- Diwali; floods; Galas, Batu Sapi wins for PM
- Launch of BERSIH 2.0 for a Clean and Fair Election
- Toothless and aimless rivals are only beefing up BN’s back in business
- GALAS: Kemenangan Ku LI, Bukan Kemenangan UMNO
- Talking Of Speaking Writes (Rights?); A Commentary On Comment
- How Easily She Is Fooled
- Is Islam A Religion of Peace & Equality? - Najib Razak's Moment of TRUTH
- Election fever raging
- Life beyond our universe
- Caning”A Public Outcry…!!”
- UMNO's "Nowhere Man" Getting Somewhere?
- A Poem Dedicatted to Crude .... peeps
- HasbunAllah RabbunAllah: Traditional Archery for the Soul
- GERAKAN should be disbanded
Posted: 07 Nov 2010 07:58 AM PST
SALAM! For the folks in Kedah and Perlis, I wish the floods will go away quickly. I spent the weekend in and around Alor Star meeting volunteer friends from Yayasan Salam and the Msian Red Crescent. The flood is really bad, and I wrote about it in my newspaper column in the New Sunday Times. I'm organising the next batch of volunteers to Kedah in a few days time to help ease the burden of the flood victims. This has been a very busy week all round too. One piece of news that was quite worrying at first was the hospitalisation of PM DS Najib Razak for superficial ulcers and mild gastrities. But he's responded well to treatment and was discharged today. He should rest and return to office after he's fully recovered. But news of the victories in Galas and Batu Sapi must have been a big boost to him. Say what you may, the victories show the return of voters to the BN. The challenge is to ensure that this continues and be sustained. In between there was Deepavali. For once this year, I missed Diwali because I was out on my flood rounds. Hopefully, Dash will still have a Diwali party where we can have home-made thosai and rasem! Belated Happy Diwali greetings to all Hindu friends.
Posted: 07 Nov 2010 11:22 AM PST
INVITATION TO THE LAUNCH OF BERSIH 2.0
UNITE AND ADVANCE ELECTORAL REFORM
Date: 10 November 2010 (Wednesday)
Time: 8.30 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.
Venue: PJ Civic Hall, Jalan Yong Shook Lin, Petaling Jaya.
Salam. We, the BERSIH 2.0 steering committee, invite your organisation to join and unite with us to advance clean and fair elections in Malaysia. Much still needs to be done and Bersih 2.0 needs your support and help to make the mission come true for a democratic Malaysia.
BERSIH 2.0 believes that it is only when elections are clean and fair, can citizens determine their own destiny and expect holders of public office to act accountably and effectively. The road to electoral reform is part and parcel of the democratic process, including the rule of law, human rights protection, good governance and sustainable development in Malaysia. As citizens we can make this our reality.
The key issues of electoral reform include
1. A complete revision of the electoral roll to ensure that the existing irregularities are removed and a roll with full integrity is in place.
2. The use of indelible ink (as is done in Indonesia and India) to prevent multiple voting.
3. The reform of postal voting to abolish the existing separate electoral roll for postal voters and to make it flexible for all voters, at home or abroad, with valid reasons to opt for postal voting.
4. Free and fair media access for all contesting parties, which should include: (a) free access to state-owned media especially television and radio; (b) fair paid access (political advertisement) to private media; and (c) provision of the right of reply for all contesting parties and personalities who are covered negatively in news reports.
5. A meaningful minimum campaign period of 21 days.
6. Fair and professional practices in constituency redelineation exercises to minimise malapportionment, gerrymandering and consequent disproportionality in seats and votes.
7. Automatic registration of all eligible voters.
8. Reduction of the voting eligibility age from 21 to 18 years old.
9. Reform in electoral financing to ensure transparency and limit the influence of money politics.
10. Administrative neutrality of all levels of governments before, during and after general and by-elections for the federal and state legislatures.
11. Affirming the right of all students of 18 years and above, to participate in politics inside and outside campus.
Bersih 2.0, whilst acknowledging the importance of the reform agenda of Bersih, is now relaunched as a fully non-partisan coalition of civil society groups. It is a movement of ordinary citizens asserting the right of all to clean and fair elections as guaranteed by law. We must ensure our votes and voices count.
The details of the launch are as follows:
Date: 10 November 2010 (Wednesday)
Time: 8.30 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.
Venue: PJ Civic Hall, Jalan Yong Shook Lin, Petaling Jaya.Please bring your members and friends to the launch. You can contact Nurul at 03-77844977 for more information.
Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:
Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan, (Pengerusi), Andrew Khoo, Arumugam K., Dr Farouk Musa, Haris Ibrahim, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Datuk Yeo Yang Poh dan Zaid Kamaruddin.
Posted: 07 Nov 2010 07:13 AM PST
Toothless and aimless rivals are only beefing up UMNO BARISAN
Isn't it surprising that UMNO, though ridden with dissension, intrigues, greed and scams, has managed to remain in power? In all the politicking, government work has slowed down. Voters are feeling let down. And the image of the state has taken a severe beating.
Still the UMNO forays into newer areas, keeps winning elections and thumbing its nose at rivals. Where does it PAKATAN that all their strategies to nail the FAILED have failed. They keep digging graves for the UMNO, only to fall into them themselves. Each is so suspicious of the other that they fail to put up a united fight.
UMNO and Barisan couldn't decipher what went wrong.It was as if a tsunami had hit them. The non Malays didn't fetch them votes. Their traditional vote banks, which included the minorities,had moved away Party leaders couldn't do much than accuse the umno of having used moneybags to defeat their candidates. Some blamed it on the failure of the leadership to cement an alliance with the team A and B. Some felt the choice of candidates was wrong. Others saw the handiwork of detractors.What umno and Barisan cannot accept was that the party had lost to connect with the people. The rank and file was demotivated. The leadership failed to inspire. The high command left the party to drift. And Pakatan took advantage of this, started spreading its base..
