Monday, December 15, 2008

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva selected Thai PM

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva was selected as Thailand's third prime minister in as many months on Monday, taking control with a slender majority in parliament and an economy teetering on the brink of recession.

In a sign of the trouble in store for the Oxford-educated economist, at least 200 supporters of the previous administration, sacked by the courts two weeks ago, blocked access to parliament and smashed windows of cars carrying MPs who had backed him.

Chanting "Abhisit, army nominee", the red-shirted demonstrators denounced the 44-year-old as a front man for the military, which ousted elected leader Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006 and which has been accused of political meddling ever since.

Abhisit won support from 235 MPs from his Democrat party and a range of others, including a breakaway faction of the Puea Thai party that had backed Thaksin, now convicted of graft and in exile. He needed 219 votes to become prime minister.

His slender majority suggests the turmoil of the last three years will continue, especially when the economy, which depends on exports and tourism, feels the full force of the global slowdown and the recent week-long blockade of Bangkok's airports by royalist, anti-Thaksin protesters.

"Very soon, the impact of the global economic crisis will be felt more seriously in Thailand. The new PM needs to prepare immediately for that," Sompop Manarungsan of Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University said.

Outgoing Finance Minister Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech has forecast the economy would shrink 0.5-1.0 percent in the first quarter of 2009 from a year earlier and post no growth in the second, putting it on the brink of recession.

Abhisit says reviving growth through increased government spending will be his priority, although it remains to be seen where he will get the money from.

At a news conference immediately after the vote, Abhisit said he would not outline any ideas or initiatives until he was sworn in by King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

He has suggested there could be some reallocation of regional spending, but that would be sure to outrage voters in the populous north and northeast, where a love of Thaksin and loathing of Abhisit runs deep.

He was once forced to flee the stage at a Democrat rally in the northern city of Chiang Mai under a barrage of rotten vegetables.


Nor is Thaksin completely out of the picture.

On Saturday, the telecoms billionaire made a recorded video address to 40,000 supporters at a Bangkok sports stadium, calling for national reconciliation and urging the military not to meddle in Monday's parliamentary vote.

"May all sides take one step back and respect the results," he said. "Please don't use any institution to intervene. Just let the country move forward. Don't make people suffer more."

His supporters have accused the military of launching a "silent coup" by claiming to have royal backing and pushing small parties in the previous government to form a Democrat-led government, a charge the army has denied.

A member of Thaksin's inner circle told Reuters last week the gloom hanging over the country may well make Abhisit's win a Pyrrhic victory, destroying his image among businessmen and Bangkok's middle classes as a safe pair of hands on the economic tiller.

(Additional reporting by Nopporn Wong-Anan and Darren Schuettler)

Copyright © 2008 Reuters

Friday, December 12, 2008

Buffon seeks £250k-a-week for Man City move

Manchester City will have to pay Gianluigi Buffon wages of £250,000-a-week to prise the world's best goalkeeper away from Juventus.

The Daily Mail claim that City would also have to pay a transfer fee of £20 million for the 30-year-old Italian international.

The super-expensive transfer is thought to be a 'statement signing' by the club's new billionaire owners, the Abu Dhabi royal family, who shocked football by signing Robinho during the summer transfer window.

City manager Mark Hughes is believed to have endorsed the transfer - on condition Buffon proves his fitness after missing a month of Serie A action with a groin injury - and would welcome the World Cup winner into his squad.

However, last month Buffon, who currently earns £90,000-a-week at the Stadio Olimpico, dismissed City as a fantasy football club.

"Manchester City? I played fantasy football when I was young, now I only like to think about real football," he told


Monday, December 8, 2008

Obama: Economy to get worse before it improves

US President-elect Barack Obama said yesterday the economy will get worse before it gets better, pledged a recovery plan "equal to the task" and warned lawmakers that the days of pork barrel spending are over.

Less than six weeks before his inauguration, Obama declined to say how large an economic stimulus plan he envisions. He said his blueprint for recovery will include help for homeowners facing foreclosure on their mortgages if President George W. Bush has not acted by Inauguration Day, Jan 20.

"We've got to provide a blood infusion to the patient right now to make sure that the patient is stabilised. And that means that we can't worry short term about the deficit. We've got to make sure that the economic stimulus plan is large enough to get the economy moving," he said.

Obama made his comments on NBC's "Meet the Press," in his most extensive interview since winning the White House more than a month ago, and later at a news conference in Chicago.

The president-elect said it is important that domestic carmakers survive the current crisis, although he accused the industry's executives of taking a "head in the sand approach" that has prevented their companies from becoming more competitive.

"Congress is doing the exact right thing by asking for a conditions-based assistance package that holds the industry's feet to the fire and gives the industry some short-term assistance," he said.

In addition to the policy issues, Obama avoided a direct answer when asked whether he has quit cigarettes as he prepares to move into a no-smoking White House.

"I have done a terrific job, under the circumstances, of making myself much healthier. And I think that you will not see any violations of these rules in the White House," he said.

Obama called the news conference to introduce retired Gen Eric Shinseki as his choice to head the Veterans Affairs Department. Shinseki, who was a four-star general, was forced into retirement five years ago by the Bush administration after saying the president's plans to invade Iraq required more troops.

Shinseki pledged to build a "smooth, error-free, no-fail benefits-assured transition" back to civilian life for veterans.

Twice in the opening moments of the NBC interview, the president-elect said the economic situation "is going to get worse before it gets better," an unspoken plea with voters to have patience as the incoming administration tries to grapple with the issue.

He announced plans on Saturday for the largest public works spending programme since the creation of the interstate highway system a half-century ago, although he said aides are still debating among themselves how much it should cost.

"What we need to do is examine, what are the projects where we're going to get the most bang for the buck? How are we going to make sure taxpayers are protected? You know, the days of just pork coming out of Congress as a strategy, those days are over," he said.

Some lawmakers have mentioned an economic aid plan in the range of US$500 billion (RM1.8 trillion) or higher, and Democratic leaders say they hope to have legislation ready soon after Jan 20.

The economic indicators have darkened since Obama's election, and Friday's report that 533,000 jobs were lost in November was the worst performance in more than 30 years. Unemployment stands at 6.7 per cent, retailers are reporting weak holiday sales and the credit markets have yet to recover from the freeze that led Congress to approve a US$700 billion bailout before the election.

Turning to foreign policy, the president-elect sidestepped a question about the pace of a troop withdrawal from Iraq, saying he would direct US generals to come up with a plan "for a responsible drawdown." He said in the campaign he wanted most US troops withdrawn within 16 months, but did not say then, nor has he now, how large a deployment should be left behind.

"We are going to maintain a large enough force in the region to assure that our civilian troops or our civilian personnel and our embassies are protected, to make sure that we can ferret out any remaining terrorist activity in the region" and providing training support for Iraqi personnel.

He did not respond directly when asked whether he believes India should have the right to pursue terrorist targets inside Pakistan in the wake of the deadly attacks in Mumbai. He also said he wants to "reset US-Russian relations" following the Bush era.

"They are increasingly assertive and when it comes to Georgia and their threats against their neighbouring countries I think they've been acting in a way that's contrary to international norms," he said of Kremlin leaders.

The president-elect declined to comment on the possible appointment of Caroline Kennedy to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's seat in the Senate. Obama tapped Clinton recently as his secretary of state. — AP

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The DMAM Awards

Today, i attended an awards ceremony for direct marketing campaigns, which i was quite eager to attend since ive heard of it but never attended. So you know, very curious. And the invite said its the most prestigious something something... awards ceremony.

I recall the last 3 advertising award ceremonies i attended - 2 MSAs & 1 Effies, it was all prestigious and grand, ppl came in suites, like everyone - if you come in a long sleeve shirt, then you're a fucking china man no know how to dressie.

Anyway, so i came to the office all dressed up with a coat and tie hanging in my car this morning, but i was advised not to overdress at the ceremony as its "DMAM"... hmmm fucking fishy.

So i went just with my long sleeve shirt, still worried ill be underdressed (cos i've had a bad experience once) but then less worried coz the guy who went with me was wearing snickers so at least i can still stand behind him.. AHAHHA

ANYWAY...... when i arrived i knew i was quite safe... some of the boys.. no alot of them were wearing tshirts with worn off jeans and unbranded snickers.

Now, the food - we had rice which had alot of grains stuck together. The kind you need to break with your fork. We had food in the middle - 5 kinds and all very little in quantity everyone didnt have enough to eat because they only served us dinner at 9:45PM and because we were incredibly starving - otherwise we would have skipped.

The varieties - unfresh prawn masak merah, dry rendang beef, fried pineapple, sweet and sour cold storage fish fillet.

