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Sunday, August 31, 2003

The TNB Merdeka Advert 2003

As is my usually practice, each year on the 31st of Aug, I would go through the newspaper to see the various adverts in the newspapers highlighting Merdeka Day. One caught my eyes today. This being the TNB advert. Why did it catch my eye? The advert had someone missing. Instead of the usual picture of the Tengku or Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj proclaiming Merdeka on 31st August 1957, a white silhouette was in his place. That historical picture of our 1st PM can be seen here or as below ::

31st AUGUST 1957

What's the purpose and significance of the TNB advert? Why show a white silhouette where our Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj should be? Beats me! Can TNB or the advertising agency or NSTP care to explain?


Midnight in Malaysia

It is once again midnight in Malaysia as we move into the 47th year of our Independence. But have we really got out of our midnights and found Daylight in this Malaysia of ours. This midnight, let one called Imran Rashid, a fellow Malaysian, explain here.
This midnight, you might want to read about an East Malaysian's "Memories of a Merdeka Past".
This midnight, you might want to read one more account of another Merdeka past here and reflect and maybe, ask the same question, Sabri overheard one girl asking her friend :: "Sudah 'merdeka' ke?" I heard a young girl ask her friend, checking her watch. "Is it Independence yet?".

God Bless Malaysia. Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Arnie's Smoking Gun

Schwarzenegger for Governor?

Like a lot of celebrities, their pasts often return to haunt them. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger who is seeking to be the Republican Governor of sunny California has got quite a past. His father's Nazi past is well known and recently it was claimed that the father was a Nazi Storm Trooper. The Simon Wiesenthal Center was said to have been paid by Arnie to investigate his father's Nazi past but others have wondered whether the center was paid to do the opposite.
Now another bit of Arnie's past has caught up with him again. This is reported in the Smoking Gun under the heading :: Schwarzenegger's Sex Talk. In the article , published by Oui, in 1977, he talks candidly about his penile size and his women attracting physique and drug taking. On the practice of abstaining from sex prior to a competition, Schwarzenegger rejected that approach: "I get laid on purpose," he said. Could our 2 hookey players have been following his advice.
According to the actor when asked to comment on the Oui article, he had this to say :: "I haven't lived my life to be a politician." His opponents in the Democratic camp think Arnie's quotes in the article "would not sit well with some voters. For more comments on Arnie's go to this SFGate.com article What do you think?

Friday, August 29, 2003

PM Dr Mahathir's Thoughts

Chinaman had the Thoughts of Chairman Mao and those little red books and we, of course, having a great leader like our PM, should also have his thoughts in little green books in the not too distant future.
Sometime in 2001, the prime minister's political secretary, one Dusuki Ahmad, proposed that colleges should introduce courses on the Thoughts of Dr Mahathir Mohamad. This idea was again mooted at the last Pekembar(UMNO) General Assembly where a "Dr Mahathir Mohamad Institute of Strategic Thinking" and an "Institute of Occidental Studies" were propsed. This was widely reported by Reuters, AP and other western press and even the Malawi Nation Online. The latter quoted one Mustapa Mohamed, calling him an UMNO luminary, as having said :: "Since Dr Mahathir is a great leader who is more advanced in his thinking than his people, it is timely that we set up such a centre,"
Mr Lim Kit Siang says :: The religious adviser to the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Othman announced that the International Islamic University is launching a 10-chapter compilation of the thoughts of Mahathir by an international panel of 35 academicians to "position Dr. Mahathir as one of the greatest thinkers of the century and on par with great authors such as William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Ibnu Khaldun and Baron de Montesquieu".
The setting up of an Institute of Occidental Studies at the Dr Mahathir Mohamad Institute of Strategic Thinking at Universiti Utara Malaysia was reported here. But a search at the UUM website failed to reveal such an institute.
Now Bernama reports that "Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) will make the thoughts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad one of its academic subjects from next year." The UiTM Senate had given its nod to the university's move and the subject was meant for students in the Mass Communications and Civil Administration faculties. 7,000 copies of the book on Dr Mahathir's thoughts have been bought and are to be distributed among its 14 branch campuses nation-wide. Prof Ibrahim said UiTM's move to introduce the subject was to enable its students and academicians to learn from the unique and extra-ordinary thoughts of Dr Mahathir. He said the subject was aimed at developing the Malay mind to be more positive to continue the country's progress, achieved through the thinking of Dr Mahathir.(I am sure he said Malaysian mind and has been misquoted by Bernama).
It is believed that publishers of the numerous books by Dr Mahathir and by other authors on Mahathir are feverishly going into reprints and new editions in anticipation of the huge demand for such books in the near future as it can only be expected that more and more institutes of higher learning, both public and private, would be offering such subjects and courses soon.
Must read for this UiTM latest subject should include the following titles ::
The Role Of Islam in The Modern State
Globalisation and The New Realities
Malays Forget Easily
The Malaysian Currency Crisis : How and Why it happened?
A New Deal For Asia
The Way Forward
The Voice Of Asia: Two Leaders Discuss The Coming Century
The Malaysian System Of Government
Combating Poverty : Farmers and Fishmermen
Regionalism, Globalism and Spheres Of Influence
The Malay Dilemma
The Challenge
Islam and the Muslim Ummah
(all by Dr Mahathir}
Paradoxes of Mahathirism : An Intellectual Biography of Mahathir Mohamad
Suka Duka Politik Mahathir
Mahathir - Great Malaysian Hero
Mahathir of Malaysia : Statesman and Leader
Mahathir: A Profile in Courage
The Mahathir Legacy: A Nation Divided, a Region at Risk
Malaysian Politics Under Mahathir (Politics in Asia Series)
Malaysia: Mahathirism, Hegemony and the New Opposition
The other side of Mahathir
Mahathir Mohamad: A Visionary & His Vision of Malaysia's K-Economy
Globalisation and the New Realities: Selected Speeches of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia
and the list goes on and on and on.....
(these titles are by various authors.)

All these titles are available at the better bookshops and on line from MPH and Amazon and Popular.
For the students, those who want to know what possible exam questions they may have to face at the end of the course, take a peep here. Best of luck.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

The Sub, The Sub

It has been more than a year since the agreement to purchase a total of three submarines was inked with Spain and France. The cost of the subs was said to be RM 3.8 billion. According to the Defence MInister, the purpose for the purchase :: "We have such a large body of water to police. We need submarines because it is a force multiplier. They can appear anywhere and because they are stealth, they are hard to detect. That makes our deterrent value much higher.". What's a force multiplier may I ask?

There were other views regarding the subs :: see here and here.

Now we have this Bernama report which says :: The Defence Ministry Secretary-General Tan Sri Hashim Meon says "Completion of the first phase of the submarine base at Teluk Sapanggar, Menggatal in Sabah is expected to boost the country's security especially in the waters off Sabah.". How could this said completion of the first phase of the base boost security is difficult to understand. Our first sub is said to be delivered only in the year 2005 and the others in 2009! In the meanwhile the submariners are receiving their training which is scheduled to be completed in 2006!

According to this report one possible reason for the sub purchase could be :: "Malaysia's decision is based on its need to protect its vital marine resources, including its joint claim for the Spratly islands in the South China Sea." .

The most recent report on the real reasons why the subs were purchased is from Deep Throat and can be found here at Joe's Blog, this is a must read, read it and understand.


Sabah State Assembly to be dissolved?

