Friday, September 3, 2010

‘say sorry’ day – tomorrow, 5 sept

‘say sorry’ day – tomorrow, 5 sept

‘say sorry’ day – tomorrow, 5 sept

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 10:12 AM PDT

here is an article by fr fabian dicom, a catholic priest based in penang.  it also appears in the malaysian mirror.

so tomorrow, if you feel you need to reconcile with your family or friends over something, do go up to them and say "i'm sorry".


"We are sorry"

And yet another tragedy befalls our human family. The senseless action by one man has robbed the precious lives of innocent victims whose only aim was to delight in another culture, cross boundaries, make new friends. Instead, what began as an adventure ended in tragedy, an irreparable rupture, the most precious of all things human – the gift of life – mercilessly extinguished in a blink of an eye.

The killing of the tourists from Hong Kong by Rolando Mendoza in the Philippines has brought so much pain and sadness, it has aroused anger, hatred, suspicion, and it has brought about a fracture in the very fabric of human relationships affecting individuals, families, communities and nations.

How does one respond to this?

How does one make sense of this?

Added to this, the mishandling of the situation by the Philippine authorities, the media and the perceived insensitivities of various quarters have not helped in addressing the shock and sorrow of the victims' families and the trauma of those who survived the carnage.
We need to put ourselves in the place of those who lost their loved ones and look deep within ourselves to feel the anguish of these families as they are tormented with thoughts of the unimaginable terror their loved ones must have suffered knowing in no uncertain terms how close they were to death. At a time such as this, clichés like 'you will get over it' or 'time will heal….' are meaningless, even offensive, for truly, this is a time of mourning.

While I believe that different groups of people including the government and related institutions will have to do their part in handling and responding to pleas for peace and cries for justice, I am reminded of the words of Pope John Paul II in his message for the World Day of Peace 2002: there is "no peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness".
In a different context, there are efforts being made to prevent yet another tragedy – a loss of another precious life in the person of Yong Vui Kong, a young Malaysian from Sabah who, in 2007 at age 18 was arrested for drug trafficking in Singapore and has since been sentenced to death.

In the midst of his trial Vui Kong was filled with regret and remorse and believing that it was not right to lie in court, he changed his plea to guilty and withdrew his appeal. Despite his death sentence, he has changed his life – he advises others to be good and not follow in his footsteps, that his mistake, one which may cost him his life, will be a lesson for all who are on a similar road to destruction.

It is for this reason we believe Vui Kong should be given a second chance. A group comprising individuals and organisations has been formed to take up the cause of pleading for clemency for this young man. And the group, inspired by Vui Kong's message has initiated the 'Say Sorry Day' on 5th September 2010, a day when everyone in Malaysia and beyond is encouraged to seek forgiveness from and grant it to each other.

The word 'sorry' is a necessary element in the virtue of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the basis for working towards justice and peace. Forgiveness is the basis for healing and renewal. Forgiveness is the basis for normalization of human relationships. Therefore it is vital for us human beings to be able to forgive and to be able to ask for forgiveness.

Therefore I humbly invite our Filipino sisters and brothers to embrace the spirit of the 'Say Sorry Day' by taking various initiatives to convey to the families of the victims and their communities in whatever way you can, that the ordinary Filipino shares in their sorrow.

To all Malaysians, let us show our solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Hong Kong and the Philippines and be messengers of peace and harmony as we support all efforts of reconciliation and reparation.

It is in the darkest hours that a little beam of light is at its brightest – this is the time to break all barriers and reach out with an unconditional and unequivocal "WE ARE SORRY".

by Father Fabian Dicom
Penang, Malaysia

28 August 2010

(picture taken from sodahead)

Well I’ve got a hammer! Washington Post, LA Times and NYT publish important Palestinian voices

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 06:03 AM PDT

The talks are surely a farce, but this is an amazing moment that we must celebrate: independent Palestinian voices are at last being heard in major American newspapers as a counter to the endless pro-Israel arguments. And they are speaking plainly to Americans about an American idea: equal rights. 

The other day the New York Times ran Ali Abunimah on the centrality of Hamas to any discussion of the Palestinian future. 

Today the LATimes features an Op-Ed piece by Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Knesset, more prominently than Yossi Klein Halevi's counterweight hasbara. And Tibi tells Americans of the right of return to stolen farms and houses.

no Palestinian negotiator I know of will bow before the Israeli demand — put forward only recently, but increasingly adamantly — that Israel be recognized as an exclusively Jewish state.

This is an unreasonable demand, as it requires Palestinian negotiators to relegate more than 1 million Palestinian citizens of Israel to an inferior standing. Already, there are more than 30 Israeli laws that serve to discriminate against Palestinians. Abbas cannot be expected to sign off on such an injustice. Not only would he be consigning Palestinian citizens of Israel to second-class citizenship, he would be stripping away the right of return from Palestinian refugees who long to return to homes and farms stolen from them 62 years ago.

The only way out of the impasse is for Jews to recognize Palestinians as their equals and negotiate with them on that basis. A fair two-state solution requires the abrogation of all laws, both in Israel and the occupied territories, that raise Jews above Palestinians.

