Thursday, July 30, 2009

Between My Legs

This blogger rides/writes again. Engku Emran stopped his blog Between My Legs for 6 months to watch his little one grow. Now he's back!
Bearing gifts, too: Check out the "promo" for Suria FM, which EE heads, at the top right hand corner of this blog. Or click here for a shot at a RM100k bonanza!

Whose DNA?

Update: The front page of this afternoon's The Malay Mail



Original Article:

The NST's story, here.

At the Teoh Beng Hock inquest yesterday, the Shah Alam court was told that DNA from two different persons were detected from a piece of clothing worn by the deceased.
One of the DNA profiles matched Teoh's blood specimen and the other to an unknown male individual.
Another DNA profile derived from a swab taken from the torn region of a waist belt worn by Teoh also consisted of a mixture of male DNA types. One of them also matched Teoh's blood stain specimen, while the other belonged to an unknown male.
The inquest was also told that two people had refused to give their DNA samples to the police.

The two are Kajang municipal councillor Tan Boon Wah and businessman Lee Wye Wing. Their lawyer said the two have nothing to hide, that they'd wait for the Coroner's order first.

The inquest, which started yesterday and was supposd to wrap everything in two weeks, has been postponed to Aug 5.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dah 3 tahun, Yang Ariff!

Justice Delayed. The day Dr M was attacked with tear gas in Kota Bahru, I was in Damansara with a couple of ex-NST editors putting to bed a new magazine we had just started. That incident took place exactly 3 years ago yesterday. Pak Lah, who was the PM then, has long been replaced and that magazine discontinued, but we are still waiting for the court to decide if Nik Sepiea should be jailed, fined and whipped for causing hurt to the Statesman!

Pahit Manis and Big Dog posted reminders.

Journo to Journo: How Low Can You Go?

Updated, 12.45pm: Wong Chun Wai, the Star's chief group editor, spoke to the reporters at Kosmo to hear their side of the story.
"They pointed out that they had paid their tribute to Yasmin, pointing out the many stories recognising her talent. The article on her past, they said, was merely to inform readers of the other side of Yasmin, which the readers were not aware.
"The editor took my call politely and thanked me for my views and criticism. That's their side of the story. I do not think there was any malice but ..."


Read his posting on Yasmin Ahmad: Journos Angry Over Kosmo!'s Article



Original article:
A very angry letter to Kosmo! On the Facebook, one of my own journalists at the Malay Mail has started a thread dedicated at slamming the Malay-language tabloid Kosmo! for the crap they wrote about Yasmin Ahmad the day after her death.
Later this afternoon, a group of journos will be sending a letter to Utusan Group chairman Hashim Makaruddin, a former journalist himself, to express their disgust with Kosmo!'s editorial policy. I agree with Marina Mahathir here that Kosmo!'s take this instance was really appalling, even by its own standards.

The letter to Hashim, below (pls click to enlarge), and the e-mail from the group of journos seeking the support of other journos against Kosmo!



From: Rose Ismail
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 19:41:04 +0800
Subject: Letter to Utusan Chairman about Kosmo! Story on Yasmin
Dear friends,

We have written a letter to the Chairman of Utusan -- Tan Sri Hashim Makaruddin -- to express our anger and disgust at the story that Kosmo! ran on July 27th, 2009.

This letter of protest, which will be translated into BM, has been written on behalf of practising and former journalists.

It will be copied to the the editor of Kosmo! and the Home Minister.

If you would like to be a signatory, please reply this email with the subject "Count Me In".

We hope to send the letter at 5pm tomorrow (Wed, 29th July), so please respond before then.

Let's uphold the kind of journalism that this country so desperately needs.

Yours,
Rose Ismail
Fatimah Abu Bakar
Shareem Amry
Sharon Nelson
Caroline Yap

Monday, July 27, 2009

Police reports against blogs in Malaysia

When the DAP starts doing it .... Lodging police reports against bloggers used to be a Barisan Nasional's past time. Before PRU12, it was Mike Tyson against RPK here or some Umno "goons" versus my buddy Jeff Ooi there.