The award categories were also the strangest. They had like:
- Best direct email marketing campaign - flat email
- Best direct email marketing campaign - dimensional email
- Best direct email marketing campaign -blast to less than 5,000
- Best direct email marketing campaign -blast to less than 1,000

Some categories had like 3 merit awards and 3 bronze awards... but no silver and gold.. WTF

When an agency wins, they all fuckin bang their metal forks, spoons, knives or whatever metal cutlery they have can find on the tray in the middle (which served food) which is also metal. its like hundreds of pencil-huge nails falling on a metal floor... fucking barbaric.

And they all jump in the air and scream like bitches and punch their hands all around and like fucking just won a bentley or something

And the award winners were those boys i saw on my way in... t shirt, old jeans, snickers, untidy long hair....

And i will not talk about who presented the awards.

I sound really gay but i think i just had to document this.

Friday, December 5, 2008

More questions raised over ValueCap’s RM5b injection

The DAP said today Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s explanation that the injection of RM5 billion from the Employees Provident Fund into ValueCap Sdn Bhd’s investment fund would not be used for bailouts has raised more questions.

"With so many credible foreign and local investment and fund managers with extensive experience in the local markets, why is it that the Government is not directing funds to these institutions to 'value invest'?" asked the party’s publicity secretary Tony Pua in a statement.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP also questioned why ValueCap, which has been unable to repay a bond amounting to RM5.1 billion that expires in March next year, was being given an additional RM5 billion.

"ValueCap is set to become one of the rare fund management companies in the world which invests with nearly 100 per cent of its investment capital sourced from loans and not from investors," said Pua.

He said the government's move to guarantee the loan to ValueCap means taxpayers would have to bear the losses should the company fail to repay EPF.

"This measure will also create a moral hazard situation whereby the fund managers will likely adopt a high-risk investment strategy since there is no ‘downside’ to the investment as the government will bail them out in the event of failure," said Pua.

He urged Najib, who is also Finance Minister, to reverse the decision to inject the RM5 billion and to pressure the EPF investment board to improve its investment returns.

Yesterday Najib gave an assurance that the allocation for ValueCap would not be used to bail out politically connected individuals or government-linked companies.

"I wish to give a categorical assurance that ValueCap will be used for value investing and will not be used to bail out anyone," he reportedly said.

- The Malaysian Insider

Petrol price should be way below RM1.90 / litre. We are paying the govt fuel tax

Dec 4 - Oil prices sank to fresh 3-year lows today in Asia as more bleak news from the world's largest economy signalled that crude could tumble below US$40 (RM144.00) by the end of the year.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery was down US$1.19 cents to US$45.60 a barrel - the lowest since closing at US$45.42 on Feb. 10, 2005 - in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midafternoon in Singapore. The contract fell 17 cents overnight to settle at US$46.79.

"You could see prices testing US$40 by the end of the year because the economic data is really ugly at the moment," said Christoffer Moltke-Leth, head of sales trading at Saxo Capital Markets in Singapore. "Demand destruction is still very much the concern."

Oil prices have tumbled about 69 percent since peaking at US$147.27 in July.

Investors were dismayed at more poor economic news from the U.S. The Institute for Supply Management said yesterday its services sector index fell to 37.3 in November from 44.4 in October. The reading was significantly lower than the 42 the market expected.

The Labour Department reported that productivity rose at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the July-September quarter, down from a 3.6 percent growth rate in the second quarter.

Investors took little solace from a report showing US crude inventories fell last week. For the week ended Nov. 28, crude inventories fell by 400,000 barrels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said.

Analysts had expected a boost of 2 million barrels, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

"People are really looking at economic figures right now and how bad a shape the world is in," Moltke-Leth said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has signaled it plans to lower output quotas at a Dec. 17 meeting, adding to a production cut of 1.5 million barrels a day in October.

Analysts are sceptical that an output reduction by OPEC can reverse the fall in the prices.

"I don't think it will have a major impact in the near term," Moltke-Leth said. "However, low prices will increasingly lead drilling and exploration projects to be postponed or canceled, so supply will become a concern in the medium term."

In other Nymex trading, gasoline futures fell 3.15 cents to US$1.01 a gallon. Heating oil dropped 2.45 cents to US$1.56 a gallon while natural gas for January delivery was steady at 6.35 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, January Brent crude fell US$1.39 to US$44.05 on the ICE Futures exchange. - AP

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Najib to issue more access cards to tycoons, seek Mahathir's counsel

A steady stream of politicians – old and new – has beaten a path to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s office and home since he became prime-minister-in-waiting in early October.

Some of them have offered advice on how to run Umno and the country; a few have lobbied for position in the new administration and several have cautioned him against making the mistakes Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made when he occupied the top position in the country.

Of all the messages and advice offered, one has caught his attention and that of his supporters - the danger of opening too many battle fronts in his early days in office.

Even Abdullah’s most loyal supporters say that he and his aides spent far too much time fending off attacks from business interests, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, former politicians, civil servants and the alternative media than governing.

This was especially true after the euphoria of his massive election win in 2004 fizzled out and after it became apparent to the power brokers in Umno that the man from Kepala Batas had no appetite to use the instruments of power in the effective way that his predecessor did.

Wanting to show that he was his own man and would not be enslaved to big business, Abdullah made it clear that certain individuals would not be given unfettered access to the Prime Minister’s Office as they were used to.

Access cards were withdrawn and a clear message was sent that it would not be business as usual for these tycoons. This approach, while popular with the press, certainly created a moat of enmity between these powerful businessmen and the PM. Several of them became key financiers of the anti-Abdullah force that hounded the prime minister in the last three years.

Looking back, it also may have been a strategic mistake to alienate Dr Mahathir, to equate corruption with the civil service and focus on the warts in the powerful police force with the setting up of a Royal Commission.

Sure, all these moves to improve the public delivery system and rehabilitate the police force pushed up Abdullah’s ratings (it never dropped below 65 per cent before March 8) but it also meant that he was opening up many battle fronts.

A government official, with knowledge of the workings of Abdullah administration, told The Malaysian Insider: “Too much time was spent looking back and warding off attacks rather than moving forward. On hindsight, too many wars were being waged and this was counterproductive and did not allow the administration to focus.’’

Why did this happen? Inexperience. Arrogance.

Buoyed by the strong electoral support and the belief that the country was craving for sweeping change, Abdullah and his team set about wanting to change everything, forgetting that coalition building and compromise is part of the country’s political DNA, overlooking the fact that many of the adversaries were more skilled in destabilising the system and fighting in the trenches.

Najib’s supporters say that he will try and accommodate as many interest groups and individuals as possible when he becomes prime minister. And this includes seeking Dr Mahathir’s counsel and working with other power brokers in Umno and the BN.

With a slowing economy and a stronger Opposition in Parliament to consider, Najib knows that he cannot sound or behave like someone challenging tradition or traditional powers when he becomes the PM in March.

Otherwise, he too may spend too much time watching his back. Just like Abdullah.

Monday, November 10, 2008


The "special privileges" accorded to murder accused Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azah Umar are being questioned.

Close to 95 per cent of those who participated in a recent Bar Council poll felt it was "not right" that the faces of both policemen have not been exposed while analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was identified even during the murder investigations.

Razak was charged with abetting Azilah and Sirul in the murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu.On Oct 31, however, the High Court acquitted and discharged Razak at the end of the prosecution's case after the judge ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against him.

The two policemen were ordered to enter their defence and hearing will begin today. But throughout the trial, which is coming to its second year, Azilah and Sirul always had their faces covered when in public.

They resorted to extreme measures in concealing their faces when they adorned ninja-like outfits which completely covered their heads.

The media, failing to capture the images of the policemen, have so far only provided sketches of the duo.Many are questioning why their faces are being hidden in such a high-profile case which is even closely followed in other countries.

Bar Council vice-chairman Ragunath Kesavan said there is no law to compel the policemen to reveal their identities to the public."

It is only a must for the identity of accused persons to be revealed during proceedings and in the presence of the trial judge, their lawyers and the prosecutors."

He said accused persons were presumed to be innocent until proven guilty and they could do whatever it took to cover their faces.Criminal lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu, however, pointed out that Azilah and Sirul were able to cover their faces only with the cooperation of the police.

"The two are constantly under custody and have adequate time to come up with such a facade."He said since the trial began, many have asked him why Azilah and Sirul were accorded such a privilege while most other accused persons were denied such "luxury".

Lawyer Fahri Azzat said it was obvious that the police were practising a double standard in aiding Azilah and Sirul to conceal their faces."To my knowledge, this is the first time the public do not have an inkling how the cops charged in a high-profile murder trial look like."

He said on other occasions, it was the accused person who had to put his head down or get assistance from family members to prevent photographers from capturing their image.

"An impression is already built in the minds of most laymen that the police are not being fair," he said.Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan pointed out that only the court has the power to order them to reveal their faces.

