Sunday, September 30, 2007

Shahrizat, remember Nurin?


Amber (or Nurin) Alert. Blogger Nuraina A. Samad and newspaper columnist Johan Jaafar are agreed on the need for all of us to sound like an old, broken record with regards to what we should/could do or should have/could have done with regards to the tragic killing of 8-year-old Nurin Jazlin.
Nuraina proposes here that Shahrizat Abd Jalil, the minister in charge, consider adopting America's Amber Alert. Johan says her ministry should set up care centres where working moms can park their little ones while they go off to work.

See PrincessJournals' tips here on what they teach you in America about kids' safety.

Meanwhile, the cops have made another arrest in connection with Nurin's abduction and murder. More phones have been confiscated and it seems the latest suspect had swallowed her SIM card, which police believe could shed light on the case. Read it here.

Azmi Sharom unplugged

"Who cares what the judge said?". Associate Prof Azmi Sharom was at the historic Walk for Justice last Wednesday to see for himself what the lawyers were made of. In his column in the Star today, he tells the readers what he saw and tells off some people refusing to see the point. I hope his column stays.

Some passages from Azmi Sharom's Judiciary Must be Protected.

The government has to set up a Royal Commission with the necessary powers to thoroughly investigate the entire judiciary. There is a desperate need to clean house and to do so comprehensively. Sure, since the video came out, the government has set up a three-man panel to look into the matter.

But their ambit is merely to determine the legitimacy of the video recording. Let them do their work, by all means, but really that is only the tip of the iceberg.

We need a Royal Commission to determine the legitimacy of the entire judiciary, and we need it now.

Let’s just take a look at how low the legal system has sunk. The judge who was supposed to be at the other end of the videotaped phone conversation, in true Bart Simpson style, told the de facto Minister of Law that it wasn’t him. The Minister then told this to the press.

My question is: “So what”? Does that mean the next time someone is accused of murder or corruption, all he needs to say is “I didn’t do it”?

Who cares what the judge said. If the video is not a fake (and it looks mighty authentic to me, no Tian Chua Photoshop trickery here), the suspects must be cross-examined.

And to top it off, the Minister tried to deflect the situation by saying that an opposition political party released the videotape and therefore there had to be a political agenda.

I’m sorry YB, but I don’t care who came up and delivered the video. If it is true, it shows that we need major changes in our judiciary and no political blame shifting is going to alter that. [Read more....]


Dr M's first cup of coffee

Breakfast at ICU. "Two slices of bread, two boiled eggs, one cup of dadeh, COFFEE!", wrote Marina in her posting this morning about what her dad just had for breakfast, a week after the surgery-after-the-surgery. "If we weren't fasting we'd all tuck into the same thing just to celebrate," she said.

Well, tuck into her blog here to read more about Dr M's progress.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Light your candle for police officer Nordin Ahmad


In support of a police officer. I join Zorro in lighting a candle for this courageous whistle-blower.

Click here to know why Zorro wants you to light his candle for Nordin Ahmad.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Five people (and 5 handphones) arrested

With a little help from the FBI, our cops have made their first arrest since Nurin's death. Go to mStar for the pics and full story.


Expel Myanmar, says Zaid

Sign the petition here.

updates: Rally for Myanmar on Monday
Received sms at 10-to-11 from two journo friends. The message says:
Malaysian Peace Rally for Myanmar- 11am, Monday 1st October 2007 at Myanmar Embassy, Jalan Ampang Hilir, KL. Brothers n sisters, lets come in Solidarity to support our incredibly brave frens, d Myanmar people. Pls forward 2 all Peace Partners God bless.

Original post:

Asean MPs urge group to "disassociate" itself from junta.
Zaid Ibrahim, who is president of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) says issuing statements to tick off Myanmar's junta ain't good enough anymore.
"Asean must go one step further to dissociate itself from Myanmar as previous actions to persuade the regime have not brought positive results."
Zaid said unless the world took action now, the unrest in Myanmar could escalate into a humanitarian crisis and a repeat of the 1988 tragedy where more than 3,000 protestors were killed by the military junta.
Bernama reports here that at least nine people were killed in the past few days since security forces began a crackdown on street protests in Yangon and several cities where monks are spearheading the largest challenge to the junta since 1988.

The world wears RED today in solidarity with the Myanmar people. Read also Disquiet's Burma: The Struggle for Freedom.

All Blogs-Global Voices Forum, updates

The National Alliance of Bloggers (ALL-BLOGS) will hold a public forum on Blogs and Digital Democracy next Wednesday.

David-Sasaki.jpg

David Sasaki (picture above), head of Glabal Voices Outreach ( Rising Voices ) -- an off-shoot project of a project initiated at Berkman Centre for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School -- will talk about blogs and how governments around the world engage digital democracy.

DATE: October 3, 2007 (Wednesday)
TIME: 7.00pm (Buaka Puasa) 8.00pm (Forum starts)
VENUE: Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club

Discussants:
1 ) Datuk A Kadir Jasin, Group Editor-in-Chief, Berita Publishing
2 ) Ahirudin Attan (Rocky's Bru), President, All-Blogs

Moderator:
Jeff Ooi, All-Blogs Vice President and Head of Ttaining & Development Committee

The forum is by Invitation Only

Seating capacity is limited to 70 people. We have reserved about 10 seats for the public. If you are interested to attend the Forum, which will be preceeded by a Buka Puasa dinner, please email ALL-BLOGS exco members at:

1 ) jeffooi.screenshots AT gmail.com
2 ) tony.yew AT gmail.com

by Monday, October 1, 2007.

