Sunday, June 27, 2010

Looking beyond Maika.....

Looking beyond Maika.....


Looking beyond Maika.....

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 11:29 AM PDT

THE curtains are being raised on the crumbling house of cards in the most protracted prickly issue among the Malaysian Indian community. For over two decades, Maika Holdings Bhd, MIC's investment arm, initially touted as the "all Indian dream", has been riddled with deep distrust, intense suspicion and weakened by scandal.

So, it was not surprising that when Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam first revealed his plans to takeover Maika in a rushed press conference in late April, instead of stemming the voracious speculation which was his original intent, he had re-ignited the long pent-up suspicion.

Questions aplenty flowed on steady stream: Is this rescue a political play?

Is it a brokered settlement with the MIC leadership? How many layers of agenda are there in this exercise?

What's in it for Gnanalingam? Are the poor Indians, who have long endured this debacle, getting a raw deal?

It didn't help at all that the takeover plan was revealed by politicians just days before the Hulu Selangor by-election, which was perceived by many as an attempt to woo voters.

Truth is, as CIMB Group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak put it: "It's a very simple deal." (CIMB is adviser and financier of the special purpose vehicle G Team Resources & Holding Sdn Bhd formed to undertake the exercise. G Team is equally owned by Gnanalingam and Datuk S.Kunasingam).


At a press conference to announce the conditional takeover offer on Wednesday, Nazir started out his speech this way. "I'm intrigued that when I announce billion dollar deals, the room (venue of the press briefing) is only half full but today, it's very full. There must be a lot of interest." An understatement, indeed.

If you strip out the past, the highly-strung sentiments and the politics from the deal, Gnanalingam's plan - to wrest control of Maika, pay back shareholders their original investments, manage the debts, flog off its two valuable assets (an agricultural land in Sepang and a 74.1% stake in Oriental Capital Assurance Bhd), the excess proceeds of which will be channelled into a fund for the community and finally close the chapter on the scandal-ridden company - is a solution which gets most people thinking - "Why couldn't this have been done much earlier?".

Unfazed by critics and quite confident he will be able to garner over 50% of Maika shares, a condition for the offer, Gnanalingam, who is also co-chairman of the Cabinet sub-committee on Indian affairs, remarks: "A
thousand opinions are not better than one action plan."

"If we can't solve this first problem, it's no use being on the committee.
That's why I'm doing this." A simple deal, indeed G Team has proposed to acquire all 125 million shares in Maika at 80 sen per share or RM100mil cash (the 25 million shares arose from a four-for-one bonus issue in 1996). The offer is conditional upon G Team receiving more than 50% of the voting shares of Maika. Once the offer becomes unconditional, it will also trigger a general offer for OCA shares.

On May 14, 2010, in what is the first sign that the deal has moved one step ard, Maika's board of directors confirmed that they had received a takeover offer, further stating that they were not seeking an alternative person to make a takeover offer of the company's shares other than G Team.

Maika shareholders are expected to receive the offer document within 21 days and the offer will remain open for at least 21 days with an option to further extend.

G Team has been given a time-frame of one year by the central bank to dispose of its stake in OCA. As for the encumbered land, once its title and valuation have been verified, a committee would be set up to determine the best way to realise the value of the land.

Should the exercise result in a financial gain, the monies will be donated to an established charity for the benefit of the Malaysian Indian community while any loss will be borne by G Team. G Team does not plan to continue the operations of Maika.

"It is our intention to close the chapter (of Maika)," said Gnanalingam.

And this - "There's no political involvement in this exercise. I feel Indians should resolve the issues themselves and as quickly as possible."

The big question - is it a fair offer?


The offer price has drawn mixed response.


"He (Gnanalingam) is a businessman. He is only talking of giving shareholders their original investment value. If he's willing to pay RM1 for 125 million shares, then it's reasonable. What happens to those who bought the bonus shares at RM1? After waiting for 26 years, not many people are going to be happy with the offer," says Datuk S. Subramaniam, president of Nesa Cooperative. (Nesa Cooperative filed and won a court order to stop the sale of OCA back in 2007)).

Gnanalingam, a former tobacco and advertising executive and now port owner since 1996, was ranked the 13th wealthiest man in the country with a net worth of some RM800mil by the widely followed rich index by Forbes last year. With that in mind, there are many who ask "Why couldn't he pay more?"

Here's why.

Maika's latest net tangible asset stood at 23 sen per share; at the offer price of 80 sen per share, the offer translates to 3.5 times book. In addition, it has liabilities of some RM60mil. (Maika's 2006 accounts show that it has two debts - RM34mil owing to Danaharta Managers and RM18.3mil owing to CIMB, which total RM52mil.)

In fact, according to a source, one of Maika's creditors, Danaharta Managers, had earlier agreed to take a haircut on the outstanding debt. In a letter to shareholders dated August 2007, Maika's then chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Manaff alluded to that. He said the board was hopeful of obtaining a substantial waiver of the accumulated interest of nearly RM20mil owing to Danaharta Managers. If this is still the case, then the debts ought to be lower than estimates.

But sources close to the offeror reveal that since news of a potential takeover has surfaced, the creditors have been less amenable to providing the haircut.

