Sunday, October 31, 2010

Appreciate history, say Malay Rulers


A STRONG REMINDER TO MALAYSIANS!

The Malay Rulers today urged the people to understand and appreciate the history of the formation of the country and the Federal Constitution founded on the social contract, that is the spirit of consensus and understanding among the races and the concurrence of the Malay Rulers.

"The Malay Rulers uphold that the social contract agreed upon represents an instrument which is the basis of social justice in the country that encompasses the aspirations to achieve the objective of fair economic distribution.

"The attitude of compromise among the races reflects the maturity of the people of various races in this country," said a statement, following the 222nd meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Oct 13 and 14 in Kuala Lumpur (read Bernama).

The statement said that the meeting viewed with great concern the current political trend, which was seen to be stoking racial sentiments and challenging the sovereignty of the Federal Constitution.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vulgar bloggers in Galas

Vulgar bloggers!

I dont care about those on the Opposition side. Its their job, their task and their duty to belittle anynone with their bad words.

But I do care when pro-government bloggers too are subscribing to such an ill-mannered approach, especially when their assistance and contributions are needed most.

For instance, the Galas by-election in Gua Musang, Kelantan. I am not pinpointing at anyone in particular but some people - the potential government voters - are not comfortable at all with the badmouth some blogs are advocating in the pretext of helping Umno to win the State seat.

Not only character assassination. Some went even further by depicting Opposition leaders as pigs, dogs and monkeys.

"This wont help in securing a victory. It backfires instead. Pro-govt and pro-Umno bloggers should observe a good ethics. Maybe they come handy in other situation but not in a by-election. They easily create sympathy for the other party whom they attack," said an Umno veteran.

Some pro-Opposition bloggers are fond of launching fierce attacks on BN leaders including Datuk Najib, Muhyiddin, Rosmah and others. However, during Galas by-election campaigns, they seemed to have refrained.

On the contrary, few pro-govt bloggers are trying to 'help secure a victory' by advocating to vulgarity. All the *7*%(0&&^$^ words are used to pin down Pas and the Opposition, which I personally think is not wise.

Some readers of this blog also voiced out their concern that such blogs would help the Opposition, instead.

Sorry folks...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ku Li and his Gua Musang blueprint

Had Barisan Nasional won the 1990 general election and conquered Kelantan, the remote town of Gua Musang would have been developed into a unique 'landlock' city to complement the development of Cameron Highlands.

I remember Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah used to unveil his ambitious plan to transform the 'godforsaken' area into a new township within 5 years, provided that the ruling party manage to take back Kelantan from Pas. Some said it would have been larger than Kota Bharu.

That was his dream. I am sure Ku Li still have its blueprint kept in his closet and mind frame.

And now that Cameron Highlands is just about 90 minutes drive from Gua Musang, that dream comes alive again.

"I believe Gua Musang will emerge as a new township, if not a city in 10 years. It is complementing the development of Cameron Highlands in many aspects, especially in providing easy passage for local and foreign tourists from Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and even Thailand," he said.

Indeed. Gua Musang is now fast developing. The new Federal road linking it to Cameron Highlands is injecting a catalyst to the once-known 'a logging' valley. It adds zest and provides fresh ideas to developers from Kelantan and other states to seize the business opportunity which is now abundant.

More budget hotels, shopping arcades and shop lots were built over the last few years since the opening of the Gua Musang-Cameron Highlands (GM-CH) road. I am much impressed at the development pace taking place, especially its new township.

"Its amazing seeing a dead place coming alive again," said a friend who last visited this town about 15 years ago.

It also fascinates many who flocked the town a few days before nomination of candidates for the Galas by-election.

About 10,000 outsiders are putting up in Gua Musang until polling day on November 4. It causes massive traffic congestion everywhere, turning it into a 'little Vegas minus the casinos', according to a blogger.

More visitors, mainly party members are expected to arrive before polling day, and it is not a surprise that some of them rent hotels and chalets in Cameron Highlands.

