Friday, March 31, 2006

Deep Thrusts of 9MP: What Orgasms To Expect...

I'm not going to bore you with the long speech and migraine-inducing facts and figures as I know most of you wouldn't give a damn anyway. Read the full speech here yourself and check out some facts and figures from here.

What orgasms to expect from-the 5 thrusts, in Ahbengiflied/Ahlianified form:

1. More jobs especially in ICT, biotechnology and services. Private sector rulezzz...

2. ‘First class mentality’ R&D. No more 'shooting from the hip', Mickey Mouse and 'Jaguh Kampung' research? Only high tech ones.

3. Sama-sama kaya, sama-sama makan kek.

4. Saying no to more
'water festivals', shitty water etc. Resources must take Viagra to maintain it tegang-tegang.

5. No more
sloths? Catching big fishes in the sea, no matter gomen, private of public.

More Ahbenglified/Ahlianified version of the 9MP soon... No need anymore. Nobody's interested. But there's one which caught my interest:

Helloooo there!

Wait...did I heard someone knocking on my door? Neh...it's just the milkman...

Jinx From Own's Blabber Mouth?

Sebab mulut laser, badan binasa? (Jinx from own's blabber mouth?)

Blabber mouth. Image source.

Zam vs. Kali's Battle Royale Continues...

The Battle Royale between Zam and Kali continues openly at the Parliament. From Bernama: Malaysian Newspapers Told To Be Instruments For Nationalism.

"Nationalistic Malaysia, Not Malaysian Malaysia."

Newspapers in Malaysia should not act as the voices for foreign concepts of freedom and democracy but instead should be instruments for the formation of a nationalistic Malaysia and not Malaysian Malaysia, the Dewan Rakyat was told Thursday.

Referring to the New Straits Times, Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin said the newspaper had published a feature article on Jan 4, 2006 that aimed to destroy the Malay identity in Malaysia.

The newspaper had also carried another article which gave the impression that a person had converted to Islam because of the dominance of Malays in the armed forces, he said.

"This is not a Malaysian doctrine but the legacy of a foreign doctrine that had resulted in a tragedy in Malaysia," he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address for his ministry.

The Zam's Bolehland Version of 'Press Freedom'

At the same time, he said, some segments of the media had misinterpreted the freedom and transparency promoted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"They have disregarded the norms and principles of Malaysian laws which all this while have guided the freedom of the press in the country," he said.

This could be seen in the coverage of the nude ear squat video controversy involving a woman detainee at a police station last year, he said.

"We could see several newspapers were biased, emotional and lopsided in their reporting. They claimed the woman was a Chinese national but it was later revealed she was a Malaysian Malay," said Zainuddin.

He said newspapers indulging in sensational reporting like this incident did not care about the sensitivities of the people.

The result was diminishing respect for and anger against the police and shame for the country, he said.

Cartoon witch hunt

Touching on the issue of RTM showing a video footage of the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad which were originally carried by a Danish newspaper, he said the ministry had issued show cause letters to the officers involved.

"Disciplinary action will be taken against any officer found responsible for airing the pictures of the caricatures," he said.

He said RTM decided on the action despite the Internal Security Ministry informing it that programmes broadcast by RTM were not governed by the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

Zainuddin apologised for the mistake by RTM in airing the cartoons.

"The ministry regrets the incident as the gatekeepers or video editors overlooked the sensitivity of the news clip although it was a fleeting visual footage.

"This is not the same as a still photo which can be easily seen and picked for publication in a newspaper or magazine," he said.

While the newspaper headlines was dominated by the 'MV Augusta sale with just 1 Euro', the observant Zam did not miss out the 'Jan 4th article'. I do not have the luxury of purchasing back archives or resourcing the library's newspaper archives for the Jan 4th article, but I managed to find an article on 4th January by the NST Editorial. It was about Kayveas though. However, when I searched further painstakingly, I managed to find what Kali wrote in the Sunday Column on 8th of January. Here is the reproduction of the article, sourced from Berita Malaysia.

[deleted-seemed to be the wrong article]

This should be the one, according to Little Bird Neil from Screenshots:

Defending Malaysia's Diversity

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has a well-deserved reputation for integrity and for the propagation of Islam Hadhari - a moderate, modernist Islam focused on basic principles and the pursuit of knowledge. But official Islam in Malaysia continues to play into the hands of Islamophobes everywhere and upset the 45 per cent or so of Malaysia's population who are non-Muslim.

Two current issues suggest that Abdullah will have to invest more of his own political capital in bringing a narrow official Islam into line with his own vision of an inclusivist faith that is intellectually alive and can coexist easily with the nation's large Hindu, Christian, Buddhist and other minorities.

In one case last week, a religious court declared that a deceased, M.Moorthy, a member of the first Malaysian team to climb Mount Everest, was a Muslim - and insisted that he be buried according to Muslim rites - despite the fact that he had been born a Hindu and, according to testimony by his wife and family, had never converted to Islam. The powers of the Muslim religious authorities were then confirmed by the High Court, which ruled it could not intervene in a decision by the religious court. In other words, in modern, multi-ethnic, inclusivist
Malaysia, the religious courts are a law unto themselves.

This is particularly worrying for non-Muslims. But it has wider implications in a society where all Malays are deemed to be Muslims, whatever they actually believe, and where religious movements by Malays have recently been persecuted on the grounds that they were judged heretical by the religious authorities. One sect that had been declared "apostates" recently saw its headquarters razed to the ground.

In another current case, a new Islamic Family Law has been rammed through Parliament. Although it has the legitimate aim of standardising the implementation of Syariah, Muslim women from across the religious/political spectrum see it as a backward step that enhances an already male-biased law. It will, they say, make polygamy and divorce easier for men, and reduce a wife's property and maintenance rights in the event of polygamy.

This legislation is being spearheaded by none other than the Prime Minister's Department. Bowing to old legal interpretations of Syariah on family issues is in contrast to Abdullah's public rhetoric calling for a progressive Islam, constantly reinventing itself in response to contemporary challenges and social conditions. "The notion that the Islamic concept of law is absolute and hence immutable has resulted in intellectual inertia," he has said, noting that "pluralism and diversity" were keys to the universality of the Muslim message.

As ever in Malaysia, the underlying themes may be more about political power struggles than religious beliefs. The governing Umno must compete for Malay votes with the fundamentalist Pas.

Religion can be a weapon, too, in Umno's internal politics. As with Christians in the United States, religious pressure groups exert political influence at the margin
out of proportion to their numbers and politicians cynically use the groups for their own ends.

