- Day 7 of SPM
- Liang Zhi Lao Hu with Pinyin Lyrics: Two tiger one without eye tail
- Anti-corruption memo 'litmus test' for IGP - nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar
- Project 500
- The War for 21st-Century Freedom by Barbara Lerner December 3, 2009
- UMNO Peralatkan JAIS Untuk Jatuhkan Kerajaan Selangor
- Keep It Simple, Stupid!
- What makes people think that everybody in the Middle East wants peace? By Clifford D. May
- The Problem of Islamic Religious Persecution By Doug Bandow
- altantuya Najib-backed Makkal Sakthi party heading for the rocks - nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar
- The Hunt For Gollum- 39 mins movie
- Pakatan Rakyat Tubuhkan Petugas Anti GST
- Baby Tiger
- BTN : Ahmad Maslan Terus Dikecam
- International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2009
- Siapakah Dia Setiausaha Politik Yang Disiasat SPRM?
- 'Unlawful sacking': Last chance for Anwar - nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar
- Rainy Thursday...
- Azhar Takut Untuk Tonton Semula Video Tunjuk Punggung
- Government mulls over plan to abolish sugar subsidy
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 09:20 AM PST
Thursday was another of SPM 2009 and it's day 7. The paper I had was Physics paper 1, 2 and 3. I didn't drive to school because the car that I usually drove went to the service centre for cosmetic enhancement and car service. So mommy had became my driver once again, thank you.
I arrived pretty early in school today, 45 minutes before paper start. I thought everyone was late today but in fact they went inside the class early to read. The school has stopped putting up little station for temperature check and hand sanitizer, they have now move around with their thermometer to every student one by one. Great.
My comment on Physics paper was I didn't know how to do 3 question. Feeling bad for it man because I did not study enough. Argh. Hopefully, I still will get 1A for it.
I got only an hour and a half for lunch and I didn't drive. I went on Shi Jie's car and we went to McDonald's at Farlim for lunch. We didn't want to go to Greenlane's McDonald's which is nearer because there will be a lot of students as there's 4 school around it.
We thought the Farlim's would have less people but we were wrong. It's full house and most of them were from my school. We had to sit outside then, no AC and enjoyed hot afternoon day.
Two more subjects, Chemistry and Chinese. 8th and 14th December. =)
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 09:22 AM PST
Unsure of the 'pin yin' for title of the Chinese song, I just Google 'two tigers one without eye tail'.
For sure, there were relevant results. Among them was a result of two videos on youtube. One entitled 'Liang zhi lao hu cartoons' (a slightly vulgar version with the tiger saying, 'WTF!!?' in bubble talk) and the other, 'Liang Zhi Lao Hu' (a decent version with Pinyin Lyrics).
Below is a video clip showing Janson dancing to the song. It was taken sometime in September '09.
liang zhi lao hu, liang zhi lao hu
pao de kuai, pao de kuai
yi zhi mei you yan jing, yi zhi mei you wei ba
zhen qi guai, zhen qi guai
Two tigers, two tigers,
run fast, run fast.
One has no eyes, one has no tail.
So strange. So strange.
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Posted: 03 Dec 2009 08:32 AM PST
UPDATED 3PM A group of 15 activists handed a memo to Bukit Aman police, urging them to take action against top politicians involved in corruption.
The group led by Malaysian Youth Solidarity (SAMM) coordinator Badrul Hisham Shaharin (better known by his blog pseudonym, che'GuBard), presented a 52-page memorandum to Bukit Aman public relations officer, Inspector Mohd Sail Hassan, urging the authority to:
1. Investigate allegations made by private investigator, P Balasubramaniam recently on YouTube.
2. Probe into alleged bribery and abuse of power by the prime minister's political secretary, Shafie Abdullah as well as
3. Investigate allegations of embezzlement of RM10 million by Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohammad Hassan.
Will police act where MACC has failed to act? Maybe initially but after that, No Further Action!!!
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 06:46 AM PST
Yes.. I'm also one of the so called lucky ones to be selected for Project 500. Well, pretty depressed when this site will be replacing Kakiis.com. Looks like I won't be able to win those cinema and coffee bean vouchers that easily.. Haih..
This site is just another social networking site.. where I supposed you could manage everything into just one site. Hassle free for those lazy bums.. Lol..
Gotta rest now.. Slept for only 4 hours to prepare for my pre last exam paper and went for extreme 6 hours gaming marathon.. Lol..
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 06:17 AM PST
Are you worried — like so many Americans after the Fort Hood massacre — about the growing threat of Islamist subversion and terror here at home? Worried, beyond that, about what we're doing — or not doing — militarily in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq? Worried about the growing reach and power of Islamist movements in Europe and South America, as well as Asia, the Middle East, and Turkey? Worried about the military alliances Islamist governments are forging with their secular mirror images: socialist-god governments in places like North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela?
Then focus like a laser on Iran, now, because Islamists will score major victories in all those places and more if we fail to prevent the ruling mullahs from openly, triumphantly making Iran the world's first Islamist nuclear power. The danger isn't only Iran's own catastrophic recklessness, once she gets the bomb, or the fact that all her Arab neighbors will respond by scrambling to go nuclear too. It's also that Islamists everywhere — joined by growing masses of previously undecided Muslims — will see Iran's success in achieving nuclear status the way Iran's mullahs see it: as a historic defeat for the West, blasting open the gate to a 21st-century world where Islam rules and Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists are subservient or worse. Islamist ranks will swell, everywhere, as confidence grows that the Islamist side is the winning side, and victory is near.
