Saturday, August 8, 2009

xBlog® Era Najib Altantuya : SPRM Memang Double Standard (updated)

xBlog® Era Najib Altantuya : SPRM Memang Double Standard (updated)

Era Najib Altantuya : SPRM Memang Double Standard (updated)

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 09:31 AM PDT

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) begitu cekap dan bertindak pantas memantau dakwaan kes salah guna peruntukan Adun kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Selangor.

Exco Permodenan Pertanian, Pengurusan Sumber Alam dan Pembangunan Usahawan, Yaakob Sapari bagaimanapun mempersoalkan mengapa SPRM tidak bertindak demikian ke atas ADUN Barisan Nasional yang telah dilaporkan menyeleweng..

Katanya, beberapa isu telah dibangkitkan berkaitan Adun Barisan Nasional yang membelanjakan peruntukan dalam masa dua bulan pada pilihanraya umum lepas, tetapi sehingga kini SPRM tidak mengambil sebarang tindakan.

"Kita mempertikaikan ketelusan SPRM mengambil tindakan untuk menyemak perbelanjaan-perbelanjaan pejabat adun Selangor, mengapa dalam isu ini. Nampak SPRM begitu cekap dan cepat bertindak, sedangkan kita pernah komplen dulu bagaimana adun-adun BN membelanjakan peruntukan 500 ribu tak sampai dua bulan sedangkan itu peruntukan setahun," katanya.

Yaakob mengulas tindakan SPRM menyiasat dakwaan salah guna peruntukan Dewan Undangan Negeri Sementa, iaitu DUN angkat Exco Selangor, Rodziah Ismail.

Semalam lima pegawai SPRM dari Putrajaya mengunjungi Pejabat Exco Kebajikan, Hal Ehwal Wanita, Sains Teknologi dan Inovasi itu di bangunan SUK Shah Alam dan kemudian membawa bersama seorang pegawai khas Rodziah ke Pejabat Tanah dan Daerah Klang untuk mendapatkan beberapa baucer pembayaran yang dilakukan.

Katanya, SPRM sepatutnya perlu adil dan telus dalam tindakan mereka dan bukan menunjukkan kecekapan mereka kepada sebelah pihak sahaja.

"Ada adun yang tidak bertanding seperti Ketua Pemuda Umno sekarang, tak bertanding tetapi habis peruntukkannya, kenapa isu ini tak diambil tindakan dengan begitu cekap oleh SPRM, tapi dalam isu kerajaan negeri Selangor nampaknya dia ambil tindakan begitu cepat sekali, jadi ini yang kita persoalkan," katanya.

Menurut Yaakob, perbelanjaan peruntukan DUN kerajaan negeri Selangor dilakukan dengan berhemah dan segala urusan keluar masuk duit dipantau oleh pegawai khas yang ditugaskan.

Beliau menyifatkan SPRM telah dipergunakan oleh pihak tertentu sebagai strategi untuk merampas semula Selangor daripada Pakatan Rakyat. mengarahkan mereka. -TVS

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Maika Holdings shareholders just want their money back

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 07:57 AM PDT

Yet another protest against Maika Holdings by opposition politicians and shareholders has come and gone with the usual angry confrontation, condemnations, police barricades and submission of memorandum.

By now it is a familiar routine for most shareholders and their numbers have been dwindling over the years. Many are old and infirmed, others have died and some are frustrated by the endless infighting and keep away.

Maika was their ticket to a better life but for all intents and purposes it is now an eyesore.

There is a strong case here for the government to intervene and end the controversy, shareholders said, by doing a due diligence, ascertain the company's NTA, try to salvage what is salvageable and pay shareholders, if possible, ringgit for ringgit.

"Just return the RM3, 500 I had invested and I would be happy," said shareholder S. Kalaisundaram, 68.

"We all know it is over for Maika… we know it is dead. But just return the money," he said at yesterday's protest. "I have no work, no pension, no children to support me and the money is important."

"Prime Minister Najib (Razak) should step in and end this controversy once and for all," he said, expressing the general feeling of Maika shareholders.

Opposition politicians have for years rode on the community's anger over the failure of Maika Holdings to win support but without offering a solution.

Yesterday's protest was no different from previous demonstrations since the late 1980s when it was already known that Maika as a business venture had failed.

The protest was in part a tit-for-tat reply by the Pakatan Rakyat to the MIC's protest against the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat Penang state government over the Kampung Buah Pala issue.

When the PR protestors, nearly all Indian except for Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu, demanded to know why shareholders have not been repaid, MIC supporters from inside the fenced-off headquarters unfurled banners to question why the DAP had "betrayed" the Kampung Buah Pala villagers.

Both sides had anticipated each other and had came prepared with appropriate slogans and banners.

While they traded insults shareholders like Ramaiah, 78, from Perak, could only watch with frustration from the sidelines.

"They told me this time we could get our money back but we have to show our protest," Ramaiah said, a retired factory hand who invested RM1, 000.

"It is the same each time… we shout until sore and we go back until the next protest," he said, urging the government to step in. "All these people are at each other's throats... what solution can they offer?"

As the confrontation continued outside, Maika Holdings CEO Vel Paari was giving a press conference on the 4th floor office of Maika Holdings, watched on one side by the skeleton staff of the company and on the other, his MIC supporters.

Paari was squarely blaming former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam for all of Maika's woes.

Incidentally his father Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was holding another press conference (after a meeting of the MIC central working committee) on the 1st floor attacking Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for "betraying" the Indians.

Prodded by the press, Paari gave depressing financial figures that showed the sorry state of Maika.

Its debts had ballooned from about RM19 million in the late 1990s to RM63 million as of today because of non-payment of interest, default charges and penalties.

Some of the loans were taken using Oriental Capital Assurance Berhad (OCAB) shares as collateral and one bank, Paari said, has issued a notice for foreclosure.

He agreed there was a danger Maika would lose OCAB if the loans are not settled.

"If Subramaniam had not got the injunction to stop the sale of OCAB in 2006 we would have by now sold OCAB and paid off all the Maika shareholders. I blame Subramaniam for the current mess," Paari said.

"I had a firm offer of RM1.75 per share and it is all gone now," he said.

Subramaniam's Nesa Co-operative had obtained an injunction, still in force, to stop the sale because a higher price could be obtained and to keep OCAB in "Indian hands".

As part of his campaign to get his team elected in the Sept 12 MIC elections, Samy Vellu is also using the "injunction issue" to attack Subramaniam who has tried to explain the "real" reasons why he went for an injunction.

Paari said "as matters stand now" (financially) Maika is unable to pay shareholders ringgit for ringgit.

Outside the MIC headquarters only a shaky fence separated the two groups that traded insults, unfurled banners and pushed and shoved each other.

Some of the most degrading insults in Tamil were exchanged by the two groups as riot police watched in exasperation.

At the end of the two-hour long confrontation a two page memorandum was handed to Paari, the CEO of Maika Holdings since 1999.

By 1999 Maika Holdings was in shambles, most of its business ventures had failed and it was weighted down by huge loans with only one jewel left – OCAB.

OCAB, Maika shareholders say, survived the rot because it was professionally managed and under the eagle eye of Bank Negara.

The confrontation yesterday was not about the shell of Maika Holdings but it was really about what to do with the profitable OCAB.

