Saturday, July 31, 2010

Japanese on Mayne Island, British Columbia!

Japanese on Mayne Island, British Columbia!


Japanese on Mayne Island, British Columbia!

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 11:04 AM PDT

The Japanese pioneers of Mayne Island, the second generations were Canadians, but were sent to internment camp during the war!

A plaque to remember the first Japanese pioneers on Mayne island in the 1900!

The famous Japanese Garden on Mayne Island to remember the Japanese families who were victims of war!


Totem poles in remembrance of the Japanese who once settled on Mayne island!


Names of the Japanese families who settled on Mayne island but later placed in an internment camp in the interior of Canada during the second world war



They came as early as 1900 to Mayne Island but when Japanese bombed Pearl harbour they were all rounded up and sent to internment camps until the war is over.


the northern migration and refugees network

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 10:11 AM PDT

… or more known as JUMP – the acronymn in bahasa – jaringan utara migrasi dan pelarian.

JUMP is a network of different NGO that comes together to address the issues of migrants and refugees.

read all about it at my 'reflections' (CJ.MY) blog.



BLESS GOD

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 09:40 AM PDT

Bless God for all He's done,
Bless God for Christ His Son,
Let us magnify Him
For He's holy, holy.
One voice in unity,
One voice of praise to Thee,
With hea rts of love and worship
We will sing
Bless God,
We will sing
Bless God.


DAP sacks Boon Hock

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 09:23 AM PDT

DAP yesterday sacked Klang municipal councillor Tee Boon Hock for alleged misuse of power involving recommendation letters to secure Klang Municipal Council (MPK) contracts. Selangor DAP chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed the sacking but refused further comment.

On Tuesday, an English daily reported that a municipal councillor had allegedly used Selangor Local Government, Study and Research Committee chairman Ronnie Liu's official letterhead and seal to produce his own letters of recommendation to get MPK contracts for his cronies and family members.

Meanwhile, Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the search done on MPK's office yesterday did not find any letters of recommendation alleged to have been produced by the councillor.

He said although Tee had been called to give his statements to the police, the councillor had yet to do so.

DAP, at least, did not try to defend its 'corrupt' member unlike other parties. The stern action is probably the most harsh ever taken against its member but the MACC is not left with lesser burden in investigating the case, should they want to.

Shall we commend this move by the DAP?


DAP Bertindak Pantas Pecat Ahli Majlis MPK

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 08:45 AM PDT

Dakwaan rasuah: DAP pecat ahli majlis MPK

DAP hari ini memecat ahli Majis Perbandaran Klang (MPK) Tee Boon Hock ekoran dakwaan amalan rasuah memperoleh kontrak RM1 juta daripada pihak berkuasa tempatan itu dengan menggunakan surat sokongan Exco Kerajaan Negeri.

Tee sebelum ini diminta mengambil cuti oleh Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Disiplin Tan Kok Wai selepas kes itu dilaporkan oleh akhbar awal minggu ini.

Pada sidang media di sini petang ini, Tan berkata parti mendapati ada asas yang kukuh terhadap dakwaan ke atas Tee (gambar).

"Sementara nilai kontrak belum ditentukan, kami dimaklumkan oleh jawatankuasa negeri Selangor bahawa salah satu syarikat yang anda berikan surat sokongan dikaitkan dengan anggota keluarga anda dan dilakukan tanpa kelulusan YB Ronnie Liu," kata parti dalam surat pemecatan kepada Tee.

Tan memberitahu pemberita bahawa jawatankuasa disiplin sebulat bersetuju bahawa wujud elemen konflik kepentingan di mana Tee menyalahgunakan pejabat Liu, Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kerajaan Tempatan, Penyelidikan dan Kajian Selangor bagi kepentingan diri.

Beliau menambah perbuatan Tee boleh dianggap sebagai satu kesalahan jenayah dan telah menjejaskan imej parti.

Jawatankuasa disiplin juga telah mengarahkan Liu supaya membuat aduan polis.

Tan berkata DAP akan meminta agar Tee disingkirkan sebagai ahli majlis MPK dengan segera.

Jawatankuasa disiplin juga akan mengadakan sesi pendengaran kedua untuk menentukan dakwaan bahawa Liu telah mengarahkan salah satu surat sokongan dikeluarkan.

Kelmarin, Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim berkata, Tee telah diarahkan bercuti sementara siasatan dilakukan ke atas dakwaan yang mengaitkan beliau dengan penyalahgunaan kepala surat dan cap rasmi Liu bagi mengeluarkan surat sokongan untuk kontrak MPK.

Tee bercuti bermula semalam sehingga satu tempoh yang akan diberitahu kelak.

"Tee sendiri telah maklum dengan perkara ini dan beliau bersetuju dengan rela hati untuk bercuti buat sementara waktu," kata Khalid.

Kerajaan negeri telah mengarahkan Jabatan Audit Negeri menyiasat dakwaan seorang ahli majlis MPK telah menyalahgunakan kepala surat dan cap rasmi Liu bagi mengeluarkan surat sokongan untuk kroni dan anggota keluarganya untuk mendapatkan kontrak MPK.

