Monday, August 20, 2012

Social Media? Think Again - Very Carefully

Social Media? Think Again - Very Carefully


Social Media? Think Again - Very Carefully

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 09:41 AM PDT

I joined a particular social media back in 2007 after a former student sent me an invitation and an email explaining what it was all about. I do confess I USED TO BE an addict but I was 'healed' a couple of months ago and today, (after about twelve days of deleting stuff), I finally finished cleaning up my Facebook and what is left behind would only be highlights of important events such as obituaries, other milestones and touching comments that friends/relatives left behind.  Other than that, everything has been sterilized and my wall looks clinically clean, even my profile information has been wiped and is almost empty with no mention of gender/hometown/education/employment, albums either locked or deleted, photos untagged, all activities eg Likes/Events/Friendship all deleted/hidden etc.. I only maintain a skeletal account instead of deactivating or deleting it for the sake of connecting with my former students.

Having done loads of reading and research about social media and also as a once-upon-a-time addict, I would encourage you to seriously think again about using any such form of media.

Some friends regard me as paranoid but I am not. On the contrary, once you read as much as you can on what is actually happening or what COULD happen and HOW it could happen, my advice to all regardless of age, gender or education level is for you to just keep a cameo appearance there without revealing too much of yourself. I want to explore this from a few angles.

1. Personal relationships

Social media has seriously affected the quality, depth and maturity of personal relationships.
Instead of relating on a personal level and having good friends, some are more concerned about the number of friends they have. Regardless of whether one has met them in the real world, the tendency is for some to click with strangers and then pour out their hearts and souls etc. Whilst social media help us to connect to the larger society, it does not mean that casual and easy developments of friendship in such scenarios can be healthy.

Brian Jung wrote about this and quoted Cornell University's Steven Strogatz who said that social media sites can make it make it more difficult for us to distinguish between the meaningful relationships we foster in the real world, and the numerous casual relationships formed through social media. By focusing so much of our time and psychic energy on these less meaningful relationships, our most important connections, he fears, will weaken.

From a sociological viewpoint, I strongly believe that as a result of social media activities, some cannot distinguish between meaningful relationships and casual acquaintances - between genuine friends and hypocrites. In fact, a person may be completely different from the persona that he/she projects in the social media of his/her choice. The true 'person' is revealed only when online friends meet in the real world. Our MSM has reported many cases of how ladies have been hoodwinked by characters they meet in such sites.

Time to break the monotony of words.

Check out Cracked.Com - they have some brilliant art work that illustrate what I have been trying to say.

8 Ways Your Facebook Profile is Like a Serial Killer's Lair

This one is a must-read: 6 Things Social Networking Sites Need to Stop Doing

6 Scientific Reasons Social Networks Are Bad for Society

The World of Tomorrow (If The Internet Disappeared Today)

2. Self-endorsement

To a certain extent, social media feeds the ego of its users in that most users talk about the food the eat, what they want to wear, the most mundane things. When friends 'LIKE' their updates, there is a false sense of security and a certain kind of abandonment of ideals, ethics, values etc in varying degrees. There can be an unhealthy emphasis where one talks about oneself and bares all about what is happening in one's life.

From being an extrovert, the use of social media has turned me into an introvert. Why?

Because I realize that indeed it is a cold, cruel world out there. There can be gossip, slander etc - all kinds of horrible incidents that I witnessed in my friends' lives!

I have not been using my social media for months now as the dread and awareness of its malevolent side increased. Just two nights ago, a girlfriend Vibered me and we had a conversation that lasted for two hours and forty-five minutes where she detailed a certain unpleasant episode. She must have been wondering why I did not partake in the free-for-all or stood up for her so I told her plainly that I just go into my account to check if there is anything I should respond to and that I do not check people's walls etc. In the past, occasionally, I would check the updates of relatives and friends but now - I don't - not even my own family. I did not even write on my husband's wall on his birthday last week. And that does not mean I had forgotten or did not care.

3. Impact on Communication - Vaguebooking

Once upon a time, people kept diaries or journals for their personal writing. Along the way came social media that took over the functions of diaries and hey presto - we witnessed the birth of vaguebooking!

The Urban Dictionary defines Vaguebooking as:

An intentionally vague Facebook status update, that prompts friends to ask what's going on, or is possibly a cry for help.

Mary is: "wondering if it is all worth it"
Mark is: "thinking that was a bad idea"

Example:
"Have you talked to Mark? He's vaguebooking again. I wonder if he's back with Mary..."

Opposite:

Tammy is: "in line at the grocery store"

This can inhibit our personal expression and communication skills, especially if emoticons etc come into the picture and other expressions such as *facepalms* LOL, etc. What happened to good old language in proper sentences?

Not only is it annoying, Vaguebooking encourages people to rant or express their anger publicly and then friends will support them and goad them on - much like mob behaviour in the real world.

