham assemblyman, Sum Cheok Leng (what next?)
Pokok Assam assemblyman, Yee Seu Kai (what next?)
New: Teh Kok Lim (Pokok Assam?)

More:
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/03/23/two-more-perak-dap-big-guns-heading-south/

It can be sensitive if too much insider information is known, and comments can be misconstrued too.


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What do you make of grading?

Mention the number of 'A's and most people would think of our school examinations like SPRM. SPM or STPM. Parents and students alike would spare no effort nor expense in trying for the most number of 'A's and be the top student of the year in the country. The frenzy to obtain the most number of distinctions led to a crazy record of 17! But the euphoria was short-lived when such top students did not do well in their further studies in universities.

Discerning people would ask about the threshold mark above which a student is awarded an 'A'. To fine-tune this, there are now three sub-classifications: A+, A and A-, if I am not mistaken. Again, we need to know what is the relevant threshold mark for each sub-classification. For comparison purposes, we must be able to compare like with like, and in this case, actual marks are certainly better for this purpose than grades. Despite its limitations, grades serve as a useful benchmark for admissions into colleges and universities. But those institutions with higher standards and higher demand for places, would require further tests of their own to separate the wheat from the chaff.

This morning, we had a good laugh when having breakfast in a so-called 'dirty coffeeshop' (nicknamed by us) in Pusing. A couple who were late phoned us to ask where we were, and my friend had to be specific and referred to it as 'the dirty coffeeshop'! We were not worried that the stall operators and staff could hear him because they are Chinese educated with minimal knowledge of English. But another friend in a later discussion actually mentioned it in Cantonese, 'lah chah' stall and we were worried then!

I was sitting facing a wall, and I could see the notices on it. There was the usual certificate of business registration; a food preparation certificate; a Chinese newspaper write-up; colourful pictures of different dishes on offer; and a 'B' grade in cleaniness certificate issued by Majlis Daerah Kinta Barat! The issuing authority's name tells us that it was issued years ago because it is now known as Majlis Daerah Batu Gajah. We were tickled by the grade given because to us it is still known as the dirty stall.
Link

Ladies, listen... to Oprah, for advice on men.


As one of 20 most powerful women on earth, she is someone women can relate and look up to.

Some of her points which would make someone smile, another rethink her choices, and another woman prepare...

If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.
If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.
Don’t stay because you think “it will get better” You’ll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not better.
The only person you can control in a relationship is you.
Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women. He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?
Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.
Make him miss you sometimes. When a man always know where you are, and you’re always readily available to him – he takes it for granted.
Never move into his mother’s house (every woman knows this)...

For more:
http://malaysiafinance.blogspot.com/2013/03/advice-on-men.html


Link

Friday, March 22, 2013

BR1M is like...


BR1M is like...
Giving a man a fish and you feed him for a day. 

It is better to...
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

But for those who know how to fish, the government secretly takes away your catches to give away as BR1M to all and sundry, so that they remain in power ...




A Vaithilingam: Laws still unfair to non-Muslims


"... I was told that in many states, assemblymen were given a thick file of many proposals at 9am and non-Muslim members of the ruling party voted in favour of the proposal for changes in the Islamic Enactment in the State Constitution -- all in one day!

When confronted by us they said they had no time to read the proposals and voted in favour because the leaders of the government had ‘assured’ them that the changes were for the Muslims and had nothing to do with non-Muslims!

Had the non-Muslims voted against the changes the respective amendments in 1988 in the Parliament and subsequently in states where non-Muslims were more than 1/3 the members, these laws will not be in existence today! It is interesting to note that only the non Muslims in the opposition voted against it.

The non-Muslims only felt the blow of Article 121(1A) in the early 2000s. First, was the case of Shamala Sathiyaseelan. Her husband converted to Islam, and secretly went to the Syariah Court for a divorce from his Hindu marriage.

He also secretly converted their children. The Courts said they could not interfere with the conversion.

Although they gave the mother custody, the High Court Judge imposed an impossible condition –the Court told the Hindu mother she cannot “expose” the children to her own religion!"

More:
http://www.mmail.com.my/story/laws-still-unfair-non-muslims-51379


Link

NFC your life...


Thank goodness, it has nothing to do with cows!

Remember if you are planning on getting a new smartphone, get one with NFC inbuilt.  Go buy some NFC tags and tinker around with them... NFC has more uses than what is specified in the article here...


"Near field communication, or NFC, may be one of the most underutilized functions on your mobile device. We tend to think of it in terms of simply sharing info between devices, but it has other uses as well. One of the best reasons to use NFC is to better manage your device settings, situationally. Even at home, we don’t always want the same settings throughout.

