Monday, July 26, 2010

Zebra Crossing

Zebra Crossing

Zebra Crossing

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 10:18 AM PDT

I don't know why Malaysians are so rude especially on the road. Everytime when I try to cross, especially at zebra-crossing, it's very rare, VERY RARE the car would stop and let the poor pedestrian like me to cross.

What they would do, of course by speeding up ahead and arrogantly SMILE at me. Shit! Why these people still alive? Jezz. Especially men-drivers (not all, ok?).

Now I have to admit that Malaysian men are NOT gentlemen at all, mostly. How many of you(man) open the car door for your girlfriends or your wives? How many of you still holding your wife's hand? Yes, YOUR WIFE. Excluded girlfriends, ok? Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Nah, please be polite ok? Everytime you are at zebra-crossing, please STOP if you see someone there. Please.

who is SALT? - Angelina Jolie

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 09:27 AM PDT

Guy: Sir, are you interested to watch this movie?
Me: *stunt and stare @ him* hmmm....
Guy: It's free and it's the movie SALT.
Me: *accept the free ticket* oh SALT. *a big smile*
Guy: The movie already started... you can proceed to Hall 1 now. It's free seating.
Me: Thanks. *Excited*

Then the guy walked away to others patrons. I was not sure was I lucky or what? My friend and I got an offer from a stranger to a special screening of the movie SALT by Angelina Jolie.

Okay, I'm not going to be the spoiler of the movie but it's worth to watch. I couldn't belief how superb is the Russian spy until i watched this movie. So what would be the fate of Angelina Jolie in this movie SALT. Just hit the cinema on July 29th 2010 eh~

Again, this is an America movie, so now what is the message behind the movie... watch it and share with us eh~

TZ give this 2 thumbs up

The Guy Who Got Into GOOGLE

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 07:30 AM PDT

My dear friend, Angela, sent me the following story via email and it is such I touching and inspiring story that I would like to share it with you. Thanks, Angela, for all the forwarded stuff that you willingly share with me daily. God bless your kind and considerate heart! Take care and everyone and have a blessed week!

Naga Naresh Karutura has just passed out of IIT Madras in Computer Science and has joined Google in Bangalore.

You may ask, what's so special about this 21-year-old when there are hundreds of students passing out from various IITs and joining big companies like Google?

Naresh is special. His parents are illiterate. He has no legs and moves around in his powered wheel chair. (In fact, when I could not locate his lab, he told me over the mobile phone, 'I will come and pick you up'. And in no time, he was there to guide me)

Ever smiling, optimistic and full of spirit; that is Naresh. He says, "God has always been planning things for me. That is why I feel I am lucky."

Childhood in a village

I spent the first seven years of my life in Teeparru, a small village in Andhra Pradesh, on the banks of the river Godavari. My father Prasad was a lorry driver and my mother Kumari, a house wife. Though they were illiterate, my parents instilled in me and my elder sister (Sirisha) the importance of studying.

Looking back, one thing that surprises me now is the way my father taught me when I was in the 1st and 2nd standards. My father would ask me questions from the text book, and I would answer them. At that time, I didn't know he could not read or write but to make me happy, he helped me in my studies!

Another memory that doesn't go away is the floods in the village and how I was carried on top of a buffalo by my uncle. I also remember plucking fruits from a tree that was full of thorns.

I used to be very naughty, running around and playing all the time with my friends.. I used to get a lot of scolding for disturbing the elders who slept in the afternoon. The moment they started scolding, I would run away to the fields!

I also remember finishing my school work fast in class and sleeping on the teacher's lap!

Read more AT THIS LINK.

May we be inspired by the perseverance and positive attitude of Naga Naresh Karutura and others like him and go on to inspire others. Take care and have a week!

Penang State Government Newsletter - SUARA CAT - Siri 1/2010

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 07:31 AM PDT

Dear all, SUARA CAT- Penang State Newspaper, soft copy for your reference. News that will not be covered by Utusan and other mainstream media. You will be surprised how much Pakatan Rakyat has done to improve Penang! Appreciate if you can send to all your family, friends and contacts list.
Thank you.

Suara Cat - Siri 1

Sim Tze Tzin ADUN Pantai Jerejak State Assemblyman of Penang
12-J-2 Jalan Rumbia 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Tel: +6019 472 8099
Fax: 04-2260633
twitter: @simtzetzin

1Malaysia making a fool and mockery out of an ordinary non-Malay/Bumi!!

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 07:34 AM PDT

The above has been going around in...Where else but the most populated place in the Internet?

Yes, Facebook!

The message says 'Tahniah anda berjaya' but with a spoiler!

No wonder Najib says 1Malaysia is not a new concept. It's just a name. What a shame!

The Islamification of America starts at Ground Zero

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 06:30 AM PDT

Feisal Abdul Rauf is the imam behind the "Cordoba Initiative" that is spearheading plans to build a $100 million Islamic center at Ground Zero, the site where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed by jihadists on 9/11. He is also the author of a book called What's Right with Islam Is What's Right with America. But the book hasn't always been called that. It was called quite something else for non-English-speaking audiences. In Malaysia, it was published as A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11.