Back to the valuation. The Tumbuk Estate in Sepang is worth RM10mil while based on its latest available book value as at 2008, OCA is said to have a net tangible asset of RM102mil.

Based on 1.5 times book value, Maika's stake in OCA is worth some RM113.4mil. If you total the value of OCA with that of the land and minus the debt, it comes up to some RM63mil, as opposed to the total purchase price of RM100mil.

It is believed that in FY2009, OCA returned to the black after a three-year loss streak. A company source said the insurer's latest NTA stood at RM120mil as at end-December 2009. Based on those figures, Maika's stake in OCA at 1.5 times book comes up to RM133.4mil which, after including the land and debt, totals RM83.4mil.

"However you skin it, it's going to be pretty tough to get it to RM100mil," says Nazir, adding that it is an offer at fair value based on what is available at this point. "It's fairly offered to everyone and we hope majority will accept."

But there may be one stumbling block to the sale of OCA which has been there since 2007 - Nesa Cooperative's court order to freeze the sale of OCA.

"I have repeatedly said that at any time when an offer is made and the price is reasonable, we will apply to lift the injunction. We know there were offers in the past which valued the company at RM130mil and RM149mil. So, as far as the insurance company is concerned, these are the parameters. If the price is reasonable, there's no problem," says Subramaniam, who owns some 8,000-10,000 shares/


Disgruntled shareholders


Many shareholders appear only too relieved that the latest takeover offerwould finally mean closure to the painful Maika saga, especially so for those who have written off the possibility of ever getting their monies
back.

In fact, along the years, many shareholders were said to have sold their shares at 50-80 sen to interested parties. "These people were poor and desperate to raise any cash they could," says an observer.

And there are others who believe they should hold out for a better price.

One of them is S. Nadarajah, a management consultant.

"We welcome the move. But what's important is the price, which I feel is ridiculously low. It looks more like foreclosure value than real market value. OCA has considerable value that can be unlocked. It's a much sought after business," he says.

That may be perception more than reality. Sources close to the insurer says a lot need to be done to bolster OCA's waning status. "Yes, it (OCA) is a valuable asset but it is nowhere near to what some Maika shareholders think.

The person who buys the company needs to pump in at least RM20mil to revamp the operations, recruit people and get things back on strong footing. A lot need to be done. Some are saying it ought to be sold for RM200mil. I think that's a pipedream," says the source.

"Coming in and out for Gnanalingam makes sense as he can make almost dollar for dollar return on what he paid for Maika. The downside could be limited unless of course, they take too long to flip it. The longer they take, the less value they will get," adds the source.

Ultimately, whether the offer price is fair would be judged by how much the asset is finally disposed of, which has been promised will be an open and transparent process.

"There's clearly no intention to short-change anyone here. We have to start from somewhere. The key thing is to look forward," says Nazir.


Moving on


Gnanalingam is clearly anxious to separate his takeover plan from the past. Why not? He's not responsible for the controversies that have long dogged the group. "I don't want to go into what happened in the past 26 years. It's irrelevant," said Gnanalingam.

Unfortunately, that may be easier for them to do than the tens of thousands of Maika shareholders, who over the years have had to suffer the crushing realisation that their investments in Maika have painfully diminished. That could mean another thing - that while the cleanup may not take too long, the repair could take much longer.

"Maika is a commercial entity that has been bogged down by political dogma.

That's the main reason for its downfall," says a corporate observer.

Back in the 80s, RM100mil in the coffers was an eye-popping load of money. "If the company had invested most of its money in equities then and sat pretty up until now, it would have billions in its coffers today," says the observer. The colossal loss of opportunity, indeed, is hard to stomach.

"Political parties need to have their own ways of doing things in the business world. But they can't run away from the simple fact that just being granted access, is no guarantee to making returns. It does not mean, you
don't have to manage it. Execution is still the issue whether you are the investment arm of Umno, MCA or MIC," says the astute observer.

There are many issues about the company that are puzzling. Maika has not conducted an annual general meeting for the past three years. The last annual accounts received by members was for financial year 2006. It currently only has a two-member board - Datuk C. Vijaya Kumar, chairman and Vell Paari, the CEO. Paari is also the son of Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, MIC president and the architect of Maika.

Given that there are adequate safeguards and checks and balances in the law,it is deeply distressing that the regulators have not appeared to act in a meaningful way.

At this point, what we do know for sure is that Maika, once trumpeted as the Indian community's answer to uplifting their flagging socio-economic status, is a dismal flop.But what we do not really know is - how exactly did it reach this point?

Once the chapter is closed, will we ever?


bullying the penans

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 10:56 AM PDT

my heart cries out for them – the penans of sarawak.

firstly, yesterday, attended the screening of the documentary about how the penans were affected by the bakum dam project. remember the documentary that was filmed by RTM2′s producer, chou z lam? (er… ex RTM2′s producer). only 2 episodes of his documentary series were shown when RTM axed his show and sacked him!

well the censored episodes 3, 4, 5 were up on you tube on about 10 days ago – i had not time to watch them yet… until yesterday when bk ong decided to screen the episodes, open to the public at d'space. since i prefer watching them on big screen (from VCD on projector) than on computer screen (and with internet interruption), i went along to watch them. it's heartening to hear how those penans were 'bullied' by the government. go and watch them for yourselves, please. all 5 episodes are there. first two were shown on tv2, thus the commentary were in mandarin (since it was meant for the mandarin 'gallery perdana' show). however the other 3 episodes were in bahasa.

secondly, after watching the documentary and i was back home, getting online, i notice this article from free malaysia - 'living in fear of rape and destruction'.  it's about the penans again. i read that with anger and sadness.  again and again, the penans are harassed and intimidated by gangs of loggers… and aided by the police!!

where is the justice here? why are the penans constantly being bullied? why are their ancestors land taken away from them?