"We cannot force Azilah or Sirul or any other suspect for that matter, to reveal their faces in public."Only the court has that authority," Musa said."But why raise the issue now?"It has been a year and a half since the Altantuya case began so why bring up the issue of their covered faces now?"

In the poll, a total of 821 voters participated with an overwhelming 774 voters or 95 per cent disagreeing that both Azilah and Sirul be allowed to cover their faces.

Those who agreed with the statement were a mere 36 voters or four per cent while 10 voters or one per cent were unsure.

Azilah and Sirul, both former commandos with the Special Action Unit, were charged with murdering Altantuya Shaariibuu at Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 9.54am on Oct 18 and 9.45pm on Oct 19, 2006.
- nst

Getting your first tattoo

What does it feel like to get your first tattoo?

Well for months before your appointment, or even going to make that appointment, there will be alot of doubts about what to get, where to get it or should you even get it at all.

If this is what you're feeling, just fuck it because its a gay feeling. When you have the guts to think about it, just go fucking do it and dont be gay.

What matters when you get to the stage of thinking about a tattoo is a good tattoo and a good artist to ink it into your skin. Good tattoos can come from the net - they're millions of samples on the web, you just need some patience and alot of keyword combinations on Google to find good samples.

And a good artist is sometimes intangible to measure, so i reckon that the best way to judge is to look at their work on people. And good tattoo artists, you dont worry bout them just replicating the sample you found on the web on your skin - they add in their own flavour.

So in case you're in KL and you're probably too unshaggable people dont strip in front of you, so you dont ever see tattoos in your lifetime - you can try Simon from Borneo Ink in Sri Hartamas. They're the first (his brother eddie to be exact) to start this business in KL because back then no KL-ians had the balls to believe that getting inked will be a popular art culture in the future. Simon and his younger sister Lina then came on board.

BTW, they're from my homeland - Sarawak, the land which yields successful people because we eat better rice.

Anyway, here's a picture of Simon getting the tubs of ink ready for a Saint Michael tattoo on my left arm.

Here's the sketch that was put on my arm - its just a colour pencil sketch btw. Took 4 very quick hours for that guy to ink the real thing into my skin with full shadings & a cloudy background.

In this tattoo, Saint Michael the Archangel is seen holding a sword on his finishing touch to kill satan and cast him to Hell. In completion, this tattoo will be a full half sleeve.

I'll talk abit about the experience you go through. In the first 20 minutes when he actually starts to pierce the needles through your skin, you experience an itchy + painful sensation. It does not excruciate but a pain like a thousand wasps stinging you in a sec. You get slightly light-headed but if you aint gay, its really something you'll get used to after 20 minutes - from then on, you'll be cruising.

The most hurtful part comes during the highlighting, when he shades to brigthen up some parts of the tattoo so the bulging & sunken can be contrasted. During this part, just think about your most intense session of having sex, then you'll be fine. Well not unless your gay because it'll worsen up the pain.

It's been a week to be exact and going through healing now - plenty of scrabs. So when its completely healed, will have a picture of it posted up

RPK to be re-detained under the ISA?

When news broke that Raja Petra has been freed from ISA detention, it came with a clause - The government has the rights to appeal the courts decision.

When i saw the clause to be honest, i had hardly any doubts that Mr Syed Hamid will use it to save his face. To save his fucking face and drain our country's already tainted image. Dude, why do we build courts in our country?

The best thing is he contradicted himself in words & action. He said he respects the courts decision of freeing Raja Petra but he wants to appeal the courts decision of releasing Raja Petra. And he's our Home Minister - im so proud of that!

(Straits Times) - MALAYSIA is to appeal the release of leading blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, who was detained under controversial internal security laws and freed last week, according to reports Sunday.

Raja Petra was released by the High Court on Friday after it ruled that the government had acted outside its powers by ordering Raja Petra to serve two years in detention without trial.
'I am disappointed but I respect the court decision,' Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar told the New Straits Times newspaper.

However, he said his ministry would direct the attorney-general to appeal the decision, the paper reported.

'We need to find out how the court interpreted the home minister's discretionary power' as laid out under the country's tough Internal Security Act (ISA), he added.

Raja Petra, founder of the popular Malaysia Today website, which has outraged top leaders with its stream of critical stories, was detained in September for writing articles that allegedly insulted Islam.

He is best known for his articles on politics, and has already been charged with sedition and defamation for linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman.

There has been a rash of detentions in recent months under the ISA, which allows for renewable two-year periods of detention without trial.

Critics say the law has been increasingly used against political opponents rather than national security threats.

Opposition parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang criticised the decision to appeal Raja Petra's release, saying the government should instead take the opportunity to review the ISA. -- AFP

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Malaysia's democracy at her best

25 Arrested at Candlelight Vigil. More and more repression - the signs of a desperate government

By St Low, Malaysia Today

Ronnie Liu, Tony Pua, Lau Weng San (of DAP Kampung Tunku), Gus of Fisherman's Wharf and Angela (the one who organized Seremban Candlelight Vigils) are amongst those arrested tonight at the Amcorp Mall Vigil / Bersih gathering.

Police had set up roadblocks even before 8:00 pm, preventing all vehicles from entering the Amcorp Mall area. They did not stop those walking in.
FRU trucks arrived soon after the Bersih gathering started.

Update by spectator who was there:

At first just about less than 30 of us there..but the cops were already there before us.They blocked all the roads turning into amcorp / a&w. Soon more ppl arrived. After the first candle was lit..the cop asked us to disperse..Gave us 30minutes

By then there were a lot of us, a strong crowd of 50 over, I think. After they asked us to disperse..the crowd moved to the Amcorp Mall carpark. More people gathered there and were just walking around.. very peacefully.

As soon as someone started shouting "Mansuhkan ISA, mansuhkan ISA"... the FRU units were deployed.

The FRU units pushed the crowd into the mall. Quite violently, I thought.

My friend and I were just standing near the police but they ignored us and concentrated on those wearing yellow. More trucks pulled up in front of the mall entrace, next to the FRU lineup.The crowd was holding their ground at the entrance of the mall.

Last we saw ... everyone was cornered inside the mall.

Those arrested have been taken to the PJ Police Station and a group of people have already gathered there to show solidarity

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Raja Petra Kamarudin Freed!

The High Court today ordered that Raja Petra Kamarudin, editor of the popular news portal Malaysia Today, be released from detention after ruling that his arrest for allegedly causing racial tensions was unlawful.

High Court Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad ruled that the Home Minister acted outside his powers in having Raja Petra arrested on Sept 12, said the blogger’s lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

He quoted the judge as saying the grounds given for Raja Petra's detention were insufficient and that his arrest under the Internal Security Act was unlawful.

The ISA allows the government to detain anyone for an initial two-year period without charges, and to extend the detention indefinitely.

Raja Petra, who was accused of threatening public security and causing racial tension by publishing writings that ridiculed Islam, will be taken to court later today to be formally set free.
Malik said the order was a "historic ruling”.

It's not the first time that a court has ordered the release of ISA detainees, and the ruling also does not prevent the government from re-arresting him under the ISA. The government can also appeal the ruling.

Raja Petra, 58, has increasingly infuriated authorities by publishing numerous claims about alleged wrongdoing by government leaders on his highly popular site, Malaysia Today. The government has denounced most of Raja Petra's allegations as lies.

He is also on trial in a separate case, having been accused of sedition by implying that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was involved in the murder of a Mongolian woman. Raja Petra denies the allegation. If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail.

The detention came at a time when the government's popularity hit at an all-time low and is riven with factional fighting and faces the threat of being ousted by the opposition.

The ISA is a holdover from British colonial days, when it was used against communist insurgents. Independent Malaysia's post-colonial government has kept it in the statute books and has used it sparingly against political dissidents, ignoring calls from opposition groups and others to disband the law.

Raja Petra's arrest triggered widespread protests by civil society groups, lawyers and other online commentators.

Some of Malaysia's most popular blogs offer strong anti-government commentaries and present themselves as a substitute for mainstream media, which are controlled by political parties or closely linked to them. The government estimates there are more than 700 Malaysians who blog on social and political issues.

Meanwhile, Raja Petra’s wife, Mable or Marina Lee, described as “fantastic” the High Court decision to free her husband from detention under the Internal Security Act.

“I don't know what to is a fantastic breakthrough that happened today,” she told reporters after the decision.

Marina, who wore a red T-shirt with the words “I Am With RPK”, was elated that the decision was what she had expected. — Agencies

Mongolia will go International with Altantuya

2 letters have been sent to our Foreign Minister, Mr. Rais Yatim by Minister for Exterrnal Relations of Mongolia Mr. S.Batbold. The letter carries a statement by Mongolia's Government testifying that it will have a strong reasonings for turning to the international court in order to defend rights and interests of its citizen

This statement was issued in the Mongolian press “MONTSAME” yesterday...

