Sunday, July 27, 2014

A grim Syawal

Many Malaysians are still without income, no destitute. Many Muslims can't even fulfill their duty to pay tithe and yet the tithes collection seldom reached them.

I know some families who couldn't afford to buy new shoes and clothes for their family, let alone make ends meet.

And there are still many Malaysians living in 'pondok'-type houses; they are so poor and neglected because the 'zakat' money is not spent wisely (they spend only RM10 from each RM100 collected) while the agencies that are supposed to help alleviate poverty and look after the welfare of the unfortunate are so picky, media-crazy (no coverage, no delivery) and being used as political platform.

Not to mention the cheapest car on the road and a low-cost house are still not affordable to the low income bracket... the disparity gap is widening!

My heart is with them, also with the families of passengers and crew of MH370 and MH17. My thoughts remain with the people in the conflict areas, notably the Middle East and Myanmar. Where is the United Nations?

Where is Umno, by the way? Quite a number of pro-Umno bloggers and social media players whom Umno and BN squeezed their brain during GE13 are celebrating Hari Raya with 'nothing'. They only exist when we need them.

Come 3 or 4 years from now, they will be called up again for help.

But this is Malaysia, this is BN, this is Pakatan and this is our 'way of life'. Have we seen the light?


Why drive Singapore-registered car?

Lawmakers have urged Putrajaya to reconsider its proposal to introduce the vehicle entry permit (VEP) for foreign vehicles entering Johor, saying Malaysians who drive Singapore-registered cars will suffer most.

Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the fee, when implemented, would dent the pockets of Malaysians who worked in Singapore but lived in Johor.

Malaysians who are Singaporean permanent residents (PR) were not allowed to drive foreign-registered vehicles in the island.
"The government should set up a system to exempt Malaysians with Singapore PR from the VEP fee. Either have their car registration numbers keyed in or use their passports to enable exemption," Nur Jazlan told The Malaysian Insider.
He said some may argue that Malaysians who worked in Singapore would be earning enough to pay the fee, but added that it would still be a heavy burden for them.
DAP Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong said almost 300,000 vehicles cross the Johor-Singapore Causeway daily, most of which are Malaysian-owned.

He said the government should conduct an in-depth study on the effects of implementing the VEP fee, especially on Malaysians and on the tourism and retail business in Johor.
"We are not objecting to it, but our main concern is the sizeable number of Malaysians who drive Singapore-registered cars,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
"We want to see more research and more data. Will it have an adverse effect on tourism and the retail sector in Johor? The government has to do a study to understand the implications and impact of the VEP fee," he said.
Liew also said implementing the fee could be seen as retaliation against Singapore for increasing its own VEP fees.
Singapore recently announced that effective August 1, the vehicle entry permit (VEP) fee for foreign-registered cars entering Singapore will be raised from S$20 (RM52) to S$35 (RM90) a day.

The goods vehicle permit (GVP) fee for foreign-registered goods vehicles will be raised from S$10 (RM26) to S$40 (RM103) a month.

Retaliation is not the right terminology, YB. Its reciprocating. If they can charge us, why not we also charge them?

Another thing, I don't understand why some Malaysians like driving foreign-registered cars, especially from Singapore and Thailand. What are they so proud of?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Reporter 'jolok'!

A journalist from online portal Malaysia Gazette has come under fire for poking at a piece of skin he had come across at the site where Malaysia Airline flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine, as shown in a video recently uploaded to its website.

The video was removed following outrage from social media users and fellow journalists who flayed the Gazette reporter for his unprofessional behaviour.

The journalist, identified as Khairuddin Mohd Amin, was shot on video using a stick to poke at an object at the crash site in Donetsk, Ukraine – which looked like a body part of one of the victims of the disaster.

"There seem to be remains and body parts lying around the crash scene. We have found a piece of skin," a website reported Khairuddin as saying on air.

The body part, which was charred, was also shown for several seconds when cameraman Noorasrekuzairy Salim zoomed in.

Twitter user @klubbkiddkl posted on the social networking and microblogging service, tagging the news portal: "Dear @MalaysiaGazette – is this indeed your chief reporter? – MEMALUKAN!!!!
"@MalaysiaGazette that was just wrong in so many ways. Have some damn respect for victims of MH17!"

@shameonyoumy said: "Wartawan Malaysia Gazette tidak hormat Jenazah MH17, jolok dengan kayu!" (Malaysian journalist is not respectful of of MH17 bodies, poking it with a stick)
Malaysia Gazette is a year-old news portal whose mission and vision is "to listen to the voices of Malaysians and to present that in writing to be shared by public and channelled to the rightful parties for action".

