Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Selayang MP Blasts Government Over Power Tariffs Rise

Selayang MP Blasts Government Over Power Tariffs Rise


Selayang MP Blasts Government Over Power Tariffs Rise

Posted: 31 May 2011 03:50 PM PDT

From the MEDIA RAKYAT:

William Leong: THE BN GOVERNMENT'S DECISION TO INCREASE POWER TARIFFS IS AN ABDICATION OF ITS DUTIES TO THE PEOPLE

May 31st, 2011 by Admin | 0

The BN Government's decision to pass the burden of the increased gas prices from TNB and the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to Malaysian consumers is an abdication of its responsibility owed to the people. The cause of the increased in the tariff which is about 7% higher from 1st June 2011 and increased every 6 months until 2015, is due to the Government's unwillingness to review the grossly unfair contracts entered into by the Government with the IPPs and the manifestly improper long term gas supply agreements between Petronas and the IPPs.

The grossly unfair power purchase agreements require TNB to purchase all electricity produced by the IPPs, regardless of TNB's requirements and at a cost that is more expensive than the power produced by TNB itself. As a result, TNB pays the IPPs a capacity charge which is payment for power produced by the IPPs not required by TNB. There is a 40% excess capacity for which TNB pays capacity charges to the IPPs since 1993.

Under the gas supply agreements, the IPPs purchased gas from Petronas at the price of RM6.40 per Million Metric British Thermal unit (MMBtu) when the production cost is RM15.00 per MMBtu. This was reviewed in 2009 to RM10.70 per MMBtu. It is now increased by RM3.00 to RM13.70 per MMBtu. The Government has agreed with TNB and the power companies for the increase cost of gas to be passed through to the consumers.

By reason of the grossly unfair power purchase agreements and the highly improper use of Petronas to sell its gas production below cost to the IPPs, the IPPs have made super profits since 1993.

The Barisan Nasional Government backed down from reviewing these unfair contracts and also surrendered to the IPPs' demand by not proceeding with the imposition of windfall taxes in 2008. The Prime Minister's brother, CIMB Group Chief Executive, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, described the imposition of the windfall tax as "shooting the golden goose". It is certain that Malaysian consumers are not reaping the golden eggs from the IPP goose. They are paying the cost of maintaining the goose.

In backing down from the review of the unfair contracts and not proceeding with the windfall tax, the Barisan Nasional Government has therefore chosen to protect the profits of the IPPs over the people.

I call upon the Barisan Nasional Government to immediately declassify and make public the power purchase agreements and the gas supply agreements. The public has a right to know the terms of these agreements and to take action to correct the wrongs if the Barisan Nasional Government does not have the courage of conviction to do the right thing.

WILLIAM LEONG JEE KEEN
Member of Parliament Selayang


Mixed feelings as Lynas panel wraps up meetings

Posted: 31 May 2011 07:21 AM PDT

Groups came away with mixed reactions as the expert review panel formed to study the safety aspects of the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (Lamp) completed two days of meetings with selected public representatives. Most who turned up for the 30-minute sessions on the second and last day of meetings today declined to comment on their private discussions, but those that did speak to the media appeared unconvinced that the project's benefits outweigh the potential risks. Full story: www.malaysiakini.com
Views: 282
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PKR files for court order to bar deregistration

Posted: 31 May 2011 07:08 AM PDT

Opposition party PKR today filed for an order from the Kuala Lumpur High Court to prohibit the Registrar of Societies (ROS) from carrying on with its implied threat, in a letter, to deregister the political party. "This is because the ROS letter is illegal and invalid," party vice-president N Surendran (right) said when met at the Kuala Lumpur courthouse lobby. Full story: malaysiakini.com Camera : Amir Abdullah Editing: Arvind Raj
Views: 238
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Najib: IPPs won't benefit from tariff hike

Posted: 31 May 2011 04:08 AM PDT

Independent power producers (IPPs) will not benefit from yesterday's increase in electricity tariffs, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak says. This follows the introduction of the Fuel Cost Pass-Through (FCPT) mechanism, under which national oil company Petronas will forgo part of its revenue to enable the power sector to produce low tariff electricity for the people, he said. Full story: malaysiakini.com
Views: 304
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Time: 04:50 More in News & Politics


Intimidation spooks anti-Lynas group - Part 2

Posted: 31 May 2011 03:35 AM PDT

Members of the Save Malaysia committee have decided not to meet the expert review panel as scheduled today, for fear of violent protests staged by a self-proclaimed pro-Lynas group since yesterday. Committee chairperson Tan Boon Teet said the situation has spiralled out of control, with physical intimidation by the pro-Lynas group to the extent of damaging a car belonging to an anti-Lynas protester. malaysiakini.com
Views: 457
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Time: 02:49 More in News & Politics


Memo demanding oil royalty as promised

Posted: 31 May 2011 03:21 AM PDT

Story to follow
Views: 321
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Time: 06:28 More in News & Politics


Lynas02

Posted: 30 May 2011 11:14 PM PDT

Members of the Save Malaysia committee have decided not to meet the expert review panel as scheduled today, for fear of violent protests staged by a self-proclaimed pro-Lynas group since yesterday. Committee chairperson Tan Boon Teet said the situation has spiralled out of control, with physical intimidation by the pro-Lynas group to the extent of damaging a car belonging to an anti-Lynas protester. malaysiakini.com
Views: 53
0 ratings
Time: 00:36 More in News & Politics


Intimidation spooks anti-Lynas group

Posted: 30 May 2011 10:11 PM PDT

Members of the Save Malaysia committee have decided not to meet the expert review panel as scheduled today, for fear of violent protests staged by a self-proclaimed pro-Lynas group since yesterday. Committee chairperson Tan Boon Teet said the situation has spiralled out of control, with physical intimidation by the pro-Lynas group to the extent of damaging a car belonging to an anti-Lynas protester. malaysiakini.com
Views: 2944
5 ratings
Time: 00:45 More in News & Politics


More Malays In Australia Now, Says Academic.