THE WAR WE MUST WIN
Most Americans can scarcely imagine an Islamist-ruled world. Most Muslims can, and they respond in one of three ways. Moderate Muslims wholeheartedly reject the Islamist vision and the support for jihad that is inseparable from it; Muslim extremists embrace it, many with growing fervor; and a third group sits on the fence, waiting and watching. Constant politically correct reassurances that only a minority of the world's Muslims support violence against us are based on the fantasy that only "Islamist extremists" do that; "moderate Islamists" don't. In fact, there is no such thing as a "moderate Islamist." All Islamists are extremists. It's an extreme creed. Moderate Muslims do exist, millions of them, many bravely fighting against the rising Islamist tide, but they aren't "moderate Islamists." Moderate Muslims are anti-Islamist Muslims, who oppose the imposition of Sharia and all the oppressive baggage that comes with it. They are on our side — freedom's side — and we should be on theirs. Instead, we mostly ignore them and fail to heed their warnings, reaching out to "moderate Islamists" instead, welcoming them into our critical institutions — as our military, aided by the FBI, welcomed Major Hasan.
When it comes to Islamists abroad, poll data make it clear that they are the overwhelming majority in the Middle East. Iran and Turkey were the two great Middle Eastern exceptions, as Islamism swamped competing ideologies in all the Arab lands. Iran may still be, if popular majorities in that once great nation were allowed free choice, but they are governed by an Islamist regime more despotic than any Persian shah, ancient or modern. Turkey, once the freest, most proudly westernized and progressive country of them all, is on the verge of the same sorry fate. If you doubt that, look again at the new Turkey, governed by an Islamist party since 2002, a Turkey that is right now preparing to embrace Iran.
Focus like a laser on Iran now, because we have only months — not years — to prevent Iran from blasting through that history-making gate. Don't waste precious time on the pretense that negotiations and/or sanctions can save us. As John Bolton, Michael Ledeen, Rich Lowry, Andrew McCarthy, and a few other brave souls keep pointing out, we have been negotiating with Islamist Iran for 30 years now, offering the mullahs one sweet deal after another, and getting blow after blow in return. Even if — mirabile dictu — Iran signed an agreement promising to forgo nuclear weapons forever, it would be worth no more than the 1938 Munich agreement. Iran's mullahs are fanatics, like Hitler, not rational criminals we can make a deal with, as we did with the Soviets. MAD — mutual assured destruction — worked, because the Russians weren't mad.
As for sanctions, if there ever was a chance they could have worked, even in their most robust form — a complete blockade of Iran's ports by America and the few allies who might have joined us — that chance is long gone. Years ago, such a blockade might, arguably, have brought Iran's Islamists to their knees by denying them the refined gasoline they need to keep the machinery of repression rolling, giving Iranians who hate the mullahs a chance of overthrowing them. Today, regimes like Russia's and Venezuela's would supply that gas and more, over land, and we would be forced either to retreat in defeat, or to do what we should have done soon after we invaded Iraq — as soon as it became clear that Iran was behind most of the IEDs that were dismembering our troops in Iraq.
CONTINUED 1 2 3 4 Next Source: National Review
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 06:31 AM PST
Ahli Parlimen Shah Alam, Khalid Samad mendakwa Umno-BN memperalatkan Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) untuk menggugat kerajaan negeri.
Khalid mendakwa kes tauliah agamanya yang ditarik balik oleh pihak Jais adalah salah-satu dari percaturan Umno untuk membedung pergerakan penceramah sepertinya.
"Hubungan yang begitu rapat dengan UMNO, dia menyalahgunakan kedudukan dia bertindak untuk menyekat pemimpin-pemimpin politik dan pemimpin masyarakat dari PAS, mengadakan program dalam masjidnya,maka tindakan yang seperti itu tidak boleh diterima kerana matlamat di sebalik tauliah adalah menentukan mengenai ajaran sesat" ujarnya.
"Sebenarnya memberikan gambaran bahawa Pengarah JAIS, bertindak atas desakan kepentingan politik, kerana kita tahu bahawa dia sebelum ini adalah pembantu kepada Tan Sri Mat Taib yang merupakan pimpinan UMNO" tambahnya lagi.
Tauliah sementara Khalid yang diperoleh pada 10 Julai 2008 ditarik balik pada 8 Oktober 2008 atas alasan beliau mempunyai rekod jenayah tetapi kemudiannya JAIS mendakwa khutbah yang disampaikan oleh Khalid tidak mantap.
Malah menurut Khalid, JAIS menghantar surat amaran tidak kurang dari lima kali kepada nazir-nazir masjid di Shah Alam untuk tidak menjemput penceramah yang tidak mempunyai tauliah termasuk dirinya.
"Saya meminta supaya mereka menerima hakikat negeri Selangor telah berubah, kerajaan negeri Selangor telah berubah dan seharusnya mereka menghayati dan menjiwai dasar keterbukaan dan budaya ilmu yang ingin dibawa oleh pentadbiran yang baru".
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Posted: 03 Dec 2009 06:42 AM PST
Wait! Don't click that back button yet. It's not some blog about office furnitures or anything. It is my blog you've come too. I've given my blog a little makeover, if you can call it that. I've been meaning to change my blog template for ages but never got around to doing it cos I was too afraid to screw up my blog too much.
Would you believe I've been using the previous blog template from the first day my blog was ever created? The template I had before this was from one of the original templates that you pick when you create a blog. If I'm not mistaken it's called the 'No. 565' template. It doesn't look anything like the original template anymore cos I've tweaked it so much since then.
One reason why I never touched my original template was cos I'm the kind who hates change and having to have to get used to something new. Not knowing much HTML is also another big factor. I can still remember when I first started this blog and the first time I tried changing my header by adding a tagline to it I was so proud and felt like some super programming genius ... LOL!
I really didn't dare messing around with my template much back then. The first time I looked at the HTML codes for my template I almost died of heart failure! You can't really blame me when I see things like these:
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */
They looked like something that came off a page from Dan Brown's Digital Fortress novel! I mean come on, don't tell me it doesn't look daunting to you, especially if you were a total ignoramus like me. 'Word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */', just what the heck does that even mean? It took me ages to even begin to understand a teeny weeny bit of coding language to tweak my blog a little more to my specifications.
