- Photogenic: Flowers
- Four tricky hurdles for Chua, the toughest being shedding his PORN STAR image!
- Janin Sebesar 2 Jari Ditemui Di depan Tokong
- Good work by Bomba Sukarela Paya Terubong
- YouTube Video On Disabled Group's Confrontation With KTM
- Police and the Community - Salute to your, Sarjan Veera
- my 501st post
- Malaysia Losing Talents - NEAC
- Children in KL deficient in vitamin D: Study
- Will Najib come clean on his 1Malaysia-1Israel-APCO link? Obviously, not!
- After School Bang photoshoot
- Julang Keris, Pemuda MCA Kecam Perkasa
- Suflan Shamsuddin:Towards a culture of integrity
- What causes people to be wary of Muslims in the West
- Malaysia must consider using permanent residency (PR) and dual citizenship as a competitive strategy to attract talent from abroad
- Najib Jadi Mangsa PERKASA, Slogan 1Malaysia Diperkosa
- Malaysiakini:Precious jewels in healthcare need protection
- 16 Sept Bukan Satu Gimik Politik
- Buddies oh Buddies…
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 09:49 AM PDT
Do you still remember the advertisement the father tell the son Flower Flower then the son told his father Orchid la... :p
Photogenic for this week is all about flowers...
Let's start with Water lily...
Follow by Daisy
Errrr... don't ask me what is the name of the flower in the last picture. I really have no idea... Anyone know the name?
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 09:53 AM PDT
NEWS ANALYSIS The new MCA head may think the worst is over, but the reality is something else.
First hurdle - Legitimacy to rule effectively. Chua only garnered 38 percent of the votes with slightly over half of the newly-elected central committee clinging to factions led by his rivals.
Second hurdle - Distribution of resources such as ministerial posts, key party posts and the chairmanship of state liasion committees.
Third hurdle - Port Klang Free Zone scandal.
Fourth hurdle - Repair the damage done to his public image because of his adultery (added to that, oral sex!)
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 09:14 AM PDT
Janin sebesar dua jari dijumpai dalam balang plastik bertutup di hadapan pintu pagar, Tokong Foo Yan dekat Jinjang Utara, Jinjang di sini, malam tadi.
Ketua Polis Daerah Sentul, Asisten Komisioner Zakaria Pagan berkata, janin yang dipercayai lelaki itu dijumpai seorang lelaki yang juga penjaga di tokong itu kira-kira 11.30 malam ketika dia meronda di tokong itu.
"Janin yang masih bertali pusat dengan panjang kira-kira 10sm itu dianggar empat bulan dan cukup sifat," katanya ketika dihubungi Bernama di sini, hari ini. Beliau berkata, kes itu disiasat mengikut Seksyen 318 Kanun Keseksaan kerana menyembunyikan kelahiran dan menyebabkan kematian. Janin itu dihantar ke Hospital Kuala Lumpur. -Bernama
This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 09:12 AM PDT
I passed by Paya Terubong and saw a fire engine at the road side and a few young men gathered at road side. Pasukan Sukarela Bomba Paya Terubong is helping to clear the road as a big branch of the tree fell down and nearly hit a motorcyclist. No injury suffered. I have to give a thumb up to these young men who were doing the social work volunteerly in the ungodly hour of 11pm. Most of the young peoples already went to bed or doing facebook.
Salute to you - Bomba sukarela Paya Terubong.
Sorry for the poor quality of the photo - my camera is running out of battery.
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 09:00 AM PDT
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Posted: 30 Mar 2010 08:49 AM PDT
I visited Sarjan Veera at his house at 10pm just now. He is a dedicated policeman serving the Air Itam Police Station. He was attacked while carrying his duty by 3 youth who were drunk. Joining me in the visit are the community leaders from Kampung Pisang, Thean Teik, Air Itam and Paya Terubong. Salute to you sarjan.
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 09:39 AM PDT
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 08:22 AM PDT
March 30, 2010 15:24 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is losing its skilled talent which it needs to drive future growth as many are leaving to seek better opportunities elsewhere, the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) says.
Quoting an estimate by the Ministry of Human Resources, the NEAC says in 2008 some 350,000 Malaysians were working abroad, over half of which had tertiary education.
