Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Update of Burmese Malays

Update of Burmese Malays


Update of Burmese Malays

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 06:20 AM PST


The place the Burmese Malays stay is quite away from my home town, Mandalay. Even from Yangon, the flight tickets were very difficult to buy (last 25 yrs ago) and need to pay about 10 times (i.e. 1000%) as the route was used by black market traders. The ships were dangerously overloaded and there were numerous incidences of shipwrecks. The roads were unusable and need to pass through "Black areas" occupied by armed rebels.

I asked few Burmese who came here from that area.

Most Burmese Malays or Pashus are living in Kawthaung area. Those staying in the town are well to do and are said to be traders. They are Malays of Kedah and few of Kuantan origin. They are active in border trade with Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.

They are Sunni Shafi Muslims; speak Malay, Thai and Burmese languages. There is even their own mosque called Pashu Masjid. One patient even claimed that TDM had visited them in Kawthaung town.

Other rural Malays are poor, fishermen and staying at 7 mile Chaung Wa (Mouth of the stream), 10 mile Chaung Wa and Aw Gyi . Those villagers were quite remote, 60-70 miles away on the off road from the Kawthaung-Boke Pyin good road built by Thailand. Roads were so bad that bullock carts and motorbikes could only drive on them.  Pashu children usually left the government primary schools after Kinder garden and continued to learn at the Islamic schools. Most of them even could not speak the Burmese fluently.

One patient told me that because they are not fluent in Burmese very simple and naive, police and motor vehicle police from Kawthaung would usually bully them to extort tea money if they see any Malay on the motorbikes. He continued that at the government propaganda functions and relays they were usually summoned like other citizens. As they are not fluent in Burmese, they could not read or understand the slogans and sometimes they just shout from the back, "same as the person in front". These kinds of words were also heard during the anti-government protests.

But he claimed that they could easily get the Thai and or Malaysia IC easily as they are fluent in Thai and Malay and both of the governments sympathetically treat them. Some even hold those and visit or trade or stay back in Burma!


AB Sulaiman: Moral education of the competent professional

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 04:11 AM PST


Source: Malaysiakini aticle by AB Sulaiman, "Educating the competent professional"

Dr Mohd Sani Badron Senior Fellow and Director of IKIM wrote an article in the Star (Feb 16) with the title "Competent professionals with adab.

If I get it right the gist of this article states that Islam has its own special principles and understanding about education, particularly in educating the professional class of people. Modern professionals, he seems to say, must be properly and adequately educated so as to be equipped with high degree of adab, the Malay word for ethics and morality.

 

I have nothing negative to say about this philosophy as it has its own attractions. But I do wish to mention that unfortunately Sani did not follow through by defining what it refers to. Morality can mean many things to many people. In this writing I am offering mine.

To me morality comes at two levels, the individual and the profesional.

At the individual level it is the empathy felt by one person towards another when the first is at a higher plane of personal comfort than the second. The first person then would do something to help the second.

For example, a normal and healthy person sees a blind man trying to cross a road. With all the traffic moving past at breakneck speed, no way can the blind man cross it safely and in good time. The normal person empathises with the blind man, and feels it his moral duty to help. So he holds the blind man by the arm and leads him safely across. Now that's good morality. It is a good act voluntarily made by one normal human being in assisting a disadvantaged another.

In this case morality means (a) the empathy of one person directed to another; and (b) the act he made as a result of this kindness or empathy is entirely voluntarily. He furthermore (c) does not expect any kind of payment in return from his act, apart from perhaps a 'thank you.' More than that (d) this Good Samaritan will not suffer any punishment or blame had he chosen to just ignore the blind man's plight in the first place.

I might add (e) that the kindness as illustrated need not be repeated by the Good Samaritan, nor would it be felt and emulated by other people.

So to surmise, morality at the personal and individual level has five basic features.

At the professional level morality has another meaning altogether. In this case it relates to the facts that the world we live in today is highly populated, plus that the reservoir of human knowledge has increased so much and increasing further that in no way could one person alone can know and do everything. Each person would therefore need to specialise in his wealth-creating role and function in society.

Moral duties

Also, as the social, political and economic systems we live in can be likened as a huge machine with each person playing his specialised a role within it. He has to play it well, or else pay for his incompetence. In this competitive world he has to be professional in his job. It is his moral duty to work well.

In the second case therefore morality means a professional doing his job to the best of his ability, knowledge, training, skill and experience put together.

Professional morality thereby has the following features:
a. He has to be competent and an expert in his chosen profession. He has to develop his God-given talents well. In this case, a lawyer will want to be the best lawyer, a doctor the best doctor and the architect the best architect. And so on down the line, to the extent that a bank teller will want to be the best teller, the photographer the best photographer, the soldier the best general the world has ever known.

b. He undertakes his responsibility with dedication and hard work, with accountability and transparency, and with honesty and integrity.

c. He strives for excellence, and will forever look for ways and means to better his performance, productivity and skill come tomorrow.

Thus, professional morality has three features. Sani might have referred to this total of eight principles of personal and professional morality that need to be educated to the professional.

Nagging doubt

But my nagging doubt is that this isn't the case. This is in view of Sani using the word the Malay word adab, and in Malay culture morality is closely linked with religious principles. Therein is a telling clue to what he probably have meant it – morality as what the Islamic religion sees it.

In Islam so far as I can gather there are two features of morality, or more precisely, the two sides of one coin. It falls under the ambit of amri bil ma'aruf nahi an al munkar i.e. that man strives to do good things or deeds and not to do bad ones.

Again I harbour no complain about this, for every other religion tells its adherents to do good and not to do bad. But I have two reservations on this Islamic perception: good and bad are both predetermined by a central authority. Let's have a look at them both.

Firstly, the word 'good'. In a nutshell it is having faith and belief in Allah God Almighty and His Prophet Mohammad, and in adhering to the Rukun Iman and the Rukun Islam.

(For the less knowledgeable Rukun Iman comprise the following, inter alia, having faith in the existence of Allah, the angels and jinns, belief in the Hereafter and belief in Qada' and Qadar or fate and predestination.

Rukun Islam is the more familiar five pillars of Islam, namely inter alia praying five times per day, fasting throughout the month of Ramadan, and doing the pilgrimage to Mecca).

All Muslims are required to observe all these. Any ulama worthy of his salt will unfailingly tell you that missing a prayer for example is a sin. So is missing your day-long fast on the month of Ramadan.
Secondly, the word 'bad'. It has also already been centrally defined and determined inter alia as per the following familiar list: not to eat pork or drink liquor; to eat only halal meat; you must cover your 'aurat' or modesty at all times; you have sex within the confines of the married couple's bedroom and for procreation purposes only, and you must not have same-sex sex.

In both 'good' and 'bad' instances, they do not have the element of empathy of one person to another. There is only a set of binding instructions, rules or decrees that have to be followed. To illustrate, eating pork or drinking liquor are sinful and are obligatorily to be avoided. The same goes for exposing one's body (especially the women folks, obliged to cover more than 90 percent of their anatomy) and for sex outside of marriage and procreation.