The game is turning dirty. The UMNO and BARISAN appears to have an edge, thanks mainly to mindless strategies the DAP and PAS.
Barisan Nasional has bagged two by-elections but the wins must be seen against a larger backdrop of dynamic contingencies
By Terence Netto
The double BN win in the Batu Sapi and Galas by-elections has raised the possibility that General Election 13 and the next Sarawak state election will be held simultaneously.
Constitutionally, GE-13 is not due until 2013 but Prime Minister Najib Razak would want to hold it much earlier — next year in all likelihood – for as with all newly-minted PMs, he requires his own mandate to introduce changes. Sarawak has to go to the polls by July next year at the latest.
Pundits are fingering April as the most likely month because Chief Minister Taib Mahmud is the sort of man who would want to celebrate his 30th year in office – due on 26th March, 2011 — before going to the polls.
Anniversaries denoting longevity – and by implication, invincibility – are significant to political grandees. After their unexpected loss in the Sibu parliamentary by-election last May, BN has learned that spreading a funds strapped opposition thin is better than jousting with them in single contest.
Holding GE-13 and the Sarawak state polls simultaneously confers on BN a gamut of advantages their superior machinery, countrywide reach and extensive campaign chest privilege them vis-à-vis the opposition.
Although a double triumph for the BN which helps to even an otherwise lopsided overall by-election score against the opposition, the BN victories in Batu Sapi and Galas are riddled with ambiguities.
BN Linda Tsen's majority of over 6,000 in Batu Sapi would be underwhelming if seen against the background of the presence of 5,000 'illegals' with Mycards and 1,615 postal voters.
'Illegals' with Mycards have been a suppurating wound in the Sabah body politic since the mid-1990s when they were smuggled in from surrounding countries and given the vote to enable UMNO to dethrone Parti Bersatu Sabah.
The myriad problems Sabah faces become the less insoluble the minute the 'illegals' issue is resolved. This is likelier to happen if the opposition takes power than if BN continues to hold the reins.
The BN win in Galas, reversing the unexpected defeat suffered at the March 2008 general election, is almost certainly due to the return of the Chinese vote to UMNO as a courtesy to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who chaired the BN campaign and chose the candidate.
It would be unwise to infer that because the Chinese voters of Gallas have just now returned to BN, their kin in the rest of the peninsula would do the same.
Tengku Razaleigh is, of course, an UMNO leader of singular attraction to the Chinese because he is viewed as business friendly and as harkening back to a past era of comity and cooperation between Malay political leaders and the Chinese business community.
But a vote for Razaleigh in Gallas does not tantamount to an endorsement of Najib Razak at the national
level. On the contrary, it is an assist for a hypothetical Razaleigh bid for a government of national unity should Anwar Ibrahim wind up in jail as a result of Sodomy II.
In that event, popular repugnance to the jailing would see legislators across the spectrum of political parties in Parliament rallying round Razaleigh to back an interim government of national unity.
This government would rule in the interregnum between confirmation that UMNO-BN has been consigned by the electorate to a period on the opposition benches and the start of a Pakatan Rakyat-led era of governance in Malaysia.
But once in the saddle Razaleigh may have ideas other than national political, economic and judicial recuperation – like trying for a restoration of an UMNO that predates the Dr Mahathir Mohamed era. That would be a mistake, to equal the one he made when he dissolved Semangat 46 in 1996, just two years before UMNO entered into a period of ructions that has not concluded till today.
Had Razaleigh tarried he would have been PM by the 10th General Election of November 1999, as head of a coalition of all those opposed to the way Anwar Ibrahim was traduced and tormented in late 1998. The ethos that once animated UMNO has withered and waned and the corruption that has warped the party is endemic and systemic. To rebuild you have first to destroy.
Restoration is not an option.
Accordingly, the BN wins in Batu Sapi and Gallas are victories without drum rolls, triumphs without a meaningful mandate. Instead, they are riddled with the ambiguities peculiar to situations where so much rides on the fate and disposition of individuals with the power to bend systems to their will.
It is precisely this malady to our system that the vote in the GE13 should resolve to cure by insulating it against individual-dictated derangement.
Probe the scam now
A few spells of rain, and potholes are back on city roads. They had been fixed only recently. Don't we smell a rat? For long, contractors in connivance with corrupt officials have been doing hasty patchwork, to earn the contracts every now and then. Promises to blacklist such contractors and officials have remained on paper. The PEOPLE'S POWER must probe this scam. Precious funds running into crores are being siphoned off.
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Posted: 07 Nov 2010 05:42 AM PST
NOTA EDITOR: Kalau GALAS ini dalam kawasan Parlimen lain dari Gua Musang, saya yakin UMNO tidak akan menang dengan begitu besar sebegini. Contoh paling dekat: Manek Urai.
Bayangkan, sewaktu Ku Li dalam S46 dahulu pun beliau masih boleh terus menang, inikan pula sekarang.
DI bawah adalah artikel dari saudara Shahrul Shafiee untuk tatapan bersama.
Kemenangan BN di Galas sudah dijangka
Posted: 07 Nov 2010 10:33 AM PST
This is an interesting and apt blogpost by onGOHing. The banner picture on his blog appears to have been taken at the Taiping Lake Gardens which makes me wonder whether the writer is Tepin mali. He uses an analogy from my favorite sport, rugby too...maybe he is from KEVII!!!
Goh Keat Peng
As I read a sports commentary on England vs NZ All-Blacks, it becomes quite clear how the view from an onlooker looking down from his seat in the terraces of Twickenham Stadium and that of a player on the field is really very different.
"…a fast flat pass left from Youngs then put Mike Tindall in space on the Kiwi 22, the old battering-ram hesitated, dawdled inside and then threw a change-of-heart pass behind Lewis Moody on the outside. Chances made, chances lost," writes Tom Fordyce, the famous sports commentator featured on the BBC website.