Abdullah generally has the trust of non-Malays, and Malays can recognise that his own beliefs are sincere, not the product of political calculation. That cannot be easily said of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister who proclaims liberal principles to receptive Western audiences but increasingly flirts with Islamic fundamentalism as he seeks to return to Malaysian politics.

In reality, Malaysian society is a lot more plural and tolerant than
politicians' statements sometimes suggest.

Nonetheless, the currents show the difficulty that Abdullah faces in reversing the trends of 20 years under his predecessor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

While Dr Mahathir's own agenda was an aggressively modernising nationalism, for political reasons he allowed religious authorities to expand their power at the expense of secular forces. In many areas, including dress, Malay traditions have been abandoned to conform with alien but supposedly more Islamic practices imported from the Middle East.

Natural wealth and a benign history have enabled Malaysia to prosper economically while religious/ethnic divides have grown, at least in peninsular Malaysia. (Things are different in the ethnically more diverse Sabah and Sarawak.)

It may be hard to admit this in Kuala Lumpur, but Malaysia badly needs to look to Indonesia for an example of how to be a modern, multiethnic state. That will eventually require ending the automatic identification of "Malay" with "Muslim" and acknowledging that different interpretations of Islam can coexist within the same predominantly Muslim state.

In Indonesia, pluralism and Islam are synonymous, but in Malaysia the links between religious authorities and a state with huge powers of bureaucratic patronage are inhibiting for both.

Unless Malaysia's Prime Minister tackles the social gap between Muslims and non-Muslims, it will continue to grow, whatever the claims of tourist brochures about Malaysian multiculturalism. Capital will continue to exit the country, and Abdullah's vision of Islam Hadhari will be stillborn.

Could that be the article-the call for 'Malaysian Malaysia'?

Now, what's Taiko's say on this?

The writer of the article is still unknown. Check out Jeff's post.

Helicopter Blade Freak Death: It Always Need To Involve Someone Well-Known To Be Noticed

UPDATED 10th April: The Police has wrapped up the investigation on the mishap. But whether the findings will be made public or not is still unknown.

Police Wrap Up Investigation On Helicopter Mishap

PENANG, April 10 (Bernama) -- Police have wrapped up the investigations on the death of Joseph Chan, the General Manager of Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd, who was killed after the helicopter rotor blade struck his head at a field in Ladang Batu Kawan last month.

State Police Chief Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee on Monday said the investigation papers are ready and would be sent to the deputy public prosecutor's office on Wednesday.

"Based on the investigation, we have classified Chan's death as sudden death," he said when met after Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak officiated the Tun Razak Camp in Bukit Gedung here.

On March 30, Chan was killed on the spot when the rotor blades of helicopter rented by his company to provide an aerial tour for members of the media on a land development project belonging to the parent company Equine Capital Sdn Bhd struck his head while preparing to take off.

***

Helicopter flying lowly. "Hidup Rakyat!" Hmm...what do those two phrases remind you of? The fuel hike protest? Neh...this time, it is about the freak accidental death of Joseph Chan, the General Manager of housing development company Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd. From Bernama:





Abad Naluri GM Killed After Hit By Heli Rotor Blade

NIBONG TEBAL, March 30 (Bernama) -- Joseph Chan, general manager of housing development company Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd, was killed after he was hit on the head by a rotor blade of a helicopter at Batu Kawan Estate here Thursday.

Chan, 45, died on the spot at a football field where the helicopter had landed with a fourth group of journalists and photographers who had been taken on an aerial tour of the site being developed by the company as Bandar Cassia.

The accident happened between 1.20 pm and 1.30 pm just before the helicopter was about to take five or six students on the aerial tour, Seberang Perai Selatan police chief Supt Khaw Kok Chin said.

He said Chan inspected the left door of the helicopter to ensure that it was fastened while the pilot checked the right door.

Chan then went to the front of the aircraft and was hit by one of the revolving rotor blades, he added.

Now, remember the numerous complaints about those annoying helicopters flying lowly trying to disrupt the speeches of opposition leaders during the fuel hike protest at KLCC? Here's a letter from MalaysiaKini:



...and another picture of the fuel-guzzing helicopters:



Now, when you would anticipate the setting up of another commitee again to 'investigate the case' (just like the Liew Boon Horng's one), would you expect they would do the same if any of the fuel hike protesters were murdered freakingly?

Bacteria Rights Group Speaking Up in Malaysian Parliament?

Apparently, the human rights CAUCUS in Parliament who wanted the formation of IPCMC has been lowered to as a nothing but a 'germ group' by Bernama.

DO NOT BLINK YOUR EYES.

Human Rights Coccus Wants Police Watchdog Speeded Up

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 (Bernama) -- The Parliament Human Rights Coccus wants the government to speed up the proposed Independent Police Complains and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

"Until today, IPCMC is yet to be established though the prime minister had said it would be established immediately," said a member of the coccus Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (BN-Kota Baharu) at the Parliament lobby here Thursday.

He said IPCMC had handed over a memorandum on the matter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi recently.

"The memorandum is to show support for the IPCMC and urged the government to speed up its establishment," he said.

He also said the Royal Malaysian Police's move to reject the IPCMC derides the integrity of the special commission to enhance the management and the operations of the police force and also the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

So this is how the Parliament Human Rights Caucus looked like to Bernama. Image source.

My Engrund is not very the good, so I tried to search for the meaning of 'coccus'

Noun 1. coccus - any spherical or nearly spherical bacteria
cocci
eubacteria, eubacterium, true bacteria - a large group of bacteria having rigid cell walls; motile types have flagella
staph, staphylococci, staphylococcus - spherical gram-positive parasitic bacteria that tend to form irregular colonies; some cause boils or septicemia or infections

and then I tried to compare it with 'caucus'

cau·cus (kôks)
n. pl. cau·cus·es or cau·cus·ses
1.
a. A meeting of the local members of a political party especially to select delegates to a convention or register preferences for candidates running for office.
b. A closed meeting of party members within a legislative body to decide on questions of policy or leadership.
c. A group within a legislative or decision-making body seeking to represent a specific interest or influence a particular area of policy: a minority caucus.
2. Chiefly British A committee within a political party charged with determining policy.

This is not the first time. Check out Bad, Bad Engrund by Bernama also.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

'Bodek-king' To The MaximUM.

Call it whatever you want- toady, bootlick, cringe, fawn, grovel, kowtow, slaver, truckle, apple-polish, brownnose, cotton, suck up, curry favor, dance attendance, kiss someone's feet, lick someone's boots or balls-carrying. In Malaysia, we call it bodek-king.