Ulaanbaatar, /MONTSAME/ The world community is well aware of the ruthless murder of Mongolian citizen ALTANTUYA Shaariibuu on October 19, 2006, in Punchak Alam, Malyasia, being shot twice and blown up by an explosive.

The Government of Mongolia reaffirms hereby that it has been consistently paying attention, from the very beginning of this cruel crime to the court proceedings. The Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs (previous name) of Mongolia have sent letters twice each to their Malaysian counterparts expressing their confidence that related Malaysian authority would bring a murderer to justice and deliberate a fair court conviction for the case.

The Government of Mongolia deeply regrets that the Malaysian high court judge made a decision on October 31, 2008, to acquit Abdul Razak Baginda–the murder suspect for killing Mongolian ALTANTUYA Shaariibuu.

Although Mongolia has no legal rights to take part in the court proceedings, the Government of Mongolia is responsible for protecting legitimate rights and interests of its citizen under international treaties and national legislation.

In connection with the recent court decision to acquit the suspect Abdul Razak Baginda, the Minister for Exterrnal Relations of Mongolia Mr. S.Batbold has sent another letter addressed to the Foreign Minister of Malaysia Mr. Rice Yatim requesting the latter to pay attention to and render support for ensuring conditions for a final court decision free from politics and other side influence.

The letter carries a statement by Mongolia’s Government testifying that it will have a strong reasoning for turning to the international court in order to defend rights and interests of its citizen if the court’s final decision results in unfair trial and proceedings.

A trial for the special unit officers charged for the murder is expected to take place shortly and the Mongolian Government keeps its eyes and ears wide open on the proceeding.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Heineken Green Room is back! At the new ZOUK KL

Green Room has made a comeback after being out of the scene for the past 2 years.

Thanks to the brilliant minds put behind the organizing team, the comeback was made very significant especially with the selection of the venue itself - the newly rennovated ZOUK - and the amount of technological implementations to enhance the imagery / profiling of the brand

The new ZOUK looks alot more timid now, but cosier and alot more premium looking - very Heineken

Aside from the technology and venue, some bands were brought in to perform. I sincerely liked VAN SHE's performance - apparently a top electro band in Aussie now and the kind of performance you'd expect in Green Room. Top class & well done!

There were also DEX PISTOLS from Japan & RUBBISH, i mean Lap Sap from Malaysia.
Lap Sap came along with a bunch of identical fans, so identical you can spot them even when you dont wanna spot them - bleached hair .. ewwww, Black Mascara & Ugly Betty glasses, 3 quarter cut jeans (the kind you can tell its sure self-cut) and "Rubbish Fan" printed on their Ts. Eh.. Lap Sap fan, sorry.

Now to the pictures...

Cool Heineken light box, right beside the registration counter and a nice view of KLCC at the background

3 Green heads were placed near the entrace, all of them accomodating a manequin where you could peek through and see 3D images.

Art pieces from selected key opninion leaders were also displayed - the above from Joyce the Kinky Blue Fairy. Aint that kinky?
Through RFID receivers, the system greeted selected Heineken members & key opinion leaders - those who were given RFID cards that could either redeem them 30 free beers on the house or a RM10 discount from the buckets they purchase

There was also a bluetooth activation, where you could turn on your bluetooth connection, receive a JAVA application, fill in your IC number, submit, received a coupon, go to the booth, and receive an exclusive Heineken gift - a stubbie holder.

Thats VAN SHE performing on stage

The light projections were superb! Well done Sensate

And this finally, is probably a Lap Sap fan wannabe who probably didnt succeed in bleeching his hair and that's what i meant by "sure self-cut" jeans... Dude, you sure you at the right event?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Will the "prophet" of CHANGE be spared the allegation of sedition?

Man, whether Raja Petra Kamarudin has been given access to a Sony Vaio VGN-TX27GP + Maxis USB broadband he hides in his pants

Or a 3G phone

Or pen and paper where he writes his logs, folds it into a paper aeroplane and flies it out of the little window in his cell and because even the wind is in symphathy of his unlawful detention, it flies the paper aeroplane out of the Kamunting camp - Marina Lee comes by to collect it from time to time to translate it into a weblog on his website Malaysia Today

Or its simply just somebody else writing, I DON'T CARE.. i'll still be reading and i think you should to


Raja Petra Kamarudin

My sedition trial will resume on 10th November 2008 after a three week postponement. Thus far six prosecution witnesses have testified and it appears like the prosecution has 10-13 more witnesses lined up.

Basically, the government is of the view that my article, “Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell”, is seditious. And to ensure that I am duly punished, other than facing trial, I am also under Internal Security Act detention. This means, even if the court acquits me, I shall still not be free.

It is like taking double insurance. Either way you are covered.

I suppose sedition is the natural thing to charge me with. Moses was charged with sedition that he had to flee Egypt. Jesus was charged with sedition and the Christians believe he was executed because of that. Muhammad too was charged with sedition and the Muslims believe that God commanded him to flee Mecca lest he get murdered that same evening.

I am not trying to compare myself to the three main prophets of the Abrahamic religions. What I am trying to say is that if even the three most important prophets of the Jews, Christians and Muslim are not spared the allegation of sedition, then who am I to escape?

On 7th November, the court will decide if my ISA detention is legal. I could say that my freedom is now in the hands of the judge and may he rule wisely. And of course, to me, “wisely” would mean to free me – whereas that may not quite be the government’s view of “wise”.

Mr Shaariibuu not convinced of Abdul Razak's innocence

From what i read in the press, sounds like Mongolian Model Altantuya's dad is not too happy with the courts decision to acquit Abdul Razak Baginda of abetment and is probably going to approach the International Court of Justice after consulting the Mongolian Department of Justice.

If this happens the credibility of Malaysia's judiciary will be shattered to pieces if it's not already so

Well at least (as a consolation) our PM-to-be Najib will be remembered as a man who kept to his words.

(The Sun) SHAH ALAM: It looks like the Altantuya murder trial may well generate more heat on Nov 10.

Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar's lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin said they plan to summon two witnesses -- Abdul Razak Baginda's private investigator P. Balasubramaniam (who had gone missing) and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, who is currently under Internal Security Act detention.

Kamarul said he will write to the Home Minister to allow Raja Petra to be called up as a witness. As for the P.I., he did not say how he would reach him.

“I will be looking into the two statutory declarations made by Balasubramaniam and one by Raja Petra and check on their authenticity,” he added.

The first declaration by the P.I. had made sensational accusations, including that deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had a relationship with the late Altantuya Shaariibuu. This was revealed at a press conference with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

However, just as sensationally, he made another declaration to retract that particular accusation. After that, he and his family disappeared from their Rawang home, and have not been seen since.

Azilah’s lawyer Datuk Hazman Ahmad said they plan to call four witnesses to take the stand, including DSP Musa Safri, Azilah’s fiancée Norazila Baharuddin, one Sjn Idris, one Sjn Shamlin and Sub Inspector Megat.

He said his client was disappointed with the decision but rated Azilah’s chances as 50/50. Azilah’s fiancée Norazila Baharuddin was teary eyed and sombre.

She declined to take questions from reporters. Also present was Azilah’s girlfriend Rohaniza Roslan who was also a witness in the trial and other family members.

Abdul Razak’s lawyer Wong Kian Keong applied to hold watching brief during the defence hearing.
After the decision was delivered, Abdul Razak was flanked by daughter Rowena, wife Mazlinda Makhzan and his brother who shielded him from aggressive press photographers who trailed the family all the way to their car waiting at the entrance of the court.

Altantuya’s father Shaariibuu Setev said while he respected the court’s decision, he was not convinced of Abdul Razak’s innocence.

Translating for Shaariibuu, Mongolian Consulate in Malaysia Datuk Syed Abdul Rahman Al-Habshi said: “As far as he is concerned, his daughter knows only one man in Malaysia and that is Razak Baginda. However, he has been set free while the two policemen whom she does not know have to put in their defence.”

Shaariibuu said he would consult the Mongolian Justice Department before deciding on his next course of action.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Najib, look into the economy first! PM post later, you're uncontested anyway

During the March general election campaign, the opposition's message was simple: Barisan Nasional (BN), they told voters, stood for "Barang Naik," which translates to rising prices.

Then, the oil price hikes, and their consequential effect on inflation, were used to amplify everything that could be wrong with the administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Now, as Datuk Seri Najib Razak prepares to take over the helm, the economy is even more dire straits.

He is already being judged on his handling of the economy even though he has barely learned the geography of his new office at the Finance Ministry.

Any follies and poor handling of the economy will surely open the door to a parliamentary opposition stronger than any BN government has ever faced.

Malaysians are far less forgiving today.

The opposition Pakatan Rakyat will pounce on any opening to put pressure on the government and any misstep could even result in the government falling before completing even half its term in office.