But with OCAB's shares under mortgage and banks beginning to foreclose and with the Indian community wracked by massive infighting and unable to agree on anything much, shareholders are in danger of losing the insurance arm.

"Our only hope now is for the government to intervene," said shareholder Kalaisundaram.

By Baradan Kuppusamy

Guan Eng washes his hands off Buah Pala after residents reject homes

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 07:50 AM PDT

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today he would have no further meetings with the residents of Kampung Buah Pala after they rejected an offer of a double-storey terrace house for each family.

He said the demand by residents for compensation of RM3.5 million each instead of the double-storey house negotiated by the states was unacceptable.

"Perhaps the residents should ask around to see if Penangites would support their demand.

"We understand their predicament but there is only so much the government can do to help them," he said today.

The Kampung Buah Pala issue has dogged Lim's administration in recent weeks after the issue was turned into a racial dispute with Hindraf leaders accusing the state of helping to destroy what they claim was an Indian heritage area.

The controversy took a farcical turn with Hindraf recently saying it had made an appeal to Unesco to revoke Georgetown's heritage city status for allowing Kampung Buah Pala – a settlement of cowherds – to be destroyed.

Kampong Buah Pala sits on former plantation land which the former colonial owners had given in trust to its former workers to live on when they left the state.

The British colonial government acted as trustees, but the land was signed away back to the state during independence, and the descendents of the original settlers had been allowed to stay on what had become temporary occupational license (TOL) land.

During the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration, the land was sold, and the current owners won a court decision recently to evict the villagers in order to develop high-rise apartments.

Lim said today that he believed the Penang public was angry at the latest development in the controversy since the villagers had rejected the offer from the developer.

"Don't forget we're trying to offer you a house.

"Now we even have people from Selangor speaking on behalf of the residents. Maybe they can fight for them and demand for a RM3.5mil house.

"Those outsiders, they have their own houses to go back to. Even some of the residents' association members have other houses," he said.

Commenting on the residents' reasons for not accepting the offer, he explained that they appeared to be unhappy with a clause inserted in the proposed agreement which was meant to protect the rights of the developer.

The clause in question states that the agreement would be null and void if it could not obtain the state government's approval to build the houses.

"If they want to build and the state government does not allow, they will then be sued by the residents.

"Do you think we will reject or revoke building plans for the 24 houses when we are the ones who found the formula to resolve the issue?" he said.

The Malaysian Insider

For MIC, a no-holds-barred campaign for party’s future

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 07:45 AM PDT

An open, bitter and desperate battle has erupted between supporters of MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and his arch rival Datuk S. Subramaniam, who is contesting the deputy presidency in the Sept 12 party elections against Samy Vellu's nominee, incumbent deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel.

The war is being fought between supporters of Samy Vellu led by his son Vel Paari and supporters of Subramaniam led by millionaire businessman and philanthropist Oms Thiagarajan and others in Subramaniam's camp.

The battle, which started last week, is being waged in the pages of the rival Tamil dailies — Samy Vellu's Tamil Nesan and Subramanian's Makkal Osai.

The circulation of both dailies has jumped dramatically and readers are having a field day enjoying the juicy revelations of one side against the other.

A lot is being revealed — secret meetings at the PJ Hilton, the death of a young woman lawyer who was a close friend of K. Sujatha, the woman romantically linked with Paari who died after drinking weedkiller.

Plots, sex, murder and mayhem — everything is being freely alleged without caution to legal suits by the rivals camps against each other.

Yesterday, Subramaniam broke his silence by saying that if the mud slinging continued he "would be forced to retaliate".

Palanivel is keeping a stony silence

At the core of the muckraking is political desperation, MIC insiders said.

For the first time in his 30-year hold on the MIC, Samy Vellu is unsure whether the MIC election results will play out the way he has written it.

"His grip on the party has weakened after March 8, after he lost Sungei Siput and after he lost the Works Ministry he lost the golden pot," said a former MIC vice-president. "They (Samy and his camp) are desperate… they feel they are losing control and that the election is slipping away.

"You can see their desperation in the way the MIC campaign has turned out — people who criticise Samy Vellu or go against the written script are disciplined, threatened and issued with show-cause letters of expulsion," the MIC leader said.

"Sometimes disciplinary letters are hand delivered within 24 hours of the alleged offence," the MIC leader said, citing the case of Kelana Jaya MIC division vice-chairman P. Subramaniam who announced he was contesting as vice-president on Thursday.

He was issued a show-cause letter for alleged tarnishing the party image for saying "we need wise men, not yes-men" in the MIC.

The newspaper war first started when Paari fired the first salvo in the Tamil Nesan on Aug 28 by accusing Subramaniam of being a liar and traitor for taking an injunction (in 2006) to stop Maika Holdings from selling its profitable insurance arm to pay off shareholders.

Paari gave a lengthy full-page explanation arguing that he had a buyer and was able to pay RM1.75 per share until Subramaniam, out of personal avarice, scuttled the whole affair.

While Subramaniam maintained a studied silence over the accusation, his people and others retaliated by saying that Maika was ruined by Samy Vellu and his son and not by Subramaniam or the Subra-controlled Nesa Cooperative that applied for the injunction, which is still in force.

In fact they saved Maika Holdings, they claim.

In another article, Paari fingered Oms Thiagarajan, alleging the Klang-based millionaire had secretly met him at the PJ Hilton and begged him to intervene with his father to "save" Subramaniam and "ditch" Palanivel.

Paari also alleged that Thiagarajan had paid the wages of about RM5,000 a month for P. Selvarani, the lawyer who before her death was working at the legal firm owned by Hindraf founder P. Uthayakumar.

Paari alleged that Thiagarajan "cried "uncontrollably on hearing Selvarani had died and in the process dragged Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam into the controversy, alleging that the PKR MP had begged him to settle "some matters" he had with the police.

Thiagarajan shot back in Subramaniam's Makkal Osai by admitting he had paid Selvarani's wages but denied other allegations like he was the man behind a campaign by Manikavasagam to discredit Paari over Sujatha's death.

Manikavasagam also waded into the controversy by rubbishing Paari's claim that he had begged him for help. He also lodged a police report.

Selvarani fell to her death in June 2008 from her 17th-floor apartment in Bukit OUG. She was only 29 and was due the next week to take up a posting with the UN.

Police classified the case as sudden death but in his articles Paari speculated whether somebody could have pushed her down.

The upshot of the week-long muckraking, MIC insiders said, is the fact that Samy Vellu's campaign is not going as smoothly this time as before.

Samy Vellu has put up his line-up called the "president's team" and is touring the country to drum up support. Numerous candidates left out are entering the field to oppose his team, including his blue-eyed boy Datuk S. Sothinathan who is contesting for deputy president.

"The rank-and-file mood is ugly against the president's team," MIC insiders said, adding various different strands in the MIC have come together to support Subramaniam's candidature and his upcoming line-up.

The mudslinging, they said, is to be seen in this context.

Thiagarajan was openly using his money, influence and nationwide network to drum up support for Subramaniam, party insiders said, adding this was the reason why he was attacked by Paari in the Tamil Nesan.

"He is a credible person because he financially supports numerous charities, Tamil schools and Tamil organisations," said Klang businessman and MIC branch chairman K.P. Samy.