Apple-polishing kit anyone? Image source- http://www.drbott.info/hires/iKlear/iKlear%20Apple%20Polish%20Kit_320.jpg

While the open letter remained unanswered, several of the writer's other colleagues were speaking up for the Billboard Bloke as if it is doom's day.

“I simply cannot understand this”

Yeah rite.

“We’re not asking that he stays forever. But at least give him another term so that there can be a continuation of the work he started three years ago,”

Er...more billboards? 2006=Top 400, 2007=Top 500, 2008=Top 600?

Seriously, what's with all these open toadying nowadays? Too much toddy?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

'You Are What You Wear'

Decipher this 'You are what you wear' picture...



Hint: It is not the matter of professionality or officiality.

Oh, No! Not The Flowery Slogans Again!

You have heard it for the umpteenth time and here it is again:

Work with me, not for me

Call lar Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge and all the top management experts around the world (is Mave one?:P), you will still get the same; or even worse when you get cases like this

I WENT to the Johor Baru Land Office recently to pay my quit rent minutes before the 4pm closing time. Just as it was my turn to make the payment, the clock struck four.

The cashiers immediately asked the guard to close the doors, just as a man came lugging his luggage to the door.

The guard ignored his pleas and rushed to padlock the doors while scolding the man.

and this...

I WAS at the Immigration office at KLIA about 11.30pm on March 14 after arriving from overseas. A male Immigration officer walked in, followed by a young male foreigner.


The officer threw the foreigner’s air ticket on the table and shouted at the teenager: "Go back to your country, don’t come to Malaysia!" and then walked off. I was ashamed of the behaviour of the officer.

I complained to a woman officer about this unwarranted behaviour but she just smiled.

Such rude staff should be put in their place and warned not to tarnish the naton’s image.

In this case, 'too many cooks will spoil the broth' comes to sense now. And you can't blame them though. With their superiors having the similar attitude and saying the same favourite-phrase-of-all-time, they are indeed 'working with him'!

Citizen Nades from The Sun wrote about this also in an open column to The Wise Man and suggested the implementation of an Ombudsman system.



Get your free copy or online free subscription and turn to page 26. And here's the quote on the ombudsman system:

The time has come for the setting up of an Ombudsman to attend to complaints against all government departments. It should be given the power to summon heads of departments including secretaries-general of ministries to answer to problems faced by the rakyat.

And the Ombudsman must be given powers to refer erring civil servants to the Public Services Department for disciplinary action. Only this will put fear into the people who behave like warlords and little emperors.

Besides, one of the first decrees that the Ombudsman should make is compel all government departments to respond to complaints in newspapers within 48 hours of publication failing which the head will have to appear before it.

At present, the majority of departments pay scant regard to views and complaints from readers, further reinforcing the people's belief that the civil service is indifferent to the needs of the people.

Sir, one of your first words when you become the chief executive of the government was: "I am your number one public servant". Sorry to say, the numbers proceeding after one, do not seem to exist. The letters from the public which are published in newspapers is testimony of this.

Just like the judiciary which does not make laws but merely interprets them, the civil service is supposed to be the implementer of government policies. But over the years, some have taken it upon themselves to be policy makers, on occasions, defying decisions by the executive.

Together, we can make this country a better place for all Malaysians and we can create a better quality of life. But then, what is there to stop a small group of pen-pushing civil servants to destroy that dream? How do we stop such people in their tracks?

Sir, the answer and the destiny of the rakyat is in the hands of your goodself and your cabinet colleagues. Once the civil service is put on the right footing, there will be no turning back.

This is Citizen Nades in case you're wondering how he looks like.

Now, in January, I somehow posted about the 'lawatan sambil belajar' by Dompok and gang (but somehow deleted the post later).


What has happened to the 'special report would be compiled on the findings of the visit'? Looks like just another 'lawatan sambil belajar' to UK and Sweeden. It must be great visiting the originating countries of Tesco and Ikea, eh? Must have done lotsa shopping?

Now for the love of slogans, there's no need to think further on one on how to attract 'foreign investments'. I have already thought of one:

Come, Come, Foreign Consultancy Firms! Make Big Bucks in Inefficient Bolehland!

Keris 'Blood Bath' for BN Kelana Jaya Loh: 'Stabbed' For Speaking Up?

"Cis, pengkhianat bangsa! Pantang dipersoalkan! Nah, terimalah tikaman maut ini!"

Sounds familiar? Looked like a scene from 'Hikayat Hang Tuah' (The Chronicles of Hang Tuah)? No, you still get it at this very age.

Well, you heard it from MKini, Taiko and also others. So here's the Hansard if your interested (read from page 56 onwards) and here are some screenshots:

"Accurate but incomplete and incomprehensive" history text books



"Prayer recital guidelines should also seek MCCBCHS' consultancy"



"Very much a one-way ticket"



'Stabbed' for speaking up?

The Malaysian Motorway Massage Massacre

If you still haven't read about this yet, then you must be living under a coconut shell! With over 85 news articles around the world (mostly mentioning the word 'parlour') dedicated to this 'Malaysian Motorway Massage Service', it was as if Malaysia is having a massacre!

How it all started? Thanks (or no thanks?) to our National News Agency, Bernama:


Service For Tired Drivers


KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 (Bernama) -- In an effort to help reduce road accidents, the North-South Expressway (NSE) operator today introduced a massage service.

Hopefully after the massage, the drivers will be relieved of stress after a long-haul drive.

The first outlet offering the service along the NSE is at the Sungai Buloh Overhead Restaurant. It is a joint effort between Plus Expressways Sdn Bhd and Syarikat OTO Bodycare Sdn Bhd.

"The introduction of the leisure centre known as OTO-PLUS Rejuvenation Point at the Sungai Buloh Overhead Restaurant is the best step to meet the need of highway users who come to this rest area," said Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu who opened the centre, Monday.

"The second OTO-PLUS Rejuvenation Point will be at the south-bound Tapah rest and service area in the middle of the year," he said.

***

"All these figures can change if the people are concerned and aware of the importance of stopping to have a rest to avoid driving when tired and weary." he said.


And then it was also picked up by BBC, questioning whether the service would be free or not and putting a very comprimising photo as well:



It was not immediately clear whether road users would have to pay for services at the massage centre.

Duh! Of course you have to pay lar! Where in Malaysia there's free lunch? 30 sen (USD$ 0.08) even meant a lot to us!