The important point to note is that both doing good and not doing bad are no longer voluntary, but instead the reverse; they are completely obligatory.

Finally the accumulation of sin from not doing what you are supposed to be doing and doing what you are not supposed to be doing will render you going to the deepest pits of Hell – there is the nagging element of punishment in the event of non-compliance.

In other words morality in Islam carries with it the element of coercion and punishment — you either accept and practise good morality as centrally defined, or you'd be punished for not doing so. And for this you go to Hell!

Freeing the mind

When seen in this light, I take exception to Sani's point for professionals to be educated with copious adab.

This exception is made for another reason. Namely that educating the professionals (indeed for everyone else) requires the mind to be wide open, free from blocks and encumbrances, free from predetermined parameters. In this way the mind can explore from the deepest oceans, the innermost depths of the earth's core, the smallest atoms and neutrons, to the largest stars and the farthest universe, and anything in between them be they large or small, visible or invisible, young or old. It studies and analyses everything over, under and beyond the sun and nothing is sacrosanct.
To facilitate this exploration of the vast open horizon the human mind conceptualises, intellectualises, deduces, induces, seek alternatives, explore hypotheses, formulate theories, conduct experiments, record their results, check and recheck them, all of which is done in the name of seeking truth and knowledge. (Truth in this case is a fact or theory that have been supported by evidence and universally accepted by the rational human mind, without any exception). This thinking process is known as the scientific method.
This thinking method also has the admirable feature of its products being predictable and falsifiable. It is predictable for we can be sure of its product, like for instance the law of gravity pulling any object or matter from an elevation down to the ground. It is also falsifiable for anybody can challenge any scientific law.

And you know what? It is this scientific method through its scientific conceptualisation, intellectualisation, discoveries and inventions that has largely brought the human civilisation to what it is today. . . . .


Malaysian Circus goes to Washington

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 08:38 AM PST

by Martin Jalleh

For a little more than a month in 2010 Umno has gone full steam with its scare tactics, saber-rattling tricks, silly threats and sinister theatrics. Now it is all set to take the Malaysian (political) circus to the US and to show Uncle Sam a far "superior" sample of democracy and governance.

The trip is by courtesy of Apco Worldwide, a global PR firm, employed by the government to resuscitate, redeem, and re-engineer the PM's flagging image at about RM20 million. The firm has allegedly offered similar services to dictators and corrupt leaders worldwide. They must feel very at home here in dealing with the "most corrupt institution in the country".

But why is Umno off to the US with its best circus clowns to impress the US when they just told those lowdown politicians in Down Under that to Umno it is a no-no to interfere in the affairs of Bolehland? Why waste the people's money and be bothered about what the US thinks of us? Alas, the answer to such a mystery belongs only to those who can go the lowest.

The circus will be hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The man behind it is (Ernie) Bower in partnership with a (Karen) Brooks. Both have boasted about their close bond with ASEAN leaders. However they insist they are not beholden to Southeast Asian governments nor would they act as a lobby group or agents for them in Washington.

Surely Bower and Brooks can come up with better bull than this. Why would they want to bargain their reputation away by sharing the stage with political buffoons and bozos sent to an image-boosting circus? But the circus must go on. Apco must make the Najib administration look appetizing enough for the whole audience to want to swallow up what they throw at them!

The event will be held on 24th Feb. 2010 and it will be at K Street in Washington DC. This is where the big lobbying firms have their headquarters and is sometimes referred to as the "fourth branch of government". But of course what is important to Umno is the fact that K Street is also called "The Road to Riches". Now you get the drift?

The three top officials to speak at the seminar entitled "Governance and Rule of Law in Malaysia and Malaysian Legislative Initiatives" i.e., how the circus is run in Bolehland, are Minister in the PM's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad and Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail — a powerful and perfect NAG (Nazri, Abdul Hamid & Gani) team!

They will of course have the privilege and honour of being accompanied and introduced by special envoy, senior diplomat, seasoned politician and Malaysia's ambassador to the United States, Jamaludin Jarjis, a man who has soared to such high office as a result of his wide reputation of being very adept at grappling, gropping and getting to the bottom of things.

Nazri's Nonsense

Nazri, the Minister in the PM's Department, overseer of parliamentary affairs and de facto Law Minister will surely serve up a sterling performance. He has successfully and quite singlehandedly reduced Parliament, the country's supreme law-making institution, to an annual circus, a rubber stamp and a stage for the spineless, silly, sexist and not-so-stable.

Nazri should tell the Americans how free he is to go berserk when his brains short-circuit in parliament, like when he: shouted "racist/bloody racist" at MP Kula Segaran 41 times in a space of five to 10 minutes; snapped at a wheelchair-bound Karpal Singh: "You are just jealous because I am standing!"; and screamed at Lim Kit Siang "Stupid, stupid, stupid…!" until the press gave up counting.

Perhaps Nazri could use the above as veritable examples of how supposedly vibrant and vigorous parliamentary democracy is in Bolehland. He could of course throw in the example of a wheelchair-bound Karpal Singh being surrounded by a hostile group of Umno Youth thugs (as the police and security personnel stood idly by) at the Parliament lobby!

The US has much to learn from a loudmouth and loose cannon like Nazri. He has taken Bolehland to greater heights in hype, hypocrisy, half-truths, hysterics and histrionics in Parliament in spite of the declaration of the current Speaker that "Parliament is no longer like a first-world Parliament anymore".

Good boy, Gani

As Attorney General (AG) Gani Patail will have to paint a glossy picture of how Bolehland is guided and governed by the rule of law though almost everyone knows that it is the AG who is guided by those who rule, to decide how, when, what and which part of the law is upheld! Gani will be too shy to say, it is actually "Rule by law" and at times its more of the mob which rules!

Gani is a product of "good governance". He has been a good boy of those who govern. They take good care of him in spite of allegations against him such as "blackmailing and extortion of the highest culpability" in Sodomy I, interference of justice in not prosecuting then Minister for International Trade and Industry Rafidah Aziz for corruption, and tampering with evidence and interfering with the investigations on the savage assault on Anwar Ibrahim.

If and when the audience grills Gani on Sodomy II will he give them a go-around? Or will he parrot the government's pathetic reply to the international community that sodomy is an offence here? It is very offensive indeed to people's intelligence when you speak of sodomy (under the penal code) without any penile penetration(verified by doctors)!  Will Gani be providing a more penetrating view there?

Surely K Street would love to see the kangaroo courts which have become an increasingly special feature of the Malaysian judicial circus. Nazri and Gani should show how the judiciary, the very portal of justice, continues to be reduced to a convenient playground for the ruling elite to legitimize their power grab, persecute their opponents and promote their political agenda, through the perversion of the rule of law by certain court jesters.

Nazri and Gani should speak proudly on the cattle-trading culture (politically brokered judicial appointments) in the judiciary which still lingers on after both of them decided to treat the findings of the Royal Commission on the V.K. Lingam video clip case very lightly. Nazri made a laughing stock of himself as he lectured Parliament on "What may be morally wrong could be legally or politically 'correct, correct, correct'".

