Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Malaysia + Badawi = Malawi?

Courtesy of KLCommuter, I received these two articles from The Economist. Please reflect on them.

Is the king above the law?

Oct 24th 2002
From The Economist print edition


Yes

The king won't take "no" for an answer

IT SOUNDS like a schoolgirl's dream. Just as a class prepares for exams, two emissaries from the handsome young king walk in, and whisk off a pretty student to become his bride. Traditionalists in Swaziland believe that any girl should feel honoured to be picked as the 34-year-old King Mswati III's latest wife (he already has nine). But Zena Mahlangu's mother disagrees.

This week, the High Court considered a case brought by Lindiwe Dlamini, Ms Mahlangu's mother, who claims that the 18-year-old queen-to-be was kidnapped by the royal flunkies, along with two other girls. It is not clear what Ms Mahlangu herself thinks, as she is shut up incommunicado in a palace. As she is still a minor under Swazi law, her mother, a public-relations manager at the post office, can claim to speak for her.

Taking the king to court would be difficult, since he is above the law, so Ms Dlamini is suing his two emissaries instead. The case has become a rallying point for feminists, who argue that Swazi customary law is a tad reactionary. Women cannot own land, take out loans or enter into contracts. Forced marriages are common. And the chief symbol of Swazi patriarchy is the monarch himself, who selects a new bride each year from among the hundreds of topless virgins who twirl for his pleasure at a ceremony called the reed dance.

One lawsuit does not make a revolution, but the monarchy is under pressure from other quarters, too. In August, the High Court freed Mario Masuku, the main opposition leader, who had spent a year in prison on charges of defaming the king. Incarceration does not seem to have chastened him. Last month, he said it was time for the royal government to be "wiped out". This month, pressure from donors, who help feed tens of thousands of hungry Swazis, helped to persuade the country's normally toothless parliament to reject a plan to spend rather more than the food aid budget on a royal jet.

Perhaps most worrying for the king are his subjects' increasingly loud demands for a new constitution, to replace the one that his father suspended in 1973. When campaigners met in July to propose a modern, democratic system, one of the king's wives had the gall to attend, and to speak approvingly of the concept of the rule of law.



Stick beats carrot
Aug 8th 2002 | LILONGWE
From The Economist print edition

Who suffers most when donors punish Malawi's jetset?
Reuters
Reuters

Hunger for that executive jet

ARE aid donors being callous or clever in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world? Just as it faces acute food shortages and appeals for emergency aid for 3m people, foreign donors have pulled the plug on most other types of assistance. Though food help is rolling in, the IMF is refusing to disburse a $55m loan; Britain has suspended its budgetary help; Denmark shut its embassy in January and scrapped all its aid projects. Now the EU has told Malawi to refund euro8m ($8m) given as a road-building grant but "diverted" by the government. Unless the money is returned by August 30th, five years of further EU help worth euro345m will be in jeopardy.

Donors are exasperated with graft, economic negligence, over-borrowing and undemocratic behaviour by Malawi's elected government. With good reason. Ministers and civil servants jet between their offices in Lilongwe and the commercial capital, Blantyre; they are fonder of foreign travel, country retreats, perks and workshops than of reducing poverty. The country's anti-corruption unit said this week that senior officials should go on trial for selling all 160,000 tons of maize from the national grain reserve two years ago, despite warnings of impending famine. Aid workers in Lilongwe suspect well-connected traders of hoarding the grain and selling it at a premium to hungry Malawians. In response, the president, Bakili Muluzi, promptly sacked Leonard Mangulama, his poverty-alleviation minister, on August 6th on suspicion of snapping up grain himself on the cheap.

Since aid is about a third of the government's revenue, concerted foreign pressure is likely to tell, at least on senior politicians. And it should set an example to other poor but corrupt countries in the region. Most foreign aid, aside from emergency food, has been stopped for Zimbabwe. Swaziland may be next: donors have learned that the government is spending some $55m on a presidential jet, while appealing for foreign help to feed its hungry.

But turning off the tap may not be the answer. Many diplomats believe carrots work much better than sticks: "It is impossible to make governments meet conditions other than by rewarding good behaviour," suggests one aid specialist. Emergency food-aid is never tied to good government behaviour. If it were, Zimbabwe's hungry would become a great deal hungrier yet.

Are you feeling hungry already? I am...

p.s. Badawi is not that fella father's name. It is just a glamorous addition, according to Sang Kelembai (or somewhere else that I've read from).

