Monday, October 1, 2012

Home Ministry lost to Mkini

Home Ministry lost to Mkini


Home Ministry lost to Mkini

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 09:51 AM PDT

I think this is the second time in few months the Home Ministry lost to the opposition, both in court. First, to Bersih and yesterday to Malaysiakini.

In a matter of time, there will be Bersih 4.0 and 5.0. And soon, we can buy 'Mkini Daily' from the news stand, 7 Eleven and other stores.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court's Appellate and Special Powers division has quashed the Home Ministry's decision not to grant a publishing permit to Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd, which operates the Malaysiakini news portal.
In ruling the ministry's decision as "improper and irrational", judge Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim said the home minister's decision was misdirected as it exceeded the limit of its jurisdiction.

"The decision affects the right of the plaintiff to the right of freedom of expression, which also includes the right to a permit, and it is a fundamental liberty enshrined in the constitution," Justice Abang Iskandar said.

"Hence, the court allows the application for a certiorari (to quash) the decision of the respondents (Home Ministry) and the applicant needs to submit its letter to the ministry."

Justice Abang Iskandar noted that freedom of expression (through publication) is a natural right and is enshrined in Article 10 of the federal constitution.

He recognised the fact that the portal has won numerous local and international awards, and that this should not stop the authorities from giving Malaysiakini a permit.

The judge also ordered the Home Ministry to pay RM5,000 in costs.
Don't blame the court and the judge. Nothing's wrong with the law and our Constitution.

It's how we put things under control. We have been so lenient, too soft. In order to win the hearts of many, including foreign governments and international pressure groups, we submitted to what has been termed as 'free and liberal' tag.

There were times when action came too late while some measures and good proposals were rejected without valid reasons. In some cases, nobody took heed of positive feedback given by the public and experts.

Now, I think Mkini deserves every right to print, and it will sell. Clamping a conditional printing permit too won't be wise as other opposition media are already in the market.

What else can we do about it?


Ponteng, Najib & MP BN Tidak Hormat Parlimen - Parlimen Pun Tidak Akan Terima Mereka Lagi!

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 10:31 AM PDT


Anwar bidas PM tiada di dewan ketika bajet dibahas.
Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim membidas perdana menteri yang tiada di Dewan Rakyat sewaktu beliau membahaskan Bajet 2013 yang dibentangkan Datuk Seri Najib Razak Jumaat lalu.
"Secara tradisinya menteri kewangan akan hadir di dewan sewaktu perbahasan.
Hendak debat (dia) tak berani.
Hendak bahas di Parlimen dia tak datang," kata Anwar sewaktu memulakan perbahasannya sekitar jam 11.40 pagi tadi.
Menurut Anwar, Najib sebaliknya hanya membiarkan penyokong-penyokong kerajaan mempertahankan bajet itu.
Namun tambahnya, mereka bukan anggota jemaah menteri, tidak tahu perangkaan yang dipetik mereka sendiri dan hanya bergantung kepada statistik yang diberikan Jabatan Statistik Negara.
Beliau berkata demikian sewaktu membidas MP Kota Belud, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan yang mencelah dan mendakwa kerajaan Persekutuan memberikan peruntukan yang jauh lebih banyak daripada cukai dikutip dari negeri-negeri Pakatan.
"Permatang Pauh (Anwar) boleh persoal angka-angka ini tetapi ia datang daripada Jabatan Statistik," katanya.
Anwar kemudian menjawab yang statistik sentiasa boleh dimanipulasi dan dibohongi.
"Tidak benar pendapatan Selangor kurang daripada belanjawan. Ia tidak logik dari segi ekonomi, dari mana wang itu diperolehi?" kata Anwar. -mk
Has Najib no respect for Parliament?
PETALING JAYA: The national budget is so important that the Federal Constitution requires a fresh election if the government of the day fails to get majority support for it.
Today is the first day of Parliamentary debate for Budget 2013, but Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and senior cabinet members are missing from the Dewan Rakyat, leaving only the ruling coalition's backbenchers to represent them.
This is nothing short of contempt of Parliament.
Worse , Najib used the weekend to criticise Pakatan Rakyat's shadow budget and even said that the opposition's Buku Jingga was not worth the paper it was printed on.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, a former finance minister, was appalled by the situation and he has made his anger known.
Indeed, the entire nation should be appalled.
With the entire government machinery behind him and the mainstream media to carry his statements without rebuttal, it is convenient and easy for Najib to insult the opposition.
But the true mark of a man, in this case a national leader, is how he is able to convince others of the excellence of his decisions against opposing opinions.
Najib, especially since he is also the Finance Minister, must be responsible enough to sit in the Dewan Rakyat and defend the budget against Pakatan lawmakers.
It is not only about engaging opposition lawmakers, who are also mandated by the rakyat, but also about being responsible enough to explain his decisions for Budget 2013.
The opposition MPs may point out some flaws in the policy that may have escaped government scrutiny, and the ministers, being absent, are guilty of gross negligence.
If the Finance Minister himself is absent from Parliament, how is he to note the points mentioned by Pakatan lawmakers? Did Najib ask any of the backbenchers to take notes and deliver them to him?
Worse, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia is keeping silent about this instead of rebuking the Finance Minister.
Some may argue that Najib is a busy man, being Prime Minister as well as Finance Minister and Women's Minister.
True indeed, but no one forced him to shoulder those additional burdens.
Najib and the other ministers need to get their acts together and respect the House.
The budget is an important piece of document and it must be debated thoroughly to ensure every issue is addressed.
If Najib thinks he has no time to debate the budget he himself presented, perhaps he should relinquish the Finance Minister's post to someone who has the time.


Ulasan GB
Hukum kebenaran dan keadilan akan tetap mengambil tempatnya.
Apabila anda tidak menghormati Parlimen, maka Parlimen pun tidak akan menghormati anda lagi. Itu jelas.
Parlimen tidak akan sudi lagi menerima kedatangan MP-MP bongkak dan angkuh seperti najib dan sekalian MP BN yang gagal untuk hadir di dalam sessi perbahasan bajet 2013 hari ini.
Ingat satu masa dulu, seorang MP yang tidak menghormati parlimen - bercakap sesedap hati, mengeluarkan bahasa lucah dan komen seksisnya terhadap seorang Ahli Parlimen wanita dari DAP. Apa berlaku kepada beliau? Parlimen tidak lagi berkenan menerima kehadirannya.
Apa yang berlaku pada hari ini jelas bahawa BN sudah berada di penghujung usianya sebagai pemerintah di negara ini. Ia dibenarkan sendiri oleh tindak-tindak mereka yang tidak menghormati parlimen.
Kamu-kamu tidak hormat parlimen, parlimen pun berkata SELAMAT JALAN kepada kamu semua.
InsyaAllah kita akan mendapat kerajaan yang baru tidak berapa lama lagi.
Anda tidak percaya? Tunggu dan lihat!


Specially for Bibliophiles

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 07:58 AM PDT

This post is about is the Top 100 Best Novels as selected by various websites. I have added a reaction/ comment about my personal experience with those I have read. It is interesting how each site assesses the books differently and there are many books which are in all three lists.

 I have used the following key:
*read
**read and like
*** read and love
^ have not read
?gave up for one reason or another

 According to the book  The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books by J Peder Zane:

TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

***Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
***The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
^In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
?Ulysses by James Joyce
^Dubliners* by James Joyce
***One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
^The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
***To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
^The complete stories of Flannery O'Connor
^Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 19th CENTURY

***Anna Karenina* by Leo Tolstoy
***Madame Bovary* by Gustave Flaubert
***War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
***The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
***The stories of Anton Chekhov
***Middlemarch* by George Eliot
*Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
***Great Expectations* by Charles Dickens
***Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
***Emma by Jane Austen

TOP TEN AUTHORS BY NUMBER OF BOOKS SELECTED

William Shakespeare — 11
*never read any of his booksWilliam Faulkner — 6
Henry James — 6
Jane Austen — 5
Charles Dickens — 5
Fyodor Dostoevsky — 5
Ernest Hemingway — 5
Franz Kafka — 5
(tie) James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf — 4

TOP TEN AUTHORS BY POINTS EARNED

Leo Tolstoy — 327
William Shakespeare — 293
James Joyce — 194
Vladimir Nabokov — 190
Fyodor Dostoevsky — 177
William Faulkner — 173
Charles Dickens — 168
Anton Chekhov — 165
Gustave Flaubert — 163
Jane Austen — 161

Here's a list by The Best 100 lists.