Yesterday the Washington Post Op-Ed page-- managed by my old friend Fred Hiatt, a true liberal notwithstanding the neocons garrisoning Washington for two decades-- ran an important piece on the talks by Hussein Agha and Robert Malley. The piece all but predicted the talks' failure, because the power differential between the Israelis and the P.A. is so crushing, and lamented that in the fallout, Palestinians were likely to be blamed for "obstinacy," and the atmosphere "poisoned."

And today? The Washington Post has printed a thrilling one-state argument by George Bisharat that includes the revolutionary-in-D.C. statement that the two-state solution has become "unrealistic":

Israeli perspectives are already beginning to shift, most intriguingly among right-wing leaders. Former defense minister Moshe Arens recently proposed in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that Israel annex the West Bank and offer its residents citizenship. Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin and Likud parliamentarian Tzipi Hotovely have also supported citizenship for West Bank Palestinians, according to the Haaretz. In July, Hotovely said of the Israeli government's policies of separation: "The result is a solution that perpetuates the conflict and turns us from occupiers into perpetrators of massacres, to put it bluntly."

Is one of these politicians the Israeli de Klerk? That remains to be seen. Gaza is pointedly excluded from the Israeli right's annexation debate. They still envision a Jewish state, simply one with a larger Palestinian minority. But their challenge to the two-state orthodoxy, which empirical experience has proven unrealistic, is healthy.

If Americans aspire to more than managing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict via perpetual and inconclusive negotiations, we should applaud this emerging discussion. Having overcome our own institutionalized racial discrimination, we can model the virtues of a vibrant, multicultural society based on equal rights. President Obama, moreover, would be a fitting emissary for this vital message.

Our world is rocking. If this is not a one-off, if it keeps up for the next year, Americans' views could change dramatically, and the evening news would start to play up the brutal Palestinian conditions and show Americans what it means to get 1/26th of the water that illegal colonists get. I should also praise Lourdes Garcia-Navarro for her humanizing reports from Gaza on NPR (even her get-the-other-side piece from Israel managed to include the horrifying dystopian description of remote-controlled machine guns on the border of the Strip, controlled by Israelis at computers).

Certainly the left will start to shift if Americans get this sort of fare on a regular basis. And maybe Chuck Schumer will be paid back for urging the "strangulation" of the Gazans. Tell me this is not a real sign that a compelling Palestinian argument, all people are created equal, is starting to break through to Americans.

And believe me, if Palestinians see that at long last their simple argument for self-determination is at last heard in the American capital, that they finally have a partner for gaining rights that Americans have taken for granted for years, this will transform their political culture.

Eyes on blogs

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 05:08 AM PDT

OUCH! Beware bloggers and news portals. Home Ministry is setting up a special committee to monitor what you write. Anything to do with racism and other 'harmful' posting and articles, you will walk to jail for free.

Looks like the Internet is causing big problems, not only to Malaysia but in other countries. Since we are multi-racial and multi-religious, such postings and stories inciting racial unrest have gone beyond control. U-Tube, for instance is most popular in displaying such unwanted videos.

Home ministry deputy secretary general for security Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi said the unit would involve the police, Internet regulators, the information ministry and the attorney general's chambers.

"It is a mechanism that will coordinate these various agencies to help monitor what is being said in cyberspace and to take action against those that are trying to stoke racial tensions and disunity," he told AFP here.

Abdul Rahim said the group would also monitor alternative and mainstream media for similar content.

Fair, dont you think so?

RPK and HARDtalk: BBC hardly impartial

Posted: 02 Sep 2010 08:21 PM PDT

China, India agree policy stability important to world economic recovery

Posted: 02 Sep 2010 12:00 AM PDT

NEAC submits final NEM report to Najib

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 12:35 AM PDT

Rakyat Malaysia Sudah Bosan Dengan Media Milik UMNO

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 03:12 AM PDT

Seperti dalam mimpi apabila saya membaca laporan Malaysianinsider di bawah. Presiden UMNO merayu rakyat Malaysia supaya memberi kepercayaan kepada media-media utama yang dimiliki UMNO seperti Utusan Meloya, Berita Hairan, TV3 Suku, NST dan sebagainya.

Najib terpaksa merayu sedemikian kerana mengikut kajian MERDEKA CENTER, 60% rakyat Malaysia sudah tidak mempercayai Media-media utama milik UMNO ini. Mereka yang memberi kepercayaan 100% kepada media milik UMNO ini hanya sekitar 10-20% sahaja. Dengan kata lain, hanya penyokong UMNO totok sahaja yang memberi kepercayaan bulat kepada media-media milik UMNO ini.

Rakyat yang bukan UMNO totok menolak berita-berita yang bersumber dari media milik UMNO.

Syukur saya kepada Allah SWT. Semenjak Merdeka, UMNO menguasai aliran berita dan maklumat yang berkaitan politik. Parti2 selain UMNO tidak mempunyai kuasa dan sumber untuk mengadakan stesen radio dan TV. UMNO mampu menguasai pemikiran Melayu kerana sumber berita pada waktu itu hanya satu, yakni media-media milik UMNO seperti Radio Malaysia dan stesen TV RTM.

Apabila UMNO melihat akhbar Utusan Melayu tidak mengikut agenda UMNO, akhbar tersebut diambil alih secara paksa oleh UMNO dan akhirnya akhbar tersebut dilacurkan untuk kepentingan UMNO.