The exodus of talented Malaysia is further compounded by the fact that the education system, despite high capital outlays through several reform efforts, is not effectively delivering the skills needed, the NEAC says in the New Economic Model for Malaysia Part 1 Report released here Tuesday.
"We are not developing talent and what we have is leaving," the NEAC says.
The report says industry players often lament the absence of right skills in the market, suggesting mismatch between the skills provided by the education system and those demanded by firms.
The most recent assessment by the World Bank suggests that firms have become increasingly concerned about information technology (IT) skills, technical and professional skills of Malaysian workers and complaints about inadequate creativity and proficiency in the English language.
The Department of Statistics reports that in 2007, 80 per cent of Malaysia's workforce received education only up to Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
Data from the Ministry of Higher Education show that about a quarter of graduates from local universities remained unemployed six months upon completion of study in 2008.
"Even those who secured jobs, almost one third were in jobs at a lower skill level," the report says.
According to MOHR, between 2001 and 2005, the government expended RM415 million on retraining some 40,000 graduates to improve their employability.
"Various programmes to attract skilled talent have been introduced in the past but they have achieved very little in concrete terms. The result is a shortage of dynamic talent needed to push Malaysia into higher value added activities," NEAC says.
The report says better collaboration between private sector employers and universities will help correct the mismatch between industry demand and graduates as well as improve graduate employability.
"Malaysia must revert to sustained and systematic programmes to give Malaysian students the high level of English proficiency required to compete in global market," the report says.
The report says the current system discourages rather than encourages the retention of indigenous talent and inflows of foreign talent.
Constraints include cumbersome immigration and incentive policies which discourage recruitment of foreign expertise along with restrictive practices of professional associations which restrict foreigners from working in Malaysia, it says.
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 09:50 AM PDT
Source: The Sun
Alternatively, you can click here to go to Portal MyHEALTH to read the report.
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 07:43 AM PDT
UPDATEDBy Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) caused a stir in Parliament today when he claimed that APCO's links with the Najib administration started well before the 1 Malaysia concept.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had previously stated that APCO's engagement came after the inception of 1 Malaysia.
Today, Anwar said that leading figures within APCO were already working for the government under the company Mind Team Sdn Bhd.
"Before APCO existed in Kuala Lumpur, the government had appointed Mind Team Sdn Bhd. This company, which had offices in KL, was led by key individuals who are also senior personnel within APCO."
Paul Stadlen, who was the director of Mind Team, is now the CEO of APCO based in Kuala Lumpur and the other person, Margaret Kraus, is CEO of APCO Worldwide.
"Now the CEOs of APCO are key individuals involved in major accounts in Israel," said Anwar.
The Opposition Leader also told Parliament that he had two documents to back up his claims.
According to Anwar, the first document was an agreement signed by the government on Aug 4, 2007 which authorises APCO to "repair" the government's image.
"It (the agreement) bears the signature of the press secretary to the prime minister, that is Tengku Datuk Sariffudin Tengku Ahmad, which shows how close APCO is to the prime minister while in normal practice, government agreements are signed by government officers only," said Anwar.
Besides that, he claimed that the other document provided details of the Israeli government's agreement with APCO to undertake similar tasks to Malaysia's agreement. The agreement was dated Jan 9, 1992.
"At the time of the agreement, Ehud Barak was the Chief of General Staff of Israel.
"Both these agreements clearly show the role of APCO as a lobbyist, which would warrant, inter alia, the safeguarding of government secrets made privy to APCO.
"APCO is also involved in the advising of a comprehensive strategic communications programme and must keep confidential all information pertaining to its operations. How can we expect APCO to be forthright about its actual role vis-a-vis 1 Malaysia as well as the various government campaigns?"
Anwar also mentioned another name — Doron Bergerbest-Eilon, former head of the Division of Protection and Security in the Israeli Security Agency with the rank of major-general. He is currently one of the international advisors to APCO.
"Can the PM come forward and tell Parliament in no uncertain terms that neither APCO or any of its affiliates, associates or personalities or individuals or organisations linked with them is involved in the 1 Malaysia project?" asked Anwar.
It is understood that news about APCO's involvement with the Najib administration first surfaced on July 28, 2009.
Back then, The Malaysian Insider had reported on the undisclosed involvement of APCO in the government. APCO was reported to have been introduced to the PM by his adviser Omar Mustapha, who is a partner in Ethos Consultancy.
