Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Chicken Farm

The Chicken Farm

The Chicken Farm

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 02:15 PM PST

John lived on a quiet rural highway west of Geelong. As time went by, the traffic slowly built up at an alarming rate.The traffic got so heavy and so fast that his free range chickens were being run over at a rate of three to six a day.

So on this particular day Farmer John called the local police station and started to complain, "You've got to do something about all of these people driving so fast and killing all of my chickens."

"What do you want me to do?" asked the policeman.

"I don't care, just do something about those crazy drivers!"

So the next day the policeman had the Main Road 's Workers go out and erected a sign that said:


Three days later Farmer John called the policeman and said, "You've still got to do something about these drivers. The 'school Crossing sign seems to make them go even faster!"
So, again, the policeman sends out the Main Roads workers' And they put up a new sign:


That really sped them up. So Farmer John called and called and called every day for three weeks. Finally, he said to the policeman, "Your signs are doing no Good.. Can I put up my own sign?"

The policeman said, "Sure thing, put up your own sign.."

He was going to let Farmer John do just about anything in order to get him off his back.

The cop got no more calls from Farmer John.

Three weeks later, curiosity got the better of the coppernd he decided to give Farmer John a call ..

"How's the problem with those drivers. Did you put up your sign?"

"Oh, I sure did," replied Farmer John, "and not one chicken has been killed since then. I've got to go. I'm very busy.."

He hung up the phone.

The policeman was really curious now and he thought to himself,

"I'd better go out there and take a look at that sign … it might be something that WE could use to slow down drivers..."

So he drove out to John's farm house, his jaw dropped the moment he saw the sign.

It was spray painted on a sheet of plywood....

Scroll Down


Slowdown and watch out for chicks!

-Author Unknown-

Keep Smiling............Have a nice day! Thanks to Angela who sent me this post.

Nice touch!

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 01:41 PM PST

Here is a good reason why I continue to like this new, exciting 2010/11 reboot of Hawaii Five-0. In the original series, you won't ever see Jack Lord doing this:

Yes, pushing a car that's just broken down! Jack Lord's Steve McGarrett would be too proud to do this on the show, and the original Hawaii Five-O was Lord's show. By the way, that's the car that Jack Lord used to drive in the old series. I love it when the current producers continue to bring back elements from their predecessor.

Mahathir Akan Mengaku Bukan Arahannya Ustaz Ibrahim Libya Dibedil

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 09:19 AM PST

Semenjak dua menjak ni, Mahathir sentiasa mengaku sememang dia seorang bekas PM Malaysia yang baik dan prihatin. Orang tua kalau dah bercakap yang bukan-bukan itu tandanya dia nak ****, aku tak kata hah!, hati hangpa yang sebut!!

Semalam Mahathir mengaku sememangnya dia pernah cuba untuk memansuhkan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) ketika dia PM tetapi pihak polis berkata 'tidak boleh' kerana bahawa masih ada ancaman.

Sebelum ini Mahathir mendakwa dia membantah penahanan seramai 106 orang, sebahagian besar ahli politik pembangkang dan beberapa ahli politik dari Umno dan MCA diISAkan. Polis juga menafikan itu arahannya dan sememangnya ia arahan pihak polis.

Selepas ini Mahathir akan mengaku sememangnya bukan dia yang mengarahkan membedil Ibrahim Libya sehingga syahid dan pihak polis juga akan mengaku itu adalah arahan polis Malaysia.

Harap-harapnya bekas PM Mahathir panjang umur untuk mengaku kebaikan kelakunya sepanjang 22 tahun menjadi PM. Amin....


Posted: 17 Feb 2011 10:13 AM PST

Taib's house and second house
Taib's house and second house

When Sarawak's Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud and his logging cronies strong-arm the longhouse communities out of their Native Customary Lands they always promise the same thing.  They promise the people 'progress and development'.  Most of the local people have received nothing for their valuable wood and lands.  Those who did get some compensation received just a few ringgit to buy some rice.  However, in return they were told that Taib would transform their lives and bring them into the modern world with roads and running water and electricity, schools, hospitals, further education and jobs as well, so they could afford modern lifestyles.

However, 30 years on, what do we see?  We all know that Taib and the logging gangs have cut down one and a half million square kilometers of valuable hardwood jungle worth billions and billions of US dollars in Sarawak.  Malaysia's courts have ruled time and again that these were rightfully the Native Customary Rights territories of the local communities.  Yet  these people are now poorer than ever.
They no longer have their forests with fruits and animals to sustain them and their wonderful rivers have been destroyed.  The fish have died and the water is polluted and unsafe to drink or wash in.  River transport has been made dangerous by clogging weeds, which have grown because of the fertiliser from the oil palm plantations.  The waters are brown with the earth that is being washed away now that the trees have gone.  Meanwhile, it is immigrants who have been brought in to work on the plantations, while the local men get drunk on the virtually free rice wine that has been promoted by Taib.
Sarawak is Malaysia's richest state with a tiny population, yet it has some of the country's poorest people.  30 years on there are still no proper roads, no running water, no electricity for so many of the longhouse communities.  Their children have to be sent away aged 7 to boarding schools because there are no local teachers – many as we know have been raped on their journeys by loggers.  There are scarcely no medical facilities for these communities where, as we have exposed, the deathrates among women in childbirth are 3 times as high as the rest of Malaysia and 10 times as high as in the UK or Australia.
So where did all that money go?  Who has enjoyed all that progress and development?  As Taib Mahmud looks forward next month to the 30th anniversary of his position as Chief Minister, we have decided to publish some of the pictures which have been sent in by readers to Sarawak Report.  Taib of course has 10 siblings and 4 children and numerous family members, who all like to live in the same grand style as the small selection of homes that we have featured in this photo-gallery.
All the fortunate wealthy family members and political and business cronies, whose homes we have featured, have been the recipients of generous handouts of 'alienated' Native Customary Rights Lands or State Lands, by Taib Mahmud personally in his joint multiple capacities as Chief Minister, Minister for Resources and Planning, Chairman of the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation, Chairman of the Land Custody and Development Authority and all the numerous other key positions that give him total control over Sarawak's government and resources.
House of someone who missed out on 'wealth and development'
House of someone who missed out on 'wealth and development'
Daughter Jamilah's Kuching House
Daughter Jamilah's Kuching House
Taib brother Ali Mahmud's house - DUN Assemblyman for Muara Tuang
Taib brother Ali Mahmud's house - DUN Assemblyman for Muara Tuang

Narodeen Majais, Assistant Minister in Chief Minister's Department's house. A recipient of thousands of hectares of alienated lands
Narodeen Majais, Assistant Minister in Chief Minister's Department's house.
A recipient of thousands of hectares of alienated lands

YB Hamden's house - Sarawak Plantations Manager, Assemblyman Belawi
YB Hamden's house - Sarawak Plantations Manager, Assemblyman Belawi
Taib's brother Tufail Mahmud's house, 27 bedrooms.....
Taib's brother Tufail Mahmud's house, 27 bedrooms...

