Friday, November 12, 2010

No place for careerists in Third Force

No place for careerists in Third Force

No place for careerists in Third Force

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 06:07 AM PST

By Dr Kua Kia Soong

COMMENT The menagerie of Malaysian politics keeps getting bigger. We had toads, donkeys and moronic oxen. Now they have been joined by chameleons!

Zaid Ibrahim's recent tantrum against the PKR leadership has started the speculations about a Third Force again. Some bloggers are also sounding out the formation of a Third Force. But what exactly are they offering that's different from Pakatan Rakyat? That they are more "principled" and more capable than Pakatan representatives? Is that enough?

If there is one thing all Malaysian democrats have in common, it is that we have a common aim of ridding the country of 53 years of Barisan Nasional misrule and oppression. But let us first examine the so-called "politicians of integrity".

1. Qualifying test for 'born again' democrats

Since the political tsunami of 2008, we have witnessed the sudden "change of heart" of former BN politicians – Zaid Ibrahim, Chua Jui Meng, even my old opponent in PJ, Soh Chee Wen, to name but a few.

How do we know these are truly "born again" democrats?

I propose they should first demonstrate their sincerity to the rakyat by publicly giving their testimonies about that "Aha!" moment when it finally dawned on them that their former association with the BN was oh! such foolish immaturity and misguided thinking. They should then give us their class analysis of the BN and what their vision and ideals are for the rakyat. Yes, I suggest they go round the country to try to convince the people that they have truly seen the light and now want to serve the people, not to further their careers.

Up to now, I still haven't heard what "vision" these former BN politicians have in store for the people except that they had "joined Pakatan". After the Zaid episode, I wonder what transpires during the walk-in interview with the Pakatan leadership when these former BN leaders join Pakatan. I have tried to search for the substance of the "visionary" Zaid but I can't find it! I have only heard his hazy support of liberalism and democracy.

So how is this Third Force going to ensure that their leaders are not going to jump ship? If the answer is that the Third Force politicians have "higher" political principles than those of Pakatan, how do you measure the level of "principled-ness"? What guarantees can they give the rakyat?

2. Policies not personalities

Let's face it, if the Third Force is the same as, or right of Pakatan, then forget it – we're doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Spare us!

The Third Force has to go beyond the populism and neo-liberalism of Pakatan and provide the substance of reform. At the last panel discussion on "Neo-liberalism" that I shared with Zaid, he said that he was not clear about what exactly "neo-liberalism" is but that he was a liberal and a democrat!

The most fundamental reform has to go beyond "The Peoples' Declaration":

  • to protect our public services from privatisation and to nationalise the already privatised essential services;
  • to defend the social right to employment, welfare provision, education;
  • to initiate popular participation and control, especially unionisation;
  • to initiate forms of democratic self-management in the nationalised industries to be run for the common good; and
  • to implement a progressive tax system.

3. Concrete reforms not rhetoric

Apart from the concrete socio-economic reforms above, the Third Force must provide other specific tangible proposals for reform, for example:

  • how many Chinese and Tamil schools do they plan to build?
  • how much of the defence budget do they plan to cut?
  • what is their alternative defence policy?
  • how will they implement the demand management of water and energy?
  • what is their concrete plan to bring the poor out of poverty and raise the living standards of the east Malaysian masses?
  • what is their "New Deal" for the indigenous peoples of Malaysia?
  • what is their "transformation plan" for the 500 over New Villages in the country in which our small and medium enterprises are located?
  • when will they give land titles to all who have lived in/used their homes for a "settled" length of time such as those inhabiting New Villages for more than 50 years?
  • an affordable and efficient public transport system to serve the majority of the people as a priority; and
  • an affordable and sustainable peoples' public housing programme for the majority, etc…

This list is certainly not exhaustive but from the foregoing, it is clear that there is no place in the Third Force for careerists no matter how "principled" they claim they are. A Third Force of substance has to be left of Pakatan and it is meant to take our country beyond the neo-liberalism of BN and Pakatan toward a "Peoples' Federation of Malaysia".

Kua Kia Soong, a former MP, was principal of the New Era College, Kajang. He is also a director of human rights group Suaram.


Analytics And The Third Force

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 01:02 PM PST

There is now a lot of chatter in Malaysia cyberspace about the "Third Force" in Malaysian politics. RPK sums it up in his latest Malaysia Today posting, "So you want to rumble, let's rumble". This was a roposte to Anwar Ibrahim's statement in Singapore about fielding younger candidates in GE13. 