What I’ve done for this article is made NFC my go-to choice for changing settings, opening apps I use in certain situations, and basically controlling my life. We will obviously need an app, some tags, and a little time to set them up. The process is pretty simple, too: write tag, place tag, scan tag! NFC tags are meant to save you time and effort, so let’s see if they work in doing so.

The app
For writing NFC tags, there are a lot of apps available. Some are the product of device manufacturers, like Samsung or LG. I found the Samsung Tectile app pretty good, but it didn’t seem to work with all tags tested. It also didn’t seem to want to re-write tags, even Tectiles, which was particularly odd.
The app used for this experiment was NFC Task Launcher. It provides the overall best capabilities for writing, and is free on the Play Store. It allows for a full suite of customization options, and makes it really easy and straightforward to do so. The video at the end of this article explains in explicit detail how write tags for Task Launcher, so check it out when you’re done reading..."

More:
http://us-mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=2kcq3qblnhagb#mail

Link

Taking a Taxi now is like taking a risk

I always thought that certain connected companies which were issued with many taxi permits have a serious weakness in their control over who can drive their taxis on a rental basis. If only taxi drivers themselves were issued with their own permits, then they are likely to be more careful in the way they drive and more conscious of the image they project to their customers. But after reading the following news report, I am having my doubts...


Hardcore Serial Criminal Issued Taxi Permit?

"SHAH ALAM: The police are shocked that a hardcore criminal, with a record for murder and drug offences, was issued a taxi permit.

The man used his cab to commit 37 cases of assault, abduction, robbery and rape with 11 accomplices including three women, since January this year in the Klang Valley.

They have also expressed concern that one of his gang members, who also had a record for a string of serious crime offences, was employed as a security guard at a private firm.

Crimes committed by the security guard included possession of drugs and dangerous weapons, kidnapping and voluntarily causing hurt.

Selangor police chief Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said: "We are puzzle how these two could have obtained a taxi permit and work as a security guard with criminal backgrounds."

In an immediate response, crime watchers questioned how the taxi permit was issued to the ring leader when the authorities have always maintained strict vetting procedures.

They said the case puts more stress on the taxi sector, which of late has come under severe criticism for various shortcomings..."

More:
http://malaysiandigest.com/news/36-local2/290002-hardcore-serial-criminal-with-taxi-permit.html

Similarly, we should dispel our perception of security which assumes we are safe within gated community and condominiums having security guards. They could be our worst enemies with all the information on our daily movements.

Link

Google Cloud Print: Print anywhere, from any device


"Printing documents is easy enough – fire up the appropriate app, load the file and hit Print. But when it comes to Android, you probably find that you email or copy files from your phone or tablet so you can print from your PC. Things are a great deal easier if you turn to Cloud Print.

Cloud Print is a service from Google which can be used in a couple of ways. If you have a compatible printer, you’ll find that it’s possible to print directly from your phone without the need to involve your PC."


More:
How to Print any File from Android without Copying to your PC
http://www.howtogeek.com/140956/how-to-print-any-file-from-android-without-copying-to-your-pc/

But a friend cautions:


"The only uncomfortable thing about downloading and installing the Cloud Print app (by Paulo Fernandez) from the Google Play Store is that this app has access to practically everything personal on your Android smartphone.  Some may feel real uneasy with this app's access privileges.

Well, for the uneasy, better stick back to just copy the file to print onto your PC and then print from there.  A bit more work but at least you have the security of your smartphone intact."

Link

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is it true that Obama has a son?

'False' according to snopes.com.


'To mistake this item for a genuine news article, one would have to believe that not only did Barack Obama somehow manage to keep the fact that he had fathered an out-of-wedlock child with someone other than his current wife a secret for nearly the entirety of his first term despite the intensive world wife scrutiny that has been focused on him ever since 2007, but that he can cavalierly gave away that secret by openly bringing his illegitimate son with him to the Democratic National Convention. And no one but The Onion found that story newsworthy enough to publish.'

12 September 2012

For the full story:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/obamason.asp

Link

When overpraising becomes sarcasm

'Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has suggested that Rosmah Mansor’s biography be distributed to schools as a guide for future generations “100 or 200 years from now”.'

Malaysiakini's Yoursay on Dr M wants Rosmah's biography in schools...


Dr M showers vintage sarcasm on Rosmah's book:
http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/224468


Link

Transcript of Global Witness video


as reported in The Malay Mail...

"AN UNDERCOVER investigator from Global Witness (GW) was sent last May to Sarawak where he posed as a "foreign investor" looking to buy land to set up oil palm plantations.

The GW video posted on YouTube two days ago Inside Malaysia's Shadow State, the investigator approached various parties including the state government and the Regional Corridor Development Authority. 