Mahazalim pula meluluskan undang-undang Akta Cetak dan Media pada tahun 80an untuk memastikan tiada media utama boleh dioperasi di Malaysia tanpa kelulusan UMNO.

Apabila dilihat ceramah-ceramah dan rapat-rapat umum anjuran pembangkang mendapat sambutan rakyat umum, mereka perketatkan Akta Polis dan akhirnya pembangkang tidak dapat mengajurkan ceramah dengan mudah lagi.

Dengan kata lain, sepanjang selepas Merdeka, UMNO menguasai pemikiran MElayu kerana rakyat Melayu hanya mendapat maklumat dari satu sumber, yakni, media-media milik UMNO.

Namun, dengan zaman internetan, penguasaan UMNO terhadap maklumat semakin lemah dan longgar. Segala penipuan dan pembohongan mereka mudah sahaja dipatahkan. Misalnya, yang terbaru apabila barua mereka, Rozali Ismail, menuduh Kerajaan Selangor meminggirkan kontraktor Melayu, dalam beberapa hari sahaja keluar rekod kehadziran Rozali dalam mesyuarat2 bersama Kerajaan NEgeri Selangor (yakni kosong).

Terdedah juga Rozali rupanya dapat gaji RM5.1 juta setahun yakni lebih tinggi dari CEO BAnk of CHina( Bank ketiga terbesar di dunia).

Kes peniaga KOMTAR juga amat menarik. Apabila dituduh Kerajaan NEgeri menindas orang Melayu, melalui internet kita dapat rupanya kes itu adalah berkaitan persatuan peniaga yang tidak bayar sewa. Segala tuduhan UMNO itu rupanya fitnah semata-mata.

Dari trend di atas jelas UMNO bergantung dengan pembohongan dan penipuan untuk mengekalkan sokongan mereka. Namun, penipuan mereka hanya akan berjaya sekiranya mereka menguasai media 100%. Namun, perkara itu sudah tidak terjadi lagi.

UMNO sudah hilang penguasaan terhadap aliran maklumat kepada rakyat Malaysia. Blog dan internet telah menyebabkan segala tindakan UMNO mandul dan usang. Penipuan yang mereka taja memakan diri. PAda waktu yang sama media-media milik mereka semakin hilang kepercayaan dari rakyat.

Akhirnya, 60% rakyat Malaysia tidak percaya lagi dengan media-media milik UMNO. Penjualan Utusan Malaysia dan Berita HAiran semakin menurun. Maklumat saya dapat, mereka amat takut sekiranya PAkatan Rakyat melancarkan kempen boikot. Sekiranya jatuh lagi, nescaya akhbar2 milik UMNO akan tutup kedai.

Tulang Besi

Trust the mainstream media, urges Najib
By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani
September 02, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 – Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the public tonight to trust the mainstream media and not the alternative media which are based on half truths.

The Prime Minister said that mainstream media should be considered as an authoritative news source that can be trusted.

"In the development of the media today, the market is different from the market in previous years. Now we are faced with the alternative media which has been a direct competition to mainstream media like NST.

"However, the mainstream media has one strength which cannot be found in the alternative media and that is the mainstream media can be considered as fact based," Najib (picture) said when attending breaking of fast with the media at The New Straits Times Press headquarters here.

He said that the mainstream media is different from alternative media because the former is fact based while the later is opinionated.

"If we read the mainstream media, intuitively we regard it as an authoritative report where its facts cannot be questioned.

"Its principles are based on facts and this is different from blogs and websites which can be developed for personal use and can literally become a one-man show," he said.

He added that alternative media published reports based on opinions which are "half truths and not accurate".

Recently a poll by the Merdeka Center showed that six out of 10 Malaysians don't trust the mainstream media.

The June 27 to July 25 survey commissioned by a research organisation showed that 57 per cent of Malays polled said they did not trust reports in the mainstream media, while 33 per cent trusted the media and 10 per cent said they did not know.

As for the Chinese community, 58 per cent said they did not trust the mainstream media, 30 per cent trusted and 12 per cent did not know.

A total 590 Chinese and 413 Malays as well as five focus group discussions with Chinese voters in Peninsula Malaysia were involved in the survey.

The findings will provide sober reading for many mainstream media organisations. Recent circulation figures show that English and Malay-language newspapers like New Straits Times, The Star, Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia have all suffered significant drop in circulation this year compared to 2009, with some as severe as 20 per cent.

Privately, newspaper executives note that partisan political coverage has hurt sales.

Comments from the focus group discussions also showed that many felt that there is limited media freedom in the country because of the practice of censorship.

Some participants in the focus groups also pointed out that Malay-language newspapers were the most biased.

Najib stressed that the public must be able to differentiate between mainstream and alternative media reporting.

"The public must be discerning and can differentiate between the strength of the mainstream media, which has a place in the era of ICT and access to website and blogs which are opinion based.

"I urge the mainstream media to continue to hold its principle as a paper based on factual based reporting with opinion which are constructive and educated," he said.