Incidentally, I posted the following blogpost in September last year:

 BMI - The Third Force?

16th September is Malaysia Day and recent history tells us it was Anwar Ibrahim's non-starting East Malaysia Frogs Day. This year, it was marked by the official launch of Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia Movement (SABM) after having had its soft launch on 25th August 2007. I attended both occasions and this time around, it was obvious that Haris Ibrahim and his team had put in a lot of effort in the last two years but still have their work cut out for them.

From what was briefed to attendees, this was only the proverbial tip of the iceberg and much, much more effort had to be put into spreading the message and getting the buy-in of the rakyat at large, to the concept. This political but non-partisan entity (SABM) has roadshows, dialogue sessions, rallies in the pipeline to engage both the rakyat (community groups, NGOs, etc.) and politicians from both the ruling coalition and opposition alliance...

Read complete post HERE...

I think the BMI is an idea whose time has come. The use of Analytics to determine BMI may be ideal. 

Jangan berselindung ditempat yang terang.

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 11:30 AM PST

Insiden 'May 13' dijadikan isu oleh Utusan Malaysia beberapa hari yang lalu dan ini adalah petanda pilihanraya umum sudah hampir tiba. Insiden '13 May' ini telah menjadi isu tetap bagi BN setiap kali pilihanraya tiba. Utusan menganggap'May 13' sebagai hikmah kerana jika tidak berlaku kejadian hitam itu ekonomi negara hanya diborong oleh satu pihak tertentu sahaja. Maksud satu pihak itu ialah kaum Cina.

Dalam kolum mingguan Datuk Zaini Hassan, beliau telah mencadangkan supaya insiden 13 May ini perlu dibaca oleh generasi yang akan datang dan memahami hakikat yang insiden itu adalah 'blessing in disguise' kerana dengan insiden itu maka kerajaan kita telah dapat mengenengahkan Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) dan telah memberi peluang kepada Bumiputra untuk bersama-sama menikmati kekayaan negara secara 'equitable'.

Insiden berdarah itu jika dipandang dari sudut yang tertentu ianya relevan untuk diperingati sebagai pelajaran yang berguna untuk kita semua rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang kaum ini dan ianya harus diketahui oleh generasi yang baru kita. Tetapi isu ini jika dijadikan sebagai alat kempen pilihanraya untuk mengugut rakyat supaya tidak memberikan perhatian kepada sesuatu pihak untuk kuasa, maka ianya adalah satu niat yang tidak baik.

Kejadian berdarah itu boleh dijadikan pelajaran oleh pihak yang menang yang merayakan kejayaan dengan mencemuh yang kalah seperti apa yang berlaku dalam tahun 1969 dahulu. Semasa itu parti yang didominasi oleh kaum bukan Melayu telah berarak dengan mencemuh Melayu dan ianya amat menyakitkan hati dan jiwa bangsa Melayu yang akhirnya membawa padah yang tidak baik kepada perhubungan diantara kaum dinegara ini.

Majlis Gerakkan Negara (MAGERAN) diwujudkan dan negara ditadbir oleh Majlis ini dibawah ordinan dharurat beberapa ketika. Dalam pentadbiran MAGERAN inilah pemimpin-pemimpin kita telah berunding dengan semua kaum untuk mencari punca dan sebabnya peristiwa itu berlaku. Hasilnya wujudlah satu dasar yang diterima pakai dan dihormati oleh semua pihak dan kaum, iaitu Dasar Ekonomi Baru yang telah banyak melaksanakan dasar 'social and Economic Engineering' yang telah memantapkan kembali keamanan dan perhububungan diantara kaum.

Memang dasar ini telah membawa banyak kebaikkan, bukan sahaja kepada kaum Bumiputra tetapi juga kepada pembangunan status ekonomi Bukan Bumiputra. Malahan dasar inilah yang telah melonjakkan ekonomi negara tetapi banyak pihak yang 'memandai-mandai' cuba untuk menafikan hakikat ini.

Sejak awal lapan puluhan dasar ini walaupun belum cukup tempoh perlaksanaannya, telah diabaikan oleh pucuk pimpinan negara kita sehinggakan kelalaian itu telah membawa kepada keadaan yang sedang kita alami pada hari ini; iaitu merosotnya perhubungan muhibbah diantara kaum yang telah terbina sejak DEB diwujudkan. Pengabaian ini melampaui kepada generasi yang sekarang ini dan mereka menganggap bahawa inilah keadaan yang sememangnya wujud kerana mereka tidak pernah merasakan hidup muhibbah diantara kaum sejak mereka lahir pada lapan puluhan dahulu sehinggalah sekarang.