He was reportedly later directed to Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud's family members.

Below is an excerpt of discussions between the undercover investigator and two lawyers purportedly involved in land transactions and tax evasion.

The conversations revolve between GW investigator and lawyers Alvin Chong, Huang Lung Ong as well as two daughters of former Sarawak chief minister Tun Abdul Rahman Ya'akub, Norlia and Fatimah, who are also the first cousins of Taib..."


Shady land deal methods revealed
http://www.mmail.com.my/story/shady-land-deal-methods-revealed-51041
Link

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Malaysian International Guitar Festival 26 - 29 March 2013


The Super Stars are coming... to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia:

Roger Wang Malaysia
Grigory Novikov Russia
Don Alder Canada
Dan La Voie USA
Akiro Tanaka Japan
Shun Ng USA
Huang Chia Wei Taiwan
Adam Del Monte USA
Reeve Jia Ming Malaysia
Az Samad Malaysia
William Kok Malaysia
Andy Ngew Malaysia
Sheikh Hadi Malaysia
Ray Cheong Malaysia
Sham V Trad Malaysia

Roger Wang's message:

'It's a thrill to see this festival back again ... this time a lot bigger!!
This festival brings together guitarists and luthiers from all over world for 4-days at the Kompleks Kraf Kuala Lumpur for exhibitions, showcases, workshops and performances.
I will be giving a workshop at 3pm on 27 March 2013 and performing at the evening concert on the same day.'

Please go to www.migfest.com for more details.

Link

Instead of BR1M, why not pay for basic utilities?


I don't mind having BR1M as a one-off political gimmick; I can just about tolerate BR1M 2.0; but I can't stand BR1M every year.

Yes, you guess it right that I consider myself ineligible for BR1M in one way or other. But looking at how others deceived about their incomes and got away with it, then I can only say, 'Enough is enough'.

It seems Najib is all out to bribe voters of this coming GE13. It was a trial and error in having BR1M (too early because of the delay in announcing GE); then BR1M 2.0 (encouraged by the response from the recipients); and now BR1M yearly. Instead of checking all applicants to ensure they are eligible, as it turned out, to some, only 'Those who dare, get it!' Therefore, all those who are ineligible and are honest, stand to lose out in this proposed never ending handout.

Till now, there are those pensioners who think pensions are not considered income for this purpose. But if one were to look at a tax return, pension is one of the incomes. If my opinion is right then by cross-checking with pensions department, a couple's pensions can easily be confirmed whether they exceed the limit of a household.

Where the household income is below the limit in one year, the automatic payment in the following year does not take into account any increase in incomes.

Though the idea might be good in helping deserving cases, the poor enforcement of rules means undeserving people get them too. Already there was a case reported of someone complaining about his voucher being cashed by someone who claimed to have his authority to do so. I even have doubts about the overall checks and balance to ensure the total amount paid is the sum of all amounts received by individuals. There are far too many loopholes which could be exploited by those in charge.

There were also funny stories about how people spent the Rm500 upon receipt. Most common would be a simple treat of drinks or meals in a coffee shop. Some husbands gave half to their spouse. Some used the money to buy 4-D numbers. Some treated themselves to an expensive lunch or dinner. Some even spent it in a massage parlour.

There were instances of both husband and wife who applied separately and were both successful. Of course, there was an MCA Dato who applied for the sake of it and donated it, which made a mockery of the policy. There was one successful applicant who kept his letter to show his old friends his address in an exclusive golf resort! It is one thing not to be jealous of others who cheated but another to see the smirk on their face!

Though it is not up to us to moralize on how people spend such a cash gift from the government, isn't it better to use the amount to pay for some utility bills instead?

At the moment, the government through TNB pays for household electricity bill up to Rm20 per month. I find this amount unrealistic because not many household can manage with Rm20 worth of electricity per month. So it is like 'ajak ajak ayam' where the offer is insincere. In this particular example, I think every household should be given Rm20 regardless of the bill total. This way, every household gets it, and the advantage to one with a big bill is only a small percentage of satisfaction but it meets the objective of being fair to all.

Most people would prefer the government help the people in raising their personal incomes rather than be given handouts. But while we are faced with this current craze for handouts, why not pay them by way of subsidizing utility bills? This would definitely meet the 'household' criterion. But of course, this would negate the 'feel good' factor of people actually receiving cash and defeat Najib's objective of bribing voters ahead of the GE.


For those who can still stomach the shameless display of bribing voters...

Najib: BR1M to be given yearly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxYyfjubpUI


Update March 24:

If you have longer attention span...