Now it emerges that a "special, non-commercial edition" of this book was later produced, with Feisal's cooperation, by two American tentacles of the Muslim Brotherhood: the Islamic Society of North America and the International Institute of Islamic Thought. The book's copyright page tells the tale:

Both ISNA and IIIT have been up to their necks in the promotion of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood's ruthless Palestinian branch, which is pledged by charter to the destruction of Israel. In fact, both ISNA and IIIT were cited by the Justice Department as unindicted co-conspirators in a crucial terrorism-financing case involving the channeling of tens of millions of dollars to Hamas through an outfit called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. For the last 15 years, Hamas has been a designated terrorist organization under U.S. law.

Dawa, whether done from the rubble of the World Trade Center or elsewhere, is the missionary work by which Islam is spread. As explained in my recent book, The Grand Jihad, dawa is proselytism, but not involving only spiritual elements — for Islam is not merely a religion, and spiritual elements are just a small part of its doctrine. In truth, Islam is a comprehensive political, social, and economic system with its own authoritarian legal framework, sharia, which aspires to govern all aspects of life.

This framework rejects core tenets of American constitutional republicanism: for example, individual liberty, freedom of conscience, freedom to govern ourselves irrespective of any theocratic code, equality of men and women, equality of Muslims and non-Muslims, and economic liberty, including the uses of private property (in Islam, owners hold property only as a custodians for the umma, the universal Muslim nation, and are beholden to the Islamic state regarding its use). Sharia prohibits the preaching of creeds other than Islam, the renunciation of Islam, any actions that divide the umma, and homosexuality. Its penalties are draconian, including savagely executed death sentences for apostates, homosexuals, and adulterers. Continue to Page 2 & 3 of Andrew C. McCarthy's article in the National Review

Tea Gang & Visitors

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 05:17 AM PDT

Seating (2nd & 3rd) left to right are the two Kutien guests. They speak authentic Kutien dislect.

It was our regular tea gang gathering with a surprise! Joining us were two guests of Meng Lei flying in all the way from Kutien, China. The visit was too brief for me to find out the purpose of their trip to Sibu.
Anyway, it was nice to have their presence.
Photos: Steve Ling

Mahukah Najib Pecat Pengawalnya?

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 04:18 AM PDT

ADUN Damak gesa PM pecat pengawalnya

"Dia hanya pengawal (bodyguard) Perdana Menteri, saya ADUN empat penggal!" Demikianlah kemarahan yang diluahkan oleh ADUN Damak, Lau Lee yang juga Naib Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Perhubungan MCA Negeri Pahang, ketika menceritakan pengalamannya menyerah memorandum kepada PM Najib Razak.

"Seorang pengawal PM menghalang saya ketika saya ingin menyerah memorandum kepada PM. Dia mencadangkan supaya saya menyerah kepadanya (pengawal PM), tetapi saya bertegas mahu menyerah dengan sendiri," kata Lau Lee (gambar kiri).

"Dia pula berkata, 'kalau nak, serah kepada saya sekarang, kerana jika pun diserah kepada PM, PM akan bagi kepada saya. Kalau kamu enggan serah kepada saya sekarang, saya akan buang memorandum kamu selepas PM serah kepada saya'," Lau Lee menceritakan bagaimana beliau dilayan oleh pengawal PM, dalam Mesyuarat Agung Tahunan MCA Ngeri Pahang, semalam.

Menurut laporan Sin Chew Daily, Lau Lee menggesa agar Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Perhubungan MCA Negeri Pahang, juga Menteri Kesihatan, Liow Tiong Lai membawa mesejnya ke dalam kabinet untuk disampaikan kepada PM. "Kalau boleh, pecat pengawal ini segera!"

Lau Lee selaku Pengerusi MCA bahagian Jerantut, Pahang, mengetuai satu rombongan untuk menyerah satu memorandum berhubung masalah tanah kepada PM, semasa lawatan Najib Razak ke situ pada 3 Julai 2010. Tanpa diduga, Lau Lee menerima layanan yang buruk daripada pengawal PM, yang mendakwa dirinya bernama Sulaiman.

Malah, menurut laporan China Press, Lau Lee dipetik berkata, "Saya menyerah memorandum kepada PM sebagai seorang ADUN, tetapi perlu mengharungi pelbagai rintangan, daripada polis, setiausaha, pengawal..." Beliau juga berkata, "Walaupun PM melaung-laungkan slogan 'Rakyat didahulukan, Pencapaian diutamakan', tetapi setiausahanya, pembantunya, pengawalnya tidak ikut (menyahut seruan PM)..."

Disindir musuh parti

Lantaran daripada laporan tersebut, MCA disindir oleh PKR dari Pakatan Rakyat. ADUN Teja negeri Perak, Chang Lih Kang (gambar kanan) menyifatkan peranan MCA tidak setanding biarpun sebagai "penumpang". Chang Lih Kang sebaliknya menyindir bahawa kejadian layanan buruk pengawal PM terhadap ADUN MCA ini sekali lagi membuktikan bahawa hubungan MCA dengan UMNO dalam Barisan Nasional ibarat "hamba dengan Tuan".