*read
**read and like
*** read and love
^ have not read
?gave up for one reason or another

***To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
***1984 by George Orwell
***Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
***The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
***The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
***The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
***Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
***Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
***Animal Farm by George Orwell
***Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
***Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
^The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
***Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
***War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
***Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
***The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
***Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
***The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
***Lord of the Flies by William Golding
?Ulysses by James Joyce
***Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
***A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
***Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
***Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
***Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
***East of Eden by John Steinbeck
***One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
^Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling - I am NOT a Harry Potter fan.
***The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
***The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
***Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
**Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
***Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
**The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
***A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
***The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
***The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
***The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
***The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
***Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
***Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
^The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
***One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
*Moby Dick by Herman Melville
^Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
***The Stranger by Albert Camus
**Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
***A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
^The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
***Watership Down by Richard Adams
^His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
*The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
^On the Road by Jack Kerouac
***Dracula by Bram Stoker
^The Stand by Stephen King
*The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
***The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
^The Road by Cormac McCarthy
*Dune by Frank Herbert
***Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
***Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
***Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
***Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
***Life of Pi by Yann Martel
***Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
***Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
*David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
?A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
***A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
***Middlemarch by George Eliot
***For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
***Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
***Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
***The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
?Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
?Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
?The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
***Persuasion by Jane Austen
***Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
*The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
***To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
***The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
**A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
?As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
?The Trial by Franz Kafka
***The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
^The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
^Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
*The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
***Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
***The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
***Emma by Jane Austen
***A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
***Siddharta by Hermann Hesse
*The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
***Atonement by Ian McEwan
***Beloved by Toni Morrison
**The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
^Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
***The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

___________________________________


• This list of the 100 best books of all time was prepared by Norwegian Book Clubs. It is also listed in Wikipedia and The Guardian.

My reaction:
*read
**read and like
*** read and love
^ have not read
?gave up for one reason or another

***1984 by George Orwell, England, (1903-1950)

***A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, Norway (1828-1906)

^A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880)

^Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962)

***The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, United States, (1835-1910)

^The Aeneid by Virgil, Italy, (70-19 BC)

***Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910)

http://www.thebest100lists.com/best100novels/Beloved by Toni Morrison, United States, (b. 1931)

^Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin, Germany, (1878-1957)

^Blindness by Jose Saramago, Portugal, (1922-2010)

^The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, Portugal, (1888-1935)

*The Book of Job, Israel. (600-400 BC)

^The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)

^Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955)

?Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400)

^The Castle by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)

^Children of Gebelawi by Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, (b. 1911)

^Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina, (1899-1986)

^Complete Poems by Giacomo Leopardi, Italy, (1798-1837)

^The Complete Stories by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)

?The Complete Tales by Edgar Allan Poe, United States, (1809-1849)

^Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo, Italy, (1861-1928)

***Crime and Punishment by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)

^Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russia, (1809-1852)

^The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910)

^Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, Italy, (1313-1375)

^The Devil to Pay in the Backlands by Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Brazil, (1880-1967)

?Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Lu Xun, China, (1881-1936)

**The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, Italy, (1265-1321)

***Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spain, (1547-1616)

^Essays by Michel de Montaigne, France, (1533-1592)

***Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, (1805-1875)

^Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany, (1749-1832)

^Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais, France, (1495-1553)

*Gilgamesh Mesopotamia, (c 1800 BC)

?The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, England, (b.1919)

***Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, England, (1812-1870)

***Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, Ireland, (1667-1745)

^Gypsy Ballads by Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain, (1898-1936)

*Hamlet by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)

^History by Elsa Morante, Italy, (1918-1985)

^Hunger by Knut Hamsun, Norway, (1859-1952)

^The Idiot by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)

***The Iliad by Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC)

^Independent People by Halldor K Laxness, Iceland, (1902-1998)

***Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, United States, (1914-1994)

^Jacques the Fatalist and His Master by Denis Diderot, France, (1713-1784)

^Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine, France, (1894-1961)

**King Lear by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)

^Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, United States, (1819-1892)

^The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, Ireland, (1713-1768)

***Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Russia/United States, (1899-1977)

***Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia, (b. 1928)

***Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880)

^The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955)

?Mahabharata, India, (c 500 BC)

^The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil, Austria, (1880-1942)

^The Mathnawi by Jalal ad-din Rumi, Afghanistan, (1207-1273)

^Medea by Euripides, Greece, (c 480-406 BC)

^Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar, France, (1903-1987)

*Metamorphoses by Ovid, Italy, (c 43 BC)

**Middlemarch by George Eliot, England, (1819-1880)

?Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, India/Britain, (b. 1947)

**Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, United States, (1819-1891)

***Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941)

^Njaals Saga, Iceland, (c 1300)

^Nostromo by Joseph Conrad, England,(1857-1924)

***The Odyssey by Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC)

***Oedipus the King Sophocles, Greece, (496-406 BC)

^Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac, France, (1799-1850)

***The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, United States, (1899-1961)

***One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia, (b. 1928)

^The Orchard by Sheikh Musharrif ud-din Sadi, Iran, (c 1200-1292)

**Othello by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)

^Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo Juan Rulfo, Mexico, (1918-1986)

^Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, Sweden, (1907-2002)

^Poems by Paul Celan, Romania/France, (1920-1970)

^The Possessed by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)

***Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, England, (1775-1817)

^The Ramayana by Valmiki, India, (c 300 BC)

*The Recognition of Sakuntala by Kalidasa, India, (c. 400)

^The Red and the Black by Stendhal, France, (1783-1842)

***Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, France, (1871-1922)

^Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, Sudan, (b. 1929)

***Selected Stories by Anton P Chekhov, Russia, (1860-1904)

***Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence, England, (1885-1930)

^The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962)

^The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata, Japan, (1899-1972)

***The Stranger by Albert Camus, France, (1913-1960)

^The Tale of Genji by Shikibu Murasaki, Japan, (c 1000)

***Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, (b. 1930)

***Thousand and One Nights, India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt, (700-1500)

^The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass, Germany, (b.1927)

***To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941)

^The Trial by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)

^Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett, Ireland, (1906-1989)

?Ulysses by James Joyce, Ireland, (1882-1941)

***War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910)

***Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, England, (1818-1848)

^Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis, Greece, (1883-1957)

___________________________________

The following is the best 100 books prepared by Modern Library.
1. "Ulysses," James Joyce
*Gave up halfway but will try again. I could not understand or accept the fact that Joyce wrote such a thick book based on one day in the life of the protagonists. Paul Lewis described it as a long account of a single day in the lives of a group of Dubliners becomes a metaphor for the human condition and the author experiments with language almost to the point of unintelligibility -

2. "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald
*One of my favourite books. I have read it three times and watched the movie starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow more than 20 times!!! *coughs* Off-track comment : I am a die-hard fan of Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp, Jake Gyllenhaal

3. "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," James Joyce
*I first read this book in 1977 and laboured over it in an attempt to understand Joyce's stream of consciousness technique. It was only twenty years later that I really appreciated the book when I read it for the fourth time.

4. "Lolita," Vladimir Nabokov
*Regular blog readers would know I have blogged at least four times about this book. Definitely another must read!!!

5. "Brave  New World," Aldous Huxley
*Unbelievably far ahead of his time when he wrote this book in 1931!!! A futuristic novel that is not my cup of tea.

6. "The Sound and the Fury," William Faulkner
 Nil

7. "Catch-22," Joseph Heller
*Another must read that everyone should have in their collection.

8. "Darkness at Noon," Arthur Koestler
Nil

9. "Sons and Lovers," D. H. Lawrence
*I red this book after I studied "The Rainbow" for  my sixth form literature class and must say Lawrence is a gifted writer.  This is surely Lawrence's best work and a masterpiece to be treasured. My seniors in sixth form were lucky as their text was this novel!

