Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010!

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Happy 2010!


Happy 2010!

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 10:45 AM PST

IMG_2526-234 by nicholaschan

Still remember last year's this time, I was in Guangzhou, lying on the comfy hotel bed, watching the fireworks of Hong Kong from the little LCD screen in the hotel. The outside temperature was around 11 degree celcius, I finished walking on Shang Xia Jiu Pedestrian Street and it's so not-happenings in Guangzhou, they don't countdown for new year.

I just came back from outside, this post was supposed to be scheduled automatic post but somehow something wrong with the server, so I repost it now. Went to see fireworks and ate supper and it's a tiring yet funny day. Gonna think for new year's resolution when I wake up later in the morning or noon, then plan my new year ahead when I am free. 2009 was awesome, 2010 I'm sure will be and I wanted it to be!


Happy Twenty Ten...

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 08:00 AM PST

Good morning everyone,

It's 1st day of the year... how do you feel on the first day of Twenty Ten... Great?~

Anyway, wish you all the best on Twenty Ten... hey don't just stay @ home, go out and enjoy different environment which will gain different experience... :)

HAPPY TWENTY TEN... MAY ALL YOUR WISHES COME TRUE EH~

Cheers,
TZ


HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010 !!

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 09:56 AM PST

Off to KL!! Left Kuantan around 3 and arrived about 5.35 pm..
Dato' drove non-stop.Thank you Riff!

Blogger Kitchen Guardian with the very lovable NanaDJ !!

Puteri with SOHO Mama !!

Spike and his big brother! Handsome2nya!!

Naz and her very beautiful loving family..

The 3 Norweigian musketeers..I asked Spike.."how do you want me to talk to you? He said " I know how to speak a bit of Malay and English..but you can speak to me in Norweigian!" Hehehe..

R-L: Bloggers Naz, Hanz, Zaitgha, Ezza and Shana.

Blogger Norway and Blogger Shah Alam Kay Leeda!

Naz and sifu blogger Kak Teh had a tearful reunion!

What a very Happy New Year for kakak dari London and adik from Norway!! Alhamdullillah..

Our sifus!! Bukan seafood okay??

Kak Teh (partly hidden) with blogger Shahieda from Capetown being greeted with loads of smiles from blogger Ibu (orange baju) and Desert Rose (behind)..Hand only (Blogger Ezza!)

Bloggers Shana, Ezza and Zaitgha..don't underestimate us Makcik Bloggers yer..
nampak cool tapi power cili api oii!!

Ezza's Angels!!

Enjoying all sorts of topics and food in Dave's Deli 1-Utama! Penuh meja!
Nissa (right) anak Kay Leeda was so sweet..she just set there patiently while Mommy bermeeting!! Sporting daughter!

Hanz, her darling and her boys!! Abah dia kelek anak rata2 sementara mama nya 'bermesyuarat'! Sporting hubby!!

Bloggers Hanz, sifu we all Kak Teh and SOHO Mama!
Girls! Girls! Banyak lagi sifu kena turunkan ilmu membelog!!

Hanz! Tanya Ezza macam mana nak jaga satu batallion..Ezza expert!!

Kay Leeda tengah nak cuba ajar ilmu petai pada Naz Norway!!

With seafud..err..Chief blogger from TTDI...THANKS BOSS!

Chief kita bawak her sayang Nawwar..ooh..shes such a great conversationalist and giggles easily like her mom! Lovely young lady..pandai masak too!!

Gotcher Naz!!

Eh eh..yang baju biru tu blogger mana pulaak??

Bye2 sayang!

We'll meet again someday! Thank you for the fantastic time!

My anak buah Dino works at the Delifrance 1-Utama..shes joining the Coffee Bean next week!

What was I joking about?? Hmmm..

Gosh..some of the Dave Deli's celebrities!

Chief Puteri dah kata jangan kuat sangat ketawa tapi KG, I and Zaitgha could not control our laughter! Pi Bani kata dia boleh dengar dari Ipoh!!

Sebenarnya Puteri lah training kitaorang ketawa kuat2 tau!!

Tidak..tidak..I don't want the bloggers tea-nner to end!! Waaaaaaa!

Cherishing the moments!!

Puteri helping Naz with the camera shots! Sifu tak sure button mana nak tekan tau?? hahaha

Superbloggers from Norway, London and Capetown!

Superbloggers from KL!!



Nawwar in a focused mode!! She helped click all the makcik bloggers!

Thank you so much Naz..thank you for the precious wonderful time!!


to one and all…

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 09:07 AM PST

happy_new_year


allah does not belongs exclusively to malaysian muslim

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 09:03 AM PST

… didn't i already said that again and again?

so gooheraldd. the court says yes to the use of allah for the catholic church weekly, the herald (pic here shows the herald editor, fr. lawrence). however, i wouldn't dare to celebrate yet… because who knows the home minister might appeal to the court of appeal and you know how the court of appeal act (look at how they overturn the court's decision re: MACC questioning hours).

you know, inspired by the malaysian insider 'shame of the decade' i wanted to made a 'shame of the year' and what is that you wonder? well the shame of the year is the govt. fighting in court for the exlusive use of the word allah! well, if they appeal, then i will surely made that post.

once on facebook, a friend posted about this issue. he agree allah can be use by the chrisitans, does not belong only to the muslim and you know what, there was one muslim who came out to disagree, arguing pastionately, not forgetting getting vulgar too, that allah belongs to the muslim only and the one thing that strike me is she/he appears to speak for all muslim – when i mentioned that some muslim don't mind christians using allah – saying all muslim do not want the christians to use allah and this is the best part – "we will die first before we let you use allah".  whoaa!! i wonder does that sound something like a threat? just like what this brainless umno pasir salak MP, tajuddin said – threatening racial tension?