Malah, Chang Lih Kang berkata pemimpin senior MCA ini hanya mengungkit kejadian yang menimpa individu, tetapi tidak menyentuh isu besar seperti skandal Zon Bebas Pelabuhan Klang (PKFZ), penyelewengan dalam pembelian senjata..., kes rasuah dan penyalahgunaan kuasa yang melibatkan UMNO. -MR


Posted: 26 Jul 2010 03:31 AM PDT

In the 1980's, my graduation thesis was A Comparative Study of Viewing and Listening Habits of the three main races in Penang based on samples taken from low cost flat dwellers in three housing schemes. The findings then showed that tv viewing was an important activity. While reminiscing this evening, I thought about the functions of our main broadcasting station then and now and decided to see if indeed these have changed in tandem with the political landscape.

As many of us know, Radio Televisyen Malaysia is under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture. Wikipedia provides some information of RTM at THIS LINK. The official website HERE gives the history and development of Radio Televisyen Malaysia. This link HERE reveals that Datuk Ibrahim Yahaya is currently the Director General of the Department of Broadcasting Malaysia.

Interestingly, I googled his name and discovered that he has a few blogs, one of which is called Dunia Tiger. Previously, he was chief news editor of Berita Harian. Then he moved to TV3 as an editor. After a stint at Berita publishing, he became media consultant to RTM (2005-2007). In September 2008, became Media Advisor to Minister of Information and was subsequently appointed as Director General of Broadcasting, Ministry of Information Communications and Culture on March 16, 2009. I am not surprised as he has such a sterling record in the media industry.

Upon close examination of his blog, I am very impressed with his mastery of Bahasa Malaysia. His blog examines various interesting issues - from World Cup Football to politics to personal experiences and of course political issues as well.

One particular blog post caught my attention - Bengkel Transformasi RTM. This particular blog post reveals the functions of RTM (the official version can be accessed HERE).

Excerpt from his blog:

Sebenarnya RTM perlu memastikan kecemerlangan selama ini diteruskan dengan pendekatan terbaru yang lebih dinamik, kreatif, menarik, semasa dan idea di luar lingkungan terutama dalam menyebarluaskan program terbaru kerajaan iaitu Gagasan 1Malaysia.

Sebagai tonggak utama Kementerian Penerangan Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan, RTM selalu diperhati dan dipantau dari setiap segi terutama Bahagian Berita dan Ehwal Semasa (BES) selain Bahagian Perolehan Filem yang menjadi tumpuan industri kreatif.

RTM mahu dilihat sebagai saluran penyiaran yang mampu mententeramkan rakyat ketika sesuatu dasar radikal dilaksanakan. Dasar yang tidak dipolitikkan tidak susah untuk disebarluaskan. Menceritakan kesulitan kerajaan jika amalan subsidi diteruskan di samping menangkis pembohongan yang sengaja dibuat terhadap kerajaan. Apalah kata...Felda Dah Bankrap. Ish...ishh..ishh.

Sejajar sebagai jurucakap kerajaan, RTM sentiasa dikehendaki mendokong progam terbaru kerajaan agar rakyat mengetahui, memahami dan mengamalkan dasar itu. Empat tumpuan utama kerajaan sekarang ialah Gagasan 1Malaysia, Pelan Transformasi Kerajaan (GTP), Model Baharu Ekonomi(MBE) dan Rancangan Malaysia Kesepuluh (RMK10).

If your BM is rusty like mine, perhaps you might want to use Google Translate HERE (It is not a very accurate translation but did help me to understand it better).

He is a fan of TDM as seen in THIS POST and also very expressive wrt Anwar as expressed HERE.

According to a friend who writes fantastic articles in Facebook, Vijay Kumar Murugavell, if you watch the news on RTM 1 in the morning, you can have a good idea of what to expect in the political scene. In one of his posts HERE, he said, "Switch off your TV especially RTM 1 and read the Federal Constitution until you understand how this document protects the rights of all, including ignorant citizens like you, and how it makes nationhood possible."

Decades ago, as a mass communications undergraduate, I learnt that broadcasting stations have to fulfil functions to provide:

* information
* education
* entertainment
* propaganda

As a retiree in my twilight years, I can see the fourth function is getting more and more pronounced to cope with the changing mood and trend of governance. I remember how in the 1960's and 1970's, forms of government propaganda were mainly via advertisements or through the screening of music video clips of patriotic songs such as "Berjaya" or "Setia" (which incidentally is one of my firm favorites).

In case you did not know, "Setia" was written by the late Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat. In his political memoirs, Umno: Akhir Sebuah Impian (Umno: The End of a Dream), he explains how his ministry's campaigns, such as Setia (Loyalty), were actually a response to the Team A versus Team B split in Umno in 1987.

The Star reported HERE:

"I had to bring Malay loyalty back to Umno. And I had to raise a presumption that anybody who supported (Team B led by Tengku Razaleigh then) was not loyal. I went all out in this psychological warfare," he writes.