And God created Hyori

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 10:41 AM PDT

Korean pop diva Lee Hyori on Cosmopolitan magazine [Kr]. It's a HOT summer…

Lee Hyori in bikini on Cosmopolitan magazine

Read the rest of this post »

And God created Hyori from YeinJee's Asian Blog


Worldwide Photowalk @ Malacca

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 09:10 AM PDT

What is the Worldwide Photowalk about? TZ is looking forward on this event










Anyway, i'm joining this event @ Malacca on July 24th 2010. Will be traveling to Malacca for a weekend. I hope to meet up photographer from various corners of Malaysia even from outside the country. Together to shoot the nice part of Malacca...


If you are interested to participate on this walk @ Malacca. Just drop by this link and register yourself. It's free...

See you then ... :)


Joy in the face of grief: A testimony (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 09:54 AM PDT

Wednesday June 23, 2010

Daughter puts up brave front in face of grief

By FLORENCE A. SAMY
florenceasamy@thestar.com.my

NILAI: Goodbye, see you in Heaven. Joy Wee clung to her faith that her grandmother, father and three siblings are now in a better place as she put on a brave front when the five were laid to rest at the Nilai Memorial Park here yesterday.
The five – Roland Wee Seng Hock, 53; his children Joash, 23, Jacinth, 18, and Jelyn, 15; and his mother-in-law Lim Kim Boon, 79, died when their multi-purpose vehicle collided with an oncoming trailer which was overtaking another vehicle at the Kuantan-Segamat road last Thursday. (Click here to read the tragedy).
Wee's wife, Chew Chin Loi, 54, and their two other children, Jemima, 17, and Josiah, 13, remain warded at a hospital in Kuantan.
Last rites: Relatives and friends of Wee mourning the loss of the five family members at the Nilai memorial park where they were buried yesterday.
 
Joy, the oldest child, had flown in from the United Kingdom. At the memorial park, the 26-year-old was seen comforting the others despite her own grief.
Scores of family and friends came from across the country and overseas to say their final goodbyes to the five, and many cried.
Wee's father was seen weeping openly. Lim was buried first followed by Wee and his three children. The four were buried side by side.
As the coffins were lowered, Joy was seen gently touching the displayed pictures of her loved ones as she said her final goodbye.
"My mum also thanks God for loaning my father to her for 29 years, as well as for loaning Joash, (23 years), Jacinth (18 years) and Jelyn (15 years).
"I believe one day when we get to Heaven, they will be there welcoming us," Joy said.
Joy comforting her grandfather. — AZHAR MAHFOF /The Star
 
Speaking to reporters later, Joy said she was very proud of her loved ones. She described her grandmother Lim as someone she respected and loved a lot.
On Wee, a senior principal assistant at a Muar secondary school, Joy said her father had touched so many lives – and wished that she could one day be a role model like him.
Joash was a good musician who loved football and tennis, as well as served God with all his heart.
As for Jacinth, Joy said she was a very hardworking person with a big heart who "would not hesitate to buy presents for all of us."
"I am glad she found out about her Public Service Department pharmacy scholarship before she left," said Joy.
On youngest sister Jelyn, Joy said both had shared a very close relationship.
Joy, who was supposed to take an exam this Friday in the UK to qualify as a pharmacist, said she would stay back to be with her mother and two siblings.
"My mum is very strong. She taught me to be strong, otherwise I would break down," she said solemnly.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18


13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.



Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-06-27

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 08:59 AM PDT

  • All the faking & diving is precisely why Canadians don't totally embrace football (er…soccer). #
  • After almost 2 wks of round-the-clock grandmotherly spoiling, the baby's decided he wants constant attention. Gonna be a long day. #
  • 'How am I going to live without my iPhone? Take away my crack but leave me 3GS!' - Friend, after announcing he's in rehab for a crack habit. #
  • It appears the little guy may be teething already. He's chewing on his hands, his toys, my arms…it's like someone set off a drool bomb. #
  • Leen wants to improve her diet so I took one for the team by finishing off all the chocolates. Yessir, I'm a team playerOH MY GOD SUGAR RUSH #
  • So they're ripping down the walls of Pudu Jail tonight. The ghosts that refused to let me scale those walls, where will they go now? #
  • Speaking of Pudu Jail, read this article & find proof the Star's writers AND subs have football on the brain: http://bit.ly/9F3RCL #
  • My kids'll think I'm badass when I tell them I hurt myself in a fall from the wall of Pudu Prison. Won't tell them I was being a goofball. #
  • The Fellowship of the Vuvuzela: http://bit.ly/c1L3P1 #
  • There's fogging going on at the building across the street & it sounds EXACTLY like vuvuzelas. #
  • Hmmm…Will 'stakeholders in the questions of the day' include Palestinian opponents of Israeli apartheid? http://bit.ly/cftDIY @netraKL #
  • RT @netraKL "@GazaFreedom: Canada Israel Committee offers Israel trip to NDP's Layton http://bit.ly/cftDIY #israel @jfmacvay #
  • Had a big fat breakfast. Now contemplating a full-on assault on the pile of dishes in the sink. May need coffee first. #
  • Scots' 'Anyone but England' mantra is not as nasty as some people might think. http://bit.ly/dkrz7v #
  • Who's your cousin's cousin's niece's grandfather? You can ask Wolfram|Alpha. http://bit.ly/9lfaOi #
  • Decision time. Big fat breakfast? Or oatmeal? Leaning towards big and fat. Oatmeal later. #
  • Today's Big Fat Breakfast: 2 eggs, a small piece of dory fish, 1 carrot, broccoli florets, 1/4 onion, minced garlic, & of course cheese. Mmm #
  • So yeah, it may be a big fat breakfast, but it's a big fat HEALTHY breakfast. Hehe. #
  • Today's Big Fat Breakfast. That may sound unhealthy but this one's full of delicious, nutritious goodness. Mmmm… http://twitpic.com/1zor2u #
  • At first I was all 'Baby cologne? Babies already smell great!' But I have to admit, 'Summer Swing' DOES smell better than barfed-up milk. #
  • Ok why am I following @noaheverett? Seems like a nice guy, but wtf? #
  • Holy inkwells Batman, did it ever get dark here. Gonna piss down buckets any minute. #
  • Watching the rain like it's TV. #
  • It's actually a little windy. I just saw rain go up. #
  • Great, RTM's not showing the Brazil-Portugal match, so I'll have to go down to the mamak. #
  • Why oh why isn't RTM showing this match? #
  • Did capitalism end slavery? http://bit.ly/c0wNiZ #
  • At Alamanda with Al. About to watch Toy Story 3. But 1st: popcorn! #
  • Toy Story 3 was awesome. Except the part where the big pink bear came out & Al yelled 'He's really big Daddy! Like you!' #
  • It was because of Al's loud observation abt the pink bear that I expected at the end to have to say 'Shhh! I just have something in my eye.' #
  • All these tweets and the screaming from two mamak places nearby are making me regret not getting any of the sports channels on Astro. #

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World Cup: Lessons from England defeat

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 09:17 AM PDT

England football team is going home after all. Outclassed by the young Germans 4-1 in the Group of 16 match on Sunday, the English players were reduced to despair and frustration.

Yes, no class at all. No matter whether they we denied the second goal by Lampard in the first half. they were no match to the fast and determining Germans.

And, Malaysia can go on watching the EPL. Malaysians know the English players more than our own Cabinet members. How many of you out there know who Jelaing is? How many Malaysians know who our Dewan Rakyat Speaker is?

Learn from others. British soccer is one of the most exciting but they are still not the best. While they have reached a 'saturation' point, other countries are catching up fast. Take a look at Ghana, Japan or Uruguay for instance.

Perhaps the Mexican, the Argentinian or the Brazilian soccer would be more exciting to watch from now on. And why not learn soccer from the Germans?

Malaysian soccer has been worshiping the English style for too long now. Yes, their standard of football is still far too high as compared to many other teams but if the Germans can demolish them, it shows they too got to learn something new from the Germans and others.

By the way, was it the British who teach us football?


Yellow or Red?

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 09:11 AM PDT

So, he asked my opinion.... I said YES YES YES!!!



I'm voting for red. But I know he's dying for yellow, like his friend's car in Melbourne! Hehehe..

It's a KIA FORTE by the way. I am now looking for reviews for the car. I'm not an expert in cars. I don't even know how to tukar minyak, air and such... hahahhahaa... But if you know something about the car, do share with us!


10 Simple Ways to Improve Your English

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 09:18 AM PDT

I got this from a blog and I thought of sharing it :)


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've just thought up of some simple ways for anyone who is interested in improving their English. I myself am trying to improve in this language each day. There's always so much to learn and it can be really fun! You just need to have the passion and enthusiasm to better yourself.

1. This is what most people would advise: read. Read anything and everything in English. You can read story books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, comics, English textbooks, instructions and ingredients on food packages, advertisements, etc. For story books, don't force yourself to read something too difficult or something you know you won't enjoy. Make reading fun! Read books that you ENJOY reading. I hate to read books that bore me too.

2. Watch English movies with subtitles. This would be my favourite way of learning English. Not only do I get to have a fun time watching the movie, I'd be learning new words at the same time and knowing how to pronounce them! Usually, you can get movies with English subtitles on DVDs.

3. Listen to English songs. Read the lyrics as you listen to the songs. Listen to your favourite songs and sing along to them.

4. Start a blog in English. This is one way for you to practice your writing. Blog on something that you love. If you are a fan of movies, start a blog and write about your favourite movies, your favourite characters, what you think could be improved in the movie, what new movies to expect next year, etc. Besides blogging, try joining online forums, engage in online chatting and more.

5. If you don't want to maintain a blog, why not write to a pen pal? It'd be even more fun to have a pen pal from a different country! I used to write to other people from the US, Germany, Mexico, and even Yugoslavia. I remember feeling excited when I see letters with foreign stamps on it in my mailbox. If you don't want to spend too much money on stamps, then get a local pen pal.