This to me sums up quite well the difference in viewpoints within the same arena. Both commentator and player were in the same stadium at the same time engrossed in the same game. But one was up there on the terrace able to see at once the entire field and all the 30 men plus three match officials; the other was on the field where the match is in ongoing progress. The two men literally have two very different points of view, not just in terms of sight but also insight. Understandably so.
Almost at once as I read Tom Fordyce's insightful commentary on a rugby test match between two giant teams, I am brought back from faraway Twickenham to the present-day realities of Malaysian politics. It becomes for me like a parable as to how we view the going-ons of the national political scene. Depending on which side we are rooting for, we are filled with a mixture of emotions- hope? foreboding? glee? despair? humour? disgust? Just like the team you support in the Premiership, or Super Bowl, or Tri-Nations. Real matches and games are being played out before us (on television) the outcomes of which may send us into ecstasy or embarassment or, as in politics, sedition charges!
In recent months, chiefly because of much news about a certain political party's internal elections of office-bearers as well as a series of by-elections, comments have been prolific. (Even this writer could not resist to say his piece as evidenced in his IS WAYNE ROONEY NOW PLAYING IN PKR?)
In saying our piece, though, we "commentators" must be somewhat circumscribe and try to be a little reasonable. I often catch myself in a "this one can do no wrong and that one can do no right" mode. Rather like in those chauvinistic cowboy movies where the "only good red indian is a dead one" kind of thing. Fortunately, the truth is not to be found in such one-sided viewpoints.
Some humility must be there that we commentators are after all only spectators watching a match in progress. Despite our vantage points from the terraces looking down, even we are only able to focus on the play in a certain spot at a given time (usually where the ball is) and do not always know the exact positions of all the players all of the time. On the other hand, the player we are following is not only seeing and reading the game on the ground but his vision on a flat pitch is limited too, if not more so. Who to pass the ball to is a decision he has to make at a given time and at an instant. Through the team practice and training, certain patterns of play becomes familiar to the team. But the decision who to pass the ball to on either side of him and when to pass on the ball or to run the ball himself is, on match day, the player's alone to make. We who are onlookers in the terraces can think, say and act as we wish; even think we are absolutely right and the player, absolutely wrong. But only the players are doing all the playing, deciding and kicking. One is sitting quite comfortably watching the progress of a match; the other is running his heart out playing the match.
Commentators, spectators and players- we all need to acknowledge and appreciate one another's viewpoints. We need to make better effort to have a healthy respect for one another's contribution.
The players know they are, unlike God, not omniscient (all-knowing), nor omnipresent (present in all places at the same time) , nor omnipotent (all powerful). The question is whether we as onlookers know the same. (Or is it the other way round?) Players or onlookers who actually think, feel and act as though we are like God will necessarily bite the dust before long- whichever side we support. One-sided views do not make a match winner.
Here are some views of the rugby test match from those much more involved in the actual action than the commentators from the stands:
"You will always make errors – they made two or three too – but we made too many," admitted Johnson (the England coach), pragmatic as always.
"At vital times, especially in defence, we gave the ball away too easily by trying to do too much sometimes," said McCaw (the NZ captain). "Those are the decisions we've got to get right if we're going to improve. There's a learning we have to take out of the last two weeks. There's time in the game when that's the right thing to do, and there's time when hanging on to the ball for one more phase is the right thing to do. Risk versus reward is the thing we need to get under control."
And this is how Tom Fordyce, sports writer, sums it up:
"In a strange way, Johnson has it easier than All Blacks coach Graham Henry. No-one expects Johnson's England side to win the World Cup – a semi-final place would be beyond most expectations. For Henry, by contrast, there's only one outcome that will count as success. Fail to win the old gold pot on home soil (next year's Rugby Union World Cup hosted by NZ) and this long unbeaten run in the northern hemisphere, let alone the nine wins on the trot against England, will count for nothing. Those worries are for another night. For now, the contrast is clear. England showed glimpses of what they might achieve. The All Blacks, to an outsider's eyes at least, revealed close to the full picture."
You see how close and alike politics is to sports?
So what is the lesson of this parable? Onlookers should stop making comments? Spectators should stop watching games? Coaches should stopped their ears and ignore the comments and stubbornly go their own path- win or lose? Players should retire from the game especially when they lose to their opponents? Clubs should change their owners?
Yes in some cases; not necessarily so in others; of course not in a few instances. In the game of politics, one match is not the end- win or lose. We all need to continue to stay with the tournament till the end. As to which player/s we should bring into the team to buttress and augment team performance, even Alex Ferguson himself had brought in, as it turned out, some lame ducks not worth the money spent to secure them. And look at the so-called non-entities he brought in who cost little but grew up in and with the club and made good. Who says that those who stay longest in the club are not making enormous contributions?
Unlike rugby or any other sport, politics affect all in the country- every single one of us. We don't watch also the match goes on and affects my life and yours and our loved ones.
My worry reading the commentaries and comments these days is that the negativity and ridicule of the reporting puts off interest in high stake politics of the country and once more we common people may eventually throw up our hands in frustration and surrender the struggle to career politicians. Or worse still, drive away some good or promising career politicians and leave the field to the ones who never scored any goals nor keep the undesired goals out for us the people.
Posted: 07 Nov 2010 02:19 AM PST
(Media-Newswire.com) - Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is praising Malaysia's commitment to religious tolerance as she visits the Muslim-majority country.
"Extremism is not a path to building sustainable prosperity, peace, stability or democracy — it only promotes conflicts and hardens hearts," she told reporters at a joint news conference November 2 with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
Clinton said the United States fully supports Malaysian efforts to create a global interfaith dialogue, which Anifah said began with a proposal that Prime Minister Najib Razak made to the U.N. General Assembly in September.
Anifah said the proposed initiative "promotes mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and rejects extremists who undermine the universal values of religion." The initiative's goal is to create a global movement of moderates, he said.