Tee, ahli majlis penggal ketiga itu telah menafikan dakwaan itu sambil meminta MPK membentuk pasukan petugas khas untuk menentukan kebenaran.

Liu juga menafikan kepala surat beliau telah disalahgunakan.

Dalam kenyataan yang dikeluarkan hari ini, DAP juga mengecam tindakan pengeluaran surat sokongan bagi tujuan perniagaan oleh wakil rakyat Pakatan Rakyat (PR) dan pegawai-pegawai mereka yang tidak dipilih.

"Kesemua pegawai PR termasuk agensi-agensi negeri harus mengetepikan surat sokongan perniagaan yang dikeluarkan bagi memastikan kesemua urusan komersial mengikut aturan dan juga bagi mengelakkan persepsi negatif rakyat tentang wujudnya salah guna kuasa atau pilih kasih," kata DAP. -TMI


Moments of Delight At Secret Recipe

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 07:02 AM PDT

Secret Recipe is one of the latest eatery additions in Sibu with specialty in fine cakes. I went with Yian this evening to the outlet to try out.

Secret Recipe is a chain store gaining popularity fast. I have been getting recommendation lately to have a try.

The setting and ambience are cosy and comfortable. It is a warmly welcome eatery for dining out or refreshing breaks.

I ordered smarties treats to sample the ice cream. Yian opted for fruity yogurt shake for a try. We placed another order for one slice of tiramisu for sharing.

The serving time was within expectation, considering the class of the outlet. The courtesy of the waitress was pleasing with some room for improvement.

We had a wonderful time chatting over the fine beverages and luscious cake. Not forgetting the three kids back at home, we ordered some take-away for them.

We recommend it to the readers. The eatery is located at Lot 71-73, Lorong Pahlawan 9, Jalan Pahlawan, Sibu.

http://www.secretrecipe.com.my/


Kudos to DAP for quick action against Tee who acted against principles!

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 06:13 AM PDT

Klang municipal councillor Tee Boon Hock, who was alleged to have misused Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu's letterhead and seal to secure contracts worth a total of RM1 million for 20 companies, at least one of which belonged to a 'family member', has been expelled from DAP.

National DAP disciplinary committee chairperson Tan Kok Wai made the announcement today following a meeting of the party's powerful committee with Tee this afternoon.
 
Also, Tan announced that the party would be writing to the Selangor government to request that he be immediately removed as Klang municipal councillor.


QUINTESSENTIAL MR. QUITE CONTRARY

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 05:19 AM PDT

The use of race rhetoric has been characteristic of UMNO's strategies for many decades. Today, we see it again in THIS REPORT where DPM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today warned ethnic groups not to make excessive demands from the government as it could strain national unity. He added that the public must look at the "bigger picture" and accept that Malaysia is a multiracial country.

According to the report in The Malaysian Insider :

"I would like to remind our young leaders that managing a multiracial country like Malaysia requires a lot of wisdom. We have to always strike a fine balance between serving the interests of each ethnic community and fulfilling the interest of the nation.

"Sometimes, excessive demands by one ethnic community invite hostile response from other communities. This exchange of demands and hostile response will, of course, strain our ethnic relations and put national unity at stake," the Umno deputy president said at the 4th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit here.

Very puzzling. What fine balance??? Did he contribute to the balance? What excessive demands? By which ethnic community? Who is he referring to?

Is he being the quintessential Mr. Quite Contrary?

Why didn't he issue such warnings at the height of Perkasa's statements?

Earlier this month, in response MCA vice president Datuk Donald Lim's suggestion for the formation of a "Chinese Perkasa" because of Perkasa's strident rhetoric and race-based demands, our DPM said HERE that anyone was free to form an association, including Chinese or Indian versions of the Malay rights group, Perkasa as long as it was formed with good intentions.

Did he mean to imply then that Perkasa was formed with good intentions? I am very confused.

And today, The Malaysian Insider headlined his post as DPM warns ethnic groups from making demands.

What can we expect? He has been doing nothing else but being the quintessential Mr. Quite Contrary.


Can MCA guarantee 100% qualified Chinese students to enter public universities?

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 03:38 AM PDT

KOTA BAHARU, July 30 (Bernama) -- MCA's effort to ensure more Chinese students be admitted into public higher learning institutions has paid off, as 92 per cent of top Chinese students in the SPM and STPM examinations this year succeeded in furthering their studies.

Party vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said this showed the struggle by MCA for Chinese students' education had been successful through the close cooperation of all component parties in the Barisan Nasional.

"The number is higher than last year when only 80 per cent of the students found places in the public universities. We have done this quietly compared to the opposition who only made noise but did nothing," she told reporters after the opening of the Kelantan MCA delegates' meeting, here Friday.

The meeting was opened by MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek. Also present were party secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha and Youth head Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

Dr Ng said some of the top performing students were also successful in getting popular courses.

Dr Ng, who is also Tourism Minister, said with that, the problem which was raised by Chinese students each year had been resolved.