So far, the prognosis is not good for the Malaysian economy.

And Najib's first prescription — a RM5 billion injection of borrowed EPF money into the stock market — is not being well received.

The aim is to prop up Malaysia's stock market.

But it is already being criticised as throwing good money after bad.

The government should realise that Malaysia's market is very small and will follow global trends.

There is very little confidence now globally in the markets, banks or even the capitalist financial system.

Najib, as the Finance Minister, needs to show more leadership.

He cannot afford to say he will only wait until Nov 4, when he winds up the debate on the Budget in Parliament, to offer details on what the government plans to do.

The market will not wait. It is an unforgiving animal.

There are genuine worries that the future is not bright for Malaysia because the country's trading partners are all going into recession, which means the market for Malaysian products and services is not strong.

This means Malaysian businesses will need more liquidity.

Perhaps Najib and the rest of Malaysia's senior government leaders should try to learn a lesson from what is happening in the US presidential election campaign.

The two candidates almost trip over each other in trying to offer an economic plan and to support the proposed bailout when the economy started to turn.

Politics had to be thrown out the window, they both said, as they tried to appeal to voters who were only looking at pocketbook issues.

In Malaysia, Umno is in the middle of an intriguing race for top party posts.

Najib looks a clear certainty in winning the Umno presidency unopposed.

He will have to now concentrate more on providing the kind of leadership needed to manage the economy in what is uncharted territory.

He will not need to be mired in a controversy over the proposed acquisition of 12 Eurocopters.
He will not need to be mired in controversies surrounding race relations.

He will certainly not need to be mired in the politics surrounding his own party or that of the Barisan Nasional.

What he will have to focus on right now is the economy.

If he does not manage the economy well, it could be the end of the road for him and the BN.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Effie Awards, Malaysia 2008

MAGGI wins gold in the inaugural Malaysian Effie Awards, 2008!

Malaysia’s key sectors show signs of slowdown

At the numerous condominium projects around the Mont Kiara suburb of Kuala Lumpur, construction workers plod round the clock to complete multi-storey apartment blocks. Property developers in this popular neighbourhood are worried, though, that sales are starting to slow.

“Units that were previously sold are now coming back onto the market,” says a project manager of one unfinished condominium complex.

Shockwaves from the global financial meltdown are starting to pound on Malaysian shores and signs of a wider slowdown are already emerging in key props of the Malaysian economy, private economists say. That's spreading caution across the board, from potential homeowners to buyers of new cars.

Last week, the central bank kept the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.5per cent, but indicated it was ready to act swiftly if called upon.

“In the face of diminishing inflationary pressures, and in the event of heightened downside risks to growth, the bank will take swift monetary policy action to provide support to the economy,” Bank Negara Malaysia said in a statement.

Bank Negara's concerns are rising as the country's robust manufacturing sector is being hit by weaker export growth, while the softening in commodity prices has crimped incomes and resulted in less spending among consumers. On Nov 4, the government is expected to make an announcement lowering its growth forecast for next year from the 5.4 per cent currently projected.

Economists say the full brunt of the expected slowing down in economic activity is expected to be felt next year.

Deyi Tan of Morgan Stanley expects gross domestic product to grow by 3.3 per cent next year, down sharply from the 5.6 per cent expansion projected for this year.

Australia-based Macquarie is more bearish. In a recent advisory to clients, the securities firm said that it expects that the sharp drop in exports, coupled with falling commodity prices, will see GDP growth slow to 1 per cent next year.

The Malaysian government insists that the country is well-placed to weather the storm.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Deputy Prime Minister and newly-appointed Finance Minister, said this week that the government will soon announce a slew of measures, including more liberal investment rules, to attract foreign funds and more government spending.

“The economic management is stable and our fundamentals are strong, so Malaysia is not in a crisis,” he told reporters last week.

But not all Malaysians are as sanguine.

In a posting last week on his widely followed blog, former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he had a “sneaking feeling that all is not well”. Trade-dependent Malaysia, he pointed out, relies heavily on the United States and European markets, both of which are slowing.

Dr Mahathir argued that the weakening exports to these market will hurt the country's manufacturers and, in turn, put pressure on Malaysia's financial system, which is exposed at home to the property sector and private lending in the form of credit cards, which he estimated amounted to RM20 billion owed to the banks.

To be sure, Malaysia is entering the global recession in a much better position compared with the regional crisis in 1998, when the economy went into a tailspin as a result of excessive lending to the property sector and the stock market.

That is because private and public debt levels are far lower than they were 10 years ago.
Economists say the country's foreign debt and public debt now stand at manageable levels of 33 per cent and 40 per cent of GDP respectively.

But many economists note that public confidence, already shaky because of spikes in inflation since early this year, is being hit by a slumping stock market and fear that a slowing economy could result in job losses.

The benchmark composite index for the Malaysian stock exchange has fallen by 37 per cent since the beginning of the year, and analysts say the government's plan to buy stocks of sharply undervalued blue-chip companies will only lead to more selling among foreign investors eager to exit the local bourse.

According to the financial weekly, The Edge, the country's top 30 tycoons have suffered paper losses in access of RM75 billion since January.

Robert Kuok, the country's richest man, is said to have lost billions in his corporate holdings in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia as a result of the collapse in financial markets, the weakening of the China property sector and falling commodity prices.

Malaysia's bleak economic scenario is particularly worrisome because of the country's unsettled politics, which, since the general election in early March, has stumbled from crisis to crisis.
The chief bugbear is the unease sweeping through the country's ruling Umno that dominates the Barisan Nasional coalition government.

“The patronage style of management can work only in an expanding economy. When the pie is shrinking, like it is now, ethnic tensions are never far behind,” cautions a chief economist of a Western brokerage in Kuala Lumpur, who requested that he not be identified

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Guan Eng: Leave EPF money alone. Cut taxes, pay oil bonus instead

The DAP is urging the government to put together a RM48 billion stimulus package instead of using RM5 billion from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to address the economic situation.
In a statement released from its headquarters, it further condemned the government for only proposing RM364 million in income tax cuts in its 2009 Budget.

"Why did the government only give RM364.2 million in tax cuts to 10 million workers or a mere RM36 each when it is willing to put workers' funds at risk by using RM5 billion from EPF to bail out selected companies?" secretary-general Lim Guan Eng asked.

According to him, the drop in the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) to 859 points, its lowest close in four years, is a clear indication of the failure of Barisan Nasional's move to inject RM5 billion into Valuecap Sdn Bhd, a company set up by the government to invest in undervalued companies.

"What is RM5 billion to buy shares in a few counters compared to the Bursa Malaysia's capitalisation of around RM700 billion?" the Penang Chief Minister remarked.
"Risking RM5 billion to buy shares in companies belonging to BN cronies only helps the few at the expense of money belonging to all Malaysians."

As an alternative, he suggested a four-prong RM48 billion package:
* An annual oil bonus of RM6,000 to all families earning less than RM6,000 a month, or RM3,000 annual bonus to bachelors earning less than RM3,000 a month, will cost RM35 billion - a mere one-third of Petronas' gross profits of RM107 billion in 2007.

* A progressive reduction of the corporate tax rate from the present 25 to 17 per cent which will cost RM13 billion.

* A daily revision of petrol prices to take into account changes in the international price of oil.

* An immediate reduction in electricity tariffs which was increased by 26 per cent due to escalating oil prices which has since been reversed.

"Cutting costs and putting money into people's pockets will help generate both jobs and businesses. The RM48 billion will be shared by ordinary Malaysians who will put the money into the local economy.

"This will drive the economy and the multiplier effect will help grow and contribute to the GDP and maintain the quality of life of working Malaysians," the Bagan MP said.

He also condemned EPF for agreeing to the measure without calling for a full Board meeting to discuss the issue thoroughly, resulting in representatives from the workers not having a say on how the funds are putat risk "to save those few companies who never remember to give back to workers when they reap huge profits."

"This is another classic case of BN's unique public-private partnership where profits are privatised to individuals but losses are socialised and borne by the public. Such a policy is discriminatory against workers as their funds in EPF should be used to help workers and not employers."

The Malaysian Insider

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Heineken Green Room is back!

Well done!

The media launch for Heineken Green Room was recently conducted in Cloth & Cleth, Changkat Bukit Bintang and as the first liner suggests, a media launch well done.

We decided to get there half an hour later from the official launch time to find ourselves half an hour early. But no worries, the beers are always a good compensation for the late arrival of the media, which is totally not surprising at all. For those in the media who are reading, we actually do not appreciate that.

While waiting, we also decided to take some pictures or what the new generation of bloggers call - Cam Whore. Btw, these pictures are stolen from Audrey's blog .. wtf wtf.

Since the pictures are stolen, ive also decided to steal some lines.. wtf wtf.