6. Write in your diary/journal in English. This is where you can write anything in it. But if you do write something you wouldn't want others to read, make sure you hide it somewhere safe! Or try not to write anything offensive at all in case someone does find it. You can also write about neutral stuff like the places you went that day, what you ate, who you met, what you did, etc.

7. Be best friends with a good English dictionary. You can use Oxford, Collins, Cambridge, etc. Buy a dictionary that you're comfortable with and USE it at all times. Keep it next to you when you'rereading. I always put my favourite Oxford dictionary by my side when I'm reading . So when I stumble upon a word I don't know, I don't have to get up and look around for it. It's right there by my side. Thus, I have no excuse for not looking the word up!

8. Speak the language whenever you can. Speak it with friends and family. You can also sing along to English songs! Try karaoke! Don't be shy to try speaking the language. Don't be afraid that others will tease you. In fact, they'll admire you for your courage and confidence.

9. Learn a new word a day. Keep your own vocabulary notebook and write a new word and its meaning in it every day. Refer to it as often as possible so that the new words will stick in your head.

10. You can also learn new phrases, idioms or proverbs a day. A kick in the teeth, sit on the fence, make a clean sweep, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, a man's home is his castle, etc. When you come across a saying that you like, write it down and its meaning in your notebook!

source:http://www.malaysia-students.com/2009/08/10-simple-ways-to-improve-your-english.html


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Actually, that's how I'm improving my English and I still do. I did 1,2,3,4 and 8 before. So, even right now, I'm still learning and I have no shy-feeling if I used wrong grammars or words.

p/s: Knowledge is power!


Azmin replaces Khalid as S'gor PKR head

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 08:58 AM PDT

PKR vice-president Azmin Ali will replace Khalid Ibrahim as the party Selangor chief, in an apparent compromise to make peace between the duo.

Azmin, rumoured to be the leader of the G15 - a group of PKR MPs from various states - who are out to stage a coup to force Khalid, the Selangor menteri besar to step down. Azmin has been at odds with Khalid due to the latter's corporate style which is not accompanied by sufficient political savvy.

So, looks like everything is settled? Semuanya OK?! Azmin looks set to be next MB replacing Khalid if the rakyat returns power to PR in Selangor in the next GE? ;-)



Business : Efforts To Lure Chinese Investors To Malaysia Intensifies, Says Mustapa

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 07:11 AM PDT


Myanmar: Decrease in opium production

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 06:19 AM PDT

By Mong Palatino

Words of Life quotes from a report that opium production in the Shan State of Myanmar went down this year because of the El Nino phenomenon


POLICE GANGSTERS

Posted: 24 Jun 2010 09:00 AM PDT

By Sarawak Report

The once proud, well-trained Sarawak police force are now mere lackeys of the timber companies, as events yesterday make only too obvious.

The Penan, who have been erecting peaceful jungle blockades in protest at the savage destruction of their hereditory lands, were yesterday confronted in Long Sebayang, Limbang by gun-waving policemen. They were acting on behalf of Lee Ling Timber, the other party to the dispute.

According to the respected Swiss Charity the Bruno Manser Foundation, the unprofessional, threatening and downright illegal episode came in the wake of an attack the previous day by a logging company employee on one of the Penan. The tribesman (and rightful owner of the land, according to Native Customary Rights recently upheld in the Federal Malay Court) had been viciously hit in the face.

However, instead of investigating that crime the police came to show their solidarity with the timber company. Such was their lack of impartiality and lack of professional pride that these officers even allowed themselves to be transported to the area by timber company lorries rather than their own vehicles. After shouting and threatening the Penan the police then stood by as the company officials threatened to come back again soon with 'more gangsters' – implying very accurately that these police had been the first gangsters!

The Penan have gained international respect because of their Ghandi-style passive resistance to the logging companies. But their problems reflect what has happened to hundreds of thousands of tribespeople across Sarawak, who have been turfed off their lands by greedy companies backed by Taib Mahmud and his cronies. Ask the Iban, Kayan and Kenya communities if they received any of the rich profits from timber or oil palm. Meanwhile, Taib's foreign tower blocks are all Sarawak now has to show for what was once arguably the most magnificent tropical rainforest paradise in the world.

The Penan have been brutally treated by the invading timber companies. They are threatened by gangsters, their women have been systematically raped and their livelihoods removed. Yet the police have never investigated these appalling crimes, despite a huge volume of evidence from independent and official bodies. In fact all the police ever do is enforce the desires of the timber baron bosses.

However, these clumsy cops need to be mindful because the world is moving on. Episodes like yesterday's would once have remained hidden in dark and distant jungles, but these days such incidents, are reported within hours. Already news of this event is crossing the world and protests are being raised on an international level. How long can the reputation of Malaysia withstand such shocking behaviour in Sarawak?