To those who have confirmed attending, please be there or your seat will be wasted as there are some who are put on waiting list.

It's not yet another bloggers' meet

The forum is not yet another gathering of bloggers. On the contrary, we attempt to EMBRACE and ENGAGE people who don't understand blogs and digital democracy -- or for that matter, citizen journalism or civil media -- and want to learn more about the topic.

So, this round, we won't be singing to the choir or talking to those already "converted" to blogs. Instead, we will focus on reaching out to advocates of freedom of expression, up-coming bloggers especiially those from outside the Klang Valley, and even opinion-shapers in various fields.

Among the audience are Malaysian bloggers of all genres, online auteur and cyberactivists, journalists, lawyers, academics, NGOs, political analysts and researchers, and members of the diplomatic corp.

Backgrounder

Backdropped against recent development in the public opinion space exemplified by the online sphere, there appears to be subtle attempts to muzzle bloggers through a variety of tactics, including police remands (Nathaniel Tan); civil suits (Jeff Ooi and Rocky); investigations under a cocktail of laws (Raja Petra Kamarudin of Malaysia-Today).

The ALL-BLOGS Public Forum, themed “Blogs & Digital Democracy”, will be given the Malaysian context when Datuk A Kadir Jasin and Ahirudin Attan share their experiences as veteran journalists who have now “successfully migrated" from print to online, and have found a huge following among Malaysians capable of critical thinking.

The Forum is also positioned from the viewpoint of the Guest Speaker, David Sasaki, as a researcher on citizen journalism and digital democracy. It is to provide a global perspective on how democracies around the world handle the challenges posed by the emerging new media.

David Sasaki

David Sasaki, who is making a visit to the region, will share his experience as regional editor of Global Voices Online (Latin America) and, among other things, he will talk about blogs and how governments around the world engage digital democracy.

David is the head of Global Voices Outreach ( Rising Voices ), which is an off-shoot project of Global Voices Online, another project initiated at Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School, Massachusetts.

Global Voices Online & Global Outreach

Rising Voices is an outreach initiative of Global Voices supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

It aims to extend the benefits and reach of citizen media by connecting online media activists around the world and supporting their best ideas through three main strategies: ( 1 ) Microgrants; ( 2 ) Outreach Curriculum and ( 3 ) Networking.

The KLGCC is located at Off Jalan Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. The forum is held at Function Room, 1st Floor, East Wing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

From Nurin to Fairuz


update:
28/5 Five people, including a woman, arrested early this morning in Shah alam in connection with the abduction and murder of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin/STAR
Click here for the Bernama report.
Corus Hotel at Jln Ampang
Sat 29 Sept, 2pm.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is a speaker at this forum on "From Nurin to Chief Justice: A Collapse of Law and Order", which will debate some of the most-talked about issues these days.

Other speakers are:
Tunku Abdul Aziz (Transparency International)
Lim Chee Wee (Bar Council Secretary)
Param Cumaraswamy (ex-UN Special Rapporteur)

Extra precautions at IJN

Making sure this time. Doctors at IJN have ordered super-stringent additional measures, especially with regards to visitations, to ensure that Dr M is not exposed to any more infection following the second surgery - for wound debridement - last weekend.
"... we now have to sterilise our hands, wear a mask AND a gown. And our long tresses have to be held back," according to daughter Marina's latest posting here.
Dr M can already sit down and eat soft food but will remain at ICU for now, according to Bernama here.

Lancau!

Lancau? It stands for Lawyers National Campaign Against Untouchability, Nepal.
Thanks, blogger Two Sword Fish for directing this blog to Rojaks Daily, who thinks Malaysian lawyers could make an impact with their own Lancau. p.s. The posting was done before yesterday's march.
Click here to see Lancau.

Return the Judiciary to the People!

A petition to the Agong.

It's very simple. Just send your full name and your id no to savethejudiciary@gmail.com

Leave the rest to the People's Parliament.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The March in Pictures

Putrajaya, 26 Sept 2007.


Miss FRU

No entry for the lawyers' buses

Edmund Bon leads the 5km walk after cops stop the lawyers' buses from entering Putrajaya



Nuraina A. Samad, journo-blogger




A prominent lawyer-politician





Imtiaz, Disquiet







RPK




As far as the eyes can see



People's Parliament blogger-lawyer Haris Ibrahim


Bloggers Shanghai Fish, Niamah, Zorro, and 3540 Jln Sudin
Several others turned up in support of the marching lawyers, including Jeff Ooi, Tony Yew, Elviza, Jules, E-Woon, Li Tsin & Nathaniel, Rikey Wattahack, and Shar 101, who represented bloggers for the 5km walk with Edmund Bon and gang.



The young lawyers

And the rain ...





See also:
Nuraina A. Samad's Walk for Justice
Shanghai Fish's The Penguins Walk ...!!!
Tony Yew's Justice! We Want Justice!
Jules' Today I "behave like the Opposition"
Jeff Ooi's 53 pictures
Patrick Teoh's A Walk for Justice
Polytikus' I Marched - All 8km of it!
Zorro's Today I salute our Malaysian lawyers

"Rare protest march"


Proud to be fighting the causes with you. A simple message from Edmund Bon, who had to walk an extra 4km-5km, together with some 200 lawyers, when the buses they were traveling on were prevented from entering the Administrative Capital and they were forced to walk 4km-5km under the scorching Putrajaya sun to get to the Palace of Justice.
"Thank you 4 attending/supporting the largest non-political party based protest march with a historic 2000. I am proud to be fighting the causes with u."

