Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pig farms: MCA yet to bring home the bacon

Pig farms: MCA yet to bring home the bacon

Pig farms: MCA yet to bring home the bacon

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 07:00 AM PDT

By Stanley Koh

COMMENT If pigs could fly, would they be considered a national security threat? Would there be officially sanctioned seasons for shooting winged pigs as there are for shooting crows? Would Porky Pig be banned along with Zunar's cartoons to preserve social equilibrium and national unity?

If pigs could fly, would it change the culinary tradition of non-Muslim Chinese or affect their belief in the yin-yang of pork consumption?

Unfortunately, it is as hard to imagine pigs soaring in the heavens as it is to imagine Malaysian authorities coming to a decision on the setting up of green pig farms, or PFAs, short for Pig-Farming Areas (PFAs).

It has been more than 10 years since the tragic outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis and the Nipah virus, but efforts to control pig-farming areas through the proposed setting up of PFAs remain in limbo.

The Malaysian swine industry faces challenges that seem insurmountable — land scarcity, cultural and religious sensitivities, unenthusiastic financial institutions and a federal ruling regime bending towards a policy to phase out pig farming in the country. As a result, Malaysian consumers are likely to have to pay more for pork in future.

Pig farming is part of the livestock industry, but unlike the production of beef, mutton and poultry, the production of pig meat has been falling, with the pig population decreasing from 2.44 million in 1997 to 1.8 million in 2008.

Official lethargy

Traders in processed pig meat products are already complaining of price increases, claiming that big pig-farm operators were gradually forming cartels and syndicates that determine prices dictatorially.

But up to this point, who should we really blame for the official lethargy that is preventing the swine industry from getting better?

What should be done? How can this industry be modernised while safeguarding both the physical environment and communal sensitivities?

For almost 11 years, this issue has been treated like a soccer ball; it has been kicked around between the federal government and the affected state authorities with no goals to show.

Indeed, there has been complete silence in recent years. The MCA has been more concerned with who should be its party president and Umno has been busy battling the Pakatan Rakyat. Meanwhile, the pig farmers have been carrying out their business as usual and maintaining their vigilance against the once-in-a-blue-moon enforcement authorities.

There is no nostalgic warmth for either the farmers or the pigs as rapid urbanisation continues to encroach into the farms and pollution problems continue to hog the environment.

Writing is on the wall

Despite the pledges of politicians (including the vague promises of MCA leaders) to work towards the goal of cleaning up the swine farming industry, the record leaves scant ground for optimism.

It was in October 2000 that MCA appointed a special committee to deliberate on government policies governing pig farming. But despite all those overseas trips to Denmark, Germany and London and all those feasible studies pertaining to land sizes, buffer zones, management techniques and waste treatment, only the project — in Negri Sembilan — may actually see the light of the day in the near future.

The issue came up again in Malacca in 2007, when more than 100 villagers including pig farmers had a tense stand-off with authorities threatening to cull the pig population in Paya Mengkuang, Manlok, Bukit Beruang and Air Molek.

Some claimed it was a political move to reduce the pig population from 140,000 to 48,000 though the excuses given were pollution and public complaints about the stench from the farms.

The writing is probably already on the wall. At best, the authorities will eventually allow only enough pig meat production for local consumption.

MCA's ambitious rhetoric of 2000, in which it proposed one PFA zone each for Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Malacca, Penang, Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan, Perlis and two PFA zones for Perak and Johor, has yet to be translated into any appearance of reality.

The JE-Nipah epidemic of the late 1990s put some 950 small farms out of business and they will never recover their flourishing levels of production.

Yes, it may be a blessing that pigs, no matter where they are, cannot fly. But that does not mean that pigs are not allowed to use elevators. Dutch architect Winy Maas has proposed a 600-metre skyscraper to be filled with pigs. He believes it will supply all the European countries with their pork needs.

Australia and many other countries have moved beyond installing modern and hygienic farms. They are conducting advanced researches to improve the quality of pig meat in order to reduce heart diseases and other ailments associated with pork consumption.

It is hard to imagine that pigs can fly, but it is harder to imagine that this government will eventually stop fiddling with how to allocate land for pig farming.

Stanley Koh is the former head of MCA research unit.

Rockybru please do not refer to Kampung Baru as a slum...it is not....just a Malay village!

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 11:58 AM PDT

I grew up in Kampung Baru, i am actually a product of the first Malay rural -urban migration. I went to Princess Road school and it is now called Sekolah Melayu Raja Muda.

I remember. My house at Jalan Watson being used as a half way house for my clan to stay on until they got a job. From Standard One to Standard Five I was then sent to a special malay class to Batu road school. From there to Maxwell school for my secondary school education.

Kampung Baru will always have a special place I my heart. i think it must remain as a Malay village and I do not see how the government led by Umno cannot allocate special fund to develop this historical village.

To me this village has nothing to do with any quota or with 60/40 or 70/30 equation. Kampung Baru must remain a Malay village!

Malaysia Forecast To Be 'Young & Poor' By 2030 - By Lee Wei Lian.