Mumbai Mirror even dedicated a cartoon for us!



The American Chronicle even suggested that their motorway to emulate us, with erotic improvements, of course.

An enterprising entrepreneur should open a chain of drive-in massage parlors located at rest stops along our busiest freeways, and this being America the masseuses and masseurs could wear skimpy outfits.

[sarcasm mode]Yeah, us Malaysians are so horny, sexually frustrated and stressed out driving the motorway that the gomen is more than happy to provide us with some some sexual relief from skimpy clad massage girls throughout the highway to reduce accidents.
[reality mode]Seriously, I won't be surprised if the gomen does the above because a lot of research and even a policy was dedicated towards erecting the limp dick and pumping libido back to our Malaysians.

And guess who's laughing all the way to the bank? Erhmm...would it be too offensive to mention this company which originated across the causeway?



Kennot lar liddat! We need some damage control and brainwashing enlightening for our local and foreign motorway users! Can I suggest PLUS distribute this flyer at toll booths?

Again, the image is not watermark copyrighted so feel free to use it, PLUS.

Instead of misleading the world with pseudo-erotic massage chairs, we should heavily advertise these instead:



The picture of Kucing Galak was strategically place to censor an anatomy part of the cat.

Read the full story for the above pictures here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The RM 45 Nasi Dagang Ikan Tongkol

UPDATED: It's getting bigger now. The seller defended the price and said that the price was 'worth every bite'.

"Oh, it's just less than 7 quids here. Of course it's worth it!"

Oi, Howsy. This is Bolehland lar. Even 30 sen is worth a lot to us already!

Seriously, I think the head is normally chopped off during the canning process of the tuna. The posh cats in the UK here wouldn't even bother to give it a bite. Why is she still selling that so expensive?

Makcik, ini Malaysia lah! Bukan UK! Juallah RM 7 bukan £7!

And guess who benefited from the raid?

The enforcers left with samples of the fish head curry, which they said was for “further investigations.”

Sendiri makan lah! What else?

***

Would you pay RM 45 for a piece of curry fish head? Someone just did! From Bernama, then eventually Utusan:

Lelaki terkejut lauk kepala ikan tongkol RM45

KUALA TERENGGANU 27 Mac - RM45 bagi seketul kepala ikan tongkol lauk nasi dagang.

Itulah harga yang dibayar oleh Hasbullah Ishak di sebuah kedai di Chendering dekat sini pagi tadi.

Hasbullah, 46, yang berasal dari Kampung Panji, Wakaf Mempelam dekat sini dan kini menetap di Putrajaya, berkata, harga yang begitu tinggi adalah melampau dan tidak munasabah.

Hasbullah, yang bekerja dengan sebuah syarikat swasta, memberitahu Bernama semasa beliau singgah makan di kedai berkenaan, isterinya yang ketika itu berada di Putrajaya, memintanya membeli kepala ikan tongkol itu untuk dibawa pulang.

``Selepas makan di kedai berkenaan, saya minta seorang mak cik membungkuskan kepala ikan tongkol itu dan bertanyakan harganya sekali.

``Saya amat terkejut apabila mak cik itu menyatakan harga kepala ikan itu RM45 seketul. Bagi memastikan saya tidak salah mendengarnya, saya berikan wang RM100 dan mak cik itu memulangkan bakinya RM55,'' katanya.

Hasbullah berkata, apabila beliau bertanya kenapa kepala ikan itu mahal sangat, wanita itu menjawab, harga itu adalah untuk ikan bersama nasi.

``Mahu tak mahu, saya ambil juga kepala ikan itu kerana ketika itu ramai pelanggan lain sedang menunggu,'' katanya.

Hasbullah berkata, ini bukan pertama kali beliau makan nasi dagang di kedai berkenaan, kerana setiap kali pulang ke Terengganu, beliau akan singgah di situ. ``Malah mak cik itu kenal saya,'' katanya.

Beliau telah melaporkan perkara itu kepada Bahagian Penguatkuasa Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna Terengganu petang ini.

Apparently this is 'ikan tongkol'. What is it called in English? I might want to get it from the market...



So, whatcha gonna do if you are forced to fork out almost a fiftyer to pay for a piece of fish? You know, protein does come with a price. So here comes The Sensintrovert to the rescue, bringing you two recipes from Amy Beh for...

Nasi Dagang
and...

Kari Ikan Tongkol

Try it at home, freeze-dry it and DHL to me o.k.! Cheers!

Toadying (Balls Carrying) Gone Wrong?

Yesterday: 27th March 2006

Kumpulan Naza dalam reaksi segeranya pada gesaan Najib bahawa ia bercadang menawarkan pengurangan harga kereta pada kadar signifikan, patut diikuti oleh pengeluar lain, walaupun mereka telah mengumumkan pemotongan harga.
Translation: The swift move by Naza Group to reduce the car prices significantly should be emulated by other manafacturers, although they have announced price reductions.

Source.

Today: 28th March 2006

"We are involved a lot on MPVs and SUVs. As you know, for MPVs and SUVs there is no reduction in tax (under the NAP) but it's going up from 70 percent to 90 percent. For the changes in prices, we will know by this week," he told reporters after Naza Kia Sdn Bhd signed an agreement with Commerce Assurance Bhd and Maphilindo International Sdn Bhd to provide extended warranty coverage here Tuesday.

Source.

What's with all these toadying going on amongst all the press editors?

p.s. Sorry for the lack of posts this morning; router at home broken down, no internet access!!!

Monday, March 27, 2006

NST Advocates You To Drink Shitty Water

UPDATED: Kit poses this question:

Is Nurida Mohd Yusop prepared to set a public example to drink the smelly tap water, which she has declared as “safe to drink”? If not, what is the purpose of this NST report?


***

Yeah, the water's shitty, so what? Still drink it as it is perfectly safe," blares NST's front page:



Thanks for the info, Annie Freeda Cruez and Irdiani Mohd Salleh! Yes, the water might be scientifically safe to drink, but pstt...seriously, have you yourselves drank the shitty water?

Did I also tell you that your urine is also perfectly sterile and safe to drink if you're not having Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)? And did you know that Morarji Desai, the former Prime Minister of India (1977-1979), practiced urine drinking? And there's a branch of alternative medicine called 'urine-drinking therapy'? Also, from Wikipedia:

In countries such as India, Thailand and China, it is considered normal by some groups to drink your own urine for health and cosmetic purposes. This health branch of drinking urine is considered to be labeled as Urine therapy. Also, an old method of teeth-whitening in Italy during the Renaissance involved the consumption of urine, though it needn't be, and wasn't always necessarily, that of the user.