Posted: 31 May 2011 09:04 AM PDT

Thousands of Malays have migrated to Australia, citing career and business opportunities as reasons for their decision, said a Malaysian academic.

Universiti Utara Malaysia's Dr Ahmad Zaharuddin Sani said in the in the state of Victoria alone there were about 5,000 Malays, three-fourths of them either permanent residents or Australian citizens, according to a Bernama Online report today.

He said they were both professionals — doctors and engineers — and support staff.

The fellow at University of Melbourne's Asia Institute said most of them arrived after 1981 under family, skilled workers or business provisions for migration.

The increase coincided with Australian policy changes allowing overseas students to apply for stay extensions. Ahmad Zaharuddin explained this led to many students staying on indefinitely.

His research resulted in the book "Malays in Victoria", which was the idea of Victorian Malay Organisation president Zulkifli Ahmad. The Australian Multicultural Foundation released it last week.

Ahmad Zaharuddin said further that educational opportunities for their children also encouraged the migration, together with better work benefits, healthcare and Australia's multiculturalism.

The academic however was unhappy with Malays abroad who dissociate themselves from their ethnicity. He feels Malays should be proud although he admitted the term "Malay" was difficult for people abroad to understand.

Ahmad Zaharuddin gained his PhD from Universiti Malaya and has a Master of Theology degree from University of Nottingham.


Courtesy of The Malaysian Insider


IMF Chief

Posted: 31 May 2011 08:45 AM PDT

What "IMF" stands for now



A RETIREMENT HOME OR A RETIREMENT VILLAGE?

Posted: 31 May 2011 07:22 AM PDT

Photo: Age Concern, NZ
Came across this letter (below) in The Straits Times a few days ago.

Explore townships for the elderly


THE Government should consider planning and building small, special townships for the elderly. This is what I have in mind:

The township and its special apartments should be built in such a way that they facilitate the movement of the disabled and the slower pace of the elderly. The apartments should be sold to the elderly at specially discounted prices based on a 30-year lease, with a stipulation that they cannot be resold in the market.

The purchase of these units should be restricted to citizens aged 55 and above. It would be good if they have proper security such as fencing and alarm systems, with access to township restricted to registered residents. The township should include its own health-care centres, medical clinics, pharmacy, library, training centres, and Internet and entertainment centres.

A print ad for Retirement Villages, UK
News and entertainment media sources should be provided free or at a subsidised rate to all the township's housing units to keep the residents well-informed and entertained. The township should elect its own town council and be run independently, with some help from the Housing Board.

It should have an elder-care system manned by employed nurses and volunteers. There can also be a small hospice nearby. Such an initiative would capture a substantial number of the elderly who have reached the age where they need to live within their means and comfortably, without imposing on their children.

Chin Cheng Yeong
_________________________
Sounds like a retirement utopia. But seriously, would you want to live in a town where all your neighbours are aged 55+?


OBAMA MUST GO AFTER MAHATHIR MOHAMAD FOR HIS INKS WITH ABU SAYYAF HOMEGROWN BEHEADING HOSTAGESTERRORISTS

Posted: 31 May 2011 06:54 AM PDT

 

However, his attack against the Time magazine over the article was moderate as he was not personally mentioned and wanted to keep a lid on the possible links, said US diplomats.