4. Cyberbulling/Stalkers/Paedophiles etc.

Social media is fertile ground for deviants such as cyberbullies, stalkers and paedophiles to seek and attack their prey, especially children who lie about their age to join social media. The Sunday Star featured a write-up on hackers and how they could terrorise social media users. Such intimidation or even blackmail is not only messy but can leave very deep scars in a person's life.

5. An Open Book for All and Sundry to See?

Why would anyone want to pose anything or everything about their lives for all to see and know? Many people are not aware of the dangers of posting their personal details e.g. birthdays or family members. Many institutions require the names of family members when resetting passwords or when making confidential enquiries. The worst thing is what we post can remain there indefinitely unless it is customed to 'ONLY ME' or deleted or taken off timeline. Many employers actually check on their staff to see what is happening on their walls or before hiring would-be staff. As such, one must always use an obscure email (not your official email) to register for facebook. Otherwise, anyone can look for you via your email address in the search facility of the social media!

6. It affects our output

For sure, many students and employees spend too much time on social media, even at the work place. Even if the company has a tech facility to block the social media, there are ways to bypass such gatekeepers. Imagine the cumulative value of time lost on social media at the work place or even the amount of homework/revision that students could have undertaken instead of spending precious time on social media.

7. It gives rise to gossip and is fertile ground for all kinds of misbehaviour

All it takes is one wrong comment to spark a war. Or the wrong word to trigger an affair etc. And then the aftermath would be totally unpleasant and unnecessary. Hence, avoid spending so much time on social media. Communicate face to face.

8. It seriously undermines the education system

According to Edudemic:

1. Many students rely on the accessibility of information on social media specifically and the web in general to provide answers. That means a reduced focus on learning and retaining information. 
2. Students who attempt to multi-task, checking social media sites while studying, show reduced academic performance (http://viralms.com/blog/2011/04/how-social-media-affects-students/). Their ability to concentrate on the task at hand is significantly reduced by the distractions that are brought about by YouTube, stumbleupon, Facebook or Twitter. 
3. The more time students spend on social sites, the less time they spend socializing in person. Because of the lack of body signals and other nonverbal cues, like tone and inflection, social networking sites are not an adequate replacement for face-to-face communication. Students who spend a great deal of time on social networking are less able to effectively communicate in person. 
4. The popularity of social media, and the speed at which information is published, has created a lax attitude towards proper spelling and grammar. The reduces a student's ability to effectively write without relying on a computer's spell check feature. (source) 
5. The degree to which private information is available online and the anonymity the internet seems to provide has made students forget the need to filter the information they post. Many colleges and potential employers investigate an applicant's social networking profiles before granting acceptance or interviews. Most students don't constantly evaluate the content they're publishing online, which can bring about negative consequences months or years down the road. MORE AT THIS LINK.
Of course it also affects the grammar, spelling and usage of language/expression of students. Then there is the speed at which ONE wrong move/word can have devastating effects on the account holder. Then there is the addiction to games.

9. It paves the way of identity theft and other cyber crimes.

There have been many cases of how users lost control of their accounts which were subsequently used by the hacker for fraud e.g. by pretending to be the accont holder trapped overseas without money and soliciting for aid.

10. Remember social media chats are NOT safe at all. 

Read more HERE and HERE.

 Of course there are many ways in which social media has helped society and these include:


  1. networking
  2. sharing of ideas
  3. marketing
  4. ease of communication
  5. etc.
I do not want to sound like a prude condemning social media but if you do have to use it, do check out the privacy settings and start limiting your audience.

So the next time you use your social media, do consider all these points and tighten your privacy settings. It is better to be safe than sorry.


Patutlah UMNO Kuat Meroyan Dan Memfitnah Kebelakangan Ini..

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 10:23 AM PDT


Patutlah UMNO meroyan, meracau dan memfitnah kebelakangan ini....
Tu sebahagian tanda-tanda orang yang dah nak mati, tanda-tanda riwayat UMNO semakin berakhir.





Traditional Irish Shepherd Pie

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 05:23 AM PDT

It is one of those days that I just want to rule the kitchen with non-Asian cooking. Knowing that my hubby's dominant heritage is Irish, I decided to make a Traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie yesterday.

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Ingredients of Mashed Potatoes:
2 Russet potatoes (cubed)
1/3 cup of warm milk
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups of water

First of all, you need to make mashed potatoes.
Boil the cubed potatoes in a small pot of salted water for about 20 minutes.
Oh, please ensure your potatoes are peeled and cubed.
Don't forget to stir your mashed potatoes as you don't want them to get burnt at the bottom of the pot.
Then add in the warm milk and butter. Keep stirring until it's really mashed! :)

Remaining Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp black pepper
1 pound of ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup of sweet peas
1 tbsp of dry thyme
2 tbsp of corn starch or flour
1 tbsp butter
1 glass of red wine
2 tbsp of tomato paste
2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 unit of chicken bouillon
1 egg, beaten
grated parmesan cheese (optional)

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Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F).
Saute the carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender.
Add in the onions and saute for a minute or two before adding the meat.
Season with black pepper and thyme.