i labelled him brainless because he asked ""What is their motive (for the suit) ? Why all of a sudden they want to use the word Allah when all this while they have been using the term God?"

good lord, en tajuddin!! the catholic church had all along, many many years back been using allah already. it is not a 'all of a sudden' decision.

and please don't compare allah with god (the comparision should be between allah and tuhan). we don't use god in place of allah. we use god in our english worship/publication and never use allah at all in our english worship/publication BUT in our bahasa worship/publication, yes all along we had been using allah – especially in sabah and sarawak.

tajuddin was not alone though. others too had been asking what tajuddin asked so please refer to my response above. then i find many people too missed the issue at hand when they asked this.   daboss, who commented in the malaysian insider explained it well:

Many people are still not aware of the issue at hand.
The issue at hand is the permission of using the word "Allah" in the Bahasa section of the Herald, the official mouthpiece of the Catholics of Malaysia, of which a section of the circulation is distributed in Sabah and Sarawak, which has a large number of native believers like Iban, Kadazan, Bidayuh and so on. As these native are more comfortable with using Bahasa Malaysia, thus the use of the word "Allah" in the bahasa context is necessary, hence the "confusion". but the authorities should also bear in mind that the word "Allah" had been in use in Bahasa version of the Bible for a long time already. Also the Muslim should also take note that English-educated Chinese, Indian and Eurasion Catholics of Malaysia will continue to use the word "God" and not "Allah". It is also pertinent to note that the Bahasa Melayu version of the Bible, which the Malaysian are using now, are produced in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, and they are circulated among the millions of Christians there without restriction.
UMNO may have a valid point in suspecting that the case may be "politically motivated", but it doesnt take a expert reader of present day Malaysian affair to see that this is the result of the current govt's racist tendencies and corruption that prompted even non-political bodies to take advantage of every opportunity to hit back at the ruling parties.

ok it's new year's eve so i'm not going to comment further. beside, now i gotta  go for the 'majlis malam ambang tahun baru 2010′ right in front of our door-steps.  started at 9.30pm and i was there at 9.30 to collect the lucky draw coupon, then i came back home. (where i am now, at home, i can hear the speeches and music). wanted to see the fireworks and of course hope for a prize in the lucky draw.

below is the news article from malaysiakini. please also don't forget to read it at UCAN, which was what i wrote.  i managed to contact that 3 persons for their quotes. i try to call others like the lead counsel pores royan, the MCCBCHST and CFM president, the gurdwara association president but no one answer the calls. guess they were all on 1/2 day leave maybe being new year's eve.

———————————————————————————

Malaysiakini
Court declares 'Allah' ban invalid

Hazlan Zakaria
Dec 31, 09
4:47pm

In a landmark judgment, the Kuala Lumpur High Court presented the Catholic Church a belated Christmas present by ruling that the home ministry's blanket ban on the use of the word 'Allah' is illegal.

In making the decision to allow the motion by the Catholic Church to set aside the ban, High Court judge Lau Bee Lan stated that the minister's order is "illegal, null and void".

She said that Catholic weekly The Herald can use the word 'Allah' and that the term is not exclusive to Islam.

Justice Lau added that the home ministry also failed to substantiate any of its claims of threats to national security which could be caused by the use of the word 'Allah' by the Herald.

This overturning of the home ministry's earlier ban will open the doors for the Catholic weekly and probably other non-Islamic publications to use the word 'Allah' as a direct translation for the word 'God' in the Malay language versions of their publications.

Justice Lau added that all Malaysians had the constitutional right to use the word 'Allah' as guaranteed under Article 11 of the federal constitution which guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of religion and the practice of it.

The Herald editor Lawrence Andrew (pix), met by reporters outside the herald case 311209 father lawrencecourtroom fresh from the verdict, said that he was 'very happy' with the decision.

However, he stopped short of calling it a victory, saying instead, "We called out for justice and we got it."

If it is at all a victory he added, " …it is a victory for all Malaysians. This shows that we are truly living in a '1Malaysia', not two Malaysias."

"'Allah' is a cherished word, we use in our churches and it is dear to us. It is good that the right to use it has been returned to us," he said.

However, given the implication of the case, it is likely that the home ministry will appeal against the decision to the higher courts.

Home Ministry may appeal

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kamaruddin Mohd Said indicated as such when asked by Malaysiakini after the trial, "The court has ruled and we have to respect the decision of the court. However, if it is decided that this issue requires further contention, then we will apply for a stay to the ruling and file an appeal against it".

He added, "I will have to look at the decision in detail first and consider the inclusion of constitutional rights into the ruling. I will also need to refer back to the home ministry and await further instructions."

Earlier in court, after the judgement was delivered, Kamaruddin (left in pix below), who represented the government in the matter, argued that it was only valid for Herald's 2009 annual publication permit and the restrictions on the use of the word 'Allah' contained therein.

He said today's decision could not affect future permits and a new application for a judicial review would have to be applied for to set aside any similar restrictions contained in the Herald's future permits.

However, lawyers representing the Herald contended that the home minister's statement 'pending the court's determination' (when issuing the ban) spoke for itself, taking to mean that the home minister would have to respect the court's decision when issuing any future permit.

Justice Lau agreed with the Herald's lawyers saying that the home minister's statement 'speaks volumes'.

The landmark case, which was supposed to be heard at the Jalan Duta court complex yesterday, had been postponed to today because Lau said she needed more time to consider her decision.

National security vs religious freedom

The Home Ministry had invoked concerns of national security and said that the ban was to avert any confusion that could ensue should non-Islamic publications use the word 'Allah' as a substitute for 'God'.