The Americans must know that 'good governance' reigns in our good country. A good number of politicians especially the Umnoputras have made good money in good time in doing what is "good for the people". In their good fortune they built for themselves palatial mansions, own a fleet of posh cars and huge properties abroad, and take their families on pleasure and all-paid-for holidays and place their children in premier schools overseas.

Abdul Hamid's Acrobatics

Poor Abdul Hamid, who was well-respected though he was an accidental Chief Justice, may have to do a few head-stands and somersaults to convince the audience that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which he chairs is doing a good job of curbing corruption and playing a crucial role in good governance. Since its formation, corruption worsened drastically!

Only two per cent of the respondents in a Star online live chat rated the MACC's performance in fighting corruption as "good". The rest frowned upon the MACC as a "monumental failure" and a farce in its task of tackling corruption. It has become a favourite tool of the Umno government to repress the opposition and its fatal flaw is that it is not politically neutral.

Since its much hyped up launch on 1 Jan. 2009 the then MACC's chief commissioner (CC), Ahmad Said Hamdan, "has managed to put his mouth into overdrive while shifting his brains into reverse" (Tunku Aziz). He chose to retire early and will remain haunted by how he had handled the "small case" of the death of Teoh Beng Hock. As for the new CC of the MACC? Well, the public prefers to wait and see.

The Malaysian Circus in K street must of course end with a few key words on how the PM's slogan of 1Malaysia is a resounding success, for never before has the Government, Parliament, Judiciary and institutions like the Police, Election Commission, and civil service been made to "bond" and "blend" together as One in order to bury the Opposition for good! How's that for good governance!

Surely Nazri will proudly tell the Americans that he was right on when he declared a few years ago: "…the concept of separation of powers between the legislative, judiciary and executive is 'too idealistic' to be implemented in the country.''

The nagging question still remains as to why should the NAG team waste the taxpayers money and go all the way to put up a circus when the Americans (who created Avatar, remember?) can easily make out the difference between image, illusion and reality?

Further their audience would have probably read the report by Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) which warned that Malaysia was "veering towards instability". Then there are also the annual human rights reports on Third World countries by US-based NGOs and the US Government itself!

Alas, the threesome should have stayed back, saved the rakyat's money and do something more fruitful or even spiritual, like join in the Prophet Muhammad's Birthday procession organized  by the Penang State Government?

Martin Jalleh

jallehmartin@yahoo.com

23 Feb. 2010


Facebook buys Malaysian start-up Octazen, maker of a contact importer - www.insidefacebook.com

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 08:51 AM PST

Facebook buys Malaysian start-up

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 – Social networking giant Facebook acquired Malaysian Internet start-up, Octazen, for an undisclosed sum last week.

According to tech website Gigaom, Facebook announced the acquisition in a statement sent via e-mail to reporters and described the buy as a "talent acquisition."

Octazen makes software that helps Facebook grow its user base by encouraging existing members to invite their e-mail contacts.

"We've admired the engineering team's efforts for some time now and this is part of our ongoing effort to add experienced, accomplished technical talent to help drive the company forward in its efforts to be the central way for people to connect and share information," said Facebook spokeperson Larry Yu in the media statement.

Octazen's website confirms it is being acquired but does not provide any contact information.

Many Silicon Valley start-ups are launched with an eye on being acquired by large internet companies but this could be the first acquisition of a Malaysian start-up by a bona fide internet giant.

According to website insidefacebook.com, Octazen will remain based in Malaysia, making the two people behind Octazen the first Facebook employees based in Asia full time.

However, Facebook says, "This won't become an office… It's just a talent acquisition and they'll be considered remote workers since we've opted to let them remain in Malaysia."

Facebook has over 400 million users including 250 million added last year, but has been quiet on the acquisition front, preferring to acquire talent rather than products. Octazen is only the third ever acquisition by the company.

The acquisition of Octazen comes as Facebook is fending off a challenge from Google with the launch of the latter's Buzz social network.

@ Inside Facebook

Facebook Makes Small, Strategic Acquisition of Malaysia's Octazen

@ Gigaom

Facebook Acquires Contact Importing Startup Ocatazen

@ GreyReview

Facebook Acquired A Malaysian Startup

Octazen is KL-based with an office in Taman Melawati. Address:

182, Jalan C3, Taman Melawati, 53000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Finally, a screenshot of the website of the company that Facebook acquired - Octazen Solutions:


1Malaysia : Harga Ikan Bakal Naik

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 08:29 AM PST

Penguatkuasaan peraturan mewajibkan penggunaan Kotak Ikan Berinsulasi Bergred Makanan (KIBFG) mulai 1 Mac ini bakal menyebabkan kenaikan harga ikan dan makanan laut lain secara mendadak serta bekalan yang merosot di pasaran.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pengimport/Pemborong Ikan dan Sumber Laut Malaysia Datuk Yusoff Ismail berkata senario itu tidak dapat dielak sekiranya penguatkuasaan peraturan berkenaan diteruskan.

"Apa yang kita takuti, nasib rakyat yang merupakan pengguna akan menjadi taruhan kerana dengan peningkatan kos operasi sudah tentu harga ikan melambung tinggi di pasaran sekali gus membebankan mereka," katanya pada sidang akhbar di pejabat Persatuan Pengimport dan Pemborong Ikan Perak di sini hari ini.

Yusoff berkata kenaikan harga tidak dapat dielak kerana pengimport terpaksa menokok harga membeli peti KIBFG sehingga hampir RM100 sebuah berbanding sekarang.

"Misalnya harga kotak 30 kilogram yang digunakan sekarang adalah RM28 manakala KIBFG mencecah RM120. Begitu juga kotak KIBFG bagi 100 kg iaitu RM205 jauh lebih tinggi dengan harga biasa iaitu RM150," katanya.

Beliau berkata penguatkuasaan peraturan pengimportan ikan basah itu secara langsung akan mengakibatkan harga ikan melambung tinggi di pasaran.

Penguatkuasaan peraturan berkenaan yang sepatutnya dilaksana tahun lepas, ditangguh ekoran bantahan pengimport dan pemborong ikan kerana harga kotak ikan berinsulasi tinggi yang dikatakan terlalu mahal.

Yusoff berkata bagaimanapun jawatankuasa berkenaan tidak berhasrat menghentikan operasi membawa masuk bekalan ikan seperti yang pernah dilakukan Mac tahun lepas.

Mulai 1 Mac ini Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia akan mewajibkan penggunaan KIBFG yang bertujuan memastikan kualiti ikan yang dibawa masuk ke negara ini lebih selamat, bersih dan segar sejajar dengan pembaharuan dalam industri perikanan pada masa sekarang.

Menteri Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani Datuk Noh Omar pada Oktober lepas berkata penguatkuasaan penggunaan KIBFG itu mengambil kira pewartaannya pada 2006 yang tertangguh disebabkan pelbagai alasan daripada pihak terlibat khususnya pemborong dan pengimport ikan. - BERNAMA


Sengalisitis infected Rabbits – Madness runs in the family

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 08:04 AM PST

We have a bad news. Kokades has a broken leg.