DEALING WITH MISUARI

Manila's inability to play straight in the matter of deporting Muslim rebel leader Nur Misuari indicates that it is still not clear on how to tackle separatism in Mindanao.
AMIT BARUAH
in Singapore
NUR MISUARI and his Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are in the news once again. A peace accord that Misuari signed with the Philippines government in 1996 came unstuck and his followers staged a rebellion at the end of November.
On November 24, Misuari, 60, was detained in the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo island after he fled the southern Philippines, and since then Manila and Kuala Lumpur have been engaged in a ping-pong battle on his deportation.
More than 100 people were killed in clashes between MNLF supporters and government troops after the Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo decided to dump Misuari and support one of his opponents for the post of Governor of the Muslim autonomous region on Mindanao island. Arroyo is also engaged in peace talks, facilitated by Malaysia, with the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
One would have expected that Manila, which has charged Misuari with rebellion, would be keen on getting the Moro leader back from Malaysia as soon as possible. But that was not to be. Filipino leaders sent out conflicting statements on whether or not they wanted him back, giving rise to speculation that Arroyo would prefer to let Misuari remain outside the Philippines.
The Misuari issue has put some strain on the Philippines' cordial ties with Malaysia; it led to statements from Kuala Lumpur that Misuari may have to be sent to a third country if Manila refused to take him back. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, however, put the blame for the problem on Misuari rather than on Manila: "It is Misuari who has put Malaysia in a spot. Why can't he run away somewhere else… It (his presence) sours relations with neighbours."
CHARLIE SACEDA/REUTERSA recent picture of Philippine Muslim leader Nur Misuari.
Manila's flip-flop on Misuari, however, was in a special category. After Misuari was arrested on Arrival at Sabah, the Malaysian authorities stated that he was not wanted for any crime. The only charge, a minor one, was of entering the country without valid travel documents.
On December 11 Arroyo made a strange statement: "What the (Malaysian) police said is they don't have enough evidence. (The report) doesn't say they cleared him… We also checked with Malaysia last night. That (report) is at the level of the police. That's not at the level of the Prime Minister." She went on: "I have said before that we are ready to take Misuari back… we are already preparing his jail cell, his charges and the mode of arresting him."
The statement can only be interpreted as one full of hope. That Mahathir Mohamad would disagree with his police officers and arrest Misuari on some charge appeared to be Arroyo's fervent hope.
For reasons not yet spelt out, the Philippines government is of the view that Misuari at home can be a bigger problem than Misuari abroad. The government possibly believes that Misuari's return could lead to more violence and a trial could be used for political purposes. However, after linking Misuari with terrorist Abu Sayyaf, it is surprising that the Arroyo government does not want him back. Without doubt, the Philippines under Arroyo is a leading partner of the United States in countering terrorism and U.S. military advisers are working closely with Filipino security forces.
Misuari's links with Abu Sayyaf are doubtful, and if he does have any ties with Sayyaf, should not Arroyo and her government be keen on securing his immediate deportation to Manila? Finally, after even considering Libya as a possible asylum destination for Misuari, the Foreign Ministers of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines met in Manila on December 20 and agreed that the MNLF leader should be returned to the Philippines.
A joint statement issued by the three Foreign Ministers said: "The Philippines recognises the need to treat Nur Misuari with humanitarian consideration that he deserves as a signatory to the 1996 peace accord, even as he will be subject to the judicial process."
Just before the solution was announced, Roilo Golez, National Security Adviser to the Philippines President, said Libya was seen as a possible destination for Misuari. It is apparent that a "law and order" approach to the issue of 'Muslim' separatism in the southern Philippines has not worked. Playing one group against another has not worked' nor has it led to the creation of a viable authority in Mindanao in which the Moro people have trust.
By opening talks with the MILF, the Arroyo government has taken a positive, first step. But the 1996 peace accord with Misuari and his MNLF is dead. That is not a good sign for the Philippines – the November violence would indicate that Misuari and his supporters still have fight left in them.
While Misuari's critics say that he has achieved very little for the Moro people in the years he served as Governor, others believe that the "Christian" government in Manila did not provide sufficient resources to the autonomous authority. Whatever the truth, the fact remains that the Arroyo government continues to face a serious challenge to its authority in Mindanao. A political settlement must be inclusive, one which includes all factions to the conflict barring Abu Sayyaf's, which specialises in kidnapping, extortion and murder.
A distinction must be made between the terrorism of Abu Sayyaf and the problems of the Moro people. The movement for autonomy and a genuine demand for rights cannot be treated as a law and order problem.
Waffling on Misuari has revealed the contradictions in Manila's approach. Its inability to play straight in dealing with the Misuari issue reveals that the Philippines is still not clear how to tackle separatism in Mindanao
 Mahathir Mohamad was unusually moderate in his attacks against two articles which appeared to criticise his government in the Time and Fortune magazines in early 1995 as he was "not personally mentioned in the stories".
Also, Mahathir was not keen to pursue his attacks against the Time magazine article in particular as it involved his government's alleged links with the Abu Sayyaf movement from the Philippines.

readmore
http://themalay-chronicle.blogspot.com/2011/05/obama-must-go-after-mahathir-mohamad.html
or click this Obama must go after Mahathir Mohamad for his inks with Abu Sayyaf Homegrown Beheading HostagesTerrorists 



'The Muslim dilemma', rebutted

Posted: 31 May 2011 06:04 AM PDT

Today's edition of The Star has an article from an esteemed Muslim 'scholar' and 'thinker' on the causes of the malaise of Malaysia and other Muslim nations. 

If the author, one Dr Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad, Senior Fellow/Director Centre for the Study of Syariah [Shariah], Law and Politics proves anything, he proves how hopeless the Muslim world really is. As we Islamophobes are well aware, making Muslim societies both pious and progressive is a sisyphean task.

I've taken this writer's arguments apart over at Jihad Watch.  Have a look.


Selamat Ari Gawai 2011

Posted: 31 May 2011 04:31 AM PDT

Audie61 and the management team would like to take this opportunity to wish all our friends,supporters,allies,FELLOW SARAWAK BLOGGERS a very ' Happy Gawai Dayak ″ Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai"

 

Its also a time for reflections and to move on to a more healthy lifestyle and  also to share the love of  the community spirit and togetherness to everyone.

HAPPY GAWAI HOLIDAYS………..



Pasir Mas MP CORRECT CORRECT CORECT Suspend Rais Yatim and Najib Razak Murderer and Rapist

Posted: 31 May 2011 04:29 AM PDT

But I am not afraid.