10. "The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck
*Definitely another must read!!!! I read it in 1972 when my father bought a set of hard cover classics that had in the collection "Lord Jim", "Rebecca", "Of Human Bondage", "Gone with the Wind" etc. It was an expensive set and almost four decades down the road, the books are still in mint condition with the exception of its slightly yellowed pages.

11. "Under the Volcano," Malcolm Lowry
Nil 

12. "The Way of All Flesh," Samuel Butler
 Nil

13. "1984," George Orwell
*A book that everyone must read!

14. "I, Claudius," Robert Graves
Nil

15. "To the Lighthouse," Virginia Woolf
Ahhhhhhhhh - my favourite of all her books!!!!

16. "An American Tragedy," Theodore Dreiser
Nil

17. "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter," Carson McCullers
Nil

18. "Slaughterhouse Five," Kurt Vonnegut
*It took me three years to finally get my hands on this book. Tough read but well worth the effort!

19. "Invisible Man," Ralph Ellison
*Read this when I was in school and I believe it is the first book that made me question who I am and aspects of communism even at a young age.

20. "Native Son," Richard Wright
Nil 

21. "Henderson the Rain King," Saul Bellow
Nil 

22. "Appointment in Samarra," John O' Hara
Nil 

23. "U.S.A." (trilogy), John Dos Passos
Nil 

24. "Winesburg, Ohio," Sherwood Anderson
Nil 

25. "A Passage to India," E. M. Forster
*Slow and draggy but the contrasts used so skilfully by Forster makes it worthwhile ploughing through the thick book.

26. "The Wings of the Dove," Henry James
Nil 

27. "The Ambassadors," Henry James
Nil 

28. "Tender Is the Night," F. Scott Fitzgerald
*Anything by Fitzgerald is a firm favourite but this one is too melancholic :-( because it was his last book written during the saddest moments of his life.The title does not show the harsh painful bleakness of the story or his experiences but once you read it...sighs...

29. "The Studs Lonigan Trilogy," James T. Farrell
 Nil

30. "The Good Soldier," Ford Madox Ford
Nil 

31. "Animal Farm," George Orwell
Need I say more? Everyone MUST read this one!

32. "The Golden Bowl," Henry James
 Nil

33. "Sister Carrie," Theodore Dreiser
 Nil 

34. "A Handful of Dust," Evelyn Waugh
 Nil

35. "As I Lay Dying," William Faulkner
 Nil

36. "All the King's Men," Robert Penn Warren
Nil

37. "The Bridge of San Luis Rey," Thornton Wilder
 Nil

38. "Howards End," E. M. Forster
Yesssss! A Must Read!!!

39. "Go Tell It on the Mountain," James Baldwin
 Nil

40. "The Heart of the Matter," Graham Greene
*I have this book and a couple of others by Greene but all - not read yet.

41. "Lord of the Flies," William Golding
*Another masterpiece to be savored and appreciated!

42. "Deliverance," James Dickey
Nil 

43. "A Dance to the Music of Time" (series), Anthony Powell
Nil 

44. "Point Counter Point," Aldous Huxley
Nil 

45. "The Sun Also Rises," Ernest Hemingway
 Nil

46. "The Secret Agent," Joseph Conrad
 *Unforgettable!

47. "Nostromo," Joseph Conrad
 Nil

48. "The Rainbow," D. H. Lawrence
*I studied this book for my sixth form literature class. Tough read but fortunately, I had a fantastic teacher who brought to life the themes, characters and significance of his writings and how each were linked to what he had in mind.

49. "Women in Love," D. H. Lawrence
*The sequel to "The Rainbow" which provides a glimpse of English society in the pre-WWI days.

50. "Tropic of Cancer," Henry Miller
 Nil

51. "The Naked and the Dead," Norman Mailer
Nil 

52. "Portnoy's Complaint," Philip Roth
 Nil

53. "Pale Fire," Vladimir Nabokov
 Nil

54. "Light in August," William Faulkner
 Nil

55. "On the Road," Jack Kerouac
Nil

56. "The Maltese Falcon," Dashiell Hammett
Nil

57. "Parade's End," Ford Madox Ford
Nil

58. "The Age of Innocence," Edith Wharton
*The only Edith Wharton book I could finish apart from "Ethan Frome"....She uses her typical recipe of social tragedy in terms of plot.

59. "Zuleika Dobson," Max Beerbohm
 Nil

60. "The Moviegoer," Walker Percy
 Nil

61. "Death Comes to the Archbishop," Willa Cather
Nil 

62. "From Here to Eternity," James Jones
Nil 

63. "The Wapshot Chronicles," John Cheever
Nil 

64. "The Catcher in the Rye," J. D. Salinger
*LOVE IT. Cannot believe it was banned!!!

65. "A Clockwork Orange," Anthony Burgess
*Love this and the movie!!

66. "Of Human Bondage," W. Somerset Maugham
*Have read this about four times and I love love love this book and many of his other writings!

67. "Heart of Darkness," Joseph Conrad
*One that everyone must read before they reach adulthood. It is three stories about the three stages of life. Short, meaningful and impactful.

68. "Main Street," Sinclair Lewis
 Nil

69. "The House of Mirth," Edith Wharton
*I don't like Edith Wharton's books with the exception of "The Age of Innocence". I forced myself to finish her Ethan Frome. *gulps* Too depressing!

70. "The Alexandria Quartet," Lawrence Durrell
 Nil

71. "A High Wind in Jamaica," Richard Hughes
 Nil

72. "A House for Ms. Biswas," V. S. Naipaul
Nil 

73. "The Day of the Locust," Nathaniel West
Nil

74. "A Farewell to Arms," Ernest Hemingway
*Yet another favourite of mine from the 1970's. Planning to read it again soon.

75. "Scoop," Evelyn Waugh
Nil

76. "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," Muriel Spark
Nil

77. "Finnegans Wake," James Joyce
Nil but I have the book

78. "Kim," Rudyard Kipling
Love it!!

79. "A Room With a View," E. M. Forster
*A book which has to be read very slowly to fully appreciate its magnificence.

80. "Brideshead Revisited," Evelyn Waugh
*Read it but did not like it.

81. "The Adventures of Augie March," Saul Bellow
Nil

82. "Angle of Repose," Wallace Stegner
Nil

83. "A Bend in the River," V. S. Naipaul
Nil

84. "The Death of the Heart," Elizabeth Bowen
Nil

85. "Lord Jim," Joseph Conrad
*I read this when I was 12 in a bid to drown myself in words to assuage the pain and grief I suffered when my mom passed away. I should read it again.

86. "Ragtime," E. L. Doctorow
Nil

87. "The Old Wives' Tale," Arnold Bennett
Nil

88. "The Call of the Wild," Jack London
*Another favourite from my younger days.

89. "Loving," Henry Green
Nil

90. "Midnight's Children," Salman Rushdie
*There are only two books I could not really understand - "Ulysses" and this book but I daresay this one is more readable and easier to understand than "Ulysses" I made myself read it a few times but never went beyond page 60. By the time I reached page 30, I had forgotten what had happened in the earlier parts. :-(

91. "Tobacco Road," Erskine Caldwell
Nil

92. "Ironweed," William Kennedy
Nil 

93. "The Magus," John Fowles
Nil 

94. "Wide Sargasso Sea," Jean Rhys
Nil 

95. "Under the Net," Iris Murdoch
Nil 

96. "Sophie's Choice," William Styron
LOVE THIS ONE!!! Read it in mid 1980s.

97. "The Sheltering Sky," Paul Bowles
Nil 

98. "The Postman Always Rings Twice," James M. Cain
I prefer the movie to the book...

99. "The Ginger Man," J. P. Donleavy
Nil 

100. "The Magnificent Ambersons," Booth Tarkington
Nil

Happy Reading!!!! Please leave a comment to share your thoughts/response/recommendations about your favourite books. Thanks!