We are Marching

The ground is shaking, Putrajaya is awakened from its sleep. A thousand lawyers, activists, and bloggers are marching peacefully to the PM's Dept from the Palace of Justice. We form a line stretching almost a kilometre, I estimate. I am nearer the back row. It's 12.15pm, about 20 or 25 minutes into the walk.

Earlier, about 200 lawyers were ordered by the police to get off the buses that were ferrying them from KL to Putrajaya. This group, led by Edmund Bon, had to walk 4 or 5 km to get to the Palace of Justice.

There are FRU trucks, a couple of choppers, and scores of cops to safeguard the peace in Putrajaya.

We are marching to safeguard the integrity of the Judiciary.

More later ....(Posted from a Blackberry).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tomorrow's March is ON!

ATTENTION! The buses will leave Dataran Merdeka at 9.30am tomorrow morning (Wed Sept 26) for Putrajaya. Please be there early.

Save the Judiciary.
Hundreds of lawyers will walk from the Palace of Justice to the PM's Department at 11am tomorrow to press for changes in the Judiciary.

While the DPM has just said the Government will set up an independent panel to investigate an incriminating video released by Anwar Ibrahim, the lawyers said it falls short of their demands for a Royal Commission and sweeping changes system-wide to revamp the Judiciary.

So, see you for the march tomorrow. Black & White, and jacket, please, in solidarity with our lawyer bros and sis.

Edmund Bon of the Bar Council has a message for you:

The walk tomorrow is a peaceful stroll to the PM's Office. Everything humanly possible is being done and has been done over the couple of days to ensure this. The Cabinet has been informed that we are doing this, and handing over a memorandum and a representative will be expecting us.

The walk is importantly (1) a show of solidarity of the Bar and civil society's positions on the issue (2) to send a message that we are serious about wanting a clean up of the Judiciary including by (3) calling for an independent appointments and promotion commission (4) calling for a royal commission to enquire into the recording and the state of the administration of justice in Malaysia.

A Star sms has been received about DPM announcing the establishment of a panel to investigate the authenticity of the clip. This does not change anything about the walk. We are still proceeding to walk because the issues we are advocating are not limited to the recording alone but with much larger issues as described above.

And would such a decision by the Govt for a panel be set up have been made without the continuous pressure from us and civil society which includes calling for this walk, more so after PM said there would be no royal commission?

Believe in the power we all have in making change, and believe in ourselves. We CANNOT be afraid to walk, we CANNOT look lowly on ourselves, we CANNOT give up our country to people who do not deserve to run it.

SO PLEASE JOIN THE WALK!

--
Warm regards

EDMUND BON

--

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dr M is OKAY

Vicious rumours. The former Prime Minister is in ICU at IJN, making steady recovery after the 3-hour surgery over the weekend. He is making slow but sure progress.

It is not true that the Tun did not make it.

Daughter Marina says please check regularly with her blog for updates.
"... he is doing fine according to the doctors. I know there are wild rumours .. but as I said, please check here. We would never hide anything very major from you.

"Please do continue praying for him. He needs all that love to keep him going. And we are always telling him that all you folks are willing him on."

Why won't they let her parents grieve in peace?

After Shahrizat and the IGP, Nazri raps Nurin's parents. From where I see things, there seems to be a conspiracy among those people up there to blame Nurin's parents for her death. A cruel, concerted effort to make them pay. Shahrizat started the ball rolling and Musa Hassan, after a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, issued the threat. Now the de facto Law Minister, Nazri Aziz, backs the IGP (whose men have not picked up even a suspect more than a month after Nurin was reported missing):
"Law is law ... nobody can slip away."
At the blog In Memory of Nurin Jazlin , her uncle had begged Malaysians and the authorities not to put the blame on Jazimin and Norazian. In one posting, he wrote:
"Let us not lose focus here, we should concentrate in tracking this perpetrator, not only to give justice to Nurin but to safeguard all other kids out there from falling prey to this monster."
Nuraina A. Samad, who has proposed that Shahrizat take a look at the Amber Alert system to deal with future cases of child abduction, slams Nazri and concluded her latest posting They really wanna get you two ... with the question:
"By the way, have you found the beast yet?"
Elviza, a lawyer who blogs, has taken the cue. "... I have to agree with Nuraina A. Samad ... Nurin’s case has indeed gone too far. If they really press charges on Nurin’s parents - I rest my case. What is the point of fighting a lost cause?"

All-Blogs-Global Voices forum

Blogs & Digital Democracy. The All-Blogs public forum is scheduled for Oct 3 and is by invitation only.
David Sasaki, the head of Global Voices Outreach (Rising Voices) -- and off-shoot of a project initiated at Berkman Centre for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School -- will talk about how governments around the world engage digital democracy.
More details in Screenshots soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The quiet, second Op

Dr M's stable after second operation. An infection. The Old Man stayed on the OT for 3 hours and is now back in the ICU. That's the second surgery in less than 3 weeks. Doakan, please. Daughter Marina has more, on how glum the surgeons had looked, here.

The Black & White March

Save the Judiciary march. If you are a Malaysian and you care about this country's future, please join me this Wednesday, 26th Sept, at 11 am in Putrajaya.

Together, we will march peacefully from the Palace of Justice to the Prime Minister's Department, where we will hand over a memorandum to the PM demanding that his administration stop the rot in our judiciary.

Other Malaysians will march with us. Buses have been chartered and will leave the Bar Council's secretariat at 9 am to take us to the march. Those who prefer to make their own way to the Palace of Justice, do so.

