Monday, July 23, 2012

A Change of Heart Changes Everything

A Change of Heart Changes Everything


A Change of Heart Changes Everything

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 09:22 AM PDT

A California institute demonstrates how people can actually make their heart beat in a healthier way. Through its research, the Institute of HeartMath proves that health starts with love, and that love can reduce stress. It is a method that is used by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and more than 100 organizations–from global corporations to hospitals to government agencies and schools. This simple method is changing the world. A report from Boulder Creek, California.

Jurriaan Kamp | June 2005 issue

All you need is love, sang John Lennon.

True, according to most people.

The only challenge: how do you create love?

A quite startlingly simple answer was found to that question in the redwood forests of Boulder Creek, California, south of San Francisco. Since 1991, the Institute of HeartMath has generated a large body of convincing scientific evidence that it is indeed possible to create love. HeartMath's research shows that emotions work much faster, and are more powerful, than thoughts. And that—when it comes to the human body—the heart is much more important than the brain to overall health and well-being—even cognitive function—than anyone but poets believed. Its dominance inside the body is now clearly demonstrated. Thinking clearly with your brain is useful. But feeling positively from your heart provides an amazing boost to health and creativity.

Briefly re-experiencing a cherished memory creates synchronization in your heart rhythm in mere seconds. This increases the release of healthy, energizing hormones, while at the same time decreasing levels of damaging stress hormones, at the same time your immune system is strengthened, blood pressure decreases … and health and focus increase. Using a simple prescription that consists of a number of exercises that anyone can do anywhere in a few minutes—the details are coming shortly—HeartMath is successfully battling the greatest threat to health, happiness and peace in this world: stress.

Stress is the plague of our time, an epidemic that is spreading rapidly. The World Health Organization (WHO) raised the alarm 20 years ago, but things have only gotten worse. Every day some one million Americans fail to come to work due to stress. The European Union estimated in 2000 that the annual price tag of stress, in the form of healthcare costs and lost productivity, amounts to some three to four percent of the EU's gross domestic product. Stress is one of the most important causes of high blood pressure, which afflicts one in three adults in Europe and North America and is the cause of many serious illnesses such as heart disease and stroke. Stress also lies at the basis of depression and burnout.

"The good news is that the negative effects of stress can be effectively countered more easily than people might imagine. This leads to better performance in every aspect of life. It is therefore a smart strategy for every organization to tackle this source of excessive costs and human strain," according to HeartMath's president and CEO Bruce Cryer.

That insight has now permeated many companies and institutions. Managers are sent to stress seminars. Yoga lessons are offered at company headquarters. And there are even companies that encourage their employees to take vacations. But these measures aren't very effective as long as stress continues to permeate the corporate culture. The sense of relief from a yoga lesson or a weekend at the beach is often lost during the first chat with a frustrated colleague at the coffee machine. A successful anti-stress strategy provides results precisely at the moment the stress is experienced. This is what HeartMath does, which is why its client list now includes such leading companies as Hewlett Packard, Shell, Unilever, Cisco Systems, and Boeing.

HeartMath was established in 1991 by Doc Lew Childre. Childre had made a name for himself as a researcher and advisor to companies and scientific institutions. With the founding of HeartMath, he embarked on his mission to demonstrate that the heart was central to human health, success and fulfillment. While HeartMath's techniques emphasize the importance of emotional self-management, HeartMath is no new age phenomenon. It is a research institute that in the space of nearly 15 years has published a large body of scientific research in established and respected publications such as the Harvard Business Review and the American Journal of Cardiology. Those publications support HeartMath's central aim of presenting revolutionary scientific discoveries in a solid, "bullet proof" way. It has demonstrated significant cost savings for healthcare organizations struggling with staff turnover, and has shown significant health benefits in an array of studies covering congestive heart failure, diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. As Cryer says, "HeartMath is not based simply on belief. There are proven physiological reactions in how emotion, heart and brain interact." In other words: HeartMath's work is kept scrupulously free of the obvious potential for opportunism.

Which is admirable given that financing and survival issues have presented tricky challenges for the organization through the years. HeartMath's location reflects this cautious strategy. The institute is located in a group of buildings on a lovely retreat-like setting in Boulder Creek, a town that is nearly impossible to find among the tall trees of the ancient Californian forests. Stress and Boulder Creek have little to do with one another, I realize, following a drive through the pouring rain. And yet the decision to locate HeartMath here was not so odd. Forty-five minutes down the road is a well-known hotbed of this "modern plague:" Silicon Valley.

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Suami Mati Setelah Dipaksa Melakukan Hubungan Seks Dengan Enam Isterinya!

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 11:03 AM PDT

Nigeria – Seorang ahli perniagaan meninggal dunia setelah dikepung dan dipaksa melakukan hubungan seks oleh kesemua enam isterinya secara bergilir-gilir dua hari lepas.

Siasatan awal mendapati kes tersebut berlaku disebabkan kesemua isteri ahli perniagaan berkenaan berada dalam keadaan 'marah dan cemburu'.

Menurut polis, kejadian terjadi kira-kira pukul 3 petang sewaktu Uroko Onoja, dari Ugbugbu Owukpa, baru saja pulang ke rumahnya dan hendak beristirahat di bilik isterinya yang paling muda.

Namun, tiba-tiba saja, lima orang isterinya yang lain datang ke bilik tidur mereka berdua sambil membawa pisau.

Mereka menuntut agar Uroko 'melayan' mereka semua secara bergilir-gilir.

Giliran itu juga sudah ditentukan, mereka memaksa Uroko melayan kesemua daripada mereka bermula dari isteri termuda hingga yang tertua.