Yesterday, DAP's Ronnie Liu and Ean Yong decided to break the BN monopoly. The two YBs jointly lodged a report against the blog t4tbh.blogspot.com for the allegations made about awards of contracts and the use of allocations. Ronnie's aide Wong Chuan How, named by the Anonymous blogger as the beneficiary of 84 of the projects Ronnie had given out in the last one year, lodged a second police report [which contained factual errors, unfortunatley, as The Malay Mail pointed out to him after we did some cross-checking].

Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim has come out in defence of his Excos, and called for a "sense of responsibility" in blogosphere. "If there is corruption, the public should not just publish these activities in blogs but must take the matter to authorities," he said. I agree. "... Sometimes, stories in blogs are not always 100 percent true," Khalid added. Again, I agree. [Khalid suggests bloggers come forward with corrupt allegations - bernama].

Now that the DAP's doing it also, I think people are going to continue lodging police reports against bloggers, including Anonymous bloggers, in future. Bukit Aman's cyber division will have a lot more to do.

p.s. This is not the first time Ronnie has lodged a police report against a site. The first, in July 2007, was against a "seditious article' on Pak Lah's official website. Read here.

Ah, Lo' Lo'!


Titiwangsa MP makes U-turn, lauds decicion to cane model. On July 22, The Malay Mail carried a front-page article (left) on the decision by a Syariah court to fine model Kartika and whip her six times for consuming alcohol in public. That article quoted Shahrizat Jalil of Umno and Dr Lo' Lo' of PAS, both critical of "harsh" sentence.

Lo' Lo' has issued a statement to amend her stand on the caning. Read excerpts below and the link here. The about-turn came days after Nik Aziaz the Tok Guru, praised Kartika for "accepting" the punishment.

Let's see if Shahrizat withdraws her support for Kartika.

Monday July 27, 2009

Lo’ Lo’ lauds syariah court judge’s courage

PETALING JAYA: A PAS Member of Parliament has lauded the Kuantan Syariah Court judge for having the courage to impose a whipping sentence on a Muslim woman for consuming alcohol in public.

Titiwangsa MP Dr Lo’ Lo’ Mohd Ghazali said she agreed with the sentence because it was close to the penalty provided for under hudud law.

Under hudud, the penalty for consuming alcohol is 40 strokes while some ulama say it could go up to 80 strokes.


Friday, July 24, 2009

T4TBH




Updates:
The "dubious" claims by t4tbh.blogspot.com are creating the headlines, nonetheless. DAP's YB Ronnie Liu, already in a bit of a spot after earlier allegations made by YB Azmin Ali and YB Wee Choo Keong, has denied the blog's claims, which were carried by the papers. [Read NST's Liu and Ean Yong rubbish allegations by new blog].

]Bru Notes[: Sometime after I had provided the link to the blog, its administrator posted its 3rd instalment, Selected Documents Containing List of Projects for Sg Pelek Constituency, here. Similar links are now available in Malaysia Today, Malaysian Insider, Malaysia Kini, and elsewhere.

Original Article:

Truth 4 Teoh Beng Hock.
It's been a week since Teoh Beng Hock fell to his death at a building in Shah Alam where he had just been questioned for 11 hours by the MACC. The finger-pointing hasn't stopped, even after the Cabinet has ordered an Inquest and a Royal Commission of Inquiry to find out the truth of the tragedy. Sometimes you wonder if it's justice they are really interested in.

All sorts of people have started all kinds of cyber threads on the death of the DAP political aide but this one, t4tbh.blogspot.com, which was started on Thursday by an anonymous person/group, is bound to draw the interest of many parties. The blog is focused not on the tragedy but on the investigation purportedly being conducted by the MACC at the time of Teoh's death.

I was alerted of the blog early this morning and I've not been able to verify what I've just read, but 2 things are immediately obvious: 1. that the blog is politically-motivated, and 2. that it contains very serious allegations of corrupt practices in one party.

Read the blog's latest posting The DAP's corruption modus operandi in Selangor.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Alfatihah for The Ancient Mariner

Innalillah. We have just lost a dear, dear friend. Capt Yusof Ahmad, who ran the blog The Ancient Mariner, passed away last night. He was 64.