Tetapi jika Utusan Malaysia mengunakan isu ini sebagai ugutan yang keadaan itu akan berulang jika pemerintah sekarang ini digagalkan dalam pilihanraya yang akan datang akan membawa kepada berulangnya insiden itu ianya merupakan satu pandangan yang tidak benar. UMNO tidak akan kekal kuat jika ianya bersandarkan kepada ugutan yang negara akan huru-hara jika parti ini digulingkan oleh pihak lawan dalam politik.

Rakayt sebenarnya sedang memberikan tekanan kepada pemerintahan yang mereka sudah kurang keyakinan seperti yang dialami mereka masa kini. Kalau dahulu UMNO dan Perikatan ditolak oleh rakyat kerana sentiment perkauman yang sempit dan merbahaya, tetapi isu yang ada dihadapan kita ialah isu 'keyakinan' terhadap pimpinan.

Takkanlah mereka akan mengundi parti yang mempunyai kepimpinan yang dianggap rasuah dan salahguna kuasa semata-mata hanya dengan mendengar ugutan yang berupa racist itu. Utusan seolah-olah ingin meminta rakyat menerima UMNO dan BN walau serasuah mana sekali pun kerajaan yang ada pada hari ini semata-mata kerana takutkan peristiwa berdarah 13 Mei itu berulang. Sampai bilakah kita hendak menyandarkan kemenangan kita kepada ugutan?

Utusan seolah-olah mengugut dengan mentakan kepada rakyat 'pilih BN, kalau tidak 13 Mei akan berulang! Ini merupakan satu taktik yang sangat rendah nilainya. BN sepatutnya meraih sokongan rakyat dengan menghilangkan persepsi kotor rakyat terhadap 'coalition' ini.

Itulah sebabnya banyak pihak termasuk diri saya selalu mengatakan jika UMNO dan BN hendak memastikan 'survival'nya dengan berterusan pemimpin-pemimpin yang ada pada hari ini patut bersara dan berikan kepimpinan kepada sesiapa yang berpengalaman dan tidak terlibat dengan kabinet yang dianggap rasuah dan selalu menyalah gunakan kuasa. Jika UMNO mempunyai 'facet' kepimpinan yang bersih maka UMNO tidak payah lagi menggunakan isu 13 Mei yang bersifat ugutan itu menjadi bahan kempen pilihanraya yang bakal tiba.

Jika kepimpinan UMNO itu kuat, mereka tidak payah mengambil hati bangsa lain dengan mengcilkan hati bangsa sendiri.Jika kepimpinan kita kuat tidak akan timbul kata-kata seperti yang diluahkan oleh Soi Lek yang sistem pelajaran Cina yang ada dinegara inilah yang membawa kemajuan kepada negara seolah-olah menafikan system pelajaran yang lain tidak boleh membawa kemajuan kepada negara.

Kalau pemimpin UMNO kita kuat MCA akan mengakui yang mereka sepatutnya berterima kasih kerana dinegara ini sekolah jenis kebangsaan Cina kita bercambah. Keadaan ini tidak berlaku diIndonesia, Thailand malahan diSingapura sendiri sekolah jenis kebangsaan Cina tidak begitu banyak wujud. Soi Lek masih tidak berterima kasih kepada Melayu yang telah banyak berkorban untuk bangsa Cina dinegara ini. Mereka berani bercakap secara terbuka semata-mata mereka nampak desperado pimpinan kita dalam UMNO. Mereka tahu UMNO lemah dan mereka secara 'expedient' menggunakan isu sekolah Cina untuk memaksa pimpinan Melayu UMNO tunduk semata-mata untuk mendapatkan undi yang belum tentu diperolehi dari kaum itu.

Untuk mendapat sokongan berterusan pemimpin UMNO terpaksa melayani kehendak mereka yang bukan-bukan dengan menggadaikan apa yang ada kepada kita secara beransur-ansur. Selalunya orang yang bergadai ini adalah orang yang lemah ekonomi rumah tangganya. Pemimpin yang lemah pula akan menggadaikan bangsa dan negara yang dipimpinnya. Oleh kerana lemahnya pimpinan kita maka terpksa menggadaikan sedikit demi sedikit kepunyaan kita kepada bangsa yang sangat pandai berpolitik itu.