Attire: What our lawyers usually wear (black and white, preferably with a jacket).
Read also:
Return the judiciary to the rakyat by Haris Ibrahim
Alert: Lawyers to march by Elizabeth Wong
Save Judiciary - The Shock-a-Lingam tape by Jeff Ooi
Let's Walk the Talk by Nuraina A. Samad
The March for Justice by Polytikus
Justice! We want justice! by Tony Yew

Saturday, September 22, 2007

After Nurin - A politician's promise and a cop's threat



Mark Shahrizat's words: "It won't happen again".
The Women, Family and Community Development Minister was quoted in NST as saying that parents whose negligence leads to their children being harmed risk being jailed. In the past, she said her ministry had been reluctant to act against errant parents as it deemed it sensitive to get involved in family affairs.

And the Inspector-General of Police may recommend to the A-G that Nurin's parents be charged for negligence.
Musa Hassan said there are provisions under the law to prosecute parents who neglect the safety of their children but they were never used. "I think it is high time that we apply the laws."

Bollocks.

Or so said
Nuraina A. Samad. The blogger, a single mom of two, is sickened by Musa Hassan's lack of compassion and decency. "Trying to make a case against Nurin's parents is really going too too too far".
She isn't the only one angry. Mindacergas says going by the IGP's logic, he should recommend that the PM be charged for negligence as well.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Contempt?

Contempt. I know no more than what bro Jeff Ooi has just put up in his blog here. My lawyer is trying to get the papers from the NSTP's lawyers.
I'll try not to think of it. Not today, at least. I want to think of Nurin and what her parents are going through. Please don't leave any comment for this posting. I'll write more when we get more information.
Let's all pray for Nurin, instead.

In memory of Nurin Jazlin

Alfatihah.
"Due to the overwhelming scientific evidence produced, the parents of Nurin Jazlin have decided to accept the body they inspected as of their daughter's.
The body will be claimed this morning and funeral (burial) would probably be held after Friday prayers today."
The above is the latest posting on the blog that was set up by an uncle for his niece that was reported missing 31 days ago. The blog was originally called In Search of Nurin.
This morning, he changed it to In Search of Nurin (In Memory of Nurin).

The IGP said yesterday, here, that the cops will arrest Nurin's suspected killer soon.

I, Phantomed


[Note: pls read my earlier posting "Excuse me, WTF registered me as a Voter?" to have an idea of this posting]
An afternoon at the Election Commission.
And so I was at the SPR yesterday. The officers were able to answer some of my questions.

When was I registered?
1999.
How was I registered?
Someone filled up the form.
How come?
Before July 2002, political parties were allowed to register on behalf of constituents who had not been registered.

Some questions they couldn't answer.
Was it the BN or the Opposition that registered me?
We don't know.
Did I "vote" for the 1999 and the 2003 general elections?
We have no idea.
How did this political party in Taman Rapat Setia register me when I never lived there?
We can't tell.

Because my case is "unique", I have been advised to write to the EC Secretary Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor to state my case and get official answers.
I shall do that.

I have also been advised to lodge a police report.
I'll do that, too. Thank you.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Missing girls: Pasquale's theory














Snuff.
Blogger Pasquale says our police should get in touch with the Interpol to help solve Nurin's case. In his blog here, he takes us back to victims of worldwide snuff film syndicate, including Madeleine McCann, 3, from England kidnapped in Portugal, and Jon-Benet Particia Ramsey, 6, found dead in her house in Colorado Springs.

I think our cops can do with all the help. Nurin went missing 31 days ago and our cops have picked up NO suspect. Not one suspect.

p.s. Nurin's family believes that she is still alive and well. I visited the official blog www.nurinjazlin.blogspot.com dedicated to helping find Nurin, run by her uncle. It classifies her as "MISSING FOR 31 DAYS".

Girl in the bag is Nurin

Oh, God. There must be some mistake. Journo friends told me the DNA test showed that the body in the bag (NST's dead cover girl) was missing girl Nurin.

How could that be? The parents said she wasn't her baby.

There has got to be a mistake somewhere.

For more, please look out for Bernama, Star sms alert, Malaysiakini.

Excuse me, WTF registered me as a voter?


I, Phantom? I have never registered myself as a voter in my entire life.
So how did I get my name on the Election Commission's voter roll?
Someone must have done it for me. Who?
I have never been to Rapat Setia, for heaven's sake.
My address on my old ID and on my new MyKad is Puchong, Selangor.
I have never lived in Perak.
My kampong is in Melaka.
So who did I vote for in Gopeng? And in Simpang Pulai?

Is someone walking around with my ID, my MyKad?
Am I really who I think I am?
Was I a Phantom Voter in the last general election?

Excuse me, Mr Election Commissioner, YOU HAVE SOME EXPLAINING TO DO HERE!

I've always been skeptical when people talk about phantom voters being used to win elections. I have always been sympathetic with the EC when people accuse it of flaws in the electoral process. With millions on the electoral roll, surely honest mistakes can be expected here and there.

There's nothing honest about the EC's mistake here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lingham, the CJ, and Anwar Ibrahim

Video, text and lies. I received a text message well after midnight about an urgent press conference that the former Deputy PM was going to hold this morning. At the press conference, Anwar showed a video recording that "implicates the highest office of judiciary in a conspiracy to pervert the cause of justice through the machinations of a lawyer tainted with a scandalous history involving questionable dealings and conduct that brings disrepute to the legal and judicial professions."
Go to DSAI's blog here for the rest of the fireworks. And to watch the video here.

First Angkasawan

Dr Sheih Muszaphar. If all goes as planned, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar will be the first Malaysian astronaut to reach outer space. For years to come, his will be the name our children utter when they learn about science in school. Many will dream of growing up to be like Dr Sheikh Muzaphar the way many of us grew up dreaming to be someone like Yuri Gagarin or Neil Armstrong.

Big Dog was the first to break the news of Dr Sheih's selection in his blog here last night [update: Or did Big Dog really? Check out this posting in www.bluehikari.com dated 14 Sept]. TV3, he said, had a segment in prime time news, quoting foreign sources here. Read Kerp's blog here as well.

The reason why the news is not splashed on the front pages of the local papers and Bernama is simply that they are waiting for the PM to make a forml announcement later this week.

I wanted to write "First Malaysian blogger in space" for the heading of this posting but that might be pushing it. Nevertheless, do check out Dr Sheikh and Capt Dr Faiz Khaleed's Angkasawan Blog.

Congrats Dr Sheih. And Capt Dr Faiz, too! I hope they give you guys something better than datukships when you return.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Missing Nurin


Bloggers, please help. This 8-year old has been missing for 28 days. I am a parent, too, and my heart goes out to her parents. The least I could do is pray for her safe return and, as a blogger, let as many people know about Nurin through the blogsite her dad has set up to help find the baby he's lost.

It's nurinjazlin.blogspot.com. Please do a link, fellow bloggers.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ah, Zafrul!

Blogging CEO. How many Malaysian chief executive officers blog? I don't know but, after discovering that Tengku Zafrul (he's the boss of Tune Money) blogs, I think I should start counting. He won't blog about politics, of course, but who says blogging is just about politics, uh?
Welcome on board, CEO blogger!

p.s. Zafrul still writes for the NST, though.

Ah, TV Smith


Fasting Malaysians - at Masjid India and in outer space. I've known TV Smith for some years now but I only recently discovered that he fasts in Ramadan (whenever he's got a date to break fast with friends). Judging by the pics and stories he's been publishing in his MyCen News, TV must have been busy fasting this year!

With MyCen News, TV presents to us on a single, small plate the day's stories [including this one on Muslim (Malaysian) astronaut to fast in space!], bloggers' posts, and his own "Sightings".
It's easy to tell that it's one of my favourites - I've placed it right under Tuesdays With Bapak!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Malaysia - 44 or 50?

Sept 16, 1963 was the day the Federation of Malaysia was born, after Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaya (Singapore, too, but it went on its own on Aug 9, 1965). Malaya gained its Independence from the British on Aug 31, 1957.
An so, it will always be a bone of contention. Is Malaysia 44 or 50 years old? [read this Borneo Post article here].
I say Sept 16 should be celebrated just as grandly as Aug 31. Sept 16 is our National Day (as that's when we became the nation that we are today) and Aug 31 our Independence Day (and that's when we should Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka).

Happy National Day, Malaysia!

Patrick Badawi's first Penang hurdle

Review Penang's RM25 billion mega project. Five NGOs have gone on record with a demand that the government reviews the Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) project in Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad's homestate of Penang.The mega development, designed to better Mahathir's KLCC, was approved without local inputs, these NGOs said in Mingguan Malaysia, an Umno-controlled newspaper, today.

The project was launched last week by the PM himself and front-paged by the NST, a daily run by Patrick Lim's business partner Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, who counts the PM as one of his "friends". Lim earned the nickname Patrick Badawi due to his closeness to the Family.

A representative of the Penang Heritage Trust, Ahmad Chik said the developer of the PGCC was rather dismissive of the little local inputs that had been solicited for the project.

“This project was approved in Putrajaya, the plans finalised without any local inputs, and was launched amid wide publicity.

“There was no discussion. This is an attempt to sideline all forms of opposition (towards the project). This is a colossal project that will affect about every person in Penang. It needs a more comprehensive review before it can start," Ahmad Chik said.

The Mingguan article here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Latest on M

IJN, Sept 15: Dr M was transferred to the ICU last night (7pm) to allow doctors "to conduct investigations and close observation of his overall condition post bypass surgery", according to the latest statement issued by the hospital minutes ago.
In her blog, daughter Marina, who was outstation, called hubby on the mobile phone yesterday but was greeted by Dr M, instead. "I am getting stronger," he said, "but the doctors want me to get stronger faster."

Singapore buys deadly Himars


60-km reach. Our golf buddies in Singapore have chosen a battle-tested, US-made rocket artillery system for their army. The US$330mil (RM1.15bil) deal would be the army’s first rocket artillery system. The order for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (Himars) includes nine trucks, each fitted with a pod of six rocket tubes.
"At the press of a button, the trucks can launch rockets to pound enemy positions some 60km away."

Ok, I didn't know what Himars was or how the rockets looked like and I wasn't sure if they were used by the American GIs to kill Iraqi civilians or not, but I know approx how far 60km is.
KL to Seremban, that's about 60km.
60km north of Singapore? That would be in Kulai, I think, or Kota Tinggi, the constituent of grilled-on-BBC Syed Hamid Albar. Still very much in Johor, Malaysia's southernmost state. My village folks in Melaka needn't worry. Our Ministers in Putrajaya are safe.
And I am like 330 km away, here in Puchong, so those rockets can't touch me!

