- teoh beng hock murdered
- my two top news-maker of the year
- Final post of the year
- Parti Bulan Menghadapi Zaman Gerhananya?
- Cherry of a New Beginning
- Teoh Beng Hock is the Newsmaker of 2009
- Families are meant to stay together or die together
- Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 44
- Gus Dur Kembali Ke Rahmatullah
- Enjit Jet Hilang, Bentuk Suruhanjaya Diraja Siasat
- MY DESIRE OF AN INCORRUPTIBLE ARMED SERVICE
- Najib Tak Berani Tubuh Suruhanjaya Siasat Mahathir
- SPR Ikut Telunjuk BN, Sepatutnya Tumpukan Hal Lebih Penting
- Don’s Way of Living Green
- Seagate Expansion 1TB External Drive
- Iran's leadership is threatening the death penalty
- World record in the train: 1100 miles in 3 hours
- To Racists and Extremists
- Car itu Kereta
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 09:52 AM PST
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 09:45 AM PST
as the year come to the end, as always, the media will come out with stuff such as 'top 10 news', 'person of the year', 'news of the year' and so on. well, several days ago the online news portal had already started on this. my favourite news portal, malaysiakini had the top 10 news of 2009, the x files (unresolved issues) and the top newsmaker of 2009. (copied here for your pleasure reading if you are not a subsriber to malaysiakini). the nutgraph also came out with the top 10 highlights and i notice a few news were shared by malaysiakini.
malaysiakini top 10 news are as follows, in descending order.
10. thet prince and the teen model
whereas in the nut graph, in no particular order but just top 10 highlights
1. eight by-elections
what were the ones that were repeated? teoh beng hock/MACC, by-elections, PKFZ scandal, MCA crisis, perak coup.
the malaysian insider instead, picked top news of the decade, seeing that 2010 is the beginning of another decade. they had disappointment of the decade, shame of the decade, tease of the decade and election of the decade. (hmm… for world news of the decade i would pick the aceh tsunami but here i'm talking about malaysia).
to me, if i were to pick the top news of 2009, i will only pick 2 and they are – the THE PERAK COUP AND THE TEOH BENG HOCK CASE. yes they appeared in both malaysiakini and the nut graph… and the perak coup also appeared in the malaysian insider, under 'shame of the decade'.
so much had happened on the perak coup – all started by our own dear PM. as a result of this, we see/hear of two menteri besar, two speakers, two assembly sittings, assembly under the tree, 2 menteri besar fighting in courts, public wearing black and crying for 'democracy first, election now' but what's most vivid on our mind, i'm sure you agree with me, was watching how the legitimate speaker, sivakumar, was dragged out of the state assembly so forcfully, so shamefully (watch the video and the pictures on my blog… if you haven't yet) . the malaysian insider was very right to label it as shame of the decade.
the perak coup started in march… then come july, suddenly everybody was shocked to learn of a young man's death in the MACC office. outrage steamed from the public when they learned how the young man, teoh beng hock died (the before and after). like the perak coup, his death had become just about everybody's kopi tiam talk.
yes no doubt about it, to me the perak coup/fiasco and the murder… opps i mean the death of teoh beng hock were the top news of 2009. why, malaysiakini even picked teoh beng hock's case as the news-maker of 2009.
two of the top 10 news by malaysiakini and the nut graph, i wouldn't agree to be on top 10 are the one about the teen model and the prince and kartika whipping. the teen model and the prince – it's their personal lives, no effect on us, why pick it as one of the top 10. kartika whipping is also personal but at least in some way, it do affect us. actually the PKFZ scandal shouldn't be in too since the PKFZ scandal already happened before 2009. oh and also the cow-head protest and the MCA crisis – not good enough as top 10! methink if the theft of the fighter jet engines were disclosed earlier, it would have been one of the top 10 news by one of these online news portal. (maybe i can pick it as shame of the year?)
Despite the euphoria of the 2008 general election having died a little, politics remains a hot issue with the country seeing a new prime minister in the hot seat.
Counting down, we take you through the best and the worst of 2009. Here are the top 10 headline grabbers of the year as seen by Malaysiakini.
10. The prince and the teen model
Tales of foreign workers being abused have become routine in Malaysia. This year has been no different. But one particular case ignited indignation in Jakarta, partly because the alleged abuser was from royal circles.
The apparently fairy tale marriage of Indonesian teen model Manohara Odelia Pinot with Kelantan prince Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra ended with an eruption of warts early this year and excited the feeding frenzy of the media with her sensational allegations of torture, kidnapping and rape.
With her mother's help, the 17-year-old socialite made a dramatic escape from her husband while visiting the ailing Kelantan sultan who is seeking treatment in Singapore.
In TV soap opera-style, Muhammmad Fakhry Petra, 31, the youngest of three princes, has since sued his wife and his mother-in-law – both of whom are now residing in Jakarta – to seek her return and RM1.1 million "loan". He won the case after the duo failed to turn up in court.
The messy affair is believed to have played a role in the prince being knocked out from the Kelantan succession council in September. This month Muhammmad Fakhry Petra sued his elder brother, the acting Kelantan sultan, for his removal from the succession.
WHAT'S NEXT: Expect more drama from Malaysia's royal families in the year to come, especially following the role the Perak sultan played in the Perak coup as well as their sometimes questionable business activities. And don't expect the tales of foreign workers abuse to stop anytime soon either.
9. Flip-flop education policy
After years of hemming and hawing, the government decided to bite the bullet and reversed the policy of teaching science and mathematics in English, six years after it was introduced by then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Beginning 2012 the teaching of both subjects in primary schools will revert to Bahasa Malaysia for national schools, and Chinese and Tamil in vernacular schools.
The controversial policy provoked widespread opposition from both academics and language activists, arguing that the policy had failed to benefit school children and was unfair to the rural population.
The anti-English campaign saw the striking up of an unlikely alliance between Gapena (Gabungan Penulis Nasional) and Chinese educationists.
At a demonstration organised by the Abolish PPSMI Movement in Kuala Lumpur on March 7, the police used chemical-laced water and tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters.
The pressure on ruling party Umno was so great that Prime Minister Najib Razak had to make an abrupt U-turn on the policy.
WHAT'S NEXT: Mahathir, the man who advocated the policy, did not appear to take this lightly, and we are likely to see the former strongman firing all guns at those who had 'betrayed' him in the coming year.
8. Cops: Killers or protectors?
Some things never change. Police abuse was No 7 in our top 10 news of the year for both 2003 and 2004. It made a reappearance this year.
Year 2009 kicked off with yet another death in custody – A Kugan, whose post-mortem report suggested that he was 'starved and beaten' while being detained at a police station in January.
After an intense campaign by civil society groups, a police officer was eventually charged 10 months later for causing "grievous hurt" while trying to extract a confession.
Kugan's death reinvigorated the campaign against custodial death – the other being R Gunesegaran's which is the subject of an inquest – as well as the deaths of illegal immigrants in detention camps.
Currently, attention is also focused on the police's wild west style tendencies. Six were shot dead in Kulim, Kedah in February followed by the another high-profile gunning down of five youths in Klang, Selangor.
The Klang incident caused widespread outcry because the sister of one victim later committed suicide by consuming paraquat. However, her four children who also ingested the toxic weed killer survived.