Menurut polis, pada awalnya semua 'berjalan lancar', tetapi ketika tiba giliran isteri kelima Uroko sudah tidak bernafas.

"Tiba-tiba, suami saya berhenti bernafas, dan mereka (isteri-isteri yang lain) terus ketawa, tapi ketika mereka melihat saya gagal membangunkannya kembali, mereka semua panik dan terus berlari ke dalam hutan, "
kata salah seorang isteri Uroko.

Polis Nigeria sehingga kini telah menahan dua orang isteri Uroko untuk membantu siasatan. (Agensi)


Umno Selangor treasurer-Syabas water sabo rakyat

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 07:14 AM PDT

Pulling plug on water rationing reveals Umno ploy, says Selangor

UPDATED @ 07:11:24 PM 23-07-2012
July 23, 2012
A general view of the water treatment plant in Semenyih, July 23, 2012. Selangor insists that the reported water crisis has been manufactured to smear the state administration.—Picture by Saw Siow Feng
KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 ― Putrajaya's admission that water rationing was not necessary in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur has proven that the issue was a political gimmick to discredit the Selangor government, state executive council member Elizabeth Wong said today. She also said that Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) has been turned into an Umno tool to coerce the Selangor government into approving the construction of the Sungai Langat Water Treatment Plant or Langat 2.
Putrajaya has said it will tender out the RM3.6 billion plant despite Selangor's objections, citing hefty costs for constructing a new plant that will take two years to complete.
"The federal government has no real solution in improving the supply and management of treated water. In fact, they are trying to sabotage Selangor government efforts to do the right thing to protect people's interests," she said in a statement today.
Wong said Putrajaya did not enumerate Langat 2's capability to address the water shortage whereas Selangor already has a RM225 million plan for water mitigation.
"What is needed is an independent committee to decide which project is more effective in solving the shortage of treated water at a low cost," she added.
She told the Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government to acknowledge its mistake when signing the water privatisation agreement in 2004, saying the error cannot be rectified until now.
"The Selangor government has the right to take over Syabas under the Water Supply Industry Act 2006. The federal government's decision to stop this effort shows that the BN government is partial to corporate companies linked to Umno rather than protecting the people's interests," she said.
Syabas is controlled by Puncak Niaga Bhd that is run by corporate figure Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, who is the Selangor Umno treasurer.
Wong also said that the chairman of the special Cabinet committee on water, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, has no experience in the matter and unable to contribute good ideas for water management.
"When he was the Johor mentri besar, he made the state water tariffs among the highest in the country," she added.
She pointed out that efforts to privatise water supply in Johor to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary's MMC Corp Bhd will add to the "people's burden".
"The Johor people will face an unreasonable water tariff, unlike those in Selangor who receive free water. The BN government wants to pawn the rights of Johor people, but Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor will not keep quiet against those making a profit from people's suffering," the Bukit Lanjan assemblyman said.
Syed Mokhtar's MMC conglomerate is seeking to form a special purpose vehicle with Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB), a wholly-owned company under the Minister of Finance Incorporated, to take over the country's water assets, The Edge Financial Daily reported today.
Muhyiddin, who is also deputy prime minister, also told reporters earlier today that the proposed Langat 2 water treatment plant was important to prevent Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya from reaching critical water supply levels by 2014.
He said the federal government will refer the Selangor government's planned takeover of Syabas to the Attorney-General as it involved legal technicalities.
The Selangor government has also said it will pay to upgrade two water treatment plants to increase water supply if Putrajaya continued to delay transferring RM225 million for the project.
The two plants, Sungai Selangor Plant 1 (SSP1) and Sungai Selangor Plant 2 (SSP2), are currently running below their maximum capacity output due to infrastructural limitations to channel treated water out to the water supply network.


[VIDEO] Selangor Digesa Beli SYABAS

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 07:31 AM PDT

Shah Alam: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Selangor menggesa kerajaan negeri mengambil alih pengurusan dengan membeli saham-saham Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) berikutan 'krisis air' yang dipercayai telah dicipta oleh pihak tertentu.

Ketua Penerangan PKR Selangor Shuhaimie Shafie mendakwa syarikat itu cuba mensabotaj kerajaan negeri yang diperintah Pakatan Rakyat dengan mewujudkan krisis air bagi menakut-nakutkan rakyat negeri ini.

"Kita minta kerajaan negeri suntik wang dan beli Syabas. Tindakan segera perlu diambil kerana Syabas cuba mensabotaj dan memburuk -burukkan kerajaan negeri," katanya di hadapan kira-kira 100 demonstran yang berkumpul di Wisma Rozali di sini tengah hari tadi.

Mereka yang berkumpul sejak jam 12.00 tengah hari bergerak ke pintu utama Wisma berkenaan untuk menyerahkan memorandum bantahan terhadap cadangan Syabas untuk mencatu air di beberapa kawasan di Selangor.

Memorandum itu diserahkan kepada Pengerusi Eksekutif Syabas, Tan Sri Rozali Ismail melalui Pengarah Eksekutif Pengurusan dan Sumber Manusia, Ismail Hashim.

Demonstrasi yang diadakan pada hari ketiga Ramadhan ini dianjurkan bersama AMK Selangor dengan kerjasama beberapa badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) Selangor.

Kerajaan negeri sebelum ini bercadang untuk memecat Pengerusi Eksekutif dan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Syabas kerana gagal memberikan penjelasan berhubung catuan air yang diumumkan syarikat itu baru-baru ini.