I am beginning to feel very comfortable here, and so are the rest of my team members. I have been up there (CH) twice since Monday. After covering so many by-elections, I think Galas is most interesting, not because of the tough fight to be expected but its atmosphere. And I think I added 1kg because of the food!

Let's hope for the betterment of Gua Musang. I also pray for the voters in Galas to opt for BN. I believe Ku Li's dream will become a reality if the ruling party is given the mandate to continue his plan for GM...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Galas: 'Tak payahlah bloger bloger ni!'

Around 3pm in Gua Musang, I met an Umno Supreme Council (MT) member, had a chat with him for a few minutes before he dropped a bombshell: "Tak payahlah bloger bloger ni!" He was smiling when uttering that. I hope he wasnt too serious with his words.

I sent a text message to fellow-blogger Parpukari and his immediate response was, "Biar betul, bro!"

Betullah!

The MT member saw me with a few Kemas workers and said, "You pun ada ke?" So, I went to him, shook hands and said I came a day before the nomination day and was putting up at Taman Wangi (developed by Kesedar).

"You masih dengan Business Times?"... and I said no, adding that I came as a blogger with some other bloggers, just to help out the government in the by-election. I even told him we have been to almost all by-elections since PRU2008.

"Ramai buat kerja ni, tak payahlah bloger bloger ni!" was what I got. Disgusted and humiliated, I left.

Parpukari also SMSed me this: "Kenapa tiba-tiba je diorang ni benci sangat kat bloger ni, bro? Apa yang kita dah buat?"

Yes, what have we done to deserve such a treatment? Why do some leaders whom we support despise us?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Straight fight in Galas

Its a straight fight for Galas state seat by-election, only Umno (BN) and Pas (Pakatan Rakyat). No nomination from the much publicised Akim and an Independent.

It will be between Abdul Aziz Yusoff of Umno and Dr Zulkefli Mohamad of Pas. No objection was recorded during the one hour time given after nomination was closed at about 10.30am at the Gua Musang Land Office.

About 10,000 supporters from both sides accompanied their respective candidates to the nomination centre, causing traffic congestion in the remote town since 8am.

Campaigning starts today until the eve of polling on November 4.

Here are some facts and figures about Galas:

Constituency: N45 Galas

Candidates: Abdul Aziz Yusoff, 49, (BN), former Kesedar operations manager; Dr Zulkefli Mohamad, 44, (PAS) (medical practitioner)

Incumbent: Che Hashim Che Sulaima, 46, (PAS) (Che Hashim died on Sept 27 after suffering from colon cancer. He won the seat in 2008 general election after defeating BN's Mohamed Saufi Deraman by a 646-vote margin)

District: Gua Musang

Number of voters: 11,553 (127 postal voters)

Composition: Malay (7,125 or 61.7 per cent), Chinese (2,317 or 20.06 per cent), Indian (185), Orang Asli (1,889) and Siamese community (10).

Economic activities: Agriculture and business

Returning officer: Wan Mustapha Wan Abdul Hamid

Polling: Nov 4, 2010

Polling streams: 25

Polling centres: 13

Number of polling districts requiring helicopter service: four in Orang Asli area (Belatim, Balar, Bihai and Hau)

Vote-tallying centre: Dewan Pusat Sivik Gua Musang, Jalan Pesiaran Raya, Gua Musang.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saboteurs within Umno

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said in Galas on Sunday that Umno members should stop sabotaging their own party, especially during by-elections if the leaders of their choice are not made candidates.

"I give my assurance that there wont be any more acts of sabotage during campaign for Galas state constituency by-election." (read Bernama).

I dont know what he meant. Were Pemuda members involved in such acts in the past or whether he acknowledged that such activities had taken place somewhere during the previous 12 by-elections.

However, I agree to the fact that there are many saboteurs in Umno, and those involved are not only members at the grassroots but also at the mid and top levels. In previous general elections and by-elections, there were reports of such activities but no severe actions were taken.

We got to admit the fact that there are 'sour grapes' within the party. Those denied a place at a branch, division and other party position may lose their heads and will form their own groupings while remaining as party members.