-- BERNAMA

MCA of course happy lah. MCA can 'show off' that it is fighting for Chinese when it actually can't. 

Let me ask you, Dr. Ng, 'Can MCA guarantee Chinese who are not top students yet qualified, to enter public universities?' Of course, you are know the answer.

Let me aske you another question, 'Will MCA fight for the entry to public universities to be based solely on meritocracy?' I'll answer this question for you. No, you won't because you are Umno's running dog!

If entry to public universities is truly based on meritocracy, then there is no need for MCA to waste time and effort fighting this annual perrenial problem!

USELESS FOR CHINESE! USEFUL FOR UMNO!


Can MCA guarantee 100% qualified Chinese students to enter public universities?

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 03:36 AM PDT

KOTA BAHARU, July 30 (Bernama) -- MCA's effort to ensure more Chinese students be admitted into public higher learning institutions has paid off, as 92 per cent of top Chinese students in the SPM and STPM examinations this year succeeded in furthering their studies.

Party vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said this showed the struggle by MCA for Chinese students' education had been successful through the close cooperation of all component parties in the Barisan Nasional.

"The number is higher than last year when only 80 per cent of the students found places in the public universities. We have done this quietly compared to the opposition who only made noise but did nothing," she told reporters after the opening of the Kelantan MCA delegates' meeting, here Friday.

The meeting was opened by MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek. Also present were party secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha and Youth head Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

Dr Ng said some of the top performing students were also successful in getting popular courses.

Dr Ng, who is also Tourism Minister, said with that, the problem which was raised by Chinese students each year had been resolved.

-- BERNAMA

MCA of course happy lah. MCA can 'show off' that it is fighting for Chinese when it actually can't. 

Let me ask you, Dr. Ng, 'Can MCA guarantee Chinese who are not top students yet qualified, to enter public universities?' Of course, you are know the answer.

Let me aske you another question, 'Will MCA fight for the entry to public universities to be based solely on meritocracy?' I'll answer this question for you. No, you won't because you are Umno's running dog!

If entry to public universities is truly based on meritocracy, then there is no need for MCA to waste time and effort fighting this annual perrenial problem!

USELESS FOR CHINESE! USEFUL FOR UMNO!


Can MCA guarantee 100% qualified Chinese students to enter public universities?

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 03:36 AM PDT

KOTA BAHARU, July 30 (Bernama) -- MCA's effort to ensure more Chinese students be admitted into public higher learning institutions has paid off, as 92 per cent of top Chinese students in the SPM and STPM examinations this year succeeded in furthering their studies.

Party vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said this showed the struggle by MCA for Chinese students' education had been successful through the close cooperation of all component parties in the Barisan Nasional.

"The number is higher than last year when only 80 per cent of the students found places in the public universities. We have done this quietly compared to the opposition who only made noise but did nothing," she told reporters after the opening of the Kelantan MCA delegates' meeting, here Friday.

The meeting was opened by MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek. Also present were party secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha and Youth head Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

Dr Ng said some of the top performing students were also successful in getting popular courses.

Dr Ng, who is also Tourism Minister, said with that, the problem which was raised by Chinese students each year had been resolved.

-- BERNAMA

MCA of course happy lah. MCA can 'show off' that it is fighting for Chinese when it actually can't. 

Let me ask you, Dr. Ng, 'Can MCA guarantee Chinese who are not top students yet qualified, to enter public universities?' Of course, you are know the answer.

Let me aske you another question, 'Will MCA fight for the entry to public universities to be based solely on meritocracy?' I'll answer this question for you. No, you won't because you are Umno's running dog!

If entry to public universities is truly based on meritocracy, then there is no need for MCA to waste time and effort fighting this annual perrenial problem!

USELESS FOR CHINESE! USEFUL FOR UMNO!


Kesalahan Lazim Menulis atau Mengeja Kata Majmuk

Posted: 30 Jul 2010 09:36 PM PDT

Kesalahan Lazim Menulis atau Mengeja Kata Majmuk
Oleh: Abdul Razak bin Husin

Kali ini saya akan dedahkan beberapa kesalahan lazim ketika menulis dan mengeja kata majmuk yang sering dilakukan oleh kebanyakan pengarang sama ada genre cerpen atau novel.
Beberapa kesalahan lazim telah dipaparkan seperti berikut. Perkataan tersebut sepatut ditulis secara terpisah antara satu sama lain.
  • tengahhari sepatutnya dieja tengah hari
  • suratkhabar sepatutnya dieja surat khabar
  • ulangtahun sepatutnya dieja ulang tahun
  • sekaligus sepatutnya dieja sekali gus
  • samada sepatutnya dieja sama ada
  • papantanda sepatutnya dieja papan tanda
  • latarbelakang sepatutnya dieja latar belakang
  • ibubapa sepatutnya dieja ibu bapa
Untuk makluman semua, entri ini akan dikemaskinikan dari semasa ke semasa.
http://feeds.feedburner.com/sastera


Politician Prince Tengku Razaleigh: Politicians are your servants

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 02:21 AM PDT

My comment:Not only politicians but all the Government Servants including ALL the military personnals up to TOP Generals and the government leaders need to serve the people and the country. Not the other way round.