"The Malays were numb to political arguments ... I needed something that penetrated the heart. I needed a song."

So he wrote one himself: the famous Setia song with its supposedly patriotic lyrics ("Demi negara yang tercinta", or "For our beloved country", goes the first line) that was broadcast for years especially via the Government's RTM (Radio Televisyen Malaysia) stations.

Tok Mat admits in his book that he first used Information Ministry staff in 1977 on a "mission" to topple the PAS State Government of Kelantan.

It is clear that it is a completely different ball game today. The times are a-changing, and programming is different from what it was during the days of Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat. If "Setia" had been launched in the current political climate, I am sure the reaction would be different from what it was in the past. Also, I would not be surprised if the audience size has also shrunk considerably. Certainly, if I were to conduct the same study that I carried out in the 1980's, the results would also be different.

How many of us actually watch RTM channels? I have not watched any TV program in the last 5 years. I cancelled my Astro subscription last year upon realization that I had been donating $$ to Astro for some time :-).

Whilst I would not be surprised if those with net access may know the truth, I am quite concerned about how there could be pockets of Malaysians who still rely on MSM for information without cross-checking with other websites or sources of information.

Clearly, Pakatan Rakyat is at a distinct disadvantage compared to BN which has at their disposal broadcasting stations and the probable unspoken support of MSM. Their only firm avenue seems to be their own publications (which continue to be at the mercy of the Home Ministry) and of course the alternative media.

Suffice to say the next time you read or watch any news article/programme, analyze it carefully to see if there are underlying messages. Don't be deceived or tricked by anyone.

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

Is KL Street crime really down by 45 per cent?

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 02:54 AM PDT

Source: (By Elizabeth Zachariah, 22/7/2010)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Rakan Cop programme has proved its worth with the ordinary man on the street by helping KL police to reduce street crime by at least 45 per cent in the first six months of this year. Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop said 2,819 cases had been reported between January and June, this year compared with more thanover 5,000 cases during the same period last year. "This proves that the proactive efforts and interactive relationship between members of the public and the police have been fruitful," he said at the launch of Rakan Cop with the Federal Territory Taxi Drivers and Operators Association on Tuesday.

He said taxi drivers played a crucial role in helping police fight crime as they had access to information on crime that had just happened. He said they could become the "eyes and ears" of police. However, KL police chief Deputy Commissioner of Police Datuk Wira Muhammad Sabtu Osman said only 7,000 of the 27,000 taxis in the city were equipped with radios. "I hope more taxis will be fitted with radios, " he said, adding that the radios could help police disseminate information easily to taxi the drivers more efficiently. He said it was hard for the 7,000 police personnel to do their job because there were to cover the 4½ million residents in the city, including 2 million immigrants. "That is why we need the co-operation of the public to help us combat crime, especially street crime," he said.

Sabtu said there were 364,152 Rakan Cop members nationwide, including 84,878 members here.

Read more: KL Street crime down by 45 per cent

Now, let's hear it from a commoner

Dear YB Lim Lip Eng,

As you are my elected MP and my whole family actually voted for you in March 2008, I thought you should be informed of the worsening crime rate in Taman Lawa and its surrounding area.

Incidents of bag-snatching, house break-in etc are much talked about almost every other day and unfortunately, I have my own to tell.

I was walking on the inner road in front of the row of shophouses on 19 July (Monday)at about 8:30 pm when two Chinese guys in a rundown blue color kapchai approached me from the front. The riding pillion younger guy immediately alighted, raising one hand with a parang and proding another hand out telling me, "Tah-cheong, loh horpau lei." (Robbery, hand me wallet). My immediate instinct was to prevent a parang slash and I spontaneously took out my N73 mobile from the trouser's pocket and gave him. Not satisfied, the other older addict-looking rider asked, "Horpau?"

As I was just walking to a friend's house nearby, I didn't bring wallet nor money. Furious, he demanded to know why I didn't have a wallet despite wearing an office attire. I told and convinced them I was going to give tuition nearby and luckily, they took my words and left me unharmed.

As I ponder after the incident, I am saddened with the fact that taking a walk in one's own neighbourhood is no longer safe. Maybe I should drive but we also hear horror stories of being robbed together with the car as one alight from the car.

I would like to think my experience is not an isolated case and of course, the constituency of Segambut is not the only area with an increasing criminal activities in this country.

Police report? Being a lawyer and MP, I think you know better than me to trust our Polis DiRaja Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Yours truly,

Tan Chee Kuan

A resident of Jalan 17/42 Taman Lawa

Busy weeks ahead

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 03:00 AM PDT

It's Monday? Already? You mean there's no Sunday left before our Family Day on the 1st?

Ooh la la!

I do hope everything will run smoothly. I am a bit concerned since we are expecting our biggest turnout this year. No doubt we always get them to sign indemnity forms, but that doesn't mean we need not worry about their safety. Good thing is there are lifeguards there… because I am of no use when it comes to water – I can't swim to save my own life! I am only good at berendamberenang is out of my league!