The ministry asserted that 'Allah' was exclusive to Islam as a term for the 'one true God'. Hence, other religions could not use it as a generic term.

The Catholic Church, in filing the judicial review, however disputed this and argued that the word 'Allah' predates Islam as a generic term for 'God' and has been in use in many places, even in the Middle East.

It said that in Malaysia, the term 'Allah' is widely used among indigenous Christian tribes in Sabah and Sarawak.

The church also argued that the ban goes against the principle of freedom of religion and religious practices as outlined in the federal constitution.

The Herald, circulated among the country's 850,000 Catholics, nearly lost its publishing licence last year for using the word 'Allah'. The paper is printed in four languages, with a circulation of 14,000 copies a week.


2009 In Review

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 07:30 AM PST

The year is coming to a close. Time to reflect on the happenings of the last 364 days. The highlight definitely must be our wedding banquet in Penang. We had 300 guests celebrating the occasion with us. These are people who have touched our lives in some ways. I am grateful to them for spending their evening with us, and of course not forgetting their generous gifts. Thank you again.

2009 also saw me scaling down my advocacy activities. I have come to realise that I should begin by promoting access in the area where I live before anything else. What is the point of wasting limited resources talking about access to airports and air travel when a majority of disabled people still cannot get out from their homes conveniently and safely. We need to get our priorities right here.

Nevertheless, I conducted a one-day Disability Equality Training (DET) in Kota Bahru organised by the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat Kelantan and gave a presentation on access at the Seminar dan Sesi Dialog Bersama OKU, Agensi Kerajaan dan Pihak Swasta (Seminar and Dialogue Session with Disabled People, Government Agencies and the Private Sector) organised by the Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya.

Suanie got me to give a half-hour presentation on Blogging As A Tool For Advocacy organised by the New Straits Times. I conducted a similar half-day workshop at the Penang Spastic Centre organised by Tan Kuan Aw and Tan Chin Chin.

Wuan and I have also been polishing our photography skills throughout the year. Victor Chin roped us in to a joint photopgraphic exhibition at KLPac with him. His subject was on the forty day prior to his mother's death while Wuan and I displayed my mother's funeral and some of her belongings dating back to the 1920s. We are indeed thankful to Victor for showing us the ropes to holding an exhibition and giving us such a wonderful opportunity to showcase our photography skills or lack of it.

I do not know if it is the weather or my lack of sleep but I feel that I tire easily, more than it used to be. I sure hope it is not a sign of further deterioration of my renal functions. The serum creatinine has been constant throughout the year and I have tried, despite all the tempations, to keep to the requirements of my low-protein diet. I think I need to rest more often instead of spending so much time online although I have cut down on that significantly.

What I like about this year is that I bought a lot of books and really spent time reading them. There are enough books to last me through 2010. Reading has opened up my mind. For the past two months, I have been blogging regularly, almost daily in November. I have slacked in December though because of the festive seasons as Wuan and I did a fair bit of travelling during this period. Nonetheless, the increased output I attribute to my rediscovering the joys of reading.

So, to wrap this entry up and for 2009, I would like to wish, in no particular order, all my aunty friends (you know who you are!), my blogging friends, my Lasallian and Xaverian teachers and schoolmates, new friends that I have made this year, relatives, cousins related by blood or otherwise and friends who had one way or another contributed to the fun at our wedding dinner and all other categories of friends, HAPPY NEW YEAR. May 2010 bring you more good things.

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Anwar Ibrahim: Ubah sebelum parah, ubah demi maruah

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 05:37 AM PST


Tarikh: 31 Disember 2009

Perutusan Tahun Baru 2010 Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim

Kita menyambut kedatangan tahun 2010 dengan penuh harapan, agar keadaan menjadi lebih baik buat diri sendiri, keluarga, masyarakat dan negara. Tahun yang baru, secara simboliknya, menandakan, satu permulaan kepada yang lebih baik dan berusaha menyingkirkan segala kelemahan dan keburukan. Sudah tentu semua ini tidak bermakna sekiranya kita hanya berpeluk tubuh dan gagal melakukan sesuatu. Pendek kata, iltizam untuk melakukan Perubahan sahaja tidak lah mencukupi, ianya memerlukan satu tindakan yang jitu berasaskan kefahaman terhadap Perubahan yang ingin dilaksanakan. Rakyat sesungguhnya bijak serta berkemampuan untuk membezakan di antara intan dan kaca. Mereka sedar yang manakah program perubahan palsu serta satu agenda Perubahan berhasrat untuk membawa kemaslahatan kepada rakyat. Namun sekiranya kita gagal untuk menunaikan hasrat dan cita-cita baik tersebut untuk dikecapi rakyat, ianya akan kekal sebagai satu laungan kosong semata-semata.

Tahun 2009 menyaksikan Pakatan Rakyat berjaya melahirkan satu dokumen penting yang dikenali sebagai Agenda Bersama Pakatan Rakyat. Kita menyediakan suatu rencana dasar untuk membawa bangsa dan negara keluar dari kemelut yang mencengkam. Dokumen tersebut merupakan penzahiran kepada satu permuafakatan yang bukan otoritarian sifatnya. Ianya adalah permuafakatan berasaskan kepercayaan dan benar-benar jujur untuk membawa Perubahan. Kita akui sebagai satu permuafakatan yang muda, dalam proses pembentukan kepada satu permuafakatan yang lebih utuh, sudah tentu kita berhadapan dengan pelbagai pertanyaan. Ini adalah lumrah, kerana kita menuju kepada yang lebih baik, kita menawarkan satu yang baru buat rakyat dan kita berhasrat mahu sentiasa bersama mereka memastikan kesejahteraan negara ini terjamin.