Kelemahan pimpinan Melayu itu diambil kesempatan untuk meminta perkara yang bukan-bukan sehinggakan kita orang Melayu merasakan pahit dan pedihnya diatas tuntutan mereka itu. Tetapi orang Melayu tidak mahu merobah dengan menggantikan kepimpinan yang sedang leka dan berenak dalam glamour kuasa yang mereka salah gunakan itu.

Rakyat sedang memerhatikan keadaan; jadi tidak payahlah mengugut-ngugut untuk mengekalkan kuasa yang mereka sedang salah gunakan sekarang ini. Kita mesti mengakui dan beriktikat yang menyalah gunakan kuasa dan rasuah itulah yang akan membawa bala dan kekusutan perhubungan diantara kaum dinegara ini; bukannya kerana penolakkan UMNO dri tampuk kuasa.

Ingat, kesabaran rakyat ada hadnya. Belajarlah dari apa yang berlaku didalam pilihanraya yang lalu. Zaman berkuasa dengan menggunakan 'buku lima' sudah berakhir. Sekarang sudah sampai waktu rakyat mencari pemimpin yang diyakini untuk memimpin negara dengan penuh 'magnanimity' dan tidak terlibat dengan rasuah, apa lagi untuk melindungi rasuah melalui akta-akta seperti OSA dan sebagainya.

Walaupun OSA itu menghalang untuk mengenengahkan aktibiti rasuah tetapi dalam senyap-senyap rakyat nampak perkara-perkara buruk itu berlaku dengan jelas. Rakyat sekarang ini bukan rakyat dahulu; menerima sahaja apa yang dibuat oleh pemerintah.

Rakyat boleh menerima dan menolak tanpa segan silu lagi sekarang ini. Mereka sekarang sudah faham bahawa negara ini adalah negara mereka dan bukannya kepunyaan UMNO yang dipersoalkan 'legitimacy' kewujuddannya. Banyak pihak yang menganggapkan yang rakyat itu buta dan tidak nampak apa-apa.

Masakan mereka yang rasuah itu boleh berselindung ditempat yang terang atau pun menyurok disebalik telunjuk.

The RM300,000 dinner

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 08:34 AM PST

The Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has declined to attend a function to commemorate Selangor Foundation's 40th anniversary.

The reason being, it costs Yayasan Selangor more than RM300,000. What an amount for a dinner! What would they be serving? Golden egg? Or mermaids?

The Sultan had initially agreed to attend the function with the hope that his presence would inject new spirit for the staff at the foundation and in appreciation of their efforts in helping to improve the performance of students from less fortunate families in the rural areas in Selangor (here).

The function was planned to be held on Nov 15 at the Tun Dr Ismail Hostel, Kampung Pandan, Kuala Lumpur.

The sultan had suggested that the foundation organised a lunch, which would be cheaper, instead of a dinner, but it was not heeded by the foundation.

The latest news was, Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim too has decided to stay away from the dinner. And did he say anything about not being advised of the cost?

Then, who actually decided on the RM300,000?

Global Integrity Award - Honouring the Unsung Heroes of the Fight Against Corruption

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 09:09 AM PST

" Fighting corruption requires more than tools and programmes; it requires role models who inspire. Transparency International's Integrity Awards highlight the role models who have demonstrated a commitment to their values and beliefs by their courageous actions. Integrity awards winners provide a sense of hope and empowerment – they demonstrate that it is possible for ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Integrity awards winners are the heroes of the fight against corruption."
- Huguette Labelle (Transparency International Chairperson) -

The Transparency International Integrity Awards were created to recognise the courage and determination of the many individuals and organisations fighting corruption around the world. The Integrity Awards winners are a source of inspiration to the anti-corruption movement because their actions echo a common message: that corruption is surmountable.

Launched in 2000, the Integrity Awards honour the bravery of individuals and organisations around the globe whose efforts are making a distinct difference in curbing corruption.

The programme's goal is to give greater recognition to the efforts of journalists, civil society activists, government and corporate whistleblowers who work to investigate and unmask corruption, often at great personal risk.

Corruption continues to rob the poorest of this world of hope and opportunities, and to undermine even long-established democracies. Join us in giving the deserving individuals, who fight this scourge, due recognition for their determination and bravery.

The 2009 -2010 Integrity Award
(Bangkok, Berlin - 12 November 2010)

Three courageous individuals are honoured today as the winners of the prestigious Transparency International (TI) Integrity Awards 2009-2010, given to people for outstanding contributions to the fight against corruption.