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Keep cooking at medium high heat until the meat is browned before adding butter and peas.
Sprinkle some flour and stir through.
Then add on tomato paste, red wine and Worcestershire sauce.
Reduce the heat to medium after adding the chicken bouillon. Keep stirring until you have a thick meaty gravy.
Remove from heat and pour it into an oven-proof (Pyrex) baking dish.

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Spoon some mashed potatoes on the top of the meat.
Brush with egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake it in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

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Oh I made a mess by scooping it out with a rice cooker scoop. LOL! But it doesn't matter to me. Most importantly, the pie is good (according to my hubby).

Do take note that this recipe is meant for 4 people, but my hubby and I have the big Malaysian appetite. So it's just right for the both of us and he can take the leftovers to work for lunch today.

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Tradtional Irish Shepherd's Pie is best served with some crusty bread or toast bread to mop up that yummy sauce!

Oh, we have rubbed our bellies in satisfaction! :)


Open letter to Ko Mya Aye from a brother-in-Islam

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 07:05 AM PDT

In the name of Allah, the most gracious the most powerful

Peace be upon you

Eid Mubarak

 

Dear brother Ko Mya Aye,

Ko Mya Aye, I could not understand the basic cause when my brother Mg Mg has an outburst on Bengali especially from Yangon. (Later I understand that he surely has other issues in addition to your alleged instigation)

But yesterday, when my friends from Singapore came to our house for Eid celebration and told me politely that they got some unconfirmed news that during your trip to Mandalay, you had allegedly told the Muslims there that you are also a Mandalayan.

Yangon Muslims are gone, ruined, monopolized by rude insensitive Bengalis everywhere: in economy, in politics and religion etc.

You had allegedly proclaimed that Myanmar Muslims have to restart their history with the renaissance originating from Mandalay.

And I was told that you have wrongly advised the Mandalay Myanmar Muslims not to look at the present Arakan conflict with the Islamic-brotherhood spirit.

Although there is a Burmese saying, "The Son is one month older than his father" now I am seeing your daughter is politically a lot more mature than you, especially on Human Rights issues and especially regarding the Rohingya conflict.

I had looked up and praised you previously, nominated and help awarded the Burma Digest person of the year and written about you in English Wikipedia and my blogs.

But I am sad that you are slowly metamorphosing into an axe-handle and is allowing yourself to be used by the agent provocateurs to put a wedge between different groups of Muslims in Myanmar.

Please kindly read our beloved President U Thein Sein's latest interview with VOA. You all, so called democrats from 8888, NLD and DASSK are caught MAN-OFF in this political game.

Yours truely

Brother-in-Islam

Dr KKG


Reflections

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 06:40 AM PDT

A row of bottles on my shelf
Caused me to analyze myself.
One yellow pill I have to popv Goes to my heart so it won't stop.
A little white one that I take
Goes to my hands so they won't shake.
The blue ones that I use a lot
Tell me I'm happy when I'm not.
The purple pill goes to my brain
And tells me that I have no pain.
The capsules tell me not to wheeze
Or cough or choke or even sneeze.
The red ones, smallest of them all
Go to my blood so I won't fall.
The orange ones, very big and bright
Prevent my leg cramps in the night.v Such an array of brilliant pills
Helping to cure all kinds of ills.
But what I'd really like to know...
Is what tells each one where to go!

Thought I'd let my doctor check me,
'Cause I didn't feel quite right. . .
All those aches and pains annoyed me
And I couldn't sleep at night.

He could find no real disorder
But he wouldn't let it rest.
What with Medicare and Blue Cross,
We would do a couple tests.

To the hospital he sent me
Though I didn't feel that bad.
He arranged for them to give me
Every test that could be had.

I was fluoroscoped and cystoscoped,
My aging frame displayed.
Stripped, on an ice cold table,
While my gizzards were x-rayed.

I was checked for worms and parasites,
For fungus and the crud,
While they pierced me with long needles
Taking samples of my blood.

Doctors came to check me over,
Probed and pushed and poked around,
And to make sure I was living
They then wired me for sound.

They have finally concluded,
Their results have filled a page.
What I have will someday kill me;
My affliction is OLD AGE

I just need a Nap!

-Written by Ira Lerner-


Time to bury 1969 bloodbath = Time to bury Umno

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 06:22 AM PDT

Son of the "most evil" Harun Idris should tell "Tanda Putera" director Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba to remove the scene or scenes depicting the May 13 racial riots even though she had reiterated that the character of a prominent DAP leader had not been featured in this film.


[VIDEO] Kucing Lebih Berani Dari Buaya?

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 07:45 AM PDT

Video yang melihatkan seekor kucing yang begitu berani dan garang mengacau dan menghalau seekor buaya.

Kita sedia maklum, buaya adalah haiwan yang ganas dan silap hari bulan, boleh terkam kita hidup-hidup!