I'd better remind all my clients about all the whats and whens and wheres. In fact, I'd better remind our volunteers as well. During our meeting last week when we called a few volunteers to seek their help to fetch clients at the bus station, some of them asked, "When ah the family day?" Duh!

This week is also the final week of the month. Which means I'd need to deliver the monthly groceries to the 2 families sponsored by Petronita Perak. I think I'll probably go on Thursday and/or Friday.

Ramadhan is also coming soon. Yesterday I collected some stuff from Shah Alam – used clothes and soft toys – to be distributed to poor families. Today I unloaded them at our center…

Back home, there are a few more bundles… the ones I collected when I went to Nilai earlier…

I haven't sorted them out yet, and I intend to deliver them to the various families by mid Ramadhan. And usually during Ramadhan I'd also be sending Raya goodies to the various families.

I think I'd better try get a few volunteers to help me sort these out soon. Maybe I should just sort them into categories… female adults, female children, male adults and male children. Then just put them in my car and when I go to visit these families, I'll just get them to choose whichever suits them. At least I don't have to crack my head trying to figure out which size suits whom!

All the clothes still looks good, so any not taken up I may just send them to orphanages and other homes. Or just have a car boot sale and use the proceeds for the needy! (but frankly speaking, I'm a bit too lazy to do that… the car boot sale I mean!)

I've got to sort… I've got to shop… and I've got to deliver the stuff!

Ahh… busy weeks ahead!


Posted: 25 Jul 2010 05:14 PM PDT

ESSAY ... Shamini FLINT

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 12:50 AM PDT

Most of the crime stories we read are written by Western writers, not written by Asians or set in Asia. SHAMINI FLINT, the author of the Inspector Singh Investigates series of crime novels, asks why there is not much of a crime fiction writing tradition in Asia

THERE IS A POSTER from the Singapore police department which says 'Low Crime Doesn't Mean No Crime!' It adorns many a yellow and blue taxi on the island state and causes foreigners from societies where the streets are less safe to stop and stare. I know I do!

That catchphrase might well be one of the reasons that many people do not think 'crime fiction' when they think of Asian writing. Crime fiction must be the genre least associated with writing that originates in Asia. A few writers have successfully dipped their toes into the bloody bath of crime fiction writing. These include Qiu Xiaolong with his well-regarded Inspector Chen series set in Beijing as well as Nury Vittachi and his humorous Feng Shui Detective series, but on the whole, there is a real dearth of successful crime fiction writing set in Asia—either by Asians or otherwise.

Despite the fact that there are hardly any crime writers in Asia, crime fiction is widely read in these parts. A saunter through any local bookshop will demonstrate this—P.D. James, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell and Alexander McCall Smith are all well represented on the shelves. Far more so, it is fair to say, than any local writing. Asians clearly have a strong interest in crime fiction writing. So why is it that we are delighted to read crime stories set in Scotland, rural England and Botswana, but not somewhere in Asia?

I think the answer is simple—we don't read 'em because we don't write 'em. I believe that Asians generally would be delighted to read crime writing with Asia as a backdrop to the story. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of us writing crime or any other genre fiction. There are a number of reasons for this.

Many Asian authors don't turn their hand to genre fiction because there is quite a lot of pressure from the international publishing industry to write "literature," ideally with a historical bent. As a result, many of the stories that come out of Asia—whether written by Asians or others—are over-exoticised, as if Asia has to be exaggerated to be fascinating. I have to confess that it has always been my view that fewer people are born under unlucky stars or have stoic grandmothers than seems to be portrayed in Asian literature.

Furthermore, in many ways, Asians are the least history-obsessed of peoples because so many of us—especially the chattering classes who are turning their hand to writing in English—don't even read or speak the language of our forbears fluently. However, there is a Western market for that sort of romantic, exotic literature and publishers rarely want to mess with a successful formula. I remember reading with interest in an article that a successful Asian writer had consciously upped the 'exotic' quotient in his book to appeal to a Western readership! In my view, Asia does have an absorbing history as a result of colonisation, war, mass immigration, etc., but it is the way these strands are playing out in contemporary society that is so compelling.

Another reason that not many of us turn to genre writing is that it is difficult to make a living from writing in this part of the world. It often involves giving up a career in some more lucrative profession (yes, I was a lawyer!). As a result, anyone who turns their hand to the task is tempted to try and write the 'defining' Malaysian or Singaporean novel—and not sully their hands with genre fiction.

Finally, Asia is not a homogenous, undifferentiated area, easily represented by any single author. Crime writing tends to concentrate on a particular location: Cambridge, London, Venice. In well-executed crime fiction, the place becomes as much part of the book, as familiar and comfortable to the reader, as the policeman or detective hero. It is difficult to imagine selecting a single setting in Asia out of the myriad locations on offer and to focus on it to the exclusion of every other mysterious town and village scattered across our unique continent.

Despite all of these excellent reasons not to turn one's hand to crime fiction, many of us who have had our handbags snatched and/or our homes broken into know very well that Asia is the perfect setting for traditional crime fiction—with an Asian twist.