Sergei Magnitsky's commitment to integrity ultimately cost him his life. A Moscow-based lawyer, Magnitsky agreed to testify against senior Russian officials, who were accused of using assets to fraudulently reclaim US $230 million in taxes. In November 2008, Magnitsky was imprisoned on charges of conspiracy. Even when his health failed he refused to withdraw his testimony. When medical treatment was allegedly withheld, he died in custody.

"Sergei Magnitsky did what to most people seems impossible: he battled as a lone individual against the power of an entire state. He believed in the rule of law and integrity, and died for his belief. Magnitsky, his heroic fight, and the ideals he stood for must never be forgotten", said Sion Assidon, Chair of the Integrity Awards Committee.

In 2008,Grégory Ngbwa Mintsa agreed to join TI France and civil society group Sherpa in a lawsuit to investigate how three African leaders were able to acquire luxury properties and goods in France. Despite threats, imprisonment and a freeze on his salary, Mintsa refused to drop the case. On 9 November 2010, a ruling by the criminal chamber of the French Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) allowed for an investigation to go forward.

"TI welcomes the ruling by the Cour de Cassation. Mintsa's bravery in joining the case, and continuing to support it despite imprisonment and intimidation, has inspired people around the globe and sets a true precedent for challenging impunity," said Assidon.

Better known by his pen name Poddala, Attotage Prema Jayantha, was chosen for his dedication to exposing injustice in Sri Lanka's health, education and transport sectors over a period of two decades. One of his reports uncovered what some officials have called Sri Lanka's biggest ever tax scam, involving the alleged misappropriation of RS 3.6 billion (US $37 million) in Value Added Tax.

"Poddala effectively used his pen to fight corruption and promote good governance in Sri Lanka. Despite making powerful enemies, the activist in Poddala did not allow stories to be simply printed and then be forgotten", said Assidon.

Natalia Nikolaeva Magnitskaya will accept the award on behalf of her son at a ceremony at the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference. Accepting on behalf of Jayantha will be J.C. Weliamuna, member of the TI Board of Directors and Executive Director of TI Sri Lanka. Mintsa is in Bangkok to accept his award.

Suggestion: Transparency International of Malaysia should have a National Integrity Award for Malaysians in the fight against Corruption.

The 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference
(10-13 November 2010, Bangkok, Thailand)
Restoring Trust: Global Action for Transparency

With the first decade of the new millennium drawing to a close, transparency now has a place on global, regional and national agendas. It has become fashionable for political candidates to campaign on anti-corruption and good governance platforms. International agreements have been ratified and international firms progressively adopt compliance and oversight programmes. Yet trust in institutions on which our future depends has eroded.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis the challenges threatening the rights and livelihood of populations across the world have increased while hope for greater social justice has faded: Efforts to reduce poverty and to deliver on promises for sustainable development, human security, curbing illicit trade and climate control have not yet resulted in positive change. Around the world, headlines showcase the continued impunity and the rise in organised crime and illicit financial flows. When trust in governance is questioned and confidence in institutions is hollow, apathy and insecurity flourish, creating an environment ripe for corruption.

This apathy must be combated with a compelling sense of urgency to address challenges head on. Many of the right promises have been made – the task at hand is to ensure that commitments are honoured. To restore people's trust and rebuild the credibility of institutions, governments must move beyond expressions of political will to concrete action; the private sector must put a check on bribery and fulfil their obligations as corporate citizens and civil society must demand accountability. Above all, there is an urgent need for all actors to work together towards a transparent and accountable global governance agenda.

"Corruption continues to rob the poorest of this world of hope and opportunities, and to undermine even long-established democracies"

蔡细历:认为非土著太自由 土著最反政府

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 06:39 AM PST











南洋商报 (12-11-2010)

Amir Rafiq ~ Future Imam Muda / Petronas Plant Instrument Engineer - The Interview

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 06:13 AM PST

Reintroducing Amir Rafiq, my 6+ grand nephew! The fella is all grown up now and is an articulate Imam Muda wannabe. He is also keen to be a Petronas Plant Instrument Engineer like his mom, my niece Azriza Hj Abdul Latif.

Amir Rafiq has been very dedicated in learning about the computer and this pint sized prodigy is also on Facebook! Click here to go to his page.

I have uploaded a couple of videos featuring Amir Rafiq before.