All these while we have been letting him and his girlfriend Minmin roaming free in our courtyard. The courtyard has not been used but dump place for some abandoned broken furniture.

It was a broken bed frame and some wooden poles. Poles? Buat apa ekk?

Anyway, I don't know what has gotten into that spunky little bunny, HE HAD BEEN CLIMBING THOSE BROKEN FURNITURES! Literally climbed it like a kid at the playground enjoying the monkey bars.

I just don't get my own rabbit!

I mean, you are a bunny for goodness sake!! Bunnies don't climb! Bunnies hoppedy hop! Chimps climb! Cats climb… not you! So who you think you are? A funny, clumsy, has-potential-to-become-circus-clown, cutie little munckin? No, you are not that, Kokades! THAT IS MIKI!

So it appears that he has fallen and broken one hind leg. Luckily after much TLC he is now all hoppedy hopping again, eating tonnes of pallets per day again, pooping tonnes of petunia fertilizers per day again only with a slight limp.

Poor baby… He must be such a psychotic loco bunny! Tsk tsk tsk! Actually it is not just him. Both our pet rabbits, the mega cuteness Kokades and Minmin have schizophrenic issues.

If Kokades thinks he is a monkey, Minmin thinks she is a rat. Look what she has done to Miki's slippers.

Ben 10 baby slippers

My heart goes out for these poor creatures. So beautiful in the outside and totally cuckoo case in the inside. Kesian betul. Ada tak Tanjung Rambutan untuk arnab? Arnab yang chomel?

Come to think about it again, perhaps it is my fault after all. Azman was not as sengal* before I married him. Miki was sengal right after the journey through the birth canal. MY BIRTH CANAL!

It is true I guess, who ever joined the household will BECOME LOCO! OMG!! Ada tak Tanjung Rambutan kat dalam Pavillion untuk perempuan? Untuk pompuan yang chomel?

*sengal = cuckoo case


'Umno-sponsored' police zoom in on Guan Eng

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 07:35 AM PST

Cops zoom in on Guan Eng
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has been told to contact the state police to fix a time and date for his statements to be recorded in relation to six reports against him.

According to the notice issued by the police, the probe is based on reports lodged in Penang with four counts of participating in an illegal assembly, one of violating the Sedition Act 1948 and three counts of criminal defamation. Lim's lawyer, Jagdeep Singh Deo, described the investigations as a form of harassment and told a press conference today, saying, "The police are listing six cases to be investigated. This clearly shows intention to harass the chief minister, but he will cooperate fully with the police."
Biasalah. If not harrasment, then what? Jagdeep said, "
Many reports have been lodged against others - the prime minister, menteris besar and cabinet members...are the police investigating?" I can safely say or rather, needless to say, NFA by the police!" No Further Action as always!


83% Mahu Tarif Elektrik Sedia Ada Dikekalkan

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 06:53 AM PST

Bancian SMS Edisi 7 menyaksikan 83% responden menyatakan tarif eletrik sekarang wajar dikekalkan.

Hari ini Menteri Tenaga, Teknologi Hijau dan Air Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui menyatakan tidak mungkin berlaku penurunan terhadap tarif baru eletrik yang akan ditentukan oleh Kabinet esok.

"Sekiranya Kabinet meluluskannya, akan terdapat kenaikan, tidak mungkin penurunan," katanya.

Menurut Bernama, Kabinet akan memutuskan mengenai tarif baru elektrik itu esok.

Peter Chin berkata kementeriannya telah mengemukakan kertas cadangan mengenai semakan tarif tenaga kepada Unit Perancang Ekonomi di Jabatan Perdana Menteri.

Mengenai peratusan kenaikan, Chin berkata: "Saya tidak boleh beritahu kerana mungkin esok Kabinet membuat keputusan lain."

Sementara itu, Pakar Ekonomi Tony Phua berkata kerajaan Umno-Barisan Nasional akan berlaku tidak adil sekali lagi jika meluluskan kenaikan tarif elektrik itu, TVSelangor dipetik.

Beliau berkata, sebarang kenaikan harga bukan sahaja bertentangan dengan slogan-slogan yang dicanang Najib tetapi juga membuktikan kepimpinannya lebih mengutamakan kroni-kroni dalam pengagihan subsidi.

"Kalau mereka meningkatkan tarif elektrik adalah amat tidak adil kerana buat masa ini sekiranya subsidi dikurangkan terhadap konsumer, sepatutnya subsidi yang diberikan kepada pihak penjana kuasa bebas perlu dikurangkan dahulu.

"Kenapa pihak itu dapat menikmati subsidi yang begitu lumayan dan menjamin keuntungan yang besar kepada pihak IPP tetapi bagi rakyat pula kerajaan meningkatkan harganya? Adakah ini slogan kerajaan dan Najib bahawa rakyat akan didahulukan? Buat masa ini apa yang kita nampak, kroni-kroni perniagaan-perniagan besar didahulukan manakala rakyat dibelakangi,"katanya.

Tony Phua yang juga Ahli Parlimen Petaling Jaya Utara berkata, pengurangan subsidi kepada rakyat dengan pelbagai kenaikan harga barang mencerminkan kegagalan Umno-BN menguruskan negara.

"Ini menunjukkan bahawa kerajaan Barisan Nasional tidak menggunakan wang dan pendapatan negara secara berkhemah dan telah menyebabkan sekarang kerajaan rumit kewangan iaitu tidak cukup wang dan semua subsidi dikurangkan dan semua harga dinaikkan. Menunjukkan kerajaan selama ini tidak mempunyai kecekapan dalam menguruskan isu-isu ekonomi,"katanya.



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A major new find in East Jerusalem, showing Jewish presence going back 3,000 years.

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 06:38 AM PST

Jonathan Tobin in Commentary. The significance of this extraordinary find is that it provides new proof of the existence and power of the Davidic monarchy, the Israelite state that it led, and the more than 3,000-year-old Jewish presence in Jerusalem. These new discoveries, along with those of a previous dig in a different area of the city of David, contradict contrary Palestinian claims that the Jews have no claim to the area. They also debunk the assertions of some Israeli archeologists who have sought to portray the kingdom of David and Solomon as an insignificant tribal group and not the regional empire that the bible speaks about.

Indeed, Mazar believes that the strength and the form of construction required to build these structures correlates with biblical passages that speak of Solomon's building of a royal palace and of the Temple with the assistance of master builders from Phoenicia (modern day Lebanon). Moreover, contrary to those who speak of the Jewish presence in the city as a passing phase in ancient times, the discovery of Jewish seals, which speak directly of an Israelite state, proves that what Mazar has found are not the remains of a Jebusite fort conquered by the Jews but rather of a great city built by David and his son Solomon.