Selain Shuhaimie, mereka yang turut serta bagi menyerahkan memorandum itu ialah Ahli Parlimen Shah Alam, Khalid Samad; Timbalan Presiden PKR Selangor, Zuraida Kamarudin; Naib Ketua AMK Selangor, Azmizam Zaman Huri dan exco kerajaan negeri, Ronnie Liu. -FMT

Pakatan berhimpun sokong ambil alih SYABAS

Sekumpulan lebih 100 orang penyokong kerajaan negeri Selangor berhimpun di hadapan pejabat Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS) di Shah Alam hari ini sebagai sokongan kepada kerajaan negeri untuk mengambil alih pemegang konsesi air tersebut.

Beberapa pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat, termasuk ADUN Sri Muda Shuhaimi Shafiei dan MP Shah Alam Khalid Samad memimpin perhimpunan yang bermula jam 12 tengahari itu.

Selain pemimpin parti Pakatan Rakyat, turut hadir dalam perhimpunan itu adalah Ketua Angkatan Muda Keadilan (AMK) Selangor, Azmizam Zaman Huri, wakil Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) dan pemimpin Gabungan NGO Selangor.

Kumpulan berkenaan membawa kain rentang dengan slogan "Kembalikan air kepada rakyat", "Hentikan catuan air", dan "Pecat Tan Sri Rozali Ismail".

Sebelum itu, Khalid ketika berucap di hadapan bangunan SYABAS itu meminta agar Pengerusi Eksekutif Puncak Niaga Holdings dan Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Tan Sri Rozali Ismail supaya tidak bermain politik dan menjaga air Selangor dengan baik.

"Dia dibayar gaji yang tinggi tetapi tidak jalankan tugas dengan baik. Sebagai (pengerusi eksekutif) SYABAS, perlu menjaga air di Selangor. Jangan main politik. Tunaikan amanah dengan baik. Alasan nak bawa air mentah dari Pahang terbukti alasan tak berasas," katanya.

Lima memorandum turut diserahkan kepada wakil SYABAS dalam perhimpunan berlangsung selama kira-kira 45 minit itu.

Memorandum tersebut, yang diterima oleh pengarah eksekutifnya Ismail Hashim, menggaris tujuh perkara yang antara lainnya membantah cadangan SYABAS untuk mencatu bekalan air.

Memorandum itu juga menuntut supaya SYABAS berhenti daripada mensabotaj kerajaan negeri Selangor dalam isu bekalan air dan turut menyatakan bantahan keras ke atas pembinaan Loji Langat 2.

Memorandum daripada AMK Selangor itu membantahan catuan air di beberapa kawasan di negeri Selangor kerana menyebabkan kesusahan kepada penduduk di kawasan berkenaan dan mengganggu aktiviti kehidupan harian.

Ia turut menuntut supaya SYABAS berhenti daripada mensabotaj kerajaan negeri Selangor dalam isu bekalan air. Hal ini kerana, SYABAS dilihat tidak profesional dan tidak mengutamakan keperluan pengguna.

"SYABAS dilihat tidak profesional dan tidak mengutamakan keperluan pengguna yang lebih bersifat kepada tindakan sabotaj kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Selangor menjelang pilihan raya umum ke-13 bagi mengikis keyakinan rakyat terhadap kerajaan pakatan.

"Selangor kehilangan 60 projek pelaburan akibat perkhidmatan bekalan air yang tidak memuaskan. Sebanyak 162 buah projek pembangunan di Selangir tidak diluluskan SYABAS dan membuktikan SYABAS tidak layak menguruskan air di negeri ini," memorandum itu dipetik.

Memorandum berkenaan juga menyatakan bantahan keras ke atas pembinaan Loji Langat 2. Menurut memo itu, projek Langat 2 dilihat akan membebankan rakyat dengan kenaikan tarif air sehingga 70 peratus.

Kos penyaluran air mentah dari Pahang ke Selangor dan pembinaan Langat 2 menelan perbelanjaan RM8.65 bilion itu akan 'dipaksakan' ke atas rakyat Selangor, memorandum itu dipetik.
-mk







Beyond Shocking Or Appalling

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 02:53 AM PDT

This evening, a friend's nephew visited me to ask for advice with regards to the IELTS exam requirements. During the course of the conversation, he whipped out a sheet of paper and showed it to me.

With raised eyebrows, he asked, "Aunty Paula, can you believe this was a test I took in school today during the MUET class?"

Casually, I looked at the sheet and nearly fainted. Here it is:


These are the responses that my FB friends and relatives posted:

Jay: wat kinna questions are these... even without the 1st letter hint is easy!
about an hour ago · Like

Me: Exactly!!! It is beyond horrifying!!!
about an hour ago · Like

SJ:  MUET? Seriously?
about an hour ago · Like

Jay: more like UPSR
about an hour ago · Like

Me: Yup. This was during a MUET class of a secondary school in Penang.
about an hour ago · Edited · Like

Me: Worse - it is about kindergarten during your time and perhaps Std 4 for the current group of students. *faints* Worse still - SOME FAILED the test!!! The lowest was 22/50!!! Ahem. My friend's nephew scored full marks. :-)
about an hour ago · Like · 1

Elijah  ‎*facepalm* OMG D: and that teacher said this was DIFFICULT!?!?!..maybe it's a joke or prank?
about an hour ago · Unlike · 1

HC:  Wait one darn minute, are u serious? This is an actual test for a sixth former?
about an hour ago · Unlike · 1

Tomus: that is utter laziness on the teacher's part. utterly unacceptable. Paula, how are you. Today is.. Mo--ay...more like?
about an hour ago · Unlike · 1

Elijah: LOL at no. 12 "students should work together to get good results" sounds suspicious XDDDDD
about an hour ago · Unlike · 1

CC: ‎10. Take Out money???
about an hour ago · Unlike · 1

Me: Elijah, HC, Tomus and CC, SERIOUS!!! This was a class test and my friend's nephew just said that the teacher gave them ONE HOUR to do the test and he took less than six minutes to finish the test! *faints*
about an hour ago · Like · 1