I know some cases where Umno division heads launch a backstabbing policy to ousted their own deputies or secretaries elected as State Assemblymen or Members of Parliament. Most division heads are of the perception that since they head their respective divisions, they should be elected to a State Assembly or the Parliament.

I think Umno President Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak failed to tick this issue during the just concluded general assembly. He should realise that this 'virus' is spreading and could at anytime ruin the beloved party.

Yes, we should not be ignorance of saboteurs within Umno. We lost a lot of seats during the last general elections, partly because Umno members chose to vote the Opposition. And there are still too many of them out there.

Nope. It is not an easy task but if we fail to contain such acts, it would turn into a tumor and Umno would be very much affected later on.

However, have we ever wondered why these 'sour grapes' are going all out to secure a position in the party, by all ways and means? The answer is POWER and MONEY!

Do I have to say more?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guns for power?

The previous U-Tube did not make it clear. However, this one shows how they ambushed Tengku Ismail Petra at gunpoint. He was defenseless in the MPV when about 20 'ninjas' stormed his motorcades on May 4, 2010 just outside the Istana Mahkota.

Those behind this were obviously 'sick people'. Their intention was clear - to get him out of power!

The government knew about it, and so did the State Government and Bukit Aman but they refused to investigate merely because it was 'a palace matter'. Had one of the 'ninjas' accidentally fired a bullet towards him, there wont be any investigation too, I guess...


Monday, October 18, 2010

Dr M: Najib needs to do more

Najib has a lot more to do, says former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. As Najib inherited a bad government (from Pak Lah), the premier must try his best to win the people (read Bernama).

Hmmm... after two years at the helm, Najib is still struggling to convince the people that his 1Malaysia is the best policy to move forward as it unites every sector of the community to work hand in hand in achieving what Dr M has laid - Vision 2020.

Of Najib is still not doing enough? Maybe Tun M has his own perception on Najib's achievement so far.

"(You) see, sometimes he (Najib) fails, sometimes he succeeds. Sometimes he has good ideas and sometimes his ideas are not so good. That is to be expected," Dr Mahathir said Monday.

However, I believe the rakyat is the best to judge Najib...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A conspiracy to bring down Rais? You must be kidding!

I had supper with some politicians (including 2 MPs) and bloggers last night, chatting about many things - from Budget 2011 to Galas and Batu Sapi and Rais Yatim. Of course, the Rais-Rockybru issue took center stage. What drew my attention was the sum-up about a 'conspiracy theory' to bring down Rais.

Was there a conspiracy? I didnt find any logic in it but here are their points:

1. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is said to be announcing a minor Cabinet reshuffle after tabling Budget 2011 at the Parliament. Najib has had enough of Rais and a few ministers. However, not able to find a good reason to remove Rais, they used Rocky's Bru and a few bloggers to launch political assassination on Rais.

2. That Rocky received a supreme instruction to do so by manipulating Rais' Mexican trip. Some info were already leaked out to him and a few bloggers.

3. That the 'over RM1 billion' high-speed broadband deal was the best ammo, especially when CEOs of all Telcos followed him to Mexico where a deal for Rais' son was chartered. Back home, no papers were found of the deal but the AG chamber was 'used' to provide evidence.

4. That someone persuaded Rais to lodge a police report (he fell into the trap) against Rocky's Bru, knowing that it would make the minister the subject of criticism from many parties. And for him to withdraw the report would be an act of contempt, thus his credibility as a minister, a senior politician and a seasoned lawyer will be at stake.

5. Rocky was advised not to bow out to calls for a handshake with Rais as this will inject the latter with a new lifeline. To 'kill' him, nobody should entertain any effort to solve the 2R confrontation. Even the top leadership 'didnt want that to happen'.

Sounds more like a CIA and KGB plot. I dont find all of it making any sense (except No.4) but I am impressed at how this people drew up such a conspiracy theory.