八打灵再也拨款20万为双溪威铺路

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 07:45 AM PDT

刘永山(左二)陪同市议会官员巡视工程的进行。

左起为双溪威新村村长陈有才。右起为市议员助理叶再发和刘永山助理甯生(右二)。






(八打灵再也26日讯)八打灵再也市议会拨款20万令吉为双溪威新村多个路段进行铺路工程。 


甘榜东姑州议员刘永山指出,该工程已在两个星期前开始动工,涉及的路段是第2、3、5 、6 、7 、8 、9 、10 和11路。当局也会重建这些道路的路墩。 


他说,承包商将会先在施工的路段中间7公尺用重型机器铺路,过后承包商将会用较小型的机器铺路面的其他部分。 


"承包商须要在原本已经铺上柏油路的路面进行铺路,包括住家门前面已有柏油路的部分。因此,若承包商或工人在施工期间私下向村民索取额外费用,村民可以不用理会,同时可以直接向市议会投诉。投诉热线是03-79542020。" 


八打灵再也市议员张文强说,


Illegal To Remove PJ Mayor, Say MBPJ Councillors

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 07:08 AM PDT

aNt's aNgle

WHAT A DAY today turned out to be. 

I got an emergency message on my mobile phone and next thing I knew I was at an emergency meeting in MBPJ at 4pm. 

Luckily my best pal Andrew Martin was able to rush over and help me dress up in time for the meeting. 





Councillors in rapt attention

The sudden removal of our beloved mayor Dato Roslan bin Sakiman was a shock to us. No one


Miliki Tanah 30 Ekar, Noh Jangan Lari Daripada Isu Pokok

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 08:39 AM PDT

Datuk Seri Noh Omar dinasihati agar tidak cuba lari daripada isu pokok dan bukannya mempersoalkan kelulusan mesyuarat exco dan Borang 5A bagi tanah 30 ekar yang dimilikinya kini "Noh tidak boleh alih isu ini, rakyat tertanya dia sebagai pemimpin Umno dapat tanah 30 ekar, sedangkan rakyat biasa sekangkang kera pun tak dapat," dakwa Adun Sekinchan, Ng Sue Lim.
Kedudukan dan pengaruh Noh dalam Umno juga dikatakan mampu mempengaruhi keputusan mesyuarat exco Kerajaan Umno-BN ketika itu.
"Walaupun ketika keputusan mesyuarat exco dibuat Noh belum jadi Ahli Parlimen, tetapi saya percaya dia menjawat jawatan berpengaruh dalam Umno Tanjong Karang dan juga mengenali dengan baik ahli-ahli exco mesyuarat tersebut.
"Sekurang-kurang pun mesti sebagai Ahli Jawatankuasa Bahagian, kalau tidak tak kanlah dia dipilih jadi calon Ahli Parlimen Tanjong Karang," kata Sue Lim lagi.
Sue Lim juga mendakwa Menteri Pertanian dan Asas Tani itu yang memiliki tanah seluas 30 ekar sebelum borang 5A dikeluarkan merupakan suatu amalan yang salah.
Menurut Sue Lim mengikut amalan lazim, seseorang rakyat biasa hanya dapat mengesahkan permohonan tanah mereka diluluskan setelah menerima borang tawaran terima iaitu Borang 5A.
Beliau juga memberitahu, keputusan meluluskan permohonan tanah dalam mana-mana mesyuarat sebelumnya juga boleh dipinda selagi borang tawaran itu tidak dikeluarkan oleh Pejabat Tanah.
"Sebelum Borang 5A yang sah dari Kanun Tanah Negara tidak berada dalam tangan, selagi itulah rakyat di bawah tidak dapat mengatakan 'sipolan bin sipolan' dapat tanah.
"Melalui mesyuarat exco, dari segi pentadbiran dan pengurusan mengiktiraf mereka memiliki tanah tersebut apabila Borang 5A dikeluarkan kepada rakyat," kata Sue Lim.
Sue Lim turut memberitahu, rakyat biasa hanya mengetahui permohonan tanah mereka sudah diluluskan apabila mereka menerima Borang 5A kecuali bagi pihak yang mempunyai hubungan atau pengaruh dengan pihak yang membuat keputusan tersebut. -selangorku


The Myth of Male Decline

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 05:54 AM PDT

 A few days ago, The New York Times featured an excellent piece by Stephanie Coontz on The Myth of Male Decline. There, she wrote:

SCROLL through the titles and subtitles of recent books, and you will read that women have become "The Richer Sex," that "The Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys," and that we may even be seeing "The End of Men." Several of the authors of these books posit that we are on the verge of a "new majority of female breadwinners," where middle-class wives lord over their husbands while demoralized single men take refuge in perpetual adolescence.

How is it, then, that men still control the most important industries, especially technology, occupy most of the positions on the lists of the richest Americans, and continue to make more money than women who have similar skills and education? And why do women make up only 17 percent of Congress?

These books and the cultural anxiety they represent reflect, but exaggerate, a transformation in the distribution of power over the past half-century. Fifty years ago, every male American was entitled to what the sociologist R. W. Connell called a "patriarchal dividend" — a lifelong affirmative-action program for men.

The size of that dividend varied according to race and class, but all men could count on women's being excluded from the most desirable jobs and promotions in their line of work, so the average male high school graduate earned more than the average female college graduate working the same hours. At home, the patriarchal dividend gave husbands the right to decide where the family would live and to make unilateral financial decisions. Male privilege even trumped female consent to sex, so marital rape was not a crime.

The curtailment of such male entitlements and the expansion of women's legal and economic rights have transformed American life, but they have hardly produced a matriarchy. Indeed, in many arenas the progress of women has actually stalled over the past 15 years.

Let's begin by determining which is "the richer sex."

CLICK HERE for the rest of the entry.


Partition The Day India Burned

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 05:49 AM PDT

In August 1947, the British decided to quit India after exploiting the Indians to the hilt for about 200 years. The British rewarded the descendants of genocidal invaders by partitioning India, once the most ethnically diverse nations in the world was to be divided. One country will now become two, India and Pakistan. The once peaceful land now implodes, people are forced out the villages that they have lived in for generations. 15 million scramble to be on the right side of the boarder, at least 1 million die in the process. Communities that have lived together for centuries turn on each other in one of the worst communal massacres of the 20th century. Britain the once great colonial power looks on as India Burns. Watch a Sikh, describe his father, a village headman beheading, all the women in the village, including his daughters  to prevent them falling into hands of the soon to be Pakistanis.


[BONGKAR] BN Lancar ‘Skim Jual Negara’

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 06:01 AM PDT

Sebuah NGO, Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) mendakwa kerajaan Barisan Nasional (BN) sedang melancarkan skim menjual negara dengan memberi kad pengenalan (MyKad) kepada warga asing secara berleluasa dan tidak terkawal.
"Isu pemberian Mykad kepada warga asing merupakan satu isu yang sangat serius ketika ada warga sendiri yang masih tidak diberi kad pengenalan kerana birokrasi melampau.
"Percayalah lambat laun warga negara sendiri terpaksa merempat di bumi bertuah ini," kata Propaganda SAMM Edy Noor Redzuan dalam satu kenyataan media hari ini.
Menurutnya, keadaan menjadi lebih parah apabila warga asing diberikan pula hak untuk mengundi oleh Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya (SPR).
Apakah demokrasi negara ini dibiarkan terjual kepada warga asing demi menyelamatkan BN daripada kehilangan kuasa?," soal beliau.
Beliau berkata demikian ketika mendedahkan kes terbaru yang menunjukkan warga asing diberi kelayakan mengundi – satu pengkhianatan besar terhadap kedaulatan negara.
Edy Noor merujuk kepada laporan Akhbar Daily Express bertarikh 29 September 2012 di mana seorang warga asing bernama Hassannuddin Bin Manna memberitahu mahkamah bahawa dia telah membeli Mykad palsu dengan harga RM1000.
Katanya, mahkamah juga telah memutuskan Hassannuddin didenda dan dipenjara kerana memiliki dokumen palsu, sekaligus mengesahkan Kad Pengenalan yang diperolehi Hassannuddin adalah palsu.
"Namun setelah disemak nombor kad pengenalan milik Hassannuddin (741029125463), SAMM mendapati nombor Kad Pengenalan palsu tersebut wujud dalam pangkalan data SPR dan juga merupakan pengundi yang sah.
"Persoalannya, bagaimana seorang warga asing yang telah didapati bersalah oleh mahkamah kerana memiliki kad pengenalan palsu didapati layak untuk mengundi? "Kad Pengenalan yang dikenalpasti tidak sah, tetapi sah untuk mengundi mengikut bancian senarai pengundi SPR? Bagaimana ini berlaku?," soalnya.
Beliau menambah, "lihatlah bagaimana kedudukan warga asing di serata pelusuk negara walaupun tanpa memiliki dokumen yang sah.
"Mereka mampu berniaga di pasar pagi, pasar petang siang dan malam, membuka gerai, bengkel malah ada yang mempunyai syarikat pembinaan sendiri," terangnya.
Ujar beliau lagi, "bayangkan jika warga asing diberikan kad pengenalan secara sewenang-wenangnya demi mempertahan regim pemerintah sedangkan ia sebenarnya satu skim menjual negara.
"BN sudah semakin lemah dan tidak mampu untuk menang dalam pilihan raya yang juga beberapa kali ditangguh.
"Apakah ini satu lagi kerjasama utuh di antara SPR, Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN) dan juga melibatkan bantuan dari Jabatan Imigresen?," soal beliau.