Here they are:

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Effing Funny Effing Show

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 05:46 AM PST

Mahkota Hospital Melaka TIdak Izin Pekerja Wanita Pakai Tudung

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 02:31 AM PST

Rupanya, dalam sebuk-sebuk UMNO ke hulu ke hilir menjaja kononnya hak Melayu semakin tergadai, Islam semakin dalam bahaya, DAP semakin ganas menentang Islam, rupanya dalam negeri Melaka sendiri Islam dihinjak-hinjak.

Beza Melaka berbanding negeri lain dalam Persekutuan Tanah Melayu adalah UMNO menguasai 2/3 kerusi di Dewan Undangan Negeri Melaka. Maksudnya, UMNO mampu memerintah Melaka TANPA Barisan Nasional ataupun parti2 lain.

Namun, dalam negeri yang dikuasai sepenuhnya UMNO ini, hospital Mahkota Melaka telah tidak mengizinkan pekerja wanita mereka memakai tudung. Saya sendiri melihat dengan mata kepala saya betapa pekerja2 wanita ini memakai ID yang ada gambar mereka memakai tudung, tapi di depan saya mereka membuka tudung.

Rupanya, ia adalah arahan rasmi dari pentadbiran Hospital Mahkota Melaka dan ia berlaku di bawah pengawasan kerajaan UMNO Melaka.

Kalau di negeri yang mereka kuasai 100% macam ni pun mereka tidak dapat memperjuangkan hak orang Islam yang begitu mudah, apa lagi yang boleh kita harapkan dari UMNO.

Janganlah sampai kita jadi macam Indonesia. Pekerja2 perempuan diberi arahan secara terbuka untuk tidak memakai tudung. Sekiranya mereka memakai tudung, nescaya mereka dibuang kerja.

Kalau tak salah saya juga, Mahkota Hospital ini juga sebuah Hospital kepunnyaan Singapura.

Ikutilah rakaman perbualan Tulang Besi dengan salah seorang dari pekerja Mahkota Hospital dengan klik di bawah:
Rakaman Perbualan Tulang Besi dengan Pekerja Mahkota Hospital Berkaitan Larangan Pekerja Memakai Tudung


Posted: 12 Nov 2010 02:18 AM PST

Last week my uncle suggested taking his elder sister (that's my mom) for an outing to KLCC. My mom is 85 years old. Walking long distances tires her out, but she enjoys outings. So my uncle came up with the idea of bringing along the wheelchair. He parked the car in Ampang Park and we took the LRT to KLCC. My uncle's reasoning: too expensive to park at KLCC, too difficult to locate the car later, and too confusing to know which of the many exits to take.

So off we went. Pushing my mom around the mall in the wheelchair proved to be quite challenging. At the end of the outing, I can say that KLCC isn't exactly wheelchair-friendly. The lift from the LRT platform to the upper level was out of order. My mom had to get up and use the escalator. The LRT exit gate was barely wide enough to push the wheelchair through. To operate the special wheelchair lift (see below), you had to look for the attendant who was nowhere to be found. Not that we bothered - the lift looked like it hadn't been in use for some time.

All in all, my mom had to get off the wheelchair at least a dozen times during our two-hour visit to KLCC. There were shops we had to by-pass because there wasn't enough space inside to manoeuvre the wheelchair around. The same story with the food court where we had lunch, and the toilets. The only place with lots of room to spare was the art gallery. Pushing the wheelchair down the winding ramp to the fountain level proved to be an exercise in strength and stamina.

Passing by Kinokuniya, I took the opportunity to pick up a copy of the November issue of Personal Money. I wanted to show my uncle and my mom the interview with me on page 62 about "Retiring Happily". My uncle insisted I posed for a photo with it. I can't say 'no' to my uncle, right?

The outing has shown that the city needs to be much more people-friendly, and that includes providing easy access to public places and facilities for the elderly and the handicapped in wheelchairs.

The Race

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 02:03 AM PST

Dear friends,

I shall continue running for the Vice Presidency of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KEADILAN) in spite of the calls and allegations of fraud that led to the pullout of Deputy Presidential contender Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Let me state categorically that I believe in the collective wisdom of our members who, with their democratic right to vote, will ultimately decide the future direction of this party. As such, I believe it is my duty and responsibility to the party members who nominated me, as well as to non-party members who have invested their time, confidence and trust in our party, to continue this race.

We have thus far been assured that the JPP is reviewing the election process and results. I am certain that the JPP will take the necessary actions to rectify any allegations of fraud.