Clinton did not meet with the prime minister, who was sick during her visit, but did speak to him by telephone. Clinton said she had raised the trial of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim with Anifah.
"The United States believes it is important for all aspects of the case to be conducted fairly and transparently in a way that increases confidence in the rule of law in Malaysia," Clinton said, adding that the United States would continue to follow the matter. The government has denied there is any conspiracy against Anwar, and Anifah said Anwar will receive a "fair and open trial."
"It is in my interest and in our interest to make sure that Anwar gets a fair trial because if there is such a thing as a political prosecution, if it can happen to Anwar, it can happen to the rest of us," Anifah said.
He and Clinton said they discussed cooperation on issues including trade, science, education, Afghanistan and nuclear nonproliferation. Clinton added she also planned to sign a series of agreements with Malaysia during her trip.
"First, a memorandum of understanding between our two governments designed to expand our collaboration on research and development of new technologies; second, a partnership between the government of Malaysia and Johns Hopkins University to build a new medical school and teaching hospital here in Malaysia; and finally, the sale of 50 Pratt & Whitney airplane engines to Malaysia Airlines, which will create new jobs in both countries," Clinton told reporters.
Clinton's visit to Malaysia is part of her 13-day trip to meet with leaders of at least eight East Asian and Pacific nations.
The secretary began traveling October 27 and is set to visit Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia and American Samoa before returning to Washington November 8. The secretary's trip overlaps with President Obama's travel to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan November 6–14.
Meanwhile, Najib is quietly hiding away from the public eye with claims of chicken pox and gastric issues. And who can blame him?
Evidently, it is not only Rosmah that he fears, but also Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard too. I guess too many women in one's life can give one stomach ulcers.
Posted: 07 Nov 2010 01:14 AM PDT
The recent incident in Sarawak about a 10 year old Christian student being caned by a Muslim Senior Assistant for bringing non-Halal food to school only adds to the believe among non Muslims that Islam is a unforgiving, vengeful and myopic religion. Muslims should take stock of this and many other incidences happening around the world today and ask one simple question. Why is it that whether it is Europe, North America, Russia, Thailand, Philippines, Africa, India or China, it is always Muslims who are stirring up tension and trouble in these regions or countries. Muslims would cry that the West and Zionists are fanning the flames of Islamophobia but refuse to admit the fact that their brethren like the idiotic Senior Assistant in Sarawak who is actually adding fuel to this fire.
The World is actually growing sick with the so-called Palestinian problem and what is really Jewishophobia or Israelophobia that's been fanned by not only the myopic self serving 3rd World mainstream media but also by the politically corrected Western mainstream media.
The continued deafening silence of so-called Muslim moderates and their leaders including the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) when atrocities are committed by Muslims against non Muslims in countries where Muslims are the majority has really
added to the view that Muslims cannot be trusted. It appears that killing or attacking non Muslims is something halal. People are already fed up by the word 'Sensitive' as Muslims always claim non Muslims are not sensitive to their religion. However, it is Muslims who appear to be non sensitive to the feelings of non Muslims. Muslims must swallow their pride and wake to the TRUTH that Allah created everyone equally and that includes the non Muslims and their religions. If Muslims can accept this TRUTH, only then can we truly have peace in this World.
It is about time Muslims take charge of their own destiny and religion and not let myopic and self serving personalities such as Osama Bin Laden, Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria or Ridhuan Tee Abdullah be the VOICE and FACE of Islam. The World has had enough of the silly Fatwas (Edicts). It is time for Muslims and Islam to move ahead and take it's place in the World and contribute positively to the greater cause of humanity as Allah SWT has willed.
Coming back to the brutal caning of young Basil Anak Beginda, the Senior Assistant concerned, Mr. Zakaria must not only be sacked but also be charged in court for abusing a minor. The Muslim dominated BN/Umno Regime of Prime Minister Najib Razak must show to the World that his so-called 1 Malaysia idea is not just a mere slogan but must be proactive in taking action against the Muslim Senior Assistant. Such an action will definitely enhance the already battered image of Islam in Malaysia and in the rest of the World. This would be Najib Razak's moment of TRUTH.
Contributed by Wits0
Source Toronto Sun
The non-Muslim world is increasingly not surprised and unmoved by the depravity of Muslim jihadis committing outrage, one after another without end in sight, and what can only be explained, unsatisfactorily, as a pathological wish to cause pain to the living by random acts of terrorist violence.
The murderous attack on the church in central Baghdad last Sunday by Muslim terrorists, if we go with the news reports, was merely another not unusual blood-soaked event in the daily cycle of news from Muslim countries.
But if such an atrocity was not just another criminal event in a "normal" day across the Arab-Muslim world, then we should have heard of a special meeting being called at the UN, or in one of the capitals of member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to express outrage against those who killed innocent worshippers inside Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad.
We then should have heard of Muslim political and religious leaders expressing their grief over the dead and wounded — there were some 120 Iraqi Christians in attendance at the Sunday evening mass when Muslim terrorists attacked the church and left 58 dead with only a dozen escaping unhurt.
Instead, we have deathly silence of the Muslim leadership as non-Muslim minorities inside the Arab-Muslim world are routinely abused, their homes and places of worship under daily duress, and their hearts filled with fear of violent death in the hands of Muslim jihadis.
The silence signifies the abdication of any responsibility by governments of the Arab-Muslim world to protect non-Muslims in their countries, and severely punish those who target them.
Then there is the ignoble silence of Muslims here in Canada, and across the West, over the repeated atrocities committed against non-Muslim minorities in places like Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, or Sudan.
This silence of Muslim minorities in the West is even more despicable than that of Arab-Muslim governments. It reveals how little they understand, or respect, the political culture of societies where they have made their homes.
On the contrary, there is shrill denunciation by Muslim governments, and organizations representing Muslim minorities in the West, of the manufactured problem of "Islamophobia."
Earlier this year the UN human rights council passed a resolution on "combating defamation of religions" with particular reference to Islam.
