Thursday, February 9, 2012

Balancing blogs and mainstream media...

Balancing blogs and mainstream media...


Balancing blogs and mainstream media...

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 10:27 AM PST

"Readers must not believe that everything is gospel truth in the blogs. It may make an interesting reading on some sensational stories that you find in the social sphere but let us not allow our emotions cloud our judgement... To separate truth from spins and half truths, Malaysians should read, decipher and analyse from every source - from the print media to radio, television, and bloggers - to make an educated and informed conclusion." - MCA President Chua Soi Lek.

I must agree with him. Some blogs are deceiving, some produce half truth stories and many become popular for the lies and slanders.

However, some are really good and quality news material. Whether its politics, economy, sosial, world affairs, sports and others, some blogs provide a better insight on certain issues. The writers, normally journalists and professionals like lawyers, doctors and politicians, do not simply sell their soul to the devil over what they write.

But blogging is not journalism although some of the postings are being subscribed by the mainstream media, especially newspapers. I have noticed some good blog postings gained front-page headlines for its precision.

Blogs are personal domain. The owners are free to pen their thoughts and perception as to how and when they wish. And they are the ones responsible for what they write. If it contains elements of defamation and lies, the subject of the posting can sue them for libel. As to date, no laws protect such bloggers.

Just like newspapers, blogs too have niche readership. Those who are fond of sociopolitical issue will read sociopolitical blogs. Those who look for leisure will go for leisure blogs and for those who like reading 'colorful and abusive' blogs, there are many around. And certainly the ones with vulgarity, slanderous and immodest words will gain popularity fast. The hits are theirs.

Yes, some blogs are very invigorating in the sense that readers would make full assessment of the facts and figures. Readers can learn from it; even the mainstream media sometimes fail to reach out to special issues and hence have to depend on blogs feed.

The only thing that separates blogs and the print and electronic media is timing. While blogs provide readers with the latest information at high speed, television and radio will only carry it during news airtime and special segments. Worse is newspapers - it appears the next day or many hours later when people are already talking about it.

And what Chua said is true. Readers must be able to distinguish the truth and 'news sense' by not only referring to blogs. They must also turn to newspapers and the electronic media as this will avoid them from making their own judgement over specific issues.

So, there must be some collaborations between selective bloggers and the mainstream media to enable both sides gain benefit from the 'open news dissemination'. I wonder what has the Press Council set up last year involving the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry, the Home Ministry and representative of the media - formulated thus far!

In some countries like the US, South Korea, Japan and even Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and South Africa, the government pools senior journalists and selected bloggers into a special task force to help the Cabinet in news monitoring and info gathering.

As blogs get more readers' attention, there is a potential for both sides - blog writers and mainstream media - to work together in many aspects of news 'reporting'. And I personally don't think most reporters attached with the leading newspapers today can produce good 'scoops' as some bloggers do...


Bangkok Trip: Night Street Market Near Baiyoke Hotel & Petchburi

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 09:38 AM PST

Bangkok Trip: Night Street Market Near Baiyoke Hotel & Petchburi (Day 1) – After checked-in to our hotel at Pratunam's Petchburi area, we went for dinner just right out our hotel, which is Thai food (Tom Yum Restaurant) and it's pretty good.

After dinner, it's time to start our night hunt for some street night market at this area. We didn't really know where has got night market, but instinct tells me that there's one near the famous Baiyoke Sky Hotel. Baiyoke Sky Hotel is also the tallest building in Bangkok and located about 1.5km from our hotel.

Along the way to Baiyoke Sky Hotel, there's many street food vendors along the road which serve food like Pad Thai, BBQ, fruits, and more. Since I've had my dinner, those food didn't seem attractive to me by then.

After about 15 minutes of walk, crossed a big road with pedestrian bridge and we arrived the Baiyoke Sky Hotel area, happily, we found the typical Thailand night street market. Hueisean and my mom became excited when they saw a row of clothing stalls. I was then busy snapping around. Nothing seems amaze to me though. You can find the standard Thai's singlet with Singha beer logo, fake Ralph Lauren, cheap pyjamas, t-shirts and more.

It's quite interesting to see the night market and you can find some good bargain too. Though, I didn't buy anything but Hueisean bought a few pairs of cheap ear rings at 20baht/pair.

After an hour of shopping and exploring, we went back to the hotel with tuk-tuk at 80Baht as we were lazy to walk back already. Be careful when sitting on tuk-tuks as they can be fast and be sure to bargain with them first as they always offer high price.

We actually went to foot massage later then at 200Baht/hour, which I think is pretty expensive. You can get cheaper one at 150Baht/hour.


[Bergambar] Gambar-gambar Pelik, Aneh & Lucu Hanya Di Malaysia

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 10:14 AM PST

Gambar-gambar berikut untuk kita gunakan untuk merehatkan minda kita dari terlalu serius memikirkan sesuatu isu. Gambar-gambar ini bersepah ini internet, dikutip untuk paparan di blog GB ini untuk kita segarkan semula minda kita untuk menghadapi isu-isu baru selepas ini.

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Hadiah Tudung Percuma Sempena Hari Kekasih

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 09:28 AM PST

NGO Islam Lancar Kempen Menutup Aurat

KUALA LUMPUR – Gerakan Menutup Aurat Antarabangsa (Gemar) yang dianggotai beberapa badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) Islam akan mengedarkan tudung percuma dan mengedarkan risalah menutup aurat kepada orang ramai pada 11, 12 dan 14 Februari ini di Pulau Pinang.

Gemar melalui satu kenyataan media memberitahu, aktiviti itu antara program yang terkandung dalam `Operasi Sayangi Remaja' yang akan diadakan oleh gerakan itu bersempena sambutan Valentine' s Day pada 14 Februari ini.

"Gemar akan turun beraksi di lapangan pada 11 dan 12 Februari ini. Kawasan yang dipilih adalah di Pantai Jerjak, Queensbay dan Hentian Rehat Pantai Bersih, Bagan Ajam. Kemuncak acara ini adalah pada 14 Februari 2012 iaitu majlis pelancaran Gemar di Masjid At-Taqwa Bertam Pulau Pinang," kata kenyataan itu hari ini.


Menurut kenyataan itu, NGO yang menyatakan komitmen untuk menyertai Gemar adalah IKRAM, NISA' Pulau Pinang, Kelab Remaja Lestari, Ikatan Persaudaraan Muslimah Pulau Pinang (Salimah), Aktivis Pengupayaan Insan (API), Komuniti Suara Kehidupan dan Qaryah Masjid At-Taqwa Bertam.