I remember the first time I managed to remove a background, change the width of my post area, add in icons and images in the side bar widgets, change a font colour, and upload my own masthead, I was practically ecstatic! I was walking around the whole day telling wifey what a genius I was ... hahaha ...
And because of my rather bad handicap of not knowing HTML or CSS or whatever that coding thingy is called, I've kept my old blogger template until today. All that has really changed over the years is only my blog header. I've had quite a few but I can't really remember all of them and the current one was the longest I've had.
Back then, I had this preference for full sized headers with illustrations on it. The bigger and more filled out it was, the better. It's one of the first things someone sees when they visit your blog, so the more colourful and big it was, the better it was or so my mindset was back then. These days though, I prefer to keep thing much more simplified and straight to the point, hence the really simplified blog template you see.
It's a template I picked up off the internet and tweaked it to my specifications to suit me, colour and font wise. What? You thought I designed it all on my own? I may know a little coding these days but nothing to the extent of designing a blog from scratch! I wish I did though but unfortunately I don't have the time or inclination to learn something so technical.
Like I said, I like the simple approach these days, so no fancy looking colourful blog header, no icons on the side bar titles, no fancy animated, blinking or flashing stuff or anything along those line. Just a plain simple header (not that it's any good mind you) and a really plain simple white background. It does help to load my blog all that much faster. One thing I really can't stand is a blog that loads oh so slowly because of all the extensive animations and whatnot's.
Back when I first started blogging I used to install every single add-on that I thought was 'cool' and at one time my blog pages started loading so slow that I didn't even want to visit my own blog! LOL! I had tons of ads and games (yes, games) on my sidebar and god alone knows the reasons why I installed them. I guess being a newbie to blogging kinda got me all excited with wanting to have everything on my blog.
Well, I've gone way pass that phase and now, I just practice what I normally do in the office here on my blog, which is keep it simple, stupid. It works so much better. With that said and done, I'd like to thank all my blog visitors, some old, some new and also some missing ones for taking the time and trouble to visit this humble (and at times nasty) blog and hopefully you'll all keep on reading my gibberish nonsense for a long time to come :D
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 05:23 AM PST
Because the Obama administration is keen to restart negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered a ten-month freeze on West Bank settlements. Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has responded by demanding more — as a pre-condition, before he will talk. Just a guess: Netanyahu is not surprised. Nor should anyone else be. It doesn't require Donald Trump to know that the art of the deal starts with an understanding of what each side wants. Yet for more than half a century, Western politicians and diplomats have built upon a mirage: the belief that because we see peace as a benefit, everyone in the Middle East must see it that way, too.
This assumption is mostly obviously false in regard to Hamas, which has ruled Gaza with an iron fist since Israel withdrew from that territory in 2005. Hamas's leaders have been candid: They are fighting a jihad, a religious war. Their goal is the annihilation of Israel, an "infidel" nation occupying land Allah has endowed to the Muslims. A "two-state solution" or any other compromise is out of the question. Under sufficient pressure, Hamas will accept a temporary truce as a way to gain time to rebuild its strength. But putting sufficient pressure on Hamas is problematic, as illustrated by the U.N.'s recent Goldstone Report, which accused Israel of war crimes for having responded to several years of non-stop rocket attacks with a military offensive — one that was cautious and limited by any objective standard.
Of course, serious people do not envision Israeli-Hamas negotiations. It is rather talks between Israel and Abbas — who maintains tentative control of the West Bank — which President Obama would like to get underway again. But any agreement Abbas might strike with Israel, no matter how advantageous for average Palestinians, would be denounced by Hamas as not just a bad deal but an act of treachery and apostasy. Abbas's life would be in danger. If you were advising Abbas, what would you tell him? Probably, to do exactly what he is doing: Pocket any Israeli concessions the Americans can wring out of the Israelis while dismissing them as woefully insufficient; refuse to negotiate; but behind the scenes work with the Israelis on security — not least your own — and economic development. If nothing else, that may prevent Hamas from gaining additional ground.
As for Israel's neighbors, they are undemocratic regimes, so, for them, allies are nice, but enemies are essential. Where else can popular dissatisfaction be deflected? Take Saudi Arabia: Israel long ago proved itself to be the Saudis' best enemy — both reliable and valuable. The Saudis know they face no actual threat from Israel, but hatred of Israel is something Wahhabi clerics — whose theological support the House of Saud requires — can sink their teeth into during Friday night sermons. Why would a Saudi prince trade that for an invitation to dine in Jerusalem? Of course, one can make peace with Israel and not break bread with the Jews. Egypt is proof of that. After reaching a settlement with Israel in 1979 and receiving the entire Sinai Peninsula — a territory three times as large as all of Israel — in exchange, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamists in 1981. His successor, Hosni Mubarak, has understood that Egypt's diplomatic relations with Israel must never be normal, neighborly relations. Blatant anti-Semitism is rife in Egypt. (View, for example, this clip from MEMRI TV.)
There's also this: Tension in the Middle East keeps the price of oil higher than it would be were a durable peace ever to break out. So any country that depends on oil sales — Russia, for example — benefits as long as the conflict stays at least on low simmer. Higher oil prices on the one hand, peace for Jews and Arabs on the other: You think it takes Vladimir Putin long to make up his mind? As for Iran's Islamist rulers, the vehemence of their jihad against Israel buys them legitimacy and even a chance for leadership within the Sunni world. Is there a better way for a Shia regime to achieve that? Like Hamas and Hezbollah, two terrorists groups they finance (the first Sunni, the second Shia), Iran's rulers have not the slightest interest in such Western diplomatic constructs as a "final-status plan for a two-state solution."
