Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So Many People E-mailed...



Link 2 and link 3. Nevermind the coloured children's characters.

Please, never ever mention the word 'tolerant' again. It really irks me a lot.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Füd. Phnom Penh.











'Roasted'. But inedible. Unless your last name is Lecter.











Serene



Monday, May 28, 2007

Forum: Civil Service Excellence - Quality vs. Quantity

English Forum:

CIVIL SERVICE EXCELLENCE: QUALITY VS QUANTITY


The Government must hence take the painful but very important step of trimming the civil service sector into a leaner and more efficient “machine”. The increase in pay will be a waste of public funds, if the move is not accompanied by a corresponding increase in civil service productivity.” Tony Pua


Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO mendesak Pua dan DAP mengambil langkah memperbetulkan kata-kata mereka yang langsung tidak bertimbang rasa dan begitu menghina sekali.”


Pua’s negative comments about the civil service can cause considerable damage to the morale and image of the public sector.” Khairy Jamaluddin



Panel of Distinguished Speakers

  • Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader

  • Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, PKR Secretary-General

  • A. H. Ponniah, former Secretary of Public Service International (Asia-Pacific Region)

  • Nurul Izzah Anwar, Special Assistant to Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim

  • Tony Pua, Economic Advisor to DAP Secretary-General

  • Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General

* Open invitation to Khairy Jamaluddin, UMNO Deputy Youth Chief*



Venue: KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
Date:
30th May 2007 (Wednesday)
Time:
8.00 pm

Admission is Free; Bring Friends

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Some Unpublished (Read: Exclusive) Photos From BUM2007...

Mostly Kenny lar...hehehe...

Luckily the attendees did not sue me for obscenity for how 'Hancock' was misspelt.


Kenny sat while Jeff stood. LOL!


Wonder why was he 'holding' Rocky?



Kenny leaving his John Hancock...


More Kenny...


Kenny and LT. Funny the rest of the pics are a bit inferior but not this. Hmmm....

Isn't it a conspiracy after all? Tony F probably didn't want him to arrive earlier to meet up with the rest that he delayed his flight from Kuching. Kenny is a good bloke who live up his words. He sent me an earlier e-mail (which I didn't have the opportunity to check) saying that he will arrive late. He still managed to turn up towards the last 30 minutes before the gathering wrapped up.

No. No camwhoring pics from me. You can check up the rest of my pics from the list here lar...

KL LCCT: Now Everyone Can...

Back from Cambodia. Knackered and kid sounds of 'Sir! Sir! Buy postcards Sir!' still playing in my mind.

Being the first time at the KL LCCT, here's an outdated and overdued review of it, best summarised by a series of pictures.

KL LCCT: Now Everyone Can...

...travel from Subang.

Which was great. So convenient for me after the BUM2007 Gathering. But wouldn't it be better if the LCCT is in Subang itself, rather than in Sepang?

...paste on whiteboard.

e-Government of white-board Goverment?

...paste on announcement screens.


Not to Surabaya? Nevermind. Just print and paste on it.

...can die?

No emergency room or infirmary facilities at the airport.

But there's an ambulance of a nearby clinic waiting outside the terminal.



...can eat. With a not-so-low-cost price in a so-called low cost terminal.

Nasi lemak kosong = RM6. Don't like local food? Try McD's or Coffee Bean (which doesn't quite offer 'food' and is much more expensive). It seems that they are building a larger foodcourt besides the main terminal building though.

Alrite, this is not quite related to the LCCT as the airline and the airport are operated differently, but what is the sole airline company using the terminal and for whom the terminal was built?

...can delay. Up to 3 h and 35 min.

Bangkok, Taipei, HCM all alrite. Except to Malaysia. By Malaysian airlines.

The Great Malaysian Time. Pay more = delay less. Pay less = delay more. That's the principle.



They tried to bribe us and shut the mouth of bloggers like me comfort the passenger by giving this complimentary 'Snack Attack' box.