"I think his campaign for Subra was effective and that's why they picked on him… they want to damage his credibility," Samy told The Malaysian Insider.

The heated campaign and muckraking have just started and are set to get worst ahead of nomination on Aug 22.

Both sides are planning a huge gathering of their respective supporters on that day to show their clout.

By Baradan Kuppusamy

T A K (E) B I (E E) R BARU PARTI P A S !!!

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 07:47 AM PDT

Saya berasa terpanggil untuk komen mengenai memorandum PAS Selangor yang menggesa Kerajaan negeri Selangor untuk mengharamkan penjualan arak di kawasan-kawasan majoriti Islam.

Walaupun niatnya adalah untuk mengurangkan penjualan kepada orang Islam terutamanya anak-anak muda, namun saya harus mempersoalkan rasional cadangan ini serta keberkesanannya jikalau arahan pengharaman penjualan arak di kawasan majoriti Islam ini di jalankan.

Pertamanya, ianya kes pengharaman yang selektif yakni hanya di kawasan –kawasan di mana ramai penduduknya beragama Islam. Apa pula kepada kawasan-kawasan yang majoritinya bukan Islam tetapi terletak hanya bersebelahan dengan kawasan majoriti Islam? Jikalau individu tersebut hendak minum arak, beliau tidak akan teragak-agak untuk berjalan jauh sedikit untuk mendapatkan arak beliau. Bermakna pengharaman ini tidak akan berjaya langsung.

Pengharaman ini juga akan memberi satu kesan buruk yakni akan menghidupkan perniagaan seludup dan haram secara 'underground'.

Bagaimana juga pihak berkuasa ingin mengenalpasti kawasan majoriti Islam. Adakah ianya 51%, 70%, 90% atau 99%? Apa pula hak –hak penduduk bukan Islam yang ingin minum arak? Adakah pengharaman penjualan arak di kedai-kedai ini adil kepada mereka yang bukan Islam?
Secara jujur, saya berpendapat PAS Selangor tidak berfikir panjang mengenai perkara ini. Ataupun PAS Selangor tahu ianya tidak akan dilaksanakan oleh Kerajaan Negeri tetapi mereka berasa tertekan oleh janji-janji pilihanraya mereka dahulu mengenai kes pengharaman penjualan arak? Ataupun PAS Selangor hanya melakukan ianya bagai gimik sahaja kerana takut mereka akan dilihat tidak Islamik?

YAB MB Selangor telah mengumumkan bahawa Kerajaan Selangor tidak akan mengharamkan penjualan arak di kawasan –kawasan yang di minta oleh PAS. Saya ingin bertanya Pas sekarang – Apa lagi? Apakah langkah PAS seterusnya selepas pengumuman MB Selangor?
Saya berpendapat gesaan PAS ini tidak praktikal. Kita harus menganalisa dahulu apakah sebenarnya masalah yang ingin ditangani sebelum melulu membuat sesuatu gesaan. Pada pendapat saya, apa yang inign di selesaikan adalah masalah:-

i. Orang Islam minum arak;
ii. Anak-anak muda Islam minum arak.

Benar, pengharaman di beberapa kawasan majoriti Islam mungkin akan menyebabkan mereka ini tidak boleh beli disebelah rumah, tetapi dengan scenario hari ini yang ada motor, kereta dan sebagainya, seperti yang saya sebut di atas, tidak ada apa yang menghalang mereka ini untuk naik kereta dan pergi ke kawasan sebelah untuk membeli arak. Dan ramai daripada mereka ini sebenarnya minum arak bukan sahaja dibeli di 7 –Eleven atau kedai-kedai runcit, tetapi di pub dan sebagainya.

Adalah lebih efektif dan menyeluruh jikalau beberapa langkah tertentu diambil termasuk:-

i. Pengajaran masalah dan kesan negatif arak kepada orang ramai (adakan kempen
kesedaran – berdakwah!);
ii. Memantapkan pemantauan dari pihak berkuasa dan mengenakan denda yang
amat besar kepada penjual dan pembeli yang ditangkap. Lesen perniagaan juga
patut ditarik balik serta-merta jikalau di tangkap menjual kepada orang Islam.
iii. Menghebahkan mereka yang tertangkap serta denda yang mereka hadapi kepada
rakyat. Ini akan menakutkan mereka.
iv. Memberi kaunseling kepada mereka yang didapati bersalah.

Saya juga ingin berkongsi satu pendapat daripada rakan saya mengenai isu ini. Beliau berkata bahawa dahulu semasa PAS hanya parti pembangkang tanpa memerintah negeri-negeri, PAS telah mengutuk dan mengatakan UMNO parti haram kerana membenarkan perniagaan pembuatan dan penjualan arak di Malaysia. Isu inilah diantara sebab UMNO dilabelkan parti kafir.

Sekarang mereka memerintah di beberapa buah negeri termasuk Selangor yang mempunyai dua buah kilang arak besar (di Shah Alam dan PJ). PAS kini tersepit dan terpengkap dengan kata-kata mereka dahulu yang memanggil UMNO kafir. Kerana itulah PAS Selangor mengambil langkah kononnya menggesa kerajaan Selangor mengharamkan penjualan arak di kawasan majoriti Islam walaupun mereka tahu ianya tidak akan berjaya. Sekurang-kurangnya penyokong mereka tidak boleh marah dengan mereka lagi kerana kononya mereka sudah cuba.

Bukan senang nak jadi pemerintah.

ISA Demonstration

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 08:26 AM PDT

A lot of friends have been asking me what to make of the 1 August 2009 street demonstrations. For the first time, two demonstrations were planned and held on a big scale, albeit separately, by two opposing groups on the same issue, one for and one against. They were also asking me if the Federal Government had backtracked on its earlier promise to review and revise the Internal Security Act (ISA) because the demonstrations all centred on the call for the abolishment of ISA.

Well, first and foremost, I checked around and I can confirm that the Home Ministry is serious in reviewing this Act, and a lot of other Acts also to make them more relevant with times. I am told the Ministry had formed a preliminary committee to look into the ISA Act. Yesterday, YAB DS Najib himself again reiterated in public that the Federal Government is committed to reviewing this Act.

So, why all the fuss? Why the need to demonstrate against the ISA when the Federal Government had promised and repeated time and again that they will take action to review the Act? The answer is – I DON'T KNOW. I don't know why they did it after the Federal Government had promised that the Act will be reviewed and had also started the ball rolling by forming a committee. You cannot expect the review and revision to be done overnight. You have to give time for the experts to go through the Act thoroughly before announcing the proposed revisions. Or else, the Gerakan Mansuh ISA(GMI) which is backed by the Pakatan Rakyat politicians will just say the Government is rushing it and further criticise it.

From another aspect, if the opposition politicians are saying that they want the Act abolished and not reviewed and that they will not accept anything else, what about those who want the ISA to remain but with revisions? Are their voices and opinions less important compared to those who demonstrated against ISA that day? As it is there was another group, from Pakatan Rakyat itself who also demonstrated and sent a memorandum to the palace calling for the ISA be maintained with some revisions. The Pakatan Rakyat politicians using the GMI platform must also respect the opinions, wishes and voices of others. Or is it that we have changed the rule of the game, that it is now "whoever can demonstrate must be listened to and the Government should not care about others?"