UMNO Tindas Peniaga Melayu di Kuala Lumpur

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 03:50 AM PDT

NOTA EDITOR: Dalam sebuk-sebuk UMNO menuduh kerajaan Penang menindas peniaga Melayu, rupanya UMNO sendiri menindas peniaga Melayu di Kuala Lumpur

Bazar Ramadhan: Di mana media Umno?
Dzulfikar Mashoor

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 Sept: Naib Presiden PAS, Datuk Mahfuz Omar mempersoal langkah berdiam diri media-media arus berhubung protes peniaga kecil Melayu di ibu negara.

Persatuan Penjaja-Penjaja dan Peniaga-Peniaga Kecil Melayu (PPPKM) Wilayah Persekutuan hari ini bertindak membantah Dewan Bandar raya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) gara-gara tidak berpuas hati dengan agihan tapak bazar Ramadhan di sekitar Jalan Masjid India.

"Kalau dulu, media-media ini menggambarkan yang Ketua Menteri (Lim Guan Eng) pinggir peniaga-peniaga Melayu Pulau Pinang dari berniaga di Komtar, kenapa diam dalam isu protes peniaga Melayu hari ini," soalnya pagi tadi ketika menghubungi Harakahdaily.

Kata Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena itu, jangan disebabkan insiden protes tersebut berlaku di negeri yang diperintah Umno BN, maka media-media propaganda Umo sanggup menggelapkan isu sebenar yang dihadapi oleh rakyat, khususnya Melayu sendiri.

Sambil menganggap langkah berdiam diri media arus perdana sebagai usaha memperbodoh orang-orang Melayu, beliau yang juga Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Hal Ehwal Pengguna PAS Pusat berkata, ianya menyerlahkan sifat munafik Umno dalam memperjuangkan kepentingan Melayu.

Mewakili PAS, beliau menyuarakan sokongan kepada PPPKM kerana berani mempertikai kaedah agihan gerai-gerai bazar Ramadhan yang mungkin berpunca oleh amalan kronisme dan rasuah.

"Sepatutnya diagihkan pada ahli-ahli persatuan terbabit tetapi nampaknya DBKL beri pada syarikat-syarikat besar yang mungkin sebab kroni atau rasuah," ujarnya lagi.

Beliau mendakwa Menteri Pembangunan Wilayah dan Kesejahteraan Bandar, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin (Umno) sebagai melampau kerana sanggup melihat sahaja DBKL menafikan hak Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU) dari mendapat 20 tapak yang sepatutnya dikhaskan pada golongan istimewa.

Kelmarin, Yang Dipertua PPPKM, Bahrim A. Razak dilaporkan mendakwa sebanyak 109 tapak perniagaan sepatutnya diperuntukan pada peniaga-peniaga Melayu.

Manakala, DBKL pula dilaporkan meluluskan hanya 380 tapak perniagaan dari 580 tapak perniagaan keseluruhannya sempena musim Ramadhan dan Aidilfitri tahun ini.

Lanjutan itu, mereka yang terbabit bertindak menghantar suatu memorandum protes kepada Perdana Menteri.

More mosque revelations

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 07:48 AM PDT

So now it transpires that a key money- man behind the proposed Ground Zero mosque is a one-time supporter of a group shut down by the feds because it was a front for Hamas. No wonder the mosque's principal imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, refuses to discuss the project's finances. Or, for that matter, refuses to speak harshly of Hamas -- an Iranian cat's-paw that's long been one of the deadliest Islamist terrorist organizations operating in the Mideast.

It was reported last night that Hisham Elzanaty -- an Egyptian-born businessman from Long Island -- provided a big chunk of the $4.8 million needed to buy the building that will be demolished to make way for the mosque.Among other things, Elzanaty runs a Bronx-based medicial supply company that had to refund more than $300,000 in Medicaid payments in 2004-2005. In 1999, he donated thousands to the Holy Land Foundation, later shuttered by the feds because of its Hamas ties.

All of this is, as they say, enough to give one pause. But we doubt it will truly surprise any among the 71 percent of New Yorkers found this week by Quinnipiac University pollsters to oppose the mosque. Mayor Mike and others think they are bigots, but most seem to have asked -- and answered to their own satisfaction -- a fair question:

How close to the scene of that deadly Islamist attack on America is too close to build a mosque?

Answer: The proposed site was close enough to have been hit by a landing-gear assembly from one of the crashed airliners on 9/11 -- and that's way too close.

They're also nervous about the project's backers -- even before Elzanaty popped up - deciding that, with those folks involved, anywhere might be too close. As The Post reported yesterday, Rauf has been catching iffy tax breaks since 1998 for an organization run from his wife's Upper West Side apartment. How'd he do it? By telling the IRS the one-bedroom digs were actually a mosque where 500 people prayed daily.

These are only the latest revelations about the mosque's backers, who've run up a cumulative record of petty crime, slumlording and tax-scamming. And that's being generous. Rauf, who's due back in New York this weekend after a long trip abroad, has plenty of explaining to do to the people he's been thumbing in the eye for weeks.

First there is Elzanaty's role, of course. Then there's the elephant in the room: Whence the $100 million needed for the mosque?

And then there is this.

At a forum in Dubai on Tuesday, Rauf appeared to call the 71 percent of New Yorkers who oppose his project religious "extremists." "The battlefront . . . is not between Muslims and non-Muslims," he said. "It is between moderates [and] extremists and radicals of all faith traditions." We'd guess 71 percent of New Yorkers would include a representative cross-section of "all faith traditions."