Taib's sister Zainab's beach house... as opposed to her town house
Taib's sister Zainab's beach house... as opposed to her town house

YB Daud's house - Assemblyman for Tupong, Kuching
YB Daud's house - Assemblyman for Tupong, Kuching
A bit broken down - do we detect some broken promises as well from Taib's BN government?
A bit broken down - do we detect some broken promises
as well from Taib's BN government?
Sister Raziah's beach house... as opposed to town house .. or luxury jungle resort hotel..
Sister Raziah's beach house... as opposed to town house .. or luxury jungle resort hotel..
Daughter Hanifah's beach house... as opposed to her other town house...
Daughter Hanifah's beach house... as opposed to her other town house..
Zainab's walled compound to keep out hungry or curious outsiders
Zainab's walled compound to keep out hungry or curious outsiders
Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu's Kuching house - the older wing - has been the recipient of numerous native lands
Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu's Kuching house - the older wing -
has been the recipient of numerous native lands
Jabu's Kuching house - from the new side!
Jabu's Kuching house - from the new side!
Taib brother Ibrahim Mahmud house - fruits of a career as a policeman?
Taib brother Ibrahim Mahmud house - fruits of a career as a policeman?
Sister Raziah - another house.... daughter in foreground
Sister Raziah - another house.... daughter in foreground
Collapsed poor house.....
Collapsed poor house....
Taib brother Arip Mahmud's family house
Taib brother Arip Mahmud's family house

Taib's house with optional water transport
Taib's house with optional water transport
Chris Chung, business partner with Taib's son Mahmud Taib (beneficiary of native lands) and his two brothers' houses - three mansions in a row
Chris Chung, business partner with Taib's son Mahmud Taib (beneficiary of native lands) and his two brothers' houses - three mansions in a row
New top Taib favourite Awang Tengah is starting to build his house.  He is 2nd Minister for Resource Planning
New top Taib favourite Awang Tengah is starting to build his house.
He is 2nd Minister for Resource Planning
Taib's garden accomodation - separate from main house...
Taib's garden accomodation - separate from main house..
Brother in law, State Secretary Aziz Hussein and Taib sister Fredeham's house
Brother in law, State Secretary Aziz Hussein and Taib sister Fredeham's house
Deputy Chief Minister, George Chan's house... golf course next door!
Deputy Chief Minister, George Chan's house... golf course next door!
Asfia's house - he is the Speaker of the DUN State Parliament
Asfia's house - he is the Speaker of the DUN State Parliament


Posted: 17 Feb 2011 09:40 AM PST

Nieces and their jewels in a row
Nieces and their jewels in a row

Abdul Taib Mahmud may be merely the Chief Minister of a single state of Malaysia on a modest official income, however he and his family boast a treasure trove of jewelry that even the wealthiest monarchs and sultans of the world would be proud to own.  The many women of his family are always happy to flaunt this wealth, usually around their bare necks and bosoms, despite their pretence of strict Muslim customs.
Sarawak Report has gathered some of the many pictures of this display to give Sarawakians a view of where so much of the money that was promised to the people for development and progress actually went.

Spoils of the Jungle
Sarawak's forests were cut down and in return the people who owned the lands were promised that they would be helped and given modern living standards.  But instead they have been left even poorer and without their forests to provide food.   Many are starving with their fish, animals and fruit all gone and rice fields turned into oil palm plantations, which hire immigrant workers.
These picturesshow where the profits actually ended up, much of it spent on baubles which can be seen hanging around the necks and stuck on the fingers of the Taibs and their business cronies.  We have published these photographs because pictures like these are rarely shown to the ordinary people and we believe they have a right to understand the level of wealth acquired by the governing family in whom they have placed their trust for the last 30 years.
Of course it is not just what these people wear that tell the story of where Sarawak's vast natural wealth has disappeared to, but it is their houses too.  We believe it is only fair that the people of Sarawak, many of whom live in some of the poorest conditions in the world, should know just how grand the lifestyles are of those rulers who promised to make their lives better.
Taib is no sultan
Ooooh Jamilah!
Ooooh Jamilah!
Fabulous gems
Fabulous gems
Given the wealth and display shown by the Taibs it is sometimes necessary to remind the people that these are not sultans or princes, they are mere politicians who are elected to serve their people and not to rule over them or take their wealth.  The wealth of Taib Mahmud is proof of his dishonesty.  This is why he attempts to hide it from the people and why we have decided to publish these pictures.
Regal?  Laila, Taib's first wife set a tradition for VERY large rubies!
Regal? Laila, Taib's first wife set a tradition for VERY large rubies!
Days of formality.
Days of formality

Emeralds now!
Emeralds now!

More neckware for Elia
More neckware for Elia
Elia Abas/Geneid (centre) received great tracts of Native Customary Rights land from her uncle Taib.
Elia Abas/Geneid (centre) received great tracts of
Native Customary Rights land from her uncle Taib.
They must be diamonds!
They must be diamonds!
More jewels for Jamilah
More jewels for Jamilah
More neckware for nieces
More neckware for nieces

Second wedding - did Taib reset Laila's massive rubies or did he spend millions on a new lot?
Second wedding - did Taib reset Laila's massive rubies or did he spend millions on a new lot?
Right royal ring!
Right royal ring!
Wedding tiara
Wedding tiara
Sister Raziah lines up with bejewelled daughters
Sister Raziah lines up with bejewelled daughters
wedding gifts
wedding gifts
Sister Raziah
Sister Raziah
Royal couple?
Royal couple?

Malaysia, Indonesia can learn from Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt!

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 07:50 AM PST

Egyptian Muslims Protect Coptic Christians on Christmas Day

Images of solidarity as Christians join hands to protect Muslims as they pray during Cairo protests

Lastly, read this blog post by our own local girl, Marina Mahathir:

Maruah Pendakwa Raya Sejijik Dan Sehina Bulu Kemaluan, Air Mani & Spender Saiful

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 09:04 AM PST

Liwat II: Bulu, seluar dalam, cadar dikemukakan

Pakar kimia Dr Seah Lay Hong hari ini memberi keterangan di Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur bahawa beliau menjumpai kesan air mani pada seluar dalam berwarna kelabu dan seluar hitam yang digunakan oleh pengadu, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Pada perbicaraan liwat yang membabitkan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim itu, Seah berkata kesan air mani itu dijumpai pada kawasan berhampiran zip seluar itu.

Bagi seluar dalam itu pula, Seah yang kini mengetuai Unit Jenayah Berat, Jabatan Kimia berkata tompokan mani dikesan pada bahagian depan dan bawah.

Selain itu, satu lagi seluar dalam berwarna biru dan dua kemeja (berwarna putih dan hijau) juga dikemukakan sebagai bahan bukti.

Permaidani dan sehelai selimut yang dipercayai diambil dari kondominium Desa Damansara, tempat kejadian didakwa berlaku juga dikemukakan.

Seah juga mengakui tiada kesan air mani atau semen yang dijumpai pada barangan lain.

Pihaknya juga menjumpai bulu kemaluan yang tidak dikenali dari lokasi kejadian yang didakwa berlaku dan ia juga ditandakan.


4.10pm: Mahkamah ditangguhkan sehingga pagi esok apabila mendapati carta DNA yang dibekalkan kepada pihak pembelaan tidak mencukupi.

3.35pm: Mahkamah rehat seketika bagi membolehkan pihak pembelaan membandingkan carta DNA.