The policemen tasked with guarding us from the marauding hordes are splendid characters for fiction (and nonfiction) as well. We are all too familiar with being pulled over for alleged speeding in Malaysia and asked 'Nak settle, ke?' or been escorted to the 'VIP' lane in Jakarta Airport in exchange for a fee. It makes the traditional character of the stalwart copper pursuing justice at any cost all the more appealing!

In addition, crime fiction is a great prism through which to explore the tensions within modern Asian society because it is inevitably about conflict—and the starting point is, of course, murder. The genre allows for the interaction between people of different social stratas, race and religion to be explored at length. I find the idea of reflecting contemporary Asian society in crime writing exhilarating. From racial and religious divides in Malaysia (Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder), terrorism and social dysfunction in Bali (Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul, due in September 2009), to greed and exploitation in Singapore (Inspector Singh Investigates: A Singapore School of Villainy, due out in March 2010), there are the plots for a dozen novels in any Asian country. I certainly hope that more Asian writers will turn to crime fiction writing!

Reproduced from the Singapore Writers Festival 2009 issue of Quill magazine


Posted: 26 Jul 2010 01:43 AM PDT

St. Anne’s Feast Day 2010

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 01:02 AM PDT

St. Anne's Church Bukit Mertajam
St. Anne's Church Bukit Mertajam.

St. Anne's Feast Day falls on 26 July. It has been a tradition for Mum to make a pilgrimage to the St. Anne's Church in Bukit Mertajam a few days prior to the feast day to avoid the traffic jam and the crowd of pilgrims. Since moving to Kuala Lumpur, I have tried to keep to that tradition by going back to Penang towards the end of July and then onward to Bukit Mertajam with Wuan.

I love to be there, to soak in the ambience of the hallowed ground, to let my eyes follow the stairs of granite up to the distinct structure of the church halfway up the hill. It is a wonder that despite the bustling all around the church compound, I always felt a sense of serenity whenever I was there. If there is anything that I look forward to in the month of July, it must be St. Anne's Feast Day celebrations in Bukit Mertajam.

Unfortunately, we are not able to go on the pilgrimage this year. Wuan has been inundated with work and had to go back to office on weekends, too. She has not had a good night's sleep for weeks now. We may make a trip to the church when we are in Penang next. I foresee that it will be a totally new experience to be there without all the activities and pilgrims.

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Not only politicians but investors draw battle lines in Malaysia

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 12:48 AM PDT

The WIR data is chilling given that Minister in Prime Minister's Department Idris Jala had earlier warned that Malaysia could go bankrupt by 2019, if the government was not allowed to embark on a subsidy-slashing program to reduce debt.

Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

The worst is still far from over for Malaysia, which recorded an 81 percent plunge in foreign direct investment last year as investors bet that Prime Minister Najib Razak will not be able to steer his country to safe shores.

"From their point of view, Malaysia is beginning to look more like Thailand each day. They don't think Najib is in control at Umno anymore and they are worried about the next handover of power," PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

"The second-line Umno leaders like Muhyiddin, Hishammuddin are not inspiring. Then the type of politicking displayed by people like Khir Toyo and Ibrahim Ali frighten investors even more. And that's why they bail out. And I'm not talking about foreign investors but also Malaysians themselves. Both categories are running away."

Najib has to call for a general election latest by March 2013, but pundits beleive it will happen before October 2011.

Sore thumb amongst ASEAN nations

Indeed, Malaysia was the only country in the region to record negative FDI in 2009. According to the World Foreign Investment Report 2010 released by the United Nations on Friday, Malaysia received only US$1.38 billion.

This is even less than Philippines' US$1.95 billion and pales in comparison with Singapore's US$16 billion. Only Cambodia, Myanmar, Brunei, Laos and Timor-Leste received less than Malaysia.

The WIR data is chilling given that Minister in Prime Minister's Department Idris Jala had earlier warned that Malaysia could go bankrupt by 2019, if the government was not allowed to embark on a subsidy-slashing program to reduce debt.

But experts and opposition politicians have dismissed Idris' arguments as masking the real problems, arguing that the reasons for the economic downfall was due to endemic corruption, a weak political and administrative system.

In particular, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has lashed out at Najib, who is also Finance Minister, for offering piecemeal solutions rather an integrated and structural revamp."Burdening the people on the pretext of reducing deficit and using 'government savings' to fund government excesses must be stopped immediately," said Anwar.

He warned that subsidy cuts, which would trigger prices hikes, should only be used as a means to cut the national deficit. However, Malaysia's national debt has soared to record high and the fiscal deficit was 7 percent of GDP last year, he pointed out.

DAP chief economist Tony Pua was also unconvinced by Najib's five-year plan unveiled last month. This aims to bring the deficit down to 5.3 percent this year, and reduce government debt as a proportion of GDP to 49.9 per cent in 2015 compared to 52.9 per cent in 2010.

"What was previously unimaginable, that we may one day be compared to countries such as Cambodia and Myanmar, is now a real possibility," said Tony, pointing to the WIR data.