And quite differentiated from the typical media launches, where they pay a few whores to do a stage act or dance, swing their asses in front of the cameras and try to feel proud of their skin gripping outfits, Heineken launched their party by unveiling some manequins fitted in green statues. Classic aint it.

Through the manequins, you get to see artwork designed by some key opinion leaders like lap sap (which means rubbish), sex pistols (a sex toy), van she (no comments) & joyce aka kinkybluefairy (who's got an Afro now.. she was a complete stranger to me till i recognized her eyes)

This was a look through Heineken Green Room's state of mind.

Quite coincidentally, Cloth & Cleth is also situated right beside The Magnificent Fish & Chips shop owned by my CEO, Paul Corrigan which Audrey refers to as George. Because I introduced him as George to Audrey.. wtf

It's also right opposite Frangipani, where they organized the media launch for Tiger's 75th Anniversary. If you've never experienced guys poll dancing in their skin tight boxers, and nipple-poking-out outfits, here's where you go for some male bonding. Just please dont do it in front of other guys who are not of the same kind. I'll start throwing things at yoU!

Btw, im hidden in the frame on the left. Next to me, Cynthia Chung of Mindshare, someone, Ann Lim ex-MindShare, Sara from Star who appears in all media events that if you dont see her in one, it will feel like its incomplete.
wtf wtf

Abdullah's outburst - Too little, too late

Too little too late – this sums up Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s outburst of anger at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for trying to assume the mantle of kingmaker in the ongoing Umno elections.

“Who is he? He has left Umno but he still issues orders to members of Umno. The party does not need to take orders from anyone who is no longer a member of the party. He is trying to create a rift and incite anger and hatred. What is wrong with people who work with me? He is trying to teach people to hate one another, ‘’ said Abdullah in Kota Kinabalu last night.

He was referring to a recent posting by Dr Mahathir on his blog, where the former prime minister called on Umno members to reject its politicians who had supported Abdullah, describing them as toadies.

This was not the first time that Dr Mahathir has trained his guns on ministers or other Umno politicians who have stood by Abdullah, but this was the first time that he is doing so from a position of strength.

When he began attacking Abdullah, his advisors and supporters in the Cabinet such as Datuk Nazri Aziz, Datuk Azalina Othman Said, Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in 2006 the PM was firmly entrenched in power and Dr Mahathir was the political has been.

But since October 8 – the day Abdullah announced his decision not to contest the party presidency their roles have been reversed. He may have left Umno, but within the ruling party Dr Mahathir is viewed as the strongman; the kingmaker, the soon-to-installed power behind the throne.

This party only understands power and the scent of power is leading them to Dr Mahathir.
Once again, he is getting more space in newspaper and Umno politicians – who treated him like a political leper before – are scrambling to kiss his hand.

In contrast, Abdullah sealed his fate and that of his supporters in the party the day he told the world that he was retiring in March. The swing away from those associated with him has been tremendous, forcing a few of them to borrow a play from the book of Judas just to stay alive.

Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin has been huffing and puffing to secure enough nominations to contest the top position in the youth wing.

He needs eight more nominations to sneak past the 39 mark but his nemesis Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir is in a different league, having already obtained 60 nominations.

Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid, Abdullah’s special officer, retained his position as the head of Umno Youth in Putrajaya by an eyelash, a far cry from the party election in 2004.

A member of the infamous Fourth Floor, he faced the difficult task of convincing division members that the retirement of his boss would not impact on his effectiveness.

His challenger mounted a strong campaign anchored on the simple but unmistakable fact that with the umbrella of support from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ahmad Zaki was yesterday’s news.

In a deeper hole is Tourism Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said. Dr Mahathir has singled her out for special mention, labeling her as one of Abdullah’s staunch defenders, a kiss of death in these times.

The former prime minister in his blog predicted that Azalina would be rejected by party members in her bid to climb up the political ladder in Umno, noting that the current mood in the party was to reward those who were strident in their criticism of Abdullah.

That was why Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Rafidah Aziz and Datuk Shafie Apdal were snaring nominations easily, he explained. He is only partially correct.

There is little doubt that Muhyiddin – a certainty for the deputy president’s position – is benefitting from the perception that he forced Abdullah out of office.

Rafidah will be unchallenged as Wanita Umno chief as part of a transition plan with Datuk Shahrizat Jalil while Shafie is securing nominations for one of the three vice-president’s slots because of the perception that he has been endorsed by his close friend, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Having said that, anecdotal evidence shows that the tide is moving strongly against Abdullah’s supporters in the party.

The PM’s last night attempted to hold the line against this sentiment.

He also attacked Muhyiddin for calling for party elections to be held earlier than March 2009. “Is he so impatient to become the deputy prime minister? That is, if he gets the support. What is the meaning of all of this? I am not happy with this, ‘’ he said, adding that he was troubled by attempts to get Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Ali Rustam to withdraw from contesting the deputy president’s position.

Abdullah said that he would not be pushed out of office before his completed his reforms.
“I will be ready to go when my work is done, ‘’ he said.

Brave words but one can’t help feeling that the last word on this episode will still go to Dr Mahathir.

- The Malaysian Insider

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Najib Tun Razak & Altantuya Shariibuu

Raja Petra Kamarudin is still under detention but his campaign to link Najib to Altantuya's murder has just intensified today.

Malaysia Today has reported an exchange of text messages / SMS between Najib and Shafee Abdullah, the prominent lawyer who represented Abdul Razak Baginda before he was charged with abetting two police officers in the murder of the model.

The SMS exchange (according to Malaysia Today), that went on from Nov 8 to Dec 2, 2006 included some of these conversations:

Shafee to Najib Date: 10/11/2006 15:19:40
--> Dato Seri, Negotiating for conditional release.If not police need 2 or 3 more days extention.I suspect its an exercise in public relation as they do not want public to think a VIP was given an easier time.Being a vip under these conditions is a liability.Otherwise we are on track according to plan. Salam, Shafee

Najib to Shafee Date: 10/11/2006 15:27:01
--> Thanks, he is very stressful according to his wife n would be a huge help if he could get a conditional release latest by sun.

- - - - -

Shafee to Najib Date: 16/11/2006 10:52:43
--> Anything Dato Seri? I am already in Court.

Najib to Sshafee Date: 16/11/2006 10:53:50
--> Pls do not say anything to the press today. i will explain later. RB will have to face a tentative charge but all is not lost.

Read on:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Battle for top job expected to intensify

The decision by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to cut short his leadership is unlikely to end the larger political battle between a resurgent opposition led by former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and a considerably weakened Barisan Nasional ruling coalition.

Political analysts say the tussle would worsen because Abdullah's choice, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and Anwar are arch-rivals and see each other as standing in the way of their ambitions.

"The rise of Najib would also see the return of (former prime minister) Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Umno and possibly to the political centre stage. He would probably be the biggest influence on Najib," said political commentator James Wong.

Abdullah rose up the ranks of Umno, was well liked and in the shadows during the 22 years when Dr Mahathir held sway. Dr Mahathir had said last year he picked Abdullah as a "temporary substitute" to hold the seat for Najib.

"Abdullah would be remembered as a pleasant man who simply did not have the skills or the gumption to rule," said a Chinese newspaper editor who declined to be identified. "He tried to please everybody and in the endfailed to please anybody."

Najib, an economist by training, has more than two decades of political and government experience.

He was only 22 when he entered politics after the death of his father, revered second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak, in 1976. He became the country's youngest minister two years later.

But his standing has been damaged by links to the 2006 murder of a Mongolian woman with whom he allegedly had an affair. Anwar also accused him of receiving kickbacks on defence deals he had handled. Najib denied the allegations and swore on the Quran he had never met Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was blown up with C4 explosives.

Anwar said it would be an "unmitigated disaster" for Malaysia if Najib became prime minister.
"He takes over at a very difficult time for Malaysia, with political and economic turmoil on the rise and with all previously accepted norms now under attack," said Ramon Navaratnam, a former senior finance ministryofficial who is now the president of Transparency International, Malaysia.

"He has the experience and Umno backing, but he is under a cloud over the Mongolian affair. His performance as national leader would be affected unless the controversy is cleared up."

Abdullah succeeded Dr Mahathir as the country's fifth prime minister in November 2003, but he immediately got into trouble for cancelling several large public projects. He also reversed Dr Mahathir's economic focus from manufacturing to agriculture, ostensibly to benefit rural Malays.

Under fierce criticism, he reversed the policies and in the past four years kept changing decisions, earning the nickname "Mr Flip Flop".

But critics of Najib say he is a "carbon copy" of his mentor Dr Mahathir and is likely to use harsh measures, including security laws that allow for detention without trial, to curtail the resurgent opposition.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I no longer hold respect for Mahathir

It is announced today that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will not defend his Umno presidency in the party polls next March, paving the way for his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib when interviewed, said:

Mahathir when asked what he thought Abdullah should do between now and March next year, said: "Shut up."