Pasir Mas MP CORRECT CORRECT CORECT Suspend Rais Yatim and Najib Razak Murderer and Rapist

Your Case is not Over Minister, Scandalous Minister Raped his Indonesian Maid




KUALA LUMPUR: Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim has refuted allegations that he raped his Indonesian maid in 2007.

"I refute the allegations, whether they are about raping any individual four years ago (2007) or any other allegation, raised by bloggers on the Internet or by any political entity," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

He described the allegations against him in blog reports and by the Opposition as "heaps of libellous statements and awful, ugly and wicked lies".

"I state readily that any report by anyone so far related to this matter should be investigated under the country's laws," he said.

Dr Rais said he and his family members were prepared to extend full cooperation in such an investigation, and would accept and comply with any outcome of the official probe.

The allegations against a senior Malaysian Cabinet minister were contained in cables made public by whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.

Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) head Badrul Hisham Shaharin, or better known as Chegu Bard said it was strange that the minister had remained quiet although it had been days since the issue was first raised.

"As far as we are concerned, he is only guilty until proven guilty. He is still an innocent party but he must come forward and say something…Malaysians would assume that he is guilty if he continues to keep quiet," he said.

Badrul Hisham said this before lodging a report on the matter at the Seremban 2 police station here.

"He must say something because almost every blogger isl talking about it. Although he is still innocent, the manner his name is being mentioned shows that he is guilty of the crime as he has chose to remain silent," he said.

Following the revelation by Wikileaks, Migrant Care, a non-governmental organisation which looked into the wellbeing of Indonesian workers lodged a police report claiming that the victim was allegedly raped in Feb 2007. She was then deported to Indonesia.

Badul Hisham said since the minister had made a police report against a blogger immediately after the latter claimed that there were irregularities in the awarding of contracts in his ministry, it was only proper for the minister to respond to the latest allegation promptly.

"We are worried that being a senior minister, he can be blackmailed if he does not openly deny the charge. This will eventually become a problem to national security," he said.

He said the police should also immediately start a probe into the allegation.

"If the police remains quiet, then the people would say that ministers are a privileged lot and given special protection," he said adding that the minister should be suspended from his official duties pending the outcome of the investigations.

Badrul Hisham said if the authorities failed to address then allegation, this could cause unnecessary tension in ties between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.

"We are giving the police 14 days to begin its probe into the allegation failing which we would be forced to adopt more drastic measures to compel the authorities to do so," he said.

Meanwhile, PKR Youth said it believed the allegations concerning the rape of an Indonesian domestic helper by a Malaysian minister are true, said Youth head Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin.

"PKR Youth views such revelations seriously. The incident happened on Feb 19, 2007 but the (survivor) has been forced to keep mum as threats were made against her," he claimed in a statement in a news portal.

He said no action had been taken against the minister for fear of regional conflict.

"The issue is being hotly debated in the cyber-world. As to the validity of the allegation, only (the minister) and God know (the truth)," he said, adding that the issue would affect ties between Malaysia and Indonesia if no action was taken.

He urged for an in-depth investigation to be conducted.

"The minister concerned should also come forward and set the record straight if there is no truth to the allegation," he said.

He said PKR Youth would conduct a fact-finding mission to Indonesian non-govermental organisation Migrant Care who wrote the report after interviewing the victim, as well as to other Indonesian agencies.

The website also quoted Shamsul as saying that PKR Youth member, Badrul Hisham Shaharin – better known as Chegubard – planned to lodge a police report on the issue.

On Monday, Malaysiakini published a story entitled "Alleged rape victim fears minister's reach" in which it quoted a purported letter by the victim's younger sister who wanted justice to be done.

———————————————-
Here is some of the leaked messages thru Wikileaks….
———————————————-

We Are Extremely Concern About The Alarming Increases In Number Of Such Rape And Physical Abuses Incidents Happened In Malaysia Two Years Ago We Failed To Advocate For An Indonesian Maid Who Was Raped By A Minister From Kedah We Wish To Express Our Gratitude Towards The Concern Of Ok Kita Tinggalkan Isu Rais Yatim Pasal Kes Rogol Amah Indon Tu Cuma Kita Nak Tunggu Samada RTM12 Dan 3 Serta Akhbar2 Pencacai Sekalian Nak Mainkan 3 Beberapa Jam Yang Lalu

Pak Lah Covered Up Ministers Rape Case According To Popular Blog Rockys Bru An International Nongovernmental Organisation Had Also Reported That The Alleged Rape Happened In Kuala Lumpur 11 Beberapa Jam Yang Lalu