RM 20,000 Still Hurts...

It is only 0.067% of the yacht...

or 0.01% of the aeroplane...

but RM 20,000 Still Hurts...

Comment of the Day

From Zewt:

go to ah long... borrowers' fault.... kena snatch theft... victim's fault... camera shot upskirt... girls fault.... toll increase .... road users fault.... tanah runtuh... god's fault... never their fault... ti* ni* s*ng

Taiwan Banned Tongkat Ali Coffee, Do You Think Harrods (of London) Will Sell It?

Taiwan banned it...

[Source: theSun]


Will Harrods sell it?


[Source]

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Birds of A Feather...Have The Same Front Page Together?

The Star



theSun



The Moon?

or theSien?

Sleep Tight Mate, Don't Let The NaSTy Bed Bugs Bite...

Sleep Tight Mate, Don't Let The NaSTy Bed Bugs Bite...

Malaysia's GLCs: Proxies for 'National Service', Blurring Equity Stats and Leasing Luxurious Jets

'National service'


Read more here.

Blurring Equity Stats...


From Mave:

They argued that GLCs stakes belongs to the government, not just the Bumis.

But government statistics clearly defines the Bumis stake. Why not call it: Malaysians' stake; why differentiate it by race if they are not to be counted.

THis figures are non-exhaustive and published in 2004. By 2006, Khazanah had increase their stakes in more corporations.

It wasn't based on par value; it was market capitalisation. But now, they said it's par value. Why? Because ... justification of a wrong.




"GLCs stakes belongs to the government, not just the Bumis"?




Leasing Luxurious Jets

[Source]

Got problem? Never mind. Bailouts...















Image from Malaysiakini.



Series of pictures reposted from its original post here.

What else?

Jahanamlah rakyat untuk GLC.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Duck Tales

A C&P for something light for the day, since nobody's interested in this photo caption contest. :(

From Beebs:

Duck comes back from dead, again

The duck after being taken out of the refrigerator
Perky the duck has had a difficult couple of weeks
A duck which survived being shot before spending two days in a refrigerator has now overcome major surgery - despite briefly dying on the operating table.

Florida vets working to repair the gunshot damage to Perky's wing panicked when the duck's heart failed.

But they managed to resuscitate the bird, who shot to fame when she was found alive in the hunter's fridge two days after being shot.

Perky now has a pin in her wing, but is expected to make a good recovery.

'She's alive!'

The duck entered surgery with vets confident that she would survive the procedure despite serious injuries to her wing, leg and beak.

But her heart failed during the operation, prompting senior vet David Hale to declare her officially dead.

"We lost her. You know, the bird's dead and it's over. I'm sorry," he said, recalling the operation.

"And then, you know, up comes that head and the wings start flapping and, honestly, what, 20 seconds later, I mean the bird was, like, up."

Few details have been made public about how the medical team brought Perky back to life, but the Associated Press said she was revived using CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

There were scenes of high emotion in the operating theatre, said Noni Beck, of the Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary.

"I started crying: 'She's alive!'"

Perky made international headlines when she shocked a hunter's wife who found her alive after being stored inside a refrigerator for two days.

Mr Hale said the duck's slow metabolism helped her survive the low temperatures for so long.

Wise

Read more here.

Yet Another Picture Caption Contest...

Mind to try this out? This earlier story here might help. Have fun!

[Source]

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Batu Talam: BN's Landslide Victory and a Poor Boy....

So bloody predictable?

[Source: Mkini, which is even quicker than Bernama?]

The poor boy lost his deposit though...all for the 2-week fame's worth it?

PM's Interview Sunday Spin: Ong Ka Ting and Bloggers Implicated

Back from his worldwide luxurious tours, he felt that he (or his spin-doctors) needed to do something. Hence, the interview, where else if not by The Paper To Boycott™.

'Baru 10 minit main bola' again...

Some people are under the impression that I had launched the plan a long time ago.

But it was only in June last year, and just two months after the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) was approved by Parliament, that we began proper implementation.


"Why is it so difficult, Ka Ting?"


People used to complain that the issuance of certificates of fitness (CF) was always delayed. The house is ready but it’s a hassle to get the CF. I promised to get this improved.

For close to two years, people were still grumbling. I asked Ka Ting (Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting): "What happened? What is the progress?"

I told him: "This is an important matter. Find a workable solution, do not look for cumbersome solutions."