I last met him late last Tuesday morning in Ampangan, Seremban, the day his 84-year old mom died. Ordinarily, we would have been in Kelana Jaya for the bloggers' weekly MRT (mi rebus Tuesday). Capt told us that he was obviously not going to make it for last Tuesday's session. We spoke about what he was to do with the now-empty house in Ampangan, Seremban where his 84-year old mother had spent her last days. His eldest son is to get married in November and Capt Yusof said he hoped to see his blogger friends at his son's wedding. It's true what they said, we mere mortals could only plan.

Captain left a wife and four kids, and fond memories of a brief but true friendship formed in blogosphere and spilled over into real life.

Other blog tributes:
1. Amir Hafizi's The Last Voyage
2. Alfatihah to Capt Yusof by A Voice
3. Alfatihah: Capt Yusof @ The Ancient Mariner by Elviza
4. Pasquale's May you rest in Peace!
5. Al-fatihah, Capt Yusof Ahmad by Syed Akbar Ali
6. Ancient Mariner has passed on by Haris Ibrahim
7. Alfatiha: The Ancient Mariner, by Tok Mommy
8. Ahmad A Talib's Alfatihah untuk Ancient Mariner
9. Goodbye Captain by Euphoria in Misery
10. Goodbye, Bang Captain by Mat Salo
11. Kerp's So Long, Good 'Ol Captain
12. Al-fatehah buat Kapt Yusof Ahmad oleh Ron
13. Bon Voyage, Dear Captain by Nuraina A. Samad
14. Farewell Capt. Yusof, by Anak Si Hamid

Glad did I live and gladly die,

And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:

'Here he lies where he longed to be;

Home is the sailor, home from sea,

And the hunter home from the hill.'

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)



See you tomorrow. God be willing.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tragic death, tragic reaction

With updates at the end of posting
The death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock, 30, at the building that housed the Anti-Corruption Commission's office in Shah Alam is most tragic.

Was there foul play? Was it accidental? Did he commit suicide?

We all want to know what happened and how Teoh fell to his death.

Amid our shock and the family's grief, we have a politician like Lim Guan Eng who reminds us that everything in life - and death - has something to do with politics and the DAP.

His letter published in mysinchew is Malaysia's political tragedy. The Chief Minister's assertion that Teoh's death was the result of the MACC's "political persecution of PR, especially DAP leaders and members" is cheap and malicious.

This picture of Teoh with MACC officers was taken two days ago and appeared in yesterday's Malay Mail.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nazri's 100-day gifts

Cab, school bus fares UP. Now some will say that the "discount" on toll, which was one of the 100-day gifts to the people from the PM last Saturday, is too good to be true.

Nazri Aziz, the Minister in the PM's Department, has announced that fares for taxi and school bus are up.

The starting fare for your cab ride from Aug 1 is RM3, a whopping 50% more!

General July 16, 2009 13:50 PM
New Taxi Fare


KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 -- The new taxi fare rate will go up from RM2 to RM3 begining August 1, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz announced on Thursday.

-- BERNAMA


And parents who rely on school buses to send their kids to school will have to fork out 30 per cent more from August 1. Those who can't afford it may look for non-air conditioned school buses.

General July 16, 2009 14:19 PM
Air Conditioned School Bus Allowed To Increase Fare By 30 Per Cent


KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 (Bernama) -- The government has allowed air- contioned school bus opeartors to increase fare to 30 per cent effective Aug 1, Minister in Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul said here Thursday.

-- BERNAMA

Monday, July 13, 2009

YB "Shit-Stirrer"


SASSY MP Theresa Kok got down and dirty with her latest blog posting, calling another Yang Berhormat, MP Wee Choo Keong, a "SHIT-STIRRER".

When my sub-editor at the Malay Mail mailed me this morning the paper's front page for today's edition, he had replaced YB Kok's original phrase to "S***-STIRRER". I told him to throw out the asterisks and stick to the original, which is "SHIT-STIRRER", if only to ensure that the lady MP, who recently filed multi-million ringgit suits against a newspaper and its writer for the essay "YB J", does not accuse us of censorship.