3.16pm: Seah berkata B7 mempunyai DNA dua lelaki yang satu daripadanya sama dengan Saiful manakala satu lagi milik Lelaki Y. B7 diambil daripada kawasan atas dubur.

"Ada juga ekstrak sperma yang dominan iaitu "Lelaki Y".

3.11pm: Seah berkata B5 bukan ekstrak sperma.

"Oleh kerana ia adalah calitan pada peri-anal, ia terdedah di kawasan sekitar dubur," katanya.

Menurut Seah, campuran DNA yang ditemui itu mungkin akibat penggunaan atau perkongsian mangkuk tandas yang sama.

3.00pm: Dr Seah berkata ujian DNA pada calitan kapas B5 pula (dari kawasan peri annal) menunjukkan ia milik Saiful dan campuran DNA termasuk Saiful, lelaki Y dan seorang lelaki penyumbang lelaki.

2.50pm: "Tiada profil DNA pada calitan B, B1, B2, B3, B4 dan B6," kata Dr Seah.

Menurutnya, tompokan pertama air mani daripada seluar dalam tersebut menunjukkan ia mengandungi DNA Saiful. Tompokan kedua air mani itu mempunyai dua DNA. Satu miliki Saiful manakala satu lagi miliki seorang lelaki yang tidaak dikenali dan dilabelnya sebagai "lelaki Y".

2.45pm: Seah berkata berdasarkan ujian yang dijalankannya, kesan tompokan mani di seluar hitam itu adalah milik Saiful sendiri.

2.40pm: Mahakamah bersambung semula dengan Dr Seah mengambil tempatnya di kandang saksi.

1.04pm: Laporan kimia itu juga ditandakan sebagai bahan bukti.

Hakim Zabidin kemudiannya menangguhkan perbicaraan dan berkata ia akan disambung pada jam 2.30 petang.

12.43pm: Dr Seah berkata dua ujian dijalankan ke atas tompokan spesimen B - iaitu ujian PSA dan ujian menentukan kehadiran sperma.

Tiga ujian dilakukan pada kesan tompokan mani - iaitu ujian asid phosphosate, PSA dan ujian kehadiran sperma.

12.38pm: Dr Seah berkata beliau berjaya mengesan dua tompokan mani di bahagian depan dan juga di bahagian bawah seluar dalam Saiful.

12.34pm: Doktor itu juga menjumpai dua kesan tompokan mani pada seluar hitam yang digunakan oleh Saiful. Tompokan itu dikesan berhampiran kawasan zip depan.

12.29pm: Dr Seah berkata beliau hanya mengetahui lokasi calitan kapas diambil berdasarkan tanda-tanda yang dibuat. Antaranya:

Calitan B5 yang ditanda P36 ialah kawasan sekitar peri-anal atau dubur.

Calitan kapas B7 dan B 39 yang ditanda P38 dan P 39, masing-masing adalah sekitar dubur atas manakala calitan B9 yang dilabel sebagai P40 adalah di kawasan sekitar dubur bawah.

12.23pm: Dr Seah menyambung keterangan dan berkata ujian DNA dimulakannya pada 1 Julai 2008. Ujian kedua pula dilakukan pada hari keesokannya.

Katanya, analisis DNA itu selesai pada 5 Julai 2008 dan hasilnya beliau mendapati kesan air mani pada calitan kapas bertanda B5, B7, B8 dan B9.

12.20pm: Mahkamah diberitahu semua barangan termasuk permaidani dan selimut disimpan di bilik sejuk Jabatan Kimia.

12.17pm: Dr Seah berkata ujian toksilogi dilakukan oleh seorang ahli kimia toksilogi, AP Mohan.

12.12pm: Mahkamah bersambung semula. Turut hadir hari ini adalah bekas timbalan presiden PKR, Syed Husin Ali dan ahli parlimen Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff.

11.37am: DPP Noorin memohon mahkamah untuk rehat seketika. Hakim Zabidin bersetuju dan meminta semua pihak masuk semula pada tengahari.

11.32am: Kain cadar berwarna kelabu pula ditunjukkan dan ia juga ditandakan sebagai bahan bukti.

Anwar dari tempatnya memerhatikan sampul surat yang berisi cadar itu dibuka. Menurut Dr Seah bungkusan itu dihantar ke jabatannya dengan tanda keselamatan polis.

Setelah memeriksanya, ia dibungkus semula dan ditandakan dengan mohor Jabatan Kimia.

11.28am: Selain pakaian Saiful yang lain seperti, baju hijau jenama G2000, turut ditawarkan sebagai bahan bukti adalaghpermaidani pelbagai warna yang disita oleh Jabatan Kimia.

11.17am: Satu lagi seluar dalam yang juga dipercayai kepunyaan Saiful turut dikenal pasti. Semua bahan berkenaan kemudiannya dimasukkan ke dalam sebuah sampul.

11.14am: Seluar dalam Saiful yang berjenama Levi's pula dikenal-pasti. Seluar dalam ini telah dikemukakan sebagai bahan bukti.

Ketika ini, Wan Azizah dilihat menundukkan kepalanya, manakala Anwar sedang membaca sesuatu di kandang tertuduh.

11.10am: Kemeja biru dan kolar putih jenama Ralph Lauren yang digunakan oleh Saiful pula dikemukakan.

11.04am: Sepasang seluar hitam (tanpa jenama) yang dipercayai yang digunakan oleh Saiful juga dikemukakan sebagai bahan bukti.

Sebelum ini, beberapa saksi mendakwa air mani Saiful dijumpai pada seluar hitam ini.

11.02am: Peguam, Sankara Nair bagaimanapun membantah cadangan pihak pendakwaan ia adalah bulu kemaluan.

"Macam mana Dr Seah tahu perkara tersebut?" soalnya.

DPP Noorin berkata ia berdasarkan laporan doktor itu.

Sankara berkata ia sepatutnya ditanda sebagai segumpalan rambut.

10.59am: Bahan-bahan bukti, termasuk bulu kemaluan kini sedang ditandakan. Ketika proses itu, DPP Noorin, peguam Ram Karpal dan Sankara Nair semuanya memakai sarung tangan getah.

Dr Brian Mc Donald yang duduk di antara Sankara dan Ram memerhatikan perkembangan itu.

10.27am: Semua sampul yang bertanda B1 hingga B11 yang dipercayai mengandungi calitan kapas, di mana spesimen diambil ditandakan sebagai bahan bukti.

10.15am: Menurut Seah beliau menerima bungkusan berkenaan daripada DSP Jude Blacious Pereira. Seah kemudian mengena-pasti pegawai polis itu dan juga bungkusan tersebut.

10.08am: Hakim Zabidin membuat keputusan yang memihak pihak pembelaan bahawa dokumen (borang kedua Pol 21) yang disenaraikan sebagai bahan bukti yang dikemukakan tidak boleh ditandakan sebagai eksibit.

10.06am: Mahkamah bersidang semula.

9.39am: Hakim memohon tempoh rehat untuk memutuskan perkara itu, namun Mohd Yusof bertegas supaya perbicaraan diteruskan tanpa menanda dokumen yang dipertikaikan itu.