The U.S. and Israel, of course, do adamantly desire peace. Chronic conflict — the normal state of most of the world throughout most of history — is uncomfortable for free and democratic nations to endure. But with so many key actors opposed to peace, there is no way for Israel, even with energetic American help, to reach a lasting settlement with its Muslim neighbors any time soon. That doesn't mean the situation can't improve. Abbas's Palestinian Authority does appear to be cooperating closely with the Israeli Defense Forces to crack down on both terrorists and criminals. And an improved security situation is among the factors contributing to a remarkable new economic vitality on the West Bank.
Netanyahu calls this the pursuit of "economic peace." Could it pay off over time by persuading more Palestinians — and more powerful Palestinians — to embrace peace as their goal and effectively challenge peace's opponents? Yes to the first; doubtful but not impossible to the second. But why not achieve now what can be achieved now? Surely, cultivating a small oasis is preferable to pursuing a great mirage. National Review
— Clifford D. May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 05:14 AM PST
How is it that only Western nations are accused of "defaming" religion?
America, like so many countries in the West, laments its strained relations with the Islamic world. In June, Pres. Barack Obama traveled to Cairo to speak against the "fear and mistrust" that exist between the West and Islam. Yet Muslim governments demand respect for Islam while refusing to offer similar respect for religious minorities within their own borders.
The recent Swiss vote to ban the construction of minarets in that European nation has become the latest controversy to generate Muslim protests worldwide. However, Islamic governments are in no position to complain about Western intolerance and "Islamophobia." Most Muslim nations are repressive or offer only limited political freedom. More often than not, Islamic states violate basic human rights; and almost all persecute Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities.
Many authoritarian states — especially Communist or formerly Communist ones — violate religious liberty along with other freedoms in order to maintain political control. But Muslim nations are almost unique in their willingness to persecute religious minorities to promote religious ends, as is evident from the State Department's latest report on religious liberty abroad.
The State Department refers to "state hostility toward minority or non-approved religious groups," as if different faiths randomly oppressed different faiths. However, Islam has distinguished itself with the willingness of governments and individuals to harass, attack, jail, and kill members of other religions. Even the most moderate and tolerant Islamic states often fall far short of respecting religious minorities. In Morocco, for instance, the government detained converts from Islam to Christianity, expelled Christian missionaries, and restricted "non-Islamic materials and proselytizing." Many other Islamic states are far worse, however.
The U.S. expelled the Taliban government, but has not created a free society. Although the Karzai government responded to outside pressure and took some steps to improve religious liberty, explains State, "the residual effects of years of jihad against the former Soviet Union, Taliban rule, civil strife, popular suspicion regarding outside influence of foreigners, and still weak democratic institutions hindered the realization of this aspiration." Relations among different Muslim sects "continued to be difficult"; non-Muslims face "harassment and occasional violence"; "most local Christians did not publicly state their beliefs or gather openly to worship."
In this small Islamic state respect for religious liberty has been falling. The State Department reports that "non-Muslims were prohibited from receiving religious education in private religious schools, which had previously been allowed." Moreover, "across denominational lines, non-Muslim religious leaders stated that they were subjected to undue influence and duress, and some were threatened with fines and/or imprisonment. Active monitoring of churches and disruption of supply shipments and mail were reported." The authorities also limited the use of literature and worship places by religious minorities.
Although progress was made in some areas, "The status of respect for religious freedom by the government declined somewhat," reports State, "based on the failure to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of increased incidents of sectarian violence," mostly against Coptic Christians. Moreover, the authorities "again failed to redress laws and governmental practices that discriminate against Christians, effectively allowing their discriminatory effects and their modeling effect on society to become further entrenched." Christian converts from Islam were harassed and abused.
The most populous Islamic nation, Indonesia long has reflected a more moderate variant of Islam. But Muslim extremists remain active and often unconstrained by the authorities. Reports State: "Ongoing government restrictions, particularly among unrecognized religions and sects of the recognized religions considered 'deviant' were significant exceptions to respect for religious freedom." Worse, the government sometimes "tolerated discrimination against and the abuse of religious groups by private actors and failed to punish perpetrators." Those responsible are rarely punished. Moreover, "Some groups used violence and intimidation to forcibly shut at least nine churches and 12 Ahmadiyya mosques."
One of the uglier Islamic persecutors is Iran. The constitution nominally affirms the rights of "protected" religions — Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians. However, in practice no non-Shi'a believer is safe. Explains the report: "Respect for religious freedom in the country continued to deteriorate. Government rhetoric and actions created a threatening atmosphere for nearly all non-Shi'a religious groups, most notably for Baha'is, as well as Sufi Muslims, evangelical Christians, and members of the Jewish community. Reports of government imprisonment, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination based on religious beliefs continued." The state also promoted discrimination in the areas of education, employment, and housing. Iran is a Country of Particular Concern.
Tragically, liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein meant liberating some of the worst sectarian passions, which he had brutally held in check. Roughly half of Iraq's historical Christian community has been displaced, many to Jordan and Syria, another secular Arab dictatorship. Although the government does not persecute, reports State, "violence conducted by terrorists, extremists, and criminal gangs restricted the free exercise of religion and posed a significant threat to the country's vulnerable religious minorities." Although overall violence is down, Christians and other religious minorities continue to be targeted by radical Muslims.
This former British colony remains freer than Iran but not as free as Indonesia. Observes State: "Minority religious groups remained generally free to practice their beliefs; however, over the past several years, many have expressed concern that the civil court system has gradually ceded jurisdictional control to Sharia courts, particularly in areas of family law involving disputes between Muslims and non-Muslims." Conversion from Islam is prohibited and, notes the department, "Religious minorities continued to face limitations on religious expression and alleged violations of property rights," including prohibiting proselytizing of Muslims.
The population is divided among Christian, Muslim, and traditional faiths. Although the national government does not persecute, a dozen "northern states use Sharia courts to adjudicate criminal and civil matters for Muslims," notes State, and "local political actors stoked sectarian violence with impunity." Although Christians are not free from all blame, the initiators more often have been Muslims and their victims more often have been Christians; there also have been reports of forced conversions to Islam as well as threats to extend Sharia law over non-Muslims.