[BONGKAR] Kredibiliti Presiden GAPS, Hamidzun Khairuddin Berkecai

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 03:03 AM PDT

Kredibiliti Hamidzun Khairuddin sebagai Presiden Gabungan Anti Penyelewengan Selangor (GAPS) dipertikai apabila beliau sendiri pernah didakwa terlibat dengan satu kejadian pecah amanah di Selangor.
Pecah amanah yang melibatkan wang berjumlah RM199,236.15 itu didakwa berlaku sebelum Oktober 2010, ketika Hamidzun merupakan rakan kongsi dalam firma guaman yang juga panel peguam Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor(PKNS), Zamri Ibrahim & Co.
Penyelewengan itu didakwa melibatkan kepentingan PKNS dan pembeli-pembeli projek perumahan yang dimajukan oleh anak syarikat Kerajaan Negeri itu.
Demikian menurut satu sumber yang dihantar kepada TV Selangor hari ini.
Menurut sumber itu lagi, kejadian tersebut menyebabkan wang pemegang amanah berjumlah RM152, 610 yang diserah pembiaya kepada peguam untuk dibayar kepada PKNS bagi pihak pembeli rumah bagi projek rumah teres satu tingkat di Taman Permai Jaya, Cheras lesap.
Manakala wang duti setem berjumlah RM46, 626.15 yang sepatutnya dibayar kepada Lembaga Hasil sebagai pendaftaran pindah milik pangsapuri Danau Mas di seksyen 7 Shah Alam turut dilesapkan.
"Rentetan itu, para pembeli rumah terlibat membuat aduan kepada PKNS pada 28 Mac 2011 berhubung kelewatan urusan tersebut," menurut sumber itu.
Berdasarkan aduan yang dterima PKNS, PKNS dikatakan membuat siasatan di Majlis Peguam dan di pejabat Zamri Ibrahim & Co.
Bagaimanapun menurut sumber itu lagi, pejabat firma guaman itu ditutup dan Hamidzun selepas itu didapati menubuhkan sebuah firma lain iaitu Hamidzun and Co yang beroperasi secara bersendirian dari rumah.
Setelah PKNS mengambil beberapa tindakan termasuk dua surat amaran, Hamidzun akhirnya menjelaskan bayaran duti setem pindah milik berjumlah RM46,626.15 kepada PKNS pada 6 Jun 2011.
Bayaran Duti Setem tersebut sepatutnya dibuat kepada Lembaga Hasil pada tahun 2009 lagi.
Manakala wang pemegang bernilai RM152,610 yang sepatutnya dijelaskan pada 2010 hanya dilangsaikan pada 24 Januari 2011.
"Walaupun Hamidzun membuat bayaran terhadap tuntutan di atas, namun yang nyata berlaku kejadian pecah amanah kerana beliau gagal menyempurnakan bayaran dan juga urusan pindah milik dalam tempoh yang sepatutnya.
"Kegagalan dan keengkaran beliau ini menyebabkan kesusahan kepada banyak pihak khususnya pembeli-pembeli rumah PKNS," menurut sumber itu lagi.
Pemimpin NGO didakwa pecah amanah
PETALING JAYA: Seorang pemimpin sebuah badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) yang lantang dan sering membongkarkan penyelewengan di Selangor, kini didakwa pula telah melakukan pecah amanah bernilai RM200 ribu pada tahun 2010.
Dakwaan itu membabitkan bayaran wang stakeholder kepada Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS) serta kegagalan beliau menyempurnakan urusan pindah milik pembeli rumah yang sepatutnya diselesaikan pada tahun 2009.
Menerusi surat yang diterima FMT, menyatakan bahawa pemimpin terbabit yang merupakan rakan kongsi sebuah syarikat guaman dilantik sebagai panel peguam PKNS sebelum 2004.
Namun syarikat guaman itu disenarai hitam daripada panel PKNS pada Oktober 2010 atas dakwaan pecah amanah.
Tuntutan pecah amanah pertama bernilai RM152 ribu, membabitkan wang stakeholder yang dibayar pihak pembiaya kepada peguam untuk PKNS oleh pembeli rumah bagi projek rumah teres satu tingkat di Cheras.
Tuntutan kedua membabitkan dakwaan wang duti setem bernilai RM46,000 yang dibayar pembeli rumah kepada peguam untuk Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri bagi tujuan pendaftaran pindah milik bagi projek Pangsapuri di Shah Alam.
Ekoran kegagalan tersebut, surat tuntutan dikemukakan pada November 2010 namun tiada maklum balas sehingga PKNS terpaksa melantik firma guaman lain.
Bagi kes kedua juga PKNS bertindak mengemukakan surat tunjuk sebab dan amaran kepada pemimpin tersebut berhubung aduan yang diterima.
Aduan diterima PKNS oleh pembeli-pembeli rumah dan hasil siasatan mendapati syarikat guaman tersebut tidak beroperasi. Malah pemimpin tersebut didakwa telah menubuhkan syarikat guaman lain.
Menerusi surat tersebut juga menyatakan bahawa pemimpin terlibat telah membuat pembayaran namun dakwaan pecah amanah berlaku ekoran kegagalan beliau menyempurnakan bayaran dan urusan pindah milik untuk tempoh yang sepatutnya.
-FMT

Ulasan GB
Patutlah terpekik terlolong selama ni di Selangor. ..anti-penyelewenganlah konon... rupa-rupanya nak tutup penyelewengan diri sendiri.
GB dah pesan kepada puak-puak UMNO ni berkali-kali.. jangan main-main dengan hukum kebenaran dan keadilan.... kelak seluar kamu terlucut... itu tak apa lagi... kalau diberikan hukuman/balasan atau ujian patah riuk kena langgar lori balak atau steamroll.. lagi parah.....
Bertaubatlah kamu wahai UMNO!


[LIVE] TERBUKTI Najib Pengecut & Bacul, Tidak Hadir Sessi Perbahasan Bajet 2013

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 12:01 AM PDT

Anwar bahas Bajet 2013 tanpa kehadiran Najib

KUALA LUMPUR - Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hari ini membahaskan ucapan Bajet 2013 tanpa kehadiran Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak.

Ketika memberi reaksi ke atas ucapan Bajet 2013 Jumaat lalu, Anwar berkata, beliau mencabar Najib, yang juga Menteri Kewangan, agar hadir ketika beliau membahaskannya, hari ini.