9.33am: Peguam Cara Negara II, Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden (kiri) dalam hujah balasnya berkata, apa yang penting bukanlah dokumen itu sendiri tetapi perkara yang diperiksa.

Hujahnya lagi, sebelum ini terdapat keputusan mahkamah yang membenarkan pendakwaan mengemukakan dokumen sebagai bahan bukti tanpa memberikannya terlebih dahulu kepada pembelaan.

Ram dalam jawapannya berkata, dokumen itu penting kerana ia menunjukkan urutan bukti dan perkara yang diperolehi pendakwaan itu berbeza dengan apa yang diberikan kepada pembelaan.

9.20am: Seah berkata beliau menerima satu bungkusan bertanda B12 daripada polis.

Bagaimanapun, terdapat kesilapan tarikh pada bungkusan itu yang ditandakan 28 Ogos, 2008 sedangkan dokumen Seah bertanda 28 Jun. Tandaan pada B12 juga terdapat perubahan.

Peguam Ram Karpal membantah permohonan supaya borang yang diubah itu ditanda sebagai bukti.

Ram memberi alasan, borang berkenaan berbeza daripada borang yang diberikan kepada pembelaan di pada awal perbicaraan. Ram membuat bantahan itu mengikut Seksyen 51 Kanun Acara Jenayah.

9.13am: Seah (kanan) mengakui telah menerima Borang POL 21 yang menyatakan tempat-tempat sampel DNA diambil di badan Saiful.
Borang berkenaan didapati daripada Hospital Kuala Lumpur pada 30 Jun, 2008 – dua hari selepas pemeriksaan dilakukan ke atas pengadu itu.

8.55am: Saksi Dr Seah Lay Hong memberitahu mahkamah mengenai latar belakang akademiknya. Beliau merupakan pakar dalam bidang kesan biologi, DNA dan kesan biologi pada tisu.

Beliau mempunyai kelulusan peringkat kedoktoran dalam DNA Forensik dan sarjana dalam Sains Perubatan.

Dr Seah telah menghadiri pelbagai persidangan dan seminar di dalam dan luar negara.

8.53am: Perbicaraan disambung di hadapan Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah.

Galeri awam di mahkamah masih banyak ruang kosong. Turut berada di mahkamah ialah Anwar Ibrahim, isterinya Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail dan juga bapa Saiful, Azlan Md Lazim.

Azlan tidak hadir mengikuti perbicaraan semalam. -mk

Ulasan GB

Jika di dalam kes dahulu, tilam adalah sinonim dengan Musa Hassan, maka kali ini, di dalam kes Sodomi II, bulu kemaluan, air mani dan spender Saiful yang dibawa oleh pihak pendakwa raya menjadi tumpuan.

Orang akan tetap ingat perkaitan tersebut sampai bila-bila.

Demikian nilai maruah Pendakwa Raya di dalam kes kali ini.

A Milestone To Remember

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 06:49 AM PST

Did you read The Star report on S'wak produces 1st rural school to get high performance status? That report said that Sarawak has produced the first rural school in the country to reach the High Performance School (Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi) status. SK Ulu Lubai, located deep in the jungles of Ulu Limbang became the first school in Sarawak to receive the award.

Amongst it achievements are:

1. The Commonwealth Good Practice Champions Award in 2009.

2. It was a nominee for the UNESCO Education Best Practice Award 2010.

3. Since 2006, the school has attained 100 percent pass record in UPSR.

4. It has also won five national education ministry awards, 14 state awards and 26 district level awards.

5. This school is also networking with Bristol University of the United Kingdom and also with schools in Singapore. I am really impressed,'' he said.

Deputy PM and Education Minister Muhyiddin wants SK Ulu Lubai to serve as the benchmark for all primary schools to follow, saying that the school did so well because the management, the teachers, students and parents as well as the community, had put education as the top priority.

He announced an immediate special allocation of RM500,000, over and above the RM700,000 that comes with the award, to upgrade the school's teachers' quarters as well as RM120,000 to 47 longhouses in Ulu Limbang for repair and upgrading works. Click here for the rest of the entry.

Certainly, the achievements of SK Ulu Lubai are milestones that will be remembered and for others to follow. It has dispelled the myth that rural schools are at a disadvantage and put to an end the myth of the gap between rural and urban students.

I am sure most of those students did not have private tuition or net access but worked hard because they had the right environment, teachers, encouragement from family and friends not forgetting the grit to succeed.

It all depends on attitude and effort - of not just the students and teachers but also the parents and the community of Ulu Lubai.

How many are willing to walk the extra mile for the benefit of students? How many students would want to let the torch burn brightly for the school's prestige?

Congratulations to SK Ulu Lubai and all who have made this award possible because they chose to give their best and their all. May there be more who will choose this road to travel!

Dilemma Melayu Disebabkan Tak Percaya Kebaikan Islam - Nik Aziz

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 07:01 AM PST

Nik Aziz: Tidak percaya kebaikan Islam, Umno sesatkan bangsa

Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat berkata kegelishan atau dilema di kalangan rakyat pelbagai kaum negara ini termasuk orang Melayu sendiri berpunca daripada "Umno yang menolak perjuangan berasaskan bangsa."

Sehubungan itu kata Mursyidul Am PAS, akhirnya Umno yang menyesatkan bangsa itu sendiri akibat tidak percayakan kepada kebaikan ajaran agamanya sendiri.

Menteri Besar Kelantan ini berkata, tidak timbul isu dilema Melayu atau dilema mana-mana kaum apabila persoalan bangsa dan perjuangan sesuatu kaum itu berteraskan kepada ajaran Islam.

Katanya, apa yang penting diamalkan ialah semua menjadi hamba abdi kepada Allah dan sebagaimana seruan azan memanggil solat , disebutkan "Allahu Akbar", maka yang maha besar ialah Allah bukannya Melayu atau Cina atau India.

"Sementara dalam bacaan tahyat dan salam terangkum maksud memuliakan Nabi Ibrahim dan Nabi Muhammad serta ucapan selamat kepada seluruh bangsa di dunia ini.

"Maka inilah kehebatan faedah ibadat dan muamalat yang digabung dalam solat gunanya untuk dipraktikkan dalam kehidupan manusia," kata beliau dalam tulisan terbaru blognya.

"Sekali lagi diulangi, tidak timbul langsung dilema Melayu di sisi Islam. Ini kerana Islam sudah menyediakan ramuan yang cukup untuk dijadikan panduan hidup bagi mencapai keamanan, kedamaian serta kemakmuran di dunai sampai ke akhirat," katanya.

Pada hari yang sama semalam, bekas perdana menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sambil mengakui pengetahuan agama Nik Aziz lebih "dalam", tetapi menggesa agar Menteri Besar Kelantan itu berhenti daripada menyalah guna dan menyalah tafsir Islam demi kepentingan politik diri sendiri.

"Saya akui pengetahuan agama Nik Aziz dalam tetapi alangkah baiknya jika Nik Aziz berhenti daripada menyalahguna dan menyalah tafsir Islam demi kepentingan politik diri sendiri.

"Tidak ada sesiapa yang dapat lari daripada hari pengadilan yang dijanjikan oleh Allah s.w.t.," kata Dr Mahathir dalam jawapan panjang lebar menjawab tulisan Nik Aziz awal bulan ini.