Filed under: Human rights, logging, Native Customary Rights, Politics Tagged: Anak Sarawak Bangsa Malaysia, indigenous land, indigenous people, Malaysia Politics, Sarawak politics, Save Sarawak


Noticed: The New Power of Petite Women

Posted: 26 Jun 2010 09:50 PM PDT


Parlimen Kota Raja Jawab Tuduhan UMNO

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 08:17 AM PDT

Buruk Kelaku UmNo Kota Raja

Dengan membuat pelbagai tuduhan tanpa bukti yang kukuh oleh Ketua UmNo Bahagian Kota Raja terhadap kepimpinan Pakatan Rakyat khususnya YB Shuhaimi dan YB Dr Mariah hanya menyerlahkan kedangkalan dan kebodohan Ketua Bahagian UmNo ini.

Perwakilan yang hadir dalam mesyuarat itu jika bersetuju dengan kata-kata Kamarulzaman menunjukkan juga bahawa mereka mudah diperbodohkan oleh pimpinan mereka. Tujuan Kamarulzaman berkata demikian adalah bagi mengelak kelemahan diri dan kepimpinannya yang langsung tidak melakukan sebarang aktiviti sejak kalah dalam 8 Mac 2008 yang lalu.

UmNo Kota Raja sebenarnya telah terlalu lemah dan tidak bermaya untuk meneruskan perjuangan menentang PR di Kota Raja.

Buktinya bermula pagi ini walau pun dalam keadaan sibuk kerana terpaksa hadir dalam retrade PKR di Shah Alam YB Shuhaimi masih sempat hadir dalam program pendemokrasian rakyat bertempat di Jalan Kebun pada kira-kira jam 9.00 pagi tadi bersama hampir 30 orang sukarelawan Pakatan Rakyat Sri Muda, Parlimen Kota Raja. Sementara pada waktu yang sama YB Dr Siti Mariah hadir di Program bomba di Kota Kemuning.

Pada jam 10.00 pagi pula Dr Siti Mariah berkejar untuk menziarahi rumah kerumah di Kampung Jalan Kebun bersama muslimat PAS dan wanita PKR dalam program yang sama.

Pada jam 11.30 pagi Dr Mariah berkejar ke Taman Setia bagi menziarahi keluarga Puan Norzitah Fadhilah yang baru kematian suami di Mekah semasa mengerjakan Umrah.

Seluruh ahli UmNo Kota Raja tahu betapa kerapnya kedua-dua YB ini turun padang bagi mendengar masalah rakyat dan cuba membantu masaalah mereka. Minta Ketua UmNo bahagian yang sombong bodoh ini check dengan ahlinya sendiri selepas menang PRU 12 berapa belas kali YB telah turun padang ditempat-tempat yang sama.

Tapi Ketua Bahagian ini hanya turun sekali saja ke Taman Setia, bagi bertemu ahli UmNo seramai tak lebih 20 orang dalam pondok bilik gerakan UmNo sepanjang lebih 2 tahun selepas PRU 12 dulu. Nak jumpa rakyat langsung tak berani. Kita tak sombong tapi UmNo sendiri sebenarnya melihat bahawa setiap hari khususnya setiap Sabtu dan Ahad akan kelihatan puluhan sukarelawan lapangan akan turun kesetiap pelusuk Kota Raja bersma YB dalam program pendemokrasian rakyat Parlimen Kota Raja.

Penyelesaian tanah di Sri Nadi, apa yang selesainya. Anda boleh turun padang bertemu dengan penduduk Kampung ini jika mahu tahu perkara sebenar. UmNo silap dan tidak pernah berubah, mereka sentiasa yakin bahawa mereka punya keupayaan luar biasa untuk menipu rakyat. -p111kotaraja

Malaysiakini : Pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat di Selangor "lebih banyak bercakap daripada membuat kerja" demi publisiti, dakwa Umno Kota Raja.

"Mereka kata mereka lebih hebat daripada segala-galanya. Tapi kita tahu, mereka tidak buat, hanya cakap tak serupa bikin," kata Kamaruzzaman Johari sewaktu menyampaikan ucapan dasarnya dalam mesyuarat bahagian itu pagi ini.

Ucapan itu dinyatakan di hadapan 292 perwakilan dari 79 cawangan di Auditorium Pusat Latihan Teknologi Tinggi (ADTEC) di Klang.

Dalam persidangan itu, Kamaruzzaman mendakwa ADUN Sri Muda Suhaimi Shafiei daripada PKR setelah dua tahun menjadi wakil rakyat, selain "kata-kata sedap dan janji manis" tiada projek pembangunan dijalankan di kawasan tersebut.

Kamaruzzaman mendakwa walaupun terdapat peruntukan untuk membina masjid di kawasan itu, sampai sekarang ia tidak menjadi kenyataan.

Katanya, ia berbeza dengan Umno bahagian itu yang mengambil inisiatif bertemu Menteri Pertanian dan Asas Tani Datuk Noh Omar sehingga berjaya menyelesaikan masalah sewa rumah setinggan di Kampung Seri Nadi dengan pengurangan sebanyak 50 peratus.

'Dulu dia rajin jenguk tokong, kuil'

Parlimen Kota Raja mempunyai dua DUN iaitu Sri Muda dan Sri Andalas. Kesemua DUN dan parlimennya dikuasai oleh Pakatan.

Kamaruzzaman turut menempelak ahli parlimen kawasan itu Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud yang didakwanya "tidak menjenguk" rakyat di kawasannya.

"Kalau dahulu dia rajin menjenguk (rakyat) di tokong, kuil... Tapi bila rakyat mengadu tentang projek pembangunan, dia kata, yang ada peruntukan (hanya kerajaan) BN di peringkat persekutuan.