While finding ancient Jewish artifacts as well as the traces of Solomon's city in Jerusalem may seem nothing out of the ordinary, for the last century and a half, a great many academics and intellectuals have attempted to put down the existence of the ancient Jewish kingdom — which has always served as a symbol of Jewish nationhood — as a religiously-inspired fiction. This deconstruction of both biblical literature and history has sought to undermine the very idea of the historical truth about ancient Israel as well as the notion that Jewish nationhood had its roots in the past.

This has been put to use by anti-Zionists and Arabs who have thought that if they could destroy the idea of King David's existence as a historic figure, they could delegitimize modern Israel. Thus, Palestinian propagandists and the Palestinian Authority itself, which has steadfastly denied any Jewish connection to the Old City, the Temple Mount, or even the Western Wall, have copied revisionist scholarly work doubting Jewish history and incorporated that work into their negotiating position about the city's future.

The Muslim religious authority that controls the site of the Temple Mount has vandalized the area, destroying a treasure trove of antiquities in the ancient place because they fear that any find that betrays the Jewish origins of the place will undermine their fallacious claims that seek to portray Jews as foreign occupiers in their own ancient capital. National Review


Pemulihan Ekonomi Hanya Retorik Politik

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 06:20 AM PST

Pakar ekomoni, Charles Santiago mempersoal kesahihan kenyataan Gabenor Bank Negara, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz dan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, kononnya Malaysia telah pulih dari kemelesetan ekonomi.

Kedua-kedua individu itu patut memberikan angka sebenar dan tidak berselindung di sebalik kekaburan fakta yang mengelirukan rakyat. Hakikatnya, Malaysia bukan lagi negara pilihan pelabur.

Semalam Najib dan Zeti dalam sidang media berasingan menyatakan, kononnya Malaysia telah pulih daripada kemelesetan global berikutan prestasi suku keempat 2009 lebih baik daripada jangkaan.

Mereka dilihat cuba memberi gambaran positif mengenai situasi ekonomi negara yang bertujuan meraih sokongan rakyat yang sekian lama terbeban dengan pelbagai kenaikan harga barangan.

"Kedua-dua Tan Sri Zeti dan Perdana Menteri tidak memberikan apa-apa angka pemulihan ini telah berlaku. Apa yang kita baca dari akhbar-akhbar ekonomi bahawa pelabur-pelabur asing tidak begitu minat untuk melabur di Malaysia kerana daya saing telah jatuh dan sekarang bersaing berdasarkan kepada upah rendah dengan Vietnam dan Kemboja, malah Indonesia telah memintas Malaysia.

"Sebenarnya daripada tahun lalu, kita dapati pelabur asing dan dalam negara telah keluarkan pelaburan mereka ke luar negara ini menunjukkan ekonomi parah, sebab itu saya mengatakan bahwa penganalisa dan sebagainya akan tunggu angka yang akan dikeluarkan esok menunjukan benarkah ekonomi Malaysia telah pulih semula,"katanya.

Mengikut Charles, faktor yang mendorong keengganan pelabur asing ke negara ini termasuk masalah kestabilan politik dan guna tenaga kerja. Jadi, kurang bijak untuk mana-mana syarikat menjalankan perniagaan berskala besar.

Beliau yakin Najib menyedari faktor itu tetapi cuba memutar belit isu ekonomi untuk tujuan politik, selain kerap bertemu dan meminta ahli perniagaan Malaysia supaya tidak mengeluarkan pelaburan dari negara ini.

"Mereka tidak datang ke Malaysia kerana keadaan politik dan juga isu berkait agama dan juga kaum, mereka fikir Malaysia tidak stabil seperti dulu. Ketiga Malaysia tidak ada teras pengurusan untuk menjalankan perniagaan mereka.

"Ini menunjukkan kerajaan takut ada trend untuk keluarkan pelaburan peniaga dan pelabur-pelabur Malaysia. Jadi ini tidak menunjukkan sebenarnya ekonomi Malaysia telah pulih balik, bila angka keluar esok oleh Bank Negara dan Kementerian Kewangan kita akan dapati secara terperinci apa sebenarnya berlaku.

Charles menyifatkan Malaysia berdepan isu ketidakkeyakinan pelabur dalam mahupun luar negara. Masalah kepimpinan dan ketidakcekapan pengurusan kementerian bertanggungjawab, antara punca utama.

"Kalau orang luar tidak mahu melabur kita faham, tetapi kalau orang Malaysia sendiri tidak mahu melabur kerana tiada kepercayaan, ini menunjukkan mereka tidak yakin dengan kepimpinan yang ada sekarang dan Kementerian yang menguruskan ekonomi dalam Malaysia atau tidak percaya dengan dasar-dasar Malaysia. -TVS


Cuepacs ni apehal pulak nak sexist ni?

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 05:48 AM PST

I cannot believe this issue is even brought up!

First, we have racist fucktards in our country regardless of Malays, Chinese, Indians or lain-lain. The worse is that even the so called 'leaders' have racist mindset.

And now we have sexist and chauvinist government civil men out in the open?
Read: http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v5/bm/newsindex.php?id=476949

What's wrong with women making high level decisions? You got a problem with that?

Oh, Lord! Is this a sign that I should expedite my Australian PR application or what?


Gelombang Antarabangsa Menyebelahi Anwar

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 04:55 AM PST

Gelombang antarabangsa untuk membela Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dijangka semakin rancak apabila lebih ramai ahli parlimen negara luar membantah secara rasmi pertuduhan fitnah liwat terhadap mantan timbalan perdana menteri itu.

Setakat ini, ulama tersohor antarabangsa, pemimpin kerajaan di Turki dan beberapa negara Islam lain serta wakil parlimen di Australia dan senator Amerika Syarikat telah menyuarakan rasa kesal atas perbicaraan konspirasi kedua terhadap Anwar.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Hal Ehwal Luar Negara Australia, Michael Danby yang mengetuai petisen 50 wakil parlimen, yakin lebih banyak negara dan pertubuhan antarabangsa akan membuat pendirian terbuka menyokong Anwar.

"Saya maklum Jabatan Negara Amerika telah melahirkan kebimbangan mereka… dan ramai lagi wakil badan legislatif di rantau ini yang telah menyatakan minat untuk mengikut langkah ahli Parlimen Australia," beliau memberitahu Suara Keadilan.

Danby berkata, masyarakat antarabangsa secara keseluruhannya amat mengambil berat dan bimbang terhadap tuduhan tidak berasas ke atas Anwar yang beliau sifatkan sebagai seorang tokoh dunia yang penting.

Danby berkata, bukti bahawa Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak sendiri mengadakan pertemuan dengan pengadu Saiful Bukhari Azlan beberapa hari sebelum Saiful membuat laporan polis adalah cukup untuk sesiapa sahaja mencurigai kewibawaan pertuduhan terhadap Anwar.

Di Jakarta, pejuang hak asasi dan bekas Penasihat Presiden Indonesia Dr Adnan Buyong Nasution akan menerajui kempen 'Keadilan Untuk Anwar' peringkat Asia Tenggara.