Justeru kata bekas presiden Umno ini, "bertaqwalah kepada Allah s.w.t. dan hentikanlah mengeliru umat Islam di Malaysia kerana ingin menang pilihan raya."

Awal bulan ini, Nik Aziz menjawab tuduhan Dr Mahathir ke atasnya dengan menegaskan, Umno yang selama ini "menzalimi orang-orang Melayu" dan menafikan beliau menjadi punca perpecahan orang Melayu Islam negara ini.

Dalam tulisan kali ini, Nik Aziz menambah, amatlah malang jika rakyat negara ini terus engkar dengan mengagung-agungkan bangsa sedangkan ia bukan ajaran Nabi.

Kata beliau, seharusnya rakyat tidak boleh melakukan suatu seruan perjuangan yang bercanggah dengan maksud surah Al-Fatihah (ayat 5-7).

"Caranya, kita tidak boleh menerima seruan perjuangan Melayu yang menolak Islam. Bila tolak Islam maknanya terima ajaran sekular.

"Atas sifat sekular, mereka itu akan terus berbelit-belit hinggalah sanggup duduk di atas prinsip agama lain (suku), politik lain (suku)," katanya lagi.

Lalu kata Nik Aziz, timbul ajaran yang asing dari Islam, antaranya mengajar umat Islam supaya "tidak bawa politik ke masjid kerana masjid itu tempat beribadat."

"Apakah ajaran seperti ini pernah diajar oleh Nabi Muhammad s.a.w? Sebenarnya, Nabi sendiri tidak pernah ajar supaya perkara politik itu disebut di luar masjid," katanya lagi.

"Demikian pula, khutbah Jumaat atau khutbah hari raya merupakan ceramah mingguan atau musim perayaan di atas mimbar masjid juga menyentuh semua perkara yang relevan dengan kehidupan manusia.

"Maknanya dalam masa berkhutbah, pihak khatib adalah penceramah yang menyampaikan seruan Islam demi kebaikan sistem hidup yang lengkap termasuk aspek sosial, ekonomi dan politik," katanya.

Nik Aziz seterusnya menulis, maka terimalah perjuangan Islam dan tinggalkan perjuangan sekular, sekali gus "sudah tentu kita tidak akan berdilema dengan identiti siapa kita."

Tulisan Nik Aziz kali ini bermula dengan isu Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) yang menurutnya, kegagalan polisi itu pada 1990 adalah tercatat dalam sejarah.

Kata beliau, hakikatnya pelaksanaan DEB menyebabkan Bumiputera tidak kemana, melainkan ada segolongan sahaja yang mengecapi nikmat.

"Tetap sasaran pemilikan kekayaan negara hanya 18 daripada 30 peratus yang disasarkan. Kenapaa gagal? Dr. Mahathir selaku perdana menteri masa itu ada jawapan sebenar. Habis kenapa Dr. Mahathir sembunyi punca?" katanya lagi.

Justeru kata Nik Aziz, sementara umat Islam menyambut Maulidur Rasul maka sepatutnya mengambil ajaran Nabi iaitu mengajar agar menjalin persaudaraan dan berkasih sayang.

"Nabi tidak ajar kita supaya mementingkan bangsa. Justeru tidak harus kita mengungkitkan soal dilema atau tidaknya bangsa kita," katanya.

Kata Nik Aziz, apabila disebutkan kepentingan satu-satu bangsa, sudah tentu akan ada bangsa lain yang sensitif dan berdendam.

"Maknanya bila diutamakan kepentingan orang Melayu, sudah tentu orang Cina dan India akan berdendam kerana inginkan kepentingan yang sama.

"Atas dasar inilah Islam mengajar kita mengutamakan persaudaraan. Lantaran atas nama bangsa akan timbul apa sahaja tindak balas berupa dendam kesumat," katanya lagi. -TMI

Qaradawi: Egypt's New Hitler

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 06:10 AM PST


Qaradawi, 84, is based in Qatar, but was born in Egypt, and still wields considerable influence there. During the uprising against the Mubarak regime, a Muslim website published a chapter from Qaradawi's book Laws of Jihad, including this passage: "One of the forms of jihad in Islam is jihad against evil and corruption within [the Islamic lands]. This jihad is crucial in order to protect society from collapse, disintegration, and perdition — for Muslim society has unique characteristics, and if these are lost, forgotten or destroyed, there will be no Muslim society."

In 2002, the Muslim Brotherhood asked him to take over as their leader, but he refused, probably because he saw the position as too small for him: Qaradawi's renown is not limited to Egypt or even to the Middle East. He is an international figure, reaching sixty million Muslims weekly through his Al-Jazeera TV show, "Sharia and Life," and touching countless more through his 120 published books (including his famous, popular Sharia manual, Al Halal wal Haram fil Islam - that is, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam), his website (which publishes many of his fatwas) and positions as president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research.

Qaradawi also enjoys a reputation as a moderate beyond just Esposito: the former Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is himself widely assumed to be a "moderate" despite evidence to the contrary, has hailed Qaradawi as a "very very well known Islamic jurist, highly regarded all over the Muslim world." And another Muslim leader whose moderate bona fides have been questioned, the vaunted "Muslim Martin Luther" Tariq Ramadan, wrote a foreword to one of his books in 1998, and former London Mayor Ken Livingstone welcomed him to the city in 2004 and praised him repeatedly, despite the fact that during that visit Qaradawi explained to the BBC that suicide attacks against Israelis were not actually suicide at all, but "martyrdom in the name of God." (Qaradawi has since been banned from Britain, as well as from the U.S.)

And the things that Qaradawi tells the millions of Muslims that he reaches are anything but moderate. In January 2009, during a Friday sermon broadcast on Al-Jazeera, he prayed that Allah would kill all the Jews: "Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one." He also declared: "Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by [Adolf] Hitler."...

There is more.

The problem of sexual violence in Egypt

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 05:52 AM PST

.......and we do not even mention the violence against Christians. There goes Anil Netto's spin about Muslim Christian solidarity in the Herald, into the toilet . What happened to CBS correspondent Lara Logan last Friday in Egypt's Tahrir Square in the midst of celebrations at the ousting of Hosni Mubarak was inexcusable, wrong, abhorrent. At the same time it was normal. It is what happens in Egypt when crazed mobs come together. There is no reason to think that it wouldn't have happened. It had happened before, during the same revolution. The only difference was Ms. Logan was a foreigner.

Now, as what happened to Logan begins to be made public, Egyptians are outraged. I have received emails from a number of Egyptians who have asked that this issue be "put in context" and "this isn't Egypt, it is going to ruin the image of our revolution." Unfortunately, either these well-meaning individuals have been living in a different country for the past few years, or they have turned their heads away from one of Egypt's most enduring problems: sexual violence against women. Not foreigner women, but all women.

The activists have gone on full PR mode. They are apologizing to Logan and CBS. They have referred to her incident as revealing the "sins of the past 30 years … getting exposed." When it comes to sexual violence, these "sins" have been exposed. Over and over again.

This is not a new problem. In fact, the problem has been simmering silently since 2006 fall, when dozens of men and boys attacked and assaulted women outside a downtown Cairo cinema. In a mob style attack, the perpetrators attempted to grope and tear at any passing woman's clothes in the October attack.