He had left out PM U Nu of Burma. Burma's economy was second in Asia in 1950s. The first large-scale Asian–African or Afro–Asian Conference—also known as the Bandung Conference on April 18-24, 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia. The conference was organized by Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and India. This conference led to the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian%E2%80%93African_Conference

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today told Malaysians not to be dictated by political parties, saying politicians are servants to the people. Picture by Choo Choy May.

"The first step in 'grabbing the bull by the horns' is "Politicians are not your parents. They are your servants", the Gua Musang MP said during the 4th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit here.

He added that the youth must not seek political patronage but seek a better future for the country.

"Overcome the urge to have our hopes for the future endorsed by the political leaders. They will have retired, and I'll be long gone when your future arrives. The shape of your future is being determined now.

"Resist the temptation to say 'in line with' when we do something. Your projects, believe it or not, don't have to be in line with any government campaign for them to be meaningful. You don't need to polish anyone's apple. Just get on with what you plan to do," said Tengku Razaleigh also affectionately known as Ku Li.

He said that the public must replace "sensitive" prejudices with "reasoned" discussions to create better understanding among the different communities.

"Do not put a lid on certain issues as 'sensitive' just because someone said they are. Or it is 'politicisation'. You don't need to have your conversation delimited by the hyper-sensitive among us. Sensitivity is often a club people use to hit each other with. Reasoned discussion of contentious issues builds understanding and trust. Test this idea," he said.

He added that Malaysians' freedom is enshrined in the country's constitution.

"We must have freedom as guaranteed under our Constitution. Freedom to assemble, associate, speak, write, move. This is basic. Even on matters of race and even on religious matters we should be able to speak freely, and we shall educate each other," he said.

The Kelantan prince stressed that the country was born from unity and not racial strife.

"Our sense of ourselves as Malaysians, a free and united people, has been replaced by a tale of racial strife and resentment that continues to haunt us. The thing is, this tale is false.

"The most precious thing you have been deprived of has been your history. Someone of my generation finds it hard to describe what must seem like a completely different country to you now. Malaysia was not born in strife but in unity. Our independence was achieved through a demonstration of unity by the people in supporting a multiracial government led by Tengku Abdul Rahman.

Tengku Razaleigh continued to urge the country repeal draconian laws that have abused to instill fear.

"Hence while you are at this conference, let me argue, that as an absolute minimum, we should call for the repeal of unjust and much abused Acts which are reversals of freedoms that we won at Merdeka.

"I ask you in joining me in calling for the repeal of the ISA and the OSA.  These draconian laws have been used, more often than not, as political tools rather than instruments of national security. They create a climate of fear," he said. Ku Li also urged the government to abolish the Printing and Publications Act (PPA) and the Universities and Colleges Act (UCA) which has downgraded the education system.

"I ask you to join me in calling for the repeal of the Printing and Publications Act, and above all, the Universities and Colleges Act. I don't see how you can pursue your student activism with such freedom and support in the UK and Eire while forgetting that your brethren at home are deprived of their basic rights of association and expression by the UCA.

"The UCA has done immense harm in dumbing down our universities. We must have freedom as guaranteed under our Constitution," he said.

He said that public must be proactive and have the initiative to determine the future of the country.

"Don't let them tell you how bright and 'exuberant' you are, that you are the future of the nation. If you close your eyes and flow with their flattery you have safely joined the caravan, a caravan taking the nation down a sink hole.  If they tell you the future is in your hands kindly request that they hand that future over first.  Ask them how come the youngest member of our cabinet is 45?

"Our Merdeka cabinet had an average age below thirty. You're not the first generation to be bright. Mine wasn't too stupid. But you could be the first generation of students and young graduates in fifty years to push this nation through a major transformation. And it is a transformation we need desperately," Tengku Razaleigh said.

He added that Malaysians should not be deceived with a false sense of gratitude to the government.

"You will be told that much is expected of you, much has been given to you, and so forth. This is all true. Actually much has also been stolen from you.  Over the last twenty five years, much of the immense wealth generated by our productive people and our vast resources has been looted.

"This was supposed to have been your patrimony. The uncomplicated sense of belonging fully, wholeheartedly, unreservedly, to this country, in all it diversity, that has been taken from you," the leader said.

Source-Ku Li: Politicians are your servants By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani


All set to get LOST!

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 01:40 AM PDT

Mineral water to be distributed tomorrow morning together with their breakfast before we go in to the park…

SIAP!

Portable speaker so that I don't have to shout when briefing them tomorrow.

SIAP!

Letter of confirmation/receipt from LWOT about our booking (just in case).

SIAP!

Camera, memory card and spare batteries…

SIAP!

Spare cash for contingencies…

SIAP!


What else ya?

What's that? BIKINI?

Oh tidak! NAK MAMPUS??!! I don't want to be terrifying people…


Important news for Myanmars in Singapore

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 01:14 AM PDT

johor singapore causeway 041106Following recent policy changes to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) in Singapore, Malaysian permanent residents (MPRs) in the island republic, or those who have worked there and have a CPF account, need to be aware of six key areas before they reach the age of 55.