WHAT'S NEXT: Whether the sole police officer who was charged for Kugan's murder would eventually be punished no longer matters for many Malaysians. For them, two words describe the tragedy – scapegoat and cover-up.
7. Bloody protest in Shah Alam
It was a small protest numbering about 50 odd people but it grabbed headlines and was widely viewed as a shocking display of religious insensitivity.
On Aug 28, a group of demonstrators paraded a severed cow's head and placed it at the gates of the state secretariat of Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government over the relocation of a Hindu temple to their Shah Alam residential area.
The cow is considered a sacred animal in Hinduism, and this stirred up a public outcry, prompting Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein to intervene.
However, the Umno minister poured fuel on the fire by defending the protestors and Malaysiakini was blamed for uploading a video of the controversial event.
The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) was ordered to probe Malaysiakini, leading to a dozen of the online daily's journalists, editors and technical staff being interrogated.
Meanwhile, the 12 cow-head protestors were brought to the court and charged under the Sedition Act and for hold an illegal assembly. This was one of the few occasions when Umno symphatisers had been charged for sedition.
WHAT'S NEXT: The MCMC would be bull-headed should it take action against Malaysiakini and it remains to be seen whether the protesters, all of whom remain unrepentant, will really face punishment.
6. Death in MACC: Murder or suicide?
On July 16, the death of a young man demolished whatever little credibility was left in the barely one-year-old Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Teoh Beng Hock became a household name when he was found dead outside the Selangor MACC headquarters in Plaza Masalam. He was said to have plunged from the 14th floor of the tower block housing the state office of the anti-corruption commission.
Teoh, who was political secretary to Selangor exco member Ean Yong Hian Wah, was being questioned as a witness over alleged misappropriation of state constituency allocations before he was found dead.
His death sparked so much public outrage that PM Najib was forced to meet with Teoh's grieving family and subsequently agreed to an inquest on his death as well as a royal commission to examine MACC's investigation procedures.
Two months into the inquest, however, renowned Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand dropped a bombshell – she claimed there was 80 percent probability that Teoh's death was homicide and 20 percent chance of suicide.
This shocking revelation triggered the exhumation of Teoh's body and a second autopsy was conducted by the Sungai Buloh Hospital forensics department chief Dr Shahidan Md Noor, assisted by Pornthip and British forensic expert Prof Peter Vanezis, who was appointed by the MACC.
However, the result of the autopsy has yet to be revealed and the inquest has been put off to next year.
WHAT'S NEXT: All will be known early next year when the inquest deliberates on the second autopsy report. There is a possibility that no consensus will be reached on how Teoh died with the inquest returning an open verdict, and Teoh's death will forever remain a mystery.
5. The year of by-elections
There were nine by-elections this year and the 2008 political tsunami continues to stalk the BN. The ruling coalition failed to regain ground in six of the contests.
As expected, BN retained its two state seats – Batang Ai (Sabah) and Bagan Pinang (Negeri Sembilan), but lost its stronghold – the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat – to PAS.
With the exception of the Manek Urai state seat, the opposition won with increased majority in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Permatang Pauh.
The BN nevertheless had put up an unexpected performance in Manek Urai, slashing the PAS majority from 1,352 (in 2008) to only 65 votes. But its celebration was cut short by another defeat in the Permatang Pasir by-election.
The ruling coalition opted not to contest in Penanti, with PKR fending off challenges from two independent candidates to retain the seat, also with a bigger majority.
Parliamentary seats: Kuala Terengganu (won by PAS), Bukit Gantang (PAS) and Permatang Pauh (PKR). State seats: Bukit Selambau (PKR), Batang Ai (PRS), Penanti (PKR), Manek Urai (PAS), Permatang Pasir (PAS), and Bagan Pinang (Umno).
WHAT'S NEXT: Will the BN be able to regain its coveted two-thirds majority in Parliament and recapture the states now under the Pakatan's control? Or is the final tsunami yet to come? Nothing is impossible in politics as both coalitions gird their loins for the Sarawak state election .
4. The mother of all scandals
They called it the mother of all scandals. The entire project could cost taxpayers up to RM12.5 billion and the fate of a number of once powerful politicians hangs in a balance.
PKFZ began as a RM1.96 billion project in 1999 to transform Port Klang into a regional transhipment hub. In 2007, irregularities and problems in the project forced the government to provide a RM4.6 billion bailout.
It was only after the BN was hit by the disastrous results of the 2008 general election and the appointment of Ong Tee Keat as transport minister that an internal investigation was initiated into PKFZ.
With his election as MCA president after a tough fight, Ong sought to revive his party's image and his own credibility by putting the PKFZ probe on the front-burner.
Various independent committees were formed and their shocking findings which fingered politicians and senior government servants put enforcement authorities in the pressure cooker to do the necessary.
The investigation was then passed from the Transport Ministry to a super task force comprising various ministries.
Finally, two years after the scandal was exposed, four non-politicians were brought to book. However, they have been dismissed as 'small fries'. The attorney-general has promised that more will be brought to book in the new year.
WHAT'S NEXT: Speculation is rife that Bintulu MP-cum-tycoon Tiong King Sing and former transport minister Chan Kong Choy could be next the face the music. Surely, a scandal of such magnitude will not stop with them. The question is: Are they going to sing?
3. MCA power struggle: No end in sight
MCA's 60-year history has been littered with never-ending power struggles, but the latest infighting is living proof of the validity of the sayings "Politics is the art of the possible" and "There are no permanent enemies in politics".
The seed of the factional war was planted when two equally outspoken leaders, Ong Tee Keat and Chua Soi Lek, won the party polls last year. Although Chua made a stunning comeback as the MCA deputy president, his DVD sex scandal continues to dog him.
Ong, threatened by his rival, reopened the investigation into Chua's sex scandal and threw him out of the party. Although the punishment was later reduced to the suspension of Chua's party membership, it failed to stop his supporters from calling for an EGM.
But party delegates dealt a blow to both the feuding leaders at the EGM where a vote of no confidence against Ong was passed while Chua failed to retain his party post. Talks of a secret third force at work were rife.
In yet another twist, Ong and Chua – who was reinstated by the powerful Registrar of Societies as the MCA deputy leader – hatched a peace deal which received PM Najib's blessing.
However, it failed to bring an end to the dispute as the marginalised Liow Tiong Lai faction demanded a second EGM to push for a fresh leadership poll.
This forced Najib and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin to intervene. After a series of meetings, vice-president Liow finally agreed to cancel the EGM under the impression that the three warring factions had reached a consensus for fresh polls.
However, Ong and Chua remain uncommitted over the date, forcing Liow and 12 members of his faction to submit their resignations. But he is not likely to get the necessary resignations to automatically trigger new elections. And thus, the stalemate continues.
WHAT'S NEXT: Najib is hoping for a quick end to the MCA crisis so that the second biggest BN component party can begin work to win back support from the Chinese minority. But the problems within MCA involving head-strong personalities may be just a little too hot for Najib to handle.
2. From prime minister to 'prime sinister'
While not actually hailed as saviour, Najib's ascension to the throne of prime minister was a blast of fresh air after six drowsy years under Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. But it was not long before public perception of him changed from prime mover to 'prime sinister'.