Later at a press conference, Anwar continued his campaign against APCO, claiming that the proof was the many "similarities" between 1 Israel and 1 Malaysia.
He alleged that the 1 Israel's campaign focused a lot on health, and even included a 1 Israel health fund. 1 Malaysia too apparently focuses on health and has a 1 Malaysia fund as well as 1 Malaysia clinic.
"1 Israel's motto is people first. The only thing different with 1 Malaysia is people first, performance now."
Anwar rubbished claims by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin that he himself knew some of the leading figures in APCO personally.
"I don't know what Rembau is up to. Rembau has been the spokesperson for APCO, it's a very pertinent question here for me to raise, he read about APCO, and took it upon himself to explain."
It is understood that Anwar has requested that a royal commission be set up to investigate the matter further.
Posted: 25 Mar 2010 07:04 AM PDT
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 06:33 AM PDT
Timbalan Setiausaha Agung Pemuda MCA, Low Chew June menyelar Ibrahim Ali dan Ahmad Ismail sebagai "batu penghalang" perpaduan yang wajib ditolak oleh rakyat!
"Dalam Mesyuarat Agung PERKASA, Ibrahim Ali mengeluarkan hujah-hujah perkauman yang ekstrem dan menjulang keris; sementara bekas Ketua UMNO Bahagian Bukit Bendera, Ahmad Ismail yang pernah mengeluarkan hujah 'kaum pendatang', kini bersiap sedia untuk kembali. Malah, kita tidak boleh memandang remeh sikap Ahmad Ismail yang angkuh itu, malah perlu mencegah rasisme daripada membakar semula," katanya dalam satu kenyataan media, hari ini.
Low Chew June menyifatkan Ibrahim Ali dan Ahmad Ismail adalah penganut rasisme yang pantang melihat keamanan dan kedamaian negara. Low Chew June menganggap tindakan mereka yang ekstrem akan menjejaskan perpaduan negara, malah terpesong dari Perlembagaan Persekutuan, bercanggahan dengan gagasan 1Malaysia yang disarankan Perdana Menteri Najib Razak.
Low Chew June juga kesal dengan hujah bekas Perdana Menteri, Mahathir Mohamad yang menurutnya "ekstrem", malah menyifatkan hujah tersebut sebagai "mengapi-apikan", menyemarakkan fahaman perkauman. "Sebagai seorang bekas PM, Mahathir seharusnya berada pada landasan yang betul untuk memupuk perpaduan rakyat demi kepentingan semua," katanya.
*Kenyataan media oleh Low Chew June selaku Timbalan Setiausaha Agung Pemuda MCA. Diterjemah dari kenyataan asal edisi bahasa Cina. -Merdeka Review
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 06:30 AM PDT
Suflan Shamsuddin qualified as a barrister at law from Middle Temple and has been called to the Malaysian Bar. He is currently working in a Fortune 500 company as a senior counsel and is based in London. He is also author of the book "RESET: Rethinking the Malaysian Political Paradigm".
MARCH 30 — Before my current job, I was the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for the global operations and businesses of the multinational with whom I am currently employed.
This multinational is by certain measures the largest company in the world, and by other measures no less than in the top five of the world's largest companies.
Ensuring and monitoring the Company's compliance programme in respect of the company's Code of Conduct was an enormous responsibility, given not just the size of this company but because of the diverse areas of operations around the world.
The most important thing that I learnt in that job was that ethics and compliance must be driven from the top.
It is the 'Tone at the Top'and the commitment that senior leadership gives to setting that tone that has the greatest impact on creating a culture of integrity.
Leadership commitment to shaping such a culture includes ensuring that leadership behaviour is beyond reproach, and that leaders themselves maintain the highest standards of moral and ethical integrity, both in their public and private life.
Leadership, all the way down the food chain, must be willing to adopt and embrace a culture of openness, where concerns about breaches of compliance, including in relation to bullying, harassment, and the application of double standards, can be raised openly and freely without any fear of retribution.
Developing such a culture also requires that any concerns about breaches to our Code of Conduct, regardless of who the alleged violator is, will be handled professionally and robustly. Hence, investigations of complaints and suspected violations are handled with tremendous vigour and independence.