1. Upon reaching 55 years, if your CPF Special Account (SA) plus property pledge, which can be up to a maximum of 50 percent – currently S$61,500 (RM143,647) – of the CPF Minimum Sum (MS), is insufficient to meet your MS, which is currently $123,000, your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) balance will be transferred to your CPF Retirement Account (RA) to make up for the MS shortfall.

What this means is that you may no longer be able to use your OA balance to pay for your monthly home mortgage payments.

So, if you are affected by this policy, use your entire OA balance to pay up your mortgage before you turn 55.

If you continue to work after 55, your CPF-OA contributions can continue to be used to service your mortgage.

2. For those aged 55 and younger, CPF Life will be compulsory from 2013 onwards for MPRs with at least S$40,000 in their combined CPF-OA and SA accounts. MPRs with less than S$40,000 can choose to opt for the CPF Life.

So, if you plan to give up your Singapore permanent residency and want to withdraw your entire CPF as a lump sum, you may wish to do so before turning 55.

Otherwise, only the surrender value of your CPF Life (depending on which of the four plans you choose) may be given to you. If you do not choose one of the four CPF Life plans, the default option is the CPF Life Balanced plan.

If you choose the highest monthly life annuity payout from age 65 under the CPF Life Income plan with no bequest to beneficiaries, there is no surrender value. So, if you plan to give up your Singapore permanent resident status to withdraw your entire CPF, you should choose the CPF Life Basic plan, which has the lowest monthly annuity payout, highest bequest and highest surrender value.

NONEMPRs who are at least 50 years old and have not worked in Singapore for the last three years, may elect to withdraw their entire CPF by giving up their Singapore permanent residency and never again returning to Singapore to work.

I know of one case where an MPR gave up his permanent residency, only to discover that he could not withdraw his CPF because he had worked for one month during the last three years. He appealed to the immigration authority but to no avail.

So, be absolutely certain that you have not worked for the last three years before you give up your permanent residency in Singapore.

3. MPRs who are already over 55 now have up to the end of next year to opt for the CPF Life scheme, or do nothing and remain under the current MS Payout scheme, which will pay a monthly amount from age 65, or earlier for those MPRs who reached 55 before 2009, until the account runs out.

This is estimated to be about 20 years or longer, depending on future CPF interest rates. You can use the CPF website's MS Payout calculator and the CPF Life Payout Estimator calculator to make a comparison before coming to a decision.

NONEIn making your comparison and decision, you should note that the MS Payout calculator does not include the extra one percent interest payable on the first S$60,000, which is already factored into the CPF Life Payout Estimator calculator.

So, it may not be exactly an apple-to-apple comparison. Therefore it is likely that the MS Payout may be slightly longer than the 20 years assumed in the calculations.

4.If you plan to downgrade to a smaller flat, the sales proceeds (CPF utilised and accrued interest) of your flat will also be transferred to your RA, if you have a MS shortfall.

What this means is that after setting aside the MS, you may have less available from your flat sale proceeds to pay for your smaller, downgraded flat.

So if you want to downgrade, you may like do it before 55.

5. Upon reaching 55, your OA and SA that is transferred to your RA to meet the MS can no longer be invested. So if you want to invest your OA and SA, do it before 55 (note: the first S$20,000 of the OA and S$40,000 of the SA cannot be invested).

6. When the OA is transferred to the RA to meet the MS at age 55, the OA also can no longer be used to pay for one's own or children's tertiary education fees. So if you are turning 55, use your CPF to pay for a full year's fees, instead of the usual one semester.

Source_MKini, Understanding changes to Singapore's Provident Fund by Leong Sze Hian

LEONG SZE HIAN'S late father moved from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore in 1952 Since he was born in Singapore in 1953, there may be some confusion as to whether he was conceived in Malaysia or Singapore. His next article will be on why Malaysians are snapping up public housing flats in Singapore like nobody's business.



WE EAT, BREATHE CORRUPTION

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 12:35 AM PDT

Tengku Razaleigh gave a very interesting speech today at UKEC's Fourth Malaysian Students Leadership Seminar in Kuala Lumpur which you can read HERE at The Malaysian Insider.

Excerpt from the speech:

Without a doubt, Malaysia is slipping. Billions have been looted from this country, and billions more are being siphoned out as our entire political structure crumbles. Yet we are gathered here in comfort, in a country that still seems to 'work.' Most of the time. This is due less to good management than to the extraordinary wealth of this country. You were born into a country of immense resources both natural and cultural and social. We have been wearing down this advantage with mismanagement and corruption. With lies, tall tales and theft. We have a political class unwilling or unable to address the central issue of the day because they have grown fat and comfortable with a system built on lies and theft. It is easy to fall into the lull caused by the combination of whatever wealth has not been plundered and removed and political class that lives in a bubble of sycophancy.


While I am impressed with his courage to come face to face with corruption and to tell it like it is, I hope he will take the next step and leave UMNO to strike out on the other side of the divide to give even more weight to his statements.