Far from a triumphant parade, Najib's rise was marked by an open rebellion within the ranks of Umno warlords objecting to Abdullah's rule.
The Machiavellian gambit, spearheaded by the now well-rewarded Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin, proved instrumental in paving the way for Najib's saunter into Seri Perdana.
However, Najib's succession was marred by his alleged complicity in the Altantuya murder and accusations of him being the 'dalang' behind the BN coup in Perak in collusion with the state's (in the eyes of the rakyat) royal family.
Eager to win over a suspicion ridden public, Najib inaugurated his reign with the release of the 13 ISA detainees, most prominent of whom were the leaders of the outlawed Hindraf. He also promised to reform the draconian act.
Kicking off his first few months in office with great fanfare, especially with his own 1Malaysia theme, Najib has had a rather short honeymoon and is facing the difficult task of bringing the country out of recession as well as meeting the heightened expectation of Malaysia's minority groups while at the same time ensuring continued support from the Malays.
As the year comes to a close, Najib was served with yet another major headache – the two stolen RM100 million fighter jet engines, which went missing under his watch when he was defence minister.
WHAT'S NEXT: Najib became prime minister accompanied by quite a number of skeletons in his cupboard. He will have to ensure these do not slip out to haunt him later as he tries to put Malaysia back on its growth trajectory. Failing which, his predecessor's fate awaits him.
1. Seeing double in the Silver State
Without a doubt, the biggest news story of the year was the political coup in the Silver State.
Perak became the epicentre of the political and legal battle of the decade following the Barisan Nasional putsch of the Pakatan Rakyat government, triggered by defections of three of the latter's state legislative assemblypersons.
The incident had far reaching legal implications as subsequent court rulings – largely in favour of BN – rewrote long-held understanding of the powers of the sultan, assembly speaker, Election Commission and the menteri besar.
On the ground, there was turmoil as Perakians started seeing double – two sets of governments, two speakers, two menteris besar and at one point, even parallel state assembly sittings in the same chambers.
The BN has refused demands for fresh polls because it holds administrative power in Perak, albeit precariously as the Pakatan's suit to challenge their legitimacy will be decided by the Federal Court.
WHAT'S NEXT: All eyes are on the long-awaited Federal Court's decision on who is the legitimate MB. But whatever its decision, the result will be temporary – the real king makers will be Perak's electorate in the next polls.
2009 was a tumultuous year. A rousingly colourful collage of days that saw the fulfilment of changes made imminent and the culmination of troubles long brewing. A bevy of events, stirred up and brought to be, by last year's political tsunami.
In politics, we had the involuntary sneeze-change of prime ministers, the knee-jerks of crises in the ruling coalition's component parties, Barisan Nasional's takeover of Perak, and an apparent attempt at a coup in Selangor.
But the fledgling opposition coalition was not spared as it struggled with making good its election promises and ruling the additional states it gained in the last election.
It suffered agonising pangs and growing pains as the three ideologically different bedfellows were forced to make good and formalise their political marriage. A process that is painful to watch and perhaps more than painful in the making.
The year also saw more troubles with the royals as the monarchy was put before the public eye. Once more, for all the wrong reasons. The ruckus fueling calls for rules to regulate the royals. Some even advocating a straight exit to a monarch-less republic.
We also saw a slew of civil disobedience by the civil society and the attack of the killer disease once known as swine flu (now referred to by its politically correct moniker of H1N1). As well as a global economic downturn crippling economies and bankrupting nations.
Needless to say, this Gregorian year was filled to the brim with news events of gigantic proportions. The ripples, splashes and waves made by movers and shakers, almost giants and more than titans.
But this year's newsmaker tops them all. Not only in how this particular person made headlines, but also because of the resulting aftershock which drastically affected the multi-layered landscape of our nation.
Standing tall amongst giants
Neither titan nor giant, nevertheless, this person stood tall amongst them.
He was the active, humble and pleasant 31-year-old political secretary to a Selangor executive council member, youthful, eager and full of anticipation.
To those who knew and worked with him, the late Teoh Beng Hock was an earnest, diligent and reserved person. His often expressed intention was to serve in politics and work towards a better Malaysia.
The second youngest of five children, he came from a humble family. His father was taxi driver, while his mother a dedicated home maker. He was the first in his family to have ever attended university.
Formerly a reporter for Sin Chew Daily, he was plunged into the heady world of politics in the wake of the March 8 political tsunami.
Approached by then political underdog Ean Yong Hian Wah of DAP, Teoh was asked to scout for viable candidates to serve as the newly-made politician's aide. Instead, he eagerly volunteered himself.
When Ean Yong unexpectedly won in what was once the MCA stronghold of Seri Kembangan, he was sworn in as a state assemblyperson, and at 29, went on to become the youngest state exco.
Teoh followed Ean Yong in his sojourn at the state secretariat and became the latter's political secretary.
He is remembered often as a friendly person, albeit with the habit of often talking on his handphone, probably because the nature of his work.
Indeed, that was how he remained in the memories of many… talking on his handphone, while walking towards his date with destiny in the office of the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission).
Before him was a vibrant future, a bright career and plans of matrimony. He was supposed to tie the knot with his fiancee the next day. With a child already on the way.
But it all was not to be…
Teoh's broken body was found on the fifth floor rooftop of Plaza Masalam the next day, scant hours after his 'interrogation'.
His tragic death opened up a whole cans of worms on many spectrums – in politics, governance, and a myriad of other mentions.
His demise added fuel to rumours of an attempted BN takeover in Selangor, sparked the debate over the misuse of MACC as a political tool, magnified the issue of transparency in allocations to MPs and state reps, as well as highlighted cases of suspicious deaths in law enforcement custody.
His death is probably most poignant to many, for it echoes what the nation itself is going through.
His ghost continues to haunt us at the inquest into his death, news reports, coffee-shop talk, online chats and nationwide discussions.
Even in missives beyond the grave from a self-professed 'medium' and the ghostly apparitions, some claimed, to haunt still the hallways of Plaza Massalam.
More than 2,000 people attended Teoh Beng Hock's funeral, but his travails touched more and affected many others. While he might not have lived to see it, his death did force the change that he so wanted to make.
His memory, a comfort to friends and family.
His name, the battle cry of activists.
His visage, a banner for justice.
His tragedy, society's wake-up call.
His legacy, a spur to Malaysia's ailing democracy.
Teoh Beng Hock, our Newsmaker of 2009.
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 08:09 AM PST
Today is the last day of the year... i have accomplished all my outstanding items yesterday... how about you? have you done yours?
I decided i should spend the day without log in to the internet... so i'm going to spend my last day of the year without touching my lappie...
so what should be my plan for the whole day? i'm going to watch Avatar 3D @ Cineleisure Damansara, do some shopping, some nice relaxing moment in some coffee place (I know you about to say Starbucks) Errr... Not necessary Starbie... Then later heading to downtown for the spectacular street countdown and splendid fireworks.
Ten... Nine... Eight... Seven.... oops still have anotehr 23 hours... anyway, just to practise...