I told him the best way to do it is through disclosure-based applications where professionals provide guarantees and are held accountable.

If the information provided is later found to be wrong and not consistent with current policies and laws, action must be taken against them.

I fail to understand why they (the relevant approving agencies) are still reluctant to do this.

I told Ka Ting again that I want these processes to be expedited. Why is it so difficult?

Then it was said that there are 12 laws and regulations (that need to be fulfilled) before a CF can be issued.


"Certain actions by certain groups"

Q: Do you mean to say that our civil servants are generally good but are bogged down by many procedures?

A: There are laws but do it (work) quickly. But there are people who criticise all (civil servants) just because of the acts of a small group.

But, at times, certain actions by certain groups provoke anger towards the whole civil service.


I am not sure what the 'certain actions' are. Hmmmm...something like blaring 'I am rich' and ' ...broken my pot of rice' in the papers and how certain modes of transportations sprung up like mushrooms, while their pay is like peanuts?


"Bloggers spread lies"

Q: But do you think the criticism against you has gone overboard? If previously there were people who disagreed with certain matters the leaders did, the government did, today there seems to be more integrated efforts from a particular group to discredit you. This is most evident in cyberspace. Why is this happening?

A: Seems that these people are captivated by these tools, the SMS, electronic media.

They feel they are free, they cannot be disturbed and they can say whatever they wish to say. They do it (post comments) anonymously.

This sort of freedom had made them resort to such action (of spreading lies and making unfounded allegations).


Even bloggers or those who maintain websites use this opportunity to create stories. Lies after lies are being told. To them, everything is not right, everything is not good.

If I allow myself to be distracted by all this, I will not be able to do any work. That is what they want, that I not focus on my work.

Subjudicing and contempt of court, again?

Yeah, maybe the RM 600 million is a lie, the US$ 50 billion is a lie, the yacht and plane are just illusions, robbing people's money from the tolls is good, keeping the toll agreement under OSA is good, corruption, cronyism and nepotism is right and good, your SIL's 'pot of rice' is good and right, 'you are rich' is good...

More spins and pathetic damage controls by The Paper To Boycott™ from Doc Mave:

Hardev Kaur Spins


Self Spinning?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Is There Hope For Journalism In Malaysia?

Even corruption is becoming a culture amongst journalists...

[Source]

Susah mau cari makan nowadays, eh?

Semi No-Politics Weekend, Again....

Semi No-Politics Weekend, Again....

You can check out my film review on Blood Diamond...



...or head on to my travel blog, The Sensintravelert for more pictures from Helsinki...



Have a nice weekend!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Comments: Subjudice and Contempt of Court?

He was asked to remove readers' comments:

“We were only told about it this morning that they want such comments removed so we will look into these comments and give the plaintiffs an answer on Monday.

“We will decide whether it is indeed sub judice [...] we have not taken a position yet whether we want to leave the comments in the site or remove it,” he told reporters in Wisma Denmark, Kuala Lumpur today.

He stressed the comments were not related to what Ahirudin (Rocky) had written but what his commentators have been saying.


[Source]. Also, read more here.

But this man also offered his comments. Should the same rule be applied to him?

[Source]

[Source]

Susan Loone has the answer.

Modes of Transportation

Hello, kids! Remember me, The Sensintrovert? Well, I haven't forgotten about you all.

Kids, the lesson for today is...Modes of Transportation. Let's learn with me, okay!


Light Rail Transit (LRT)

Full story here.

Cars



Full story here.

Bus




Ooopsss...wrong picture.

Full story here.

Yacht (pronounced at yät)

Full story here.

Aeroplane

Full story here.

Other kiddie lessons:

The Ever-Changing Fascias of A Nazri Chameleon


Learn Your Geography From Your Minister's 'Lawatan Sambil Belajar'!

Analogy

Earlier:

However, several politicians from the Barisan Nasional coalition, including its largest component party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO or Umno), that has governed Malaysia since independence have also criticised the ISA. The fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, went on the record in 1988 to state "If we want to save Malaysia and Umno, Dr Mahathir (then Prime Minister) must be removed. He uses draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act to silence his critics." The year before, he had also stated "Laws such as the Internal Security Act have no place in modern Malaysia. It is a draconian and barbaric law." In 2003 when he became Prime Minister, however, Abdullah called the ISA "a necessary law," and argued "We have never misused the Internal Security Act. All those detained under the Internal Security Act are proven threats to society."
[Source: Wikipedia]

"Internal Security Act=Islam Hadhari"

[Source]

"Islam Hadhari=Global Spirit"

[Source]

"Internal Security Act=Global Spirit"?