Commenting on what happened on that day itself, I was sad that GMI went ahead with the demonstrations. Apart from being totally irrelevant because the Federal Government had already announced that the Act will be reviewed, the demonstration caused a lot of problems to many people. Cab drivers, businesses, the public and Malaysia as a country whose image is further tarnished by all these. And don't forget about the hours of traffic jammed up because of the demonstration. Then there are the indirect effects –investors' negative perception of the political and security situation in Malaysia, potential tourists and others. I was also aghast when the Women Heads of PKR, PAS and DAP actually issued a joint press statement that the demonstration actually boosted business because many people came and had lunch around the area. Silly! Ask the business folks around there if they agree with that statement.

The police were I believe also overzealous in wanting to maintain peace and harmony. I appreciate that the police psyche is one that is to maintain law and order at all times and costs. I can also empathise what the police force might have been going through during the demonstration but I believe crowd control and prevention tactics are better than arrests. Maybe the police could have identified the ring leaders who are the troublemakers and arrest them whilst just cart away with a warning those who follow without knowing what the demonstrations were all about. However, in their defence, I was not there and do not really know in detail what transpired as a whole. I was told that there were many rabble rousers and some trouble makers who joined in because the demonstration was an opportunity for them to have fun. Whatever it is, it is not a bad idea if our police force were to be sent on a crowd management programme and come up with new methods for crowd control in the Malaysian context.

Anyway, I wish all of us would from now on pause a while, take a deep breath, think about our loved ones and what we want for our nation before we do something like this. We all love Malaysia and all of us have our own little idea what "utopia Malaysia" is. However, don't forget that we are one of 26 million population in Malaysia, and that our opinions and ideas might not be what the other person is thinking of. From what I see, YAB DS Najib and his team of ministers have generally learned from the mistakes made in the past and are trying hard to rectify them. Give them space and opportunity to work. If they make mistakes, definitely tell them, but tell them in a proper manner. Never has it been our culture and way of life to demonstrate as what had happened on 1 August 2009, especially when the Government had listened to the Rakyat and promised to review the ISA.

I am also very happy that the YAB DS Najib had announced and the police had said they will consider allowing demonstrations in stadiums and so on. This will ensure public safety and those who are not interested in the demonstrations are not affected. You can also have petty traders there to sell their wares and so on. This option will allow whatever complaints and grouses still be heard , yet in a controlled and safe environment for both the public and demonstrators.

We have a lot of avenues and opportunities to make our voices heard, street demonstration is definitely not one of them.

10 life-and-death questions on H1N1

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 06:59 AM PDT


However, from sentinel testing and surveillance by the Ministry of Health the last few weeks have shown that almost 95% of all flu-like illness are now caused by the H1N1 virus. Earlier some months ago, seasonal flu variants caused by the B and other A virus were the main causes, the bug causing most flu these few days is the A(H1N1). This appears to be the case also in neighbouring countries, meaning that the new virus is causing more havoc and symptomatic illness than previous types of flu (which are still in the community).

Because almost every flu-like illness (influenza-like illness or ILI) is due to H1N1, the MOH is now recommending that no testing to confirm this H1N1 will now be offered. 

Treat as if this is H1N1 for ILI—symptom relief for mild symptoms (paracetamol, hydration, cough medicines, etc) and self-quarantine, social distancing, be alert for complications. 

Most (~70%) do not need any anti-viral medications such as Tamiflu or Relenza. Only severe cases need to be referred to hospital for further treatment.

2) How should doctors decide if a person be given further specific treatment for H1N1?

If after 2-3 days, fever and cough symptoms do not improve, a recheck with the doctor is recommended, especially if there are features of difficulty breathing, severe weakness and giddiness, or, if the following risk factors are present:

  • obesity (fatter patients seem to have poorer outcome and more complications)
  • those with underlying diabetes, heart disease
  • those with asthma, or chronic lung disease
  • pregnant women
  • those with reduced immunity, cancer patients, etc
  • those with obvious pneumonia features

3) Many anxious people with flu-like symptoms want to be tested or treated for suspected H1N1, but are kept waiting or sent home, without being tested. Is this practice right?

There is no right or wrong practice as this outbreak is extensive and is stretching our resources to the limit. This is also the case not just here in Malaysia, but also elsewhere around the entire world!

The recommendation is now not to spend too much time and effort trying to get tested at designated hospitals or clinics—there is probably no need to do so. I have been informed that as many as 1,000 patients queue anxiously at Sg Buloh hospital for testing, due to fear of the H1N1 flu.

So the message must be made clear: Most flu illness do not require confirmatory testing, and are mild and self-limiting. More than 90 percent will get better on their own, with symptomatic treatment—just watch out for possible complications, and risk factors as mentioned above.

Our resources are limited especially for testing. This is not just for Malaysia, but globally as well. The global demand for test kits and reagents for the H1N1 (PCR) is overextended and are rationed due to this extreme demand. 

Some 200 million test kits have been deployed worldwide, but this supply is critically short because of excessive demand, so most countries have to ration testing to confirm only the worst cases, so as to monitor the pandemic better.

4) Are doctors confused as to what to do in this outbreak, especially when they do not have ready access to confirmatory lab tests?

Not really. Earlier on there was some confusion as to what to do next and who to test or who to refer for further testing and admission. Now the rules are clearer.

There is no need to do any testing to confirm the H1N1 virus for any ILI—just assume that this is the case in the majority of cases. Treat symptomatically when symptoms are mild, reassure the patients and ensure that these infected patients practice good personal hygiene, impose self-quarantine and social distancing, wear masks if their coughing or sneezing become troublesome, and keep a watchful eye on whether the infection is getting better or worse.

If there is difficulty breathing and gross weakness, then patients should quickly present themselves for admission. Understandably this phase of worsening is not always clear or easily understood by everyone… But there is not much more that we can do—otherwise we will be admitting too many patients and this will totally overwhelm our health services.

But prudent caution would help to determine which seriously ill patients need more attention and more intensive care. Unfortunately however, there will be that odd patient who will progress unusually quickly and collapse even before anything can be planned – hopefully these will be few and far between.

A more important note, is that all doctors and nursing personnel should be very aware that they too have to take precautions, and employ barrier contact practices, if there are patients with cough and cold during this period of H1N1 outbreak, which is expected to last a year or two. Carelessness can result in the physician or nurse or nurse-aide becoming infected!

5) Are there sufficient guidelines from the Ministry of Health to address this situation?

I think there are sufficient guidelines from the MOH. Although some politicians have blamed the MOH and the minister for being inept at handling this pandemic – in truth this is not the case. 

It is useful to remember that this is an entirely new or novel virus, which no one previously had encountered before – thus its infectivity and contagiousness is quite high and almost no one is immune to this virus.

Perhaps, there will come a time when all the resources from both public and private sectors can be put to more efficient use. Some logistic problems will invariably occur, because human beings differ in their capacity to understand or follow directives, whatever the source or authority.

Also patient demands have been extraordinarily high and at times very difficult to meet – every patient necessarily feels that his flu is potentially the worst possible type and therefore requires the most stringent measures and testing.

Doctors are also unsure as to the seriousness or severity of this new ailment – and we are only now beginning to understand this better – so our less than reassuring style when encountering this new H1N1 flu is sometimes detected by an equally anxious patient and/or their relatives.