But who are actually the bad guys here?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oct 18 - Bloggers and Felda

Remember when Anwar Ibrahim and his team bombarded Felda, accusing the corporation as having major problems and almost bankrupt? It took Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and some of his officials, including Felda chairman Yusof Nor to come to its defense.

So, is Felda really in trouble?

I must commend this effort organised by Felda corporate team to clear the air. So, journalists and bloggers (including those of the Opposition) who wish to square off with the corporation, your better read this.

Felda is inviting you to a dinner on Monday, Oct 18 at 8pm at Felda D'Villa, Jalan Semarak. There will also be briefings on Felda and its subsidiaries and Q & A with Yusof Nor.

Let everybody gets a clear picture of what is actually happening at the corporation before making any posting. Get the fact right before agreeing to what Anwar had said.

Those attending would be CEOs of Felda Palm Industries, Felda Plantation, Felda's GM, FASSB and others. They will also answer your questions.

Ada berani ka?


Friday, October 15, 2010

When a police report spoils everything...

Friends and bloggers alike believe Rais and Rocky should meet up and bury the hatchet. Personally, I believe Rocky doesnt mind seeing Rais and the minister too would like to put an end to this unpleasant episode.

But on second thought and after studying the case from all aspects, I think its not going to be that easy. As Big Dog said at the table of discussion in Bangsar last night, the police report spoils everything.

Its the police report. Had Rais taken a pause before going to the police, the issue could be let to subside easily.

Rais and Rocky are still friends, I suppose. However, shaking hands will not nullify the police report. Rocky could be jailed for one year and fine RM50,000. The report was malicious and the charges under Section 233 is a criminal offense. I dont think Rocky wants to risk it.

And some parties even likened it to Rais 'war' against Kalimullah. Or, could it be worse than that?

Top pro-government bloggers are still shooting at it. Read here, here, and here. Why? Because they didnt see any outlet to solve the case as long as the police report stays. There is no way for Rais to retract it as it would be considered a contempt. And we dont want him to do that as it will put his credibility to questions.

Prime Minister Najib and deputy Muhyidin are also saddened. However, while trying to find a solution to this 'bout', we should all bear in mind that the consequences of a single police report is far-reaching and damaging.

I dont know if Najib, Muhyidin and others got any suggestion to address this.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

To Rais and Rocky: Shake hands!

After considering its adverse implication on those involved - Rais, Rocky and the government - let me suggest a simple solution: shake hands and get back to work. I also realise that my previous posting which called for pro-govt bloggers to stay away from Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections (here) was a bit overboard and made things worse.

If both parties agree, they should meet up soon. After all, Rocky is the adviser of Bernama TV which comes under Rais ministry.

We can understand why the minister lost his balance after reading Rocky's Bru posting about the possibility of Rais son being awarded a telco contract recently. Well, Rais got every reason to be furious while as a blogger, Rocky was just putting up the questions without accusing the minister of anything.

Rais could have made the police report against Rocky out of his anger but as the repercussion turned unpleasant, I think the minister is a bit sober by now to notice the ugly side of such an action.

So, I think Bukit Aman should return Rocky's notebook and modem. Similarly, the MCMC should cease its investigation before things get uglier as it would be bad not only for both parties but also for the government.

After a discussion with pro-govt bloggers a few hours ago, and after Big Dog related what Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said earlier in the day, I hereby declare my full support towards Rais-Rocky 'reconciliation'.

We got more important things to attend to as a team. To err is human. So, let us put the ugly episode behind.

I hope Rais and Rocky agree... and I also believe my fellow-bloggers would like to see it settled.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bloggers! Stay away from Rais, Galas and Batu Sapi!

After reading Rockybru, Outsyed the Box, House PK and Big Dog about Rais Yatim and his police report against Rocky, I came to understand that this minister is untouchable. He is more than a king who controls and dictates others to the extreme. He practices corporate and legalistic entity.

Being the first minister to lodge a police report against a blogger, he is tearing apart the close collaboration given by this group of top bloggers to the government. Even Rais has plunged himself deep into trouble.