Here, let me come up with a next front-page headline for you tomorrow:

It doesn't have a copyrights watermark; so feel free to use it for your front page tomorrow.

Oh, did someone tell you that my family has finally dumped NST for The Star after for god-knows-how-long? My momma preferred 'to look at the colourful ads from Carrefour' in The Star rather than to be brainwashed by your bad advocacy like this.

Read also earlier post: Congratulations! It's Offcial: You Have Just Drank Shitty Water!

BBC : Malaysians Are Speaking Up; A Blessing of Disguise From The Deafening SIlence of The Wise Man?

Oh, so they are finally saying something good about Malaysia this time.

The changing face of Malaysian politics
By Jonathan Kent
BBC, Kuala Lumpur


Recently the daughter of a former prime minister of Malaysia compared the fate of Muslim women to black South Africans under apartheid. And senior police officers received a public dressing-down by their chief for a lack of awareness of human rights. But Jonathan Kent is keen to put on record that, behind the headlines, lurks another, different, Malaysia.

Burnt in hell

He [Nik Aziz] may believe that I am going to burn in hell but he is always charming and welcoming, and there is always a mischievous sparkle in his eye

***

Belacan and durian

In Pulau Tikus on Penang Island there is a coffee shop - I forget its name - what locals call a kopitiam, in the hokkien Chinese dialect.

It is old and not particularly clean, its tables and chairs are plastic and the food is extraordinary only in the way that much of the food in Malaysia is extraordinary.

They do a few dishes and they do them well. This is the kind of place I meet up with friend or interviewees and where they ask the key Malaysian questions.

"Can you take spicy ah?" They push small bowls of hot chillies towards me and look coy.

"Spicy, no problem," I'll say and pop a chilli padi in my mouth.

"You can take belacan [dried shrimp paste]?" they ask.

"Belecan oso," I reply, "and petai."

"What about durian?" Durian is a fruit the taste of which has been described as like eating cheese off a dead body.

"Aiyoh," I say "durian cannot," and screw up my face.


****

Speaking up?

These last two years the quiet Malaysians have started to speak up

Recently I recorded five from very different ethnic, religious and political backgrounds debating police reform, something I think they may have been too scared to do under the old premier, Mahathir Mohamad.

But these last two years the quiet Malaysians have started to speak up.

***

Animals in the Rumah Barlimen

And though the braying benches of parliamentarians who call one another monkeys or racists warn that public debate will lead to race war, disorder and strife, the Malaysians I meet can thrash out the issues and get along with one another just fine.

And with a quiet Malaysian like Abdullah Badawi at the helm perhaps their time has come.

Listen to the podcast on how Jonathan Kent speaks Manglish like 'lar' and 'kennot' here. (Fast forward to towards the end.)

Yeah rite. Has he seen the bigger picture yet? Who is controlling the largest media conglomerate in Malaysia? And need not look far; just yesterday, see what happened if we broke the silence?

Yes, we are starting to speak up pseudo-artificially, but yet most of us are suffering in silence.

So let me pose this question to my readers out there:

Is the deafening silence of The Wise Man a 'blessing in disguise' or a 'wolf in a sheep skin'?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

"Duh! I Have My Own Arse To Save! Of Course I'd Say Like That!"

The title says it all. Read more about the 'saving own's arse' story here.

And The Star even bothered to interview them. What would you expect the answer to be? Like this:
"Screw...

Ah...never mind.

KTemoc Konsiders has an interesting story-telling of how would the 'hero' minister save his own arse now.

Another quote from somewhere:

The Barisan and Opposition MPs also had a war of words over the IGP's circular requiring all policewomen to wear tudung at official functions, regardless of race.

Datuk Mohd Alwi Che Ahamad (BN – Ketereh) said wearing a tudung for such events for the sake of uniformity did not make a person a Muslim.

Erhhmmm...Reciprocal?. You know...like the Bible in Malay thingy...ah, never mind again.

Can I pose this analogy too to a male?:

Sucking a male's d**k for the sake of 'broadening horizons' did not make a person a g** ?

Form is always over susbtance in Bolehland. Period.

p.s. I am posting this after the 1 hour evaporation.

Of "Eh, I Tot Mother's Day Is In May, Not Today Lar" and British Summer Time...

To all you mothers out there,

Image source- http://www.thestrokingedge.com/cards/images/Mothers_day_border.jpg

"Oi, you siao ar? Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May lar!"

Not here in the UK! I was also tad surprised when I came here and asked 'why the hell did the crazy Brits mistake May for March'. But it is what it is. Mother's Day or rather Mothering Sunday is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent. This is what the Wikipedia has to say:

In contrast to Mother's Day, Mothering Sunday is not a celebration of motherhood. During the 16th century, people returned to their "mother church" for a service to be held on the 4th Sunday of Lent. This was either a large local church, or more often the nearest Cathedral. Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone 'a-mothering' although whether this preceded the term Mothering Sunday is unclear. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together, if prevented by conflicting working hours.

In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother and other family members. In today's more secular times, it is generally celebrated as the British equivalent of America's Mother's Day.

Yeah, so screw the Yanks! The Brits (and Irish) want to be different. So Momma's Day comes early in March.

Check out these (Yank) Mother's Day cards by my favourite talk show host, David Letterman. All images are sourced and copyrighted to ©MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. and ©MMV Viacom Internet Services Inc.





















Also, today is the start of British Summer Time (BST), which means it will be 7 hours difference from Malaysian time from today onwards till end of October. This is what the Wikipedia has to say on this:

British Summer Time (BST), known in Ireland as Irish Summer Time (IST), is the daylight saving time in effect in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October each year. In both cases, the change takes place at 01:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC). Currently it is also known as Western European Summer Time as used in Portugal and the Canary Islands.

This means that at 01:00 GMT, the clocks will be spooked to turn into 02:00 sardenly liddat! So to my fans out there who keep the British Time, please set your clocks now. (Don't puke now, O.K. LOL!)

This will also mean that from today onwards, those craving for my new blog entries when they go to work early in the morning, will may have to wait longer. This is because the Malaysian news websites will only be updated at around 01:00 GMT (which by the time I will be most probably zzzzzzzzz.....) and hence my rantings later, will be delayed.

As if you need a reason to treat your mom better? Go and take your mums for a brunch today and give her some flowers (which will be way much cheaper than in May)! See? How thoughtful The Sensintrovert is by bringing you this community message service.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Girls, Do You Feel Offended When Being Jeered...