Poster Skilgannon alerted me of this Straits Times (Singapore) news yesterday. Excerpts:
Salaam, Pak Rocky
Here's another piece of news that will cause the NST's Syed Nadzri more worry. Remember his hand-wringing about Singapore's plan to acquire precision-guided bombs?
It is interesting to note that the Himars rockets have a range of up to 60km. If one draws a circle with a radius of 60km, with its centre in an army camp in Singapore, what targets would be within the Himars range?
And armour-piercing bomblets dispersed by satellite-guided rockets? It doesn't take a military genius to connect the dots.......

The Star ran the story, here, today.
More on Himars, including pics, here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pak Einstein's painting sold!


Nori buys all of Hisham Rais' paintings, including one on daddy looking like a rocket scientist, in a recent shopping spree, it seems.
Go to M-Star here to find out who is Marilyn, the hippie, and the punk.



PP responds to YB Chew

"The voters are your boss ... Not Ong Ka Ting, and not Pak Lah".
"Either stand up to defend the constitution, both in parliament and outside, or be prepared to be shipped out of parliament at the next elections. Please convey this to your colleagues in MCA."
Read Haris Ibrahim's full reply YB Chew Mei Fun here.

PKR threatens NST with legal suit



Batu Buruk incident report. PKR has given the NSTP* till the end of today to publish a correction to a Sept 10 newsreport 'RM1m damage, 23 held in riot’ in its New Straits Times daily, failing which the political party will file a lawsuit against the tabloid.
Read the Malaysiakini story here.

p.s. Interestingly, the picture that the NST used here bears no attribution. The same picture was later "shared" with other newspapers and was used by the Star the next day, I was told. Newspapers are very territorial and usually don't share their scoops. Maybe the rules of the game have changed....

* the same newspaper group that filed a suit against this blogger in Jan for defamation. our next date in court is Nov 28 this year.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

YB Chew says wherever, whenever

MP responds to the People's Parliament. Yang Berhormat Chew Mei Fun has given prominent lawyer Haris Ibrahim's People Parliament blog the response it deserves. Haris has been running a Get to Know your MPs: Will they defend our secular Constitution series, to which Chew Mei Fun, the MP for PJ Utara (MCA), replied that "(the MCA) will defend (the Constitution) wherever and whenever is appropriate, including in Parliament".

Read her response, verbatim, here.

Haris knows he's on to something good. He has now asked his People Parliament's members to get the other MPs to commit to an answer to the question - Will they defend the Constitution?
Read him here.
If everyone's as forthcoming as Chew, then we'll be getting responses from the MPs of Subang,Wangsa Maju, Batu, Titiwangsa, Ampang, and Lembah Pantai.

Will the Umno MPs be allowed to emulate their MCA colleague in engaging the blog?

Out of ICU and walking

Nine days after the bypass, the IJN said Dr M is out of intensive care, walking unaided, and eating regular diet.

Visits are still restricted, though, for fear of post-surgery infection.

An Aussie in the Family?

update, 6.30pm
A boy. Nori gave birth to a baby boy at about 1.30pm at Pantai Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, so no Aussie in the Family.
It is my friend from OZ who is back in town, so that's why I thought that Nori had given birth Down Under. That question mark at the end of the heading showed that I wasn't sure that was the case, even though the Family does spend so much time there. My apologies, nonetheless.

original posting, at 3.11pm
KJ's a daddy
. Heard from a Malaysian in OZ-land that Nori has just given birth to her - and Khairy's - first. She wasn't due till Sept 25 but her blood pressure was going up so the docs did a C-section.

Please look out for Bernama for the official news
.

E-mail to Idris Jala, Malaysia Airlines boss

From Audra Atkinson, former chief stewardess, sacked for having a third baby.
Audra joined Malaysia Airlines as a stewardess in 1989 and received various commendations. In 2003, however, two years after being promoted as chief stewardess, Audra was sacked by the airline for conceiving a third child.
She sent this e-mail to Idris Jala in 2006, wishing him well and hoping for understanding. It was to no avail. Last week, I attended the proceeding of her case at the Industrial Court. Idris Jala's Malaysia Airlines seemed determined to kill off any hope or desire on Audra's part to be "forgiven" by the national carrier for giving birth to another Malaysian.

Please take time to read her mail. In the spirit of Ramadan, I appeal to Idris to have some compassion. The benefits of Ramadan are not confined to Muslims.

Audra's husband, Tony Yew, a former steward with Mas, posted a chronology of the case here after the Sept 5 hearing. Deadline for her final submission is October 5. (Tony and Audra served a combined 21.5 years with the airline).

(Former Chief Stewardess) Audra Denise Atkinson
Staff No: xxxxxx-2

7 March 2006

En Idris Jala
Managing Director
Malaysia
Airlines
30th Floor
Bangunan MAS
Jln Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur

Dear Sir,

Ref: Audra Denise Atkinson vs. Malaysia Airlines [Industrial Relations Court ref:JPP(W.P/S) Sek 20/2435/2003]

First, let me congratulate you on your recent appointment as Managing Director of Malaysia Airlines. I read with interest your plans to turn around the company, and sincerely wish you and your team the best.

I draw your attention to the above reference, and would like to tell you why I am writing to you. For one, I am doing so in hope that you will be able to see this case from the viewpoint of a loyal and dedicated employee.

I was employed in August 1989, starting of as a Trainee Flight Stewardess, and moving up the ranks until my appointment as Chief Stewardess, on 15th July 2002. During my tenure of service, I have received numerous commendations both from passengers and superiors, as well as acknowledgements from the management with regard to my performance as a cabin crew with the Company. It was also during this time, when getting selected as a member of the crew to serve on the Prime Minister’s Chartered Flight, to ferry his entourage to various countries, was seen as a privilege; something most crew would see as a reward.