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 09:35 AM PDT

Malaysia's relatively high population growth rate will see the country remain comparatively young over the next two decades but economic growth is not expected to keep pace with population expansion, according to a report by Bank of America Merril Lynch.

Most developed countries experience lower population growth than developing countries and thus become older as they grow richer but China and Thailand however, are forecast to grow old before they can become rich with more than 15 per cent of the population aged above 65 years in the next 15-20 years.

The forecasts are part of an analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the impact of demographic trends on investment opportunities.

It also found that the population in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia are growing old fast but they are expected to remain among the wealthiest in the world.

By 2015, Malaysia is forecast to have an elderly dependency ratio (EDR) — population aged above 64 divided by population aged between 15 and 64 — of 10 with a GDP per capita calculated on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis of US$20,000 (RM64,950). Current young and rich countries such as Australia, Singapore and the US have EDR's of between 15 and 25 with a GDP per capita of between US$50,000 to US$70,000.

By 2030, Malaysia's EDR is expected to be about 15 with a GDP per capita of about US$50,000 while Australia, Singapore and the US are expected to have an EDR of between 30 and 40 and per capita GDPs of US$110,000 and US$160,000.

The report also suggested however that based solely on the ratio of prime savers — defined as population aged between 40 and 64 — to the rest of the population, the stock markets of China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines are expected to outperform those of Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand in the next 20 years.

It added that in advanced economies such as the US and the UK, the stock market "can rationally factor in the demographic trend, usually a few years ahead". It said that there is a risk of that relationship becoming "self-fulfilling" leading to decades of bear markets in those countries.

"The stock markets and financial assets are arguably most influenced by the mid-aged people," said the report. "Hence, it is not surprising that the correlation between Mid-Young ratio and the aggregate value of stocks traded is quite high for most Asian countries."

The report said that there were investment opportunities in the education sector in China, India and the Philippines unlike Australia and Korea which have the most highly education labour force.

It also said that Australia and Thailand have room for development in the private healthcare sector and that India, Philippines and Singapore lag in terms of public spending on healthcare.

Courtesy of The Malaysian Insider

Pegawai MACC Mungkin Ditangkap Di London

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 09:09 AM PDT

Jadi inilah masalahnya. Para pegawai MACC, PI Bala, dan ketiga-tiga peguam Bala akan bertemu di London minggu depan. Biar kita lihat sama ada kenyataan Bala akan dirakam atau melihat pegawai MACC akan dibawa ke penjara?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Pada hari Isnin (5 Julai 2010) dan Selasa (6 Julai 2010), MACC akan merakamkan kenyataan dengan Penyiasat Peribadi P. Balasubramaniam. Tempat ditetapkan di Holiday Villa yang terletak di London. Menurut laporan Berita Harian dan The Star, pertemuan itu telah disahkan oleh Bala dan ketiga-tiga peguamnya dan telah dijadualkan berlangsung di London.

Situasi terbaru ialah MACC telah menghantarkan surat kepada Bala dan memberitahunya bahawa peguamnya tidak boleh hadir ketika rakaman dengan Bala. Namum peguam Bala berkeras untuk menghadiri pertemuan itu dan sekiranya MACC enggan membenarkan penglibatan mereka maka pertemuan tersebut akan dibatalkan serta-merta.

Mungkin ini harapan mereka. Mereka sebenarnya tidak mahu merakamkan kenyataan Bala kerana risau dengan pembongkaran Bala kelak. Bala akan membawa bersama kesemua dokumen yang diperlukan, termasuklah bukti yang menglibatkan pemberian wang kepadanya supaya mengeluarkan Surat Akuannya Kedua yang bertentangan dengan Surat Akuan Pertama.

Saya telah berbincang dengan sekumpulan peguam British dan mereka bercadang untuk menghadiri pertemuan itu di Holiday Villa yang dijadualkan pada hari Isnin pagi iaitu 5 Julai untuk mencabar tingkah laku MACC dari segi undang-undang.

MACC tidak boleh menggunakan Akta Anti Rasuah atau Akta Rahsia Rasmi untuk digunapakai di Tanah British. Peguam British yang memberitahu saya kesemua ini. Di British, adalah menjadi hak setiap orang bahkan saksi untuk ditemani oleh seorang peguam. Adalah bertentangan dengan undang-undang British sekiranya seseorang itu dilarang untuk ditemani oleh seorang peguam sekiranya rakaman kenyataan hendak dijalankan.

Walaubagaimanapun, Bala melakukannya secara sukarela. Tiada saman atau waran yang dieluarkan terhadapnya. Bala juga tidak dipaksa untuk memberitakan kenyataan yang enggan diberitahunya. "Jadi kenapa MACC keberatan untuk berbuat demikan?" tanya peguam British.

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British juga mempunyai Akta Kebebasan Maklumat (Freedom of Information Act) jadi MACC tidak boleh menggunapakai Akta Rahsia Rasmi untuk mencabar Akta Kebebasan Maklumat di British, tambah Peguam British.

Sekiranya MACC ingin melakukan operasi haram di London maka kita harus menujukan isu ini kepada perhatian polis Inggeris dan pegawai MACC akan ditahan dan didakwa, kata Peguam British.