Alhamdulillah rakyat menyambut baik kehadiran dokumen bersejarah tersebut. Mereka sedar untuk mengembalikan negara ini ke persada negara-negara yang sudah jauh meninggalkan kita seperti Singapura, Taiwan, dan Korea Selatan agenda pembangunan yang selama ini berasaskan perkauman sempit dan hanya membawa keuntungan kepada segelintir yang dekat dengan pemerintah mestilah diketepikan. Kini tibalah waktu untuk kita mendakap satu agenda Perubahan yang terperinci, cermat dan menyegarkan. Pakatan Rakyat menawarkan satu agenda yang seimbang; tidak hanya tertumpu memulihkan kembali ekonomi negara, akan tetapi juga berusaha mengembalikan hala tuju negara ini sebagai satu negara yang berasaskan Demokrasi Raja Berperlembagaan.

Pakatan Rakyat yakin untuk mengemudi negara ini ke taraf negara maju dengan memastikan pertumbuhan ekonomi yang sihat, agenda pembangunan yang adil untuk semua, institusi kehakiman yang bebas dari cengkaman pemerintah dan pembinaan sebuah masyarakat demokratik yang berteraskan kemuliaan insan. Dengan kepercayaan rakyat  yang kita perolehi, kita akan menggembeling seluruh tenaga dan keringat untuk memastikannya terlaksana. Keyakinan terhadap semangat rakyat, faith in the power of the spirit of the people, akan menjadi satu lagi sumber kekuatan kita, rakyat Malaysia.

Moga tahun 2010 merupakan tahun yang lebih baik buat semua dan negara ini. InsyaAllah, kita semua berusaha menjayakannya. Saya mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan Selamat Tahun Baru 2010 kepada semua rakyat Malaysia.

Ubah sebelum parah, ubah demi maruah.
ANWAR IBRAHIM


Harga Roti, Gula Naik Sempena Tahun Baru 2010

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 06:22 AM PST

Raikan sambutan tahun baru 2010 anda dengan kenaikan harga barangan asas.

Berkuatkuasa 1 Januari depan, harga roti putih dinaikkan ekoran daripada tindakan Kementerian Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna memberhentikan subsidi dan memansuhkannya daripada senarai barang kawalan.

Harga roti biasa meningkat 40 sen manakala bagi harga roti klasik combo melonjak 50 sen dari harga asal.

Sementara itu, gula naik 20 sen bagi setiap kilogram bermula esok. Harga gula mengikut kenaikan terbaru ini adalah RM1.65 di Semenanjung dan RM1.75 di Sabah dan Sarawak.

Menteri Hal-Ehwal Pengguna Datuk Mohd Zain Mohd Dom berkata kenaikan ini berpunca dari lonjakan harga gula mentah di pasaran dunia.

Mengulas perkara ini, Setiasaha Agung FOMCA Muhammad Sha'ani Abdullah berkata kerajaan seharusnya prihatin kepada tekanan kos kehidupan rakyat hari ini.

Beliau menambah kebajikan rakyat harus didahulukan dalam suasana kemelut ekonomi yang belum menamppakan sebarang tanda-tanda pemulihan.

"Kami tidak begitu selesa dengan kenaikan harga roti pada tahun baru ini kerana masih banyak usaha-usaha kerajaan tidak dilaksanakan lagi untuk mengurangkan beban kos beban rakyat. Dalam keadaan ini kerajaan harus fikir semula sebarang penarikan balik subsidi-subsidi kepada barangan pengguna supaya ini tidak menjadi satu beban kepada rakyat," katanya.

Mengulas isu yang sama, Ketua Angkatan Muda Keadilan Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin berkata PKR mengecam kenaikan harga barangan asas ini yang disifatkan sebagai hadiah tahun baru Perdana Menteri Najib Abdul Razak kepada rakyat termiskin.

"Ini saya lihat sebagai suatu hadiah dato najib sebagai Perdana Menteri yang juga yang memimpin kerajaan Barisan Nasional kepada rakyat. Tentunya ini bukan yang menyenangkan rakyat dan sudah pasti memberi beban dan ini sudah tentu bercanggah dengan slogan 'Rakyat Didahulukan'," katanya. -TVS




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Court declares 'Allah' ban invalid

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 04:52 AM PST

UPDATED 8.35 PM In a landmark judgment, the Kuala Lumpur High Court presented the Catholic Church a belated Christmas present by ruling that the Home Ministry's blanket ban on the use of the word 'Allah' is illegal.

In making the decision to allow the motion by the Catholic Church to set aside the ban, High Court judge Lau Bee Lan stated that the minister's order is "illegal, null and void" and said that Catholic weekly The Herald can use the word 'Allah' and that the term is not exclusive to Islam.

In addition to that,
Justice Lau said that the home ministry also failed to substantiate any of its claims of threats to national security which could be caused by the use of the word 'Allah' by the Herald.


RM800 juta Masalah Diwarisi Dari Era Umno-BN

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 03:15 AM PST

Kerajaan negeri Kelantan mendakwa situasi pihaknya diarah membayar ganti rugi RM800 juta kepada sebuah syarikat pembalakan kerana melanggar beberapa perjanjian di antara kedua-dua belah pihak sejak 45 tahun lalu berpunca daripada keputusan era pentadbiran Umno-BN.

Ketika menyatakan perkara itu di sini hari ini, Exco Kerajaan Negeri Datuk Husam Musa (gambar) berkata masalah itu berpunca daripada pembatalan projek pada tahun 1975

"Masalah itu berpunca daripada pembatalan projek pada tahun 1975 iaitu semasa pemerintahan kerajaan Umno," kata Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pentadbiran Awam, Perancangan Ekonomi, Kewangan dan Pembangunan Masyarakat ini.