Are they "extremists" for opposing the mosque?

New Yorkers hardly ever agree on any thing -- but they agree it's inappropriate. Are they "radicals?" If Rauf thinks so, then New York ain't the town for him.

Nor is there room for his mosque at Ground Zero. Editorial New York Post

Cosmopolitan Korea tri-cover for 10th anniversary

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 07:17 AM PDT

Korean Cosmopolitan magazine [Kr] has published its September issue in three different covers – featuring singer Lee Hyori, actress Kim Yun-jin and girl group SNSD respectively – to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Click image for bigger pic…

Lee Hyori, Kim Yun-jin and SNSD on Cosmopolitan Magazine

Cosmopolitan Korea tri-cover for 10th anniversary from YeinJee's Asian Blog

Kelantan Akan Pohon Tangguh Salur Wang Ihsan

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 07:09 AM PDT

Tangguh salur wang ihsan

Kerajaan Kelantan bercadang untuk memfailkan satu lagi tuntutan untuk menghentikan penyaluran wang ihsan yang dilakukan oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan kini sehingga kes saman terhadap Petronas selesai.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Perancangan Ekonomi, Kewangan dan Kebajikan Negeri, Datuk Husam Musa berkata, perkara tersebut akan dibincangkan dengan peguam kanan yang sama, Tommy Thomas dalam sedikit masa lagi.

"Kerajaan Negeri akan dapatkan pandangan daripada peguam, Tommy bagi tujuan untuk melaksanakan fail tuntutan itu nanti," beliau berkata demikian di Majlis Penyampaian Sumbangan Hari Raya kepada anak-anak yatim dan ibu tunggal di Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Salor di sini, semalam.

Menurutnya, peruntukkan sebanyak RM25 juta yang diluluskan Kerajaan Persekutuan sebagai pemberian wang ihsan pertama kepada negeri itu perlu dihentikan untuk sementara waktu.

"Peruntukkan dari Kerajaan Pusat itu sedikit sebanyak ada kaitannya dengan isu tuntutan royalti minyak yang difailkan Kerajaan Negeri di Mahkamah Dagang, Kuala Lumpur pada Isnin lalu.

"Jadi, kita akan cuba untuk memohon kepada mahkamah supaya pembahagian wang berkenaan dihentikan sehingga keputusan ke atas kes saman Petronas itu diputuskan oleh mahkamah berkenaan,"

Isnin lalu, Kerajaan Kelantan memfailkan saman terhadap Petronas kerana mendakwa syarikat minyak negara itu melanggar perjanjian selain menuntut syarikat sama untuk melaksanakan perjanjian petroleum dengan negeri ini. -SH

Ulasan GB

Satu langkah yang tepat dn bijak. Wang ihsan yang telah disalurkan kepada JPP Kelantan yang dikuasai UMNO perlu diserahkan semula kepada Petronas. Seandainya ada yang telah dibelanja atau diagihkan ia perlu dihenti dan dipungut semula supaya tiada satu sen pun wang ihsan yang boleh disalurkan keluar sebelum mahkamah membuat keputusan mengenai kes saman kerajaan Kelantan terhadap Petronas yang telah dikemukakan baru-baru ini.

Jika berjaya, terkedu Najib, terkedu Mustapa, terkedu Awang Adik, terkedu UMNO-BN.

Dan tahniah untuk Husam, tahniah Kelantan. Semuga tuan-tuan semua berjaya kali ini.
Lawan Sampai Menang!

Do not degrade a person’s qualification

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 06:52 AM PDT

Imagem 017

Image by CEAP Pedreira via Flickr

Questioning a person's credibility, qualifications, and experience can be impulsively snobbish. This would never come about in an intellectual environment without first looking into the real facts related to one's qualifications.

Insinuating that an Asian-trained doctor is less qualified than a Western-trained doctor is pretentiousness of the highest degree. Does it mean that a person must graduate from a Western university for us to recognise him or her as a very capable doctor? Why then are many Westerners studying in Asian countries – not only in the field of medicine but also in other disciplines such as engineering and IT?

What makes these Westerners venture into these Asian universities to seek an education? Could this also be an act of pride or portentousness on their part? Let us not have a warped mind when it comes to matters of education and recognition of foreign degrees. In this globalised world, we find people from all over the world flocking to all countries to study and this definitely includes Malaysia and Thailand.

There are many foreigners, including Westerners who are studying in universities in China, Japan and India. These people, after graduating, have returned to serve their country of origin and many others are serving the people in all parts of the world, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Many Asian countries have universities of excellent standard and are ranked among the top in the world. China for instance has over 20 first-rate medical schools which have produced thousands of graduates who are now working in countries all over the world. India too has a niche in medical education. Indian medical doctors graduating from India are practising in the US, England, Australia, New Zealand and other European countries. Many are employed by the respective governments to serve their people.

Unfortunately, there are still people who choose to close their minds and act pompously when it comes to education in Asia and 'degree recognition' in this globalised world out of mere prejudice against Asian degrees.

Ten to 20 years ago, many Indian IT graduates who were far more qualified and knowledgeable than their counterparts in Western countries were seldom appointed to hold important posts such as CEOs of giant IT companies outside India. But today we see them as well as other Asians becoming CEOs and managers of many successful companies in the US, England, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and even in Malaysia – despite holding IT degrees from India and other Asian countries.