5 packets of (not-so-tasty-el-cheapo) biscuits and a cup of water can compensate for lost time?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Some Thoughts From Phnom Penh...

They have good broadband at the cybercafe here! People can actually watch Youtube non-stop! And no annoying gamer kids! (They are too busy pestering tourists at the streets).

So lucky and proud to be born Malaysian. Uncle Ho has his products here (I bought a few Cambodian-related DVDs and the shop-owner proudly said that the products are from Malaysia when I asked). Seriously, if I would be a 26-year-old man in Cambodia, I would be pestering tourists to ride my tuk-tuk or motorcycle. Count yourselves lucky, Malaysians! Well, at least your kids are not running around naked pestering torists for a dollar.

The China power is long here. Some people do speak Mandarin and besides Malaysian Uncle Ho's products, you get loads of them from there also.

Off for dinner now. Roadside food isn't too bad as they may seem (well, at least I'm not getting diarrhea now). Ta.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What Does 19th of May Mean To You? A General Election Date? A ...

UPDATED: You've seen them on al-Jazeera here, so what are you waiting for? Time and space are running out, so go grab your place and make your payment now!



***

19th of May. The heat is on...for the General Election. Well, at least by the 'feng shui master' as speculated by the Godfather of the Malaysian Blogosphere. Bah! Elections, elections, elections! Haven't you had enough of that already? So, what else is on on the 19th of May? The Bloggers United Malaysia 2007 Gathering of course!

Why whore so many times? Tak laku kah?


Laku, laku. See who you will get the chance to rub shoulders with:

Jeff Ooi

Love him or hate him, wouldn't you want to see him in person?

Marina Mahathir

She needs no more introduction.

Sonia Randhawa.

First from the left, she's the executive director of the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) Malaysia)

Tian Chua

Don't worry. You'll not see him behind bars or shouting at the top of his voice at the gathering.

Tony Pua

Exhibiting a nice set of white teeth, he is (allegedly) already gaining swarms of female fans.

R. Nadeswaran a.k.a. Citizen Nades

The only representative from the mainstream media, he'll sure bring in some Sun to the gathering.

We also have a special speaker on that day, Rocky Bru, to talk about what All-Blogs is all about...

Picture by Jeff Ooi.

Here's the promotional flyer again in case you missed it...



They are all smiling and welcoming you to the event. So, what are you waiting for?

Please deposit RM30 to the following Maybank account details, by 9th of May:

Account Name: Yoong Yui Foong
A/C No.: 1071 4403 8074


Please scan your payment slip and email it to freelunch2020[@]gmail[.]com to confirm your payment.

Do bring along your original ‘Deposit receipt’ as Entry Pass to the event.

Wait no more! Act now!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What You've Been Missing If You Didn't Attend BUM 2007 Last Night...

After searching around the Subang Jaya/Taylor's area for almost an hour, finally got to find a cybercafe (more like a noisy gamecafe) which I'm blogging from now.

All the speakers came, talked and conquered ate and we had a few surprises too. Rocky did address about what All-Blogs should be and Zan Azlee of Fat Bidin Media had the event recorded. So be patient for the final video to be out (trail the blogsphere, don't come here as I'm off to Cambodia).

No pictures now as the cybercafe owner looked at me in awe when I asked for a card reader. Check out other websites for now.

I turned into the greatest camwhore yesterday towards the end with the special guest of private college at Kota Damansara today. He does know how to kill many birds with a stone like me...

Sorry for the fragmented post here. My mind is still recovering from meeting too many blog celebs yesterday. :P

Catch up with you guys later when I came back from Cambodia. Ciao!

Official Announcement - Bloggers United Gathering 2007

This post will be remained at the top for long for sustained exposure. Please scroll down for latest posts.

UPDATED 18th May 2007

Would you rather...

[Source]

...or this...

[Source]

...why not this...



What was initially a concept is finally going to happen tomorrow!