------------------------------ &&&&&&&&& -----------------------------
To all my fellow readers and followers,
May Twenty Ten be the better year for all of us... This will be my last post of the year. I would like to wish all of you a happy New Year... Please DON'T DRINK and DRIVE. Take care and see you next year
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 09:33 AM PST
Fenomena gerhana bulan separa dijangka berlaku esok - Jumaat 1 Januari 2010 bersamaan dengan 15 Muharam 1431 Hijriah, bermula pukul 1.17 pagi hingga 5.28 pagi waktu tempatan. Menurut kenyataan JAKIM hari ini, gerhana akan bermula dengan fasa penumbra pada pukul 1.17 pagi dan mencapai tahap gerhana maksimum pada pukul 3.24 pagi. Gerhana ini dijangka berakhir pada pukul 5.28 pagi.
Saya bukan tukang tilik apa lagi mempercayai khurafat yang boleh menyebabkan akidah saya tergelincir. Tapi secara kebetulan tahun 2010 disambut oleh parti Pas dengan pelbagai kenangan tidak manis sepanjang tahun 2009. Seolah-olah sedikit demi sedikit sepanjang 2009, gerhana bulan sudah melanda parti bulan (Pas).
Sebenarnya 2009 dimulai dengan sinar cemerlang untuk Pas apabila memenangi pilihanraya kecil Parlimen Kuala Terengganu pada 17 Januari 2009 dengan majoriti lumayan yang sekaligus merampas kerusi itu dari tangan BN. Ia kemudian disusuli dengan kemenangan Pas untuk kerusi Parlimen Bukit Gantang dan DUN Penanti beberapa bulan kemudian, semuanya dengan majoriti yang amat lumayan.
Tapi lepas itu Pas mengalami ujian demi ujian dari Allah. Bermula dengan isu kerajaan perpaduan, perang dingin antara dua puak dalam parti sehingga timbul cabar mencabar untuk letak jawatan, kemenangan tipis dalam PRK Manek Urai, kekalahan dalam PRK Teluk Kemang, isu amalan kronisme dalam kepimpinan tertinggi Pas dan terbaru pengunduran dua personaliti penting di pejabat Menteri Besar Kelantan. Walaupun pihak-pihak yang didakwa bertelagah enggan mengaku mereka bertelagah, namun masih ramai yang percaya jika tiada angin mustahil pokok bergoyang. Walaupun memang benar media arus perdana memainkan peranan untuk membesar-besarkan ribut kecil dalam cawan, tapi ramai berpendapat ribut dalam cawan atau ribut dalam tangki besar adalah tetap ribut juga yang tidak boleh dipandang ringan.
Oleh itu apabila 1 Januari 2010 - permulaan tahun baru - disambut oleh gerhana bulan, parti bulan (Pas) perlu melihatnya dari sudut positif. Pemimpin-pemimpin parti bulan perlu melakukan banyak kerja supaya tiada gerhana bulan lagi yang melanda Pas. Gerhana bulan yang berlaku di Malaysia pada awal pagi 1 Januari 2010 nanti hanya gerhana separa bukan gerhana penuh di mana bulan hilang terus di ufuk langit. Bayangkan jika gerhana bulan penuh melanda parti bulan pada 2010, alamatnya Pas mungkin akan berpecah menjadi parti serpihan, pakatan pembangkang di bawah PR akan musnah dan mungkin gulung tikar dan BN akan tertawa besar sambil membayangkan kabinet baru yang akan ditubuhkan di negeri-negeri yang kini dikuasai oleh PR. Dan jika itu berlaku.... pemenang PRU ke-13 sudah boleh dijangka!
Justeru selain bersolat sunat gerhana pada 1 Januari 2010, kepimpinan Pas perlu merenung kembali antara kepentingan diri sendiri, kepentingan keluarga, kepentingan parti dan kepentingan rakyat terbanyak yang masih mengharapkan perubahan pucuk pimpinan di peringkat federal dalam PRU ke-13 menjadi kenyataan.
Kepada kepimpinan Pas, jangan biarkan gerhana bulan esok 1 Januari 2010 menjadi petanda gerhana penuh yang memusnahkan parti bulan pada 2010 ini!! -Pendikargunung
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 09:46 AM PST
I'm wrapping up...for the year that is.
Hope to be back very soon with more concrete ideas that I can chip in towards the disabled community, an issue like it or not, remains top of my whimpering list.
But first things first, as I need to get my own life sorted out.
Some 10 years ago, when I resigned to the fact that only through a set of wheelchair can determine the black and white of whatever's left of my remaining life, never really imagined it'd prolong colourfully that now I don't wish to give up the ghost anytime soon, not at least for another 5-6 decades more.
Before anyone starts having idea this is one of those crappy motivational pieces, it is not because normally my advice to those who always moan how his life sucks to go ahead and snuff it out in the most dramatic way possible.
Personally however, I've got so much to live for thanks largely to the decade that's about to see its curtain fall before us in a few hours time.
It couldn't have kicked off on the righter foot, when I finally realised it was about time to get off the bed and start learning the trades of getting around on wheelchair. By no means a walk in the park but as I found the groove it didn't take long before it hits on me there's actually life ahead that waits.
And so the journey through the decade began, constantly a learning process throughout. Getting back into the society was the toughest hurdle but looking back, it's not much them but my own weaknesses, the emotional department being the biggest culprit.
That's all behind me now.
Fast forward to 2009, the final year has at long last provided the elusive break that, to be honest, I've been craving for since as far back the day when I first stepped into the wonders of the adolescent years.
Anyway, just as it started, I'm pleased to end the decade on a high.
Similarly, if everything goes to plan (insyaAllah) the new beginning will see the continuation from where it left off, and the New Year will kick off the new dawn on a more positive note.
Only this time with a bang...
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 08:34 AM PST
Ok, I spilled the beans and spoilt the fun of guessing WHO, according to Malaysiakini, the Newsmaker of 2009.
The late Teoh Beng Hock was an earnest, diligent and reserved person whose often expressed intention was to serve in politics and work towards a better Malaysia. Coming from a humble family (his father was a taxi driver while his mother a dedicated home maker) and the second youngest of five children, he was the first in his family to have ever attended university.
From his days as a reporter to Sin Chew Daily to the day he was an aide to Ean Yong, the state assemblyperson who at the age of 29 went on to become the youngest state exco after the March 8 olitical tsunami, Teoh Beng Hock remained in the memories of many as one who had the habit of often talking on his handphone while walking towards his date with destiny in the office of the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission). May justice prevail for Teoh Beng Hock in 2010.
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 07:55 AM PST
'Familes are mean to stay together' is the tagline for a van.
Sadly, a father and his three sons died together in this van. Today is a sad day for me when I found out that the father was someone I knew years ago.
An excerpt from NST Online 'Man and two sons die in burning van after crash':
As flames were engulfing their van, Tan Yee King prayed that someone would rescue her and her toddler.Her prayers were answered when passers-by rescued the 37-year-old mother and her 2-year-old son Ong Zhen Li.
Both of them were in the front passenger seat of their Nissan Vanette before it burst into flames.