The resolution, pushed by the OIC members, denounced anti-Muslim discrimination in the West following 9/11. It also expressed deep concerns in respect to Islam "frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violation and terrorism."
The gap between the resolution lobbied for by the OIC and the silence of its members over atrocities committed against non-Muslim minorities inside the House of Islam (dar al-Islam) illustrate the perversity of Muslim political-religious leaders.
Similar is the perversity of Muslim organizations in Canada and the West remaining silent in the face of outrageous crimes and defamation of religions by jihadis, while condemning Islamophobia where it is more or less non-existent.
The simple truth is Muslims are among the worst perpetrators of crimes against non-Muslims, and penalties based on obsolete jurisprudence of Shariah implemented in Muslim states violate the UN Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights, to which they are signatories.
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Posted: 06 Nov 2010 01:30 PM PDT
By Maxwell CoopersCOMMENT Constitutionally, there really is no hurry for it. Because as after all, the official decree mandates that Singapore's ruling Peoples' Action Party (PAP) has the mandate to rule the tiny island city-state right till February 2011.
Yet the feel and smell of election in the air is almost unmistakable.
"There must be something wrong if you do not see the signals" the city-state's premier Lee Hsien Loong jocularly told reporters who quizzed him about it over last weekend.
Still there is no denying that election after all, is what is needed as it scouts around for another premier.
Not only has the electoral boundaries commission been formed – which always is a precursor to indicate elections are around the corner - there has also been walkabouts and other 'theatrics' to ensure that elections are in the offing.
And symptomatic of that Lee has even reshuffled his cabinet and picked the 'right' lexicon indicative of the mood: bringing in new blood into the government.
So it is - now is the time more than anything else, to say that election fever undoubtedly is in the air.
From the looks of how things are in the city-state; it is in anybody's guess to ask why the next six months shouldn't be called opportune.
The economy is coasting along unbelievably well. It is projected to grow by an astonishing 13 to 15% when the year ends, an outcome which will probably chasten and wallow the United States and Europe into self-pity and who continue to languish in anaemic growth.
Unemployment only stands at 2%, according to government statistics.
There has been a raft of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs') with neighbouring nations and major powers and that truly is a good feel factor about what the future heralds.
And if national pride needs to have a place, the country chalked enough medals in the recently held Commonwealth Games to reverse years of sobering introspection, soul searching and self-flagellation.
Measure of success?
If that was not enough the nation announced over the course of the week, its launch of a telecommunications satellite thus making it the first South East Asian nation to soar into space through an indigenously-built craft.
Little wonder that the catchphrase of "punching above its weight" sits so well with the Republic. For that is what it is does best, and does well.
Anybody in such enviable circumstances cannot but feel the overweening pride, but a degree of self-assuredness. It is a sure measure of success.
Yet it is in those very areas of success that, ironically, where the fiercest electoral battles will be fought.
The PAP has long argued that without human talent the nation's complex and vibrant economy will stall and its people will suffer.
From all outward appearances there is much truth in that dictum because three million Singaporeans simply cannot do the job of maintaining an economy that has to stand up to some of the world's most states.
Not just that, there is also national service to mind – the state mandated calling to the nation's young and virile to commit to military service. All said, such huge commitments undoubtedly will stretch the nation to its limits.
Growing income gap
That Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, the father of modern Singapore had once urged a drawing down of immigrants and the easing granting of permanent residency status is almost the surest indicator that the close to more than two million Singaporeans living and working in the city-state will be a special target in the hustings.
It is not just jobs these foreigners have been accused of taking away. They are also squarely blamed for the high cost of living and some of the crimes in the city-state.
The other which though self-effacing yet rarely talked about, least of all in an election year is the growing income gap.
Singapore does boast some of the most enviable noveau riche in South East.
But that fact masks something that is little known across its borders; that amidst the oasis of wealth and prosperity, pockets of poverty continue to dot across the city-state.
Little wonder Lee introduced sweeping constitutional changes to the nation's election rules this year.
Calling the need for such rules as being necessary to, "generate more robust debate, improve policy formulation, expose PAP MPs' to the cut and thrust of the debate and demonstrate what the opposition can and cannot do", the new moves cannot more be about upmanship than it is of political brinkmanship and dogged resilience.
Detractors may call it desperation on the part of the PAP, but when it comes to political survival and remaining relevant, there are few matches to the PAP.
Maxwell Coopers is a freelance writer based in Singapore.
Posted: 06 Nov 2010 01:19 PM PDT
By Stanley KohCOMMENT Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have stirred controversy, fear and fascination around the globe since ancient times.
Yet, despite hundred thousands of sightings, documented cases of bizarre close encounters and claims of related activities, nowhere are we closer to explaining the phenomenon.
There is no consensus among experts about the who and why of UFOs, but they all agree that sightings are likely to increase in years to come.
Former British Minister of Defence Nick Pope has investigated UFOs for two decades, handling an average of 200 to 300 sightings every year. He has said that there is no doubt about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial beings.
Chinese astronomer Wang Sichao has noted that the number of major sightings has lately been higher than average. UFO sightings were reported in Beijing, Mongolia and several other places in China between June and July this year.
"Major sightings have occurred the most in years ending with 1, 2 or 7 since the 1970s," said Wang, who has been studying UFO sightings for the past 39 years.
It seems that every country in the world, including Malaysia, has experienced the UFO phenomenon.
UFO news splashed across Malaysian newspapers in 1979 and 1995, citing claims of close encounters with extraterrestrial aliens with long ears and red eyes and standing three to six inches in height.
In 2003, there were news reports of an UFO hovering over a quiet village in northern Kedah near the Thai border.
According to Ahmad Jamaludin, a Malaysian who has been researching UFOs since 1978, "There were some 100 sightings between 1950 and 1980."
Round blue object
Consistent with claims by worldwide UFO researchers, such sightings have been on the increase. According to Jamaludin's online report, "Flying Saucer Review", there were six UFO sightings in 2001 compared to three 2000, including a report claiming an abduction by UFO aliens.