Sehubungan itu kata beliau, pihaknya akan membuat rayuan kelak.

Bagaimanapun beliau tidak menyatakan bila rayuan akan dibuat oleh kerajaan negeri.

Keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi Kota Baru itu dikatakan mencatatkan sejarah tersendiri kerana jumlah ganti rugi itu adalah antara yang terbesar dalam kes sivil di negara ini.

Difahamkan keputusan itu dibuat dalam prosiding yang berlangsung semalam membabitkan Timbermine Sdn Bhd dan kerajaan negeri.

Kes itu dipercayai semula difailkan pada tahun 2004.

Jumlah ganti rugi itu termasuk RM560 juta bagi 30 peratus pemilikan syarikat dalam kawasan pembalakan seluas 112,000 hektar, ganti rugi khas RM13.6 juta, bayaran gaji pekerja yang diberhentikan (RM1.74 juta), faedah lapan peratus sejak 2004 berjumlah RM240 juta dan kos sebanyak RM200,000.

Husam berkata, syarikat itu menerima konsesi daripada kerajaan negeri pada 20 Julai 1964, namun perjanjian tersebut dibatalkan semasa pemerintahan kerajaan BN pada 1975.

Beliau menjelaskan perkara itu berlanjutan di mana syarikat terbabit telah berurusan dengan kerajaan BN daripada 1982 sehingga 1989.

"Bagaimanapun syarikat terbabit menghantar tuntutan susulan mereka pada 2004 selepas kerajaan negeri bertukar tangan," kata beliau sambil menyifatkan masalah itu adalah perkara lama yang sepatutnya diselesaikan kerajaan negeri sebelum ini.

Kata Husam, walaupun kes tersebut tidak berpihak kepada kerajaan, namun kerajaan bersetuju untuk membuat rayuan bagi mendapatkan keputusan di sebaliknya.

"Bukan bermakna sekarang kita kena bayar RM800 juta kerana rayuan akan dikemukakan terlebih dahulu," katanya. - Mohd Zuharman


My Last Cup of Tea?

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 01:17 AM PST


Time flies! It was exactly one year ago that I wrote my post "My Last Cup of Coffee".

I was then writing from the Coffee Bean at Wisma Merdeka late afternoon, waiting for my son to finish work. To refresh your memory, I wrote that I might well be having my last cup of coffee because I was supposed to avoid sugar. I can take tea without sugar but not coffee and hence the title of my post then.

Further, it (no more coffee/sugar) was supposed to be one of my New Year (2009) resolutions! Today is the last day of 2009, did I manage to keep my resolution? Your guess is as good as mine.

As I was saying, time flies and one year later here I am again today at the same Coffee Bean also late afternoon and also waiting for my son.


A friend passed by. He noticed that I was having tea. He asked me why not coffee, especially as it has been raining. So I explained to him about sugar. His reply: "But the acid-level of tea is high!".


So, can't take coffee and can't take tea! What am I supposed to take then? Follow my SDA friends (with due respect) who take Milo? Looks like plain water (air suam in Malay) is the best.


So my 2010 New Year resolution? You can take anything, as long as you do not overdo it! Moderation is the best policy.


Back to more serious business, as I was typing a few moments ago, I received my (Malaysian daily English newspaper) Star sms news alert. It says and I quote: " (Kuala Lumpur High Court declares that (Malaysian Catholic weekly newspaper) Herald can use the word Allah, it is not exclusive to Islam, declares Home Minister order as illegal, null and void." - 4.48pm Dec31.


Congratulations to Christians all over Malaysia over this 'victory'. What a good and happy start to the New Year 2010. Let us hope that the government would not appeal the High Court decison, in line with the 1Malaysia concept of Prime Minister Datuk Najib Tun Razak which says "People First, Performance Now".


Happy New Year 2010 to all my visitors. This year no pics of traffic situation around KK streets as my camera called it a day after serving me faithfully for a few years recently.


Selamat Tahun Baru 2010

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 12:35 AM PST

Saya ingin mengucapkan Selamat Tahun Baru 2010 kepada semua rakyat Malaysia.

Semoga kita dapat memenuhi azam tahun baru kita dengan semangat yang memberangsangkan.

Bukan sekadar meraikan tahun yang baru dengan perayaan, tetapi dengan pengisian yang bermakna.


Program KEMAS

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 12:08 AM PST






Lebih kurang dua minggu lalu saya telah dijemput untuk marasmi tutup dan menyampaikan sijil di dalam satu program KEMAS Yan yang memberi pengisian pelbagai kemahiran dan pengetahuan kepada peserta-peserta Wanita dari beberapa kampung di DUN Guar Chempedak dan DUN Sg Limau. Kemahiran ini memberi para peserta kelebihan dalam menganyam, membuat barang barang kraftangan, memasak dan juga menjahit.

Alhamdulillah, program-program seperti ini juga dapat digunakan untuk menambah pendapatan para peserta yang lulus dengan cara berniaga kecil-kecilan. Pada masa sama, saya amat bersetuju dengan program sebegini rupa yang merupakan program menambahkan ilmu sepanjang hayat dan tidk hanya berhenti selepas meninggalkan bangku sekolah.

Saya bersyukur kepada Allah swt dan berterimakasih kepada KEMAS Yan atas program ini. Diharapkan lebih banyak prgoram sebegini rupa dapat dijalankan dalam usaha kita semua membangunkan modal insan seterusnya membangunkan kawasan kita.