Below is the 'briefs' version of The Sun on the same story:
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 06:05 AM PST
Capability (3) "Private-Sector-Driven Development"
When Tan Kee Hian touched on Capability (3) "Private-Sector-Driven Development", he gave an elaboration on the following three aspects to take audience on a journey of better understanding:
1. Rightful role of Government:
-As enablers (infrastructure, security, social services, etc)
-Intervening in market failures
2. Belief that "business-as-usual" developmental approach is unacceptable:
-Reliance on Government to develop Sibu
-Would not satisfy the dreams and aspirations of Sibu people
3. Many successful developments driven by private enterprise, and in spite of the Government:
-Silicon Valley in the USA
-Formula 1 clusters in England
The picture shows Sibu Waterfront in 1987. Photo: Philip Hii
(Philip Hii has been generous enough in letting me use his good collection of the old photos of Sibu between 1977-1990. Thank you, Philip!)
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 06:06 AM PST
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 06:06 AM PST
Mantan Presiden Indonesia Abdurrahman Wahid pada 1999-2001 atau dikenali Gus Dur meninggal dunia pukul 6.45 petang tadi di Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusumo (RSCM) Jakarta.
Gus Dur yang juga mantan Ketua Umum Pengurus Besar Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) ini dirawat di RSCM sejak Rabu petang.
Sebelum dirawat di RSCM Jakarta, Gus Dur sempat menjalani perawatan medis di RS Jombang Jawa Timur minggu lalu karena kelelahan setelah melakukan kunjungan ke beberapa pondok pesantren di Jawa Timur.
Wartawan BBC, Heyder Affan, yang berada di RSCM mengatakan para pejabat negara diantaranya Menko Kesra Agung Laksono, para aktivis Lembaga Swadaya Masyarakat dan berbagai tokoh masyarakat tampak melayat ke RSCM.
"Gus Dur telah membawa NU ke cakrawala yang lebih luas, baik di tingkat pemikiran maupun pergaulan, memperkenalkan erti pluralisme," kata Yahya Cholil Staquf, jurubicara sewaktu Gus Dur menjabat sebagai presiden, memberikan komen peranan Gus Dur di dalam organisasi terbesar Islam di Indonesia itu.
Gus Dur lahir di Denanyar, Jombang, 4 Agustus 1940, menempuh pendidikan di Universiti Al Azhar di Kairo, Mesir serta Fakulti Sastra, Universiti Baghdad, Irak.
Gus Dur dikenal sebagai seorang intelektual Muslim yang toleran, dan dekat dengan berbagai kalangan non-Muslim dan dilihat sebagai tokoh pluralis Indonesia.
Gus Dur meninggalkan seorang isteri dan empat anak perempuan.
Al-fatihah untuk Allayarham Abdurrahman Wahid.
p/s Aduka Taruna tersilap mentafsir mimpi. Bukan tokoh gerakan Islam Malaysia meninggal tetapi tokoh gerakan Islam Indonesia yang meninggal.
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 05:03 AM PST
Pakatan Rakyat menolak perlaksaan 'Program Juara Rakyat' sebaliknya menggesa pembentukan Suruhanjaya Diraja menyiasat penyeludupan jet enjin Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia ke tangan syarikat asing.
Naib Presiden Pas Salehuddin Ayob menjelaskan kebocoran keselamatan negara tidak boleh diluruskan melalui kempen propaganda pemerintah, sebaliknya ia harus dibahaskan di Parlimen dan disiasat dengan telus oleh sebuah suruhanjaya dibawah kuasa Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
"Saya tetap mengatakan bahawa satu suruhanjaya diraja dibentuk untuk menyiasat sebab perkara ini adalah kes yang melibatkan keselamatan negara yang berprofil tinggi, satu isu yang tidak boleh dipandang ringan sama sekali dan melibatkan maruah Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) dan perlu ada suatu penyiasatan yang high handed maksudnya mesti ditangani satu Suruhanjaya Diraja yang mesti dibentuk segera," katanya.
Salehuddin berpendapat 'Program Juara Rakyat' adalah usaha untuk menutup kesalahan pihak tertentu.
Beliau menggesa kerajaan untuk tidak ragu-ragu mengheret pengkhianat negara yang terbabit – berpangkat tinggi mahupun awam – ke mahkamah.
"Kempen itu tidak akan dapat menyelesaikan masalah kerana yang perlu sekarang ini adalah kes tersebut dibongkar dan didedahkan apakah punca sebenarnya perkara itu boleh berlaku hingga menyebabkan kehilangan di kawasan yang dikatakan paling selamat dalam kawasan keselamatan tentera hingga enjin pesawat boleh hilang. Itu satu perkara yang besar," katanya. - FANSURINA ABDULLAH (TVS)
This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 04:05 AM PST
I received a number of interesting comments over an article that I wrote recently titled, 'Rifled or Smooth Bore Mortar'. Although some of the commentors may have deviated from the topic; but all the same, I am thoroughly pleased with the depth of information that I get from the comments.
I must say that commentors such as Askarsusu, Tamingsari, Capt's Longhouse, Maurice and the ever critical Kommando, have made some interesting revelation that I think requires a thorough investigation by the authorities, to confirm the veracity of what has been commented. Now the question is..........whose job it is to investigate? Since the comments raised pertains to issues of alleged improprieties affecting the workings within the armed service, I would have thought that the investigation should be done by the Military Police (MP). But I doubt very much the results of any investigation carried out by the MP will be meaningful; in particular if it affects some of the bosses. To investigate without fear or favour by the MPs may not be truly applicable in this instant. I maybe wrong here, and I stand to be corrected.
I would like to raise two issues brought out by Askarsusu; firstly, a comment he made that the Weststar vehicles purchased by army recently will only use a special brand of lubricant (I suppose, Askarsusu is referring to the engine oil) that I am told is only supplied by suppliers of the vehicles. If this statement is true, I would say that only fools would want to agree to such a purchase. Pardon me for saying this. And what is so special of the engine that it requires a special brand of lubricant? Is the engine of the Weststar vehicle something of an F/A 18 jet engine?
Another commentor did write to say that the manufacturer of the Weststar vehicle (a UK company) has ceased manufacturing the vehicles, and questioned the future supplies of spare parts. Will this be another fiasco, whereupon the failure to obtain a regular supply of spare parts in the next few years, will see the vehicles go into oblivion, and a strong justification for a new set of vehicles to be purchased?
Secondly, Askarsusu also commented on the removal of some officers at the Equipment Branch, Department of Army who are seen to be in deference of the bosses views (or is it demands) over some technical evaluation reports. Some officers are said to have even left the service, out of pride that they do not wish to be working in cohorts with the selfish and personal wishes of the bosses. This is a serious allegation, that demands an investigation, if the army is desirous in wanting to rid such improprieties by some unscrupulous bosses.
There was also a comment which says that many senior servicing officers do not favour my writings. To them, I have only this to say i.e. if my writing hurts, then there must be something in them that is awfully wrong. If is does not hurt, then my advice is for them to realised that what I do is to correct what is seriously wrong, in the hope that the armed services will remain truly a professional and incorruptible service.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 03:57 AM PST
Kerajaan Barisan Nasional tidak akan menubuhkan apa-apa Suruhanjaya Siasatan DiRaja kerana pemimpin nombor satu negara Najib Abdul Razak sendiri merupakan seorang tokoh yang kontroversial, terpalit dengan perbagai dakwaan salah laku rasuah.