The Malaysian Digest website reports that the latest UFO sighting in this country took place last July 21 and that it involved a "round blue object" hovering in the sky over the Tuaran Beach Resort, Kota Kinabalu at about 4pm, witnessed by several resort guests and employees.
The sceptical Malaysian population rarely pays much attention to UFO sightings or reports. Even the government has no interest whatsoever on these happenings.
Elsewhere, more and more witnesses are finally warming up to the reality that humans are not the only intelligent beings in the vast universe.
In short, extraterrestrial life in whatever physical form is a plausible reality.
Sightings have been recorded for millions of years. The great scientist of ancients China, Shen Kuo of the Sung dynasty (960-1279), recorded seeing a UFO in his "Dream Pool Essays" (Mengxi Bitan).
Another, Wu You-ru, a Qing dynasty painter (1644-1912), vividly depicted a crowd watching a fireball flying eastward above the sky of ancient Nanjing city.
One of the biggest controversies and mysteries in US history was the Roswell UFO Incident of 1947, when debris from an alien aircraft was discovered in the New Mexico desert, only to be covered up by the government.
In 1942, during WWII, three months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour, UFOs were sighted over Los Angeles between February 24 and 25.
More than 2,000 "ghost rockets" were seen moving slowly and horizontally and emitting strange noises over Sweden in broad daylight in 1946. There were hundreds of witnesses.
In 1952, Life magazine published a photograph of some 20 to 30 lights, apparently UFOs, flying in a V-formation over Lubbock, Texas. The incident was witnessed by three professors from the Texas Technical College and photographed by a student.
These are just some of the thousands of documented cases recorded by UFO researchers over the years.
For decades, researchers and hardcore enthusiasts have painstakingly been stacking up voluminous documentations based on hard evidence on UFO visits.
Records of bizarre cases include human abductions by aliens, strange and mysterious designs and formations in crop fields, mutilation of animal cattle in ranch farms and many terrifying close encounters between humans and extraterrestrial aliens.
Whay do they want?
Why are these aliens visiting planet Earth? What do they want? Why have they not established contact? These are just some of the questions that researchers are asking.
Are they deliberately showing their presence in the skies to create greater awareness among the human race?
From pulsating moving metallic flying objects during the day to mysterious formations of dancing lights in the starry night sky, the number of UFO sightings—an average of some 70,000 a year across the continents—is astounding to both the believers and sceptics.
World governments are also finding it more difficult to keep the lid on the paranormal incidents in this age of information, and witnesses across the continents are demanding answers.
But the global citizenry is being educated gradually not only by UFO researchers but also the growing body of hard evidence.
Sceptics, disbelievers, stubborn mindsets and government officials are just as mystified as the enthusiasts are.
Yet, bits and pieces are gradually filling up the empty spaces, and a picture is emerging on the jigsaw board.
The controversial case of Billy Meier, a Swiss national claiming to have been contacted by highly civilised extraterrestrials calling themselves Plejarens, continues to be the subject of a raging debate.
According to Meier, the Plejarens have a common ancestry with earthlings. They hail from the Pleiades star system, which is a fraction of a second into the future from the Earth's space-time
configuration, and they first made contact with him in 1975.
To many UFO experts, Meier's highly detailed photographs, videos, sound recordings, metal alloy samples and thousands of pages of "contact notes" provide a wealth of information that help to finish the jigsaw puzzle. The contact notes are records of conversations and lectures from the Plejarens over a contact period of more than 20 years.
Many UFO enthusiasts believe that by the next century, mere sightings will be a fascination of the past. The next step is direct contact with the aliens.
According to Meier, that is likely to happen 761 years from now.
Stanley Koh is a former head of research at MCA.
Posted: 06 Nov 2010 09:24 PM PDT
What has he done to deserve the caning?
Its all written splash all over the main stream media,internet protals and blogs and mosts of it people in Sarawak which is made up of 39 or more ethnic races are beginning to take notice and are somewhat BOILING BEHIND THEIR NECKS.
I happened to be caned by our Principal Brother Columba in St.Joseph's School Kuching.when I was in Form 1 in 1973 . REASONS:-
Both instances I was wrong and deserved to be canned twice only Oooh.. so painful and still could feel it today.Of course not 10 times….That's too much for (a 10 year old on a crime he does not deserved) …Those days already got a lot of WHISTLEBLOWERS.
So much has been said and you can read it all here by clicking:-
By the way audie61 would like also to recommend readers to look at the article written by Borneo Posts columnists"STOP THIS MADNESS" by Zaharom Nain where he strongly wrote,"the bottom line we don't need sadists and child abusers looking after (huh!)our children.It is worse when they are also religious bigots and racists.These people should not be anywhere near the vicinity of any school,let alone head it.
You can contact the writer at email :- email@example.com.
It is a very well written piece and we should all recommend it to our Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Minister of Education.
WE ALL FEEL SO SORRY FOR THE BOY..
Posted: 06 Nov 2010 09:44 PM PDT
In the wise words of Forrest Gump's mother, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." That seems to be right about Tengku Razaleigh these days. The same can be said about alternative media in this country.
After the BN Galas victory, TRH according to the Malaysian Insider is set to continue his fate as the "Nowhere Man" of UMNO while The Malaysia Chronicle says othewise. I have in the past blogged about TRH more in hope that he will be the country's interim PM towards REAL reform. At the time TRH seemed to be "between a rock and a hard place" with few acceptable options but to be a voice of reason in the UMNO wilderness while side-stepping accusations of being an Opposition collaborator. The following Malaysian Insider view would have been correct then.
Galas' clear loser — Ku Li — The Malaysian Insider November 04, 2010
Barisan Nasional (BN) regained the Galas state seat today.