We're in the news also:

Malaysia's Bloggers Fight for Freedom Against Government Push for Regulation
Fabio Scarpello | Bio | 16 May 2007
World Politics Review Exclusive

DENPASAR, Indonesia -- Bloggers United Malaysia 2007, Malaysia's first national meeting on blogging, will be aimed at promoting blogging with a series of talks and workshops. However, when Malaysia's tech-savvy meet at Petaling Jaya's Lake View Club May 19, there is little doubt that the most pressing topic at hand will be how to stave off a government push to crack down on online expression.

Blogging has taken Malaysia by storm, rapidly becoming an alternative voice to the state-controlled media. Washington-based Freedom House ranked Malaysia at 150 out of 195 nations surveyed in its latest global survey of press freedom.

Bloggers' success has been the source of their problems, with an increasingly anxious government looking for ways to assert control over the "blogosphere." Malaysia is estimated to have about 10 million Internet users.

Although the Internet is technically under the authority of the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry, leading the government attack is Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin.

Zainuddin studied at the Institute of Journalism in Berlin as a young man, had a distinguished career at the government-linked Utusan Media Group and was president of Malaysia's National Union of Journalists between 1968 and 1970. The 68-year old Zainuddin accuses political blogs of writing lies and using wild language, and seems to symbolize his generation's struggle to grapple with the new medium.

Among those marshalling the bloggers' resistance is Ahirudin Attan, whose blog Rocky's Bru is among the most visited in the country.

A journalist, self-defined as "somewhere between veteran and retired," Ahirudin is also the president of The National Alliance of Bloggers of Malaysia, or "All-Blogs," as it is known, the country's first association of bloggers.

As its president explained, All-Blogs aims to protect the rights of bloggers and promote blogging in a responsible manner. It also plans to register with the government, appoint a committee and impose membership fees.

"We also want to make contact with the authorities and engage them in discussions to raise the level of awareness about the positive and negative impacts of blogging," Ahirudin said, underlining the non-confrontational nature of the alliance.

Although it has been brewing for a while, the battle over blogs and bloggers started in earnest on Jan. 4, when Ahirudin and Jeff Ooi, his deputy in the alliance and publisher of the Screenshots blog, were sued by the government-linked New Straits Times newspaper, which alleges that the two men made defamatory postings about the paper on their sites.

The case is ongoing and the two rebut the accusations.

On a more general level, the gloves came off in early March, when newspapers and TV picked up corruption allegations about Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharom that were posted on a blog.

The exposure prompted a security ministry circular telling editors of a dozen mainstream newspapers and five television stations that they must not "give any consideration whatsoever" to anti-government material posted online.

Since then, various government officials have accused bloggers of lying and called for regulations to limit their freedom.

Throughout the battle, Malaysia's Centre for Independent Journalism, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, among other groups, have sided with the bloggers, who lately have also found unexpected allies in the National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJ) and in former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Mohamad is not remembered as a defender of press freedom, but his daughter, Marina, is a blogger at RantingsbyMM.

NUJ has urged the government to recognize bloggers as a new medium of information.

Although Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi earned some brownie points when he rejected a proposal to order local bloggers to register with the government, Zainuddin has kept the pressure on and has now called for bloggers to be classified as either "professionals" or "non-professionals."

He argues that the classification is a "mechanism to prevent misuse of blogs" and that it will "facilitate the action to be taken against those found to have violated the country's laws." Ahirudin defined the proposal as another poorly disguised attempt to register bloggers.

"It is just as ludicrous if I were to call on politicians, like Zainuddin, to be categorized as professional politicians or non-professional politicians," he said.

In a meticulous explanation, lawyer and fellow blogger Nizam Bashir, the man behind the keyboard at the Poetic Justice blog, shredded Zainuddin's argument and warned that the proposal could lead to the circumvention of key principles of law, such as the presumption of innocence and the right to be heard.