How can I tell a story we already know too well? Her name was Africa. His was France. He colonized her, exploited her, silenced her, and even decades after it was supposed to have ended, still acted with a high hand in resolving her affairs in places like Côte d'Ivoire, a name she had been given because of her export products, not her own identity.
Her name was Asia. His was Europe. Her name was silence. His was power. Her name was poverty. His was wealth. Her name was Her, but what was hers? His name was His, and he presumed everything was his, including her, and he thought he could take her without asking and without consequences. It was a very old story, though its outcome had been changing a little in recent decades. And this time around the consequences are shaking a lot of foundations, all of which clearly needed shaking.
Who would ever write a fable as obvious, as heavy-handed as the story we've just been given? The extraordinarily powerful head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a global organization that has created mass poverty and economic injustice, allegedly assaulted a hotel maid, an immigrant from Africa, in a hotel's luxury suite in New York City.
Worlds have collided. In an earlier era, her word would have been worthless against his and she might not have filed charges, or the police might not have followed through and yanked Dominique Strauss-Kahn off the plane to Paris at the last moment. But she did, and they did, and now he's in custody, and the economy of Europe has been dealt a blow, and French politics have been upended, and that nation is reeling and soul-searching.
What were they thinking, these men who decided to give him this singular position of power, despite all the stories and evidence of such viciousness? What was he thinking when he decided he could get away with it? Did he think he was in France, where apparently he did get away with it? Only now is the young woman who says he assaulted her in 2002 pressing charges – her own politician mother talked her out of it, and she worried about the impact it could have on her journalistic career (while her mother was apparently worrying more about his career). 
And the Guardian reports that these stories "have added weight to claims by Piroska Nagy, a Hungarian-born economist, that the fund's director engaged in sustained harassment when she was working at the IMF that left her feeling she had little choice but to agree to sleep with him at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2008. She alleged he persistently called and emailed on the pretext of asking questions about [her expertise,] Ghana's economy, but then used sexual language and asked her out."
In some accounts, the woman Strauss-Kahn is charged with assaulting in New York is from Ghana, in others a Muslim from nearby Guinea. "Ghana — Prisoner of the IMF" ran a headline in 2001 by the usually mild-mannered BBC. Its report documented the way the IMF's policies had destroyed that rice-growing nation's food security, opening it up to cheap imported U.S. rice, and plunging the country's majority into dire poverty. Everything became a commodity for which you had to pay, from using a toilet to getting a bucket of water, and many could not pay. Perhaps it would be too perfect if she was a refugee from the IMF's policies in Ghana.  Guinea, on the other hand, liberated itself from the IMF management thanks to the discovery of major oil reserves, but remains a country of severe corruption and economic disparity.
Pimping for the Global North
There's an axiom evolutionary biologists used to like: "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny," or the development of the embryonic individual repeats that of its species' evolution. Does the ontogeny of this alleged assault echo the phylogeny of the International Monetary Fund? After all, the organization was founded late in World War II as part of the notorious Bretton Woods conference that would impose American economic visions on the rest of the world.
The IMF was meant to be a lending institution to help countries develop, but by the 1980s it had become an organization with an ideology — free trade and free-market fundamentalism.  It used its loans to gain enormous power over the economies and policies of nations throughout the global South.
However, if the IMF gained power throughout the 1990s, it began losing that power in the twenty-first century, thanks to powerful popular resistance to the economic policies it embodied and the economic collapse such policies produced. Strauss-Kahn was brought in to salvage the wreckage of an organization that, in 2008, had to sell off its gold reserves and reinvent its mission.
Sex Video After the Screen Shots:SEE HIM HAVING SEXWITH THE INDONESIAN MAID READ MORE AND MORE PICTURE



Why Muslim cultures lag behind- the Muslim perspective

Posted: 31 May 2011 03:50 AM PDT

By the Anti Jihadist

Recently, in a discussion at Jihad Watch as to why Muslim cultures noticeably lagging behind much of the rest of the world, the following eight traits were summarised as characteristics of the dysfunctional societies of Islam:
  1. Belief in magic
  2. Belief in conspiracies
  3. Lack of innovation
  4. Lack of devotion to non-family/non tribal/non clan organisations
  5. Lack of empowerment of women
  6. Lack of personal responsibility
  7. Lack of skilled labour
  8. Lack of meritocracy
Interestingly enough, an article appeared today in one of Malaysia's English daily newspapers that addresses this very topic. Entitled "The Muslim dilemma today", its author Dr. Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad, Senior Fellow/Director at the Centre for the Study of Syariah, Law, and Politics, attempts to also summarise the reasons why Muslim nations are stagnating and falling behind. As the Doctor is the director of a major organisation in Malaysia and writing an editorial in a government-backed newspaper, it can be reasonably surmised that he is in fact writing on behalf and with the full backing of Malaysia's Muslim-controlled government.

I started reading Doctor Azhar's article eagerly, hoping that the distinguished, esteemed writer (at least to Muslims) and 'Islamic scholar' would have had the decency to be plainspoken and the courage to let loose at least a little of the truth.  It's probably hardly surprising to the 'Islamophobes' reading this, but I was soon to be disappointed.  Worse than that, I found the good Doctor's words plainly wrong-headed and disturbing, in yet another instance of denial and self-deception.

Regardless, the good Doctor's words are worth analysing, deconstructing and given a thorough debunking. The analysis is especially needed because Doctor Azhar, as a quasi bureaucrat, writes in encoded bureaucratic language that will baffle many outsiders who try to follow his thinking.

First, the doctor starts by saying this:

MUSLIMS, regardless of times and locations, have been facing a varied magnitude of challenges since the very inception of Islam. This will never cease to happen.

But how could all these 'challenges' happen?  After all, Islam is supposed to be the perfect 'deen', the perfect religion and the best way of life for everyone. That's the pitch, at any rate. So why is life so hard for Muslims? Maybe because Islam is not all that it's cracked up to be?  But never mind that for the moment.