At least three other journalists, including Sky News' Colin Brazier, have been criticised for tampering with victims' belongings at the crash site.

NOTE: Is he really a reporter... or just a porter?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Judicial plagiarism?

Many people like plagiarism because its the easiest way to tell how good and lousy your IQ is but those who got plagiarised will never like it... or will never forgive!

Earlier this month, an Indonesian daily accused Bernama of plagiarism of its election reports, that our national news agency published two of its recent articles 'word for word' and removed the names of the reporters.

I guess in journalism, its so common. You just take a few paragraphs of others' and add a few of yours and it becomes a new story. Well, they say almost all news are recycled.

However, plagiarism in judiciary is not so common. I don't remember reading any but what AG Gani Patail was doing really shocked me. Why? Because I didn't expect plagiarism to take its toll on judges and lawyers!
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has filed an application to prosecute lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam and 24 others for alleging that a Federal Court bench had plagiarised its judgment.
This sudden about-turn by the A-G has caught lawyers for Lingam and the 24 respondents by surprise as in the last hearing on June 18, the A-G's Chambers supported an application by two liquidators to discontinue their contempt proceedings.
Federal Court judge Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, who is chairing a five-man bench, then lamented that the court seemed to have been scandalised and no one had stood up for them.
“We (the judges) have been the target (in this matter). I don’t think anybody can deny that. Go back and think about it. Come back with something more meaningful and with sufficient ground,” he had said.
Ooi Woon Chee and Ng Kim Tuck, the liquidators of Kian Joo Can Sdn Bhd (KJC) made an application to the court to abandon their action against the respondents but the court had asked them to reconsider.
Lawyer S. Suhendran, who represented Ooi and Ng, had informed the court that it was no longer a necessity to proceed with the contempt proceedings as the liquidators had distributed the Kian Joo assets, the subject matter of the long drawn legal battle spanning 19 years.
Lingam and another lawyer A. S. Thisinayagam, 12 majority and 11 minority contributories of Kian Joo, also supported the withdrawal application.
Yes, there are many copycats around. Latest, this news from the US:
The United States Army War College determined in a preliminary review on Thursday that Senator John Walsh of Montana appeared to have plagiarized his final paper to earn a master’s degree from the institution, and it sent a letter to the senator instructing him that an investigative panel will meet next month to conclusively assess any culpability.
“It’s clear there is indeed strong reason to believe this is plagiarism,” said the War College’s provost, Lance Betros, a retired brigadier general. “We are initiating academic review procedures.”
Dr. Betros said he made the decision after he and another member of the War College’s staff read Mr. Walsh’s 14-page paper and used an online plagiarism detection program to review the document.
I don't know how bad plagiarism in the courtroom is but plagiarism is getting out of control. Even copyrights does not guarantee anything now.

NOTE: I used to copy my dad's signature in my school report card... and got whacked when he discovered about it.

MH370 and MH17 the same plane?

More than four months after the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 mysteriously disappeared on March 8 after it left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing, until today, various theories regarding the incident continue to swirl, with not one proven to be correct or dispelled.

Such could also be the fate of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 which left Amsterdam airport on July 17 and never reached Kuala Lumpur following it being hit by a missile that caused the jet to crash

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: Ukrainian Military Jet Escorts Could Be the Reason Why Malaysian Jet Was Shot

Speculations likewise swirl regarding the Boeing 777, including one conspiracy theory originated in Russian that the missing and the crashed jets are one and the same jet.

That MH 370 and MH17 are the same jets that the US military arranged for a second flight filled with dead bodies to be hit by a missile while flying over eastern Ukraine.

Business Insider, which reported that conspiracy theory, noted that it does not circulate among legitimate news agencies in Russia, but Russian TV is pointing to a the US as the one responsible for the mishap.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his statement on Sunday, insisted the tragedy would not have happened if military operations were not resumed in eastern Ukraine.

Read: Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: Russian TV Spins Conspiracy Theories About Plane Crash; Another Group Links Air Mishap to Illuminati

The article quoted a Russian language professor as saying that the conspiracy theory is part of government brainwashing reinforced by lack of alternative sources of news in Russia and the push to have citizens believe that their country is still in the era of superpowers and Russia is one of them.

In turn, US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that Russia is supporting the separatists who are being blamed for firing the missile that hit the jet.

He pointed to US and Ukrainian intelligence and social media reports that pinpoint the responsibility over the death of the 298 people on board MH17 to the separatists.