"It was originally estimated that only 3.4m households comprising 53% of total households in Malaysia earned less than the RM3,000 per month threshold for entitlement to the RM500 Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) handout [7]. But ultimately, approximately 4.2 million applications were approved which resulted in RM2.1b being paid instead of the originally anticipated RM1.8b. Under the latest BR1M 2.0, which also includes individuals earning less than RM2000 per month, a total of 6.1m applications have been approved [8]."

Source:
http://www.loyarburok.com/2013/03/24/refsa-says-big-fat-%E2%80%98f%E2%80%99-fail-part-2-etp-failed-ordinary-malaysians/



Link

Is it better to be healthy when Heaven is like Paradise on earth?


Mick and Jean were 85 years old and had been married for sixty years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they carefully watched their pennies.

Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to Mary's insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.

One day, their good health didn't help when they went on yet another holiday vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven.

They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet. They gasped in astonishment when he said, 'Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now.'

Mick asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. 'Why, nothing,' Peter replied, 'remember, this is your reward in Heaven.'

Mick looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever built on Earth.

'What are the greens fees?,' grumbled Mick.

'This is heaven,' St. Peter replied. 'You can play for free, every day.'

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch.
'Don't even ask,' said St. Peter to Mick. This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.'

Mick looked around and nervously asked Jean, 'Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods and the decaffeinated tea?'

'That's the best part,' St. Peter replied. 'You can eat and drink as much as you like and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!'

'No gym to work out at?' said Mick
'Not unless you want to,' was the answer.
'No testing my sugar or blood pressure or...'
'Never again'

Mick glared at Jean and said,
'You and your f...ing Bran Flakes.
We could have been here ten years ago!'


Link

Stating the obvious...

out of necessity (customers keep asking how to) I presume...



In case your attention span is so short that you miss the first part...


It may look wet, but it seems like an invitation to test it if you don't believe...



Either disrespect to seniors or discrimination against them...

Link

Adorna Properties case: between fraud and time-barred


The name 'Adorna' has become famous for the wrong reason. The obviously wrong verdict in favour of a purchaser despite fraud in obtaining a land title must have sent shivers to landowners of long-held properties to which they have the original titles but which could have replacement titles issued to imposters without their knowledge.

Normally, in cases of fraud, there is no time limit. But in this highly controversial land transfer case, an earlier decision by a Bench of Federal Court judges in favour of the fraudulent transfer must have made it legit, and a subsequent reversal of verdict by a different Bench of FC judges is only good for show but time-barred for effect.

Nades of The Sun explains in his article, Family seeks closure in land case:

Excerpt:

"It all started on June 18, 1989 when an imposter claiming to be Sun Yok Eng @ Boonsom Boonyanit affirmed a statutory declaration that she had lost the original title to two lots of land in Tanjung Bungah, Penang. The imposter then managed to obtain a certified copy of the title from the Penang Land Office.

On April 6, 1989, the imposter affirmed a second statutory declaration declaring that the names Boonsom Boonyanit and Sun Yok Eng @ Boonsom Boonyanit on the title to the land were one and the same person, that is, Boonsom Boonyanit (imposter) with a different Thai passport number.

With the declaration, the imposter managed to perfect the registration of the memorandum of transfer in favour of Adorna Properties. Boonyanit then sued for the return of the land. The High Court ruled in favour of Adorna.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Boonyanit. Adorna then appealed, and the Federal Court and a panel comprising then Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Wan Adnan Ismail and Justice Abu Mansor Ali, held that Adorna had obtained an indefeasible title notwithstanding the forgery because it was a bona fide purchaser."

"On Jan 21, 2010 – more than six years after the Federal Court shut its doors permanently on his claims – the same court reversed its decision but deals had been done and there was no relief for Kobchai. But he'd be happy that the decision will change the lives of others who have been victims of fraudulent land transfers..."

"I am legally obligated to restate the law since the error committed in Adorna Properties is so obvious and blatant. It is quite a well-known fact that some unscrupulous people have been taking advantage of this error by falsely transferring titles to themselves. I hope that with this decision, the Land Authorities will be extra cautious when registering transfers," Justice Zaki noted in his judgment.

"This ruling indirectly brought out the inadequacies, weaknesses and flaws in the Land Office. More importantly, it reflected how a massive fraud was perpetrated with inside help."

Rest of article:
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/640439

Link

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Something which may cheer you up


At a glance, the following names were mentioned in The Star article, 'GE13: BN veterans facing the axe':

Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz (Kuala Kangsar)
Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid (Padang Besar)
Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad (Kangar)
Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting (Kulai)
Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Kepala Batas)
Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar (Kota Tinggi)
Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Pengerang)
Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui (Miri)
Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn (Alor Gajah)
Datuk Seri Leo Michael Toyad (Mukah)
Tan Sri Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar (Jerantut)
Datuk Noraini Ahmad (Parit Sulong)
Datuk Seri Sulaiman Taib (Kota Samarahan)

More details:
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/3/19/nation/12855131&sec=nation

I am sure most Malaysians will celebrate if the present caretaker government were to be replaced!