But there is only so much that we can do under such a pressure cooker of an outbreak which is spreading like wildfire! But nevertheless we should not panic, and remember that most >90% of infected people will recover with very little after effects. Possibly only one in 10 patients develop more serious problems which necessitate hospitalisation.

6) Is limiting H1N1 testing only to those who have been admitted to hospital justifiable?

I have explained the worldwide shortage of such testing kits and reagents. Also it is near impossible to test everyone, the world over. Besides, knowing now that almost all the flu-like illness in the country is due to H1N1 makes it a moot point to want to test for this, especially when most are mild.

The rationale for testing only those who need hospitalisation is to ensure that we are dealing with the true virus, and also help to isolate possible changes or mutations to this viral strain. The MOH is also constantly doing sentinel surveillance (random spot-testing at various sites around the country to determine more accurately the various virus types and spread that are causing ILI)

7) Are we short of anti-virul drugs (Tamiflu, Relenza)? Should I take Tamiflu?

These antiviral drugs were available to most doctors during the earlier scare of the bird flu virus, but now are severely restricted, although some orders are still entertained from individual doctors, clinics or hospitals. Remember that these have been block-booked by more than 167 countries who have been shown to have been penetrated by the H1N1 flu bug.

Our MOH has actually stockpiled some 2 million doses of the Tamiflu or its generic form. In the last inter-ministerial Pandemic Influenza task force meeting, this stockpile will be bumped up to 5.5 million doses to cover some possible 20% of the population.

Right now there is no shortage in the country. It is just that it is not readily available on demand for anyone just yet. The MOH is still of the opinion that this antiviral drug be used prudently and would like to register every patient given this drug.

The private sector on the other hand would like to have a looser control over the use of this drug—but we acknowledge that we should be meticulously prudent in its use. There is a genuine fear that resistant strains to this drug may develop with indiscriminate and unnecessary use—then we will all be in trouble with a drug-resistant H1N1 virus run amok!

Drug-resistant strains have been detected in Mexico, border-towns in USA, Vietnam, UK, Australia even. So we have to be vigilant and closely monitor the situation. Right now, the very limited usage of Tamiflu gives us good reason to be optimistic.

However, because of some unusual patterns of seemingly well people dying or having very critical infections, some people and doctors are wondering if these new strains have already reached our shores… or have we been too late in instituting proper treatment…?

The rising number of deaths to 14 now, is quite worrisome, but our health authorities are watching this development very closely and are also checking the virus strain to see if this has mutated. We can only hope that this is not the case, for now.

8) What are some of the problems faced by doctors in dealing with the H1N1 problem?

It would be good if every medical practitioner keeps a close tab on the H1N1 pandemic, and remain fully aware of the developments and changes, which are evolving daily. Every doctor has to be learning on the trot, so to speak, to keep up with the progress of this outbreak and its management, so that we can serve our patients better.

Logging-in to the internet regularly, for more updated information will certainly help, instead of lamenting that not enough is being disseminated via the media thus far… Every doctor has to be more proactive and practice more responsible and cautious medicine during this trying period which is expected to run into at least one to two years. Importantly look out for lung complications, and the above stated higher risk profiles, and refer these patients quickly for further care.

Easier access to antiviral drugs and their responsible use and monitoring would help allay public fears of delay in treatment, but this should be tempered with care and not over-exuberance to dish out to one and all, the precious antiviral drug, just for prevention—this may be a very bad move which can inadvertently create a worse outcome of drug-resistant bugs.

However, in the light of the very quick deterioration of some young patients who have died, it might be prudent to use antiviral treatment earlier and more aggressively.

We look forward to the specific H1N1 vaccine, when it does come our way, probably towards the end of the year. In the meantime, encouraging those in the front-line, heart or lung patients and frequent travellers to have the seasonal flu vaccination is a useful adjunct to help stem the usual problems from other flu types.

9) Are we doing everything that should or needs to be done?

Yes, if you check what other nations are doing, we are doing relatively well. We are not overstating the dangers and we have been quite transparent on the possibilities of this pandemic. Earlier, many agencies and even the public and doctors have accused us of exaggerating the pandemic, and our response was dismissed as being too much, even over the top! Unfortunately, it was only when some deaths occur that many are now decrying that we have done too little!

Also if you are quite honest about it, just compare with the countries globally, and you will notice that no one health or government authority has got this right, spot on.

We are all learning about this novel flu pandemic, and each country's response is coloured by its past experiences. In Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia we have had the SARS outbreak, so we are necessarily more paranoid! Also here the experience is that flu does not usually cause death in our community, unlike the west where seasonal flu kills some hundreds of thousands every year!

So the fear factor for this H1N1 flu is not nearly as great in the west, although it is slowly sinking in that its contagiousness and infectivity is far greater, and fears of its reassortment to a more virulent mutant form is growing, into the so-called second and/or third wave of this pandemic, but we will not know until a year or so down the line.

10) Is the public in general doing enough to help in controlling the outbreak? 

I think the public is now reasonably well-informed as to this H1N1 pandemic. Perhaps, they are too well-informed, that they have a fearful approach to this virus. But the proper thing is not too over-react and to panic, although I know this does sound easier said than done.

It is almost a certainty that this flu will spread within the community—in schools, universities, academies, factories, work places, offices, etc. WHO has projected that possibly some 20 to 30% of the population worldwide will become infected by this novel flu bug, after studying various models of spread of past infections—the huge and very rapid spread worldwide is mainly due to air-travel. While older flu pandemics took 6 months to extend to so many countries, this H1N1 flu did so in less than 6 weeks!

In the worst case scenarios of course, this outbreak will be alarming—hospitalisations may be required for 100,000 up to 500,000 Malaysians, with perhaps as many as 5000 to 27000 infected patients (depending on the case fatality rate or either 0.1 to 0.5%) succumbing to this illness.

But because we have been monitoring closely and containing the outbreak thus far, with heightened awareness and greater social responsibility, it is possible to ameliorate the infectivity, spread and fatality that will unfortunately accompany this pandemic… Just how successful we will be in limiting these adverse outcomes remains to be seen, but we can be hopeful.

How can the public help? First learn and acquire good personal hygiene. If sick, please be responsible and stay at home, even in your own room where possible, wear a face mask (a cheap 3-ply surgical mask will do, because large droplet spread is the main danger).

Do not go out, practice what is now known as social distancing (about 3 metres from anyone), and be socially responsible, don't go to public places and infect others – for young people this would be hard, but absolutely necessary – the spread is most rampant in this age group between 16 to 25 years.

When the illness does not go away after a few days or when you are deteriorating, get to the nearest hospital. Most importantly, be very aware and responsible!

Finally, keep abreast of all new developments, because these are evolving all the time. With keen awareness, prudent care, early detection and social responsibility, correct and prompt use of antiviral and other support medical care, and later mass specific vaccination, we can overcome this novel H1N1 flu! But it will take time, patience, public cooperation, much concerted effort and consume great resources.

DAVID KL QUEK is president of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

najib altantuya: AG's website posts videos of Teoh inquest

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 08:02 AM PDT

  • In a rare move, the Attorney-General's Chambers has posted video recordings of the first three days of the Teoh inquest on its website.MORE
  • But it's slow to download
    Possible first for Malaysia
To view the view recordings, click here.

To read the two documents which explains the function of a coroner's inquest, click here.