Antara lain kempen itu akan mengumpulkan satu juta tanda tangan bagi mendesak Kerajaan Malaysia menggugurkan pertuduhan fitnah terhadap Anwar.


"Pilihan Dr Adnan Buyong Nasution untuk mempelopori inisiatif ini pada peringkat ASEAN, adalah tepat kerana beliau merupakan peguam hak asasi manusia yang terkemuka," kata Ketua Angkatan Muda Keadilan (AMK) Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin.

Dr Adnan akan dibantu oleh kumpulan anak muda dan golongan belia Indonesia yang aktif dalam perjuangan hak asasi.

"Beliau yakin umat Islam Indonesia seramai 220 juta akan teguh berdiri di belakang Datuk Seri Anwar kerana mereka percaya tuduhan ke atas beliau adalah fitnah dan tidak berasas sama sekali," kata Shamsul.

Shamsul berkata, kempen 'Keadilan Bagi Anwar' akan diperhebatkan lagi sempena lawatan rasmi Presiden Barack Obama ke Indonesia pada Mac depan bagi mengeratkan hubungan dua hala AS-Indonesia.

Ini termasuk menyampaikan petisen kepada Presiden Obama bagi mendesak agar pentadbiran Amerika memberi tekanan kepada Malaysia supaya pertuduhan jahat terhadap Anwar digugurkan. -Dzulkarnain Taib


Asri Sedia hadapi Nakhaei Di Mahkamah

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 04:16 AM PST

Bekas mufti Perlis Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin hari ini bersedia memberi keterangan di mahkamah berhubung dakwaan bahawa beliau telah mengeluarkan tiga kenyataan fitnah terhadap bekas Yang Dipertua Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim), Datuk Nakhaie Ahmad.

Dr Mohd Asri diminta mengulas tindakan Nakhaie, 57, memfailkan saman fitnah RM1.5 juta terhadapnya. Saman itu difailkan di pejabat pendaftaran Mahkamah Tinggi Sivil di Kuala Lumpur pagi tadi, terhadap bekas mufti Perlis itu serta tujuh yang lain, termasuk editor dan wartawan akhbar Sinar Harian.

Kenyataan fitnah itu didakwa dibuat dalam satu persidangan media pada 1 November tahun lepas dan dua artikel yang diterbitkan oleh Sinar Harian pada 2 dan 5 November tahun yang sama.

"Saya sudah bersedia, kalau nak saman saya, kita jawablah di mahkamah. Saya serahkan perkara ini kepada peguam saya," katanya ketika dihubungi Malaysiakini petang ini.

Dalam saman itu, Nakhaie menamakan Asri, Kumpulan Karangkraf Sdn Bhd, Akhbar Cabaran Sdn Bhd, Datuk Hussamuddin Yaacub, Sri Diah, Azmi Tarmizi, Lailatun Khalilah Nasir dan Siti Azila Alis sebagai defendan.

Nakhaie juga adalah pengerusi Pertubuhan Kebajikan Islam Malaysia (Perkim) mendakwa kenyataan itu memberi gambaran buruk bahawa beliau adalah pihak yang menjadi dalang dalam isu memorandum menentang pelantikan Asri daripada menjadi Yang Dipertua (YDP) Yadim, dan ada penyelewengan berlaku di insitusi tersebut.

Nakhaie juga mendakwa akibat daripada tindakan defendan pertama (Dr Mohd Asri) yang dikeluarkan di akhbar terbabit, kewibawaan dan reputasinya kian merosot.

Mengulas lanjut, Dr Mohd Asri berkata, beliau tidak menyebut nama Nakhaie sebagai dalang dalam isu memorandum tersebut.



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

Korea’s French fries coated hot dog on a stick

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 04:00 AM PST

Sausage wrapped in batter and French fries instead of normal bun, and it's poked on a bamboo stick for you to hold on. Genius, only in Korea…

French fries coated hot dog in Seoul, South Korea

It's a common street food in Seoul, most often seen at night markets; had mine at Dongdaemun area. You can't go wrong with sausages and fries; it's always good.

Korean travel journal

Previous: Deoksugung Palace royal guard-changing ceremony

Korea's French fries coated hot dog on a stick from YeinJee's Asian Blog


Deoksugung Palace royal guard-changing ceremony

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 03:37 AM PST

Went to Deoksugung Palace to see the royal guard-changing ceremony, a re-enactment of the traditional royal practise. The show was cancelled because of extreme cold weather during my first visit.

The location I stood at wasn't ideal for photoshoot, facing their backside most of the time lol. Still, here's a few pics that's worth a look…

Royal guard changing at Deoksugung Palace, Seoul, South Korea

Read the rest of this post »

Deoksugung Palace royal guard-changing ceremony from YeinJee's Asian Blog


If I were to be a millionaire...

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 03:24 AM PST

These are the first 10 things I would do (according to priority)...

1. Reinvest 500K and let the money multiplies by itself (ha ha. gotta secure yourself first, baybeh!)

2. Get my eyes lasered. I don't like wearing contact lenses. And I despise spectacles.

3. Sign up with New York Skin Care and take their most extensive skin care packages (yes, I'm a girl mind you!)

4. One Honda CVR for me. I'm not a fan of BMW, Mercedes or Porsche. But maybe I can consider one also. LOL.

5. Travel to Spain, Russia and Canada. No 5-star treatment. I'm more of a back-packer girl.

6. Purchase a property for myself! Must be at least a 1600 sqm bungalow with at least 4 rooms, a fair size of garden and a swimming pool...!

7. Purchase a property for investment, most preferably a high-end condo or a shop lot.

8. Pamper my family with... whatever. My mom loves clothes and furniture. Dad loves gadgets. Kakak loves anything branded. Wawa & Mimie love...food? haha err, I'll find out later. My bro loves cars.

9. Hire a cook, a maid and a driver. (I'm providing job opportunities for those in need okayyy... :p)

10. Apply (or pay my way) for PR in Australia or NZ.


So I'm the dog killer now!

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 04:32 AM PST

aNt's aNgle:

SO I'M THE BAD GUY NOW. 

That pretty much appears to be the view, I'm afraid, of some people who pride themselves in being called "dog lovers". 

These are a handful who obviously flew into a fit when I REFUSED to label and condemn all the people in Majlis Perbandaran Selayang (MPS) as DOG KILLERS!

They must have been all the more incensed considering the fact that I serve as


Koh Tsu Koon Tersentak Keng Yaik Kata Gerakan Tak Akan Mampu Tawan Kembali Pulau Pinang

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 01:45 AM PST

Anggota Gerakan hendaklah melipatgandakan usaha mereka dan berusaha gigih untuk membuktikan bahawa kenyataan penasihat parti bahawa Gerakan telah kehilangan Pulau Pinang adalah salah, kata Presiden Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

Katanya anggota parti hendaklah mengambil kenyataan Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik itu sebagai satu cabaran.