HC:This really tells me that English standards have dropped dramatically. OMG tidaaaak!!!
about an hour ago · Unlike · 1

Me: ‎Tomus, I agree with you. It is totally outrageous that such a test can be given for such an extended period of time. Worse still, the fact that fifteen of 100 students failed is appalling! I am doing alright, thanks. Getting older and hopefully wiser.
about an hour ago · Like · 1

CC:‎...=.=''' my english level is not fantastic...but i know No. 10 should be withdraw。。。。。hope i am not wrong...
about an hour ago · Unlike · 1

Me: CC, you are correct! And your English is perfectly acceptable :-). Take care and see you again!
59 minutes ago · Like

L: It worries me to see this, Paula. :(
48 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Me: L, I concur with you. You know, they changed the literature syllabus and the Form 1 literature book is an illustrated version of 'Black Beauty'. I think one day they will be learning 'Jack and Jill' in Form One for poetry. And the questions for exams will be: a) What did Jack and Jill carry? (a) pale (b) pail (c) peal (d) pole LOL
43 minutes ago · Like · 1

PG: This is the MUET test? Unbelievable!!!
43 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Me:  PG, No no! This was given to MUET students for their class test...
42 minutes ago · Like

PG: My boys did this in primary school...
41 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

PG:  Haiyo...
41 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Maya: Seriously......*facepalm*
40 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Paula Khoo See - I was right..the target group should be primary school students...
40 minutes ago · Like

CO: speechless!
32 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

____________________
Please share your responses, dear reader! Thanks!


Astro sucks, let's sue them!

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 01:38 AM PDT

I think its time for Astro subscribers to come together, form an association and sue those who run the service. Its time for consumers to practice their rights, once and for all.

Astro is getting complacent, its service is getting from bad to worse and soon the worst as compared to other providers in the region. Even in Cambodia where satellite TV is still new, its more than 120 channels are for all subscribers for less than RM20 per month without extra charges for extra features.

But look at Astro now. They are sucking our money (the subscribers) every month, making tonnes of profit on the back of highly imposed rates and lousy services.

A minute late in paying up your bill, they will cut you off. The worst part is, you wont be able to watch free TV stations like RTM, TV3, NTV7 and others. Wonder how stupid are these stations to fall into Astro's trap!

I pay more than RM160 per month for some good channels (plus the supposed-to-be-free ones) but I always lose some of it. On the days I can tune in to 551, I cant get 553 or 554. Even there are times when 411 and 413 went 'blank'. Other channels?

So, what are we paying for? Its just like paying high tolls to experience massive traffic jams!

Talk about bad weather. Its time when you lose everything. If it rains for an hour, nothing could come to the screen.

In Cambodia, the Philippines and other economies, their satellite TV provider have a back-up system should the program is interrupted by bad weather condition. However in Malaysia, even dark clouds will dampen Astro's broadcast.

Consumers' awareness in Malaysia is perhaps among the lowest in the world. Their 'tidak apa' attitude is giving plenty of rooms for Astro to cheat and toy them around. Those operators must be sued or they will continue providing us with all that shits!

I hope the government will review this 'monopoly' license awarded to Astro. Its time to make them use their brain by having a good competitor.

When that monopoly expires in 2016 (am I right), push for a new set of strict compliance to them. Otherwise, we as consumers better drag them to court and make them pay for such a lousy service!

We need a true provider by the year 2020. No point becoming a fully-developed nation with a Grade 3 service!


[GEMPAR] Di Parlimen Ahmad Maslan Penduduk Sudah Tunggu 30 Tahun Air Paip

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 04:51 AM PDT


Gempar! 30 tahun menanti kemudahan asas air paip! Abd Hamid Eiman menagih janji pemimpin Barisan Nasional. Lokasi Kampung Sri Tanjung Benut. Parlimen Pontian, Wakil Rakyatnya adalah YB Ahmad Maslan.

Ahli keluarga berkenaan menyatakan beliau terpaksa bergantung kepada air hujan selama ini.

Saksi dan dengarkan sendiri keluhannya.





Media Statement by Nurul Izzah Anwar and Tony Pua, Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai and Petaling Jaya Utara

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 12:28 AM PDT

MEDIA STATEMENT
23 July 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) spent tens of thousands of ringgit to publish a response to our queries over the suspicious awards of Feed-in Approval Holders for solar energy and yet failed to answer the key questions posed.

In a statement issued last Friday and advertorials taken in most mainstream newspapers on Sunday, the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) said it "regrets the accusations and allegations by Nurul Izzah Anwar and Tony Pua and is of the view that such allegations are clearly unwarranted and unjustified."

However, in defending its award of 32.4% of the solar energy quota to 12 companies owned by Suzi Suliana binti Mohd Sidek and her business partners, SEDA has raised further questions, including clear-cut non-compliance with its own application criteria and license requirements.

1. Failure to meet pre- and post-application financial requirements

SEDA argued that "companies that apply have no way of knowing whether they would succeed, so it would be unfair to expect them to make huge investments beforehand… Most of the companies that participate in the [Feed-in Tariff] programme formed a special purpose vehicle and some with RM2 paid-up capital because there is no guarantee they will get the quota."

The above statement comes as a complete shock as the application form which I have forwarded to all the press last week, very specifically states that the companies must have secured financing for the project. In fact, the form states that the Applicant's bank account statement must show "a credit balance of at least 20% of the total capital cost of the renewable energy installation".