Tangan Ghaib Pihak Ketiga Main Peranannya Di Kelantan

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 10:19 PM PST

Susulan perubahan dalam barisan pegawai kanan Pejabat Menteri Besar Kelantan, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat dipercayai kemungkinan akan melakukan rombakan Exco kerajaan negeri dalam waktu terdekat.

Malah beberapa pihak mendakwa wujud "tangan ghaib" yang kini memainkan dalam menentukan perubahan-perubahan yang sedang dan bakal berlaku dalam pentadbiran kerajaan negeri itu.

Kelmarin Nik Aziz mengumumkan setiausaha politiknya Anual Bakhri Haron dan setiausaha akhbar Mohd Saiba Yaakub akan berhenti daripada berkhidmat di Pejabat Menteri Besar awal tahun 2010 selepas mereka memutuskan tidak mahu kontrak mereka diperbaharui.

Nik Aziz yang juga Mursyidul Am PAS menafikan tindakan mereka ada kaitan dengan perkembangan isu politik di negeri itu sejak kebelakangan ini.

"Mutakhir maklumat yang diperolehi dari sumber yang sangat dipercayai bahawa satu rombakan barisan Exco Kerajaan Kelantan akan dibuat tidak lama lagi di mana beberapa orang Exco kanan dan pimpinan PAS Negeri akan terpelanting dan tidak akan dilantik semula. Daripada nama yang disebut, saya sendiri pun terkejut dengan mereka yang bakal digugurkan.

"Saya melihat seolah-olah di Kelantan kini sudah wujud satu 'tangan ghaib' atau 'kuasa ketiga' yang memainkan peranan menyusun semula barisan kepimpinan kerajaan negeri demi menjaga periuk nasi dan kepentingan pihak tertentu," kata Ahli Parlimen Kulim-Bandar Baharu Zulkifli Noordin dalam blognya.

Pemimpin PKR itu menambah sekiranya strategi dan perancangan "kuasa ketiga" ini berjalan lancar, Pejabat MB Kelantan dan juga barisan pimpinan kerajaan negeri akan dikuasai sepenuhnya oleh "kuasa ketiga" ini.

PKR merupakan salah satu anggota gandingan Pakatan Rakyat. Dua komponen yang lain ialah DAP dan PAS.

"Apakah Menteri Besar menyedari perkara ini? Atau adakah 'kuasa ketiga' ini mempergunakan Menteri Besar untuk kepentingan mereka sendiri?

"Apa pun saya mendoakan Menteri Besar akan mendapat petunjuk dan hidayah Allah dalam apa jua keputusan dan tindakan yang telah, sedang dan akan diambil beliau.

"Apa pun, natijah daripada ini semua kemungkinan besarnya akan melemahkan kerajaan negeri," katanya.

Zulkifli juga menyebut dengan "terpelantingnya tokoh-tokoh muda, hebat dan dinamik dalam saf kepimpinan negeri Kelantan ini, saya khuatir "bulan purnama" yang menyinari bumi Serambi Mekah selama 20 tahun ini akan menjadi malap dan pudar.

"Dan, kelak hanya masa dan ketika sahaja menanti untuk gerhana sang bulan berlaku di Kelantan," katanya.

Nik Aziz yang juga Pesuruhjaya PAS Kelantan memimpin negeri itu sejak pilihan raya umum 1990. -MI


For Ku Li, striking oil has turned into a curse

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 10:36 PM PST

According to the Petronas founder, the original plans of the oil giant did not include over-producing oil to pay for billions of ringgit worth of unnecessary government projects.

The 'go go years' are over and our 'oil lottery' money is fast depleting mainly due to mismanagement by the powers-that-be, decried veteran politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah,

According to the Petronas founder, the original plans of the oil giant did not include over-producing oil to pay for billions of ringgit worth of unnecessary government projects.

"It started with this (defence equipment purchase) agreement with (then British prime minister) Margaret Thatcher, and suddenly the production of oil was doubled from 650,000 barrels per day to over a million barrels a day (to fund the purchase). That was too much for us," he said.

(Source: Mkini - Support Mkini - Subscribe to Mkini!)


Harp-py New Year!!

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 08:56 PM PST


Happy new year to you and your loved ones!

May 2010 bring new hope, joy and love to your life and that you accomplish all that you set out to do!

Here is "Auld Lang Syne" from me to you.


This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

NEW YEAR GREETINGS

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 08:41 PM PST

In the next few hours, we shall all bid farewell to 2009, and usher in 2010. Each and everyone of us will have some tales to tell of 2009; some pleasant and some not so pleasant. And with the coming of the new year, surely everyone and including me, would only wished that our lives, and that of our families, will be filled with goodness, and more importantly that of good health.

I know that through my writings, I may have offended some people and including friends as well. Let me assure them that I write without harbouring any malice whatsoever towards anyone. My intention is only to right what is wrong, that is so often been spoken about by people, both within and outside the corridors of Mindef.

I hope that through my writings, I have develop an awareness among everyone the importance of being truthful, honest and incorruptible; personal qualities that are highly desirable of members of the Armed Forces. What I hear today is far from desirable; hence my crusade against corruption will not cease.

Lastly, I wish to thank those who have send me their new year greetings, and to all others, my family and I wish you and your families a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION


My latest column in the Malaysian Insider: The Forgotten Malaysians

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 08:07 PM PST

It seems like all we can think about in Malaysia these days is race and religion. We feel threatened by other races, and feel insecure about the future of our own community. It's true these are serious concerns but our obsession often means that we forget that there are things that will affect us all no matter who comes up on top, if such a thing is even possible.