Much has been said about him since the last general election. Some accused him of mobilising the ministry's staffs and vehicles to assist his campaigns. I dont know how true was it but some people at the Istana Budaya and his former ministry told me. I am also not sure whether it was the right thing for him to do.

And this police report shouldnt be made in the first place. He could have at least summon Rocky to his office for clarification. I met his DG Datuk Tiger at the Sultan Abdul Samad building around 5pm yesterday. As Rais was also there, I did ask Tiger whether I could see the minister for a few minutes. I guess Tiger tried but Rais was in a furious state. So, I had the answer for his reaction over Bru's posting (here).

But still, I cant believe he would lodge a police report. What ministers or politicians normally do is to issue a statement of denial or requesting an apology from the writer. We are talking about pro-government bloggers here, who are suppose to work hand in hand with Rais' ministry.

If he didnt lucre from the dealings with MCMC, why cant he just deny it? But he chose to complicate the matters.

And as such, I would like to call on all pro-government bloggers to stay away from Galas and Batu Sapi. Let Rais and his officials attend to it. Let him proof that the ruling party can withstand the pro-Opposition bloggers onslaughts, and that he is the king and key to BN's victory.

I believe he has forgotten the role of pro-BN bloggers in the previous 11 by-elections, how most of us had voluntarily entered the campaigns, working hard to woo the voters and spent our own money to help the ruling party. Yes, we won some, we lost some but when Prime Minister, his deputy and other ministers recognise the importance of blogs, Rais is putting up a fight with us.

So, let him be another Hishammuddin Hussein who treats pro-government bloggers like dirt. Let's watch Rais and people like Hisham in the next general election...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chickens in Namibia and Malaysia...

I was in Namibia in 1997. Its capital city Windhoek was as big as Bentong, except for a few 10-storey hotel and new apartment buildings jointly-built by foreign and local investors. They were 20 years behind us then.

Its 2.1 million people rarely eat chicken. It was too expensive. I was shocked when told that a kilogram of chicken could easily fetch USD3 (about RM10) and some Namibians had never tasted it before. Why? There wasnt many chickens in Namibia. They import some from South Africa for hotels and the rich.

However, I am glad reading a news story about the changes in Namibian 'chicken policy' (read here). The Namib Poultry Industries company is in the process of setting up a poultry project between Okahandja and Windhoek to produce chickens for the Namibian market.

It is also to make Namibia self-sufficient in the supply of chickens. The project will commence with production in November next year and will provide 600 job opportunities.

Now, compared to us in Malaysia, we eat chicken mostly everyday. We have many chicken farms, some of which are managed with modern technology. Chicken products are aplenty and easy to purchase at all towns.

However, there are few times in a year when issues such as chicken and egg prices, its shortage and quality keep on bursting. It happens every year. On top of that, we export chickens and poultry products to Singapore and Thailand.

We even politicise the chickens. The Opposition and the ruling parties are oftenly engaged in verbal war about who should defend the chickens and the eggs. And during supply shortages, where did our chicken go?

Namibia is certainly 20 years behind us but they are planning not to be embroiled in a 'chicken politics' situation like Malaysia 20 years later.

PS: How many of our politicians are like chickens... they always chicken out!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another fatal accident, another bus error

The latest road accident near Batu Ampat Toll Plaza of the North-South Expressway yesterday evening, saddens me. I believe many other Malaysians are extremely shocked and appalled with it.

How could a bus ferrying dozens of passengers lost control and flipped over onto the opposite lane, bulldozing oncoming van, cars and another bus? At press time, at least 12 people died and dozens injured, some in serious condition (read Bernama).

Could it be technical or human error? If it was human error, the background of the driver, his history and medical record should be investigate. Should technical errors led to such an incident, the condition of the bus must be investigated, including its last inspection with the Puspakom.

The country has seen many major road accidents over the last few years, mostly involving heavy vehicles like buses, lorries, tankers and trailers. The common error, apart from human, is the tyres in use.