Washington's ally in the war on terror is one of the least hospitable states for religious minorities. State notes "some positive steps to improve the treatment of religious minorities," but Christians, Hindus, and Jews remain second-class citizens, if that. Explains the report: "Law enforcement personnel abused religious minorities in custody. Security forces and other government agencies did not adequately prevent or address societal abuses against minorities. Discriminatory legislation and the government's failure to take action against societal forces hostile to those who practice a different religious belief fostered religious intolerance, acts of violence, and intimidation against religious minorities." Christians even risk execution if convicted of "blasphemy."
Another close U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia is among the globe's worst persecutors. At least Saudi Arabia makes no pretense. Explains the report, "Freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and is severely restricted in practice." Although the private practice of non-Sunni Islam is usually left alone, "This right was not always respected in practice and is not defined in law." Moreover, explains State, "the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) continued to conduct raids on private non-Muslim religious gatherings." The repressive kingdom has been designated a Country of Particular Concern.
No surprise, this wreckage of a nation with an Islamic majority is not a good host for religious minorities. Notes State: "The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) generally did not enforce legal protections of religious freedom." Not that it probably could do so even if so inclined, given the rise in extremist militias, which "often imposed through violence a strict interpretation of Islam on communities under their control. There were also reports that individuals who do not practice Islam experienced discrimination, violence, and detention because of religious beliefs."
This tragic nation, whose Muslim north long has warred against its animist and Christian south, also is inhospitable land for religious minorities. After years of violent conflict, an accord of sorts was reached, theoretically ensuring religious freedom in the south while favoring Islam in the north. State explains that, while the Government of National Unity "did not vigorously enforce its strictest restrictions on religious freedom, it generally did not respect religious plurality in the north." There also "were some reports of societal abuses and discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice." Sudan is another Country of Particular Concern.
Although the government generally respects freedom of religious practice, it restricts Islamic expression in education and official circumstances. Moreover, notes State, "Minority religious groups also faced difficulties in worshipping, registering with the Government, and training their followers," as well as proselytizing. Further, "Threats against non-Muslims created an atmosphere of pressure and diminished freedom for some non-Muslim communities. Many Christians, Baha'is, and heterodox Muslims faced societal suspicion and mistrust, and some elements of society continued to express anti-Semitic sentiments."
Yet another failed or semi-failed Islamic state, Yemen enshrines Islam as the state religion, holds Shari'a as the source of all law, bans conversion from Islam, and forbids proselytizing of Muslims. Although non-Muslims remain nominally free to otherwise practice their faiths, reports State, "There was a decrease in the status of respect for religious freedom by the government . . . , particularly with regard to the Baha'i and Jewish communities." Private perpetrators of violence against religious minorities were not punished.
Washington's ability to aid religious minorities in other nations always will be limited. However, any Western dialogue with Islam must take into account the tendency of Islamic governments to persecute. For a start, the U.S. should suggest that Muslim governments that campaign against the "defamation" of religion start by respecting the freedom of conscience of those who live under their control. After all, murder is the ultimate form of defamation. National Review
— Doug Bandow is senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a senior fellow in religious persecution at the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. A former special assistant to Pres. Ronald Reagan, he is the author of Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Politics.
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 04:53 AM PST
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 04:37 AM PST
A new 39 minute Lord of the Rings episode telling of Aragorn's hunt for Gollum before The Fellowship of the Ring. This high concept short film is brought to the screen for free by Independent Online Cinema. www.thehuntforgollum.com Made by talented volunteer filmmakers for under $5,000, the film is a faithful tribute to the style of Peter Jackson's trilogy and the world of J.R.R. Tolkien telling how Aragorn tracked down Gollum between The Hobbit & The Fellowship of the Ring.
The film achieved over 1 million views in the first week of release in May 2009. (Dailymotion) and wide press acclaim for it's high production values on a microbudget.
This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 03:53 AM PST
Pakatan Rakyat menubuhkan Pasukan Petugas Anti Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (GST) untuk memantau pelan yang akan dilaksanakan oleh pihak kerajaan dalam tempoh 18 bulan akan datang.
Pakatan Rakyat berpendapat, pengumuman Menteri Kewangan Kedua, Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah bahawa GST bertujuan untuk menambah pendapatan cukai kerajaan sebanyak 1 bilion akan membebankan rakyat.
"Bertolak daripada kenyataan polisi kementerian kewangan itu, Pakatan rakyat telah bersetuju untuk menubuhkan, sebuah pasukan petugas khas, pasukan petugas anti GST yang diwakili oleh ahli-ahli parlimen dari tiga parti Pakatan" ujar ahli parlimen Shah Alam, Khalid Samad.
GST dicadang oleh kerajaan untuk dilaksanakan pada suku ketiga 2011 dan diramal dapat meraih pendapatan cukai tahunan RM1 bilion selepas setahun dilancarkan.
Bercakap di lobi parlimen, ahli parlimen Kuala Selangor, Dzulkifli Ahmad berkata, pengenalan GST ini secara langsung akan menambahkan bebanan kepada rakyat sementelah pembayaran cukai sebelum ini sudah cukup membuatkan mereka yang berpendapatan rendah tertekan.
"Pada pandangan Pakatan Rakyat, pengenalan GST ini bakal menggantikan sales tax yang telah terlaksana sekian lama ini meninggalkan kesan dan pada pandangan dan telahan kami, kesan dan impak yang khususnya kepada golongan berpendapatan rendah, kesannya boleh dikatakan sebagai parah" ujarnya lagi.
Tanggungjawab petugas anti GST ialah :
1)Kumpulan Anti GST yang terdiri daripada ahli-ahli parlimen Pakatan Rakyat ini akan mengkaji akta sedia ada yang berkaitan dengan Rang Undang-undang.