"Saya percaya beliau (Najib) tidak berani tubuh Suruhanjaya Siasatan itu," kata Ahli Parlimen Keadilan – Padang Serai, N Gobalakrishnan kepada Free Malaysia Today, hari ini ketika diminta mengulas kenyataan Perdana Menteri di Sabah semalam.
Ketika berucap kepada para pemberita selepas merasmikan kongres tahunan Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah ke 14 di Kota Kinabalu, Najib berkata, "selalu benar ada desakan untuk menubuhkan Suruhanjaya Siasatan Di Raja untuk setiap perkara yang berlaku."
Najib berkata demikian ekoran dari desakan daripada pemimpin veteran DAP, Lim Kit Siang supaya ditubuhkan Suruhanjaya itu bagi menyiasat dakwaan pengarang Barry Wain dalam bukunya ke atas mantan perdana menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dalam bukunya bertajuk "Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times", Wain mendakwa Dr Mahathir telah mengakibatkan Malaysia kerugian sebanyak RM100 bilion kerana rasuah dan membina projek-projek mega dalam tempuh 23 tahun pemerintahannya.
Menurut Gobalakrishnan, Najib sekali-kali tidak akan menubuhkan Suruhanjaya itu atau mana-mana Suruhanjaya bagi menyiasat salah laku Dr Mahathir atau pemimpin-pemimpin yang lain.
"Ini kerana Najib seolah-olah akan membuka pintu siasatan ke atas beliau (Najib) sendiri kepada perdana menteri yang akan menggantikan beliau kelak," terang Gobalakrishan.
Menurut beliau, Najib adalah seorang perdana menteri yang paling korup dalam sejarah tanah air, melebihi Dr Mahathir.
Memandangkan Dr Mahathir adalah mentornya maka Najib tidak akan mengambil sebarang tindakan.
Dr Mahathir pula, kata Gobalakrishnan, adalah seorang petualang yang bertanggungjawab merosakkan ekonomi Malaysia dengan merampuk kekayaaan negara menerusi hasil mahsyul Petronas, perlakuan rasuah, ketirisan dalam projek-projek rundingan terus, pembinaan projek-projek raksasa dan banyak lagi. -FMT
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 03:09 AM PST
Cadangan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) bagi mengadakan tempoh bertenang selama 24 jam dan proses penamaan calon selama tiga hari mendapat reaksi berbeza daripada pemimpin parti-parti politik.
Rata-rata parti pembangkang menyifatkan cadangan berkenaan merupakan sesuatu yang sia-sia dan tidak akan memberi banyak perubahan kepada sistem pilihan raya di negara ini.
Naib Presiden PAS, Salahuddin Ayub menyifatkan, cadangan berkenaan merupakan sesuatu yang mengarut dan tidak berfaedah.
Beliau berkata, cadangan supaya tempoh penamaan calon dilanjutkan selama tiga hari hanya membuang masa dan merugikan.
"Ini mengarut dan buang masa. PAS tolak sama sekali cadangan ini," katanya di sini hari ini, Mstar dipetik.
Beliau berkata demikian sebagai mengulas mengenai cadangan SPR untuk meminda Peraturan-Peraturan Pilihan Raya (Penjalanan Pilihan Raya) 1981.
Antara cadangannya ialah bagi melanjutkan tempoh bertenang selama 24 jam dan proses penamaan calon selama tiga hari bagi membendung kekecohan dan keganasan yang ditimbulkan oleh penyokong-penyokong parti bertanding.
Jika cadangan itu diluluskan maka tempoh bertenang akan bermula sehari sebelum hari pembuangan undi berbanding bermula pada pukul 12 tengah malam sebelum hari pengundian sekarang ini.
Cadangan supaya tempoh penamaan calon dipanjangkan selama tiga hari pula untuk mengelakkan pertembungan penyokong parti-parti bertanding yang datang secara serentak.
Selain itu, Salahuddin juga berkata, SPR sepatutnya menumpukan kepada usaha untuk meningkatkan integriti suruhanjaya itu terutamanya dalam isu-isu yang memberi kepentingan kepada rakyat.
"Saya nak nasihatkan kepada SPR supaya fikir perkara-perkara yang lebih besar dan memberi manfaat kepada pengundi... bukannya perkara remeh dan teknikal macam ini.
"Ada banyak isu lain perlu diteliti seperti masalah undi pos, kos perbelanjaan pilihan raya serta mengenai kebebasan media," katanya.
Jelas beliau, isu keselamatan yang dibangkitkan oleh SPR sebenarnya boleh diatasi dengan meningkatkan kerjasama dengan pasukan keselamatan.
Katanya, isu berkenaan tidak akan berbangkit sekiranya SPR menyediakan mekanisme yang terancang bagi mengelak berlakunya kekecohan di kalangan penyokong parti pada hari penamaan calon.
"SPR sepatutnya sediakan tempat yang sesuai untuk para penyokong bagi parti-parti yang bertanding.
"Mereka juga perlu tingkatkan kawalan keselamatan dengan kerjasama pihak yang berwajib bagi mengawal proses penamaan calon... itu sahaja," katanya.
Bagaimanapun katanya, cadangan bagi melanjutkan tempoh bertenang kepada 24 jam adalah sesuatu yang baik.
"Yang itu baiklah, itu tak ada masalah... tapi walau apa pun kita kena bahas dulu usul ini bila ia dibentangkan di Parlimen nanti," katanya.
Bagi Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), mereka juga menolak cadangan berkenaan kerana menganggap ia hanya memberi kepentingan kepada Barisan Nasional (BN).
Sementara itu, Pengarah Strategi PKR, Tian Chua berkata, pihaknya meragui cadangan SPR itu kerana dilihat mempunyai muslihat yang tersembunyi.
"Dengan cadangan ini kita nampak macam SPR ada agenda tertentu untuk berpihak kepada BN.
"Itu semua cadangan BN, cadangan kita dari pembangkang langsung tidak diendahkan sedangkan isu-isunya adalah lebih besar dan penting.
"Kita bukan sahaja menolak, tapi kesal dengan sikap SPR yang agak berat sebelah ini," katanya.
Jelasnya, SPR perlu lebih prihatin dan peka dengan permintaan rakyat yang mahu beberapa isu diselesaikan dengan segera.
"Tolonglah tumpu kepada isu-isu yang lebih besar seperti pemutihan senarai pengundi, kemaskini data pilihan raya... ini lagi penting," katanya.
Ketua Penerangan Umno, Datuk Ahmad Maslan memberikan pandangan berbeza mengenai cadangan berkenaan.
Beliau berkata, pihaknya menyambut baik cadangan sedemikian kerana dilihat mampu mewujudkan suasana pilihan raya yang tenteram dan aman.
"Saya pasti SPR sudah perhalusi dan menilai mengenai cadangan ini sebelum mereka suarakan.
"Bagi Umno, kami melihat cadangan ini memang ada baiknya namun perlu diperhalusi mengenai kaedah perlaksanaan," katanya.
Jelasnya lagi, walaupun cadangan tersebut diterima, hak demokrasi pengundi tidak diabaikan.
"Hak demokrasi adalah sangat penting, selagi cadangan ini tidak menggugat hak berkenaan, saya rasa tidak ada masalah jika cadangan ini diterima," katanya.