Nobody is above the law.
And the punishment for wrong-doing (referred to as consequence management) must be consistent throughout the company. It does not matter whether you are the CEO or the office boy, whether you in Brazil or in Turkey, or what your national or ethnic background is.
You will all be subjected to similar due process, and you will be judged and punished by the same standards, procedures and policies.
Of course there are many other elements to a compliance programme; but for this article it is only these matters on which I want to focus. There is no doubt in my mind that the best run companies all have a culture of integrity built on these key parameters.
Governments are no different than companies. And the best run governments do likewise. And so, if we want to ensure the highest standards of governance, accountability and compliance in Malaysia, the same must apply to leadership in our government. For without it, the fundamental fabric of society will be at risk.
Respect for the law, integrity, honesty and decency cannot become infused into the very moral fiber of society. And without all of this, you cannot create an atmosphere to facilitate economic and social prosperity.
So in Malaysia, are our leaders beyond reproach? Do they exhibit the highest standards of moral and ethical integrity, both in their public and private life? Do they adopt a culture of openness, where concerns about wrong-doing can be raised without any fear of retribution, and dealt with in an appropriate manner befitting the allegation? Are investigations and justice carried out with the necessary degree of independence and robustness? Is there consistent consequence management regardless of who you are, and which circle you mix in, in Malaysia?
The most important thing to remember about creating a culture of integrity, is that it is all about perception, and not about fact. So what is important is not thether our leaders ARE beyond reproach and exhibit the highest standards of moral and ethical integrity, but whether they are perceived to do so.
No doubt, each of us will answer these questions based on our own perceptions about Malaysia, how it is run, and the conduct of leaders. As for me, were I to wear my old Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer's hat, I would not have to think long and hard to answer these questions.
I would say without hesitation, given my perceptions as to the answers to these questions, that Malaysia has very little of the ingredients needed to facilitate and sustain a culture of integrity. And the country will pay the ultimate price for this in the longer term.
As the Rakyat, let's all demand that this situation is fixed as a matter of urgency before it is too late.
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 06:27 AM PDT
Yesterday, a couple of brainwashed suicide bombers decided to murder as many people as possible on the Moscow underground. However, the story that really caught my eye wasn't that, but another incident on the same underground a little later on. It transpires that a few citizens of Moscow decided to vent a little on seeing a number of Muslims (they were dressed as Muslims), and so with anger in their eyes they attacked those whom they deemed responsible for those earlier attacks, and nobody (I quote, nobody) stopped to intervene.
Across the world, in America, an Islamic group at Trinity University, Texas have objected to the wording on the diplomas handed out. It seems that the words 'In the year of our Lord' offends them, and as such they want it removed from any diplomas they might receive.
Similar stories abound where Muslims find offence on things they deem as 'Islamophobic', be it a cross on a police officer's button, shaking hands with a woman or even being near a dog, Muslims the Western world over are making a rod for their own back by finding offence in the smallest of things.
The problem is, their fears of victimhood have come to bite them on their backsides as people sick of their perverse demands are fighting back. Be it equal rights in Canada, the burka in France or sadly unwarranted attacks on innocent people in Moscow, Muslims in the West have become the architects of their own misfortune with their demands.
On that note, you'd think the silly prick demanding that the term 'In the year of our Lord' be removed from any diploma he may receive should pack his bags and leave for a true Islamic country, seeing as the University he's at has a major Christian religious link by calling itself 'Trinity'.
I would say he should return to his own country, but seeing as he is from Mexico, something tells me the very religious Catholic Mexicans wouldn't take too kindly to somebody telling them to respect his faith by degrading theirs.
But as I mentioned above, the only people causing hatred towards Muslims are Muslims themselves. Hat tip: Extracted from the Eye On The World, with changes to the title.
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 06:08 AM PDT
By Neville Spykerman
KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — Malaysia must consider using permanent residency (PR) and dual citizenship as a competitive strategy to attract talent from abroad, while working on retaining local talent from leaving.
Malaysian American Electronics Industry (MAEI) chairman Datuk Wong Siew Hai today pointed out the policy was already being used by Malaysia's neighbours, including Singapore, Japan and China.