"There are ample mechanisms already in place to regulate Internet content. These include the laws relating to the dissemination of obscene material, defamatory material, copyright material, seditious material and other content," he added.

As the argument rages on, roughly one hundred bloggers are set to make the trip to the western State of Selangor, where BUM will be held.

Among the confirmed speakers are bloggers like Ahirudin Attan, Jeff Ooi and Marina Mahathir, as well as experts such as Sonia Randhawa, executive director of Malaysia's Centre for Independent Journalism.

Fabio Scarpello is the Southeast Asia bureau chief for the Italian press agency AdnKronos International and a regular contributor to WPR.


Off to KL tomorrow and then to this place on Monday for a week.



So there'll be no updates from tomorrow till I'm back. Those eager for photos of the gathering can check out other blogs. Meanwhile, check out HowsyTV at my Youtube account.

Catch up with you all later!

***

UPDATED 12th May 2007

One more week to go to the big day! Missed the chance to pay by the 9th? Don't worry, the deadline has been extended to next Tuesday May 15, 2007. Places are still available (but quickly running out), so pay by 4.00pm!

***

UPDATED 27th April 2007:



We have confirmed attendance by Jeff Ooi, Marina Mahathir, Tony Pua, Tian Chua and R. Nadeswaran (of Citizen Nades fame) and Sonia Randhawa, Executive Director of the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) Malaysia. Ahirudin Attan (Rockybru) will be a special speaker. We will update this list as soon as others confirm!

What to expect
Each panellist will share their thoughts based on their field of activity, expertise and experience.

Speakers are then not obligated to speak or to comment on the following statement :

That the media environment under the present Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration is more open and liberal compared to the previous administration under Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Special speaker Rocky will speak on the National Alliance of Bloggers.

So, what are you waiting for? Have you registered yet? Head over to BUM2007's 'Payment' page for details.

***

After sleepless nights much deliberation on the date and venue, it's official! Announcing...

Vertical banner.

Horizontal banner.

Sidebar banner.

All the banners are designed by the genius Mob1900.

All the info you need to know about the gathering can be found by visiting this official blog:




You can also help promote the event by blogging about this, pasting the banners (click on the links where the banners are hosted by photobucket) and link back to the www.bum2007.wordpress.com.

Hope to see you there! Embrace and engage!

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Bulimic Dose For You All; Ladies Don't Try This At Home!

A bulimic dose for you, after a random trail from the internet. Ladies, don't try this at home!

The rise and rise of Khairy Jamaluddin by Phar Kim Beng
The Straits Times (Singapore)
July 20, 2004

Mr Khairy Jamaluddin, better known as K.J. to his friends, has experienced a meteoric rise in his political career.

After resigning as deputy chief of staff to Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi - who is also his father-in-law - the 28-year-old received an overwhelming 172 nominations to win the No. 2 seat in the youth wing of the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), the party led by Datuk Seri Abdullah and the dominant force in the National Front ruling coalition. His closest challenger, Mr Mukhriz Mahathir, son of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, received only six nominations.

The strongest support for Mr Khairy - whom I have known since 1997 when we were both students in England, he at Oxford and I at Cambridge - is not from Datuk Seri Abdullah, however. Rather, it is from Mr Hishamuddin Hussein who also won the the Umno Youth presidency uncontested. During the run-up to the nominations, Mr Hishamuddin let it be known that he enjoyed a professional and dynamic partnership with Mr Khairy.

Detractors see Mr Khairy as a young upstart who talks too much and too fast. They are also quick to point out his relationship to the prime minister. The Tasik Gelugor Umno division in Penang chose not to nominate Mr Khairy as a candidate for the No. 2 post, to send the message to other divisions that Mr Khairy should not be nominated simply because he was Datuk Seri Abdullah's son-in-law.

Although some have sneered at Mr Khairy's phenomenal rise since he joined Umno Youth in 1999, he is nonetheless respected for his strategic thinking. As it is, the 'K.J. factor' is making an impact in a tangible way.