I am posing this question as someone 'V' questioned me whether what I posted on 5th November (Remember, remember, the 5th of November) was correct or not.

Girls, do you ever feel offended or annoyed being jeered or called 'Minah', 'Amoi' or 'Tangachi' in public?

Ignorant and Defiant (4): Form Over Substance

To appeal to the masses, this is a post dedicated to you kids out there reading my blog (don't underestimate them- NST even dedicated a whole front-page for them today!).

Kids, today we study a topic on Chemistry- "What is (a chemical) substance and what is form". The Wikipedia has these to say:

A (chemical) substance is any material substance used in or obtained by a process in chemistry. It can be an element, a compound, or a mixture thereof.

Form (Lat. forma), in general, refers to the external shape, appearance, configuration of an object, in contrast to the matter or content or substance of which it is composed...

Kids, let's take the water or H2O as an example of a substance. The following image is a cluster of six water molecules:

Image source- http://www.psc.edu/science/Jordan/cluster3.GIF

And as you may know, water can exist in 3 forms, i.e.:

Image source- http://fig.cox.miami.edu/~cmallery/150/chemistry/sf2x10b.jpg

So, when is 'form over substance'? That is when us Joe Public get this and this everyday and the YRF themselves get this and this, but yet YRF and milisters are debating about this.

That's the lesson for today. Hope that you are well informed enough when you grew up. Cheers!

The Man Who Sometimes You'd Wish To STFU: "AUKU Should Be Remained"

Wouldn't you wish sometimes he would know how to STFU (on some issues; his successor isn't any better either)?

Non-italicised are from Bernama and italicised are from Utusan.

The irony of it all...

...still relevant to safeguard students from agitation by political groups that may use them for their personal interests.

...akan membuka semula ruang kepada ahli politik memperalatkan pelajar untuk kepentingan mereka.

Which 'ahli politik berkepentigan', sir? I still see some political groups...ah, never mind-you know, I know enough lar.

...the legislation had successfully distanced students from being agitated by the traitors who should let them complete their studies so that they could assist the government develop the country.

...kewujudan AUKU menyebabkan ahli politik yang berkepentingan, sukar menembusi tembok universiti untuk memperalatkan pelajar.

Hellooo...this is 2005! Who would be such imbecile enough to use 'die of starvation' as an instigation topic? People are smart enough to use 'USA Million-Dollar Lobby', 'Timber Castle' or 'Who Shall Not Be Named' (hint: black-eye) lar! And oh, Kedah...now I see...;)

...the legislation was drafted after demonstrations in 1971 by university students agitated by groups with political motives, accusing the government of having neglected the poor to the extent that an individual had died of starvation in Baling, Kedah.

"In fact, no Malaysian had died of starvation but our students had been used to stage the demonstration,"

...digubal selepas berlaku rusuhan pelajar selepas mereka terpengaruh dengan dakyah pihak tertentu kononnya terdapat seorang kanak-kanak yang mati kebuluran di Baling, Kedah.

Para pelajar terbabit, katanya, telah ditanam dengan satu idea bahawa kerajaan yang memerintah ketika itu adalah zalim dan tidak berperikemanusiaan kerana membiarkan kanak-kanak tersebut mati.

On the 'thou shalt not question! Stay in uni and be bookworms, get perfect 4.0, obey the gomen, and 'eat, drink, be merry!':

...pemansuhan AUKU juga akan menyebabkan pencapaian akademik pelajar terutama bumiputera merosot. Sebelum AUKU diwujudkan, pencapaian pelajar kurang memberangsangkan kerana pemikiran mereka diganggu oleh pihak-pihak tertentu yang mempunyai kepentingan politik...

Er...do you see their academic results are any better now?

On the need for highly educated people as leaders:

...the country needed highly educated people to turn Malaysia into a developed country.

"We have achieved a little progress and the effort can only be continued by leaders who are sincere, trustworthy and knowledgeable," he said.

``Negara juga akan mendapat pemimpin yang kurang berkualiti akibat diasuh dengan politik negatif ketika di universiti,'' katanya.

Er...excuse me...despite some 'highly educated people' being our leaders (psst...those Oxbridge one leh), do we really get more leaders who are 'sincere, trustworthy and knowledgeable'? No need to look further- take the ADHD bloke for example. And not to mention those 'Lah's Family Values'....

And this one I did not quite get it:

He also said that students who had accused the government of being tyrannical then should have returned their scholarships to the government so that the money could have been used to buy food for the poor.

Er...are all undergrads receiving scholarships? Erhmmm....

The last but not least best part of it all...

Sambil berseloroh, Dr. Mahathir berkata, jika para pelajar mahu AUKU dimansuhkan, mereka perlu memilih kerajaan dan Perdana Menteri yang cenderung untuk berbuat demikian pada masa akan datang.

Oh, yes we will, we will...or will we not?

Friday, March 24, 2006

NAP: Time To NAP On Your Fat Hopes...

"Wah lau eh! NAP announced liao! Hooray!!!"

Cheaper cars?
The Star

Yeah baby, cheaper cars!

NST

But how much cheaper?

What The Star says...

It is believed that national car manufacturer Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) will announce today a new price list with reductions in price for almost all its passenger car models.

It is understood that effective tomorrow there will be a 2% to 3% reduction in the price of Perodua passenger car models with the exception of the Kancil 660cc and 850cc manual transmission models. This will translate into a reduction of RM800 to RM1,500.

An industry observer noted that Perodua could have decided not to reduce the prices of the Kancil 660cc and 850cc manual transmission models as their prices were already reasonable and affordable.

NST leh?



A Proton Waja for less than the current price of RM57,800, or an Iswara model for under RM37,350? "Franchise holders will benefit most" "Najib: Government to help Proton stay competitive" bla bla yadda yadda...


The Sun pulak leh?



Perodua is the first carmaker to announce a reduction in the prices of its vehicles following the government's unveiling of the National Automotive Policy (NAP) on Wednesday.

With immediate effect, Perodua is lowering the prices of its passenger cars by 2-3%, which would bring prices down by between RM800 and RM1,500 per vehicle.

Its managing director Syed Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar told The Edge FinancialDaily yesterday that the reduction would apply to its passenger cars except the Kancil models. "The Kancil models would be exempted as the profit margins for them are thin enough and their prices cannot be cut further."

Syed Hafiz said the Perodua management decided to lower prices after industry players met Finance Ministry officials yesterday.