"The government cannot use the excuse of global financial crisis as the reason for the precipitous drop in FDI as we have performed the worst compared to all other countries big and small in the region."

Najib's roadshows failed to inspire

The WIR data also showed that despite its current problems Thailand recorded a 30.4 per cent drop, Vietnam 44.1 per cent and Indonesia 44.7 per cent.

The other ASEAN nations Singapore, Brunei, Philippines and Myanmar managed to register positive FDI growth despite stiff challenge from East Asian dragons like China and Hong Kong.

Earlier this month, Anwar had suggested 4 key measures to bolster public and investor confidence. These include the immediate announcement of drastic reforms for a transparent government procurement system; restructure of gas subsidies for Independent Power Producers; vigilant management of Government-Linked Companies and government agencies and lastly, stepping up efforts to combat corruption and to stop political meddling in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Attorney-General's Chambers.

"It is not a mystery at all why we did so badly. Investors fear not the Pakatan Rakyat but Umno and BN. They are afraid Umno might instigate or trigger a political stalemate if they lose at the next General Election. Bear in mind some Umno leaders have hinted they would fight to the end not to lose political power," Tian said.

"We also have to look at the performance of Najib as Finance Minister. He has done poorly and should relinquish the post to someone more capable immediately. So far, his New Economic Model has disappointed and the weak FDI numbers are another testament to his inability to draw in funds despite numerous expensive road shows. He spends too much money on frivolous thing like public relations and media advertisements to boost his image and on the political front - too much time on negative politicking." - Malaysia Chronicle

Will price hike become additional taxations?

Posted: 25 Jul 2010 11:23 PM PDT

I have been observing the ground sentiments when the Federal Government first announced the price hike for five items on Ron 95, Ron 97, diesel, LPG and sugar.Although the people on the streets, majority of whom are middle class, have been quite quiet about the price hike, they will grumble if the price hike do not correspond with the net salary they bring home every month.I observe that urban

The truth about the Gaza jihad flotilla

Posted: 25 Jul 2010 04:27 PM PDT

From the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs:

In late June in Tel Aviv, senior Israeli Defense Forces officials briefed JINSA members on the security situation confronting Israel. They provided the group with the following video about the "Flotilla" incident that took place on the morning of May 31, 2010. The most disturbing part of this video comes at around the 2:32 mark when the Israeli Navy attempts to contact the ships in the flotilla by radio. It is not clear from which flotilla vessel the disturbing responses emanated. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that that videos like this one that reveal the true nature of the flotilla incident are buried and overlooked by the media and public alike.

Indeed. But not here.From Jihad Watch

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

Family still can’t reconcile with Teoh’s death

Posted: 25 Jul 2010 11:14 PM PDT

Lee Way Loon
Jul 17, 10

A year has passed since the tragic passing of Teoh Beng Hock, but his family is still unable to come to terms with his death.

teoh beng hock memorial night 160710 lee lanDuring an emotional speech at Beng Hock's memorial last night, his younger sister Lee Lan said her family's inability to reconcile with the death was due to the lack of answers forthcoming from the authorities.

Often fighting back tears, Lee Lan appealed to the 1,000-strong crowd at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall to offer "nothing but support" for the family's fight for the truth.

"Your support gives us strength. I'm standing here before you because my family is seeking justice. Our family cannot reconcile with (Beng Hock's) death.

teoh beng hock memorial night 160710 parents crowd"He was a good young man and he had left us. He didn't even have the opportunity to cradle his own baby," said Lee Lan, referring to Teoh's son, born recently.

"We are not asking for much, only justice. We are worried that we may not have enough strength to pull through," she said.

Lee Lan has over the past year been the main spokesperson for Beng Hock's family.

Family worried inquest will be inconclusive

Lee Lan's speech was punctuated with sombre applause at every major junction, while tears flowed for some among the audience.

teoh beng hock memorial night 160710 crowd"The inquest will soon come to an end and we are worried that the finding would be inconclusive. That is why we hope you will support us.

"We don't know how long this will take, but we promise that we will pursue (the truth) till the end and I hope you will all stand by us," said Lee Lan, who at one point apologised for not being a good orator.

After Lee Lan's short speech, a short tribute video clip was screened depicting Beng Hock's happier moments.

teoh beng hock memorial night 160710 lee lan cryThe video clip featured Beng Hock's photographs and his last known video recording, albeit only his voice could be heard as he was behind the camera.

Earlier, Beng Hock's family, along with DAP leaders and their Pakatan Rakyat comrades, took to the stage in a solemn ceremony to place red palm prints on a massive banner.

Rosmah dragged in too

Following this, Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng spoke in a lengthy speech casting doubts at the authorities' attempt to paint Beng Hock's death as a suicide.

teoh beng hock memorial night 160710 guan engGuan Eng, as he had done many times before, reasoned to the crowd that there was no way Beng Hock would have committed suicide as he was due to register his marriage to his pregnant 
sweetheart, Soh Cher Wei, the day after he was grilled by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

"I want to ask Najib: Would you commit suicide if you're going to marry Rosmah tomorrow?" asked Guan Eng.

