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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Melayu perlu melawan di padang yang sama

Orang Melayu tidak boleh selama-lamanya bergantung kepada subsidi kerajaan ketika bangsa lain menempa kejayaan atas usaha sendiri.
PETALING JAYA: Orang Melayu mesti merebut tranformasi yang dibuat kerajaan jika mereka tidak terus ketinggalan, kata ahli majlis tertinggi Umno, Datuk Idris Haron.
Menurutnya, orang Melayu tidak boleh selama-lamanya bergantung kepada subsidi kerajaan ketika bangsa lain menempa kejayaan atas usaha sendiri.
“Tetapi kerajaan terus membantu mereka, malangnya masih tidak berjaya bermakna sesuatu perlu diperbetulkan.
“Orang Melayu perlu berada dan melawan di padang yang sama dengan kaum lain,” katanya ketika ditemui di ibu negara baru-baru ini.
Ahli parlimen Tangga Batu itu berkata, konsep perlindungan hanya sesuai pada sesuatu zaman dan bukannya sepanjang masa.
Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak mengumumkan tranformasi sebaik mengambilih teraju kepimpinan negara dari Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi pada bulan April 2009.
Dalam belanjawan 2011 berjumlah RM212 bilion yang menggariskan pelan strategi dan projek-projek utama ke arah mentransformasi Malaysia menjadi negara maju berpendapatan tinggi menjelang 2020.
Idris berkata, jika kerajaan tidak mengadakan tranformasi sekarang, negara akan gagal dalam semua bidang termasuk ekonomi.
“Tranformasi akan memberi lebih peluang  untuk lebih berjaya,” tambahnya.

Posters to jihadist websites mourn, celebrate bin Laden

(CNN) -- World leaders and jubilant Americans on Monday acclaimed the news of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's death in a raid by U.S. military forces on a compound in Pakistan.

But the chatter on the radical websites that bin Laden's terrorist network used to speak to the world mourned his passing with an edge of defiance, celebrating him as a martyr and vowing al Qaeda will continue despite its leader's death.

"Congratulations for dying as a martyr and a fighter in the sake of Allah," one poster wrote.

"We won't cry today, but we will revenge. Men and women in America will cry." another post read, echoing warnings from Western leaders that the terrorist network will almost certainly move to avenge bin Laden's death.

The sites, frequented by radical Islamists who subscribed to bin Laden's philosophies, have played a significant role in attracting and radicalizing potential terror recruits and the broader radical Islamist community and have been frequently used by al Qaeda and its affiliates to broadcast statements.

Video and audio messages purported to be from bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, his second-in-command, have shown up for years on jihadist websites to exhort followers to keep the faith and continue their fight against the West.

Many of the Web posters on Monday reacted to bin Laden's death by referring to him as a "shaheed," or martyr. One was headlined "The Lion of Jihad was killed in a fierce battle."

Some mourned.

"Teary eyes and sad hearts go out to you, the dearest and most noble of people." one poster wrote.

Others celebrated bin Laden's death as a promotion of sorts.

"May Allah increase your rank in Jannah o Sheikh Osama!" one poster wrote. Jannah can be translated as "paradise."

"May Allah give you a place next to our beloved Prophet (saws), amen amen," wrote another. "Saws" is an abbreviation for the phrase meaning "peace be upon him."

Not everyone could believe what they were hearing.

"The news came down on my ears this morning like thunderbolt," one poster commented.

Another simply hoped the reports were lies.

Web messages attributed to bin Laden have touched on several issues. He urged Muslims to tackle famine and other problems plaguing parts of the Muslim world and made assorted threats against the West.

The speaker made reference to a range of jihadi battlegrounds, such as Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and the Palestinian territories,

Messages had been posted as late as January 21, when an audiotape of a man purported to be bin Laden said the release of two French journalists abducted by militants hinged on France's military role in Afghanistan.

"We repeat the same message to you," said the speaker in an audiotape played on the Al-Jazeera satellite news network. "The release of your prisoners from the hands of our brethren depends on the withdrawal of your soldiers from our countries."

The speaker warned the French government that its alliance with the United States will prove costly.

Taliban militants captured the journalists -- Herve Ghesquiere and Stephane Taponier from France 3 Television -- in December 2009 and threatened to kill them if France did not meet their demands, which included the release of some detainees held by France. It is believed the two remain in Taliban custody.

Bin Laden also gave interviews and made statements and videos before the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Obama watched live video of bin Laden raid, U.S. official says

President Obama and his administrative and national security officials receive updates about the attack on Osama bin Laden.(CNN) -- As special-operations military troops prepared for a firefight about 7,000 miles away, President Barack Obama entered a room in the Washington area early in the afternoon on Sunday to follow along.

Like a page plucked from a Hollywood screenplay, Obama and other principal coordinators for the mission that killed Osama bin Laden convened in order to remotely monitor the situation, John Brennan, the U.S. counterterrorism chief, said in a White House news briefing on Monday.

Obama arrived after many of the mission's leaders had assembled there, but the president joined before the attack on bin Laden's mansion in Abbottabad, Pakistan, began, Brennan said.

"We were able to monitor on a real-time basis the progress of the operation, from its commencement, to its time on target, to the extraction of the remains," Brennan said. "We were able to have regular updates to ensure that we had real-time visibility into the progress of the operation."

The White House and Central Intelligence Agency didn't have access to a live audio feed, but they were able to tap other communications, a U.S. official told CNN. There was some live video, though the official declined to elaborate on the nature of that footage.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the CIA had led the bin Laden attack operation, and officials on the 7th floor of the agency's Langley, Virginia, headquarters had access to live video of the raid, the report said.

Brennan declined to say whether they had access to a video feed or radio communications. A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Google, Apple and other Internet companies have mastered the process of streaming live video from events to the world. But that task would get much trickier if the cameramen are also carrying rifles and broadcasting from an untested, faraway locale.

After Obama had signed off on the operation, CIA Director Leon Panetta gave the official order around midday Sunday for the operation to commence, the Times reported.

"We have rid the world of the most infamous terrorist of our time," Panetta said in a statement Monday. "We gave President Obama and his team accurate, relevant, timely intelligence -- providing the information and insight they needed at key points as this mission developed."

The CIA had been tracking bin Laden and provided intelligence to the White House saying the agency was "confident" the terrorist leader was inside the Pakistan compound, Brennan said.

"It was probably one of the most anxiety-filled periods of time, I think, in the lives of the people who were assembled here yesterday," Brennan said. "The minutes passed like days, and the president was very concerned about the security of our personnel. That was what was on his mind throughout."

Shortly after taking office in 2009, Obama had directed Panetta "to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda," the president said in his speech Sunday night. "We give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names."

However, Obama apparently does get to see their work as it's being carried out.

Uthaya has spoken, the ball in police's court

Uthayakumar-P-7-300x168
'The motive for distributing the sex video by Umno is understood, while the involvement from the police leaves one dumbfounded.'

Man in sex video not Anwar, says Uthaya

Swipenter: The Datuk Ts are still running around town free even after admitting their role in publicly showing the porno clip in Carcosa Seri Negara hotel.

What more with police escort accompanying one of them to the mosque to swear on the Holy Quran to implicate PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim in the clip. Doesn't it smells like conspiracy? If it was Anwar, he would be thrown in the slammer faster than you can blink your eyes.

Cala: By identifying the sex video as the product of Umno and the police' Special Branch, the accusations from P Uthayakumar are considered grave.

If that is the case, the motive for doing so by Umno is understood, while the involvement from the police leaves one dumbfounded. I would have thought they had taken their oaths and would stay loyal to the constitution and remain neutral politically.

JBGUY: Uthaya, despite your differences with Pakatan Rakyat, you were principled enough to state your candid view and in defence of Anwar. It is my fervent hope that you would cease all hostilities against PKR and somehow work with them in unseating the greatest malaise afflicting this nation - the BN which have bled this country dry and which have driven wedges amongst the races.

Please give PKR a chance and hopefully the Indians and Chinese alike will be treated as citizens on par with the Malays.

Democrat: Way to go, Uthayakumar. This should tell something to the DAP/Pakatan Rakyat cyberdogs who run you down at every opportunity.

Fairness for all: Tell us something new. We already know that it's not Anwar from the clips that appeared on YouTube. Only the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) will need some so-called expert to tell them that, and that fake expert will claim it is Anwar.

Who is PM Najib Rakyat trying to fool? The rakyat are not idiots. We already know that since the tape was shown in Carcosa, this was a politically motivated allegation to kill Anwar's political career.

Malaysia_Wikileaks: When 300-over Hindraf supporters were arrested and among them 54 were charged in court for taking part in an anti-Interlok rally, Anwar never ever opened his mouth to condemn the brutal act of Umno against the public. Where was Anwar's moral ground and principle in this matter? Why should Hindraf voice out its support for him?

Hindraf should ignore this selfish leader, because he is playing a role to finish off the Hindraf movement by labelling it as a racist movement.

Anonymous: If this sex video is used by Umno to frame Anwar, then one has to wonder how true is sodomy II. And since one of the accusers swore the authenticity of this video in the mosque, one has to also wonder how genuine is Najib's oath in the mosque about not knowing Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Gerard Samuel Vijayan: Well done, Uthaya. Whatever your motives may be, but for now they seem to be genuine. The Pakatan Indian leaders should take note and stop all the backstabbing and their MIC mindset - namely to hold office and power but do very little for the poor Indians in the estates and other rural/semi-rural areas.

Consider working with Uthaya, and yes, his ideas and demands are far fetched and excessive and too Indian-centric but politics is about ideas and accommodation. With the help of Uthaya, Pakatan can go above its current 50% support base among Indians to at least 70%. Otherwise, Pakatan may stand to lose given Najib's hoodwinking of the Indians with his 1Malaysia nonsense.

Yes, Uthaya viewed the tape in private since it was sent to him by post. He did not screen it in public or distribute it to the public. Anyway he should surrender it to the police soon. As for the 'sumpah laknat', if Anwar takes the oath, will Umno/BN say he is innocent and drop the matter, including the Sodomy II charge?

Changeagent: Najib should try to stop flogging this dead horse. Stop insulting the public's intelligence. The sex video is now readily available all over the Internet. Anyone can see and judge for themselves that the slightly overweight man in the clip isn't Anwar. Uthaya was only stating the obvious.

Louis: How much lower is the government going to go to destroy Anwar's political career? First it was Datuk T's screening of the sex video, and the public refused to believe that it was Anwar.

Then, some idiots uploaded the clips onto YouTube. Upon looking at the images, it further confirm that it was not Anwar. In desperation, Shazryl Eskay Abdullah swore that he was in the video. His act made the matter worse. The public continue to doubt his credibility. Thus the joke is on Eskay.

When all failed, the final act was to distribute the sex video freely. Would this action convince the general public that the actor was Anwar? No. On the contrary, the general public now empathise with his family and feel that they are unfairly humiliated by this accusation.

Instead, uppermost on their lips is that why are the Datuk Ts not charged yet.

Penang free WiFi a waste, says Gerakan Youth


Multi Racial: Gerakan Youth chief Oh Tong Keong said "Penang free WiFi is a waste". Well, this will give more comfort to people in Penang that they are blessed for not having voted in Gerakan into government for being so against advancement.

Every implementation will have it limitations and problems. If Oh was objective, he should provide input on how to further improve it, not jump to conclusions like this. I think Penang is going to be under the opposition for a long, long time with pea-brained person like Oh in Gerakan and BN.

Sandakan: Those critics of Penang's free WiFi should come to Tawau. Even our paid broadband from Telekom Malaysia is subjected to frequent breakdowns. Penangites should be thankful that Penang is governed by Pakatan, which tries hard to reduce the cost of using broadband.

Dingy: Talking about free WiFi provided by state government in Penang, we are asking PM Najib to give us free WiFi instead of free 1Malaysia Email. Believe it or not, Oh dare not even say anything about free WiFi. All Umno projects need huge amount of money, and what happened to them? Many failed due to poor implementation.

One good example is the Smart School, Najib's pet project when he was minister of education. It was a failure.

So those who criticise DAP over the free WiFi in Penang, Najib's free 1Malaysia e-mail will cost taxpayers millions of ringgit. Najib's motive is to save a failing company.

No need for Chinese in BN government, say community leaders

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Chinese community leaders have accused the Barisan Nasional (BN) government of practising a divide-and-rule policy after Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the community to vote for the MCA or risk losing representation in Putrajaya.

The leaders pointed out that other political parties in the BN, which were not Chinese-based, could also uphold the interests of the Chinese community.

“Whether we have Chinese in the government or not is not important,” Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) vice-president Ser Choon Ing told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

“We want somebody who can work for the Chinese community. Even if they are Indian, Malay; if they can work for the benefit of the Chinese, we don’t mind,” he said.

He pointed out that it was former MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, not the MCA, who helped pig farmers in Negri Sembilan after the debilitating Japanese encephalitis virus outbreak in 1999.

“Malays or Indians can fight for Chinese or Chinese fight for Indians... not necessarily the Chinese in Cabinet will fight for the Chinese,” said Ser, who was a lawyer for the pig farmers.

Analysts have warned that the Najib administration risks losing further support from the Chinese community if it continues to send mixed signals about its policies to voters nationwide.

Pundits believe that while Najib speaks of inclusiveness via 1 Malaysia, his actions in issuing an ultimatum to the Chinese community to vote for the MCA in the coming general election, coupled with Umno’s increasingly ultra-Malay stance, will not leave Chinese voters impressed.

Najib had over the weekend warned the Chinese community to vote for the MCA if they still wanted representation in Putrajaya.

“I see the MCA sending the message that the Chinese cannot support the opposition and at the same time expect strong representation in the government. They have to choose,” he was reported as saying by state news agency Bernama.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek defended the BN chairman’s remarks, saying that it was merely a statement of fact.

United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) chairman Dr Yap Sin Tian, however, said Najib’s warning contradicted his 1 Malaysia brainchild.

“Try(ing) to divide the voters into Chinese community, Malay community; this is divide-and-rule policy,” said Yap.

“We cannot divide like that... during the past 50 years, not only the Chinese community, the Malay community (and) Indian community also support(ed) MCA,” added the educator.

He pointed out that Najib’s remarks ran contrary to democratic principles.

“It is not in line with democratic elections... if you only vote to support Barisan, there will be no meaning (in) conduct(ing) the elections,” he said.

Ser said the MCA only represented the Chinese community by name, but was powerless in influencing government policy.

“What can this MCA do in the government? They can’t do anything,” he said bluntly.

“Even in the current structure or during Mahathir’s time, they have no power and can’t influence government policy,” he added, referring to former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who held the post from 1981 to 2003.

Ser also highlighted the senior BN party’s failure to get the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) from Chinese independent secondary schools recognised by the government.

UEC holders cannot enter public universities, although they are recognised by international tertiary educational institutions in Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, China and some European countries.

“Can this MCA influence Umno and get this recognised? How many years already; (it’s been) more than 30 years,” Ser lamented.

The KLSCAH vice-president said the Chinese community was concerned about government policies, and was no longer impressed with election goodies.

“What they want is a basic change of the policy of the government... (like) racist policy only in favour of one race, government servant structure, corruption,” said Ser, in a thinly-veiled reference to the New Economic Policy (NEP).

A World Bank report on Malaysia’s brain drain published last week warned that the ongoing exodus of professional Malaysians was likely to intensify in the coming years and further erode the country’s already narrow skills base.

The report estimated the number of Malaysians abroad at about one million as of 2010, of whom one-third were tertiary educated and almost 90 per cent of those in Singapore were of ethnic Chinese origin.

Malaysians abroad have cited social injustice in Malaysia, as well as better career prospects and higher wages overseas as the main reasons for leaving.

The report showed that 54 per cent of the Malaysian diaspora resided in Singapore while 15 per cent went to Australia, 10 per cent to the US and 5 per cent to the UK.

Petaling Jaya Federation of Chinese Associations and Communities chairman Datuk Woo Ser Chai said Malaysians should not be told to vote according to racial lines if the 1 Malaysia concept was to be achieved.

“We should not say what race should vote for (what) racial political party,” he said.

“Our main concern is what representative can really work for Malaysia to be more prosperous and more harmonious,” added Woo, who is also president of the Hainan Association in KL and Selangor.

Ser further questioned how the MCA could claim to represent the Chinese community since the party had only captured mixed or Malay-majority constituencies for many terms.

Currently, the MCA only has 15 MPs and 31 state assemblymen from the last general election in 2008. It had contested in 40 parliamentary seats and 90 state seats in GE12.

Boot camp of discrimination

With no respect for the rights and dignity of those who are 'different', the government through its overzealous agencies has been committing atrocities of the worst kind.
COMMENT

The very first Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

To the “powers-that-be” of this country, the above declaration if anything is meaningless. With no respect for the rights and dignity of another being, the government through its overzealous agencies has been committing atrocities of the worst kind to the marginalised communities.

For instance, religious scholars devoid of any compassion scoff at the existence of transsexuals or mak nyahs, claming that all will be well once these people are “rehabilitated”.

Stories of transsexuals here being ridiculed and humiliated once caught reveal the depths of disrespect the government has, reflected by the manner it treats these group of people.

Until the early 1980s, transsexuals were not a condemned lot. They had the freedom to undergo the sex reassignment surgery (SRS) and amend their identity card to reflect their post-SRS identity. Quite a few did undergo the SRS, with some even tying the knot and adopting children, going on to raise a family.

But a fatwa in 1983 changed all that. Transsexuals were regarded as “persona non grata” in their own home country. The religious edict banned the SRS and cross-dressing on Malaysian Muslims.

Perak mufti besar Harussani Zakaria who helped establish the 1983 fatwa had this to say in defending the harsh approach against transsexuals:

“You cannot be transsexual, you are either a woman or a man. Why do they want to go against Allah? If God has created you as a boy, then act like a boy.”

Harussani was and is still adamant that transsexuals should use their “willpower” and adopt traditional lifestyles.

Disrespecting those who are ‘different’

With the never ending abuse on transsexuals having turned into a nightmare, the government is now targetting boys who are effeminate by nature, derogatorily called “sissies”.

On April 18, the New Straits Times under its heading “Besut boot camp for sissies” reported that the government would send 66 Muslim school boys with effeminate tendencies to a boot camp.

The Terengganu Education Department’s discriminatory action would see the 66 boys attending a “self-development course” which includes physical education and religious classes conducted by motivational speakers.

Department director Razali Daud said the 66 boys showed behaviours that were not “usually displayed by a normal male of their age.”

“We understand that some people end up as mak nyah or homosexuals, but we will do our best to limit the number,” Razali was quoted as saying.

Appalled by that news, the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality, a coalition of women’s groups, said the Educational Department’s policy to regulate the behaviour of students went against basic tenants of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which Malaysia ratified in 1995.

“The act of identifying and singling out boys who behave effeminately is highly discriminatory bordering on predatory. Article 2 of the CRC dictates that all children should be accorded equal rights and treatment without exception. The Education Department of Besut is clearly in violation of this,” JAG in its letter to the editor said.

School supposed to be neutral

JAG said the boys’ involved have been denied and persecuted for the expression of their personalities and identities.

“Ideally, school is supposed to provide a safe and neutral space for children to develop without fear of recrimination for being themselves.”

JAG asked if the 66 boys had been consulted on wanting to attend the “boot camp”.

“If the boys had been consulted, were they agreeable to attending the behaviour corrective programme. In this matter, clearly the opinion of the children had not been consulted.

“We would also like to know if the parents had been consulted on the purpose of such camps. Children seem to be the last to be consulted in matters that most affect their best interests, that is in violation of Article 2 of the CRC,” JAG wrote.

JAG said the Besut boot camp served as a reminder that the existence of people who do not conform to accepted sexual orientation and gender identities (SOGI) was not welcomed.

“Corrective boot camps to ‘fix’ children and individuals must not be condoned because it violates the rights of people who are perceived as ‘different’.”

No end to prejudice

The Besut boot camp has been vehemently objected as it promotes the much pervasive homophobia as well as prejudice.

Meanwhile, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia) executive director Yap Swee Seng in a letter urging the protection of the rights of the children and sexual minorities, said among others:

“There were ‘insufficient efforts made to address discrimination based on sexual orientation’ in Malaysia. The UN Human Rights Council also recommended the Malaysian government to de-penalise homosexuality during the Universal Periodic Review of Malaysian 2009.

“To our regret, however, the Malaysian government is yet to demonstrate any meaningful effort to stop discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Furthermore, we are extremely appalled that the discrimination has in fact been practised by the educational agency of the government. “

Forum-Asia’s open letter was addressed to the government of Malaysia, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in his capacity as the education minister and to the human rights commission, Suhakam, chairperson Hasry Agam.

Sad state of affairs

The blatant disregard shown by the government in respecting individual right to life and dignity has resulted in the marginalised groups being ostracised and condemned.

The discrimination continues in the form of terrifying these communities through the notorious raids on nightclubs, using the police and religious authorities like the Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi) to hound and shame them.

It does not end there. The transsexuals find themselves running helter-skelter each time the raids occur, resulting in some suffering serious injuries due to the falls faced while running for cover.

For those who end up being caught, the nightmare begins when at the cell they are stripped naked, ridiculed and humiliated – all because they have the courage to be true to their existence.

In the face of all this, the government hangs on to the belief it can take liberty of dictating the individual’s identity and personal preference.

8-9 lanes of traffic into Penang Island

Three more lanes of traffic will pour into Penang Island once the second bridge is completed by 2013, if all goes as scheduled – adding to the three lanes of incoming traffic on the now widened existing Penang Bridge.
And if the cross-channel tunnel project from Gurney Drive to Butterworth goes ahead, which could add another two or three lanes of incoming traffic, we could see a nightmare scenario of eight to nine lanes of incoming traffic by 2020 or 2025.

I dread to think of the congestion in Penang by then.
A group of local engineers and I took a boat trip to survey the progress of the 16.7km second Penang bridge. Former first Penang Bridge chief resident engineer Liaw Yew Peng, 81, with second Penang bridge chief engineer Loh at the second Penang bridge site office
First and second bridge engineers: Former first Penang Bridge chief resident engineer Liaw Yew Peng, 81, with second Penang bridge chief engineer Loh of China Harbour Engineering Company at the CHEC site office on the island
Basic background information of the second bridge:
Length over water: 16.7km
Overall length: 23km
Height of bridge above water at highest point: 35.6 metres (to allow ships to pass underneath)
Steel piles: 7800
Starting point on island: Batu Maung (not far from the DHL facility along the Bayan Lepas coastal highway)
Starting point on the mainland: Batu Kawan (not far from the Batu Kawan Stadium and next to Patrick Lim’s now aborted equestrian centre)
Speed limit when complete: 80km/h
Second Penang bridge under construction - 25 April
The bridge was initially supposed to be two lanes each way plus a motorcycle lane.
But before construction could begin, the plan was changed to three lanes each way and no dedicated motorcycle lane. Let’s hope one of these three lanes can be dedicated to public transport.
Progress of work
Main contractors: CHEC and UEM.
Scheduled completion date of bridge: March 2013
A row of completed piers
Progress of substructure (CHEC): about 70 per cent complete. The work is scheduled to take 33 months. Already 23 months of work has passed, another 10 months remain.
Overall, the CHEC chief engineer said the work on the second bridge 40-50 per complete. A more conservative estimate might put it at 20 per cent complete.
Only spotted one small stretch of box girders
Whether the bridge can be completed as schedule will depend on UEM, which has to put up, lego-like, the box girder beams above the completed piling/piers that CHEC has put in place. So far, just one stretch has been put up.
Other points of interest:
I asked a CHEC engineer if the second bridge was quake resistant and if so, what level it could take. He replied, yes, the bridge could absorb quakes of up to 8.0.
The piling goes 78 metres below the sea-bed.
The cement mix used is Grade 50 cement plus river sand from Sungai Perak, transported up to the site on 580-tonne barges.
The sea is really shallow – varying from six to 11 metres deep. One engineer told me this was probably the result of siltation arising from land reclamation north of the island.
We really need to move away from private vehicle usage and promote greater use of public transport. Putting in place insfrastructure for motor vehicles actually means encouraging more people to use cars. There is a limit to the number of cars our little congested Penang Island can take before life becomes intolerable and the quality of life plummets.

Minority interests won’t be sidelined

Najib Tun Razak has given an assurance that all ethnic groups need to cooperate to ensure their interests continue to be protected

KUALA LUMPUR: The interests of minority groups in the country will not be sidelined in the government’s efforts to build a Malaysian society that is progressive and competitive, said Najib Tun Razak.

The prime minister said all ethnic groups no matter whether their numbers were big or small, including the Sikhs, needed to cooperate and become a partner of the government to ensure their interests continue to be protected.

“This (being a partner) is the best way for the Sikh community to work with the government towards realising the 1Malaysia vision. I believe Malaysia will become more successful and prosperous (by doing this),” he said when opening the 1Malaysia Vaisakhi celebration at Dataran Merdeka here today.

Some 20,000 people, including foreign tourists, attended the celebration organised by the Malaysian Sikh Youth Organisation in conjunction with the Sikh new year (Vaisakhi).

Also present were the prime minister’s wife Rosmah Mansor and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Koh Tsu Koon.

Najib said as a result of the close cooperation between the government and the Sikh community, the government had also approved three plots of land for the building of gurdwaras (Sikh temples) in Kuala Lumpur.

The many Punjabi classes conducted in the country had also helped produce excellent results in the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination, he said.

“This is an example of a smart-partnership with the government. We can build a better future for all of us by working together.

“I am confident that the Sikh community will merge together hand in hand with the Malaysian government and with various ethnic groups so that together we will transform Malaysia to become a developed nation by 2020,” he said.

Najib also paid tribute to the Sikh community for its sacrifices in defending the sovereignty of the country from foreign threats.

“The values of truthfullness, loyalty and hard work are hallmarks of the Sikh community. I thank them for their enormous contribution in the formation of this country. Thank you for your dedicated service in the armed forces and the police,” he said.

-Bernama

Video:- Uthaya: Man in sex video not Anwar

Palanivel unruffled by tension in MIC

He does not want to engage in a debate with his critics and is confident of getting a fulsome support following return of sacked members.

PETALING JAYA: MIC president G Palanivel remains unperturbed in the wake of the ripples within the party, caused by the reinstatement of sacked members.

Palanivel has opted to maintain silence despite some members of his party taking up a fight over the reinstatement of those sacked under the immediate past president S Samy Vellu.

Likewise, he is also not allowing himself to be pulled into a war of words with his non-MIC critics, saying that he was happy to deal directly with the community and to gain their support.

P Sugumaran, political aide to DAP’s Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran provoked Palanivel on Twitter over MIC Youth secretary C Shivaraajjh’s action to refer MIC central working committee (CWC) to Registrar of Societies yesterday.

“In Hulu Selangor you opposed til the end!!! In Parliament you don’t dare voice out!!! In MIC you are afraid of GAS!!!” Sugumaran commented on his tweet.

“You are rocking the unity in MIC because you are a weak president. Better step down lah. Let (MIC deputy president Dr) S Subramaniam lead MIC for betterment,” Sugumaran added.

Palanivel however remained silent. When contacted later, Palanivel said in a SMS: “Silence is golden, boy!”

A widening gap

He explained that he was active in engaging with people.

“A large majority of the community is backing me. The party is backing me in all my decisions,” he said.

The CWC readmitted and reinstated CWC members KP Samy, G Kumar Amaan and MIC deputy youth leader V Mugilan last week – 11 months after they were sacked for their key role in Anti Samy Vellu Movement (GAS).

The decision on the trio’s reinstatement was made amidst opposition on the grounds that it was unconsitutional.

However MIC publicity and communications chief S Vell Paari told FMT the CWC’s decision was final, which led to Shivaraajjh referring the matter to ROS.

The action by Shivaraajjh, a known ally of MIC Youth chief T Mohan, only indicates a widening gap in the party between the president’s men and those aligned to Samy Vellu.

‘Burials at sea for Osama against Islam’

The bodies of believers and non-believers, Muslim or Christian, must be respected, says a spokesman of Al-Azhar

CAIRO: Islam is opposed to burials at sea, a spokesman for Al-Azhar, the top Sunni Muslim authority, said today after US officials said Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been given a watery grave.

“If it is true that the body was thrown into the sea, then Islam is totally against that,” Mahmud Azab, an adviser to the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, told AFP.

“Any corpse, if it belongs to someone murdered or someone who died of natural causes, must be respected. The bodies of believers and non-believers, Muslim or Christian, must be respected,” he added.

The Cairo-based Al-Azhar is the most prestigious centre of religious learning in the Sunni Muslim world.

US officials said today that Osama was buried at sea after being shot dead in a US helicopter-borne raid on his fortified villa in Pakistan to avoid a “shrine” situation.

“We wanted to avoid a situation where it would become a shrine,” one official told AFP, adding that there was no time for negotiations with other countries to arrange for a possible burial.

Earlier, an administration official said of the corpse: “We are ensuring that it is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition.

“This is something that we take very seriously. And so therefore this is being handled in an appropriate manner.”

-AFP

Rafidah: Forget 1Melayu, 1Bumi concept

Umno veteran says that the Utusan Malaysia-sponsored concept is parochial and will shake national stability.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Wanita Umno chief Rafidah Aziz today urged members of the party’s women’s wing to be wary of, and reject, narrow minded concepts such as ’1Melayu,1Bumi’.

Officiating the Cheras Wanita Umno AGM here, the veteran leader told members that unlike the developments in the Middle East, Malaysians should be thankful for the stability in the country.

She added that “we should be wary of extremists of any shade who try to rattle this stability”, including those who are bent on only advocating their narrow point of view.

“I am worried now the notion of 1Melayu has emerged. Apa cerita ni? (What is this?). Tomorrow you would have Chinese asking for 1Chinese and Indians would be asking for 1Indians” she said.

“After that what is to happen to 1Malaysia? Better just forget this 1Melayu concept,” she added.

She said that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia was not a concept but a reality and that in the global arena, Malaysians were far better recognized by their nationality than their individual race.

“When you are overseas and you mention that you are Indian, people will then ask, (which part of India) Bombay or Chennai?

“But if you say you are from Malaysia, people immediately know, (They will say) Oh twin towers, Dr Mahathir,” she added drawing laughter from the crowd.

Speaking to reporters later, she said that the 1Melayu, 1Bumi concept, which was promoted by the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia, merely reflected a parochial mindset.

She said that unlike their counterparts in Singapore and Thailand, Malays in Malaysia are distinct as they
have special rights as constituted by the Federal Constitution.

“I am proud to be a Malay but I am more proud to be a Malaysian Malay,” she said adding that we should be championing a nationalist concept instead of parochial ones.

Creating a political divide

The 1Melayu, 1Bumi campaign calls for all Malay parties to form one large coalition to combat the united force of Chinese in Malaysia, and was roundly criticised by Chinese political parties, mainly the DAP and MCA.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin however had said that the call to boycott Utusan was improper and that the daily merely represented the sentiments of the Malay community. Malay rights group, Perkasa offered to lead such the 1Melayu, 1Bumi movement.

However, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has distanced himself from the proposal, saying that Utusan’s suggestion will not deter the government’s commitment to his 1 Malaysia brainchild.

Perkasa patron, Dr Mahathir Mohamad also spoke out against the idea and said it would be “disastrous” as it would result in a two party system which would be dominated by the Malays and the Chinese on opposing sides of the divide.

Deport Taib’s bomohs, Home Ministry urged

The bomohs are accused of controlling the chief minister in all the decision makings involving the state administration, political affairs as well as family affairs.

KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s cousin and ex-PBB leader Salleh Jafaruddin today urged the Home Ministry to deport three foreign bomohs from Sarawak to save the state from them.

“Our ‘semi-insane leader’ is now helpless in many aspects since the departure of his late wife.

“In fact the evil satanic influence of his bomohs has long established their influences and encircled and surrounded Taib and the family since the last 10 years.

“He and the state will eventually be destroyed if no action is taken immediately to stop their evil influence,” he said in a statement today. The statement was also supported by another former Sarawak leader Bujang Ulis.

Salleh said that the three bomohs, including one known as Stella Rachman, were playing a big role in influencing Taib to destroy “our democratic legacy”.

He accused the bomohs of controlling the chief minister in all the decision makings involving the state administration, political affairs as well as family affairs.

“Let us come together to destroy them before it is too late. It is now or never,” he added.

He urged Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to immediately revoke all the immigration passes issued to these bomohs so that they could be deported out of the country immediately.

Otherwise, he warned, the people of Sarawak will rise up to exercise their rights to make citizen’s arrest against the three bomohs.

Vote-buying

Salleh contested againt Taib in Balingian in the state polls but failed to unseat his cousin. Taib’s party PBB
won all 35 seats they contested while the state BN retained its two thirds in the state despite the opposition pact making serious inroads by winning 16 seats.

Salleh however said that Taib should not be too proud of BN’s victory as the overall results showed that the opposition gained strong popular votes.

“This massive support for the opposition, in spite of the many odds, indicates one clear picture that the opposition has tremendously increased and widened its support base in Sarawak.

“BN’s win especially in Malay/Melanau constituencies of 27 PBB/SPDP seats were designed by PBB outfits under the financial control of Raziah Mahmud through the massive employment of imported gangsters from Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, the Sarawak silat groups, Kemas, and Election Commission employed thugs.

“They loitered freely within all polling centres during the polling day by using threats against the voters who wanted to exercise their right,” Salleh alleged, pointing out that the atmosphere on the polling day was fully regimented like a military rule state administration.

He also claimed that voters were given between RM200 and RM1,000 per vote and in the longhouse areas, Ibans were given RM1,000 per door and RM200 per voter on the last night before polling.

“The distribution was carried out by Raziah-employed thugs driving more than one hundred flashy four wheel drives owned by Raziah and RH groups during the wee hours of the polling eve.

Raziah is Taib’s sister.

Samy poised for ‘one last kill’?

The former MIC strongman is growing upset with his successor, and a confrontation may be in the making.
EXCLUSIVE - FMT

KUALA LUMPUR: Under the stewardship of its new captain, MIC, once a mighty vessel, later bruised and battered in the 2008 electoral battle, has now, according to critics, turned stealth.

The party appears to have dipped below the political radar, and when it does surface, it is often for the wrong reasons.

But that is the characteristics of G Palanivel.

Not one to rock the boat, the deeply religious leader will do his best to chart a course free of conflict, and the pacifists laud him for this diplomatic trait.

He is the direct opposite of his predecessor, S Samy Vellu. Perhaps, the only similarity between them is that the two are vegetarians.

The previous captain is a swashbuckler, like his family deity, the sword-brandishing “Mathurai Veeran”, he is always poised for a fight. Those who toe the line are protected, while those who cross it, are beheaded.

The “old man”, a term which he detests, thrives on controversies, remarked a former aide.

Tension reaches boiling point

Now, a source claims, the tension between the predecessor and successor has reached boiling point, and if left unchecked, it may see Samy Vellu sharpening his blade again, for one last kill.

There are those in his circle who are coaxing him to give Palanivel a chance, that with the right advice, the latter can be persuaded to see things in a different light. But Samy Vellu remains skeptical.

Despite the repeated public denials of a rift between the two, the source said the relationship between the former minister and his one-time press secretary is now at its “lowest ebb”.

“Samy Vellu is biting his lip and keeping quiet out of respect. But if things don’t change, he will make them change and there may be an open war.

“The former president does not like the new president’s style of running the party. During his 30 years as president, Samy Vellu was in absolute control, he spoke, and the rest listened.

“But Palanivel is delegating his tasks to everyone else and Samy Vellu thinks the party and the Indian community will suffer because of this. The Interlok controversy is a classic example.

“Samy Vellu feels that instead of ‘sub-contracting’ the issue to others to handle, MIC should have taken charge from start to end to resolve it, and not play hide and seek.”

The source also revealed that Samy Vellu is sore with the decision to reinstate four party members he sacked last year to their previous positions.

“While he has no grouse with them being readmitted as members, he disagrees with the move to reinstate them to their posts. That and the postponement of the presidential polls have upset him.

“Come December 2011, the post of president will automatically become vacant as stipulated by the party constitution, to postpone the election is unconstitutional.”

‘Singh is King in MIC’

According to the source, a senior party leader now has direct access to the president’s ear, and it is this person who is controlling the party while Palanivel is merely “tapping his feet to the Hindi tune.”

“This leader has vested interests, he is eyeing some government positions and has an axe to grind with Samy Vellu. So he is using Palanivel to achieve his goals. He is the ‘real’ president of MIC.”

Although the source refused to mention the name of the leader, it is an open secret that he was referring to former vice-president KS Nijhar.

A SMS is also being widely circulated claiming that “Singh is King in MIC” alluding to Nijhar who is of Punjabi descent.

Commenting on this issue, another party leader asked when Nijhar will retire and questioned his contribution to the party and Indian community.

“His peers have all retired. Why is he still sticking around, when he is above 70?

“This guy has done nothing for the community, all he does is whistle a popular Hindi song during the party’s annual general meetings. He also thinks he is smarter than the rest of us.”

Contacted by FMT, Nijhar rubbished the allegations. “I am just an appointed leader. I don’t know what these fellows are talking about.”

The source said MIC is now split into two camps and some leaders are afraid to come to the first floor of the party headquarters where Samy Vellu’s office is located.

“They are worried of being branded as Samy Vellu’s man if they show their face there.”

The source said Samy Vellu is now touching base with the party’s grassroots leaders, especially branch chairmen, who vote in the presidential election.

“Like it or not, the ‘old man’ still has clout in the party, and if push comes to shove, he may just back
(deputy president) Dr S Subramaniam in the presidential polls and finish off Palanivel.

“After all, where will Palanivel be today if not for Samy Vellu? He made him and he can also break him if he wanted to. So a time-bomb is ticking in the party.”

‘Palanivel democratising MIC’

Speaking to FMT, a Palanivel supporter defended the president, saying that he is merely democratising a party which has endured three decades of iron-clad rule.

“Samy Vellu and his loyalists fear Palanivel, they know their grip is slipping and a new order has been put in place, the new president is open and respects democratic principles.

“For Samy Vellu, it has always been an issue of caste politics, but Palanivel does not practice this, he has opened up the party to all, and the former president does not like this.”

The supporter, who wished to remain anonymous, also said that Palanivel was flooded with “hundreds of SMS”when he decided to readmit and reinstate the sacked members.

“He is not undoing whatever Samy Vellu has done, he is merely looking forward and taking the party in a new direction. The Indian community is also receptive towards this.

“Let me tell you this, if Palanivel is to call for a presidential election tomorrow, nobody can touch him and that is the truth of the matter.”

Najib ducks MCA’s Islamic state objection over PAS invite

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak refused to be drawn into a debate today over MCA’s objection to an alliance with PAS due to the latter party’s push for an Islamic state.

On Saturday, the prime minister invited PAS to join Umno but MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek closed the door the day after, saying the Islamist party must first abandon its Islamic principles.

“You know, I do not want to enter into this polemic over what is [an] Islamic state because there are various interpretation of what is Islamic state,” Najib told reporters here today.

Yesterday, Dr Chua said Najib is aware that his party will not accept PAS turning the country into an Islamic state although the prime minister cited Islam as a reason for the offer.

“MCA’s stand has been very clear that we will not accept PAS trying to make this country into a theocratic Islamic state. We will not accept that and PM is fully aware of MCA’s stance.

“They can join BN if they abandon their policy of turning this country into a theocratic Islamic state,” Dr Chua said.

Najib, who is also Umno president, had thrown open the doors on Saturday for PAS to join Barisan Nasional and further the concerns of Malays and Muslims, telling the Islamist party that it could not achieve its aims while partnering with DAP.

His invitation follows a call last weekend by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” campaign to unite the Malays against what the newspaper said was racial politics by the DAP to stir up Chinese sentiment.

It also continues concerted efforts by Umno post-Election 2008 to get PAS to join forces in the name of Malay-Muslim unity.

The subject of unity talks between PAS and Umno had dominated the 2009 PAS Muktamar, which saw a number of leaders keen on exploring talks with Umno emerge as big winners.

More recently, top PAS and Umno leadership met at a Christmas Eve dinner, hosted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last year, during which the subject of Malay unity was once again broached.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider the move then to bring PAS into BN entailed both PAS president Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa being given a prominent role in Putrajaya if the party decides to abandon Pakatan Rakyat (PR), but spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat continues to be the major obstacle in bringing PAS closer to the ruling coalition.

Following the furore over the Christmas Eve meet, Hadi had reassured his partners in PR that the Islamist party was committed to remaining in the pact.

RPK Part1- I did not go to the Embassy

Sex video: Pakatan critic Uthaya says it's not Anwar

By Florence A Samy, The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Human Rights Party leader P. Uthayakumar, who has openly criticised Pakatan Rakyat, received the full sex video tape by airmail but is convinced that the man in it is not PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“It is someone that looks like him but it is not him. A group of us watched it and are convinced it is not Anwar. It is not his face or looks or tummy. The actor has a big tummy,” he told a press conference on Monday.

Uthayakumar, who was the leader of the now banned Hindraf movement, said the CD was sent to his home address here on April 29 from Thailand with the postage mark Suan Phlu'.

“Not many know my exact home address. It is interesting that the sender knew it and even wrote Fasa Dua' although it is normally known as Phase Two'.

“I am not Anwar's or PKR's fan. I have been openly critical of Pakatan and Barisan Nasional and I will continue to criticise as long as there is injustice against the Indian community.

“But I am speaking out on the sex video as they are trying to victimise Anwar and tarnish his image,” he said.

The full tape was first revealed to journalists on March 21 at Carcosa Seri Negara by businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah who is part of the Datuk T' trio.

The full video was anonymously uploaded online last week following postings of two snippets.

Nasihat untuk lelaki lembut

BARU-baru ini saya terbaca tentang kem yang dikendalikan oleh Jabatan Pelajaran Terengganu untuk 66 orang pelajar sekolah menengah yang dianggap “lelaki lembut”. Kebetulannya, saya pernah menulis naskhah teater tentang isu yang sama, berjudul Air Con, yang dipentaskan pada tahun 2008 dan 2009.
Jadi saya pun berkobar-kobarlah mahu menulis komentar tentang isu ini, akan tetapi saya ketandusan ilham. Alangkah bertuahnya saya kerana kolumnis pujaan ramai, Kak Nora jualah yang petah memberi maklumbalas tentang perkembangan ini. Ikutilah nasihat Kak Nora untuk seorang pembaca muda.
Celine Dion (Wiki commons)
Celine Dion (Wiki commons)
Ke hadapan Kak Nora yang disanjungi lagi disegani,
Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Kak, first of all, biarlah saya ucapkan berbillion-billion terima kasih kerana banyak memberi panduan hidup yang berguna kepada para pembaca dan peminat, including moi. Bak kata penyanyi keding bersuara lantang, Celine Dion, “You were my strength when I was weak/You were my voice when I couldn’t speak.”
But I have a serious problem now, kak. Kak ada dengar tentang kem untuk “memachokan” pelajar lelaki lembut di Terengganu? Kak, they are coming to get me now! Ni saya tengah sembunyi bawah katil dalam gelap ni kak, hanya bertemankan iBook, iPad, iPhone, iPod dan peti solek L’Oreal.
Kak jangan salah faham. Saya lelaki, ok. Lelaki tulen dan sejati. Berumur 16 tahun. Kalau nak kahwin besok pun boleh. I have a girlfriend kak. But the thing is, saya sayang my girlfriend so much that kadang-kadang saya suka mengenakan her maskara dan gincu, memakai her baju kurung dan kasut tumit tinggi, and also melilit her tudung di kepala saya. And then kitorang akan sama-sama miming lagu Datuk Siti Nurhaliza depan cermin, siap dengan koreografi maut. And then kitorang akan main masak-masak dan membelek majalah hiburan untuk menatap gambar-gambar artis hensem, ceh, sorry, I mean artis-artis wanita yang ayu.
Does that make me a lelaki lembut kak? What do I do, kak? Please help me. Saya tak nak pergi kem untuk lelaki lembut kerana, er, kem macam itu memang tak berguna untuk lelaki tulen seperti saya!
Opocotmakengkaujatuhterkangkangdalamlongkang!
Sorry, kak, melatah – terdengar bunyi pelik. I thought they were coming to get me from bawah katil, tapi rupa-rupanya it’s my kucing gebu, Puteri Beyonce.
OK, please help me, Kak Nora!
Salam ketakutan,
Najib Ibrahim
Melaka

Waalaikumussalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh oi si Najib yang ku kesian,
Adam Lambert (Wiki commons)
Adam Lambert (Wiki commons)
Mula-mula sekali, yes, akak memang ada dengar tentang kem tersebut di Terengganu. At first, akak dijemput untuk menjadi salah seorang pelatih di sana, tetapi setelah pihak penganjur terbaca kolum akak tentang Adam Lambert terus akak tak dengar apa-apa lagi. Anyway…
Dik, akak memang faham masalah adik. Akak sebenarnya hairan. On one hand, akak pernah dengar pendapat pakar psikologi bahawa jika kaum ibu melatih anak lelaki untuk memasak, menjahit dan sebagainya, maka ini boleh menyebabkan anak lelaki tersebut menjadi lelaki lembut atau mak nyah. On the other hand, Saidatina Aishah r.a. sendiri pernah meriwayatkan bahawa Rasulullah s.a.w. sendiri rajin menjahit dan menolong dalam pekerjaan di rumah yang dilihat sebagai “kerja wanita”. Tapi susah untuk akak nak komen, sebab akak bukan pakar psikologi atau ustazah, akak hanya penulis ruangan nasihat gedik.
Anyway, to ting tong a cerita panjang to jadi pendek, akak ada beberapa cadangan untuk adik. Because akak terima keikhlasan dan, er, ketulenan baka jantan adik. Akak rasa even David Beckham ada simpan peti solek, tapi mungkin yang memuatkan jenama mekap yang lebih mahal. So now, akak berikan strategi separa ting tong untuk adik:
Adik boleh teruskan dengan bersolek dan memakai baju perempuan, tak menjadi masalah. Cuma adik perlu prihatin dengan Seksyen 72 Enakmen Kesalahan Jenayah Syariah Melaka yang berbunyi: “Seseorang lelaki yang memakai pakaian perempuan dan berlagak seperti perempuan di mana-mana tempat awam tanpa alasan yang munasabah adalah merupakan suatu kesalahan.” Telitikan ayat ini betul-betul. Maksudnya di sini, adik memerlukan “alasan yang munasabah” untuk bersolek dan memakai baju kebaya ketat. What that alasan is, wallahu a’lam.
Cuba adik mempelbagaikan wardrobe adik. It doesn’t mean adik tak boleh pakai mekap atau barang kemas. Cuba adik lihat watak Johnny Depp dalam siri filem Pirates of the Caribbean. Adakah dia memakai alat solek? (Lihatlah celak di matanya.) Adakah dia memakai rantai, cincin dan sebagainya? (Boleh mengalahkan mak andam dekat kampung akak.) Dan adakah perilakunya sedikit, em, pelik? (Ada yang mengatakan kerana dia sentiasa mabuk, tetapi mungkinkah kerana dia seorang Lanun Lembut atau Pirate Pondan?)
Kalau adik dipaksa membuat pekerjaan yang “macho” seperti bermain bola, don’t worry. You can still do like Beyonce, bebeh! Contohnya adik boleh buat koreografi tarian sebelum mengambil sepakan penalti. Kalau ada yang mengejek adik, adik balas saja, “This is a football tactic, darling!”
Strategi di atas semuanya dalam konteks adik terpaksa mengikut arahan untuk menjadi lebih “keras”. Tetapi mungkin adik lebih berani dan mahu mencetuskan revolusi kejantinaan di Malaysia. In that case, cuba adik hubungi fanclub untuk artis seperti Lady Gaga dan Lady Mama. Adik tidak perlu setuju atau suka 100% dengan mereka. Tapi mereka ada ramai peminat, dik. And diaorang punya peminat mungkin boleh memberikan sokongan moral dan/atau perundangan kepada adik.
Adik boleh cuba meluahkan perasaan adik kepada sesiapa yang sudi mendengar. Mungkin melalui status terkini adik di Facebook atau Twitter. Atau menulis surat kepada pemimpin tanahair seperti menteri pelajaran, atau menteri pembangunan wanita, keluarga dan masyarakat. Atau melalui blog, atau menulis surat kepada pengarang. Atau dengan memberitahu ibu bapa, abang atau kakak, bapa saudara atau ibu saudara, kawan-kawan, ustaz, ustazah, cikgu sekolah atau cikgu tuisyen – sesiapa saja yang adik rasa sudi mendengar dan memahami keadaan adik. Make sure suara adik tidak tenggelam. Sebab kalau adik membisu, siapa yang boleh membantu?
Anyway, akak ucapkan selamat berjaya kepada adik. Bila kahwin nanti jangan lupa jemput akak. Tapi belajar tinggi-tinggi dan cari kerja elok-elok dulu, contohnya menjadi chef selebriti.
Salam ikhlas lagi nakal,
Kak Nora

North Korea Facing a New Crisis?


Image
Kim: starving people? Where?
(Asia Sentinel) Starvation in the North may impel change

See also:
The Legend of Kim Jong-un

The revelation last week by former US President Jimmy Carter that Kim Jong Il wants direct talks with South Korea's President, Lee Myung-bak, has stirred intense speculation about what the reclusive North Korean leader is up to now, and raised questions about how fragile Kim's government might actually be.

Carter told the Associated Press that although they are not prepared to apologize publicly North Korean leaders had privately told him they took responsibility and expressed deep regret for the sinking of the South Korean Navy gunboat Cheonan last April and an artillery attack on South Korea's Yeonpyeong in November that killed two. Nonetheless, it may be an indication of the desperation that the North faces although in the past such offers to negotiate end up being clothed in unacceptable conditions to the West and South Korean officials.

Since the Yeonpyeong shelling, the north has gone noticeably quiet, amid some conjecture that their Chinese masters told them to back off. But according to South Korean charities, the North, perennially facing food shortages, in the wake of a harsh winter may be facing the worst famine since the mid-1990s when it is thought that as many as 2 million people starved to death. Once again, people are reported to be foraging for rats and snakes, grass and weeds and tree bark in an effort to stave off starvation.

Carter was accompanied by three other retired politicians, Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, Mary Robinson of Ireland, and Gro Brundtland of Norway. Robinson told reporters after the trip that the North faces a desperate crisis. There are underground ripples, in addition to the Carter visit, that indicate there may be movement behind the scenes. The Chinese, without being specific, have called for reconciliation on the peninsula after a North Korean diplomat visited Beijing.

The country's inefficient command economy and lack of investment in agriculture have led to two decades of poor harvests and rendered the north one of the poorest countries on the planet. Now conditions appear to be worsening noticeably. Although word of the Jasmine Revolution in the Middle East appears to have permeated at least some of the society through the handful that have cell phones, the reports are that the people are so apathetic from starvation that thoughts of food have crowded out any thoughts of rebellion against one of the world's most repressive regimes.

In the South, the view of what is going on north of the 38th Parallel has metamorphosed since the days of the Sunshine Engagement policy enunciated by former President Kim Dae-jung. In particular, there is a widespread perception in the South Kim Jong-il has damaged his cause with South Korea by his embrace of the campaign to become a nuclear state, perhaps irreparably. The government of Lee Myung-bak has adopted a hard line toward the North.

Although there have been occasional reports published that Kim would consider abandoning his nuclear ambitions, if ever there was any validity to them, there is likely to be little now, with the dictator having seen the mess the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has on his hands after having abandoned his own nuclear program several years ago and now having no way to blackmail NATO into leaving him alone.

One wants to wonder if the world is not viewing a chastened state. Kim is watching the world as shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of the firelight behind them and then presumably beginning to ascribe forms to these shadows. It has been reported, although without verification, that he remains so isolated in his 17 luxurious palace cocoons that subordinates never really reported to him just how bad the starvation of the mid-1990s was – although it is questionable if he had cared. The ailing leader, aged 70, is looking into the world through the prism of pseudo-reality. While Kim is allegedly a big fan of the Hollywood films, the ageing dictator is no better than a blind man in seeing the free world.

Kim may believe what he himself sees and experiences only. It is not an exaggeration, from my own government experience, to point out that none of the reform-minded apparatchiks around Kim, if there are any, dare to convince the dictator that he perceives only illusions, for fear that they will be killed. And certainly, during the famine years, the apparatchiks in charge didn't dare tell him how many people were dying of starvation.

The nuclear weapons program is a clear allusion to the external guarantee of regime survival. Just as his father, Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea, once rushed into an indigenous nuclear development based on an adaptation of Soviet models out of the fear of the collapse of his regime, Jong-il has spent decades sparring over what it would take to develop nuclear weapons in the wake of his father's sudden death in 1994. They have radicalized the small possibility, well-suited for the stability of the regime as well as for the contribution to its national security, that nuclear weapons would serve as a deterrent in the event of the 'imperialistic US's attack.' They're wrong.

While South Korean leaders have played pivotal roles in achieving the economic liberalization and political democratization in South Korea, the Kim dynasty in North Korea has failed to rescue its shattered regime from great peril since the internecine 1950-53 Korean War. The cave is no longer a haven for Jong-il and his heir apparent Jong-un, age 29, especially in the era of the Internet.

Given the North's moribund economy and broken community, it is clear that Kim has failed. More concerned about perpetuating his regime than about the fate of his starving people, he can by no means resolve the worsening famine without massive relief from outside, as clearly evidenced in the period of the 'Arduous March' in the early 1990s in which so many died.

Yet, if Kim later decides to travel out of his cave to witness daylight and look upon the rapidly changing world, Seoul and Washington should remain ready to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive solution to Pyongyang's desire for advanced nuclear weapons. China, the Kim regime's closest ally, is keen to engage with the North Korean nuclear troubles. China's influence on North Korea is already set in stone, which means that no talks over the North Korean nukes can succeed without Beijing's full cooperation.

While the stalled six-party talks are still needed, the member states – in particular, South Korea, the United States and China – must find a way forward through diplomatic negotiations with North Korea. Unless these key states take for granted the possession of North Korean nuclear weapons, it is time for a triangle of Seoul, Washington and Beijing to smoke the phantom-like leader out of the impoverished cave.

LEE, Byong-Chul is a senior fellow with the Institute for Peace and Cooperation in Seoul, South Korea.

Most Youths In Sabah Have Not Exercised Right To Vote

PUTATAN, May 2 (Bernama) -- Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin Monday expressed regret that most youths in Sabah in the eligible voting age do not exercise their right to vote as they have yet to register as voters.

The State Umno liaison committee secretary said from the feedback gathered from the youths in the party's strongholds, they still held the belief "that voting is the job of the older generation or their parents".

"They are therefore often not too keen to take part in the democratic process of electing their leaders," he said during a community programme in Kampung Tengah Padang, Petagas, near here Monday.

"It is sad that the majority of them seem not to realise the importance of their responsibility to vote," he added.

Yahya who is also Petagas assemblyman, said the youths he meant were those aged 21 to 40, and 70 per cent of the population in Putatan district itself were made up of this group.

"Therefore, there should be concerted efforts to attract the eligible young to vote to ensure the continuation of the party and Barisan Nasional's dominance in Sabah," he said.

According to him, the urban youths were considerably more aware of their role as voters, and the opposition especially DAP, had been successful in recruiting and registering the youths as their members and voters.

"That is why they have managed to win many urban seats in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, because of the support from young voters.

"The government must not ignore this fact and Umno as the backbone of the BN government, has no choice but to give attention to the relatively dormant young voters in the state," said Yahya, who is also State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister.

The party, he stressed, must further strengthen itself by getting closer to the younger generation to listen to their views, while raising awareness among this group of the significance of their voting power.

"This is especially so in areas where UMNO is considered the leading party but the majority of the youths are still not registered as voters. Otherwise, the party's strong influence may diminish and this will allow the opposition to capitalise on it," he said.

Osama Bin Laden killed

What next after bin Laden death?



Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s death is politically momentous for US president Barack Obama - witness the cheering crowds which gathered outside the White House even before his speech on Sunday night.
Its impact on al-Qaeda, though, is harder to measure.
Peter Bergen, an American journalist, said on CNN that bin Laden’s death marked “the end of the war on terror". But many other analysts would disagree: Al-Qaeda, after all, is a very different organisation in 2011 than in 2001, with a new cadre of leaders and a wider range of affiliate groups.
Analysts have long debated the extent to which bin Laden - and his deputy, Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahiri - direct al-Qaeda’s operations. The two men have largely been in hiding since September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, leaving their subordinates to handle many of the group’s day-to-day operations. Affiliate groups, like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, already operate with relatively little direction from the “leadership” on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
“It is often assumed that their principal roles, particularly in bin Laden’s case, are as propaganda leaders or even mere figureheads,” said Barbara Sude, a former CIA al-Qaeda analyst, in a policy paper released last year.
Indeed, a series of younger leaders - some of them now deceased - emerged to play leading roles in the group over the past few years, broadening its leadership. They include Abu al-Yazid; Abu Yahya al-Libi; and Atiyah abd al-Rahman.
If bin Laden is only a figurehead, then one could argue that he has already served his purpose: His ideology and strategy has permeated throughout al-Qaeda, both the central organisation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and its affiliate groups elsewhere.
“This is an enormous blow to the jihadi network in multiple ways, but it does not kill al-Qaeda,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorist Radicalisation at the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. “The jihadi group possesses other leaders who can step in to serve as figureheads for the group.”
Bin Laden’s death, in other words - while symbolically significant - may mean little for al-Qaeda’s capabilities.
'Catastrophic if it is authentic'
Reaction from al-Qaeda and its sympathisers has so far been muted. The group’s propaganda wing has not yet issued a video tribute to bin Laden, nor has it commented on the reports of his death.
On internet forums sympathetic to al-Qaeda, a majority of commentators seem shocked by the reports of bin Laden’s death.
In the past, when US officials announced the death of high-ranking al-Qaeda members, commentators often rejected those reports out of hand. But the latest announcement by Obama, on the other hand, seems to be viewed as somewhat more credible.
“If it is true then we must thank Allah that America was not able to capture him alive,” one commentator wrote. “Else they would be humiliating him like Saddam Hussein.”
“God willing, news is not true. Catastrophic if it is authentic,” another wrote.
The US state department issued a worldwide travel alert for American citizens, and the US military increased its “force protection” level, which measures threats to military bases. A senior administration official said there were no specific threats reported, though.
'No other country was informed'
One pressing question is what bin Laden’s death means for the already strained US-Pakistani relationship. The two countries have clashed publicly in recent months over US drone strikes in northwest Pakistan and over the case of Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor arrested for murder in Lahore and then released after “blood money” was paid to the families of his victims.
Obama had in the past praised the Pakistani government for its co-operation in the hunt for bin Laden. And some officials in the ISI, Pakistan’s spy agency, reportedly played a role in his eventual killing, according to media reports.
But the White House quickly rejected that claim: In a conference call on Sunday night, a senior administration official told reporters that Pakistan was not briefed in advance on the operation which led to bin Laden’s death.
“An operation like this has the utmost operational security attached to it,” the official said. “No other country was informed, and a small circle of people within the United States knew about it.”
Obama, in offering praise for Pakistan, also seemed to admonish the country’s leadership, calling it “essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al-Qaeda". Other administration officials went further, describing bin Laden’s long hideout in Pakistan as a cause for concern and a potential source of friction in the relationship.
“We are very concerned about the situation in Pakistan… but this is something we need to work with the Pakistani government on,” a senior official said.
Also unclear is whether bin Laden’s death will have any impact on the war in Afghanistan, now in its tenth year. Obama did not mention any changes to strategy during his speech; bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, not Afghanistan; and US officials admit that only a handful of al-Qaeda members remain in Afghanistan.
In other words, the war - started to punish the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks - may well outlast the architect of those attacks.

Source:
Al Jazeera