Berbeza dalam video ini.

Buaya itu seolah-olah lebih takut dengan kucing. Bukan seekor, tapi dua ekor!

Hebat betul 'kuasa' kucing yang berani 'mengusik' buaya. -mynewshub




ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာကိစၥ ေဒၚစုႏွင့္ NLD ႏႈတ္ပိတ္ေနျခင္းအေပၚ ေဒါက္တာ ေမာင္ဇာနည္ ေ၀ဖန္

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 05:27 AM PDT

Source: ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာကိစၥ ေဒၚစုႏွင့္ NLD ႏႈတ္ပိတ္ေနျခင္းအေပၚ ေဒါက္တာ ေမာင္ဇာနည္ ေ၀ဖန္

ေဒါက္တာ ေမာင္ဇာနည္

ေဒါက္တာ ေမာင္ဇာနည္

လူမ်ိဳးေရး အစြန္းေရာက္ ၀ါဒ ေၾကာင့္ ျဖစ္ပြားေနေသာ ရခိုင္ဗုဒၶ ဘာသာ ႏွင့္ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာ မြတ္စလင္ ပဋိပကၡ တြင္ အမ်ိဳးသားဒီမုိကေရစီ အဖြဲ႔ခ်ဳပ္ႏွင့္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္တုိ႔ လက္ေရွာင္ေနျခင္းအေပၚ ယူေအ အေျခစိုက္ ျမန္မာ စီးပြားေရး ပညာရွင္ ေဒါက္တာ ဇာနည္ေမာင္က သတိေပး လုိက္သည္။ ႏိုဘယ္ဆုရွင္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ အပါအ၀င္ အတုိက္အခံ ပါတီ NLD အေနျဖင့္ လာမည္႔ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲတြင္ ျပည္လံုးကြ်တ္ အႏုိင္ရႏိုင္ရန္ အတြက္ လက္တေလာျဖစ္ပြားေနေသာ လူမ်ိဳးေရး အစြန္းေရာက္ ပဋိပကၡ တြင္ ႏႈတ္ဆိတ္ေနသည္ဟု ေဒါက္တာ ဇာနည္က ေျပာပါသည္။

အဆိုပါ ပဋိပကၡတြင္ ဗုဒၶဘာသာမ်ားႀကီးစိုးေသာ ျမန္မာအစိုးရ ေနာက္ကြယ္တြင္ ရွိေနသည္႔ ခိုင္မာေသာ အေထာက္အထား ရွိထားျပီ ဟု London School of Economics သို႔ ေရာက္ရွိေနသူ ေဒါက္တာဇာနည္က ေျပာပါသည္။

"ႏိုင္ငံေရး သေဘာတရားအရ ေျပာရရင္ ေဒၚစုက ဗမာလူမ်ားစုႀကီး ဆက္ေပ်ာ္ရႊင္ေနဖို႔လိုပါတယ္။ ဒါေၾကာင့္ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ခ်န္ပီယံ ျဖစ္တဲ႔ သူရဲ႕ ပံုရိပ္ကို ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာ အေရးက ဘယ္လို ထိခိုက္ေနပါေစ ဒီကိစၥနဲ႔ ေဒၚစု ရွင္းရွင္းေနေနတာျဖစ္တယ္" ဟု ၄င္းက ေထာက္ျပပါသည္။

ျမန္မာလူမႈ အသိုင္းအ၀ိုင္း၏ ခ်ိဳးကပ္ေနေသာ လူမ်ိဳးစြဲ ၀ါဒက ဒီမိုကေရစီ အေျပာင္း အလဲအား ေျခထိုးခံ ေနေၾကာင္း ၄င္းက ေထာက္ျပပါသည္။"ျမန္မာ ဒီမိုကေရစီ အကူးအေျပာင္းက ေနာက္ေၾကာင္းမျပန္တဲ႔ လက္ဆုပ္ လက္ကိုင္ျပႏိုင္တဲ႔ ျဖစ္စဥ္ မဟုတ္ေပမယ္႔ အင္မတန္ အက်ည္းတန္လွ တဲ႔ လူမ်ိဳးစြဲ၀ါဒ ကိုေတာ့ ကမာၻက ျမင္ေနရ တယ္ " ဟု ၄င္းကေ၀ဖန္ခဲ့သည္။

Source here



Why Tomas Quintana should change his tune

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 04:51 AM PDT

Source: Why Tomas Quintana should change his tune By JANET BENSHOOF United Nations Special Human Rights Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana talks to reporters during his news conference before his departure at Yangon International Airport on 4 August 2012. (Reuters)

Tomas Ojea Quintana has a very difficult job as United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Burma.  Since 2008, his job has been to monitor events in Burma without directly challenging the legitimacy of the government and constitution.

Politics, not international law, is the determining factor shaping his annual recommendations to the UN General Assembly. At the same time, as an independent expert, his credibility depends on making credible and feasible recommendations, based on his qualifications as a lawyer with human rights and international humanitarian law expertise.