While most of the crowd shouted "No", a significant portion shouted "Yes! Yes!" breaking the mood of the otherwise sombre memorial event.

Realising that his attempt to trigger an uniform response was not very successful, Guan Eng quickly added, "No! Because he loves Rosmah!", forcing most of his audience to laugh.

Tteoh beng hock memorial night 160710 red palmshus, according to Guan Eng, to argue that Beng Hock commit suicide was illogical.

"No one believes this. Only the wicked, and those who want to insult Beng Hock's family, would say so," he said.

One year is too long

Guan Eng also lambasted the authorities for failing to provide answers to Beng Hock's family although a year had passed.

Comparing investigations on Beng Hock's death to that of pop superstar Michael Jackson, Guan Eng said the the probe into the latter's death was swift.

teoh beng hock memorial night 160710 parents palms red"Michael Jackson died on June 25. It has been one year and the person responsible (for his death) is already being punished.

"Beng Hock died a year ago and we are still as far from the truth as we were a year ago," he said.

Guan Eng then jokingly suggested that the authorities should employ the services of the investigation team into Jackson's death to expedite the probe into Beng Hock's death.

Guan Eng was among a long list of speakers during the memorial, which included DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, Selangor legislative assembly speaker Teng Chang Khim and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.

MACC chief flayed

In her speech, Nurul Izzah said Beng Hock's mysterious death and her father Anwar Ibrahim's arsenic poisoning incident were reasons for the people's struggle for reforms.

teoh beng hock memorial night 160710 nurul izzah"A student once told me that while the arsenic incident did not cause anyone to die, now a person being investigated by MACC can result in death," she said.

In view of this, Nurul Izzah said that the people must not give up hope that the system can be reformed in order for justice to prevail.

Meanwhile, Kit Siang lambasted MACC chief Abu Kassim Mohamed for issuing a statement of condolence a year after Teoh's death, but also for initially issuing the statement only in Mandarin.

"It is only after public outcry did an English and Bahasa statement appear on their website," he said.

He added that this has put a large question mark on Abu Kassim's sincerity and integrity.

Photo credit: Andrew Ong

Can't drink and drive? Now you can call DAD! -

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 06:41 AM PDT

Dutch expats launch KL drink driving service

By Lee Wei Lian
July 26, 2010

Partners who want safe travelling for city revellers, Bruins (left) and Hoitink. - Picture by Jack Ooi
KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — Two Dutch expatriates from the auto racing sector have decided to turn their attentions to a more socially responsible endeavour —providing a service to drive city folk home in their own cars after a night out drinking.
For Recardo Bruins, co-founder of Dial A Driver (DAD) and a race car driver for Hyundai Motors, the idea came from observing the success of the service in Seoul where some 30-40 such companies have flourished by providing drivers for hire.                   

Bruins is influenced by his stay in Seoul. - Picture by Jack Ooi
"When I go out in Seoul, all my friends call a driver," said Bruins. He added that there was also some personal motivation for starting the service as four years ago, a friend of his was killed on the street after being hit by a drunk driver.
His business partner, Matthijs Hoitink, who has been based in Malaysia for the past seven years and helps organise races around Asia, said that the company wants to be the first in the market and sees demand ramping up as enforcement against drink driving becomes stricter.
He admits however that response has been "a bit quiet" since starting the service in April as awareness was still low. DAD gets about 5-10 customers per week.
The main issue that potential customers may balk at is the cost. DAD charges RM50 for the first 5km and an additional RM5 for the next five kms. Prices are calculated using Google Maps route calculator.
Hoitink says that the charges are not unreasonable as if people were to use a taxi, they would have to pay for two trips — one to the bar and one to go back home. Females too might have reservations over taking a taxi due to safety reasons. There is also the added consideration of being able to go home in the comfort of one's own car.

Hoitink has been based in Malaysia for the last seven years. - Picture by Jack Ooi
To entice people to try the service, DAD is now offering a promotion of RM50 for the first 15km, which Hoitink says encompasses most of KL.
He added that the RM50 charge is only just enough to cover the cost.
Each time a customer calls, a team of two is dispatched to the customer's location. The customer is then driven home in his or her own car by one of the drivers while his team mate follows in another vehicle. Upon delivering the customer home, the driver then goes back with his teammate. DAD has four teams with another five "on back order." Customers can request for their regular driver if they call in advance.
Bruins tests the drivers himself and said that they must demonstrate good knowledge of roads and know "safe" routes.
"The drivers must be polite, friendly and know how to deal with situations,' added Hoitink.
There was a similar service called Road Angels that was launched in KL a few years ago but folded after it failed to gain traction. The two Dutchmen however, appeared undeterred.
"We look at it as a long term business and feel the market will be there and we want to be the first," said Hoitink adding that DAD is also looking to tap the corporate events market.
Bruins said that people shouldn't wait for an accident to happen before taking action.
"Try the convenient way of going out without taking a risk," he said.
More information on DAD can be found at their website

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