- - - - -

Najib's position is very well understood so no questions. But Mahathir's?

Because he wants Badawi to have no influence in the contention for UMNO Youth chief so Muhkriz can eventually win?

Whatever the result is from this political extravaganza, we're still fucked.

This is what I think Badawi should do between now and March. Lim Kit Siang has laid it out very clearly

1) Reform the Judiciary which also mean NO APPOINTMENT OF AN UMNO CHIEF JUDGE

2) Total revamp of the Anti Corruption Agency. Current one is a joke, like Mahathir

3) Repeal Printing Presses and Publications Act and enact Freedom of Information Act. Alternatively - Utusan Malaysia, NSTP & Star will report to me, Desmond Kiu

4) Establish an independent police complaints and misconducts commission

5) Raja Petra Kamarudin is to be released unconditionally. Subsequently, ISA is abolished and goes down to the history books

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dr M says Khairy will beat Mukhriz

Father and son VS Father and son-in-law. Whoever wins, we're still fucked.
Oh we forgot about Najib. Nevermind, we're still fucked...

Back to the topic, isnt it obvious that Mahatir is playimng some reverse psychology trick, in hope that UMNO youth would give their sympathy votes to his son?

Cheap publicity and low level canvassing for his son.

There is a story about a fox which was eyeing the food a bird was holding in its mouth! So, he praised the bird and said that she could sing very well. As you know, even birds like praises; and she opened her mouth! Down fell the food; and the cunning fox happily ate it. A good synopsis to the following story from The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today hinted that Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin would employ undemocratic methods to ensure his victory for the highest position in the Youth wing in March.

Dr Mahathir, in his latest blog posting, was commenting on the complaint by Khairy that he was prevented from meeting Umno Youth members while campaigning.

"I don't know whether people have heard about the thief who cried 'thief!'. Well the thief got away because people who are not very intelligent went chasing in the opposite direction. The highly educated thief then walked away with his booty," said Dr Mahathir.

"I would advise him not to be disheartened. There are so many other ways of influencing Pemuda than meeting them. I will not enumerate them as he will know how to use these other ways," said the former Prime Minister.

He added that Khairy, who became Umno Youth deputy chief in 2004 when he won uncontested, would easily defeat Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir during the party election.
Dr Mahathir blamed Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for Khairy's victory four years ago.

"Apart from Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein who gave other possible candidates a tongue lashing, telling them in no uncertain terms that they must not contest the position because it was reserved for the Prime Minister's son-in-law, others suspected of having ambitions to contest for the post received phone calls from family members of the PM and other influential supporters not to do anything to spoil the ambition of this first-time Umno member with absolutely no track record from winning uncontested," he added.

On Sunday, Khairy told reporters that he is contesting on his own merit and hoped that Umno Youth delegates would evaluate him based on his personal credibility and strength.

"I got down to the ground, I became director of the by-election machinery... I conducted programmes and various others things on my own initiative and this will not change whether Pak Lah or Datuk Seri Najib is the president. I will continue with my work as a leader of the young generation in Umno," said Khairy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Chandra, RPK's lead counsel did brilliant

Picture or Raja Petra Kamarudin (with wife Marina Lee) before ISA detention

Picture or RPK today at the start of his sedition trial, charged with posting a 'seditious' article on his blog entitled "Let's Send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell"

He looks gaunt and seems to have lost some weight

Picture or RPK in court (taken from Malaysia Today). Still looks calm & combative.. look at those eyes!
J. Chandra, his lead counsel did absolutely brilliant today.

When. Harme Mohamed, who is deputy director of international affairs department-cum-director of security, trust and governance department, Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) was called, the following was part of the proceeding, from what i gathered from other online sources:

Chandra: Since this is a popular website and can be viewed 24 hours (a day) and seven days a week, do you agree that the author or the owner is not there physically all the time to monitor it?

Harme: Yes.

Chandra: Are you aware that Raja Petra has been under remand since Sept 12?

Harme: Yes.

Chandra: Are you aware that since Sept 12, there have been several other postings on the website?

Harme: I have read one but cannot recall whether it was posted by Raja Petra.

Chandra: So anybody can put up a post under the name of Raja Petra. You agree.

Harme: Yes.

White Rabbit, melamine positive

Im sure this candy will ring a bell in everyone's mind, if not being the favourite chewy when you were attending kindy or pre-high school.
What's most memorable about the White Rabbit is how you can chew it with the wrapper still intact. How it melts in your mouth before you taste the creamy, milky taste of the candy.
When it started to flood the news portals / papers with its high melamine content, my initial assumptions were that it only applies to the product sold in China.
Apparently, not.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 - The Health Ministry has directed that White Rabbit Creamer Candy and Ego White Rabbit Creamy Candy be removed from the shelf and destroyed after tests found that they are melamine positive.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said laboratory tests showed that the candies contained melamine above the standard or 135 parts per million (ppm).

"Supermarkets have been directed to remove the products from the market. State Health Departments have been directed to destroy them to safeguard consumers.

"Offenders can be prosecuted under the Food Act 1983," he told reporters after visiting the Sungai Buluh public health laboratory here today.

Liow said laboratories would take two days to analyse each product sent for melamine tests.
Sixty-four food samples had been taken and analysed by laboratories for melamine since Sept 15. A total of 2,719 food items comprising 775 products had been seized.

The samples were analysed by laboratories at the Chmistry Department, Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and the Health Ministry.

The health ministry had also seek help from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaya (UM) and laboratories in Johor Baharu and Kota Kinabalu aimed at speeding up tests.

Liow said tests on 'Cheese Packets' made from creamer and cheese powder imported from New Zealand found that it was free from melamine.

"The creamer used in making 3 in 1 instant coffee and instant cereal had been reported tainted by several websites after Pizza Hut Taiwan found melamine at 70 ppm in 'Cheese Packets."

On media reports from South Korea that vegetables from China could be tainted with melamine, Liow said the health ministry was monitoring agricultureproduce from China.

Among the 64 food products analysed and found to comply with melamine standard are Chocolate Coated Wafer (Passion), Oreo White Chocolate Wafer Stick (Kraft), Mini Cornetto Chocomint and Tiramisu Flavoured (Wall'S), Moo Soft Cookie Sandwich (Wall's), 123 Honey Powder Milk (Dutch Lady), Strawberry Flavoured Milk (Dutch Lady).

Baby Bites Carrot (Take One), Mini Poppers Strawberry and Vanilla Flavoured (Wall's), Full Cream Powder Milk (Dailylac), Yogurt Jelly (Strong), MilkChocolate (M&M), Candy (Kong Chui), Menthos Yogurt and Chocolate Eggs Rolls. - Bernama

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More melamine found in chocolate bars

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's food watchdog has ordered four more Chinese-made food products to be destroyed after they were found to contain the industrial chemical melamine.

Melamine was found in Snickers Peanut Funsize and M&Ms chocolate milk made by Mars, as well as KitKat wafers made by Nestle and a biscuit manufactured by Lotte Confectionery Co., the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement Saturday.

The test results raise the number of known melamine-tainted food products imported to South Korea from China to 10.

About 430 Chinese-made products using dairy ingredients have already been pulled from store shelves and put into storage pending tests.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said small amounts of melamine -- less than 2.5 parts per million -- are not harmful in most foods, except baby formula.

The South Korean tests found 1.78 parts per million of melamine in Snickers bars, 2.38 parts per million in M&Ms, 2.89 parts per million for KitKats, and up to 3.36 parts per million in the Lotte biscuits.

Lotte and Mars Korea said they were withdrawing their products. Comments from Nestle Korea were not immediately available.

Last week, Seoul suspended imports of all Chinese-made foods using dairy ingredients.

In China, melamine-tainted milk formula has sickened more than 54,000 children, mainly with kidney problems, and is blamed for the deaths of at least four infants.

Melamine is believed to have been added to Chinese milk to artificially boost its apparent protein level.

United too strong for Rovers

Manchester United secured a comfortable 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at a rain-soaked Ewood Park on Saturday evening thanks to a second half strike from Wayne Rooney and a controversial Wes Brown opener.
"That was his (Wayne Rooney's) best performance of the season for us,'' said Ferguson.
Wayne Rooney will now be asked to ensure England gain World Cup victories over Kazakhstan and Belarus in World Cup combat over the next fortnight.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Zaid Ibrahim - The MAN!

Malaysia has came along way in nation building, especially in the aspect of ensuring the harmony between the different races so we can progress as a nation, as one people.

Through that vision, certain policies have been put in place in protection of the bumiputeras, which makes up the majority of the Malaysian population today, so we can move parralel to each other in the process of development.

Fair enough, im in full support of that.