This one rare step is one rare leap to repair the reputation of the judiciary.

Yes, justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done.

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Majlis Kuliah Zikir Munajat bersama Anak-Anak Yatim

Posted: 06 Aug 2009 03:40 AM PDT

9 Ogos 2009
7.00 petang
Surau Blok 2, Desa Mentari, PJS6 Petaling Jaya

Zhang Ziyi and Vivi Nevo heading for splitsville?

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 02:32 AM PDT

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and boyfriend Vivi NevoRumours are flying around that Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and billionaire boyfriend Vivi Nevo are separated for around two months.

Rumours of their separation began in April when it was revealed that the couple has delayed their August wedding indefinitely, with Ziyi's working schedule cited as the major reason.

The couple had kept a high profile relationship since seeing each other in 2007, but was not spotted together in public events for the past few months while Ziyi was busy filming her latest film Sophie Revenge.

In the past Vivi Nevo would pay Ziyi some visits even if she was working, but not the case here. It's also said that he is not attending the movie premier (next week if not mistaken), which if true could be a huge indicator of their relationship.

Some netizens are speculating that the saga is a disguised promotion for the new movie, but I think Zhang Ziyi is famous enough to not need this stuff for publicity.

Rumours will remain as rumours until proven; but it's rare that tabloids are pounding on the same old news for months without having decent sources to fuel their speculations… and quite often these rumours would turn factual in the end.

Zhang Ziyi and Vivi Nevo heading for splitsville? from YeinJee's Asian Blog

Era Najib Altantuya : Hentikan Penglipur Lara 7 Wasiat Raja Melayu

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 05:21 AM PDT

Hentikan penglipurlara mengenai tujuh wasiat raja-raja Melayu selagi tidak ada keberanian menuntut institusi-institusi Melayu dibebaskan dari kekuasaan Perdana Menteri.

"Membangkitkan perkara itu hanya menjadi bahan gelak ketawa sahaja jika tidak berani bersuara sepatah pun supaya institusi-institusi Melayu dibebaskan dari kekuasaan Perdana Menteri.

"Kalau benar mahu menghentikan rasa tidak puas hati orang-orang Melayu, tuntut supaya peneraju-peneraju institusi-institusi yang dilihat sebagai institusi orang-orang Melayu seperti Mara, Tabung Haji dan Amanah Saham Bumiputera dilantik sendiri oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan bertanggungjawab secara langsung kepada Jawatankuasa Parlimen,"

Pihak yang membangkitkan penglipurlara tersebut hakikatnya melakukan kerja sia-sia kerana setelah 52 tahun Umno menerajui pemerintahan negara ini.

"Hanya Rejimen Askar Melayu sahaja yang boleh dianggap masih berbaki ciri-ciri asal,"

"Siapa boleh melupakan kenyataan (Perdana Menteri yang juga Presiden Umno, Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) terhadap Islam?"

Pada 20 April 1983, Najib memberitahu wartawan bahawa "negara akan huru-hara sekiranya undang-undang Islam dilaksanakan".

Pada 20 April 1992, Najib sekali lagi memberitahu wartawan bahawa "kerajaan Kelantan harus dipertanggungjawabkan jika berlaku huru-hara, ketidakstabilan politik, perpecahan di kalangan umat Islam dan kegelisahan rakyat apabila hukum hudud dilaksanakan di negeri itu.

"Rakyat harus menyoal perlaksanaan hukum itu menguntungkan atau menyebabkan perpecahan, pertentangan dan ketidakstabilan politik.

"Tidak semua negara Islam mengamalkan hukum hudud bahkan ada negara Islam lebih makmur tanpa hukum itu".

Kalau ajaran Islam yang paling tinggi di hati orang-orang Melayu pun dihina, tidak perlu ada sebarang percubaan untuk membuai orang-orang Melayu dengan isu-isu tanah rezab Melayu, Bahasa Melayu dan kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu.

"Tidak sedarkah pihak berkenaan bahawa di bawah pemerintahan Umno selama 52 tahun hampir 44 peratus tanah rezab Melayu telah pupus di mana tiga juta hektar tanah rezab Melayu pada tahun 1957 mengecil menjadi 1.7 juta hektar pada tahun 1995?
"Itu belum lagi kita bangkitkan hartanah orang-orang Melayu yang pupus teruk terutama di kawasan bandar,"

Tindakan membangkitkan perkara itu tidak lebih dari sekadar mengulang-ulang harapan palsu kepada orang-orang Melayu. "Lebih baik bercakap tentang gerakan bersama untuk menuntut usaha intensif bagi mewujudkan pusat-pusat pengajian termasuk pusat-pusat tinggi kepada orang-orang Melayu," - YB Datuk Mahfuz Omar

Era Najib Altantuya : SPRM Memang Double Standard

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 05:08 AM PDT

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) begitu cekap dan bertindak pantas memantau dakwaan kes salah guna peruntukan Adun kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Selangor.

Exco Permodenan Pertanian, Pengurusan Sumber Alam dan Pembangunan Usahawan, Yaakob Sapari bagaimanapun mempersoalkan mengapa SPRM tidak bertindak demikian ke atas ADUN Barisan Nasional yang telah dilaporkan menyeleweng..

Katanya, beberapa isu telah dibangkitkan berkaitan Adun Barisan Nasional yang membelanjakan peruntukan dalam masa dua bulan pada pilihanraya umum lepas, tetapi sehingga kini SPRM tidak mengambil sebarang tindakan.

"Kita mempertikaikan ketelusan SPRM mengambil tindakan untuk menyemak perbelanjaan-perbelanjaan pejabat adun Selangor, mengapa dalam isu ini. Nampak SPRM begitu cekap dan cepat bertindak, sedangkan kita pernah komplen dulu bagaimana adun-adun BN membelanjakan peruntukan 500 ribu tak sampai dua bulan sedangkan itu peruntukan setahun," katanya.

Yaakob mengulas tindakan SPRM menyiasat dakwaan salah guna peruntukan Dewan Undangan Negeri Sementa, iaitu DUN angkat Exco Selangor, Rodziah Ismail.

Semalam lima pegawai SPRM dari Putrajaya mengunjungi Pejabat Exco Kebajikan, Hal Ehwal Wanita, Sains Teknologi dan Inovasi itu di bangunan SUK Shah Alam dan kemudian membawa bersama seorang pegawai khas Rodziah ke Pejabat Tanah dan Daerah Klang untuk mendapatkan beberapa baucer pembayaran yang dilakukan.

Katanya, SPRM sepatutnya perlu adil dan telus dalam tindakan mereka dan bukan menunjukkan kecekapan mereka kepada sebelah pihak sahaja.

"Ada adun yang tidak bertanding seperti Ketua Pemuda Umno sekarang, tak bertanding tetapi habis peruntukkannya, kenapa isu ini tak diambil tindakan dengan begitu cekap oleh SPRM, tapi dalam isu kerajaan negeri Selangor nampaknya dia ambil tindakan begitu cepat sekali, jadi ini yang kita persoalkan," katanya.

Menurut Yaakob, perbelanjaan peruntukan DUN kerajaan negeri Selangor dilakukan dengan berhemah dan segala urusan keluar masuk duit dipantau oleh pegawai khas yang ditugaskan.