Sini adalah British dan bukan Malaysia, yang mempraktikkan undang-undang rimba, tambah para peguam. Para pegawai MACC tidak boleh mengabaikan undang-undang British seperti yang mereka lakukan di Malaysia. Mereka akan menghadapi masalah sekiranya mereka cuba untuk melakukannya.

Jadi inilah masalahnya. Para pegawai MACC, PI Bala, dan ketiga-tiga peguam Bala akan bertemu di London minggu depan. Biar kita lihat sama ada kenyataan Bala akan dirakam atau melihat pegawai MACC akan dibawa ke penjara?

Saya akan berkunjung ke Holiday Villa dengan kamera saya Isnin depan dan menyaksi kesemua ini dengan hati yang bergembira. Dan saya yakin banyak Pegawai Cawangan Khas (Special Branch) dari Bukit Aman juga akan berada di sana dengan kamera mereka untuk mengambil gambar saya. Saya akan memakai topi Perancis, seluar jeans Amerika, kemeja Polo, memegang kamera Jepun dengan cerut Cuba di mulut saya.

Itulah yang disebut oleh saya pasal globalisasi.

Original Post www.malaysia-today.net

Jordan is Palestine

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 03:03 AM PDT

The British Mandate for Palestine… Indeed.

If we're going to abolish Israel, half the modern Middle East nations have got to go too.

Excerpts from Melanie Phillips – Jordan is Palestine:

'Jordan is Palestine,' said Wilders, who heads the third-largest party in Holland. 'Changing its name to Palestine will end the conflict in the Middle East and provide the Palestinians with an alternate homeland…There has been an independent Palestinian state since 1946, and it is the kingdom of Jordan.' Wilders also called on the Dutch government to refer to Jordan as Palestine and move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Anyone familiar with the history knows it is correct. Immediately after World War One, Palestine consisted of what is now Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The great powers dividing up the region decided that Britain should be given a mandate to administer Palestine and restore within it the historic Jewish national home. Within a couple of years, however, Winston Churchill, for reasons of realpolitik, gave away three quarters of Palestine to the Hashemite dynasty to found (Trans)Jordan (leaving all the rest to be settled by the Jews; but that's another story).

Jordanians, for decades, were avid proponents of the 'Jordan is Palestine' position. They used that position as justification for the annexation of the West Bank, arguing that Palestine was one single, indivisible unit, and that Jordan was the legitimate governing body of Palestine…

'We are the government of Palestine, the army of Palestine and the refugees of Palestine.' Prime Minister of Jordan, Hazza' al-Majali, 23 August 1959

'Palestine and Transjordan are one.' King Abdullah, Arab League meeting in Cairo, 12 April 1948

'Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine; there is one people and one land, with one history and one and the same fate.' Prince Hassan, brother of King Hussein, addressing the Jordanian National Assembly, 2 February 1970

'Jordan is not just another Arab state with regard to Palestine, but rather, Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan in terms of territory, national identity, sufferings, hopes and aspirations.' Jordanian Minister of Agriculture, 24 September 1980

'The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.' King Hussein 1981

Indeed, until 1970 the Palestine Liberation Organisation conducted terrorist operations against Jordan on the grounds that it was Palestine and the Hashemite minority was ruling the Palestinian majority. It was only after Jordan killed thousands of Palestinians in 'Black September' (and who in the west ever cared about that??) that Israel suddenly became the sole historic homeland' of the Palestinians and Jordan was airbrushed out of the picture — and the fabrication of 'Palestinianism' became the accepted truth.

But as 'Palestinian' politician Zouhair Moussein told the Dutch newspaper Trouw in 1977 (hat tip: Israel Matzav):

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

Still Going Strong At 70.

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 08:59 AM PDT

Politics is his middle name but on his 70th birthday, Karpal Singh reveals another passion – durians.

The veteran politician has a small durian orchard in Balik Pulau that he loves to visit.

"He goes there to get a clear mind. It is peaceful there," said his second son Gobind Singh Deo, adding that the orchard was sited on a hilly terrain with a stream.

At the Parliament lobby yesterday, the DAP chairman was swarmed by reporters who wished him a "Happy Birthday".

Karpal said his 10 grandchildren would also be throwing him a party. "I hope to have more grandchildren, especially granddaughters, as I have only one so far," said Karpal.

Karpal was born in Penang on June 28, 1940 and has a daughter and four sons. His youngest son, Mankarpal Singh, was known as the "Ops Lalang Baby"when, as a three-month-old baby, he was brought by his mother Gurmit Kaur to see Karpal who was then under ISA detention.

The Bukit Gelugor MP is not the oldest MP in the House. That honour likely goes to Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who is 73. Lim Kit Siang, the other DAP veteran, was born in 1941.

When asked for his birthday wish, Karpal said: "That Pakatan Rakyat takes over power at the Federal level."

Retirement was never on his mind, he said. "A lawyer and politician has to 'die in the saddle'. I hope to continue my work as long as my health allows me to," he added.

Gurmit said the reason he was still going strong was because of his family. "At 70, he is still nowhere near calling it a day," she said. Gurmit said there were plans to have a bigger celebration for him in Penang soon.