I was fortunate to have served on two such flights.

During my tenure of service, I have not had any complaints made towards me from any of my superiors, or peers, and I take pride in that. My service record, to my knowledge, is unblemished.

However, in 2003, specifically on 30th October 2003, on finding out that I was pregnant with my third child, one which by the grace of god was bestowed upon me, I immediately contacted my union (MASEU) and sought assistance to seek a ground position.

A meeting was held between the then, Manager of Cabin Crew, Encik Kamal Azran and the Union Officials, during which I was requested to draft an application for a ground position for the attention of the management. Subsequently on the 31st of October 2003, I was issued a termination letter. I then lodged a wrongful termination with the Industrial Relations Department under Section 20 on 10th November 2003.

I appealed my termination to the General Manager of Human Resources, on 10th November 2003. The Industrial Relations Dept then called for an conciliation meeting on the 14th of January 2004, during which I was asked if I was keen on a ground position. Following advice from MASEU, I again appealed for reinstatement, on 16th January 2004. On 19th January 2004, En Chong Min Sin, acting on behalf of the General Manager of Human Resources sent a letter for the attention of The Director General of Industrial Relations Dept (W.P/S) requesting them to drop my case, as the company was in the process of offering me a job. On the other hand, I was never informed of this. However, what I was informed was that my appeal was turned down on the 19th of February 2004.

My case was referred to the Industrial Relations Court by the Minister Of Human Resources vide a letter dated 1st December 2005. My case was mentioned on 8th February 2006, and will again be mentioned on 16th May 2006.

My case is being handled by MASEU, through the services of an attorney. Malaysia Airlines is being represented by Skrine & Co.

On 8th February, at 3.00pm, I was called to be interviewed by the Asst General Manager of Customer Services MAS, Encik Kamal Azran as well as a representative of Human Resources, Encik Shahrom. Durin this interview, I was asked about my intentions, and the job that I would like to apply for.

Sir, I am writing to you to highlight to you that I am merely a person looking to restore my position in society. I have undergone enough stress, as well as financial setback, since my termination. My fault? I had a third child. I seek your understanding, and I am sure from your experience, working for an MNC, that these rules, are perhaps not for today’s society. Given the length and cost of my case, I am merely asking for a reinstatement to my old job, one that I take pride in, and have been told many times, that I was good at. At this point, I would also like to inform you that one of my appeals, in 2005, through the advice of MASEU was to apply for the position of Grooming Officer in the Cabin Crew Dept. Speaking to the Manager, she welcomed my application and added that I was suitable for the position and she had no objections to my applying. However, because of my outstanding case, she could not consider me unless I was reinstated.

Your plans to resurrect the company included a call for proper resource planning and management, and I can safely say that I will fit hand in glove into this role, not to mention that I need a job, to sustain my family.

I was advised against any form of communication officially, with the company, but I take the view that having made our intentions clearly to each other, perhaps we can settle this amicably.

I know that you do not have to act on this simply because I wrote to you, but I sincerely hope that you are able to see this from my point of view, and assist me in getting back to where I was.

Lastly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and I am attaching various documents to support my claim.

I remain hopeful for your reply, and kind assistance.
Yours Sincerely,

Audra Atkinson

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The People's Petition to the Agong

Sign this petition. Click here if you are already registered with Malaysia Today or send a mail to raja.petra.kamarudin@gmail.com with the message "Signed" and your name.
RPK has listed 9 major reasons why the petition needs to be sent urgently to the Yang diPertuan Agong. They include the people's eroding confidence in the police force, the rise in crime rate, and corruption.
The shooting of two civilians at last weekend's political rally in Batu Buruk, Terengganu, the current Agong's state, is the last straw.

Selamat Berpuasa

Ramadhan never fails to take me to far away places that I've been. Taj Mahal is an all-time favourite but the Boscarsija Mosque (see pic) in Sarajevo that I visited, when Bosnia was war-torn and Malaysia was doing something, is always special. Back home, the Shah Alam state mosque is awesome.
There was a mosque up in the hills in Clementi in Singapore, where I prayed as a boy, but I don't have its picture, except for the one in my mind.
Elok-elok poso tu, brothers and sisters, wherever you are.

Minister, sec-gen may face ACA probe

Screwed. The Youth and Sports Minister and her secretary-general face a certain probe by the Anti-Corruption Agency following revelations in the recent Auditor-General's report, if this report, here, quoting Nazri Aziz, the de facto law minister, is to be taken seriously.
The AG report singled out a case where Azalina Othman's ministry had paid RM224 for a set of screwdrivers which cost only RM32.
Nazri did say, however, that "... just because there is some mismanagement at a certain ministry, it does not mean that the minister is corrupt."
It's good if we all take heed to that remark.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Budget 2008: Employment by race

105. The Government had announced in the 2007 Budget that all PLCs are required to disclose CSR activities in their annual financial reports. Beginning financial year 2008, PLCs will be required to disclose their employment composition by race and gender, as well as programmes undertaken to develop domestic and Bumiputera vendors. The private sector should leverage upon the strength of Malaysia’s diversity by employing Malaysians from all ethnic groups. [full Budget 2008 text here]
This new requirement must have escaped many people. When I read this paragraph, I was curious. What is the purpose of making it mandatory for PLCs to do this? Will they be rewarded or penalised, or will this be a pure academic exercise?
Will the Government require other establishments to declare their racial composition as well? Shopping malls, for example: do we make the KLCC tell us how many Chinese-owned outlets there are compared with Malays, Indians, foreigners, etc? And the GLCs?