"It should be a strategy that must be implemented promptly," he told the Invest Malaysia conference in a discussion entitled, "Attracting Private Investment Towards a High Income Economy Based on Talent, Innovation and Creativity."
He cited examples of engineers from India working in the country for just a few years, before the Immigration Department started questioning why their jobs could not be done by locals.
"I recommend a transparent system, just like every other country, where there is clear criteria on how to become a PR."
He said the government could set annual quotas or limits — based on sectors — if there were concerns over the displacement of locals.
However, he argued allowing foreign talent in would create more jobs in the long run, and cited the US' policy of attracting the best and brightest.
At the same time, he said Malaysia needs to address the problem of the brain drain affecting the country.
He pointed out a rigid workplace may not be conducive to the "Generation Y" workers.
"We need to figure out how to retain them instead of letting them go."
Wong pointed out that many Fortune 500 companies were growing in Malaysia and needed workers.
"Every year there are 500,000 school leavers, but industries are still short (of manpower). Where are these workers?" he asked, before adding that the problem was acute and required a solution urgently.
On the tertiary front, Wong said that up to 40 per cent of local graduates were not "industry ready".
He proposed the government sets aside up to RM2 billion to help these graduates acquire the necessary skills while also addressing the problem at universities, claiming that such a move would send the right message to investors and help attract more investments.
"Investors will be assured the problem is being addressed." he concluded.
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 04:42 AM PDT
Mangsa pertama keperkasaan Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia ialah Presiden Umno, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Ini kerana maruah Najib sebagai pemimpin yang sepatutnya berwawasan membentuk sebuah negara yang aman, makmur dan bersatu padu pada keseluruhannya bergantung kepada slogan yang dinamakan 1Malaysia, di mana Najib mengidamkan setiap warganya berasa selamat dan tidak khuatir akan hak kelahiran mereka dicabuli atau dinafikan oleh mana-mana pihak.
Beliau juga mahu melihat satu transformasi di mana setiap anak Malaysia akan berani dan yakin untuk tampil pada bila-bila masa walaupun di mana jua untuk mengisytiharkan diri mereka adalah bangsa Malaysia terlebih dahulu sebelum menitip hakikat mereka adalah dari keturunan apa dan lahir dari daerah mana di muka bumi Malaysia.
Namun tidak sampai setahun Najib menyemai janji dan mengerah kudrat dengan bantuan dalam dan luar negara (termasuk dari Israel) mimpi Najib disanggah oleh pihak yang ditimang-timangnya untuk menjadi taruhan demi mahu kekal menjadi pemimpin Melayu yang disalut slogan 'tidak Melayu hilang di dunia'.
Kumpulan yang menamakan diri mereka Perkasa ini dengan lantang memaksa Najib supaya mendengar tuntutan mereka jika beliau benar-benar ingin dikenali sebagai pemimpin Melayu. Perjuangan songsang Perkasa rugikan Melayu Sabtu lalu, Perkasa tanpa segan-silu dan dengan begitu angkuh mengisytiharkan bahawa kehadiran mereka bukan untuk mencabar sesiapa, tetapi bagi mana-mana pihak yang dianggapnya 'biadap' terhadap pendiriannya, maka perlembangan perjuangan Perkasa, keris adalah galang gantinya. Hal ini jelas daripada amanat pembuka kata Perkasa, Dr Mahathir Mohamad yang menggariskan betapa dan mengapa Perkasa dianggapnya suara yang sah bagi orang-orang Melayu dan Islam di negara ini.
Malah bukan sekadar menggariskan sempadan keris dengan keharmonian hidup, Dr Mahathir juga mendedahkan mengapa Perkasa ada hak wujud dan mengambil pendirian seperti yang dituntutnya – demi kepentingan Melayu dan agama Islam, tegasnya. Perkasa baginya perlu wujud kerana kepimpinan Melayu hari ini lemah berpunca daripada pemimpin yang digelarnya pemimpin anjung (koridor atau kaki lima) yang gagal memperkasakan orang Melayu.
Menurutnya, inti perjuangan Perkasa ialah mengekal dan mengembangkan jati diri orang Melayu termasuk bahasa dan agamanya.
Namun yang menyedihkan, Dr Mahathir juga orangnya yang dengan tuntas, melalui dasar-dasar pemerintahannya dahulu menyanggah hakikat dan cuba menanam keyakinan orang Melayu bahawa bahasa Melayu yang menjadi jati diri mereka tidak ada nilai komersil dan tidak saintifik.