Given that every megawatt of solar energy requires at least RM8 million in investment, Suzi Suliana's companies secured 45.9MW of Feed-In Approvals (FiA) which will require investments of RM367 million. A 20% "credit balance" would require Suzi's companies to show at least RM73 million in the company accounts. We challenge SEDA to state that Suzi's companies have fulfilled the RM73 million cash balance requirements for the application by the 12 successful companies.

It was the further clarified by SEDA that "the successful applicant must have a minimum RM200,000 in paid-up capital or two percent of the project cost, whichever higher". Otherwise SEDA said the failure to meet any requirement or milestone would result in a revocation of the FiA.

This is where SEDA's explanations shot itself in the foot and raised more questions than answers. If the applicant must have a minimum of RM200,000 paid up capital after successfully receiving the FiA, why is it that the latest information from the Companies Commission (SSM) showed that at least 9 of the 12 successful companies had paid up capital of only RM100 more than 6 months after they were awarded?

2. Failure to meet critical pre-application technical requirements

The Renewable Energy Act (2011) – Technical & Operational Requirements Rules which was gazetted in November 2011, specifically stated that "an eligible producer who proposes to construct… and connect the installation to a connection point shall, before making an application to the Authority for a feed-in approval…, submit a written request to the distribution licensee [e.g., Tenaga Nasional]… for such distribution licensee to carry out… a power system study (PSS) in respect of the proposed connection."

The SEDA website has clearly stated that such a PSS conducted for a company applying to supply 1MW to 10MW FiA will take 30 days costing RM40,000.

The question to ask is whether such a PSS was ever conducted by any of the above 12 successful companies, especially since 8 of them were set up only 21 days before the application deadline of 2 December 2011. How is it even possible that these companies were not eliminated immediately upon application when it cannot be possible that they have fulfilled their PSS as required by law?

Did SEDA break the law to award these companies the FiA? Was Suzi Suliana given preferential treatment as a result of being the daughter of Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan who was the then Chief Secretary to the Government, and now newly appointed Chairman of Petronas Bhd?

3. Failure to ensure no monopolisation of FiA

SEDA had insisted that the deals were made in a "fair and transparent" manner as the company owned by Suzi and her husband was not the only one that had won more than one of the feed-in tariff (FiT) solar-power contracts.

The above represents a clear admission by SEDA in failing to protect "the need for fair competition and transparency in the implementation of the feed-in tariff system" as specified in the Renewable Energy Act.

The fact that other companies got away with multiple licenses does not in any way absolve SEDA of its award of 32.4% of the solar energy quota to 12 companies owned by Suzi Suliana and her business partners.

SEDA has obviously failed to avoid the "monopolisation of the Renewable Energy (RE) quota" as required by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water. The reason why a cap of 5MW was set for each company was to ensure as many companies as possible have the opportunity to participate in the above programme.

However, by allowing Suzi Suliana and her business partners to circumvent the rules by setting up more than a dozen shelf-companies to secure the FiA, SEDA has either proven itself negligent and incompetent, or worse acted in collusion with the applicants to monopolise the quota. This is despite its promise that "no preferential treatment will be given to any FiT application. All FiT applications will be treated fairly and equally through a transparent application process".

Conclusion

The award has caused a lot of disquiet and unhappiness in the renewable energy industry with many player claiming foul play and favouritism the in award of the quota. Many who are keen on the FiA were not able to secure any license.

Based on the above clarifications by SEDA, it is now imperative that the award for the FiA must be rescinded, and the solar energy quota redistributed to companies who truly qualified based on the financial commitment and technical criteria laid down both by the Renewable Energy Act 2011 as well as the existing SEDA guidelines.

We call upon Datuk Peter Chin to reprimand Tan Sri Fong Chan Onn, who is the Chairman of SEDA and his board of directors for failing to adhere to the high standards set out in the Act as well as comply with the Authority's very own guidelines.

Nurul Izzah Anwar, MP for Lembah Pantai
Tony Phua, MP for Petaling Jaya Utara


Experts: Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar victims of global power struggle

Posted: 22 Jul 2012 10:52 PM PDT

SOURCE- Experts: Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar victims of global power struggle

Although continuing violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar alarmed the international community, bringing their plight to the international agenda, experts agree that Muslims in Myanmar are the victims of a global power struggle and that the international community should end its silence on the situation affecting the Southeast Asian country.
 "Muslims in Myanmar are the victims of the strategic interests of the big powers," Selçuk Çolakoğlu, an expert from the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (USAK), told Sunday's Zaman, adding that the Myanmar issue has an international dimension.

The first glimmer of violence in Myanmar occurred in June after claims that three Rohingya Muslims raped a Buddhist woman. Following the allegations, extremist Buddhists started killing Muslims living in Arakan province, the location of the recently escalating violence in the country, near Bangladesh. "What kind of solution can be found for the conflict is a question mark. The issue should be put on the UN agenda. But it's impossible for the UN Security Council to issue a resolution against the Myanmar government due to Chinese influence. Myanmar's government has had very close relations with China for 20 years. Therefore, Myanmar is an important country for the other powers due to its relationship with China. The competition for leadership between China and the US in the Indian Ocean is serious.

Recent visits by US officials to Myanmar are to break Chinese influence in the region," said Çolakoğlu.

Agreeing with Çolakoğlu regarding the role of the global powers in Myanmar, Sait Demir from Turkey's Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH), told Sunday's Zaman that the major powers had significant interests in Myanmar, adding that due to these policies they remain silent on the situation in Myanmar. "Myanmar also has important natural resources. Therefore, the US and China have conflicting policies in Myanmar," said Demir, adding that both powers supported Myanmar's government.

According to official statistics, 4 percent of the 75 million people in the country are Muslim, while 89 percent are Buddhist. The Muslims are not seen as citizens of Myanmar by nationalist Myanmar leaders, officials and fanatical Buddhists, and in turn are exposed to discrimination.