2)Merformulasi pelan tindakan untuk jangka masa pendek dan panjang.
3)Menyedia dan melengkapkan pemimpin-pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat dalam isu GTS
4)Menjalankan sesi sumbang saran dengan rakyat dan memberi kefahaman secara menyeluruh terhadap kesan GST
Pakatan Rakyat juga berpendapat, tujuan kerajaan mewujudkan GTS ini adalah untuk mengaut wang rakyat setelah kutipan cukai hasil minyak dan gas dalam negara berada dalam keadaan kritikal.
Anti GTS ini akan disertai oleh ahli parlimen Machang, Saifudin Nassution, ahli parlimen Indera Mahkota, Azan Ismail, ahli parlimen Kuala Selangor, Dzulkifli Ahmad, ahli parlimen Petaling Jaya Utara, Tony Phua dan beberapa yang lain.
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Posted: 03 Dec 2009 02:32 AM PST
When Miki was nine to twelve months old; he thought he was a Tiger. After his first birthday he thought he was the Sultan of Bandar Kinrara.
He liked to open his mouth really big; showing whatever number of teeth he had at that time and roared! It was my fault really, I was teaching him animal sounds and I guess I was too good a teacher; his impersonation of Shere Khan was tad too real. But it was really cute at that time; he would do the tiger roar whenever we say "Miki, buat tiger!"
This photo was taken on 27 Dec 2008. Miki was 11 months old. I am missing my lil baby.. He has grown so big now… talking in complete sentences, dressing himself up, doing things on his own…
We called him something else the other day, Azman called out "Hi, Abang Miki!"
And he answered "Eh! Abang Luth lah!"
Oh well, I have always known that he would wanna change his cutey nickname sooner or later. Like when he is 13 or something. But definately not at 23 months. Too soon, baby! Too soon…
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 01:32 AM PST
Pendedahan yang makin banyak dibuat oleh orang ramai yang pernah menyertai kursus BTN, betapa ia dipenuhi dengan sentimen yang keji, menempelak penafian yang dibuat oleh Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri (TPM) Ahmad Maslan (gambar) yang bertanggungjawab ke atas program BTN.
Turut terkena tempiasnya, Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yang menjadi peminpin pertama menafikannya sebaik Selangor mengumumkan pengharaman kakitanga n dan pelajar miliknya menyertai kursus yang penuh dengan unsur perkauman dan memecahbelahkan rakyat.
Beberapa mahasiswa dan orang ramai yang pernah mengikuti program BTN, mengakui apa yang didedahkan oleh Kerajaan Selangor adalah hakikat yang pastinya membuka kesedaran orang ramai akan kejujuran kerajaan yang melaung-laungkan slogan 1 Malaysia.
'Kami ditunjukkan gambar Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim bersama seorang rakyat Amerika. Jurulatih memberitahu kami yang beliau seorang pengkhianat kepada negara kerana beliau mempunyai hubungan yang baik dengan orang Amerika'.
Itulah antara isu-isu yang dibangkitkan sewaktu program pembinaan negara dijalankan oleh Biro Tatanegara (BTN), yang pernah diikuti seorang pelajar tahun empat jurusan ekonomi, Fakhrul Zaki Fazial seperti dilaporkan dalam Malaysiakini.
Penuntut Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) itu berkata, fokus kursus tersebut adalah mengenai bangsa Melayu tetapi apa yang diajarkan ialah mengkritik pembangkang dan menganggap kritikan mereka sebagai patriotik.
Ketua pelajar Universiti Malaya, Mohd Ridzuan Mohammad, pula berkata terdapat ceramah yang mendakwa bahawa kaum lain menjadi ancaman kepada orang Melayu.
Menurutnya, yang pernah menghadiri program BTN pada 2004, tidak seharusnya mereka membangkitkan sentimen perkauman yang akan mencetuskan perpecahan kaum.
"Ini kerana program tersebut boleh mempengaruhi sesetengah pelajar yang hadir berhubung ideologi perkauman tersebut," katanya.
Chin Shin Liang, seorang bekas pelajar Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) yang pernah menghadiri program BTN pada Disember 2008, turut berkongsi pengalamannya.
"Kami ditunjukkan klip video perhimpunan Bersih dan kemudian gambar negara Palestin yang dilanda perang dengan keterangannya: Apakah ini yang kita mahukan?… Kita juga ditunjukkan seorang pemprotes (tidak dikenalpasti) membaling batu," katanya
Twrdahulu Setiausaha Politik kepada Menteri Besar Selangor, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad menyertai yang menyertai program Biro Tatanegara pada tahun 2004 menceritakan pengalamannya yang menyifatkan betapa kejinya taktik kerajaan Umno-Barisan Nasional menanam kebencian melalui biro itu.
Beliau turut menceritakan pengalaman diarah memberi kuliah subuh berdasarkan teks yang telah dirangka oleh pihak BTN.
Kandungan teks tersebut menjelaskan bahawa penangkapan tanpa bicara dan penyeksaan dibawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) adalah halal di sisi Islam.
Apa yang dijamah oleh peserta-peserta BTN adalah cerpen yang mendakwa parti-parti pembangkang adalah ekstrem dan kolot.
Nik Nazmi menjelaskan beliau tidak menafikan bahawa perlu ada program kenegaraan untuk mahasiswa namun perkara yang dikesalkan beliau adalah modul politik sempit dan kebencian yang ditawarkan kepada peserta.
"Kita tidak menafikan bahawa kita boleh adakan program kenegaraan, bahawa kita perlu tahu sejarah, kita perlu tahu masalah-masalah yang membebani masyarakat kita pada hari ini. Tetapi ia harus dibuat dengan suasana yang lebih terbuka, kurang partisan," katanya.