When I have won the trust and mandate of party members to be one of the four elected Vice Presidents, I will embolden my efforts at realizing the Politics of Hope and Liberation and strengthen this party to live up to the principles and ideals of democracy and justice that Malaysia yearns for.

Malaysians, friends, members of PKR – the time has come for all of us to demand honest politics and live by the highest of standards. Truly, this will be the only way for us to build a better Malaysia.

Lastly, once these party elections are complete, let us close ranks, in unity. Let us continue working with our Pakatan allies in moving forward to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of all Malaysians. Let us move forward, for a better Malaysia.

Bapa Curi Duit Tabung Masjid Untuk Beli Susu Anak

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 01:40 AM PST

NOTA EDITOR: Kerajaan Malaysia sebuk dengan membina Menara 100 tingkat sedangkan rakyat menderita kesempitan wang dan kenaikan harga barang. Sehingga seorang bapa di Johor terpaksa mencuri duit masjid semata-mata untuk beli susu anak.

Apa lagi yang hendak kita harap dari UMNO? Segala projek pembangunan UMNO semata-mata untuk mengkayakan kroni dan UMNOPUTRA. Manakala, rakyat biasa seperti kita terpaksa berebut-berebut sisa2 kekayaan negara yang ditinggalkan UMNO.

Habislah kita kalau UMNO terus memerintah.

Seorang bapa juga suami berumur 39 tahun dari FELDA Aping Barat, Johor yang terdesak telah dikatakan mencuri duit tabung masjid di Kota Tinggi hanya semata-mata untuk membeli susu anak telah ditangkap oleh jemaah masjid. Menurut pihak polis bapa tadi tidak pernah mempunyai sebarang rekod jenayah sebelum ini dan tiada rekod menagih dadah.

Kalau benarlah cerita ini, ianya sungguh menyedihkan. Mana pergi wang zakat ? Felda bankrap ke tidak ?

Berita ini adalah dari laporan akhbar New Straits Times 11 Nov 2010

'I stole to buy milk for my child'
NST 11 Nov 2010

KOTA TINGGI: Desperation led a 39-year-old man to steal money from a mosque's collection box to buy milk for his child.

District police chief Superintendent Osman Muhammad Sebot said the man was caught by four members of the Al Mutaqin mosque committee at Sedili Besar, near here on Saturday.

A villager was the first to spot the man, at 2.50pm, fishing out notes from the collection box using a thin wire with glue on its tip.

Osman said the villager called an assistant muezzin, who happened to be near the neighbourhood at the time.

The 19-year-old assistant muezzin sought help from three other mosque committee members, and they waited for the man as the latter rode his motorcycle towards Tanjung Sedili.

This led to a 5km-long chase before he was caught and brought to a police station.

Osman said RM395 was seized from the man, along with a metre-long wire and a tin of glue.

During police interrogation, the man claimed that RM280 of the seized money was his and would be used to pay off debts.

He claimed the remaining RM115 was stolen from the mosque.

"He told policemen that he wanted to use the money to buy milk for his child," said Osman.

The suspect from Felda Aping Barat has no previous criminal records, and tested negative for drug use.

Court allows objection in Shamala conversion case

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 01:23 AM PST

The Federal Court missed a golden opportunity to answer the long-standing issue of unilateral conversion of children by a parent thrown up by the S Shamala and Dr M Jeyagandesh case. A lot of child conversion cases were depending on this case to set a precedent to answer this thorny question.
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Zaid, take a break and refocus your efforts

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 03:17 PM PST

From Aloysius Pinto, via e-mail

Zaid should take a break from party politics and focus on developing the necessary tools and mechanisms to put in place a shadow cabinet based on the Pakatan Rakyat policy framework.

It should provide guidelines and directions on how to develop the various policies, directions and action plans for all the different areas highlighted in the framework.

The numerous offers of expertise by civil society, which includes NGOs, professionals, academicians and concerned citizens should be tapped to form the shadow cabinet.

It is not important at this time to identify the shadow cabinet ministers. He must harness the  discontent of civil society to come up with action plans to deliver election promises.

Zaid is the appropriate person to lead, organise and moderate the various sessions that needs to be organised for shadow cabinet ministries. If Zaid is not doing this, who else?

Yes, Zaid should take a break from party politics and just focus on bringing the various stakeholders through forums, seminars, dialogues and even a convention.