"Tapi sekarang Siti Mariah tak nampak batang hidung untuk menjenguk kampung-kampung, malu rasanya," katanya.

Dalam ucapan dasarnya juga, Kamaruzzaman mendakwa kerajaan di bawah Pakatan "tidak menunjukkan kesan kejayaan dalam pentadbiran" seperti yang dilakukan oleh BN dahulu.

"Kerajaan negeri gagal membuat perubahan pentadbiran dan perancangan pembangunan.

"Sebaliknya mengungkit keputusan dan mencari kesalahan BN untuk menutup kelemahan kerajaan negeri dalam menunaikan manifesto dalam pilihan raya dahulu," katanya. -mk



aktiviti ketika cuti

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 08:11 AM PDT




selain pergi melancong bersama family, perkara yang saya lakukan di rumah:

- tgk world cup. tiap2 hari.
-memasak di rumah.
-main wii+guitar hero bersama teman2 gembira
-pergi ke sekolah lama dan mengajar masak
-menjaga dan bermain dengan 5 kucing seperti anak sendiri
-menjadi driver untuk mama
-menulis, melukis untuk aktiviti refleksi
-menonton tv series.

rasa malas nak mengajar ;P


I HEREBY DOTH DECLARE WAR!!!

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 06:23 AM PDT

I have two boys - one who is 20+ and the other, who is 11+, is truly a cheeky boy indeed. When my older one was in kindergarten, I used to buy him lots of toys and have to confess I did spoil him quite a bit. By the time my younger one came along, he had everything before him - the toys, books and the trick pack. What trick pack?

Well, I have in my collection spiders, crickets, snakes, lizards, sticky scars that you can stick to your hand and make it look as though you had a bad cut, Dracula's fangs, fake moles with a strand of hair sticking out from the centre, frogs and an array of interesting stuff collected over the years.

And then there are the cockroaches!!

Cockroaches? Yup - you read it right, cockroaches. And I have six of them in different shapes, sizes and colors!!!



For the past two weeks, my younger boy and I have been planting these cockroaches all over the whole in a bid to scare each other. Er...my husband is not in the game as he is the sane and stable one haha!

Sometimes I can find a creepy cockroach on the kitchen floor, in the kitchen sink, in my handphone pouch thanks to my boy. As for me, sometimes I plant it in his books, in between his clothes, in his pencil-box and there are times when I would throw one at him resulting in loud ear-piercing screams!

Well, this evening I felt sooooooooooo tired after the walk in town so I took an afternoon nap at 5.30p.m. when my boy was playing badminton with his daddy. I sprained my ankle a few days ago so I was considered 'redundant'.

I woke up from my beauty sleep at 8.30p.m. when my son called for me. It was such a loooooong nap that I really thought it was Monday morning and that he could not find the ham in the freezer to make his sandwiches for his lunch at school. Groggily, I made my way to the kitchen and headed straight for my laptop. With much excitement after being away from my 'baby' for three hours, I opened my laptop very quickly and proceeded to press the button to start up the laptop.

*Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam*

I touched something soft and saw the cockroach staring at me in the dim light!!!

*Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaam*

Very clever and cunning boy - he caught me at the right time when I was off-guard....

And now the mother has declared war hahaha!!! He had better watch out!!!

FYI, I used to play many tricks on my students....but not with such contraptions haha!

Did you know that cockroaches can live for ten days even after losing their heads? You can read more about cockroaches HERE.

Do leave a comment to share any funny experiences. I will resume sopo blogging tomorrow. Thanks! Have a lovely evening!

*Update: My boy saw this post and came up to me with a most suspiciously obedient and repentant look. He said, "Ok mom, I do not want to be at war with you because I'm too scared of what might happen." My response was "Great. No worries!"

Let's see what the future holds....*winks*


10 ways to find more pleasure every day

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 05:44 AM PDT

10 ways to find more pleasure every day

Go ahead: Indulge yourself. Top your cone with another scoop of ice cream. Then check out these suggestions for creating (even more) moments to savor.

1. Play that song you love so much. Repeat. As any preschooler can tell you, repetition nurtures pleasure. When you experience something more than once, you notice more details about it each time, thereby increasing your enjoyment.

2. Seek out the sommelier. In all areas of our lives, our sensory reactions are affected by the depth of our knowledge.

3. Don't buy boxed sets of DVDs. Economist Tyler Cowen says that much of the joy we get from our purchases lies in the experience of seeking them out, getting them home, and opening them up. If you receive 18 DVDs in one package, you'll use up the buzz all at once. Buy them one at a time and space out the pleasure.

4. Keep your child's baby shoes in your desk at work. You know how you keep a bag of almonds in your drawer in case you need an energy boost in the afternoon? Place something emotionally resonant there as well for the times your mood needs a quick lift. Stash a few objects that are connected with treasured experiences–

5. Read (or watch or participate in) something that takes your breath away. A recent study found that people seek out newspaper articles that inspire awe–that hard-to-define feeling we get when we're exposed to great beauty, power, or accomplishment.

6. Look outside. Our species has spent almost all of its existence on the African savanna, surrounded by trees, water, and sky. The world in which most of us spend our time nowadays is unnatural and can corrode the spirit. Even a small dose of nature elevates our mood.