Karpal, who failed his law examinations three times and took seven years instead of four to complete his law degree in Singapore, said he had made up for those failures since he started his practice. "My motto is 'get up and get on'. And that's what I have been doing," he said.

His university mates included former Chief Justice of the Federal Court Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and the late Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah, a former Attorney-General.

Courtesy of The STAR

Anwar Ibrahim And Being Anti-Israel

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 08:27 AM PDT

I thought this was an interesting article in the Washington Post, which expresses my sentiments exactly.

Flirting with zealotry in Malaysia

Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of Malaysia's political opposition, has become known over the past decade as one of the foremost advocates of liberal democracy in Muslim countries. His many friends in Washington include prominent members of the neoconservative movement -- such as Paul Wolfowitz, the former World Bank president and U.S. ambassador to Indonesia -- as well as such Democratic grandees as Al Gore.

Lately, Anwar has been getting attention for something else: strident rhetoric about Israel and alleged "Zionist influence" in Malaysia. He recently joined a demonstration outside the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur where an Israeli flag was burned. He's made dark insinuations about the "Jewish-controlled" Washington public relations firm Apco Worldwide, which is working for Malaysia's quasi-authoritarian government.

Therein lies a story of the Obama era -- about a beleaguered democrat fighting for political and personal survival with little help from Washington; about the growing global climate of hostility toward Israel; and about the increasing willingness of U.S. friends in places such as Turkey and Malaysia to exploit it.

First, a little about Anwar: While serving as deputy prime minister under Malaysian strongman Mahathir Mohamad in the 1990s, he began pushing for reforms -- only to be arrested, tried and imprisoned on trumped-up charges of homosexual sodomy. Freed after six years, he built a multiethnic democratic opposition movement that shocked the ruling party with its gains in recent elections. It now appears to have a chance at winning the next parliamentary campaign, which would allow Malaysia to join Indonesia and Turkey as full-fledged majority-Muslim democracies.

Not surprisingly, Anwar is being prosecuted again. Once again the charge is consensual sodomy, which to Malaysia's discredit remains a crime punishable by whipping and a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Anwar, who is 63 and married with children, denies the charge, and the evidence once again is highly suspect. His 25-year-old accuser has confessed to meeting Prime Minister Najib Razak and talking by phone with the national police chief in the days before the alleged sexual encounter.

Nevertheless the trial is not going well. If it ends in another conviction, Anwar's political career and his opposition coalition could be destroyed, and his life could be at risk: His health is not great. Yet the opposition leader is not getting the kind of support from the United States as during his first prosecution, when then-Vice President Gore spoke up for him. Obama said nothing in public about Anwar when he granted Najib a prized bilateral meeting in Washington in April.

Read the rest of the article on the site.

Najib Says Malays Must Stop Relying on Govt

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 09:51 AM PDT

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said the country's predominant Malays should not to be too obsessed about the 30 per cent equity ownership target set under the decades-old affirmative action policy. 

In an exclusive interview with Channel NewsAsia, Mr Najib explained the new metrics that will be used to measure wealth for the Bumiputras. 

The Malaysian prime minister has been trying to revamp the country's decades old affirmative action policy as part of his vision to attain developed country status by 2020. 

But in the face of resistance and even accusations that he is backtracking on his earlier promises, Mr Najib said the Malay majority or Bumiputras should stop relying on government protection. 

He said: "The Malays have to change, Bumiputras have to change because this is the 21st century. The only way the Bumiputras can succeed (is) if they are globally competitive. It's not because of government protection and so forth, they must be able to compete and stand on their own." 

Read The Full Report From Chanel News Asia HERE

World Cup 2010 – Paraguay vs Japan : Preview

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 06:55 AM PDT

Will the Blue Samurai of Asia be able to pop up some surprise up their sleeve tonight to continue the countless upsets happening in this year World Cup in South Africa? or will Paraguay, who has managed to qualify through their 2nd place in the South America Comebol Qualifying round, be a stumbling block for the last Asian team to survive through the tough 2nd round?

The Blue Samurai : Saying 'Sayonara'???

With everything to play for and nothing to lose, the Wiz would predict an all out attack from these 2 teams to gain the upper hand in the match. Whosoever to score the first goal in the match will definately gain the advantage and put one foot into the Quarter final. As such, both teams will be playing for goal right from the blow of the referee's whistle.

With Japan at full strength, you'll not be surprise to find that many will place their money on Japan to go through since South Korea has been bundled out by Uruguay. However, let's be reminded that Paraguay is no push-over too. Their standing in the last qualifying rounds speak volume and thus, should not be under-estimated to be easy meat for the Samurais.