Last Wednesday, upon news that Mr Khairy might soon join ECM Libra, a company co-owned by Mr Kallimulah Hassan, currently editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times, ECM Libra shares rose from RM0.11 (5 Singapore cents) to RM1.90 on a volume of 561,000 shares.

Some have affirmed that Mr Khairy will be placed in ECM Libra as Datuk Seri Abdullah's frontman in the financial sector. Indeed, his placement will serve to reinforce Datuk Seri Abdullah's position in that domain, given that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak already has a leg in the financial community via his younger brother Nazir who is CEO of CIMB Malaysia, one of Malaysia's leading financial firms.

Despite his increasing stature, Mr Khairy deserves some credit for not leveraging his connections, something often ignored by his detractors.

He played a leading role in organising the campaign on behalf of Datuk Seri Abdullah during the last general election. Together with a few 'comrades' from his days at Oxford, he served ably as a chief strategist.

He himself did not contest. By opting out, he helped Datuk Seri Abdullah avoid accusations of nepotism at a time when the campaign was based on the prime minister's integrity.

Although he has been called the 'most powerful 28-year-old' in Malaysia, his views are firmly practical, yet idealistic - indeed, quite representative of modern Malaysia.

Educated at United World College in Singapore before he went to Oxford University, and then to University College London for his master's degree in legal and political theory, he embraces a progressive, cosmopolitan outlook.

His views are just as deeply influenced by the Singapore success story, especially the achievements of the People's Action Party (PAP). He has been among those helping to strengthen relations between Umno Youth and the PAP youth wing.

JUSTICE AND FREEDOM

ALTHOUGH he comes from a good family background - his father once served as the Malaysian ambassador to Japan, a country where Mr Khairy briefly stayed and quietly admires - he is a firm believer in justice and freedom. However, he strenuously stays away from garnishing issues with ideological rhetoric, unlike former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim and his cohort, whom Mr Khairy clearly detested as early as 1997.

At one stage, his e-mail domain was Hang Jebat, a 15th-century Malay figure who believed in the importance of truth, rather than blind faith in the establishment.

The original idealism that burns in Mr Khairy has not changed, nor his attempts to translate this idealism into political beliefs. From a distance, some naturally continue to view him as impatient and abrasive.

He is not daunted. He has given himself three years to run Umno Youth well, barring which the members, as he puts it, 'can throw him out'. It is this combative style that irks his opponents.

Yet, if Malaysia is to take a turn towards greater economic growth, his views are almost inevitable. For one, he believes the 'subsidy mentality' that has plagued the Malay mindset is a bane, especially in an age of globalisation.

According to this mindset - exemplified by the National Economic Policy that began in 1970 - every Malay is entitled to every form of government support, from securing places at the local university to getting fertiliser, from receiving a scholarship to go abroad to getting a discount on homes and property.

Having received a top-notch education without the help of the Malaysian government, indeed only by virtue of what his mother, Datin Rahmah Abdul Hamid, was able to provide, he went through life by a different route.

He believes the privileges and benefits that have helped the advancement of the Malay cause since 1970 must eventually cease. The goal, he says, is to prevent Malays from relying on government crutches all the time. These are views which can be traced to his writings in Ethos, a magazine he co-founded at Oxford with several progressive Malaysians.

At the height of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, he resolutely affirmed the importance of free trade and the need for Malaysia to be competitive in the world economy. Such a position was brave, as Malaysia, led then by Tun Dr Mahathir, was adamant in the belief that the depreciation of the ringgit was due to currency manipulation. Mr Khairy would have none of that, and offered an alternative analysis based on the weakness of the Malaysian economy rather than one due to international financial forces.

TENDENCY TO FLAUNT

DURING the heyday of the Internet economy, some criticised Mr Khairy for going into the Malay villages armed with sophisticated cellphones and other technological gizmos. These acts were lambasted as his tendency to flaunt. His reply: The idea is to get Malay fishermen and farmers more in touch with the knowledge economy.