"Myanmar's government has an important role in the current conflict. Since the independence of the country, there has been an exclusionary policy carried out by the government against the Rohingyan Muslims to create a nation-state based on the Buddhist ethnic group. In this sense, the other religious and ethnic groups are either being assimilated or forced to migrate. This policy is carried out to reduce the influence of these groups within the country," said Çolakoğlu, adding that the conflict in Myanmar had two aspects, ethnic and religious.

Tun Khin, president of the Rohingya Organization, said the international community should take immediate action concerning the situation in Myanmar, adding that pressure should be put on the government.

Stating that the attacks on Muslims are not a sectarian issue, Khin claimed that the regime in the country had prepared a plan to murder Muslims.

Agreeing with Khin, Demir said Myanmar's government was provoking the conflicts between Muslims and Buddhists, adding the government was arming the Buddhists against Muslims. "The government is applying a divide and rule policy," said Demir.

Turkey has called on international organizations, especially the UN, not to remain silent about the violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu spoke with the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni last week about the situation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

A Turkish diplomatic official told Sunday's Zaman that Turkey was following the situation in Myanmar closely, adding that Turkey has always supported the reform process in Myanmar. "Turkey is currently carrying out a fact finding process in Myanmar. Turkey has contacts with both the OIC and the UN. Turkey is also in touch with authorities in Myanmar and Bangladesh," said the same official.

Meanwhile, to mobilize international opposition to the situation, during a visit to China in June İhsanoğlu discussed the situation with Chinese authorities, pleading with them to closely follow the situation and to take the initiative with its southern neighbor Myanmar, with which it has close relations.

Myanmar President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in Arakan province following clashes between Buddhists and Muslims and deployed army troops to restore stability.

Defining the attacks as "ethnic cleansing based on race and religion," Wakar Uddin, chairman of the Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU), said the state of emergency in Arakan further was further deteriorating the living conditions of Muslims, while Buddhists ignored the state of emergency.

Decades of discrimination have left the Rohingya stateless, with Myanmar implementing restrictions on their movement and withholding land rights, education and public services.

Myanmar's government is currently not allowing any media organizations to enter the country.

"No one is allowed to enter Arakan province. The government has also arrested UN staff in Myanmar," said Demir.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Melissa Fleming said last Friday that 10 UN staff and aid workers have been arrested in Myanmar. Martin Nesirky, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, also confirmed this news, adding that the UN was following the situation with concern.

There are also contradictory figures regarding the death toll of Muslims in Arakan province. An aid team from the United Nations, which is the only foreign team that was allowed to enter the region, has said the death toll was neither as low as Myanmar's government had declared nor as high as activists have claimed.

"The number of deaths is not clear, and it is contradictory. It is not possible to find the bodies of the Muslims. It is said that 1,500 bodies are lost," said Demir.

While tens of thousands of Muslims fled Myanmar due to the violence, Bangladeshi authorities did not allow the Rohingyans waiting at the border gates to seek refuge in their country.

"Even though Bangladesh closed its doors to Rohingyan Muslims, there are still 150,000 Rohingyans in refugee camps in Bangladesh," said Demir, adding that relations between Myanmar and Bangladesh had deteriorated due to the Rohingyan Muslim issue.

Demir stated that Rohingyans, who are denied citizenship and ethnic recognition in Myanmar and instead are viewed as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, are not allowed to work or have a house, adding that there is no electricity in Muslim villages in Myanmar.

Although, local sources claimed last Monday that the conflict had somewhat eased, Demir, who has been serving in Myanmar for nine years, said he didn't believe that the conflict had eased, adding that the Myanmar government had started deploying army troops near the region to provoke the conflict.



EU takes diplomatic action to end massacre of Muslims in Myanmar

Posted: 22 Jul 2012 10:44 PM PDT

Source: EU takes diplomatic action to end massacre of Muslims in Myanmar

The European Union is carrying out diplomatic initiatives in order to stop the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the Anatolia news agency reported on Sunday.
 Anatolia quoted High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton's spokesperson Michael Mann as saying they were closely monitoring acts of violence against the Muslim minority in Myanmar. "EU diplomats got in touch with officials in Myanmar following a directive of Catherine Ashton. Experts from the [European Community Humanitarian Office] ECHO were dispatched to Myanmar to determine the urgent needs of the Muslims," Mann said.
The EU had reduced some of its political and economic sanctions on Myanmar earlier this year after several political prisoners were released from prison and the opposition was permitted to join elections. Myanmar's government wants to make use of the EU's tariff-free import procedures for poorer countries.

The EU has attached more importance to the issue of tariff-free imports after Myanmar assured the International Labor Organization (ILO) that it would end forced labor in the country by 2015. Most of the people subject to forced labor in Myanmar are Muslims.

Amnesty International said last week that Muslim Rohingyas are increasingly being targeted in violent attacks that have included killings, rape and physical abuse. Amnesty International also accused both security forces and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists of carrying out new attacks against Rohingyas, who are seen as foreigners by the ethnic majority and are denied citizenship by the government because it considers them illegal settlers from neighboring Bangladesh.



*Updated* Putrajaya stops S'gor's takeover of Syabas

Posted: 22 Jul 2012 10:17 PM PDT

By Adila Razak of Malaysiakini


The federal government has made an initial decision not to allow the Selangor government to take over the operations of state water concessionaire Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas).

The special cabinet committee on the Selangor water issue agreed at its meeting that there are "substantial and procedural" matters that have not been met to allow Selangor to takeover Syabas.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the final decision would be made after the attorney-general deliberates on the matter.