In any case, I agree with YB Kok about YB Wee being sort of a "shit-stirrer". In the last year or so, ex-DAP man has effectively stirred up interest in issues such as the Labu Airport, Air Asia's unpaid airport taxes, and the IJN takeover attempt, among other things.

If YB Ronnie Liu has no dealings with the underworld, there's nothing to fear. He should view Wee's statement as an opportunity to clear his name.

New billboards have no PM's pic


1Malaysia Arch. When they were known as "Hadhari Arches" and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was PM, these giant billboards had Pak Lah's face on them. This one on Jalan Syed Putra heading towards PJ from KL, which came about only last Friday, has Najib's unity/multiracial theme on it but not his face. Najib did say soon after becoming PM [here] that he won't have his face plastered on any of those giant billboards and posters. And that's how it should be.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Najib's 100 Days

... and how the Opposition helped him succeed. In his article Najib's 100 Days No Honeymoon (NST, 11 July 2009), Azmi Anshar gives the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia the thumbs-up for a better-than-expected performance. He listed 1) the pledge to reform the ISA and allow Press freedom, 2) the liberalisation of FIC guidelines, including the revision of Bumiputera participation in the economy and business, and 3) the promise of reforms within Umno as some of the big moves which may have improved Najib's popular ratings to 65 per cent last week from a sluggish 45 per cent at the start of the "honeymoon" period.

Azmi is not suggesting that Najib's task is complete. "Far from it," he says. "But (Najib) has succeeded in changing people's receptiveness to his administration."

Yes, it does look like Najib has, hasn't he? But it wouldn't have been possible without help and Najib has been getting a lot of help, not least from his own political enemies. Azmi gets a whiff of this towards the end of his analysis: "Pakatan's mishaps and missteps in Penang, Kedah and Perak are glaring symptoms of a highly septic alliance. Najib was quick to scoop back the disillusioned lot into BN's fold."

I'm not too sure about Azmi's last line there but it is true that the Pakatan leaders, so full of promise when they denied the BN the two-thirds majority and took five states in March 2008, have been spending so much time being at odds with themselves. Read YB Wee's latest posting Yes, Selangor State Exco Should Be Reshuffled to understand what I mean.

During the last 100 days, while Najib was building on the optimism of the people, the Chief Minister of DAP's Penang was busy persecuting the media he perceives as conspiring against him. Journalists from these media are barred from attending his state government's official events and companies that wish to invite the CM to officiate at their events are being told that Lim Guan Eng would not attend if certain newspapers are invited to cover the event.

Such antics, I believe, have helped Najib's own pop ratings improve from 45 per cent to 65 percent during the 100 days. Will Najib be able to sustain this? I don''t see why not, especially if the Oppostion continues with their antics.

The PM's biggest opponents so far, in fact, are pro-Umno and pro-Government groups, especially those unhappy with his policies affected Bumiputera special rights. If Najib can reassure these groups of people that his 1Malaysia does not mean the erosion of Malay privileges and rights, and that it is time to take affirmative action to the next level, the Pakatan leaders will have a lot to do to restore the people's faith in them as an alternative to the BN.

Read also:
1. Najib's 100 Days: Transformational Leadership has Arrived! by Radzi Latiff, who conducted 12 focus group discussions last month and found that "Najib’s challenge would be to allay fears of two significant groups ie The Malay who felt that 1Malaysia would mean the end of Malay Agenda whilst significant number of Chinese and Indian who thought 1Malaysia as more of Najib’s way to win support of Chinese and Indians".
2. 100 Hari PM and Hari Rakyat by Ibrahim Tiger
3. AKJ's 100-Day "Gift" from the PM
4. Pak Lah never wanted Najib as his successor, by Pasquale

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Goodbye, Blog House!