Beliau menambah, unsur kepartian tidak harus dicampuradukkan dengan program BTN yang menjadi salah satu syarat kepada pegawai kerajaan dan pemegang biasiswa.
Beliau turut mencadangkan kajian perlu dibuat secara lebih intensif dengan menubuhkan suruhanjaya diraja yang terdiri daripada ahli akademik untuk memantau modul program BTN supaya kembali ke matlamat asal.
Isu BTN menjadi fokus dan menimbulkaan kekecohan selepas Selangor diikuti Pulau Pinang mengharamkan pegawai kerajaan negeri dan pelajar universiti menyertai kursus berkenaan kerana kurikulum yang diunjurkan boleh memecahbelahkan rakyat.
Sebelum ini Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz berkata Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak mengarahkan kursus BTN dirombak untuk memastikan ia tidak menggugat perpaduan kaum dan selaras dengan konsep 1Malaysia yang dibawanya.
Minggu lalu, Muhyiddin menafikan kurikulum program BTN tidak langsung berbau perkauman.
Namun dua kenyataan yang bercanggah di antara sama lain telah dibuat oleh Ahmad Maslan yang menyatakan ia tidak dirombak manakala Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin mendakwa cadangan merombak modul dan pendekatan BTN sudah lama dibincang.
Ahmad Maslan mendakwa kurikulum BTN tidak dirombak, sebaliknya dibaikpulih sedikit.
Belaiau mendakwa Nazri tidak bermaksud dirombak, sebaliknha diperbaiki.
Khaled pula mendakwa keputusan untuk merombak kurikulum BTN bukan disebabkan kerajaan akur dengan desakan pembangkang.
"Perkara itu berlaku secara kebetulan kerana kabinet sebelum ini pernah membincangkan cadangan untuk merombak kurikulum kursus berkenaan agar selari dengan peredaran masa, " katanya. -fmt
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 12:22 AM PST
Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I would rather that it be called International Day of Disabled Persons. There is a difference between the two. The former puts the onus of disablement on the person. The person has a disability which is the main cause of the problems that he faces in society. The latter describes the situation of the person who is disabled by attitudinal and physical barriers in society. Read more about what I have written regarding this topic under "Social Model of Disability".
The theme for this year is "Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world". MDGs means Millennium Development Goals. The following is a brief on the MDGs with regards to disabled people according to United Nations Enable:
So, today is a day dedicated to people like me – people on wheelchairs, people who are blind, people who are deaf and people who are living with other forms of impairment. Thank you so much for remembering us and honouring us and recognising us. All these have no meaning if no affirmative action is taken to reduce the socioeconomic gap between disabled people and non-disabled people.
This can only be achieved by making infrastructure and services accessible to all, first and foremost public transport and the built environment. Without access to these two, there is no way for disabled people to come into mainstream society. The federal government, state governments and local authorities, have the means and resources to do this. Sad to say, most of them do not take the initiative to make the infrastructure inclusive.
The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat), through the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat Malaysia (Department of Social Welfare Malaysia) is holding a celebration in conjunction with this day on December 5 at Komplex MAB in Brickfields. The Ministry has chosen not to follow the theme promoted by United Nations and instead use "Pendayaupayaan OKU Ke Arah Pembangunan Potensi Diri" (Empowering Disabled People Towards Developing Self Potential).
Talk is cheap. I have heard ministers, wives of ministers and government officials talk about making life easier for disabled people. Many of these "positive announcements" are archived in this blog. As far as I am concerned, nothing has changed. 1Malaysia kah or Rakyat Didahulukan kah, disabled people are still marginalised in every way through ommission, ignorance and discrimination. The people in government should stop talking and start working towards achieving equalisation of opportunities for disabled people. Just resolve our issues. It is as simple as that. We do not need the government spending money celebrating this day but not doing anything afterwards. No thank you!
Posted: 02 Dec 2009 11:19 PM PST
Seorang setiausaha politik menteri kanan daripada UMNO di Jabatan Perdana Menteri yang dikatakan telah mengumpul berjuta-juta ringgit dalam masa yang singkat sedang disiasat oleh Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM).
Difahamkan, penyiasat kes tersebut pernah mendapat perintah bagi merampas dan membekukan beberapa harta miliknya termasuk kereta mewah dan rumah selain akaun bank yang telah pun dibekukan bagi membantu siasatan di bawah Akta Pencegahan Pengubahan Wang Haram.
Menurut sumber, senarai rampasan harta tersebut termasuklah sekurang-kurangnya empat buah kereta mewah dan empat buah rumah dipercayai kepunyaan setiausaha politik yang berumur lewat 30-an itu.
Suruhanjaya tersebut sedang menyiasat pembelian hartanya di kawasan Lembah Klang yang dikatakan diperolehi dari wang sogokan daripada kelulusan beberapa projek yang bernilai jutaan ringgit.
Difahamkan, beberapa rampasan adalah di bawah nama setiausaha politik itu dan penyiasat akan memanggil nama-nama lain yang telah didaftarkan sebagai pemilik. Sumber juga berkata, pegawai penyiasat telah pun mengenal pasti beberapa individu lain yang turut terlibat dengan kes tersebut dan juga akan dipanggil bagi membantu siasatan.
Sebuah pasukan khas daripada suruhanjaya di Putrajaya juga telah pun memulakan siasatan kira-kira tiga minggu lalu berikutan maklumat yang mengatakan dia menjalani kehidupan mewah melebihi kemampuannya.
Difahamkan bahawa siasatan terhadap setiausaha politik tersebut dikategorikan antara kes berprofil tinggi.
Sehingga kini, suruhanjaya masih lagi meneruskan siasatan berdasarkan laporan dan maklumat yang telah diberikan oleh orang ramai. Pegawai suruhanjaya enggan mengulas tentang perkara ini ketika dihubungi.