Fool me once Shame on you
Fool me twice Shame on me

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Picture Caption Contest

Guess the picture caption. The best one wins.........ah, do you really need carrots as encouragment all the time?

[Source: Utusan Malaysia]

You do know who's the man in that picture, don't you?

Memorable Quotes From The TV3 To The BBC Badawi on Badawi Interview

Gosh, this is gonna be boring...lotsa quotes and stuff...

On Kamaluddin:

[TV3 interview Aug 7th 2006]

Kamal was never involved in local companies or concessions. No. He never asked any help from the government. Never in anything that needs bail-out


[Bangkok Post interview Dec 12th 2006]

Abdullah said Kamaluddin worked overseas and got some contracts with Petronas through open international tender and also bought some companies which he wanted because of their engineering and machine-tooling capabilities.

"He does not build the company, he goes for mergers and acquisitions. That's his style of business. Although many people have come and asked him to go into joint ventures with government-linked companies, he says 'No, I have enough money, I am rich'," said Abdullah.

From 'never involved in local companies' to 'got some contracts with Petronas' and 'I have enough money, I am rich'.

On KJ:

[TV3 interview Aug 7th 2006]

On Khairy, he said his son-in-law took a loan to buy shares in ECM Libra.

"But, to say he grabbed projects, I've no evidence with me that Khairy has taken government projects," he said, adding that Khairy never met him to ask for projects.


[Bangkok Post interview Dec 12th 2006]

"I did mention that the old man practically smashed Khairy's pot of rice. That's something I am very sad about . He has sold his interest in ECM Libra (an investment bank group). Sold it at a loss. Now he has some debts to settle," said Abdullah.


Just how could 'taking a loan' linked to 'old man smashed pot of rice'? ;)


On the inter-religion/ethnic tensions:

[CNN Talk Asia Interview Oct 14th 2006]

On Singapore founding father Lee Kuan Yew's remark on Sept 15 that Malaysian Chinese are being "systematically marginalised", Abdullah reiterated that it was a groundless allegation.

"Yes, it's groundless. And it is an issue that can cause unhappiness to many people. Why? Some may even regard it as tantamount to interfering with what we are doing.

"The Chinese in Malaysia are doing well. They are better off than the indigenous people, than the Malays," he said.

He said the Malaysian Chinese achieved what they have today because the Government provided them opportunities to be successful.


[BBC Badawi on Badawi Interview 24th Jan 2007]

Abdullah also denied that there was a more aggressive advancement of Islam at the official level and that this was making non-Muslims in the country more uncomfortable.

“No, no – that’s what some believe. But as far as we are concerned, we believe in freedom of worship. This is guaranteed by the (Federal) Constitution. People of other faiths are free to practise their religion in Malaysia, and at the same time we do not marginalise them.

“They participate in the Government because we have a government that shares power among Muslim and non-Muslim – the Hindus, Buddhists and Christians,” he said.

He agreed that some Muslim groups were trying to propagate a more aggressive Islam in Malaysia.

He noted that a political party (PAS) had been talking about setting up an Islamic state, adding that the country had an open electoral system.

“They (PAS) contest the elections. If the non-Muslims want to vote for them it’s up to them,” he added.

From 'groundless accusation' to 'blaming PAS for aggressive Islam'. Nice.

On the Mahathir tussle:

[TV3 interview Aug 7th 2006]

"I chose to keep silence because I do not want to quarrel with Tun in the newspapers. Tun himself had said in a statement he made, he felt hurt because he did not get the information he wanted. He hopes to be informed. If the PM does not speak, let the ministers speak."


[Bangkok Post interview Dec 12th 2006]

"No, no, no, I don't think it's a political suicide. He has been saying a lot of things, I've decided to keep quiet and to go on doing what I want to do.


[BBC Badawi on Badawi Interview 24th Jan 2007]

On Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of him, Abdullah said the former prime minister had the right to say whatever he wanted, but as the current leader, he (Abdullah) had a government to run.

I have to do whatever is best. The economy is better now. The 9th Malaysia Plan was launched last year, and today it’s gathering momentum.

“Maybe (the criticism is because) we are a little slow and he (Dr Mahathir) is getting impatient,” he added.