Mr. Quintana has walked this tightrope between politics and international law with dedication, if not success. He has shown courage – given his UN limitations – in calling for a UN inquiry into the crimes of the military, which could possibly lead to the Security Council referring Burma to the International Criminal Court.

Quintana has been forthright in questioning the independence of the country's judiciary that remains dominated by the same judges, including the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Justice U Tun Tun Oo, who collaborated with the military and signed court orders imprisoning Aung San Sui Kyi and other political prisoners.

And, Quintana's steadfast demand for the release of all political prisoners has been a much-needed global voice pressuring the Burmese government.

However, Mr. Quintana, while acknowledging the problematic constitution that grants the military complete power over its affairs, continues to espouse reforms that cannot be imposed on a military that is outside of civilian control.

Quintana has been trying to speak the "soft" truth about the military government, while never directly calling for the UN and all states to comply with their "hard" law obligations to take actions to end Burma's grave breaches of the law of nations. The constitution itself is the root of these violations as it allows military impunity for war crimes and violates the UN Charter by putting the military outside the reach of the civilian government.

Now is a critical time in Burma, a time in which the fragile advances in openness and reform are soon – if they have not already – to hit the ceiling of military power. Mr. Quintana's politically pragmatic approach is not workable and must change.

The military-drafted constitution, fully implemented on 31 January 2011, establishes a structure of government in Burma that is unlike that of any other country in the world. The military, under the Commander-in-Chief, is given formal legal status as an autonomous entity outside of the sovereign state of the "Republic of the Union of Myanmar," which the constitution defines as being composed exclusively of the executive, judicial and legislative branches.

"Mr. Quintana's politically pragmatic approach is not workable and must change."

Under the constitution, Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing has sole control over military and police property, income, spending, corporations, courts, weapons and laws. Technically, under the constitution, the Commander-in-Chief could even refuse to allow President Thein to enter military property without his consent, much less enforce any laws against the military.

None of Mr. Quintana's preliminary recommendations in his August 4, 2012 statement on Burma are credible steps towards real change given the 800 pound gorilla lurking in the background: the constitution.  Consider the following:

• Mr. Quintana calls for parliamentary review of legislation and adoption of new laws as "central" to building a society based on the rule of law. But how can there be a rule of law with the military and police outside the reach of laws passed by parliament and the civilian courts?  Who will enforce these new laws given Quintana's own admission that there has been no progress in Burma towards an independent judiciary?

• Mr. Quintana calls for an independent investigation into the situation in the Arakan state, including the alleged use of excessive force by security and police forces.  Yet, no government investigation, even if it were transparent and fair, could result in prosecuting or firing errant security forces unless the Commander-in-Chief consented.

•Mr. Quintana calls for the government and armed groups to "do more" to protect civilians and comply with international human rights and humanitarian law in Kachin state. This ignores the fact that the constitution, on its face, renders the government legally incapable of enforcing the Geneva and Genocide Conventions ratified by Burma against the military.   The armed conflict in the Kachin state is governed by the Geneva Conventions –the laws of war -and when these are breached by any State, all other State parties to the Geneva Conventions have a legal duty to take "all possible measures"—even if they have a low likelihood of success—to seek to end the breaches. By failing to point out the duties of states to ensure accountability for crimes by the military against civilians in the Kachin state, Mr. Quintana undermines the integrity of the laws of war.

•Mr. Quintana's sole call for accountability, after decades of heinous crimes of the military against the people of Burma, is to call for the Parliament to set up a "Truth Commission."   Burma is not South Africa, which set up such a Commission as part of a full transition process, one in which the constitution provided for control over the military. In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was designed to be compatible with criminal accountability standards, which Burma has not established.  In fact, the constitution establishes a 25% parliamentary quota for the military, which ensures that such laws can be vetoed by that voting bloc.

No democracy has ever been built in a country without justice or accountability and with war criminals continuing to occupy top government offices including in the judiciary.  No democracy has ever been built based on a constitution written by a criminal military to "legalize" their hold on power by guaranteeing the military both impunity from accountability for crimes and continued control over Burma's natural resources and weapons development.

Mr. Quintana must make clear in his report to the UN this fall that whatever real reforms exist; Burma is not a "democracy in transition."  Nor can it be, until the constitution is revised by representatives who were fairly elected by the people of Burma. The constitution must ensure civilian control over the military and restore the legal competence of the civilian government to ensure Burma's compliance with fundamental international law obligations, including those under the Geneva and Genocide Conventions and UN Charter.

Of course herein lies the problem: the military deliberately designed the constitution to make it nearly impossible to amend without military consent. The 25 percent military quota in the Parliament precludes the 75 percent vote needed to amend the constitution.

Clearly, the international community needs to do everything possible to help break this impasse.

What can be done? First, Mr. Quintana should make amending the constitution his main priority and focus attention on the constitution's violations of international law. These violations implicate the integrity of the UN Charter and threaten global peace and security.  A Burmese civilian government without power over the military is incapable of enforcing Chapter VII Security Council Resolutions critical to global security, such as those sanctioning trade with North Korea.

Mr. Quintana should recommend that the UN General Assembly refer to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) the question of the legality of the Burmese constitution under international law. Precedent exists for requesting an ICJ Advisory Opinion; most recently, the UN General Assembly referred the issue of whether the declaration of independence by Kosovo violated international law to the ICJ, which issued a decision within 18 months.

The ICJ is the premier world court adjudging the legality of states actions. ICJ judges are universally acknowledged as among the world's most influential international law jurists. Therefore, although an ICJ opinion itself would not result in any invalidation of the constitution, the normative effect of such a decision could be a game changer.

All states, including Burma, should welcome such a referral as a step towards the rule of law in Burma.

The people of Burma have suffered military abuse and ethnic cleansing for more than fifty years. This generation of Burmese citizens is entitled under international law and moral imperatives to be able to enjoy human rights, live in a society governed by the rule of law and be part of a growing democracy.   To do so, the embedded, criminal, and corrupt military power structures must be dismantled – starting with the constitution.

It is time for Mr. Quintana to step up to the plate and speak truth to power.

- Janet Benshoof is president and founder of the New York-based Global Justice Center.



Anugerah di Aidilfitri: Program Bantuan Perumahan Pulau Pinang

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 05:05 AM PDT

George Town: Kualiti hidup rakyat Pulau Pinang yang mendiami rumah pangsa kos rendah (harga di bawah RM42,00) dan sederhana rendah (di bawah RM72,500) akan mengalami perubahan besar apabila Kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang memperuntukan RM50 juta untuk untuk memperbaiki, menaiktaraf dan memulihkan rumah mereka dalam program HAPPY!

Dalam kenyataan perutusan Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Lim Guan Eng berkata, HAPPY! merupakan sebuah program sistematik buat pertama kalinya dilaksanakan mana-mana kerajaan negeri di Malaysia.

"HAPPY! adalah Program Bantuan Perumahan Pulau Pinang sebagai "dividen anti-rasuah" yang mana ia berdasarkan keyakinan bahawa kerajaan negeri akan memperolehi lebihan wang sekurang-kurangnya RM50 juta pada 2011 hasil usaha anti-rasuah dan menjalankan pentadbiran bersih berdasarkan prinsip Cekap, Akauntabel dan Telus (CAT)."

Ujarnya, kerajaan negeri mencatatkan lebihan sebanyak RM88 juta untuk 2008, RM77 juta untuk 2009 dan RM33 juta untuk 2010.

"HAPPY! juga memperlihatkan komitmen kerajaan negeri untuk membawa perubahan besar kepada lebih 600 skim perumahan kos rendah dan sederhana rendah membabitkan puluhan ribu unit di Pulau Pinang." tambah Guan Eng.

Dalam perkara berkaitan, Ahli Parlimen Bagan tersebut menjelaskan bahawa kerajaan persekutuan telah menubuhkan tabung penyelenggaraan RM500 juta untuk semua skim perumahan kos rendah dan sederhana rendah.

Katanya, skim kerajaan persekutuan tersebut menawarkan pembiayaan kos sebanyak 90 peratus oleh kerajaan persekutun dan 10 peratus pula oleh penduduk untuk semua projek pembaikan atau penaiktarafan untuk rumah pangsa kos rendah.

Manakala untuk rumah pangsa kos sederhana rendah ujar Guan Eng, 70 peratus kos dibiaya oleh kerajaan pusat dan 30 peratus oleh penduduk.

Tetapi tambah Guan Eng, usaha tersebut gagal kerana kebanyakan penduduk rumah pangsa kos rendah dan sederhana rendah tidak mampu menanggung kos 10% dan 30% masing-masing.

"Demi menjayakan program penyelenggaraan ini, kerajaan negeri akan menanggung kos 10% dan 30% ini bagi pihak penduduk rumah kos rendah dan sederhana rendah dengan RM50 juta ditanggung oleh kerajaan negeri untuk memperbaiki, menaiktaraf dan memulihkan rumah pangsa kos rendah dan sederhana rendah.

"Untuk itu semua persatuan penduduk diminta buat permohonan dengan kerajaan persekutuan dengan segera.

Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang itu berharap agar pengumuman HAPPY! ini sedikit sebanyak menceriakan sambutan Hari Raya Aidilfitri serta mampu merancakkan pembangunan ekonomi setempat pada masa yang sama mendesak agar tender terbuka hanya diadakan bagi kontraktor tempatan.

"Di hari yang mulia ini, saya ingin mengucapkan semoga Hari Raya Aidilfitri tahun ini disambut dengan meriah dan juga ingatan agar kita dapat membezakan mana yang benar dan mana yang palsu serta jauhilah fitnah. Maaf zahir dan batin." Lim Guan Eng dalam ucapan aidilfitrinya. - roketkini


Selamat Hari Raya card from Umno PM Najib: PAS!