On corruption, he is clearly against it. When he began to date Ms Nori - the daughter of Datuk Seri Abdullah - in 2001, their conversations often focused on what Malaysia can do to eliminate the scourge. So even from that early stage, Mr Khairy's philosophy already gelled with Datuk Seri Abdullah's. It was not surprising then that Datuk Seri Abdullah referred to him often as 'my Khairy'.

Mr Khairy's view of Islam is both moderate and modern. Perhaps echoing the moderate Islam promoted by Datuk Seri Abdullah, he can understand that Malaysia is a multicultural country whose standing in the international system is dependent on preserving a progressive and liberal form of Islam.

His brief stint as a journalist for The Economist brought him to Pakistan and Afghanistan for a short assignment. There, the wretched living conditions reinforced his view that it is important to maintain a forward-looking form of Islam in Malaysia.

Datuk Seri Abdullah has often said younger leaders are needed to take over Malaysia by 2020. It is in this context that he has been quietly supportive of Mr Khairy's political pursuits, knowing full well that it is the likes of Mr Khairy who will inherit the mantle of leadership.

There are now at least five people whom Mr Khairy has brought into Datuk Seri Abdullah's government to serve as one of his 15 political secretaries, or his special assistant. These are Mr Omar Mustapha, Mr Vincent Lim, Mr Mustapha Kamal, Mr Izadraya and Mr Ahmad Zaki. (Blogger's note: So you now believe the existence of 4th Floor Boys?)

As for Mr Khairy, he showed his talent in helping Datuk Seri Abdullah win the election in March. Now he has to show he can win more campaigns on his own. Only then will his detractors be silenced, or join him in droves.

The writer, Phar Kim Beng, a Malaysian, is a PhD student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and will join the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Kuala Lumpur in September.

'Malaysia Bodoh'/Michael Backman Back Again With Top 20 Asian Progressives

He's back again, sans 'Malaysia Bodoh' or the Fat Lady attack. In fact, we have FOUR spots!



Read the full article here.

2. RAJA PETRA KAMARUDIN, MALAYSIA

Though more robust than that of Singapore, Malaysia's media is nonetheless tame. All significant media outlets are sympathetic to the government, there is little investigative journalism and discussion of many issues is discouraged. The newspapers focus endlessly on crime and lifestyle issues, and Malaysians tend to buy them for their job ads and to find out what's showing at the cinema. Increasingly, the serious reporting and commentary is done by bloggers, of which Raj Petra Kamarudin's www.malaysia-today.net is the best.

Petra, a nephew of a former king of Malaysia, founded Malaysia-today in 2004 and works on it full time. The site now gets an astonishing 1.8 million hits on an average day, making it much more popular than any Malaysian newspaper. Malaysia-today plays an enormously important role in its attempts to keep the government accountable. It reports on ministers' many business interests, nepotism and just about anything else that the government would prefer to keep quiet. Petra uses the site to denounce money politics, corruption and Malaysia's endless fascination with race and race-based politics. A popular, ongoing series is the Khairy Chronicles, which provides an account of the doings of the prime minister's young, unelected, but highly influential son-in-law.

Many reports have been made against Petra to the police, agents from Malaysia's Special Branch have questioned him on several occasions and his computers have been seized. Recently, he reported how the government intended to use a nominee company to borrow $50 billion, in order to avoid recording the loan as government borrowing. He has also reported on a particularly grisly murder that appeared to implicate senior government figures.

7. MAHATHIR MOHAMAD, MALAYSIA

Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's prime minister from 1981 to 2003, was perhaps Asia's most misunderstood leader. Mahathir had plenty of critics, but the country's impressive development under his stewardship is undeniable. Also undeniable is his popularity among Malaysia's minority ethnic groups, particularly the Chinese, who comprise about 30% of the population. Mahathir managed to persuade different ethnic groups to think of themselves as Malaysians, despite economic and education policies that favoured the majority Malay population at the expense of the commercially successful Chinese minority.