We today observe many Asians – including those from Malaysia and Thailand – holding top posts in established foreign-based companies despite the fact that they only studied in their respective countries.

If some would want to dabble on the recognition of degrees then there is not going to be an end to it. How many of our local university degrees are recognised by foreign countries? For that matter, how many of our local medical degrees are recognised by foreign countries? Honestly speaking, most of our local degrees are not recognised beyond our shores. Sad to say, Malaysia does not even have a single university ranked among the top five in Asia.

Malaysia might as well forget about world ranking, as none of our local universities are even within the best 200 in the world. Such is the state of our local universities as scrutinised by some ranking bodies. But this does not mean that we have not produced graduates who are knowledgeable or competent.

There are dozens of universities in Thailand, China, India, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea that are ranked among the best in the world but not recognised by the Malaysian government. These first-rate universities draw thousands of students from as far as the US, Europe, England, Australia and New Zealand to study there.

Be that as it may, let's not belittle Asian universities that have made its mark in education and ranked highly by some authorised ranking bodies. Let us stop looking down on Asians by having a stuck-up and jaundiced view of Asian university degrees. Many Asian universities today have in fact established itself as far as education is concerned and this has to be acknowledged by Asians themselves.

However, sad to say that university degrees are sometimes accorded recognition or are not being recognised by some countries because of political, ethnic or socio-economic reasons, and not because they are educationally hollow.

Source_MKini:Do not degrade a person's qualification by Dr Mana

Before peace can come, Palestine’s culture must be changed.

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 06:50 AM PDT

These Talks Are Doomed. Hamas sent a greeting card to the quintet of leaders meeting in Washington, D.C., this week to initiate negotiations about a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In a well-planned ambush, they killed four Israeli civilians near the city of Hebron, two men and two women (one nine months pregnant), creating seven orphans. The murderers escaped, and may perhaps have videotaped the atrocity. In Gaza that evening, 3,000 celebrants clogged the streets, waving flags, setting bonfires, passing out candy, and carrying their children on their shoulders. If there is videotape, it will presumably permit the revelers to relive the pleasure, even as the video of Daniel Pearl's beheading has circulated on the Internet.

While the Palestinian Authority did condemn the attack, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad did so, he explained, because "the operation went against Palestinian interests." It would be difficult for a leader of the "moderate" (that word is always attached) PA to condemn such attacks as, say, immoral or despicable, as the Palestinian Authority itself (formerly the PLO or Fatah) was conceived in violence and continues to honor its spirit. In the course of the past few months, the PA has named a square and a children's summer camp in honor of a terrorist who murdered 37 Israeli civilians on a bus, and provided a hero's funeral to Amin Al-Hindi, one of the terrorists who kidnapped and murdered eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. The official PA newspaper described Al-Hindi as "one of the stars . . . who sparkled at the sports stadium in Munich." Both Abbas and Fayyad attended the funeral.

These realities, reflecting as they do the unreadiness of the Palestinian people for peace with Israel, have been and will continue to be ignored by the Obama administration, the so-called international community, and most journalists. Instead, world leaders, very much including President Obama, speak of borders, and confidence-building measures, and opportunities for peace, as if the problem were one of details. This thoroughly misconceives the nature of the dispute. An Israeli saying (now decades old) captured the essence: If the Palestinians were disarmed tomorrow, there would be no conflict. If the Israelis were disarmed tomorrow, there would be no Israel.

With whom would Israel be making binding agreements? Since a bitter civil conflict in 2007, Palestinian society has been divided. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and the PA controls the West Bank. Just last month, the PA canceled scheduled municipal elections for fear that Hamas might again triumph at the polls as they did in 2006. Hamas and Fatah thugs continue to target and assassinate one another. By standing up the wobbly Abbas and perhaps even signing a treaty with him, the Obama administration may imagine that they can strengthen him. But this is a figure so unsure of his current standing with his people — and this is before making any unpopular concessions — that he canceled elections.

Abbas's weakness in this regard is not so much a personal failing as an inheritance. The entire Arab world (and Iran) has conspired to embitter and enrage the Palestinian people in perpetuity, encouraging maximalist demands and enshrining bloodshed and frenzied hatred. Though Abbas has shaken hands all around in Washington, D.C., the incitement at home continues. A year ago, at Fatah's general congress in Bethlehem, the delegates reaffirmed their longstanding commitment to "armed struggle" as "a strategy, not a tactic. . . . This struggle will not stop until the Zionist entity is eliminated and Palestine is liberated."

Just this week, the PA's minister for prisoners' affairs presented an award called the Shield of Resoluteness and Giving to Um Yousuf Abu Hamid. Her accomplishment? Four of her sons are serving long sentences in Israeli prisons for committing terrorist attacks. Handing her the plaque, the minister intoned: "The Palestinian mother is a central partner in the struggle, by virtue of what she has given and continues to give. It is she who gave birth to the fighters, and she deserves that we bow to her in salute and in honor."

A Palestinian children's-television program instructs its viewers that all Israeli cities — including Haifa, Lod, Ramle, and Acre — are "occupied Palestinian" cities. Another show aimed at children, which often dispenses advice like "drink your milk" and "obey your parents," also advised a young viewer named Saraa that "all Jews must be erased from our land. . . . We want to slaughter them, Saraa, so they will be expelled from our land. . . . We'll have to [do it] by slaughter."