PAS lost the seat it won in Election 2008 when the refrain "Anything But Umno (ABU)" was in the air. Yet, the one clear loser in BN's victory in Galas will be Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, the longest-serving MP, since 1969, before even BN was formed in 1974.
The Kelantan prince, a former Umno vice-president and finance minister, now goes back to being a nobody in Umno, as he has been despite attempting to go for the party presidency since rejoining in 1996.
The 73-year-old's liberal agenda will sound hollow. The politician, popularly known as Ku Li, will be a sitting duck if he even tries to team up with other liberals and contest the next polls.
Umno will slay him, and the constituents he will try and reach out to will have great reservations about a politician who has talked about reform and yet capitulated to flattery from the same people he has assailed for more than 12 months.
How will history judge Tengku Razaleigh? The affable and capable Kelantan prince will be remembered as the man who made strategic mistakes at crucial times.
Be it in 1981, when Ku Li and Tun Musa Hitam fought for the Umno deputy presidency where Musa won with 722 votes to Tengku Razaleigh's 517.
Tengku Razaleigh blamed himself for taking "a rather passive stance" and not having a campaign strategy.
The same thing happened in 1984. In 1987, Ku Li challenged Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the presidency while Musa, who joined his team after quitting as deputy prime minister, was challenged by Tun Ghafar Baba. The Kelantan prince's Team B, as it was called to Dr Mahathir's Team A, lost.
The party was deregistered the following year but Dr Mahathir, with the help of the late Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat, quickly registered Umno Baru while Ku Li failed to register Umno Malaysia despite having the support of two former presidents, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn.
Ku Li's mistake was then to register Semangat 46, which teamed up with PAS for the 1990 and 1995 general elections. It lost traction and in 1996, Ku Li joined Umno Baru.
Bereft of the support he had in the 1970s where he founded Petronas and was the architect of BN's victory in Kelantan in the 1978 general election, Tengku Razaleigh has remained in the shadows of Umno history since then.
The Kelantan prince has shown a distaste for the rough and tumble ways of Malaysian politics, preferring to be above the fray and being nice to all.
He was nice to Umno for the Galas by-election. And it won in what is seen as a turning point in BN's fortunes since the massive defeat in Election 2008 which saw the coalition lose four states and its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority.
But Ku Li, the politician prince who insists that Kelantan is eligible for oil royalty and that Malaysia should return to the rule of law practised by Tunku Abdul Rahman, is just another man who was seduced by Umno's sweet talk to help defend the grand old party.
Like a loyal member who he has always stressed that he was, Tengku Razaleigh has done his job. And is most likely not necessary any more unless Umno needs to show its moderate and liberal face. Umno/BN won. Ku Li lost. And his cause is just a memory.
However, this commentary by Wong Choon Mei of the Malaysia Chronicle is the chocolate that I like. But is TRH too old and too late?
A credible savior for Umno emerges at last
Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle
Intrigue ever lurking in the unruly house of Umno has gone into overdrive again. This time, the catalyst is a 'new-old' face – Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Thanks to the Galas by-election victory, a rejuvenated Ku Li is now regarded by many in Umno as the best and most credible alternative to scandal-plagued president Najib Razak and his racism-tainted deputy Muhyiddin Yassin.
"Both Najib and Muhyiddin are unable to guide Umno away from implosion and irrelevance. Both men lack imagination and flair of their own - they borrow from Dr Mahathir and lean on his strength. But Umno leaders are not that dumb, they know what worked in Mahathir's time will not last long in the current century. The problem is, who other than Najib and Muhyiddin," an Umno watcher told Malaysia Chronicle.
"Ku Li was by-passed in 2009 Umno election. He was seen as faded and too old, but now he has shown what he can do and the remarkable thing is that he did it without the usual Umno bombast and boasting. I think when the result was announced, Umno was even more shocked by the winning majority than PAS."
Rush to grab the glory
The 73-year old Ku Li did indeed achieve a feat, wresting back the state seat from Umno's arch rival PAS with relative ease. His recommended candidate won the seat with a 1,190 majority which was equivalent to a swing of 1,836 votes as PAS had won the seat with 646-margin in 2008.
Immediately after the results, Muhyiddin was quick to credit Najib and his 1Malaysia plan for the win. Little mention was made of Ku Li, although when Umno wanted to secure his services as campaign director, Muhyiddin had thought of sending a contingent of leaders to welcome Ku Li's return from an overseas trip at the airport.
Muhyiddin, who is also deputy prime minister, was also quick to ride on the glory of the twin by-elections victories. BN had also won a parliamentary seat in Batu Sapi, Sabah on the same day.
So carried away by his perceived political momentum, the DPM actually ignored the calls for helps from flood victims in Kedah. Instead, he opted to fire a salvo at the Pakatan Rakyat state government, delaying and questioning for the sake of political gamesmanship rather than order federal agencies to send aid and relief.
"He put the flood issue aside and went on his Deepavali rounds so that he could bask in the glory of the by-election wins especially when Najib was in hospital," said the Umno watcher.
"Even though, Muhyiddin was savvy enough to play the role of loyal deputy and dedicated the victories to Najib, it was obvious he also took a lot of credit for himself and shut off Ku Li completely. To him, Najib is the easier rival to defeat than Razaleigh."
A credible alternative to Najib's bogus 1Malaysia
Meanwhile, despite being in hospital for chicken pox, Najib appeared to have caught on to what was happening while he was indisposed.
Not to be outdone, his mainstream media reported that he ordered from his "hospital bed" immediate assistance for Kedah flood victims. Pundits slammed the dramatic move as an apparent bid to go one up on his deputy and make a hero of himself.
As for Ku Li, some of Najib's-controlled media had in the aftermath of the Galas by-election done a hatchet job on the Kelantan prince, accusing him of selling out on his liberal views for sake of pleasing Umno warlords.
Their aim was simple - to destroy Ku Li's image as a progressive and multi-racial leader, so as to nip in the bud competition with Najib's 1Malaysia.