Jelas kenyataan itu, Valentine's Day tidak selari dengan syariah Islam dan dicemari dengan konsep yang mengajar orang ramai untuk memuja kekasih secara berlebihan dan Gemar diwujudkan bagi memberi kesedaran kepada masyarakat Islam khususnya. – mynewshub


Tukar sambutan 'Valentine' kepada Hari Suami Isteri

KOTA BAHARU - Kerajaan Pas Kelantan bercadang menggantikan hari mengingati kekasih `Valentine's Day' yang disambut pada setiap 14 Februari kepada sambutan Hari Suami Isteri sebagai acara tahunan.

Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat berkata adalah lebih elok jika Hari Valentine, yang dipuja dan diilhamkan pengikut agama Kristian, diganti dengan sambutan Hari Suami Isteri untuk melahirkan keluarga bahagia mengikut acuan Islam.

"Untuk masa akan datang, kita bersetuju untuk menukar Valentine's Day kepada sambutan Hari Suami Isteri setiap tahun," katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan Hari Suami Isteri dan Pelancaran Buku Panduan Keluarga Mawaddah Negeri Kelantan di sini hari ini.

Turut hadir Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Islam, Pendidikan dan Dakwah Negeri Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah dan Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Kesihatan Negeri Wan Ubaidah Wan Omar.

Beliau berkata tujuan kerajaan menjadikan sambutan Hari Suami Isteri sebagai acara tahunan bagi menggalakkan umat Islam menghayati kehidupan keluarga bahagia mengikut acuan Islam sebenar.

Ini selaras dengan matlamat kerajaan melancarkan kempen menggalakkan remaja melangsungkan perkahwinan melalui program Gerbang Az-ziwaj yang diperkenalkan dua tahun lepas melibatkan 100 pasangan mengadakan perkahwinan secara berkelompok, katanya.

Melalui program itu, katanya kerajaan negeri menyediakan bantuan RM1,000 bagi setiap pasangan yang kurang mampu untuk membiayai mas kahwin dan majlis perkahwinan yang dilangsungkan.

Nik Abdul Aziz melahirkan kebimbangan gejala sosial yang berlaku di seluruh negara akibat pergaulan bebas dan perkahwinan tidak sah menyebabkan kadar kelahiran anak luar nikah atau anak zina mencecah lebih 234,00 di seluruh negara dalam tempoh 2006 hingga 2010.

Menurutnya lebih membimbangkan lagi apabila kira-kira 81,000 daripada jumlah itu melibatkan orang Melayu atau umat Islam dari seluruh negara.

Untuk tujuan itu, kerajaan negeri melalui Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Kesihatan Negeri mewujudkan Pusat Perlindungan Wanita untuk menempatkan wanita yang menjadi mangsa yang terlibat dengan gejala sosial akibat pergaulan bebas dan penganiayaan suami yang tidak bertanggung jawab.

Sementara itu, Wan Ubaidah berkata pusat itu di Pengkalan Chepa mula menerima penghuni terdiri daripada ibu tunggal dan wanita yang merupakan mangsa gejala sosial.
- Bernama



Zentrum: SPR Tidak Perlu Takut Pada Pemerhati Luar

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 07:47 AM PST

Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) tidak seharusnya bersikap curiga dan takut terhadap pemerhati luar dalam memastikan sebuah pilihanraya yang adil dan bersih dapat dijalankan di negara ini.

Perkara tersebut dinyatakan oleh Pengasas Zentrum Prof Madya Dr Abu Hassan Hasbullah berhubung kenyataan SPR yang menolak kedatangan pemerhati asing pada pilihanraya akan datang.

"SPR bukan sahaja perlu menjadi sebuah institusi yang berperanan menyuburkan demokrasi malah ia perlu bersifat lebih terbuka untuk memahami nilai demokrasi sepenuhnya.

"Jadi kenyataan SPR terhadap badan pemerhati luar sebagai tidak penting, jelas bertentangan dengan aspirasi transformasi yang dibawa oleh kerajaan sendiri,"

"Apakah ketakutan yang ada pada SPR untuk meragui dan mengesyaki badan-badan pemerhati ini sebagai agen-agen pihak tertentu yang mampu mencederakan proses pilihanraya yang bakal dijalankan? sudah pasti ianya tidak akan berlaku,"katanya ketika dihubungi TVSelangor.

Semalam, Timbalan Pengerusi SPR Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar (gambar) mengingatkan parti-parti pembangkang supaya tidak ghairah menarik pemerhati asing ke negara ini untuk memantau proses Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13 akan datang.

Wan Ahmad berkata pemerhati asing, yang mungkin mewakili badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) tertentu, tidak memahami undang-undang pilihan raya di negara ini.

Mengulas lanjut berhubung perkara ini, Abu Hassan mengingatkan SPR untuk berfungsi sebagai sebuah institusi profesional bagi mengurus perjalanan pilihanraya yang adil, bersih selain merayakan demokrasi segar dan bukannya bertindak diluar bidang kuasa suruhanjaya tersebut

"SPR tidak boleh mencampuri kepentingan dan keuntungan politik mana-mana pihak, tidak kira parti A mahupun parti B.

"Sikap berpihak kepada mana-mana, bakal menyaksikan SPR sebagai satu badan yang mungkin akan disalahkan oleh rakyat pada masa hadapan sekiranya negara kita ketinggalan dalam aspek merayakan demokrasi,"katanya. -tvsnews

Sekat pemerhati luar: SPR cuba sembunyikan sesuatu? - Nik Amar

KOTA BHARU, 9 Feb: PAS menyifatkan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) seolah-olah cuba mahu menyembunyikan sesuatu ekoran tindakannya tidak membenarkan pemerhati luar memantau pilihan raya umum ke 13.

(Nik Amar dakwa Wan Ahmad cuba sembunyikan sesuatu)

Timbalan Pesuruhjaya PAS Kelantan, Datuk Mohamad Amar Nik Abdullah berkata, berbeza pula dengan PAS yang mengalu-alukan pemerhati asing.

"Kalau SPR betul-betul telus, sepatutnya terima pemerhati asing. Buat apa takut," kata beliau kepada Harakahdaily.

Mohamad Amar mengulas kenyataan Timbalan Pengerusi SPR Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar yang mengingatkan parti-parti pembangkang supaya tidak ghairah menarik pemerhati asing ke negara ini untuk memantau proses Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13 akan datang.

Wan Ahmad berkata pemerhati asing, yang mungkin mewakili badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) tertentu, tidak memahami undang-undang pilihan raya di negara ini.

Katanya, mereka juga tidak faham budaya berpolitik di Malaysia selain tidak memahami sensitiviti rakyat negara ini.

"Dia (pemerhati asing) datang seminggu sebelum pilihan raya, kemudian buat andaian dan kesimpulan mengenai proses perjalanan pilihan raya di negara ini," katanya.

Bagi Mohamad Amar, SPR tidak sepatutnya takut untuk membenarkan pemerhati antarabangsa datang memerhatikan perjalanan pilihan raya di negara ini.