7. Pet a dog (any dog). You may have heard this before, but it bears repeating: Physical contact with animals works wonders. It increases the brain chemicals associated with pleasure and decreases those associated with stress.

8. Grin and bear it. Isn't it annoying when you're a little blue and your friends and family tell you to smile? Well, like it or not, smiling is a mood booster. 

Fools your brain into thinking that you are happy.

9. Give. Humans are altruistic by nature: If we act generously, we feel joyful. Go ahead and try it. 

It doesn't have to be a lot–just enough to get a small burst of pride in your chest.

10. Make the bath as hot as you can stand it. Psychologist Paul Rozin has argued that people get a kick from "benign masochism"–that is, controlled exposure to low-level discomfort (think spicy chili peppers and saunas). Maybe we love the endorphin rush. Or just the delightful contrast when we ultimately escape from the pain.

Read all in CNN @ 10 ways to find more pleasure every day



ပါးစပ္…ပါးစပ္…ပါးစပ္…မင္းတရားခံျဖစ္မယ္ (in Burmese)

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 05:08 AM PDT

မင္းတရားခံျဖစ္မယ္

ဗေလာင္းဗလဲစကား
အေျပာင္းအလဲကမ်ားသနဲ႕
အေခ်ာင္းထဲကငါးေရကူးျမန္သလို
မမွန္မကန္ေတြကုိ
ျမန္ျမန္ဆန္ဆန္ေျပာၾကတယ္…..။
ၾကားသူတိုင္းရႈပ္ေထြးၿပီး
အလိုးေလးတရေအာင္
ပါးစပ္ကက်ည္ဆံထြက္
ထြီ ထြမ္ ခြက္ ပက္လက္ေမ်ာစရာ
စကားနာ စကားလိမ္
စကားသိမ္ စကားဖ်င္း
စကားတင္း စကားယုတ္
စကားပုပ္ စကားလွည္႕
စကားရြဲ႕ စကားေစာင္း
အေၾကာင္းအမ်ိဳးမ်ိဳးျပၿပီး
မတိမက် ေျပာခဲ့တယ္………
ေျပာသူမရွက္
ၾကားသူရွက္ပါကလား………။

တင္မိုး

ပါးစပ္…ပါးစပ္…ပါးစပ္

ျမန္မာျပည္မွာ
ပါးစပ္ေတြက
လူတစုႀကားမွာပဲ လြတ္လပ္
ဒီလူတစုသေဘာ
ေျပာခ်င္ရာေျပာ
စားခ်င္ရာစား
ေအာ္ခ်င္ရာေအာ္
ဆဲခ်င္ရာဆဲ
ေျခာက္ခ်င္ရာေျခာက္
ေငါက္ခ်င္ရာေငါက္
လိမ္ခ်င္သလိုလိမ္
ေလာကစည္းစိမ္
သူတို.က ခံစား

စမ္းစမ္းတင္

Source: SanSan Cynthia Tin: mouths
Via Bo Bo's link



Azmin Ganti Khalid Sebagai Pengerusi PKR Selangor

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 04:25 AM PDT

Naib Presiden PKR Azmin Ali dilantik sebagai pengerusi majlis pimpinan negeri Selangor menggantikan Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim berkuatkuasa serta merta.

Perkara itu diumumkan oleh Presiden PKR Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat pimpinan pusat parti itu di Shah Alam hari ini.

Menurut Wan Azizah, rombakan itu dibuat bagi membolehkan Khalid menumpukan tugaskan kepada usaha pentadbiran kerajaan negeri.

"Ini dimohon oleh Tan Sri Khalid sendiri bagi menumpukan tenaganya untuk disalurkan dalam pentadbiran Selangor," katanya.

Azmin sebelum ini mengetuai PKR Wilayah Persekutuan.

Kekosongan yang ditinggalkannya Azmin di negeri itu akan diambil alih oleh penyelaras Pakatan Rakyat Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, umum Wan Azizah lagi.

Rombakan itu dilihat mengejutkan apabila sejak semalam ramai pemimpin kanan parti itu terus menafikan terdapat desakan supaya Khalid berundur dalam pemukiman PKR.

Anwar nafi cubaan MP guling Khalid

Khalid tidak hadir dalam kesemua sesi pemukiman dua hari sejak semalam di sebuah hotel di Shah Alam.

Selain ditemani Ketua Umum PKR Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, ketiga-tiga Azmin, Khalid dan Zaid hadir bersama dalam sidang media petang ini.

Bercakap soal yang sama, Anwar juga memberitahu dua negeri lagi akan mengalami pertukaran pucuk pimpinan yang akan diumumkan kemudian.

"Ia sedang dimuktamadkan," katanya yang enggan menyatakan terlebih dahulu negeri atau pimpinan terbabit.

Selain itu, Anwar turut menafikan bahawa terdapat pakatan ahli parlimennya yang merancang mahu menggulingkan Khalid sebagai menteri besar.

"Perkara itu tak berbangkit sama sekali. Kita sebulat suara dokong penuh. (Beri) Pandangan itu biasalah.

"Kita tengok Tan Sri Khalid pun tak sensitif sangat. Yang sensitif akhbar Umno," katanya. -mk gambar -jack ooi TMI


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