Sebab itu beliau bersungguh-sungguh tidak mahu bahasa Melayu dijadikan bahasa matematik dan sains. Bagaimana kuat dicabar dan didebat, Mahathir terus berdegil mahu bermain politik dengan rakyat bukan Melayu dan berusaha 'membayar balik' budi mereka kerana menyelamatkan Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) yang dipimpinnya daripada kemarahan orang Melayu dalam pilihan raya umum kesepuluh pada tahun 1999.
Satu lagi ciri jati diri Melayu-Islam, turut diperlekehnya. Demi tunduk pada tekanan Amerika Syarikat yang menganggap sistem madrasah adalah sarang pengganas, Mahathir tergamak menarik bantuan untuk Sekolah Agama Rakyat. Malah simbol budaya Melayu- Islam seperti purdah dan ketayap diharamkan daripada dipakai oleh kakitangan kerajaan.
Sejarah menyaksikan betapa kebiadapan beliau yang tercabut daripada tradisi, akal budi dan agama orang Melayu memecat, mencedera dan mengaibkan Anwar Ibrahim pada 1998 menjengkelkan hati dan naluri orang Melayu beragama Islam.
Kini melalui Perkasa, beliau menganggap tuntutan baru orang bukan Melayu pula biadap walhal kebiadapan bermula daripada sikap angkuh tetapi kerdil jiwa-nya kerana khuatir kedudukannya dicabar Anwar.
Inilah pusar perjuangan Perkasa. Dirobeknya Umno dan didesak supaya mencontohi ketegasannya. Dalam pada itu ia menggigit tangan Najib yang sejak mula penubuhannya menghulurkan sokongannya demi menjadikannya cagaran politik dan lantas memamah konsep 1Malaysia.
Kemudian Perkasa menggertak kaum lain jangan cuba mempersoalkan perjuangannya. Perkasa enggan menerima hakikat lanskap politik sudah berubah. Perlambangan keris yang dipikulnya juga sudah tidak sesuai dengan hala tuju Malaysia menjadi warga dunia yang sopan beradab.
Gertak menggertak adalah politik primitif yang seharusnya sudah lama dinyahkan dari kepentingan pribumi. Jika benar mahu memperkasakan Melayu, jadikan mereka masyarakat bertamadun.
Ukuran orang terdidik ialah ia mampu berdialog dan berkomunikasi dengan sesiapa pun. Perkasakan Melayu dengan beradab. Usah songsangkan erti perkasa dengan gertakan dan keris. – Minda Editor Suara Keadilan.
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 04:30 AM PDT
By Richard Wong
Health Care reform is in the news in Australia, the US and elsewhere. The Rudd government has recently released its proposed overhaul plan for the Hospital and Healthcare system in Australia over the coming years. The plan comes in the wake of a report previously commissioned by the government, 'Towards a Healthier Future for all Australians'.
At the same time the Obama adminstration in the US has finally managed to get its Healthcare Reform Bill through the Congress. The bill increases government health insurance subsidies so that some 30 million Americans, presently uninsured, can get some cover, widens the government health plan to provide better care for poor people, expands taxes on the very rich to help fund the scheme, and outlaws health insurance companies from refusing to provide insurance cover to those with known, pre-existing medical conditions. The reform will cost about $US94 billion a year (the American defence budget is around $US650 billion annually).
The horrors of the American healthcare system have become quite well known internationally, especially with all the controversy over the Obama Health Care Reform Bill. People live in fear of falling ill because they have incomplete cover or, in the case of the poor, no cover at all. After one major operation, such as coronary surgery, bills of up to $US1 million can come in.
For someone without health insurance there is really nowhere to go for medical help. Of personal bankruptcies in the US, 62% are attributed to inability to pay hospital and medical bills. The US is well down the life expectancy ranking in the OECD countries. It ranks 24th (life expectancy average of 79.4 years). Australia ranks 5th (life expectancy average of 81.2). The four at top ranking are Japan, Hong Kong, Iceland and Switzerland. This surely tells a story about the richest country in the world.