According to veteran journo MGG there is a possibility that the State Asssembly of Sabah would be dissolved today.
See here and here.
In not so many hours we will know if the spekulasi is right. It is also said that the East Coast states may follow Sabah in the event.
Update :: See also this letter to Malaysiakini from one, Azmi Hamid Bidin which appear to lend support to spekulasi that there will be early election, at least for Sabah. We wait.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003


A workshop on media freedom was held by Suhakam sometime last year. The report on this workshop has been released and is available in pdf format on its website. It contains recommendations for review and repeal of several provisions in the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) and the Official Secrets Act (OSA) that curb press freedom.
Suhakam suggested alternative and less arbitrary renewal methods for all printing and publication permits and licences. The report recommended the government could implement a demerit system to keep errant publications in check.
On the OSA, Suhakam said a judicial review must be allowed to determine what constituted ‘official secrets’. Presently there is no clear cut definition.
Another significant recommendation is the enactment of a right to information law.
For Malaysiakini subscribers, a fuller report is available here
Now we will all have to wait to see whether this report will received the due attention and further follow up actions it deserves or like the previous reports, end up in the recycle bin and receive no further action. Will the new incoming manager of our nation be any different?

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

PM Goh's Spoof

Recently at a Singapore National Day rally, PM Goh CT officially named DPM Lee HL as his successor. At the rally he also recounted the decade-old myth that DPM Lee once slapped a minister during a heated cabinet meeting. Wonder if such a thing ever happened at a Malaysian cabinet meeting.
In a report in the Straits Times yesterday, PM Goh said he was only kidding, another one of those famous tongue-in-the-cheek thing. Believe it or not? PM Goh later found out that 'half of Singapore' thought the story was true. Hence his explanation ::
It was an 'old story', he said, about an incident that was supposed to have taken place during a 1990 Cabinet meeting when Mr Lee was supposed to have lost his temper and given Mr Dhanabalan 'a tight slap'. Mr Goh explained that, during the rally, he had deliberately told the story in a serious tone. 'Then I took out a pin to burst it, but instead of the loud explosion of laughter I expected, there was only a 'psssst', like air coming out of a balloon,' he said, laughing.
His explanation for why 50% of Singaporeans thought the story true ::
'First, the audience was so shocked by the story that they failed to hear or understand my punchlines. In boxing language, they were KO'd and by the time the punchline came, they were too dazed to hear it.'Second, my punchlines on my having amnesia and Singaporeans being creative were more like taiqi moves than a Mike Tyson punch.
Why did he said what he said ::
He wanted to set the record straight as Australian political scientist Ross Worthington had included the alleged incident in a recent book entitled Governance In Singapore, which was published earlier this year.
What does Mr Dhanabalan have to say ::
Mr Goh also said that when he had lunch with Mr Dhanabalan recently, they 'laughed over the tall tale of Loong slapping him'.'Dhana said that he, too, must be suffering from a total loss of memory. He just could not remember being slapped by Loong,' he said.
Now what has Lone, ah I mean Loong and SM Harry Lee gotta say about this spoof?


Election Talks

At the recent Gerakan get together, its 32nd national delegates conference, our PM had this to say :: "We don’t want you to assimilate. We do want you to integrate. We also don’t want you to change your race, culture or religion," he told the multi-racial but Chinese-dominated Gerakan.
Our about to retire PM also had the following to say ::
"With two-thirds majority in parliament, we can make decisions that (may be) unpleasant to people but is good for them. For instance, higher taxes are necessary but unpopular." (Is a two majority really necessary if the laws passed are all that good for the people?) "We are not a populist government but a pragmatic one with popular support" (Najib says that all our governments have been transformational). "In other countries, the case is more of the tail wagging the dog." (Wonder what he means).
What is all this talk talk and cakap cakap about, the reason is obvious, as said by the PM :: "We have to ensure an overwhelming victory for the BN in the coming general election".
In today's Star the DPM has also done his talk talk and cakap cakap about taking care of opposition held constituencies, of sulky BN leaders, of accepting criticisms etc etc.
Mr Lim KS of the DAP appeared impressed by all that our PM had to say and equally wanted to give himself and the DAP a pet on the back for converting the PM from his earlier assimilation agenda to one of integration for the people. Readers and Mr Lim KS alike must remember, this is all election talks and has to be taken with plenty of ketchup and salt.
Rewind back to 1999 and remember what they had to say about Suqiu Appeals pre and post elections, see here.

Monday, August 25, 2003

General Elections in September?

RPK of RPK Saga fame speculates about when the next general elections would be. Read what he has to speculate or say here and see whether you concurred.


Katak, Frogs and Party Hoppers

We can all smell that elections are in the air. You can bau it here and bau it there and bau it everywhere. This is the time for rumours and bets. The "rain betters" of Taiping have been rumoured to have given up betting on rain and instead are betting on when the elections will be. Will the East Malaysian states have simutaneous elections with the other peninsular states? Bets are also out on the frogs and katak-katak, who will be hopping before the elections from PAS to UMNO, from PKR and DAP to UMNO, Gerakan, MCA, MIC etc and vice versa.
We spend a day or two to vote during the general election and spend the rest of the days rumourmongering and betting as we go along. Soon after one general election is over with, the campaign for the next starts in low gear, picking up as the 4th year of the elected government term approaches and building to a crescendo when going into the 5th.
Party hopping has been turned by some of the experts into an art form. The price for hopping can range from a few ringgit to tens of thousands, from free holidays to Thailand/Indonesia to farther away fom our shores, from a low cost house to an exclusive condo. Party hoppers take their turns in order to maximise press coverage and impact, they seem to have a schedule as whose turn it would be to katak hop. For those who get elected, party hopping probably involved much much more persuasion.
Party hopping of the elected ones is most rampant in the East Malaysian states and almost exclusively from the opposition to the BN. But after the last 1999 elections, Penang also proved not to be immuned to the performance of the kataks and to top it off, it was from one BN component to another, that made it kind of special and probably a First of its kind. It was rumoured that that party hop was to help get a change of Chief Minister, but it failed. Probably because of this Penang Party Hop the top gun in the BN now wants to come out with new rules of engagment for those potential kataks. See the Star for more.
Even the EC chief appears to be very concerned over the kataks and frogs, see this Bernama article entitled "Party-Hoppers Seen As People Of Low Moral - Abd Rashid" for more details and this for what MGG has to say.
When two top guns show such concerns over these kataks and frogs of the elected variety, one may have to read more between the lines. Are they expecting "party hopping" of the reverse kind, that from BN to the Alternative this time around?

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Big Rewards for Info on Orang Utan Murders

The three orang-utans named Mambo, Terry and Marrie,were found dead with spear wounds at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria resort’s nature park in Tuaran near here on Aug 18. Motives for these murders have yet to be established. Another 2, named Sherry and Tiger, were injured and are presently being treated in Sepilok.
Big rewards have been offered for information leading to the capture of those responsible for these murders. The Shangri-La Rasa Ria resort has offered a Rm50,000 reward and the Malaysian owner of the Royal London Circus is offering a RM10,000 reward for similar information.
Upping the ante is an offer of 10% of the circus gate takings from its last show.
The other good news for orang utans and conservationists is an agreement signed on 22nd Aug between the World Wildlife Fund and Sawit Kinabalu Bhd. The company will set aside some 1,260ha of oil palm plantation operated by its subsidiary for a conservation and reforestation project in the Kinabatangan area. This will mean more habitat for primates still in the wild.

{Save the Orang Utans, Help WWF Malaysia}

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Some interesting facts--UMNO Presidents & PMs

The 1st UMNO President was Dato Onn Jaffar, he never became PM and he died he was the president of Party Negara.

The 2nd UMNO President was Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj, he became the 1st and only Chief Minister of Federation of Malaya from 1955 to 1957 and PM to 1959, resigned to lead the Alliance to victory, then continued as PM after the polls until he stepped down in 1971. He was the 1st PM of the Federation of Malaya and then Malaysia when it was formed on 16th Septemeber, 1963. When he passed away he was no longer an UMNO member as UMNO had been declared illegal.

The 3rd UMNO President was Tun Abdul Razak, he was PM of Malaya in 1959 and from 1971 to 1976 he was PM of Malaysia. When he died in 1976, he was PM and the UMNO President, the only PM to.

The 4th UMNO President was Tun Hussein Onn, he was PM from 1976 to 1981. When he passed away he too was no longer an UMNO member.