"Buktikan pada dunia yang kita ni telus dan terima pemerhati asing," cadang beliau yang juga Exco kerajaan negeri Kelantan.

Mohamad Amar ditemui wartawan selepas majlis perasmian sambutan suami isteri 2012 di Balai Islam hari ini.
-HD




Ulasan GB

GB sudah ulas pagi tadi. Petikan:

Mengapa SPR takut dengan "pemerhati asing" jika benar pilihanraya di negara ini adil dan telus sepertimana yang didakwa?

Pengerusi SPR sendiri pernah ke Bangkok kerana dipanggil untuk menjadi pemerhati antarabangsa bagi pilihan raya umum Thailand. Saya ingin bertanya kepada kepada SPR berapa kali SPR ada memanggil pemerhati antarabangsa untuk perjalanan pilihanraya umum atau kecil di negara kita? Jawap! Ya, kosong kali, kenapa? Sebab SPR tidak pernah mahu berlaku bersih di dalam pilihanraya. Malah pemerhati dalaman pun seperti MAFREL ditakuti SPR sehingga tidak diiktirafkan sebagai pemerhati.

Apakah pihak berkuasa Thailand pernah menyatakan bahawa pemerhati asing seperti Tan Sri Abdul Aziz tidak tahu selok belok undang-undang di negaranya seperti kenyataan Wan Ahmad yang cuba memperbodohkan rakyat ini?

Dengan sebab itulah, mengapa rakyat berpersepsi bahawa SPR adalah komponen BN dan ternyata apa juga alasan yang diberikan oleh SPR, alasan-alasan berkenaan kesemuanya in favour of the ruling party, BN.

Ingat SPR, tanggungjawab SPR bukan sekadar kepada rakyat di negara ini tetapi kepada Allah. Dan pengerusi dan timbalan pengerusi boleh mengeluarkan hujjah-hujjah di depanNya nanti. Hukum Kebenaran dan Hukum Tuhan tetap berjalan. Yang bersalah akan tetap menerima balasanNya.


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NFCorp: Loan not public funds? Your grandfather's?!

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 06:29 AM PST

The agreement for the RM250 million government soft loan to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) does not prohibit the company from using the funds for investments unrelated to the cattle industry, said its CEO. "The idea of (NFC's) loan money being equated to public funds by hardline critics is a political ploy intended to deceive the public," its CEO,  Wan Shahinur Izmir Salleh, said.

So, loan from the governemnt not public funds?

If not public funds, then whose funds?

Where does the government get its fund from?

Your grandfather?

ENGKAU JANGAN BULLSHIT, MR. CEO.


"REVERT" or "REPLY"

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 06:16 AM PST

I remember I was in Form One when I first came across the word "malapropism" in one of the literature texts we were using in class.

According to Wikipedia:

Etymology
The word malapropos is an adjective or adverb meaning "inappropriate" or "inappropriately", derived from the French phrase mal à propos (literally "ill-suited").[2] The earliest English usage of the word cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1630. Malaprop used in the linguistic sense was first used by Lord Byron in 1814 according to the OED.

The terms malapropism and the earlier variant malaprop come from Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1775 play The Rivals, and in particular the character Mrs. Malaprop. Sheridan presumably named his character Mrs. Malaprop, who frequently misspoke (to great comic effect), in joking reference to the word malapropos.

Distinguishing features

An instance of mis-speech is called a malapropism when:


  • The word or phrase means something different from the word the speaker or writer intended to use.
  • The word or phrase sounds similar to what was intended. For example, using obtuse (wide or dull) instead of acute (narrow or sharp) is not a malapropism; using obtuse (stupid=me or slow-witted) when one means abstruse (esoteric or difficult to understand) s used has a recognized meaning in the speaker's or writer's language.


The resulting utterance is nonsense.

These characteristics set malapropisms apart from other speaking or writing mistakes, such as eggcorns or spoonerisms.

Simply making up a word, or adding a redundant or prefix or suffix (subliminible instead of subliminal) to an existing word, does not qualify as a malapropism, these are neologisms.

READ MORE HERE.

I am compelled to write about this because more than ever before, I see many people misusing the word "REVERT' in the wrong context, especially in e-mails!

Today, I received two emails from two different persons and I just had to set the record right before the malaise spreads any further.

The following sentences are quite common:

1. I will revert back to you later.


2. I will revert if they respond.


3. For those who can understand, please revert.


Note: In the above sentences which have been highlighted in red font, the usage of the verb 'revert' is WRONG.

According to dictionary.com:

re·vert   [ri-vurt]
verb (used without object)

1. to return to a former habit, practice, belief, condition, etc.: They reverted to the ways of their forefathers 
2.Law . to go back to or return to the former owner or to his or her heirs. 
3.Biology . to return to an earlier or primitive type. 
4.to go back in thought or discussion: He constantly reverted to his childhood.

The meaning of revert is to return to a former habit, practice, belief, condition, etc. Mostly this is used in the software world to represent the rollback to a previous version.

E.g.:

1. A witch turned a princess to a frog. But, when the prince kissed the frog, it reverted to the princess form.

2. When the sun rises, the werewolf reverts to its human form.

3. Due to significant problems in the version 3.2, Microsoft reverted the popular Microsoft Excel software to version 3.1.

This particular website explains the error:

The most common meaning of "revert" is "to return to an earlier condition, time, or subject." When Dr. Jekyll drank the potion, he reverted to the brutish behavior of Mr. Hyde. 
But in South Asia it has become common to use "revert" instead of "reply", writing when people want you to get back to them about something: "revert to me at this address." 
In standard English, this would literally mean they are asking you to become them, so it is best to stick with "reply" when dealing with non-South Asian correspondents. 
Even some South Asians disapprove of this use of "revert."

Some commit tautology by writing revert back!

Tautology (rhetoric), using different words to say the same thing even if the repetition does not provide clarity. Tautology also means a series of self-reinforcing statements that cannot be disproved because the statements depend on the assumption that they are already correct.

Eg. Repeat again (tautology) cos "repeat" already means again so there is no need to use 'again' after repeat.

Similarly, revert means 'go back to a former state' so there is no need to use back after revert!

Hence revert back and refer back are redundant usage.

You can visit THIS LINK to see many examples of how 'revert' should be used.

I hope this brief post helps to shed some light on how and when 'revert' should be used. No offense meant to any one. Take care and have a pleasant evening.


What now?

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 05:50 AM PST

It was still dark outside this morning, not even 7 am when I heard the Mission Impossible ringtone on my handphone. Calls THAT early usually brings bad news, and with the PLHIV-assigned MI ringtone, I was hoping it wasn't the kind of emergencies that required me to go out anywhere to get the problem settled. I took a look at my phone screen and saw Shidah's name appearing. Remember Shidah? The foreigner married to a Malaysian and who used to be abused by her husband? You can read about her here.