Earlier, UMW Toyota Motor announced an imminent price drop for its passenger cars. The company said, however, the prices of its MPVs and pick-ups will go up. A company spokesman told theSun whether all passenger car models or only selected models are affected has yet to be determined.

"We are working on the details, and as yet don't know which models are affected, and by how much the price will increase or decrease," he said.

The company will announce the final price list of Toyota vehicles over the next few days.

Several other car companies were unable to give a definite response on pricing when contacted yesterday. They were Daimler Chrysler Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Edaran Tan Cheong Motor Sdn Bhd (Nissan), Ford Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Come on, just give us the figures!!! O.K. Here comes Utusan Malaysia to the rescue!

Orang ramai berpeluang menikmati penjimatan antara RM353 dan RM385 bagi kereta nasional kesan daripada pelaksanaan Dasar Automotif Nasional (DAN) yang diumumkan semalam.

Peratus penurunan harga kereta nasional yang diramalkan adalah antara 0.8 peratus dan 1.6 peratus.

Menurut analisis yang dikeluarkan OSK Research, bagi kereta jenama asing yang dikeluarkan di rantau ASEAN, penjimatan adalah antara RM1,900 dan RM4,000 atau 2.5 dan 3.5 peratus.

Also,

Analisis berkenaan merujuk kepada model kereta dengan kapasiti enjin 1.8 dan ke bawah seperti Honda City, Nissan Sentra dan Toyota Altis.

Pengurangannya bagaimanapun adalah minimum, dalam julat antara satu peratus hingga empat peratus sahaja.

Ini bermakna bagi sebuah kenderaan yang berharga kira-kira RM80,000 seperti Toyota Vios yang popular di kalangan eksekutif muda, jumlah pengurangan yang paling maksimum pun hanyalah sekitar RM3,200 sahaja.

Jika diterjemahkan dalam bentuk bayaran ansuran bulanan selama lima tahun - nilai penurunan itu hanyalah sekitar RM55 sebulan. Jadi, ringkasnya, tidak perlulah pemilik Kancil untuk berangan-angan bertukar kepada Vios tahun ini.

Tambahan pula, para penganalisis menganggarkan pengeluar-pengeluar kereta akan menunggu antara lima hingga enam bulan selepas DAN diumumkan sebelum membuat sebarang penurunan harga bagi menghabiskan stok sedia ada.

"What??? You mean cheaper cars means 'chicken feed', i.e. a reduction of not even a month's instalment???"

Oh, subsequently, the predecessor wasn't too happy about that either:
Bekas Perdana Menteri itu berkata, pemansuhan AP akan menyebabkan kemasukan kereta-kereta import secara bebas ke pasaran tempatan.

``Kemasukan kereta-kereta import secara bebas (ke pasaran tempatan) pasti berlaku melainkan (kerajaan) ada cara lain bagi memastikan ia tidak akan menjejaskan pertumbuhan industri kereta nasional.

``Jika tidak kita (Proton) akan menderita, jadi terpulang kepada kerajaan untuk berhadapan dengan situasi itu selepas 2010,''

Awww...his baby's gonna hurt from NAPping...

"Wow Besarnya! ; Hmm Sedapnya!"

Some of the candid shots you might have missed out from Bernama :





Er...caption contest, anyone?

Change Your Lifestyle By Singing and Recording Albums.

Praise and emulate our ministers and leaders. After the recent fuel hike, some minister was seen taking an LRT, while the Premier and his Deputy was seen taking a public transport-the bus (moving or non-moving is another matter aside). Now, it seems that other ministers have changed their lifestyles too by developing a fetish passion of singing and recording albums.

First of all, we have the very wife of the leader who told us to change our lifestyles on national t.v. From Utusan Malaysia:

Mawi rakam lagu dengan Rosmah

KUALA LUMPUR 22 Mac - Penyanyi lelaki tempatan paling popular, Mawi akan merakamkan sebuah lagu berjudul Lara Jiwa bersama isteri Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor di Studio Betarec di sini pada 30 Mac ini.

Lagu duet pertama antara Mawi dan Rosmah itu akan dimuatkan menerusi album kompilasi berjudul Bunga Asmara yang akan dilancarkan pada 5 Mei ini.

Album terbitan TH Master Production Sdn. Bhd. dan diedarkan oleh Maestro Records itu dihasilkan bagi mengisi Tabung Persatuan Bencana Alam Negeri Kedah.

Eksekutif Artis & Repertoire Maestro Records, Othman Mahmood berkata, album itu turut menampilkan lagu-lagu nyanyian Jamal Abdillah, Felix Agus, Nurul dan Iwan.

``Felix (Akademi Fantasia 3) misalnya, akan berduet dengan Toh Puan Bendahara Kedah, Datuk Noor Suzana Abdullah melalui lagu Bunga Asmara.

``Selain Mawi dan Felix, Nurul pula akan berduet dengan Datuk Seri Tengku Anuar Al-Haj menerusi lagu Tentang Cinta,'' katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Lara Jiwa merupakan lagu duet terbaru Mawi selepas dia berduet dengan M. Nasir dalam lagu berjudul Lagu Jiwa, Lagu Cinta.

Menurut Othman, album itu juga akan menyelitkan lagu-lagu duet antara artis-artis terbabit dengan beberapa orang kenamaan dari Kedah kecuali Jamal Abdillah yang akan menyanyikan lagu Kau Pergi Demi Pertiwi secara solo.

``Album itu akan menampilkan 15 buah lagu dan ia akan diterbitkan oleh ramai komposer antaranya Freddie Fernandez, Pak Ngah dan Iwan. Bunga Asmara akan diterbitkan dalam bentuk cakera padat (CD) dan akan berada di pasaran Mei ini,'' ujarnya.

Pasti Hit!

Next on the line, we have Zam writing songs for a special compilation album produced by RTM. From Bernama:

RTM To Produce Two Special Albums

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 (Bernama) -- Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) will produce two special albums -- one of compilations of Orkestra RTM with Bintang RTM singers and the other of the golden song collections of National Artiste Tan Sri S.M. Salim -- in conjunction with its 60th anniversary this year.

RTM Director of Music Datuk Mokhzani Ismail said Thursday the album on Orkestra RTM compilations would have songs such as "Anak Raja Turun Beradu", "Jauh-jauh", "Jumpa Mesra", "Air Mata Berderai", "If You Go Away", "That Wonderful Sound" and "Dunia Ku" that would be rendered by 13 old and new artistes.