The fact that they managed to beat Slovakia by 2 goals to NIL will be a good testimony of Paraguay's ability when the mighty Dutch could only 'squeezed' through to Quarterfinal with a 2-1 margin! Meanwhile, the victory of Japan over Denmark might spark a false dawn on those who pinned their hope on the Blue Samurai to gain passage into the last 8. Caution is required if you're dead on supporting Japan. It may end in disappointment…

The odds are Paraguay will start as favourites with a +0.5 goal to Japan and the Wiz anticipate a 2-0 or 3-1 victory to Paraguay. Japan has made great stride for coming so far in this year 2010 World Cup but I am pretty sure a place in the last Eight might be an order too tall for the Japs. Let's take our place in front of the television… Good Luck to both teams! May the better team wins…

蔡细历:大选胜望较高 马华深信可守丹那拉打

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 06:35 AM PDT

















●南洋商报 29-06-2010

Hisham: AG grants green light for ISA amendments

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 05:23 AM PDT

Bernama: The proposed amendments to the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 and six other preventive laws have been approved by the Attorney-General's Chambers for tabling in the Cabinet soon. Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the amendment bills were expected to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat during the current session but they still need to be fine-tuned. Full story here: www.malaysiakini.com
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Furore over 'racist slant' on voter numbers

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 05:02 AM PDT

Pakatan Rakyat leaders have slammed attempts to paint a racial slant on the composition of newly registered voters. They are upset over front-page reports by the Berita Harian for two consecutive days, claiming that for every one new Malay voter registered, there were 40 new non-Malay voters. Full story here: www.malaysiakini.com
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Pakatan to appoint its own state legal advisors

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 04:47 AM PDT

Pakatan Rakyat states will appoint their own legal advisors and discard the current practice of having the position filled by representatives of the Attorney-General Chambers. At a press conference (above) after the national Pakatan leadership meeting in Parliament today, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said the move was necessary in view of "negligence" by the federal government-appointed state legal advisors. Full story here: www.malaysiakini.com
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Basmi rasuah: S'gor wajib kontrak persetujuan integriti

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 04:40 AM PDT

Syarikat yang berurusan dengan anak syarikat kerajaan negeri Selangor, akan diwajibkan menandatangani kontrak persetujuan integriti, kata Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. Katanya, langkah itu akan dimulakan dengan pelanggan Kumpulan Semeste Sdn Bhd, yang dimiliki sepenuhnya oleh Perbadanan Menteri Besar.
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Middle East: Everyone Against Everyone, and Everyone Against Israel

Posted: 28 Jun 2010 11:39 PM PDT

On a tip from wits0.

Middle East players are all vying for influence, which is achieved by showing off who can pick a fight with Israel best (not actually start a fight mind you, as they all know how that turns out). Their rivalries are thinly covered by mutually shared hatred of the Jews.

Excerpted from Weekly Standard – The Return of the Ottomans:

The Ottomans were hated here and throughout the Arabic-speaking Middle East, not only by the regional minorities (Christians, Jews, Shia, etc.) but also by their Sunni Arab coreligionists. All felt the heavy yoke of the Sublime Porte.

In the last few weeks, however, half a millennium's worth of history has been conveniently forgotten, perhaps even forgiven, as Turkey has emerged as a regional power and the guarantor of Arab interests—against Israel, to be sure, but more importantly against Iran.

It's not yet clear whether Ankara really means to restore the Arabs to their pride of place by handing over a Hamas scrubbed of Iranian influence, or, as is more likely, the Turks simply want to use the Palestinian cause to enhance its own regional credentials, as Tehran has been doing for the last three decades. But the Turkish gambit has induced a lot of willful self-delusion in the Arab states—and amnesia.

Long before Arab nationalism identified Israel and the United States (and before that the European powers) as the enemy, it was the Ottomans who were called to account for everything that was wrong in the Arabic-speaking regions. The Ottomans certainly encouraged Middle East sectarianism: playing up confessional differences, empowering some sects while weakening others, and balancing minorities against each other. Arab nationalism was inspired by Turkish nationalism, but it was a doctrine that asserted Arab independence from the Ottomans. There were no longer Sunni, Shia, Druze, Alawi, etc., only Arabs, unified as one against the outsiders, the colonizers.

The Arab states that had been most directly oppressed by the Sublime Porte—and so those most divided along sectarian lines—were determined to illuminate the evils of Ottoman occupation.

Erdogan's invitation to Hezbollah's secretary general to visit Ankara certainly reinforces the fear that what we're watching is the formation of a united resistance front, with Turkey signing on to the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance. But this may well turn out, eventually anyway, to be a revival of the historic rivalry between the Turks and the Persians.

Syria is about the only player whose actions can be gamed with any accuracy. The country right now considers itself Hamas's interlocutor, which is precisely the role that Erdogan auditioned for with the cruise of the Mavi Marmara. Should Europe, or at some point the United States, accept Turkish mediation, it will knock Syria down a peg, which will then feel obligated to assert itself. Perhaps the best way to understand Syria's recent shipment of Scuds to Hezbollah is as a reminder to everyone that attention must be paid to Damascus as well as Tehran, that when it comes to Hezbollah, Assad also has a vote in war or peace with Israel. Turkish-Iranian competition will entail accelerated Syrian activity on two of Israel's borders.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, Iran's neighbors across the water, see the recent events in starker terms. Ankara's shot across Tehran's bow is a good thing, period.

Turkey is Sunni, Iran is Shia, and despite the Ottoman Empire's long history of oppressing their imperial subjects, the Arabs prefer anything to the prospect of Persian hegemony. If it means casting their lot with the progeny of those who enslaved them for centuries—well there is great comfort in custom.