Anwar, anggota Dewan Rakyat pertama membahas Bajet 2013 selaku Ketua Pembangkang. -SH


Najib pengecut, gagal sahut cabaran Anwar debat Bajet 2013

KUALA LUMPUR 1 Oktober: Kelibat Datuk Seri Najib Razak tidak kelihatan pada perbahasan Bajet 2013 oleh Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang bermula jam 11.30 pagi tadi.
Ini jelas menunjukkan ketakutan beliau berdebat dengan Ketua Pembangkang itu.
Malah ramai di kalangan Menteri turut memonteng sesi itu hari ini.
Tiada Menteri mahupun Ahli Parlimen (MP) BN yang bangun mencelah, kecuali MP Pasir Salak, Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.
Beberapa MP BN, antaranya Datuk Idris Haron (Tangga Batu) dan Timbalan Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Razali Ibrahim pula dilihat berada di luar Dewan ketika Anwar berucap.
Ketiadaan Najib menyebabkan beberapa MP BN terpaksa mempertahankan kelemahan Kerajaan Pusat, walaupun menggunakan maklumat yang salah.
Antaranya, berhubung isu ekonomi masyarakat Melayu Pulau Pinang dan pencapaian ekonomi Kerajaan Selangor.
Anwar berkata, sudah menjadi tradisi Menteri Kewangan untuk hadir ke Parlimen ketika sesi bahas belanjawan negara.
"(Sudahlah) debat tak berani, bahas dalam Parlimen pun tak sanggup. (Akhirnya Menteri Kewangan) Suruh 'backbenchers' (Ahli Parlimen biasa) pertahan, sedangkan mereka tiada dalam kabinet kerajaan dan tidak tahu dasar (yang tepat)," tempelak Ketua Umum KEADILAN itu.
Baru-baru ini, Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh itu mencabar Perdana Menteri berdebat mengenai Bajet 2013.
Separuh ucapan Najib pada penggulungan Bajet 2013 Jumaat lalu mengkritik Pakatan Rakyat.
"Ayuh kita berdebat, Pakatan Rakyat lawan Barisan Nasional. Kamu kata kamu demokrat bukan," cabar Anwar.
Beliau turut bersedia memberikan masa tambahan 10 minit kepada Najib jika berani menyahut cabaran itu.
Dalam sesi itu, Anwar juga menyentuh mengenai dasar-dasar kebajikan di negeri-negeri Pakatan.
Mengulas Bajet 2013, Ahli Parlimen Marang yang juga Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang menyifatkan ia sebagai bajet politik semata-mata.
Katanya, pelbagai insentif diberikan dalam bentuk 'one off' kepada sasaran tertentu memperlihat tindakan kerajaan mahu menawan hati rakyat menjelang pilihan raya umum nanti.
Sementara itu, Ketua Parlimen DAP, Lim Kit Siang berkata, ucapan Najib ketika membentangkan Belanjawan 2013 lalu yang bertukar kepada ucapan pilihan raya membayangkan ketakutan Perdana Menteri.
"Ia jelas bahawa pembentangan Bajet 2013 menunjukkan Najib sangat tidak yakin dan dibayangi rasa fobia kerana merasakan ucapan belanjawan keempat ini merupakan ucapan belanjawan terakhir Umno dan BN di Parlimen.


Laporan sebelum ini
klik untuk baca





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Wheelchair Gives A Boost To Activist In PJ

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 11:23 PM PDT

PETPOSITIVE NEWS

DATELINE TAMAN MEDAN, PETALING JAYA:

WHEELCHAIRS are by far one of the best gifts that one can give to the physically disabled. 

Disabled activist Abdul Kadir was understandably all smiles (above, right) when he got his new set of wheels recently by state assemblyperson of Taman Medan Haniza Talha (below, left) in his home. 



The wheelchair was presented on the 10th of


Time Off For Depression

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 09:31 PM PDT

30 September 2012
Last updated at 23:20 GMT










One in 10 workers has taken time off for depression



People can find it hard to keep on working when experiencing depression

 

One in 10 workers has taken time off because of depression, a poll of 7,000 people in seven European countries has found.

The Mori survey was carried out for the European


PR's 'Negara Kebajikan' can plunge the nation into bankruptcy

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 08:35 PM PDT

PM Najib Tun Razak today told BN leaders to be bold in fighting for the welfare and the well being of the people, go to the ground and not afraid of being intimidated by the opposition.

A positive reminder, indeed although it is a well-known fact that Barisan Nasional walks the talk in dealing with the welfare of the rakyat. This is evident from the package under Budget 2013 he announced on Sept 28.

Pakatan Rakyat has yet to proof anything although its counter-Budget proposal contains some attractive measures it will undertake should the electorates choose them in the next general election. But still, the possibility is slim as the people is so used with the comfort within BN's spirit of cooperation.

Again, the issue of welfare under Pakatan Rakyat can be put to question. Its 'Negara Kebajikan' or 'Welfare State' is only a political slogan to woo support and votes.

What is a 'Negara Kebajikan' when you dodged the rakyat of Selangor about the water, housing and land issues?

What would become of our present and future generation if we provide them with free tertiary education, without PTPTN loan scheme?

No country accords free education for its people. Scholarship is only given to outstanding students as a stimulant and encouragement for others to strive in their study and excel in their respective discipline.

Even a developed nations like the US, UK, Germany and France do not provide free tertiary education as the swelling cost might eat up the government's purse, hence interrupting development for other sectors. In other words, it may lead to a nation going bankrupt!

How much money is needed for free tertiary education. Taking into account the number of students enrolling at all public and private universities and colleges, we may need about RM200 billion every year to support them.

Going by math logic, even Japan could not do that, let alone Singapore and Brunei Darussalam!

I dont know how Pakatan arrived at such a formula but free education will lead to a lazy, complacent generation.

And what else should be free under Pakatan's 'Negara Berkebajikan'?

Welfare only means 'everything provided for'. Just like the Rumah Kebajikan, Home for the Aged and others. We provide them with eveything - a house to stay, free clothes, school uniform, food and beverages. We even pay for their utility bills.

Can Pakatan do that under their welfare scheme?

Give us everything for free or at a significant discount. Why not 50 per cent off for houses, half price for Proton cars, free water and electricity, free-fare on public transport, etc. That's what welfare really means!

Impossible, right?

So, don't talk about welfare if you don't know what it means. Learn from BN's welfare approach!


Sengaja Berbogel Depan Rumah

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 10:01 PM PDT

Seremban – Beberapa penduduk di Kampung Limbok, Temiang, di sini, rimas dengan gelagat warga asing yang selalu membuat bising dan mengganggu ketenteraman awam. Gambar fail

Bukan sahaja membuat bising dan mabuk, malah ada warga asing yang menyewa rumah di sekitar Jalan Seng Meng Lee, di sini, sengaja berbogel di hadapan rumah.

Penduduk, Tang Kam Sing, 60, berkata, sejak setahun lalu kehidupan keluarganya tidak tenteram dengan kehadiran sekumpulan warga asing yang menyewa di hadapan rumahnya.

Menurutnya, paling merimaskan keluarganya ialah tindakan lelaki berusia 20-an itu yang dipercayai warga Bangladesh sengaja berbogel di hadapan pintu rumah.

"Setiap pagi isteri saya akan bersenam di hadapan rumah dan dia pula sengaja membuka pintu dan tingkap supaya isteri saya dapat melihatnya.

"Meskipun dia tidak mengganggu kami namun tindakannya yang berbogel amat merimaskan," katanya kepada Sinar Harian, di sini.

Kam Sing berkata, dia pernah menasihatkan rakan serumah lelaki terbabit supaya menasihati rakannya itu agar menjaga tingkah laku.

"Atas semangat kejiranan, saya sekadar mahu menegurnya dan tidak tergamak mahu menghalau mereka tetapi sehingga kini masih tiada perubahan," katanya.

Seorang lagi penduduk, Low Chin Han, 45, berkata, hampir 100 warga asing di sekitar kampung berkenaan sering berkeliaran setiap malam.

"Mereka buat bising setiap malam dan sentiasa dalam keadaan mabuk.

"Kami bimbang dengan keselamatan anak perempuan kerana mereka juga selalu ganggu wanita yang sering berjalan kaki pulang ke rumah," katanya.

Menurutnya, ketiadaan polis peronda bagi mengawal keselamatan penduduk juga amat mendukacitakan.

Sementara itu, Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Temiang, Ng Chin Tsai berkata, aduan mengenai masalah itu telah diajukan kepada pihak berkenaan.

"Saya harap polis melakukan rondaan secara berkala di kawasan ini bagi mengelak kejadian tidak diingini.