In many countries like Japan, Switzerland, Croatia, United States, Germany and Australia, the use of re-thread tube tyres are totally banned due to its instability and unsafe condition. The impact should such a tyre depletes, is beyond control.

However in Malaysia, it is still in use for its low price. A new medium-class tubeless tyre for a bus could easily costs RM800 each, compared to RM200 of a re-thread. Some new tyres are sold at RM2,000.

It is time for the government to take another look at this matter as in involves road safety. If there is a need to ban such tyres, then we should at least put a control on the price of new tyres for heavy vehicles.

To those involved in the Simpang Ampan accident, do accept my sincere sympathy and condolence.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

You are a Home Minister, Hisham!!!

Home Minister Hishammuddin will have an audience with the Sultan of Johor on Tuesday over an article written by Hindraf's P Waythamoorthy in the news portal Free Malaysia Today on October 7.

Moorthy who fled overseas had questioned the position of the Malays and Malay rulers in a posting on the website. Many felt his statement was to create hatred towards the Malay Rulers and to dupe the people's thinking.

What Moorthy wrote is secondary now. However, the ministry's 'a little late' action should be put to question. Yes, we are talking about the Home Ministry.

I think Hisham needs a special task force to monitor all blogs, news portals and other news medium the moment they hit the cyberspace. Sensitive matters such as postings by Moorthy and others like the Namewee case must be attended to immediately and not a few days or a month later.

A deferred action would lead to a public uproar. Racial sentiment will flare again. Hisham is always seen acting 'too late', especially on Namewee who is now free to go on with his concert in Johor Baru later this month.

There are things which Hisham himself can decide there and then without having to refer it to the police. A Home Minister is someone who can take prompt and drastic decision (depending on the circumstances) to contain subversive elements like that from taking a spread. The police can come later.

However, Hisham had never even once taken such an action. He normally will wait for the police or reporting it to the Prime Minister first. And by the time police begins investigation, the damage has been done, and the whole nation erupted with fury.

Come on, bro. You are a Home Minister, not an Education Minister anymore. Your portfolio warrants you to be strict, tough, stiff and willing to take pre-emptive measures. Or you just dont know what your real responsibility is and how much power is vested in you?

Dont be afraid if you are not popular for being a 'no-nonsense' minister as long as the country is put to order. Some crooks are popular too! So, be a man and you would be appreciated!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Amok removes Arlida from Iskandar

Khazanah boss Azman Mokhtar today removed Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) chief executive officer Arlida Ariff (pic) and installed his close buddy Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim. The unprecedented move was carried out amid speculation of alleged irregularities in the awarding of infrastructure contracts.

Syed Mohamed who is also DRB-Hicom property chief will take on his new task on Nov.1 (read Malaysian Insider report).

Azman made the announcement of the leadership change at a town hall meeting with IIB employees in Johor Baru this morning. Results of an internal audit had pushed Khazanah to take today’s drastic step.

Whether the decision got a prior approval from the government, has yet to be ascertained. However, sources said Arlida was informed of her removal a few days ago, and she refused comments.

It is also still unclear, however, if the sovereign wealth fund would press charges against anyone following the audit in the company, which acts as a catalyst for Malaysia’s massive development in Johor.

Khazanah initiated an audit into the financial management and operations of IIB earlier this year following reports of alleged kickbacks, inflated costs and alleged questionable procurement procedures.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Musa, Bakri face contempt of court

Ex-IGP Musa Hassan and Bukit Aman's director of CID Bakri Zinin were ordered to be present at the Kuala Lumpur High Court at 8.30am, 28 Oct. Both were accused of contempt following the police's decision to re-arrest two youths whom the High Court here had ordered to be released from detention under the Emergency Ordinance (EO).

Good decision by Justice Mohd Sofian Razak when dismissing the argument of senior federal counsel Najib Zakaria, that nobody is above the law.

R Muniyandi, 26, from Kluang and B Sasinthiran, 28, of Kuala Selangor, were detained under the EO for their alleged involvement in gangsterism and other criminal related activities.