If in a sense the Middle East is returning to its historical divisions—an Ottoman (Turkish) and Safavid (Iranian) rivalry where Israel stands in for the Western powers—especially with Washington's diminishing profile in the region—it is worth lamenting how the Arabs wasted their moment of independence. What started with the birth of the Arab state system moved quickly to wars between those states and within them, and then the empty rhetoric of Nasser, despotism, mass murder, and a unifying hatred of Israel, all culminating in the suicidal obscurantism of groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, whom the Arab masses, characteristically, regard as heroes.

PKFZ: 'Gov't will pay the RM700mil to bondholders'

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 03:57 AM PDT

Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara) said PKA should not make any payments to the bondholders since it was KDSB that had raised the money to finance the PKFZ project through the issuance of bonds worth RM4.6 billion. "PKA's obligation is not towards KDSB's bondholders," Pua argued. Bondholders can either individuals or companies who have invested and bought the PKFZ bond from the market. Full story here: www.malaysiakini.com
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Posted: 29 Jun 2010 03:17 AM PDT


edited by the TAXIDRIVER

Very true we are all are suffering now because of those arrogant bastards Indian Muslim leadesr past and present

It was our forefathers that established.build contributed and helped those hindu rascals end of the day we are westill no where we are asking all the Indian muslims to come out of their coconut shell stop the hindus to make use our right to build their hindu castle become the governing paradigm of governance as the character and the nature of rights were defined by Malay interests and define by them.Stock of your community.






Acheh Syariah Study Tour ~ Mahaguru58's 3D 2N Trip with the PPMM

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 12:28 PM PDT

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

The President of the Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association, Tuan Haji Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar called me up last Monday ~ 21st June 2010 and asked me whether I'd be interested to join him and his Exco members on a 3D 2N Study Tour of the Implementation of Islamic Syaria in the autonomous Special Province of Nanggroe Acheh Darussalam?
The mainly Muslim majority province of northernmost Sumatera is the very first region in the history of South East Asia to embrace Islam and is well known as one of the 3 Islamic Corridors of the region. The other two being Pattani in Southern Thailand and the State of Kelantan in the Malay Peninsular.

Nanggroe Acheh Darussalam is located at the northernmost tip of Sumatera, Republic of Indonesia and was devastated by the world's worst tsunami that hit the province on Dec 26, 2004 following a massive offshore earthquake that measured 9.4 on the Richter scale!

The tragedy took the lives of more than 280,000 people in Acheh alone and many other hundreds of thousands of lives were lost in the coastal areas of Sri Lanka, holiday spots in Thailand, coastal areas of Kuala Muda in Kedah and quite a number of lives at the northern beaches of Penang, my home island here in Malaysia.

The allowance for the total implementation of Islamic Syaria in autonomous Nanggroe Acheh Darussalam is one of the conditions for the peace accords signed between the Acheh Liberation Movement @ Gerakan Acheh Merdeka or GAM with the Federal Government of the Republic of Indonesia based in Jakarta.

The implementation of the Syaria Penal Code in Acheh has begun since 2001 and the caning of Syaria offenders as shown by the photo below has been widely been misreported by the world's media as to its true situations.

This invitation to me to join the Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association in their study tour was God sent and I grabbed the opportunity to go see for my own self as to how the Syaria is being upheld and put to practice in the land once known as the Sultanate of Nanggroe Acheh Darussalam?

My job function during this study tour was to record all the meetings and briefings between PPMM and the Nanggroe Acheh Darussalam autonomous provincial government authorities, Syariah Departments and Ministries.

The trip was scheduled to be on Thursday the 24th of June, 2010 ending with our returning home to Malaysia on Saturday, the 26th of June, 2010.

I asked him to give me time to consider and discuss with my missus? Zainul Rijal agreed and asked me to confirm my willingness to accompany his team overnight for him to book my flight tickets and make other arrangements.

I'd never actually left the country except for travelling up north to Padang Besar near the Malaysia-Thai border and down south of the Malaysian Peninsular, to the Republic of Singapore where I once lived and worked from 1980 till 1986.

Since I had no prior appointments or schedules on the said dates, I agreed to go and sms'd Zainul my details for him to book the Air Asia tickets.

Zainul Rijal emailed me the flight e-tickets and I had them printed out. I then booked myself the ERL train ticket from Bandar Tasek Selatan, near my home to the LCCT.

Early Thursday morning, I boarded the first ERL train to Salak Tinggi and once I reached there transferred to the transit coach to the airport. I prayed my Subuh at the LCCT Surau and then went to have my breakfast at the restaurant nearby.

I then had my luggage screened by the airport police, checked in my suitcase at the Air Asia counter and received my flight boarding pass. Flight AK 9632.

I then went through the Immigration and the airport security scanner. After all was cleared, made my way to the departure area.
Mahaguru58 at LCCT.jpg
Zainul Rijal and his lawyer friends eventually turned up before departure. The flight was delayed by a few precious minutes but eventually we were informed that the plane was ready and we could now board it.
Hj Abd Rahim and Hj Zainul Rijal.jpg
Hj Zainul Rijal, Mahaguru58 and Lawyer Firdaus.jpg
Abdul Halim and Hj Rahim.JPG
To be continued.