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 02:19 AM PST
I'm pretty pleased with myself ever since we moved to this new place. The first thing that struck me was that I could have my own organic composting area. In my previous apartment, we didn't have space at all so putting 10 pots on the balcony was simply out of the question.
Now that I have a bit of garden space, we've reduced the amount of rubbish we throw away each day.
We do this because we compost our organic materials.
I first learnt this technique from Don who teaches people how to recycle easily and successfully without much hassle.
When I think of traditional composting, I think of smell! It would stink to high heaven, right? And attract flies and ants. And maybe even birds!
Don rubbished my fears. He showed me his 10-pot system, a system that's so simple yet works so beautifully it's hard to believe!
So I am trying it out.
First you need a container to store your food scraps of the day. You only compost it at the end of the day so you 'collect' them first. I bought my clay container from a crockery shop in Carnavon Street for RM13. It is usually used to store salt (or in some hawker stalls, to store sauces for cooking) but I use mine to store food scraps (veggie peel, fruit peel, fish bones, chicken bones, anything you've eaten etc). Here's how mine looks like:
As it has a heavy clay lid, I don't have to worry about Margaret getting her fat paws into it or the scraps stinking all day. This clay pot is also glazed on the inside so you can easily wash off oil and grease with soap and water. This pot is about 9 inches tall and sits next to my sink. I toss all sorts of stuff into this – garlic skin, vegetable peel, fruit peel, stale bread, cooked leftovers, fish bones, chicken bones, lala shells, leftover rice. Basically anything that you can eat, you can compost.
Next you need 10 pots of about 12 to 14 inches in diameter. Any cheap clay pots would do. We bought these for RM5 apiece in the local nursery as they were a bit chipped and cracked.
And then go here for the full instructions on how to compost. We usually compost the scraps at night, once dinner is done. So 1 pot should last you 3 days before you move on to pot #2. In case you have a large family, go get bigger pots. (It's only Nic and me but then again sometimes we eat a lot so we have a mountain of food scraps!)
I'm now filling up the 5th pot already. By the time I've filled the 10th pot, I should be able to go and dig the 1st pot and find all the food scraps disintegrated into fresh, rich soil.
Which I can use to grow the plethora of herbs I've been meaning to.
Which also means, my regular rubbish bin isn't overflowing with stinky rubbish. It's just mostly plastic wrappers which cannot be recycled.
Underneath my sink, I've put a collection container for recyclables such as glass bottles, plastic bottles, newspaper, cardboard and tins. These go to the nearest recycling centre every once a month. The nearest centre I go to is the SIMA Handicapped Centre just off the Jalan Tengku Kudin roundabout. Our 'junk' actually helps the disabled earn their living.
I always like dropping off my recyclables (they also take in usable household items like clothes and furniture) because the disabled are always so appreciative of the things you give. They light up with their innocent and generous smiles and never fail to thank you with a friendly wave.
If you have a small plot of garden, do try this system of composting. I assure you, if you follow Don's method to the book, you won't be smelling your food scraps.
Imagine if all of us who can do this are doing this – how much we can save in terms of landfill space and how much less leachate will seep into our rivers and seas. That's why I say I am proud to be creating so little rubbish for the rubbish truck!
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 01:13 AM PST
Photography used to be expensive. It cost a bomb to buy and develop films, and then get the images printed. Now, it is still expensive but in different ways. While digital cameras do not need films, there is a need to store those images properly. Contrary to popular beliefs, digital images do not last forever. The integrity of the images are as durable as the media that they are stored in. That includes hard disk drives, thumbdrives, CDs and DVDs. All these have a lifespan.
Between Wuan and I, we have over 100GB of photographs taken over a span of six years. That does not include the scanned images from negatives which may come up to another 50GB. Two years ago, I got a 160GB external drive to store my digital images. Wuan has her own 40GB external drive for the photographs that she took. With that amount of photographs scattered across different drives, it was a chore to look for images that we needed to use.
Last week, while shopping at the All IT Hypermarket at Ikano Power Centre, we came across an offer that was hard to refuse. The Seagate Expansion 1TB external drive was going for RM299 only. I never thought I would need to buy such a large drive. William convinced me that it was best bang for the buck. Moreover, I really wanted to consolidate all the images into one place where it would be easier to look for them.
In the process of backing up the files from my notebook and 160GB external drive to the 1TB drive, I discovered that I had accumulated a lot of junk data, some from ten years ago that I had progressively transferred from one hard disk drive to another. Some were files that I thought I had lost. There was also a lot of data that are duplicates in different folders.
I have been spending the last few days reorganising the folders and files. There is still a lot to be done. I have moved everything out from the 160GB external drive and made it the primary storage for all the images from the Canon Powershot A610 and Nikon D60 which will be periodically backed up to the 1TB drive via Synctoy. Likewise, Wuan's images in her 40GB drives have been backed up.
The Seagate Expansion 1TB external drive is plugged directly into one of the two USB 2.0 ports of the notebook. The 160GB external drive is plugged into a powered USB 2.0 hub that is plugged into one of the four USB ports of the notebook cooler which is plugged into the other USB port of my notebook. It is all in such a tangled web that I sometimes forget what is plugged into which.
The external drive itself is just a black slab that has quite a large footprint – approximately 5″ by 8″. It has USB 2.0 connectivity and comes with a two-year warranty. The external power adaptor doubles up as the power socket. It comes with a slot for different pin configurations. I used the 3-pin plug. Once the drive is connected to the computer's USB port it is ready to use. No formatting is required. There is no audible sound when reading or writing. Data transfer ranges from 6.50 MB/sec to 9.50 MB/sec depending on where the various drives are plugged into and how many devices are sharing the same USB ports.
Like William said, it gives the best bang for the buck, and I have to agree. Now Wuan and I do not have to worry about disk space for our photographs. It will be several more years before we need to get another drive to top up the existing one. By then, the drive storage capacity would have grown many times, transfer speed would have quadrupled at least and price per byte would have dropped significantly. Just imagine, I paid RM260 for the 160GB 2.5″ drive plus casing about 18 months ago.
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Posted: 30 Dec 2009 01:09 AM PST
Iran's top management on Tuesday threatened with death for the country's opposition leaders. - The perpetrators of the rebellion is mohareb (Enemies of God) and the law is very clear about the punishment of a mohareb, "said Abbas Váez-Tabasi, spokesman for Iran's supreme spiritual leader Ali Khamenei.
Sharia, Islamic law, prescribes the execution of God's enemies.
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was also very hard out against regime critics. He described their protest as a "sickening masquerade", backed by Israel and the United States.
At the same time came new reports of prominent opposition figures arrested.
To show their support for Ahmadinejad marched tens of thousands of Iranians during the day.
- We are ready to sacrifice our lives for our supreme leader! shouted the participants.
Demonstrations on Sunday during the Ashura claimed at least eight deaths. The militia is accused of shooting sharply.
New conflicts were fought On Tuesday at Tehran University as opposition website Jaras. Although students in Shiraz was met by security forces.
The House read President Ali Larijani on Tuesday raised the requirement that the guilty should be arrested.
- Identify, arrest and punish severely those who have insulted the religion!
Although the U.S. criticized in the statement. President Obama's support of the demonstrators were bringing to mind Bush's representative.