Eyewitnesses and citizen reporters' pictures were clear proof that the terror against women had taken place. But Egyptian society, despite a few weeks of heated discussion, remained largely silent.

One need not look to mob-style attacks, which have occurred at nearly every celebration or holiday in the country for four years and beyond. The facts on the ground, facing everyday women in Egypt are appalling at best. I have women tell stories of taking their attacker to the police station, only to be told by officers there that there really wasn't anything they could do; courts would take too long. "Can you imagine if this had happened to a diplomat's wife, or a foreigner?" one of the officers told a 30-year-old Egyptian woman.

Egyptians have attempted to avoid the situation plaguing society for far too long. If it happens to a foreigner, they apologize, but if it happens to their sister, their mother, their girlfriend, their spouse, there has always been a tacit denial of any real problem. Instead of trying to save face now with Logan's case, what should be happening is a real dialogue, a real open discussion about the causes of sexual violence in society. Without one, Logan will not be the last victim of sexual brutality.

According to a 2008 study published by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights (ECWR) 60 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women are harassed on a daily basis. The ECWR warned that harassing foreign women would lead to the loss of millions of pounds. A number of foreigners said they would never return to Egypt. 14 percent of all foreign women said they would either never return to Egypt or tell their friends not to visit.

While the most recent incident should not damper the will of the Egyptian people to risk life and death to join forces in magnificent street demonstrations that rid the country of a dictator, it can no longer be avoided. Sexual violence is not an aberration to Egypt. It has a deep-rooted history that must not be avoided through apologies. It has to be faced head on.

In the end, let us hope that this is the final "wake-up" call for Egyptian society to tackle this problem. Far too many women have been battered, beaten and raped in Egypt to allow it to continue. The very future of Egyptian society and a bright, prosperous future, could very well depend on how women are treated and empowered in the post-Mubarak Egypt.


How can we weaken the enemies of freedom?

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 05:42 AM PST

In his remarks following the resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak last week, President Obama echoed the pro-democracy protestors in Cairo's Tahrir Square. When he said, "something in our souls . . . cries out for freedom," he sounded a lot like George W. Bush. The Wall Street Journal quipped: "We are all neocons now."

Well, maybe not all. In Lebanon, Hezbollah is snuffing out the Cedar Revolution — a body blow to American and European strategic interests, not to mention what this means for the people of Lebanon.

Gazans went to the polls five years ago, when President Bush was vigorously promoting his Freedom Agenda. But elections in an un-free environment produced only a parody of democracy: one man, one vote, one time. The leaders of Hamas, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and a terrorist militia pretending also to be a political party, were happy to have voters hand them power. They do not plan to let voters take that power away again anytime soon.

Turkey's 80-year-old experiment with secularism appears to be over. Statues of Kemal Atatürk, modern Turkey's founding father, still stand, but the AKP, an Islamist party that has held power since 2003, is strangling Kemalism, and the Turkish military no longer has the strength to break its grip. In recent days, more than 150 serving and retired military officers have been arrested. Meanwhile, it's been reported that the Turkish army will start training the army of Syria, a client of Iran. Yet Turkey remains a member of NATO.

Iran's rulers believe — not without justification — that they are spearheading a global revolution against the Great Satan, the Little Satan, and all the Satans in between. They believe nuclear weapons will assist this effort — also not without justification. They treat domestic dissidents more brutally than Mubarak ever dreamed of doing. Nevertheless, this week tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets chanting, "Death to the dictator!" Members of the Iranian parliament called for the two most prominent opposition leaders to be sentenced to death for stirring unrest. The regime prohibited coverage by major media. Submissively, major media gave the demonstrations short shrift. Obama, on this occasion, offered a few words of praise for the protestors' "courage."

In Pakistan, portraits of the nation's founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, hang in thousands of offices and classrooms. But those who remain committed to his vision of a homeland for Muslims that also is free and tolerant toward non-Muslims are an increasingly endangered species.

And in Arabia, the long-ruling al-Saud family fights terrorism with one hand and funds it with the other.

Obama, last week, waxed optimistic. He said that in Egypt, "the moral force of nonviolence . . . bent the arc of history toward justice once more." The examples above, however, suggest that an immoral force of violence is bending a competing arc of history toward Islamist totalitarianism.

No national-security challenge looms larger. Yet key advisers to Obama seem clueless. Testifying before Congress last week, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked about the Muslim Brotherhood — an organization that is to Islamism what the Comintern was to Communism. He called the Brotherhood "a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence." A spokesman was later sent out from the director's office to "clarify" that ludicrous statement. Your tax dollars at work.

Your money also has been invested in Egypt's military. Over the past three decades, American officers should have taught Egyptian officers, by word and example, what it means to be a professional soldier: The U.S. military is stronger, not weaker, because it doesn't aspire to run the government, because it keeps politics and politicians at arm's length.

The mission of Egypt's military at this juncture ought to be straightforward: Clear a space in which a democratic culture can develop — and then protect that space from anti-democratic forces. Egypt's ruling officers should guarantee freedom of speech, the press, and worship — not least for Egypt's persecuted Christian minority. They should make it possible for new political parties to organize and put forward ideas, principles, policies, and candidates in safety.

If Egypt's military is not up to this task, America's investment has been wasted. It's nice, I suppose, that there are Egyptian pilots who can fly F16s, but, really, how does that benefit the average Egyptian or American?

And no, I don't buy the argument that we equipped and trained the Egyptian military in exchange for a promise not to use that equipment and training against Israel. Egypt's military leaders are not stupid. They know it would not be in their interest, or Egypt's, to fight another war against the Jewish state. They know that even with guns and skills made in America they likely would lose were they to attack people whose back is against the wall — almost literally. Another Egyptian defeat would bring humiliation and other inconveniences.

Of course, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood take a different view. Sacrificing a generation or two of Egyptians in exchange for the annihilation of the Zionist entity would, in their calculation, represent a bargain — not for the Egyptian nation but for the Islamic world.

How can American power be used to support those in Egypt and elsewhere who share our commitment to human rights? How can American power be used to weaken the enemies of freedom — those who want to destroy us, our allies, and the entire democratic experiment?

The answer to those questions is the foundation upon which coherent, effective policies can be constructed and implemented. But that requires not just talking like an Egyptian. It also means walking the walk. And, yes, those who do that will look a lot like neocons.

— Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism and Islamism. © 2011 Scripps Howard News Service

Preparing our children for life in global society with interfaith dialogue

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 05:41 AM PST

макет вращающейся планеты Земля, формат - &quo...

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Source_The Star:Preparing our children for life in global society

BASICALLY, interfaith dialogue is understood as an encounter between people who live by different faith traditions in an atmosphere of mutual trust and acceptance.

Dialogue does not require giving up, hiding or seeking to validate one's own religious convictions; in fact, the need for being rooted in one's own tradition to be engaged in a meaningful dialogue is emphasised.

Dialogue can be viewed as a way not only to become informed about the faiths of others but also to rediscover essential dimensions of one's own. The benefits of removing historical prejudices and enmities as well as the new possibilities for working together for common good can be recognised and affirmed.