A Malay liberal?

Posted: 28 Jun 2010 03:58 PM PDT

By G Krishnan

COMMENT Khairy Jamaluddin has recently drawn considerable attention (not to mention some approval in some quarters) by presumably sticking his neck out in speaking against Perkasa and Ibrahim Ali.

Touting himself as a 'reformist' and a 'Malay liberal', he has seemingly set himself apart from Ibrahim, that ultra-Malay nationalist mouthpiece.

This tension has evidently set the two on a collision course. Some might even say it has helped Khairy—and some factions within Umno—to patch up the credibility holes through which the support of younger voters are disappearing.

Whilst I don't deny that there is some clear underlying political agenda in the Umno Youth leader's attempts to accentuate the apparent schism between himself and the thrust of what Ibrahim Ali embodies, I find it amusing that Khairy and his ilk within Umno are invoking the label of 'Malay liberal' to distinguish themselves from the ultra-Malay chauvinists.

A Malay liberal? Now there's an oxymoron if I ever heard of one. I suppose one has to credit the politician who can invoke such absurd terms and not only get away with it, but actually even garner praise from some quarters in the process.

I am utterly amused by this twist and spin and am at the same time struck by how easily the so-called Malay liberals are getting away with such word games.

It appears those who are buying into this game have conveniently forgotten or cannot be bothered with what it means to be a liberal. Regardless of all the possible permutations of liberals, one thing is certain: one cannot claim to be a liberal and advocate the kind of race-based politics that is Umno's bread and butter.

I may be naïve, but I remain befuddled about what exactly is a Malay liberal. If there can be Malay liberals, could there also be Chinese liberals, Bugis liberals and Iban liberals? And how are these different from liberals plain and simple?

The most elementary prerequisite of being a liberal is a commitment to and respect for the equality of all, regardless of race, religion, sex, or any other social marker. It should be obvious that any card-holding member of Umno by definition fails to qualify.

For this reason, whilst I may find Ibrahim Ali's rhetoric and demagoguery repulsive, I don't think there is much difference between a so-called Malay liberal and an ultra-nationalist Malay.

One can be a liberal or not. One cannot be a liberal grounded in a race-based political party perpetuating a racist system. The latter makes a mockery of the ideals of liberalism.

G Krishnan is a freelance writer who routinely writes online columns about Malaysian affairs.

FELDA Adalah Contoh Bagaimana UMNO Tipu Orang Melayu

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 12:32 AM PDT

NOTA EDITOR:UMNO pergi ke sana ke mari beritahu orang ramai kononya PAS jual hak Melayu kerana bekerjasama dengan DAP.

Rupa-rupanya UMNO yang paling teruk khianati Melayu. Sebusuk-busuk DAP, takda lah DAP yang hilangkan wang Felda sampai RM3-8 billion ringgit. Bukankah Felda ni 100% Melayu?

Adakah dosa DAP selama ini dapat dibandingkan dengan UMNO yang telah menghilangkan lebih RM3 ribu juta wang kepunyaan orang Melayu Felda. Kita tak tahu, adakah wang itu akan kembali atau dapat diganti tapi yang kita tahu wang itu telah lesap.

Selama ini UMNO menuduh PAS dan DAP menjual hak Melayu, padahal pengkhianat Melayu yang sebenarnya adalah UMNO dan Najib sendiri. Wang kepunyaan Melayu telah hilang ditelan oleh kroni2 UMNO.

Juga, kita tak tau apa lagi hak Melayu yang akan difaraidkan oleh UMNO kepada kroni-kroni mereka. Di bawah adalah cabaran dari ANAK untuk berdebat secara terbuka dengan Ahmad Mazlan dalam isu hilangnya wang FELDA.

Kalau UMNO benar-benar yakin mereka benar, saya cabar Ahmad Mazlan terima cabaran dari Mazlan Aliman ini. Kalau tidak, UMNO hanya bercakap kosong dan terbukti UMNO tidak lain sebuah parti yang pembohong dan perompak.

Kasihan FELDA kerana terpaksa menanggung cara pembangunan UMNO, yakni cara "Biar Pape Asal Gaye". Semua yang UMNO buat untuk FELDA ini bakal hancur dan bakal merugikan setiap peneroka FELDA. Percayalah.

Yang senang nanti hanyalah kroni2 dan UMNOPUTRA.

Ayoh UMNO. Ayuh Ahmad Mazlan, Ayuh Najib sambut cabaran Mazlan Aliman untuk berdebat. Apa yang kamu perlu takut sekiranya kamu benar.

Antara hujjah Mazlan Aliman yang WAJIB Najib Tun Razak jelaskan adalah:

Dalam pada itu, behubung RM2 bilion yang didakwa digunakan untuk tanam semula, Mazlan berkata Felda sepatutnya tidak mengalami kemerosotan, kerana mereka membuat pemotongan caruman RM40 setiap bulan bagi sejumlah 112,635 peneroka.
Jika dikira sejak kali pertama Felda membuat pemotongan tersebut sehingga kini, dan dilaburkan, beliau memberitahu paling kurang Felda mendapat RM3 bilion daripada tanaman semula.
"Ke mana pergi wang ini? Kita minta satu penjelasan dari Perdana Menteri," katanya lagi.