"Elegant silence"- from 'I don't want to quarrel, let the ministers speak' to 'I want to do my sweet own things on my sweet own time'.

On 'telling him the truth':

[TV3 interview Aug 7th 2006]

10. Q: You are noted for your clean image here and internationally, but there are talks as if your name has been damaged. How can such situation occur?

A: I don't know how it had happened. Such people are trying to belittle me and make wild accusations. Maybe they are doing so because they have a hidden agenda. If I'm accused of being corrupt, please write and tell all. But these people seemed to only know things and nothing else. That is not sincere.


[Bangkok Post interview Dec 12th 2006]
"You want to speak the truth, by all means, I have no problem. You want to tell me something's wrong somewhere, tell me. Tell the leadership the truth. I am happy for people to help me see things that are not doing well," he added.

Some bloggers have been 'telling him the truth'. But guess what happened?


On his command (or lack thereof):

[TV3 interview Aug 7th 2006]

28. Q: The misperception, from a rumour can turn big. What are the steps that should be taken? As a leader you need to think about a powerful formula

A: I felt that if I play football for less that 10 minutes, people should not punish me. My style is different from Dr Mahathir's style. I don't run away from the Vision 2020 in view of the current situation, the escalating oil prices. So I have to choose my style and I am responsible for what I have chosen. People say that I do things as Khairy says. There is no such thing. How can I suffer for so many years in politics until I become the Prime Minister and then surrender my power to him?


[Bangkok Post interview Dec 12th 2006]

"And the people want me to do what I want to do. And I have and I still command majority support today"


[BBC Badawi on Badawi Interview 24th Jan 2007]

PM: I’ll run in next elections

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants to run in the next general election and continue leading the country.

“I think so. I think so. There is a lot of work to be done. There is a lot of work. Yes,” the Prime Minister said when asked if he still had the appetite for the job and planned to contest in the next elections, expected in 2009.

From 'Baru 10 minit turun padang main bola sudah mau hukum saya' to 'I still command majority support' to the most recent 'I'll run in next elections'. And not to mention various quotes such as 'I am not a one-term PM' etc. Do you sense something?

Gosh, I'm so bloody good at this I could be political editor

Malaysia Mudah Lupa. Always remember these quotes.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A p and A Flower

The Little Red Dot has the Father of p53 (and perhaps a future Nobel Prize winner? Not that the country is short of one now...)

Read the full article here.

Check out also David Lane's profile here.

While we are still fondling caressing a flower...

[Source]

...and research are published through the state-controlled media.

To quote:

IPPT (Clinical Services) Deputy Director, Dr Narazah Mohd Yusoff said the discovery prompted the team to test the Periwinkle flower extracts on animals.

"If our tests on animals proved effective, then we will test the Periwinkle extracts on humans and prove that they can kill cancer cells," she told reporters here Tuesday.

She added studies on the Periwinkle flowers have entered the third year and is led by IPPT Deputy Director of Research, Prof Madya Ishak Mat sponsored by MAKNA (National Cancer Council) which gave a RM300,000 grant.

"Tests on the Perinwinkle's effectiveness on humans will take five years and if found to be successful can be used as medicine to kill cancer cells when treating breast cancer,"

With the name of the principal investigator (P.I.) of the study being so obscure and the bosses who can't wait to get all the glory in the media, let us assume that the PI is Prof. Madya Ishak Mat. Check out his publication track record here.

Semuanya Boleh di Bolehland, where a drug development from hit-to-lead to clinical trial only takes 8 years and a preliminary RM 300,000.

"He Has Kissed The Keris, When Is He Going To Use It?" Perhaps These....?



Perhaps them?

Cheaters.

Perhaps him?



Only when pigs could fly?

[Source: Rojaks]

Snake (and 46 mice) On A Plane

They say that real life turns into drama. But in Bo_ _ hland, drama turns into real life...



Snake (and 46 mice) On A Plane.

Undilah PBAS!

[Source: theSun]

He promises a better pablik transpok, perhaps?

So leng chai what! [Source: Mkini]

Gestures

Popularised by him...

[Source]

How could they miss out the fun...



Even him...



And him...



Pictures source.

Cindy, Kimberley and Husna asked them to, but they wouldn't. So, this is what was appeared today...

Read more about them here.

Kasi can lah sikit, nama pun tak sebut, oi Utusan! Lebih baik usah lapor, tu macam BHarian.