But neither are Malaysians or Umno members so easily fooled. If in 2009, Ku Li was seen as a blast from the past, he is now increasingly seen as the savior Umno needs. His strengths include his ability to communicate with the top PAS, PKR and DAP leadership, his perceived fairness to all races and his personal honesty. Sad to say, neither Najib nor Muhyiddin are seen to possess these qualities.
Who will Mahathir back
The biggest stumbling block for Ku Li in Umno remains former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. In 1987, Ku Li challenged Mahathir for the Umno presidency, but lost after a controversial vote-count.
Like Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, he is feared by Mahathir. So far in Umno's history, only Ku Li and Anwar possess enough charisma to thwart Mahathir's ham-fisted and oppressive tactics.
"This is the latest game in Umno and it will slowly unfold until the party's internal elections next year. We all know Muhyiddin will challenge Najib. Now it will be a three-cornered fight. And even though Mahathir is powerful, he may not be able to convince warlords to back either Najib or Muhyiddin now that they know Ku Li is a viable alternative," said the Umno watcher.
"It no longer matters who Mahathir will back - whether Najib or Muhyiddin. But it does not matter because both are weak leaders and cannot take Umno forward. So why would the warlords follow whom Mahathir chooses and take the crumbs when they can support Ku Li and sup from the main table."
This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
Posted: 06 Nov 2010 09:22 PM PDT
OR should it read "creeps"?
IF thou be of fair complexion and civil leanings or learning,please skip this poem, you may shake thy head and wonder if Desi has gone off his rockers/rocket?/head:) OR :(
I gave my heart and soul
To support your new initiative
Of my own free will
For no consideration
But when the weather turns challenging for me
Like I need a ride from thee as my car is in the workshop
Or when I don't even have a dime/dame to pay for TT at TCorner
Or when I could only send an sms instead of a Hphone call
You wave a hurried good bye
Yes, the bye is indeed for forever
Without a reason
Less a rhyme
'Cos Desi's of no more hselflife use
To thy initiative
Hey, fair-weather-friend or wolf-in-ship-fiend
It's you who called Desi first
I owe thee nuffthing
So haste thee into the sunset
Creep into the damned hole where the
sun don't shine at all
from where you first emerged
You'd sell your Mom's arse
Just to save thy dried up skin
Stay in that dark dungeon forever
Be a f(R)iend to me -- or thy Mom -- no more....
YL, Desi full of sorry
No worries, minus one, add a few more
to the fingers I'm still counting
as fRiends where the R does stay
Hopefoolly!:) OR :(
Posted: 06 Nov 2010 08:49 PM PDT
Traditional archery uses recurve or long bows but not modern compound bows.
It is a wonderful Sunday morning activity for the whole family.
If you are in the Taman Tun Dr Ismail area on Sundays, there are classes at Taman Rimba Kiara for all levels of competencies and ages.
Posted: 07 Nov 2010 10:24 AM PST
Koh Tsu Koon is now sitting on a hot seat as the pressure for him to quit is mountable. Former President Lim Keng Yeik resigned as the Party Adviser not long a go for the same reason and now he is happy that Koh Tsu Koon had announced his resignation if there is someone who can be accepted by the members as his replacement. Tsu Koon has been known for his indecisiveness and it is more glaring when he was unable to take proper and appropriate action against the party's Teng Hock Nan, its Penang party Chief's issue. I do not need to elaborate on Hock Nan issue as that is known to every literate person.
As the main BN component the animosity surrounding GERAKAN is an issue that causes BN in trouble of uniting the components in the coalition in preparing for the imminent General Election (GE) which to some opinion is just around the corner. UP to this moment Najib has not legitimize the people support by calling a GE as previous PM traditionally did. To the best of my memory can recollect it was only DatuK Husein Onn who called the GE 2 years after he assumed the PM post from his brother-in- law Tun Razak in 1976.
Early this year there was a call from BN's main component party MCA for the party to replace GERAKAN in all the state constituencies allocated for GERAKAN as the party had failed miserably and having zero representation in the Penang State Assembly. To MCA GERAKAN will be the sure losing bet if the allocation of seats remains the way it was.
UMNO too is having the enthusiasm to lead the state government if BN manages to recapture the state government form PR which is DAP dominated government. UMNO's claim can be relevant as the party has 11 seats in the opposition bench currently and it is always natural for any member wanting to see UMNO to lead the government if BN is given clear mandate by the people. All these years UMNO had the most number of seats while BN was in power but the BN power sharing concept only took UMNO to sacrifice even though with clear disinclination.
GERAKAN, like UMNO is facing succession problem. Keng Yeik had been at the helm of the party far too long and as a result the party didn't develop leaders for succession. The vacuum that prevails is due to the overstaying of its leadership and it is very normal for all component parties in BN. Mahathir took more than 2 decades to retire, Samy Velu took another 2 decades before talking about retirement, Taib Mahmud is still there and does not seem to even think of taking leave.
Overstaying will drive the party they lead to unmitigated tribulations and in the end that becomes the sure route to tragedy when the time to face the people comes by. As I have mentioned in my earlier write up winning the double by election days ago is definitely not the indicator of impeccable support from the people. A losing basket ball team is certain to have some scoring points. So to BN let it be reminded that there is no reason what so ever for the coalition to be exuberant with the Galas and Batu Sapi victories.
To me, GERAKAN will be offering a great favor to BN if the party is dissolved and disbanded. Its members can either choose to be in MCA or DAP. By doing so BN will be enlightened with fewer numbers of parties within the coalition so take care for. I am certain that DAP will be happy to this idea and so do MCA. With the dissolution of of GERAKAN than BN will have a lighter baggage to carry in facing the GE. Playing reserve in a football team can be very demoralizing for a keen footballer. It is better to be a cheer leader from the sideline and do remember that the best position in football is the position of 'right outside'.
GERAKAN should consider this option seriously. Maybe this the best sacrifice for GERAKAN for the advantage of BN.
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