Let's examine the conditions of Muslims in this country today. They are generally in a state of crisis almost in every respect of life – religiously, socially, economically and politically. ... But the above phenomenon can be discerned, among other things, from the increasing number of ignorant, secular and non-practising Muslims.

The first sentence is true enough.  But while the first part is blindingly obvious, the second sentence is an oblique nod to the usual Islamic sham; namely, any difficulties for Muslims are either due to the scheming of evil outsiders (i.e. non Muslims) or due to the fact that many Muslims are insufficiently pious. This typical Islamic drivel should warn the clear-thinking that this 'doctor's' writing is not to be taken seriously.

In terms of politics, Muslims basically rule the country, but have been perceived as compromising too much, even on fundamental matters, at the expense of their own interests and dignity.

The references to 'compromise' and 'dignity' are not explained, so allow me to elucidate. It means anytime when Muslims treat the followers of other belief systems in Malaysia (Christians, Buddhists, Hindus) too much like equals. Namely, if a Buddhist is ever treated as the equal of of a Muslim, or anything approaching equal terms, then this is seen as a 'compromise' to Islam's/Muslims' 'dignity'.  And note the author's use of passive- perceived as compromising by who?  This bureaucrat of a writer fails to specify, but I strongly suspect he is referring to the various Muslim pressure groups in Malaysia (Perkasa et al) who constantly agitate for more Islamic 'purity' and 'devoutness' for Malaysians (i.e. more Shariah).

On with the good Doctor's argument.

Once ignorance spreads from top to bottom and defines the character of the ummah, the community will have no integrity and strength. ... They will gradually become more fragile and vulnerable to foreign influences, especially harmful ones.

It is this foregoing disintegration of internal qualities of the Muslim ummah that causes confusion and disunity.
 
Remember those scheming evil nonbelievers? According to Doctor Azhar, these 'foreign influences' are extraordinarily dangerous to Believers (Muslims), a position which adheres quite well to Muslim orthodoxy.  What Azhar has primarily in mind is probably the influence of Western culture, which naturally is harmful to Muslims and their supposed 'perfect' way of life. And since everyone is failing to show up at the mosque every Friday, that's the 'disunity' he is lamenting about.       

The most disturbing part of Doctor Azhar's argument is his closing, in which he states:

[Muslims should] give priority to religious consideration or interests and put aside differences in facing their common enemies.

Who are those enemies exactly, Doctor Azhar?  Of course, he's keeping it vague here, but Islamic scripture makes it quite clear who he is referring to. So, if you're a non Muslim and you're reading this, you are one of those "common enemies" that he means.  Doesn't this sound peace-loving, open-minded and tolerant? 

So, to recap, here's Doctor Azhar's list for why the Ummah is stumbling so badly:
  • Lack of Islamic piety
  • Being too open to outside/'enemy' influences
  • Lack of unity
This is what we can expect from the finest minds of Planet Islam. Now, compare his list with the one at the beginning of this column. Which do you think is a better diagnosis?

Doctor Azhar, with all due respect, I suggest a different remedy for you and your co-religionists. Recognize the equality of the so-called 'infidel', embrace your 'common enemies' as 'fellow humans' instead, and acknowledge the universal brotherhood of mankind. As these are all inherently unIslamic ideas, I am sure devout Muslims will not take heed. But there's a chance that the "ignorant, secular and non-practising Muslims" will.


Anwar Ibrahim’s Western Public Relations Effort Failing?

Posted: 31 May 2011 03:33 AM PDT

You can only trick so many people......... as the saying goes!

In the West, we tend to ignore the Muslim countries of Southeast Asia too often in favor of the more rambunctious Middle East; whether this is because we are concentrating our limited energies on the larger problem spot, or ignoring places where things are going well, is probably a function of one's particular outlook on life. Regardless of the source of this disregard, it is an error as great as choosing to ignore the safe streets in city planning in favor of the bullet-ridden ones. The good things don't last without some tending of their own.

That leads to Malaysia, a moderate Muslim country with strong trade ties to the United States, that we too often ignore along with its other, moderate neighbors in favor of a pointless bombing campaign in Libya and other adventures in futility. Malaysia has done well for itself, holding fast to a moderate strain of Islam while continuing to grow energetically. It is not heaven on earth, but it is better than most Muslim nations, with religious minorities freely practicing their faith, and calls for extremism loudly and roundly denounced by most Malaysians. It is in and from this fertile ground that Malaysia's current prime minister, Najib Razak, boldly decried the practice of suicide bombing, eschewing the usual Islam-means-peace pablum for a concrete denunciation of murder and suicide, explicitly calling them contrary to Islam and a mark of barbarism.

This is especially significant because English is the lingua franca of Malaysia, and so Najib's Oxford speech was reported and understood at home. He cannot — and to his credit, does not — play the all-too-common game of tell-the-non-Muslims-what-they-want-to-hear, revert-to-death-to-the-Jews-death-to-America at home.

His political opposite cannot say the same.

I'm on the record having a low opinion of Anwar Ibrahim, but that's only because he's a virulent anti-Semite with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood who formed an opposition coalition in his country by recruiting a political party best known for calling for volunteers to fight with the Taliban against the United States. So, you know, little things. But what's worse is how he has played the nasty demagogue at home, then played the good democrat in the West; and what's worse than that is how the Western policy establishment has historically tolerated this.