The 5th UMNO President is Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir, he is also the 1st UMNO Baru President , the only one so far. He has been PM since 1981 and is to retire in October 2003.

The 2nd UMNO Baru President "in waiting" is Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He will be the next PM when Dr Mahathir retires.

Reference :: Here


Friday, August 22, 2003

Orang Utan Murders

That is what must have happened to those 3 Orang Utans, who were being rehabilitated in a nature park nearby the Rasa Ria Resort in Tuaran, Sabah. They were speared to death according to a report in Thursday NST. These murders, they could not have been accidental deaths, the spears could not have just got embedded in them by themselves; were also reported in Malaysiakini and in the Star. Of the six orang utans in the nature park, another 2 were said to have been injured and are receiving treatment at the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre at Sepilok.
Why would anyone want to murder them is anybody's guess. According to FBI profilers, serial killers in their earlier years often resort to the torture and killing of animals before progressing up their 'food chain'.
Orang utan is an endangered species as it is constantly threatened by forest fires, felling of trees, poaching and illegal hunting. Sarawak has the biggest wild population of these threatened apes that are found only in Borneo and Sumatra.
The reports said that the murders are being probed. Tuaran district Polis Chief said his team has yet to established motives for the murders.

{Save the Orang Utans, Be A Kawan WWF Malaysia}


I am not an UMNO Supporter

Who said that? Not I. Guess who did then? Why did he have to say that? After all we know that he is the Chief of the Election Commission which as we all know is a fair, independent, impartial and a completely trustworthy body mandated with the impartial management of free and fair elections in this Malaysia Boleh of ours.
But said it, he did, this EC chief of ours. Why?
Did it have to do with the recent acts of this BC BC EC of ours. Is he feeling somewhat not so good about the controversial delineation exercise which was easily passed by parliament with the massive majority possessed by BN. Or did it have to do with the falling apart of the cocksure assurance that phanthom voters would be a thing of the past. Now it seems that the EC "fears that electoral roll problems will persist" despite the installation of ALIS. Who is to blame? None other than the NRD which appears not have got its act together, the NRD is not able to register the residents of this nation correctly despite its multimillion ringgit computer system.
So it is back to snail mail, in order to get rid of "phanthoms", the EC is sending out letters to registered voters who must reply within two weeks in order not to be labelled as "phanthoms". What if the said voter is away working outstation? What if he is away enjoying his cuti cuti Malaysia holidays? PAS is not too happy with the latest method of weeding out "phanthoms" as it thinks its supporters are being targetted especially those from Kedah. PAS has threatened to sue.
The EC with its latest high-tech computer system, now hopes to register voters on-line by the end of this year! My best wishes that all will go well.
In conclusion, what has the EC Chief got to say about his EC :: "I believe we have done a lot of good. Other countries have seen our work and recognise our efforts ... I think we are one of the best." Now why can't Malaysians have the same kind words for the EC instead of bias and untrustworthy.

{Be a responsible Malaysian, Register as a Voter}

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Election Watch Updates

The past few days have seen many reports regarding the next general elections. Below are somelinks to certain news items ::

19th Aug :: EC Fears Electoral Roll Problems May Persist :: The Election Commission's (EC) problems in providing a clean electoral roll as called for by the political parties would persist as long as the National Registration Department (NRD) does not improve the system of registering residents in the country.

19th Aug :: Phantoms and ghosts in state seat debate :: IN the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival, phantom voters and ghouls became the topics of the day during a debate to pass an amendment to the state constitution to increase the state seats from 33 to 40.
Citing a Chinese adage, Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the opposition liked to “look for bones in an egg,” and that was to create issues out of nothing.

20th Aug :: On-Line Voter Registration Before Year-End :: The Election Commission (EC) is finalising preparations for its on-line voter registration to be introduced before the end of the year, said its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.

20th Aug :: Setia's Interest In Polls Shows Democracy Alive - Salleh :: Parti Setia's interest to participate in the coming Sabah state election showed that democracy is very much alive in the country, State Umno Deputy Chairman Datuk Salleh Tun Said said.

20th Aug :: PAS threatens to sue panel :: PAS has threatened to take legal action against the Election Commission for sending out letters to voters seeking to confirm their addresses stated on the electoral roll.
Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman revealed that he had received a letter from PAS “threatening” to sue his office, alleging that it was trying to “strip” individuals of their voting rights under the exercise.

21st Aug :: PAS ; EC exercise targets members :: PAS has accused the Election Commission of targeting its members in the voter verification exercise in Kedah because there are fears that the party will win the state in the next general election.
Acting PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said the party had proof that the commission's exercise was targeted only at its supporters in Kedah.

It looks that the EC is very BC, BC just like all the politicos of various colors and hues. Could the general elections be at the end of this year?


Gold in Sungai Siput

GOLD is reported to have been found in Sungai Siput but if you are in Perak do not rush to Sungai Siput with all your gold digging and panning tools. The Sungai Siput reported by the press where locals are panning for gold is near Setiu in Terengganu.
There are also claims that gold has been found in Sungai Siput, PERAK, however, the State Government needed permission from the Federal Government before carrying out any mining as a freeze on such activities had been announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The other question is whether gold mining here is viable and cost effective.
See the two Sungai Siput reports here and here.

Just like there are more than one Sungai Siput, there are more than one Kota Bharu!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Taiping's Ng Shu Wai Makes Athens on Merit

Gymnast Shu Wai Has made it. His stint in China has paid off. At the recent World Championships in Anaheim, California, Shu Wai made the cut to Athens next year with his qualification for the floor exercise finals. Shu Wai was among the top eight in the floor exercise with a score of 9.537.
Ng Shu Wai was placed 35th in a field of 323 competitors in the all-around competition with a score of 54.236. The top 16 makes the cut for the Olympics.
The Malaysian Gymnastics Federation's (MGF) secretary, N. Shanmugarah, congratulated Shu Wai for his achievement in the world meet. “He is the first Malaysian to qualify on merit for the Olympics." Taipingites joins in in congratulating Ng.

Monday, August 18, 2003


1. PAS Strategy for Polls, DAP/PAS Pact--Straw Man Fallacies?
PAS bashing continues. The DPM has these to say :: " PAS' reported move to drop the Islamic state concept in the next general election campaign is just a political gimmick." "That is an election tactic. It is clear that PAS is deceiving the people, telling the Malays one thing and the non-Malays another thing," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

See the following links too ::
Islamic state to remain part of PAS struggle
Islamic State And Hudud Laws Remain Part Of PAS Struggle
PAS - a two faced party

2. Patriotic Display by Decree///Flying Jalur Gemilang & Patriotisme
Flying The Jalur Gemilang No Real Measure Of Patriotism, Says DG of National Civics Bureau. You have it from the DG :: "Raising and flying the Jalur Gemilang is not the actual yardstick to gauge an individual's patriotism". He said contributions towards the nation's development was more indicative of a person's patriotism. Examples of how one can be patriotic ::
refraining from committing acts detrimental to the nation's sovereignty and interests;
rejecting bribes and other forms of corruption which might lead to the destruction of a nation;
working an extra 15 minutes a day, this will help the nation grow rapidly; these can be done the year round.

To round it all up :: "Flying the Jalur Gemilang during the Merdeka Month celebrations could be a gimmick to show love for the country." Now what has the DIM and EDM have to say.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

National Service :: Update

The people is being fed little by little with regards to the issue of National Service Programme. The latest tidbits were reported in the mainstream media recently.

On Aug 17th, Star reported that the National Union of Teaching Profession hopes those who will be selected for the national service programme will be given ample notice, its secretary-general Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam. This will give them time to prepare for the programme by building up their stamina and by reading to increase their general knowledge, he said.

On Aug 16th, Bernama reported that the Defence Ministry will recruit former servicemen to train participants of the National Service programme, scheduled to be implemented in February next year. Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal said the Ministry had yet to decide on the actual number of servicemen to be recruited for the programme which needed some 3,000 trainers.