This latest iteration of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks midwived by the U.S. is doomed just as all of its predecessors were — because it is based on a fallacy and a stubborn refusal to face the truth about Palestinian society. Mona Charen in the National Review

MINI Countryman commercial

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 06:33 AM PDT

TV commercial for MINI Countryman, new model from the MINI car series…

MINI Countryman commercial from YeinJee's Asian Blog

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

Samsung Galaxy Tab commercial

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 06:27 AM PDT

Commercial for Samsung's Galaxy Tab, the company's first tablet computer…

The device operates on Google's Android OS and is smaller than Apple's iPad, the current market leader. There's a few features which the Galaxy seems to outrun iPad, but it's probably just a matter of time for Apple to match up with that.

I have yet to be caught with the mobile gadgets frenzy, e.g. the smart phones, PMP, tablets etc. but sooner or later these devices will be as common as a TV or the old-school PC. It's a trend that's going to become a norm; most people who could afford it would own one eventually.

Samsung Galaxy Tab commercial from YeinJee's Asian Blog

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

Kes Sivakumar 23 November: Senasibkah Dengan Kes Nizar?

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 05:26 AM PDT

Kes Sivakumar cabar keputusan SPR didengari 23 November

Mahkamah Tinggi menetapkan 23 November ini untuk mendengar permohonan bekas Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Perak, V. Sivakumar dan enam lagi untuk semakan kehakiman berhubung keputusan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) untuk tidak mengadakan pilihan raya kecil bagi tiga kerusi DUN di Perak.

Permohonan itu akan didengar di hadapan Hakim Datuk Aziah Ali.

Penolong Kanan Pendaftar Mahkamah Tinggi Mohamad Izwan Mohamed Noh menetapkan tarikh itu di dalam kamar hari ini selepas mengadakan pertemuan dengan peguam Razlan Hadri Zulkifli yang mewakili Sivakumar dan enam yang lain dan Peguam Kanan Persekutuan Munahyza Mustafa yang mewakili SPR dan tiga responden lain.

Pada 22 Oktober tahun lalu, tujuh pemohon diberi kebenaran untuk semakan kehakiman bagi mengenepikan keputusan SPR yang tidak mengisytiharkan pilihan raya kecil bagi tiga kerusi DUN di Behrang, Changkat Jering dan Jelapang berikutan wakil rakyat kerusi berkenaan menjadi ADUN bebas.

Mereka adalah Sivakumar, Chen Fook Chye, Tai Sing Ng dan A. Sivanesan serta tiga pengundi iaitu Ahmad Sabry Wahab (Behrang), Abdul Latif Ariffin (Changkat Jering) dan Foo Hon Wai (Jelapang).

Tiga wakil rakyat lompat

Dalam permohonan semakan kehakiman itu mereka menamakan SPR dan tiga wakil rakyat; Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) dan Datuk Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) selaku responden.

Mereka mahu mahkamah mengeluarkan surat perintah memaksa SPR mengisytiharkan kerusi itu kosong berikutan berikutan perletakan jawatan wakil rakyat itu dan satu perintah injunksi untuk menghalang ketiga-tiga mereka bertindak, menjalankan dan melaksanakan tanggungjawab, fungsi dan tugas-tugas sebagai ADUN.

Mereka juga turut memohon writ bersifat "quo warranto" dikeluarkan kepada ketiga-tiga ADUN itu dengan memerintahkan kesemua mereka memberikan tunjuk sebab bagaimana kesemua mereka masih ADUN kawasan masing-masing dan bertindak menjalankan tanggungjawab, fungsi dan tugas sebagai wakil rakyat.

Jamaluddin dan Osman memenangi kerusi DUN atas tiket Parti Keadilan Rakyat manakala Hee atas tiket DAP pada pilihan raya umum 2008.

Mereka kemudiannya meninggalkan parti masing-masing dan memberi sokongan kepada Barisan Nasional sehingga mendorong kejatuhan kerajaan negeri pakatan pembangkang PAS-PKR-DAP pimpinan Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin. -FMT

Ulasan GB

Dengan sistem kehakiman negara yang ada kini, rakyat Malaysia termasuk GB pessimis tentang prospek kejayaan Sivakumar di dalam cabarannya terhadap keputusan SPR yang ditetap pada 23 November nanti.

taupun apabila Mahkamah Tinggi membenarkan, maka Mahkamah Rayuan menghalangnya. Ataupun Mahkamah Rayuan membenarkan, Mahkamah Persekutuan menghalangnya.

Itulah proses yang panjang yang pernah dilalui oleh bekas Menteri Besar Perak, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin di dalam tuntutannya sebagai MB Perak yang sah.

Pelbagai cara dihelahkan untuk menggagalkan tuntutan Nizar dahulu selepas Mahkamah Tinggi mengesahkan beliau MB Perak sah, bukan Zambry. Hanya dengan sekelip mata keputusan berubah - tak sampai dua hari - setelah pihak berkenaan mendengar "arahan Najib" yang menyatakan - PR jangan suka sangat dengan keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi itu...