This is one of those critically easy policy rules: If someone is blathering about the Jews being the source of the world's problems, or, more particularly, his own, he is a very bad man, a nutter, or both. You don't need to be a failed painter with a nasty little mustache, a figurehead president with alleged (and hastily denied!) Jewish ancestry, or a former military juntaist whom we have unaccountably not snuffed as he has gone on to destroy one of the most vibrant and productive economies in Latin America for this to be so. You can be an opposition leader trying to wrest control of your country's parliamentary system from someone you casually describe as being controlled by the Jews.

Indeed, given his ready trafficking in old anti-Semitic (and anti-Christian) tropes, it is a wonder the extent to which Anwar has retained so much of the goodwill he managed to rack up in the late Nineties. People whom many of us (I include myself) have respected for years tend to shock us by excusing away Anwar's disturbing tells. Probably the best, single example of this I've seen has been Jackson Diehl excusing the anti-Semitism as an unfortunately necessary means of political survival (while giving Anwar an on-the-record opportunity to explain away his minutes-long rant as the result of a slip of the tongue), and giving Paul Wolfowitz, who really should know better, a chance to provide Anwar some same-themed cover. That neither man would tolerate this sort of doublespeak out of, say, a Saudi prince is a telling indictment of their willingness to suspend their disbelief at inconvenient times.

Diehl and Wolfowitz are hardly alone. For years — since at least 2008, when Anwar first explained his failure to win a national election as the result of the American Jewish Lobby doing … something — Western policymakers and opinion makers have given the man a free pass, ignoring each round of particularly vicious anti-Semitism as it occurs. Anwar has helpfully made himself available without pause or cessation, ready to say one thing to any Western voice that would listen, and another at home; he has been his own best press agent.

A strange thing seems to have happened of late, though. Anwar is on trial for forced sodomy (mistakenly described by Diehl and others who should know better as consensual sodomy), and the judge presiding over the case has allowed it to go forward. In a matter of days, Anwar will have to present his defense, and will doubtless explain again to Western ears that he is a beleaguered democrat facing a political charge (something the Washington Post seems inclined to believe credulously), and tell audiences at home that this is because of the Jews, the Israeli special ops, and/or the Americans.

But as yet, there is no groundswell of spontaneous opinion writing in his defense. There is no remarkable wave of excuses and dire warnings about democracy in Malaysia. There is, instead, silence.

I would submit this is the result of two, critical factors.

First, Anwar's political touch is turning out to make a lot more lead than gold. Most recently, he has taken to excusing away his inability to move the needle in local elections, in the process doing critical damage to his coalition's efforts in advance of the upcoming national elections by insulting a vital, potential ally. He compounded this by accusing the people of Sarawak — where he carefully hid his ties with radical Islam during the local elections, to no avail — of racism for failing to support his ticket, a charge that is not merely not helpful, but has the added bonus of being based on a complete misunderstanding of the facts on the ground.

The Western press likes winners and canny underdogs. It's not quite so hot on fools who cannot keep their feet from their mouths.

The second, critical element here is the Obama Administration's approach to Malaysia. I have been a not-infrequent critic of the Obama Administration's foreign policy — confused, overt deference to the genocidal People's Republic of China, and a willingness to snub the world's most populous democracy are not actually achievements of which Americans should be proud — but this is one area in which the Administration seems to have caught on more quickly than its outside supporters and critics. Not only is the Secretary of State praising Najib's call for religious moderation, but the Administration as a whole is treating Anwar as a matter of secondary importance.

And as we learned during the 2008 Presidential campaign, the media are nothing if not sensitive to the directions open and implicit of this President.

The next few months will be interesting to watch. Anwar's trial will conclude with a verdict of some kind, and Malaysia will move toward its next national election. In the face of dual pressure, it would seem reasonable to assume that Anwar will step up his availability and his lobbying of the Administration to build support either for his appeal (if convicted) or his election efforts (regardless of the trial's outcome).

Whether his one-man public relations campaign yields the same willingness to ignore rank anti-Semitism and tolerance of Islamist lunacy will rest on the Administration's willingness to stand by its prior positions (an open question) and whether Anwar continues to inject his foot into his mouth when blood libels are not leaving it.