On Aug 14th, Cabinet Committee on National Service Programme chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said 85,000 boys and girls would be the first to attend the training starting on February in three staggered batches at 45 camps. Najib also said a dry run would be conducted with a 200 specially selected youths for a trial programme at the Universiti Utara Malaysia campus from Sept 3rd to 28th.

On Aug 10th, Star reported that a 21-year-old army recruit succumbed to severe head injuries at the Seremban Hospital, a day after she went through a gruelling drill with 300 of her peers. At least 29 of her fellow recruits fainted during the two-hour exercise and six had to be hospitalised. This report was greeted with fear by some of the parents whose children are in SPM classes this year. Will their children be subjected to such gruelling drills next year? Will the trainers be able to spot trouble and nip it in the bud before morbidity or mortality take place? Will there be adequately trained and equipped trainers in the Programme?

Lone says :: Why is information regarding the National Service Programme coming out in little bits and pieces and from different mouths. It is to be impemented in Feb 2004, now some 6 months away, things appear still being done on an adhoc basis. Why only 200 youths for the dry run? Why from Sept 3rd to the 28th, this is the period when the SPM students are taking their trial examinations? Questions, questions, questions; can we have answers, answers, answers.


PAS Strategy for Polls, DAP/PAS Pact--Straw Man Fallacies?

Both the Star and Bernama have reported that PAS is changing its strategy for the coming elections, under these headings respectively :: PAS changing strategy for polls and PAS changes strategy in facing next general election. They were reporting on what is said to be the mandate from PAS acting president Datuk Hadi Awang entitled 'Formulas for Success'. Datuk Hadi is reported to have stated in his mandate dated Jan 18th that " PAS will no longer promise voters the implementation of the Hudud (Islamic Penal Code) laws and the setting up of an Islamic State in the next general elections". This huge sacrifice has to be made to avoid creating a massive rift among the partners in the Barisan Alternatif. Datuk Hadi is also reported to have said that at the national level, PAS has to support provisions on Islam as enshrined in the Constitution but at the state level especially for Kelantan and Terengganu, PAS will maintain its intention to set up an Islamic administration, it also hopes to do so in Kedah and Perlis.
Both the Star and Bernama reported thus :: "The pact between PAS and DAP will not affect the DAP's image as it is aimed at setting up a just democratic government at the Federal level, according to Abdul Hadi. Lone wonders whether there is such a Hadi's mandate and a pact between PAS and DAP? Would WAN from London like to comment and enlighten us all?
Though stating the source of its report as Bernama, the Star has more to say regarding this PAS/DAP pact and even reported Hadi as having said that Hadi's message is actually political wisdom to show that the party is devious in its move. This statement appears to make the reported PAS strategy as indeed devious. On 15th Aug, the Star also reported our DIM as revealing the hypocrisy and voter baffling of PAS two separate manifestos for Muslims and non-Muslims for the next general election.
The latest to join in to comment on the PAS mandate is Datuk Najib. He is reported by Bernama as saying "From past experience, it's a critical juggling time for PAS ... they will say one thing to the non-Malays and another thing to the Malays". He also believes that this tactic of PAS would backfire.
Unless the existence of the said mandate and pact can be seen in black and white, Lone will believe that what has been reported by Star and Bernama may actually be "Straw Man fallacies", created for the BN to bash PAS and DAP with when the elections draw nearer. In the next coming days and weeks, the mainstream media will approach our ministers and provide them with an opportunity to bash these "Straw Man's".


"JACK" Jagjit passes on

The pioneer of the Positive Living Support Group, "JACK" Jagjit Singh, passed away on 11th Aug after having been hospitalised for sometime. He had been battling HIV/AIDS for some 18 years.
Friends who had worked with Jack, recalled that Jack was ever willing to help promote awareness of the disease. His contribution was said to be immense to help put a "face" to the disease.
For his efforts in bringing about awareness on HIV/AIDS, Jack was awarded the Basariah Award by the Malaysian AIDS Foundation chairman Datuk Paduka Marina Mahathir.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Thinking of Going Vegetarian?

Have been thinking of going vegetarian or at least partial vegetarian. Vegetarians can be of different types or varieties. Definitions are as follows ::

Vegan -- a person who eats absolutely no animal products of any kind (no eggs, dairy, fish, honey, etc.)
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian -- very popular because it is based on a diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes (beans), seeds and nuts, and includes eggs (ovo) and dairy (lacto). No meat, poultry or fish!
Lacto-Vegetarian -- No eggs! Other than that, it is similar to lacto-ovo vegetarian.
Pesco-Vegetarian -- This vegetarian diet includes fish, eggs and dairy, but no chicken or meats.
Macrobiotics -- based on a philosophy of a healthy balance. Whole grains make up about one third of the day's foods, vegetables make up about a quarter to a third, legumes average 10% of your intake. Fish is also eaten by many.

So even vegetarians have a choice. Probably Pesco-Vegetarian would be my choice. This will result in not too many changes to my present diet and with fish included, getting supplies of fish oils in the diet would not be a problem.

For those who eat vegetarian-style, the traditional Food Guide Pyramid doesn’t indicate how to assure an adequate supply of certain nutrients that can be absent in the diet. You have got to go for a modified one and fortunately this one by the American Dietetic Associationdoes illustrate how to go meatless nutritiously. One would have notice that it is for the Lacto-Vegetarian mainly, the other varieties would have to modify it a little. For the Pesco-Vegetarian, one needs only to add eggs and fish! Here is another Vegetarian Food Pyramid.

I propose to go slow with my change from a non-vegetarian to the diet of a Pesco-Vegetarian. Probably dropping meat and chicken initially and gradually before going meat and chickenless eventally.

Going vegetarian has its benefits but there are also associated side effects and deficiencies. A total vegetarian diet on its downside can result in deficiencies of vitamins, calcium, iron and healthy Omega-fats. So one must go slowly and see that these deficiencies do not result, non-meat sources of these vitamins, minerals and fats have to be included in one's vegetarian diet.

Apart from a change of diet, healthy activities and daily dose fo exercise should be included. Wish me luck.

Useful links ::
1. Vegetarian Food Guide -- a conceptual framework
2. Westbrae Vegetarian Food Guide
3. New food guide pyramid for vegetarians

Friday, August 15, 2003

Toilets---those Sh_tty Places

Toilets---those sh_tty places are in the news again. Recently we had the " National Clean Toilets Campaign. Looks like the campaign has yet to produce results. According to this Star report, the Johore Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Jimmy Low said that local councils have been empowered under the Public Lavatory By-Law to carry out enforcement on restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and shopping centres. Looks like the local councils will be removing their kid gloves. “The time has come to shed the bad image of Malaysian public toilets,” said Datuk Jimmy Low. Low also said under the by-law, those providing public toilet facilities could be fined up to RM1,000 for dirty toilets.
There is also this report in Youth Quake which says that a recent survey by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government showed an estimated 90 per cent of school toilets are not in proper working condition. Reasons for this state of affairs boil down to insufficient funds. But, but we were told that a whopping Rm 720 mil is used annually for our toilets and the recent stimulus package carried another Rm 200 mil for maintenance and cleanliness. If school toilets can be in this sad sad state, can we realistically expect toilets in coffee shops and shopping centres to be well maintained? One only have to visit goverrnent complexes to see how well the loos there are maintained, no better than in schools mostly. The article in Youth Quake should be read, apart from the laughs that it provides, in toto to understand why school toilets are in the state they are in. School kids do come up with the funniest of things regarding the state and uses of their school loos and they do have such odd expectations.
Read all of the gems dropping out of their mouths, they include the following ::
"It's interesting that in Living Skills classes, we learn how the plumbing system works. In Chemistry class we learn to analyse the chemicals in toilet-cleaning fluids, but we (are not) taught to keep the toilets clean."
"I once asked my teacher why there was no running water in the toilet taps. The reply? 'No money, no water'.
"I don't bother keeping the toilets clean myself. What difference can one person make? Besides, it was dirty to begin with. Not just me, almost everyone has an indifferent attitude to the toilet's cleanliness."
"In Singapore, I was told that they run courses on how to use female urinals. I know it sounds like a ridiculous idea to ask teachers to teach students how to use the toilets but if they don't do that, who will?"
It looks like our school teachers need to educate kids plenty more. Believe me, not one of the kids interviewed said it was his or her responsiblity to keep their school toilets clean. As adults later on, this attitude continues, leading to the sh_tty state of our public loos.
Our toilets have also been use for purposes other than answering nature's calls and the occasional freshening up. According to Suresh and others, toilets do function as kitchens too. Lastly, this is what a school kid had to say about other uses of toilets, "Some students have turned the school toilets into a smoking-den. I normally hate the smell of cigarettes but in this case the cigarette smell helps reduce the pungent and acrid smell in the toilets."