The duo had succeded in obtaining a habeas corpus writ from the High Court here but were re-arrested immediatly after they stepped out from the Simpang Renggam detention centre in Johor.

On Sept 30, both men had succeeded in their application to initiate contempt proceedings against Musa and Bakri for not complying with the court's order to release them.

Musa is currently performing umrah.

read more...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Watching them die...

-- A child dies every six seconds due to hunger
-- 22 nations face protracted food crises

-- Almost 1 billion people worldwide still face hunger

We keep on getting this figures every year from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Over the past few decades, international effort to reduce the figures did not show much improvement (read here).

Why? The super powers are embroiled in international crisis. They used what was supposed to be 'funds for the poors' to finance wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Major donor nations such as the United States, UK, France and Germany were more keen in giving aides to Israel and the West-installed regimes of Iraq and Afghanistan rather than committing seriously to the FAO programmes (read here).

Countries in protracted crisis require targeted assistance, with the focus not only on emergency relief but also on longer-term tools, such as providing school meals or implementing food-for-work programmes, according to a FAO report, which used three measurable criteria to determine whether or not a country is in a protracted crisis.

The criteria are the longevity of the crisis, the composition of external aid flows, and the inclusion of the country on FAO’s list of low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs).

A total of 22 countries currently meet all three of these criteria, namely Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.


FOOTNOTE:
I like watching Malaysians eat. I had a friend who died of eating too much in 2004.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

RPK won't leave Anwar & Gang laaar...!

Raja Petra Kamarudin @ RPK has threatened Anwar Ibrahim that he will withdraw his undivided support for Pakatan Rakyat if the party fails to deliver what it promised during 2008 general election campaigns.

He told this to Anwar during a meeting in London last week. Sounds interesting. However, I dont buy what he said. It wont happen. Its unlikely RPK will sideline Anwar and Gang, especially his good buddy Zaid Ibrahim.

Deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin was fast to comment about it by saying it reflected the waning support for the political party which comprises Parti Keadilan Rakyat, PAS and DAP.

So, what IF the Malaysia Today editor really turns his back on PR? Will he throw his support for BN? No... odd possibility dudes!

After all that happened, he will continue his 'confrontation' with Prime Minister Najib's administration. There is no single reason for him to turn back...

It was just a political drama!

Azmin is immodest

It was immodest for Azmin Ali to call Tun Dr Mahathir 'a fallen leader'. Some people may label Azmin a wretch for uttering such words while others would regard it as improper, like what DPM Muhyiddin said (here).

Perhaps Azmin, the PKR vice-president should look back at where he used to belong. When he was with Anwar Ibrahim at the DPM's office, he was full of praise for the former premier. I remember him describing Dr M as a leader everyone should respect and appreciate.

That was about 15 years ago. And now that he is with the Opposition, he finds it necessary to batter the 'warlord' whose Cabinet decided to sack Anwar. Or he was finding an 'overkill' element prior to the PKR party elections.

But still, I dont find it necessary to say such things, especially when you dont really understand what a fallen leader is. Obviously it is not Dr M, who has steered Malaysia into what it is today. With an average economic growth of 8 per cent throughout his 22 years tenancy as a Prime Minister, switching Malaysia from an agricultural to an industrial-based economy, reducing poverty from 28 per cent in 1980 to less that 4 per cent at the time of his retirement, placing Malaysia well on the diplomatic map, making Malaysia as one of the world's most competitive economies...etc, etc... you called him a fallen leader?

What Azmin said was a sock to Malaysia and the majority of its people who see Dr M as a true leader. Even those who used to call him a dictator and oppose his policies have high respect for him. For a politician as young as Azmin, such a statement backfires easily - not only from those who support the government but also from those who are not.

A fallen leader refers to someone who fails his country and his people, a leader who fails to bring about development to his country, someone who is highly corrupt, a leader who practices corporate and legalistic entity, one who puts his country into disarray, someone who cant accept defeat and a leader who easily sells his soul to foreign forces.