"He has been instructed to call a meeting on this matter this afternoon," he said after chairing a three-hour meeting in Putrajaya today.

Among the issues stand in the way of the takeover, he said, is the state government's failure to compensate Syabas after refusing a scheduled increase in the water tariff.

"The matter is now pending in court as Syabas is suing Selangor," he said.

Selangor had in 2009 refused to allow water tariffs to go up unless Syabas reduced its non-revenue water which currently involves one-third of supply.

Asked why Selangor was not invited to attend the discussion today, Muhyiddin said this was a federal-level meeting.

"There are several matters which will have to involve Selangor but so far, this is (within) our scope of power," he said.

The committee came to the decision after consultations with the Energy, Green Technology and Water and National Water Services Commission.


Jauh Beribu Batu Tetapi Ada Persamaan Dua Pemimpin Umat Islam Ini

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 12:33 AM PDT


Presiden Mesir Muhammad Mursi ketika makan bersama dengan Majlis Ulama Mesir. Nampak pada foto Syaikh Hassan, Syaikh Muhammad Hussain dan Syaikh Musthofa al 'Adawy.


Di bawah ini pula, TG Nik Aziz:



Memaknakan konsep Wasatiyyah yang sebenar.


Starbucks Cyberjaya

Posted: 22 Jul 2012 09:00 PM PDT

July 9th 2012 marked a new milestone for the development of Cyberjaya community... Guess what? My dream came through and the Starbie in Cyberjaya finally started their operation. Too bad the boss of the Starbie Cyberjaya is NOT me. Sad eh~

Anyway, i was the first person to get the coffee from Starbie Cyberjaya among my team. For the first week opening promotion / special, they gave a free donut when you purchased drink via the Drive Thru.

Americano + Donut (Free)
Drive Thru order counter / machine
It's so convenience with the Drive Thru. I don't need to get down my car just to purchase a cup of coffee but the damage is one drive through i need to spend at least RM6.35... price to pay for the convenience.

I was given a huge Starbie Sticker  on the first visit. In summary, i got a free donut and a free Drive Thru Sticker. What i will get with the big sticker?

Drive Thru Sticker - get something if spent RM25 and above
Last but not least, this is how the Cyberjaya Starbie looks like... pay a visit to the outlet if you were there eh~ Hey there is one more things, they serve hot food a.k.a pasta. I yet to try them, i heard the Cyberjaya outlet is the only outlet serve hot food at this moment. Try it eh~

Starbie @ Cyberjaya


Lihatlah, Baru Masuk Islam, Dirikan Masjid Dari Sabut Kelapa Untuk Solat Berjemaah

Posted: 22 Jul 2012 09:40 PM PDT


Subhanallah

Orang-orang di Republik Togo, Afrika Barat. Mereka baru saja masuk Islam, kemudian membangunkan masjid ala kadarnya dari sabut kelapa. - Dr. Muhammad al Khudairi


Ulasan GB

Demikian untuk kita renung sejenak di bulan mulia ini.

Orang yang baru menganut Islam, sanggup dengan apa jua keadaannya mendirikan sebuah "masjid"/"surau" dari sabut kelapa untuk mendirikan solat.

Sedangkan kita yang dah lama Islam, malah kebanyakannya dilahirkan sudahpun beragama Islam, masjid sebesar mahligai dengan lantai mosaic & berkarpet lagi, beratap genting berlampu gantung, pun masih ramai yang leka dan lalai mendirikan solat.

Melihat gambar di atas, tidakkah kita mahu menyedari & menginsafi:

"Maka nikmat Allah yang mana hendak kamu dustakan? [Ar-Rahman:13] dan firman Allah lagi

"Hai orang-orang beriman, barangsiapa yang murtad di antara kamu dari pada agamanya, kelak Allah akan mendatangkan suatu kaum, Allah mengasihi mereka dan mereka mengasihi Allah, mereka lemah lembut terhadap orang beriman dan tegas terhadap orang-orang yang ingkar. Mereka berjuang pada jalan Allah, dan tidak takut akan cerca orang yang mencerca. Demikian itu kurnia Allah, diberikan kepada sesiapa yang dikehendakinya, Allah luas kurnianya lagi maha mengetahui." (Al-Maidah:54)


The Unforgettable Cab Ride

Posted: 22 Jul 2012 03:30 PM PDT

The Cab Ride I'll Never Forget
by Kent Nerburn


Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.

Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

"Just a minute," answered a frail, elderly voice.

I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

"It's nothing," I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."

"Oh, you're such a good boy," she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice."

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.

"Nothing," I said.

"You have to make a living," she answered.

"There are other passengers."

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


Awal Ramadhan: Mursi Melangkah Ke Kampung Halaman

Posted: 22 Jul 2012 05:36 PM PDT


Kota Zagazig terdapat sebuah masjid yang besar nan indah bernama "Masjid Fath", ia menjadi masjid pertama yang di ziarahi dan ditunaikan di dalamnya solat jum'at pada Ramadhan 1433 H oleh seorang presiden yang juga berasal dari kota ini. Awal puasa di Mesir jatuh pada hari Jum'at, 20 Julai 2012 dan di awal puasa ini pun presiden Mesir yang baru memiliki banyak agenda diantaranya ziarah ke tempat kediamannya di wilayah Sharqeya.

Mengetahui presiden akan datang dan menunaikan solat jum'at di masjid kebanggaan orang-orang zagazig, maka tak hairan pagi jum'at mulai pukul 9 hingga tiba waktu solat jum'at, masyarakat ramai berbondong-bondong menuju masjid megah ini untuk menunaikan solat jum'at sekaligus ingin melihat secara langsung sosok presiden yang lahir di desa Al Idwah, Zagazig.