The house at 66, Lorong Setiabistari 2, Bukit Damansara was my idea of a headquarters for the National Alliance of Bloggers (All-Blogs). We signed a two-year lease in mid-2007 and turned it into a place where bloggers could work from or wind down at the end of the day. The exco of the All-Blogs held their meetings in the living room of the house, organised a couple of talks by visiting bloggers, and discussed ways to engage a government that was then hostile towards blogs. We wanted a change in the national leadership and we talked a lot about the coming 12th General Election. The Bangsa Malaysia initiatve was launched here, Marina Mahathir held the multifaith doa selamat for Dr M also at this place, and citizens huddled together to follow the progress of their political parties on the night of the General Election from there. Pro-Opposition bloggers would mingle freely with pro-Government bloggers and they would call one another "brader" every time they met, right up to the last big event - the get-together to mark 100 days since the GE, a party where several people's reps from PR and one from BN, and their supporters, turned up.

Last night, I handed back the keys of the house to a representative of the landlord and brought down the "Blog House" signage at the entrance.

Where will the All Blogs go after this?

Maybe nowhere, but the people who made up the Alliance have moved on: interim vice president Jeff Ooi has gone on to become a Member of Parliament for Jelutong, (DAP) exco member Elizabeth Wong is serving the people as an Adun for Bukit Lanjan, Selangor (PKR), and pro-tem secretary Nuraina A. Samad has gone back to the Umno-owned NST as its managing editor. Some of the exco members have vanished from blogosphere and from my life while a few, including Tony Yew and Li Tsin (who has stopped blogging), still keep in touch.

Perhaps it is time for a closure to a chapter ....

Monday, July 06, 2009

NST gets ME!

NSTP's new line-up at the end of this posting
Nuraina A. Samad officially returns to the New Straits Times today as its Managing Editor, a post once held by her dad, the late A. Samad Ismail.
In terms of hierarchy, Nuraina, 52, is now the newspaper's most senior editor after Zainul Arifin, the Group Managing Editor of NSTP, and Syed Nadzri, the Group Editor.

After leaving the NST, all Nuraina wanted to do was focus on her two kids and an aging dad. The legal suit that the NSTP, under Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, initiated against Jeff Ooi and I in January 2007 changed that and inspired her to write her posting Please Sir, Not the NST that made 3540 Jalan Sudin a socio-political blog to be reckoned with.

Mior Kamarul Shahid rejoined Berita Harian last week as its new Group Editor.

Updated, 7pm
Editorialblog has the full new line-up for NSTP, NST, Berita Harian and Harian Metro. Click here.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

A richer Petronas

Thanks to Omar Ong. I hear that Omar Ong paid up the study loan he owed Petronas yesterday.

If that's true, the national oil corporation would be richer by a few thousand ringgit today! But whether that would now endear him to the Board of Directors of Petronas and qualify him to become a director of the corporation is another matter altogether.

Omar's failure to pay up what he was said to owe Petronas had been the source of great embarassment, especially to PM Najib Razak, who was said to have backed the appointment of the Ethos Consulting supremo to the board of Petronas.

The Petronas board of directors rejected the appointment of Omar Ong when it was first tabled. They are now waiting for the PM's further instruction on the matter.

I was also told that the PM had dinner with Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Petronas Advisor, a little over a week ago and one of the things that got mentioned was Omar Ong. Details of the discussion are sketchy.

Dr Mahathir, however, has made it quite clear on his blog and to those close to him on why Omar Ong cannot come on board. "He must choose to either be with Ethos or work with the PM's office. He cannot be both," Dr M was said to have said.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall ...


... Who's the Fairest of them all? The entry of Malaysian Mirror into the country's online news portal scene makes blogosphere goes round and round faster. Launched on Tuesday by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad (in his capacity, I'm sure, also as the blogger with the largest following in Malaysia), the Mirror has begun its journey with articles that appear more right than the other portals, namely Malaysiakini, Malaysia Today and Malaysian Insider.

Does that make Malaysian Mirror's coverage fairer? I say, give it time. Shah Dadameah is a "seasoned" name in the local journalism scene. He was already considered a quite senior reporter with the Star when I joined the paper 25 years ago. Shah's presence at the Mirror will make a difference.

At a time when it's cool only if you hit out at BN, this piece Pakatan Rakyat: Strange and Undiscipined Bedfellows is a brave one indeed from Shah and company:

Thick prick in the wall

After all these years, some bloggers are still considered by the authorities as a nuisance. The blogger behind the popular site called Anoth...