According to Jara was arrested over 900 protesters on Sunday in Tehran and Isfahan.
Among those arrested after Sunday's protest is under home Rahesabz the internationally known journalist, Mash Allah Shamsolvaezin.
Secondly, the journalist Morteza Kazemian and women's rights activist Mansoureh Shojai.
Iran's Foreign Ministry called on Tuesday the British ambassador Simon Gass because of the British criticism of Iran's behavior.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that "some Western countries have been wrong in their calculations when they compare a movement consisting of a few thousand of Iran's population of tens of millions".
Ahmadinejad was re-elected in June with more than 60 percent of the votes while the closest candidate received more than 30 percent according to official accounts, which have caused the massive protests.
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 12:44 AM PST
The world's fastest passenger train is Chinese, and back down 1100 kilometer in just under three hours. Photo: STR
Planet's fastest long-distance passenger trains are no longer French or Japanese, but Chinese.
The Chinese trains rumble literally away.
In those days added to the futuristic appearance Harmony Express as a regular service between one million urban Wuhan and Guangzhou (formerly Canton). Thus, the traveling time of the nearly 1100 km long route cut from the past 11 to now measly three hours.
Average speed is thus about. 350 km / h, which makes the Harmony Express the world's fastest high-speed long distance. During a test run earlier in December, the train even a top speed exceeding 394 km / h.
Thus the Chinese took the rear, where the old record holder, the Japanese Shinkansen and the French TGV, which runs with average speeds of 243 to 277 km / h.
It took the Chinese over 20 years to increase the speed of its passenger trains from 43 km / h in 1978 to 100 km / ton in 2001.
- But it only took us nine years to triple the speed to 350 km / h, said Xu Fang Liang, chief engineer at the new high speed route to the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
Wuhan-Guangzhou line is even just one of 42 new high-speed routes that the Chinese are expected to open in the next three years.
By the end of 2012 according to plans it will be cut through by the entire 13,000 kilometer high-speed rails that will connect up to 90 percent. the huge Chinese population.
The line to advance the greatest attention, is the route between Beijing and Hong Kong.
After 2012, the journey could be done in eight hours.
Already in 2004 impressed the Chinese world and the world's first commercial MagLev-funicular railway, then a train that floats above the track the body through electromagnetic repulsion.
Altogether there are fast-paced development of Chinese infrastructure. In recent years the country is now so extensive road network was extended by about 10,000 km of new highway each year.
By comparison, the Danes, all in all just well over 1,000 km highway to ride.
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 12:56 AM PST
LUBOK ANTU, Sri Aman: Being labelled the most tolerant people in Malaysia may come across as a strange homage to the people of Sarawak.After all, they have been living all this while in peace and harmony amidst the cultural and historic tapestry of 25 ethnic groups without following a slogan.
Long before '1Malaysia' became the quintessential word in the Malaysian vocabulary, 'unity in diversity' has been an important social, emotional and expressive component of Sarawak's identity.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak recognised this by hailing the state (along with Sabah), as a vibrant example of the 1Malaysia concept.
Walking the unity talk then, has been firmly embedded in their forefathers and continues to leave its footprints.
In Lubok Antu, a district of the culturally mixed Sri Aman Division, (comprising of the majority Iban population, together with the Malays, Chinese and Bidayuh), the Iban living in longhouses here are no strangers to the topic of unity.
With whole communities living under one roof, their take on unity is as encompassing as their unique social structure.
The longhouse at Kampung Batu Bebini Atas places 30 family units with their own section.
It is one big happy family as parents, children, aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews live side by side.
Not forgetting their extended families, with in-laws, plus their siblings, children and others, all of whom are united under a common head of the family.
While they still observe traditional customs, most of the residents here are Christians, and their hospitality is unmistakable as they welcome visitors from far and near with open arms.
Chief or 'tuai rumah' of the longhouse, Seblie Mujab highlighted the reasons for longevity of the longhouse.
"The residents here are acquainted with each other, and respect everyone. They know the customs and way of life," he stated.
Seblie said mixed marriages were common among the Iban people, and the integration of different races into longhouses was an accepted practice.
This particular longhouse had an Indian woman with an Iban husband, while another wed a Muslim woman.
"Our differences are not an excuse to stop us from coexisting," he emphasised.
With the spotlight on the Sarawakians as a 'model' for unity for the rest of the country, 27-year old Paul Bakar said that the state has been given a big honour.
The Iban father said that the level of trust amongst the Sarawakians was high, and that learning to respect people of different ethnic groups and backgrounds have helped them form better judgment and wisdom over the years.
"We are thankful despite the difference in religion and race, never hostile to each other like in the foreign countries. In the longhouse it is helping one another. If there is mixed marriage, we treat them as family members."
Paul's wife, Diana Beriak, 24, said: "Here we avoid offending the feelings of others. We can always discuss if there are problems. Here in Sarawak we can always talk over problems and look for the solutions."
Both of them, who resided in Kuching due to Paul's work, made an open invitation to Peninsular Malaysians to better understand Sarawak's cultural dynamics.
"Those from the Peninsula should come and visit the state and longhouses and to mingle with the locals. We assure you that it will be an eye-opening experience."
Leaving the community of Kampung Batu Bebini Atas and entering the sights and sounds of Sri Aman, locals spoke to each other in the Iban language, in spite of being from different races.
In fact, this interesting observation among others, was a social 'glue' for the Sarawakians.
According to local Norzidah Rosli, the 33-year said that she can interact with everyone, and there was no restriction.
"Here the majority are the Iban, but others also can speak the Iban language. Be they Chinese, Iban or Malays, that is what's so special here. We use the peribumi language to speak with friends, there are no problems."
Twenty-one-year old Mohd Fazrizal Mohamad pointed out that during religious festivities here, the shopkeepers will hand out gifts for the celebrating groups.
"The attitude here is easy-going. Be it at the schools, housing areas, we easily mix around, knowing each other's culture better. Mixed marriages are common. Many relatives from various races, hence we can get to the other cultures closer."
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk T Murugiah recently announced that Malaysia was confident that it will achieve its target of being among the top 10 countries in the Global Unity Index within the next five years thanks to its 1Malaysia policy.
His confidence was based on the annual study conducted by the independent international body, Global Peace Index showed that the country's unity index was improving steadily, ranking 26th this year compared with 38th in 2008.
He further stated that the National Unity and Integration Department had been informed to frequently go to the field and give talks to the people so that they understand the importance of unity.
Sarawak, although an example of the '1Malaysia' concept, is not perfect.
But it is hard not to remain optimistic when unity is practised here more than it is spoken about.
At a public gathering, Sri Aman local Tay Lee Hua, 55, shares a meal with her friend, Dewi Jaafar, 55.
Dewi is a dental officer from Sabah and of Melanau parentage.
"I know, I look like a Chinese," Dewi commented, aware that she is usually mistaken for one.
Lee Hua looks on, smiled and said, "But here we don't usually see ourselves as Chinese, Malay or Iban. We just say that we're Malaysians. Now isn't that much simpler?" — Bernama
p/s: That's why I said before, should marry a Sarawakian (or Sabahan). Ha ha ha.
Posted: 30 Dec 2009 12:31 AM PST
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