"Saya juga berharap, Jabatan Imigresen dapat melakukan siasatan terhadap warga asing di sini, sama ada mereka mempunyai dokumen sah atau tidak," katanya. -SH


The Intimacy of Cheyenne

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 07:51 PM PDT

 I love dogs. From 1972 till 1986, I had six dogs and the last two were my favourite. Jody - a mongrel with some Alsation DNA - was with me for 9 years and was the most loyal and obedient canine darling anyone could have. She would only come as far as the floor mat of the living room. No matter how we persuaded her, she would just sit on the floor mat because when she was a puppy, my stepmom whacked her and told her never to step into the house. Three years later, my stepmom brought home Prince, a Spitz hyperactive puppy and that was when I learnt about status differences and discrimination.

Prince lived a princely life in his kennel placed in the airwell just in front of my parents' room. He could run around the house whenever he was unleashed and bullied Jody :-(. Regardless, Jody never bit him but always gave way to him. Never once did she wince knowing that Prince could be IN the house whereas she was always kept outside :-(.

Aside: Oh dear. I am being sentimental. I miss Jody and miss having dogs. *Tears*

Only Jody knew my darkest secrets and when she died four days before my wedding, I felt as though my world had crumbled. My wedding photos show the grief that still enveloped me on supposedly the happiest day of my life. It took me months to recover from her departure. It was not the same when Prince died or Goldie (the last dog I had - eight-month old Irish setter). From that day, my husband said I can never ever another dog because of the heartbreak that I always go through whenever any of them died.

Regardless, I treasure the memories of times shared with my canine darlings.

And I know many of you out there love pets - dogs, cats, birds (I used to rear birds too - at one point I had five cages but two were stolen (my merbuk and magpie) because I forgot to keep the cages inside the house) and would like to dedicate the following post to all pet lovers out there especially:

  • TCK, loving owner of Alfie and Abbie
  • Cat-in-Sydney who owns and loves so many cats
  • Achibong who lovingly walks with his dog
  • and any other reader who loves his/her pet regardless of type or breed
I have posted this story before long ago here and also my other blog but am reposting it because on a gloomy cloudy hazy Monday morning, I am thinking about my dogs, especially Jody, beloved white mouse Stewart and beloved hamsters Momo (grandma), Mimi (daughter of Momo),  Mei Mei (daughter of Mimi), Mau Mau (husband of Mimi), Kiki (husband of Mei Mei),  Mishy (son of Mei Mei and Kiki), Sashimi, Sushi etc. You can see their photos in a post I wrote about them AT THIS LINK. Enjoy the story, treasure the memories and may you always fill the lives of those around you - human or from the animal kingdom with love and kindness. Have a great day!!!

__________________________________________

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me.   "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving."

My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington  and  Oregon  He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often.

The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his powers.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived… But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.

Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue..

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article."

I listened as she read.. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair.
As I neared the last pen, a dog  in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed..



Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention.. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog "Can you tell me about him?"

The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow.." He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said..

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!"

Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed.

At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate.

We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.

Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne.  Together he and Cheyenne  explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes.


They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and  Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and  Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne  made many friends.

Then late one night I was startled to feel  Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room.

Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed..

I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on.

As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family.

I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."

"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article….

Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. .. ..his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

 Written by Catherine Moore

If you have time, please check out another of my favourite posts : The Rainbow Bridge. Take care and God bless you!!!


'Innocent' and 'Tanda': Our season of fear by Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN, formerly of the Royal Malaysian Navy

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 06:53 PM PDT

Once again
Colour, race, religion and language

Become sharp blades

To use in the carnage


- Said Zahari (Hidden Hands)

COMMENT
I am of course breaking my self-imposed ban on not commenting on anything 'Islam' but circumstances warrant it.

Here's the thing. The anti-Islamic diatribe (how I loathe describing it as such because I have read and seen far more provocative and intelligent musings on the subject by Islamic scholars, Muslim and non-Muslim) 'The Innocence of Muslims' and the race-baiting 'Tanda Putera' share similarities that should make right-thinking Malaysians sit up and question the status quo. Malaysians should also begin asking their preferred political allegiances the tough questions instead of making appropriate noises of compromise or appeasement when it comes to the questions of race and religion.

Both films are fear-mongering pieces designed as appeals to emotions to radicalise majority communities to view the 'other' as a threat to the status quo and whatever ideals that are most often only paid lip service to.

NONE
Both films conflate or distort or cherry pick (and not necessarily in that order) in order to bolster a narrative to demonise the 'other' and as a way to redefine genuine complex tensions between diverse groups as a simple conflict between good and evil or right and wrong, using 'facts' as a defence against legitimate criticism.

Understand now that I am not equating the senseless deaths that have occurred because of the over reaction of 'Innocence' (and yes, I think the carnage that has occurred is an overreaction orchestrated by groups whom would use any excuse to pursue agendas that are anathema to right-thinking Muslims and non-Muslims or as Salman Rushdie's puts it, "manufactured outrage") and a piece of state-sanctioned propaganda ('Tanda') meant to scare minorities into embracing the devil they know (sic) but I believe that the motives behind both movies are the same - that is to generate fear and loathing of the other.

State-sanctioned 'Tanda'


The difference (and depending on how you view Islam, of course) is that here in Malaysia, 'Tanda' is state-sanctioned, while abroad 'Innocence' has become the minefield which separates political correctness and right-wing bluster with a good dose of hypocrisy thrown in with regards to the free speech/expression angle. Here's a quote by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz "Malaysia is of the opinion that freedom of expression must be practiced with tact and responsibility. The freedom to condemn and slander must not be allowed as it can destroy lives and international harmony," which is interesting for a couple of reasons.

NONE
This quote of course does not apply to the way how the DAP's Lim Kit Siang was demonised with outright lies or the way how Utusan Malaysia and its ilk have been allowed to run riot in the mainstream discourse.

On the flip side, the way how pro-opposition commenters routinely slander and demonise their fellow Malaysians from the opposite side of the political divide demonstrates that something has always been rotten in those who always claim the moral high ground when the reality is that compromise is the glue that binds the opposition together.

Muslim reaction in this country has been swift in the case of 'Innocence' but muted when the numerous provocations that the minority have had to endure at the hands of Islamic forces (most often state-sanctioned) in this country. Be it the cow-head protest or the spitting out the sacraments of the Holy Communion, the 'others' and the religions they adhere to have been mocked and vilified all the while we are told that Islam is a religion of peace and warned against questioning of Islam and of the Malay race less we poke the hornet's nest that would lead to the ruin of Malaysia through the destruction of the precious social contract.

PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub's statement of "agreeing to disagree" seems to be in conflict with that of Lim Guan Eng's, which is "DAP's co-operation with PAS under Pakatan is principled in not just agreeing to disagree on hudud but also that any future Pakatan federal government is not about implementing an Islamic state or hudud," and this is something that should be of concern to Pakatan partisans.

Conflicting statements
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim while speaking at the Royal Selangor Club's Fifth Presidential Luncheon Talk
observed that many are concerned about the question of hudud when it is only part of the greater Islamic whole. Speaking for me, my concern is not with hudud - I categorically oppose it - my concern is with the way how Pakatan deals with issues concerning Islam when it is supposed to be the so-called middle path political alliance. The conflicting statements of Lim and Ayub is a case in point.

(Apropos nothing, I have seen Anwar speak in his various incarnations throughout the years and the one constant is that he is a remarkably persuasive politician. As an Anwar sceptic, I was impressed by the candour on display at the talk. He didn't dodge the hard questions and answered questions, especially those touching on his Umno DNA, without resorting to lame mea culpas and his talk was grounded in the real politik of race and religion, something almost unheard of here in Malaysia.

NONE
And yes, I think it's time to bury this whole "Anwar will say anything to different crowds" accusation because he did not say anything that deviated from his overall message that I have been following for some time now walking amongst Anwar ceramahs far and wide in this country.

Readers may be interested in the fact that Anwar stated that he is not interested in pursuing any vendettas against his former BN brethren, and as long as monies are returned he is uninterested in seeking jail time for any miscreants. He prefers a Mandela-like approach to BN malfeasances, which is something I advocated in one of my pieces.