Posted: 02 Dec 2009 10:31 PM PST
BREAKING NEWS After 11 years, Anwar Ibrahim's final chance to challenge his unlawful dismissal as deputy prime minister is being heard at the Federal Court today.
Three judges, Court of Appeal president Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, along with Federal Court judge Abdull Hamid Embung and justice Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff at the apex court would decide two questions of law and most importantly, should it decide in favour of Anwar, his application for damages.
Posted: 02 Dec 2009 07:35 PM PST
Rain drops keep falling on my head
Rhythm of the rain
Anyone has some newer song about rain?... I think someone must have repeatedly sing the rain song in Redbox or Neway yesterday night... until all the rain song became a call for rain this morning. But, good for me as it was a nice cooling morning for sleep, sleep and sleep... I knew some of you who need to rush for work would have cursed along the way as you were caught in the jam for hours... As for TZ, he was taking photo high up in his balcony and enjoying the rainy scenery of Kuala Lumpur in the morning... *hiak hiak*
Taken this morning @ my balcony
Since the rain has stopped and the traffic has cleared... Later it's time for TZ to the gym and back to study after gym... Oh, btw, i forgot to mention... I'm a full time student now.. Studying for my exam next week.
Gotta go and cook my lunch now... Sayonara... Enjoy the rest of the day eh~
Posted: 02 Dec 2009 08:14 PM PST
Datuk Azhar, Ketua Pembangkang di Dewan Undangan Negeri Pulau sekali lagi digantung daripada menghadiri persidangan dewan itu selepas enggan memohon maaf berhubung tuduhan menunjukkan punggung kepada Sim Tze Tzin (DAP-Pantai Jerjak) semalam.
Azhar (BN-Penaga) dituduh melakukan perbuatan itu ketika hendak keluar dewan setelah Timbalan Speaker Tan Hock Leong mengarahkan beliau keluar kerana enggan menarik balik istilah "dua tiga kerat" semasa membahaskan Bajet 2010 semalam.
"Ini satu lagi konspirasi kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat untuk menutup mulut saya daripada terus mengkritik pentadbiran mereka. Saya cuma membongkok untuk ambil beg kerana beg saya berada di bawah, takkan pula saya nak lambung guna kaki dan tangkap, tapi dituduh menunjukkan punggung pula.
Abdul Halim juga mempelawa Azhar untuk menonton tayangan video kejadian semalam namun Azhar enggan.
Sebagai membanding petikan berita di Bernama di atas, kita lihat pula laporan berita dari Malaysian Insider.
Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Azhar Ibrahim dari Barisan Nasional digantung dari menghadiri sidang Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) pagi ini atas alasan enggan memohon maaf terhadap tindakannya "menunjukkan punggung", semalam.
Azhar didakwa menunjukkan isyarat punggung ketika diarah keluar dari DUN pada sesi petang semalam.
"Saya tak tunjuk punggung semalam, cuma tunduk untuk melihat dompet saya. Pagi ini, saya berkata bahawa saya tidak berbuat demikian dan mereka tak boleh terima alasan saya lalu minta saya memohon maaf.
"Saya tak mahu memohon maaf atas perbuatan yang saya tidak buat," kata beliau ketika dihubungi The Malaysian Insider sebentar tadi. -Malaysian Insider
Itulah darjat kebinatangan wakil UMNO di dalam DUN atau Parlimen.
Menunjukkan punggung kemudian berhelah menyatakan mengambil bag (versi Bernama) dan melihat dompet (Malaysian Insider) sudah cukup untuk menjelaskan pembohongan ADUN UMNO BN berkenaan.
GB teringat di satu masa kes Menteri Besar Pahang yang menunjukkan isyarat lucah tetapi menipu menyatakan bahawa beliau tak tunjukkan isyarat lucah tetapi sekadar mengangkat tangannya kerana dikatakannya terseliuh.
Itulah jenis wakil rakyat UMNO yang ada kini. Melakukan perbuatan-perbuatan yang tersangat tidak berdisiplin dan berakhlak. Tetapi kemudian mencipta alasan-alasan untuk melepaskan diri mereka.
Posted: 03 Dec 2009 07:39 AM PST
Wednesday December 2, 2009
KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is studying whether it should withdraw its subsidy on sugar to reduce its consumption among Malaysians.
The Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry said it was seriously mulling over the proposals by various groups to cut the subsidy and would bring the matter to the Cabinet for discussion.
"We are studying whether to reduce or abolish entirely the sugar subsidy. We admit that the subsidy currently given by the Government is high," minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob told reporters after launching a campaign to reduce sugar intake organised by the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) here yesterday.
Ismail Sabri said the Government spent RM720mil in sugar subsidy in order to maintain the price at RM1.45 per kilo this year.
However, he said, the sugar price might reach RM2.45 per kilo if the ministry abolished the subsidy.
"Other factors taken into account for the removal of the subsidy is that Malaysia is the only country with a sugar subsidy. At the same time, the Government is encouraging Malaysians to live a healthier lifestyle by consuming less sugar," he added.
Earlier, CAP president S.M. Mohd Idris urged the Government to abolish the subsidy as this had incurred a high cost. Several other consumer associations had also proposed the same.
In an immediate reaction, Malaysian Diabetes Association president Prof Dr Ikram Shah Ismail said the Government's move would result in an improvement to the overall health of Malaysians.
He said this was because besides diabetes, sugar caused people to put on weight, increased cholesterol and blood pressure.
"All these can raise the risk of heart disease," he added.
"It will make people stop and think about how much sugar they are consuming."
He said it would take between one and two years for any noticeable change in the health of Malaysians to be noticed if the subsidy was cut.
"Such a move could also result in food producers reducing the amount of sugar used," he said.
Dr Ikram Shah pointed out that a similar move by the New Zealand government to reduce the amount of oil used to cook fries had resulted in a drop of obese people there.
The National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2006 revealed that 43.1% of Malaysian adults were overweight or obese, which was double the figure from a decade ago.
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