In another article by P. Gunasegaram of TheStar, he advocated more moves to cut corruption. He referred to corruption as an insidious, widespread problem that has caused much bottleneck, inefficiency, higher costs and a downright hindrance to improving productivity at all levels and lamented that little has been done to curb this scourge.

We all know how damaging is corruption to any country when decisions are made for private and not public interests. With the cancer of corruption spreading, we can kiss goodbye to good governance and effective public policies. In Malaysia, corruption, such as in PKFZ scandal, has led to gross misallocation and wastage of resources. Ultimately, the rakyat have to pay the price and the poor are tragically affected.

Of course it is unfair to point fingers at the authorities concerned because any effort to stomp out corruption requires the cooperation of the public sector, private organizations and even civil society.

Some might think that the government has not done enough. Well, I did a bit of reading and discovered that the authorities concerned have acknowledged the existence and prevalence of corruption but why then does the problem still persist?

Here's a brief summary of their efforts to prevent and eradicate corruption.

1. Anti-corruption legislation has been enacted

2. Establishment of an Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy (Yes, no joke. There IS such an organization!)

I am not sure if the following news item was covered by our local press but I came across it in a Brunei website!!!

NMM-Bernama reported:

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy (MACA) will be receiving an allocation of almost 1.0 million Ringgit (one USD = about 3.4 Ringgit) from the United Nations to develop two anti-corruption training programmes this year and next year, says its director, Samarajoo Manikam.

He said Monday that the allocation, provided under the UN Development Programme (UNDP), was meant for training and briefings on intelligence gathering and corruption prevention for anti-corruption officers from 57 member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Speaking to reporters after giving a briefing on on the academy's activities to a delegation from Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission here, he added that the two training programmes would be held in July this year and March next year respectively with the participation of at least 30 officers in each programme.


(Well, we should expect an improvement in political landscape....)

3. Setting up a Public Complaints Bureau - introduced the MESRA Rakyat Program

4. Setting up the National Integrity Plan (Read more HERE)

5. Establishment of Integrity Institute of Malaysia (I started sleuthing about this when I saw a signboard along Scotland Road Penang) Read more HERE.

6. Internal Auditing System (established in 1979 and revamped in 2004)- to combat fraud, forgery and embezzlement of the Ministries' and government departments' assets. This article from the PMO's office HERE said:

"We should emphasise on preventive measures. Even the government has strengthened its audit system in various ministries and departments with more qualified personel," Ambrin said.

He also said there are indications that fraud cases in corporate Malaysia is on an increasing trend.

He highlighted the billion dollar Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ)scandal as an example of suspected public sector fraud and waste of a great magnitude.

"Weak project management and bad governance in terms of disregard of proper government procedures, no open tenders, excessive costs, cash flow problems, the lack of master planning and minimal supervision, have all severly undermined the viability of the project," he said.

He stressed that fraud could be discovered in a timelier manner or perhaps even avoided, if key officials in public service and corporations, are more vigilant, competent and committed in discharging their responsibilities.

Meanwhile, the Governor of the Institute of Internal Auditors Malaysia, Ranjit Singh said there needs to be a system in place to identify fraud and ensure issues are raised, before it happens.
7. Anti-Corruption Agency and MACC

8. Code of Ethics for MPs

9. Public Accounts Committee to examine the Auditor-General's Report

etc. etc.

Where civil society and the private sector is concerned, we can only help to weed out corruption if information is available. The rakyat need access to government-held information to exercise their rights lest they fall prey to corruption. To have that, we must have the Freedom of Information Law enforced. Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's administration is the first in the country to try enacting such a law. Read more HERE.

So you see, it is clear that our government HAS been working on combating corruption. However, one fact remains. Even with these measures and despite the amount of resources used, the incidence of corruption has escalated!!

WHY??? Why are these measures ineffective?

Malaysians have to contend with mutations of corruption including:
  • incompetence
  • malpractice
  • abuse of power
  • fraud
  • unethical practices
  • low motivation/poor work ethics
  • decline in integrity among individuals, organizations and society etc...


If you have time, please check out Tunku Abdul Aziz's paper on "INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDY : STAMPING OUT CORRUPTION IN MALAYSIA".

You might want to check out an old post of mine called Morally Immoral.

Severe prosecutions would be a very good way to weed our corruption. The authorities can begin by pulling in ALL who are associated with the PKFZ scandal instead of just zeroing in on Tun Dr. Ling. Many question why there seems to be inertia in investigating alleged corruption cases of famous individuals but extreme speed in investigating cases related to the opposition (and one which led to the tragic death of TBH). Such scenarios do not foster confidence in investors! Apart from that, the education system and syllabus (especially 'Moral') must be revamped so that via schools, we can inculcate integrity in every citizen for a corrupt-free country!

Do our politicians have the moral courage and political will to combat corruption? Unless and until there is effective enforcement of rules and regulations, we will have to contend with this scourge of our society - corruption. And where will that lead us????



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

50 years of ISA

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 12:29 AM PDT

Tian Chua

1 August is the 50th Anniversary of ISA. The notorious law was enacted in 1960 when the legitimacy of the newly founded federation of Malaya was challenged by armed insurgency.