Beliau menyifatkan SPRM telah dipergunakan oleh pihak tertentu sebagai strategi untuk merampas semula Selangor daripada Pakatan Rakyat. mengarahkan mereka. -TVS

Kenyan Man Offers 40 Goats, 20 Cows for Chelsea Clinton's Hand in Marriage

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 02:25 AM PDT

In Kenya's terms, it is a very generous offer for a bride. Back in 2000, the Clintons received the offer from a Kenyan man. Hillary, while on her African tour, promised to convey this "very kind offer" to her daughter. And now the offer has been renewed.

(BBC) A Kenyan man has told the BBC how happy he is that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has agreed to renew his marriage offer to her daughter.In 2000, Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor wrote to her husband Bill Clinton, the then-US president, offering 40 goats and 20 cows for Chelsea Clinton's hand.In Kenya on the first leg of her African tour, Mrs Clinton was informed by a journalist of the proposal."My daughter is her own person. I will convey this very kind offer," she said.If Ms Clinton, 29, accepted she would become Mr Chepkurgor's second wife, as he has married since his initial proposal.

Well, now that he's already married, the renewed proposal may seem like a bad move but it's not:

Mr Chepkurgor, 40, a councillor in Nakuru in Kenya's Rift Valley, said his first wife knew about the renewal of his affections and "did not object". The BBC's Muliro Telewa in Nakuru says the offer of 40 goats and 20 cows for the bride price is very generous in Kenyan terms.
And the gentleman believes his chance are pretty good:

"I feel very good for her [Mrs Clinton] to have answered - almost in the affirmative," Mr Chepkurgor told the BBC's Network Africa programme. "She promised that she will take the proposal to the daughter and I am now waiting," he said. Eye On The World

The Ten Commandments

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 04:58 AM PDT

Era Najib Altantuya : Penduduk Kg Buah Pala Digesa Terima Tawaran Kerajaan Negeri

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 04:45 AM PDT

Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng menegaskan penduduk Kampung Buah Pala akur dengan keputusan Kerajaan Negeri menerima pampasan yang ditawarkan kerana itu satu-satunya jalan terbaik bagi menyelesaikan isu hak milikan tanah tegas

Lim ketika ditemui berkata, beliau telah menggunakan kuasanya sebagai Ketua Menteri, namun tidak pasti tindakan yang benar-benar dapat memuaskan hati semua pihak.

"Mengulas tentang 3.5 juta yang dituntut oleh penduduk kampung sebagai pampasan, beliau berkata ada sesetengah pihak yang sengaja mengambil kesempatan atas permintaan tersebut.

"Pihak kerajaan negeri tidak dapat menunaikan tuntutan pampasan tersebut dan meminta supaya penduduk perlu menerima keputusan yang telah bincangkan kerana Kerajaan Negeri telah sedaya upaya membantu.

"Pihak pemaju juga telah memberi tempoh bagi membuat persediaan namun bantahan demi bantahan telah membuatkan perjalanan kisah Kampung Buah Pala ini direkodkan telalu panjang.

Lim juga mengingatkan penduduk, jika mereka tekad tidak mahu menerima sebarang cadangan dan tawaran pemaju, mereka akan kehilangan segala-galanya yang merangkumi tanah kampung itu dan tanah yang ditawarkan. -TVA

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altantuya najib Language switch: Gov't bars parents-teachers meet

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 07:24 AM PDT

The PTA of a school is upset that authorities will not allow them to hold an EGM to voice opposition to the scrapping of teaching science and mathematics in English. [VIDEO INSIDE]MORE
Cancelled at 11th hour
Parents vote on PPSMI

Even though the PTA could not hold the meeting, it could count the ballot papers from parents stating whether they wanted the teaching of science and mathematics to continue in that school. The result: 97% in favour. The PTA president said the result would be forwarded to the PM and Edu Minister along with an appeal.

Frankly, I think the effort by this single school is a waste of time. Already Tun had conducted the poll in his blog on the decision of the Government to teach Maths and Science in Bahasa Malaysia. The result: 86% oppose.

Chedet posted:

The poll is officially closed today. The vote count has reached 100,000 since last Thursday. I would like to thank all readers who had participated in the poll and made their stand on the issue.

I am not surprised over the disappointment and even anger towards the Government's decision on the teaching of Maths and Science.

Seems to me like the Government is not listening to the voice of the people.

Perhaps a blog poll might enlighten the Government as to the opinions of the people.

The question to be answered is whether visitors to my blog support or oppose the decision to teach Maths and Science in Bahasa Malaysia.

If you support just say Yes.

If you don't please say No.

I will then try to let the Government know your opinion.

Era Najib Altantuya : Polis Tidak Serah Kad Pengenalan Peserta Anti-ISA

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 04:46 AM PDT

Tidak cukup dengan keganasan yang dilakukan terhadap orang awam pada perhimpunan aman anti ISA 1 Ogos lalu, polis sekali lagi menyalahguna kuasa dalam cubaan mengekang hak demokrasi rakyat untuk bersuara.

Terbaru, Dewan Pemuda PAS mendedahkan tindakan polis enggan menyerahkan semula kad pengenalan sebilangan besar peserta perarakan itu yang ditangkap walaupun mereka dibebaskan kemudiannya.

Sebaliknya polis mengarahkan mereka membuat laporan kononnya kad pengenalan berkenaan hilang.

Tidak ada alasan diberikan mengapa polis bertindak sedemikian, walaupun ia jelas melanggar undang-undang, kata Timbalan Ketua Pemuda PAS Azman Shapawi.

"Kami mendapat maklumat bahawa tahanan pada 1 Ogos berkenaan sebahagian besar daripada mereka, walaupun telah dibebaskan tetapi kad pengenalan mereka tidak diberikan semula oleh polis kepada mereka yang dibebaskan.

"Malah polis menasihati mereka supaya membuat laporan kad pengenalan berkenaan hilang. Pada hal Polis tidak meyerahkan kad pengenalan kepada mereka. Kita minta polis segera berbuat demikian tanpa mengenakan apa-apa syarat," kata Azman.

Pemuda PAS Pusat sendiri mengesan sekurang-kurangnya tujuh orang dari Johor yang yang ditahan polis semasa himpunan berkenaan belum mendapatkan kembali kad pengenalan setelah dibebaskan.

Menurutnya, Pemuda PAS juga kesal dengan tindakan ganas polis terhadap orang awam pada 1 Ogos ternyata tidak profesional malah mengakibatkan peniaga mengalami kerugian besar.

Pada 1 Ogos lalu polis menahan secara rawak 589 orang termasuk ahli politik, wanita dan kanak-kanak yang dikatakan meyertai perhimpunan berkenaan. Ribuan rakyat disembur dengan air bercampur kimia dan ditembak dengan gas pemedih mata kerana mendesak pemansuhan undang-undang zalim ISA.

Dalam perkembangan lain, beliau berkata pihaknya kesal dengan tindakan tidak bertanggungjawab pihak-pihak tertentu yang menyebarkan surat palsu kononnya peniaga-peniaga di sekitar Masjid India boleh membuat tuntutan pampasan akibat perhimpunan itu kepada PAS.