Link

False accusations: Overall, it is becoming a habit

And PM Najib got the cheek to list out 7 sins of PAS state government of Kelantan.

Blogger Donplaypuks lists Najib's own deadly ones...
http://donplaypuks.blogspot.com/2013/03/1st-batch-of-pm-grossemajibs-7-deadly.html

Anyway, the modus operandi of BN seem to be: false accusations against opposition leaders, with the glare of wide publicity using mainstream media at their disposal. It did not matter to them at all whether there was any truth, so long as there is someone willing to state something against the opposition.

Anwar and family had to go through the shame of Sodomy 1 and 2, and now another dubious sex video making the rounds just before the GE.

Lim Guan Eng, as Chief Minister of Penang, had his fair share of all kinds of accusation. So did Khalid Ibrahim, as Selangor Menteri Besar.

They might be paid compensations and/or ordered to be given public apologies by the accusers, but the damage to reputation and the stress of having to counter endless false accusations cannot be fully restored or got over with.

The latest apology comes from ex-MACC chief...

Ex-MACC chief apologises to Selangor MB in open court
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ex-macc-chief-apologises-to-selangor-mb-in-open-court/

Update: As Martin Jalleh puts it:

Umno's culture of 'Slander first, Sorry later' continues...


Link

Lee Hwa Beng on who will win the next GE


"THE coming 13th general election will be interesting as nobody can say for sure which coalition will win Putrajaya.

However, one thing that we can all agree on is that BN can no longer win a two-thirds majority and whoever wins, the margin of victory will be narrow. A lot of writers have recently made many forecasts but (in my humble opinion), most of these articles are political spins to make their paymasters look good.

As a disclaimer, I have no agenda in providing the following assessment.

My questions are for the reader to come to a conclusion on whether PR can improve their standing since the last polls."

 "... In the last elections, BN won 140 seats and PR 82 seats in the Parliament.

BN won narrowly with 86 seats and PR 80 seats in West Malaysia.

However, in East Malaysia, PR only won two seats with one each in Sabah and Sarawak."

"Since then, PAS has wrested the Kuala Trengganu seat from Umno in a by-election. Six MPs from PKR and one MP from PAS have resigned. One joined Kita and six became BN friendly independents. DAP has wrested an additional seat from SUPP in the Sibu by-election.

Two SAPP MPs have left BN to become independents.

An MP from Umno in Sabah has resigned and become a PRfriendly independent.

Before attempting to predict which coalition will win, you should answer the following questions: ..."


More:
http://www.mmail.com.my/story/who-will-win-13th-general-election-50433
Link

Men do remember anniversaries


A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband was not in their bed.

She puts on her dressing gown and goes downstairs to look for him.

She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall.

She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee.

'What's the matter, dear?' she whispers as she steps into the room, 'Why are you down here at this time of night?'

The husband looks up from his coffee,  'I am just remembering when we first met 20 years ago and started dating. You were only 16. Do you remember back then?' he says solemnly.

The wife is touched to tears thinking that her husband is so caring, so sensitive.

'Yes, I do' she replies.

The husband pauses. The words were not coming easily..

'Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?'

'Yes, I remember!' said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

The husband continues. 'Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, 'Either you marry my daughter, or I will send you to jail for 20 years?'

'I remember that too' she replies softly.

He wipes another tear from his cheek and says...

'I would have been released today. '


Link

Monday, March 18, 2013

Baton passed from Bala to Americk... with risks

Many fair-minded Malaysians would empathise with Tan Zhong Yan's letter to Malaysiakini:


"If all that was said by private investigator P Balasubramaniam and lawyer Americk Sidhu was true, then all Malaysians should give these two individuals their highest respect.

They have risked their lives for the truth and justice.

Especially Americk; there was no need for him to break the promise as his client Bala had died.

But he was willing to sacrifice his word for justice. He has made me to believe that justice exists.

He has made me to believe that there is still someone out there who is willing to fight for justice..."

More:
http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/224177

The dilemma of PI Bala's lawyer:
http://national-express-malaysia.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-dilemma-of-pi-balas-lawyer.html
Link

Mariam Mokhtar on Umno's seven deadly sins


Excerpt from Malaysiakini:

"In the early Christian world, the seven deadly vices or seven cardinal sins were used to teach the failings of man and his tendency to sin. The seven deadly sins are lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.

Lust may not necessarily be sexual, but could be an uncontrollable desire for power and money. 