Kittar’s Name That Nipple & Pussy Contest our President Dabble in Gay Sex

Posted: 31 May 2011 03:01 AM PDT

THIS NIPPLES ARE MINE 

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There are two ways that you can experience the intoxicating joy, profound peace and ecstatic wakefulness of the Ground of Being: spontaneously or through effort.
Spontaneously, like an unexpected visit from God, for no particular reason the doors of perception can open, expanding your awareness to reveal a higher and deeper dimension of consciousness. This kind of event often happens in the company of an enlightened master who has access to this unmanifest ground, or in a group of dedicated individuals who have come together for a higher purpose. But you can also experience the ground of being simply through your own disciplined effort, through choosing to step beyond the conditioned mind.
A spontaneous experience is a source of tremendous inspiration because it proves something to you, directly. When you unexpectedly discover the shocking clarity of bliss consciousness, without having made any effort to attain it, it compels you to acknowledge the existence of a deeper, higher dimension of your own self. But extraordinary and miraculous as they are, spontaneous experiences are rarely enough to finally liberate us from an unenlightened relationship to the mind and emotions. More often, they will simply reveal how extraordinary our potential for liberation is, here and how, and simultaneously expose how deluded we are most of the time.
A spontaneous experience of higher consciousness is like a free ride to heaven. But to stay there we have to be willing to pay the price. That means that at a moment's notice, we have to be willing to do battle with the demons of fear and doubt. True liberation is something we all have to be willing to fight for. Sometimes it may be easy, but at other times you will find yourself overwhelmed by fear, doubt, confusion, narcissistic concerns and materialistic desires. So the willingness to make effort has to be unconditional in relationship to your own mind. That willingness is what creates receptivity to higher consciousness in each and every one of us. When you are willing to make the noble effort to liberate yourself, to consistently struggle to make the right choices for the right reasons, it creates a receptive inner atmosphere. Through the disciplined practice of meditation, the conscious, consistent renunciation of the mind and emotions, you create a fertile ground within you for higher consciousness.


‘If They Are Fit, Let Them Work’ - By Kay Wee Tan.

Posted: 31 May 2011 12:51 AM PDT

Trade unions feel that the term brain drain should also apply to senior citizens. They feel that once a healthy individual with vast experience is told to leave when he or she reaches retirement age, the company will face a brain drain.

Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general Abdul Halim Mansor said those in their late 50s and 60s are hardworking, healthy and an asset to any company.

"In the private sector they are forced to retire at 55 even though they can work for another 10 years," Abdul Halim said.

In January, MTUC proposed to the Human Resouces Ministry to extend the retirement age of workers in the private sector to 58 to be on par with the public sector.

In April, Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam indicated that the retirement age of those in the private sector may be raised to 58 .

"We feel that 58 is still too early to retire and want the age increased to 60," Halim said.

"First World countries like Belgium, United Kingdom and Japan have set the retirement age at 65. Unfortunately in Malaysia, the retirement age is still below 60 and we are in the same bracket as Guyana, Bangladesh and Nepal," he added.

No healthcare plan

National Council of Senior Citizens Organisations Malaysia has said that the life span of the two million senior citizens in Malaysia are 72 for males and 75 years for females.

From a financial point, increasing their retirement age will give them more security.

Unlike civil servants, private sectors employees do not receive pensions. They only have the Employees Provident Fund (EPF ).

According to many studies, retired employees use up the EPF within five years.

"They need to keep on working because the cost of living has gone up and unlike the public sector, there is no healthcare plan for them," Halim said.

A former banker said that he completely finished the EPF fund in three years. He said that he has to work part-time as an accountant to keep going.

Halim also said that employers should not wait for the government to make a move. They should on their own re-employ those who are capable and are an asset to the company.


Courtesy of Free Malaysia Today


Perlu Ambil Calon Timbalan Presiden yang "Kebal UMNO"

Posted: 30 May 2011 10:56 PM PDT


Abg Mat Sabu seorang yang telah menghabiskan hampir seluruh umur beliau melawan UMNO. Bak kata orang tua-tua, kalau Abg Mat dicincang 30 pun, beliau tetap tidak akan duduk bersama dengan UMNO dalam satu saf.

Di zaman UMNO gagah dan perkasa dan di zaman PAS lemah dan ditindas (antara pilihanraya 1982 ke 1995), Abg Mat dengan berani melawan dan menentang UMNO sehingga merengkok dalam ISA sebanyak 2 kali.

Ada pun calon2 lain untuk jawatan Timbalan Presiden masih belum teruji.

Komitmen Ustaz Nasaruddin kepada agenda PERPADUANG dengan UMNO adalah satu fakta yang tidak dapat dinafikan lagi.

Adapun Ustaz Tuan Ibrahim bukanlah terkenal dengan agenda ini.

Namun, Ustaz Tuan Ibrahim terkenal dengan sikap "wala'" beliau.

Apa akan jadi sekiranya Tok Guru pergi meninggalkan kita dan Majlis Syura Ulama pula dikuasai oleh mereka2 yang jelas komited dengan agenda PERPADUANG?

Adakah Dato Tuan Ibrahim akan menolak arahan Syura untuk "BERPADU" dengan UMNO?

Tulang Besi sendiri merasakan ianya tidak akan berlaku.

Lebih lebih lagi Dato Tuan Ibrahim mempunyai hubungan rapat dengan PAS TErengganu.

Tidak hairanlah akhbar2 harian serta MUBARAK (persatuan yang 100% UMNO) juga menyokong Dato Tuan Ibrahim sebagai Timbalan Presiden PAS.

Bukan kerana Dato' Tuan Ibrahim ini PRO PERPADUANG sangat. Tapi, mereka amat arif dengan sikap WALA' Dato Tuan Ibrahim yang akan membantu agenda PERPADUANG mereka.

Adapun, Abang Mat Sabu, kita boleh harap untuk memastikan AGENDA PERPADUANG tidak menjadi kesampaian.

Kalau Ustaz Nasa, memang confirm akan terjadi PERPADUANG, tak payah wala'2.

Itu sahajalah "reservation" Tulang Besi berkaitan Dato Tuan Ibrahim. Bukan Tulang Besi kata dia jahat atau PRO UMNO. Tapi, tak konfiden beliau mampu melawan agenda PERPADUANG atas sikap beliau yang wala' itu.

Tulang Besi


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