Terengganu is a police state

update, Sept 12
The PM said in Singapore last night the riot in Batu Buruk was a political ploy by the Opposition after not being able to bring development to Terengganu. [Read Bernama report here].
What can I say?
Happy Ramadhan, Terengganu people.

original posting

New height of police violence
. Malaysiakini quotes Anwar Ibrahim as saying, here, that the use of live ammo to disperse a crowd at a public rally in Batu Buruk, Terengganu, is the new height of police harassment. The Associated Press, in a report splashed in newspapers around the world, described the incident as Malaysia's worst political violence.

New low for media freedom. If you rely on Bernama, our national news agency, you'd be wondering what Anwar and the AP are blabbering about. There is nothing on the incident on its lunchtime news schedule (below, click on image to enlarge).

Monday, September 10, 2007

Jeff Ooi vs NSTP & 3

Another day at Duta. The Screenshots blogger goes to court again tomorrow morning for yet another round of the Jeff Ooi vs NSTP and 3 Others. Jeff was originally expected to apply to merge his case with mine, but his lawyer is likely to take a new date pending disposal of the striking out application.
It's going to be a long walk.


Sixth day


Roti canai for breakfast. The roti canai is not in the photo, but you get the picture. The IJN's latest press statement also said Dr M finally had a full shower.

Before this morning's roti canai, the multi-faith doa selamat for the former PM went on smoothly last night. Marina Mahathir was so touched by the turn out at the Blog House. It clearly shows, she said, that her father's heart belongs to all Malaysians.

Jeff Ooi has awesome pictures of the event here while Pok Ku, here, is impressed with the bloggers' effort and the dinner. Picture above by TV Smith.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Get a blog, YBs

Not enough coverage. It seems that Nazri Aziz, whom one has to consider a senior MP and Cabinet minister, was whining the other day about not getting enough coverage in the mainstream media.
A former NST editor happened to be at the function Nazri was officiating and has proposed at the same function, which was a media forum that MPs and Ministers set up their own blogs to reach the people and their constituents.

Jolly good idea. But will they have what it takes to maintain a blog?
Read what Pahit Manis had to say about Nazri and complaining YBs.

Multi-faith prayers for Dr Mahathir

What? Multi-faith doa selamat for Dr Mahathir Mohamad
Where? Blog House, 66, Lorong Setiabistari 2, Bukit Damansara
When? Tomorrow, Sunday 9 Sept, 7pm

All faiths. Marina Mahathir is inviting ALL wellwishers to a special multi-faith doa selamat for her dad and our former PM.

The programme will go as follows:
7pm Arrival of everyone who'd like to come
7.15 pm Maghrib prayers for Muslims led by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
7.30pm Prayers by representatives of Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Baha'i faiths.
8.15pm Dinner is served.

According to Marina here, Archbishop Murphy Pakiam representing the Christian community and His Holiness Swami Samyam Ananda representing the Hindu community have confirmed they will recite their respective prayers.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A scoop for Dr M

Ice-cream. The latest IJN press statement said the former PM continued to make progress. Today's the third day after the bypass, and the doctors have promoted him to "soft diet" from yesterday's "liquid diet".
I asked Marina what soft diet he was on. Ice-cream. Dr M asked for ice-cream. She could't say what flavor it was or if it was Magnolia or Walls. But he had ice-cream.

DPM defends National Service program

Only 14 deaths. Najib Razak was expected to defend the NS program, even after the most recent death. After all, the NS is a program conceived to instill patriotism and camaraderie in the young ones. And the Deputy Prime Minister was expected to come down hard on the "operators" of the NS program after the last fatality.

But this report by Bernama does not make Najib look too good. He appears nonchalant - cold, even.
Meanwhile, he clarified that since the NS Training Programme was introduced in 2004, only 14 trainees had died and not 20 as reported by a local daily. Of the 14, six deaths were due to illnesses suffered by the trainees themselves such as heart disease, asthma and liver infection.
Meanwhile, he said four deaths occurred during training, two died as a result of accidents, one trainee died while on vacation and one died three days after the completion of training.
Of the remaining two cases, one drowned while on holiday and the latest case at the Cheneh Cemerlang Camp in Kemaman was being investigated, he said.

Did Najib really use the word "only" for the 14 deaths? Even one death is one too many, so how can 14 deaths be "only"?
Najib, STOP the NS program now. As I see it, Sir, you have no choice but to take it back to the drawing board, make massive changes, and start anew.
You won't win this one.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Star gets new Editor-in-chief

Wong Chun Wai. The country's largest English-language daily, The Star, has announced the appointment of Wong Chun Wai, 46, as its new Editor-in-Chief. Wong, who has been with the tabloid since 1984, when The Star was nowhere near theNST. Wong replaces Michael Aeria, who was one of the editors who interviewed me in 1985 when I applied to be a journalist with The Star.
Congratulations, bro Wong. Looking forward to more pro-blog views in your Off The Beat column.

Liquid diet

More good news from IJN. Dr Mahathir is on liquid diet and has started exercising his arms and legs. Still at ICU but the doctors are very happy with the good doctor's progress.

Anwar ibrahim's aide sent me this mail at 2.10pm:

Doa Untuk Tun Dr. Mahathir

Saya, Azizah dan keluarga turut mendoakan supaya Tun Dr. Mahathir
dapat cepat pulih kesihatannya setelah menjalani pembedahan jantung
dua hari yang lalu.

ANWAR IBRAHIM