Gluttony may not be only over-indulgence, but could be a selfish desire to want more than one’s entitlement.

Greed or avarice, is the desire for more material possessions and power, as well as forcing others to bend to your will.

Sloth, is doing nothing or failing to act.

Wrath is the feeling of hatred, which can lead to vindictiveness and the desire to cause hurt and pain.

Envy is begrudging someone else’s good fortunes or traits, but is also characterised by having an uncontrollable desire to possess them.

Pride is considered to be the worst deadly sin; it has the most harmful effect (on others) because of the person’s insatiable desire to outdo others, his failure to appreciate and recognise other people’s efforts.

Ask any Malaysian which party is best characterised by the seven deadly sins, and the answer will probably be Umno. It is ironical that in his attempt to paint a picture of a ‘sinful’ opposition, it is Umno, Najib and the former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad (right) which are commonly associated with the seven deadly sins. .."

"It was alleged that soon after Najib listed the “seven sins of the opposition”, the venue was hit by a freak storm which ripped tents and scattered tables, chairs, fans and computer equipment. The scene of devastation would not have made good promotional material for Umno. Could this have been divine intervention, or a freak weather system?"

Full article (for subscribers only):
http://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/224169


Link

Choo Sing Chye on the transformation of Dr. Chandra


In Aliran: Chandra Muzaffar – just an open note for you

"Choo Sing Chye wonders what happened to Dr Chandra Muzaffar’s idealism which inspired many.

Once your heart was filled with egalitarian ideals which copiously propagated into the pages of your books and Aliran Monthly.

I admired your courage to say these forbidden ideals which in the eyes of the Umno’s kingpins were seditious.

I believed that you had the passion then to offer solace for the poor without fear of offending the BN elites of the day.

You didn’t speak for the Opposition, nor the BN government, but you spoke up eloquently for the poor and against injustice.

In your heart, you felt the anguish, despair, misery and wretchedness of the poor.

But today I see a different you..."

'I believe what you had written then was based on egalitarian idealism that was close to your heart and ours too.

Gone are the days when you speak like an idealist, and today you speak like a BN politician and write like The Star’s columnists Joceline Tan and Baradan Kuppusamy.

Whatever you write now does not matter to us and the poor anymore. Perhaps to you now the “foul filth that oozes out of every pore of Barisan Nasional politics” smells like roses.'

More:
http://aliran.com/12000.html

Choo Sing Chye, a former Perak state assembly member, served as politcal secretary to the late P Patto.

Link

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Besides advantages of incumbency, money can buy almost everything!


According to Malaysia Insider:

"KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Government agencies, departments and Barisan Nasional (BN) parties are buying bulk online advertisement space while more pro-government video clips are being produced to crowd out opposition material and advertisements ahead of the 13th general election next month, say industry sources. 

Advertising industry sources say they are handling more requests for space in websites and portals that are popular in Malaysia with some agencies asking for exclusivity up to end April, when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is expected to call elections. 

“There has been a lot of demand and some of these agencies want exclusivity in leaderboard, banner, LRECs and skyscaper ads,” an advertising executive told The Malaysian Insider, referring to the various advertisement sizes and positions on a website..."

More:
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/as-ge13-looms-bn-friendly-ads-videos-gobble-up-cyberspace/

Link

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Are promises in a GE manifesto legally binding?


According to a Malay Mail online news report:

3,011 single mothers sue Selangor govt

"A TOTAL of 3,011 single mothers today filed a suit against the Selangor government demanding it to pay them a total of RM16.26 million in allowance due to them as promised by the opposition pact in its 2008 general election manifesto. 

The women, led by Selangor Single Mothers Association chairman Murtini Kasman filed the suit through Mssrs Kamarudin & Partners at the High Court here.

They named the Selangor government, made of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), PAS and DAP, as the first defendant and Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, who is the chief executive of the state, as the second defendant. 

The plaintiffs claimed that they were victims of discrimination practised by the state government as it failed to fulfill its promise to pay the allowance after taking over the state in 2008. 

They said the state government was also being irrational when it refused to give any explanations on its failure to pay the allowance. 

The 3,011 plaintiffs are demanding to be paid single mothers allowance of RM100 a month for 54 months (from April 1, 2008 till Oct 30, 2012), bringing the total to RM16.26 million. 

They are also applying for a court order to compel the first defendant to create a scheme to be known as Selangor Single Mothers Aid Scheme which should be managed by a state department or agency. 

The plaintiff also applying for a declaration defining single mother as a woman above the age of 18 who is divorced, a widow, a sole bread winner in family, or not living with spouse..."