Due to the problems with her husband, I never call Shidah for I wouldn't know when would be the right time to call. It had always been Shidah calling me, and I noticed most of the calls were either between 10 am to 1 pm or between 2 pm to 3 pm, Her husband would be out working during that time.

So when she called so early this morning, my mind began to wander. Did she get beaten up again? Was she calling to seek help to run away from home? If so, what was I going to do to safeguard myself from any complications?

As I answered the call, I heard Shidah sobbing away.

"Kakak! Suami saya dah meninggal kak!"

As far as I knew, the husband didn't have any illnesses. Shidah's the one who had been infected with HIV by her first husband back in her own country. Shidah was the one who had to go for hospital appointments. Her husband would just send her to the hospital and then fetch her after her appointments. The hospital was the only place where I could really talk to Shidah.

I asked Shidah what actually happened to the husband. According to her, yesterday evening, the husband suddenly fainted and was somehow sent to the hospital. And this morning he passed away. I didn't ask Shidah any further. It was already difficult understanding her Pattani accent, with her sobbing away it was even more difficult to understand. So I told her I'd call her later. I knew her husband had family members around Ipoh, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem for Shidah. The husband's family should be helping out with the funeral arrangements.

So I went out gardening as usual, and when I got in, I noticed a missed call from Shidah, about an hour after her first call. I called her back. She was still crying. I asked if the necessary arrangements had been made. She told me she didn't know what to do. Her in-laws were not there yet. After confirming with her that her in-laws had indeed been notified and that they told her they were coming, I told Shidah to just wait for them to arrive, and that if after some time they were still not there yet, to call me again. Her in-laws do not know heads or tails who I am and as far as they were concerned Shidah didn't have any friends in Malaysia. I didn't want to make an appearance and make them curious as to who I was.

Shidah didn't call me after that. So I guess the in-laws did turn up at the hospital to make all the necessary funeral arrangements.

So, what now for Shidah? Will she continue staying here in Malaysia? She doesn't have any children with this husband, only one child from her first marriage back in her own country. She hasn't met her child ever since she married her second husband and moved to Malaysia.

In other words, she doesn't have anybody here now except her in-laws. Logically, probably the next course of action for her is to go back to her country and be back with her own family, especially her child. But as far as I know, her husband never gave her cash. Any needs, her husband would bring her out with him and he'd pay.

So, does Shidah have any money to go home? And if she does go home, when should she do so? After her iddah? Or before? Will she get her rights to her late husband's properties, if any? Or will her in-laws deny her of her rights?

I'd need to talk to Shidah to find out further, but I don't want to be calling her too early. Right now I don't know where she is… is she alone at the house where she had been staying with her husband… or is she at her mother-in-law's home? I don't want to be calling her at the wrong time. I don't want her in-laws to become curious.

Whatever it is, I'm sure Shidah herself will be calling me soon if I don't call her earlier.

 


Ayaan Hirsi Ali:The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 04:55 AM PST

From one end of the muslim world to the other, Christians are being murdered for their faith. We hear so often about Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants in the Arab Spring's fight against tyranny. But, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.

The portrayal of Muslims as victims or heroes is at best partially accurate. In recent years the violent oppression of Christian minorities has become the norm in Muslim-majority nations stretching from West Africa and the Middle East to South Asia and Oceania. In some countries it is governments and their agents that have burned churches and imprisoned parishioners. In others, rebel groups and vigilantes have taken matters into their own hands, murdering Christians and driving them from regions where their roots go back centuries.

The media's reticence on the subject no doubt has several sources. One may be fear of provoking additional violence. Another is most likely the influence of lobbying groups such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation—a kind of United Nations of Islam centered in Saudi Arabia—and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Over the past decade, these and similar groups have been remarkably successful in persuading leading public figures and journalists in the West to think of each and every example of perceived anti-Muslim discrimination as an expression of a systematic and sinister derangement called "Islamophobia"—a term that is meant to elicit the same moral disapproval as xenophobia or homophobia.

But a fair-minded assessment of recent events and trends leads to the conclusion that the scale and severity of Islamophobia pales in comparison with the bloody Christophobia currently coursing through Muslim-majority nations from one end of the globe to the other. The conspiracy of silence surrounding this violent expression of religious intolerance has to stop. Nothing less than the fate of Christianity—and ultimately of all religious minorities—in the Islamic world is at stake.

Egypt Coptic Christians

At least 24 Coptic Christians were killed in Cairo during clashes with the Egyptian Army on Oct. 9., Thomas Hartwell / Redux

From blasphemy laws to brutal murders to bombings to mutilations and the burning of holy sites, Christians in so many nations live in fear. In Nigeria many have suffered all of these forms of persecution. The nation has the largest Christian minority (40 percent) in proportion to its population (160 million) of any majority-Muslim country. For years, Muslims and Christians in Nigeria have lived on the edge of civil war. Islamist radicals provoke much if not most of the tension. The newest such organization is an outfit that calls itself Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sacrilege." Its aim is to establish Sharia in Nigeria. To this end it has stated that it will kill all Christians in the country.

In the month of January 2012 alone, Boko Haram was responsible for 54 deaths. In 2011 its members killed at least 510 people and burned down or destroyed more than 350 churches in 10 northern states. They use guns, gasoline bombs, and even machetes, shouting "Allahu akbar" ("God is great") while launching attacks on unsuspecting citizens. They have attacked churches, a Christmas Day gathering (killing 42 Catholics), beer parlors, a town hall, beauty salons, and banks. They have so far focused on killing Christian clerics, politicians, students, policemen, and soldiers, as well as Muslim clerics who condemn their mayhem. While they started out by using crude methods like hit-and-run assassinations from the back of motorbikes in 2009, the latest AP reports indicate that the group's recent attacks show a new level of potency and sophistication.

The Christophobia that has plagued Sudan for years takes a very different form. The authoritarian government of the Sunni Muslim north of the country has for decades tormented Christian and animist minorities in the south. What has often been described as a civil war is in practice the Sudanese government's sustained persecution of religious minorities. This persecution culminated in the infamous genocide in Darfur that began in 2003. Even though Sudan's Muslim president, Omar al-Bashir, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which charged him with three counts of genocide, and despite the euphoria that greeted the semi-independence he grant-ed to South Sudan in July of last year, the violence has not ended. In South Kordofan, Christians are still subject-ed to aerial bombardment, targeted killings, the kidnap-ping of children, and other atrocities. Reports from the United Nations indicate that between 53,000 and 75,000 innocent civilians have been displaced from their resi-dences and that houses and buildings have been looted and destroyed. Continued here........


Akhlak Rendah Papagomo & Dua Lagi Blogger UMNO Diadukan Kepada SKMM

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 05:56 AM PST

Laporan SKMM terhadap Umno Online, blog pro-Umno

Pegawai khas Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Lim Guan Eng, Zairil Khir Johari hari ini membuat laporan Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (SKMM) terhadap laman web rasmi Umno, Umno Online dan blog pro-Umno Pisau.net dan Papa Gomo.