The Australian healthcare story has been much more positive for what it has brought the people. To a certain extent, the right to universal health care did start to emerge in the early twentieth century. Publicly funded hospitals started to be built in the States, with access guaranteed to the public. Ater 1945, the ALP government, still in office from the war years, proposed a series of measures aimed at offering everyday people much better healthcare arrangements.
These measures included a free hospital system, funded from taxation revenue, compulsory health insurance, salaried doctors for poorer people in need of medical help, and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Vested interests stirred up a storm (a little like in the recent US events) and all of the proposals were blocked by failed referendums, the medical profession's opposition or High Court rulings declaring them unconstitutional.
The battle for universal healthcare had suffered a setback. But in 1951, the Coalition government (Liberals and Country Party), led by Robert Menzies, proposed a National Health Scheme which included a slightly adapted PBS, a voluntary medical and hospital benefits insurance scheme, a Pensioner Medical service and a more specified system of health grants to the States.
The vested interests were generally accommodated by the Coalition government and the storm was largely quelled. Menzies' National Health Scheme brought many of the pieces together and marked a step forward in the winning of a universal health care right in Australia.
In 1974, a new public health insurance agency – Medibank – was established by the Whitlam Labour government, followed in 1984 by Medicare funded from a taxation levy of 1.5%. Medicare was set up by the Hawke/Keating Labor government. Both health insurance agencies took important steps forward in strengthening the universal healthcare right.
Public hospitals were open to all for treatment and 85% of doctors' scheduled fees could be reclaimed through Medicare. Those wanted to take out private insurance could do so and be largely covered for accommodation in private hospitals.
Having a Medicare system and free public hospital access right are most important things for a country and people. For the old and sick, the mother, the child, the migrant, the injured they are vital. They are precious jewels that cannot be taken for granted. Some of the old vested interests would pull Medicare apart if they had the chance. They have tried and so far failed.
Long waiting lists, scarce beds, exhausted medical staff and chaotic management in public hospitals today weaken the right of universal access to healthcare. Those with a bit more money pay private health insurance and use the private system. That is why the current debate in Australia and the planned action to 'fix' the public hospital system are so important.
We have come to know a bit more about the healthcare situation in the US during the battle for the Reform Bill. We have something much better in Australia and should aim to hold on tight, protecting and improving it wherever we can.
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 04:21 AM PDT
Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan) mempunyai ahli parlimen yang secukupnya untuk mengambil alih Putrajaya pada 16 September 2008 jika pimpinan Umno-Barisan Nasional(BN) ketika itu memanggil sidang Parlimen bagi menghadapi undi tidak percaya terhadap kerajaan pimpinan Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim menegaskan isu peralihan kuasa 16 September bukan direka cipta dan seharusnya menjadi kenyataan jika Umno memegang prinsip demokrasi dan memanggil sidang tergempar parlimen.
Anwar berkata segala tohmahan Umno dan fitnah ahli parlimen bebas yang ditaja oleh parti itu seperti Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim adalah untuk menutup kecurangan Umno dalam cubaan terdesak untuk terus berpaut kepada kuasa.
Abdullah, ketika itu, enggan mengadakan sidang tergempar parlimen walaupun dimaklumkan berpuluh ahli parlimen menyatakan sokongan kepada Pakatan bagi membolehkan gagasan itu membentuk kerajaan baru.
Desakan supaya diadakan sidang tergempar itu selari dengan Peraturan 11 (3) Peraturan-peraturan Majlis Mesyuarat Dewan Rakyat yang menuntut satu jawapan segera daripada Abdullah berikutan keadaan politik yang genting ketika itu.
Surat permohonan itu ditandatangani Anwar selaku Ketua Umum KEADILAN, Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang dan Penasihat DAP, Lim Kit Siang.
Berucap kepada ribuan rakyat di Alor Pongsu, Perak, Anwar berkata Abdullah enggan melayan surat itu dan sebaliknya 40 ahli Parlimen BN dibawa keluar ke Taiwan pada 8 September 2008 untuk memintas sokongan mereka kepada Pakatan.
Anwar berkata tuduhan-tuduhan yang di bawa oleh Zahrain dan pemimpin BN lain mengenai 16 September di parlimen baru-baru ini fitnah semata-mata dan tidak berpaksi kepada fakta serta urutan peristiwa yang berlaku.