We forget that many of our problems are colour-blind, and are not peculiar to any ethnic group. When we insist on a racial approach and refuse to reach out, all Malaysians suffer. Two groups stand out in this quandary: one because they have the most to lose, the other because they have no opportunity to contribute to the nation.

The first the Malaysian middle class, that group that author Karim Raslan refers to as "Middle Malaysia". Our middle class should be the bedrock of the nation, the repository of our values and a showcase of our prosperity but along with the hardcore poor, they are being squeezed the hardest.

They are supposed to be living the Malaysian dream: possessing higher education, homes and cars. They were promised the opportunity to either engage in business or comfortable white-collar jobs in the public or private sector. The trade-off would be that they would be pay taxes to the government and support the cause of nation-building. The Malay community in particular was promised all this and so much more via the NEP.

Yet today, many of us feel that this "Malaysian dream" is more allusive than ever. Wages have stagnated while costs of living have skyrocketed. Jobs that can match the qualifications of our graduates, indeed any jobs at all, are more difficult to find. Our people are increasingly reliant on personal loans and credit cards to make ends meet, adding to the burden of mortgages on their homes and their car loans. Demagogues spread fear and mistrust in the name of God or community.

The standards of our national schools have declined, forcing many parents to fork out yet more money to put them in other streams. Even medical care is problematic — those who can afford it prefer to opt for private hospitals but for the rest a major calamity often means spending their life savings to restore their loved ones to health.

These are real problems that real Malaysians face. Is it any wonder that they are so cynical and angry at the Establishment's attempts to mollify them? The people won't stand for being hoodwinked indefinitely.

Middle Malaysia is more exposed to the world compared to their predecessors: the Internet is providing them different perspectives. Budget airline travel means that visiting foreign countries is more affordable than ever before. Thus, the sense of stagnation and missed opportunities that is engulfing Malaysia becomes more evident.

As a result of all of the above factors and our inability to ameliorate them, more Malaysians are now working and eventually settling abroad. This is the second group I alluded to: Malaysians overseas. They lose out because they cannot contribute to the country and soon are dispossessed of their roots, a powerful resource that they are the poorer for lacking. The country loses their ideas and energy. We stand exposed as not being able to care for or keep our own people.

Last year, I visited Singapore and was invited to meet a group of local young professionals, civil servants and entrepreneurs. It turns out that nearly half of these "Singaporeans" were Malaysians!

I also visited Malaysian students in America and most of them said that they were planning to work in the United States. Another Malay expatriate I encountered there told me that most of his family would eventually relocate to California. We often wonder why they don't want to return — sometimes it's because it just makes sense for them not to.

A programmer constituent of mine found it so tough to make a decent living in Malaysia that he chose to leave his wife in Petaling Jaya, and work in Singapore. To cut costs, he lives in Johor Baru, and commutes every day, like thousands of other Malaysians. Another programmer who stayed on could not find a job in the industry and so ended up working at a toll booth!

But not everyone wants to leave. Many of my peers who studied with me in the UK — Malays, Chinese and Indians, Ibans and Kadazans — are now working there but plan to return in a few years having made some money and gained experience, bettering their prospects here.

After all, warts and all, Malaysia is still home. I always encourage them to come back, as Malaysia can only move forward if it has its best and brightest back home. True, it is useful to gain the exposure overseas, but at the end of the day, Malaysia needs them back and as I said before, their Malaysian identity offers them a unique perspective which they can share with (and sell to) the world.

I remind them that while we can work anywhere in the world, many ordinary Malaysians do not have that option. But coming home isn't always as simple or easy. As the years pass by, the offer for permanent residency comes up and then, accustomed to the quality of life they enjoy there and perplexed by the mess back home, a few decide to stay on.

As I said earlier, we can judge them as much as we want. But ultimately, like everyone else they have to decide on what they think is best for them and their families. The onus should be on the state to make its entire people feel at home, rather than for any particular group to be forced time and again to "prove their loyalty".

If they feel unwanted back home where glass ceilings block their progress, why not stay in a country where people are sorted by merit? If they feel that the only way to do business back home is to know the right people why shouldn't go where they can do business through working hard?

Our "Malaysian Diaspora" too, like our middle class, is therefore often neglected. The lack of them traps the country in a vicious cycle: the inequities drive them away, but we can never hope to close these gaps without their talent complementing the ones we have here.

This is also something that powers-that-be ought to deal with, rather than on fancy slogans. Here's another Herculean task: we have to strengthen our middle class, reverse our brain drain and make Malaysia competitive again.

At Merdeka, Malaysia was on par with Korea, Singapore and Taiwan in the early days after independence. Today, those countries are earning much more than us. The sleeping giants of China and India have woken up, and are growing rapidly. Closer to home, Vietnam and Indonesia have made great strides as well. These countries supply us with their labour, but as an analyst has claimed, we might be exporting maids to them soon!

Wise countries realise that talent has to be derived from both home and abroad in order for their economies to grow. This enables them to move up the value chain. Malaysia on the other hand drives out our own talent, further enriching other developed economies.

Thus, it's not surprising that the government revealed recently that the number of Malaysians giving up their citizenship has nearly doubled this year in 2009, to 3,800 people. Over 300,000 Malaysians migrated from March 2008 to December 2008. There are reports now that an increasing number of Malays seem to be migrating as well. How are we to reverse this trend?

We need to formulate policies that empower our middle class. It's no longer enough to focus on the basic constituency services — this should be a given. Instead, we have to make sure Malaysians regain a sense of ownership in their country, which has been lost. The misappropriation of the nation's wealth and assets must be exposed and punished.

Let's face it, decades of mismanagement mean that the property, honour and indeed lives of any Malaysian are no longer secure or inviolable. Recent events have proven that these can easily be rescinded if they get in the way. Reforming Malaysia should be about making sure that such abuses can never happen again.