Enormous talents are willing to provide their expertise so that Pakatan not only retains control of the four states, but also instil confidence in the rakyat that it is ready for Putrajaya.

Otherwise Zaid, don't bother about party politics at all.

There are already too many politicians around. In fact, more than necessary, that's why the jostling for positions!

Be a statesman Zaid and lead this work that needs to be done to prepare Pakatan to govern the nation.


The Zaid-grassroots disconnect

There are many ways to skin a cat

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 03:16 PM PST

From Jenny Oh, via e-mail

The way I see it, the sudden outbursts by Zaid Ibrahim is a betrayal. What kind of material is he made of?

As the saying goes, 'there are many ways to skin a cat'. Why has he resorted to act this way, learned as he is?


The Zaid-grassroots disconnect

The day my world was 'blacked out'

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 03:15 PM PST

From Jaindian, via e-mail

I was on self-imposed exile from all news reports from Nov 4.  I did not go near my computer and avoided all news broadcast and also did not communicate with any friends.

I represent a thousand of bloggers and supporters of Pakatan Rakyat, we were the silent workers from GE2008 and the euphoria we created always gave a positive outlook for GE 13.

But as of Nov 4, our world collapsed right in our faces, we could not accept the reality of losing our own PAS seat in Galas.

I always was a PAS supporter, especially of Tok Guru. Losing this seat was a slap in the face for Pakatan...forget about Batu Sapi.

It was a non entity seat, only Yong (SUPP) should cry for it. All through history 'immediate widows' have always managed to win sympathy votes, and BN used this to its advantage.

The win in Galas has given BN a new-found confidence to face the voters for GE 13, and this is what will give them the edge in the coming GE.

The euphoria of 2008 is fast fading and the 'shit' has hit the fan. The question is, can we get our act together? PAS, I'm sure will be able to forged a better strategy for the GE.

As for PKR and DAP (except for Penang), will they be able to rise to the occasion with all the internal bickering and backstabbing?

Zaid, get out, if you can't do anything within PKR, just emulate our brother RPK and do your work outside for our cause. Being a learned man, you know the stakes.

Azmin, be noble, your actions will carry you through, don't resort to playing politics in your own backyard. You have been there for so long, your sincerity will be rewarded. Don't destroy the party.

As for the Ngeh cousins in DAP (Perak), just shut up! and support the leadership. We need all of you to be focussed so that we can work towards the next GE 13 in 2011.

Pakatan Rakyat has to promise the voters and the thousands of silent supporters who work nightly at their computers that they will get their act together.

There is a saying in Tamil: 'It's better to fall at your enemy's feet then to beg the witness.'  Choose wisely and we will also do likewise.

Dr M still griping over a mutually honoured agreement

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 03:14 PM PST

From Siew Wah, via e-mail

I refer to your report, 'Wisdom drowns in water deal: Dr M turn on tap'. Dr Mahathir is still bitter over the water issue with Singapore even after leaving office.

He is still harping over the price of three sen per 1,000 gallons of raw water Singapore pays, conveniently forgetting that contract was mutually agreed between the two countries and signed after the separation in the year 1965.

He is now talking of revising the price of raw water Johor is supplying to Singapore, after the contract expires next year.

Singapore has made preparations to draw its water requirements from its own sources and would no longer depend on Malaysia for its future water supply.

Singapore wishes Dr Mahathir well and hopes he will not dwell on the water issue when the time comes.


Wisdom drowns in water deal: Dr M turns on tap

Teacher should be charged with assault

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 03:12 PM PST

From Siong Tieng Wong, via e-mail

I refer to the report, 'Student caned for having non-halal food'. The teacher should be charged with assault for causing bodily harm.

He has no justification to punish the student.

Even if the ministry has set such a rule, they have no rights to use physical punishment. Don't let them get away with this one!


Student caned for having non-halal food  

Teacher apologises for caning student over non-halal food

Mustaffa to stay on in race for PKR No 2

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 10:59 PM PST

PKR vice-president Mustaffa Kamil Ayub will continue with his campaign for the party's deputy presidency in the current party polls. In his 48-hour ultimatum to the party's central elections committee (CEC) that expired yesterday, he had called on them to halt the polls, claiming irregularities and malpractices.
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To the management and staff of the Hong Leong Group

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 11:21 PM PST

Here's a great lunch and dinner deal from 
Damansara Village@ Imbi
32, Jalan Utara
off Jalan Imbi
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 21411678

For management and staff of the 
Hong Leong Group.

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