The ruling Alliance led by late Tunku Abdul Rahman assured the Parliament that the ISA would not be used against dissidents abiding by peaceful means of struggle and within the framework of the Constitution. Nonetheless as soon as it was passed, activists from a wide range of political spectrum became victims of the repressive law.

It is obvious that despite the apologists of authoritarian regime frequently justifying the law in the name national security, the ISA is undoubtedly oppressive, undemocratic and it contravenes basic human rights. In half a century of its existence, thousands of people had been imprisoned, and deprived of their families, livelihood and freedom.

The draconian law has conveniently become the weapon for the BN regime to perpetuate corruption and to cover up its misuses of power. It is also a tool to institutionalize a culture of fear among the Malaysian people.

The practice of detention without trial is not condoned by any religious values. In addition to preventive detention, the ISA had been a license for the authorities to torture and torment detainees. Thus such inhumane law should be condemned by democratic minded people both domestically and globally.

In the last few years, in collaborating with civil society organizations, Parti Keadilan Rakyat had intensified its campaign against the ISA. We are unequivocal in our demand for the abolition of the notorious law.

KEADILAN regrets the reluctance and delay in removing the provision for indefinite detention. Throughout 50 years we have witnessed innocent individuals becoming victims of this unjust law. The long list of people included Anwar Ibrahim, Syed Husin Ali, Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Lim Guan Eng, Jeffry Kittingan, Mat Sabu, and many other Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

We believe that Najib and his Government is aware of the growing opposition against the Act. The PM must surely understand that the continuous existence of the ISA will project a negative image of Malaysia in the eyes of the international community.

By not abolishing the ISA, we suspect PM Najib is keeping his options open. Once the political interests of the ruling UMNO are threatened, I am convinced Najib would have no qualms in ordering a heavy crackdown using the ISA.

On behalf of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, I reiterate our firm and unambiguous stand-- the ISA must be abolished. We are determined to continue our struggle for change and to make sure that laws which are inconsistent with human rights and democracy are eventually reformed.

(Tian Chua is the Member of Parliament for Batu and the strategic director of PKR)



Venus Williams’ “Come to Win”

Posted: 30 Jul 2010 11:43 PM PDT



One Woman’s Inspiration

Posted: 30 Jul 2010 11:21 PM PDT

When Nancy invited me and Nic to join her and the rest of the Adventist Hospital staff to visit Tzu Chi Society building in Macalister Road, she had warned me.

"Bring lots of tissues." It would be emotional.

I just didn't know how emotional it would turn out to be.

In the end, I came home pretty humbled and yet inspired. I have written about Master Cheng Yen, the founder of this non-profit organisation, sometime before. I have friends who are volunteers in Tzu Chi. I myself contribute monthly towards Tzu Chi.

Master Cheng Yen embodies a woman with absolute strength of character, infused with a resilience that's awe-inspiring. All this through the one video I saw of her. I can imagine seeing her in the flesh in Taiwan, if I am that fortunate to visit her country (she does not travel out of Taiwan for health reasons I believe).

4 Hours, 3 Times A Week

The first stop of our visit was the Tzu Chi Dialysis Centre on Gottlieb Road. Being a Sunday, we didn't expect that many people around. The nurses had especially come in earlier at morning to prepare for our visit. The dialysis patients turned volunteers were also there to greet us!

Visiting Tzu Chi Dialysis Centre on Gottlieb Road with Adventist staff

Visiting Tzu Chi Dialysis Centre on Gottlieb Road with Adventist staff

Mr Lee, the centre manager, showed us around and explained about the dialysis machines. Every kidney patient would be hooked up to the machine for 4 hours each time, 3 times a week.

And Tzu Chi does not charge for these sessions – they are FREE.

(Under normal circumstances, each session would cost approximately RM150 to RM250 at private hospitals. In the Government hospital/general hospital, it would be cheaper but there is a long wait list.) Added to that, there are medications. So each kidney patient would need to spend at least RM2500 every month for dialysis and medicines.

For the first time, it dawned on me how magnificent our bodies really are. How each organ works to give us good health; when it breaks down, it becomes tedious, even exhausting. What our kidneys do naturally, the machine takes a good 4 hours each time.

Tzu Chi nurses and volunteers performing for us

Tzu Chi nurses and volunteers performing for us

The one thing I noticed is that the nurses were upbeat and cheerful (despite having to come in as early as 7 am on a Sunday so they could rehearse their performance for us, their guests). They beamed when they performed a song for us together with the dialysis patients/volunteers.

My little hanky rabbit!

My little hanky rabbit!

They were all smiles when they presented their gifts to us – white hankies folded to resemble cute rabbits with red eyes!

We were each presented with cute hanky rabbits!

We were each presented with cute hanky rabbits!

Mr Lee explained that these young nurses would also go beyond their call of duty – they'd drop in to visit dialysis patients after their work hours. All this without extra OT pay. And it is not a secret that they're not paid as highly as private nurses either. But they do it with grace and cheerfulness.