Last Nail on MH: Analyst Says Malaysian Airlines Has Weak Chances of Getting Out of Financial Rut as Tragedy Strikes 2nd Time in 4 Months

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: Last-Minute Booking Changes Save Dutch Cyclist from 2 MH Tragedies

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: 2 Passengers Had Premonition of Impending Doom Moments Before Take-Off

Malaysian Airlines MH 17: Double Tragedy for Queensland Family Which Lost Son & Daughter-in-Law to MH 370 and Step Granddaughter & Husband to MH 17

Malaysian Airlines MH 17: OSCE Gains Access to Crash Site; Ukrainian Rebels Claim to Have Plane's Black Boxes

Thursday, July 24, 2014

'Madness, greed, desperation'

Former PAS vice-president Hasan Ali has some choice words to describe opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and the menteri besar crisis in Selangor, among them being 'madness, greed and desperation'.

Hasan, who heads the NGO Jalur Tiga (Jati), also believes the move to place Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in the seat of power will backfire.

According to him, the crisis in Selangor has surpassed common sense and is a reflection of the 'madness and upheavals' plaguing PKR.

Hasan, who was sacked from PAS, added that Anwar has indirectly weakened Pakatan Rakyat’s position in the state with the latest development.

For some, he said Anwar’s move is nothing more than an attempt to stage a classic drama of concentrating power in the hands of his wife and children.

"Such dramas would have been popular in the classical age, but in the 21st century, it appears like an aristocratic comedy to the people," Hasan said in a statement.
On the same note, he said there were those who viewed the move as a "grand design" to determine the influence of PKR and Pakatan in the coming general election.
But, he added, there were also those who opined that it revealed Anwar’s desperation to resolve the internal wrangling in PKR, which is on the verge of paralysing the party.
"The internal crisis can cause the destruction of PKR.
"This is because it involves those from the top to the bottom, as reflected by the disgusting episodes during the party elections. There are now many factions and splinters.
"This has pushed the PKR leadership to do things those go against the norm and political rationality...
"Those who hold this view (a desperate act to quell the party crisis) also point out that despite being a fledgling political party, PKR is intoxicated with power. And some of the top leaders feel nauseated by what is happening," he said.
Monday press conference by Anwar Ibrahim was held so late – around midnight – that some newspapers missed the story.

Emerging from a PKR supreme council meeting, Anwar said the party leadership had endorsed his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is PKR president, to become the next Selangor mentri besar to replace Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

Senior journo Azman Ujang writes:
He even said the party leadership agreed that Dr Wan Azizah was the "best person" and the "most suitable leader" who could provide stability in Selangor.
Plenty of questions can be asked of Anwar within the party leadership circle on how he could justify this "best person and most suitable leader" description of his wife for the MB's job but being the political animal that he is, I doubt if anyone at the meeting had done so.
It's an open secret that Anwar had himself wanted to be the Selangor MB, the most coveted post any Pakatan Rakyat leader can aspire to hold in the three states under their control now.
He tried to do this by forcing a by-election in Kajang in March in which he was to be a candidate but was disqualified on the eve of nomination day when the Court of Appeal found him guilty of sodomy.
Those among us who would have thought that it was end of the matter and especially Khalid, who heaved a huge sigh of relief that his job was safe, were all proven wrong.
Even for PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, said to command the support of DAP and PAS should there be a change of the Selangor MB, his hopes of landing the job evaporated when at the party election, Anwar, once again, engineered a move which ended up in his wife being elected unopposed as party president, the post which Azmin was eyeing.

NOTE: Who doesn't know Anwar...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Plane crash in Taiwan, dozens feared dead

A plane landing in stormy weather has crashed outside an airport on a small Taiwanese island, with 47 people feared dead.

Transport minister Yeh Kuang-shih was quoted by the government’s Central News Agency as saying another 11 people were injured when the plane crashed and caught fire while making a second landing attempt.

               View image on Twitter
The agency had earlier cited a local fire brigade chief who said 51 people had been killed.

Flight GE222, an ATR-72 aircraft operated by Taiwanese airline TransAsia Airways, was heading from the southern port city of Kaohsiung to the island Penghu, halfway between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait, according to the news agency.

It crashed outside the airport in Xixi village, and pictures in local media showed a handful of firefighters using torches to look at wreckage in the darkness.

Penghu is a lightly populated island that averages about two flights a day from Taipei. Mr Yeh was quoted as saying the flight carried 58 passengers and crew members.

Taiwan had been battered by Typhoon Matmo and the Central Weather Bureau was advising of heavy rain through the evening even though the centre of the storm was over mainland China.