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Patriotic Display by Decree

When August comes, it is the season again for patriotic feats and and other displays. There is Jalur Gemilang II solo adventurer Shamsurrijal Abdul Jamil, who is driving his Proton GTi round the world, this journey of his will take a year to complete. Then there is the largest Jalur Gemilang which was stolen and recovered and is on display in Penang to instill patriotisme in Penangites. Next, is former serviceman Abdul Ghafar Abdul Razak on Thursday embarked on a solo Merdeka cycling expedition in conjunction with Malaysia's 46th National Day celebrations. The Information Department will distribute 100,000 Jalur Gemilang free to the public nationwide during the Merdeka month in conjunction with the 46th National Day this year in order for the public to display their patrotisme freely.
Lone had initially thought of displaying 10 Jalur Gemilang but considering that this display pales in comparison to the abovementioned feats and displays. So it is back to the original, as always, of keeping patriotisme as close to one's heart as possible, that is in it.
The NST reported today that the Perak Education Director was saddened by the indifferent attitude of some schools which have yet to fly the Jalur Gemilang. He also told reporters that some schools do not even have flag poles. Now are the headmasters and pupils to be blamed for that too? The Director also said that if the headmasters did not lead the way by showing their patriotisme, the pupils cannot be expected to show theirs; logical?
The EDM Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has been reported by Bernama as having virtually ordered that all commercial vehicles fly the Jalur Gemilang. He reportedly said that beginning this year it was compulsory for public transport and commercial vehicles to fly the national flag from Aug 1 to Sept 16.. "The government has done enough and don't just wait for Jalur Gemilang contributions each time Merdeka celebrations approach," he also said. Doesn't our State Director and Minister realise that certain things are best freely given and not forced.

More Jalur Gemilangs Updated ::
Coerced patriotism is not true patriotism
Flag-ging patriotism
CAT Minister, Abdul Kadir saddened by lack of flags
The longest Jalur Gemilang
The High Flying Jalur Gemilang
Fly The Jalur Gemilang, M'sians Told


Yang Tak Boleh Patut Boleh

In this "Bolehland" of ours, the cries of "Malaysia Boleh" are frequently heard whenever Malaysians achieve a Malaysian first (never mind that many others may have done it before), the longest, the tallest, the biggest and so on. Very recently, "Malaysia Boleh" rang out loud and clear when swimmer Abdul Malik Mydin became the first Malaysian to swim the English Channel last week. A few days earlier, similar cries were heard on learning of the possibilty of there being a first Malaysian in space by 2005. The list of "Malaysia Boleh" firsts is very long and can fill volumes. They include first Waja in the North Pole, first Malaysian in the South Pole, first Malaysian sailing round the world, first Malaysians up Everest, the world's tallest building, the longest satay, the biggest Jalur Gemilang, for the rest please go to the "Malayisan Book of Records".

We should also have a list for "Yang Tak Boleh Patut Boleh" (YTBPB) to remind ourselves of what we should be really trying to achieve and strive for. This list of YTBPB could include the following ::

1. Well built computer labs which do not have collapsible roofs
2. Control of flash floods in KL, Penang and now Putra Kurang Jaya
3. Corruption eradication with an incorruptible civil service and politicians
4. Poverty eradication
5. Potable water and electric supply for all schools
6. Low cost housing for all in need of it
7. University places for all eligible
8. No toll increase every 5 years
9. An efficient polis force with lowest crime rates
10.Clean public toilets without the need for CCTVs.

Additions to this list of YTBPB are welcomed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Morality Guardians or What?

Our "Morality Guardians" are back at it again. No sooner than those in Ipoh have quieten down, those in KL are in action. This time around it involved a couple apprehended in the KLCC Park on Aug 2 for behaving "indecently". The couple said that all they did was sit in the park and talk. The 2 enforcement officers from City Hall claimed they were hugging and therefore behaving indecently. The officers were alleged to have offered not to summon the couple if they would commit another "indecent" act ie pay the officers off. The amount of money rapidly dropped from an initial demand of Rm200 to Rm50, what a twist. When the couple refused to pay they were issued summonses which stated that the couple were behaving indecently, hugging and kissing at a public site.
Subsequently the couple lodged a police report with the help of the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Michael Chong. After some initial investigations, the Datuk Bandar Datuk Mohmad Shaid Mohd Taufek said ::
“The director of the enforcement department had checked the office where such summonses were recorded and there were no summonses issued for indecency.” {Denial} “Someone was most probably impersonating our officers. Anyway, I’m going to check again on Monday.” {Scapegoat wanted} He said although there was a by-law allowing enforcement officers to take action against those who behaved indecently at parks, they had been ordered not to do so because of fears of power abuse. {So pro-active, even knew there were possible power-abusers around}
The latest report in the Star showed the usual "about turn or gostan balik". The Datuk Bandar now confirms the officers were from City Hall and that they were immediately “restricted” to desk duty pending investigations. No imposters involved lah, no scpaegoats lah. He also confirmed that a probe is being carried out. But it will be the usual ineffective "internal probe", why not an "external probe" which would be more effective.
The cabinet has also got into the act as according to Rais the case is viewed seriously as it was alleged that certain elements of corruption were involved. This was reported by the Malay Mail, under the heading Up to the Cabinet. The outcome is awaited keenly so that our youngs can be saved from further harrassment while in the parks.
The cabinet could have been more proactive and had these bylaws suspended or removed earlier when the cases in Ipoh, Perak first surfaced. Potential power-abusers like in the latest case could have been nipped. If the bylaws have to stay, could the "indecent behaviours" be clearly defined and widely made known? Without clear definitions and guidelines, power-abusers will take advantage of the situation.


TAIPING Bandar Warisan// TAIPING's Many Firsts

Taiping is a town with many many firsts. The list given by MPT or Majlis Perbandaran Taipingl records a total of 40 firsts in the country. Dated as early as 1844, these firsts are either in monuments or events.

1 Open tin mining activity in the peninsula (1844).
2 Hill resort - Maxwell Hill/Bukit Larut (1844).
3 Swimming pool - Kolam Renang Kemahkotaan/Coronation Pool (1870).
4 Mosque - Masjid Tengku Menteri (1870).
5 Rest house (1870)./now Hotel Lagenda.
6 Artillery warehouse (1870).
7 Magistrate court (1874).
8 Balai penghulu (1875).
9 Resident's house (1877).
10 Port - Port Weld (1877).
11 English school - Central School Kamunting (1878).
12 Police force team (1879).
13 Government offices (1879).
14 Telegraph and post office (1880).
15 Lake gardens - Taman Tasik Taiping (1880).
16 Hospital, private and government (1880).
17 Club - New Club (1880).
18 Railway station and warehouse (1881).
19 Museum - Muzium Negeri Perak (1883).
20 Market building - Taiping Market Square (1884).
21 Prison - Penjara Taiping (1885).
22 Railway track - from Port Weld to Taiping (1885).
23 Turf club - Perak Turf Club (1886).
24 Anglican church - Old Saints Church (1886).
25 English girl's school - Treacher Girls' School (1889).
26 Clock tower - Menara Jam Besar (1890).
27 Esplanade - Padang Esplanade (1890).
28 Malay newspaper - Seri Perak (June 1893).
29 English newspaper - Perak Pioneer (July 4, 1894).
30 Tamil newspaper - Perak Verthamani (1894).
31 Armed Forces - Malay States Guides (1896).
32 Teaching college - Maktab Perguruan Melayu (1898-1900).
33 Ceylon association (1899).
34 Punjabi association - Khalsa Diwan Malaya Association (1903).
35 Indian association (1906).
36 Recreation park - Coronation Park (1920s).
37 Airfield - Padang Kapal Terbang Tekah (1930).
38 Golf course (some claimed in Southeast Asia, now no longer in existence).
39 Library - Perpustakaan Merdeka/Perpustakaan Awam.
40 Fire brigade.