However, we need to be mindful that when these "certain policies" are put in place for too long, they tend to be exploited for the wrong reasons. For this, no one is to be blamed because it is human nature that if you grow up spoon fed with a silver spoon, you will not settle for a copper spoon when you grow up and neither would you want to hold the spoon by yourself. But if you lose that someone who's always been feeding you, you will need to learn (by hooks or by crooks) to hold that spoon by yourself (silver or copper), otherwise you will starve.

Sometimes, it takes a fall before you learn how to stand.

We also need to be mindful that certain quarters of the nation have made immense sacrifices to ensure that they will continue to progress even without these privelages (the silver spoon). And with that forced persistency, they have made it in the Malaysia of today.

Today, i was reading Malaysia today and came across an interview with Zaid Ibrahim and i was very impressed with how he articulated the required changes of mindset & mentality to ensure further growth in this country.

Sometimes, the spoon needs to be taken away so the one's who've been used to be spoon-fed can learn from those who've never been fed before, thus knows how to hold the spoon properly.

Zaid: Chinese Malaysians Have Made Great Sacrifices

KUALA LUMPUR: Former minister in the prime minister's department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said true Malays need not be afraid, or feel lack of a sense of security.

"Take myself as an example. I'm a pure Malay, but I have a sense of security. I feel proud of my own race and culture."

However he said, the problem is that many people do not understand or respect history. Indians, Chinese and Malays have been participating in the nation-building process since a few centuries ago. The Indians used to work in the estates, while the Chinese and Indonesians have all made valuable contributions and sacrifices for the nation too. But we have all forgotten this.

Zaid Ibrahim quit his Cabinet post because he did not agree to the government's decision of detaining civilians under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

He said during an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily that the Chinese used to work here as miners, and they made great sacrifices during the confrontation with the communists, adding that we must understand history and what they have done for the nation.

"We are only talking about Malaysia as the 19th largest export country in the world, and that we have the twin towers and are a developed country... Do you think we have done all this ourselves? You're wrong. This achievement has been made after so many people from different ethnic groups have sacrificed for the nation.

"We are not talking about the positive things, but instead discussing how we should get worried because the Chinese have opened how many more new stores here.

"As a matter of fact, the first feeling we should have is not about worry. We should work harder to keep up with them instead.

"I've never been worried about the Chinese. In my legal firm, my partner is a Chinese, and we trust each other. Do you think I have built up my success all on my own?

"I'm not scared that the Chinese are smart, for I'm also very smart. I'm not scared that the Chinese are hard working, for I'm also very hard working. We have bad guys in every ethnic group, and you're cheated simply because you're not smart enough. We must educate young Malaysians to look at things from a positive perspective."

Zaid said certain people have kept on mentioning May 13 to blackmail the people. However he felt that given our current situation, this thing would never happen again.

"I am thinking, for a better future, all Malaysians should stand up and speak out bravely. The Chinese must defend the rights of the Malays, and the Malays must also defend the rights of the Chinese. Everyone must be properly taken care of here."

He felt that we should not rely on a single political party to take care of a particular community. It should be that the rights of every individual must be respected and taken care of by everyone else.

(By HOU YALUN/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)

Sammy, 'the racist blogger'

From what i've just read, this blogger Sammy went ballistic when two alleged Indian youths snatched her mobile phone while she was having lunch. Consequently, she unleashed some unecessary racist remarks on her blog.

As a result, The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has called on the police to take action against her for posting inflammatory racist remarks against the Indian Malaysian community.

Sammy, then realizing that things got out of hand, posted an official appology on her blog. Yet, there were screams from the minority to use ISA on her, aside from the many unwilling-to-forgive comments left on her blog from the overly sensitive chaps.

I cant believe that this is happening! What utter nonsense!

Why scrutinize on the words of a 22 year old girl who's no-doubt naive, obviously non-influential and not representing a people's party, when there are bigger issues we're facing that needs attention. Like the victimization of Teresa kok (by certain publications) as a villain of peace and the unlawful detention of RPK under the draconian ISA just to state 2 cases. What about Ahmad Ismail's remarks on Chinese being "squatters" ?

Why are we so stupid to suddenly have our attention diverted to such a trivial matter??? Im not citing that Sammy was innocent, but she's made an unreserved public appology. She's also been hit hard by some mainstream online publications so im sure she's learnt her lesson - the hard way of course.

I think Hindraf should back of this case because its not worth an argument or a case. They should continue to fight for the release of their leaders under ISA, which im in full support of. And not taint their image by raising such unecessary attention which contradicts their own fight for the freedom of expression.

Friday, October 3, 2008

'Space elevator' to take mankind into orbit

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A new space race is officially underway, and this one should have the sci-fi geeks salivating.

The project is a "space elevator," and some experts now believe the concept is well within the bounds of possibility -- maybe even within our lifetimes.

A conference discussing developments in space elevator concepts is being held in Japan in November and hundreds of engineers and scientists from Asia, Europe and the Americas are working to design the only lift that will take you directly to the one hundred-thousandth floor.

Despite these developments, you could be excused for thinking it all sounds a little far-fetched.

Indeed, if successfully built, the space elevator would be an unprecedented feat of human engineering.
A cable anchored to the Earth's surface, reaching tens of thousands of kilometers into space balanced with a counterweight attached at the other end is the basic design for the elevator.

It is thought inertia (the physics theory stating that matter retains its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force) will cause the cable to stay stretched taut, allowing the elevator to sit in geostationary orbit.
The cable would extend into the sky eventually reaching a satellite docking station orbiting in space.

It is hoped the elevator will transport people and objects into space, and there have even been suggestions that it could be used to dispose of nuclear waste. Another proposed idea is to use the elevator to place solar panels in space to provide power for homes on Earth.
If it sounds like the stuff of fiction, maybe that's because it once was.

In 1979, Arthur C. Clarke's novel "The Fountains of Paradise" first brought the idea of a space elevator to a mass audience. Charles Sheffield's "The Web Between the Worlds" also featured the building of a space elevator.

But, jump out of the story books, fast-forward nearly three decades and Japanese scientists at the Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA) are working seriously on the space elevator project.

JSEA spokesman Akira Tsuchida told CNN his organization was working with U.S.-based Spaceward Foundation and a European organization based in Luxembourg, to develop an elevator design.
The Liftport Group in the U.S. is also working on developing a design, and in total it's believed over 300 scientists and engineers are engaged in such work around the globe.

NASA is also holding a $4 million Space Elevator Challenge, to encourage designs for a space elevator than can work.

Tsuchida said the technology driving the race to build the first space elevator is the quickly developing material carbon nanotube.
It is lightweight and has a tensile strength 180 times stronger than steel cable. Currently, it is the only material with the potential to be strong enough to use to manufacture elevator cable, according to Tsuchida.

"At present we have a tether which is made of carbon nanotube, and has one third or one quarter of the strength required to make a space elevator. We expect that we will have strong enough cable in the 2020s or 2030s," Tsuchida said.

He said the most likely method of powering the elevator would be through the carbon nanotube cable.
So, what are the major logistical issues keeping the space elevator from being anything more than a dream at present?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Aeronautics and Astronautics Professor, Jeff Hoffman, said designing the carbon nanotube appeared to be the biggest obstacle.

"We are now on the verge of having material that has the strength to span the 30,000 km ... but we don't have the ability to make long cable out of the carbon nanotubes at the moment.

"Although, I'm confident that within a reasonable amount of time we will be able to do this," he said. Do you believe mankind could become a space faring species in your lifetime?
Tsuchida said one of the biggest issues is acquiring funding to move the projects forward. At present there is no financial backing for the space elevator project and all of JSEA's 100-plus members maintain other jobs to earn a living.

"Because we don't have a material which has enough strength to construct space elevator yet, it is difficult to change people's mind so they believe that it can be real."

Hoffman feels international dialogue needs to be encouaraged on the issue. He said there would be a number of legal considerations that would have to be taken into account.

"This is not something one nation or one company can do. There needs to be a worldwide approach."

Other difficulties for space elevator projects include how to build the base for the elevator, how to design it, and where to set up the operation.

Tsuchida said some possible locations for an elevator include the South China Sea, western Australia, and the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. He said all of those locations usually avoided typhoons, which could pose a threat to the safety of an elevator.

"As the base of space elevator will be located on geosynchronous orbit, space elevator ground (earth port) station should be located near the Equator," he said.

While JSEA has set a time frame of the 2030s to get a space elevator under construction -- and developments are moving quickly -- Hoffman acknowledges it could be a little further away than that.

"I don't know if it's going to be in our lifetime or if it's 100 or 200 years away, but it's near enough that we can contemplate how it will work."

But, the space elevator is a matter of when not if, and will herald a major new period in human history, says Hoffman.

"It will be revolutionary for human technology, and not just for space travel. That's why so many people are pursuing it. This is what it will take to turn humans into a space bearing species."