More:
http://www.mmail.com.my/story/3011-single-mothers-sue-selangor-govt-40513

At our breakfast discussion, a friend asked if promises made in a political party's manifesto is legally binding. Most of us laymen believe those were only promises and therefore not binding, much like MOUs or Memoranda of Understanding. The best recourse would be, not to vote that particular party again. One friend even went further by asking if those single mothers actually voted for the Pakatan parties in the last GE! It should be interesting if only this information is available. Whatever it is, the lawyer representing them is having the time of his life, being given national news coverage on several occasions.


Link

The Lord had been playing favourites


In church I heard a lady in the pew next to me saying a prayer...

"Dear Lord,

This has been a tough two or three years.

You have taken my favourite actor Patrick Swayze;

My favourite pop singer Michael Jackson;

My favourite Blues Singer Amy Winehouse;

My favourite actress Elizabeth Taylor;

My favourite football manager Bobby Robson;

My favourite golfer Seve Ballesteros;

My favourite singer Whitney Houston;

Any now my favourite P.I. Balasubramaniam.

I just wanted you to know that my favourite politicians are..."



Link

The ass is not for sale


An old hillbilly farmer had a wife who nagged him unmercifully. From morning 'til night she was always complaining about something. The only time he got any relief was when he was out plowing with his old mule. He plowed a lot.

One day, when he was out plowing, his wife brought him lunch in the field. He drove the old mule into the shade, sat down on a stump, and began to eat his lunch. Immediately, his wife began nagging him again.
Complain, nag, complain, nag - it just went on and on. All of a sudden, the old mule lashed out with both hind feet, caught her smack in the back of the head. Killed her dead on the spot.

At the funeral several days later, the minister noticed something rather odd. When a woman mourner would approach the old farmer, he would listen for a minute, then nod his head in agreement; but when a man mourner approached him, he would listen for a minute, then shake his head in disagreement.

This was so consistent, the minister decided to ask the old farmer about it. So after the funeral, the minister spoke to the old farmer, and asked him why he nodded his head and agreed with the women, but always shook his head and disagreed with all the men.

The old farmer said, 'Well, the women would come up and say something about how nice my wife looked, or how pretty her dress was, so I'd nod my head in agreement.'

'And what about the men?' the minister asked.

'They wanted to know if the mule was for sale.'


Link

Friday, March 15, 2013

May P.I. Balasubramaniam rest in peace

We knew Bala had taken great risks in his first Statutory Declaration. We knew he had to make a second SD, against his will, which was supposed to supersede the first.

He was back in Malaysia recently, and claimed that he was made to withdraw his first SD and replaced it with the second SD. Lawyer Americk Sidhu had just given a credible account of how he helped Bala in drafting SD1...
http://www.malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/letterssurat/55108-not-bullshit

Before his untimely and unfortunate death, Bala started on a series of  roadshows, in his attempt to explain his past actions and to give credibility to his first SD. We knew he had blocked arteries and the roadshow must have taken a toll on his health. We knew of his wish before he died, and the least we can do is to help in spreading his word, so that he did not die in vain.

Antares:
'Uploaded 12 March 2013, three days before Bala died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Rawang. As a gesture of respect for the man's courage in confronting power with truth, I reproduce below his sensational statutory declaration of 3 July 2008...'

Private investigator Balasubramaniam's last interview
http://www.magickriver.org/2013/03/private-investigator-balasubramaniams.html
Link

So we had been unfair to our Defence Minister?


"The Defence Ministry is now responsible for overseeing Sabah east coast's 1,400km coastline previously under the purview of the Prime Minister's Department (JPM).

Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Sabah's waters, now monitored by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), would be the responsibility of his ministry and the Malaysian Royal Navy following the new directive.

"I received this command last Friday in a letter from Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the minister responsible for the MMEA..."

More:
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/3/14/nation/20130314151639&sec=nation

Many people have complained about the 'conspicuous absence as well as deafening silence' of our Defence Minister during the first few weeks of Sulu 'invasion' of Lahad Datu, Sabah. With the latest report, it would seem his hands had been tied because it was not under his jurisdiction then. But I am sure most people would question why our Defence Minister is not in charge of Malaysia's overall defence. With such an awkward chain of command, I dread to think what could happen if really invaded by aggressive foreign armies.

Link

Art Harun's open reply to Ridhuan Tee


Excerpt:

Firstly, the "social contract". These two words have become a cliche in Malaysia. Whenever somebody or some parties raise some sensitive issues which the Government does not wish to address, they will be referred to the "social contract". Soon, I suppose when a thief snatches a handbag from a poor woman, he will shout to the woman, "social contract"!

What is the "social contract"? I will not repeat what it is as I have written about it here...
http://art-harun.blogspot.com/2009/03/social-contract-correcting.html
The first thing to note about it is that any social contract is not cast in stone. It may change as the society and state change and the need of the two parties to the contract evolve with time. What was deemed good 52 years ago may not be good anymore now, and vice versa.