No, Dr M is not such. I think Azmin admits the fact but as he is with Anwar, he cant say good things about Dr M anymore. We can understand that.

I hope Azmin doesnt turn from 'bad to evil'. He can stay with the Opposition but he should stay clear with his own good conscience. He should be able to distinguish between the moon and the sun...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bru is okay, hope Dr M too...

Some friends and readers called me asking about Rockybru. He has not been posting anything on his blog over the last few days. I knew he was not feeling well since last week (Raya fever, I suppose).

So I called him this morning, glad to hear he's almost 100 per cent fit to write again (and for other things too). Being among the nation's top bloggers, a single day not seeing anything new on his blog is like having not read anything for a year.

I didnt manage to meet him during Hari Raya due to program clash. Anyway, get well bro... let's re-arrange what we were supposed to do (including 'that' late night supper).

His (our) cousin bro Bulan is also very sick over 'unknown' cause at the HUKM in Cheras.

So many people are sick now. I wonder how is Tun Dr Mahathir doing in Down Under. May Allah be with him. Hope Malaysians pray for his health.



PS: Thanks to Tan Sri Elyas Omar, Mahaguru58, Sita and others who came to my house yesterday.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Open house craze

Most Muslims are still in Hari Raya mood. Open house here and there. The roads in KL are still congested on weekends as they rush from one open house to another.

I attended a few. My tummy can only fit one open house in a single day. I dont know about my fellow-blogger A Voice, Big Dog and House PK (sorry bros). However, I do envy those who can really eat, and most of the big eaters are not usually fat or big in sizes.

My point here is, how many times does a minister, a deputy minister, a ministry secretary-general, a deputy sec-gen and other high ranking government officials have to organise open houses? Since the past few years, I notice a trend that some ministers will play host to at least two open house feats.

Sometimes last week (as an instance), a minister hosted an open house using his ministry's name at his constituency in Negri Sembilan. A few days later, he hosted another open house in Kuala Lumpur. And then, his sec-gen hosted another open house for the ministry at Carcosa Seri Negara.

Another minister who had also hosted similar event in Johor held another one in the capital yesterday. I guess only Members of Parliament host a single open house at their respective 'kampung' while those with Cabinet designate are 'obliged' to organise it at his kampung level, ministry level and senior officials level.

When they host Raya open house at various places under the label 'Hari Raya Bersama Rakyat anjuran Kementerian.....', who actually pays for the bill? The person himself? Or the ministry, which means the government?

I believe the government bears all expenses. We got another week to go before Syawal ends on Oct 10. How many more open house still in the counting? How much more does the government has to fork out?

Yes, open house is good. It brings together people from all walks of life into a cheerful atmosphere. However, it is wise to host so many open house feats for a ministry? Why must everybody with such portfolios exploit their positions? Unless they pay their own bill, then its okay.

But they will produce the claims to the government on the pretext that the open house was organised for the rakyat. Doesnt matter if a minister got to host three or four open house, its for 'the rakyat' and the government is more than willing to pay everything.

I think its a waste of money. A ministry should host one open house. We got so many ministries, each can choose which state to organise a national-level open house, instead of letting its minister, the deputy and sec-gen having it separately.

And, please... we dont need posters, buntings or banners to invite the public. Its suffice to have the newspapers and other media passing the message around.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Anti-bloggers minister hosts Raya open house today

Posters and buntings about it are all over town, at almost all lamp posts. It looks more like an election campaign. All carries his picture.

Who? It is Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. The posters and buntings were about the ministry's Hari Raya 'Bersama Rakyat' open house which takes place today from 3pm onwards at the Police Training Centre or Pulapol, Jalan Semarak.

Impressive work but foolish at the same time. I dont think Hisham should subscribe to such a method to 'advertise himself and the ministry'. Even Prime Minister Najib's open house in Pekan the other day did not take such an approach.

I am not sure whose idea was it but it must be from one of his irrelevant advisers. They thought it was the best way to promote this 'anti-bloggers minister'.

However, I would like to attend it. Hope bloggers too...