Within this general framework, individual theological explorations can yield a variety of points of view. Some see dialogue primarily as a new and creative relationship within which one can learn about and respect others, as well as giving authentic witness to one's own faith.

Others see it as an historical moment in the development of religious traditions, in which each of the faith traditions is challenged and transformed by the encounter with others.

Still others view dialogue as a common pilgrimage towards the truth, within which each tradition shares with the others the way it has come to perceive and respond to that truth.

There is a fundamental problem in inter-faith dialogue and working together; if each side thinks it has the truth, how do you progress from there?

The call is getting louder for the teaching of all religions in schools; it is an educational commitment to pluralism. We need to prepare children for life in a global community.

It is crucial, especially during these uncertain times, to teach them to respect differences and appreciate diversity.


Related Articles

The long-term strategy for enforcing sharia law.

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 05:37 AM PST

James Clapper issued a clarification last week. Within hours of testifying to Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood is a "largely secular" organization, he clarified that he had meant to say the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization. Clapper, the Obama administration's national intelligence director, did not clue us in on whether he'd been tipped off by the organization's name or by its motto proclaiming devotion to Islam, Mohammed, the Koran, sharia, and jihad — the final term being one he may have missed thanks to ongoing government efforts to purge it from our lexicon.

If Mr. Clapper's information was a tad off, his timing was even worse. And not just because even giddy Western pundits were occasionally pausing from their dance on Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's political grave to admit that the pharaoh's demise could pave the way for a Brotherhood-led Islamist ascendancy.

What might an Islamist ascendency look like? Consider this: Shortly before Clapper's faux pas, a ghastly report out of Bangladesh began making the rounds: A 14-year-old girl named Hena had been killed by fewer than 80 lashes of the 100-lash whipping local sharia authorities had ordered her to suffer. It's difficult to contain one's anger at the details. Hena had been raped by a 40-year-old Muslim man, described in news accounts as her "relative." The allegation of rape got the authorities involved, but that turned out to be even worse than the sexual assault itself.

Under sharia, rape cannot be proved absent the testimony of four witnesses. Rapists tend not to bring witnesses along for their attacks. In any event, moreover, sharia values a woman's testimony as only half that of a man, so the deck is stacked and rape cannot be proved in most cases. Yet that hardly means the report of rape is of no consequence. Unable to establish that she'd been forcibly violated, the teenager became in the eyes of the sharia court a woman who'd had sexual intercourse outside of marriage. Thus the draconian lashing sentence that became a death sentence.

What has that to do with the Muslim Brotherhood? It turns out that these not-so-secular "moderates" spend a great deal of time ruminating on the subject of sharia's brutal huddud laws — those prescribing sadistic penalties, such as whippings and stoning, for extramarital fornication, adultery, and homosexuality.

The Brotherhood's emir for such ruminations is the famed Egyptian sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a sharia scholar who graduated from the storied al-Azhar University. He is probably the ummah's most influential Islamic cleric — just ask such admirers as Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Rauf. Qaradawi is sold as a Muslim modernizer by his many Western fans, particularly the Islamic-studies programs that the Saudis, longtime patrons of the Muslim Brotherhood, pay institutions like Georgetown University to operate. What the academy avoids telling you is that the sheikh, who has endorsed suicide bombings in Israel and the killing of American troops and support personnel in Iraq, also supports female genital mutilation (euphemistically called "circumcision") as well as sharia standards that discount a woman's testimony, limit a woman's inheritance rights to half of a man's share, and permit men to marry up to four wives (who may, of course, be beaten if they are disobedient). 1 | 2 | Next > National Review

Honda Malaysia Panggil Balik Ribuan Kereta Honda City, Jazz

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 05:54 AM PST

23,636 Honda City, Jazz dipanggil balik

KUALA LUMPUR: HONDA Malaysia Sdn Bhd memanggil balik 23,636 unit kenderaan jenama itu bagi menggantikan 'lost motion springs' dan 'retainers' yang menjadi punca enjin berbunyi bising dan berpotensi menyebabkan ia terhenti.

Ketua Eksekutif dan Pengarah Urusannya, Yoichiro Ueno, berkata daripada jumlah itu, 21,956 unit membabitkan model City keluaran 2009 dan 1,680 unit lagi model Jazz keluaran 2009 dan 2010.

Bagaimanapun, beliau berkata, model Honda yang dijual dalam pasaran ketika ini tidak terbabit berhubung masalah berkenaan.

Honda tarik ribuan kereta

Perusahaan automatif Jepun, Honda mengumumkan menarik hampir 700 ribu unit kereta keluannyanya di seluruh dunia akibat komponen yang cacat.

Masalah ini terkait dengan pegas yang mungkin menyebabkan enjin tidak lancar.

Honda menyatakan belum ada laporan mengenai kecelakaan akibat cacat komponen mesin ini.

Wartawan BBC Roland Buerk di Tokyo melaporkan Honda menyatakan sebahagian besar dari 693,000 kereta keluarannya yang ditarik beredar di Asia, tapi kenderaan yang mengalami cacat komponen itu juga dijual di beberapa bahagian lain dunia.

Produk kereta Honda yang ditarik adalah Freed, Fit yang juga dikenal sebagai Jazz di beberapa negara, dan City.

Perusahaan Jepun itu menyatakan pihaknya perlu memperbaiki komponen pegas di mesin yang suatu ketika mungkin bengkok atau patah.

Pegas bermasalah tersebut menimbulkan suara mesin yang aneh dan dalam kes paling serius, komponen tersebut boleh menyebabkan kereta terhenti.

Honda menyatakan telah menerima ratusan aduan dari pengguna.

Sebagian besar pengaduan itu dilaporkan oleh pengguna di Jepun sendiri. -BBC

Rescuing democracy from malaise a challenge

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 05:26 AM PST

Source_The Star:Rescuing democracy from malaise a challenge. Diplomatically Speaking By Dennis Ignatius

The tumultuous events that shook Egypt are apparently causing jitters elsewhere. We have become decidedly unhappy with rising living costs, the concentration of wealth and opportunity in the hands of a few well-connected people, and widespread corruption. For now, however, these concerns are far from the point where they could conceivably find expression in a "day of rage".

The democracy is a precious right that people in other nations have had to fight and die for. It must never be taken for granted or allowed to wither through neglect or indifference.

And therein lies the nub of our problem: our democracy, and the key institutions associated with it, has been in slow decline for some years now.

Democracy is more than simply casting a ballot once every few years; it is a way of life, a frame of mind, an attitude of heart, where citizens actively and tangibly participate in the political life of their nation through a myriad of different ways – turning out to vote, engaging political representatives and holding them accountable, participating in dialogue and debate, staying informed on issues and making informed decisions, standing up for fundamental rights, etc.

Passivity is the great enemy of democracy. The people themselves must be the guardians of their own freedom.

Fortunately, we appear to be increasingly vocal participants in the democratic process. They have not been afraid to take to the streets to peacefully express their displeasure or to support causes they believe in.

Democracy is, after all, always a work in progress. If our democracy is to prosper, democratic transformation and change must become a priority.

Intrinsic to this is an end to the culture of impunity. For too long, public officials who abuse their position have managed to evade justice. There is a sense that those with privilege and good connections are above the law. This is harmful to democracy.

Citizens of a democracy also need to be on guard against demagoguery and those who pander to narrow racial or religious sentiment. There is already too much of this in Malaysia and it is detrimental to our democracy. Character, principle and dedicated service should matter far more than racial or religious considerations.

As well, citizens of a free nation must be in the forefront of defending the democratic institutions, including a free press, an independent judiciary and a responsive parliament, that give substance to their democracy.

The curtailment of press freedom, for example, has weakened our democracy. Only a free and fearless press can keep governments accountable and citizens well informed. It is not a luxury we can do without; it is necessary for the survival of our democracy.

Our justice system also needs to be overhauled. The reputation of some of our judges has been tarnished and their impartiality questioned. Our police force is plagued by corruption and seen as abusive and disrespectful of the rights of citizens.

Last but not least, our Parliament must be transformed into the true heart of our democracy instead of being little more than a rubber stamp. Many of our elected representatives appear to owe little or no allegiance to the people who voted for them. If we are to give meaning to our democracy, we must demand more of those we elect to represent us.

George Bernard Shaw once quipped that democracy ensures that we shall be governed no better than we deserve. Malaysia deserves better and it is up to the people to ensure that we get it. That is what the people at Liberation Square are discovering.

Datuk Dennis Ignatius is a 36-year veteran of the Malaysian foreign service. He has served in London, Beijing and Washington and was ambassador to Chile and Argentina. He was twice Undersecretary for American Affairs. He retired as High Commis­sioner to Canada in July 2008.

Kelantan sedia RM1.5 juta galak pasangan muda kahwin

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 01:42 AM PST

KOTA BARU, 16 Feb 2011 — Kerajaan PAS Kelantan melancarkan "Gerbang Az-Ziwaaj" dengan peruntukan RM1.5 juta tahun ini bertujuan menggalakkan 1,500 pasangan muda kurang berkemampuan untuk berkahwin.

Semasa melancarkannya, Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (gambar), berkata program bertemakan "Anda Bijak Kerana Berkahwin" itu bertujuan mengelakkan golongan muda dari terjebak dalam perzinaan dan menghalang kejadian buang anak luar nikah.

Melalui program itu, setiap pasangan diberi RM1,000 dalam bentuk cek dan peserta boleh mendapatkan borang permohonan di pejabat kadi, pejabat Anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri, kaunter khidmat pelanggan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri atau muat turun borang dari laman facebook "Gerbang Az-Ziwaaj" (Gerbang Perkahwinan).
- Bernama

Borders on The Borderline

Posted: 16 Feb 2011 06:48 PM PST

It was bound to happen sooner or later, I suppose:


Now, before you start picketing outside The Curve and Times Square demanding that the stores stay open, bear in mind that this is probably only in the US. Not sure how it would affect its international stores, but considering the franchise is owned by another company here, I think the shops should still be opened here.

Doesn't make much of a difference to me though, I hardly go to Borders. In fact, have you SEEN the Borders in Times Square lately? They seemed to have misplaced it. No, really, I literally could not find the store the last time I went.

Apparently, after all that hoo-haa about being the BIGGEST BOOKSTORE IN THE WORLD 6 years ago, they've finally ripped it all out and relocated to a tiny little place on the lower ground floor of the complex. I guess they finally that the clientele at that termite warren of a shopping mall just ain't the reading sort, eh?

The one in The Curve seems to be going strong though (not sure about the Gardens one - it always seems so empty whenever I go there).

But yeah, I'm not exactly mourning the demise of Borders. Besides, I still prefer Kinokuniya anyway. The selection is still way better, everything is nicely arranged, and current, and they have a kickass comics/graphic novel section that no other bookstore can match. I've even come to prefer the Kinokuniya in Singapore over the Borders there (which seems to have lost its charm somehow).

The other bookstore I frequent more these days is Bookxcess, of course. New books at cheap prices? AWESOME. Plus they are only about 4-5 months behind the usual bookstores anyway. Considering how few books I've been reading lately (something I REALLY need to rectify this year), I would rather not pay a full RM100 for a hardcover when I can just wait a while longer for it to hit Bookxcess instead. Plus their Big Bad Wolf Warehouse Sales are just AWESOME.

It WOULD be nice to have a lot more bookstores around, of course, and the demise of Borders IS quite sad. It WOULD be sad if they closed down the Malaysian stores as well. But seriously though, I DO wish they would buck up on they selection of titles, and/or layout, because as far as I'm concerned, even after six years and several new stores later, Borders here still has room for A LOT of improvement.


Posted: 16 Feb 2011 08:21 PM PST

Suruhanjaya Siasatan Teoh Hilang Kredibiliti: Selangor Turut Tarik Diri

Posted: 17 Feb 2011 04:55 AM PST

Suruhanjaya Diraja yang menyiasat kematian pembantu politik, Teoh Beng Hock terus menerima tamparan apabila giliran kerajaan kerajaan negeri Selangor mengumumkan keputusan untuk menarik diri daripada terlibat dalam prosiding.

Peguam pemerhati Selangor, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar memaklumkan hasrat untuk menarik diri sebaik sahaja prosiding suruhanjaya bermula pada jam 2.30 petang ini.

Katanya, beliau diarahkan oleh kerajaan negeri Selangor untuk menarik diri atas alasan yang sama dengan keluarga Teoh iaitu mereka hilang keyakinan terhadap perjalanan siasatan yang tidak langsung mencerminkan harapan rakyat yang mahukan kebenaran didedahkan.

"Setelah keluarganya menarik diri daripada prosiding, kita tidak lihat apa gunanya suruhanjaya ini diteruskan. Kita juga menyuarakan kebimbangan kita yang serupa dengan apa yang disuarakan oleh keluarga Teoh, iaitu di mana Jabatan Peguam Negara (AGC) telah memfailkan semakan kehakiman di Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam.

"Dalam permohonan tersebut, selaras dengan apa yang didedahkan oleh (peguam) Gobind (Singh Deo) semalam bahawa Peguam Negara mahu mendapatkan keputusan bunuh diri," kata Malik Imtiaz.

Keluarga Teoh dilaporkan tidak berpuas hati dengan penglibatan Jabatan Peguam Negara yang membuat permohonan menyemak keputusan terbuka yang dibuat oleh mahkamah koroner.

Semalam, ahli keluarga Teoh memulaukan prosiding suruhanjaya itu dengan alasan permohonan mereka untuk menundakkan inkuiri sehingga semakan kehakiman yang difailkan Pejabat Peguam Negara ke atas penghakiman terbuka oleh Mahkamah Kotoner berhubung kematian Beng Hock didengar dahulu.

Sementara itu, pada perbicaraan hari ini, ketua panel, Tan Sri James Foong mengumumkan pakar patologi Thai Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand dan pakar forensik Britain, Dr Peter Vanezis akan dijemput sebagai saksi.

Foong selepas melawat tempat kejadian di Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam pagi tadi berkata kehadiran kedua-dua pakar asing itu diperlukan.

Beliau bagaimanapun tidak mengulas lanjut.

Pornthip dan Vanezis dibawa oleh kerajaan negeri Selangor dan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) bagi memantau bedah siasat kedua yang dijalankan ke atas Teoh. -mk

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