Menurut Anwar, hanya beliau, Hadi dan Kit Siang yang mengetahui segala fakta dan butiran mengenai pengambil alihan kuasa pada 16 September 2008.
"Saya mendapat nama jumlah ahli parlimen, saya tidak cerita kepada semua.
Tetapi kepada Haji Hadi Awang dan Lim Kit Siang saya beritahu, sebab kita berpakat senarai yang saya dapat yang telah ditandatangan.
"Keputusan kita ialah tulis surat kepada Abdullah Badawi untuk berbincang masa depan politik negara, tetapi dia tak mahu jumpa," tegas Anwar.
Menurut Anwar, usaha itu gagal kerana Abdullah enggan mengadakan sidang khas tergempar ketika itu, sebaliknya ahli-ahli BN yang dikatakan mahu melompat ke Pakatan dihalang berbuat demikian.
"Kita bincang sebagai ketiga pemimpin, Ustaz Hadi dan Kit Siang tulis surat kepada Speaker Dewan Rakyat. Saya kata buat mesyuarat khas kita nak bentangkan undi tak percaya untuk jatuhkan BNl," tegas Anwar.
"Tetapi perkara itu tak jadi pasal depa tak panggil mesyuarat. Semasa mesyuarat (dirancang) diadakan depa bawa lari ahli-ahli parlimen ke Taiwan.
Sekarang ini nak tuduh saya khianat pasal apa?," tegas Anwar.
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 04:16 AM PDT
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 08:12 AM PDT
Ever since I became a volunteer with the Buddies Society of Ipoh, it became apparent to me that quite a number of people don't seem to know the difference between Buddies and Buddhist.
The first time, after I was newly confirmed as a Buddy, and my number was written on our brochure at the HIV clinic (at that time we didn't have any hotline number yet – so we put down the personal hand phone numbers of a few of our volunteers), a call came in from a Chinese lady, "Allo… ini Buddhist ka?" It took me a while to comprehend that she was trying to get in touch with Buddies.
There were quite a few occasions when people would pronounce the word as Buddhist and I'd have to correct them and say Buddies. After a while I didn't bother to correct them anymore.
Initially when we were just a wing under the Perak Family Health Association (used to be known as Family Planning Association), the name was just Buddies of Ipoh. I wasn't a member then. In 2004 when we decided to stand on our own as an association, we registered with ROS using the same name. But the ROS insisted that the name SOCIETY must be included and so we finally became the Buddies Society of Ipoh.
With the word Society included, more people thought we were the Buddhist Society. The chairperson then was a Chinese lady, so I guess it was even more believable.
But imagine the looks on people's faces when they saw this mak aji beginning to represent the "Buddhist" society.
Once I attended a meeting organised by the Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah. The chairman was noting down the attendance and read out the names of agencies/organisations to check if there were representatives. When he came to the name of my NGO, he mentioned, "Persatuan Buddhist Ipoh", and this mak aji selamba-ly raised her hand without saying anything. He looked at me, then back at the list, then he said, "Oh maaf, Persatuan Buddies ya, bukan Buddhist." Tau pulak sebut betul-betul without having anyone to correct him!
The next meeting organised by the Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah, the Chairman didn't bother to call out the names, so I was spared from having to get funny looks for representing "Buddhist". However, a doctor who was sitting beside me, to whom I gave my card to, suddenly became quiet and only after a few minutes, gathered some courage to ask me…
"Ni sebut macam mana ya?"
(I heard a sigh of relief from her.)
Doc: "Saya ingatkan Buddhist!"
Me: "Kan ke lain ejaannya?"
Doc: "Ha'ah ek, ya tak ya juga."
Aduh, and to think that she's a doctor!!
And how can I forget the time when I went to represent Buddies to receive a cheque from HRH Raja Nazrin. The emcee had (as expected) used the wrong pronunciation during the rehearsal. Fine, so I told another officer the correct pronunciation and this officer went to tell the emcee. But the emcee insisted, "Tulis sini BUDIS, bukan BADIS."
Adoi, cakap orang putihlah yeop!
It's BUDDIES, the plural for BUDDY, okay? Go to citcat.com and the translation is RAKAN – which is what we do – we become buddies to HIV infected/affected families.
And yes, I am a Muslim. DUH!
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