Ertinya, bukan setakat Wang FELDA hangus, wang yang dicarum oleh peneroka dari gaji mereka sendiri pun lesap ditelan bumi.

Saya rasa dengan hujah sebegini, Najib dan Ahmad Maslan TIDAK AKAN BERANI berdebat secara terbuka, inshaalah.
Rizab Felda: Anak cabar Ahmad debat terbuka

Nazri Abdullah
KUALA LUMPUR, 28 Jun: Pengerusi Persatuan Anak-Anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan (Anak), Mazlan Aliman mencabar Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Ahmad Maslan untuk berdebat secara terbuka berhubung isu kemerosotan rizab Felda.

Dalam sidang media di Pejabat Agung PAS hari ini, Mazlan berkata, jawapan Ahmad di parlimen berhubung faktor kemerosotan tersebut adalah sangat meragukan dan banyak tanda tanya.

"Saya cabar Datuk Ahmad Maslan buat debat intelektual tentang Felda, di mana-mana saya tak kisah.

"Kalau dia rasa dia betul, kata pendedahan kita ni salah, kita buat debat," katanya.
Turut serta dalam sidang media tersebut, bekas Timbalan Menteri Tanah dan Koperasi, Dr. Tan Kee Kwong.

Ahmad sebelum ini mengakui rizab tunai Felda merosot daripada RM4.08 bilion pada tahun 2004 kepada hanya RM1.35 bilion pada 2009.

Kemerosotan itu, jelasnya ekoran RM2 bilion digunakan untuk pembangunan tanam semula, termasuk sara hidup dan pendahuluan hasil, RM603 juta pinjaman pembesaran rumah peneroka, RM662 juta untuk bagunan baru Menara Felda.
Bagaimanapun, Anak berpendapat banyak keraguan di sebalik penjelasan tersebut.

Selain itu, Anak juga jelasnya akan membuat laporan polis berhubung keraguan mereka terhadap penjelasan kerajaan itu di seluruh negara sehingga hujung bulan ini dan sehingga kini tiga laporan polis telahpun dibuat iaitu di Temerloh, Kota Tinggi dan hari ini di Segamat.

Jika tiada sebarang respons dari laporan-laporan tersebut, Mazlan berkata perkara tersebut akan di bawa ke Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM).
"Kita akan bawa semua wakil-wakil peneroka, anak-anak peneroka berhimpun beramai-ramai di hadapan pejabat SPRM.

"Kita akan serahkan satu dokumen lengkap salah guna kuasa oleh kerajaan, minta SPRM siasat.

Dalam pada itu, behubung RM2 bilion yang didakwa digunakan untuk tanam semula, Mazlan berkata Felda sepatutnya tidak mengalami kemerosotan, kerana mereka membuat pemotongan caruman RM40 setiap bulan bagi sejumlah 112,635 peneroka.

Jika dikira sejak kali pertama Felda membuat pemotongan tersebut sehingga kini, dan dilaburkan, beliau memberitahu paling kurang Felda mendapat RM3 bilion daripada tanaman semula.

"Ke mana pergi wang ini? Kita minta satu penjelasan dari Perdana Menteri," katanya lagi.

Bagi pinjaman perumahan pula, Mazlan yang juga generasi kedua Felda berkata, seramai 18,406 telah membuat pinjaman dari Felda.
Setiap peneroka, jelasnya diminta menandatangani satu borang serah kuasa dan dikehendaki membayar balik pinjaman dengan 2.5 peratus kos pengurusan.
"Peneroka akan membayar balik pinjaman tersebut antara RM200 hingga RM300 sebulan.

"Dia sebut Felda keluarkan RM603 juta, pada masa yang sama, berapa banyak kutipan telah dibuat oleh Felda atas skim pinjaman sejak 2005 hingga sekarang?" soalnya lagi.

Beliau turut mempertikaikan kewajaran Felda memperuntukkan RM253 juta yang didakwa untuk tabung kemiskinan Sabah, sedangkan anak peneroka di Semenanjung ini pun tidak diberi apa-apa bentuk kebajikan.

"Apa relevannya sebuah negeri seperti Sabah, yang mendapat geran setiap tahun, dalam bajet disalurkan peruntukan sekian banyak, tiba-tiba agensi seperti Felda yang mendapat peruntukan dari kerajaan awal dahulu untuk bantu rakyat, institusi ini pulak bantu kerajaan Sabah?" soalnya lagi.

Keraguan juga timbul berhubung sejumlah RM662 juta yang didakwa diperuntukkan untuk bangunan baru Menara Felda.

Menurut Mazlan, kenyataan Ahmad bahawa RM662 juta untuk bangunan baru tersebut juga bercanggah dengan kenyataan awal Datuk Seri Najib pada 2008.
Najib pada waktu itu memberitahu kos untuk bangunan baru tersebut adalah RM640.77 juta dan akan siap dalam masa tiga tahun.

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