Dengan boneka-boneka Najib dan UMNO seperti Peguam Negara dan Ketua Hakim Negara yang juga bekas Penasihat Undang-undang UMNO masih menguasa insitusi kehakiman, rakyat tidak menaruh harapan tinggi terhadap keputusan mahkamah lewat isu tuntutan Sivakumar nanti.

Eyes on blogs

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 05:20 AM PDT

OUCH! Beware bloggers and news portals. Home Ministry is setting up a special committee to monitor what you write. Anything to do with racism and other 'harmful' posting and articles, you will walk to jail for free.

Looks like the Internet is causing big problems, not only to Malaysia but in other countries. Since we are multi-racial and multi-religious, such postings and stories inciting racial unrest have gone beyond control. U-Tube, for instance is most popular in displaying such unwanted videos.

Home ministry deputy secretary general for security Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi said the unit would involve the police, Internet regulators, the information ministry and the attorney general's chambers.

"It is a mechanism that will coordinate these various agencies to help monitor what is being said in cyberspace and to take action against those that are trying to stoke racial tensions and disunity," he told AFP here.

Abdul Rahim said the group would also monitor alternative and mainstream media for similar content.

Fair, dont you think so?

When I am too old…..

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 04:59 AM PDT

Not only for our parents but for our children and grandchildren.
Is is good to remind our younger friends.
Many of us got this e=mail in English long time ago. I hope that someone could put those pictures with Burmese translations.

Malaysians among those caught working illegally in UK

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 04:11 AM PDT

In Stratford Place, London - close to Bond Str...

Image via Wikipedia

Malaysia is not the only country cracking down on illegal workers — Britain too is doing the same, and Malaysians are among the offenders.

In a statement today, the British High Commission here said 24 Malaysians were arrested in recent enforcement operations and they face deportation and a ban on re-entry for up to 10 years.

The nationwide operations, from July 1 to August 31, by the British Border Agency were to "tackle illegal working, sham marriages, bogus colleges and organised immigration crime."

Most of the arrests were made during raids on restaurants across Britain. Those arrested were working illegally and had overstayed in the country. They are now awaiting deportation.

Businesses in Britain have been warned that they face fines of up to £10,000 (RM50,000) for every illegal worker they employ.

Ray Kyles, acting British High Commissioner to Malaysia, said the level of Malaysian arrests was alarming.

"We continue to urge all Malaysians to comply with the conditions of their entry when visiting the UK," he said, adding that Malaysians are allowed to stay up to six months without obtaining a visa but are not allowed to work during their stay.

"It is a system based on trust and much valued by the vast majority of Malaysians who comply with our immigration rules and whose visits to the UK we continue to encourage," he said.

Kyles said the arrests signal a stepping up of British efforts to deter illegal migration.

Source_MInsider:Malaysians among those caught working illegally in UK By Melissa Chi

Related Articles

AI:Violations of human rights in the source countries of refugees and migrant workers must be stopped

Posted: 03 Sep 2010 04:02 AM PDT

Amnesty International Malaysia, "We believe that regional problems must also be solved as they are one of the major root causes of migrations. Violations of human rights must be addressed in the countries from which refugees, asylum-seekers and migrant workers are leaving so that the problem is solved at the source.

The Myanmar election scheduled for Nov 7 is an opportunity for Malaysia as an Asean nation to take a stand and demand an election that will respect the freedom of association, assembly and expression which is being campaigned for by Amnesty International worldwide."

Amnesty International Malaysia welcomes the admission of the Home Ministry that immigration depots in Malaysia have failed to meet international standards. We are hopeful that the admission will be the first step in rectifying the human rights abuses.

The Malaysian government must now take urgent action in resolving the problem so that it is not prolonged or worsened. Acknowledging that a problem exists is an important step but it is only the beginning.

This year, Amnesty International had released 2 reports on Malaysia entitled, 'Malaysia: Abused and Abandoned: Refugees Denied Rights in Malaysia' and 'Trapped: The Exploitation of Migrant Workers In Malaysia,' which documented cases of exploitation, abuses and legal difficulties faced by migrant workers and refugees in Malaysia. We had also highlighted the dire condition of the depots.

We hope the Home Ministry would use the reports and recommendations made in reviewing the conditions of the depots and pay particular focus to the UDHR on the migrants' 'right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care' (Article 25), not to subject them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 5) and not to subject them arbitrary arrest or detention (Article 9).

Currently, Malaysia is home to about 2.2 million documented and 2.2 million undocumented foreign workers. Malaysia is now one of the largest receiving countries for migrant workers in Southeast Asia.

There are approximately between 90,000 and 170,000 refugees and asylum-seekers living in Malaysia. They came to Malaysia seeking a better future, hoping that their human rights will be respected and upheld.

We further urge the Home Ministry to recognise that these are human rights issues and a product of gross human rights violations occurring in the home countries of the refugees and asylum seekers.

On May 13 this year, Malaysia was re-elected onto the United Nations Human Rights Council; a body that aims to promote and protect human rights and make recommendations to resolve human rights abuses.

Also, as a member of Asean, Malaysia must act to stop these violations and ensure that everything is done to protect the rights of everyone in our country.

Source_MKini:Immigration depots: Stop the violations

The writer is executive director, Amnesty International Malaysia.

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