TAIPING's 41st first, is that she is the first town in Malaysia to be honoured with a first day cover. She will be celebrating her Heritage Month in September this year. For more information contact MPT.

How to get to TAIPING ::
Taiping is just off the North-South Highway, 88km from Penang, 80km from Ipoh and 302km from Kuala Lumpur. Via the highway, it takes about an hour's drive from Ipoh. There are frequent bus services from all major towns in Peninsular Malaysia and even Singapore. Marked as the site for the country's first railway track, the train is, of course, a good choice of transportation to the town. By air, Malaysian Airlines flies to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur and Penang.


Accomodation in TAIPING ::
Accommodation is relatively cheap in Taiping. Hotel rooms start from RM55 while a stay in a rest house can go as low as RM15 per night. Though Taiping offers no top class hotel, they are fairly impressive, being housed in either heritage buildings or surrounded by historical buildings. Casuarina Inn (from RM69) Tel: 05-8041339; Hotel Fuliyen (from RM55) 8068648; Hotel Furama (from RM58) 8071077; Lagenda Hotel (from RM70) 8053333; Legend Inn (from RM90) 8100000; Maxwell Hill Rest Houses (from RM15) 8077241; Meredien Hotel (from RM55) 8081133; Panorama Hotel (from RM75) 8084111; Seri Malaysia Hotel (from RM90) 8069502.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Internet Addicts--How to Spot Them

When does harmless Internet surfing cross into overuse, or -- as some say -- Internet addiction? This addiction is likely a psychological dependence -- as happens with TV, exercise, sex, or gambling -- rather than a physiological dependence as with smoking and alcohol abuse, says Dr Nathan A. Shapira, MD, PhD, . He is a psychiatrist in the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida in Gainesville, who has been studying this social problem since 1997.
What are the symptoms? How do you spot one? How do you spot yourself as one?

Symptoms include the following ::

1.They have a preoccupation in which the Internet becomes "irresistible."
2.Using the Internet for longer periods than planned. "They say they'll be off in an hour, but three hours later they're still at it."
3.Preoccupation causes significant problems in relationships, work, or other important areas of functioning.
4.They try to cut back but can't.
5.They have excessive thoughts about it.
6.They get a sense of tension or arousal before doing it, and get pleasure afterward -- much as kleptomaniacs feel after lifting something.
7.Their other responsibilities, such as paying the bills, get neglected.

Often they are unaware of these symptoms themselves but loved ones are always the first to identify this problem. How is this condition treated? Firstly make the addict aware what he/she is undergoing, talk to him/her, if this does not work then professional psychiatric help is needed.
What will they come up with next? A subvariety of Internet addiction :: Blogging Addiction. :-)


Bars selling Bras///Bras selling Bars

A nationwide chain of bars in Britain, Brannigans is planning to sell off the bras that its staff keeps finding on its premises. Some 124 bras have turned up in Brannigans' 15 bars across England since the start of the year, making the undergarments the third most found item after cigarette lighters and mobile phones. Garters ranked fifth on the list.
Would anyone like to speculate how come??!! Does this also happen in "Bolehland"??!!
Owners have been given until last Sunday to ring up a hotline to be reunited with their lost bras. The unclaimed bras are scheduled to be auctioned for charity after that. Suggested charity :: "Support Group for the Braless Ones".


The Chinese Malaysian Dilemma :: More

A Seminar on Chinese Population in Malaysia was held in Kuala Lumpur recently. The seminar was co-organised by the Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies, Soka Gakkai Malaysia and Chung Hwa Old Boys Association. A number of papers were presented and these have been reported in the Star on Monday in its Star Two pullout and online as the Chinese Dilemma

The first report, Replenishing the Chinese community is on a paper presented by associate professor Tey Nai Peng, lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Administration at Universiti Malaya, his paper is entitled The Causes and Consequences of Demographic Changes of Chinese Malaysians. Some interesting figures are to be found in his paper ::
--- the Chinese Malaysian population declined from 35.6% in 1970 to 24.5% in 2000.
--- the crude birth rate (CBR) of Chinese Malaysian declined from 30.5 per thousand in 1970 to 22 in 2000.
--- the Chinese Malaysian total fertility rate fell steeply, from 4.6 per woman in 1970 to 2.2 in 1998.
--- between 1970 and 2000, the average age at marriage among Chinese men had increased from 27 years to 31 years while the women from 24 to 27.
--- the proportion of Chinese males aged 30-34 who had never married increased from 19% to 37%, while the females from 9% to 18%. At this rate, fertility is likely to reach replacement level and below replacement level within the next few years
--- Chinese women with tertiary education had 1.9 children, women with secondary education 2.4, women with primary education 3.4 and women without schooling 4.

The decline in the population growth of the Chinese Malaysian has been attributed to various reasons and these include the following ::
--- marriage at a later age,
--- emphasis on career,
--- the high costs of raising children and their education,
--- increasing number of unmarried,
--- urbanisation, higher education, increased female participation in the modern sector of the economy,
--- changes in the norms of family formation and childbearing, and greater contraceptive use and
--- the breakdown of the extended family and the lack of childcare facilities,

All the reasons mentioned by Prof Tey may have been colored to varying degrees by the new economic policy and its implementation, this apparently has not been explored in depth. Prof Tey and Dr Voon Phin Keong, director of the Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies suggested that research into the feelings and anxieties of the present generation of the Chinese population over marriage and childbearing issues, what they want and how they can be helped, should be explored. This research should be carried out not only among those in the marriageable and childbearing age group but also the older folks who contribute to the extended family and associated values.

Related stories can be found below ::
Marrying late
Dialect-job link
The make up and break up
No man is an island


Local Porn VCDs

When porn vcds were spoken of, it was always of nonlocal production but what others can, Malaysians can also. And so it has come to pass. These local productions prompted the PDRM to launch the recent Ops Sepadu. When we thought that the PDRM had their hands on most of the pirated vcds as well as those porn ones, another entiltled 'Datin and the Gigolo' has surfaced. Those who want to know further details regarding this one , go read the Malay Mail of the 7th Aug, you get to know the number of times she had sex. This vcd is reportedly widely available in Kedah and Penang. The PDRM's Ops Sepadu had obvious missed it. What is strange in this online report is the following two sentences :: "Penang State Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry director Fahmi Kasim said they had not come across the said VCD." "We will alert the Home Ministry and the police if we find it during our raids. We do know for sure that the ‘actress' is a Datin," he said.
(These two sentences also appeared in the print versi)
A vcd entitled Aksi Datin dan Gigolo was also reported to have been sold at the UMNO assembly last June. This reportedly was of a datin who is alleged to be a VIP's wife.
The first local made porn vcd to surface was the one entitled "Pramugara yang Terlampau". A former MAS steward is said to be its main actor, director and producer and he was said to have been canned by MAS for poor performance??!! Following pretty fast polis investigations the alleged actor, director and producer has been charged in court on 25th July and the case was mentioned on 8th Aug.
On Sunday, NST carried this rather oddreport entitled "Need to prove identities of those in porn films". In this article, Minister in the PM department, Datuk Seri Rais said the authorities needed to screen the porn films and ascertain the actual identities of those involved. He also said :: "However. an inrelligent lawyer would be able to deny the identity of the actor, as in this age, video recordings can be superimposed and transformed in various forms." Is he providing hints to the defending lawyers??!! The other oddity is why the actresses of the said vcd have not been charged??!!