"Saya menasihatkan semua anggota parti untuk menjadikannya satu cabaran, mengambilnya sebagai satu cara bagi melipatgandakan usaha, memberi lebih penekanan terhadap ideologi parti dan menyediakan perkhidmatan yang telus dan ikhlas kepada rakyat tanpa memikirkan balasan, secara jujur menunjukkan kepada rakyat bahawa kita menyediakan perkhidmatan.

"Oleh sebab itu, jika mereka (anggota parti) berasa sedih, saya akan menasihatkan mereka untuk membuktikan Penasihat salah," katanya kepada pemberita ketika diminta mengulas kenyataan Lim dalam satu wawancara dengan The Edge Financial Daily pada 18 Feb, yang dilihat mengecewakan ramai anggota Gerakan.

Koh ditemui pemberita selepas melancarkan persidangan mengenai kejururawatan anjuran International College of Health and Science (ICHS) dan Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom, hari ini.

Koh berkata beliau telah menemui Lim (kanan) mengenai perkara itu dan bekas presiden itu menyatakan beliau "berniat baik dan mahu mengejutkan anggota Gerakan daripada kelenaan".

"Penasihat memberi gambaran terburuk dan beliau gembira jika kami dapat membuktikan bahawa beliau salah. Saya turut memberitahu beliau mengenai perasaan dan sentimen anggota akar umbi di Pulau Pinang yang berusaha bangkit semula daripada tsunami politik yang menyebabkan kita tewas teruk," katanya.

Ditanya sama ada sebarang tindakan akan diambil terhadap Lim, Koh berkata: "Tidak. Ini merupakan sebuah negara bebas dan demokratik. Beliau membuat kenyataan dan beberapa anggota memberikan reaksi. Kami mengambil maklum perkara ini dan biarlah kita teruskanlah perjuangan." -Bernama



In the first part of our interview with Gerakan adviser Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik yesterday, he spoke about the problems plaguing both the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalitions. What of his own party?

Lim expressed concern over whether his anointed successor, current Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, can take the party out of its decline.

Although the veteran politician said Koh was the best he had in terms of intellectual capacity and integrity, he feels that Koh is unable to make politically difficult decisions and provide leadership.

He thinks that Gerakan would need to go back to its core ideology based on a multiracial approach before it can pick itself up again.

Lim, who headed Gerakan for 27 years, believes that Gerakan has lost Penang for good.

"Should it (regain Penang)? No! We missed our chance. In cricket, they say you had a good innings and 39 years is a long and good one. What more do we want?" said Lim in his office in Bandar Utama in Petaling Jaya recently.

Lim, who was in government from 1972 to 2008, is also pessimistic about efforts to turn the country into a high-income economy.

The basis for a knowledge economy is human resource, he said, and to restructure this, the government would need to change its education policy.

On the controversy over the usage of the "Allah" word, Lim said that both sides of the divide were right and wrong at the same time.

"The issue has been over-politicised and maybe the solution lies with the Council of Rulers," he added.

This is the second and final part of his interview with Sharon Tan, Cindy Yeap and Chan Kok Leong of The Edge Financial Daily (TEFD).

TEFD: Can Gerakan retake Penang?

LKY: No. (Laughs) Should it? No. You missed your chance. In cricket they said you had a good innings. A long and good innings of 39 years. What more do you want?

TEFD: What does Gerakan need to do to get back Penang? Gerakan is seen as Penang, Penang is Gerakan.

LKY: No more. The long innings is gone. Gerakan has to look after its base which has been lost. It is baseless. It has to revert to its ideological background. And it must play a more prominent part as the influencing partner in future politics to move towards our ideological path.

TEFD: Is Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon the right man for the job?

LKY: What to do? He was the best I had in terms of intellect and integrity. Nobody can fault me. But in terms of politics, he is still struggling. If he is not careful, there will be a quiet revolution within Gerakan.

TEFD: Now there is talk about reallocation of seats in Barisan Nasional (BN).

LKY: More so that we need an ideological approach rather than trying to maintain base lah. Then at least we are part of this ideological move to mature politics on a multiracial basis. Don't think in terms of numbers or try to still be in government. Get that out of our bloody minds.

We had a good run in 39 years in a place where we used to have a base. So instead of hankering for your base, why don't you follow your ideological path and choose partners which can fulfil your ideological base? After March 8, politics is going towards an ideological base that is multiracial in approach.

TEFD: Where do you see Gerakan in this? Gerakan is a multiracial party and the conscience of BN.

LKY: We always say that we are too far ahead of ourselves (laughs). That is why I keep saying that there will be a realignment in future.

TEFD: Which party has most to lose in this realignment?

LKY: Even if PAS joins Umno, do you think they can maintain the majority on a pure Malay, racist and Islamic agenda? You think they can? I don't know.

TEFD: The numbers favour them…

LKY: I don't think so. I think the young Malays if you get a charismatic multiracial Malay leadership, you may just beat them with a total block of non-Malays on their side.

You can get 60% and this new multiracial Malay leadership will get 40% but with overwhelming non-Malays. I am not saying Chinese and Indians only but with Kadazans and Ibans.

You try lah.

You think they can get 80% with Umno and PAS joining? The more you push, the more likely but there are also people in PAS that don't think they can do it although Umno wished they would.

It takes a lot. That is why politics is very interesting and challenging in Malaysia. That's why as a young man of 28 or 29, I got immersed in politics. I could see the challenge.

My thoughts and feelings could make a difference. I intended to make a difference.

But unfortunately 36 years of it makes no difference (laughs). I don't know. If in my retirement I can still carry on explaining and guiding the people to make the right choice, I feel grateful that I am still alive today.

So in this respect, we need politicians who are more thinkers than those with personal agendas. We need people to think for our complicated society and challenges facing our country to allow the people to become part of this maturing of democratic politics.

TEFD: What is Gerakan's ideological base now?

LKY: Multiracial, non-racial approach, not only care about Chinese even though your base is Chinese, but all other races.

TEFD: Gerakan used to have a lot of thinkers but…

LKY: Being in the beehive, the bees start to sting our own people until they cannot stand it, they start to leave.

TEFD: Are you advocating that Gerakan should get out of BN?

LKY: There is nothing to get out to. How to get out?

TEFD: Within BN there are no multiracial parties except in Sabah and Sarawak.

LKY: You see lah who is not working with the Ibans and Kadazans.

TEFD: Does Gerakan plan to go to East Malaysia?

LKY: You don't tell people what you are going to do early. When PBS and Gerakan wanted to do the joint council, (former prime minister Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) saw it and killed it. Killed it!

Will (Tan Sri Abdul) Taib Mahmud stay? He has good control but will it split when he's not there anymore? That will depend on who provides the leadership for the Ibans. Are they a satisfied lot? I don't know.

How about in Sabah? Are the Kadazans okay? There is a big difference between (Tan Sri) Bernard Dompok and (Datuk) Joseph Pairin Kitingan. One is too complacent while the other one is still very much a reformist. Maybe (Gerakan) can even play second fiddle to DAP.

TEFD: What do you make of the "Allah" issue?

LKY: (After deep thought) Both sides are right and both sides are wrong. Using constitutional rights and universal rights, the Christians might be right. But in the context of Malaysia, they may be wrong. So both sides are right and both sides are wrong.