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 05:11 AM PDT

My Malay friend was "thrilled" to receive a Raya card from the Umno-appointed PM.


Cup-Bon Rolling Ice not so nice @ 1Shamelin TGV

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 05:44 AM PDT


 Had to wait 45 minutes before show started, so ordered two drinks. My wife had Frosty Milk Chocolate Ice (RM5.50). After looking at the menu (and price) I decided to order Cup-Bon Coffee Hazelnut Bon (RM6.50).


 Frankly, the drinks were nothing great. They got too sweet at the bottom.

Nick Chung is the ambassador of Cup-Bon, a supposedly 'Popular Asian Artist' as advertised.
Does a 'Popular Asian Artist' need introduction? ;)




UMNO vs DAP - Anda Boleh Nilaikan Sendiri

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 03:05 AM PDT


Anda boleh menilaikan sendiri.


The Cup or the Coffee?

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 12:29 AM PDT

Different people react differently to disappointments in life. For me, each disappointment makes me stronger and more resilient.

For instance, the following quotation aptly describes how I used to feel twenty years ago:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

And then life throws me lemons and I felt this way:

"Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them."
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."
― William Blake

As time goes by, the following quotation describes how I used to feel in the last three years or so:

"Nobody likes being alone that much. I don't go out of my way to make friends, that's all. It just leads to disappointment. "
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Life has a strange way of teaching me lessons so now, I resonate with the following quotation:

"You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won't happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, 'I don't care how hard this is, I don't care how disappointed I am, I'm not going to let this get the best of me. I'm moving on with my life."
Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

"Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment help us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments — but all of this is transitory it leaves no permanent mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken."
Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

We have heard this famous quotation from Forrest Gump:
My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

As it is the festive holiday break, perhaps in the midst of visitations, it would be good to watch this video clip and think about our lives. I believe it is always good to ponder, reflect, resolve and move on in our lives lest we go on with so much emotional baggage that may bog us down.

This video was produced by Simple Truths. It is also worthwhile reading the comments in the thread of discussion. It is really up to us what we make out of life! Take care and have a lovely day.

CLICK HERE to watch Life Is Like Coffee.





Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 11:12 PM PDT

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

Hong Kong: Old School Starbucks Coffee @ Central – One of the coolest place in Hong Kong to me is the old-school style designed Starbucks Coffee outlet located at Central area. I went there last year, and it was in one of my visiting list. What's so special about this Starbucks Coffee outlet is the old-school Hong Kong coffee house design which local called it 冰室 (Bing Sutt).

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

This is a good blend of western coffee in to local Hong Kong culture. Although, the original Bing Sutt (Hong Kong's kopitiam) design was not so dim, yet it brings out a warm, relaxing and mysterious feeling in the cafe.

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

It was full of people. It's an attraction in my opinion and it has a unique Starbucks Coffee design. Mom went to shopping around Central area and me, dad and brother were enjoying a hot brew of coffee here.

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

It's a little bit hard to spot out at Central area as you have to turn into a street and walk up a flight of stairs. Anyway, I've included a map below for your reference. =)

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

Hong Kong: Old-School Bing Sutt Starbucks Coffee @ Central

Starbucks Coffee (Bing Sutt design), Central

Floor M2, Baskerville House,
13 Duddell Street, , Central
Hong Kong
Telephone: +852-25235685


View Nick Chan's Travel Map in a larger map


Bersemangat Naikkan Bendera PAS

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 12:19 AM PDT

Beting Maro, Sarawak;
Gambar yang tak terdapat di Semenanjung,
Bangga aku melihat gambar ini.

Rakyat Sarawak kini sudah mula dapat menerima PAS
Insyallah PR akan memperoleh kejayaan -fB Busman


Interview with John Ging, Director of Operations for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 09:38 PM PDT

Source: Interview with John Ging (Director of Operations for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.) By Talal AlHaj in Al Arabiya

The Rohingya people need political stability, government accountability for its actions, and financial aid aside humanitarian relief, according to John Ging, Director of Operations for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. (Al Arabiya)The UN has also accused the Myanmar government of playing a major role in Rohingya mistreatment, and called for better accountability in the justice system to stop abuse by military and police.

"They have to get the security forces under control. And they have to hold accountable people in transparent due process of the rule of law for any acts taken already – that is where people should direct their grievances, to the courts," Ging said.

Over 70,000 Rohingya people have been displaced in Myanmar after a recent spate of violence. Fresh from visiting the minority Muslim community in the Southeast Asian country, John Ging, Director of Operations for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told Al Arabiya about their plight and what needs to be done to alleviate their suffering.

"Many have lost their lives, many have been injured, and tens of thousands have had to flee their homes [which have been destroyed]," Ging said in an interview after his four-day visit to Myanmar, which focused on western Rakhine State, where the Muslim community lives in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.