Education must be a priority. We must invest in better schools and colleges and free them from political manipulation. Our companies need genuine incentives to develop their human resources so that they can move up in the value chain. We all know how Singapore leeches our talent through opportunities for education and professional development — so this is where the effort has to start.

But the fundamental change must be socio-political. We've often heard the refrain that Malaysians who don't like it here should pack their bags and leave. Some might say "good riddance", but this is arrogant and disingenuous.

The government announces slews of initiatives to get Malaysians home, but these will be always ineffective without fundamental changes to our polity. We have to simply start treating our fellow Malaysians better than they are now and stop going on who should be "grateful".

We can stem the tide if we are willing to make difficult decisions, especially in allowing all deserving Malaysians to succeed and aiding those who are left-behind by society, combining meritocracy and affirmative action. It is sad that meritocracy is such a bad word in Malaysia but it's increasingly our only way, especially for the Malays, to progress.

Nobody in their right mind can seriously advocate us continuing down the current path. It's time we started thinking about how we can expand our economy, instead of fighting for the biggest slice of a shrinking pie.

What I have written may not be the silver bullet to cure our woes, but I do know that more has to be done for our "Forgotten Malaysians" — our middle class and fellow countrymen abroad.

I hope that my colleagues in Putrajaya and the various state capitals will spare a thought for them come this New Year.


2010

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 07:17 PM PST

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!!

So, what is your resolution? My resolution is graduate alive this 2010. Ha ha ha ha ha.

p/s: I have New Year countdown party to attend tonight in church. Da..........


Husam Hantar Surat Terbuka Kepada TDM

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 07:25 PM PST

Untuk Tun Dr. Mahathir,
(Surat Terbuka)

Tun,

Amat malang sekali PM telah menolak cadangan Tun supaya sebuah Suruhanjaya Diraja menyiasat pengurusan kewangan Tun dan Pak Lah dibentuk.

Alasan Najib sekadar melepas batuk di tangga. Sapu bawah karpet. Kemudian goyang kaki.

Jika Najib seorang PM yang serius melihat pulihnya pengurusan prudent, beliau mesti berbuat sesuatu. Kalau pun enggan menubuhkan Suruhanjaya Diraja.

Menteri Kewangan boleh membentangkan Kertas Putih mengenai ke mana wang minyak RM 270 billion telah dibelanjakan. Tun harus menggerakkan cadangan ini. Paling tidak, Parlimen akan mendapat penjelasan melalui Kertas Putih MOF itu.

Ia mampu dilakukan oleh Kerajaan dan atas prinsip telus dan berakauntable, tidak ada sebab Najib enggan berbuat demikian.

Tentang penggunaan wang RM 270 billion tersebut, memang ada kebenarannya untuk diragui.

Senarai ringkas di bawah sedikit sebanyak boleh memberikan gambaran bagaimana wang itu dibazirkan sesuka hati;

a. Pembatalan kontrak Landasan Berkembar Rawang-Ipoh.
Bayaran ganti rugi kepada DRB-Hicom - RM425mil
b. Pembatalan kontrak Jambatan Kedua Malaysia-Singapura
Bayaran ganti rugi kepada Gerbang Perdana - anggaran awal RM360mil
c. Bayaran ganti rugi kepada operator lebuhraya RM380mil

Compensation to be paid to nine highway concessionaires are as follows

1. Ampang-Ulu Kelang Elevated Highway RM28 million,

2. North South Expressway (Central Link) RM18 million,

3. Seremban-Port Dickson Highway RM178 million,

4. Kulim-Butterworth Highway RM10 million,

5. Malaysia-Singapore Second Link RM6 million,

6. Sprint Highway RM34 million,

7. North Klang Valley Expressway RM9 million, and

8. Penang Bridge RM22 million.

d. RM 500 juta - pembelian bas baru untuk Rapid KL milik Khazanah. 1,000 bas sedia ada terpaksa disadai
e. Kompleks CIQ berharga RM 1 b menjadi gajah putih hasil pembatalan pembinaan Jambatan Kedua.

"The result is that more than RM1 billion has been wasted building the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex (left), foundation works for a new railway station, pilings and preliminary works on the road linking the CIQ to the bridge plus compensation to the contractors because of the cancellation of the projects."

f. Kos pembinaan Landasan Berkembar Rawang- Ipoh, mengikut PAC, meningkat RM 1.43 billion dari harga asal. Mengikut laporan lain, ia meningkat dari RM 2.7 pada Julai 2007 kepada RM4.8 billion pada Mei 2008. Peningkatan 77% dalam tempoh 10 bulan!

g. Pembatalan insinerator Broga - dianggarkan di antara RM 500 juta hingga RM 700 juta untuk bayaran pampasan dan berkaitan.

Angka di atas sahaja dah mencecah RM 5.5 billion!

Sebahagian kos ini berlaku kerana sistem runding terus. Sebahagian, untuk menyediakan peluang perniagaan kepada pihak tertentu semata-mata. Sebahagian kerana bayaran ganti rugi semata-mata.

Siapa patut disalahkan, tidak disentuh di sini. Namun, bagaimana wang yang sangat besar boleh diselamatkan jika Kerajaan cekap dan berhemat.

Saya percaya, Tun mampu mempengaruhi Najib membentangkan Kertas Putih itu pada sidang Parlimen akan datang.

Atau, jika Tun ada cadangan lain bagaimana siasatan dan penjelasan terhadap isu ini boleh dilakukan.

Terima kasih.

Husam Musa
(surat ini akan difakskan ke pejabat Tun M pada 31 Disember 2009)


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