If we take our Federal Constitution as an example, there have been hundreds of amendments made to it. That is the nature of it. It is a breathing  and living contract which changes or ought to change according to the time.

Being so, questioning the provisions of the social contact is not a blasphemous act. Nor is it an act of treason. It is in fact a necessity for our society and our state to evolve into a progressive one. With all due respect, for you to label a certain party as "ultra kiasu" just because it apparently questions - if at all they did that - the "social contract" is unbefitting of your stature as a respectable ulamak and a well known senior lecturer. It is like labeling your own students "kiasu" for asking too many questions.

The next issue which I wish to address is the misstatement of the real issues in contemporary Malaysia. I have to state this because when the issues are misstated, the arguments in support would also go wrong. Emotions can seep in and everything will turn ugly.

The issues at hand, in my opinion, are not the status of Islam as the religion of the Federation or the special positions enjoyed by the Malays and the natives of Borneo. Those are entrenched in the Federal Constitution.

I have chosen the  words in the preceding paragraph  deliberately. Nowadays, when the arguments for "equality" are raised, the other side quickly jump and say "you are questioning the status of Islam" or "you are questioning the special rights of the Malays" or worse still, "you are questioning the position of the Malay rulers".

More:
http://art-harun.blogspot.com/2009/12/open-reply-to-dr-mohd-ridhuan-tee.html

Link

Deja vu: Sedition charge against Tian Chua...

Cops attempt to search Suara Keadilan office
http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/223939

We had been through this charade countless times, like the allegation against Suaram (registered with SSM but action by ROS) which proved nothing. But the motive seemed to be the excuse to search the office and computer data information.

Is it any wonder I liken it to a doctor asking a female patient to undress, even though she complained of a headache?
Link

An excellent marital relationship test


There was a group of women at a seminar on how to live in a loving relationship with your husband.

The women were asked, 'How many of you love your husbands?'
All the women raised their hands.

Then they were asked, 'When was the last time you told your husband you loved him?'
Some women answered today, some yesterday, some didn't remember.

The women were then told to take their phones and send the following text:
'I love you, sweetheart'.

Then the women were told to exchange phones and read the responding text messages. Here are some of the replies:

1. Who is this?
2. Eh, mother of my children, are you sick?
3. I love you too.
4. What now? Did you crash the car again?
5. I don't understand what you mean?
6. What did you do now? I won't forgive you this time.
7. ?!?
8. Don't beat about the bush, just tell me how much you need?
9. Am I dreaming?
10. If you don't tell me who this message is actually for, someone will die.
11. I asked you not to drink anymore. I'll leave if you are tired of me.
12. Whatever you want the answer is no!

Link

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Malaysia uses spyware against own citizens?

I am sure if we were to ask any man in the street whether our government watches over us, and the answer would have been a definite 'Of course!'

Not only that, they are open to all kinds of tricks to entrap or lie to discredit political opponents. We must be the country with the most number of U-turns in statutory declarations or public statements. Our police Special Branch (referred to in Chinese as political unit or branch) has been known for 'turning over' those under their custody. If only our police divert more of their personnel to cover public safety instead.

Many public statements over radio and television channels and in mainstream newspapers were meant to discredit opposition leaders extensively, only to turn out as allegations without bases. But the objectives were achieved, despite having to pay monetary compensations according to court verdicts.

According to highlights of The Malaysia Insider report dated March 14:


"Malaysia is among 25 countries using off-the-shelf spyware to keep tabs on citizens by secretly grabbing images off computer screens, recording video chats, turning on cameras and microphones, and logging keystrokes, US newspaper the New York Times (NYT) reported yesterday."

“Rather than catching kidnappers and drug dealers, it looks more likely that it is being used for politically motivated surveillance,” security researcher Morgan Marquis-Boire was quoted by NYT as saying.

Marquis-Boire, however, pointed out that the software was open to abuse, saying: “If you look at the list of countries that Gamma is selling to, many do not have a robust rule of law.”
"Global human rights group Human Rights Watch said in its 2013 report that Malaysia has yet to ratify core human rights treaties, despite being a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

It added that Putrajaya continued to violate the rights to free association and public assembly last year, besides decreasing freedom of expression by amending the Evidence Act."

“Our findings highlight the increasing dissonance between Gamma’s public claims that FinSpy is used exclusively to track ‘bad guys’ and the growing body of evidence suggesting that the tool has and continues to be used against opposition groups and human rights activists,” said the Citizen Lab report.


More:
http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2013/03/14/malaysia-uses-spyware-against-own-citizens-nyt-reports/
Link