Saat akan memasuki masjid, seluruh masyarakat perlu beratur dan semuanya diperiksa satu persatu oleh polis tak terkecuali saya pada waktu itu yang juga ikut beratur. Ketika masuk masjid, saya melangkah ke depan mengambil saf paling awal, kemudian melaksanakan solat sunat tahiyatul masjid. Jam sudah menunjukan pukul 11 pagi, para jam'ah solat jum'at pun kian banyak, mereka rela berdesak-desakan untuk menunggu kedatangan sang presiden yang sebentar lagi akan memasuki masjid, sambil menunggu sebagian jama'ah banyak yang membaca qur'an dan berzikir.

Terlihat di depan pintu masuk, syaikh Ali Jum'ah sang mufti Mesir telah tiba didampingi beberapa ulama al Azhar lainnya. Banyak ucapan yang dilontarkan oleh jama'ah masjid saat menunggu kedatangan presiden, ada yang menyerukan takbir dan tahmid, dan ada pula yang bersalawat. Tak lama kemudian DR.Muhammad Mursi tiba dan memasuki masjid, tampak juga ketua Majlis Syura (MPR) Prof.Dr.Ahmad fathi yang juga berasal dari Zagazig, para jama'ah pun berdiri ingin melihat langsung sosok pemimpin mereka yang baru, para pasukan pengawal presiden pun berdiri, membuat pagar mengamankan situasi.

Setelah DR.Mursi masuk masjid, ia tidak langsung duduk tapi melaksanakan solat sunat tahiyyatul masjid, melihat kejadian ada salah seorang bapak Mesir yang duduk di samping saya berkata : "ahsanun nas" (manusia terbaik). Ada yang berteriak "kullu sanah wa anta thoyyib ya Rais" (kebaikan selalu menyertaimu duhai Presiden). Dan ada pula yang berkata: "berpuluh-puluh tahun saya solat di masjid ini, baru kali ini diziarahi presiden dan ia solat bersama kita", mendengar ungkapan itu salah seorang jama'ah di sampingnya bertutur: "Hadza min fadhli Rabbi". Bahkan ada seorang Bapak membawa 2 orang anak laki-lakinya yang masih kecil, ia berkata kepada anaknya: "itu nak presiden kita, Mursi .. agar kalian tahu". Gema takbir pun berkumandang dari setiap sudut masjid Fath.

Melihat suasana seperti ini, badan saya pun bergetar dan hati saya berkata: "Ya Allah, alangkah indahnya suasana seperti ini, masyarakat Mesir sekarang sudah merasakan begitu dekatnya pemimpin dengan rakyatnya, segala puji hanya bagi Engkau".
Saat Khatib jum'at berkhutbah, ia berpesan kepada seluruh jama'ah: "hendaklah kita semua berbuat adil kepada siapa saja, pemimpin harus berbuat adil kepada rakyatnya, kerana adil itu dekat dengan taqwa".

Seusai shalat, DR.Mursi langsung berdiri, menyalami rekan-rekannya dan juga kepada para ulama-ulama. Ada yang menarik setelah itu, ketika panwalpres mempersilakan Musri untuk segera meninggalkan ruang masjid, Mursi menolak dan ia minta diberikan mix, dan ia pun langsung berbicara sambil mendekati jama'ah: "segala puji bagi Allah, kita dipertemukan Allah pada bulan Ramadhan kali ini dan saya berpesan kepada semuanya; banyak-banyaklah membaca al Qar'an dan amalkan isi al Qur'an". Mendengar penyampaian itu semua jama'ah bertakbir .. "Allahu Akbar", gemuruh suara pun menggema di dalam hingga ke luar masjid. Mursi keluar masjid dan langsung menuju mobil keprisidenan.

Saya melihat masyarakat, tampak rasa bahagia di wajah-wajah mereka, semua bergembira, senang, penuh suka cita, seakan – akan mereka tidak ingin berpisah dari sang presiden dan ini merupakan sesuatu yang baru bagi mereka.

Sungguh amat sangat jauh berbeza yang pernah saya rasakan dan alami sekitar 5 tahun yang lalu, di saat Hosni Mubarak berkunjung ke Zagazig. Kebetulan waktu itu saya tinggal di apartmen tingkat 7 sebelah stadium. Sehari sebelum presiden Mubarak tiba, pihak polis sudah berjaga – jaga, mereka berdiri di atas apartemen dengan persenjataan yang lengkap. Pada saat Mubarak akan tiba di lapangan stadium dengan kendaraan helikopter, seluruh jendela rumah kami ditutup dan tidak boleh melihat apalagi membuka pintu dan jendela. Dan pernah kejadian juga sebelumnya saat kampanye pilpres Mesir di stadiun Zagazig, teman-teman saya yang tinggal di apartmen tingkat 7 tadi dikosongkan sementara (5 hari) ke rumah teman Indonesia yang lainnya demi keselamatan sang diktator Mubarak yang ingin kembali mencalonkan Presiden mesir.

Selanjutnya, Mursi kembali melanjutkan perjalanan, melangkah menuju desa Al Idwah - Sharqeya, menziarahi keluarga dan buka puasa bersama.

Demikian tulisan ini saya sampaikan, semoga banyak hikmah dan pelajaran yang dapat kita ambil. Kepada rakyat Mesir, mabrouuk,, telah Allah kirimkan kepada kalian sosok pemimpin yang beriman yang dekat dan sayang kepada masyarakat. Semoga DR.Mursi senantiasa diberi taufik dan kekuatan untuk memimpin negeri kinanah ini, amin ya Rabb, selamat berjuang rakyat Mesir!! Ramadhan Kareem. -pkspiyungan.org


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