Monday, August 11, 2003

Let's Have a Laugh

Want to share this with you, courtesy of Janadas Devan, a STS senior writer.

In a Paris hotel: 'Please leave your values at the front desk.'
In Bucharest: 'The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.'
In a Japanese hotel: 'You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.'
In a Russian monastery: 'You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists and writers are buried daily except Thursday.'
In an Austrian ski resort: 'Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.'
A Hong Kong tailor shop: 'Ladies may have a fit upstairs.'
In Germany's Black Forest: 'It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.'
In a Zurich hotel: 'Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom it is suggested that the lobby be used for that purpose.'
Hong Kong dentist's advertisement: 'Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.'
In a Rome laundry: 'Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.'
From a Czech tourist brochure: 'Take one of our horse-driven city tours - we guarantee no miscarriages.'
A Rhodes tailor shop: 'Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.'
A Tokyo car-rental brochure: 'When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigour.'
A Copenhagen airline office: 'We take your bags and send them in all directions.'
A Norwegian lounge: 'Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.'
At a Budapest zoo: 'Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.'
A Roman doctor's office: 'Specialists in women and other diseases.'
In an Acapulco hotel: 'The manager has personally passed all the water served here.'
A Japanese hotel instruction on air-conditioners: 'Cooles and heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself.'

In a Malaysian coffee shop : 'The most famous and bestest Wan Ton Me in town' (nb mine not J's)

For more goto Commentary, before it gets archived. :-}


The Chinese Dilemma

Many years ago, when our soon to retire PM was in the "wilderness" after being retired from UMNO, he wrote the book called The Malay Dilemma. This book hightlighted his concerns for the Malay race and some of his solutions for this dilemma. This book was initially banned but later on became a must read for all, especially those in politics.
Recently there were two articles on the Net with regard to another Malaysian dilemma, that of the Chinese.
The Chinese community "many weaknesses" have shaped the dilemma of the Chinese. Though having economic knowhow and powess and are good at making money, the older members are still largely indifferent to politics, democracy, justice, culture and social issues. The postmerdeka segment of the community possess less of these indifferences but have also been relatively inactive concerning these issues when compared to the other communities.For the Chinese communitry to advance, it must participate more and take its proper position as wholly Malaysians in the nation. The leaders of this nation must also at a faster pace liberalise the restrictions of the new economic policy and share political power more evenly among the various communities of this nation. See the first article on the Chinese Dilemma here.
Sim Kwang Yang, a former DAP MP and now a freelance writer in the Chinese-language press, has also touch on this subject but from a different angle, that of the next elections. He writes :: " If only the Chinese themselves would dare to dream of it – the Chinese voters can play a king-maker role in determining which of the emerging Malay forces (UMNO and PAS) shall come to power in Malaysia. He says that having more babies need not be the answer to the Chinese having more political power. He points out :: "What these Chinese do not realise, is that they will never enjoy the full rights of citizenship in a modern state, if the racial frame of reference persists in colouring their political judgement. In the reality of bio-power, where democracy has often degenerated into a tyranny of the majority." With electoral gerrymandering, outcome in many Chinese-majority seats is often determined by a small band of fence-sitters numbering less than ten percent of the total number of voters in any constituency. This also happens in Malay-majority constituencies too. So ironically, it is often that this small band of fence-sitters eventually get to determine the destiny of Malaysians in general. But I digress, Sim has more to say, so for the entire article by Sim read this.

[NB. To read Sim's article to have to be a Malaysiakini subscriber, if you are not, isn't it time to be one? Rm1 = 24 hours of Malaysiakini, cheap? Tonight you also get to chat with PKR leaders, as a bonus]

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Happy Birthday, DSAI

DSAI is 56 today

For happier times see this pic at Jeff's.


Kuala Lumpur World Peace Conference

The Kuala Lumpur World Peace Conference was launched by our PM on Saturday. The conference was organised by the Malaysian World Peace Foundation. The theme of this year's conference is Peace is Possible. His speech at the launch has produce different takes on its substance.

AFP :: Mahathir presses for UN reforms to lift world out of war fears :: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad pressed for democratic reforms in the United Nations (UN) so that the world would not always live in fear of war.........."The world needs affirmative action between countries so that the disparities between rich and poor countries worldwide are reduced and tension minimised."

Bernama ::Dr Mahathir Calls For Peaceful Settlement Of Disputes :: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad Saturday called on the world to make some effort to return to sanity, and to the peaceful settlement of disputes between nations and religions.

Malaysiakini :: Call off arms race, says Mahathir :: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today called on all nations to desist from engaging in an armaments race as it would bring about devastating consequences on developing countries in the world.

Star :: Mahathir calls on rich nations to help fight poverty :: Malaysia's Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged rich nations Saturday to pay special taxes to help develop poor countries, saying it would reduce global poverty and help combat terrorism.

STS :: Tax rich nations to help poor, says Mahathir :: Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad urged rich nations on Saturday to pay special taxes to help develop poor countries, saying it would reduce global poverty and help combat terrorism. 'Only when wealth is fairly and evenly distributed... will we be free from the tensions, the bitterness and the anger which make the deprived resort to violence and terrorism.'

MMail :: Making Peace Possible :: "It would be a sad commentary on the 21st century civilisation if the weak are bullied by the strong and that peace is not possible" said the PM.

The Malaysian World Peace Foundation also launched its inaugural Kuala Lumpur World Peace Award, this was presented to the French President, Chirac when he visited last July.

Lastly not to be forgotten is the organising chairman of the conference, one Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing, the owner of LimkokWing University/College of Creative Technology.


Legal Fight Against Indian Cola Ban

Traditional rivals Coca-Cola and Pepsi have launched a legal challenge against bans on their products which have arisen following a CSE report alleging they contain toxic chemicals :: lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos. The report led to the national parliament of India banning the sale of the drinks in its cafeterias and the Indian defence ministry issuing a circular ordering all its clubs to stop selling the drinks.
The Indian health ministry ordered independent tests on the alleged pesticide content and the Minister said that actions will only be taken after the results from these independent sources are studied. Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi strenuously deny that their products contain any harmful chemicals. The companies responded by stressing their products had passed stringent quality tests by accredited Indian and international laboratories.
The effects of the report on the population has also been quite immediate. In Allahabad, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, 20 members of the Shiv Sena party attacked retail shops selling the drinks. In Bombay, activists defaced posters and smashed bottles.
The court decision and the independent test results are eagerly awaited by the companies in order, among other things, to protect their reputation and market share reported the BBC.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Dangers 4 Smokers

Lung cancer is the number 1 cancer killer in Malaysia. More than 85% of people with lung cancers are smokers. As far as lung cancer and smoking is concerned there is little to differentiate between cigarettes and cigar smoking; see here, here, here and here.
If you are thinking whether cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking are different, just look here, here and here.
Apart from lung cancer, tracheal and bronchial cancers, smoking is also associated with cancers of the stomach, kidney, bladder, pancreas and other lung and heart diseases, too many to name all.
The Royal College of Physicians says that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, the burden of smoking affects not only the smokers but the whole community. For an interactive links to smoking, smoking cessation and almost all things related to it do, go here and here.
To those who are about to light up their first or next cigarette, cigar or pipe, think of yourselves and your loved ones and put out the light. Best of Luck and Good Health.