"Surat ini kononnya ditandatangani oleh Nasaruddin Hassan Tantawi, Timbalan Ketua Pemuda PAS Pusat. Ini palsu kerana beliau bukan timbalan sebaliknya Ketua Pemuda," katanya. -TVA

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Rome approved the anti-alcohol curfew

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 03:26 AM PDT

Launched the new stringent municipal regulation: drink banned off the premises, even in plastic glasses

From Ostia, XIII Municipality of the Capital, just as the City of Rome announces the launch of the final strict anti-alcohol, the news of a shock m inorenne who risked death to be drunk in a disco. E 'accuaduto at the end of July, but the ambulance personnel of one of 118 made him only known now: the kid, not even sixteen, was suffocated to death when they aid in the garden of a local on the coast.

NO TOO YOUNG TO BARMAN -- Meanwhile yesterday, the Capitol has finally dismissed the text of the Protocol now regulate and limit the excesses of nightlife in Rome. No to the administration of alcohol to anyone under 16 years, as provided by law, and prohibition of bartender if you do not take age into nightclubs in the capital. I have some of the prohibitions set out in the document - signed July 21 last year by Mayor Gianni Alemanno, the Confesercenti and Confcommercio - that has been adopted by the municipal. The Chairman of Silba-Confcommercio Antonio Flamini, the clubs' hours should automatically respect these rules have already been communicated to the individual operators. "

ORDER OF PREFECT --The prefect of Rome, Giuseppe Pecoraro, at the meeting of the Committee for the order and public security, has extended until September 20 to the order called 'antivetro "which prohibits the sale of all beverages to take away in glass or tin , particularly in areas of the historic center of Rome. Two other orders were signed by the mayor Gianni Alemanno: include a prohibition to consume alcoholic beverages from 21 to 6 in the morning in some streets of the old town, as Campo de Fiori, Trastevere and Rione Monti, but also to Pigneto, San Lorenzo, in Ponte Milvio area and Ostia. Also prohibited the sale and use of alcoholic beverages to take away - therefore, even the beer or other drinks in plastic glasses - and thus the consumption outside the room until the closure of the business. The new rules are in force until September 20.

OPEN FOR UP TO 5 PREMIUM- The premises that are adapted to the new rules will receive a mark of quality and will remain open until 5 am with the obligation to give half an hour of time because who could dispose of the drunk drunk, period of time that may be given only water.

DRAMMA Tap -- The boy saved in Ostia had tried to enter in disco bypassing security measures and threatened to die for the aftermath of a ubriacatura. Physicians of the presidio on Civil Protection of the Municipality of Rome (in service every night from 20 to 2), intervened with an ambulance, last Saturday July 25 soccorso have a couple at the request of the direction of the disco Shilling. 'Based at the Rotunda awaiting reports of 118 when we were called by the local stewart - tell Chiara Nardoni and Marco Mastrilli respectively physician and president of the National Carabinieri Roma Coast - we have called and we found him under a Riverso hedge in the local area.

"We noticed immediately - continue - that it was a minor who had alcohol abuse. When we rescue across the hedge was in very critical conditions, the death would come soon for choking from vomiting.

AMBULANZE FOR SATURDAY NIGHT -- "The ambulance service in Ostia, established under the coordination of 118 to meet the health needs that often occur in conjunction with the lively Saturday night - said the Director of Civil Protection of the Municipality of Rome, Aldo Aldi - it was found essential to ensure timely assistance. "

In the first two weeks of activities, the budget was made three relief Saturday July 25 and two on the night of Saturday August 1: "Fortunately, not all cases were as severe as that of a minor, for the most illnesses were treated due to abuse of alcohol and congestion due to recruitment of drinks too cold. " The ambulance service will work again for another 7 weeks until the first decade of September on litoralòe Roman.

The institution of service by the City of Rome was born from the observation that 'during the summer of movida - says the director of the operations room of 118, Livio De Angelis - especially on Saturday night, triple the requests for relief linked with the excesses of young people: alcohol abuse, congestion, excessive speed in car. "

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Private Thots: PAS Raised A Right Social Concern

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 03:45 AM PDT

aNt's aNgle - private thots:

Hip Hip Hooray!

So the Selangor Government has come up with a ruling that there will be no alcohol ban in convenient stores. Instead, local 7-Eleven's, 99's and others will have to practise self-regulation of the sale of alcohol in stores first in Shah Alam, and then in other places in the state. (See today's Star's story below)

Whether on religious grounds or not, I think PAS should be highly commended for its call on the banning of the controversial colourless liquid that can make us all drunk.

By doing so the Islamic political party has done a wonderful job in raising a terrible social problem that has not only bugged us for so long but also been swept under the carpet for twice as long.

It's easy to label genuine concern away as "moralistic" or an "extremist" view.

It's funny how none of the media report I've read so far since this controversy started brewing in the press ever spoke about the root of the issue: ALCOHOLISM.

It's that dirty 10-letter word that makes us to shun away from anyone who is "unable to hold his or her drink down" in public gatherings. It's that dirty word that turns women into sex objects in beer advertisements and makes daddy's beat their mummies to a pulp at night whilst a cowed neighbourhood witness the terror in trauma.

Broken families, marriages, divorce, physical abuse . . . and let's not forget drink driving. People either get killed or maimed because of a "one too many a drink".

Just think of the numbers of people who are made crippled for life through drink driving.

It's easy for society to point a finger at parents and blame them for not being able to control their teenagers for drinking. But try doing that especially if you are a single woman parent and see if that is all that straightforward and easy as it seems.

Governments should take responsibility in trying to reduce the social ills is society. Trying to make alcohol harder for teenagers and children to access them is a right thing to do.

I think that is the real issue here.

Asking politicians like Ronnie Liu to quit, is ludicrous and as the Mentri Besar said, is a "non-issue."

Meanwhile, I think it is the beer companies that are profitting from all of this controversy. All this brouhaha will only give them a fatter wallet in the end whilst lives especially in the poorer communities continue to be destroyed.


Saturday August 8, 2009

Self-regulate sale of alcohol, stores told

SHAH ALAM: Convenience stores in Muslim-majority areas are not banned from selling alcohol to non-Muslims, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said yesterday.

However, he said the stores owners must practise self-regulation and have a separate cooler for alcohol.

The self-regulatory move would start in stores from Section 1 to 24 in Shah Alam before it is extended to other Muslim-majority areas in the state, he told reporters after a meeting with convenience store owners and the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) Mayor Datuk Mazalan Md Noor yesterday.

"Our aim is not to infringe on the cultural rights and beliefs of the non-Muslims and at the same time we do not need to come up with too many laws to control the drinking habits among the Muslims and teenagers," he said.

Khalid added that the 100 letters sent by MBSA to convenience stores to stop the sale of alcohol were null and void.

KK Group of Companies business owner Datuk Dr Douglas K.K. Chai said the decision to let convenience stores to self-regulate the sale of alcohol was a good move.

"Alcoholic beverages contribute to our sales.

"But we respect all people and their religious and cultural beliefs," he said.

MBSA Mayor Mazalan said the city council respects the decision and it would assist the businessmen in the self-regulatory move.

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her engagement.

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 03:41 AM PDT

Salam Kaklong.Congrats on ur engagement. Super happy for you and very sorry cant attend the ceremony. All the best to u and abg aizat. May Allah bless ur love. Send my love to the whole family. My prayers and love will always be with you. Love, Kakngah. Brisbane, Australia

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