What was the secret in Tzu Chi which motivated these nurses (who could work in any hospital given their dedication) to be more than they were? It was inspiring to know that there's a deeper sense of purpose in these young nurses' lives. It shone in their eyes. It shone in their heart. That word comes back to me – it was like staring at pure joy.

Stories of Hope and Humility

We were then whisked back to the main grey-coloured Tzu Chi building on Macalister Road. It was mid-morning but we were served a mini snack in the form of 'ang koo kuih' and jelly, to be downed by fragrant Chinese tea.

Snacks made with love!

Snacks made with love!

Before we drank our tea, we were taught the proper method of appreciating tea. When we sipped the tea, we had to be mindful and remember the 3 Goodness (a sip for good thoughts, a sip for good words and a sip for good deeds). The Tzu Chi staff mentioned that they were going to start their tea appreciation class soon. This class is held once a year and for free. You can call up and ask them when the next class is beginning.

Our fabulous vegetarian lunch at Tzu Chi

Our fabulous vegetarian lunch at Tzu Chi

I couldn't help but admire the humility, tenacity and inherent mindfulness of these Tzu Chi volunteers, from the ladies dressed in demure dark blue cheongsams (very elegant!) to the men dressed in grey t-shirts or white t-shirts. When we were on the first floor watching a presentation of Tzu Chi, Sunday school for children was in session on the ground floor. In a way, this was a Sunday school with a difference because parents are enrolled with their children with the belief that good values must be taught from young but also with the direct support of the parents.

If only all vegetarian lunches were this delicious....

If only all vegetarian lunches were this delicious....

I was touched by so many things I saw that day in Tzu Chi. They believed in doing things with passion, loving-kindness and mindfulness. As a 10 million strong organisation worldwide, they are always the first to attend to any disaster area and the last to leave. Due to their strong belief in helping people, they have also come up with their own innovation such as instant rice which does not need to be cooked. In disaster areas, fuel is hard to come by so instant rice (which is now part of a range of products they sell in their Tzu Chi shop) with the addition of hot water for 20 minutes makes a nutritious and quick meal. This is also a good product for campers!

They also showed us a short video which made all of us weep once more (we wept when Mr Muck, a dialysis patient recounted his story of how he went from being a patient to actively volunteering with Tzu Chi).

The video was of an 80-year old woman who still holds onto her job as an office cleaner because she is the sole breadwinner in her family of four – her husband is blind and cannot work while her 2 grown-up children are disabled and cannot take care of themselves. She has in total 7 children but the other 5 children were also disabled and had passed away.

And yet, this old woman who rides her motorbike to work daily never once complained about her lot in life. The hunched up little old lady cheerfully goes to work, riding her old little Honda motorbike. Incredibly, after she heard how Tzu Chi gets money to help dialysis patients from recycling household wastes, she started collecting newspapers, tins and plastics to do her bit for Tzu Chi!

I was absolutely floored by this story.

Mr Lee then took over to show us via some slides about Tzu Chi's work in Indonesia. Tzu Chi volunteers helped to clean up one of Jakarta's dirtiest rivers and squatter areas. Together with the Indonesian Government, they built flats for the squatter families. They also helped rebuilt tsunami-hit Acheh – rebuilding schools, mosque and houses for the Achehnese.

The local religious leader of the town was so touched by the generosity of Tzu Chi that he asked for 60 pieces of Master Cheng Yen's photo to be place in every classroom. He wanted the Muslim school children to give thanks and remember the woman who started Tzu Chi, the organisation which helped them.

This contrasts so strongly with what we know and perceive about religions. Would this happen in Malaysia? Would a Muslim religious leader ask for photos of his benefactor to be put in every classroom so that the children do not forget to be grateful each day to the woman and the organisation which helped them? While watching the video of the Muslim children sing a Bahasa Indonesian version of the Mandarin Tzu Chi song, I was terribly moved by the Indonesians' ability to be all encompassing in their thankfulness.

All I can say is, Tzu Chi is an amazing organisation just like many of the amazing organisations out there who are helping people in their own ways.

Life is sometimes about the lessons we learn and also about the lessons we re-learn.

** You can read more about the inspiring life journey of Master Cheng Yen.

** If you want to help, you can contribute money on a monthly basis with a minimum of RM1 per month. Please contact the nearest Tzu Chi in your town/city.


MUSTAPA LIED, NOT TELLING DA TRUTH, BEAT AROUND DA BUSH!!

Posted: 30 Jul 2010 11:12 PM PDT

Former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today ticked off Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed for not telling the truth about the underlying reasons for the unprecedented 81 percent plunge in foreign direct investment (FDI) last year.

On the sidelines of the 2010 Malaysian Student Leaders Summit today, Razaleigh told Malaysiakini that Mustapa was not telling the truth with all his beating around the bush (and) giving flimsy excuses.

Razaleigh was commenting on the minister's explanation that Malaysia attracted very little FDI relative to neighbouring economies because it is on a different level of the development scale and Malaysia is uninterested in attracting investments in low-end sector which are flooding other regional economies.


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