Taiping Shu Wai Hopes to make Olympics

No Malaysian male gymnast has ever qualified for the Olympics. 18-year-old Ng Shu Wai from Taiping hopes to be the first to accomplish the feat for next year's Athens' Olympics.
Au Li Yen became the first national woman gymnast to represent Malaysia, when she took part in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Shu Wai returned from Beijing recently after a four-month training stint there. Shu Wai, who won a silver medal in the floor exercise in the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games said that he has improved on his techniques and have more confidence to do well in the world meet. He will be among six men and three women gymnasts down for the World Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, United States, from Aug 16-24. He hopes to qualify for the Olympics at the Anaheim Championships. Only the top 16 gymnasts get an automatic berth to the Olympics. His brother Shu Mun together with Loke Yik Siang, Onn Kwang Tung, Ooi Wei Siang and Heng Wah Mai will represent Malaysia at the Anaheim Championships.
Taipingites wish them all the very best. Taiping Pun Boleh.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Jalur Gemilang Stolen

This is that time of the year when Malaysia Boleh goes about demonstartng patrioticism via our national flag, Jalur Gemilang. Each year someone will try and come out with a record. I will be creating a record of sorts for myself this year for if you were to come round my place on the 31st of August, you will surely get to see ten, yes 10 Jalur Gemilangs flutterring in the wind. This will beat the record set last end when there were only nine, the usual number in keeping with my nick. This year I have decided to break with the norm and also to show to the DIM that my degree of patriotisme has increase lagi one notch, so 10 it will be. Patriotic Me
For more facts on the Jalur Gemilang goto here. Do you all know this happening on 13th April 2001 ::
"Kota Kinabalu: Fifty-eight students from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) 10th College and Kolej Ibukota Kinabalu (KIK) fought coldness and fatigue to unveil Malaysia's largest Jalur Gemilang (national flag) on the summit of Mt Kinabalu last week. On Thursday, they once again unveiled the 118m x 77m flag at the KIK main campus football field in an attempt to enter the Malaysia Book of Records."
Now, how did I drift from the subject matter at hand :: Jalur Gemilang Stolen.:: how did I forget that, a sign of the time, sudah nyanyuk sikit. What prompted me to blog this was this report I saw :: "Giant flag at shopping mall stolen". A giant Jalur Gemilang flag, raised at the Prangin Mall promenade barely a week ago to instil a sense of patriotism among Penangites, was stolen early yesterday. With it some of the Penangites" patriotism must have been stolen too. This flag measuring 4.8m by 7.2m, the flag is said to be the biggest Jalur Gemilang in the state. It was raised on Aug 1 together with a similar-sized state flag which was untouched at the mall in the heart of George Town. The fact that the Penang state flag was untouched could have been significant. You are invited to read whatever you want into it.
The owner of the two flags and also "Cosmic Leisure Cafe ", a certain Mr H'ng is stumped as to why that unpatriotic someone would want to steal a flag bigger than an average-sized room and take with it some sense of pattriotism of Penangites. Mr H'ng should not grieve too much, his short lived largest flag in the state of Penang, his attempt at instillation of a sense of patriotism in Penangites and his "Cosmic Leisure Cafe" have all made the news.
Update :: Stolen Jalur Gemilang found intact excepting for a hole on 8th Aug, outside a coffee shop in Jalan Jelutong.


Penang Bridge toll rate stays---Election Gimmick?

The Government has decided the toll charges for the Penang Bridge will stay as they are, albeit temporarily. Tthe agreement with concessionaire Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd (PBSB) allows it to increase toll charges by 10% every 5 years. The no increase was announced by Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu. Certainly sounded very noble. Speaking after chairing the post-Cabinet meeting at his ministry, Samy Vellu also said the government did not want to burden the people of Penang. Again very noble indeed. But what is the catch. Minister Datuk Samy then added that the Government would have to pay approximately RM6.8mil in compensation for this no increase in toll charges. This amount is for this year alone. This compensation is to be paid to PBSB, where it says Government to pay, read Tax Payers that's you and me!
Meanwhile in Penang, the state Puteri Umno welcomed the government's move not to raise the toll for another year. Its head, Azlina Mehtab Ishaq said the move would benefit various groups who used the bridge frequently. But of course this no increase will hurt other tax payers.
The government was also undertaking an audit of the concessionaire companies to find out their administrative costs, salary and emolument payment to their workers and other expenses before making a decision on appeals to increase the toll charges. Is not this audit an ongoing process? The increase is said to have been deferred to September 2004, that is after the next general election is over and done with. Little wonder why many, including the Penang Pas commissioner Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman was of the opinion that the government's decision was an election gimmick and that he was convinced that the toll rate for the bridge will be raised after the election.
For the no increase in toll for the period 1998 to now, the Tax Payers had to cough up almost Rm 35mil to PBSB as compensations, that is Rm1.83mil (1998), Rm7.73mil (1999), Rm8.16mil (2000), Rm8.61mil (2001) and Rm8.59mil (2002). Why does it often appear that agreements signed by the government are Tax Payer Unfriendly. In years to come are we going to have to come out with advertorial blitz and little 3 sen booklets to ask for fair toll charges when we discover that PBSB is making handsome profits from the Penang Bridge Concession?
For more details read here and here.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

National anthem to revert to its 'stately pace'

The Utusan Malaysia report about impending changes to the National Anthem caused many to give their views regarding the original 1957 versi and the 1992 upgrade. Most commentators were in favour of the original Tunku Abdul Rahman chosen versi. See what Pelita Negara has to say here about the original versi. The Star now reports on its front page that the Original versi will be reverted to together with its original stately tempo, albeit “marginally faster.” Why the need to make it "marginally faster" and the need to change Negara Ku to Malaysia Ku? Change for the sake of change? A thing needs repair only when it is damaged or not working, this was said by many back in 1992. Why, oh why don't people just listen, here they want to go again, repairing what is already good. Just go back to the original versi, full stop.
The "versi terbaru" will make its official debut this National Day.

Update :: Polls are being carried out to acertain whether the people wants the "older versi" or the "upgrade" of our National Anthem. The irony is, the general public has not ben introduced to the "versi baru" to really make an informed decision!! seee Lim KS's take on this here and here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

About Turn/Gostan by Marshal Munsyi Part II

The Marshal Munsyi Gostan Saga continues. Bernama reports that the CID Director confirms that no cabinet minister is involved in the bogus Federal Special Forces of Malaysia (FSFM). It is remarkable how fast our polis can get things done when they want to in order to enable the CID Director to come to his conclusion in super fast time. Other government agencies which can be as fast as lightning whenever they are so inclined include the ACA and the ROS.
How did the CID Director come to such a fast conclusion, Director Datuk Seri Salleh Mat Som said police arrived at this conclusion after questioning (PTCM) Chief Munsyi Muslim Yacob on Tuesday, the contributions of those 3000 odd FSFM members who have surrendered appeared unnecessary. Investigations by officers from the Commercial Crime Department on Munsyi showed there was no evidence on the involvement of cabinet ministers in the illegal movement. One wonders why the CCD is also involved in investigating Munsyi and whether there is involvement of ministers in FSFM? Are the FSFM's carrying ons just commercial crimes or more? Please enlighten, pardon my ignorance of the workings of the polis force.
Munsyi who claimed that his statements had been misinterpreted by the media may be in hot soup himself if further investigations show that he had really made those statements which he now claims are wrongly interpreted by the media.

The reporter, the tape, the statements
"I have to find out from the reporter whether what Munsyi said is recorded on tape during the press conference or somebody wrote to his whims," Director Datuk Seri Salleh told reporters. Now if the reporter can be found having such a tape and the tape revealed that Munsyi had indeed made certain statements, he might find himself facing "slander charges". Munsyi was warned of just these charges by none other than our PM and Rais.

LONE's rantings for all interested, COMMENTS/KOPI-0s welcomed. Comments are solely the views of their makers
MALAYSIA, a great place to be in, BUT we can, will and must make HER better.
You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one.
IMAGINE:youtube::John Lennon

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