I don't doubt that he is ambitious and wants to sit on the Putrajaya throne but I think his thirst for power is fuelled by the desire to prove his Umno enemies wrong, that there is another way - his way - of doing political business in Malaysia. For many, his way and the Umno way are the same, but I don't think this is the case. However, this is a topic for another piece.) To be fair to Anwar, he did say that people should have sympathy for him because of the difference between the way how Pakatan and BN do things. In his cabinet days, all he got were "Saya setuju" but these days he has to thrash it out with the various divergent expectations in his coalition.

I, of course, don't sympathise because he (and the rest of the Pakatan leadership) is merely carrying out the obligations that he claimed [they] would when they asked for our votes. However, when it comes to the Islamic issue "agreeing to disagree" is not an acceptable compromise especially when you have an Islamic party in your alliance which is extremely influential despite what the current regime claims.

Pakatan kool-aid drinkers acknowledge that the Malays will decide the future of this country but are quite willing to indulge PAS in its waffling because they don't want to rock the boat to Putrajaya. Already there are some naive enough to believe that hudud is an acceptable feature in Malaysian life when nowhere in the world has an Islamic system of jurisprudence delivered on the 'egalitarian' promises its adherents claim it would.

Putting out the fire


The conventional wisdom is that we should not be side-tracked by this issue but at the end of the day, I want to know how Pakatan will deal with the Islamic indoctrination that separates Muslims from non-Muslims. I want to know what role the Pakatan state Islamic agencies will play in governing the lives of fellow Malaysian Muslims and the impact on non-Muslims. I want to know if the process of Arabisation will begin to be reversed when Pakatan comes into power.

NONEI want to know if the Malay community through its elected Pakatan representatives will begin the slow process of reverting back to a bygone era were the Malay polity was not as cut off from the rest of their fellow Malaysians because of the way how their religion is promulgated.

Because once this issue is resolved, all others will fall into place and once we are truly a cohesive society in substance we could be a great power perhaps even more so than China and India in South-East Asia, something which was denied us by Umno ... okay, for years we voted BN in, so it was our fault but I truly believe that our multi-ethnic/religious foundation so long used to divide us is our greatest asset.

I am not concerned about the Islamic fire that Umno continues to fuel, I am concerned about the way how Pakatan intends to put out the fire and so far, all they seem to be doing is blowing smoke our way. Malaysiakini



Gaza Christians protest 'forcible conversions'

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 06:42 PM PDT

 

A Palestinian Christian Huda Al-Amash, right, and her her daughters cry during a rally for the release of her son Ramez Al-Amash, 25, who was allegedly kidnapped, at a Greek Orthodox church in Gaza. Photo by AP
 
Dozens of Gaza Christians staged a rare public protest Monday, claiming two congregants were forcibly converted to Islam and were being held against their will. The small but noisy demonstration showed the increasingly desperate situation facing the tiny minority. Protesters banged on a church bell and chanted, "With our spirit, with our blood we will sacrifice ourselves for you, Jesus." Gaza police say the two are staying with a Muslim religious official at their request, because they fear retribution from their families converting to Islam. Two mediators said the two - a 25-year-old man and a woman with three children - appeared to have embraced Islam of their free will. Forced conversions have been unheard of in Gaza before. 

Since the Islamic militant Hamas seized power five years ago, Christians have felt increasingly embattled, but have mostly kept silent. There are growing fears among Gaza Christians that their rapidly shrinking community could disappear through emigration and conversions. Their numbers appear to have shrunk from some 3,500 to about 1,500 in recent years, according to community estimates. They are a tiny minority among 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza, most conservative Muslims. 

"If things remain like this, there'll be no Christians left in Gaza," said Huda Al-Amash, mother of one of the converts, Ramez, 25. She sat sobbing in a church hallway alongside her daughters, Ranin and Rinad, and a dozen other women. "Today it's Ramez. Then who, and who will be next?" Christians said the main reason for the shrinking numbers is emigration, since there are few jobs in Gaza. Changing faith is a deeply traumatic affair in the Arab world, where religion is strongly interwoven with people's identities and tribal membership.
To convert often means to be ostracized by the community. 


The two converts, Al-Amash, and Hiba Abu Dawoud, 31, could not be reached for comment. Abu Dawould took her three daughters with her, further enraging the community. On Monday, groups of men and women stood in groups in the square of the ancient Church of Saint Porphyrius, angrily chanting," Bring back Ramez!" One man angrily hit the church bell.

"People are locking up their sons and daughters, worried about the ideas people put in their head," said Al-Amash's mother, Huda. Haaretz


Palestinian Spring? Amir Taheri

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 06:35 PM PDT

The Arab Spring may finally have reached the Palestinians. Protests against the rival authorities in Gaza and the West Bank haven't become the kind of full-scale revolts that hit Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria. But there is a growing sense that the leaderships of both Fatah (in charge in the West Bank) and Hamas (which controls Gaza) have lost much of their legitimacy. Mired in corruption and addicted to repression, neither has been able to develop a credible strategy for the 4 million Palestinians caught in a limbo created by post-colonial history and the Cold War.

The first sign that things might be changing came this week with the announcement that top Hamas leader Khalid al-Meshaal is to step down after 16 years, triggering a succession race. Meshaal has had to leave Damascus (after 13 years) because he indicated support for the Syrian uprising. People close to him claim that he's had "offers of welcome" from Egypt's new President Mohammed Morsi as well as the emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad al-Thani. A native of the West Bank, Meshaal has already ruled out moving to Gaza, where he'd be surrounded by rivals and even enemies. He holds a Jordanian passport, but could only settle in Amman with the understanding that he cease all political activity. 

But those who hope Meshaal will fade away may be disappointed. On the surface, three camps are involved in the fight over Meshaal's succession. The first consists of Hamas "government" apparatchiks who wish to keep their privileges. They control part of the international aid from the United States and the European Union, and also cash checks from "well-wishers" such as Iran. This mafia also controls the black market and the flow of contraband goods to Gaza. The apparatchiks' candidate is Mussa Abumarzouq, who held the post in the 1990s. A US citizen, he was arrested in New York in 1996 on terrorist charges — and was released and deported in exchange for giving up his citizenship.

The second camp consists of mid-level activists. Their candidate is Mahmoud al-Zuhar, who is also supported by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. (His mother is Egyptian.) To counter that Egyptian influence, Iran is promoting a third candidate: Ismail Haniyeh, who heads the administration in Gaza. Morsi wants to control Hamas to prevent Gaza from becoming an Iranian base. He also hopes to play the Palestinian card to gain traction in relations with the United States, Israel and the Saudis. For its part, Iran is doing all it can to keep Gaza as one of the two arms of a pincer (the other being Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon) against Israel. If Iran loses its influence with Hamas, it would find it hard to use the Palestinian theme to attract an audience among Arabs.

But Meshaal could upset the burgeoning Irano-Egyptian rivalry for control of Hamas. First, he may promote an alternative candidate, seeking support from Gazans fed up with the Hamas leadership's corruption and brutality. One name mentioned is that of Salih al-Arouri, a former prisoner in Israel who also hails from the West Bank. A second, and more intriguing, option: Meshaal could seek the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization as a first step toward melding Fatah with Hamas to create a new united Palestinian movement. With its chief Mahmoud Abbas anxious to throw in the towel and not a single candidate to replace him, Fatah is in search of a leader. Meshaal could fill that gap while reasserting the primacy of the West Bankers (a majority of Palestinians) in setting the national agenda. He has the added advantage of access to sources of funding via Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Arab states.

Such a strategy would enable the Palestinians to transcend the Fatah-Hamas rivalry, which has brought political paralysis. Fatah has promised peace with Israel without getting an inch closer to achieving it. Hamas is even further from delivering on its promise of wiping Israel off the map. Worse still for both groups, there is no evidence that a majority of Palestinians, their daily problems notwithstanding, are ready to jettison the status quo to gamble on either a problematic peace or a foredoomed war. New York Post


Should the West Tolerate Islam? by James M. Arlandosn, Ph.D.

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 06:49 PM PDT

Thomas Jefferson said, "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my legs." This means that beliefs and practices that do not harm us monetarily or physically can be tolerated. But at what cost? How far do we take tolerance? The answer to those complicated questions is found in another Jefferson document. The Declaration of Independence proclaims, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."


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