These policies helped to break the nexus between great wealth and (Chinese) ethnicity, thus making the Chinese less of a target politically in the event of unrest. Mahathir also kept a lid on Islamic fundamentalism, showing not just Malaysia but much of the Islamic world that economic progress and Islam can go hand in hand. Under Mahathir, the media and the judiciary lacked independence, but Malaysians enjoy far more political freedoms than the citizens of neighbouring Singapore.

Mahathir resigned as prime minister while still popular and at a time of his choosing. In retirement, he has emerged as a loud critic of the new administration, bringing to Malaysia a level of public debate that few would have thought possible. His regular interventions on policy issues have almost given Malaysia the strong opposition voice that it has not previously had.

He has attacked the government for not doing enough to tackle the widespread corruption, and has criticised the concessions given to foreign firms that invest in an economic zone in southern Malaysia. Even out of office, Mahathir continues to modernise his country.

10. SYED MOKHTAR AL-BUKHARY, MALAYSIA

Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary has built himself up from almost nothing to be one of Malaysia's richest men. He has developed port facilities and an airport in southern Malaysia, as well as amassing interests in property, hotels, power stations, rubber plantations, banking, retailing and construction. His companies are run by professional managers throughout, rather than family members.

He dislikes publicity and is remarkable by Malaysian corporate standards in not using his shareholders' money to buy a corporate jet, a helicopter or a fleet of Mercedes-Benz. He has no interest in personal aggrandisement. Instead, his great passion is his charitable foundation, the Al-Bukhary Foundation, into which he has poured millions to build mosques, schools and hospitals. The foundation has also built, stocked and runs the Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur, a world-class institution that puts Malaysia's National Museum to shame. A modern Muslim, he does not believe that women should cover their heads or faces and feels that Islam should return to what it was once known for: commerce and the arts.

In late 2006, his MMC Corporation, together with a local partner, won an extraordinary $30 billion infrastructure deal in Saudi Arabia to develop a new industrial and commercial city. It's a huge undertaking for any company, let alone a Malaysian one, and it represents how Al-Bukhary likes to do business. He is a strong promoter of Muslim cross-border investment and trading ties, in the same way that other commercial ethnic groups trade across borders.

Al-Bukhary is a breath of fresh air for corporate Malaysia and an inspiration to Muslims everywhere.

17. ZETI AKHTAR AZIZ, MALAYSIA

The assertive and competent Zeti Akhtar Aziz was appointed governor of Malaysia's central bank in 2000. Her appointment demonstrated to the world that being a Muslim woman in an Islamic country was not incompatible with either holding a position of real power or with south-east Asian traditions. She had held previous positions with the bank, including deputy governor, chief economist and head of the economics department.

Zeti was instrumental in advising the government to unpeg the Malaysian ringgit from the US dollar, as she had been in advising the government about implementing the peg in the first place. Many might have disagreed with the government's decision to peg the ringgit in 1998 during Asia's economic crisis, but few could argue with the competency with which it was carried out - Malaysia's central bank is one of Asia's most technically able and least corrupt.

Zeti has been prominent in the development of Islamic finance in Malaysia and internationally, such that the country is emerging as an important centre for Islamic finance, both in its practice and in developing the regulatory framework to support it. She studied economics at the University of Malaya, obtained her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and is published in the areas of monetary and financial economics, capital flows and macroeconomic management.


Wonder why one of the Young Global Leaders 2006 (Business Category) did not make it into the list? Or even his FIL? ;-)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Top 10 Visitors Thingy

Rauff tagged me. I despise memes, but just don't wanna disappoint people.

My top 10 visitors by countries are from:



The Turkey traffic is obviously directed from my post on Brokeheart Bodrum.

My 'Stalker'

My 'stalker'...awww...I'm so flattered...



Although it is outdated, here's an interesting article from Beebs on how to scam your scammer back: