by Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysiakini | 12:32PM Jun 9, 2014
With Cadbury's reputation melting away like chocolate in the sun and possible losses of millions of ringgits, Najib Abdul Razak has finally reined in his chocolate warriors. In an effort to calm investors' nerves, he instructed senior officials to issue reassuring statements about the Cadbury chocolate scare.
These men touted a long list of problems; sample contamination, prolonged sample storage time, lack of laboratory accreditation, incompetent laboratory staff and shoddy laboratory practices.
If these issues about contamination and DNA integrity sound familiar, you are right. We have heard them all before, in the Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy II trial and the prosecution's appeal.
Despite all the shortcomings of the laboratory tests in the Cadbury fiasco, we are told, "The public should trust Jakim". So, if we are expected to accept the failures of the chemistry laboratory, and the reasons for sample contamination by incompetent chemists in the Cadbury chocolate tests, why is Anwar's legal team unable to use the same arguments in his appeal? Surely what is good for the goose should be also good for the gander.
In trying to placate an angry Muslim public and dropping investor confidence, the excuses given by Najib's officials may have compromised the government's own position, in relation to the Anwar Sodomy II case.
What else should we know about bad laboratory samples and work practices? What goes on behind the scenes which could shake our confidence? Why should we trust Najib and the government departments under his control?
In the Cadbury debacle, what role did a junior health official play in leaking the chocolate results? No junior official does things without instruction from above. Similarly, what role did the investigating officer (IO), Jude Pereira play in Anwar's prosecution?
Are the allegedly pork-tainted Cadbury chocolates a political or a business fix-up? This cannot be a simple case of nefarious NGOs flexing their muscles, especially as there is talk of a chocolate company investing RM800 million in a factory in Johor. Some Muslims are becoming more hostile in their "defence" of Islam, with wedding raids, child abductions and Bible confiscations.
Ten days after ugly scenes involving Muslim NGOs, which threatened to punish Cadbury with violence, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Islamic affairs Jamil Khir Baharom announced in Utusan Malaysia, that a new test from the same batch of Cadbury chocolates showed no trace of porcine DNA and that the samples had been contaminated.
He said, "The previous result which were conveyed to the Health Ministry recently may have been contaminated."
Contamination of the chocolate samples had possibly occurred because the samples had not been taken directly from the Cadbury factory and Jamil said that contamination could occur "if someone who consumed pork sneezed near the sample or if the samples shared the same storage areas as pork products".
'Second test not done'
The following day, Deputy Minister Hilmi Yahaya of the Health Ministry said that a second test had not been done on the chocolate sample, to confirm the presence of porcine DNA.
He said, "…apparently, it was not done and they kept the result for so long, three months is too long, then after that (it) came out in social media, which we never sanctioned" (sic).
Although the ministry's laboratory could perform the tests, Hilmi said that the facility was not accredited to check on halal status.
Contrast these with Anwar's Sodomy II trial and appeal, when his lawyer gave a long list of reasons why the semen samples from the anus of the complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan were dodgy. If there is one lesson we must heed, it is that "If there is any doubt, then there is no doubt".
Despite the arguments of Anwar's defence team, at his appeal, the lead prosecutor, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, ignored them.
The DNA samples retrieved from the semen in Saiful's anal cavity were in "pristine" condition, despite being 96 hours old, he submitted.
Degradation should have occurred with bacterial growth. Four days later, upon examination, the government chemist, Dr Seah Lay Hong, said that there was no degradation of the sample. Her response was that "degradation was of no concern to her".
The Australian experts who gave evidence said that specimens which are collected 36 hours after the sexual act could not be relied on to give a good DNA analysis.
Anwar's 'Good Morning' towel from the lock-up was contaminated and illegally obtained by the prosecution. Saiful's rectal swab contained the DNA of a third male contributor.
Serious doubts were raised about the integrity of the samples and the manner in which they were stored. For over a day, the semen samples were simply put in a cabinet in the office of the IO. No explanation was given for the deviation from the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the treatment and storage of samples to be used as evidence. In a high profile case, like this, the SOP should have been followed particularly closely.
The plastic bag, holding the individual DNA sample containers, had been cut open. The receptacles did not have tamper-proof seals, so the containers could easily be opened and resealed. These lend doubt to the credibility which can be placed on the samples. Who would have had the opportunity and motive to cut open the plastic bag, holding the containers?
Why should we trust them now?
Why should the rakyat give Jakim and the Department of Health the benefit of the doubt? Why should we trust them now? They have repeatedly broken our confidence, in the past.
The problem of porcine DNA contamination has occurred several times before. We are not told what actually happened, how contamination occurred, and who was prosecuted. We are only told that the problem has been resolved.
That is why we demand to know the full details of pig DNA contamination which happened previously (Tabasco, Golden Churn butter, HP Sauce). Why should we allow ourselves, and legitimate businesses to be subject to blackmail in the future?
When it suits the government, the sample taken from Saiful's bottom will be taken out of storage, and used to hound Anwar with the sole intention of compromising his political career, of breaking his will and that of the people whose only wish is to demand justice and good governance.
8 Jun 2014 - Kerancakan pembangunan di pesisir pantai di sini, termasuk pembangunan pelancongan, menyebabkan keluasan kawasan operasi nelayan di pesisir pantai Port Dickson menjadi semakin terbatas.
Pengarah Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia (LKIM) cawangan Negeri Sembilan, Nik Rashid Nik Jusoh berkata, projek-projek pembangunan itu mengganggu keluasan kawasan operasi para nelayan, lebih-lebih lagi dengan keadaan kawasan pantai yang agak sempit di Port Dickson.
"Kalau nak pergi jauh sangat tak boleh sebab mereka nanti akan melepasi sempadan antarabangsa dengan Indonesia dan sempadan negeri dengan Melaka. Jadi kawasan mereka sangat kecil dan menjadi bertambah kecil," katanya di sini.
Nik Rashid berkata, sekiranya projek pembangunan diteruskan di kawasan nelayan, pihaknya akan menuntut pampasan. Bagaimanapun biasanya pampasan yang diberikan tidak banyak, dalam lingkungan RM3,000 hingga RM6,000, katanya.
"Walaupun kita ada sediakan subsidi untuk minyak (RM200), tetapi dengan jarak yang lebih jauh, maka kos minyak juga akan jadi lebih mahal," tambah beliau, sambil mengakui bahawa LKIM tersepit antara pembangunan industri pelancongan dan peranannya menjaga kebajikan nelayan.
Kampung Jawa, 7 Jun 2014 - Seramai 85 orang pelajar cemerlang SPM 2013 dari 6 buah sekolah dalam kawasan DUN Seri Andalas pada hari ini telah menerima sijil kecemerlangan yang disampaikan oleh ADUN Seri Andalas, YB Dr. Xavier Jayakumar.
Majlis meraikan pelajar-pelajar cemerlang SPM 2013 ini telah diadakan di Dewan JKKK Kampung Jawa pada jam 9 pagi.
Speech by Anwar Ibrahim, at the Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, London on June 5th 2014
Introduction When one mentions Asia, the refrain 'freedom and democracy' doesn't naturally come to mind. It is true that Asia does have the world's two largest democracies. There is India which in sheer numbers dwarves the entire European and American democracies put together. And we also have Indonesia, touted as the world's largest Muslim democracy. But we know that the test of democracy is not in quantity but in quality.
And while we're in the numbers game, let us not forget that Asia also has the world's largest non-democracy. The dragon has awakened. It is now the fastest growing, and soon to be the largest economy in the world.
In his poem "The Statues", William Butler Yeats was concerned with more than just calculations and numbers when he wrote about "All Asiatic vague immensities.” He appreciated the importance of the cultural and civilizational aspects of what we call soft power.
For in terms of size, there is still the trinity of the Orient: namely Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. They are quality democracies and they seem established enough to remain so. They have vibrant civil societies, some like Japan's Sasakawa Peace Foundation, actively promoting freedom and democracy across the region. But, as nations, they seem to adopt a policy of political abstinence, eschewing any aspiration of being drivers of democracy for the rest of Asia.
The fact remains that autocratic regimes still litter the geopolitical landscape of Asia. They may be absolute monarchies, or dictatorships from a dynastic line, or autocracies that have monopolised power for years. They may also be so-called emerging economies with veneer of all the trappings of democracy but which, in truth, are mere sham democracies governed by political elites bent on retaining power.
A classic statement on democracy, almost a cliché, is attributed to Winston Churchill which I think is worth repeating. He said: "Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect… Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government – except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
Democracy, freedom and justice in the Asian Century As for the so-called "Asian Century", there is no consensus on what the criteria are. Many would agree that impressive growth for the last three decades should count as a major indicator. In spite of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Asia's economic performance has been on the ascent and if it continues for another two decades, may well become a force that could bring about a power shift. And this seems to be sufficient precedent for establishing the Asian Century.
Of power shifts and Soft power But when it comes to soft power, the jury is still out. For three decades, China had many opportunities to take a lead role in geopolitical affairs but it did not measure up to the challenge. Its priority has always remained economic growth. Who is to say that this is a right or wrong move? But in terms of its potential to garner soft power, this is counts as under achievement.
Nevertheless, some say that China is incapacitated from leading even Asia in geopolitical matters because of foundational issues of governance. In spite of a more open market and foreign direct investment growing by leaps and bounds, there should be no mistaking that it remains the world's largest and most powerful autocracy. Well, Vladimir Putin may dispute that but that doesn't change China's track record as far as human rights and other fundamental liberties are concerned. This is quite apart from the border disputes that China is embroiled in that are now serious flashpoints of conflict in the East.
In the context of our discussion today on the Asian Century, this is indeed an intractable problem. As well as economic power, China may also be able to deliver on culture as one aspect of soft power but I doubt that will be enough to cloak China with moral authority.
So what about India? Given its track record in the political arena, India, with its vibrant democracy, seems a more obvious choice. Rule of law, independence of the judiciary, separation of powers, free and fair elections. These are all the plus points for India. But India's economic infrastructure is still weak. And just like China, it is very protectionist.
Having said that, a small caveat is in order: in the Western media, when it comes to Asia, it is called "increasing protectionism" but when it's the USA or Europe similar measures are called "economic patriotism". The great Chinese Sage, Confucius or Master Kung, was absolutely spot-on in advocating the rectification of names. The proper designation of things ensures social harmony not just in domestic affairs but in international relations as well.
Still, while Asian countries can look at India respectfully for its economic performance, the greater focus should be on its democratic values and the principles of pluralism and inclusiveness. But as Amartya Sen has pointed out India has a glaring contradiction: the continuing grinding poverty of its masses contrasts sharply with its alleged economic success. After all, it was a poor economy coupled of course with recurrent corruption scandals that propelled the BJP to such a grand victory in the elections. Nevertheless, with the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, and growing demands for social justice, India's prospects of being emulated by others will be dim until some major progress is made in this area.
Inequities of wealth distribution To talk of democracy divorced from the social context would be pointless. We have seen Occupy movement that spread around the world. It is an example of the cracking of social cohesion and stability even in established democracies when wealth and economic opportunities are monopolized by the rich and powerful. The signs are already there in various parts of Asia. In another decades, one can imagine, how much deeper and wider this gap will be, unless some major redistribution is made to assure social justice.
It is true that issues about evolution of inequality and wealth concentration in the hands of a few are easier asked than answered. In his Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge may not have led to inequalities of the scale warned of by Karl Marx, but the main driver of inequality is unbridled free market economics. This tends to generate returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth. Today, this threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values.
The problem of governance Aside from the threat posed by extreme inequalities, I believe the problem of governance is the greatest impediment as Asian nations get richer and the reins of power continue to be concentrated in the hands of the upper echelons.
Though there is no correlation between corruption and geography, the scourge of corruption happens to be most rampant in Asia, Latin America and Africa. China and India have been hit by high profile corruption cases and many argue that one of the biggest factors that brought down the Indian National Congress party was corruption.
Southeast Asia, needless to say is riddled with corruption. This is an area Indonesia also must seriously examine. However, unlike its neighbours, Indonesia has taken many strides towards full democracy. Complaints of some localised incidents of vote buying notwithstanding, their elections are by far superior to others in the region in terms of being free and fair. In the last elections, there was no widespread systemic fraud and if challenged in the Constitutional court, unlike her neighbours, there is no question of a judiciary being subservient to the ruling party.
Corruption, however, remains a key issue. Yet, equally, we can see the earnestness and independence of the anti-corruption agency in discharging its duties without fear or favour.
Middle East, Turkey As for Turkey, I believe that politically, the system is in place with the institutionalizing of democracy, the rule of law and proper governance. Economically, its growth trajectories are far better than its European counter parts, and in certain respects are as impressive as that of the Asian tigers and dragons. And with an increasingly more sophisticated middleclass, its potential in this regard cannot be underestimated.
It is true that recent events appear to have cast a negative light on the state of its democracy. But Turkey is facing exceptional circumstances caused in no small part by elements within the state bent on destabilize what is essentially a viable democracy under a progressive Muslim government.
Egypt, however, tells a different story. In the aftermath of the 3rd July 2013 military coup which toppled the democratically elected government of Morsi and the missteps in Libya and Bahrain, many have cynically dismissed the "Arab Spring" as an "Arab Winter".
Indeed, now that the illegitimate government of Field Marshal al-Sisi is going into overdrive to 'legitimize' itself with the latest sham elections, all eyes are on America and the EU – how will they respond to this phase of what is essentially a protracted military coup. Will America and the EU repeat the errors they made for decades with Mubarak? That is a question begging for answer.
Speaking of military coups, let us not leave out Thailand which has fashionably slouched back to its old habits. In many ways, the people of Thailand are caught between Scylla and Charybdis. But as a firm believer in freedom and democracy, under whatever circumstances, the military has no business to be in government.
Tunisia, on the other hand, has managed to come out of the storm, walking tall as a new nation liberated from decades of virtual dictatorship. But the Arab spring not only brought down oppressive regimes. It shattered the misconceptions about Islam and democracy. The general view was that it would take some time before we could see a convergence of Islam and democracy in the Middle East. There was the history, the cultural conditioning and the prejudices on both sides of the proverbial divide that contributed to this general scepticism.
Turkey and Indonesia had already settled this issue, nevertheless, the Arab states were always seen as the exception. So, the case of Tunisia should put the matter to rest. It has crossed its first major hurdle with the ratification of its new constitution on 27 January 2014 and we await the general elections due by the end of 2014.
Conclusion If an Asian century draws nigh, a power shift from the West to the East would appear to be on the horizon. But these are suppositions conditioned by many eventualities. To be worthy of the name such a century should be about more than exercising the fruits of growing economic power. It has to mean more than them or us calculations – calculations driven by insistence on a false dichotomy of West and East. An Asian Century should be built on the solid sustainable foundations of enhancing civil society, delivering good governance and increasingly liberties and freedoms to the people of Asia along with rising living standards. If it becomes a zero sum game of they win therefore we lose – everyone is the poorer. Invest in and support the quality and forget the width. Therein lies our best hope. Thank you.
The latest military coup in Thailand won’t ensure real stability unless the country’s new rulers address the deeper causes of political conflict.
The Kingdom of Thailand is a constitutional graveyard: In just over 80 years, it’s gone through 18 failed constitutions in a carousel of military coups and corrupt civilian governments. And, in recent years, the civilians have likewise been fighting among themselves, pitting the so-called Red Shirt movement, strong in the North and rural areas, against the Yellow Shirts of Bangkok and the South, in an increasingly violent conflict that has destabilized the country. Now, as the smoke clears over mid-May’s dramatic coup, Thailand’s new military government has suspended the constitution once again. Though the military has been vague regarding specifics, they will put forth atemporary constitution, which will eventually to be followed by something more permanent: Lucky #19.
With the coup itself now behind us we can still hope that the military government may be able to break the vicious cycle once and for all. To make sure the next government sticks, however, the military will have to make a radical departure from tradition. It must resist the urge to implement a military mindset over the drafting of a new constitution. A top-down approach will be likely to poison the process — and process is everything in constitution writing.
During the decades of constitutional upheaval, Thailand’s civilian political parties remained relatively weak. This changed when billionaire populist Thaksin Shinawatra arrived on the scene about 15 years ago. Shinawatra and his allies played into the rural sense of exclusion from government, allowing them to win elections time and again — six since 2001. But lacking a deep tradition of democracy, Thaksin’s opponents, including the middle-class, urban Yellow Shirts, have been unwilling to accept the results. In fact, the Yellow Shirts’ refusal to accept the 2013 election victory of Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is precisely what sparked the conflict leading to last month’s coup.
Thaksin’s opponents, for their part, are highly influential among Thailand’s strongest institutions — the bureaucracy, the military, the Buddhist sangha, and, of course, the monarchy. These groups exist and function separately from any constitutional government, and tend to be distrustful of electoral democracy. The result has been a series of weak civilian governments, incapable of preserving themselves when the gulf between majoritarian sentiment and elite interest has become too wide.
Thai constitutions have historically been written rather hastily so as to recover a semblance of normalcy in the wake of a military coup or popular uprising. The 1997 constitution made an admirable attempt to break from that trend. The drafing process involved mass participation and created a new set of institutions aimed at ensuring that elected officials did not abuse their power, including a constitutional court and commissions to fight corruption and protect human rights. But by 2006, many within the Thai elite had come to see that system as ineffective, not least because Thaksin’s electoral strength allowed him to wield great influence over these institutions. Following a coup in September 2006, Thaksin fled the country, and the military oversaw the drafting of the 2007 constitution, which watered down some of the perceived excesses of the previous version. They hoped it would serve as happy medium.
One of their revisions, for example, changed the architecture of Thailand’s senate, the gatekeeper to high-level government promotions. Military-dominated constitutions tend to have appointed senates, while democratic ones use popular elections to fill those seats. In an attempt to compromise, the military-backed drafters of the 2007 constitution split the difference, establishing a system in which half the senators would be appointed and half elected. Such “compromises” were defined unilaterally, however, based upon the military’s own notion of a “fair deal,” without having undergone bipartisan dialogue beforehand.
And bipartisan dialogue is exactly Thailand needs to break the vicious cycle. The failure of the 2007 “compromise constitution,” clearly illustrates the futility of any attempt to form a viable system merely by tweaking constitutional text. The polarized factions within the country must come together to create a constitution that will be widely seen as representing the whole country. That way, down the line, no party can say that the constitution was drafted according to an enemy’s design.
Establishing a productive dialogue will not be an easy task. There are no institutions credible and neutral enough to mediate the deep class and regional divides that cause the country’s current political crisis. King Bhumibol has been the supreme arbiter of political conflict for decades, but as his physical power wanes, so too does his ability to step in. The looming monarchical succession also adds a sense of urgency to the current crisis.
The military junta should call together all the major players, including leaders of both the Red and Yellow factions, for a genuine discussion about the principles and institutions that should guide the country going forward. Cases in which the military has successfully played the role of neutral arbiter anywhere are exceedingly rare. That said, the three-month “reconciliation” period recently announced by coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha represents good start. (In the photo above, a poster depicts the general as Big Brother from George Orwell’s 1984.) But it is not yet clear exactly who will be invited to the table, or how the reconciliation will proceed.
For a resolution to be viable in the long term it will require frank dialogue, leading to a bargain that is palatable to both factions. For the discussion to be successful, the negotiators will have to settle on two key issues: 1) how to ensure that both factions respect the democratic process in the future, and 2) how to come to terms as a nation with the political violence of the past few years.
The broad outlines of such a grand bargain are not inconceivable, even now, even if getting both sides to agree may be challenging. It should include a commitment on the part of the reactionary Yellow Shirt partisans to respect electoral results; a constitutional provision prohibiting political amnesties (although the military will almost certainly get a pass); a reconstituted set of accountability institutions; and a strong recommitment to the monarchy. Such a deal would leave Thaksin Shinawatra out of the country, but still allow room for democracy to be respected.
Given the geographic nature of the Red-Yellow divide, Thailand might also benefit from greater decentralization. This would reduce the stakes of controlling the national government, but could also encourage economic development within the poorer regions of the country, ameliorating some of the inequality that has to date fueled the conflict.
And yet, getting to a constitutional agreement will require patience and no small modicum of trust, and trust can be slow in coming. Outside pressures — including U.S. insistence that the country return to constitutional norms so that bi-national relations can resume — might incentivize the military to rush the process. Even under the best of circumstances, establishing rapport between foes can take time, and these are hardly the best of circumstances.
Ernest Hemingway created memorable characters in his short stories and novels by drawing on real people—parents, friends, and fellow writers, among others. He also drew on real places and events to create settings and engaging plots. Whether revisiting the Italian front in A Farewell to Arms, recounting a Pamplona bull run in The Sun Also Rises, or depicting a Cuban fishing village in The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway relied on his personal experiences, friendships and observations for the content of his work.
Since Hemingway's works reflect interests and adventures at different stages of his life, creating a ranking for his fiction is difficult. However, the following ranks his most broadly acclaimed works and comments on their contribution to the Hemingway legacy.
1. The Sun Also Rises - Hemingway's first novel is at the top of my list because it reflects his reliance on his traditional Midwestern values as he encountered new experiences and values in post-World War I Europe. Using friends and acquaintances that populated the cafes along Boulevard Montparnasse in Paris, he reveals his concern about the valueless life of these Lost Generation characters and begins his personal and literary search for meaning in what appears to be a godless world. In the midst of their heavy drinking and meaningless revelry during a fiesta in Spain, Pedro Romero, the matador, becomes a hero. He conducts himself with honor and courage, and it is here we see the beginnings of what will become the Hemingway Code.
The book also tops my list because it reveals Hemingway's courageous attempt to write in a new and different way by portraying the bad and the ugly as well as the beautiful. Though The Sun Also Rises was well received by the critics, it was not well received by Hemingway's acquaintances who saw themselves portrayed as self-indulgent, alcoholic and sexually promiscuous in his unflattering, but honest, characterizations. Nor was it well received by his mother, who said he had produced "one of the filthiest books of the year."
2. A Farewell to Arms - Hemingway's second novel is a high on my list because it is the fictional account of events that changed and informed his world view. When Hemingway left the security of the Midwest and went to Italy looking for adventure as an ambulance driver in World War I, he got more than he had bargained for. The idealistic Midwesterner joined the war to end all wars, ready to display honor and courage, but was blown up in a trench. Then he fell in love, contemplated marriage and was rejected by the woman he loved. His confrontation with death, his subsequent wound, and his first experience with love all became catalysts for developing a code of behavior for facing life's challenges.
A Farewell to Arms was the fictional result of Hemingway's experiences in Italy and initiates what would become one of the most dominant themes in his novels, the confrontation of death. Though Catherine Barkley's character seems dated to contemporary female readers, the book still demonstrates that Hemingway used what he learned in Italy to show that war brings out the best and worst in men and women.
3. The Old Man and the Sea - After the unsuccessful reception to Across the River and into the Trees, Hemingway wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning novel to defend his reputation as a writer. Based on his experiences in Cuba, he created a character of an old fisherman. Alone in a skiff, the old man catches a great marlin, only to have it destroyed by sharks. The old man, who had been a champion arm-wrestler and a successful fisherman, was, like Hemingway, trying for a comeback.
The old man embraces the code for living that Hemingway first developed based on his experiences in World War I—the experiences in which a man confronts an unconquerable element. In fighting the sharks, the old man exhibits courage and grace under pressure, believing "a man can be destroyed, but not defeated."
The reviews and success of the book were nothing less than phenomenal. Appropriately, Hemingway was aboard his boat and out on the Gulf Stream when he heard via the ship's radio that the book had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
4. To Have and Have Not - Hemingway's growing awareness of financial and social strata are reflected in To Have and Have Not. The characters are based on people the now famous author met in Key West—the working class he encountered on the docks and at Sloppy Joe's, the rich who moored their boats in Key West harbor, and the illegal Chinese immigrants who were being smuggled from Cuba to Key West to promote tourism in newly formed Chinatowns.
In this Depression-era novel Hemingway comes close to arguing for social and political changes needed to help the working man. However, Hemingway does not see the New Deal remedies as the solution. As a result, the fate of the novel's main character, Harry Morgan, outlines the limits of personal freedom, self-reliance and the absence of grace under pressure, and the closest Hemingway comes to a solution is for Harry to say, "No matter how a man alone ain't got no f—— chance.”
5. The Nick Adams Stories - This collection of short stories is a favorite because it provides insight into the life of the young Hemingway. As a child Ernest would accompany his father, Dr. Clarence Hemingway, as he provided pro bono medical services and attended to injured Indians, women in child-birth, and individuals in a variety of life-threatening situations in the Indian camps of northern Michigan. The memory of one of these trips appears in "Indian Camp." Young Nick is with his father on a medical mission to deliver a baby. A Native American woman's been in labor for two days, and Nick observes his father perform a Caesarian with a jackknife sterilized in a basin of boiled water.
Similarly, the reader gains insight into the relationship of Hemingway's parents in "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife" and understands Hemingway's feelings of separation from his family and life in Oak Park after returning from World War I in "A Soldier's Home."
6. For Whom the Bell Tolls - Based on his experiences as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War, this novel contains the classic Hemingway elements—a main character demonstrating grace under pressure and a plot that combines the interest and conflicts associated with love and war. As with his other works, Hemingway uses his friendships and personal experiences. Robert Jordan is modeled after Robert Merriman, an American professor who left his research on collective farming in Russia to become a commander in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and was killed during the final assault on Belchite. Maria is based on a young nurse of the same name who was gang raped by Nationalist soldiers early in the war. The novel's three days of conflict takes place near the El Tajo gorge that cuts through the Andalusian town of Rondo, where a political massacre like the one led by Pablo occurred early in the Spanish Civil War.
Though some readers find the details of the battles tedious, it is one of Hemingway's most popular novels. The book was published in October, 1940. By April, 1941 almost 500,000 copies had been sold, and in January, 1942, the movie rights were purchased by Paramount for $100,000.
Jualan Amal "Biskut Segar Emping Jagung Dengan Kismis" (Fresh Homemade Cornflake With Raisins Biscuit) untuk diagihkan kepada keluarga yang memerlukan sempena Ramadhan untuk juadah ringan berbuka puasa atau moreh.
Dengan RM20 biskut akan diagihkan kepada golongan yang memerlukan, rumah kebajikan, rumah anak yatim, sekolah tahfiz dan sebagainya.
30 peratus hasil jualan pula akan dimasukkan ke Tabung Kebajikan PAS Rembau untuk agihan bantuan kepada keluarga yang memerlukan sempena Ramadhan dan Syawal.
Untuk sumbangan, tempahan, belian atau maklumat lanjut sila hubungi Tn Hj Rozmal bin Malakan (Timbalan Yang Dipertua PAS Kawasan Rembau) tel 012-2267406 , firstname.lastname@example.org PM FB : Rozmal
Sumbangan boleh dimasukkan ke akaun :
Nama akaun : PAS Kawasan Rembau
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No akaun : 05-012-01-007334-7
atau ke akaun Maybank, No Akaun 155126945930
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Finally, it has dawned on Najib Abdul Razak that Malaysiakinireaders are not worth winning over and he is now going for the jugular by serving the news portal a writ of summons over defamation.
This is the man who, upon assuming the highest political office in the country five years ago, conceded that "the days the government knows best are over", and went on to introduce a host of 'reformist' measures. He also declared unashamedly that he would make Malaysia 'the best democracy in the world'.
But what evolved in the years after has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that Najib had promised Malaysians gems but delivered worse than pebbles.
Indeed, he abolished the infamous Internal Security Act, but has kept intact, rather cunningly, the Sedition Act which was supposed to be also repealed.
Had Najib been sincere in any reform agenda, his administration would have been refrained from using the Sedition Act pending its replacement. Instead, Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei, the Sri Muda assemblyperson, is still fighting his case at the Federal Court, while Teresa Kok became the latest victim over her, okay, not-so-tasteful Chinese New Year video clip.
Much as I detest the arbitrary law, it remains morally outrageous to see the Umno-friendly individuals – from Ibrahim Ali, Zulkifli Noordin, Ridhuan Tee to the Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) clowns – above it. The shameless double standard only debunks further the myth of national unity as Najib has mendaciously pledged.
Still, the mainstream newspapers praised him to the skies back in April 2009 as if Malaysia's elevation to a full democracy was nigh. Just look at Tay Tian Yan of Sin Chew Daily who wrote unabashedly of Najib as being "confident and capable… ready to be a prime minister for all Malaysians". Yes, go laugh your head off before reading on.
But Najib's desperate move only exposes his vulnerability within the party. When he sought to exert his authority as party president and prime minister by removing Ahmad Said from office, the former Terengganu chief minister pulled off a last-minute coup over, amusingly, his daughter's wedding and the s**t hit the fan.
Prior to that, Najib had come under enormous pressure from the ultras within the party and a vengeful Mahathir Mohamad from without. His inability to rein in Ahmad Said is just another indicator of his untenable position, and so livid was he that he decided to punish Malaysiakini for his own failings.
Waging war with all parties except…
Truth be told, it is Umno's mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia that has been churning out defamatory stories and waging war with all parties except its own political masters.
For DAP, is it 'a Christian agenda'; for PKR, it is 'DAP's poodle'; for PAS, it is 'selling out the Malays', for Nurul Izzah Anwar, it is 'apostasy'; for Ambiga Sreenevasan, it is 'a threat to Islam'; for Anwar Ibrahim, it is 'sexual deviation'; for Malaysiakini, it is 'the habit of defaming others' and, for peace-loving Malaysians who took part in the Bersih rallies, what else but a bunch of 'samseng' who came with 'knives, guns and stones with an intention to kill'!
If there is one person who should feel the righteous wrath at being insulted, humiliated and defamed on a daily basis, it should be the ordinary Malaysian who is yearning for change but is made to suffer all the innuendos and racist statements at the hands ofUtusan and other Umno-controlled media, on which Najib has been conspicuous by his silence.
And Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK - right) has the nerve to accuse Malaysians of humbuggery in acquiescing to Anwar's lawsuits against those who have defamed him.
I am pretty certain RPK has sold his soul to the devil and now chosen to see only what he wants to see. Anwar, or any potential rivals to Umno for that matter, is compelled to resort to court to clear his name precisely because his right of reply is persistently denied and even suppressed by the powers-that-be.
By contrast, not only that Malaysiakini has afforded Najib a right of reply, but Umno has also the entire state machinery to rebut and even distort whatever that is reported by online portals. Can RPK who is purportedly wise and discerning not see the crucial difference?
Be that as it may, the public should welcome Najib's lawsuit, for it will once and for all shatter his image as a pseudo-democrat.
I would say: Bring it on Najib, but make sure you will not be dodging critical questions in court. After all, it is you and your government that will be put on trial for the whole world to see, your advantage of having some malleable judges on your side notwithstanding.
Flight MH370 has been missing for nearly three months, but a fresh ‘sighting’ and underwater noise are fuelling conspiracy theories
The failure to find wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the slow release of official information has left the troubled hunt mired in uncertainty and continues to spawn a growing range of sightings and conspiracy theories.
Almost three months since the Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers went missing, the search has found no debris and criminal investigators have found no evidence of terrorism or a motivation behind the apparently deliberate sabotage of the plane.
The search has focused for months on a stretch of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia, but the entire operation is relying on satellite data that was never intended to chart the course of the plane.
Meanwhile, distraught families across the world hold hope that their loved ones may have survived and have led a push for the release of all information about the flight.
Authorities in Australia continue to believe the plane is somewhere in the south Indian Ocean and have pledged to press ahead with the underwater operation, releasing a tender calling for companies to conduct the search.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the lack of firm evidence of the plane’s final resting point and the failure to find debris has led to a growing number of conspiracy theories and possible sightings.
This followed various other sightings shortly after the plane disappeared, including claims the plane flew low over houses in the Maldives or near an oil rig off the coast of Vietnam.
Others have speculated that military authorities must have access to radar data which has not been disclosed; indeed, there has been surprisingly little data made available despite the plane disappearing in a part of Asia that has become increasingly tense in recent years.
Others have gone further, claiming the plane may have landed on an airfield in troubled or overlooked parts of the world, from Afghanistan to the Andaman Islands.
Meanwhile, information continues to trickle out.
In the past two weeks, authorities in Malaysia released the cargo manifest and the satellite data used to plot the apparent course of the plane after it made its unexplained turn south.
Authorities leading the search in Australia have been forced to make the embarrassing admission that they searched the wrong area for months and that there was no debris in a zone in which apparent black box pings were heard.
But they continue to insist that the satellite data is an accurate guide to the plane’s whereabouts, even as they shift to a new uncertain phase in the search. The next phase, to begin in August, will cover more than 23,000 square miles.
It is due to take 12 months – leaving plenty of time for further claims, theories and official data.
Prior to 2004, licences were awarded to the Independent Power Producers (IPP) by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) on a directly-negotiated basis. It is a well-known fact that only the well-connected were awarded the licences which paved the way to raking in millions if not billions, due to “sweetheart” deals of the first generation IPP's Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA).
That the first generation IPPs enjoyed mid-teen project's IRR (Internal Rate of Return – a yardstick used to measure financial viability of a project) is an open secret. That this rent-seeking behaviour had ultimately contributed to higher cost of electricity is synonymous with the hey-day of privatisation ala-Mahathirnomics.
Needless to say, power plants are surely “gold–mines” where concessionaires lock in their cash-flows for at least the next 20 years.
The industry players in the power sector were relieved when the Najib administration embarked on a spate of reforms which were to see, among other core reforms, a competitive tender to be undertaken for the award of future IPPs.
Moving in that direction, MyPower Corp which was established in 2010, a unit under the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, was to spearhead the reforms so as to ensure the cheapest cost of energy delivered to the consumer.
Since 2011, the EC has conducted four competitive biddings. Tenaga Prai power plant (capacity 1.071 MW) was awarded by the EC to Tenaga (TNB) after a stiff bidding process. It was reported that 18 participants submitted their bids. Tenaga outbid the rest, with a levelised tariff of 34.7 sen/kWh and a project IRR of between 6 and 7%. This price now seems to be an industrial benchmark.
The latest competitive bid was the project 3B that was to build a 2,000 MW coal-fired power plant. The EC controversially awarded it to 1MDB despite it not being the lowest but based on technical grounds.
Much to the chagrin of the industrial players in the power sector, the reform is now perceived as being placed on the backburner and the EC is ostensibly making a U-turn, a regression of sorts.
Project 4A is a combined gas-fired turbine plant with a 1,100 MW to 1,400MW capacity. Sources said that the decision on the direct negotiation would help finalise the contract quickly and speed up the delivery of the power plant to address capacity shortage, following recent “outages” in several states.
These reasons, however, were not well received by the power players as it also defied logical thinking. The EC can't suddenly argue that the country is in dire need of electricity after the recent outages. Planning is an ongoing process. The EC must be transparent as to the real causes of the outages.
The installed capacity is currently at 21,000MW while peak demand comes to the range of 17,000MW. This provides a clear margin of 4,000MW. So taking account of anticipated outages and unplanned ones, there is a clearly a safe margin. There is no foreseeable surge in demands for electricity in the immediate future.
Different opinions prevailed between the EC and the industry players as to the “actual operating reserve margin”. Even after taking into account all scheduled (maintenance and repair) and unscheduled outages (due to lightning and mishaps like floods), industry players insist on achieving a 10% to 21% operating reserve margin.
They argued that gradual power planting would be pertinent and would also arguably avoid excess reserve margins which would only burden consumers.
TNB moreover has made it clear that another 7,000MW of electricity has been planned for commissioning for the next four years and will be coming on-stream by 2018. There is sufficient reserve capacity so as not to allow the repeat of 1992.
Hence, why the rush for an open-tender?
Despite the opposition, going by the latest turn of events, the EC has already offered “a conditional award” for the development of Project 4A to a “consortium that is made up of three prominent bidders” of the project, namely YTL, SIPP and TNB.
Now that the three supposedly top bidders have been asked to form a consortium, one wonders why you even called for an open tender in the first place!
The rakyat would surely want the EC to be transparent as to “what are the conditional offers”. What are the formulae and rates for the power produced by this plant that will be undertaken sold to TNB? One can't help thinking that the involvement of TNB is an eye-washer of sorts. Considering this is a direct-negotiated deal, it is expected that bigger transparency would be demanded from the Malaysian public.
Be that as it may, such political interference doesn't augur well for Malaysia and, in fact, damages our credibility in the eyes of the international business community. We shall perhaps be their last destination for further high tech industry since investors are afraid of flip-flopping and uncertainties in policies.
To make it worse, the recent comment by Tan Sri Francis Yeoh urging an end of “capital capitalism” seems both weird and unbecoming as well as hollow. Many perceive that he has outwardly contradicted his own rise in the power sector and, more importantly, his current attempt at securing the project deal 4A deal through connections with the royalty.
YTL International Power Berhad owns the majority share in the holding company of SIPP Power Sdn Bhd while SIPP Energy Sdn Bhd owns 30% share of the SIPP Power Sdn Bhd. For transparency and best practice, Francis should come clean to explain all these rather than simply pronouncing lofty ideals of battling “crony capitalism” in Corporate Malaysia.
Searches in Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) have shown that HRH Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, Sultan Johor, is the majority (51%) shareholder of SIPP Energy while the majority (3 out of 5) of SIPP Power directors are siblings of YTL International Power Bhd managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh and executives within the YTL Group.
In the final analysis, it is important to register that this U-turn and flip-flop in policy is certainly not doing good to Malaysia as an investment destination. The chairman of the EC must be reminded that he is placed in the EC to undertake this reform.
Should he insist on the “direct negotiation”, will he allow for a "Swiss Challenge" from the other equally competent bidders?
It serves the new EC well to do a “Tan-Sri Ani Arope”, ie to exit graciously as a protest to the Najib's flip-flop policy. That will go down well in history as a commitment for change and reform.
Despite Putrajaya’s multi-million ringgit marketing blitz to promote the goods and services tax (GST), a survey by a private university still found that a majority of Malaysians are against the consumption tax due next April 1.
Among other things, the survey by UCSI of 700 respondents showed that they do not accept the consumption tax, do not think the government can implement it effectively and that they are satisfied with the present tax system.
In presenting the survey's findings, UCSI poll research centre chief executive Dr Ngerng Miang Hong said that a significant number of respondents were also still uncertain about how the tax system would work.
The survey's findings echo the results of a similar poll in April and could hamper Putrajaya’s efforts to get the public to buy into the new tax system, which it says is necessary to raise government revenue.
The survey's most startling result found that 80% of respondents were not confident that the government would be able to implement GST effectively.
A huge majority of respondents also felt that the new tax system may be effective in other countries but may be abused by the Malaysian government.
A total of 41.7% strongly agreed with the assertion that GST "is more effective in other countries but may be abused by our government", with 37.5% agreeing with that statement.
Some 66% of respondents felt that the new tax will not improve the economy, while more than 83% of them believed that it will burden low- and middle-income citizens.
And 59% did not feel that they could accept the GST, the survey showed.
At the same time, 49% wanted the current sales and service tax system to continue versus 32% who felt that it was time to switch to the GST.
To illustrate how people were still unsure about the effects of GST, Ngerng said about 45.9% said they were not sure how the tax affects their cost of living while more than 47% said they were sure.
Ngerng said the survey was conducted both online and at face-to-face meetings with both rural and urban respondents between the ages of 20 and 45.
Respondents were not identified according to ethnicity but claimed that they came from diverse backgrounds.
Ngerng announced the results at a forum titled "GST: good or bad" at UCSI in Kuala Lumpur last night.
The government plans to scrap the old sales and services tax system and replace it with a broad-based 6% GST tax that will be levied on almost everything except a list of essential goods in April next year.
Some of the goods exempted from GST include fresh food, public transport, healthcare, domestic water and education fees.
However, the tax has attracted wide public opposition with a May 1 rally against it attracting up to 15,000 people in Dataran Merdeka.
A few days later, independent pollster Merdeka Center released a survey which showed that 62% of its respondents being against the consumption tax.
The Merdeka Center survey also found that 33% of their respondents did not understand how the new system would work.
Its critics said the GST would hit disproportionately low- and middle-income earners but the Datuk Seri Najib Razak administration claimed it was necessary to trim the national deficit.
Putrajaya then announced it was spending RM250 million to explain the new tax to the public and to train businesses on how to use it.
A speaker at the UCSI forum from Barisan Nasional Youth, Neil Foo Seck Chyn, said that enforcement was key to ensuring that the new tax system did not lead to a sharp hike in prices next year.
Foo said according to the Finance Ministry, only 10% of a list of 689 common items were expected to go up in price once the GST was implemented.
"Many of the things we consume now, such as teh tarik, already have a 10% sales tax levied on it. It's just that we don't realise it because businesses include it in the final price they charge us," said Foo, who is BN Youth strategist.
"But when we take away the 10% and replace it with 6%, the price should come down. But it is up to the government to enforce this so that businesses do not try to charge us 10% and add 6%."
Another speaker, Ong Kian Ming of DAP, however, said businesses have no incentive to lower prices even if the prices of raw materials were lower because of GST.
Also, there is very little assurance that the government will be more accountable in how it uses the extra revenue earned from the system.
"If you collect more money without accountability, you will just end up wasting more," said Ong, referring to wastage in government spending, highlighted in the yearly auditor general reports.
It was reported that in its first year, GST will earn the government an additional RM3 billion.
However, Pakatan Rakyat claimed that leakages in the BN government's spending cost taxpayers between RM25 billion and RM40 billion a year.
Berikutan artikel yang diterbitkan MalaysiaKini pada 5 Jun 2014 bertajuk "Chegubard buat aduan bertulis dakwaan rasuah", saya dengan sekeras-kerasnya menolak segala tuduhan serta dakwaan yang dibuat oleh Badrul Hisham Shaharin yang juga dikenali sebagai Chegubard seperti yang disebut dalam artikel itu.
Umum diketahui bahawa saya adalah merupakan salah satu calon yang bertanding pada pemilihan Parti Keadilan Rakyat peringkat pusat dan cabang pada tahun ini. Apa yang didakwa didalam artikel tersebut adalah semata-mata fitnah, berniat jahat dan merupakan satu taktik keji yang begitu terdesak untuk membunuh peluang saya sebagai calon yang bertanding. Dakwaan dan taktik keji ini juga akan mencemarkan reputasi saya sebagai pemimpin parti dan Ahli Dewan Negeri Selangor yang dipilih rakyat.
Sebagai seorang anggota yang telah lama berjuang bersama-sama parti serta diberi amanah memegang jawatan-jawatan penting tertinggi di peringkat pusat dan cabang, saya sememangnya memperjuangkan semangat demokrasi dan kebertanggungjawaban dan sama sekali menolak amalan rasuah dimana-mana peringkat pun.
Saya menolak sekeras-kerasnya apa yang didakwa Chegubard dalam artikel tersebut yang mengaitkan saya sebagai orang suruhan salah satu calon Timbalan Presiden dalam cubaan merasuah Pengerusi Lembaga Rayuan Pemilihan Parti. Ini adalah tidak benar sama sekali.
Sebagai seorang anggota parti, walaupun dalam penggantungan, Chegubard sepatutnya tidak membuat dakwaan melulu yang kononnya beliau dengar dari khabar angin, apatah lagi dakwaan yang bersifat fitnah yang boleh menjejaskan reputasi dan imej anggota serta parti. Ini sama sekali tidak mencerminkan semangat demokrasi pertandingan yang adil dalam pemilihan dan prinsip perjuangan yang dibawa oleh Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
Berikutan penerbitan artikel dan dakwaan berniat jahat ini, saya telah pun mengarahkan peguam saya untuk mengambil tindakan undang-undang yang sepatutnya keatas Chegubard, portal MalaysiaKini serta individu yang bertanggungjawab mengarang artikel ini.
Saya sekali lagi, dengan sekeras-kerasnya menolak segala dakwaan yang dibuat oleh Chegubard seperti yang diterbitkan dalam artikel MalaysiaKini pada hari ini.
Unhappy with the lack of coverage he was given on the MH370 incident, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has lashed out against local broadcasters on international radio.
He lamented that “not one minute of airtime on radio or television in Malaysia” was given to him, except over his links to MH370 Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah (left).
“The only reference made was that I happened to know the captain and therefore there is this link that he was very passionate about reforms.
“He was very supportive of the democratic transition and he was disgusted in the manner that the Court of Appeal and the judiciary were used to convict me for five years,” he told the BBC World Service in an interview released today.
Anwar was referring to one of many conspiracy theoriessurrounding the MH370 mystery, which purports that Zaharie was disgruntled with the Court of Appeal decision on Anwar's sodomy charge, and then went on to hijack the aircraft.
PKR had confirmed that Zaharie is a party member, but dismissed the allegation as “wild speculation” without any credible source.
The Boeing 777-200ER aircraft went missing without a trace on March 8 with 237 persons on board, just hours after the court decision.
In the interview, Anwar repeated his complaints that Malaysia is not being transparent in handling the tragedy.
He added that there is a “stark contrast” between the local media coverage of Malaysia’s handling of the crisis that highlighted praises and international accolades, and the international media coverage that is largely critical.
When pointed out that even other countries could not find the plane, Anwar explained that his complaints are directed at the outset of the incident and not the subsequent search efforts.
“That was deep into the mainland of Malaysia, it is our responsibility. I cannot condone the concealing of evidence,” he said.
He pointed out that MH370 had flew across five provinces of the peninsula after its disappearance.
“Until today, the government has not explained (how did this happen). No action has been taken against any incompetent guy dealing with the issue or radar,” he said.
From missing airplanes to jail-bound opposition leaders, Malaysia has recently made international headlines for all the wrong reasons. Will the nation’s economy be next?
That’s the thrust of new report from Sarah Fowler of U.K.-based Oxford Economics, which ranks Malaysia the “riskiest country in Asia of those we consider,” more so than India, Indonesia and even coup-happy Thailand. On the surface, she points out, all’s well: Growth is zooming along at 6.2 percent, the external balance is reasonably sound and political stability reigns. But all’s not what it seems. “Prompted by its high levels of public debt, rising external debt and shrinking current account surplus, there has been a shift in the perception of risks towards Malaysia and away from Indonesia,” Fowler explains.
Malaysia wasn’t included in Morgan Stanley’s “fragile five” list of shaky emerging economies last year, as were India and Indonesia. But Fowler scratches at a number of Malaysian vulnerabilities that deserve more attention: external debt levels that in recent years have risen to close to 40 percent of gross domestic product; a higher public debt ratio than India; the biggest short-term capital flows among the 13 major emerging markets Oxford tracks, including Indonesia; and a shrinking current-account surplus.
This last point is still somewhat of a positive. As the mini-crises in developing nations last year demonstrated, a balance-of-payments surplus is a very good thing to have. Also, Malaysia’s use of so-called macroprudential policies has succeeded in preventing huge property bubbles of the kind afflicting Singapore and Hong Kong. ButMalaysia‘s current-account surplus is dwindling, from 16 percent of GDP in 2008 to 3.7 percent last year. And household debt is, to use Fowler’s words, “worryingly high” at more than 80 percent of GDP compared to less than 60 percent in 2008.
What really concerns Oxford, and myself, is the complacency factor in Putrajaya. Malaysia is effectively a one-party state, having effectively been ruled by the same party for six decades. Its 40-year-old, pro-Malay affirmative-action program chips away at the country’s competitiveness more and more each passing year. The scheme, which disenfranchises Malaysia’s Chinese and Indian minorities, is a productivity and innovation killer. It also has a corrupting influence on the political and business culture.
“A climate of entitlement amongst the Malay community limits entrepreneurialism and vested interests within the United Malays National Organization still resist change,” Fowler argues.
The need for change is becoming acute, though, as China’s dominance grows and neighbors like the Philippines get their acts together. Indians just elected the party of reform-minded Narendra Modi and Indonesians will soon choose a successor for Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in a contest that’s all about reducing corruption and improving governmental efficiency. And Malaysia? Well, Prime Minister Najib Razak’s lackluster party is clinging to power. Meanwhile, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim may soon be in jail again on sodomy charges many see as politically motivated.
The government’s handling of Malaysian Air Flight 370 said it all. Its deer-in-the-headlights response to the plane’s disappearance was the product of an insular political culture. The trouble is, that insularity is holding back a resource-rich economy that should be among Asia’s superstars, not its weakest links.
I can't say I was surprised to hear the admission by US and Australian authorities that the electronic 'pings' they assumed were coming from the black box of missing flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean have proven to be red herrings.
The allegedly mysterious disappearance of the Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers and crew two months ago has been deeply fishy from the very start.
First and foremost, of course, because anything whatever involving Malaysia's criminal BN regime inevitably involves corruption, deception, incompetence or a complex mix of all three of these curses, and thus stinks to high heaven.
And then there's the fact that the government with more of its citizens aboard MH370 than any other, the so-called 'People's' Republic of China (PRC), is even more on the nose, if possible, than the Malaysian regime.
It was the PRC, as we all well recall, that in 1989 notoriously employed its laughably-titled 'People's Liberation' Army to slaughter countless people peacefully calling for their political liberation in Tiananmen Square.
And it is the same, utterly unrepentant 'People's' Republic of China government that alone enables the atrocious Kim dynasty to keep the people of North Korea in its death-grip; and that, in concert with Vladimir Putin's neo-Stalinist Russia, constantly vetoes and otherwise thwarts United Nations efforts to save people from the depredations of corrupt, kleptocratic and murderous despots in Syria and elsewhere.
So it seems highly suspicious to me that just as the US and Australia announce that they have been ding-a-lings to be misled by what they believed were black-box pings, and thus all the waiting, watching world is left with is the pong of the BN regime's MH370 wrongs, the Chinese and Malaysian regimes are happily playing diplomatic ping-pong.
If China's initial outrage at Malaysia's slow, confused, incompetent and comprehensively lying response to the disappearance of MH370 was genuine, it seems surpassingly strange that all has been so quickly forgiven and forgotten that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has been welcomed on a state visit to Beijing, and China has simultaneously sent a pair of its preciousgiant pandas to Malaysia.
A conspiracy of fiendship
It's tempting to see these moves as not so much an outbreak of unaccountably sudden China-Malaysia friendship despite the ongoing MH370 fiasco, as a conspiracy of fiendship designed to cover up something deep-dark.
Why else would the PRC deliver a pair of pandas into the care of a Malaysian regime that has not only carelessly 'lost' well over a hundred Chinese citizens, but also has an appalling record of deaths in its agencies' custody, and a disgraceful history of demonising and demeaning its own citizens of Chinese descent.
And why, for its part, would Malaysia's BN regime indulge in an exercise so rich in self-destructive symbolism as to play host to a pair of pandas?
Surely I was just one of countless government critics whose first thought the other day on seeing pictures of Najib, Hishammuddin Hussein and sundry BN accomplices on a visit to the panda enclosure was that this guilty group rather than the innocent animals should by rights have been behind bars.
Similarly, I must have been only one of many who couldn't help wondering whether, as long as Feng Yi and Fu Wa are supposed to be in quarantine, it might be a threat to their health to allow them to be visited there by a bunch of BN government and media germs.
And of course the pandas' cute black eyes were, and will continue to be, a vivid reminder of what happened to Anwar Ibrahim during his first term in BN custody. While the very word 'panda' inevitably evoked the painfully obvious punning perception that the BN regime ceaselessly contrives to cling to power by pandering to its members' and supporters' lowest lusts, greeds, ignorances and racial and religious prejudices.
Such typical pandering being everywhere evident in the campaign for the Teluk Intan by/buy-election, with Umno Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil pandering to the sectarianism that the regime works tirelessly to foment through the agency of fake 'NGOs' like Perkasa and 'newspapers' like Utusan Malaysia by calling DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud a "traitor" to her race and religion, and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi damning Chinese and Indians who fail to support the BN regime as "ingrates".
This followed Ahmad Zahid's (left) not just pandering to the already inflated sense of self-importance of Rela members by promising them new uniforms and a RM1 million 'constituency allocation' in the event of a regime victory, but also going so far as to threaten them with dire if unspecified consequences if they failed to help BN win Teluk Intan.
"Don't play with me. I know who has voted and didn't vote," he ranted, in reference to the 2,000 of 8,000 Rela members who he claimed had failed to cast ballots in last year's general election, "so this time make sure that BN wins this parliamentary seat. I'm watching over the Pekan Baru ballot boxes."
EC's customary pandering
This gross abuse of power and blatant breach of the Electoral Act predictably drew a storm of criticism from the opposition and its supporters, at which point Electoral Commission (EC) chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof indulged in its customary pandering to his masters in the BN regime by declaring that the home minister's threats were "mere advice", and that his promises of new uniforms did not constitute an offence "because Rela is already in the process of changing its uniform".
So it is clear that, as far as the EC is concerned, BN is as free as ever to keep pandering to Teluk Intan voters with everything from promises of a gazillion-ringgit new highway to "gifts" of hampers and presumably its traditional handouts of petty cash on election day.
Meanwhile, the home minister has claimed that he had been only"joking" when he said that he knew which Rela members had failed to vote in the last general election, before proceeding to pander to the sexism of his audience with the comment that in any event the young, smart and attractive DAP candidate for Teluk Intan, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, is "not very pretty, merely photogenic."
But most Malaysians can clearly see that Dyana is a symbol of Malaysia's bright future, and that the plug-uglies of BN are the past. And that all the pandas and pandering in the world won't save them much longer from getting pinged for the pongs surrounding MH370, Altantuya Shaariibuu, Teoh Beng Hock and literally countless other unforgivable wrongs.
Tan Sri Francis Yeoh does protest too much for someone who has benefited from being part of the system.
Listening to him, you would think that YTL Corporation became financially strong only on the back of astute decision-making and the innovation of company executives; that the raft of lucrative projects from the lopsided IPP concession contract to the lucrative 1Bestarinet project just landed on the company’s books through the competence of company executives.
This is what Francis said in a statement to clarify what he allegedly said at a talk at Pemandu, the government agency famous for blowing its own trumpet with mind-numbing statistics.
Francis was quoted as lamenting the culture of crony capitalism in Malaysia and added that cronyism and the current penchant for racial and religious rhetoric was holding back Malaysia on the global stage. He also allegedly said that the bulk of YTL’s business was now in Singapore, the United Kingdom and Australia – jurisdictions where there was meritocracy and rule of law and where a businessman did not have to kow-tow to the prime minister.
A pretty harmless statement in most countries. On any given day, thousands of businessmen in Malaysia are saying the same thing – more or less the same thing, with only a couple of caveats. Ninety-nine percent of them do not have the cushion of multi-billion ringgit business in Singapore, the UK and Australia. Or whose business entities have received some favourable deals by the government.
In any case, Francis was prompted to issue a clarification, taking issue with a report published in a news portal that he said inaccurately portrayed what he told the audience at the Pemandu talk.
He said that during the presentation he attempted to dispel the notion that crony capitalism was rife in Malaysia. He even denied that YTL received the IPP concession because he was a crony of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
It is the right of Francis to say whatever he wants and to believe whatever he chooses to say.
But it our right as Malaysians to look at the whole picture, to examine the facts and to look at the nuts and bolts of the IPP deal and just shrug our shoulders and laugh at Francis’s protest.
The only thing going for Francis is that he is not alone. More than 80% of Malaysia’s richest businessmen owe a significant portion of their wealth and success to who they know, instead of what they know. It is a fact. And many owe their big break to that champion of skewed privatisation, Dr Mahathir.
They owe their big break to Dr Mahathir, whether it was road toll concessions or an opportunity to buy and re-develop choice pieces of property in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
But ask them about their success and wealth and it is always about coming up the hard way, about their know-how rather than their know-who.
Many of them have earned colossal profits from concessions at home and pumped those funds abroad. Good for them. Money makes money.
But we Malaysians can choose our own narrative about them and their businesses.
Rakyat perlu sedar bahawa banyak spesis haiwan di Malaysia ini yang terancam dan hampir pupus dan perlu diselamatkan, diharamkan memburu haiwan ini, dibiakkan spesis haiwan ini. Panda adalah haiwan terancam di China, di Malaysia Rusa Sambar adalah antara beberapa spesis haiwan yang hampir pupus dan terancam.
SAMBAR DEER FACING EXTINCTION IN PENINSULA, SAYS STUDY
4 May 2014 - The sambar deer is faced with extinction, with environmentalists calling for the animal to be declared an endangered species.
"We believe that the process of extinction will be exacerbated for this species in peninsular Malaysia," said the paper.
It was authored by Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (Mycat) general manager Dr Kae Kawanishi, WWF-Malaysia's Tiger Conservation Programme lead research scientist Dr Mark Rayan, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme director Dr Melvin Gumal and Traffic (South-East Asia) regional director Dr Chris Shepherd.
Last Friday afternoon, The Financial Times released an expansive report accusing Thomas Piketty of doing shoddy analysis of data on wealth inequality for his best-selling book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." In the six days since, economists and writers around the world have produced many thousands of words on the controversy. Outsiders have weighed in on the newspaper's case, the newspaper responded, and Mr. Piketty, on Thursday, provided his first detailed defense.
So where do things stand? How much do the criticisms by The Financial Times hold up, and should "Capital" continue to be viewed, as many reviewers have argued, as a definitive volume on inequality of income and wealth in advanced nations?
Here, we review the claims and counterclaims and conclusions one can draw about L'Affaire Piketty.
Who is Thomas Piketty, and why should anyone care about this book?
He is a French economist who has done groundbreaking work parsing old tax data and other historical records to try to discern the (very) long-term trends around inequality of wealth and income. He and other scholars, notably his frequent collaborator Emmanuel Saez, have helped answer questions that society previously had few good answers to. Namely, how much of the wealth in various advanced nations has been held by the top 1 percent at various times in history?
The book's argument in a nutshell is this: Capitalism has a natural drift toward high inequality, as assets like real estate and stocks disproportionately held by the wealthy (capital) rise faster than the economy (growth). This process was temporarily reversed by the world wars of the first half of the 20th century, but now inequality in the United States and Europe is rising back toward pre-World War I levels. This is a bad thing, which should be fought through radical policy measures like a global tax on wealth.
In "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," published in the United States in March (and in France last year) Mr. Piketty combined that data work with some literary criticism, philosophy, theory and prognostication for a sweeping look at the past, present and his expected future of inequality of wealth and income. It has been on the New York Times best-seller list for six weeks, including three in the No. 1 spot. This is not common for a book about economics, and this one happens to be 696 pages.
One thread that has run through many reviews has been praise for Mr. Piketty's work with historical data, paired with disagreement concerning some of his conclusions about what it all means for the future. Mr. Piketty's reputation for careful analytical work has increased the authority of his broader conclusions and policy recommendations. So he would have much to lose if a consensus developed that his analytical work was shoddy.
What is in dispute?
Plenty of people have taken issue with Mr. Piketty's more philosophical and predictive conclusions. But last Friday, The Financial Times published a collection of articles by its economics editor, Chris Giles, accusing him of flawed and sloppy techniques for analyzing historical data. (The Financial Times's critiques are summarized here and described at length by the newspaper here).
Some of its critiques centered on what the newspaper characterized as mistakes and modifications to data that appear arbitrary and without consistent justification — but do not undermine the core findings of his work.
A response from Mr. Piketty, published on his website on Thursday, said that these were not in fact mistakes, but choices he made to try to make the data more accurate, and which were cataloged (along with his reasons for making them) in technical notes accompanying his data.
Another line of criticism is that Mr. Piketty cherry-picked a source of data for British inequality that gave a distorted picture of the trend there in recent decades. The data source Mr. Giles argues would be more reliable paints a very different picture, indicating that the share of wealth held by the top 1 percent in Britain is 44 percent, not 71 percent, and has been flat in recent decades.
Mr. Giles takes issue with Mr. Piketty's use of estate tax data from British authorities, writing that the authorities producing that data explicitly say it is best not used for purposes of comparing wealth trends over time. He argues instead for a survey of wealth in Britain, which he concludes is more reliable evidence.
If the data Mr. Piketty relies on for Britain is indeed deeply flawed — and Mr. Giles's preferred approach more accurate — it would undermine Mr. Piketty's broader argument.
It is on that basis that The Financial Times states "there is little evidence in Prof Piketty's original sources to bear out the thesis that an increasing share of total wealth is held by the richest few."
Mr. Piketty acknowledges that the data he used to measure British inequality, from estate tax returns, is imperfect. But he says that using Mr. Giles's preferred data source isn't a good way to go, because it is not comparable to data from earlier periods. The data for decades past are based on estate tax data, not surveys. Moreover, he notes that other research using different methods has also pointed to rising inequality in Britain in recent decades, making the result from Mr. Giles's approach inconsistent with other evidence.
What can we be comfortable in concluding about wealth inequality?
The evidence for one of Mr. Piketty's key points is overwhelming: Income inequality has risen significantly in the last few decades in both the United States and Europe. Data on the concentration of wealth is less reliable, and that is the crux of the dispute. Even with wealth, though, we can be reasonably confident that it is becoming more concentrated in the hands of the top 1 percent in three of the four countries Mr. Piketty studies most closely (the United States, Sweden and France). It is British wealth inequality that is in dispute.
Has Mr. Piketty acknowledged any errors?
Not really. Mr. Piketty concedes no outright errors in his original work, though he acknowledges that many of his choices can and should be subject to debate and are worth refining further.
And he says he could have done a better job disclosing his methods and reasons for data adjustments. For example, in addressing one piece of early 20th-century Swedish inequality data that Mr. Giles argued was in error, Mr. Piketty wrote, "I agree that this adjustment should have been made more explicit in the technical appendix and Excel file."
What broader lessons can be drawn from this controversy about the nature of social science, historical research and the search for truth?
Quite a few! But this is the biggest one: The work by Mr. Piketty and others trying to study economic history is challenging for a lot of reasons, not least that good economic data is generally unavailable for anything more than the most recent few decades. So researchers must use whatever sources available, frequently old tax filings, to try to come up with some estimate of how things were in an earlier era.
The problem is, to make that data useful — and particularly to make it comparable to more recent data that is collected in a rigorous and transparent way — scholars have to make hundreds of adjustments to account for various factors that could throw off the numbers. To cite one of many adjustments that was at issue in the recent controversy: If you want to know what the level of wealth inequality was in 1930s France based on estate tax data, you must use some mechanism to deal with the fact that the people paying the estate tax are, well, dead, and probably don't precisely line up with the wealth trends of all people who were alive at the time.
Because scholars must make countless assumptions to find useful data, there are countless opportunities for either conceptual error or willful manipulation. In that sense, the casual reader is trusting the researcher to make those judgments in a consistent, logical way that is not intended to tilt the data one way or another.
Any other points?
Maybe that people doing heavy-duty social science might consider using programming languages that allow more clearly disclosed and notated series of steps that outside researchers can more easily check and second-guess, instead of Microsoft Excel or other simple spreadsheets. Here's our own Austin Frakt arguing just that. That said, Mr. Frakt notes that Mr. Piketty's analysis is ultimately relatively simple mathematically, and so using simple spreadsheets — and then opening them up for the world to see and second-guess — may have been the best way to go.
Is this debate over?
We hope so. The Financial Times vs. Piketty back-and-forth began last Friday afternoon, and now has spanned about a dozen separate articles, posts and ripostes. That doesn't even count the commentary on their dispute around the Internet (including here at The Upshot). The point of diminishing marginal returns of further debate around these relatively narrow issues seems to have set in.
So who won? Is "Capital" a reliable guide to the past, present and future of global inequality, or is it a schlocky polemic based on cherry-picked data?
If we had to summarize the consensus that has emerged on L'Affaire Piketty, it goes something like this. Mr. Giles raised worthwhile issues about Mr. Piketty's methods that are fair to debate. But Mr. Piketty's response also makes clear that Mr. Giles's approach has flaws of its own and shows less inequality in Britain than there actually is.
Indeed, Mr. Giles's results point to a world at odds not just with Mr. Piketty's data, but also with that by other scholars and with the intuition of anyone who has seen what townhouses in the Mayfair neighborhood of London are selling for these days. That doesn't mean Mr. Giles is wrong — the whole point of academic research is to gain something more solid than intuition — but the idea that the whole of Mr. Piketty's argument rests on a few shaky assumptions seems unfair to the Frenchman.
Her poetry of self inspired the oppressed across the world to believe that they could reveal their personal experience.
A brilliant writer, a fierce friend and a truly phenomenal woman.”
So said US President Barack Obama of Maya Angelou, leading tributes from around the world after the news was posted by her family on Facebook that she had died at the age of 86. In 2011, Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award for a civilian in the United States. As he said at the time, she was many things – author, poet, playwright, actress, director and composer – but “most of all, she was a storyteller – and her greatest stories were true”.
Angelou is a great American writer, studied in schools and universities across the country and hailed by politicians – former US President Bill Clinton said that she was a “national treasure” and he and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had lost a “beloved friend”. Hers was an American story: Rags to riches, overcoming prejudice and misfortune to touch the American dream. But her impact was worldwide; she was more than a national writer. Her poetry and stories were translated into dozens of languages. She taught the world about the power of language – and how words could change the world.
Where she had the greatest impact was her autobiographical fiction. Her blend of memoir, autobiography and fiction created incredible, powerful stories – and opened up the potential of the intimate, no-holds-barred memoir to readers and writers across the world.
Feted and influential
For the young Marguerite Johnson to become so feted and influential would seem impossible. She was born to a nurse and navy dietician in St Louis, Missouri in April 1928 – a second child in a disastrous marriage. At four, she was sent to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, along with her brother. He called her “Maya”, while trying to say her name – and it stuck.
While staying with her mother at the age of seven, she was sexually abused and raped by her mother’s boyfriend. The rapist was imprisoned briefly by the authorities – and killed when he came out. Maya was struck dumb by the experience. As she said, “I thought my voice had killed a man and so it wasn’t safe to speak.”
For the next five years, she was silent – choosing to be mute, as she put it. She poured all her energy into reading, devouring books enthusiastically whenever she had a spare moment. Finally, a friend of her grandmother’s persuaded her to speak – telling her that poetry could only be truly understood when read aloud.
Angelou moved to San Francisco to live with her mother when she was 14. In the years that followed, she had a son at 17 and went deep into the city’s nightlife as a dancer, singer and brothel madam.
She moved to New York and became active in the Civil Rights Movement. Devastated by the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, she began trying to write her life from the age of three to 17, with encouragement from the author James Baldwin. The book was published as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
When I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings burst into the literary scene in 1969, its raw honesty and incredible intimacy was shocking.
The revelations about girlhood, family abuse and poverty made it a bestseller, spending two years on the New York Times bestseller list. At the same time, she challenged the form of the autobiography, using techniques of dialogue, scene setting and plot development usually associated with fiction.
An inspiration for writers of autobiography and fiction alike, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings also showed that the most personal experience could have a huge political ramifications. It opened up new possibilities for black women writers to explore subjugation and marginalisation – and pointed new directions for African-American and black writing by women and men. Thanks to the book, the stories of the young and oppressed would never be overlooked or ignored again.
In 1993, Bill Clinton chose Angelou to recite her poem, On the Pulse of Morning at his inauguration. In the weeks after, sales of her books rose 500 percent across the world – and one reviewer called her the “black women’s laureate”.
Her poetry was a revelation
To writers, particularly women in Africa and those struggling under oppression, her poetry was a revelation; in contrast to complicated words and imagery fashionable in many western poems, she combined straightforward and powerful images to expose the pains and joys of her experiences. Thanks to her, the poetry of self became newly important – and the oppressed across the world were emboldened to believe that they could reveal their personal experience.
Many found Angelou’s work hard to stomach – the American Library Association listed I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as one of their top 10 books most likely to be banned from high school classrooms. But nearly 50 years on, it is rated by many writers as the most influential memoir of the 20th century.
Angelou went on to write six more books of memoir, three volumes of poetry, essays and books of poetry, as well as television and film scripts and two cookery books. Her last volume of autobiography, Mom & Me & Mom came out in 2013.
Even at the end, earlier this week, she was busy writing a new book – and tweeting. In a world where many still suffer from discrimination, prejudice and children are still exploited by adults, her work speaks to millions. Her last tweet from @DrMayaAngelou was: “Listen to yourself and in that quietude, you might hear the words of God.”
Semalam pada 3 Jun 2014, Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan Setiausaha Kerja UMNO, Datuk Ab. Rauf Yusoh telah menyerahkan writ saman terhadap portal berita Malaysiakini susulan penyiaran dua artikel pada 14 Mei lalu yang mengumpul pandangan pembaca berhubung isu krisis Terengganu baru-baru ini, yang dikatakan berunsuran fitnah. Penerbit Malaysiakini, Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd, Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan, Steven Gan dan Ketua Pengarang, Fathi Aris Omar masing-masing dinamakan dalam saman tersebut.
Secara kebetulan, Perdana Menteri di Negara jiran Singapura, Lee Hsien Loong turut buat pertama kali memfailkan saman terhadap seorang blogger bernama Roy Ngerng pada 18 Mei 2014, bahawa dia telah menerbitkan artikel yang berunsur fitnah terhadap Lee pada 15 Mei 2014.
Badan pemikir Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) berpendapat tindakan Perdana Menteri Najib itu bukan sahaja berganjak daripada konsep 'wasatiyyah' atau kesederhanaan yang sering diuar-uarkan beliau, malahan sekali gus mencomot mekap dan solekan beliau sebagai seorang "reformis" yang begitu susah payah cuba "dicipta" di arena antarabangsa.
Sesungguhnya, sebagai pemimpin tertinggi dalam pentadbiran kerajaan yang menguasai hampir kesemua sumber dan jentera Negara, termasuklah saluran media arus perdana, Najib berkemampuan memberikan respons atau sanggahan mahupun teguran secara serta-merta dan seluas mungkin sekira adanya keperluan. Pihak Malaysiakini juga mengalu-alukan Perdana Menteri Najib dan UMNO untuk menyatakan pandangan mereka untuk disiarkan dalam Malaysiakini. Walau bagaimanapun, Najib dan partinya membuat keputusan mengambil tindakan melalui prosiding fitnah terhadap organisasi media terbabit itu.
KPRU mengamati tindakan yang diambil oleh seorang Perdana Menteri, bukan ahli politik sembarangan, terhadap Malaysiakini, yang kononnya merupakan suatu tindakan yang cuba mempertahankan reputasi kerajaan yang diterajui Najib, sebagai tindakan sebuah rejim yang sering dikritik sebagai tidak menghormati demokrasi lagi menindas kebebasan media.
Saman yang difailkan oleh Najib ini bukan sahaja menimbulkan kontroversi, tetapi juga suatu langkah yang kurang bijaksana dan berpandangan sempit demi kelangsungan hayat sebuah rejim.
Lazimnya, Kementerian Dalam Negeri yang memainkan peranan "antagonis" bagi mengambil tindakan terhadap mana-mana media yang dilihat tidak mengakuri atau cuba mencabar arahan kerajaan UMNO dengan membatalkan atau menggantung lesen percetakan dan penerbitan media tertentu pada bila-bila masa sahaja. Kes saman Malaysiakini pada kali ini boleh dikatakan mewujudkan legasi negatif sebuah rejim memandangkan buat kali pertama Najib, atas nama Perdana Menteri, mengambil jalan undang-undang dengan memfailkan saman terhadap portal berita atas talian.
Sewajarnya, Najib harus bersikap demokrasi dalam isu dasar media dan membenarkan penerbitan akhbar harian Malaysiakini di bawah Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan 1984. Mkini Dotcom pernah memohon permit di bawah akter tersebut untuk menerbitkan akhbar harian untuk dijual di Lembah Klang tetapi ditolak permohonannya pada tahun 2010 oleh Kementerian Dalam Negeri tanpa memberi maklum balas berkenaan alasan permohonan ditolak.
Syarikat berkenaan kemudiannya terus mencabar keputusan tersebut. Pada hakikatnya, keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi yang dibuat oleh panel tiga hakim Mahkamah Rayuan pada 1 Oktober 2013 telahpun membatalkan keputusan menteri yang menolak permohonan permit Malaysiakini dan memutuskan penerbitan akhbar sesungguhnya hak yang dijamin di bawah Artikel 10 dalam Perlembangaan Persekutuan, bukannya hak istimewa yang ditentukan oleh Putrajaya.
Jikalau Najib benar-benar berpegang teguh pada pelan transformasi beliau, KPRU menggesa Perdana Menteri dan UMNO menarik balik saman yang difailkan terhadap Malaysiakini sementara permit penerbitan akhbar Malaysiakini dalam empat Bahasa, iaitu Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Inggeris, Bahasa Cina dan Bahasa Tamil dikeluarkan.
Lantas, KPRU menyeru seluruh rakyat Malaysia berdiri bersama-sama dengan Malaysiakini bagi memberikan sokongan teguh kepada portal berita tersebut dalam masa sukar. Memandangkan blogger yang disaman oleh Perdana Menteri Lee Hsien Loong di Singapura itu berjaya mengumpul jumlah yang melebihi $55,700 melalui pendanaan orang ramai (crowdfunding) bagi membiayaai kos guamannya, rakyat Malaysia khususnya pembaca Malaysiakini juga harus menunjukkan sokongan kepada portal berita tersebut yang sering memberi ruang kepada suara alternatif bagi mempertahankan kebebasan media dan kebebasan bersuara.
Writ saman terhadap Malaysiakini difailkan menerusi Tetuan Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak pada 30 Mei 2014 — http://b.mkini.net/mkini-doc/najib-sue-malaysiakini-summons.html
Apa sebenarnya punca isu Cadbury ini? Adakah JAKIM sebelum ini menggunakan makmal Kementerian Kesihatan yang tidak diiktiraf oleh Jabatan Standard Malaysia? Apakah mungkin Cadbury boleh menyaman JAKIM berbillion ringgit kerana menggunakan makmal yang kerajaan Malaysia sendiri tidak iktiraf?
Apakah apabila JAKIM menyedari kesilapan mereka, cepat-cepat mereka hantar sampel ke Jabatan Kimia?
Semakan di laman web Jabatan Standard Malaysia mendapati hanya 12 makmal dari ratusan makmal di seluruh Malaysia yang diiktiraf atau layak untuk membuat ujian Nucleic Acid atau DNA dan tiada satu pun Jabatan/Kementerian Kesihatan yang boleh buat ujian DNA.
Harap JAKIM berterus terang dalam isu ini, siapa yang buat silap sebenarnya?
Egypt's presidential election is another blunder on the road map. The first was the trumped up results of the constitutional referendum that the military-backed regime set at 98% approval, a clear reminiscent of the old authoritarian ways. The current presidential election too has been geared to ensure the victory of the July coup leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The process misses basic requisites of credibility: meaningful competition, free environment, neutrality of state institutions, and disappointedly to Sisi – a necessary turnout to confer legitimacy on the new regime and provide him with a strong mandate to rise as Egypt's new pharaoh. As expected, he received a landslide victory, but a bitter one.
The military backed regime and its one-sided media machine did its best, including begging people to vote, extortion and threats of fines, to convince Egyptians to make an overwhelming turnout. This message was directed more to the US and the EU to prove the popularity of the coup leader and facilitate their full recognition of the new regime.
Egyptians, particularly the country's youth and opponents to the return of an authoritarian police state, boycotted the election. They disappointed Sisi, who expected 40 million people to vote. Instead he got less than 15% turnout as confirmed by independent observers. The low turnout set the pro-coup media machine up in arms calling hysterically upon all Egyptians to save the day and the "beloved" general. More importantly, the low participation rate sends five strong messages to Sisi and his regional and Western backers.
1. Inflated popularity
The low turnout in the first two days of the elections revealed that the Sisi-mania that has swept Egypt for the past 10 months since the military coup was nothing but an orchestrated and inflated media stunt that does not reflect the realities of the country's political landscape. Whatever popularity Sisi possesses, it does not rest on a solid constituency, but on diverse social segments with contradictory interests.
These include remnants of the old regime, segments of Christian Copts, and primarily citizens who initially supported him in hope for "stability" and economic recovery, but couldn't care less about democracy or freedoms. It is now clear that Sisi has lost a good number of these elements who were not moved to go and vote for him. In short, his base of support might have been loud, as the media made them, but not large or committed enough.
2. Questionable legitimacy
The low turnout sends a clear signal that the field marshal's legitimacy is going to be challenged no matter what his winning percentage will be. The alleged 30 million Egyptians who have participated in the 30 June demonstrations and the similar figure who took to the streets on 26 July in response to Sisi's request for a "mandate" to fight potential terrorism vanished leaving everyone wondering where they went.
The wide boycott or apathy for the elections is yet another indication of the deep polarization the coup has inflicted on Egyptian society. The boycott went beyond the Muslim Brotherhood or Islamists to include youth, the revolutionaries and average Egyptians. The empty polling stations have succeeded in proving beyond doubt that the consensus narrative Sisi's supporters have been relentlessly working to propagate to the world is nothing but a myth.
3. Unsupportive deep state
The first two days of elections raises questions about the extent of control Sisi has over the deep state. TV satellite channels exposed the low turn out and didn't attempt to cover up the shocking lack of support, contrary to what they used to do during Mubarak's time. Pro-coup TV show presenter, Ibrahim Eissa admitted that Sisi does not have a "political body" and that his campaign failed to run an effective electoral machine.
The Presidential Electoral Commission extended the voting period by a third day, thus shedding doubts on the credibility of the process and on Sisi's expected victory. State institutions, the wide network of the former National Democratic Party and related businessmen who were believed to support Sisi appeared weak, unwilling or unable to deliver on their promises of mobilizing large numbers of voters as they did with Mubarak's former PM Ahmed Shafeeq during the 2012 presidential elections.
Many attribute that to internal power struggles between the state's different institutions, while others believe that Sisi lacks the experience and skills to efficiently run the system to his benefit. In either case, the efficacy of state institutions in the electoral process was undoubtedly a blow to the field marshal's hopes.
4. No economic vision…No votes
Since the military takeover in July, Egypt has been witnessing a drastic economic deterioration. With the worsening economic situation and the decline in the standard of living of most Egyptians, many became increasingly disillusioned by Sisi's repeated assertions that "he has nothing to offer" and may have reached the conclusion that nothing is likely to change with Sisi's official inauguration.
It seems the field marshal's "ingenious" suggestions for solving the unemployment crisis by providing the youth with vehicles to transport vegetables to "poorer areas," exhorting Egyptians to divide the loaf of bread into four portions to save on wheat consumption, and using energy-efficient light bulbs to solve the electricity crisis have left many unimpressed.
5. People power
Egyptians have proved over the past three years that they will not allow a new pharaoh to emerge. The defiant slogan they raised during their popular uprisings in Tahrir 2011 "Down with the Next President" still holds and the phenomenon of "president for life" is a thing of the past. As they have previously done through mass mobilization and peaceful protests, they have once again established, by silence this time, that they, and not Sisi's regional or international backers, have the final word.
The low turnout sends a strong message to the military establishment and its design to continue controlling the political process. It eventually needs to take one or two steps back and allow for a reset of a true democratic system and civilian control over the political process.
Egypt needs to build a rational state that respects the rule of law, pluralism, human rights and the fundamental basis of democracy. The alternative may not fall short of a third revolutionary wave. This time it will make sure to dismantle the police state and its authoritarian institutions.
- Emad Shahin is Professor of Public Policy, the American University in Cairo (AUC) and Editor-in-Chief, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics. He is currently a Public Policy Scholar at Woodrow Wilson Center and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Columbia University.
- See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/five-messages-sisi-must-hear#sthash.uDGrLsKN.dpuf
Sempena bulan Syaaban, Ramadhan dan Syawal PAS DUN Kota akan mengulurkan sumbangan keperluan kepada golongan keluarga yang memerlukan di kawasan ini. PAS DUN Kota mengharapkan sumbangan berupa kewangan atau barang keperluan untuk diagihkan kepada mereka ini.
Sumbangan barangan keperluan ialah bahan makanan yang tahan lama seperti beras, tepung, minyak masak, gula, susu tin, biskut , sardin dan sebagainya.
Kepada mereka yang ingin menyumbang bolehlah menghubungi Penyelaras Program, Tn Hj Nasir di talian 012-6920850
Sumbangan juga boleh disalurkan melalui akaun :
Nama akaun : PAS MTD DUN KOTA
Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad , No Akaun : 05-021-02-011755-8 ,
Sumbangan barangan keperluan adalah seperti berikut :
1. Garam ( 1peket)
2. Gula (1 kilo)
3. Tepung (1 kilo)
4. Biskut lemak (1 peket)
5. Susu tin (1 tin)
6. Teh (1 peket)
7. Kopi (1 peket)
8. Kicap ( 1 botol)
9. Minyak masak /kelapa (1 peket)
10. Beras (5 atau 10 kilo)
Anggaran kos barangan untuk satu keluarga ialah RM80
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Kekalahan calon DAP di Teluk Intan semalam menunjukkan usaha Pakatan Rakyat menentang Barisan Nasional tidak sampai ke kawasan luar bandar, kata Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, hari ini.
"Kami perlu mengambil pengajaran dan berusaha lebih keras untuk menembusi kawasan luar bandar," katanya.
Anwar berkata isu perkauman dan agama masih faktor dalam pilihan raya kecil Teluk Intan, yang dimenangi calon Barisan Nasional Datuk Mah Siew Keong, menewaskan Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud dengan majoriti tipis.
"Dalam erti kata lain, ini kerana mereka menggunakan isu perkauman kepada orang Melayu, terutamanya kononnya DAP akan menindas, dan ini sangat berbahaya.
"Semua kumpulan pelampau Melayu terlibat di sana dan saya fikir orang Cina dan India tidak menyedari tahap perkauman dan isu agama yang dimainkan," katanya di Bukit Mertajam ketika menghadiri satu majlis perkahwinan.
Anwar berkata orang Melayu diberitahu bahawa tekanan PR menyebabkan orang Melayu menjadi lemah dan kedudukan mereka di tampuk kuasa terancam kerana DAP.
Orang Melayu, tambahnya, juga diberitahu bahawa calon bukan-Melayu seperti Mah akan berada di bawah kawalan Umno, manakala calon Melayu dari DAP dikawal Cina.
Anwar turut memuji Dyana dalam kempennya dan kepimpinan DAP kerana menunjukkan kesepaduan mereka sepanjang pilihan raya kecil itu.
Anwar juga berkata, beliau memanggil satu mesyuarat di kalangan pemimpin PR esok bagi membincangkan pilihan raya kecil itu.
Katanya, kajian corak pilihan raya kecil kebelakangan ini sejak Kajang juga akan dilakukan sebelum PR memutuskan apa yang perlu dilakukan seterusnya.
Bercakap kepada pemberita pada majlis perkahwinan anak perempuannya di rumahnya di Cheruk Tokun, Pulau Pinang, pemimpin de facto PKR itu bersetuju bahawa pengundi lebih memilih BN kali ini juga boleh disebabkan oleh janji-janji pembangunan.
"Kami menemui orang-orang yang mengundi DAP sebelum ini mahu perubahan untuk Teluk Intan untuk mendapatkan pembangunan bernilai berjuta-juta ringgit yang dijanjikan, terutamanya selepas Mah diumumkan akan menjadi menteri.
"Itu sudah tentu boleh membuat perbezaan," kata beliau sambil menambah peratusan keluar mengundi yang rendah semalam, iaitu 66.5% juga menjejaskan prestasi PR.
Calon DAP Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, 26, tewas kepada BN, Datuk Mah Siew Keong yang juga presiden Gerakan yang sebelum ini selama dua penggal menjadi ahli Parlimen, 1999 hingga Mac 2008, kalah dengan hanya 238 undi dalam pilihan raya semalam.
Ketika ditanya sama ada isu-isu dalaman PR seperti isu hudud dan juga masalah pemilihan PKR sendiri yang menukar arah pemilihan pengundi, beliau berkata ia boleh menjadi faktor juga.
Beliau bersetuju bahawa PR perlu bekerja lebih keras, dan cuba menyelesaikan beberapa isu perbalahan, termasuk hudud.
Beliau berkata Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang juga berada di Teluk Intan untuk memastikan pengundi memahami isu hudud.
Beliau berkata masalah dalam pemilihan PKR adalah disebabkan oleh campur tangan samseng daripada luar.
Parti itu mempunyai klip video untuk membuktikannya, tetapi ia tidak akan dilaporkan oleh media arus perdana.
"Oleh itu, kita mempunyai masalah untuk menjelaskannya kepada rakyat.
"Pertandingan untuk jawatan-jawatan parti adalah perkara biasa dan sihat. Bahagian yang tidak sihat adalah tidak berdisiplin kasar... jawatankuasa pemilihan parti mengambil pendirian yang tegas, " katanya.
Anwar berkata terdapat juga perubahan daripada Umno dengan memperlihatkan ahlinya yang angkuh dan perkauman, digunakan untuk menyerang calon saingan mereka.
Beliau juga menjelaskan kenyataan awalnya bahawa orang Cina akan menjadi bodoh jika mereka mengundi BN lagi.
Beliau menjelaskan bahawa apa yang dia katakan disalah tafsir.
Apa yang dimaksudkan ialah ia tidak pernah dilihat sebelum ini sepanjang sejarah bagaimana pemimpin Umno begitu angkuh dan tidak bertimbang rasa dalam membuat tuduhan-tuduhan yang tidak masuk akal terhadap mana-mana masyarakat minoriti, dan dalam hal ini, kaum Cina.
"MCA atau Gerakan tidak mempunyai keupayaan mahupun keberanian untuk berdiri dan kita melihat ini. Ia sudah tentu akan menjadi tidak masuk akal atau bodoh untuk menganggap bahawa orang Cina akan terus menyokong BN.
"Itu adalah konteksnya dan saya adalah betul kerana majoriti Cina masih kekal dengan Pakatan dan dalam kes ini, dengan DAP.
"Tetapi peratusan pengundian itu faktor utama... sebelum ini, kerana Guan Eng berkata, ia perlu melepasi 70% keluar mengundi, yang tidak berlaku," katanya.
Anwar berkata Gerakan sendiri menjadi tidak penting, satu fakta yang semua orang tahu.
Parti itu boleh mengatakan bahawa Presiden mereka memenanginya tetapi semua orang tahu bahawa Gerakan sendiri hampir tidak berkesan.
"Ia (pilihan raya kecil ini) adalah pembangkang melawan kerajaan," katanya. – 1 Jun, 2014.
YB Dr Xavier Jayakumar ADUN Seri Andalas di Majlis Penyampaian Khairat Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE) kepada waris-waris ahli skim di Dewan Taman Sentosa 31 Mei 2014. Hadir bersama YB Shuhaimi Shafiei ADUN Sri Muda & Penghulu Mukim Jalan Kebun, Tok Wahab Othman. Penerima faedah adalah dari DUN Seri Andalas, DUN Sri Muda & DUN Kota Alam Shah.
Tanya saja orang kampung di Rembau. Apa untungnya KJ jadi Menteri Belia dan Sukan untuk orang Rembau? Adakah KJ lebih banyak turun Rembau sebelum menjadi menteri atau selepas jadi menteri? Adakah peluang pekerjaan di Rembau bertambah sebelum KJ jadi menteri atau selepas jadi menteri? Adakah pasukan bolasepak N.Sembilan meningkat prestasi sebelum KJ jadi menteri atau selepas KJ jadi menteri?
PM: Mah sertai kabinet jika menang di Teluk Intan
30 Mei 2014
Jawatan dalam Kabinet menanti Presiden Gerakan Datuk Mah Siew Keong jika beliau memenangi pilihan raya kecil Parlimen Teluk Intan pada Sabtu ini.
Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yang juga Pengerusi Barisan Nasional (BN) berkata beliau bersedia melakukan komitmen itu di Beijing.
"Saya boleh membuat komitmen itu di sini. Jika Datuk Mah memenangi pilihan raya kecil Teluk Intan, maka sebagai Presiden Gerakan, beliau akan dilantik menganggotai Kabinet," katanya kepada wartawan Malaysia yang membuat liputan lawatan enam hari beliau ke China, pada Khamis.
Menurut laporan akhbar NST, anggota tentera yang ditembak oleh rakannya di Lahad Datu berpunca apabila berlaku pertengkaran antara sekumpulan 4 orang tentera yang ingin masuk ke "Pub" membawa minuman mereka sendiri tetapi dihalang oleh "Bouncer". Tak dinyatakan pula minuman apa yang dibawa dan "Pub" tersebut tempat apa.
Soldier shot dead after scuffle over drinks
30 May 2014
LAHAD DATU: An argument over drinks at a pub led to the death of an army commando who was shot after a scuffle outside a 24-hour shop here in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Lance Corporal Mohd Fiffixezafey Mat Husin, 28, was shot dead, while two bouncers, foreigners aged 31 and 38, were injured after being shot.
Sabah Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Omar Mammah yesterday said: "The suspects were at the scene where the scuffle broke out between two groups. A firearm and several items were recovered."
Omar said the argument was over a request by a group of four soldiers, who wanted to bring their own drinks into the pub.
"A bouncer stopped them from doing so, which may have started the argument at the pub, located above the 24-hour shop."
Komando maut, 2 cedera terkena tembakan
KOTA KINABALU 28 Mei - Seorang anggota komando Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM) terbunuh manakala dua orang awam cedera selepas seorang anggota pasukan itu secara tiba-tiba melepaskan empat das tembakan yang dipercayai untuk meleraikan satu kekecohan di hadapan kedai serbaneka 24 Jam di Pekan Lahad Datu, awal pagi ini.
Dalam kejadian kira-kira pukul 4.45 pagi itu, mangsa, Lans Koperal Muhamad Fiffixzafey Mat Hussin, 28, berasal dari Pasir Puteh, Kelantan, cedera di bahagian kiri dadanya sebelum meninggal dunia di Hospital Lahad Datu.
Pesuruhjaya Polis Sabah, Datuk Hamza Taib berkata, kedua-dua orang awam yang cedera itu berusia 31 dan 38 tahun serta bekerja sebagai penjaga kelab malam.
Hamza berkata, semasa kejadian, anggota tentera yang melepaskan tembakan itu sedang menjalankan tugas rondaan di kawasan Zon Selamat Pantai Timur Sabah (Esszone) di daerah berkenaan.
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