Laporan ini dibuat ekoran serangan berterusan laman web dan blog tersebut terhadap anak lelaki Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng yang difitnah sebagai pencabul kehormatan seorang pelajar perempuan.

"Saya telah diarahkan untuk membuat aduan kepada SKMM atas perkara ini kerana penerbitan dan penyiaran artikel-artikel palsu dan fitnah oleh Pisau.net, Umno-Online dan juga Papa Gomo merupakan suatu kesalahan di bawah, antara lainnya, Seksyen 211 Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998.

Beliau turut menjelaskan contoh artikel yang berunsur fitnah dan sindiran tersebut.
"Sebagai contoh terbaru, saya memetik daripada artikel Papa Gomo pada 7 Februari 2012 yang bertajuk "Lim Guan Eng Nenen Memang SIAL – Ibrahim Ali", di mana Papa Gomo telah membuat sindiran berikut:

"Psssttt.. Guan Eng Kaki Nenen, patut anak pun suka Raba Tetek… Memang SIAL".

Motif jelik dan keji

"Adalah jelas di sini bahawa laman-laman web seperti Papa Gomo mempunyai motif jelik dan keji serta sanggup melakukan apa-apa termasuk memainkan sindiran yang bukan sahaja memfitnahkan Ketua Menteri tetapi juga memangsakan seorang kanak-kanak dalam usia persekolahan yang tidak bersalah," kata Zairil di dalam satu kenyataan media.

Pada bulan Oktober tahun lepas, terdapat desas desus bahawa anak Guan Eng telah ditukarkan sekolah gara-gara mencabul kehormatan seorang pelajar perempuan di sekolah lamanya.

Laman-laman web tersebut, termasuk laman web rasmi Umno iaitu Umno-Online, telah mendakwa bahawa Ketua Menteri telah membayar RM200,000 kepada pelajar perempuan tersebut sebagai sogokan untuk berdiam.

Bagaimanapun, tuduhan tersebut telah disangkal oleh 'pelajar perempuan' tersebut yang dikenal pasti sebagai jaguh catur Hong Kong yang kini berada di Britain.


"Anya Corke, telah menegaskan bahawa beliau tidak pernah sesekali pun bertemu dengan Ketua Menteri atau anaknya," jelas Zairil.

Ini diikuti oleh pengesahan Pengarah Pelajaran Pulau Pinang, Ahmad Tarmizi Kamaruddin bahawa tidak ada sebarang bukti untuk mengaitkan anak Ketua Menteri dengan apa-apa kejadian sedemikian.

Pengetua SMJK Heng Ee, iaitu sekolah lama anak Ketua Menteri, juga telah menafikan kejadian itu.

Meskipun demikian laman web dan blog yang dinyatakan di atas tetap meneruskan serangan dengan memaparkan laporan berunsur fitnah dan palsu di laman mereka. -FMT

Akhlak rendah blogger pro-UMNO, pelajar sekolah terus jadi sasaran fitnah mereka

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 FEB: "Psssttt.. Guan Eng Kaki Nenen, patut anak pun suka Raba Tetek… Memang SIAL"

Itulah catatan blogger pro-UMNO Papagomo pada 7 Februari bertajuk "Lim Guan Eng Nenen Memang SIAL – Ibrahim Ali" yang mencerminkan tahap pemikiran dan akhlak pecacai upahan UMNO tersebut.

Betapa angkuh, keji dan jeliknya blogger pencacai UMNO, walau pun mereka sedar dan tahu beberapa laporan polis telah ditampilkan terhadap blog mereka kerana berbohong dan menyebarkan hasutan, mereka masih lagi berterusan memfitnah.

Justeru, Setiausaha Politik Kepada Setiausaha Agung DAP, Zairil Khir Johari telah membuat aduan kepada Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (SKMM) terhadap laman-laman web UMNO Online (laman web rasmi UMNO) dan para blogger pecacai UMNO seperti Pisau.net dan Papagomo.

"Sehingga sekarang, artikel-artikel yang palsu dan fitnah itu masih lagi dipaparkan dalam laman-laman web tersebut," katanya dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.

Mengimbas kembali peristiwa-peristiwa yang berkaitan dengan isu itu, beliau berkata, pada Oktober tahun lalu, beberapa laman web telah memainkan desas-desus kononnya anak Ketua Menteri Lim Guan Eng telah ditukarkan sekolah gara-gara mencabul kehormatan seorang pelajar perempuan di sekolah lamanya.

Tambahan pula, laman-laman web tersebut, termasuk laman web rasmi Umno iaitu Umno-Online, telah mendakwa bahawa Ketua Menteri telah membayar RM200,000 kepada pelajar perempuan tersebut sebagai sogokan untuk berdiam.

Ekoran daripada itu, pelbagai pihak telah muncul untuk menyangkal tuduhan-tuduhan tersebut sebagai fitnah yang langsung tidak berasas, tambah beliau lagi.

Zairil menjelaskan, "pelajar perempuan" yang menjadi bahan fitnah blogger pro-UMNO, iaitu seorang wanita warga asing yang tidak ada kena-mengena dengan pembohongan itu, Anya Corke, telah menegaskan bahawa beliau tidak pernah sesekali pun bertemu dengan Ketua Menteri atau anaknya.

"Kenyataan Anya telah diikuti dengan pengesahan daripada Pengarah Pelajaran Pulau Pinang Ahmad Tarmizi Kamaruddin bahawa tidak ada sebarang bukti untuk mengaitkan anak Ketua Menteri kepada apa-apa kejadian sedemikian.

"Tambahan pula, pengetua SMJK Heng Ee, iaitu sekolah lama anak Ketua Menteri, juga telah menafikan kejadian itu," ujarnya.

Walau pun pelbagai bukti telah ditampilkan, beliau kesal kerana laman-laman web tersebut masih lagi meneruskan serangan mereka tanpa melaporkan perkara yang sebenar.

Menurutnya, adalah jelas bahawa laman-laman web tersebut mempunyai motif jelik dan keji serta sanggup melakukan apa-apa termasuk memainkan sindiran yang bukan sahaja memfitnah Guan Eng tetapi juga memangsakan seorang kanak-kanak dalam usia persekolahan yang tidak bersalah.

"Sehingga hari ini, tindakan daripada pihak berkuasa masih lagi ditunggu-tunggu. Pada 12 Januari 2012, pihak polis telah menghubungi Ketua Menteri dan menasihati supaya beliau membuat laporan polis untuk memudahkan tindakan susulan ke atas pengendali-pengendali laman-laman web berkenaan.

"Malah, Ketua Menteri telah diberitahu bahawa permintaan untuk membuat laporan ini telah datang daripada "pihak atasan". Namun demikian, setakat ini siasatan masih belum lagi menghasilkan sebarang tangkapan," katanya.

Berikutan itu, Zairil telah diarahkan untuk membuat aduan kepada SKMM berhubung penerbitan dan penyiaran rencana-rencana palsu dan fitnah oleh blog-blog tersebut.

Tambahnya, penyiaran rencana-rencana fitnah itu merupakan satu kesalahan di bawah, antara lainnya, Seksyen 211 (Larangan terhadap pemberian kandungan jelik) Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998.
– Roketkini


Laporan sebelum ini
klik untuk baca





The fiddlers on Anwar's roof by S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 04:39 AM PST

The "pro Jewish" sentiments attributed to Anwar Ibrahim by the rabid right-wing state sponsored Malay press, "independent" non-governmental organisations and various personalities is further evidence that Umno, with the complicity of its non-Malay component parties, is determined to destroy the middle ground currently occupied by PAS and PKR.

Notice how the word "pro-Jewish", stripped of context and nuance, is bandied about conjuring up images of Anwar and by extension those who support him (read: non-Malays) as agents of a nebulous Jewish entity determined to undermine Malay solidarity and enthrall the 'ummah' (Muslim population).

Police reports are filed, inflammatory speeches are made about how this most vital of issues will be brought to the attention of members of parliament, who no doubt will be shocked - shocked that such forms of extremism are professed by a man the state has accused of being a sodomite.

NONEOf course, Anwar's "links" to biased Western politicians and media will be disseminated as further evidence that the opposition leader is in cahoots with well, everyone. Note to Umno spin-doctors - trotting out Dr Chandra Muzzafar to assassinate Anwar's character and lend credibility to their arguments, may play well to the faithful but does nothing but remind right-thinking citizens that Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat should be more circumspect in their choices of future political allies.

However what is ignored in this narrative is the further Islamisation or more accurately Arabisation of the political and social landscape that Umno seems determinedly to pursue. It is the greatest of ironies that Anwar was himself part of the state mechanism that facilitated this shift many years ago as an activist in the Islamic youth group Abim (although in those days Abim had a more antagonistic relationship with the powers-that-be) and then in his various cabinet roles.

The resurgent opposition leader has expressed remorse for his past acts as a reconciliatory move to his non-Malay supporters and to solidify his international reputation as a "moderate" Muslim leader. The biggest threat he poses is his perceived ability to harness the disparate ideological forces that comprises Pakatan and occupy the middle ground that BN has supposedly occupied for decades, but in reality merely paid lip service to.

Long creep of Arabisation

The anti-Semitic rhetoric coming from agents of the state serves two purposes. The first, to demonise Anwar in the eyes of the Muslim population here and abroad, the latter which he is fairly popular with. The second is an example of what I argued in 'Manufacturing of a fear culture', which is to estrange the Muslim population from the rest of their fellow citizens. Non-Malays politicians and journalists have to tread extremely carefully on this issue lest they be portrayed as anti-Islam.

Besides promulgating a culture of fear, the determined attempts of conflating complex humanitarian issues like the Palestinian Occupation with Islamic ones further alienates non-Muslim/non-Malay members of the public. Their views of Islam already coloured by the numerous "Islamic" provocations on their own religions and cultures and witnessing the level of anti-Semiticism dominating the public discourse (which they are excluded from) from high-ranking officials merely reinforces these negatives perceptions of both Islam and the Palestinian Occupation.

With the decades long creep of Arabisation into the Malaysian public and private spheres, anti-Semitism is already embedded in the system except now with the advances of communication technology, this unsavoury aspect of the regime's tacit support of these elements is well-documented. Consider the hate speech of Muslim convert Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, a lecturer at the National Defence University, who has taken anti-Semiticism to a new level by comparing his Chinese brothers and sisters to the most obscene stereotype of Jews, pleading special knowledge about their community since he was a 'kafir' (like them) before embracing Islam.

This is a so-called Muslim intellectual who teaches young Malay officers of their duties and responsibilities (amongst other things) to their country. Add the likes of the two Alis - Ibrahim and Hasan - and what you get is a willing audience of hate-mongers within the Malay community who probably don't understand that the rhetoric is merely for propagandistic purposes to maintain control and not an invitation for violence.

With the yearly influx of thousands of returning students from the madrasahs and universities in the Middle East, not to mention the indoctrination that happens in the hundreds of unregistered (read: unmonitored) religious schools in this country (sympathetic to the brand of Islam imported from the Middle East), what you get is a conflux of simmering Islamic fundamentalism who view the discourse wafting from Umno as examples of either a lack of Muslim solidarity (in the case of Anwar) or an invitation to express their religious convictions through violent means.

Whenever acts of extremism are perpetrated by members of a so-called moderate community, the soul-searching question often asked is "how did such an individual come to be in a society like ours". In our case, we only have to read the newspapers or be cognisant of the coddling of extremist views to understand how an individual like Nordin Mat Top came to exist.

The gentle reminder of Home Minister Hishammuddin Onn, of Nordin's execution, "a life is a life" and how the state could have "rehabilitated" him, is merely a reminder of the mendacity of Umno when it comes to its role in the creation of the environment that sustains the like of a mass murderer like Top.

Hamas or Fatah?

Coupled with the anti-Semitism is the astounding level of ignorance of the general Malay population especially amongst the university-educated ones on the nature and participants of the Palestinian Occupation. All of them view the occupation as purely a Muslim problem, ignoring the thousand of Christians who have killed and died for the struggle.

Christian voices like the late George Habash are unknown to them. It is always, "Western liberal morality" that conspire to keep the Palestinians down, and by extension Islam, all the while forgetting passionate polemical voices like the slain Irish Catholic, Margaret Hassan, whose work in the Palestinian refugee camps reminds us of the humanitarian aspect of the conflict.

And let us not forget of the internal bickering between the Hamas and Fatah fractions that have seeped into the non-governmental organisations under the umbrella organisation which handles all the humanitarian aid involving the Palestinian Occupation here in Malaysia.

Local Muslim NGOs are left pondering who to support - Fatah or Hamas - all the while aid which is supposed to elevate the horrible conditions the Palestinians are living under becomes the prize for the internal squabbling in the Palestinian Authority. In a multi-racial/ethnic country like Malaysia, which prides itself on being on the moderate Muslim path, the middle ground means having a nuanced domestic and foreign policy opinion on the Palestinian conflict.

What is not needed are the likes of Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin leading protests against that dreaded Devil America where he loudly proclaims that he and others would go fight for the Palestinians in Gaza. Would they send the newly-enhanced Rela members? If the state continues its attacks on the middle ground using issues like these against Anwar and his Pakatan members, it will inadvertently let the genie out of the bottle with regards to Islamic extremism.

For some time now, they have managed to contain the extremist elements in the country; however the rhetoric from members of its own party or proxy groups (whose aim is not to radicalise the population but to maintain Umno hegemony) will make it harder for them to constrain these forces.

The non-Malay component parties of BN complicity in creating such a situation weather by their silence or cheerleading, is more damaging then their presence in white ang pow events. Anwar and Pakatan should do their utmost in never relinquishing the middle-ground because this would have disastrous consequence for Malaysia. The shape of things to come will be determined by the integrity that Pakatan displays when dealing with emotionally-charged issues such as these.

So, they should thread cautiously but with the agenda of never leaving the field to the bigots and anti-Semites. Malaysiakini


Dapur Restoran Burger King Di Shah Alam Terbakar

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 03:47 AM PST

Shah Alam - Hampir 50 peratus bahagian dapur sebuah restoran makanan segera di Taman Sukan X-treme, Seksyen 13 di sini terbakar hari ini. Gambar NST.

Pegawai Bomba Kanan II Balai Bomba Penyelamat Seksyen 15 Muhammad Azhar Mahidin berkata kebakaran pada pukul 10.26 pagi itu dipercayai berpunca daripada saluran asap pada bahagian bumbung restoran berkenaan.

Kejadian disedari orang awam yang ternampak kepulan asap hitam di bahagian bumbung restoran sebelum memaklumkannya kepada pekerja restoran yang menghubungi bomba.

"Ketika kejadian, dua pelanggan dan enam pekerja berada di restoran itu namun mereka hanya menyedari kejadian itu selepas dimaklumkan oleh orang awam.

Kesemuanya berjaya menyelamatkan diri," katanya kepada pemberita. Muhammad Azhar berkata api berjaya dikawal daripada merebak ke dua lagi restoran makanan segera serta sebuah bilik suis Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

Muhammad Azhar berkata tiga jentera bomba bersama 17 anggota dari balai Pelabuhan Klang, Kota Anggerik dan Shah Alam terbabit dalam operasi mengawal dan memadam kebakaran itu.

Kebakran berjaya di kawal pada pukul 11.15 pagi, katanya. Muhammad Azhar berkata operasi kesemua restoran itu ditutup buat sementara waktu untuk siasatan lanjut.

Seorang pekerja yang enggan dikenali berkata ketika kejadian, dia dan rakan sekerjanya melakukan rutin tugasan masing-masing dan tidak menyedari premis itu sedang terbakar.

"Kami terkejut apabila dimaklumkan dan bertindak keluar dari restoran bersama dua pelanggan. Kebakaran pada bahagian atas, jadi sukar untuk kami menggunakan alat pemadam kebakaran," katanya. -BERNAMA


NZ travelogue: Day 5

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 02:57 AM PST

We could afford ourselves a slightly later-than-normal breakfast during our stay at the Albatross Inn in Dunedin. The reason was because it would be a comparatively shorter drive from Dunedin to our next destination for the night in Oamaru. They were just about 110 kilometres apart and therefore even a slow drive would take us from Point A to Point B in perhaps not more than 90 minutes.

With this in mind, we set out to explore the region. My original plan was to go wander around the city centre and take in the old Victorian and Edwardian architecture. I had also made a reservation at the Cadbury Centre. Who could ever resist a tour of a chocolate factory? Not me!

But I was also in two minds about wanting to go outside the city. One of the reasons for coming to New Zealand was to enjoy Dunedin's eco-tourism, their nature and the natural landscape. And I had heard that there were a diversity of attractions beyond the isthmus of the Otago peninsula.


In the end, we drove up to the Royal Albatross Centre at the end of the peninsula. I think what settled this decision was that we could also visit the Larnach Castle along the way. This was the only such castle in the whole of New Zealand and sounded like an interesting place to visit.

Unfortunately we ended up spending too much time at the castle, we even had our lunch there, and it meant that we could only drive up to the Royal Albatross Centre for a quick look around. It turned out that it wasn't even a "quick look around." We only managed to make it as far as their visitor's centre for the obligatory photograph:


By the way, this was about as close as we ever got to an albatross, even if it was only a stuffed bird:


And then we went gall excited like two little kids when we saw some of the merchandise on sale at the centre, namely, these items:


Yup, you read correctly. Belly button wamers and willy warmers. To keep you warm during the cold nights. Made from genuine possum fur. And no, we didn't buy.

We also stopped by the Sandfly Bay Wildlife Refuge to take in the vista. This photograph is just to say that, well, we were there, even if it was just for a few fleeting minutes. Really, unless you have the time to go tramping around and particularly, down to the sand dunes far below, there's no point staying for long. It was the end of autumn and daylight was against us. Nevertheless, it was a very refreshing view of the Southern Ocean. We were looking towards the Antartic.


From the Royal Albatross Centre, we took a lazy drive back to Dunedin along the Portobello Road. The road hugs the sea all the way to the city and we could imagine that at high tide the water would reach up to the road. Worse, if ever a tsunami were to strike, the road would be totally immersed.

 
By the time we arrived back at Dunedin, it was past three-thirty in the afternoon. The time for my reservation at the Cadbury Centre had come and gone. We had missed the factory tour. As a result, we had also missed the free chocolate goodies they were giving out to visitors. Darn. Our only consolation was to drown choke ourselves on their chocolates with our money. I must say that the varieties and quality were far beyond my expectation. There were varieties that we would never ever get back home. And they were selling for such ridiculously low prices! A big bar of imported Cadbury chocolates (made in Australia) costs almost RM20 but here in the Dunedin Cadbury factory, the same big bar costs only NZD3 (equivalent to RM7.50 at the most). Incredibly cheap. We ended spending something like NZD30 on chocolates for the relatives back home.


There was to be a final stop for us at Baldwin Street in Dunedin before we finally bade farewell to this interesting city. Time was already after four-thirty. By the time arrived in Oamaru, it was after six o'clock, and it was again driving in the dark for the third day in a row. Only wished we had more light and more time...



ca-pub-5430283382112812


Festive Guilt

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 02:57 AM PST

Braised pig trotter with fatt choy
Braised pig trotter with fatt choy, New She Lai Ton Restaurant, Ipoh.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S II.

With the festive celebrations over and done with, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. It has been an especially difficult time for me. I had a hard time resisting all the good food that came with the ocassion. In fact, I worry that I may have over-indulged.

I need to seriously go back to the basics of my dietary requirements of low-everything; low-protein, low-sodium, low-purine, low-phosphorous, and now, low-cholesterol. Anything to preserve whatever renal function left in my kidneys.

Another blood test is due in two weeks. The doctors ordered it to check if Lipitor has any adverse effect on my liver and especially my kidneys. The most serious being rhabdomyolysis. This is the breakdown of muscle tissues that leads to the release of a huge amount of myoglobin into the blood stream and causes kidney failure.

The only side effect that I experienced so far was the first few days after I began taking the medicine. My philtrum and upper lips twitched incessantly. The twitchings stopped a week or so later. The blood tests shall reveal whether I suffered other subclinical effects.

Related posts:

  1. Blood Work for August 2010
  2. Blood Tests For July 2011
  3. Bad News, Good News
  4. Review Of My Renal Function
  5. Serum Creatinine At All-Time High


Bangkok Trip: Prepaid Sim Pack For Internet Data & Voice Call

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 02:44 AM PST

Screen Shot 2012-02-03 at 1.06.34 AM

Bangkok Trip: Prepaid Sim Pack For Internet Data & Voice Call – Every time I go to a place for travel, I will buy a local simpack for myself, mainly for connecting to the Internet, searching for local travel information, and updating some of my moment to social media and blog.

Besides, it's also very cost saving for you and your friends to communicate at the destination as you know call rate through roaming is very expensive. You can also use it for emergency.

In Bangkok, I bought the 1-2-Call prepaid SIM pack from AIS (a telco) which costs 99Baht/simpack itself with 50Baht of credit, and top up an addition of 300Baht worth of credit, total 399Baht. I bought the SIM pack from the AIS counter at the airport once I get through the immigration check point.

Screen Shot 2012-02-03 at 1.06.50 AM

It does not include data, but you can subscribe to it at 50baht per day unlimited usage. The troublesome part is you have to subscribe it everyday once it timed, so it's better for you to set a reminder.

There's also special data plan for iPhone 4, but that's on hour basis. If you are iPhone 4 user, I recommend you go to mobile phone shop in shopping centre instead for them to cut the normal SIM of 1-2-Call to micro SIM, then you can subscribe to the unlimited 50Baht per day.

Besides, they also include extra bonus talk time so you have no worry that your data subscribtion has used all your credit.

Find more info here and here.


Bangkok Trip: Departure From Penang & Ecotel Hotel

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 01:55 AM PST

Bangkok Trip: Departure From Penang & Ecotel Hotel (Day 1) – One of the flight that fly from Penang to Bangkok is AirAsia which fly everyday in the afternoon at about 5pm. Penang International Airport is currently quite messy at the moment and noisy with the sound of construction going on at there.

With AirAsia, we've checked-in early to the flight early via the Web Check-In Service, but then we still have to verify our document and drop our baggage at the counter. There's quite many people flying to Bangkok with us too.

After 1.5 hours of flight, I have finally reached Bangkok's Survarnabhumi Airport. It feels the same as 4 years ago and the airport was so busy with travelers. After passing through the immigration, we went to buy some finger food at 7 Eleven. What's best about 7 Eleven and mini mart in Bangkok, Thailand is that you can find many finger food especially sausage and pork burger.

Then I went to buy a sim pack for my phone which is the One-2-Call by AIS which costs 399Baht with 350baht of credit. After that we went to the taxi stand to hire a cab to bring us straight to our hotel. Taxi is charged by meter and there's a 50baht surcharge and another 45baht for toll.

The journey takes about 35 minutes from airport to the hotel I was staying – Ecotel Hotel. You can find the best rate at Hotels Combined.

Ecotel Hotel is located on 1091/333-4 New Petchburi Road 35,  Makkasan, Rajthevee, Bangkok 10320, Thailand. Its price is pretty affordable, at about RM120/night for standard room with breakfast. It has a English-style look in the lobby area. The room is quite simple, but most importantly, clean. There's also over 70 channels on the TV, but most of them are in Thai and boring. Haha.

The hotel is very near to main shopping district of Pratunam, Central World, Platinum are like 3km away. Walking towards the mall is pretty far, but then taking tuk-tuk and taxi are very convenient. There's many street food stalls outside the hotel and some nice Thai restaurant too. One can also walk to the night street market at Baiyoke Sky Hotel which is about 1km away.

Besides, 7-Eleven is just stone throw away from the hotel too! I realised many taxi driver does not aware of this hotel, you can tell the driver about Ramada Hotel which is a more famous hotel located right opposite of Ecotel Hotel only, then you can walk towards Ecotel Hotel.


Lagi Kes Kejadian Kereta Terbakar Berlaku

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 02:51 AM PST

Misteri empat kereta terbakar

SUBANG JAYA -"Jiran ketuk rumah berkali-kali memaklumkan kedai runcit yang diusahakan saya di tingkat bawah pangsapuri Seri Nipah, Subang Mas di sini terbakar. Namun sebaik tiba di bawah saya terkedu melihat kereta Proton Iswara milik saya sebenarnya yang terbakar," kata Mohd Nazim Nasaruddin, 28, salah seorang daripada empat pemilik kereta yang musnah terbakar, awal pagi semalam.

Dalam kejadian kira-kira 3 pagi itu, Mohd Nazim berkata, sebaik diberitahu oleh jirannya mengenai kejadian, dia bergegas meluru ke tingkat bawah pangsapuri.

"Sampai sahaja di tingkat bawah, saya lihat kereta jenis Mini Cooper yang diletakkan betul-betul di depan kedai runcit diusahakan sudah musnah terbakar.

"Bimbang api merebak ke kereta saya yang diletakkan bersebelahan, saya kemudian mengambil keputusan mengalihkan kereta ke tempat lain tetapi perbuatan itu ditegah penduduk lain," katanya ia berikutan kedengaran bunyi letupan dari kereta yang musnah terbakar.

Mohd Nazim berkata, dia cuba memadamkan api yang mula merebak ke keretanya dan dua kereta lain menggunakan pakaian yang terdapat di dalam kereta.

"Apabila merasakan keadaan mulai selamat, saya terus mengalihkan kereta ke tempat lebih selamat.

"Kejadian menyebabkan saya kerugian ribuan ribu ringgit, namun bersyukur ia tidak merebak hingga ke kedai runcit diusahakan," katanya.

Sementara itu, Ketua Polis Daerah Subang Jaya, Asisten Komisioner Yahaya Ramli berkata, kejadian yang berlaku kira-kira jam 3 pagi itu disedari oleh salah seorang peniaga kedai makan berhampiran.

Katanya, pekerja restoran itu memaklumkan terlihat kepulan asap keluar dari sebuah kereta menyebabkan dia bingkas mendapatkan bantuan dan berusaha memadamkan api.

Tambahnya, saksi memaklumkan kebakaran bermula dari bahagian enjin kereta jenis Mini Cooper sebelum merebak ke tiga lagi kereta bersebelahan.

Punca kebakaran dipercayai daripada litar pintas yang berlaku di bahagian enjin kereta itu.

"Empat kereta yang musnah terbakar termasuk kereta jenis Proton Iswara, Mini Cooper, Toyota Corolla, dan Perodua Kelisa. Kerugian dianggarkan melebihi RM200,000.

"Siasatan awal mendapati tiada sebarang unsur khianat dan setakat ini ia diklasifikasikan sebagai kes bencana," katanya. -SH


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