"The conditions that they are living in are appalling; they need shelter, water, food. And the host communities who are hosting these people also need help, because they too are struggling because now freedom of movement is restricted for the communities as well – many people are cut off from their livelihoods," he said.

The UN has described the Rohingya as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. They have been denied citizenship in Myanmar, even though many of their families have lived in the country for generations. They also required permission from the Myanmar government to marry, have more than two children, and travel outside their villages.

Resentment between Rohingya and Rakhine Buddhists erupted into fighting in June, and there are concerns there could be even more widespread violence. Ging said the situation in Rakhine State was deteriorating right when people required urgent help to rebuild their lives.

"They [Rohingya] have been stateless without rights for decades,"Ging said. "What I witnessed when I was there speaking to the Muslim community leaders, Rakhine community leaders, and political leaders – everybody is hugely concerned and aware of the fragility of the situation and they are all working very hard to prevent this from exploding into a huge conflict. That means that action has to be taking very quickly."

The UN has also accused the Myanmar government of playing a major role in Rohingya mistreatment, and called for better accountability in the justice system to stop abuse by military and police.

"They have to get the security forces under control. And they have to hold accountable people in transparent due process of the rule of law for any acts taken already – that is where people should direct their grievances, to the courts," Ging said.

Humanitarian agencies such as the World Food Program, UNICEF, UNHCR and the World Health Organization have provided shelter, food, medical supplies and tents, but Ging said more funding was needed.

"We have just issued an appeal for $32.5 million, and again, we need to mobilize that money very quickly," Ging said.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference has also requested Muslim countries to donate, and Saudi Arabia has already pledged $50 million. However, neighboring Bangladesh has ordered three international aid agencies to stop providing aid to the Rohingya who have fled there. While Myanmar considers the Rohingya to be illegal migrants from Bangladesh, the neighbor also rejects them.

Ging, however, said that he doesn't think the international community is paying enough attention to the crisis.

"If the situation is not stabilized quickly then I am sorry but I can only say that we are going to see more conflict, we are going to see more displacement and more human misery."

 



Viva Home: Free WiFi, always RM4.99 Viva Homes

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 10:00 PM PDT








Bought some accessories for the bathroom from Homes.
Overall, quality of stuff is not bad.
If you're a first-time shopper, you can apply for membership program at the cashier and get instant discount for the stuff that you buy.


Click to enlarge for parking info.


8 Cedera Masjid Utara Rusia Diserang 2 Lelaki Bertopeng

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 10:27 PM PDT

Moscow - Dua lelaki bertopeng melepaskan tembakan di sebuah masjid di Dagestan, wilayah utara Rusia yang bermasalah, menyebabkan lapan orang cedera.

Kejadian letupan juga disaksikan beberapa jam selepas serangan itu.

"Bilangan mereka yang cedera akibat tembakan di masjid di bandar Khasavyurt telah meningkat kepada lapan," kata Kementerian Dalam Negeri.

Tembakan ke atas masjid itu, yang jemaahnya terdiri daripada puak Syiah berlaku lewat semalam ketika umat Islam bersiap sedia untuk menyambut kedatangan Aidilfitri.

Umat Islam Rusia menyambut Aidilfitri hari ini, yang turut dikenali sebagai "Uraz-Bairam" di negara itu.

Dagestan menyaksikan kejadian tembakan dan letupan bom hampir setiap hari. Pihak berkuasa mengaitkannya dengan jenayah tempatan dan kumpulan yang ada hubungan dengan Chechnya.

Kebanyakan mangsa mengalami kecederaan di bahagian dada dan perut.

Laporan juga menyebut satu letupan kedengaran di masjid yang sama beberapa jam selepas serangan, menyebabkan ramai lagi cedera.

Kira-kira 70 orang berada di dalam masjid ketika penyerang melepaskan tembakan.

"Satu letupan berlaku. Terdapat dua alat letupan. Satu meletup, satu lagi dapat digagalkan," kata polis kepada agensi berita RIA Novosti.

AFP memetik agensi berita Interfax melaporkan bahawa pihak berkuasa menafikan ada mangsa yang cedera ekoran letupan.

"Kami tidak ada maklumat mengenai letupan atau mereka yang cedera ketika kerja-kerja menggagalkan bahan letupan dilakukan," kata jurucakap polis kepada agensi itu.


Balik Kampung – Sunset On Bus, Back To Penang

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 08:11 PM PDT

Balik Kampung – Back To Penang – Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all Malaysian and friends out there! I am now finally balik to my kampung – Penang. It feels so nice back here as I've got about a week break from class. Yeah!

Sunset watching from the bus first seat.

Traffic wasn't that smooth last night on the express bus, there's some jam and slow moving traffic in between. I thought it's supposed to be smooth as it's already day 1 of Hari Raya as many have already went back home the day before, but it's not. Still, there's many car on the North South Highway.

Watched Dexter to kill time, a nice drama!

Waze is a good app to tell me what's happening ahead.

Jam! Strawberry jam!

Happy holiday everyone and have fun!


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