They were Azharina Azhar, Siti Sarah, Misha Omar, Rina Azhar, Siti Nurhaliza, Mohd Almi, Salamiah Hasan, Juliza Azlizan, Najib Hanif, Ramlah Ram, Suhaila Shamsudin, Rohana Jalil and Jamal Abdillah, he added.

"These songs had made the artistes stand out during the (Bintang RTM) contests," he said at a news conference on RTM's 60th anniversary celebrations chaired by Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin at Angkasapuri, here.

He also said that the album would incorporate two new songs, "Tsunami Kasih" and "Alam Cinta", that would be sung by Azharina Azhar and Jamal Abdillah, respectively. The lyrics of these songs were written by Zainuddin and they were composed by popular composer Datuk Ahmad Nawab and Mokhzani himself.

Mokhzani said the album on the golden collections of S.M. Salim would contain the traditional songs rendered by the national artiste with a symphonic composition by himself, Datuk Johari Salleh, Gus Steyn, Ruslan Iman, Ahmad Ali and Mohd Asnawi along with the 40-member Orkestra RTM.

The songs are "Makan Sirih", "Sri Manjung", "Tinggallah", "Cempakasari", "Pasir Roboh", "Serampang Laut", "Justru Sang Bulan", "Seindah Sunga", "Pantun Budi" and "Sri Banang".

He said the two albums would be on sale in CD and cassette form in June and that the songs from the two albums would be aired by RTM radio stations from April 1.

Folks! Start changing your lifestyle now by singing and recording albums!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Will You Tolerate Threatening Remarks From Ministers and Leaders?

UPDATED: Read also The Sun's article on page 19 by Datuk Param Cumaraswamy, the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.



Here's the C&P in case you haven't got your free copy in hand:

Sedition Act call unjustified

If a conservative Islamic State (Saudi Arabia) could invite a non-Muslim to look into their system and advise I find it very difficult to understand why in a plural society like Malaysia there should be such strictures over open dialogue on one another's religion, race, culture, including human rights and procedural rights in Islam.

Lawyers I carried out missions in several countries to study and advise on the laws and procedures in the justice systems.

One such country which invited me was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reputed to be one of the most conservative Islamic states in the world. Under my mandate I received information related to unfair trials, problems regarding access to lawyers and an apparent lack of transparency in the judicial process in Saudi Arabia.

At my request the Government invited me to Riyadh to evaluate the system and in particular the procedures in criminal justice. I was the first Special Rapporteur in the UN System invited by Saudi Arabia.

During the week-long mission, I met with Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Islamic Affairs, Justice, the Board of Senior Religious Scholars (Ulamas), the Council of Ministers, the Judges including the head of the Supreme Judicial Council (equivalent to the Supreme Court), prosecutors, lawyers and the academia.

In the course of the extensive meetings, I discussed and commented on the weaknesses of the criminal procedure code, the delays in implementation of some legislation and methods of interrogations in pretrial detentions. I even advised the two senior ministers about my concerns over the arrest and pre trial detentions of a few foreigners whose detentions drew international attention at that time. They were subsequently released a few months after my mission and my report to the UN Commission on Human Rights.

At the end of my seven-day mission I concluded that the administration of justice in Saudi Arabia was guided by the Syariah, of which the Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet formed the Constitution. However, I found that there was no dispute that the essence of the Syariah was the pursuit of justice and the procedures enacted and applied to achieve that objective i.e. justice, can be commented upon, questioned and if necessary changed. It is in this context that Saudi Arabia ratified some of the international treaties on Human Rights including the Convention Against Torture, which Malaysia has not. During my mission the Council of Ministers discussed their intention to ratify the two major 1966 Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

I was able to also discuss with the competent authorities the position of women in the practice of the law and appointment to the Syariah Bench.

Throughout my mission, I never heard of any question from any quarter, including the media, as to why a non-Muslim was invited by the Government to look into and comment on their system. Despite my comments and criticisms neither the Government nor any other quarter including the media alleged that I belittled Islam.

My report on the mission was presented to the UN Commission on Human Rights in 2003. The Government of Saudi Arabia accepted most of my findings and promised implementation. Subsequently in March 2004 the Minister of Justice invited me to a symposium on "Judiciary and Judicial Law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" in Riyadh under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince expressing that my presence at the symposium was of great importance.

If a conservative Islamic State could invite a non-Muslim, though I was no doubt then holding an international mandate, to look into their system and advise I find it very difficult to understand why in a plural society like Malaysia there should be such strictures over open dialogue on one another's religion, race, culture, including human rights and procedural rights in Islam. Constructive comments even criticisms on such issues should not be seen as belittling the religion.

I for one will not fold my arms and stay away from expressing my concerns openly if I find that my Muslim sisters' and brothers' human rights are violated or may be violated in proposed legislation just because being a non-Muslim I should not be seen interfering in their affairs. That will be a betrayal of my broader societal duty as a Malaysian.

What may be the root cause here is politics. As Malaysians will commemorate the 50th anniversary of independence next year the Government should seriously consider moving towards separation of religion from politics. That no doubt requires considerable political will.


***

Just 3 days ago, we had Nazri Aziz saying that:

"Non-Muslims Stay Clear or Else Straight to Kamunting Will You Go!"

Just one question: "Reciprocal?"

To quote a letter from Malaysiakini:

...if the same rationale would apply to Muslims who incite the sentiments of non-Muslims?

Perhaps the esteemed minister should repeat the same warning the next time elected Muslim MPs use racially derogatory phrases in Parliament, or when Muslim firebrand politicians wave a kris in the air proclaiming their racial superiority. Or when many of the other incendiary statements are made in the name of institutionalised discrimination.

This latest statement from the minister is nothing more than a threat against all non-Muslim citizens designed to cow us into silent submission and acceptance.

How does a threat help promote racial integration, dear minister?

Kids, that is Nazri Aziz.

And then just a moment ago, Khir 'Semuanya O.K.' Toyo threatened the victims of the Selangor Water Festival whether to choose between compensation or more floods as 'the only solution':

"You want more floods or compensation," asked Dr Khir when a representative of the Taman TTDI Jaya residents association raised the question on compensation during the People's Problem Inventory (IMR) with Menteri Besar here, Thursday.

"We understand and sympathise with the victims. However we are now concentrating on efforts to alleviate the flood menace so that the people won't have to face the floods again," he said.

Kids, that's your developed state MB.

And also not to mention those infamous 'Keluar Malaysia' quotes...

My question to you folks out there: "Will you tolerate threatening remarks from ministers and leaders?"