The issue has been over-politicised. To me you should let the Council of Rulers decide and take it away from the politics and then we may be able to maintain peace and harmony.

If they decide otherwise then so be it. Even if it is loaded on the Malay and Islam side, let it be. After all they are rulers.

That is the time for the constitutional monarchy to play its part. Take it off politics since it has been politicised. And to take it off from politics, let the rulers decide.

TEFD: You were in the cabinet in 2007 when the issue first came up. How did they get so far? Was it discussed at all?

LKY: Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) with one hand just brushed it off just like that. Bernard (Dompok) reported back to the Catholic church that they cannot do anything. So they went to the court to plead for their constitutional and universal rights.

You have a situation where the Peninsular Malays/Muslims feel bad but those in Sabah and Sarawak don't feel bad because they are used to it.

In Sabah and Sarawak, they use the Bahasa (Malaysia) version because they are not well-versed in English while in the Peninsula they use English which uses the word God.

The court will rule on constitutional and universal rights but people are not prepared for that. So it's better to refer back to the constitutional monarch which is the rulers in council.

TEFD: Tun, do you think we are more polarised now than before?

LKY: Yes. The implementation of the New Economic Policy. The rise of religious extremism. And the application of human and universal rights by the non-Malays. And education and facilities in schools and universities which have not been balanced over time.

I use that word because they have enough doctors and accountants and lawyers and yet the quotas still apply.

Opportunities in education and universities have not been balanced over time. This kind of things, you have to rebalance from time to time.

TEFD: Talking about a high-income economy, can we do it?

LKY: This is difficult. If they don't change the education policy, they cannot achieve high-income economy status. If the education policy doesn't change with the passage of time, to produce the right human resources for the needs of this country, then we will regress and not progress.

A high-income economy must be based on people, equipped with the best knowledge and retained for the country's use. Then we may stand a chance. If not, we can talk till the cows come home and we will regress and not progress.

TEFD: So, isn't the PPSMI reversal a step back for the high-income economy drive?

LKY: In my memorandum to Dr Mahathir, I said that Maths and Science should be taught in their mother tongue in primary schools while English periods should be increased.

And then English should be made the medium of instruction for Maths and Science in secondary schools.

In modern education methods, there are better ways of educating people in languages than what we are currently doing. We can use audio and video to teach languages instead of the rote system. For that, I used to argue with Dong Jiao Zong in 1972 when I was still in MCA and asked them, how much Chinese do you want a Chinese to know?

The East Ender Londoner speaks English which none of us can understand and yet they are Englishmen.

Equip students with enough content in Chinese to enable them to read and write and converse in Mandarin. Or do they want every Chinese to be a literature expert and quote proverbs only Chinese in China understand? If 3,000 words is enough I can't see how they can't pump the students with the words within six years.

I'm English educated but can they say that I'm not a Chinese. Those days I couldn't even speak Mandarin although I've picked it up now and can give a two-hour lecture in Mandarin without being able to read Chinese.

They want their mother tongue education, forgetting they are in Malaysia. Undoubtedly, the Chinese Malaysian is very appreciated in the last 20 years in the international circuit.

To those who have been exposed, the Chinese from here are better appreciated than those from other countries like mainland China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hongkong and Singapore.

Chinese from Singapore are very educated but have their noses in their foreheads. China Chinese are hillbillies although they are very much different today.

Those from Taiwan will eat you up and swallow you lock, stock and barrel. There won't even be bones coming out.

And the Hongkong Chinese only care for themselves and nobody else.

There is nothing to say about the Indonesian Chinese as they have even lost their names.

To appreciate that, the Chinese in Malaysia, being influenced by other races here, their mannerisms, eating habits and appreciation of multiracial society that makes them what they are, should be confident of that.

People outside the country compliment the Chinese Malaysians for being well mannered, know how to mix with people, caring and don't impose on people. All these good characteristics come from here.

What's wrong?

If 3,000 characters are enough to maintain our mother tongue then that should be good enough. And then we can spend more time learning English and Bahasa Malaysia.

There is no doubt that the Malays in this country need help. In any country, it's the rural people who need the most help. It so happens that the rural people in Malaysia, 90% are Malays. It's a rural problem and not just a Malay problem. Like Dr Mahathir in The Malay Dilemma says, "You change the environment, you change the race."

The NEP should help Malays and enlarge the cake to allow others to have a piece of the cake. But you must help the great proportion of Malays who live in the rural areas and change their environment, state of mind and thinking.

What the government has failed to do is help build entrepreneurs from the Malay masses. Although professionally they have built up enough people, there are not enough businessmen. The Chinese entrepreneurs are needed to help.

Instead of being jealous of them because they have the experience and capability, they should make use of them by instituting genuine bumiputera-Chinese joint ventures. Genuine and not Ali Baba style. Incentivised and monitored by the government, by certain departments.

If we can monitor capital and business structure in the country, why can't we incentivise these local joint ventures for a purpose? That is to build up local entrepreneurship among the Malays.

But those who are not working must be removed without fear or favour, whether they are Umno or not. But it must be monitored by the government so that those who are sleeping, lazy or have their own agenda should be removed and replaced by more genuine ones.

This will stop (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) from saying that we are building Umnoputeras and not bumiputeras. But we have wasted 40 years. The ones who think they can become rich quickly by joining politics should be condemned and kept out of politics and government. You know it but don't dare say it. I'm saying it now.

In a way, I'm saying that Umno should remove these fellas. There are 50,000 Class F contractors, what for? The famous words are sub, sub, sub, sub. No wonder, our computer labs have only two "tiangs" and one roof and then collapse.

If you appreciate the experience and capability of the Chinese, why can't we do it? The Malays should be inculcated with the value that you can make money not only through your own people but through others as well. It can be tax-free and exposure to capital when there is a Malay partner. It can be incentivised by the government and monitored.

I always ask, do you need a Malay to help a Malay?

When oil palm went up, it benefited the 75% Malays. 50% of the oil palm is produced by Felda and 25% by PNB corporates.

But I'm a Chinaman who has helped the small Malay stakeholders be it rubber or oil palm planters.

They wanted to subsidise cooking oil when the bulk of it is consumed by Chinese. Want to die ah? Taxing the poor Malay to subsidise the Chinese. They wanted to impose excess profit taxes on oil palm because of envy of KLK, IOI's profits but they forgot about Golden Hope, Sime Darby and Guthrie and that 50% of the smallholders are from Felda.

I tell you, I give up la talking to this government.




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Joe Cheng and Lin Chi-Ling on Elle China (March 2010)

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 01:32 AM PST

Taiwanese stars Joe Cheng and Lin Chi-Ling are featuring on March 2010 issue of Elle China magazine [Cn]. Fashion and accessories by Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, and Versace…

Taiwanese stars Joe Cheng and Lin Chi Ling on Elle China magazine

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Joe Cheng and Lin Chi-Ling on Elle China (March 2010) from YeinJee's Asian Blog


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